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Metropolitan Collection Services Debt – Must You Pay?

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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.

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Metropolitan Debt Collection Services

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.

Received a letter from Metropolitan Collection Services about a debt? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Each month, over 170,000 people visit our website seeking advice on debt matters.

We understand that you might be feeling confused about where this debt came from and if it’s even yours to pay. You might also be worried about what will happen if you can’t afford to pay it.

In this article, we’ll explain:

  •  Who Metropolitan Collection Services are and why they might have contacted you.
  •  How to check if the debt they are asking for is really yours.
  •  What to do if you can’t afford to pay or if you think you shouldn’t have to pay.
  •  How to deal with debt collectors without feeling stressed.
  • Options for help if you’re struggling with debt

Some of our team have had their own issues with debt collectors, so we understand how scary and confusing it can be. But remember, we’re here to help you understand and deal with this situation.

Let’s figure out your best steps forward.

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 have you been contacted by Metropolitan Collection Services Debt Collectors?

The answer is simple. If you are being contacted by Metropolitan Collection Services Debt Collectors, you have debt, and they are chasing you for it. You may not recognise them, as they are not the company you owe the money to. They are collecting it on behalf of another organisation, such as a bank, credit card, loan company or similar. They come in many shapes and sizes, including independent debt collectors and even sole traders.

There is a consistent business model as far as debt collectors are concerned. The way it works is that they buy the debt from the original company you owe the money too. This could be a bank you have an outstanding loan with, a credit card company you have failed to repay or even an energy bill you have got behind with. The debt collection company pays a fee for the debt, which is usually around 20%, so it is a great way for them to make a profit. As they have purchased the debt, they need to get payment, otherwise they are running at a loss. This is why they can be quite ruthless about getting the debt paid. Bad practices amongst debt collectors, are unfortunately, extremely common.

Do I really owe this money?

If you have no idea where this debt has originated, and why Metropolitan Collection Services Debt Collectors are contacting you about it, you always seek to get confirmation. If it’s just the value that seems different, it is probably down to the addition of interest and/or fees. By the time the debt collectors get to you, it may be significantly higher than you remember!

Metropolitan Collection Services Debt Collectors will be able to provide you with a copy of the original credit agreement. However, if they won’t do this or advise you that they don’t have any proof, you should not pay the debt. They have no right to chase you for debt, unless they can prove it is yours.

Follow our ‘prove it’ guide with letter templates and get them to prove that you owe the money.

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Fill out the short debt form

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 Metropolitan Collection and explain the situation.

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

Can pay, but should I?

The best advice that I can give you is if you can pay, then pay!

As simple as that may sound. If you owe the money, you should try and just clear your balance as soon as possible. However, if you don’t have the means to do this, don’t worry, as you will be able to set up a suitable repayment plan that works for your budget.

Speak to Metropolitan Collection Services Debt Collectors and ask them to devise a suitable plan based on your income and expenditure. You can use any of my free letter templates to help you write to them politely but effectively.

Can I write off my debt?

In some situations, you may be able to write off some of your Metropolitan Collection Services debts. You can do this with debt settlement offers, or possibly with a debt solution.

There are some examples of them accepting a full and final settlement offer that’s a bit less than the actual value of the debt.

If you would like to make a full and final settlement offer to Metropolitan Collections, you can use my free letter template as a guide. Keep in mind that the more you offer, the more likely your offer is to be accepted.

If your offer is accepted or is accepted after a bit of negotiation, I recommend keeping all of this written correspondence for at least 6 years after you’ve paid the final settlement amount.

This will make it easy to argue with Metropolitan if they change their minds down the road.

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

Have you considered a debt solution?

In more extreme cases, it may be worth considering entering into a debt solution.

There are several different debt solution options 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.

How do I make a complaint against Metropolitan Collection Services?

If you think that Metropolitan Collection Services 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 for debt collection.

Make your first complaint to Metropolitan Collection Services 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, Metropolitan Collection Services may be fined. You could even be owed compensation.

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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Reviews shown are for The Debt Advice Service.

Metropolitan Collection Services Contact Details

Company Name:  Metropolitan Collection Services Ltd
Other Names:  MCS, Central Debt Recovery Unit, Payment Services Bureau
Address: PO Box 5338, Coventry District Service Centre
Binley Business Park, Harry Weston Road, Coventry CV3 9FR
Contact Number:  0345 609 0545
Fax:  0121 4552997
Numbers they call from: 08456031256

Keep Up To Date With Your Debts

It’s easy to lose track of debts, especially since the debt collection industry isn’t exactly transparent.

One important thing to look out for is your debts being passed to other collectors.

debt sold to debt collector

Sometimes, a debt collector will deem a particular debt not worth chasing, and they may sell the debt to another agency. It’s surprisingly common.

The story above is a great example where PRA Group Inc. decided a debt was no longer worth their time, so they sold it to Moorcroft Debt Recovery.

Two of the biggest names in the industry are Lowell UK and Cabot Finance, so they’re the ones you are most likely to see if it does happen to you.

I’d suggest you keep a keen eye out in your post and email for any indication that your debt has been transferred.

It’s easy to miss, especially if you’ve been used to seeing messages from one specific collector. 

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.

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.
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