Have you received a threatening letter or a phone call from Walker Love debt collectors?? Not sure what to do? Learn how you can effectively deal with threatening debt collection calls and letters from Walker Love.
It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
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Who is Walker Love?
Walker Love serves as Messengers-at-Arms, as well as Sheriff Officers. Established in 1946, they operate across all six Sheriffdoms in Scotland as well as Europe. In Scotland, Sheriff Officers have a similar position than bailiffs have in England, enforcing the payment of outstanding debts.
However, as officers of the court they have the power to enforce civil warrants and court orders.
Walker Love may serve businesses and individuals in many industries, including utility companies, financial services, national and local government, and housing.
Welker Love is IIP accredited, ISO 9001 and ISO27001 certified, and governed by the FCA. Walker Love also belongs to:
- The Association of British Investigators
- The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Walker Love is often instructed by private companies, landlords and local authorities to collect unpaid taxes, private and consumer debts.
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Why is Walker Love Calling Me?
In the event that you have received a phone call or letter form Walker Love, you likely have outstanding debt. But there’s no reason to panic, as this procedure is quite normal for debt collection. For example, if you are behind with your Business Rates payments, the local authority will apply for a summary warrant from the Sheriff Court – this is in effect a court order detailing your outstanding debt and legally forces you to settle the debt.
Receiving these court orders can be stressful for consumers but it’s important to never simply ignore it.
However, if you’ve been served with a summary warrant, or a phone call, from the firm of Walker Love, there are specific steps that you may consider to prevent additional legal action.
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Council Tax Collection by Walker Love
If you are behind with Council Tax bills, the council may send you a reminder to settle your overdue bill. If you get a reminder, you will be given seven days to pay or make an arrangement to pay off the debt in installments. If you fail to do this, you’ll receive another reminder with 14 days to settle. However, in this case you will need to settle the amount in full and won’t have the option of paying in installments.
If, after two reminders, you still haven’t settled your Council Tax bill, the council may apply for a summary warrant, or court order from the Sheriff Court, in order to force you to settle the debt.
If this warrant is then granted against you, the local council will submit your details to debt collectors like Walker Love, and they can then, in turn, serve you the summary warrant for payment. It’s important to note that besides the Council Tax that you need to pay, you will be liable for an additional 10 percent penalty as a charge for your summary warrant.
Business Rates Collection by Walker Love
As with your unpaid Council Tax, your local authority can also apply for a summary warrant from the Sheriff Court for unpaid Business Rates. Walker Love will have the same rights against you as they do when collecting unpaid Council Tax and you will be given the same options to apply for a debt repayment arrangement. If you owe more than £3,000 and Walker Love is unable to get payment from you, they may apply to declare you bankrupt.
Is the Debt Too Old?
First, start by establishing what specifically the debt is for, and if you do in fact are in debt with the creditor.
Sometimes, the debt might have expired and this is referred to as ‘statute barred’. This means that under this Act, the individual debt can no longer be collected. However, the debt may be visible on your credit profile for up to six years after the default date.
There’s a specified period of time in which creditors can collect outstanding debts and in Scotland, for example, it’s a five years limit from either:
- the date on which a previous payment (if any) was made
- the date you’ve last has written contact
- the date an order was issued for payment
In Wales and England, this limit is six years, and is governed by this Act. If debt is in more than one person’s name, the criteria for statute barred applies to all parties.
It is important to note that in order for the above to apply, there are specific requirements for the five- or the six-year period:
- The debtor has not acknowledged the debt
- No decrees exit for the outstanding amount
- The creditor hasn’t yet contacted the debtor
If the debt is considered too old, Walker Love won’t be able to pursue this further.
What Can the Walker Love Do For Me?
If you have an overdue account, they can contact you to determine the reason you haven’t. From there, they may try to negotiate a payment arrangement with you, or demand that you pay in full.
If a payment arrangement can’t be agreed on, Walker Love can choose to take further legal action. They may use their Sheriff Officers in order to force legal action.
One of the best ways in which you can avoid legal action is to get in touch with your creditor and make a payment arrangement.
If you want to avoid further legal action, you may apply to obtain a specific time for pay action. This will offer you the opportunity to make an arrangement to repay your debt in monthly or weekly installments. If this is granted, no further action by Walker Love can be taken.
This also means they cannot execute an attachment for the property outside of your home, nor arrest your bank account or wages. However, when there is a direction granted, debt collectors like Walker Love could still be able to request an inhibition which will stop you from selling your home.
What Happens If I Am Unable To Pay?
If you cannot pay your debt, Walker Love can use enforcement action and the creditor may give them permission to collect the outstanding money with:
- Earnings arrestment
- Bank arrestment
- Application for an EAO
- Attachment of property outside your home
This refers to when your employer will be instructed to deduct money from your salary in order to meet the repayment obligations for your debt. An earnings arrestment will be in place until the debt is repaid.
Walker Love may keep on deducting money from your earnings after tax, until you have paid your debt in full. You will additionally be responsible for charges for fees, which will form part of these deductions.
Where bank arrestments are issued, debt collectors like Walker Love will apply for the freezing of funds in your account until such time that you give them permission to take the total sum for your outstanding debt. If you do give permission, any standing orders or direct debits will stop, and the funds will be released 14 weeks later. However, this means that you may fall behind on other debts during the time that the funds in your account are unavailable.
Only your available funds on the date that the bank arrestment was applied, will be frozen. However, you might not get a notification of the bank arrestment, and this could leave you with no cash available to service your other bills or debt.
Walker Love or your local council has to send you a debt advice information pack 12 weeks before serving you with an earnings arrestment. You need to study this information pack carefully as it will tell you how to avoid having money taken from your earnings. One example is to apply for a time for pay order, and if it’s granted, it will prevent the earnings arrestment.
What are Attachment Orders?
An exceptional order for attachment refers to the ability for the Sheriff Officers from Walker Love to seize property that is in your home. In this case, the creditor to whom you owe the debt, will apply for a court order, forcing you to pay your outstanding debt. This normally happens when the creditor has sent you a reminder to pay, and you’ve failed to do so – or make a payment arrangement – within 14 days.
An EAO will only be granted for the goods inside your home when the creditor can prove that they’ve taken all reasonable steps to find out about your position to pay. The creditor must take reasonable steps such as using a bank arrestment or using an earnings arrestment.
Sequestration / Bankruptcy
In the event that you are unable to pay your debts where you owe more than £3,000 to a creditor, the creditor may seek to sequestrate (bankrupt) you. Sequestration will stop any debt collector like Walker Love from taking further legal action against you. However, bankruptcy could have dire consequences for your personal credit history and may influence your employment and risk losing your assets.
When you are declared bankrupt, a trustee will control your finances. They will control all your belongings and assets, with the aim of paying as much as possible to your creditors.
Attachment of My Property Not In My Home
When the court orders a specific attachment for property not in your home, it means that the Sheriff Officer may seize property that belongs to you. Your property could be auctioned off to cover your debt. It gives Sheriff Officers the ability to enter garages, business premises or outside buildings, even when locked, although they cannot get access to your house under these orders.
Before this order is served, you need to be shown the warrant by the Sheriff and you must be given the chance to settle your outstanding debt, before they can take your property.
What’s an Inhibition?
With inhibition, a court order is issued that prevents you to sell your house, business premises, or property. This means you cannot go ahead and sell any major asset but not pay your outstanding debt.
How Can I Lodge a Report or Complaint?
Should you want to lay a complaint against the firm Walker Love, they can be contacted directly:
- Post: Walker Love, c/o Complaints Manager, 16 Royal Exchange, Glasgow, G1 3AB
- Phone: 0141 248 8224
- Email: email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
You can contact Walker Love and ask them to stop contacting you. However, under FCA guidelines, if you want a debt collector to stop contacting you, there are a few requirements. For example, you need to put your request in writing.
You can be sued if you are in debt to Walker Love and fail to pay. If they take you to court and they win, the court may choose to grant a judgement or order against you that orders you to pay the outstanding money. However, should your property and money are protected your creditors cannot claim it from you.
Only with a court order. No debt collector is considered a bailiff and cannot enter your home without a valid court order.