Fourboys Limited are responsible for calling people about their debt and trying to get them to start making payments to clear their debt. If you have been contacted by them about the money you owe, it can be extremely distressing, especially if you have serious financial worries. Just knowing you have debt can be extremely stressful and it can be difficult to know how to deal with the situation.

If you have received a letter from bailiffs, you are probably worried about what will happen next, and you would be within your rights to be concerned. However, if you understand more about bailiffs and what they can and can’t do, you will be in a better position to be able to deal with them. This article will help guide you through the process of dealing with debt collectors like Fourboys Limited.

Who are Fourboys Limited?

Fourboys Ltd was incorporated in 1999. They are based in Essex and there are two strands to their business.

The first of these trades as Hatwel Services. This business is specialises in dealing with unlawful encampments such as gypsy and traveller encampments. They claim to be able to conduct evictions within 24 hours legally and they also offer a post-eviction site clearance service. In addition, Hatwel Services perform process serving, Road Traffic Act enforcement and commercial rent arrears, particularly where tenants in the agricultural sector are involved.

The second business trades as BESTCO, an acronym of Bailiff & Enforcement Services, Training & Consultancy. This business provides training and consultancy services including short introductory training courses that introduce people to what being a Certificated Enforcement Agent entails and longer training courses that can lead to a NVQ Level 3 qualification. BESTCO can also help businesses and other organisations such as local authorities develop their own in-house credit control and enforcement operations.

Fourboys Limited have a company number of: 3750420.

Their mailing address is:
The Hermitage, 15a Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AG

Fourboys Limited have an incorporation date of: 4/12/1999.

Their license was first granted on: 19/04/2018.

What Do They Want

If you are being contacted by Fourboys Limited and you don’t recognise them you may be wondering if it is a scam, and how you would know for sure. You can be assured that they are a legitimate company, and therefore, if they have contacted you, there is a reason for it. Don’t be tempted into just ignoring them, as this will just aggravate your situation. These are some reasons they may be trying to reach you.

  • You owe money to an organisation or individual
  • You have failed to pay your tax bills
  • You have unpaid payday loans or credit card bills
  • You have defaulted on court fines

The original creditor, such as HMRC will pass over the debt to Fourboys Limited, usually because they have failed to get in touch with you themselves. Therefore, although the debt is with another company, Fourboys Limited have the right to try and collect it on their behalf. Some of the typical companies they will collect on behalf of, include:

  • Energy companies such as NPower.
  • Mobile phone and broadband companies, including Virgin and EE.
  • Local council debts including parking tickets

It is most likely that Fourboys Limited will buy bulks of debt from the original creditor, as it is more worthwhile than purchasing it individually. They are collecting the debt to try and make a profit and they can often get better deals by buying the debt in bulk. They buy the debt at a much lower cost than the face value, and they make money as soon as they start to get the payments.

Is There Any Way to Stop Fourboys Limited From Trying to Reach You?

The agents from Fourboys Limited will often be extremely persistent in trying to track you down. They will probably use several means of contact, including phone calls, emails and letters. If this fails, they may even end up visiting your home to try and get the money. It can be distressing, and this makes it tempting to just ignore the correspondence. However, you should make an attempt to speak to them, and deal with the problem.

You may find that a bailiffs such as Fourboys Limited will serve court documents, or be used for handing out notices. They should provide you with notice about their plans to visit your home, they should not just turn up without your prior knowledge. The best way to avoid a visit from them, is to speak to them and either pay the debt, or come to an arrangement to pay it back.

Although they hold most of the power in this situation, there are some things they are not permitted to do. According to the legislation, they must not:

  • Send out letters that look like court forms
  • Calling you during unsociable hours, such as before 6am or after 9pm
  • Contacting you in a way you’ve asked them not to, such as at your workplace
  • Using jargon to try and confuse you

The best thing to do is to speak to Fourboys Limited and discuss your situation with them. The quicker you speak to them, the quicker the situation will be resolved. You will also be less likely to end up facing other additional costs, or having them at your door.

If the debt they’re claiming doesn’t belong to you, you should ask them to provide evidence that the debt is yours. The Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines have more information on this (see section 7).

There are some legal powers that Fourboys Limited in relation to collecting the debt. You also have rights though, they can’t just do what they want as there are rules and regulations in place.

Bailiffs have the right to visit your home to try and get the debt payments from you. They may even have the rights to enter your home, and take some of your goods to pay off the debt. They may even decide to take some of your items from outside your home, if you won’t allow them access to your property. This may include your vehicle.

If you refuse to pay Fourboys Limited, they may decide to take some of your day to day goods, that they would consider to be a luxury, such as your games console or TV. They may even take some of your prized possessions, such as your jewellery.

In cases were the debt is serious, i.e. you have failed to pay criminal fines, or tax, they may force entry into your home, but they would not take this step lightly. They would only do this if they have no other solution.

These are some actions Fourboys Limited cannot take:

  • They are not permitted to force their way into your property
  • They cannot access your property if their are only vulnerable people at home or young people under the age of 16.
  • During unsociable hours, such as before 6am or after 9pm.
  • Accessing your property in any other way, apart from through the door.

What To Do If Fourboys Limited Visits?

You are not required to give access to bailiffs, unless it is serious debt you have, such as unpaid tax bills or court fines. If you do have these types of debts, the bailiffs could realistically force entry into your property. It is necessary to have paperwork to support this kind of action, as well as details of the debt. If you do not allow them entry, they may decide to get the services of a locksmith to take care of it, and gain entry this way. The one thing they are not permitted to do, is to break your door down.

If you are visited by someone from Fourboys Limited, or another bailiff for that matter, the best thing to do is to request that they provide some identification. These are some of the different types of ID they should be able to supply:

  • Evidence to show who they are, this may include an ID card or badge which clearly states their name and ID number.
  • Details on the company they’re representing (in this case, Fourboys Limited)
  • Evidence of the cost, including a breakdown with any charges/interest etc.
  • Proof that they are able to force entry, including a warrant or writ

You would be able to ask them to send these documents through your door, and when they do this, you should check some vital information, including the name and address, and also ensure they are in date.

If they cannot provide the relevant information, they would not be able to enter your home, and you would be within your rights to request that they leave. You can then contact the Fourboys Limited head office and make arrangements to pay the debt back, or if any information is incorrect, the head office can update this.

You should never ignore the debt from Fourboys Limited. If you do, they will keep trying to recover it. You should either make arrangements to pay the debt back, or prove that it doesn’t belong to you, if this is the case.

What Action Can You Do If Fourboys Limited Take Your Goods?

Don’t stress if you have already given access to Fourboys Limited before reading this and they have taken some of your goods. There is a way to recover these. You will need to be quick though.

The best thing to do is to speak to Fourboys Limited and either pay the debt or make arrangements to pay it back. You may even be able to recover your goods by buying them back. It is important to take action and deal with the situation as quickly as possible.

If you believe that Fourboys Limited have failed to follow the correct legal guidelines, there is the possibility of getting your goods back. You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice to get more information about this.

How to Deal With Contact by Fourboys Limited

If you are wondering what to do next, there are some actions you can take to deal with Fourboys Limited.

Contact them

Although it can be extremely tempting to just ignore the calls and letters you receive from Fourboys Limited. Ignoring them won’t help your situation, and they will continue trying to pursue the debt. If you ignore them, they may end up adding some extra fees, depending on the action they are required to take. These fees include:

  • Compliance – £75. This is the cost to send out an enforcement notice, with a request for payment
  • Enforcement – £235 (or 7.5% over £1500). The cost of visiting your home or business premises to take the goods.
  • Sale of goods – £110 (or 7.5% over £1500). The cost of taking your goods and trying to sell them.

It is important to contact Fourboys Limited and discuss the debt with them, and how you will be able to pay it off. Otherwise, they may end up turning up at your door. The last thing you want is to have debt collectors at your door.

These are some actions to take to deal with your debt.

Find out if the debt belongs to you

If you have received a letter which claims you have the debt to pay, you should get evidence that this is accurate. If you don’t recognise it, it could be that it belongs to someone with the same name or who has perhaps stayed at the same address. If you think you have already cleared the debt, it could be that the system hasn’t been updated and it has been sent in error.

If you have not made a payment to your account in the last six years, or this period has lapsed since you spoke to the creditor, you may not even be required to pay the debt. If you believe you have been pressured into taking out the credit in the first place, you may not need to pay it. Make sure you find out if this debt is really yours and that everything is above board, before you even consider paying it.

Deal with your debt

As long as you have proof that the debt is yours, you would be liable to pay it, and you should take steps to deal with it as quickly as possible. Of course, if you have the money, it would be best to just clear the debt. If you pay it, you won’t hear from Fourboys Limited again, and you won’t need to worry about someone turning up at your door demanding payment. If you make payment, always get a receipt and hold onto this incase you need it in the future.

If you do not have the means of paying your debt, Fourboys Limited should be able to reach an agreement with you to clear it in instalments. The best advice is to speak with Fourboys Limited and explain the situation you are in. They may even be able to put a hold on any additional fees, if you devise a suitable repayment plan.

How to Get Help With Fourboys Limited

Are you struggling to deal with Fourboys Limited? If they have contacted you and you are unsure what to do next, there are organisations out there who can help. You should try to pay the debt as soon as possible. However, if this is not possible, there are other ways to get the help you need with your debt. These are some options you have available.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

You may be able to write off a good chunk of your debt by entering into an IVA. With an IVA, you would be able to combines your debts into one payment. You make one payment towards the debt and you will be able to write off a good portion of it. In Scotland, there is a similar programme, in the form of a Trust Deed.

Debt management

There are other debt management programmes available, if you don’t wish to go as far as to enter into an IVA. The potential debt management plans, include consolidation loans, and bankruptcy. If you are not sure if you want to go as far as to get an IVA, this might be a sensible alternative.

Citizens Advice

Another option is to speak to the Citizens Advice about the debt, as they will be able to help you deal with Fourboys Limited. They understand what your concerns are, and will give you advice and support in dealing with your debt in the most appropriate way. They can also check any correspondence for you.

Check the reviews

You only need to check out the Trustpilot reviews of Fourboys Limited to find some distressing comments. Some people have described them as bullies, and even said they had been mistreated and threatened by them. If you are in the same boat and feel like you haven’t been treated fairly by Fourboys Limited, you have the right to make a formal complaint. If Fourboys Limited do not respond to this in a way you are happy with, you have the right to take the matter further by contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service. They will be able to

Fourboys Limited – The Last Word

It is not particularly enjoyable to have to deal with debt enforcement agents like Fourboys Limited. You need to understand your rights though, as this will put you in a better position to be able to deal with them. The best course of action is to contact Fourboys Limited and try to deal with the situation, even if you are not able to pay back the debt at the present time. If you are not responsible for the debt, you should still speak to them and make sure they update their records.

If you understand your legal rights, you will be able to set boundaries. The main thing is that you don’t just ignore the correspondence you receive from Fourboys Limited. Whether the debt is yours or not, you should always speak to them. You are not obligated to let them into your property, unless they have a warrant which allows them access. If they are trying to access without this, you should tell them that you plan to speak to the company directly about your debt, and they should not take any further action. It is important to stand up to yourself against these companies.

FAQs

Do I have any rights if a bailiff turns up?

There are strict rules around the times that bailiffs can visit your property. They cannot visit your home between the hours of 6am and 9pm, and they are also permitted to provide you with 7 days notice about their visit. They are not permitted to use any force to gain entry.

Is there a limit on the amount of times a bailiff may visit?

There is no limit to the number of times the bailiff is permitted to visit your home. However, there is a limit on the hours they can visit.

Can I refuse entry to the bailiffs?

If you refuse entry to the bailiffs, there is every chance that they will return, but with a locksmith in tow! It is better to allow them to enter, if they have the right to do so.

Is a bailiff permitted to break down my door?

Bailiffs do not have the right to break down your door. If they do need access, they should have the necessary paperwork, but they cannot break the door down under any circumstances.

Is the bailiffs allowed to take my car, even if I require it for work?

Bailiffs will be able to remove your vehicle, regardless of whether you need it for work. Even if you try to hide it by parking elsewhere, they will probably track it down!

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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