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BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors – Must You Pay?

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Scott Nelson

Managing Director

MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.

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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.

Learn more about Janine
· Feb 6th, 2024
Could you legally write off some debt? Answer below to get started.

Total amount of debt?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

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BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

Are you feeling worried about a surprise letter from BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors? You may be asking, “Do I have to pay?”

There’s no need to stress. We’re here to help make things clear. Every month, over 170,000 people come to our website for advice on debt problems.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  •  Who BCW Group PLC are 
  •  If you really owe them money 
  •  What to do if you can’t afford to pay 
  •  How to handle a complaint against BCW Group 
  •  Ways to manage your debt, which might even mean cancelling some of it.

Our team has a lot of experience with debt collectors. We know what it’s like to feel scared about owing money. But don’t worry; we’ll help you learn how to handle BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors today.

Could you legally write off some debt?

There are several debt solutions in the UK, choosing the right one for you could write off some of your unaffordable debt, but the wrong one may be expensive and drawn out.

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find. MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

What Happened to BCW Group PLC?

BCW Group PLC was acquired by Gothia Financial Group in 2011 although Gothia Financial Group had continued to use the BCW Group PLC brands.

In 2013, Gothia Financial Group was acquired by Arvato, a Germany-based global services firm that is part of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, a German conglomerate.

The BCW Group PLC brands continued to be used by Arvato for a few more years but those brands are no longer in use. The www.paybcwonline.com website now redirects people to the Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd payment portal. The main www.bcwgroup.com website is no longer available.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

Does This Mean I No Longer Have to Pay My Debt?

The short answer is “maybe”. Depending on the circumstances, you may still owe the money.

If you do owe the money and it was owed to BCW Group PLC, the debt will now be owned by Arvato and it’s Arvato that you’ll need to pay. However, it is worth asking Arvato to prove in writing that you owe the money to them. If they cannot do that they have to mark the debt as settled.

If you haven’t had any contact with Arvato it is quite possible that sufficient time has now elapsed for the debt to be statute-barred.

What if I Cannot Afford to Repay the Debt?

If you can’t afford to repay your debts or know that you’re going to be in serious financial difficulty if you do, you might need to consider a debt solution.

There are several different debt solutions available in the UK, so I recommend speaking to a debt charity as soon as possible. Their advisors will be able to look at your finances in detail and help you work out which debt solution will work best for you.

I have linked a few charities that offer these advisory services for free below.

Debt Management Plan (DMP)

A DMP is an informal debt solution that lets you pay off your debts via a single monthly payment.

Because it is informal, it is not legally binding so you are not tied into a DMP for a minimum number of payments.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is a formal agreement between you and your creditors. You agree to pay a monthly sum that is distributed amongst your debts, and your creditors agree not to contact you during your IVA.

IVAs typically last for 5 or 6 years, and any outstanding debt is wiped off when it ends.

Keep in mind that IVAs are not suitable for everyone. You need to owe several thousand pounds to more than one creditor to be eligible. You also need to demonstrate that you have some disposable income every month.

Trust Deed

IVAs are not available in Scotland. Instead, you will need to opt for a Trust Deed.

Trust Deeds work in the same way as an IVA – you pay an agreed sum each month that is shared amongst your creditors, they can’t contact you, and any leftover debt at the end of your Trust Deed term is written off.

Debt Relief Order (DRO)

A DRO is a good option for those facing financial hardship with no assets and little income.

For 12 months, you make no payments, but your creditors freeze your interest and don’t contact you.

If your finances haven’t improved during this year, you may be able to write off your unsecured debts.

Bankruptcy

If you have debts but no realistic possibility of ever paying them off, you may need to declare bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy has an unfair stigma attached to it as it may be your only way of getting a financial fresh start. That said, it is a serious financial situation that should not be taken lightly.

Sequestration

Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy.

If you have little income and no valuable assets, you may be able to apply for a minimal asset process bankruptcy (MAP). A MAP is a quicker, cheaper, and more straightforward version of sequestration, so worth considering.

See my debt options overview page outlining all your possible debt options and pros and cons of each.

How a debt solution could help

Some debt solutions can:

  1. Stop nasty calls from creditors
  2. Freeze interest and charges
  3. Reduce your monthly payments

A few debt solutions can even result in writing off some of your debt.

Here’s an example:


Situation

Monthly income £2,504
Monthly expenses £2,345
Total debt £32,049

Monthly debt repayments

Before £587
After £158

£429 reduction in monthly payments

If you want to learn what debt solutions are available to you, click the button below to get started.

Get Started

What is Statute-Barred Debt?

If it has been 6 years – or 5 years in Scotland – since you last paid towards your unsecured debts and you have not written to your creditor about your debt during this time, it is statute-barred.

This means that the debt is not enforceable. It still technically exists, and you still technically owe the money, but there is no legal way for you to be forced to pay or for the debt to be enforced.

Keep in mind that not all debts become statute-barred!

Any HMRC debts, for example, will stay enforceable for decades. Any debt that had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) attached to it during the 5 or 6-year window will be enforceable for the duration of the CCJ. 

If your debt is statute-barred, you can use my free letter template to write to whoever bought your BCW Group debt and explain the situation.

If you are unsure about the status of your debt, you can contact a debt charity for some advice. Their advisors will be able to look at the debt in question, determine its status, and advise you on your next steps. 

Will Debt Collectors Affect My Credit Score?

Yes, debt collectors can affect your credit score, but not in the way that many people think.

Once you have missed a few payments or defaulted on an account – which negatively impacts your credit score, too – your debt might be sold to these collectors, it will appear as a second collection account on your credit file, and the original entry may be marked as ‘sold’ which doesn’t look good!

 If they don’t add a second entry to your credit file, the entry for your original debt can be changed to add the debt collection company’s information. 

While it is unlikely that they will do this for smaller debts, they have the legal right to.

These collection accounts will negatively impact your credit. They are visible for 6 years and will impact your ability to get credit or use some credit products during this time.

This is because companies use your credit file to see if you are a ‘high-risk’ customer – someone who might have difficulty paying their bills on time. If you continue not paying until you have a CCJ against you, you have had such trouble paying back your debt that someone had to go to court about it.

Understandably, companies are going to be reluctant to give you credit!

After 6 years, it is no longer visible on your credit report, and you should find it easier to get credit again.

You also need to be aware that any debt solutions that you use will also be visible on your credit file for 6 years, and your credit score may be affected. However, once these 6 years are over, your debt solution will no longer be visible, and you may find it easier to get credit again.

Thousands have already tackled their debt

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How do I Make a Complaint Against BCW Group?

If you think that BCW Group has been unreasonable or behaved inappropriately, you can make a complaint. You can also make a complaint if you feel that they have broken any of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) guidelines.

Make your first complaint to BCW Group so that they have the chance to sort out the issue themselves. If you feel that they have not taken your complaint seriously enough or have not addressed your issue properly, you can escalate matters.

You can make any secondary complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). They will investigate and, if your complaint is upheld, BCW Group may be fined. You could even be owed compensation.

BCW Debt Collectors Contact Information

Also Known As: Buchanan Clark and Wells
Address: BCW House, 24 George Square, Glasgow G2 1EG
Telephone: 0141 221 4567
Fax: 0845 300 6898

Other Debt Collectors to look for on your Credit Report

There are hundreds of debt collectors in the UK and they each collect for different companies.

It’s surprisingly easy to not notice that you’re in a debt collector’s crosshairs.


I’d suggest you spend time checking your credit report. If a debt collector purchases any of your debt, it will appear on your credit report.

Some of the biggest to look out for include Cabot, PRA Group, and Lowell.

So if you see anything relating to their names, then you’ll need to investigate further.

Could you legally write off some debt?

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

References

CONC 7.3 Treatment of customers in default or arrears (including repossessions): lenders, owners and debt collectors

CONC 7.9 Contact with customers

The authors
Scott Nelson Profile Picture
Author
MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.
Janine Marsh Profile Picture
Debt Expert
Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.
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