Are you being contacted by Capitol Commercial Collections Debt about an outstanding debt ? Do you owe money but you are not in a position to repay it? Are you being asked to repay debts you don’t believe are yours? Are you concerned they’ll take you to court? If any of these questions relate to you, don’t panic! This article is designed to help you. I’ll explain why you might not need to pay them back!
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 Capitol Commercial Collections?
Capitol Commercial Collections started trading in 1998, and are based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They are a relatively small debt collection agency, with just eight (!) employees. The company specialises in providing credit management and debt recovery services for businesses.
They sometimes go by other names! The other trading names that Capitol Commercial Collections have been know to use are:
- A1 Certificated Bailiffs
- The Corporate Consortium
- Capitol Commercial Collections
- The Collection Service
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:
Why you are being contacted by Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors?
There are so many people struggling financially, that the debt collection business has became massive. Debt collectors like Capitol Commercial Collections will be found in various forms.
Many debt collection agencies work as independent businesses; some could also be a business arm of a creditor such as a credit card company or a bank etc; there are even individual sole trader debt collectors.
The business model rarely differs, as they purchase debt at a small fraction of the face value, often for as little as 20% of the face value, and they make a profit by collecting the debt at (or close to) its full value. There are not many morals involved. They believe that you ran up the debt, so you need to take care of it, regardless of your situation. 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.
Do you really owe the money
Are you sure you really owe the money? The first thing to find out is where the debt started and how much you really owe. It is quite likely that the original debt, if there was one, is much higher as a result of various charges and interest. It could be substantially more than you believe you owe.
You should write to Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors 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.
Can pay but don’t want to?
If you really do owe the money, then you should repay it, if possible as this will get them off your back. If you are unable to afford to repay it, or if doing so would prevent you from being able to pay more important credit such as your rent or mortgage, then try to reach an arrangement with Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors, perhaps offering them a partial repayment.
How debt collectors can make your life miserable
It isn’t unusual for debt collectors to use a range of questionable tactics that may or may not be in line with the law. This could include pressuring and bullying threats, frequent phone calls, which are sometimes made to your workplace and empty threats.
If you are being hassled by Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors, it could have a devastating effect on your life, which could lead to emotional distress, mental illness, and even suicide. According to the debt support trust, as many as half of people who struggle with debt at some point, will consider suicide, and it was also recently reported that a coroner raised concerns over debt-collection agency’s practices following the suicide of a debt-ridden courier. In their report which looked 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”. The government were asked to step in to tackle the problem of irresponsible lending and intimidating collection tactics.
Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors and the law
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) put out a set of guidelines for the debt collection business. To summarise these, Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors should:
- Treat debtors fairly and without using aggressive practices, or being oppressive, obstructive etc.
- Ensure transparency and provide clear information that will not be confusing or misleading
- Show consideration towards debtors experiencing difficulty
- Act proportionately taking into account debtors’ circumstances.
If you are feeling intimidated by Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors, and they are not abiding by these guidelines, then you would have a strong case for reporting them to the OFT. They may even have the power to remove their license.
Some debt collectors say they are an external agency, when they are actually 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.
Understanding how Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors operates
Understanding how debt collection agencies operate can help you defend yourself against them.
They may be looking for a bonus
The Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors 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 Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors, 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 Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors, 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.
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.
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 Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors are relentless and their behaviour could be responsible for mental ill-health and even suicide. Standing up to Capitol Commercial Collections Debt Collectors 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 minimize 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.
An alternative is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This is only available if you are left with £50 or less each month after paying your household expenses and you don’t own your home or other assets worth over £1000.
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.
What happens if you ignore debt collectors?
Capitol Commercial Collections buys debt from companies that have been unable to collect from you. They buy the debt for a few pence on the pound and then aim to collect a fraction of the full amount to make a profit.
Can Capitol Commercial Collections take you to court?
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.
Can you go to jail for debt collections?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
What happens if I ignore a CCJ?
You cannot go to jail for debts owed to debt collection agencies.
Can Capitol Commercial Collections issue a warrant?
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.
Are Capitol Commercial Collections bailiffs?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
Can Capitol Commercial Collections come to your house?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
Can Capitol Commercial Collections force entry?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
Will Capitol Commercial Collections give up?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
Can a debt be too old to collect?
Capitol Commercial Collections 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.
How long can you legally be chased for debt?
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.
Are debts ever written off?
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.