Are Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors hassling you to pay back debt you don’t owe? Do you owe the debt, but you can’t afford to pay it back? Are they threatening court action? If any of these sounds familiar, this article will help you understand how to deal with Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, and whether you need to pay back the debt.
Who are Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors?
Midas operates in the UK and is a debt collection agency. The company also provides debt management services as well as financial advisory services to customers in the UK.
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Read what to do if you can’t pay back your debt.
Why are Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors contacting you?
The debt collection business is huge, and debt collection agencies like Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors come in all shapes and forms. Many run like an independent business, while others are an arm of the business you owe the original debt too, such as a credit card or loan company. There are even sole trader debt collectors.
The job of independent collection agencies and sole trader debt businesses is to purchase the debt, paying a fraction of the face value. They make money when they collect the debt, which is why they are often so adamant about pursuing the debt. They don’t make any money, unless you make a payment! Although you ran up the debt, so have a responsibility to pay it back, you should not be bullied into doing so. Many debt collection agencies act in an unlawful way, which can cause a lot of distress to debtors.The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) said that bad practices, unfortunately “appear to be widespread”. You should not be put under pressure to pay back debt, especially if you can’t afford it.
Find out if it is your debt
The first thing to do is make sure you owe the debt before you start paying it back. If you don’t recognise the debt or the original credit company, you should not pay the money back until you have confirmation. The value may also be different, due to extra charges and interest, so you might not recognise the amount.
If in doubt, write to Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors and ask for a copy of the original credit agreement. If they cannot provide this, you should not pay the debt until they do so.
Do you need to pay the debt?
If you receive confirmation that you owe the money, it would be best if you repay it. If you can’t afford to pay it in full, you can make repayments via a repayment plan. If you owe the debt, you do need to pay it though, even if you defer it until a more suitable time. There is also the option of a partial payment, which some debt collection agencies will agree to. The best approach is to speak to Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors and let them know your situation.
Can debt collectors ruin your life?
Debt collectors can employ many tactics to try to get hold of the money, and some of these may fall short of the law. They may pressure or bully you into paying the debt. The actions may include frequent phone calls, sometimes on a daily basis.
If you are being hassled by Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, this may be causing you distress and even depression in some cases. The debt support trust say that as many as half of those people in debt, will consider suicide, and there has been a lot of research into the poor practices of debt collectors. The government were called upon to take action against debt collectors, who were not only increasing the debt problems of debtors, but also placing them under extreme pressure.
There are now legal implications for those debt collection agencies who are using poor tactics and intimidating behaviour. If you are being hassled by debt collectors, you don’t need to put up with it. There is help available for those who are struggling with debt.
Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors – what the law says
There are a new set of guidelines which have been published by The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) and these are designed to help protect those who are facing financial challenges. These guidelines are there to ensure that debt collection agencies like Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors are being fair. The legislation states that
- Debtors must be treated fairly, and the debt collection company should not be aggressive in their practices.
- Any information provided should be clear, and concise, and should be not mislead the debtor in any way.
- Understand the difficulties faced by the debtor and their financial situation and be considerate towards them.
- Take the debtors circumstances into account when determining how to deal with the debtor.
If you feel you are being harassed by Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, and they are not following these guidelines, you can report them to the OFT. They have the power to remove their license, in the worst-case scenario.
If you wish to make a complaint about Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, you can do it by filling out this online complaint form.
Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors – how they operate
If you are wondering how debt collection agencies work, this information might help you understand them a bit better.
They work on a bonus
The agents at Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors will probably have an incentive, which means they will get a bonus when they hit their target and collect a certain amount of debt. The bonuses are usually daily or monthly, and because each payment collection contributes to the bonus, they are determined to get you to make a payment. The last thing they want to do is not reach you or get no payment from you, which is why their behaviour might seem quite intimidating. For instance, if every time you listen to your voicemails there is one from them, this could be viewed as harassment.
It is important to stand up to threats you receive from Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors. The threats they make are usually empty, and you can usually speak to them and delay the payment, if you can’t make it that day. They may not be happy, but you should not pay if you can’t afford it, or if it will leave you unable to pay your essential bills.
They use automated technology
Although it is tempting to just ignore the calls from Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, it will not help in the long run. Many debt collection agencies use automated call technology. If your phone is ringing constantly, this is probably what they are doing. This is often done just to make you feel intimidated. They phone you to the point where you get fed up and end up answering.
If the debt collection agency is making excessive calls to you, this could be seen as a breach of the OFT guidelines. You can explain to the agent that you will be contacting the Financial Ombudsman.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
When the agent changes tactic
The agent you speak to from the debt collection agency may start positive and friendly, but you might notice a strange change in attitude, as the conversation goes on. The abusive and harassing calls, combined with polite and friendly calls, can be a bit confusing, but this is a common tactic. The mood will usually change if you say you can’t make a payment that day, or if you need to set up a repayment plan. Abusive behaviour can often result, and this is designed to get you to the point where you just want to pay to get rid of them.
It can be difficult to deal with this behaviour, but you should try to keep as calm as possible, and deal with it in a positive manner, no matter how difficult that may be. If the abuse continues, you can report them to the OFT using online complaint form.
What to do if they talk to someone else about your debt
If someone else answers your telephone, the agent might end up talking to the person who answers about your debt. Even if this is a family member, they do not have any right to talk to them about your situation. It is obviously worse if they speak to a colleague, but both situations are acts of illegal behaviour, and a breach of the OFT guidelines. They also break privacy laws.
You can report them to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Can they visit your home?
In some cases, debt collectors will suggest that they come and pay you a visit at your home. They believe they don’t need to follow the law, or they use this tactic to worry you into paying up! They may even go as far as pretending to call from the court, or saying they are a bailiff who will come and remove your assets. They might threaten criminal prosecution.
They do not have any right to do this though, so don’t worry about these empty threats. If they continue to threaten you, you can contact the police, especially if you feel that your safety is at risk.
Why you should not let them get you down
Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors are just one agency who can be relentless in their pursuit for the debt. The behaviour can lead people to develop poor mental health, and even suicide in some cases.
It can be difficult to stand up to Midas Legal Services Debt Collectors, as you need to be strong and courageous, but the law is on your side, and there is help available for you. It is important to get out of debt, but this needs to be done in your own time, so that stress is minimised. There is no need to worry if you are in debt, as all debt problems can be solved.
Getting help with debt
If you have a lot of debt and you need help with this, there are organisations available who can help, both not-for-profit and commercial debt management companies. The not-for-profit organisations are the most favourable choice, as you won’t need to pay anything to access the help.
Some of the not-for-profit organisations include:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) are one of the most popular organisations for providing advice of different kinds, including debt advice. They can help you deal with debt collectors and stop them from contacting you.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide free debt advice and help, whenever you need it.
- StepChange offer free online debt advice and will help you take back control of your finances.
Why you might want to write off your debt entirely
If your debt levels have reached a point where you will never be able to pay them back, you might want to consider entering into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this formal agreement, you will pay off some off the debt as a monthly payment or lump sum, and the rest will be written off. There is usually a term of five years before the debt is paid off, and you may not be able to get credit during this time. An IVA must be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.
You can find a local licenced IVA insolvency practitioner here.
An alternative to an IVA is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). You are only eligible for this if you have £50 or less left after you have paid your expenses, and you should not own your home or have assets over £1,000.
If you wish to apply for a DRO you need to contact an authorised debt advisor. This is a a list of authorised debt advisors here.
Although there have been warning from professional bodies, as well as new government guidelines, and other measures put into place, the behaviour of debt collectors could often still be viewed as harassment. In worst case scenarios, it can even lead to mental illness. You can fight back at this behaviour, especially by contacting the not-for-profit organisations. You can’t refuse to pay, but you can come to an arrangement to make repayments in a timescale that suits you. If you feel that the debt collection agency are bullying or harassing you, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman, and the may lose their licence.