Yesterday I received a voice mail on my mobile phone and it appeared I had missed a phone call from Lowell Portfolio.
A robotic voice left a message asking me to call and to quote a reference number. I phoned back as I was intrigued as to what they wanted.
My Call to Lowell Portfolio
I called back using the number left by the robot and and asked what they wanted. It was time for a payment review they said.
It turns out that they are looking for an increase of the monthly payment to my O2 account, one of several accounts Lowell Portfolio are collecting.
I reverted to my standard phrase which was “If you take a look at my income and expenditure, you will see my financial situation is dire. I cannot increase my payment to this account”.
After a few seconds pause the operator said that’s fine the payment can remain the same and asked me if I knew of where I could get help if I was struggling. I said “go on”, and the operator went on to explain I could contact StepChange Debt Charity or Payplan.
I thanked the operator for their help and hung up.
A far cry from the past
Back in 2001 when I first got into debt, I can remember such calls going down a different path. For example I would be asked to contact the debt collection agency to discuss my repayment and they would say things to scare me to make me increase the payment.
At the time I didn’t think I could write to them and I didn’t know how to properly stand up for myself. I let them walk all over me but this was counter productive in the end.
I can remember one call to a Debt Collection agency whereby they said that if I did not increase my monthly payment I would be taken to court or have things repossessed I quickly agreed to setting up payments I could not afford and eventually sort help from Payplan who were a lifeline at the time.
What to do if you don’ wish to speak to a Debt Collection Agency?
If you would rather not call them then you can write back explaining you cannot increase your monthly repayment. You should include an income and expenditure to make your life easier, although you are under no obligation to do so.
Plans for the O2 Debt
I am just going to continue making the monthly payments I currently make at the moment. Lowell Portfolio so far have been very good with the three debts they are collecting from me so I have no problems with this debt.