Have you been chased by LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors about some outstanding debt? Are you in a position where you are unable to repay the debt? Perhaps you are feeling confused as you have no knowledge of this debt? Maybe you are worried that LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors will take you to court! If you are having these issues or anything else relating to this company or debt collectors in general, keep reading as there is plenty of advice and guidance here to help you!

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 better tomorrow.

Who are LCS Debt Recovery?

LCS Debt Recovery is based in Leeds and is one of the trading names of 1st Locate (UK) Limited which also trades using the names Leeds Consultancy Services and Credit Management Investigations. They employ over 300 people and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They are a member of the Credit Services Association and adhere to the CSA Code of Practice.

They are a debt collection agency and they collect debts for a range of businesses including large utility companies such as E.ON and British Gas. They also collect debts for HMRC. They claim that they do not buy the debts that they try to collect and only act on behalf of clients who believe that they are owed money.

They are not Certificated Enforcement Agents (previously known as Certificated Bailiffs) and so they do not have any specific legal powers when it comes to debt collection. As an example, they cannot take your property unless you consent to them doing so.

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:

Find your best debt solution

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

What is the total amount of your debt?

What is the purpose of the contact by LCS Debt Recovery?

If you are being contacted by LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors it is because you haven’t paid some of your debt off. They will chase the debt on behalf of the company you took out the credit with, such as a credit card company. You may not have heard of them before and they might pop up out of nowhere and that’s simply because they have probably just purchased the debt.

Debt collectors can get quite a good deal when they snap up your debt. The original creditor is the one that really doesn’t gain much as they sell it on at a much lower rate to get rid of it. For instance, you could have ran up a loan of £1,000 and the debt collection company may buy it for only £200, but they will still chase you for the £1,000. Therefore, if you do pay, that’s a profit of £800 for doing not very much at all. This explains why there are hundreds of debt collection agencies in the UK, and also why they are so eager to get you to make payments. They are so eager, in fact, that some will even resort to abuse and harassment to try and get you to repay your debt.

Finding out if it’s your debt

If you are able to, your first instinct when you receive the debt letter is probably just to pay up, as quickly as possible. While this is definitely a good idea if you owe the money, you need to establish that you do owe it first. Don’t jump into making debt payments unless you are sure it belongs to you.

It is easy to get confirmation, just write to LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors and ask them to send you a copy of your credit agreement. There is no legitimate reason why this would be an issue if they have purchased the debt.

Why should you pay?

The debt may be quite old and you could be wondering why they are even still bothering with it, especially if it is a sum amount. When you consider that their business operates on collecting debt payments, if no one pays, they have no business. It might seem like they are spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the payment from you, and they probably are, but if they don’t, no one would bother to pay! If you do owe the money, clear it off with LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors, or come to an arrangement to pay it.

The potential repercussions of debt collectors

Debt problems are common nowadays, and no one gets into debt deliberately. It is one thing being contacted by debt collectors, but quite another when they are bullying you or making you feel humiliated about your debt issues. This only stands to escalate the feeling and make the situation worse for debtors.

If you are being pursued by LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors or another debt collection agency, it could cause devastation to your life. It may sound like an exaggeration, but if you are struggling with debt and your phone is constantly ringing with agents just waiting to give you a hard time, it can lead to severe distress and even depression. There has been reports from the debt support trust that even state some people end up feeling suicidal because of their debt. Some people feel they have nowhere to turn, and no way of getting out of the despair caused by the debt. They feel utterly humiliated and disconnected from friends and family, to the point that they want to give up. Obviously no-one should feel like this and due to the escalating problems, the government were asked to look at lenders and their practices in more detail to try and offer better protection to borrowers.

Find your best debt solution

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.

LCS Debt Recovery and the legislation they must follow

The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) issued some guidelines that are there for the protection of borrowers. These are regulations that LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors and other debt collectors must adhere to and they include:

  • Always treating debtors fairly, and without using any underhand or aggressive tactics to try and get the debt payment.
  • Ensure that any information provided to the debtor is clear and does not mislead them.
  • Show consideration and understand that the debtor is having financial difficulties.
  • Take the debtors circumstances into consideration, before deciding on the most appropriate action to take.

If you have been dealing with LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors and they are not following these guidelines, you have a right to complain and report them to the OFT. They have a responsibility to stick to these guidelines – at all times.

There are times when debt collectors lie about who they are and what their purpose is. They have been known to say that they operate separately from the original creditor, when this is not the case. Make sure you keep your wits about you when dealing with debt collectors.

Key facts about LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors operates

Dealing with debt collectors is never easy and if you are new to dealing with them, it can be even more confusing. Here are some key points to remember about debt collectors.

They buy the debt

You don’t have the debt with LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors, but they are the company you need to pay. The debt will be with another organisation that you took out the original credit with, such as a payday lender. You probably won’t recognise LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors, and this can cause confusion for debtors. They own it though, and therefore, they have the right to chase it. They buy it at a small price, so they can make a good profit but only if you pay it!

If you don’t recognise the original creditor or the value of the debt, you should ask for confirmation. If you are feeling threatened or distressed by the contact from LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors, you should always seek advice. You don’t need t pay the debt right then and there if you cannot afford to do so.

They keep trying

When the debt company first purchases the debt, this is when they become the most active. You will probably go from not knowing who they are, to being inundated with emails and calls. This is typical behaviour. They try everything to reach you, and they know that if they keep trying, you will eventually get fed up and answer.

They do not have the right to bombard you with calls, as this could be seen as harassment. If they are doing this, we would suggest keeping a record of any contact you receive from them, and the nature of it. They could be in breach of the OFT guidelines.

They may change tactics

Some debt collectors will switch up their tactics to try and get you to pay the debt. They may start the conversation by being friendly and welcoming, only too happy to help, but this may change when they understand that you have no means of paying the debt. These tactics are used to try and make you feel bad, so that you pay the money. They can lead you into a false sense of security, as you think they are going to help you, but it turns out, only if you agree to pay the debt. They want to try and break you down, with the aim of getting you to pay up, and they are often not particularly concerned as to whether you are even able to afford the payments.

They might discuss your debt with others

Debt collectors have been known to go as far as to speak to other people about debtors financial situation. They may speak to someone else that answers your phone on your behalf, or even call up your workplace. This is unacceptable behaviour, and debt collection agencies are well aware that they are not permitted to do this. It is both a breach of the OFT guidelines as well as privacy laws.

You have the legal right to report such behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123

Calling from court

LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors may use all kinds of tactics to try and get payment from you, one of which is deceiving you. They don’t expect you to be armed with all the information we have provided here, and so, they think it is easy to deceive you. They may say they are calling you from the court, or even issue threats to come to your property to hunt you down!

You should not be concerned, as they don’t have the right to do this. However, if you feel uncomfortable or threatened, we would suggest that you call the police straight away!

Relentless behaviour

Like a dog with a bone, LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors won’t give up trying to get the debt from you. However, there is a line between a little persistent and harassment. You need to take care of your debt, but not to be forced into paying when you can’t afford it. Your debt problems can be sorted out, but it should be done in a pain-free way, that won’t affect your ability to pay your bills.

Professional debt help

You are not alone with your debt problems, many people are in the same boat, and there are lots of organisations willing and able to help you get out of debt. It is best to speak to the not-for-profit organisations first, as they don’t charge you a fee and can offer just as good advice as the commercial companies. These are a few worth trying:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) this is one of the organisations that most people turn to when they need help, not just with debt but other day to day issues. They can offer expertise in helping you get debt-free!
  • Christians Against Poverty (CAP) you can get free help and advice to sort out your debt and improve your finances.
  • StepChange provides free online debt advice and are an organisation that can help you get debt-free.

Other options

If you have a lot of debt with multiple companies, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) may be worth serious consideration. An IVA makes it much easier to manage your debt, as you combine it and make one single monthly payment towards it. You also have the chance to write off some of the debt through an IVA.

This isn’t the only option though, there are other debt management programmes available, and it is worth seeking advice to ensure that you get the most suitable option to suit your circumstances.

Lastly

To round things up, if you are in debt, you should make every attempt to get debt-free. Whether this means paying your debt, setting up a debt repayment plan or getting help from professionals, there is always a solution. However, if you are being hassled or bullied by a debt collection company, you have every right to make a complaint and report them. If they are found to be treating you unfairly, you may not even need to repay the debt. You should never ignore your debt problems, as they won’t go away, but you must take the most appropriate steps to sort them that won’t cause you more damage in the long run.

FAQs

What will happen if you just ignore debt collectors?

You may be tempted to ignore LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors, but if you do, you can expect them to keep contacting you, and maybe even turn up at your doorstep. Ignoring them should not be a consideration.

Do LCS Solicitors have a legal right to take you to court?

LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors would be able to take you to court, but you would have received a County Court Judgement first, and plenty of additional warnings.

Will you be sent to jail for the debt you owe?

No, you will never go to jail because you have debt.

What happens if you receive a CCJ and ignore it?

Ignoring a CCJ may lead to bailiffs being sent to your home, and they may end up taking some goods away to pay for the debt.

Can LCS Solicitors issue you with an arrest warrant?

No, LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors will not be able to issue an arrest warrant – they have no such powers. They can get a CCJ against you though.

Are LCS Solicitors the same as bailiffs?

No, LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors are not bailiffs, they are debt collectors and they don’t have the same power as bailiffs. Some will pretend to be, but this is not the case!

Can LCS Solicitors visit you at your house?

Realistically, yes, it is entirely possible that LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors could turn up at your home, but you can turn them away and there is nothing they can do!

Can LCS Solicitors force entry to your property?

No, LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors do not have the right to force entry. They could get a CCJ against you, and that may result in bailiffs at your door.

When will LCS Solicitors give up?

LCS Solicitors Debt Collectors will not give up chasing the debt until you pay or the 6 years has expired. They will try and use all possible options first.

When is a debt too old to collect?

The debt only becomes too old when 6 years has passed, according to the Limitation Act 1980. This starts from the time you last made a payment, or discussed the debt.

How long will you be chased for debt?

It is difficult to say exactly, as all debt collectors are different, but they could chase you for 6 years, unless they get a CCJ against you. In which case, there is no limit.

How to write off the debt?

The debt could possibly be written off after 6 years has passed or if you enter into an IVA, it may be written off.

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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