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BCW group

BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors is a well known debt collection agency, who can also be found on the DBSG (The Debt Buyers and Sellers Group) and you can also find them listed on consumer finance forms. They are authorised to work as debt collectors, but there has been some concern about debt collection agencies in general (not specifically BCW Debt Collectors), and they way they treat customers. There is the belief that some debt collection agencies take things too far, and as a result, they cause misery to people, especially those who are already in a vulnerable situation. They may be acting within the law, but this doesn’t stop it sometimes having a terrible effect on people’s lives.

It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.

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BCW Group PLC Debt Collectors

Who are BCW Group PLC

BCW Group PLC, which also traded as Buchanan Clark and Wells, was founded in 1983. They had become one of the UK’s leading debt collection agencies. In 2012 their annual revenue was £40 million.

They were based in Glasgow although they had a number of offices throughout the UK. In total, they employed around 650 people, with around 300 of those working in the Glasgow head office.

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Who Did BCW Group PLC Collect Money For?

Telecoms and utilities were BCW Group PLC’s main market sectors, although they had also collected unpaid debts for financial organisations and outstanding Council Tax for local authorities. Their clients included many of the big name companies such as TalkTalk, Vodafone, British Gas and EDF Energy.

In addition to collecting debts on behalf of other organisations, they were also a major purchaser of debt portfolios. They bought these debt portfolios for less than the amount that was owed, hoping to make a profit by collecting the full amount of those debts.

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Is all this information starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t panic! I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator so you can quickly and easily find the best solution for you. If you’re eligible for the new government scheme, you could write off up to 85% of your debt! Answer the four questions now.

What Happened to BCW Group PLC?

BCW Group PLC had been 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.

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 a sufficient time has now elapsed for the debt to be statute barred. This happens if you do not acknowledge the debt within six years and your creditor has not taken you to court within that time period.

What if I Cannot Afford to Repay the Debt?

If you definitely owe the money but you cannot afford to repay the debt you should be able to come to a repayment arrangement with Arvato. This would enable you to repay the debt over a number of instalments. Alternatively, Arvato might accept a lower amount in full and final settlement.

If that isn’t possible because you don’t have any spare money to make the repayments or make a full and final settlement offer, you could also consider going down the insolvency route.

Becoming Insolvent

There are three main ways of becoming insolvent and which is best will depend on your personal situation.

The first is a Debt Relief Order. These are suitable if you are on a low income, the amount owed by you is relatively small and you don’t have any assets. You have to pay a £90 fee up front when you apply for a Debt Relief Order, but if one is granted your debts are frozen and after a year they are written off, leaving you debt free.

The second is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. With an Individual Voluntary Arrangement you make regular repayments that you can afford, usually for five years. After that, any remaining debt gets written off. Individual Voluntary Arrangements work well for people with larger debts. They’re also available to people who own their own homes and/or cars and those people can usually keep their home and/or car.

The third is bankruptcy which wipes off your debts completely. Bankruptcy is a quick way to become debt free, but you could lose your house, your car and your job. There is also a £680 fee that has to be paid when you apply to be made bankrupt.

Summary BCW Group PLC, which had been one of the UK’s leading debt collection agencies, no longer exists as a brand. However, they were acquired by Arvato, so if you owed BCW Group PLC money and that debt has not been repaid or become statute barred you will now owe the money to Arvato instead

What options are available to you?

There are different options available to you, depending on your situation and some will work better than others.

One such option is a debt management plan or you may want to consider an IVA – which is where you get the chance to write off a fair amount of your unsecured debt. It is important to get advice on which option is best suited to you, as an IVA is quite a drastic option, and it’s definitely not for everyone. If you are in serious debt, this might be the most suitable though.

Another option you may want to consider is a ‘logbook loan’ which is popular with many people. With this option, you secure the loan against your car, but you don’t need to worry about giving up your car, and you also keep the cash too. This is why it is quite appealing to many people, as you get the equity in your vehicle, but without the worry of not having any transport (you don’t need to sell your car). You can apply for a logbook loan by clicking here.

Another option you may wish to consider is a no credit-check guarantor loan. This is particularly if you have a poor credit rating. Your own credit is not taken into account, but you need to get someone else who is willing be a guarantor for you. Most people choose a friend or family member. If you’re struggling to get access to credit due to your credit rating, this can be an appealing option. You can click the following link for Unsecured Loans option that don’t require a credit check.

If you would like to try a debt management plan, we have a whole-of-market service, where you can find a range of debt management experts available on our panel. No matter what your circumstances may be, your application will ensure the right plan is found for you, which will help you deal with your situation in the best way possible. You will find that there are no minimum requirements for debt levels or income.

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

BCW Debt Collectors Contact Information

Name: BCW Debt Collectors
Also Known As: Buchanan Clark and Wells
Address: BCW House, 24 George Square, Glasgow G2 1EG
Telephone: 0141 221 4567
Fax: 0845 300 6898
Email: [user] @bcwgroup.com
Extra Data:

The Law

Please be aware that figures entered need to be accurate by law, and to give the best service to you. It is extremely important that you budget for all necessary expenditure including rent or mortgage, council tax and utility bills, etc., and any other necessary outgoings related to the upkeep of your household and in relation to any specific circumstances which may apply to you or your household. This website only collects data on behalf of debt management professionals, from which it will receive affiliate remuneration for data collection only and does not itself engage in any debt management services. Other debt management options are available and may be more suitable.

References

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

CONC 7.9 Contact with customers

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About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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