Do I Have To Pay 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency?
This blog post aims to answer the question of whether or not you have to pay the 1st Credit Debt Collections Agency. We will first explore the conditions under which someone has to pay back a debt collection agency, the rights and responsibilities of creditors and debtors and th
Do I Have To Pay 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency?
Yes, you have to pay 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency if you have any outstanding dues that need to be paid. 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency (known as Intrum now) is one of the leading debt collection agencies operating in the UK. If you are contacted by them it means that they will be following up with you in pursuance of the amount that you owe to a third party.
Being a debt management agency, 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency or Intrum purchases debt from third parties such as gas and electricity suppliers, credit card companies or payday lenders and starts to pursue it from the debtors on their own.
This means that if you have outstanding payments and are wondering why you are being contacted by a debt collection agency, you should keep in mind that your debt has been transferred to them now (1st Credit Debt Collection Agency or Intrum in this case) and you must clear your dues at the earliest possible.
If you fail to comply with a debt management agency, they can pursue the matter through the County Court and a legal prosecution can lead to you being penalised and having to pay an extra fine on top of the basic amount that you owe.
Therefore, if you are contacted by 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency or Intrum, you must engage in a conversation with them to come up with a repayment plan. Even if you are unable to repay your debt at the same time, the debt collectors may offer you an easy instalment plan that helps your clear your debt without causing a financial strain on your budget. In some cases, they may allow you to make a partial payment and write off some of the debt.
That said, you do not have to pay a debt that you are not sure belongs to you in the first place. If you have been asked to pay a debt that you believe does not belong to you, there is a possibility that there has been an error. To confirm if you owe the debt, you can ask the debt collectors to provide you with a copy of the original credit agreement.
You should not commit to paying any debt or sign any official documents presented by a debt collection agency unless you are sure of whether or not you owe the debt as well as the amount stated in the document.
How Do I Know If 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency Is A Legitimate Company?
1st Credit Debt Collection Agency or Intrum is a legitimate company and is registered with the Companies House under Company Number 03752940 in the UK.
They are also a member of the Credit Services Association (CSA). this means that they are obliged to follow a strict code of conduct that governs how they deal with debtors.
In addition to this, Intrum is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. They can be found on the FCA’s register under reference number 718918.
Some of the organisations to whom they provide debt collection services include Co-op Bank, Vanquis, Halifax and Lloyds.
You can learn more about them by visiting their website at Intrum.
How Do I Know If The Debt Is Mine?
If you are not sure whether or not the debt that you are being chased for is against your name or not, you can check with a credit agency such as Experian or Noddle to find out your outstanding debts.
If you know for sure that the debt that you are being asked to pay for is not your’s you can write a “Prove the Debt” letter to 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency; asking them to provide evidence in support of their claim of debt.
Below is a sample letter that you can use:
This is in response to the letter received from your side regarding outstanding debt against Account Number xxxxxxxxxx; amounting to (mention the amount) to (name of the creditor).
I would like to assure you that as per my records, I do not owe this amount. I would also like to refer to the FCA’s (Financial Conduct Authority) Consumer Credit sourcebook which states the following:
A firm should neither ignore nor disregard a customer’s claim that his debt has been settled and/or is disputed and must stop making demands for payment without providing the customer with clear justification and/or evidence as to why the claim is not valid. 7.5.3
A firm must suspend or cease the steps it or its agent takes in the recovery of a customer’s debt where the customer disputes or has settled the debt on valid grounds or what may be considered valid grounds. 7.14.1
If a customer disputes the debt on valid grounds or on what may be considered valid grounds, the firm must re-examine the dispute and provide details of the customer’s debt to the customer in a reasonably timely manner. 7.14.3
If there is a dispute regarding the identity of the borrower or the amount of the debt, it is for the firm (not the customer) to establish, that the customer is indeed the correct person/identity in relation to the debt owed or that the amount is correct under the agreement. 7.14.4
A collection firm must provide the customer with information regarding the outcome of its investigations about a debt that the customer disputed or has settled on valid grounds. 7.14.5
If the customer disputes the debt and the firm who seeks to recover the debt is neither the lender nor the owner, the firm is required to:
(1) Pass the information given by the customer to the actual lender or the owner; or
(2) If the firm was given authority by the lender or the owner to investigate the dispute, the firm is required to notify the lender or owner regarding the outcome of the investigation. 7.14.6
I will wait for your response in light of the above; with the expectation that the matter stands to be closed. If that is not the case, I will have to file a complaint with the FCA. I will also forward a complaint to the Office of the Financial Ombudsman Service and Information Commissioner.
I look forward to your response and an amicable closure of the matter.
(your printed name without a signature)
Depending on your situation and the amount of debt owed to your name, you may wish to seek legal advice before sending out the letter.
What Will Happen If I Can’t Repay My Debt?
If you don’t pay your dues or fail to agree to a repayment plan with 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency they can take the following actions against you:
- have a County Court Judgement issued against you
- arrange bailiffs to visit your house to recover goods that meet the value of the debt
- apply for an attachment of an earnings order or a charging order
Being a debt collection agency, they will have the same legal powers as your original creditor and can chase you for repayment of your debt.
However, they will not be able to enter your house to claim valuables on their own, call you at inconvenient times or harass you.
If you are concerned about losing your home as a result of debt collection proceedings, you may be comforted by knowing that this is highly unlikely in the case of unsecured debts. However, if you fall seriously behind in your payments, are unable to make a partial payment of your debt or fail to agree to a repayment plan a debt collection agency can apply to the court to have your debt secured against an asset such as your home.
Is My Debt Statute Barred?
Yes, your debt is statute-barred. According to the Limitation Act 1980, certain debts are bound by a time limit. This is usually six years in England and five years in Scotland. This time limit is taken into consideration starting from the last payment that you would have made against the debt or even acknowledged the debt in writing.
To be considered statute-barred, a debt has to meet the following conditions:
- there is no County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the debtor
- no payments have been made by you in the recent five to six years
Can My Debt Be Written Off?
Yes, your debt can be written off in certain cases. If you live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales, your unsecured debt can be consolidated with an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). this means that you will be required to make one reasonably lower and affordable repayment towards your debt and if you are unable to pay the remaining amount after a lapse of 60 months the remaining amount gets written off.
However, if you live in Scotland, you will need a Scottish Trust Deed or Scottish IVA) which will serve the same purpose the only difference is that the time-lapse will be 48 months, not 60.
Usually, the amount of debt that gets written off is estimated to be around 60% but there have been cases in which 90% of the amount has been written off; depending on the circumstance of the debtor.
What Should I Do If I Need To Complain About 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency Regarding My Debt?
If you need to file a complaint against 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency or Intrum you can contact their office via the following channels:
- place a phone call at 01737 228 555
- send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- write to them at The Omnibus Building, Lesbourne Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 7JP
If your complaint to them remains unsuccessful, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Credit Services Association. Below are their contact details:
The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR
Phone: 0300 1239 123
Credit Services Association Ltd, 2 Esh Plaza, Sir Bobby Robson Way, Great Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE13 9BA
Phone: 0191 2170 775
Some of the reasons that make your complaint valid include the following:
- you have received calls from the debt collection agency at unreasonable times
- they have contacted you against the agreed preferences
- they have called you at work without permission
- they have discussed your debts with a third party such as a family member or employer
- they have declined your request to be allowed time to consider your repayment options
- they are pressuring you into taking a loan to pay off your debt
- they use jargon that you don’t understand and they do not explain things to you
- they are demanding a payment when a debt is statute-barred
How Can I Get Free Debt Advice?
There are some professional debt advisors who can provide support and assistance for free. A few of them are listed below:
- Member centres of Advice UK https://www.adviceuk.org.uk/
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) https://capuk.org/
- Citizens Advice Bureau https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
- Money Advice Scotland https://www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk/
- National Debtline https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
- PayPlan https://www.payplan.com/
- StepChange Debt Charity https://www.stepchange.org
The above discussion has helped in concluding that debt collectors have the same rights as the original creditor. Therefore if you owe any money to a third party and are contacted by a debt collection agency such as 1st Credit Debt Collection Agency (now known as Intrum), you will need to either pay back your dues in full, make a partial payment or agree to a repayment plan via instalments.