Are you being hassled by Albert Chambers Debt Collectors about some debt you have failed to pay back? Are you worried about being unable to repay the debt? Are the debt collectors saying you owe debt that isn’t yours, or perhaps you have already paid it? Are they talking about taking you to court? If any of these questions are relevant to you, or you are having similar issues, this article should help give you information on what steps to take next.
Who are Albert Chambers?
Albert Chambers is located in Middlesbrough and is home to two businesses.
The first of these two businesses is Storey & Fellows Sheriff’s Officers. This firm is run by Wilfred Storey, a certificated bailiff and the senior partner in the Sheriff’s Office, and Kathleen Fellows, the junior partner in the Sheriff’s Office and also a certificated bailiff. They undertake process serving and debt collection.
Albert Chambers is also the home to Liddles, a detective agency that was established in 1960. This firm is run by Julian Petch who is a member of the Association of British Investigators and is also a certificated bailiff. They carry out a range of work including tracing, video surveillance and insurance investigations.
Garness Jones Limited, 79 Beverley Road, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU3 1XR
Also Known As:
Albert Chambers Limited
Albert Chambers Ltd
Albert Chambers Group
Albert Chambers Bailiffs
Albert Chambers Debt Collectors
Albert Chambers Debt Collection
Albert Chambers Agency
What is the reason for the contact by Albert Chambers Debt Collectors?
The debt collection business is big business, and there are lots of companies making money out of your debt. Debt collectors like Albert Chambers Debt Collectors have many shapes and sizes; some debt collection agencies work independently, some are part of the original company you owe the debt to, and some are even sole traders who collect debt.
The way this works is that the debt collectors buy the debt at a lower cost than the face value, which means they may money when they collect payments. In some cases, the debt could be purchased for only 20% of the face value, and thereafter, they are making pure profit. They don’t generally care about whether you are facing financial hardship, they just want you to make payment. You may be in a dire situation, but they are not particularly concerned about this. Poor practices are unfortunately, all too common, and The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) said that such poor practices “appear to be widespread”.
Check if you really owe the money
Do you owe this debt? If you don’t recognise it, it may not be yours, so it is always best to get confirmation on this. Speak to Albert Chambers Debt Collectors and ask where it originated and the total cost of what you owe. If you do recognise the debt, but the value looks different, it is probably the result of interest and charges. Make sure you get a full breakdown of the costs, including the charges which have been added.
You can write to Albert Chambers Debt Collectors and request that they send you a copy of your original credit agreement. If they say they won’t be able to send you this, you will not be obliged to pay the debt back.
Can pay but won’t pay?
If you really do owe the money, then the road of least resistance is to repay the debt if you are able to do so, but if you can’t afford to repay it, or if doing so would prevent you from servicing more important credit such as your rent or mortgage, then try to make some arrangement with Albert Chambers Debt Collectors, perhaps offering them a partial repayment.
Are debt collectors trying to ruin your life?
Unfortunately, it seems to be common for debt collectors to use a range of tactics that to get their money, some of which can be highly distressing. Some of the most well-known tactics which are employed by debt collectors, including bullying, harassment and undermining debtors to the point where they feel embarrassed and humiliated about their situation.
There is no doubt that being harassed by Albert Chambers Debt Collectors could be highly detrimental to your life. In some cases, this could lead to distress and even suicidal thoughts in some cases. The debt support trust have spoken about the problems associated with debt, stating that as many as half of those who suffer from debt problems, have thought about suicide in some cases. They asked the government to step in and take charge of this ever increasing issue, which they did and this has made a difference to the situation, although it is still very much an issue.
Albert Chambers Debt Collectors and what the law states
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) has a set of guidelines relating to debt collectors, which states what they must do in order to adhere to the law. In summary, Albert Chambers Debt Collectors should:
- Treat debtors in a fair way and without using aggressive practices, such as harassment and bullying to get the money.
- Ensure transparency and provide debtors with clear and concise information, which is not misleading in any way.
- Show consideration towards debtors about their situation and be empathetic to the difficulties they face.
- Take the debtors situation into account debtors’ circumstances, especially when deciding what action to take.
If you feel that you are being harassed or intimidated by Albert Chambers Debt Collectors and you believe they are not following the guidelines, then you would be able to report them to the OFT. If the OFT deem it to be the case, they may remove their license.
Some debt collectors will even go as far as to As this is deceit, you may have a case them, as according to the law, they are not permitted to deceive borrowers.
How do Albert Chambers Debt Collectors operate?
It is important to understand how debt collectors work, in order to be able to deal with them efficiently. These are some things to consider:
They get bonuses based on payments
The Albert Chambers Debt Collectors agents who call you up about your debt will probably have incentives in the form of bonuses, which is what motivates them to contact you so frequently. There will also be expectations that they will be able to bring in a specified minimum amount of money per hour. These targets will encourage borrowers to try and obtain as much as possible. There may be both daily and monthly targets, and with each collection, they may be entitled to receive a bonus. This will give you a better insight into why they are so persistent in getting payments.
The point to learn here is that if you can stay strong, despite the contact, and even harassment, and try to deal with the threats from Albert Chambers Debt Collectors as well as you can, with full knowledge that these are mostly empty threats, you can to some extent turn the tables. Keep them talking but just don’t pay. Of course, it is better to pay the debt if you can afford it, but if you are already struggling with day to day bills, don’t leave yourself facing further issues by paying what you can’t realistically afford.
Call technology is common
You may be wondering how Albert Chambers Debt Collectors are able to keep calling you all the time, and the truth is, they are probably not! Many debt collection companies use automated technology to make the calls, which can result in you receiving an excessive amount of calls every day. The hope is that if they contact you excessively, you will eventually just answer to get peace and quiet from them!
Although this approach can work, it could be seen as intimidation, which is not permitted according to the law for debt collectors.
If you are receiving an excessive number of calls, you may have the right to report them, as it is a breach of the OFT guidelines. If this is the case, you should report them to the Financial Ombudsman, who will take the case further on your behalf.
Why the attitude?
Some debt collectors will use an approach which involves them being friendly one minute, and aggrieved the next! They may start the conversation politely, but they will soon change their attitude when they realise that you are unable to pay. This switch can be quite difficult to comprehend, and it can make debtors feel even more ashamed than they already do. If the debt collectors are being abusive in any way, you don’t just need to put up with it. Make no mistake, they have no right to do this, regardless of how much you owe them. You have the right to make a complaint if you feel that debt collectors are abusing or bullying you in any way.
Talking to others about your debt
If you fail to answer the calls from Albert Chambers Debt Collectors, they may get frustrated and end up speaking to someone else about your debt. For instance, if your colleague at work answers, or another family member. Of course, it is always best to clear your debt if possible, but regardless, debt collectors have no right to speak to others about your debt, in an attempt to embarrass you. If they do speak to someone else about the debt, this would be a breach of the OFT guidelines, not to mention privacy laws.
You can report this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Handling the lies
It can be difficult to deal with the contact from debt collectors, especially when they are saying they will visit your home and take your possessions, or even worse, that they intend to prosecute you. As they are not bailiffs, they have no right to do this, so you should take the threats with a pinch of salt. Don’t let the lies get to you.
If they say they are going to visit your home, you can refuse them entry, but if you feel that you are under threat in any way, you should alert the police to this. They don’t have the right to threaten you.
Standing up to the debt collectors
Debt collectors such as Albert Chambers Debt Collectors can often be relentless in their pursuit for payment, and their behaviour could lead to mental health problems for debtors, and some may even consider suicide. Standing up to Albert Chambers Debt Collectors is by no means easy, it requires strength and courage, that can be difficult for many people. There is help out there though if you need it. Getting out of debt is important, but you need to do it in a way that won’t put you in further financial troubles. Only pay debt back, if you can afford it.
How to get help with your debt
There are many different kinds of help available if you are struggling with your debt. There are the organisations who offer this service completely free of charge, and can offer a one-to-one service. There are also commercial organisations who will charge you to use their debt services. It does, of course, make more sense to use the free advice first.
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can provide free debt advice and help, they are well known for their extensive knowledge and expertise. They can also offer advice on other issues you may be dealing with.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide debt advice for free, and can help you manage your finances.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice and help people take control of their finances.
You can write off your debt
There is the possibility to write off your debt, by entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this formal agreement, you would pay the debt collectors a set amount you can afford as a one-off sum or you may prefer to make the payments through monthly installments. The rest of the debt will usually be written off within 5 or 6 years. You must get help with this through an insolvency practitioner.
An alternative to an IVA is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). There is an eligibility criteria with this though. You must only be left with £50 or less each month once you have taken care of your household expenses, you must not own your home or have assets worth over £1,000 to be eligible for this.
Despite the warnings and the new legislation, the behaviour of some debt collectors still leaves a lot to be desired. Some still act irresponsibly, and treat debtors in an unacceptable manner. You do not need to just put up with this though, you can fight back to the harassment and bullying tactics, especially if you get some help from the agencies who offer free help and support. You can’t just refuse to pay the debt, but you can spread the debt with repayments. You may be able to stop the bullying of debt collectors by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman. There is the possibility that they may even lose their licence.
Can you just ignore debt collectors?
Albert Chambers Debt Collectors will continue to keep contacting you about the debt, so there is no point in ignoring them. All this will do is drag the process out, and make it even more stressful.
Can Albert Chambers take you to court?
They can apply for a County Court Judgement, which would force you to pay the debt.
Can you go to jail for your debt?
You won’t be sent to jail for the debts, but you may receive a County Court Judgement letter.
Could I just ignore the CCJ?
It is best not to ignore the CCJ, as the baillifs may end up at your door to take goods to the equivalent of the total debt cost.
Will Albert Chambers issue a warrant?
They do not have the legal right to issue a warrant for your arrest or to send you to prison. However, they can request a CCJ, which could end up with the bailiffs at your door!
Are Albert Chambers bailiffs?
Albert Chambers are not bailiffs. They may issue a CCJ which could result in the bailiffs being sent to your door though. They won’t do this without a lot of prior warning.
Will Albert Chambers come to your house?
They may sent people round to your house, but you can ignore them or tell them to remove themselves from your property. You may end up with bailiffs being sent round, if you have a CCJ.
Will Albert Chambers ever stop contacting you?
They probably won’t give up without a fight, as otherwise, they have lost money. It is best just to speak to them, as this will at least get them off your back for a period of time.
Is there an age on the debt?
Under the Limitation Act 1980 there is limited period of 6 years to recover a debt. This date is from the last payment, or the last time you spoke to the debt collectors about the debt.
Will debts ever be written off?
Debts can be written off, if you enter into an IVA, or if it just expires.