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Howard Cohen & Co Debt Collectors – Do You Have to Pay?

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By
Scott
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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.

Featured in...
Howard Cohen & Co Debt Collectors

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 puzzled about a letter from Howard Cohen & Co Debt Collectors? Are you unsure if you should pay or where the debt has come from? This is a common worry, and you are not alone. Every month, our website guides over 170,000 people, just like you, on how to handle debt issues.

In this article, we will help you understand:

  • Who Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Debt Collectors are.
  • Why they might be contacting you.
  • How to check if the debt is truly yours.
  • What to do if you cannot afford to pay.
  • What your rights are when dealing with debt collectors.

Many of us have felt the same fear and confusion when faced with unexpected debt. Please remember that you have options and that there are ways to manage this situation. Let’s dive in to learn more about Howard Cohen & Co and how to deal with their debt collection efforts.

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.

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.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

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 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. From my experience, too many people skip the debt verification process.

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.

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

Is my debt statute-barred?

If it has been 6 years – or 5 years in Scotland – since you last paid towards your unsecured debts and you have not written to your creditor about your debt during this time, it is statute-barred.

This means that the debt is not enforceable. It still technically exists, and you still technically owe the money, but there is no legal way for you to be forced to pay or for the debt to be enforced.

Keep in mind that not all debts become statute-barred!

Any HMRC debts, for example, will stay enforceable for decades. Any debt that had a County Court Judgement (CCJ) attached to it during the 5 or 6-year window it will be enforceable for the duration of the CCJ. 

If your debt is statute-barred, you can use my free letter template to write to Howard Cohen & Co and explain the situation.

If you are unsure about the status of your debt, you can contact a debt charity for some advice. Their advisors will be able to look at the debt in question, determine its status, and advise you on your next steps.

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.

However, if you don’t engage with Howard Cohen & Co at all, you may end up in more trouble. Take a look at this example.

While a County Court won’t hear their case against you until they can demonstrate that they have given you ample opportunity to pay off the debt, you may be taken to court if you ignore Howard Cohen & Co’s letters.

What is a CCJ?

A County Court Judgement (CCJ) is an order from a judge that states you have to pay the debt. This means that the court agrees with your creditor, and you owe the money.

Your judgement will include the following:

  • How much you owe
  • How you should pay
  • Who you should pay
  • Your deadline to pay.

Unless you pay within one month of the CCJ being issued, it will be recorded in the Register of Judgements, Orders and Fines for 6 years. If you pay off your debt within these 6 years, you can request that your judgement is marked as ‘satisfied’ on the register.

To do this, write to the court with proof that you have paid off the debt in full.

If you manage to pay within one month of the CCJ being issued, the judgement will not be recorded in the register. You will need to write to the court explaining that you have paid and provide proof.

CCJs are also visible on your credit file for 6 years. This will make it almost impossible for you to get credit during this time.

This is because companies use your credit file to see if you are a ‘high-risk’ customer – someone who might have difficulty paying their bills on time. If you have a CCJ, you have had such trouble paying back your debt that someone had to go to court about it.

Understandably, companies are going to be reluctant to give you credit!

After 6 years, it is no longer visible on your credit report and you should find it easier to get credit again.


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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I can’t afford to pay

If you can’t afford to pay Howard Cohen & Co or have other unsecured debts, you may benefit from a debt solution.

There are several different debt solutions available in the UK, so I recommend speaking to a debt charity as soon as possible. Their advisors will be able to look at your finances in detail and help you work out which debt solution will work best for you.

I have linked a few charities that offer these advisory services for free below.

Debt Management Plan (DMP)

A DMP is an informal debt solution that lets you pay off your debts via a single monthly payment.

Because it is informal, it is not legally binding so you are not tied into a DMP for a minimum number of payments.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is a formal agreement between you and your creditors. You agree to pay a monthly sum that is distributed amongst your debts, and your creditors agree not to contact you during your IVA.

IVAs typically last for 5 or 6 years, and any outstanding debt is wiped off when it ends.

Keep in mind that IVAs are not suitable for everyone. You need to owe several thousand pounds to more than one creditor to be eligible. You also need to demonstrate that you have some disposable income every month.

I’ve put together a 5 question form so you can get started in finding out whether an IVA might work for you.

Answer the five questions now.

Trust Deed

IVAs are not available in Scotland. Instead, you will need to opt for a Trust Deed.

Trust Deeds work in the same way as an IVA – you pay an agreed sum each month that is shared amongst your creditors, they can’t contact you, and any leftover debt at the end of your Trust Deed term is written off.

Debt Relief Order (DRO)

A DRO is a good option for those facing financial hardship with no assets and little income.

For 12 months, you make no payments, but your creditors freeze your interest and don’t contact you.

If your finances haven’t improved during this year, you may be able to write off your unsecured debts.

Bankruptcy

If you have debts but no realistic possibility of ever paying them off, you may need to declare bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy has an unfair stigma attached to it as it may be your only way of getting a financial fresh start. That said, it is a serious financial situation that should not be taken lightly.

Sequestration

Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy.

If you have little income and no valuable assets, you may be able to apply for a minimal asset process bankruptcy (MAP). A MAP is a quicker, cheaper, and more straightforward version of sequestration, so worth considering.

Writing off some of your debt

You might be able to write off some of your debt by negotiating with Howard Cohen & Co.

You can use my free letter template to write to them and make a full and final settlement offer.

If you are facing great financial hardship, you can use another of my free letter templates to write and ask that your debt is just written off, as you have no real prospect of ever paying.

Keep in mind that your offer is more likely to be accepted the more money you offer to pay.

If your offer is accepted or accepted after some negotiation, I recommend keeping these letters for at least 6 years. This will make it more difficult for Howard Cohen & Co to argue with you about the status of your debt down the road.

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.

How do I make a complaint against Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors?

If you think that Howard Cohen & Co has been unreasonable or behaved inappropriately, you can make a complaint. You can also make a complaint if you feel that they have broken any of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) guidelines.

Fortunately, their complaint process is quite straightforward.

Make your first complaint to Howard Cohen & Co so that they have the chance to sort out the issue themselves. If you feel that they have not taken your complaint seriously enough or have not addressed your issue properly, you can escalate matters.

You can make any secondary complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). They will investigate and, if your complaint is upheld, Howard Cohen & Co may be fined. You could even be owed compensation.

Howard Cohen & Co are also regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), which means that they have to also stick to the SRA’s guidelines.

As with any FCA guideline breaches, you need to make your first complaint to Howard Cohen & Co if you think that they have broken any SRA rules. Keep in mind that the SRA guidelines will only apply to the legal advice or legal conduct of the firm, rather than the behaviour of their debt collectors.

If their response is inadequate, you can report their conduct to the Legal Ombudsman.

Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors Contact Details

Phone number: 0113-244 0597
Fax: 0113-242 1291
Address: 29 Park Sq West, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2PQ.

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.