Thomas Higgins have the capacity to contact high volumes of debtors every day about their debt, and in some cases, this can be thousands of people. If you are on the receiving end of a letter or call from Thomas Higgins, and you are not quite sure how to respond, you are definitely not alone. Many people find themselves in this predicament.

It can be difficult to deal with this kind of contact, especially if it comes out the blue, but if you are in debt, you should deal with it before it escalates. We will look into more detail about who Thomas Higgins are, how to respond to their contact and dealing with your debt more generally.

Who are Thomas Higgins?

Thomas Higgins Limited are a firm of solicitors based in Wallasey, Merseyside. They are licensed and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are run by Thomas Higgins and Barbara Higgins. The company was incorporated in May 2016.

Their business model is based on sending out Letters Before Action for a small fee. For people who are only owed a small amount of money, this can be a cost-effective way to get their debts settled. Many people pay up once they have received a letter that looks – and is – official.

Thomas Higgins Limited are able to take cases to court and instruct Certificated Enforcement Agents if their Letters Before Action do not result in payment. In practice most of the cases that they deal with do not get that far. However, if the Letter Before Action does not result in repayment of the debt they are capable of taking matters further.

Thomas Higgins are a Debt Collection company with a company number of 10177315.

Their full company name is Thomas Higgins Limited.

Their website address is
https://www.thomashiggins.com/.

You can contact them directly on 0151 630 8030. Alternatively, you can email them on debt.recovery@thomashiggins.com.

Their address is:
Lloyds Chambers, 19- 21 Seaview Road, Wallasey, Merseyside, United Kingdom, CH45 4TH

Why Do They Keep Calling?

If you have never heard of Thomas Higgins before, you would be forgiven for wondering whether they are even a legitimate company. They are so if they are contacting you about debt, it is not a good idea to just ignore them. There are lots of reasons why they may be contacting you, and these are just some of the types of debt you may have:

  • Payday loans or credit cards
  • Income tax
  • Unpaid court fines
  • Tax overpayments

You take out the credit with the lending company, and when they have tried to contact you without success, they often reach out to debt collectors like Thomas Higgins. Thomas Higgins will buy the debt, and then try every possible way to get you to pay it. These are some companies they have been known to deal with:

  • Mobile phone companies
  • HMRC
  • Local council

It is not really worth their while to buy debt individually, so they usually purchase it in bundles, and get a better deal. They make a profit when you make payments to the debt so they can be determined when trying to get the money from you. As they pay a small amount for the debt, it can prove to be quite lucrative for them.

How to Stop Contact from Thomas Higgins

The best way to stop Thomas Higgins from contacting you is to pay the debt you owe. Alternatively, if you reach an agreement to repay the debt, they will usually get off your case. You should never ignore them, as that is the way to ensure you won’t get rid of them! They will keep trying until you finally give in and answer them.

If Thomas Higgins are intending to visit your property to discuss the debt you owe, they should give you 7 days’ notice. This can be a terrifying prospect and the best way to stop it happening is simply to speak to them. If you contact them, they will be willing to come to a suitable arrangement with you to repay the debt.

There are some rules and regulations as far as what bailiffs like Thomas Higgins can do. These are some of the rules they must abide by:

  • They must not send letters that are made to look like court documents
  • They do not have the right to contact you at unreasonable times
  • They cannot contact you at your workplace, if you have advised them not to.
  • They must use clear and concise language that you will understand

The best thing to do in this situation is to pick up your phone and speak to Thomas Higgins. Do not be tempted to ignore bailiffs, as you will end up with extra charges. They may also decide to visit your home to try and recover the debt.

If the debt they’re claiming does not belong to you, and they insist it is, ask them to provide you with evidence. The Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines have more information on this (see section 7).

What Are the Rights of Thomas Higgins?

You shouldn’t just ignore Thomas Higgins, as they have legal powers and the right to come to your home to collect the debt. It isn’t in your interestts to ignore them.

As bailiffs, they have the legal right to visit your property if you don’t respond to them, to try and make arrangements for the debt to be paid. This is only ever done if they can’t reach you by any other means, so it is a last resort.

If you refuse to pay the debt, the next step would be to enter your property to try and recover the debt by other means. This involves taking some of your assets as payment, and may even include your car, if you won’t allow them access to your property.

You never want it to get to this stage so don’t refuse to pay if it is your debt. Of course, if it is not your debt, you should contact the head office and ask them to update their records.

If you have, what would be deemed as serious debt, such as criminal fines you haven’t paid or unpaid income tax, they may be able to force their way into your property. These are some rules they must stick to, if it is “normal” debt.

  • They cannot force access into your property
  • They cannot access the property if only vulnerable people or under 16’s are at home
  • They must not try to enter your property after 9pm or prior to 6am
  • They cannot attempt entry through your windows

Preparing for a visit from Thomas Higgins Visits?

If Thomas Higgins agents turn up at your door, you are not required to allow them to enter your property. The only exception would be if you have unpaid court fines or other serious debt. They must also be able to prove they have the right to enter, such as having a warrant with them. They may end up using a locksmith to gain entry, if you will not let them in. They must not break the door down under any circumstances.

If someone does show up at your door from Thomas Higgins, ask them for identification, do not just let them in as realistically, it could be anyone! These are some types of ID that would be acceptable:

  • Information that shows who they are, such as an ID badge.
  • Proof of the company they’re working on behalf of (such as Thomas Higgins)
  • Proof of the debt you owe, including all fees and charges.
  • Proof that they have the right to force entry, such a a warrant

You shouldn’t ever let anyone into your property without this evidence, as there are lots of scammers out there! It is better to be safe than sorry, so just request these at the doorstep.

If they cannot provide you with suitable evidence that they have the right to even be there, let alone enter your property, you should contact the head office of Thomas Higgins, and either arrange payment or request that they update their records, if they are incorrect.

If you fail to provide evidence that it is not your debt, or arrange to make payment, they will keep visiting you. It is less stress and hassle just to deal with them.

Thomas Higgins Have Entered My Property and Taken My Goods – What Now?

If an agent from Thomas Higgins has already been into your property and taken some of your possessions as payment for the debt, it is not too late to sort out the situation. The key here is to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.

The best option for recovering the goods is by paying the debt or arranging to pay it, before they get the chance to sell them. Another option is to buy the items back and this would go towards the debt payment.

If you believe that Thomas Higgins has failed to adhere to the correct legal procedure, you could get your items back without even making any payment. You can contact Citizens Advice for more guidance on how to do this.

What to Expect from Thomas Higgins

Knowledge is power, as they say, and the more information you have about these bailiffs and what to expect from them, the better! If you are not sure how to proceed to deal them, these are some key points we would suggest.

Don’t be tempted to just ignore them

Our number one advice is not to ignore Thomas Higgins, as annoying as they may be! Not only will this add more stress to you, it may also cause you to end up with more charges and payments. Open up the lines of communication with them, even if you can’t pay the debt. If you don’t, you could end up with these extra charges:

  • Compliance – £75. If they end up having to send an enforcement notice out with a request for payment, you may end up with a compliance fee.
  • Enforcement – £235 (or 7.5% over £1500). This is usually charged if they are required to enter your home and take goods away.
  • Sale of goods – £110 (or 7.5% over £1500). If they go as far as to sell your goods, you could end up with another charge.

As you can see, it doesn’t pay to ignore them. They won’t get fed up and disappear, and you will end up paying more in the long run. If you do anything, it is speak to them.

Get confirmation of the debt

If you are unfamiliar with the debt, you should always seek confirmation that it is really yours to pay! It may be incorrect and sent to the wrong person or you may already have paid it and it has been sent to you through a system error. Make sure you know it’s definitely yours, before you even consider paying.

There is a chance that you won’t need to pay the debt, if you have failed to make any payment or discuss the debt. Some debts just fall off the radar and you may find them making urgent contact to try and get payment before the time is up! If you were pressured into taking the credit, this is another avenue that may lead to you not having to pay the debt.

Pay up!

Dealing with debt and debt collectors is depressing! Let’s face it, no one wants to have debt collectors on their case 24/7! If you are able to, you should just pay the debt and get rid of them. When you pay up, you won’t need to hear from them again. If you do make a payment, always make sure you get a receipt for your payment. You made need this as proof in the future.

Don’t stress if you can’t pay right away, there are always ways around it. You can agree to a suitable repayment plan that works for your budget. Speak to Thomas Higgins and try to come up with a solution that is right for you. Don’t pay what you can’t afford though!

Other options for dealing with Thomas Higgins

There are all kinds of reasons why you might not be able to pay the debt. You may be out of work, you might be on benefits or you may just work part time hours. If you cannot pay anything to the debt, you can come to another arrangement, and these are some suggestions.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is a good way to get rid of all your debt, and is particularly useful if you have debt with different companies. You can make one single payment to the debt each month, and some of your debt may even be written off! Seek professional advice if you are unsure if this is the right option for you.

Debt management

If the debt runs extremely high, and is completely unaffordable, even for monthly payments, you may need to consider bankruptcy. If it’s not quite that bad but you don’t like the idea of an IVA, you may wish to consider consolidation loans. You should also ask for professional advice before you decide on the best option.

Citizens Advice

If you are worried about how you should deal with Thomas Higgins, you can get some advice by speaking to the Citizens Advice. They can advise you on dealing with the debt and managing your finances going forward.

Making a complaint

Most of us like to look at the reviews of companies we’ve had bad experienced with and if you look at Trustpilot reviews of Thomas Higgins, you’ll find that there’s not very many pleasant things said about them! If you are being treated unfairly by Thomas Higgins, you should make a complaint

If you want to complain to the bailiff company you can use our free letter template which outlines exactly what you should say.

If that doesn’t help, speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service to deal with it on your behalf.

Thomas Higgins – The Last Thought

It’s not enjoyable to deal with Thomas Higgins, but you should hopefully have a better idea of how to deal with them. Firstly, make sure you respond to their correspondence, don’t avoid them! Secondly, come to an arrangement to repay the debt, in a suitable way to suit your circumstances. If they are not following the necessary guidelines, you can make a complaint against them. Don’t put with unjust behaviour.

FAQs

What rights will I have if a bailiff shows up?

Bailiffs only have the right to come to your property between 6am and 9pm and they must give you 7 days notice. They are not permitted to use any force to try and gain entry,

Can a bailiff visit more than once?

Yes, they can visit as many times as they want. There is no limit on how often they may visit.

What happens if I refuse entry to bailiffs?

If you don’t let them in, the may return with a locksmith.

What happens if a bailiff breaks down my door?

They do not have the right to break down your door. If they do, contact the police!

Can bailiffs remove my car if I need it for work?

Bailiffs may take your car, if they have no other choice. They don’t really care if you need it for work, they will still remove it!

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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