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Have you been contacted by Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors about an outstanding debt you have with another creditor? Are you in a situation where you are unable to pay back your debt? Are they contacting you about debts you don’t believe you owe or have already paid back? Are Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors saying they will take you to court, unless you pay up? If any of these sound familiar, or you are dealing with similar issues with the debt collectors, this article should help you understand what to do next to deal with the issue.

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 Central Debt Collection Services?

Central Debt Collection Services are based in Manchester and are a division of Barclays Bank Plc. They deal with Barclays Bank’s personal and business loans that are in arrears as well as managing Barclaycard accounts that are in arrears.

They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority but they have not certificated enforcement agents so their legal powers are limited. Central Debt Collection Services do not collect debts on behalf of any other businesses or organisations and only handle debts that are owed to Barclays Bank Plc. They do not buy debts from other organisations and only collect money that is owed to Barclays Bank Plc.

Don’t worry, here’s what to do

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What is the total amount of your debt?

What are the reasons for the contact by Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors?

With so many people suffering from debt issues, debt collection businesses are in plentiful supply, and they can cause devastation to those suffering with these issues. You will find debt collectors operating as independent businesses, and some that are part of the original credit company you have the original debt with. Some debt collectors may even operate on a self employed basis. Debt problems are a real issue for many people, and some debt collectors don’t make the situation any easier.

The model which is used by these debt collectors is the same. They basically purchase the debt for a small price, sometimes only 20% of the total value of the debt. This means they make a profit after the 20% has been covered and explains why they are so desperate to get payment. Debt collectors do not particularly care about your personal situation, and whether you are suffering from financial problems. Even if your finances are in a dire state, they do not want to hear about it, they just want your payment – and they want it now! Unfortunately, The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) have found that debt collectors and their poor practices seem to be common, and are extremely problematic.

Establish the origins of the debt

The best thing you can do in the first instance, is to determine the origins of the debt. You may want to find out from the debt collector where the debt originally came from and the total cost of what you are due to pay back, including a complete breakdown of the interest/charges etc. It is highly likely that the original debt, if you establish one, is highly inflated by various charges and interest, and it may be substantially more than you thought you owed.

To find out more about the debt, you can write to Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors and ask that they send you a copy of your original credit agreement. If they will not provide this, it will not be necessary for you to make payment to them.

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Can pay – but should I?

If you establish that you are responsible for the debt, then the best way to deal with the situation is to pay back the debt you owe if you can manage to do this. If you are unable to pay the debt back, or if paying the debt would stop you from dealing with other important debts, including your rent or mortgage, you should try to reach an agreement with Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors. You may even be able to offer them a part payment to clear the debt. Something is better than nothing in many cases!

Can debt collectors negatively affect your life?

Although it can be distressing, it is unfortunately not particularly uncommon for debt collection agencies to use some underhand tactics, that could even go against the legislation. Some of the actions they may decide to use include attempting to pressure you into paying the debt or even bullying you into paying. It may be as seemingly harmless as making lots of phone calls to you, but this could be viewed as harassment. They may even try to contact you via your workplace, or they could resort to turning up to your home.

There is no doubt that these tactics by Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors may have extremely negative consequences for your day to day life. It may cause you to feel upset, depressed or other negative emotions. In some instances, people have reported having suicidal thoughts due to their debt problems. The actions of debt collectors has led to great concern, especially with worrying statics from the debt support trust that state as many as 50% of those who suffer from debt issues will even consider. As a result, and not particularly suprising, the government were asked to step in and take a close look at how debt collectors were operating, and whether they were doing enough to ensure that debt collectors were following the correct guidelines, including responsible lending and treating debtors fairly. They took this on board, and took action against some debt collection agencies.

Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors and what the law says

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) put some guidelines in place, which were related to debt collectors. The summary of these is that, Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors had a responsibility to:

  • Ensure they treated debtors fairly and did not use any underhand practices, deceit, or generally being negative towards debtors
  • Being transparent and providing clear information which is does not cause the debtor to be confused or feel that they are being misled
  • Ensure consideration towards debtors who are experiencing difficulty with making payments.
  • Act proportionately and always ensure the debtors’ circumstances are taken into account.

If you are being hassled by Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors and they are not following the required guidelines, you would be within your rights to report them to the OFT – and they will be able to get their license removed, if deemed appropriate.

Some debt collectors may go as far as to say that they are an external agency, when they are operating as part of the original creditor you have the debt with. In this case, they are attempting to deceive you and they are going against the guidelines, but they will probably claim that this information is visible in the small print.

You should know how Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors work

If you understand a bit more about debt collection agencies and how they operate, you will be more informed to be able to defend yourself. These are some of the key points to consider:

They may receive a bonus

The Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors agents contacting you constantly, are doing so as they are likely to be highly incentivised and they are targeted to get a certain amount of money on an hourly basis. In most cases, there will be both daily and monthly bonuses and all of the contributions the agents make contribute to that bonus. In short, they will do anything they can to get the payments, instead of recording a call where there has been no payment Unfortunately, they may resort to threatening and abusive behaviour, in order to try and achieve their bonus.

The point to bear in mind is that if you can stay strong and deal with the threats from Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors, knowing that most of these threats are empty, you may even be able to turn the tables. Don’t pay if you can’t afford it. The last thing you want is to leave yourself in an extremely distressing situation.

They may use automated call technology

Although there is likely to be some temptation to try and ignore your phone calls from Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors, this is not a good idea. You may find that some debt collection agencies will employ automated call technology that tries to attempt to phone you as regularly every half hour, until you eventually answer the phone. Sometimes, the phone may even be silent, as the calls are just being made to try to intimidate you.

If you are experiencing such calls, it would be a good idea to take a note of the frequency of the calls. Debt collectors who are behaving like this are in clear breach of the OFT guidelines. You can let the agent know that you plan to report them to the Financial Ombudsman.

Change in attitude

The agencies will sometimes employ a bad cop, good cop tactic , and this is often highly effective. When on the receiving end of such an approach, you will probably to be on the other side of relentless calls, many of which may be abusive and harassing. This may be mixed together with the some polite and friendly conversation. The switch in attitude could even sometimes occur in only one phone call. The agent begins the conversation by being polite, but their behaviour becomes abusive if they know you can’t pay a payment. It often does not just end with relentless phone calls. There may also be threatening and even sinister letters, which are common practice. This full process is designed to try to grind you down, to break you down, so that you will give up and just pay them, even if you can’t really afford to do so.

Can they talk to third parties?

If you can’t answer your phone, and someone else answers on your behalf, the agents may decide to just discuss your debt and your financial issues with someone else who answers the call. They may decide to speak to a family member about your outstanding debt, or it may be worse, as they might even speak to a colleague at your workplace about the debt. This would be seen as illegal behaviour and in doing this, they are in breach of OFT guidelines, as well as other privacy laws.

If the agencies are doing this, you have the right to report them to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123

Threatening to come to your home

If they cannot find any other way to get the money from you, the debt collectors may decide that they won’t stick to the law and instead, they will introduce some other methods to try and get you to pay up. They may say that they are calling up from the court, or that they are working as a bailiff and visiting your home to take away your possessions. They may even decide to threaten you with a criminal procedure.

You should never, under any circumstances, give them permission to visit your home, and if they do, you should not give them access into your home. If you feel that you are being physically threatened, you should contact the police and inform them of these threats.

Don’t let them get to you

As we know, debt collectors such as Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors can often be relentless and in some cases, this behaviour may even be causing mental health issues in some people and some may even consider suicide. In order to deal with the contact from Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors, you will need a high degree of strength and courage, which is not commonplace. If you feel that you are under pressure from debt collectors, there is help available. Of course, you need to get out of debt, but you should aim to do this in a controlled manner that will reduce your pain and distress. Ultimately all debt problems can be dealt with.

Do you need help with debt?

There are a range of different kinds of help available, if you want to get out of debt. There are companies who offer advice and support without charging a fee, and will be able to offer you one-to-one support with dealing with your debt and you can also find commercial debt management companies who offer the same service, but with a charge. You should aim to use the free services, before considering any paid services.. Some of the popular agencies for free debt help include:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who can provide you with extensive help and support in dealing with your debt, and they have skilled, experience and highly trained staff on hand to help you.
  • Christians Against Poverty (CAP) will provide you with help in getting out of debt, without any fee.
  • StepChange offer free online debt advice and helps people take back control of their finances.

How to write off some of your debt

It is entirely possible to write off a chunk of your debt by entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). An IVA is a formal arrangement, where you make a plan to pay off your debt by clearing off a specific amount which is affordable, either as one payment or as monthly payments. You would then be able to write off the rest of the debt within a certain period of time, which is usually five years. The IVA process should be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.

Another option to this is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). A DRO would only be available to you if you have £50 or less left each month when you have paid other bills and expenses. You must not be a home owner or have assets which amount to over £1000 to be eligible for a DRO.

To Conclude

Although there has been a lot of warnings from the government and other guidelines put into place, as well as other measures, debt collecting agencies have still behaved in a way which could be described as atrocious, leading vulnerable debtors into poor mental health. However, you can turn it around, especially if you ask for some help from the agencies we have spoken about in this article who offer free advice and support. You cannot just say that you won’t pay the debt, but it is entirely possible to reduce the debt you need to repay. You may be able to spread your repayments over a specific time that you are happy with. You will be able to prevent the bullying and harassment by speaking to the Financial Ombudsman about their behaviour. In worst case, it is entirely possible that they will lose their licence.

FAQs

What happens if you fail to respond to the debt collectors?

If you decide to just ignore the debt collectors, it is entirely possible that the situation will get worse, and they might even send doorstop collectors to your door to try and get the debt repaid. They also have the right to apply for a CCJ, and if this is successful, it will be featured on your credit report.

Will Central Debt Collection Services be able to take you to court?

Central Debt Collection Services will be able to take you to court, if they want to ensure they get the money back that you owe. If they do take you to court, you will have a County Court Judgement letter.

Will you get sent to jail for your debt?

You will not be sent to jail for the debt you owe to debt collectors.

What will happen if I ignore a CCJ?

If you decide to just ignore the CCJ, you will not end up in prison, but bailiffs could turn up at your home to get items from your home which equate to the value of the debt.

Can Central Debt Collection Services give you a warrant?

Central Debt Collection Services will not be able to issue you with a warrant, or get you sent to prison. The most they can do is get a CCJ against you, and if this is successful, they would be able to send bailiffs to your property.

Are Central Debt Collection Services bailiffs?

Central Debt Collection Services do not operate as bailiffs. They will be able to request a CCJ, which could result in the courts sending bailiffs to you. This would not just happen though, you will have plenty of warnings about their plans to do so.

Can Central Debt Collection Services come to your house?

Central Debt Collection Services are not bailiffs. They could, however, request a County Court Judgement which means that the courts could send bailiffs. They won’t just do this though, without plenty of warnings.

Will Central Debt Collection Services be able to force entry?

Central Debt Collection Services do not have the right to force entry into your home. They don’t have the legal power to do so. If you have received a CCJ though, the courts may instruct bailiffs to visit your home.

Will Central Debt Collection Services give up?

It is safe to say that Central Debt Collection Services will never give up trying to collect the debt, after all, if they do, they are potentially losing money. They will usually try every other legal option to try and get you to pay. You could potentially be chased for the same debt for 6 years.

Can a debt become too old to collect?

It is possible for the debt to become to old for the debt collectors to chase. The Limitation Act 1980 states that there is a maximum of 6 years to try and collect the debt. The 6 years if from the last payment, or the last time you spoke to the debt collectors about your debt.

How long are debt collectors allowed to chase you for debt?

There can be an expiry on debt. Under the Limitation Act 1980, debt collectors will have a maximum of 6 years to chase a debt. The only way around this is if they issue you with a CCJ.

Will debts ever be written off?

As per the Limitation action 1980, it is possible to be legally chased for your debt for up to 6 years from the last payment you made or the last time that you spoke about the debt with the debt collectors. If a County Court Judgment is raised against you, the Limitation Act would not apply anymore, which means they can chase you for as long as they wish.

Address:
1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP

Registration Number:
01026167

Phone:
08448 114485

Email:
anita.liuharvey@barclaycard.com

Website Address:
https://www.barclaycard.co.uk

Central Debt Collection Services may also be known as:
Central Debt Collection Services Limited
Central Debt Collection Services Ltd
Central Debt Collection Services Group
Central Debt Collection Services Bailiffs
Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collectors
Central Debt Collection Services Debt Collection
Central Debt Collection Services Agency
Barclays Bank Plc

References

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

CONC 7.9 Contact with customers

Read More…

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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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