Did you just open a debt letter from Controlaccount Debt Recovery? Panicked, anxious and confused, you probably jumped online to read a string of negative reviews about this debt collection company and what your debt letter means.
Now you’re here and want answers about who Controlaccount Debt Recovery are and what you should do about their claims that you owe money.
In this guide, we will tell you exactly how to deal with Controlaccount Debt Recovery, including Controlaccount FedEx and DHL debts. Whatever you do, do not bin that letter and hope it will go away.
They can go away, but it is going to take immediate action!
Who Are Controlaccount PLC Debt Recovery?
If you visit the Controlaccount Debt Recovery website, you will quickly learn that they are a debt recovery agency in Bromsgrove, UK. What this means is that other companies ask Controlaccount Debt Recovery to recover debts on their behalf.
They are simply outsourcing the task to the Controlaccount PLC team who do this for a living. Controlaccount Debt Recovery do not have any more legal powers than the original company you owe the debt to.
Who they collect debts for can change, but their service list gives an indication of the type of companies that use their debt recovery services. They offer:
- Logistics and shipping debt recovery
- Education debt recovery
- Healthcare debt recovery
- And European/international debt recovery
One of the high-profile companies that continue to appoint Controlaccount Debt Recovery is FedEx. On the FedEx website, they state:
“Controlaccount are a debt collection agency (3rd party vendor) appointed by FedEx Express. They will have accounts referred to them by FedEx Express when a customer has not paid an overdue invoice(s). […] Controlaccount also manage any accounts that FedEx Express wishes to pursue through Legal / Court procedures.”
FedEx go on to state that if you have received a debt notification from Controlaccount, you should contact the debt agency on 08456 2993835. You should not contact FedEx directly.
But, Why Would You Have a Controlaccount FedEx Debt?
If you search for Controlaccount FedEx, you will be greeted with a wall of negative reviews and claims that the whole process is a huge scam. What has usually happened is a customer in the UK has bought an item from the USA or China using FedEx as the option for delivery.
FedEx then issue an extra invoice for their services due to international shipping services outside the EU. Some customers on forums have stated that they were not able to pay this using the FedEx website and they then received contact from Controlaccount Debt Recovery wanting the payment plus late admin fees.
Just like this Money Saving Expert poster explained:
“On 4th January, I received an email from Control Account PLC, stating that I owe them £66.00.
Which is a fee of £26.14 + £40 in late fees.
I have phoned FedEx and Control Account and they claim that they sent me postal reminders of the Invoice due.”
They are also known to work for other worldwide courier companies, such as DHL.
How to Approach These Controlaccount FedEx or DHL Debts
If you have received a debt letter from Controlaccount concerning FedEx, you will not be able to pay this to FedEx themselves. Just like their website states, as shown earlier, you must now engage with Controlaccount Debt Recovery.
The same poster above did not want to pay the late fees because he claimed he never received any letter or method to pay. He did however want to pay the initial delivery fee (despite its admin costs being 40% of the overall service charge).
Controlaccount Debt Recovery told him that he had to pay in full. It may be a better option to pay the fee in this case to prevent the chances of it materialising. However, some other posters on the same thread have claimed they got around the problem by being persistent and stating they were not able to pay in the first instance.
It is unlikely that the debt would be enforceable in a court, but paying can give you peace of mind.
What About Other Controlaccount Debts?
If you have received a letter from Controlaccount about a different type of debt, maybe more substantial than a late payment on a delivered item, this could be a real debt that you owe.
Whether you owe the money or not, everyone usually has to take the same first step at this stage. First of all, check to see if Controlaccount Debt Recovery has provided you with proof that you owe the debt.
Examples of proof that are relevant to Controlaccount may be:
- An unpaid healthcare bill addressed to you
- Signed agreements and contracts
- Student loan agreements
However, it is unlikely that you received this type of proof if you have an initial letter from Controlaccount. Many debt recovery companies will send letters without putting much effort in (i.e. sourcing the proof) in the hope the right individual will give in and pay.
But if they don’t have the proof, you will likely never have to pay!
Send a Prove the Debt Letter to Controlaccount PLC
So, how do you make them provide proof? You simply have to ask them in a letter. These letters are known as prove the debt letters. You can write to them and let them know you received their letter and would like them to prove the debt they are referring to. You should also tell them that you will consider their communications harassment if they contact you again without the required proof.
You may even want to tell them that you will report Controlaccount to the FCA or the Financial Ombudsman if they continue to make contact without replying with proof. It is best not to sign the letter in case Controlaccount were to use the signature to forge proof (better to be safe than sorry!).
Some people feel comfortable writing these letters themselves, but if you do not, there are plenty of excellent templates you can use online. Use these detailed templates and swap some of the words for your details to make an effective prove the debt letter in minutes.
If you send a prove the debt letter. You may never hear from Controlaccount PLC ever again!
This is especially true if they had the wrong person because they used a scattergun method on people with similar names and hoped someone would own up to the debt and pay.
I’m Worried… Controlaccount Debt Recovery Proved My Debt!
If you knew about the debt that Controlaccount was referring to but hoped they would not provide proof, you might have started to worry about what comes next. To ease those anxieties, here are some key facts you need to know, including what rights you have.
- Controlaccount should only contact you at sociable times and cannot pester you with multiple calls
- They must not discuss the debt with your employer, spouse or anyone else without permission
- They must not apply pressure or use terms that you do not understand without simple and accurate explanations
- They must provide reasonable time for you to assess your debt solution options
Can Controlaccount Debt Recovery Possess My Home?
Absolutely not, Controlaccount field agents may attempt to visit you at your home. What you need to know is that these people are not bailiffs. If they say they are or suggest they have powers to remove goods, they are breaking the law.
The only way an outstanding debt can end up in having your possessions and home repossessed is if they took you to court and won a possession order. Only then could a team of law enforcement officers carry our repossession orders – not Controlaccount PLC!
Remember, Controlaccount are just an agency trying to chase debts on behalf of FedEx, DHL and other companies. They have the same legal powers as these companies.
What would you say if a FedEx delivery driver told you he/she was going to repossess your home?
Working Out a Payment Plan with Controlaccount Debt Recovery
One of the most straightforward ways of clearing your debt with Controlaccount is by agreeing a payment plan with the agency. This is one way to make sure the debt never escalates into court proceedings or repossession of your items.
The reassuring news is that Controlaccount expects you to try and arrange a payment plan if the debt is significant. These plans may or may not be available for Controlaccount PLC DHL or FedEx debts, but for greater debts they are not expecting you to pay off the debt in one payment.
They will be willing to work out a plan that meets their client’s needs and keeps you financially stable going forward. If you need support to come up with a payment plan and to understand your situation, there are a number of fantastic charities and groups offering debt support in the UK.
- Step Change UK (previously known as CCCS)
- Citizens Advice
- National Debtline
- Christians Against Poverty
Sometimes You Never Have to Pay Your Controlaccount Debts
There is one way that even if Controlaccount have proven the debt, that you may not have to pay (unless you wanted to). Debts in the UK that are six years or older do not have to be repaid if three other conditions can be met:
- You have not made a payment towards the debt in six years
- You have not acknowledged the debt to the original company or any debt collection agency in the last six years
- There are no active court proceedings to collect the debt
If the debt is at least six years old and these three statements are true of your situation, your debt is known as statute barred. What does this mean?
It means the debt cannot be enforced by the courts. Your creditor or their collection agency could still try to get the debt off you, but it is not likely because they know the only way of getting the money is if you decide you want to pay.
Just like a prove the debt letter, there are template letters to send to let Controlaccount or another agency know that the debt is statute barred.
My Controlaccount PLC Debt Is NOT Statute Barred
If your debt is not statute barred, then the best plan is to try and pay off the debt. The simplest method to do so would be to agree a payment plan with Controlaccount – but this is not your only option.
In fact, the best option will depend on your circumstances, not what is the simplest solution. The aforementioned debt charities will be able to guide you through the different options specific to your income and debts.
But if you want a quick and thorough understanding of your options, check out the debt solutions on Money Nerd!
An IVA Might Be Your Best Option
Some people can benefit from using an IVA to pay off their debts. It is only applicable for people with multiple debts totalling £1700 or more, and if you can repay at least £90 back each month (usually more). These agreements are made by IVA specialists (not you) but they only last for five years and then you are 100% debt free, often without paying back even 50% of your overall debts.
One of the UK debt charities, Step Change, offers detailed guidance of IVAs and even free personal advice.
Other FAQs About Controlaccount Debt Recovery
#1: Is Controlaccount recognised and regulated?
Yes, Controlaccount is a member of the debt industry trade body, Credit Service Association (CSA). This means they are not a scam company, even if they sometimes make mistakes when sending out debt letters.
#2: Are Controlaccount calls recorded?
Reportedly yes. Controlaccount state on their website that all calls between you and their agents are recorded. However, they do not accept complaints via phone calls. It may be better to lodge complaints with the FCA.
#3: How can I pay Controlaccount PLC?
They accept payments via their website. Once a payment is made, you will be given an authorisation code (write it down!).