Have you recently received a JCP Solicitors debt recovery notification? Is it making you feel anxious or did it go straight in the bin?
JCP Solicitors are a legitimate team who offer a range of legal services to their clients. If you have received a contact from JCP Solicitors, there is a small chance it could be mistaken identity, but you might owe money – and you should act!
This 2020 guide will explain who JCP Solicitors are and what they can do. But most importantly, it offers expert guidance on dealing with their debt collection letters.
Who Really Are JCP Solicitors?
JCP Solicitors are a legitimate law firm operating in Wales. They offer a wide range of services covering compensation claims, professional disputes and debt recovery services. Their work spans Pembrokeshire, Swansea, St David’s, Haverfordwest, Cardiff and all areas within West Wales and South Wales.
The company provides legal work for their clients, but they have had some bad press in the last few years. In 2016, a junior solicitor working at the firm voluntarily resigned after it emerged that she falsified over 20 documents to help manage her stressful workload.
The junior solicitor no longer works for JCP Solicitors.
Who Are JCP Solicitor’s Usual Clients?
JCP Solicitor’s offer their services to individuals and businesses. They also work for government department such as HMRC to collect unpaid tax. Here are some of their other frequent customers:
- City councils
- Virgin media
- O2 and EE
- United Utilities
- Various personal loan lenders
If you have any debts to these organisations, it is likely that JCP Solicitors are contacting you to chase these debts. However, they do not work exclusively for these companies.
If you have landed in debt because you are struggling to pay household bills, you should discover the smart ways to save money on utility bills.
How Will JCP Solicitors Contact You About Debt?
The JCP Solicitors website details how they will contact you regarding any outstanding debt. They provide this information to their potential clients seeking money, but it can be useful if you are the one who has been contacted. On their site, you can see the exact steps that JCP Solicitors will take.
It is likely that you are reading this post because you received a debt collection letter from JCP Solicitors. This letter is known as a Letter Before Action (LBA). Its purpose is to give you the information about the debt they believe you owe to their client. It may include interest rates and an overall figure they demand to be paid.
Their website claims to their clients that making a threat of court proceedings may be enough to get you to pay. Be aware that a legal team cannot make court threats without the realistic chance that the matter would go to court.
Did JCP Solicitors Call Me?
They do not always try to make contact with a letter. Some people have received calls from a company claiming to be JCP Solicitors. This could be a genuine call from the company, but it could be a scam.
You could confirm if it was JCP Solicitors that called you by calling them directly on 01792 773 773.
What Authority and Power Do JCP Solicitors Have?
JCP Solicitors are a legal entity and they have the ability to take you to court if their client wishes to do so. Sometimes JCP Solicitors and/or the client will not take the matter further because they do not believe they will get the result they hope for – and the money owed. However, the exact circumstances will depend on individual cases.
By law, JCP Solicitors must give you time to assess all your debt management options. They are not allowed to harass you or make contact at unreasonable times of the day. You can also request that they make contact in a certain way. For example, you could request that they only send letters rather than call. They must abide by this request.
What to Do if You Receive Contact from JCP Solicitors
Receiving a letter from JCP Solicitors is not exactly the same as receiving a letter from a debt collection agency without a legal background. In any situation, you should always act if you receive a debt collection notification.
Every year, lots of people receive letters from debt collection companies demanding that they pay outstanding debts. These debt collection agencies are not legal professionals, they are simply trying to collect the debt on behalf of companies because the companies do not have the time to chase the debts themselves.
When a debt collection agency sends a letter, they often do not prove the debt and may even use a scatter-gun approach and send multiple letters to people with the same name. This means you receive a letter by mistake and do not owe the debt.
In this instance, you can send a “prove the debt” letter asking the agency to prove what debt you owe. This often does not get responded to because you do not owe the debt (if they do prove the debt you should take action).
Receiving a letter from a legal entity like JCP Solicitors is different. They are not using a scatter-gun approach like a debt collection agency, and if you receive their LBA letter, it is not likely to be an administration error. Their letter may already prove the debt they owe.
However, if they simply tell you that you owe debt without supplying proof, you can ask them to prove the debt. Proof would be documentation that you had an agreement and did not pay (such as a signed contract or agreement).
How to Get JCP Solicitors to Prove My Debt
There are lots of online letter templates you can use to prove the debt. It is not required to use these templates if you do not want to, but they can be convenient if you are not sure how to word the letter.
Alternatively, you can simply write to JCP Solicitors and state that you would like proof that you owe this money. Mention that if they contact you again without proof that you will consider this harassment, as well as illegal – and you will report them to the FCA.
It is recommended that you do not sign the letter as the signature could be replicated illegally and used against you on their proof of debt. It is highly unlikely that a professional team of solicitors would do such things, but after the news broke that they falsified documents in 2016, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If JCP Solicitors already proved the debt in the initial letter, then you should not send another prove the debt letter.
How They Could Respond
If they do not respond to your “prove the debt” letter, it is likely that they do not have proof, or their client is not able to find the proof (even if you do owe the money). This means they are not allowed to contact you again. If they do make contact again without proof, this is illegal, and you could report JCP Solicitors.
Because they are a professional legal team, they probably already provided proof of the debt in the initial letter. It is also likely that they do have proof or they would not have taken on the case in the first place.
If there has been an error on their or their client’s part, you won’t hear from them again.
The Best Action to Take if You Do Owe Money
Once the proof has been provided, you must take action. Enter into a dialogue with JCP Solicitors and explain how you can pay the debt without going into financial hardship yourself.
JCP Solicitors are expecting this – it even states so on their website. They tell their clients that they will negotiate on their behalf. This means they are not really expecting you to pay the money owed in one lump sum.
At this stage, it is best to come up with a plan of attack to pay off the debt. Enter into dialogue and let JCP Solicitors know what you can afford to pay each month. You do not have to do this alone because there are many UK debt charities available to help. They can even communicate with JCP Solicitors on your behalf, so you never have to talk to their solicitors.
These services are free of charge and designed to help people in your exact situation. One example of a helpful debt charity is called Step Change.
What If They Come to My Home?
JCP Solicitors are not likely to come to your home because they are a legal entity of solicitors. If they do come without permission, you do not have to speak to them, and you do not have to welcome them inside your residence.
Other Frequently Asked Questions About JCP Solicitors Debt Recovery
Receiving a letter from JCP Solicitors can be scary. But equipping yourself with the legal facts can put you at ease. Here are some more of the most asked questions when dealing with JCP Solicitors debt recovery letters:
#1: How can I complain about JCP Solicitors?
You may wish to complain directly to JCP Solicitors. If they do not react as you would hope, you can take the matter further by reporting them to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
If you feel that they are harassing you or not abiding by the laws, this is the best place to turn. You may also wish to report them to the Financial Ombudsman.
#2: Can my JCP Solicitors debt be written off?
Sometimes debts can be written off depending on the details, such as how long you have had the debt. It is best to speak to a finance expert or a debt charity for them to clarify your situation. Some debts older than six years cannot be enforced and therefore you would not have to pay the debt.
#3: What happens if I do not act on the JCP Solicitors debt recovery letter?
Not acting is the worst thing you can do. It may only make the situation worse. It is always better to take action and seek help from debt charities if needed.