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Tackling your debts

Help – there’s a debt collector at my door! Part 2

Posted 01 December 2015 by Christine Walsh

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It can be incredibly scary when debt collectors turn up at your home. Find out what you should do in our blog.

Welcome to part 2 of how to deal with debt collectors. If you haven't already, make sure you read Help - there's a debt collector at my door part 1. 

Now you’ve dealt with the debt collector on your doorstep you need to come to some sort of longer term solution to start repaying what you owe. Unless you do this, you will continue to receive letters and phone calls demanding that you pay.

What’s next?

Once the debt collector has left your home, it’s time to start thinking about how you will resolve your debt problem. This is especially true if, up until this point, you have been ignoring calls and letters from your lender and the debt collection agency.

If you’ve been making payments

If you have been making payments that are less than you originally agreed, but all you can afford right now, your lender might be willing to continue allowing you to do this. Prepare a budget, detailing all your incomings and outgoings, then send it to your lender with a proposal for continuing payment. You could also ask also ask that they stop adding charges and interest to the debt as well. They’re not obliged to, but there’s no harm in asking.

Do bear in mind though, if they let you keep making repayments at a reduced rate, it will probably take you longer to repay the debt and, during this time and possibly beyond, your credit rating will be affected as a result.

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If you’ve not been making payments

However, if you have not been making payments, or you feel you simply can’t deal with the stress of it all, you can speak to a professional debt advisor. Not only can they offer you help and support on the different debt solutions – some of which have fees attached – but they can also speak to your lender on your behalf, if you decide to work with them. This means that you’ll be able to relax a bit more knowing that your debt is being dealt with by someone who’s used to speaking and negotiating with debt collection companies.

What can I do about the debt?

There are numerous debt solutions available that could help you to get back in control of your finances. However, the most important thing to remember is don’t ignore the situation in the hope it will go away. It won’t and, in fact, it could get worse and end up with your lender taking you to court. By facing the situation head on, you are taking the first step in your journey to getting back on top of your money matters again. So, we’d suggest that you pick up the phone and speak to a trained debt advisor, like the ones we have here.

They’ll look at your finances, in detail, and advise you of the best way forward. Of course, you must bear in mind that all debt solutions come with pros and cons. For example, an IVA will affect your credit rating, possibly making it more difficult for you to get credit in the future. And some debt solutions, such as IVAs, also have a fee attached to them. But the upside is that these solutions are designed to make your finances easier to cope with – allowing for your essential living costs to be covered, whilst making affordable payments towards your outstanding debts.

We hope this has helped you feel more confident about dealing with debt collectors, however, if you feel you’d like more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the options on the left hand side of the page.  

 

You can find out more about what to do if you’re visited by a court-appointed bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer here

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.