What is debt collection?
A lender could be asking you for money, or it might have passed the matter to an external agency to collect. Either way, it can be worrying to be told you owe money and you might feel the business asking you to pay isn’t treating you fairly.
We can look at complaints about the collection of debts in relation to most types of credit. However, we can’t consider them all (for example the collection of debts such as council tax, utility bills, court fines or rent arrears). If you’re unsure about what we can help with then get in touch.
Types of complaint we see
We sometimes hear from consumers that:
- they’re not the person who owes the debt
- the amount they’re being asked to pay is incorrect
- the business is repeatedly contacting them about the debt
- they’re in financial difficulty and the business isn’t being helpful
- their debt isn’t enforceable
How to complain
What we look at
To help us consider a complaint fairly, we’ll ask you to provide some information. We’ll make our decision about what happened using evidence provided by you, the financial business and any relevant third parties. In reaching a decision, we consider:
- the relevant law
- any regulations that applied at the time
- any industry codes of conduct in force at the time
Putting things right
If we find the business has done something wrong or not treated you fairly, we can tell it what to do to resolve the complaint. There are a range of things we might ask a lender to do to put things right, depending on the circumstances.
It usually involves putting you back in the position you’d be in if things hadn’t gone wrong. It might include, for example, correcting someone’s credit record, agreeing a repayment plan or changing the amount you owe or paying you compensation for distress or inconvenience.
What we ask a business to do, and the amount of compensation we ask it to pay would depend on the particular facts of the case.
Bree said the business didn’t treat her fairly when recovering a debt
If you’re worried about money and finding it difficult to know where to start, the government-backed MoneyHelper service can help you find a way forward. Whether it’s living on a squeezed income, working out how to prioritise your bills and payments, or access to free, expert debt advice, they can help you take the first step towards getting on top of things.
StepChange Debt Charity offers free, flexible debt advice that is based on a comprehensive assessment of your situation and provide practical help and support for however long it’s needed.
You can also get advice on debt and other money related problems from Citizens Advice.
Information for financial businesses
If you’re a financial business looking for information to help you resolve complaints, detailed information about debt collecting complaints can be found in the business section of our website.