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How to Complain about Debt Collection Agencies? Complaints

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By
Scott
Scott Nelson Profile Picture

Scott Nelson

Managing Director

MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.

Learn more about Scott
&
Janine
Janine Marsh Profile Picture

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.

Learn more about Janine
· Feb 6th, 2024
Could you legally write off some debt? Answer below to get started.

Total amount of debt?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

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how to complain about debt collection agencies

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

Are you feeling worried because you’ve got a letter from a debt collector? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every month, over 170,000 people come to our website for help with debt problems. 

This guide will help you learn how to deal with debt collection agencies, such as Nightfox Investigations. We’ll show you what to do if you’re treated unfairly, how to make a complaint, and even how to write off some debt.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  •  How to find out if the debt is really yours.
  •  Ways a debt collector might treat you unfairly.
  •  Steps to make a complaint about a debt collector.
  •  How to ask for some debt to be written off.

Our team knows what it feels like to be chased by debt collectors. We understand how scary it can be. But we’re here to help you learn how to handle this situation. So, let’s get started!

Could you legally write off some debt?

There are several debt solutions in the UK, choosing the right one for you could write off some of your unaffordable debt, but the wrong one may be expensive and drawn out.

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find. MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

How can I Make a Complaint about a Debt Collection Agent or Creditor who is Treating Me Unfairly? 

If a debt collector or creditor treats you unfairly, then you have the right to make a complaint about them.

However, before you make any type of complaint, it’s important that you gather all the evidence you can to support your claim. 

Evidence could be in the form of: 

  • Records of the dates and times during which the debt collector visited your home or called you on the phone. You can also write down or record what was said each time and who exactly you spoke to. 
  • Any documents or letters you may have received from the debt collection agency. 
  • Any witness testimonies from neighbours, roommates or any other people that live in your household. 

Making a Complaint to the Debt Collection Agency

Before making a complaint to a higher authoritative body, it’s a good idea to complain about the agent to the agency that they represent. 

In the case of a creditor harassing you, you can write directly to them as well. 

You can present your evidence by sending copies of it to the agency via mail. 

Be sure to send all of your letters via recorded delivery so that you have proof that your mail did indeed reach them.

You should also always send copies of documents to them and keep the originals to yourselves. 

Mention in your email that what they did is against Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidelines and tell them how you want to be contacted in the future. 

You should ask them to confirm and acknowledge this in writing so that you have proof in case you need it later. 

Once you’ve sent your letter to the creditor, they have 3 days to respond. This could be either via phone or email. 

Please note that a final official response letter may take longer but your creditor has to make contact with you in some way within 3 days after receiving your letter. 

Your creditor also has to inform the Financial Conduct Authority about your complaint even if they respond to you within 3 days. 

Making a Complaint to a Professional Authoritative Body 

If contacting the agency directly does not solve your problem, then you’re going to have to get in touch with the authoritative which regulates them. 

Which authoritative body you complain to will depend on what type of debt you have and what type of creditor you’ve taken on that debt from. 

How a debt solution could help

Some debt solutions can:

  1. Stop nasty calls from creditors
  2. Freeze interest and charges
  3. Reduce your monthly payments

A few debt solutions can even result in writing off some of your debt.

Here’s an example:


Situation

Monthly income £2,504
Monthly expenses £2,345
Total debt £32,049

Monthly debt repayments

Before £587
After £158

£429 reduction in monthly payments

If you want to learn what debt solutions are available to you, click the button below to get started.

Get Started

Unsecured Credit 

If you owe money to a bank, credit card company or building society, then there is a chance that they may belong to the Standards of Lending Practice and they may be using it as a guideline. 

In this case, if you’ve already complained directly to them to no avail, then you can complain about them to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You must inform them that a certain creditor or debt collection agent is not adhering to the terms of the Standards of Lending Practice. 

The Standards of Lending Practice is a guideline which ensures that debtors are treated fairly throughout the debt collections process. 

Some of the guidelines stated in the Standards of Lending Practice include: 

  • Never harass or put uncalled for pressure on debtors. 
  • Inform debtors about avenues through which they can get good debt advice. 
  • Provide support and understanding to debtors who are vulnerable such as people with physical or mental disabilities. 
  • If the debt is sold to a debt collection agency, then that agency should also be following the Standards of Lending Practice. 

You can learn more about complaining to the Financial Ombudsman Service by going to their website

Solicitor 

If a solicitor is harassing or annoying you on behalf of your creditor, then this would be considered to be professional misconduct. 

In order to complain about the solicitor, you would first have to check where the solicitor is registered. 

If the solicitor is registered in England or Wales, then you can complain to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). If they are registered in Scotland, then you should complain to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC). If they are registered in Northern Ireland, then you can file a complaint to the Law Society

Local Firms 

You can complain about local firms to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. They could help you get in touch with your local Trading Standards Office. 

The Trading Standards Office would then investigate whether or not an offence has been committed or not. 

Making a Complaint to the FCA 

If you owe money to anyone, it’s more than likely that they are authorised by the FCA. 

Every debt collection agency as well as creditors that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are answerable to them. 

While the FCA cannot take up your individual case, they can most certainly refuse or revoke a firm’s licence if they suspect misconduct. 

The firm could also be fined as a result of the information your provide in your complaint. 

You can read more about FCA guidelines on their website

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

What are Some Ways in Which I could be Treated Unfairly by a Debt Collector? 

There are a number of different ways through which you could be treated wrongly or unfairly by a debt collection agent or a debt collection agency

Here are some examples: 

  • You were sent a debt collector letter that was purposefully made to look like an official court form.
  • You’re being contacted via your phone several times a day or at irregular hours. 
  • You’re being threatened by your debts collector either verbally or physically. 
  • Your debt collector is implying that you may be committing a criminal offence if you can’t pay back your debts. 
  • Your debt collection agent has revealed information about your debt to your friends, colleagues or family members. A debt collector should only discuss the details of your debt with you and no one else. 

Thousands have already tackled their debt

Every day our partners, The Debt Advice Service, help people find out whether they can lower their repayments and finally tackle or write off some of their debt.

Natasha

I’d recommend this firm to anyone struggling with debt – my mind has been put to rest, all is getting sorted.

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Reviews shown are for The Debt Advice Service.

Other Debt Collectors to look for on your Credit Report

There are hundreds of debt collectors in the UK and they each collect for different companies.

It’s surprisingly easy to not notice that you’re in a debt collector’s crosshairs.


I’d suggest you spend time checking your credit report. If a debt collector purchases any of your debt, it will appear on your credit report.

Some of the biggest to look out for include Cabot, PRA Group, and Lowell.

So if you see anything relating to their names, then you’ll need to investigate further.

Could you legally write off some debt?

Answer below to get started.

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find, MoneyNerd doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options.

References

CONC 7.3 Treatment of customers in default or arrears (including repossessions): lenders, owners and debt collectors

CONC 7.9 Contact with customers

The authors
Scott Nelson Profile Picture
Author
MoneyNerd’s founder, Scott Nelson, has a decade of financial industry experience, including 6 years in FCA regulated loan and credit card companies. Troubled by a lack of conscience in the industry, he founded MoneyNerd to give genuine advice to those in debt and struggling financially.
Janine Marsh Profile Picture
Debt Expert
Janine Marsh is an award-winning presenter and a valuable member of the MoneyNerd team. With a wealth of experience as a financial expert, she's been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Five Live, and is a regular on Co-op Radio.