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Can Debt Collectors Come to Your House in Scotland? 

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Scott
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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 7th, 2024
Could you legally write off some debt? Answer below to get started.

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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.

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debt collectors come to house scotland

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.

Are you worried about a letter from a debt collector in Scotland? Don’t worry; you’re in the right place. This article will help you understand:

  • Who debt collectors are and their powers.
  • How to handle a visit from a debt collector.
  • Ways to lessen your debt quickly.
  • How debt collectors can take your items from home.
  • Steps to take if your debt is over 6 years old.

We know it’s hard when you’re not sure about the debt or if you can pay. Over 170,000 people come to us each month for advice on their debt problems, and we’re here to guide you through yours.

Our team knows how this feels, as some of us have had debt collectors at our door, too. We get why it can be scary, but we’re here to help you understand and handle the situation better.

This article will help you learn more about debt collectors in Scotland and what to do if one comes to your house. 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.

What are debt collectors?

If a creditor has been unsuccessful in receiving payment for any outstanding accounts, they will use a debt collection agency to get a payment. 

Sometimes, the debt will be sold to the agencies, and you will need to pay the debt collection agency instead of the company you borrowed from. 

Can a debt collector visit your home in Scotland?

Aside from sending letters and making phone calls to your home, debt collectors in Scotland can visit your home. Usually, the first contact you will receive is a letter that introduces the debt collection company. 

Often they will have local offices, so you may notice a Scotland-based address there. 

They should also outline how much you owe and the company that you borrowed from in the first place. Sending letters and calling are two of the lost cost options that debt collectors in Scotland have for making contact. 

If those phone calls and letters are ignored, their next step – which usually sees fees added to your account comes next. 

Debt collection agencies should send you a written warning to let you know they will visit you at your home. Often they send these letters without the intention of showing up – it is a scare tactic that often prompts action for the resident. 

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

Can debt collectors in Scotland take my goods from my home?

There are different types of debt agencies. Debt collection agencies aren’t able to take any of your goods and have fewer powers than an enforcement agency. An enforcement agency may be given special powers to enable them to seize property, enter your home or commercial property, and more. 

Bailiffs typically collect arrears on council tax and rent, parking fines, child maintenance, and CCJS. In comparison, debt collectors might try to make arrangements to pay a catalog account. 

Debt collectors cannot take the goods from your home. Other types of agencies may be able to, depending on the type. 

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

What powers do debt collectors in Scotland have?

All debt collection agencies in the UK must be regulated and licensed by the FCA. The Financial Conduct Authority has regulations that the debt collectors in Scotland must abide by. 

Almost all debt collectors will have specific steps to get people to pay them or arrange a payment plan. While debt collectors will apply a lot of pressure and can sound and be very threatening – they have no legal recourse. All they can do is ask you for payment and give you reminders. 

Here is what debt collectors in Scotland can do: 

  • Send emails
  • Call your home phone or your mobile phone
  • Write letters to your home
  • Visit your home to arrange payments

Debt collectors in Scotland cannot: 

  • Take your property to cover the amount of the debt
  • Enter your home without permission
  • Force you to open the door
  • Hide their ID
  • Harass you or contact you on social media
  • Phone multiple times per day
  • Visit your workplace
  • Speak with friends or family about your debts
  • Lead you to believe or imply that they are sheriff officers (bailiffs)
  • Threaten you

Scottish debt collectors have a lot of restrictions that are put in place for the protection of the people who are in debt. 

What can I do if a debt collector comes to my home in Scotland?

Always remember that you don’t have to open the door to a debt collector, so if you don’t feel comfortable, just wait until they leave. While you should take action to deal with the contact, the in-person visit can be intimidating and upsetting for many people. 

You can write to the debt collection company and request that they limit their communications to give you some breathing space. 

Most often, the debt collector at your door will be hoping to walk away with a payment or an agreement. However, for your own protection and to ensure that you have a paper trail to prove that you have paid, it is a good idea to make any payments directly to the creditor if possible. 

Some debt collectors will try to negotiate you into signing a payment plan that is unaffordable for you. 

Avoid signing anything if you can, and seek advice from one of these places: Charity Debt Advice – Top Debt Charities Reviewed

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.

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

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Can IVA stop bailiffs from coming to my door?

It is possible to delay proceedings by obtaining an interim injunction from a Court to give time to hold the Creditors’ Meeting and have an IVA granted if you have aggressive creditors who are pressuring you and have bailiffs threatening to seize property against you. The Interim Order temporarily stops all legal actions taken against you. 

Bailiffs can be stopped by an IVA, except for delinquent child support, student debts, and court fines. 

Other debts, including council tax, high court writs, and parking tickets, can be settled through an IVA, and your insolvency practitioner will speak with the bailiffs to halt the process.

Your personal circumstances will dictate if an IVA is Worth it? 

How can I lower my debt quickly in Scotland?

Paying down your debts is one way to tackle them, but some options could be a large portion of your debts written off. I have a handy guide that you can use to help: How Does Debt Write-Off Work? 2022 Guide

My debt is older than 6 years, can a bailiff demand payment in Scotland?

A debt becomes uncollectible in Scotland after 5 years, so if the debt mentioned in any communications is over five years old, it doesn’t exhaust legally anymore. 

For this to apply, the following must be true: 

  • There are no decrees in the debt
  • No repayments have been made during the 5 years
  • The creditor has not made contact about the owed amount
  • The debt has not been acknowledged by the debtor

There are other time limits in place:

  • Mortgage arrears interest: 5 years
  • Council Tax overpayment of benefits: 20 years
  • Income Tax and VAT: no time limit
  • Mortgage arrears capital: 20 years

Your credit cannot chase up statute-barred debts, for more information check out: Is a Debt Written Off after 6 Years? Quick guide.

What are some of the most common debt collectors in Scotland? 

Debt collectors (who may also purchase debt) Debt collection agencies that act for lenders and debt purchasers
Arrow Global
Capquest
Idem Servicing
Intrum
Link Financial
Lowell Financial
PRA Group
Cabot Financial
Robinson Way
Moorcroft Debt Recovery
NCO Europe
Debt Managers
Allied International Credit (AIC)
Wescot Credit Services
Fredrickson International

Debt collection agency pressuring me in Scotland

There is some code of conduct rules that debt collectors must adhere to. If you feel threatened, harassed, or they are unreasonably contacting you, here are a couple of things to do. 

  • Send a letter requesting reduced contact (recorded delivery and keep a copy of the letter)
  • Keep a log of all communication – collect evidence of harassment
  • Complain directly to the creditor.

All reputable financial companies will be members of trading bodies and have standards they must adhere to. This means that any debt collectors that they work with will also need to comply with that code. Creditors must listen to your concerns and address them accordingly. 

If you do not feel that your complaint was dealt with respectably, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Services

There are many different options for dealing with debt, get the low down here: Debt Solutions.

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.

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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