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Tuesday, 28th April 2009
New harassment template letter (available soon) and disputed debt letter is available for free - see below to download.
It is not a crime to be in debt!
Many individuals in debt are often subject to unnecessary harassment by lenders. Arguably, it can be justified in some cases whereby the borrower stops paying and fails to inform his/her creditors of the reasons why.
However, in a lot of instances creditors work under the rule of “he who shouts the loudest gets paid” and will therefore annoy, badger, disturb, exhaust, harry, jade, perplex, pester, plague, tease, tire, torment, trouble, vex, weary and worry to get paid, in other words to “annoy or trouble constantly”, reference: Collins dictionary.
So what is harassment?
There are many more forms of harassment, but these are the most frequent ones;
So what can you do if you feel you are being harassed?
You will need to start collecting evidence of the harassment, this is very easy to do.
Other uesful tips;
What legislation is there that helps me?
Section 40 - Administration of Justice Act 1970.
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Section 4A - Public Order Act 1986.
Section 1 & 2 - Malicious Communications Act 1988.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997, (“the Act”) the provisions of this Act are quite complicated and unfortunately cannot be covered in an article such as this. It is an interesting piece of legislation with potential repercussions for creditors. In the circumstances, I have highlighted below what I consider to be the most relevant provisions.
The Act was introduced to deal with stalking offences, however, Section 1 can be applied to creditors harassing debtors whereby a person is guilty of this offence if they pursue a course of conduct that they know or ought to know amounts to harassment of another. The debtor would need to prove conduct, i.e. on more than one occasion.
Will the Police get involved?
Only if it becomes a serious offence such as violence, blackmail or fraud will the Police normally express an interest.
In defence, a creditor can claim that they were:
Is there anything else I can do?
In minor cases it may only require representation to be made to the creditor’s head office, with evidence wherever possible. This usually stops a ‘rogue’ employee and if this fails to arrest the conduct than contact Trading Standards Officer or the particular Trade Association that the lender belongs to. Another contact is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who grants Consumer Credit Licences to lenders and will have records of previous complaints against any such creditor.
One important point to bear in mind is that if the debtor/borrower is obstructive and ignores all reasonable attempts of contact from the creditor/lender and does not adhere to the contractual or agreed reduced payments, then a creditor will claim in defence that their action is justified and not many people will argue against this.
Remember, being in debt is not a crime, so insist that you are treated properly and politely at all times.
Letter 1 Disputed debt 'Disputed debt, a debt you do not owe'.
This letter is designed to send to your lender or Debt Collecting Agency (DCA) who are pursuing you for a debt you do not owe or is in dispute.
Replace all blue text within this letter with your information. Remember to changed all text to black before printing and sending. Updated April 2014
Letter 2 Harassment 'Stop harassment from debt collection agencies, in whatever form'.
This letter is designed to send to your lender or Debt Collection Agency (DCA) to stop harassment, in what ever form.
Replace all blue text within this letter with your information. Remember to changed all text to black before printing and sending.
The template is under construction and will be available soon.