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BW Legal Debt Collectors – Should You Pay?

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Scott
Scott Nelson Profile Picture

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.

Learn more about Scott
&
Janine
Janine Marsh Profile Picture

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 19th, 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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BW Legal 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.

Have you received a letter from BW Legal Debt Collectors? You might be worried and confused about where the debt came from.

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Each month, over 170,000 people visit our website for help on debt matters.

In this article, we’ll help you understand:

  • How to check if the debt is really yours
  • What to do if you can’t pay
  • Ways to stop BW Legal from calling you all the time
  • Your choices to set up payment plans or even write off your debt.

Research shows that nearly half the people who are chased by debt collection agencies have experienced harassment or aggression1. Some of our team members know how it feels.

With our experience, we’ll help you understand who BW Legal Debt Collectors are and whether you need to pay them.

Let’s get started!

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.

If BW Legal Debt Collectors are contacting you, it’s likely a debt you owe has been passed to the company for them to handle.

They are a debt collection agency acting for individuals, businesses and organisations. You will be told which company they are acting for and the amount that you owe.

If you do not respond, they might begin a court claim for you to pay.

Research shows that debt collection agencies buy billions of debt annually at rock bottom prices – at an average of 10p to £1!2.

This is bad news, as it means that BW Legal Debt Collectors will likely stop at nothing to try and collect what you owe so they can make a profit.

Typical Debt Collection Process

Typically, there’s a specific process that debt collection agencies follow from the moment they contact you to the moment they take you to court.

To paint a clearer picture of this, please check out our related article on the topic and take a quick look at the table below.

Stage Actions What you should do:
Missing one or two small payments Calls and letters from the debt collector asking for payment. They may enquire about reasons for missing payments. Contact the debt collector and offer to pay what you can. If you are struggling to pay the debt, get in touch with us to explore your options.
Missing large or multiple payments Their contact will become more frequent, urgent, and threatening. Contact the debt collection agency and offer to pay what you can. You may also make a complaint if you think the letters are a form of harassment.
Debt collector visit After a few months, if the debt is significant (£200+) you will receive notice of a debt collector visit. They have to notify you before arriving. Debt collectors cannot take anything from your home – they may only ask for payment. If a debt collector shows up at your home, ask them to show proof of the debt and their ID through a window. Do not open your door or let them in. You can arrange a payment plan with the debt collector, but make sure to get a receipt of this.
Court If you still do not pay your debts to the original lender/debt collector agency, they will take you to court and either attempt to:
– File a CCJ against you.
– File an attachment of earnings order.
– File a lawsuit against you.
You must show up to your court date. From here, you can either dispute the debt, or the judge will likely suggest a manageable repayment plan for you.

If you receive a BW Legal letter you should confirm that you owe the money.

bw legal case study

If you are not sure, it’s a good idea to refer to a credit agency to see whether anything is outstanding to the amount the creditor claims you owe.

The best option is to send a letter requesting proof that you owe the debt. If they do not respond or provide proof, there is no obligation to pay.

Use this letter template to do it right!

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

No, you should never ignore a debt collector.

BW Legal Services Limited, just like any other debt collection company, is obligated to give you some time to assess the various debt recovery solutions, so you don’t have to respond immediately.

That being said, they will only do so once they have a confirmation that you are indeed attempting to get your affairs in order.

Debt collection companies will never give you breathing space or time to attend to your finances if you don’t stay in touch with them. So, it’s important when dealing with debt collection companies to stay in contact.

If you keep ignoring them, they may start taking legal action against you.

This will mean a CCJ. If you don’t stick to the judge’s orders after your CCJ, they may go back to the courts for bailiffs to be authorised.

If they get permission to use bailiffs, they could enter your home and take your possessions. These will be sold at auction and the proceeds will go towards your outstanding debts.

You obviously want to avoid any court action because no one wants bailiffs after them! But from my experience, many people don’t realise the impact that a CCJ has on credit scores.

Once a CCJ has been issued, it is visible on your credit file for 6 years.

During this time you will find it hard to get credit as you are now a ‘high-risk’ customer – someone who has a history of not paying their debts. This will bring your credit score down.

After 6 years, your CCJ will no longer be visible and you may find it easier to get credit.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

Yes, BW legal can take you to court for a CCJ.

BW Legal apply for a staggering amount of County Court Orders (CCJs), which is when they take you to court and request that a judge orders you to pay if you have been ignoring the debt collection agency (and you really do owe them money).

If your parking fine is really small, they may not think it is worth taking court action. But don’t count your chickens before they hatch, because BW Legal might still go down this route.

Thousands have already tackled their debt

Every day our partners, The Debt Advice Service, help people find out whether they can lower their repayments and finally tackle or write off some of their debt.

Natasha

I’d recommend this firm to anyone struggling with debt – my mind has been put to rest, all is getting sorted.

Get started

Reviews shown are for The Debt Advice Service.

BW Legal will help customers to find a suitable solution including repayment plans.

It’s in your interest to make sure that the debt is paid back and going to court can be costly. That means you need to agree to regular repayments over a reasonable time period.

The next step is to take an affordability assessment. This will tell you what’s going into your bank and what’s coming out every month.

These details will help determine how much you can afford to pay back each month.

You may be able to ask BW Legal to write off some of your debt.

Sometimes, creditors and debt collection agents are happy to accept less money if you can pay it quickly.

You can use my free letter template to make your settlement offer.

Keep in mind that they are under no obligation to accept your offer. They can choose to chase you for all of your debt if they want!

You may be able to write off some of your debt with a debt solution. I will go through your options for debt solutions in detail below.

If you are struggling with your debts, you may benefit from a debt solution.

There are several options in the UK so I recommend speaking to a debt charity for free financial advice for debt management and free debt counselling services.

There are several organisations that offer these services:

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 distress or 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 not 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.

In short, no you shouldn’t ignore BW legal.

Even if you don’t think the parking fine is fair, you shouldn’t ignore it. Private parking ticket appeals are available for several weeks after it is issued – you should use this time to dispute it.

The first thing you should do is see if you can appeal the parking fine. This might not always be possible because the landowner will have unlikely passed the debt onto BW Legal before that timeframe is up.

While it’s unlikely, BW Legal might try and take you to court to settle the parking fine plus any charges they’ve added. 

If you can’t afford the parking fine in one payment, speak to BW Legal to come up with a repayment plan. They want their money either way!

The bottom line is there isn’t any way of 100% knowing for sure whether ignoring a BW Legal parking fine letter will result in legal action or not.

Yes, you can stop BW Legal Debt Collectors from phoning you about your debts. You have the right to decide what way you want to be contacted.

Sometimes debt collection agencies will make too many phone calls, often seen as aggressive. Some of them use call monitoring technology to work out when you are likely to answer. 

But you can stipulate in writing that they should not phone you. You can also say they are only able to phone at certain times of the day or on a specific number, such as your mobile or home phone.

Additionally, Janine, our financial expert, explained that while debt collectors can visit your home for payments, they cannot come to your workplace, act threateningly, force payment, or discuss your finances with others.

If they violate these rules, you can complain.

If you think that BW Legal 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 BW Legal 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, BW Legal may be fined. You could even be owed compensation.

BW Legal are also registered with the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA). This means that there are a second set of rules and guidelines that they need to follow.

If you think that they have not stuck to the SRA’s rules, your first complaint should be to BW Legal. But you can forward your complaint to the SRA if you think that they have not addressed your issue properly.

FCA and SRA guidelines have been put in place to protect customers from unfair debt collection practices. You should report any rule-braking behaviour as soon as possible.

Website: https://www.bwlegal.co.uk/
Phone number: 01134870430
Monday – Thursday   08:00 – 18:00
Friday   08:00 – 17:00
Email address: [email protected]
Postal address: Enterprise House, 1 Apex View, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9BH

Checking for Other Debt Collectors

There are a lot of ways to get into debt. In fact, it’s not uncommon to owe money to several companies at once.

Perhaps you have a mortgage, a car loan, a couple credit cards and an item or two you bought on buy-now-pay-later schemes. It’s easy to lose track

That’s why it’s important to regularly check your credit report and bank statements to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

If a debt collector has purchased your debt, it appears on your credit report.

Some of the debt collectors you’re most likely to come across are PRA Group, Lowell and Cabot Financial

Who owns BW Legal?
The directors of BW Legal are Sean Barton, Rachael Withers and Seng Hoong Ng. The company is based in Leeds and employs 250 staff, dealing with debt collection.
Is BW Legal a Legit company?
Yes, they are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
What is the BW Legal company registration number?
The company registration number 07966978 (registered in England and Wales) can be used to verify their information. The company’s Solicitors Regulation Authority number is 569773 and its Financial Conduct Authority number is 619068.
What is the company head office address?
The office of BW Legal is at Enterprise House, 1 Apex View, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9BH.
Do I have to pay BW legal?
Yes and No. If the debt is yours for certain and you can afford to pay then yes you should pay. If the debt is more than 6 years old or it is not proven to be yours then no you don’t have to pay.
Does BW Legal buy debts from other companies?
As far as I know, BW Legal acts purely as a debt collection agency – mostly debt administration tasks – and does not purchase debt itself. They chase debts in the consumer debt collection market for their own customers (the companies who are owed money).
Can BW Legal let themselves into your house?
No. BW Legal cannot step foot into your house and remove goods or property. This breaks Financial Conduct Authority regulations. The only people who are allowed to remove property are court-appointed bailiffs and even they have restrictions on what they can and cannot do.
How long can BW Legal legally chase me for debt?
BW Legal can legally chase you for a debt until you have paid it. However, if communication has broken down for some reason and no money has been forthcoming, an unsecured debt cannot be enforced six years after your last payment. You should seek help to understand this ruling further.
How do I get in touch with BW Legal Services Limited?
You can get in touch with BW Legal by calling them directly 0113 487 0430 or by writing to them at Enterprise House, 1 Apex View, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9BH. You can also engage with them and make payments through their online portal. They do not have a social media presence that is worth contacting.
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

  1. InDebted Debt Collectors Survey.
  2. Jubilee Debt, A Fresh Start After Covid-19.

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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