When it comes to dealing with debt, it can be all too easy to bury your head in the sand and hope the problem will go away. However, this is usually the very worst thing you can do. Generally, the longer you ignore your debt, the harder it will become to resolve the situation.
If you have missed several payments you may find that you are contacted by a debt collection agency who will try and recover the debt owed to your creditor. While this is a serious position to be in, you shouldn’t panic and you certainly shouldn’t ignore the letter sent by the debt collection company.
Dealing with a collection agency doesn’t have to be stressful – most will communicate with you professionally and with a degree of empathy. Debt collection agencies are controlled by the Office of Fair Trading and must adhere to certain regulations. Many agencies take compliance very seriously, for instance Wescot Credit Services carry out audits of every member of staff who deals with the public to ensure that professionalism is maintained.
Debt collection agencies are not the same as bailiffs and they do not have the same power. While a debt collector may visit your home, this is very rare and usually only happens if they can’t make contact with you via telephone or letter. You can decide how you wish to be contacted so if you’d prefer only to communicate through letter you can let the agency know. Letters can be a good idea as it allows you to document your correspondence. Debt collectors shouldn’t bombard you with telephone calls as this is classed as harassment and goes against regulations. However, if this does happen then you are within your rights to report the company.
There’s no reason why the debt collection agency shouldn’t treat you in a polite and professional manner. As they are likely to be eager to recoup the money you owe, it’s worth negotiating with them on the amount and the time scale. Working out a repayment plan which is manageable will benefit both you and the agency.
While debt is never a pleasant thing to have to deal with, if you are prepared to do what it takes to pay back the money the process can be much easier. The problems begin when you miss payments or ignore notifications, so it’s always worth keeping communication channels open with your creditor or collection agency.
Being in debt can often be an unpleasant and stressful situation to be in, especially if you don’t know where to turn for help or advice. However, there are always different options open to you depending on your circumstances. There’s no quick-fix solution to ridding yourself of debt but if you are willing to do what it takes then that’s the first step towards a debt-free life.
The right debt solution is largely dependent on how much debt you have. If you only owe a relatively small amount then a debt management plan may be the right route to take. In this case, you would calculate how much you could realistically pay back each month, with the help of a debt management company, and taking into account your household expenditure.
If you have larger debts then debt consolidation may be the right option for you. This involves taking out a new loan to clear your existing debts. This generally means that you’ll pay a lower interest rate than you would having debts spread out to different creditors. Although you do pay the debt consolidation loan back over a longer period of time, it does mean that your existing debts will be cleared straight away.
For those who have debts totalling more than £10,000 to at least three creditors, another option is an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement). An IVA is a legal agreement between you and your creditors.
For people who have extreme debt, declaring bankruptcy may be the only option left. Declaring bankruptcy is not something which should be entered into lightly as it can have serious financial implications for your future.
However extreme your situation it’s always best to seek financial advice from an expert and make steps to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. If you fail to make the repayments on your loan, it’s likely that your debt will be turned over to a debt collection agency such as Wescot for instance. In this situation you would owe the debt to the agency rather than your creditor but you should still have room to negotiate a manageable repayment plan.
Although being in debt isn’t pleasant, addressing the situation as soon as possible will be beneficial to you in the long run.
Wescot Credit Services, one of the UK’s leading debt collection agencies, have confirmed that they are in negotiations with Experian to extend the two year data services contract that was sealed in February 2012. The contract has facilitated the provision of more accurate data on customers for Wescot Credit Services, enhancing the sophistication with which they are able to assess customer profiles, leading to better collections performance, and a greater focus on TCF, or Treating Customers Fairly.
Experian’s dynamic platform ExPin targets customer data lists by matching each individual with a unique PIN identifier. Separating the data in this way dramatically reduces the risk of duplication in the system, delivering improved data quality and higher overall match rates. The complex functionality of ExPin also increases the level of accuracy in data retrieval, ensuring that Wescot Credit Services have the most up-to-date and complete customer profile available. Wescot Credit Services were quick to recognise the potential of the ExPin platform, and were one of the first companies to be migrated to it.
The contract with Experian has given Wescot Credit Services a strong platform from which to strengthen their competitive edge in the UK collections market. If successfully negotiated, an extension to the contract will facilitate the smooth continuation of the provision of exemplary service from Wescot Credit Services to both its customers and clients, within a wider framework of high standards of industry compliance and a dedication to the principles of TCF.
About Wescot Credit Services
Wescot Credit Services has over 40 years of experience in the UK collections market. A totally UK-based operation, Wescot Credit Services have 650 employees working from 3 separate sites, all linked by a virtual network which enables instant sharing of, and access to, data across the organisation. Owned by Venture Capitalists Alchemy Partners since 2005, the company manages over £8bn of customer assets. Wescot Credit Services provides recovery and reconnect services and a focus on early stage retention and sales activity for its clients. Serving an impressive list of clients, Wescot Credit Services pride themselves on establishing long term partnership relationships, and have become leading name to trust for debt collection in the media, telecoms and utility sectors. They also have a 25% of the UK Banks market. Such rich credentials demand a high profile of compliance, and Wescot Credit Services deliver in this respect as a market leader; pioneering an approach to generate an FCA framework that is fit for purpose – elements such as operational risk, systems, controls and Treating Customers Fairly, or TCF.