Debt Collection Agency (MIL Collections)

edited 10 March 2020 at 5:48PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
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clumber1clumber1 Forumite
3 Posts
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MoneySaving Newbie
edited 10 March 2020 at 5:48PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
Hi everyone,
Would be really grateful if anyone could give me some advice on dealing with a debt collection agency that is chasing me.
The debt is for unpaid energy bills back at the end of 2018. The debt was for about £400 and as I couldnt possibly pay it in one go, they very relctantly allowed me to pay it off in monthly instalments of £100. The person I spoke to on the phone was very pushy and I ended up agreeing to pay a far higher monthy amount than I could afford. I payed the first intalment in full on the day but last month I couldnt manage the agreed amount and only paid £60 which they were quite unhappy about. I was told that this month I would have to pay the agreed monthly fee plus the amount I missed before so £140. I told them that it is quite unlikely Id be able to and was mildly threatened that underpayment would result in an escalation of their pursuit, however they wouldnt give me any detail of what that would amount to.

Anyway this month hasnt been a good one and im not in a position to pay them back much at all. Certainly nowhere near the £140 agreed. The day the payment was due on was over a week ago and iv had a letter threatening me that if its not bought up to date they will force me to pay the full outstanding amount back in one go.

My question is can they do that? and if not am I allowed to make a new, more affordable monthly payment agreement with them? Also I paid £10 via bank transfer a few days ago as it was all I could afford and I just couldnt bear talking to them on the phone without knowing a bit more about my rights, does that payment give me any breathing room or is inconsequential?

Apologies for the slightly long winded post. (Im well aware that they have no power to enter/they cant take my stuff etc etc but id really rather it didnt go far.)

Thanks.

Replies

  • edited 10 March 2020 at 5:51PM
    Willing2LearnWilling2Learn Forumite
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    edited 10 March 2020 at 5:51PM
    Hi clumber1 and welcome to the forum  :)

    My advice is to stop talking to your creditor.  Do not speak to them on the phone.  Block their number.  It is just too easy, when on the phone, to feel pressurised, panicked and flustered.  You end up agreeing to something that you cannot afford.  Only correspond with them in writing, via Royal Mail. 

    In your letter you need to tell them exactly what you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.  Then stick to that amount each month.  And they cannot force you to pay full outstanding balance in full.  They have no powers to do that.  You are the one who needs to take control, in writing.  They will have no option but to accept your affordable payment plan.  :) 

    Do you have any other debts?  If you do, then maybe we can help you on your debt-busting journey.  Just let us know.  :) 
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    :smiley:
  • edited 10 March 2020 at 7:28PM
    GalloglassGalloglass Forumite
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    edited 10 March 2020 at 7:28PM
    The debt is for unpaid energy bills back at the end of 2018
    If this is for Shell Energy or one of the companies they took over, talk to the Energy company. Rule of thumb is talking to anyone other than the owner of the debt is a waste to time. 

    MIL and others are unregulated in terms of debt collection as they are on a commission. Cut the middle man out. Shell  (if it is them) are a sensible company.

    PS Hi Alan.

    Climbed the ladder to success in life? Take that ladder and lend it to someone less fortunate.

  • clumber1clumber1 Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Hi clumber1 and welcome to the forum  :)

    My advice is to stop talking to your creditor.  Do not speak to them on the phone.  Block their number.  It is just too easy, when on the phone, to feel pressurised, panicked and flustered.  You end up agreeing to something that you cannot afford.  Only correspond with them in writing, via Royal Mail. 

    In your letter you need to tell them exactly what you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.  Then stick to that amount each month.  And they cannot force you to pay full outstanding balance in full.  They have no powers to do that.  You are the one who needs to take control, in writing.  They will have no option but to accept your affordable payment plan.  :) 

    Do you have any other debts?  If you do, then maybe we can help you on your debt-busting journey.  Just let us know.  :) 

    Hi there,

    Thankyou for your response and sorry for the late reply.
    I will certainly be taking your advice and dealing with debt collectors in writing from now on. I try not to feel panicked and pressurised but it definitely happens. What I find particularly pursuasive is the very certain statements they come out with. When I first contacted them, the person on the phone was adamant that as the debt was over a year old I would have to pay it all off that day in one go. He basically started off by saying that paying in installments was 100% not an option. When they say things like that its hard to know whether they are negotiationg or telling the truth.

    No, fortunately I dont have any other debts.
  • clumber1clumber1 Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    The debt is for unpaid energy bills back at the end of 2018
    If this is for Shell Energy or one of the companies they took over, talk to the Energy company. Rule of thumb is talking to anyone other than the owner of the debt is a waste to time. 

    MIL and others are unregulated in terms of debt collection as they are on a commission. Cut the middle man out. Shell  (if it is them) are a sensible company.

    PS Hi Alan.

    Hi there,
    Thankyou for your response and sorry for the late reply.
    Yes the debt is with Shell Energy.
    I have already paid part of the debt to MIL, does that matter if I now want repay directly to Shell?
    Do I need to officially inform MIL that I am dealling directly with Shell Energy from now on?
    Aplogies if those are silly questions.
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite
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    The DCA is only acting on the creditors behalf, they have no more clout than next doors cat, same as any debt collection company, ignore the idiots, stay off the phone, just pay what you can afford.

    Basic rule of thumb when dealing with DCA’s.

    Just because you owe their client money does not mean they or anyone else can dictate terms to you.
    Ex Board Guide.
    “A man who pays his bills on time is soon forgotten. - Oscar Wilde"
    “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” -JPMorgan Chase"
    "I don`t trust Bankers, I don`t trust Banks, and I don`t trust you. -Private Frazer"
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • GalloglassGalloglass Forumite
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    they have no more clout than next doors cat
    Having dealt with MIL before (not in this area) I'd say next door's cat edges it.

    Climbed the ladder to success in life? Take that ladder and lend it to someone less fortunate.

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