When to use a Debt Collector
Debt collectors in the U.K. are plentiful. It is therefore important to know what to look for when choosing a reputable and trustworthy debt collector to help recover a debt.
Gone are the days when the thought of debt collectors should bring up the image of a couple of threatening individuals carrying baseball bats. While this method might have been used in the past, it is now illegal and will do nothing to help the reputation of the creditor. A more advisable strategy for recovering money is to contact a debt collection service.
Debt Collectors provide a type of service that can be used in circumstances where money is owed to a creditor. With their legal knowledge and experience, Debt Collectors are able to offer advice and assistance on the full range of options available to recover the outstanding funds, including court proceedings, if this course of action should become necessary.
Debt Collectors can be helpful simply to show a debtor that the matter is being taken seriously. A letter from a debt collection agency gives a clear message that the matter is likely to be pursued if the outstanding amount is not received.
If the amount owed is small and the circumstances are straightforward, it might not be worthwhile involving Debt Collectors, particularly if the cost of legal action would outweigh the amount of debt. For small claims, it is often possible to handle matters without the help of a debt collector, and bring the case to a small claims court without representation. However, if there are large amounts of money involved, complicated circumstances or a dispute about the money that is owed, then it is often sensible to seek help from a debt recovery service.
Finding the right one
In finding the right debt collector, conducting appropriate due diligence or getting a verifiable personal recommendation can be invaluable. A good agency should be able to provide a list of quotes from former customers who can also be contacted.
Be sure to avoid any agency that is recently incorporated or requires up-front payment of handling or membership fees, and check any contract or terms and conditions carefully to ensure you understand how charges are calculated and that you aren't agreeing to pay any hidden or abortive fees if funds are not recovered.
Consider what the firm is offering, whether there is a specialist debt recovery team and if a mediation or dispute resolution service is available as an alternative to the courts. Some debt collectors specialise in this area. Make sure the agency is able to suit specific needs and can follow the process through each stage; as far as legal action if it becomes necessary.
It should employ a range of approaches, rather than be tied to only one method, such as just sending out letters. A good indication of a reliable debt collection service is a customisable plan and payment options.
It is also a good sign if the agency does not ask for payment until at least part of the debt has been recovered. The pricing structure should be outlined clearly and all charges should be relevant to the work that needs to be carried out.
Ensure that the agency is licensed and has the appropriate permits needed to operate. Also, check if the individual agents used are properly certified. Another consideration is whether the agency is licensed to operate in the geographical areas where the debts are to be recovered.
Choose an agency that has a professional as well as ethical approach and does not resort to aggressive or illegal techniques. A commitment should also be offered for regular updates to be provided on all cases that are ongoing.
Contact Us for further advice on approaching or using a debt collection agency on +44 (0)20 8202 3364.