You might not be required to pay Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors!
Have you been chased by Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors about outstanding debt you have? Are they trying to insist that you pay debt you don’t believe you owe?
Perhaps they are threatening you with court action. If these questions sound familiar, you should read this article. It will give you more information on what to do next.
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 Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors?
Howard Cohen & Co is a registered debt collector in the UK. They offer debt recovery services to companies throughout the UK and are based in West Yorkshire.
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 are Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors reaching out?
There are thousands of people in debt, which means the debt collection industry is booming. You will find that debt collectors such as Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors will be found wearing many hats.
There are those debt collection agencies who work independently, and others who work together as part of the company you have the original debt with, i.e. the creditor.
Some people work as sole traders within the debt collection industry. It can be difficult to tell the difference.
Although there are differences in the way each of these operate, the business model remains the same. Put simply, the debt collection agency will purchase the debt from the company you have the debt with.
For instance, if you have taken out a loan with your bank and failed to repay it, they may pass it over to the debt collectors. They will usually try and make attempts to get it from you first but when all else fails, they pass it over.
The morals of debt collectors are often questionable. You can tell them how difficult your financial situation is and how depressed it has made you, but they are not particularly concerned.
They just want payment, and they can make a good profit, as they tend to buy the debt at a much lower cost than the face value. Unfortunately, bad practices within this industry are extremely widespread.
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.
Find out if it is your debt
You should always find out where the debt originated and whether it is accurate before you start making any payments.
You could end up paying debt that doesn’t belong to you, if you don’t get confirmation. It is likely that the value of the debt will look quite different to what you remember, if you do recall the debt, as it is likely to have additional charges and interest.
The first thing to do is write to Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors and ask them to send a copy of the credit agreement. If they don’t respond or fail to send it, you do not have any obligation to pay the debt, and they cannot force you to do so.
Follow my ‘prove it’ guide with letter templates and get them to prove that you owe the money.
Why should you pay?
If this is your debt, and Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors have sent you confirmation, the best option is to clear the debt as quickly as possible. This will stop them from contacting you again, which will take the stress of you.
Not everyone is in a position to pay the debt off completely though and, in which case, you should make an arrangement to pay it off, using a suitable repayment. If you offer them a temporary repayment plan they should be willing to assist you.
Debt collectors and how they affect your life
We have seen many cases where debt collectors are using the worst possible tactics to try and get payments. These have included, threatening court action, bullying, and pressurising the debtor into paying up, when they can’t afford it. None of these tactics are acceptable, no matter how much debt you have.
The effect of debt collectors on your day to day life can be extreme. There are cases where debtors have felt stressed, and even suicidal due to the way they’ve been dealt with by debt collectors. The debt support trust even stated that as many as 50% of those who suffer with debt problems, will even consider suicide! This is shocking, especially when you consider the number of people who are in debt. Debtors have reported feelings of anxiety and feeling humiliated about their situation. This is obviously made worse when debt collectors are also on their case all day, every day! In response to this every growing problem, the government had to step in to deal with the situation. They made changes to the law to tackle both irresponsible lending, and intimidation.
Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors and what the law states
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) put a set of guidelines in place for the debt collection industry. These are some of the rules that Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors and other debt collectors must adhere to:
- They must ensure they are fair to debtors, and refrain from using aggression to try and get payment. They should not be unfair or oppressive in their approach.
- They should always be transparent and ensure that all information is clear and concise. They should never mislead debtors.
- It is imperative that they show consideration towards debtors, who may be experiencing difficulty.
- They must act proportionately, ensuring the debtors’ circumstances are always taken into account.
If you feel that you are being intimidated by Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors, and concerned they are not adhering to the necessary guidelines, you would be within your rights to report them. You can speak or write to the OFT, who will be able to remove their license, if they believe it to be necessary.
If you wish to make a complaint about Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors, you may do this by using this online complaint form.
The debt collector may go one step further by saying that they are working externally, when they are actually working with the creditor, who you have the original loan or other form of credit with. As this is deceit, it is against the legislation, and should not be tolerated.
How do Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors operate?
If you have never spoken to, or dealt with debt collectors before, you may not quite understand much about them, and how they work. This is some more information on the way debt collectors operate.
They lose money if you don’t pay
Have you been wondering why the agents at Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors are continuously calling you? The reason is that they will lose money, if they fail to get payment from you. They may purchase the debt at a low cost, but they lose money if you don’t pay the debt. This is why they send so many letters, and make so many calls. The more they contact you, the harder it is to escape them, which makes it more likely that you will pay up.
You should not pay the debt simply because they keep contacting you. If you can’t afford it, ask to set up a repayment plan with Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors instead. Most of the threats they issue are empty. Of course, you have a responsibility to pay your debts, but not to the detriment of your other important bills, such as your rent.
They are not allowed to harass you
Most debtors aren’t aware that harassment from Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors is not acceptable. They believe that because they owe money, the debt collection agency has the right to contact them continuously. This is not the case. If you are being bombarded with phone calls from debt collectors, it is a form of intimidation and it should not just be accepted. It is an act of desperation on their part, and it is used to try and intimidate you.
If you are receiving an excessive amount of calls. For instance, if they are calling you daily and leaving voicemails, this could be seen as harassment. In this case, they are breaching the OFT guidelines. You can report them to the Financial Ombudsman in this case.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Some debt collectors will go as far as to try and bully debtors into paying up. It may be subtle, but if they are trying to make you feel bad about your situation, this could be seen as bullying. They may even employ an attitude where they start off being polite and friendly, and then change as soon as they find out you are unable to pay. They may even go as far as to become abusive towards you or even threaten you. You do not need to put up with this treatment – and nor should you. If you are dealing with any of this kind of behaviour, you should think twice before paying up, as you may be in a position to make a complaint. They are trying to wear you down, so that you pay the debt, whether or not you can afford it.
It can be difficult to deal with this behaviour, especially if you are not used to it. This is why they try these tactics. Stay strong, and don’t pay anything, unless you know the debt is yours, and you can afford it. You can report any negative behaviour to the OFT using this online complaint form.
Should they discuss your debt with others?
The debt collection agents should never talk about your debt with other people. It is your debt and should be confidential. Even if you don’t pick up the phone or respond to them in any way, it doesn’t give them the right to talk to others. This behaviour is illegal, and it is a breach of OFT guidelines, and privacy laws. You can report this behaviour, as it is not acceptable.
You can speak to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123 to discuss the matter further.
Are they trying to deceive you?
When they have exhausted all attempts to get you to repay the debt, they might start resorting to lies. These include, saying they are a bailiff, pretending they are at the court or that they will come to your house to get the money. They may even suggest criminal prosecution. It is important that you are aware of these lies, and that you don’t let them worry you.
You should not allow them to enter your property. If they suggest coming to your home, you can turn them away. You should never feel that you are under threat. If you are concerned, contact the police.
Don’t let them wear you down
As we have seen, debt collectors such as Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors are relentless and their behaviour could be responsible for mental ill-health and even suicide. Standing up to Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors requires a degree of strength and courage few people possess. But there is help out there. Ultimately you need to get out of debt, but you need to do so in a controlled manner that will minimise your pain and distress. Ultimately all debt problems are solvable.
Debt help is at hand
If you are struggling and worried about your escalating debt problems, it is important that you seek help. There are plenty of organisations who can provide you with free advice on getting out of debt. In addition, there are also commercial debt management companies who charge a fee for their services. You should opt for the organisations providing a free service first. These are some of the most widely used free organisations:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – get debt help from experienced, skilled advisors. Find out how to deal with your finances in a much better way.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – free debt help and support to those who need it most.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice and helps you take back control of your finances.
Writing off some of your debt
You might be able to write off some of your debt, if you enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With an IVA, you agree to consolidate your debts into one monthly payment, and after a set period, the remaining debt is written off. This is usually around five years. You will not be able to get credit during this period and the process must be dealt with by an insolvency practitioner.
I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator so you can quickly and easily find the best solution for you. If you’re eligible for the new government scheme, you could write off up to 85% of your debt! Answer the four questions now.
Our final words
There have been much needed changes to the legislation, as well as warnings and advice from professional bodies. However, despite this, there are still many debt collectors who do not adhere to the law. In many cases, they are causing debtors untold harm by being abusive, or just generally making them feel humiliated by their debt. Although you owe the money and it is, of course, important to take steps to repay your debt. You should not be made to feel bad about it. The debt collector should be willing to set up a suitable repayment plan, and work together with you to rectify the situation. If you are facing this treatment, you should report them to the Financial Ombudsman, and they may even lose their licence.