Debt Collectors: Are they for real?
It is common to use so-called Debt Collectors early in the process - as early as 14 days from the date of the ticket - as most people believe these companies to be official and/or regulated. They are neither. Most are small, if not sole traders, with a penchant for misleading statements, half-truths, falsifying information and in some cases attempting fraud
Also see our extensive Wiki on these so-called Debt Collectors. If yours is not there then contact us.
Debt Collectors: What should you do
Firstly check the Internet to see what others have been saying about these companies. For example, ZZPS was started by the former director of a similar company called Roxburghe. The Office of Fair Trading found this company to be "unfit" to carry on. The company closed soon after. Their finding were based on:
- sending debt collection letters which misrepresented debtors' legal position
- misleading and otherwise inappropriate behaviour by HFO and Roxburghe agents during phone calls to debtors
- failing to properly investigate disputed debts
- failure to respond appropriately to the concerns of regulators, including the OFT.
Ultimate Customer Solutions (UCS) which is a trading style of SolutionLabs Ltd, has taken over Roxburghe accounts.
If you believe that these companies are conducting their business in an unlawful manner, then report them to your local Trading Standards office. Examples of misleading and aggressive business practices include:
- sending letters that look like court claims;
- not making it clear who the company is or what their role is;
- using unhelpful legal language;
- not giving balance statements about the debt when asked;
- not letting you know the outcome if you have disputed or queried the debt;
- contacting you at unreasonable times even when asked not to; and
- asking you to contact them on premium rate phone numbers.