If you have fallen into arrears and have creditors breathing down your neck demanding repayment, the feeling of such unwelcome pressure can be incredibly stressful – find out how you can stop creditor pressure.
Whether you’re an individual or run a business, being consistently reminded that you owe money can be pressure of the fiercest kind.
Buckling under the weight of creditor pressure is an easy trap to fall into, but if this all sounds scarily familiar, you’ll be glad to hear that there are steps you can take to stop creditors unfairly harassing you.
Firstly, it’s important to know both the creditor’s and your own rights.
Know your rights
Creditors are not allowed to harass you. They can’t force their way into your property, nor can they demand more than you owe, and it goes without saying that they shouldn’t turn to criminal acts in order to recover their funds. In extreme circumstances, and if you suspect they are falling foul of the law, the first thing you should do is contact the police.
Know your creditor’s rights
Creditors can seize assets or property if they have been used to secure the loan, and they can also employ the services of bailiffs. They are allowed to send you reminders for overdue payments, and these may be in the form of email, telephone, letter or a mixture.
If you think your creditor has stepped wide of their rights, you have three options to keep them at bay and get your life back on track:
Option 1: talk to them
If you are receiving a significant number of phone calls or letters from your creditor but are choosing to ignore them, you are effectively making things worse for yourself. Face the problem head on and talk to your creditor. Once you open a dialogue with them, you have the opportunity to negotiate. Depending on the type of creditor, they may be open to agreeing different terms for your loan in order to recover their funds.
If you know you can repay some of the debt immediately, offer to do so. Similarly, if you have a fixed period of time by which you are confident you can pay them back, suggest new terms. They should listen, but be prepared to negotiate.
Open that dialogue – it is a far better tactic than burying your head in the sand.
Option 2: complain
If you think your creditor has overstepped the mark and is unfairly harassing you, complain directly to them. Ask to speak to a senior employee and make sure you have some detail to work from; make a note of the times of day you have been approached and the names of those who have unfairly pressured you. Tell them how you want to be contacted and ask for confirmation in writing that they will adhere.
If your direct complaint falls on deaf ears, we recommend speaking to a professional body such as Citizens Advice.
Option 3: speak to the FCA
The Financial Conduct Authority possesses the ability to refuse or revoke a creditor’s authorisation and has strict rules and guidance relating to debt collection. They can’t take up your individual case, but will listen to your story and will act accordingly if the creditor has fallen foul of their rules.