If you’re contacted by a debt collector and you can afford to pay the debts you owe, you’re going to have to start devising a repayment plan in order to pay back your creditors.
That’s why I’ve decided to list some options and debt advice for you in case a creditor decides to reject your debt repayment offer.
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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Keep in mind that the debt collector does not decide whether your arrangement is acceptable or not, that is up to your original creditor or creditors.
However, it can be a difficult process. This is because there’s often no telling if your creditors will accept your repayment plan or not.
Being in debt is already a very stressful situation and if your arrangement gets refused by your creditor, then that will only add to your stress.
Don’t worry, here’s what to do!
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Waiting for a response from your creditor can be nerve-wracking and it’s understandable why one would feel hopeless when their repayment offer is refused. However, it’s important to know that this is not the end. You can still convince your creditor or creditors to accept your offer by negotiating with them further.
Explain Your Circumstances
You most probably have already done this in your original offer but it’s good to reiterate.
This time, be more detailed about your situation and ensure your creditor that you are doing all you can to repay your debt to them.
It’s a very good idea to enclose your personal budget and expenditure within the letter you send to your creditor. This will assure them that all of the extra money you have with you is going towards paying off your debts.
Sharing personal information may seem like a bad idea but in this case, it’s important to let your creditors know exactly what your situation is like so that they’re more receptive and understanding.
Start Paying Anyway
This may seem like bad advice but I’ve learned over the years that building trust and goodwill with your creditors can go a long way. Even if your creditor has refused to accept your debt repayment offer, you should start repaying them anyway.
Let them know that you’re doing your best, being consistent in your payments and doing this as a gesture of goodwill.
Tell Them About Other Creditors that have Accepted Your Offer
If a creditor refuses to accept your debt repayment offer, you may be able to sway them by informing them about other creditors who have accepted it.
If it’s possible, you should send them photocopies of acceptance letters that you got from other creditors as proof. This can be a very effective technique and there’s a high chance that creditors may be responsive to it.
You can also explain to them how increasing your payments to them may impact the arrangements you’ve made with other creditors.
Be completely transparent about your arrangements with other creditors and explain to them how it’s very important to you that you treat all of your creditors equally.
Feeling like Chandler?
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My Creditor has Refused to Freeze Interest, What Should I Do?
In short, tell your creditors you might struggle! Sometimes creditors can refuse to freeze interest on your debts or they will only agree to reduce the interest by a little amount. This can be extremely troublesome for you as a debtor in most cases.
If your debt repayment offer is lower than the interest that is being charged on it, your debts will just keep on increasing. In other words, you will never be able to pay off your debts.
Point this out to your creditors and let them know that if it keeps continuing like this, you will have very little incentive to be regular with your payments.
I’ve Tried Everything and My Creditors Still Refuse to Accept My Offer, What Should I Do?
Your creditors are not obligated to accept your offer at any point. They can keep on refusing your payment offers as well as your requests to freeze interest.
In this case, it’s very important to keep a level head, stick to your instincts and be persistent. It’s important that you stay in touch with your creditors and keep making a payment to them each month regardless of if they’ve accepted your proposal or not. Keep providing them with more information about your situation so they can grow to become more understanding.
You can also attempt to tweak your payment offer so that it becomes more attractive for your creditors. You can also seek advice from a registered charity such as StepChange or Payplan. Once you share your situation and information with them, they can help you devise a different arrangement or give you advice regarding your current arrangement.
This could help make it more acceptable to your creditors.
You should also keep in mind that if you’re being contacted by debt collectors or a debt collection agency, there’s no need to panic.
A debt collection agency does not have any more power over you than your creditors do. All they can do is ask you for payment.
Debt collectors cannot enter your home without your permission and they don’t have the right to take any of your belongings either in order to collect debt.
It’s important to keep in mind that a debts collector has to strictly adhere to the guidelines provided by the Financial Conduct Authority.
If you feel that a debts collection agent has violated your rights, you can take it up with the FCA or even sue him or her in court.
My Creditor is Threatening Me with Court Action, What Should I Do?
If a creditor is dissatisfied with your payment offer, they may write you a letter threatening you with court action. If this happens to you, it’s important that you don’t panic. Remember the following things:
- Court action is often the last resort for most creditors.
- It’s not a criminal offence to be unable to pay your debts. You will not be facing any prison time just because your creditors are dissatisfied with your offer.
- A court is there to help settle disputes in regard to money owed. Even after a court case, you will only be obligated to pay your creditors an amount that is affordable to you.
In the end, you have to keep in mind that a debt collection agency has no more power over you than your creditors do.
The key is to be persistent and make your creditors understand that you’re doing all you can to repay the debts that are owed to them.
Debt collection agencies may seem intimidating but knowing your rights when dealing with them will save you from a lot of stress and trauma.
Always remember to never allow them to pressure you into paying even a penny more than you can afford.
*Note: This is a real life example based on a customers’ savings data in October 2020.