If you’re worried about a letter you’ve received from Horwich Farrelly Solicitors debt collectors, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s never easy getting such a message, particularly if you’re struggling financially and not expecting it. However, with a little bit of knowledge, you can deal with the matter in an effective way.
We take a look at who Horwich Farrelly Solicitors are, what powers they have, and what you should do if you hear from them.
Who are Horwich Farrelly Solicitors?
Horwich Farrelly Solicitors is an established company providing legal services since 1969. They provide a wide range of services to businesses and individuals across the UK. With several branches across the country, they’re a significant presence in the legal landscape.
Horwich Farrelly Solicitors have eight offices around the UK. As such, you could have heard from them no matter where you live. Below, we’ve outlined the locations of some of the most frequently searched branches:
- Horwich Farrelly Solicitors Manchester. Also known as Horwich Farrelly Solicitors Old Trafford, the address is Alexander House, 94 Talbot Rd, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester M16 0SP.
- Horwich Farrelly Solicitors Cardiff. Eighth Floor, Helmont House, Churchill Way, Cardiff CF10 2HE.
- Horwich Farrelly Solicitors London. Fourth Floor, 77 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0AS
- Horwich Farrelly Solicitors Liverpool. The Plaza, 100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9QJ
When it comes to Horwich Farrelly Solicitors reviews, you’ll find that many of these branches are listed. For example, the Manchester branch has a rating of 2.3 out of 5 from 40 Google reviewers.
Why are they chasing me?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why Horwich Farrelly Solicitors have contacted you. The most likely reason is that their recoveries team has been handed your case. Although often associated with car insurance, Horwich Farrelly Solicitors debt collectors also chase outstanding debts.
In all likelihood, you owe money to another company that has passed your file over to Horwich Farrelly Solicitors. The law firm is now chasing the money on behalf of the original creditor, trying to recover it to secure a fee.
Is Horwich Farrelly Solicitors a legitimate debt collector?
So, how can you be sure that Horwich Farrelly Solicitors is a legitimate company? A quick look at Companies House also shows that Horwich Farrelly Limited is a company that’s registered with the number 09019450. It’s a private limited company that is, indeed, a solicitors.
If you take a look at their website, you’ll see that they’re authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with a registration number of 61877. This is particularly relevant, as it means that they have to follow certain rules and regulations when dealing with your case.
What’s the difference between a debt collection agency and Farrelly Solicitors debt collectors?
One of the questions that is often asked in these situations is how a solicitors differs from a debt collection agency. In a legal sense, both can only start by asking for the money to be repaid. For example, they might send you a letter or phone you telling you that you owe money to a creditor.
However, it’s what happens after the initial contact that’s different. A debt collection agency has to go back to the creditor saying they’ve been unsuccessful. They then have to organise the start of legal proceedings to recover the money. With a solicitor, they can start legal measures straight away, making them a formidable force when it comes to debt collection.
Neither is a bailiff, however. As such, they can’t come to your house and seize your property to cover the debts.
Should I ignore them?
The temptation when receiving a debt collection letter is to ignore it. After all, you always hear stories about people who have got out of their debt by doing this. But is it a good idea? Sadly not. In reality, debt collection solicitors are notoriously persistent when it comes to chasing money.
If you ignore the initial letter or dodge the initial call, you can almost guarantee that they’ll follow it up. They will escalate their attempts to reclaim the money, trying every tactic they can to make you repay. If you ignore them continuously, they will try to take you to court. They can then force you to repay what you owe.
It’s far better to deal with the letter or call as soon as you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay straight away, but early action can help you avoid future fees.
How can I stop Horwich Farrelly Solicitors calls and letters?
There are several actions you can take to prevent contact from Horwich Farrelly Solicitors. The first thing is to pay the money you owe. Again, this may or may not be the right thing to do, depending on the circumstances.
You can outline your contact preferences when dealing with the solicitors, and they have to abide by that. So, if you only want to deal with them via letter, they can’t then keep calling you. Similarly, if you are disputing the debt, they can’t continue trying to make you repay the money until the dispute is settled.
Should I pay Horwich Farrelly Solicitors?
This point really depends on the circumstances of your debt. For example, if it’s something you had forgotten about, but you’re certain you owe the amount they’re asking for, you might want to repay the original creditor.
However, if there are issues surrounding the debt, it’s an old and long-forgotten debt, or you’re in financial difficulty, there are other options you might want to consider. We’ll outline some of these further down the article.
What are my rights when dealing with them?
As we mentioned above, Horwich Farrelly Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In addition, when they’re attempting to reclaim debt, they have to abide by the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules and regulations. This means you have certain rights when dealing with them.
Here are some of the things they cannot do when dealing with your case:
- Threaten you. They can’t pretend to have powers they don’t or use threats to make you pay back what you owe.
- Talk to others. They cannot speak with another individual about your debt without your permission.
- Harass you. They’re not allowed to call you at unsociable times, try and force you to take out another loan, or use abusive behaviour towards you.
If you feel they’ve breached any of these rules, you can lodge a formal complaint against them. If they don’t resolve the matter in a satisfactory way, you can escalate your concerns to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
What action can Horwich Farrelly Solicitors take against me?
Although there is plenty they can’t do, there are several steps they can take when dealing with your outstanding debt. Initially, their powers are as limited as those of a debt collection agency. However, it’s their ability to take swift legal action that makes them a formidable force.
Here are some of the things they can do when chasing debt:
- Apply fees and interest. As Horwich Farrelly Solicitors chase your debt, they can continue to add interest and fees to your debt. However, it’s worth noting that they can’t add any more than was originally outlined in your contract.
- Apply for a County Court Judgement. A CCJ is essentially a demand from the courts for you to pay the debt. Not only does it force you to repay the money, but it can severely impact your credit score for several years.
- Ask for the bailiffs to visit. Horwich Farrelly Solicitors aren’t bailiffs themselves, but they can ask the courts to send them. If this happens, they can visit your home and recovery property equal to the cost of the debt.
- Petition for bankruptcy. If you are made bankrupt, you’ll have to sell off your assets to cover the cost of your debt. It can be financially crippling for many years.
What should I do if I receive a letter from Horwich Farrelly Solicitors?
It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re contacted by Horwich Farrelly Solicitors. But it’s important that you don’t panic and that you don’t ignore their letters. Solicitors will often act much faster than regular debt collection agencies, so time is of the essence.
Here are some of the steps you should take if you receive a letter or call from Horwich Farrelly:
Check if you owe the debt
The first thing you need to do is check whether what they’re saying is accurate. Check that the name on the letter is yours, the address is correct, and the creditor and amount line up. You might have to go back through your records to find the original agreement, which can help massively.
Check your bank statements, receipts, and other documents to check and make sure everything lines up. If you’re going to contest the debt, any evidence you have can be incredibly useful.
Check if it’s statute-barred
There is a limit to how long certain debts are enforceable for. With unsecured debts (such as loans and credit cards), the limit is generally around six years. So, if you get a letter from a long-forgotten amount, there is a chance that it’s what’s known as statute-barred.
Here are the conditions a loan needs to meet to be considered outside of the rules of enforcement:
- It’s been at least six years since you acknowledged or made a payment on the debt.
- In that time, the creditor hasn’t made any attempts to recover the money.
- In those six years or more, they haven’t taken out a CCJ against you.
If all of these apply, there is a chance that your debt is statute-barred. However, you’ll need evidence to support this.
Get them to prove the debt
Your creditor has to prove that you actually allow the money for any legal action to be taken. As such, you’ll need to get them to prove that you owe the amount they say you do.
You should write the original creditor asking them to prove the debt. You can easily find a template for this kind of letter online. It outlines some of the FCA regulations about proving a debt. If they can’t do so, they have no legal basis to recover the money from you.
Agree a payment plan
If the debt is yours and they can prove it, you will likely have to pay it. We all have to repay our debts at some point, and it’s better to clearer them sooner rather than later. However, depending on your financial situation, you may want to think about how you’re going to pay it back.
One thing that’s fairly common practice is to arrange a repayment plan. So, rather than paying the whole lot at once, you agree with the creditor to pay a set amount back at regular intervals. Most creditors will agree to this, although they aren’t obliged to do so.
Check out debt management routes
If you are really struggling to make repayments, all is not lost. There are several ways that you can get help managing your debt. It’s even possible to write off Horwich Farrelly Solicitors debt.
To write off some of your debts, you’ll need what’s known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). Essentially, you pay a set monthly amount for 60 months. Once that time is up, anything remaining is written off. To apply for such a scheme, you’ll need to have over £5,000 in debt and be able to afford at least £90 per month repayment. Other options to consider include a debt consolidation loan and a debt arrangement scheme. Again, both of these give you the chance to make lower monthly repayments while clearing your debt.