Several people have written in saying that they’d noticed that there were several direct debit items on their bank statement for the same debt account, but that these were being paid on a regular basis to different debt purchasing companies.

It occurred to us that this would undoubtedly be the result of one DCA selling the same account on to another and creating enough obfuscation (or indeed fear) that the victim sets up a standing order or direct debit to pay more than one debt purchasing company at the same time for the same account! It then occurred to us that this practice, which we have named “double spivving” (or multiple spivving, which is also possible) may even be part of the overall strategy when several debt spivs get together (as they will do at their illustrious beanos and on other less “official” events) to work out how they can get more money out of people.

So we recommend that you keep close tabs on exactly which direct debts and standing orders are going out for which accounts. Also it is important to keep those Letters of Assignment which let you know who has sold the debt to whom (though we know that not all DCAs bother with sending out such letters because it erodes their profits, or they just don’t bother). Be aware, also, that such debtor accounts may not be sold on if the account is in dispute for any reason. So if an account changes hands then the debt purchaser is breaking the law.

Not that it makes much difference because the law seems increasingly not to care.

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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