If you have debts which you are struggling to pay your creditors are within their rights to try and collect the balances they are owed from you with reasonable means.
The collection activities which are generally considered as reasonable involve the lender’s debt collection department sending you written payment demands and trying to speak to you on the telephone. If these attempts fail then the creditor has additional reasonable options open to them including employing a debt collection agency and or taking you to court. Having said that creditors are not allowed to harass you and employ unreasonable collection activities.
What is creditor harassment?
It is not always easy to identify harassment by creditors because the actions that a creditor can take to collect their outstanding debt could be considered reasonable by one person and unreasonable by another. However in 2006 the OFT produced a guide which describes a number of activities which are considered to be harassment which can be used to identify whether you are the victim of creditor harassment or not. More information about this is available here.
How to stop creditor harassment
If you believe that you are the victim of harassment from one of your creditors there are certain actions you can take to stop this including issuing a formal complaint to them and if this does not work escalating your complaint to the OFT. However before complaining there are a number of other things you can try to attempt to reduce the harassment you are experiencing. More details are given here.
How to stop harassment over a disputed debt
If you receive a collection demand for a debt that you believe you do not owe you should not ignore this. If you do then it is possible that the creditor could go as far as applying to the Court for a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against you which would then be difficult to overturn. As such you need to dispute that the debt is owed. Once you have done so the creditor cannot continue to demand payment until the dispute is settled. More information about this is available here.