Are Swift Credit Debt Collectors contacting you about outstanding debt you have? Do you owe money but you are unable to pay it back? or do you not even recognise the debt? Are Swift Credit Debt Collectors threatening you with court action? If these sound familiar or you are in a related position, you might want to keep reading!
Who are Swift Credit Debt Collectors?
Swift Credit Services Limited is one of the leading judicial service providers in Wales. The company was founded in 1974 and is located in the UK. The company specialises in debt collecting and also provides professional services such as peaceful forfeiture and local taxation.
Your best solution (if you qualify) [1 minute]
You can write off 75% of your debt with a new government scheme called Individual Voluntary Arrangement. You only qualify if your debts are over £1,700 and you have more than one debt. Answer 4 questions to see if you qualify.
What do Swift Credit Debt Collectors want?
Swift Credit Debt Collectors want you to pay up – and the quicker the better! Like other debt collection agencies, they chase the money on behalf of the original credit company. So, you may owe the debt to another company, but Swift Credit Debt Collectors have purchased it, so they have the right to contact you about it, as frustrating as that may be!
The business model of independent debt collectors is that they purchase the debt from the original credit company, i.e. credit card company or bank at a fraction of the face value. Sometimes this is as little as 20%. They start making their money back, when you start paying. It doesn’t take them long to make a profit on this, as they have paid so little in the first place. There are often a lack of morals among debt collectors, they will often stop at nothing to get the payments from you. Unfortunately, poor behaviour is common, and this is why there has been changes to help protect those who are struggling with debt.
Is this really your debt?
It is important to establish the origins of the debt, especially if you don’t recognise it. It may have grown as a result of interest and other charges, or you may have thought you had already cleared the debt. Whatever the situation, if you do not know what the debt is or where it came from, you should seek to get confirmation.
You can write to Swift Credit Debt Collectors in the first instance, and request the original credit agreement. If they are not able to provide this for you, you can refrain from paying them, and there is nothing they can do.
Do you need to pay?
Debt is debt – if you owe it, you have a responsibility to pay it. However, this is not always possible, and you should not pay debt if it will be to the detriment of other essential bills, such as your rent or mortgage. You may be able to come to an arrangement with Swift Credit Debt Collectors to make a partial payment to clear the debt, or set up a repayment plan, at a rate to suit you.
How debt collectors can ruin your life
Some of the tactics used by debt collectors are questionable, and may not be in line with the law. These may include pressurising you to make payments, bullying you to try to get you to pay up or constant forms of harassment, for example, calling at all hours of the day.
There is no overestimating the effects of this kind of persistent contact on your day to day life. In some cases, debt collectors can leave debtors feeling anxious, upset and even depressed. In some cases, those suffering at the hands of debt collectors even consider suicide; such is the impact they can have. Money worries can be difficult enough, but if you also have debt collectors on your case 24/7, it just exasperates the situation. You don’t need to put up with this though, there is legislation there to protect you from this kind of contact. The government stepped in as a result of the behaviour of debt collectors, and fortunately, this made a huge different to their behaviour.
Swift Credit Debt Collectors and how the law protects you
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) have a set of guidelines which have been devised to help protect debtors. These new guidelines mean that Swift Credit Debt Collectors should:
- Ensure the treatment of debtors is fair and there are no aggressive practices used.
- Ensure transparency in all information provided. It should be clear and concise, and not confusing to the debtor.
- Show consideration and empathy towards the debtor and their situation.
- Take the debtors circumstances into account when determining suitable action to take.
IfSwift Credit Debt Collectors are harassing you, and are failing to adhere to the guidelines, then you may be able to report them to the OFT – who may determine that they should lose their license.
Do you wish to make a complaint about Swift Credit Debt Collectors? You can use this online complaint form
Some debt collectors may even lie about being an external agency when they are actually a business arm of the original company you took out the debt with. As this is deceit, they could be breaking the rules, and you have a case to raise a complaint about them.
How to deal with contact from Swift Credit Debt Collectors
It is important to be able to deal with your debt in the right way, and if you are receiving contact from Swift Credit Debt Collectors, these are some steps to take.
Speak to them
It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do is to speak to them, and discuss your financial situation. There is no point in hiding away from your debt issues, as they won’t just magically disappear. If you can be upfront and honest, it will go a long way to helping you deal with the debt, as quickly as possible. It will also save you the stress of receiving a barrage of calls and messages. Pick up the phone and discuss your financial situation, and how you wish to move forward.
If Swift Credit Debt Collectors threaten you, you should not just put up with this. They have no right to issue threats, most of which will be empty anyway. Although you owe the money, you are not there to take harassment or abuse of any kind. If that happens, you will be able to make a complaint.
Arrange to pay your debt
It is important that you deal with your debt, for your own peace of mind if nothing else. If you can, the best course of action is to pay the full amount and clear the debt completely. If this is not possible, you can set up a repayment plan to pay it off. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a partial payment, which is were you pay a chunk of the debt to clear it off. As debt collectors are buying the debt for a small fee, they will usually be willing to do this.
If you have made an arrangement, but they continue to call you, this could be in breach of the OFT guidelines. In which case, you should tell them you no longer wish to receive calls. If the continue thereafter, you may want to report the behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman is by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
What debt collectors need to do
Debt collectors like Swift Credit Debt Collectors have a responsibility to listen to your needs, and take these onboard. For example, if you only want contacted via email or letter, they should do this. Alternatively, if you prefer not to receive emails, and you would rather they call you, they have a responsibility to do this. If they disregard your requests, you could have a case for reporting them. Similarly, if you feel they are being aggressive or threatening towards you, or you are just generally getting a sinister feeling in their approach, you can make a complaint. The main aim of debt collectors is to break down your defenses, so that you just pay up. They have no right to make you pay debt that you can’t afford though.
It is not always easy to know how to stand up to threatening or abusive behaviour from debt collectors, but thankfully, help is at hand. If you want to make a complaint, you can report them to the OFT using this online complaint form.
What if they spoke to a family member about your debt?
Unfortunately, debt collectors might believe they can speak to others about your debt, but this is not the case. Your financial situation is for you to manage, and should only be shared with others, if you decide to do this. If Swift Credit Debt Collectors have discussed your debt with a family member, or anyone else for that matter, it is a breach of the OFT guidelines, and it is also a breach of privacy laws.
You can report this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
When they try to visit your home
Debt collectors may threaten to come to your home to discuss the debt, or even to remove your possessions. They have no right to do this, and if they threaten this behaviour, you have the right to report them. You should never allow debt collectors access to your home, and you should not let them make you feel worried or unsafe.
If you are feeling threatened or unsafe in your own home, you should contact the police and discuss the issues you are facing with the debt collectors. They will deal with the situation for you.
Stand up to debt collectors
Dealing with debt collectors such as Swift Credit Debt Collectors can be distressing, worrying and can leave you feeling alone and embarassed. Although it is difficult, you should stand up for yourself. Don’t make payments to debt you can’t afford, and don’t be made to feel under threat. You owe the debt and you should pay it back, but you need to come to an arrangement which works for you, and your situation. Don’t be left in a position where you are paying debt, but you can’t pay your mortgage or rent.
Free debt help
If you need help with your debt, there are options out there for you. There are a range of not-for-profit organisations who offer debt help for free, and there are commercial debt management companies who will charge you for the service. You should use the free debt services as your first port of call. Some of the organisations to try are:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides help and support with your debt and will provide advice on stopping debt collectors from contacting you, if you can show them that you are seeking help and are attempting to pay your debts off.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide free debt help.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice helping people manage their finances and reduce debt.
How an IVA can help
It might seem too good to be true, but it is entirely possible to wipe off a lot of your debt through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). This is a process where you enter into a formal agreement to pay the debt collectors a specific amount as a one off payment or as monthly installments, and the rest of the debt can be written off, usually after five years. The IVA process must be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.
Find a local licenced IVA insolvency practitioner here.
Another option to consider is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This is available to those who have £50 or less each month after paying household expenses. In order to be able to apply for this, you must not be a homeowner or have assets which are worth over £1000.
To apply for a DRO you must do it through an authorised debt advisor. You can find a list of authorised debt advisors here.
There have been many warnings from the government and professional bodies to debt collection agencies, yet some continue to behave in an unlawful way. You can fight back, and although it is not possible to ignore the debt, you can make repayments that work for you. You should not have to deal with any bullying or harassment in relation to your debt. If you feel that they are doing this, you should report them to the Financial Ombudsman. If they feel that they have behaved in way which is not in line with the legislation, they may even lose their licence.