DRS Debt Collection is a UK debt collection agency that collects debt for other companies. If you are a customer of one of the companies they work for and have unpaid bills on your account, they could be writing to you soon.
If you have already received a debt collection letter, text or email from Debt Revenue Services, this post was written to help you. We provide the key details, your legal rights and the ways to respond to their letters.
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What Is DRS?
If you’ve received a letter, text or call from them, your first question might be ‘who is DRS?’ It’s unlikely that you’ll have ever dealt with them before, and you might be confused as to why they say you owe them money.
DRS, also known as Debt & Revenue Services, is a debt collection company that was formed in 2003 and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They’re a division of a company by the name of Ardent Credit Services Ltd, and they’re registered in Liverpool.
Their full address is:
1st Floor, Moorgate Point, Moorgate Road, Knowsley Industrial Park, Liverpool L33 7XW.
Again, this is unlikely to ring any bells with you. However, the fact they’re a debt collection agency means that they will have been passed your details by another business you allegedly owe money to. There are attempting to collect the money either on behalf of that other company or for themselves (if they have purchased your debt from the original company).
Often, these types of businesses buy ‘bad’ debt. This means that it is money that is hard to recover. They’ll buy it for a small amount from the original creditor, and then make money when they successfully recover it.
We often see people asking if Debt Revenue Services are the same as solicitors. They are not. They are the equivalent of an administration business.
DRS Debt Are Not Dynamic Recovery Solutions
If you search for DRS debt online, you will find another company with the same initials called Dynamic Recovery Solutions. It just so happens that they are also a debt collection agency, but they are not connected to Debt Revenue Services in the UK. They are a USA debt collector that recover debts in the States.
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:
Are Debt & Revenue Services (DRS) legitimate?
Your next question might be about whether or not this is a real company. We’re all used to receiving spam mail and email, so how can you be sure that contact from DRS is real?
Well, Debt & Revenue Services is certainly a real company. If you want to look them up, their Company Registration Number is 04691960, and their VAT Number is 693414421.
DRS isn’t to be confused with DRS Legal Services Ltd, which is an entirely different company. They do provide legal services in the financial industry but do not contact people about outstanding debts.
So, the chances are, if you’ve received a letter, text message, email or call from Debt & Revenue Services (DRS) then it is legitimate. They’re a company that’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As such, they’re able to collect debts due under consumer credit and consumer hire agreements; number 695106. Their site makes references to these accreditations.
But do not make a payment just because they are legitimate. There are ways for you to avoid customer debts and to reduce the amount you need to pay back – read on to uncover your options!
Why are they contacting you?
Your first thought might be that they’ve contacted you in error. After all, if you’ve never done business with this company before, how can they claim you owe them money? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as straight forward as that.
DRS is a debt collection agency. This means that other companies and organisations employ them to chase outstanding debts on their account. Either this or DRS now own the debt, having bought it from the original creditor.
These types of companies are typically called upon when the original creditor has tried to contact you several times without success. So, if you owe a company or organisation money and have been avoiding their calls and letter, they may refer the case to a debt collector like DRS.
Of course, there are a few instances where they’ve been given your details by mistake. It could be that your name is similar to someone who owes them money, or they may have previously lived at your current address.
Find your best debt solution
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. Answer the four questions now.
What debts does DRS collect for?
So, you may be wondering who DRS are contacting you on behalf of. In reality, there could be many different companies, such as a credit card provider, utility supplier or other debt collection agencies that have failed to get you to pay.
Debt collecting agencies generally tend to take clients from across a broad range of industries. Usually, in their correspondence, they’ll let you know who they’re contacting you on behalf of. They will always contact the account holder of the debt.
A quick internet search suggests a few companies/industries that DRS collect debts for. This includes companies like Vodafone, Talk Talk and eBay. If you are a customer of these well-known companies, they could be chasing you for unpaid bills and debts to these businesses. However, they may also collect things like unpaid parking fines, council tax bills, and utility bills.
How will Debt Revenue Services Debt contact you?
There are a few ways that DRS debt collection will try and contact the debt account holder. Usually, they’ll try to get in touch with you based on the details on your debt file. So, this could be an old address or phone number. The most common way is via a written letter to your address. However, if this doesn’t receive a response, they may try another method.
A lot of people online claim that they get a text message first. Again, this will often be the case if you’ve moved address and they can’t find your new location. Similarly, if they’ve sent you a letter and you ignore it, they’ll try via phone, email or text message.
These types of companies tend to be very persistent, so if they don’t get in contact with you, they’ll keep trying other methods until they do.
Can a DRS debt collector visit your home?
It’s unusual for debt collection agents to conduct a home visit as their first method of contacting you. As they’re not a bailiff, their powers are limited, so they’d be unlikely to start proceedings with this. Usually, they’ll try and contact you by any means possible before attempting a home visit.
However, if you don’t respond to their initial attempts at contacting you, they may escalate their efforts. So, they could eventually end up trying to visit you directly at your house. However, they are not the same as bailiffs and you never have to let them inside your house.
Should you ignore them?
Receiving contact about an unpaid debt can be stressful, particularly if you’re already in financial difficulties. Your initial reaction may be to simply bin the letter, delete the text message, or dodge the calls. But is ignoring DRS the right thing to do? Unfortunately not.
By ignoring a debt collection agency, you’re not making them go away. Instead, it will make them increase their efforts to try and reach you. So, what starts with a letter could result in multiple letters, texts, and calls. This, in itself, can be stressful. However, things can also escalate if you persistently ignore DRS.
DRS could eventually ask a judge to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ), which makes it your legal obligation to pay. This may mean having to attend court. If you continue to ignore them, they could request bailiffs go to your property to try and recover goods to cover the value of the debt, including your car if you do not need it for work.
Ignoring DRS should not be the approach you take. Instead, you should know what rights you have, what legal action they can take, and how you should approach the situation.
What rights do you have?
When you’re dealing with any debt collection agency, you have certain legal rights. As they’re monitored by the FCA, DRS have to adhere to certain rules and regulations. This means that there are some things that they cannot do when dealing with your case. For example, they cannot:
- Harass you. They’re not allowed to call or contact you excessively, and they must call at a reasonable time. If you request that they only contact you in writing, they have to adhere to your wishes.
- Mislead you. They cannot pretend that they have legal powers they don’t. So, their letters can’t look like a court summons, and they can’t trick you into thinking you have to cover recovery costs if it’s not in a contract. Similarly, they can’t threaten you with bailiffs without a court order.
- Speak to others. If the debt is in your name, they can’t threaten to or actually contact others about it. So, your friends, family and employer are off-limits.
- Threaten or abuse you. If they come to your house, they can’t barge their way in or abuse you. Similarly, they can’t add excessive charges or interest to your debt.
What rights do DRS have?
Ultimately, the legal powers that DRS have are no different from the ones the original creditor has. So, they can contact you repeatedly (but not excessively), and they can continue to until the matter is settled.
They’re able to send agents to your door if you don’t pay, but these agents don’t have the same powers as a bailiff. They can’t enter your property, and they cannot take anything from it.
Despite these limitations, they can take certain legal actions against you if you avoid paying them. So, they can appeal to the courts to take out a CCJ against you. This will be a legal order requiring you to pay back the money.
They can also ask the court for permission to send the bailiffs round to your property. If this happens, the bailiff will be able to take steps to recover your debt. However, they’re still bound by many laws, similar to those of debt collectors.
Finally, they may also be able to apply for an attachment of earnings order. This will allow DRS to take money directly from your wages. This is usually for when you have outstanding rent or mortgage payments.
What should you do if you receive a DRS debt recovery letter?
Although some of the information we’ve covered so far may seem a little daunting, try not to worry. There are steps you can take if you have received a scary letter from Debt Revenue Services.
The first thing to do is to contact them directly. Don’t ignore their claim you owe them money, as they won’t stop.
Instead, you can ask them to provide proof that it’s you who owes the money. They’re legally required to do so. Most of the time these letters do not provide adequate details about the debt, but simply say you need to pay or face court action.
We explain exactly how to do this and provide a free letter template in our prove-it guide.
Note: When you send this letter you should print your name but never sign it to prevent the possibility of forging evidence against you.
The legal onus is on Debt Revenue Services to prove you owe the debt. They may need to communicate and work with their own client (the company you owe) to find this proof. It can cause long delays which give you time to think about your options. And of course, if they do not supply proof you do not need to make a payment.
Even if you were a real customer of the company and really do owe them money, without proof they do not have a good chance of making you pay.
If they do not give you proof and continue to ask for a payment, this is harassment and should be formally complained about to the Ombudsman.
If you do prove you owe them money, you’re going to have to pay at least some of it back.
By contacting DRS directly, you can start to organise a payment plan that works with your current financial standing. This can often be a low monthly repayment, although they’re not legally obliged to accept your proposal. You will need your DRS account details to make payments or agree to allow them to take payments directly from your bank.
What if you can’t pay DRS?
If you are not earning a lot of money and/or have another creditor or bills to pay, you might be wondering how on Earth you will afford to pay back Debt Revenue Services and stay on top of everything else.
The DRS repayment plan might be a solution and allow you to spread out costs over consecutive months. You can make these payments through an online portal on the Debt Revenue Services website.
But there are other debt solutions out there. These options might be more affordable for you or even make paying back DRS and any other debts cheaper.
For example, people with a regular income could wipe thousands of pounds off multiple debts with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, or if the debtor has a low income, they could avoid paying anything with a Debt Relief Order.
Can I Write Off All of the Debt Revenue Services Debt?
Debt Revenue Services are not going to offer to write off the debt you owe. There is a good chance they are just chasing you for money for another business, so it is not even their debt to write off.
The aforementioned debt solutions just above offer ays to write off some of the debt. A Debt Relief Order or bankruptcy remains the only ways to write off the full amount, but these can seriously harm your credit rating and prevent future credit applications.
A settlement offer is another potential option. You could make an offer to pay off most of the debt in a single payment if you have the money with the agreement that Debt Revenue Services will wipe off the remaining 10-25%.
Learn how to make an acceptable settlement offer in our settlement offers guide!
The Legal Loophole to Avoid Debt Revenue Services
There is one loophole which could help you escape Debt Revenue Services for good and make it illegal for them to keep asking you for money.
When a debt is at least six years old and not received any partial payment over the previous six years (five years in Scotland), the debt becomes legally unenforceable. In the legal world, this is called statute-barred as described in the Limitations Act 1980.
In a nutshell, it means that you cannot be taken to court about the debt. Without going to court, Debt Revenue Services can never force you to pay and can never use bailiffs or other forceful means.
You can read about what qualifies as statute-barred debt and access a free letter template to inform Debt Revenue Services that the debt is legally unenforceable and that they should not contact you again.
If you have received a CCJ to pay the debt that Debt Revenue Services is chasing you for at any time previously, the debt can never become statute-barred because you have already been made legally obligated to pay.
Can you report Debt Revenue Services?
If you feel that Debt & Revenue Services or Ardent Credit Services have treated you unfairly or breached the FCAs guidelines, you can complain. The first step is to contact them and make a formal complaint. They then have to deal with this internally within a reasonable timeframe.
If you’re not satisfied with their result, you can escalate your concerns to the Financial Ombudsman Service. They are an independent body that will mediate your claim and rule in favour of you or DRS depending on the circumstances. They give everyone a chance to comment on the events fairly before making a decision.
We provide a free step-by-step complaint guide to lodge your Debt and Revenue Services complaint
If you need further help dealing with a debt collection letter from DRS, you can contact Citizens Advice. They can help you find out more information and make a plan for dealing with DRS.
Debt charities also offer complaints support and personalised advice on what debt solutions to use and they get amazing results for people in debt. We recommend contacting Step Change and similar organisations when you need help to tackle your debt.
Debt Revenue Services FAQs
Yes, Debt Revenue Services are a legitimate debt recovery group, but that doesn’t mean scammers won’t try to imitate them. Always scrutinize your correspondence and get adept advice first.
They might take your o court if you do not clear the money owed on your account or refuse to negotiate a repayment plan.
DRS will collect debt for multiple businesses in a wide variety of industries, including loan providers and household utility suppliers.
Yes, if you visit the DRS site you will find useful information and the DRS contact information. If you have already agreed on a payment plan, you can even make payments via their site.
No, they can never come inside your property in any circumstance.
*Note: This is a real life example based on a customers’ savings data in October 2020.