Picture the scenario – you’re going about your morning like any other when the post arrives.
You see a letter in an important-looking envelope. Inside, there’s a letter from a solicitors saying you owe them money.
It can be a devastating and anxious moment, particularly if you’re not expecting it. But don’t worry! With a little know-how, you can face such problems head-on.
We take a closer look at how to deal with Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection.
Debt collection solicitors – The basics
Let’s start by looking at who Banner Jones Solicitors are and why they might be writing to you. As is often the case, it’s unlikely you’ll have heard of them before. However, knowing about who they are and how they operate is the first step to dealing with them.
Who are Banner Jones Solicitors?
Banner Jones Solicitors is a solicitors firm that serves Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and South Yorkshire. They have several offices across the country and are a ‘Leading Firm’ on the UK’s Legal 500 list.
The solicitors offer a range of services. As well as personal services like accident claims, divorce, wills, and notary services, they also offer business services. This includes debt recovery for companies.
When it comes to debt recovery, they aim to pursue debts in a fast and cost-effective way. As they claim on their website, ‘a letter from a solicitor and the threat of legal action is enough to encourage a debtor to pay’. This is a fairly cynical way of practicing, but it could explain why you’ve received a letter from Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection.
Is Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection legitimate?
If you’ve received a call or letter from Banner Jones, you’re probably wondering how legitimate it is and whether or not you need to take it seriously. The short answer to this question is yes, they are a real company, and you shouldn’t throw their letter in the bin.
Banner Jones Ltd is a private limited company first incorporated on 28 May 2008. Their company number is 06604123. They’re also authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and their SRA number is 493083.
This latter point is important, as it means their activities are regulated by a professional body. It means that they have to follow certain rules of practice, giving you protection when dealing with them.
Banner Jones Solicitors contact details
If you want to get in touch with Banner Jones Solicitors, there are a few methods you can try. Their central phone number is 03300176309, and you can also complete an online form with your enquiry and request a call back.
There are several Banner Jones office locations throughout the UK, and we’ve outlined some of their main ones below:
- Banner Jones Solicitors Mansfield. Corner House, Union Street, Mansfield, NG18 1RP
- Banner Jones Solicitors Chesterfield. 24 Glumangate, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1UA
- Banner Jones Solicitors Sheffield. Abbey House, 3rd Floor, 11 Leopold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GY
- Banner Jones Solicitors Dronfield. 1 Sheffield Road, Dronfield, S18 2DH
Depending on where you live and the nature of the case against you, you may hear from any one of these offices.
Why are Banner Jones Solicitors writing to you?
So, you’ve received a letter from Banner Jones Solicitors that we’ve established is legitimate. But why are they writing to you? After all, it’s very unlikely you’ll have done business with the firm in the past, so why are they asking for money?
It’s often the case that companies will hire solicitors to chase debts. So, you might not owe Banner Jones money, but you probably owe money to another company who has hired them. Usually, companies hire legal help as a last resort. So, you could owe money to a business that has repeatedly tried to contact you about the debt without success.
All kinds of businesses use this method of debt collection, so it could be a small local company or a bigger frim that you owe money to. Of course, there sometimes incidents where they have the wrong person, such as someone with a similar name or who previously lived at your current address.
What can they do?
Now that we know a little bit about Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection, it’s time to look at some of the actions they can take against you. It’s understandably quite unsettling when you receive such a letter out of the blue, but it’s vital that you know what to expect:
What action can Banner Jones Solicitors take?
Any threat of legal action seems serious. However, in reality, it’s quite rare when it comes to things like debt collection. Some companies will sell their debt to solicitors, meaning that the law firm then tries to collect it for themselves. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case with Banner Jones.
Initially, a solicitor can’t take any action more than your original creditor can. So, although a letter seems somewhat threatening, they don’t have any extra powers. All they can do is ask for money and continue to add charges and interest to your debt.
If a solicitor wants to take you to court, they can do. However, it’s not a particularly common practice. If they do want to, they have to follow the same Financial Conduct Authority rules as the original creditor. Again, this means you have certain protections and assurances when dealing with them.
What happens if you ignore them?
Ignoring debt collection letters is never a good idea. First of all, it won’t make them stop. If anything, it will mean that they try harder to contact you and recover their money. Of course, there are also legal routes that they may take. As we’ve said, these are often rare, but it’s not a route you want to go down.
Here are some of the legal actions that a solicitor might take when it comes to debt collection:
- Add fees and interest. Your debt could continue to grow as they add interest and fees. However, they can only add as much as is outlined in the original contract with the creditor.
- Apply for a CCJ. A County Court Judgement is a court order that demands you pay the debt. This outlines the terms of what you have to pay and by when. It also has a negative effect on your credit file.
- Send the bailiffs to your house. Banner Jones can’t send bailiffs to your home, but they can ask for authorisation from the courts. They can then come to your home and take your property to recover the cost of the debt.
- Petition to bankrupt you. This would mean that you have to sell off your assets to cover the debt. Although rare, it can be financially devastating for many years after.
Can you stop Banner Jones Solicitors from contacting you?
Usually, firms like Banner Jones Solicitors are recovering debt for another company. As such, you can often stop letters from the solicitors by dealing directly with the original creditor. So, if you’ve been ignoring your debt with a company, it might be time to reach out to them to discuss repayment.
By facing the problem head-on, you’ve got a better chance of finding a positive resolution. It will also stop Banner Jones from contacting you further.
What rights do you have?
It’s important to remember that you have certain rights when it comes to dealing with Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection issues. These legal protections mean that your case is dealt with in a fair manner and that you’re not taken advantage of.
Some of your rights include:
- The right to not be harassed. Your creditor or their solicitor can’t call you at unreasonable times. They also can’t pressure you to borrow more money, threaten you, or pretend to have legal powers that they don’t have.
- The right to privacy. They cannot discuss your debts with anyone else. So, they can’t contact your friends, relatives, or employer to discuss the matter. Similarly, they can’t call you at work without your permission.
- The right to fair treatment. They can’t add any unreasonable charges to your debt. Similarly, they can’t continue to contact you if you’re disputing the debt. They also can’t use legal language to try and confuse you.
If you look at Banner Jones Solicitors reviews, you’ll generally find them to be quite positive. However, it can be stressful having to deal with companies involved in debt collection.
How to deal with Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection
We now know who Banner Jones Solicitors are, what actions they can take, and what your legal rights are. So, how can you deal with Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection? We’ve outlined some of the common questions asked when dealing with these situations:
Can you write off debt from Banner Jones Solicitors?
In some instances, it might be possible to write off some of the debt you have. You could use what is known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) to clear some of the money. Essentially, this combines all your debts into one low monthly payment. After 60 months of paying, any outstanding money is written off.
To be eligible for an IVA, you must have at least £5,000 of unsecured debts. This includes things like credit cards, loans, and overdrafts. You’ll need to be able to pay at least £90 per month, and the debt doesn’t need to be with just one creditor.
Can they prove the debt you owe?
One important question to ask is whether Banner Jones or the original creditor can prove that the debt is yours. You can find templates for a ‘prove the debt’ letter online. These essentially outline the legal requirements from the FCA’s Consumer Credit sourcebook that a firm must prove you owe money.
They have to be able to give detailed evidence of what you owe and who you owe it to. If they are unable to do so, they’ll have to mark the debt as settled. After writing to them asking for proof of the debt, you should also be left in relative peace while they investigate the matter.
While they’re looking for proof, you should also check your own records and bank statements to see whether you have evidence that it’s already been paid.
Is your debt statute-barred?
In some circumstances, your debt may no longer be legally enforceable. The Limitation Act 1980 outlines that some debts have a time limit, usually six years. However, this limit is only applicable from the last time that the debt was acknowledged.
So, if you haven’t made a payment or heard from the creditor in writing in at least six years, it could be statute-barred. They also must not have registered a CCJ against you in that time. If you believe that your debt is statue-barred and you have evidence, you can write to Banner Jones informing them of this.
What if you can’t afford to pay Banner Jones Solicitors debt collection?
In some instances, you’ll find that your debt is not statue-barred and cannot be written off. If this is the case, you will need to repay the money you owe. However, it can be tricky to do so, particularly if things are financially difficult for you.
There are several approaches you can take if you can’t afford to pay your creditor in full:
- Arrange a payment plan. If you contact your original creditor, they may accept payment over a certain period of time. Make sure to figure out what you can afford to pay each month and contact them with your proposal.
- Take a debt consolidation loan. Essentially, you take out a loan to clear all your debts. Then, instead of multiple payments each month, you have one low monthly payment.
- Debt arrangement scheme. If you have multiple debts with different creditors, a debt arrangement scheme can be a good way of paying money back. Essentially, it works out how much you can afford to repay each month and then splits it fairly between creditors.