Are you being hassled by GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors? Do you not see a way out of the situation you are in? Are they asking you to pay debts that you don’t have any means of paying? Are they even suggesting court action? If these relate to you, or you are having similar issues with them, read on to find out more about how to deal with this situation.
Who are GKM Group Ltd?
Caerphilly-based GKM Group Ltd were set up in 2016 by Gareth Short who had been working as a close protection officer (bodyguard) for a number of high profile clients and as a private detective.
Originally the company were involved in the security industry, providing security guarding and event security services. GKM Group Ltd also provided consultancy services, advising people and businesses how to improve their security.
Now GKM Group Ltd have expanded the services they offer to include nationwide debt collection. They are happy to deal with one-off debts or portfolios of bad debts. Their debt collectors have been featured on Channel 5’s “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away” programme.
In addition to the security and debt collection services they provide a range of enforcement services. These services include enforcing CCJs and employment tribunal awards as well as conducting tenant evictions and removing trespassers and travellers from land. GKM Group Ltd are members of the Certificated Enforcement Agents Association.
GKM GROUP LTD are registered in the UK under the company number of: 10262728.
They have the registered business address of:
Britannia House, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly, Wales, CF83 3GG
GKM GROUP LTD was registered on: 7/5/2016.
They received their license on: 19/12/2017.
Why are GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors persistently contacting you?
You would be forgiven for not realising that the debt collection business is big business. Debt collectors like GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors come in several shapes and sizes. There are those debt collection agencies who operate as independent businesses, while others may be part of the creditor you owe the original debt to, including credit card companies, banks, mobile phone companies or basically, anyone you owe the original debt to!
The business model with all the different types of debt collectors doesn’t really change. They basically buy the debt for a small percentage of the face value, which, in some cases, may be as little as 20% and they start making a profit when they collect the debt. They don’t really care much about the debtor and their circumstances. They just want you to pay back what you owe, so even if your circumstances are dire, they are not particularly interested to hear about it. Unfortunately, it is common for debt collectors to fail to consider the debtors, and The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) even acknowledged that the poor practices of debt collectors “appear to be widespread”.
Is this your debt?
If you don’t recognise the debt, or you are unsure as to whether it is really yours, you should ask the debt collectors to provide you with proof. You may not recognise the value of the debt, as it could be considerable higher, depending on how much interest and fees have been added.
You can write to GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors and request that they send you a copy of the original credit agreement. If they fail to provide this, you will not be required to pay them anything.
What if you don’t want to pay?
If this debt is actually yours, it would make sense to just repay the debt if you have the funds available to do this. However, if you are unable to repay it, or if paying it would mean you are unable to cover the costs of other important bills, such as your rent or mortgage, then you will be able to come to an arrangement with GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors. It may even be possible to make a partial payment to them.
Are debt collectors making your life misery?
There are many debt collectors who use extremely unacceptable tactics that are often not in line with the law. These often include trying to pressure or even bully debtors,harassing them by making frequent calls to their workplace and sometimes even issuing unsubstantiated threats.
It is true that this kind of harassment by GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors could have a catastrophic effect on your life, which may lead to you feeling emotional distress, poor mental health, and maybe even contemplating suicide. The debt support trust, almost half of people who struggle with debt at some point consider suicide, and it was recently reported that a coroner raised concerns found that as many as half of debt collectors have contemplated suicide at some point. Debt is such a problem that the government ended up being asked to step in and take charge of the situation, and this has went some way to helping the situation for debtors.
GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors and the law
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) ended up putting a set of guidelines in place to help support debtors. According to these, GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors should:
- Always ensure debtors are treated fairly and without using any aggressive practices, or deceitful tactics to try to get payments.
- Provide clear, concise and transparent information to the debtor, which does not confuse them.
- Show consideration towards the debtor, taking their situation into consideration when determining what to do next.
- Ensure the debtors individual circumstances are taken into account.
If you feel intimidated by GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors and they are failing to abide by the necessary guidelines, you may wish to consider reporting them to the OFT, and in the worst case, they may remove their license.
Some debt collectors will go as far as to say they are an external agency when they are actually a part of the original creditor you have the debt with. This is deceitful, and in which case, it goes against the guidelines..
What you need to know about GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors
It is important that you know how debt collectors operate, if you stand a chance of being able to stand up to them. These are some points to be aware of.
They get bonuses
The GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors agents who try to contact you will probably be highly incentivised and are they will have targets for the amount of money they collect on a daily basis. There may be daily and monthly bonuses and every time they take in a payment, it contributes to the bonus. This is why they take any possible steps to try and get the money from you, they will literally go to any lengths in some cases.
The lesson to remember is that if you have the capability to stay strong and stand up to the threats you receive from GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors, with the knowledge that these are usually empty, you pay be able to deal with the situation better. Keep your head and deal with the situation in calm and collected manner.
They make have automated technology in place
There is a temptation to just ignore the calls you receive from GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors, but you may find that the ageny might have automated call technology in place, that will try to call you as often as every half hour until you finally get fed up and just answer. This is designed to harass you into paying.
If they do this, you should try to take a note of the frequency of the calls. Any such behaviours like this, is a clear breach of the OFT guidelines. You have the right to take this further, and you can inform the agent of your plans to report them to the Financial Ombudsman.
Bad to good
Some debtors will use the tactic of bad to good, as this can often be hugely effective. With this, the type of approach they implement is that they will bombard you with calls, and even abuse or harass you, but in-between this, they will have friendly conversations with you. This switch in attitude may even happen during the one phone call, and the agent will starts off by being friendly but, as soon as they realise you can’t make any payments, they will return to the abusive behaviour. It is not just the constant calls either, they may threaten you and even send some sinister letters. The hope is that you will just get fed up with the contact, and you will pay up to get them off your back! This is a tactic which often works.
Talking to third parties about the debt
If you don’t answer your phone and someone else answers instead, the agents will often try to embarrass you by talking about your debt and financial problems with anyone who answers. This may be your family member, colleague or partner, basically anyone who answers the calls! This is illegal behaviour and it is a clear breach of the OFT guidelines, as well as other privacy laws.
If you wish to take this further, you can report such behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Would they lie to you?
If they try everything else without any success, there are some debt collectors who believe they can forget about the law and will just apply their own tactics to try and get the funds. These may include, pretending they are calling from the court, saying that they are a bailiff and threatening to visiting your home and take away some of your possessions. They may even threaten criminal prosecution.
You should not give them permission to visit you, they don’t have any right to do this, and if the insist or threaten you, you should speak to the police and inform them about the threats you have received. The police will deal with it in an appropriate way.
Don’t let them get to you
We know that debt collectors like GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors can be absolutely relentless in the way they behave and this could actually cause people to become distressed/depressed and even suicidal. Standing up to GKM Group Ltd Debt Collectors is not easy, but by having the courage to do this, it will put you in a better place to be able to deal with them. Regardless of your situation, there is help out there. You will need to sort out your debt situation, but you should do this in a controlled manner that will reduce your distress. Don’t worry about your debt problems, as these can always be dealt with.
Getting help with debt
There are a range of ways to get help with your debt problems. You can use not-for-profit agencies who will offer you one-to-one help and support for free, and there are also commercial debt management companies who will charge you for this help. You should try the not-for-profit organisations first to get help with your debt. These are some of the most well- known organisations who can help.
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offer extensive levels of help with debt and will be able to provide you with information on how to stop debt collectors from contacting you, as long as you are able to show that you are seeking help and trying to repay your debts.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide free debt help.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice helping people take back control of their finances.
How to write off your debt
You will be able to write off your debt entirely if you register for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this, you enter into an agreement with the debt collectors, where you pay a set amount you can afford as a one-off sum or you make monthly payments. The remainder of the debt will usually be written off within about five years. The IVA process should always be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.
Another option is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). You can only apply for this if you have an income of £50 or less each month after you have paid for your other day to day expenses and you should not own your home or have assets of over £1000.
What to do next
Although there have been warnings from professional bodies, and government guidelines put into place, as well as other measures, the behaviour of some debt collecting agencies is so bad that it can lead vulnerable debtors into suffering from mental illness issues and even feel suicidal. It is always possible to get help and to put these debt collection agencies in their place, especially if you get some professional help from the not-for-profit agencies we have mentioned in this article. Unfortunately, you can’t just refuse to pay your debt, but you will be able to reduce the amount you need to pay back. If you are struggling to pay back in full, you can set up repayments over a period of time which suits your circumstances. There are ways stop the bullying behaviour of debt collectors, and you can start by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman. In the worst case, they may lose their licence.
Can you just ignore debt collectors?
It is best not to ignore the contact from debt collectors, including GKM Group Ltd. If you do this, they will just continue to contact you anyway, and this can end up being extremely distressing. If you can make payment, you should do this straight away, or at least set up a repayment plan. The sooner you do this, the better.
Do GKM Group Ltd have the ability to take you to court?
If you ignore the contact from debt collectors, they may start by sending someone to your home to try to get the payments. They may then try a County Court Judgement against you, and this could end up being shown up on your credit report.
Could you end up in jail for not paying debt?
GKM Group Ltd will be able to take you to court to reclaim the debt. You won’t go to jail, but you may end up receiving a County Court Judgement letter.
Can I ignore a CCJ?
You should not ignore a CCJ.
Would GKM Group Ltd be able to issue a warrant?
IIf you decide just to ignore the CCJ you won’t end up facing prison, but bailiffs may end up at your house to take possessions which are equal to the value of the debt you owe.
Are GKM Group Ltd bailiffs?
GKM Group Ltd are not bailiffs but they may send bailiffs round, especially if you ignore any contact from them.
Can GKM Group Ltd come to your house?
GKM Group Ltd will not come to your home, however they can issue a County Court Judgement against you, which means they court could send bailiffs round. You will receive a lot of warnings before this happens.
Can GKM Group Ltd force entry?
GKM Group Ltd have been known to send people to your house, however, they have no legal powers so you can ignore them or tell them to go away. If you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
Will GKM Group Ltd give up?
GKM Group Ltd will not be able to force entry, as they do not have the legal powers to do so. If you have received a County Court Judgement though, the courts would be able to instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
Is there an expiry on a debt?
GKM Group Ltd will continue to chase the debt, until there are no other options left. The debt will usually expire within about 6 years.
How long they chase the debt?
Debt has an expiry, so they can’t just chase it endlessly. Under the Limitation Act 1980 debt can be chased for up to 6 years. This 6 years is from the last payment or the last contact you had with the debt collectors.
Can debts be written off?
According to the Limitation action 1980, debt collectors have the right to chase you for up to 6 years from the date of your last payment or the last time they spoke to you about the debt. If a County Court Judgment is raised against you the Limitation Act will not apply, and they can chase you for however long they wish.