Are you being hassled by Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors about a debt you have failed to pay back? Do you owe this money, but do not know how you’ll afford to repay it? Maybe you don’t even recognise the debt or believe you have already paid it off. They could even be threatening you with possible court action? If these questions are relatable, or you are having similar problems with debt collectors, read on to find out how to deal with your situation.
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 amazing tomorrow.
Who are Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors?
Dukes Bailiffs is a national debt collection agency in the UK. The company assists in the recovery of unpaid invoices as well as commercial rate and High Court enforcements. The company was established in 1993.
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:
Why might Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors be contacting you?
You mind not understand the extent of debt problems, but you can be assured that the debt collection industry is huge. Debt collectors such as Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors come in a variety of shapes and forms,with a number of debt collection agencies acting as an independent business, with others being a part of the original creditor (who you have the original debt with) such as credit card companies, banks or other financial institutions. You can even find debt collectors who works as sole traders.
Independent and sole trader debt collectors rely on the same business model that involves purchasing debt at a fraction of its face value, quite often a face value of as little as 20%, and they make money when they collect payments. They often don’t care much about your circumstances. As far as they are concerned it is you who racked up the debt and you should repay it. They do not generally want to find out about your hardships. They may not be particularly nice, and may resort to unfair practices to get you to pay the debt. The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) said that poor practices among debt collectors “appear to be widespread”.
Do you really owe this debt?
The first thing to find out is whether you actually owe the debt? If you are unfamiliar with the debt, you should get some information on where it originated and how much you really owe. It is highly likely that the original debt is different to the original charge, as various charges and interest may have been added. It could be substantially more than the value of the loan you took out.
If you want to find out more about the debt, you can write to Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors and request that they provide you with a copy of the original credit agreement. If they tell you they will not be able to provide this, or they refuse to pay it, you can stop payments and there is nothing else they can do. It is their responsibility to provide you with the proof of the debt you owe.
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 if you don’t want to pay?
You may not want to pay, lets face it, who does! However, it is your debt, therefore, you have the responsibility to pay it back. If the debt is yours, the best way to deal with it is to repay the debt if you are able to afford it. However, if you can’t manage to repay it, or if paying the debt would stop you from taking care of other payments, such as your mortgage or rent, then you can make a payment arrangement with Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors. They may even accept a partial payment to close off the debt.
The effect of debt collectors
Unfortunately, it seems to be commonplace for debt collectors to implement a wide range of tactics in an attempt to try and get you to pay the debt, even some which are against the law. The tactics often include putting you under pressure to pay debt, even when you can’t really afford it, or bullying/harassing you into paying up.
If you are being harassed by Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors, it could cause devastation to your life, even causing you to face mental health issues. In some cases, there are debtors who have contemplated suicide. Debtors have experiencing feelings of complete despair, and that they are entrapped. As a consequence of these issues faced by debtors, the government were asked to take control and step in to get tough with these companies. They did take on the request, and put in some new regulations that are designed to help ensure that debtors have greater protection. The new legislation has made a difference, there is no doubt about it, but there are still many issues around the debt collection industry and how some are treating those who are experienced debt problems.
Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors and what the law states
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) has put regulations in place for the debt collection industry. In summary, the rules state that, Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors have a responsibility to:
- Treat debtors fairly way and without using any underhand practices or any other actions which make the debtor feel under pressure or embarrassed.
- Be transparent with all information and ensure it is clear and not confusing to the debtor
- Be considerate to debtors who may be experiencing difficulty and be empathetic to their situation
- Consider the circumstances of the debtor, before deciding what to do next.
If you are being hassled by Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors who are not sticking to these guidelines, then you may be able to report them to the OFT. In the worse case, they may decide to revoke the license of the debt collectors.
You can make a complaint about Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors, by using this online complaint form.
Some debt collectors have even deceived debtors by saying that they are working in a way that isn’t true. For instance, saying that they are working as an external company, or that they are operating as a bailiff, and plan to collect the funds by coming to your home.
Understanding how Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors work
If you understand the way in which debt collection agencies operate, you will have greater knowledge to be able to deal with them. These are some useful facts about debt collectors:
They may be on a bonus
The Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors agents who keep phoning you are likely to be highly incentivised and there will be an assumption that they will collect a certain amount each month, otherwise they will face questions. There will usually be bonuses for the amount they are able to take in daily and monthly, and these will go towards that bonus. This is why they will do anything in their power to get some payments in, rather than having to record a “No Payment.” This will go some way to explaining their persistence to get the payment.
You need to stay strong and deal with debt collectors like Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors. You now have the knowledge that most of the threats they make are empty, and you can turn it all around. You can speak to them, but don’t pay unless you can afford to.
They may use automated call technology
You may believe that you should not bother answering calls from Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors, but if you do this, you might find that the agency just employs automated call technology that will keep phoning you every half hour, until you answer the phone. Even if you do answer the phone, there may not be anyone at the other side. They are just trying to intimidate you.
If this does happen to you, you should take down details of the nature of the calls with dates and times. Behaviour like this should not be accepted, as it is breaching the OFT guidelines. You can explain to the agent that you plan to contact the Financial Ombudsman.
You will be able to reach the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
The good and the bad
Pleasant calls combined with abusive calls is a tactic often used by debt collectors and it will often prove to be extremely effective. When you are faced with an approach like this, you will usually be faced with excessive calls, many of which may be aggressive and abusive, but mixed in with friendly contact. This change in attitude can happen may even happen in one phone call. The agent will often start the conversation politely, but they soon change attitude when they realise that you can’t pay anything towards the debt. They may even be abusive at time. Relentless calls are fairly common too. The combined process is designed to try to wear you down, to make you reach breaking point so that you just pay up to get some peace!
It can be hard to stand up to such behaviour, which is the reason why they employ it in the first place. But again, you should be strong and try to deal with it in the best way possible. Report it to the OFT using this online complaint form if you feel that they are failing to follow the guidelines.
What if they discuss your debt with others?
If anyone else picks up the phone, then the agents may try to embarrass you by talking to others about the debt; basically anyone who picks up the phone. They may speak to someone from your family, a partner or in some cases, they have even been known to speak to colleagues about the debt. This sort of behaviour is illegal, and is both a breach of OFT guidelines, together with privacy laws.
You have the right to report this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Lies and deceit
If nothing else is working, debt collectors may go to extreme lengths in an attempt to collect the payment from you, and may even apply some abusive behaviour, which fall short of the law. They may say they are calling you up from the court, they are operating as a bailiff and they will visit your home to take some of your possessions, or they may threaten criminal prosecution. It’s hard to believe that debt collectors would use this form of tactic to try and get you to repay the debt, but it’s more common that most of us would ever believe.
You should never allow them to visit your property and if they turn up, you would be able to refuse them entry. If they continue to threaten you, do not hesitate to call the police and inform them.
Don’t let them get to you
As we know, debt collectors such as Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors can be relentless pursuit to get their money in doing so, their behaviour could even account for causing mental health issues and even suicide in some cases. There is no doubt that standing up to Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors is difficult, and it requires strength and courage that can be difficult for a lot of people to muster up. Don’t despair though, you will be able to get help if you need it. The main point is that you will need to deal with your debt issues, but you should always do this in a way that will cause you the least amount of pain and distress. Debt problems often seem like there is no way out, but there are always options to solve your debt issues.
Do you need professional help with your debt?
If you are facing debt problems, you may feel embarrassed and distressed, but you should know that there are lots of different types of help with debt available for this common problem. There are agencies who do not make a profit and charge nothing for the one-to-one support. There are not-for-profit agencies who can provide one-to-one help and support, and you will find commercial debt management companies who will provide a service, but with a charge. Obviously, the free debt help is the one to try first, and then the commercial agencies if you can’t get the desired help you need. These are a few agencies who can provide free help with debt:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will be able to provide you with debt help, and may even be able to ensure debt collectors stop contacting you, as long as you are taking steps to deal with your debt situation.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) will provide you with free debt help and advice.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice will offer help and advice in dealing with your debt and sorting your overall financial situation.
How to write off some of your debt
There is the option of entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), which is an agreement you reach to pay a specific amount towards your debt each month. The rest will be written off after some time has passed, roughly five years. You should be aware of the consequences of an IVA though, as you might be unable to get access to credit in the near future if you sign up to this. It is mainly beneficial for people with substantial debt.
Find a local licenced IVA insolvency practitioner here.
Another choice instead of an IVA is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This only applies to certain people; those who have only have £50 or less left each month after household expenses. In order to be eligible for this, you must not have assets over £1,000.
If you wish to apply for an IVA, you will require an authorised debt advisor. You can find a list of authorised debt advisors here.
Despite the fact that there are plenty of warnings from professional organisations, as well as government guidelines, and other measures to try and deal with the tactics of various debt collecting agencies, the problem still very much exists. Debt collectors are still hassling, and harassing debtors to the point of putting them on the brink of depression, and other mental health issues. It is possible to deal with debt collectors though. You should never refuse to pay your debt, but you can spread repayments, and debt collectors should allow you to do so. You can report their unacceptable behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman, and in some cases, they could even lose their licence.