Hassled by LCS Debt Collectors

Hello, I have been getting hassled by LCS debt collectors (they keep sending me letters and calling my home number) about a £177 debt I apparently owe? I’m really not sure if the debt is mine but should I just pay it anyway to get them off my back? I don’t want to deal with them

Comments

  • WilfredB
    WilfredB Posts: 8 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post

    Hey Linsey, I know it may be intimidating to have to deal with a debt collector and your first instinct may be to just pay it because it seems legitimate but I assure you that the debt may not be yours and it may just be a mistake so don’t pay it just yet. 

    If debt collectors can’t get a debtor to take ownership of the debt then they use a series of pretty disturbing tactics to try and track someone down. They often send out letters in bulk to people living in perhaps an old address of a debtor or even to just anyone with the same name using a database - so although it may seem like they’re pinpointing you, they also might not be.

    If you’re not sure, I would recommend sending them a letter back asking for a copy of your credit agreement AND request that they prove the debt is yours. If they cannot do either of these things then the debt does not hold up in court. Just be sure to keep all records of your interactions for a later date. 


  • The debt might just be mine though, I could have missed a couple of payments??? I moved into this new house fairly recently and have been a little all over the place.

    Do you know who LCS debt collectors work for? I’ve definitely never dealt with them before.
  • WilfredB
    WilfredB Posts: 8 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post
    From research, I think LCS collect from multiple companies such as utility companies like British Gas E,ON and sometimes even the HRMC.

    Like most collectors, they purchase debts in bulk so it’s likely that, if this is your debt (which still may not be) your debt was purchased from one of these companies.

    You can also check your credit report for free from any of the main CRAs (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to see if you have any defaults perhaps when you were moving? 

  • Ok, I’ll do that but I still might just pay them as I’m scared of the situation getting worse even though I haven’t had accounts with any of the companies you’ve mentioned. 


  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,448 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Cashback Cashier
    For God's sake don't pay these chancers.

    Maybe add to the main thread here as it's gone off the radar a bit

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2983648/warning-and-advice-about-lcs-utility-investigation-civil-enforcement-debt-recoveries

    Lots of helpful advice in there going back many years
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,831 Ambassador
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    edited 15 July 2021 at 7:10PM
    Never, ever pay a debt just because some random DCA writes to you demanding payment, especially LCS.

    As they have bothered to write to you, after reading the above thread, you could respond with a provit letter, all debts must be proven by the creditor/collector, if they cannot do so, then they cannot collect the debt, its that simple.

    Never pay something that may not even be yours, LCS may not even be able to prove the debt, which means they cannot legally collect it from you, stay off the phone, never ring them, ever, do everything in writing only.

    You have to know how to deal with these people.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- https://www.stoozing.com/soa.php The "provit letter" is here-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2607247/letter-when-you-know-nothing-about-about-the-debt-aka-prove-it-letter
  • WilfredB
    WilfredB Posts: 8 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post

    Completely agree with sourcrates and fatbelly and you should definitely listen to them - don’t pay just yet - the situation isn’t going to get any worse as long as you keep in contact with them and keep a record of that.

    If you do find that it’s your debt either on your credit report or if they send back proof then yes pay if you can afford it but there's literally nothing to worry about if you stay in touch but there is no reason to worry as long as you don’t just ignore them - that is the only bad thing you can do. 


  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,448 Forumite
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    In this situation they have written and made a specific allegation about a specific debt. So the correct response is a written prove-it letter.

    There is info in that other thread to show that they must investigate and provide evidence and not (as the old OFT warned them) claim that it is the customer's duty to disprove their allegation.

    In the situation where LCS are just phoning or fishing about something non-specific then it is correct to ignore them
  • I think as already mentioned, unless they can prove the debt is yours (in response to the prove-it letter you have been advised to send) then you should not feel targeted at all by this method.

    Debt collectors send out thousands of notice letters and most of them are completely automated - that's why there are so many articles and blog posts (examples even specific to LCS) that warn you not to panic. 

    Normally it is never good to ignore them but at mentioned above if they aren't being specific (ie including your name and account number) and you have made efforts to tell them the debt isn't yours or for them to prove it (and kept a record of this) then yes feel free to ignore them!
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