There are guidelines in respect of the times a creditor may contact the debtor. In addition, it is quite unacceptable for a creditor to issue threats against the debtors assets or, indeed, family. If a debtor is of the opinion that he/she is being ‘bullied’ by creditors, either to make a payment or provide information, etc. then the debtor should immediately seek proper advice.
Sadly, it is often a vicious circle for the debtor – we have had cases recently where the debtor has advised us that a creditor has called her every hour from 8am to 9pm. We have also had a caller advise us that one of his creditors called him at his place of employment and left a very explicit message with another member of staff. Another caller advised that the creditor representative told her debt was a criminal offence and her children would be taken into care.
In each of the above cases, the debtors were afraid to give us authority to take up the matter on their behalf, concerned that if they made a complaint, they would receive further ‘punishment’ from the creditor. Cynics may well say, oh yes, another fairy story. However, we have no reason to disbelieve these callers and they certainly had nothing to gain by telling us of their problem, if it were not true.
I note that R3 President, Steven Law, has recently expressed concern that a recent survey showed that creditors continued to make direct contact with the debtor, even when that debtor was subject to either informal or formal insolvency procedures. I totally agree with his statement that the range of debt solutions is deeply confusing for an individual in potentitally the most stressful period of their life. They should be applauded for taking action to bring resolution to their finances and make a fresh start, not pressured by their creditors once they have acted to deal with their affairs’. R3 is, of course, the trade body of the insolvency profession.
I would go one step further than Steven and take issue with those involved in providing advice on insolvency who, like creditors, bombard debtors to deal with their situation, in whatever manner generates the most fees for themselves!