Have you recently been contacted by Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery regarding outstanding debt? It can be nerve-wracking receiving a call or letter and wondering how you’re going to pay it back.
Perhaps you owe money for services or work carried out and you’ve fallen behind on payments.
Whatever the case may be, Mortons Solicitors have started the process of recovering the money owed.
If you’re unsure what your best course of action is or have questions about the process, this guide will give you everything you need to know.
Who are Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery?
Originating in Sunderland, Mortons Solicitors are a long-established law firm. They specialise in a wide range of legal matters from personal injuries to conveyancing, as well as debt collection for private firms.
You’ll also find an office for Mortons Solicitors in Seaham, Durham. And they cover a much wider area.
Why are Mortons Solicitors Calling Me?
If you have an unpaid debt, the firm or creditor you owe the money to have employed Mortons Solicitors to chase this up for them.
The debt you owe will be from another company, which is why you probably won’t recognise the name Mortons Solicitors. They are simply recovering the debt owed to a third party.
You might receive letters or phone calls and if these go unanswered, you may also get a visit from a field agent.
Is this Legitimate or a Scam?
Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery Agency is a legitimate firm, so never throw the letters away thinking they are junk.
They usually deal with private businesses who are chasing unpaid invoices up to £100,000. But may be working on behalf of a credit firm or other business.
What Happens if I Ignore Calls from Mortons Solicitors?
It’s extremely important to respond to correspondence regarding debt. If you ignore letters or calls, Mortons Solicitors won’t just go away and they may begin court proceedings to collect the money owed.
If you have only received calls or letters up until now, you may get a visit from an agent if these continue to go unanswered. This is to help get the ball rolling with a repayment plan as well as to check the address they have on file is correct.
How Do I Stop Mortons Solicitors Contacting Me?
Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery has a legal obligation to contact you on behalf of the creditor you owe money to. So, unfortunately, you can’t stop them from contacting you completely.
However, you can request they only contact you via mail or phone if you prefer one or the other.
Quote form Clumber1:
“I will certainly be dealing with debt collectors in writing from now on. I try not to feel panicked and pressurised, but it definitely happens. What I find particularly persuasive is the very certain statements they come out with. When I first contacted them, the person on the phone was adamant that as the debt was over a year old, I would have to pay it all off that day in one go. He basically started off by saying that paying in instalments was 100% not an option. When they say things like that, it’s hard to know whether they are negotiating or telling the truth.”
But They Call Persistently, What Should I Do?
Although Mortons have the right to contact you, they are legally obligated to abide by a code of conduct.
For example, they cannot threaten legal action against you if they have no intention of taking you to court.
They also cannot call at unreasonable hours or send letters that are threatening or look like court forms.
What Legal Action Will Mortons Solicitors Take?
Although Mortons Solicitors in Dunstable are well within their rights to call, write or visit your property, they are not allowed to harass you by calling or visiting at unreasonable hours.
You are also within your right to request that they only contact you during certain hours if you have a work schedule or other important commitments.
Mortons are within their rights to send agents to your door. However, these agents are not court bailiffs and cannot claim to be. If they do come to your door, always ask for ID.
These agents are obligated to leave your property when told to. And they cannot enter your home without permission or remove any of your personal belongings.
If you fail to respond and ignore their requests to settle the debt owed, Mortons then have the right to take you to court to get a County Court Judgement issued or send bailiffs to your home. At this point, these bailiffs will be within their right to cease property.
Remember, before taking you to court, the following steps will be taken first:
- Reasonable attempts to get in touch with you to settle the debt
- Get a County Court Judgement issued
- Send bailiffs to your home to recover goods in the amount owed
- Apply for a charging order or attachment of earnings order
Case Study from Barry Smith:
“In 2010 I had some personal issues in my life and went off the radar for around 3-4 years. I stopped paying all my debts and lost my flat etc. Today I have had a letter from a debt company asking for 3.7k for an old Barclaycard , the tone of the letter is very gentle with no mention of court or CCJ etc. but just simply they have been appointed the collect agent…nothing about court just asking me to setup a payment plan.
So this debt is over 10 years old. I have had no prior contact never contacted anyone or made a payment. I have really got my life back on track over the last 6 years and was planning on saving a deposit for another house over the next two years. I read lots of conflicting information on the internet but it doesn’t seem that they can take you to court for a debt so old , is this true ? note there is nothing on my credit file at all and I even have another Barclaycard now. I really don’t know the best way to act, should I contact them or do nothing, are they chancers just trying to see what they can get with a very old debt.”
Section 5 of the Limitation act, 1980, states that a creditor has a maximum of six years to take action on any simple contract debt in the UK. After this period, if no payment or written acknowledgement has been given, the debt becomes statute barred. This means that although they can continue to chase the debt, they are no longer able to involve the courts.
Can Mortons solicitors repossess my house?
Although it is possible for Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery to repossess your house, this is very much a last resort and several other steps will be taken first.
If no other reasonable attempts to pay back the debt are made, Mortons can apply for a Charging Order or Attachment of Earnings Order which would secure your outstanding debt against your property or earnings.
However, to do this, they need to issue County Court Judgement first. And remember, they will make reasonable attempts to retrieve the debt from you before taking you to court. It’s also in their best interest to settle the debt with you quickly and directly.
Do I Have to Agree to Mortons Solicitors Terms?
Absolutely not. You should never agree to repayment terms that you cannot afford or are unhappy with. Never put yourself in a position of further hardship.
Before speaking to Mortons Solicitors Debt Recovery, make a budget of what you could afford to pay each month without putting yourself in more debt. This way, you’ll immediately know if the terms they are offering will work for you in the long-term.
Next, talk to the solicitors directly and try to come to an agreement on an affordable payment plan and timeline.
Case Study from Clumber1:
“The debt is for unpaid energy bills back at the end of 2018. The debt was for about £400 and as I couldn’t possibly pay it in one go, they very reluctantly allowed me to pay it off in monthly instalments of £100. The person I spoke to on the phone was very pushy and I ended up agreeing to pay a far higher monthly amount than I could afford. I paid the first instalment in full on the day but last month I couldn’t manage the agreed amount and only paid £60 which they were quite unhappy about. I was told that this month I would have to pay the agreed monthly fee plus the amount I missed before so £140. I told them that it is quite unlikely I’d be able to and was mildly threatened that underpayment would result in an escalation of their pursuit, however they wouldn’t give me any detail of what that would amount to.
Anyway, this month hasn’t been a good one and I’m not in a position to pay them back much at all. Certainly, nowhere near the £140 agreed. The day the payment was due on was over a week ago and I’ve had a letter threatening me that if it’s not bought up to date they will force me to pay the full outstanding amount back in one go.”
This case study shows the importance of not agreeing to any repayment scheme you cannot afford. It will eventually lead to more hardship down the road. If you feel you’re being pushed into unaffordable repayments, talk to a specialist who will handle the matter for you.
What Do I Do If I Can’t Afford to Pay Mortons Solicitors?
If you are struggling to pay off debt and have no means to pay the money you owe, it is possible to get your debt legally written off.
To do this, you need to apply for the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) Scheme. This will consolidate all of your unsecured debt into one more affordable monthly payment.
The monthly payment then lasts for around 60 months. If you still have debt at the end of that period, the remaining debt is legally written off in full.
While you’re under the IVA Scheme and making your monthly repayments, creditors are not allowed to contact you directly. But may do so through the solicitors you set up the IVA Scheme with.
How Much Debt Can I Get Written Off?
Most people using the IVA Scheme get 60 to 90% of their debts written off, depending on how much they owe and the monthly payment they secure.
Your monthly repayments will take into account your overall debt, income, and assets.
However, to get approved for the IVA Scheme, 75% of your creditors must agree to it (if you have more than one person or firm you owe money to).
What if I have Multiple Debts?
Debt is a vicious cycle that can quickly make you feel like you’re drowning. If you owe additional debts — on top of the one Mortons Solicitors in Stockport is chasing you for — it’s best to talk to a specialist who can give you advice on the best steps.
They will help you consolidate your debts if this is the best option for you or help negotiate the most affordable repayment terms with all of your creditors.
What Steps Should I Take to Pay the Debt?
If you are in a position to pay your debt without getting into further hardship, here are the next steps:
- Make sure the debt in question is actually owed. If you’re unsure this debt is in your name, check with a reputable credit agency such as Credit Karma (formerly Noddle).
- Request a ‘Prove the Debt’ letter from Mortons – if they can’t produce this, they can’t chase you for the repayment.
- Check the debt is not Statute Barred – this means that enough time has passed that they can no longer legally enforce payment from you (as mentioned, this is usually 6 years).
If all these steps are satisfied, then you are legally obligated to pay the debt to Mortons. You will be able to discuss payment options with them directly. This may be a lump sum or monthly payments, which can be discussed and agreed upon with Mortons directly.
How Do I Make a Complaint Against Mortons Solicitors?
If you feel you’ve been harassed or otherwise treated unfairly by Mortons Solicitors, you can make a formal complaint to them directly:
Post: Mortons Solicitors, 112 High Street West, Sunderland SR1 1TX
Telephone: 0191 514 4323
Making a complaint with the firm will not impact your dealings with them when agreeing to repayment terms for your outstanding debt. So never be worried about a complaint reflecting on your repayment plan.
What if I’m unhappy with the outcome?
Get Help Today
If you’re receiving letters or calls from Mortons Solicitors, Sunderland, don’t panic. You have a lot of options available to help you avoid further debt. If you are still unsure of the right steps to take and need expert advice, get in touch today. Our team will help you plan your next steps and deal with your debt stress-free.