Debt Collectors Rights

Debt Collectors Rights

Many people fear the debt collectors as if they are some underworld overlords. This article will help allay those fears and also will make you understand the debt collector rights.

The debt collectors are not empowered by law to act as an enforcement agency and their powers do not exceed the normal powers that are possessed by the original lender.

Who Are Debt Collectors?

The lenders sometimes do not like the tediousness of debt collection or have difficulty in particular recoveries. Sometimes they want legal expertise and discreet methods to be employed in debt collection. In such cases, they either sell the debt to an agency who essentially purchases its collection rights along with the money that the debtor owes to the lender, or they just hire the debt collectors to recover the money for them on a commission basis.

Do Debt Collectors Have More Powers?

Legal knowledge and industry expertise are the only powers the debt collectors wield. They do not have excessive rights and are supposed to act with the same responsibilities as your original lender. They also have to follow the same legal methods in pursuit of the debt as can be employed by the original lender.

They also cannot misrepresent their identity as bailiffs or any other legal authority to the debtors. They do not have the power to take covert action and are supposed to inform in advance about their actions.

What Are Their Limits?

The activities pursued by collectors are limited in scope as they have certain framework to which they have to adhere rigidly.

· They cannot visit or come into your house (if you are a debtor) without your prior consent. The time of their visit has to be decided in advance taking your preferences in due notice.

· They also cannot enter your premises and seize property. They do not have the power to take any goods or valuables with them.

· Their language cannot be offensive, neither do they have the rights to make any threats. Strict legal action can be taken against them in cases of violation.

· They cannot disclose your debt details to an uninvolved third party. It will be considered a violation of your privacy.

· They also cannot harass you with repeated calls or calls at unreasonable hours.

· They have no right to enter your workplace premises.

Are Bailiffs Any Different?

Yes, bailiffs have the rights to legal enforcement as they are hired by courts in order to collect payments that are due to the authorities. Such payments can range from parking fines, court fines, County Court Judgments (CCJs) to Council Tax Bills.

What Powers Do Bailiffs Have?

Well, their are certain powers that come to bailiffs as they act as law’s extended arm. The following is a list of activities that bailiffs can undertake-

They may make a forced entry in your house but only under special circumstances.

Under normal circumstances, they may enter your residential premises on invitation or on finding a door or window open, as they see fit.

They do have the right to take goods from your residence but your essential goods should not be taken by them.

They also may take a vehicle that is parked on your street or drive.

What Can Bailiffs Not Do?

Although bailiffs have superior legal power, you do have certain rights when it comes to debt or tax collection. The following is a list of things that are outside the purview of a bailiff-

A bailiff is not entitled by law to seize any of your essential goods that you need to live to earn your living.

A bailiff may not force his or her entry in your house unless it is a criminal fine, income tax or VAT-related scenario. Even then, the forced entry should be considered only the last resort.

A bailiff may not take or seize property that belongs to someone other than the original debtor.

The bailiff also may not use threatening or offensive language against you.

In the end, it is important to remember that debt collectors or bailiffs do not have the authority to bully you and are only capable of doing what is their legal right.

Also, the debt collection machinery only springs to action once the debtor does not fulfill payments over a period of time. So, it is advisable that the debtors make consistent small payments to keep the collection agencies at bay.

The inconvenience to debtors can be easily avoided with clear communication and redrawing of terms as per the circumstances and market demands. Debt collectors help in bridging the gap and providing clear correspondence between the two parties.

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