Are Albion Debt Collections hassling you about an outstanding debt you have failed to pay? Are you unable to repay the debt? Do you not recognise the debt you are being asked to pay? Are Albion Debt Collections threatening court action against you? If these apply to you, this article will help give you a better understanding of debt collectors, and how to deal with contact from Albion Debt Collections in particular.
Who Albion Debt Collections?
Albion Collections is a registered debt collector in the UK, acting as an in-house collection team for Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). They are based in Halifax and is a registered agency.
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Why are Albion Debt Collections trying to contact you?
Debt collection is big business, and there are various types of debt collectors you might come across. There are the debt collection agencies who operate like an independent business, there are those who are part of the original credit company (such as a credit card company or bank) and even sole traders who work as debt collectors. There are many people who suffer from debt problems, and this is why it is such big business.
The way these debt collectors work is that they buy the debt for a price which is often as little as 20% of the face value of the debt. They only make a profit when they collect the money, and this is why they can be so persistent about obtaining it. Unfortunately, most debt collectors are not particularly interested in your financial troubles, or why you can’t pay the debt back. They just want you to pay up, and they will go to extreme lengths to make this happen. This may include calling you persistently throughout the day, or even reaching out to people you know to try and get in touch with you.
Is this your debt?
The first thing you should do if you are being contacted by Albion Debt Collections is to establish whether this is actually your debt. This is particularly important if you don’t recognise the debt, or the amount doesn’t seem to be correct. If you think you have already paid the debt, it is important that you find out where it originated, and any other information that helps you establish whether it is actually your debt.
You can do this by writing to Albion Debt Collections and asked them to send a copy of the original credit agreement. If they can’t provide this, you do not have to make the payments. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to send you the confirmation.
Why you should pay up
If you owe the money, it is best to just pay it, as this will get it – and the debt collectors of your back. If you can’t afford to pay it, then you can set up a repayment plan with Albion Debt Collections. There is no reason why they should not allow you to do this. It is important to ensure you pay the most important bills you have, such as rent or mortgage, before you pay any debt off.
Debt collectors can cause you misery
Debt collectors are so persistent they can cause you a great deal of misery. They often use a range of tactics to try and get you to pay up, including bullying behaviour and threats. It is common for debt collectors to phone constantly to try and get you to answer and pay up. This may seem harmless, but it is actually a form of harassment.
If you are being pursued by Albion Debt Collections, or in fact any debt collectors, it could have drastic consequences for your state of mind and well-being. The debt support trust said that as many as half of people who are dealing with debt, will consider suicide at some point, and it was also reported that a coroner raised concerns over the practices of debt collection agencies after the suicide of a courier, who was facing debt problems. The report looked into mental health and the credit industry (Walker et al, 2012) and the researchers from Brighton University found that those in debt were feeling distressed, upset and embarrassed about their situation. The government were advised to step and take action as the situation was getting to the point where it was spiraling out of control. Much of this was down to the lenders giving money to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back, and excessive rates of interest and charges.
Albion Debt Collections and the law
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) published a set of guidelines which were designed for debt collection agencies to ensure they acted in a lawful way. The law states that Albion Debt Collections and other debt collectors must:
- Ensure they treat debtors fairly and without using any underhand tactics, including deceit, oppression or any tactic which leads to the debtor feeling distressed and embarrassed.
- Provide information which is clear and transparent. It should not confuse or mislead the debtor in any way.
- Show consideration towards the debtor, and empathy towards their situation.
- Take the debtors’ circumstances into account, when determining how to deal with the situation.
If you feel that Albion Debt Collections are intimidating you or not following the guidelines, you may want to consider reporting them to the OFT. In the worst case scenario, they may take their license away.
To make a complaint about Albion Debt Collections, you can use this online complaint form.
Some debt collectors will even pretend to be an external agency when they are actually a business arm of the company you owe the money to. This may be an act of deceit, but they will probably claim that this information is available in the fine print, which no one tends to read!
How do Albion Debt Collections operate?
If you want to be able to defend yourself against Albion Debt Collections and debt collectors like them, you need to know how they operate. These are some things you might not have known about debt collection agencies:
They work on incentives
It is highly likely that the agents who contact you from Albion Debt Collections will have targets to achieve, based on how much money they bring in. This is how they achieve bonuses, and it will go a long way to explaining why they are so persistent in their approach. They will do everything they can to retrieve this money, so don’t be surprised if they won’t give up without a fight! If they don’t get money from you, they are likely to get questions to ask why, so they may even resort to threatening behaviour.
If you can stand up to Albion Debt Collections and realise that most of their threats are empty, you will go a long way to establishing how to deal with them in a constructive way. The key is not to be forced into paying when you can’t afford it. Always ensure you take care of your day to day bills first, before you plan to pay off any of your debt.
Automated call technology is their friend
It can be tempting to just ignore phone calls from Albion Debt Collections, but if you do this, they may use automated technology to try and get hold of you. This is where they just keep calling you every half hour to the point where you can’t take any more and just pick up the phone. This is what they want to do with automated technology. They want to annoy you to the point where answering is the only way to get rid of them.
If Albion Debt Collections are calling you constantly like this, they could be in breach of the OFT guidelines. If this is the case, you can report them to the Financial Ombudsman, as a last resort, and they will take care of the situation on your behalf.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Dealing with a change in attitude
It can soul destroying to speak to an agent who seems friendly and helpful, only for them to suddenly turn when they understand that you can’t afford to make payments. They may end up becoming abusive, and this can all happen in one single phone call. Any form of threatening behaviour or bullying is unacceptable, and should not be tolerated. You may be in debt, but you are not there to take any abuse because of your circumstances. If you find that debt collectors are making your life miserable and resorting to these unacceptable tactics to try and get payment from you, you have every right to make a complaint. You should not just accept this sort of behaviour.
It can be difficult to deal with this behaviour, and this is why they do it. Keep calm and try to stay strong, as much as you possibly can. If you are struggling to deal with them on your own, you can report it to the OFT using this online complaint form.
Can they talk to third parties?
Debt collectors may try to embarrass you into speaking to them by discussing your debt with someone else who answers your phone. They may speak to a family member, or even worse, one of your colleagues. They have no right to do this though, even if it is a family member, and as it is illegal behaviour and a breach of the OFT guidelines, you can report them.
If you want to report them behaviour, you can do it by contacting the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Threats and lies
In some cases, debt collectors will even resort to saying that they plan to visit you at your home to discuss the debt or worse, to remove your possessions. They are not permitted to do this, so what they are saying is nothing more than an empty threat. If they say they plan to go to your home, you can refuse to give them access.
If you are worried about them coming to your home to pay you a visit, you shout report them to the police, and they will deal with it for you. You should never feel frightened to be in your own home.
Why you shouldn’t let them get to you
Although it is easy to slip into a state of depression when debt collectors like Albion Debt Collections are constantly on your case, it is not worth letting it get to you. Debt collectors should not destroy your peace of mind or make you feel embarassed or belittled about your debt. Debt problems happen to many people, and they are solvable. If you are worried, it is understandable, but do your best not to take it personally or let it get on top of you too much. There are always ways to deal with your debt situation.
Where to get free support with your debt
If you are looking for help to manage your finances better and get out of debt, there are various organisations who can help. There are commercial debt management companies who will charge you to use their services, and there are also organisations who offer these services for free. It is, of course, much better if you can sort out your debt problems using the free services which are available. These are some of the most common organisations who help people get out of debt.
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – an organisation who provide free debt advice and support. They also offer a range of other services to help with day to day issues you may be facing.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – provide free debt advice and support in taking charge of your finances.
- StepChange – free online debt advice which helps people to get out of debt.
All of these organisations offer a great service, and best of all, you won’t need to pay to use them.
How to write off your debt
It is entirely possible to write off your debt completely, by entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this formal agreement, you agree to pay a specific amount to the debt collectors, and this will need to be affordable to you. You will either pay it off as a lump sum or make monthly payments. You will then be able to write off the rest. If your debt is quite substantial, this can be an attractive option for getting control of your debt. If you want to enter into an IVA, it will need to be carried out by a professional. An insolvency practitioner is usually the person to do this.
Find a local licenced IVA insolvency practitioner here.
Another option is to get a Debt Relief Order (DRO). There is very specific criteria for this, as you must have a budget of £50 or less each month, when you have taken care of household expenses. You cannot be a home owner or have assets worth over £1000.
You will need to go through an authorised debt advisor to apply for this. You can find a list of authorised debt advisors here.
Thankfully, the government have stepped in by issuing guidelines and legislation, but some debt collectors still behave in a completely unacceptable manner. A manner which can often lead people to feel upset, vulnerable and even suicidal. You do not have to suffer in silence, and you do not need to accept these underhand tactics. There is help available, and you can stop these debt collectors in their tracks by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman. In the worst case scenario, it may be deemed necessary for them to lose their licence.
Albion Collections Contact Details:
Company Name: Albion Collections Ltd
Retail Bank Collections
PO BOX 607
Contact Number: 0845 604 2411
Numbers they call from: