You might not have to pay Optima Legal Debt Collectors!
Have you been getting lots of calls from Optima Legal Debt Collectors? If you have, you are not alone! This is a debt collection agency who are known to contact debtors persistently about their debt. If you need some help with dealing with Optima Legal Debt Collectors and your debt in general. read on to find out what we can do to help.
Complaints about debt collection practices have more than doubled over the past year, rising from 830 to 2,006.
Who are Optima Legal Debt Collection?
Optima is a registered debt collecting company in the UK and collects for many well-known brands and organizations. The company offers assistance to organisations with regards to debt management.
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Why are Optima Legal Debt Collection contacting you?
If Optima Legal Debt Collection are contacting you, it is because you owe money, maybe not directly to them, but to another company, such as a credit card, energy company or bank.
These debt collection agencies buy the debt from other companies, and as they don’t make a profit until you pay it back, they can be quite persistent. It can be frustrating to deal with debt collectors, but it is important that you speak to them, and don’t ignore the situation. Read what to do if you can’t pay back your loan.
What if you don’t recall this debt?
If you don’t recall the debt, you should not just pay this. You must ask for a copy of the original credit agreement from Optima Legal Debt Collection and demand a copy of your original credit agreement.
If they can’t provide this, you should not make payment. In some cases, you may even be entitled to a refund. See my most popular post for the guide on how to get a refund.
I can’t pay, what next!
If you find out you do owe the money, the best thing is, of course, to pay the debt. If you can’t make full payment, then you may be able to make a partial payment. If this isn’t possible either, you can set up a offer them a temporary repayment plan with Optima Legal Debt Collection.
What if debt collectors are making you miserable?
Debt collectors can make your life miserable by constantly contacting you about your debt, and harassing you. Even if you do set up a repayment plan, they have been known to still keep sending letters etc. If they are harassing you, you can get some help and advice.
It can prove almost impossible to get the debt collectors called off. Victims say they have suffered sleepless nights and been afraid to open their doors in case bailiffs turn up.
If you are being harassed by Optima Legal Debt Collection, it can have devastating consequences on your life, they are not entitled to harass you though, and if they do this, you can report them to the Financial Ombudsman.
Optima Legal Debt Collection and what the law says
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) have guidelines set out for debt collection agencies and their practices. This includes, treating debtors fairly, and without being aggressive, unfair or inappropriate. In addition, they should be understanding of the difficulties faced by debtors, and take their situation into consideration.
If you being that Optima Legal Debt Collection are not following the required guidelines, and in fact, if they are harassing or hassling you in any way, you could be entitled to make a complaint about them, and their practices.
Complaints about the tactics used by debt collection agencies and bailiffs themselves soared 77 per cent from 864 to 1,529.
If you wish to make a complaint about Optima Legal Debt Collection, this online complaint form can be used.
Debt collectors may lie to you about where they are from, they may say they are a separate agency, when they are actually part of the organisation you owe the money to, it is important to always be aware of the tactics used.
Why do Optima Legal Debt Collection hassle debtors?
It may seem strange that debt collectors would pull these kind of tactics, after all, it seems like it may be counter productive to hassle you. These are some of the reasons why they do this.
They need the payments
It is a simple fact that Optima Legal Debt Collection agents want you to make payments to the debt. It not only reflects badly on them if you fail to make payments, but it can also affect their bonuses. They want you to pay, because then they get paid. So if you’re wondering why they are constantly calling you up, this is one of the main reasons why.
If you can try and keep calm when dealing with Optima Legal Debt Collection, and understand what they are doing, it will save you from feeling so stressed and harassed by them.
They are using automated calling
If you are getting constant phone calls from Optima Legal Debt Collection, you are probably going out of your mind wondering why they are just hanging up and calling again. The truth is that many debt collection agencies now use automated calling technology. This means that even though it seems like they are calling you incessantly, that is probably not the case. They may just be using technology that does this – although that doesn’t make it any less annoying!
If the frequency of the calls from Optima Legal Debt Collection are getting you down, you can tell them that they are in breach of the OFT guidelines. Remember – you have the right to report them to the Financial Ombudsman for such illegal practices.
You can reach the Financial Ombudsman by calling 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Why do they seem angry?
The agent may initially come on the phone happy and friendly, but you may notice their attitude changing as they find out that you don’t have the funds to pay back your debt. This change in attitude can be quite upsetting, but it is important not to take it personally. The agent is just doing their job, and if they fail to get payment, they feel like they have failed too. This doesn’t make it any easier when you are on the receiving end, though.
If you are struggling to cope with the way Optima Legal Debt Collection are treating you, don’t worry, you can Report them to the OFT using this online complaint form.
What if they speak to third parties?
In some cases, debt collection agencies will think it is within their rights to speak to others about your debt, to embarrass you and also to encourage you to sit up and take notice. For instance, they may speak to your partner, family member of even a colleague about your debt. This sort of behaviour is a breach of both OFT guidelines, and privacy laws.
If you are unhappy with the behaviour of debt collection agencies, you should report them to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
How do I deal with the debt?
Most people have found themselves in situations where their funds are a little lower than they’d like, or worse still they find themselves up to their neck in debt. If this is the situation you are currently in, it is important to understand that you are not the only one – this is extremely common. Debt is more common than you probably manage and it’s important to deal with it and not bury your head in the sand. Pay your debt or set up a repayment plan, so at the very least, the debt collectors stay off your back.
No extra funds after pay day
It is not uncommon to get paid, and watch your salary disappear on your bills and day to day expenses. If this is the case for you, and you have no extra for anything else, let alone to pay debt, you can seek help on your debt, and there are many organisations who will offer this help for free.
Getting out of debt
Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but these are some steps you can take to try and reduce your debt as much as possible.
- Start making repayments, no matter how small they may be. Even if you can afford to pay £5 a week, it is better than paying nothing, and it may stop you getting contacted from debt collectors.
- Do not be tempted into taking out more credit. The more credit you have, the more you owe. In general, it is much better to save up to pay for things, than to rely on loans, credit cards etc.
Can I write off my debt?
There are some cases were debtors have no income at all, and just can’t afford to pay back debt. If you are in this situation and your debt is quite substantial, you may want to consider signing up to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). With this agreement, you arrange to pay back some of your debt, and some of it is wiped off. This can be a good option if you have no way of getting out of your debt.
For more details on local licenced IVA, you can find an insolvency practitioner here.
Another option is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This is only available to those who have less than £50 left after they have paid their regular bills.
This is a list of authorised debt advisors
Although you may be in debt and debt collectors have the right to contact you about, you still deserve respect, and they shouldn’t make you feel bad about the debt. They should also not resort to harassing you, including contacting you excessively or failing to listen to your needs on the way you want to be contacted. If they are found to be acting in an unlawful manner, they could lose their licence.