Contacting the Debt Collection Agencies Part 2

Debt Collection Agencies

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I recently changed jobs and started at my new place of work a couple of weeks ago. The new job is working out well, and I think I am going to be very happy with my choice for a change.

However as mentioned previously, my new job pays a bit less than what I earn now, and as I am also starting part way through the month it means that my wage for this month is going to be lower. As a result, I am going to be in a bit of a sticky situation when it comes to making my debt payments at the beginning of June.

I owed a few holidays to my previous employer and so my final payment from them is going to be very small at the end of this month. In other words, I will not be earning what I would expect. Bad planning on my part I suppose but I can’t change that.

Contacting the Debt Collection Agencies again

Unfortunately because I will not be earning a full wage this month, I have to focus on all my priority payments and then if there is anything left, I can then pay my creditors. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I will have anything left. To pre-empt this, I have written to all my creditors and asked for the arrangement to be reset to the 4th July 2013.

As you can imagine, some of them are not happy about this. However you cannot get blood out of a stone. If I don’t physically have the money to pay them then there is nothing I can do about it. It is as simple as that really.

A couple of the companies I owe money to have been fine and written back confirming the arrangement has been reset. However as I say, some have been unhappy.

Buchanan Clark and Wells

Buchanan Clark and Wells are collecting two of my Debts, the one for Barclays Banks which is a bit of joke and I will explain why in another post, and my T-Mobile debt. Here is their response for my Barclays Bank Account: -

Thank you for your Email.

I would advise that there is currently an arrangement on the account for you to pay £4.55 a month by standing order.

The next payment of £4.55 is due by 4th June 2013.

If you are unable to make payment by the above date then I would ask that you call us on 0844 472 3950 to discuss this matter further.

Kind Regards

Administration Department

My e-mail to them was quite clear, I could not pay. I explained about my job move and the fact I would be paid less but this appeared to have either been ignored, or fell on deaf ears.

Calling Buchanan Clark and Wells

Rather than enter into an e-mail discussion I called them up. It would be quicker to resolve that way. I called up an explained I had sent an e-mail saying I could not pay, and received the reply above. I said that I was pretty clear in my e-mail that I could not pay and so was just calling to reiterrate that point. I was told about the CCCS and Payplan, I quickly explained that I was more than happy with managing my debts and that this was just a temporary issue due to a change in my jobs. After a short while the payment was reset. I then explained I had another account with Buchanan Clark and Wells for T-Mobile. This was reset as well, so that was a couple of accounts sorted.

It seemed pointless asking me to ring. Considering the number of creditors I have, it wouldn’t make sense for me to continually keep changing things unless it was absolutely necessary. It isn’t my idea of fun, well maybe a little because I do write this blog after all. However I just don’t understand why they couldn’t have given me the benefit of the doubt based on my previous repayment history.

The next Debt Collector to cause some issues

This leads me on to the next agency I am dealing with, ARC Europe Limited. They currently have my Esporta Debt. Their reply is listed below: -

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately we cannot hold your account until 14th July without an offer of a token payment. Therefore please can you provide us with a full financial statement clearly showing your financial situation with your incomings, outgoings and list of creditors. In this respect, you may be interested to know, there are a number of Debt Management Companies who are “non fee charging” organisations such as The Citizens Advice Bureau,  Stepchange Debt Charity , Payplan and National Debtline who would be able to assist you.  Details of these non fee charging debt management companies can be found on the internet. 

You can make a secure payment to ARC 24 hours a day with your debit or credit card by visiting our web site or by calling our automated payment hotline on 0845 0268889. Alternatively you can telephone us to make a payment by debit or credit card. 

If we do not receive your payment and financial statement within the next 30 days, this account will be passed to our Legal Department for further action. 

A couple of things bothered me about this e-mail. One was that they had the payment due date as the 14th July, instead of the 4th July as I stated in my initial e-mail to them. They wanted another copy of my income and expenditure form, despite me sending on only 6 weeks previously.

The other part that annoyed me was the threat that unless payment was made within 30 days, that the account would be passed to their legal department. I think this was uncalled for. I was letting them know of a problem, along with a remedy to that situation. I suppose they have a job to do but still.

However the advice on where I could get help was at least good, and might have been a lifeline for someone who was really struggling.

I decided to write back as I do have a couple of questions about the account anyway. Here is my reply: -

Hi,

I recently sent an income and expenditure and the same information on that applies. As I have started my job part way through the month, I will not be receiving a full payment. This is why I unable to pay. Be advised that the proposed date is the 4th July and not the 14th as quoted in your reply below.

I am more than happy managing my debt, however as I point out I cannot make a payment on the 4th June because I simply will not have earned enough money.

Should you wish to pursue this matter further, feel free to do so. I will be more than happy to explain to the court that I have attempted to notify you of my difficulties, and agree a suitable arrangement.

I trust you will make the right and fair decision with regards to this matter, rather than adding on to my huge debts by pursuing this matter through the court.

In fact whilst we are discussing this account, please could you arrange for the original contract to be sent through to me? I am unsure as to why I owe so much. I am also unsure as to why I was unable to cancel the contract, as I was told I could do.

I received an acknowledgement back to say my comments had been noted and that the matter would be looked into. Yesterday I received a letter through the post accepting my arrangement to pay on the 4th July. I still feel that there was an lot of unnecessary work involved. Again if they had considered my payment history and contact, this could have been avoided.

Finding out about an account that had changed hands

My Natwest account was an interesting one. I e-mailed Allied International Credit to explain my circumstances and they replied telling me that they were no longer dealing with the account. That was news to me as nobody had said anything. In the end I found out that the account was now with Wescot. I have dealt with them before, and recently they have been alright to deal with. After a phone call to them, my arrangement was set to the 4th July.

I am still not happy that I didn’t receive any warning that the account had been passed on. I only found out because I had an enquiry. This seems to be common practice in the debt collection industry and ideally it needs to be addressed.

Completely Generic Replies

I have three debts with Lowell Portfolio. They are collecting two separate O2 debts (although I bundle them as one in my balance updates), and they have a debt for Aqua Card. I e-mailed them to explain the situation I am facing this month and received a fairly generic reply: -

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

The information you have provided has now been updated on our system.

Please be advised that you currently have an arrangement in place with us for £1.39 paid monthly by standing order due to be paid on the 4th of each month.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Based on my previous experiences of Lowell Portfolio this was an unexpected reply. I am still waiting for them to get back to me to confirm what their intentions are so we will see. On the face of it they say that they have updated my details, but don’t confirm if the arrangement has been reset or if they still expect payment on the 4th June.

My contact with Mackenzie Hall

I have two debts with Mackenzie Hall, one for QuickQuid and the other for Payday UK. I was surprised at the response. Here it is: -

Thank you for your recent contact regarding the above account.

We are pleased to confirm that the payment plan of £2.56 per month is accepted and due to commence on 04/07/2013 by Standing Order.

Should you have any questions or experience difficulty in meeting your repayments in the future, please telephone our offices promptly on 01563 554540 where an advisor will be able to assist you. 

However if you do not contact us and fail to meet these payments, the balance will remain outstanding and further action may be taken. 

Nice and easy, payment plan reset and I am on my way. I was expecting Mackenzie Hall to be one of the debt collectors who would be most unhappy but it seems I was wrong. Good on them. I haven’t heard anything about my QuickQuid account yet though. The above message was confirming arrangement of my Payday UK account.

Progress is being made

So once more there is some disruption to my debt payments. I was hoping to avoid this very situation but that isn’t always possible. At least once this month is done it will be business as usual. So long as you are upfront with the debt collection agencies you owe money to, they will typically help, or at least help after a little persuasion. At the end of the day so long as you are making effort to repay then you are doing all you can.

In an ideal world I would have been in a position to make payment in June without any issues. However we don’t live in an ideal world and if we did, then none of us would be in debt.

Where to get help with debt?

If you have found this post because you are struggling with debt then don’t worry. You can get help with your debts. Please see the post below to help you get started: -

- Where to get help with your Debt.

Comments

  1. roger says

    ignore them all, they are blood suckers that will take advantage of people that have fallen onto bad times. the original creditor must take you to court but most cant be bothered so they sell the loans on to these parasites. they will try and get you to pay anything monthly no matter how small, its all profit to them as these loans have bean sold in big batches. Dont take any notice of their threats. they will not take legal action on a sold on loan, but will not tell you that.

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