You May Not Have to Pay BPO Debt Collections!
Would you like to significantly reduce or write off whatever you owe BPO Debt Collections? Well, good news, that’s exactly what this article is about. I’ll show you step by step how to stop them contacting you, avoid going to court and challenge them on the debt that you owe. This could drastically reduce the amount you owe or you could end up not paying a penny!
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.
Deal with your debt today and feel better tomorrow.
Who are BPO Collections?
BPO Collections Limited are a UK based private limited company located in Ayrshire. They have been operating since 2006. The company is controlled by Prospect Financial Europe Ehf who are based in Iceland. The parent company has no significant online presence.
BPO are known for buying debt from companies on the cheap and then trying to collect part or the full amount to make a profit.
Don’t Worry, here’s what to do
You could get rid of debt collectors by writing off your debt. I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator which will tell you if you’re eligible:
Are BPO Collections Legit?
BPO Collections are a debt recovery company that acts on behalf of a number of blue-chip clients across the UK. These include Talk Talk, Barclaycard, British Gas, Sky and BT. They also previously collected debts on behalf of the payday lender Wonga. They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. BPO Collections are a small and profitable company with a turnover of less than £10 million per annum.
Why you are being contacted by BPO Debt Collections?
Make no mistake – the debt collection business is huge. Debt collectors like BPO Debt Collections come in several forms:
- Independent businesses
- A business arm of a creditor such as a credit card company (sometimes hiding their real identity – see below);
- Individual sole trader debt collectors.
Independent debt collection agencies and sole trader debt collectors business model relies on purchasing debt at a fraction of its face value, possibly for as little as 20% of the face value. They then make a profit by collecting all or a proportion of the debt.
There are few morals involved; as far as they are concerned it is you who ran up the debt and you who is responsible for repaying it. They care nothing about you and your personal circumstances. Simply put, they tend not to be nice people. The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) acknowledged that such poor practices “appear to be widespread”.
Find your best debt solution (in 1 minute!)
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.
Who do BPO Collections Limited Collect for?
BPO Collections Limited cater to a number of different clients and specialise in collecting a number of different types of debts.
Some examples are:
- Gas bills
- Electricity bills
- United Utilities
- Virgin Media
- Council Tax debt
- Parking charge notices (parking fines)
- Catalogue debts
They also collect debts owed to various credit card companies. BPO collections can also collect court fines from you if you default on those as well.
Please note that not all of the money BPO collections collects is often given to the actual original creditor.
In fact, it’s quite common for creditors to “sell” their debt(s) to a debt collection agency such as BPO collections. This is because while your creditors specialise in giving loans to people, they don’t specialise in collecting money from people who fail to pay them back.
As a result of this, they might “sell” the debt for a lower price than what it was actually worth to a debt collection agency. Your original creditors are willing to accept the lower price because they don’t want to go through the trouble of collecting the money from you.
It’s beneficial for the debt collection company (such as BPO collections) because they are now the sole owner of your debt. This means that they are now your creditors and you owe all of the money to them.
Of course, unlike your original creditors, a debt collection company such as BPO collections will be experienced in extracting money from people who refuse to pay it.
They will use all sorts of tactics on you in order to get you to pay up. This is why it’s very important that when you start getting contacted by companies such as BPO collections that you do your research and prepare yourself well.
Check if you really owe the money
Is the debt money you really owe? The first thing to establish is where the debt has originated and how much you really owe. It is quite likely that the original debt, if there was one, has been inflated by various charges and interest, and could be substantially more than you believe you owe.
You should write to BPO Debt Collections and demand a copy of your original credit agreement. If they are unable to provide this you have no obligation to make any payment to them.
Follow my ‘prove it’ guide with letter templates and get them to prove that you owe the money.
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 BPO Debt Collections, perhaps offering them a partial repayment.
How debt collectors can ruin your life
It isn’t unusual for debt collectors to employ questionable tactics that may or may not fall foul of the law. This might include pressuring and bullying threats, frequent phone calls sometimes made to your workplace and empty threats.
Being pursued by BPO Debt Collections could have a devastating effect on your life, leading to emotional distress, mental illness, and even suicide. According to the debt support trust, almost half of people who struggle with debt at some point consider suicide, and it was recently reported that a coroner raised concerns over debt-collection agency’s practices following the suicide of a debt-ridden courier. In their report into mental health and the credit industry (Walker et al, 2012) researchers from Brighton University concluded: “Debt clients frequently feel humiliated, disconnected and entrapped, with the process of debt collection having a clear impact on people’s mental health”. They called upon the government to tackle the problem of irresponsible lending and intimidating collection tactics.
BPO Debt Collections and the law
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) has published a set of guidelines for the debt collection business. To summarise these, BPO Debt Collections should:
- Treat debtors fairly and not use aggressive practices, coercion, deceit, or be oppressive, unfair, or improper
- Be transparent and provide clear information that is not confusing or misleading
- Be considerate towards debtors experiencing difficulty
- Act proportionately taking into account debtors’ circumstances.
If you are being intimidated by BPO Debt Collections who are not abiding by these guidelines, then you have a good case for reporting them to the OFT which has the power to remove their license.
To make a complaint about BPO Debt Collections, you can use this online complaint form.
Some debt collectors pretend to be an external agency when in fact they are a business arm of the company you owe money. That is a clear case of deceit, though they are likely to claim that this information appears in the small print.
What reviews say about BPO Debt Collections
BPO Collections have a very low profile when it comes to online reviews. As for the other debt collection companies, most complaints arise from debtors being chased for old and forgotten debts. This includes a number of complaints where people have claimed that they have been chased for statute-barred debts by BPO Collections for debts to utility and media companies such as SSE, Virgin Media, BT and Sky TV. As with all online reviews, it is hard to establish the veracity of the claims being made, especially as complaints come from people who are often approached out of the blue about debts that they were unaware they had. Complaints have also been made where BPO Collections are alleged to have purchased old debts from other debt collection agencies including Aktiv Capital, again complaints being centred on these debts being statute-barred.
Understanding how BPO Debt Collections operates
Understanding how debt collection agencies operate can help you defend yourself against them.
They are on a bonus
The BPO Debt Collections agents who phone you are likely highly incentivised and are expected to collect a specified minimum amount of money per hour. Usually, there are daily and monthly bonuses and each collection they make contribute to that bonus. Hence, they will do what they can to collect some money rather than record a “No Payment” call, including making intimidating and threatening behaviour.
The lesson here is if you are able to be strong and stand up to threats from BPO Debt Collections, knowing that their threats are empty, you can to some extent turn the tables. Keep them talking but just don’t pay. You will still owe the money, but at least you won’t have to pay that day.
Automated call technology
You might be tempted to simply not answer calls from BPO Debt Collections, but when this happens agencies often employ automated call technology that will attempt to phone you say every half hour until you do eventually answer. Sometimes if you do pick up the call is silent; the calls are simply being made to intimidate you.
If this happens to you make a note the frequency of the calls. Such behaviour on the part of the debt collectors is in clear breach of the OFT guidelines. Tell the agent that you will be reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman.
The best way to contact the Financial Ombudsman is by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Bad cop, good cop
Bad cop, good cop is a tactic frequently employed, and often is highly effective. When subject to such an approach you are likely to be subject to relentless calls some of which are abusive and harassing, but with the occasional polite and friendly enquiry. This change in attitude can happen in a single phone call where the agent starts off politely but should you fail to make a payment their behaviour becomes abusive. Nor is it just relentless phone calls. Frequent threatening and sometimes sinister letters are another common practice. The total process is designed to eventually wear you down, to break your will so that eventually you will make a payment.
It is difficult to stand up to such behaviour, which is exactly why they use it. But again, you should try to stay strong if you possibly can. Report it to the OFT using this online complaint form.
Embarrassing you by talking to third parties
If someone apart from you answers the call then agents frequently attempt to embarrass you by discussing your debt and financial problems with whoever answers the call. This could be a family member at your home, or it could be someone at your workplace. This is certainly illegal behaviour and breaches not only OFT guidelines, but also other privacy laws.
Again, such behaviour should be reported to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Deceit and lies
If everything else fails some debt collectors feel they are immune from the law and will apply some very nasty forms of leverage. They might pretend to be calling from the court, that they are a bailiff and will be visiting your home to remove your possessions, possibly even threatening you with criminal prosecution.
Never give them permission to visit you and if they do then never let them into your home and if you feel physically threatened then don’t hesitate to call the police.
Don’t let them wear you down
As we have seen, debt collectors such as BPO Debt Collections are relentless and their behaviour could be responsible for mental ill-health and even suicide. Standing up to BPO Debt Collections requires a degree of strength and courage few people possess. But there is help out there. Ultimately you need to get out of debt, but you need to do so in a controlled manner that will minimise your pain and distress. Ultimately all debt problems are solvable.
Getting help with debt
There are various kinds of help with debt available: there are not-for-profit agencies who exist to provide one-to-one help for you, and there are commercial debt management companies whose aim is to make money out of you. The former should be your first port of call. Some of the important agencies include:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides extensive help with debt and should help you stop debt collectors contacting you if you are able to show you are seeking help and are trying to repay your debts.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide free debt help.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice helping people take charge of their debt.
Writing off your debt entirely
It is possible to write off your debt entirely through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). This is a formal agreement to pay the debt collectors an amount you can afford as a one-off sum or as monthly payments and the rest of the debt will be written off after a defined period, usually five years. This must be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.
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.
Despite warnings from professional bodies, government guidelines, and other measures the behaviour of many debt collecting agencies is atrocious, leading vulnerable debtors into mental illness and even suicide. However, it is possible to fight back, especially with some help from the agencies mentioned in this article. While it’s not as simple as just refusing to pay, you can reduce the amount you must repay and spread your repayments over a period you are comfortable with. Certainly, you can stop their bullying and by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman they may even lose their licence.
BPO Collections Contact Details:
Company Name: BPO Collections Limited
Other Names: BPO Collections
The Grange Business Centre,
2 Glebe Street,
Phone: 0141 375 0900
Fax: 0141 762 3672
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Numbers they call from:
BPO Collections Ltd is a private limited company. Prospect Financial Europe Ehf, an Icelandic limited company, has significant control.
BPO Collections Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 712058. They are registered in North Ayrshire, Scotland, under the name Graham Rankin.
BPO Collections Ltd is listed as one of the 11 debt collection agencies used by HMRC on the HMRC website as of 2020. Once HMRC has passed a debt to BPO Collections Ltd you should deal with them rather than dealing with HMRC.
BPO Collections Ltd buys debts from organisations that have been unable to collect their debts at a discounted rate. They do this because they the hope that they will be more successful in collecting those debts.
If you ignore debt collectors at first they may send doorstep collectors. Secondly, they may apply for a County Court Judgement, which if successful would force you to pay and would show on your credit report.
BPO Collections Ltd can take you to court in order to claim the money owed. If you have been taken to court you will have received a County Court Judgement letter.
You cannot go to jail for debts owed to debt collection agencies.
If you ignore a CCJ you won’t get sent to prison, however, bailiffs may be sent to your house to collect items equal to the value of the money that owe.
BPO Collections Ltd cannot issue an arrest warrant or have you sent to prison. At most they can request a CCJ and if successful send bailiffs to your property to recover items to cover the debt owed.
BPO Collections Ltd are not bailiffs. They could, however, request a County Court Judgement which means that the courts could send bailiffs. You would have received a lot of warning letters if this was going to happen.
BPO Collections Ltd have been known to send people to your house, however, they have no legal powers so you can ignore them or tell them to go away. If you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
BPO Collections Ltd cannot force entry, they have no legal powers over you. However, if you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
BPO Collections Ltd won’t give up chasing you for the debt until they’ve exhausted all of their legal options. This usually means being chased for up to 6 years.
A debt can be too old to collect from you. Under the Limitation Act 1980 they have a maximum of 6 years to chase a debt. This 6 years is counted from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt.
As per the Limitation action 1980, you can be legally chased for up to 6 years from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt. If a County Court Judgment is raised against you the Limitation Act no longer applies and you can be chased indefinitely.
Debts collectors are only likely to write off your debt if they are no longer legally allowed to chase you. This is typically six years since you last made a payment or last acknowledged the debt.
BPO Collections Ltd have two different phone numbers, one dedicated to debts for specific organisations and one a general number. Neither of these numbers is a freephone number. You can also use the live chat feature on their website, email them or use the post. There is even a fax number.
BPO Collections Ltd accept payment via debit card, either online, by phone or as part of a regular payment plan. You can also pay via online banking or set up a direct debit. Standing orders, bank transfers and cheque payments are also acceptable.