Have you taken out a loan in the past that you can no longer make repayments on? Or perhaps you’ve fallen behind on council tax payments? Circumstances can often change and can lead to troubling times. Receiving a letter from Lovetts Solicitors Debt Recovery is stressful and if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, knowing how you’re going to pay them back is overwhelming.
This guide will give you all the information you need on Lovetts Solicitors Debt Recovery and the steps you should take when you receive a debt collection letter from this firm.
Who are Lovetts solicitors?
The first thing you may be asking is, who exactly are Lovetts solicitors? They are solicitors with offices in Cheadle, Guildford, Stockport, and Surrey. They specialise in debt recovery and have been in the business for over 25 years.
They work on behalf of a range of clients from phone companies to the local council to big-name banks.
Why are Lovetts Solicitors Contacting Me?
Lovetts Solicitors Debt Recovery are a legitimate business and debt recovery firm meaning that you should take any correspondence seriously, even if you dispute what they are claiming. Therefore, you should never just disregard any of their letters!
They are likely getting in touch with you because you have failed to make payments on a bill or a debt, whether it was your fault or not. They will be acting on behalf of the lender you owe the debt to.
They will likely begin with a letter or phone call to inform you of the debt and that they are acting on behalf of the lender. Don’t let this panic you, there are some simple steps to follow to deal with this (we’ll go over these later in the guide).
Can I Ignore Letters from Lovetts Solicitors?
It is never a good idea to ignore any debt collection correspondence unless you are certain it is a scam.
The issue will not go away if you ignore it – ignoring their attempts to contact you may eventually result in agents visiting your home or property, so answering the phone call or letter to establish a dialogue is best.
If you continue to ignore letters or calls and evade agents then they may escalate the issue to court.
Begin by letting Lovetts know you have received their letter and are looking into the claims. This will stop them hounding you with more letters or escalating the case without giving you sufficient notice.
What Do I Do if I Receive a Letter From Lovetts?
If you receive a debt collection letter from Lovetts Solicitors Debt Recovery, there are a few things that you should do.
Make sure you complete these steps before thinking about releasing any payments to the agency, even though they are a legitimate company:
- Check that the debt is yours: it’s important to make sure that there hasn’t been a mistake and you end up paying someone else’s debt. It is fairly easy to check the debt is yours using credit check sites (Credit Karma is reputable and free to use).
- Ask Lovetts to prove the debt: even if the debt is appearing on your credit score, it’s also important to ask the firm to prove that the debt is yours. To do this they will have to send you a copy of the agreement you signed to take on the debt originally. If they cannot produce this then they cannot prove that the debt is yours and cannot chase you for it.
- Check to see if the debt is statute barred: In England, debt collectors only have six years from the final received payment to chase you for the debt you owe. After this timeframe it becomes statute barred and they can no longer take you to court over it. Note: this may be different in Scotland and Wales.
Can Lovetts Send Agents to My Home?
If you refuse to answer any attempts by Lovetts then they may send agents to your home or property. The simplest way to avoid this is to open a dialogue with them to establish what the debt is and on whose behalf they are acting.
It is important to remember that these people are only agents acting on behalf of the company and not bailiffs so they have no right to enter your home and must leave if asked to do so.
In addition, impersonation of a bailiff is an offence so make sure you are wary of any agents attempting to do this and tell them you know the extent of their powers.
Should I Pay Lovetts What They are Asking?
It would be unwise to pay any debt without following the steps in the post outlined below, but if the debt is yours then you will have to pay it in some form.
It is important to remember that you should not pay any debt if it would lead to you being in further hardship. Never take on more debt to pay off a debt collection agency.
What Legal Action Can Lovetts Take?
There are several stages that most debt collection agencies will follow:
- Lovetts Solicitors will begin by trying to get in contact with you via the telephone or by letter. This will be to inform you of the debt and any deadlines they are working to and possibly what options are available to you with regard to repaying the debt.
- If they are unable to contact you in one of the above ways then their next step will likely be to send agents to your home or property. Remember that these are not bailiffs at this stage. They cannot enter your property or seize assets and are only there to establish contact.
- If you still refuse to make any effort to speak to Lovetts Solicitors, they may take you to court to secure a County Court Judgement against you. This will essentially compel you to pay the debt and can negatively affect any future attempts at securing finances.
- If the debt remains unpaid then they may send bailiffs to your home to take payment or remove assets to the value of the debt.
- If this is unsuccessful, they could apply for an Attachment of Earnings order which would reclaim the debt directly from your pay before it is deposited in your bank account.
What can Lovetts Repossess?
If Lovetts decide to send bailiffs to your home they will be able to take anything they feel meets the value of the debt and does not leave you in serious hardship. For example, they cannot remove a vehicle if it is your only means of work.
Your house is unlikely to be repossessed if you owe a large amount of debt. Most consumer debt is unsecured, meaning your home was not used as collateral for the initial debt and therefore cannot be used to repay it.
How do I stop Lovetts contacting me?
While you can’t stop Lovetts contacting you altogether, the easiest way to reduce contact is to reply to them and establish a dialogue.
That being said Lovetts, cannot harass you (see below for what constitutes harassment).
You could also get in touch with them and tell them how you would like to be contacted to avoid home phone calls, for instance. Once your preferences are established they must honour them.
If you do think that they have done any of the above or anything else you consider constitutes a complaint, then you can do so.
The best thing to do in this circumstance is to make a direct complaint first. They should deal with this for you without it having any bearing on your debt settlement issue.
Complaints can be made to the following:
Post: Head Office, Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR
Tel: 01483 457500
Regardless of whether you owe the debt or not, you have a right to be treated fairly and in accordance with FCA rulings.
How do I Proceed if I Cannot Afford to Repay the Debt?
No matter the situation, stress and worry debt can often make debt worse. So you should never hand over money if it means that you will enter into more debt.
If you can’t afford, don’t pay the debt collection firm. There are many other options available if you need help.
1. Agree upon a repayment plan
The easiest thing will be to agree on a repayment plan with Lovetts Solicitors. By doing this you will be able to agree to an affordable and acceptable plan to repay the debt over a period of time.
This should be a single monthly payment that you feel comfortable with. Don’t let Lovetts pressurise you into paying back more per month than you feel comfortable with.
If you can’t come to an acceptable agreement then there are other options to explore and Lovetts will be legally bound to give you some breathing space so that you can explore them.
2. Apply for an IVA
You may also be able to write off some or all of your debt with an IVA. An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) consolidates your debt into one single payment that is affordable for you and usually lasts for a five-year term. After that, any outstanding debt is written off.
Need more Debt Management Options?
Head to our guide on the different debt management options to find out which is right for you.
And remember, there are many different options available if you’re struggling with debt. Never pay a debt collection agency if you can’t afford to, and don’t allow them to pressure you into paying them back straight away.
Take your time to figure out your options and take control of your finances.