Have you been chased by iQor Debt Collectors about debt you have with an individual or organisation? Do you have this debt but are unable to repay? Maybe you don’t even recognise this debt at all or they are claiming to take you to court! If you relate to any of these questions or you need some general advice about dealing with debt collectors, we suggest you keep reading!

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.

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Who are iQor Debt Collectors?

iQor are a global company employing 45,000 people. Their UK debt collection subsidiary was called iQor Recovery Services and was based in Preston, Lancashire. In May 2013 iQor Recovery Services changed their name to Akinika following their acquisition by Capita plc.

The company was originally founded in 1926 and collects debts on behalf of a range of organisations in the public and private sectors.  Their clients include HMRC, TV Licensing and the Department for Work and Pensions. They only act as a debt collection agency. They do not buy debt portfolios. Akinika is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They are also a founding member of the Credit Services Association and adhere to their Code of Practice. They have won a number of industry awards.

Company Name
IQor Recovery Services

Correspondence Address
Iqor House
33-34 Winckley Square
Preston

Reg Company Number
1613010

Consumer Credit Licence
124079

Website
www.iqor.com

Director
John Norman Ricketts

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:

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This 4 question debt calculator will tell you if you’re eligible.

What is the total amount of your debt?

Why do iQor Debt Collectors keep calling you?

If this is the first time you’ve had any dealings with debt collectors, you are probably a little confused by them. They are chasing you about debt, but how can this be if you don’t even know who they are? iQor Debt Collectors are contacting you, not because you owe them money directly, but because you have debt with another company, and the debt has been sold to them.

There are over 600 debt collection agencies in the UK, and they all pretty much have a standard way of working. When a company (the original creditor you have the debt with) gets fed up trying to chase you about the debt, they will usually turn to debt collectors to help out. The debt collectors will buy the debt from the creditor, and then begin the process of chasing you for the debt. It works for both parties, as the creditor gets rid of the day and makes a bit of money, and the debt collector gets the opportunity to make a whole lot more! Debt collectors tend to be much more persistent about getting the debt than the original company you have the debt with. This is simply because it’s all they do, and they have the resources that other organisations don’t have for credit control.


Check if you really owe the money

Is the debt money you really owe? The first thing to establish is where the debt has originated and how much you really owe. It is quite likely that the original debt, if there was one, has been inflated by various charges and interest, and could be substantially more than you believe you owe.

You should write to iQor Debt Collectors and demand a copy of your original credit agreement. If they are unable to provide this you have no obligation to make any payment to them.

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how to debt

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.

How to deal with debt

If you have established that everything is accurate, and you owe the money, your aim should be paying it in its entirety, as soon as possible. If you have no means of doing this, speak to iQor Debt Collectors and ask them to devise a suitable repayment plan for you. They may ask you to provide details of your income and expenditure in order to do this.

Debt collectors and depression

Debt collectors are on a mission to get you to pay the debt, and this can often lead them to using tactics that go against the legislation. They may try to put pressure on you to pay the debt, or even go as far as to threaten you with court action. These threats are usually always empty, so you shouldn’t let it concern you too much.

Some people can deal with being put under intense pressure. They can shrug it off and not let it worry them. Others can’t, and it can cause feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression in some cases. The debt support trust even stated that suicidal thoughts seem to be common amongst debtors. Some debtors feel that there is no way out of their debt problems. They feel humiliated and have no where to turn. When you combine debt with the pressure expressed by some debt collectors, it can be too much for some to handle. As these feelings are so commonplace, it was decided that serious action had to be taken to help offer borrowers with greater protection. The government were asked to look more closely at the lending industry and to take steps to ensure that debt collection agencies could not just operate in any way they wanted. As a result, new laws were created for the industry.

iQor Debt Collectors – the legal requirements

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) put guidelines in place for debt collection agencies like iQor Debt Collectors to offer greater protection for borrowers. These regulations include:

  • A responsibility to be fair to borrowers, and refrain from using any practices which could be deemed as aggressive or deceitful.
  • Ensuring that all information provided to the borrower is clear, concise and does not cause confusion.
  • Consideration of the debtors circumstances, and the fact that they may have financial troubles
  • A responsibility to take each debtors circumstances on an individual basis, and act proportionately to these.

If iQor Debt Collectors have failed to follow any of these regulations, you would have the right to report them to the OFT. The OFT will then look into the case on your behalf, and take necessary action. When debt companies have a number of complaints from debtors to the OFT, they can end up with the license being removed.

You may be in debt, but this does not give iQor Debt Collectors or any other debt collection company the right to treat you without respect or to try and force you into making payments you clearly can’t afford. You should never stand for this behaviour.

What you need to know about iQor Debt Collectors

Debt collection agencies all work differently, but they have the same business model in most cases. If you have knowledge about them, you will be in a better position to deal with them in a positive way. These are some things worth noting about iQor Debt Collectors.

They lose money if you don’t pay

As iQor Debt Collectors are purchasing debt bundles from other companies, they have already paid out money to buy your debt. If you only owe a few hundred pound and you don’t pay, it may not seem like a big loss, particularly since they only pay around 20% of the value of the debt. However, if you multiply it by hundreds of debtors, they can lose a lot of money if you don’t pay the debt. This is why the last thing they want is to leave the call without any payment. It could be hugely detrimental to their entire business.

This isn’t really your problem, but you shouldn’t feel forced into making payment, even if they threaten you. You should only pay the day they contact you, if it is affordable. Otherwise, set up a repayment plan or advise them of when you will be likely to be able to make payments.

They won’t give up

Although it is seriously tempting to just not answer the calls you get from iQor Debt Collectors, you can be sure that they will keep trying until they reach you. This is the common behaviour of debt collection agencies – they simply don’t give up! As we discussed previously, they lose money if they just give up and don’t collect the debt. This is not something they will do as it can obviously cause their business to collapse.

If they are harassing you about paying the debt, this is not acceptable, and you have every right to report them to the OFT in this situation. You can tell any agent you speak to you that you plan to report them, if they are acting in an unkind way towards you.

The agents may not be happy

When you consider the pressure the agents are probably under, it would not be too surprising that they may have a bit of an attitude with you when they discover you won’t be paying. They may start the conversation in a helpful, friendly manner and quickly switch when you inform them you can’t make payment. A slight attitude is one thing, but if they become abusive towards you, that is quite another. You should never let the agents from iQor Debt Collectors harass, bully or treat you in any way unfairly. They do this to try and humiliate you into paying, and you should not put up with it or just dismiss it. If they are doing this, you have the right to report them and you should if you feel intimidated by them.

Discussing your situation

One tactic often used by debt collectors is to speak to others about your debt, if they are unable to reach you. This is done to try and embarrass you into paying the debt. You should definitely not put up with any debt collectors discussing your debt situation with anyone other than yourself. Not only is this a breach of the OFT guidelines, it also breaks the privacy laws. It is illegal behaviour.

You will be able to report this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123

Lies and threats

There are even debt collectors who will pretend that they have the right to take action that they are definitely not permitted to do. For instance, they may say that they are a bailiff with the right to come to your property, or they might even go as far as to threaten criminal action. As they are a debt collector, they have no such rights.

If a debt collector from iQor Debt Collectors does turn up at your door, and you feel threatened in any way, you should not just stand there and take it, you should phone the police.

Standing up to iQor Debt Collectors

We know how persistent debt collectors like iQor Debt Collectors can be, and we also understand how difficult it can be to deal with them. It takes a long of strength not to just cave into debt collectors and give them what they want, even if it is to your own detriment. You should definitely take steps to deal with your debt, that is without any doubt. However, this should always be done in a controlled way that works for your financial situation.

Getting out of debt

Debt problems are extremely difficult and can cause problems in every aspect of your life. No one wants to deal with debt issues, and if you are facing these problems, you should never do it alone. If you let your debt problems fester, without doing anything about them, the problem will worsen. There are many organisations out there who can help you deal with your debt problems, including:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – an organisation that provides free help with getting out of debt. They are also able to assist with a range of other day to day issues you may be dealing with.
  • Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – if you need help with your debt problems, this organisation can offer assistance in getting out of debt.
  • StepChange provides free online debt advice and helps people take back control of their own finances.

Formal debt repayment

You have options for repaying your debt in a way that works for your situation. You can even write off some of your debt if you sign up to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this arrangement, you can basically combine all your debt into one payment, and it saves you the hassle of dealing with multiple companies and debt collectors. After a set period, you may even be able to write off a chunk of the debt.

This isn’t the only option though. You can also come to alternative debt arrangement, including a consolidation loan that involves taking out one loan, to pay back the debt you have. It means you are only making one payment and the debt is cleared when all has been paid.

Last Thoughts

In summary of the content discussed in this article, we know how difficult it can be to deal with debt collectors such as iQor Debt Collectors. Debtors already worry and feel understandably stressed about their debt issues, and if a debt collector starts abusing or bullying them, it just adds fuel to the fire. If you are worried about your debt, you should definitely contact one of the organisations we have mentioned previously. You should never ignore debt collectors or refuse to pay them, but you should speak to them and reach an agreement both parties are happy with. You can complain and stop the behaviour of debt collectors by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman. It is important to do this for yourself, and it might also save someone else from feeling the way you do. They could lose their licence if is deemed appropriate.

FAQs

What happens when you choose to ignore debt collectors?

You should not ignore debt collectors like iQor Debt Collectors, as if you do, you may end up with someone at your door chasing the debt. It is far easier to sort out the situation, as quickly as possible.

Do iQor Debt Collectors have the right to take you to court?

If you have debt and you are refusing to pay it or ignoring it, then iQor Debt Collectors could take you to court. You will receive a County Court Judgement letter in this case.

Will you end up in jail as a result of your debt?

You will definitely not in any jail because of the debt you owe.

What will happen if I just ignore the CCJ?

You should always respond to a CCJ, as if you continue to ignore it, you could have bailiffs at your door trying to take away your possessions as debt payment.

Are iQor Debt Collectors able to issue a warrant?

No, iQor Debt Collectors cannot issue you with a warrant. They are able to request a CCJ, that could result in bailiffs being sent to your door. However, they cannot send you to jail.

Are iQor the same as bailiffs?

No, they are debt collectors and have completely different powers than bailiffs. In fact, they don’t have a great deal of power but they can request a CCJ against you, which will could lead to bailiffs being sent to your home.

Will iQor Debt Collectors come to your home?

iQor Debt Collectors may sent an agent to your home but there are no legal powers that go further than this. This means that you can just tell them to leave and they must abide by this. They may go a step further and get a CCJ issued to you.

Will iQor Debt Collectors force entry?

They shouldn’t force entry and if they do, you can contact the police. iQor Debt Collectors do not have any legal powers to enter your property. You could end up with bailiffs at your door that do have this power though.

Can you expect iQor Debt Collectors to give up?

The short answer is no! They won’t give up as they will lose money if they do. They will probably try every possible means to get the debt paid and sometimes this will include harassing you.

When will the debt expire?

Debt collectors like iQor Debt Collectors can keep chasing the debt for up to 6 years. After this time, the debt will have expired unless they get a CCJ against you.

Is it illegal to chase the debt after 6 years?

the Limitation Act 1980 offers protection in this regard, and states that the debt collector can only chase the debt for 6 years. The 6 years starts from when you last made a payment to your account or discussed the debt with the creditor or debt collector.

Will the debt ever be written off?

It can be written off after 6 years unless you have a CCJ against you. You may also be able to write off some of your debt through an IVA. In some cases, the debt will be written off, but there will still be a black mark on your credit report. This is why it is better all-round to just pay your debt.

References

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

CONC 7.9 Contact with customers

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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