With financial problems on the rise at the moment, business is booming for debt collecting companies. While that can definitely not be said for businesses that are either creditors or debtors. Both have faced significant loss throughout the last few months, and are looking for a way out.
For creditors, the worry is about how to recover the money they lost due to unpaid debts, and for you, it’s about how to free yourself from debt. In such situations, what your creditor might do is give the task of collecting the debt to a recovery agency. Sometimes, they might even sell off your debt, that too, at a much lower price than its worth.
A recovery agency simply buys such debts in huge numbers and tries to collect their full amount. They also generally add extra charges to the debt amount, calling it a collectors’ fee. This way they can earn quite an impressive amount of profit, depending on the number of debts they’re able to collect. Past Due Credit Solutions (PDCS) is one of the companies that buy debts. Keep reading for some useful information about them.
About Past Due Credit Solutions (PDCS)
The PDCS is a debt recovery company based in the United Kingdom, specifically in Scotland. Founded in the year 2005, they have become one of the leading companies in the debt collecting business. They are regulated by the Finance Conduct Authority (FCA) to collect debts on the behalf of other organizations. As such, they recover or buy the debts of many finance companies. Sometimes, Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) uses their services as well.
How do they approach Debtors for Debt Collection?
Being an FCA-regulated company, the PDCS follows the standard procedure and guideline laid down for debt collection. As such, you will receive a letter at first after your debt has been passed on to them.
Here, they would only introduce themselves and give you the details of the amount you owe them. They would also probably mention the original creditor who has sold the debt to them or appointed them the task of collecting.
If not, you have the right to inquire in order to be sure that the debt is yours. Anyway, you would typically be given seven days’ time to pay the entire amount. If you fail to do so, you’ll get a payment reminder. This time, they would ask you to pay the total amount added with a late payment penalty charge.
They would also notify you about sending one of their field agents if you ignore them. But, usually, you are advised not to ignore them, as doing so means you would finally have the agent at your doorstep. But, as we shall see, this person would have very limited powers.
What can a PDCS agent do to recover the debt?
As per the regulations, debt collecting agents can’t drop by your house at just any time of the day. They can’t visit before 9 am or after 6 pm, PDCS being no exception. Once they reach your property, they can’t come inside unless you give them permission to do so.
In case you don’t permit, they’ll have to return without visiting you. But, the thing is, this would only result in additional charges added to your debt. You might be nervous to let them in your house, but there is no real reason to be so.
As opposed to bailiffs, these agents have no right to take control of goods and assets. They also can’t harass you or force their way in. All they are authorized to do is request you to pay the entire amount you owe. You can also discuss and prepare a payment plan with them. This might make it easier for you to write off your debt. Otherwise, the agency might opt for legal action, if you don’t leave them any other choice.
What legal actions you might have to face?
If PDCS starts a legal proceeding at the County court, you might face a lot of trouble. At this point, the situation can’t be called anything less than stressful. After that, there are different ways things can turn out. If they win, the court will pass a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you, typically giving you a short time to pay the debt.
If you fail, the creditors can file a Controlled Goods Agreement (CGA). If passed, this would allow them to take over some of your goods in order to sell them and recover the debt money. They can also apply to have your debt secured against your assets. In that case, you’d be at the potential risk of losing your house. Further, there’s the risk of bankruptcy as well.
Are you unable to pay the debt?
It is not uncommon at all right for people to be unable to pay their debts. It is natural for you to be stressed in a situation like this. Some people try to find relief by ignoring the repayment demands, but you’re advised not to do that. Instead of solving the situation, that would only bring more trouble, and as a result a lot of stress into your life.
In some cases, you might be able to get a debt relief order, but mostly you’ll have to pay. If they are convinced that you can’t pay them, they can file a bankruptcy petition against you. That can adversely affect your life, especially so if you’re a business owner. So to avoid that, you can try getting into some kind of payment arrangement to write off your debt to PDCS. That way you’ll be able to clear most, if not the entire amount, you owe them.
Do you have doubts if you owe them?
It happens quite often that people get a payment reminder from a debt recovery agency for an amount. So, if you find the amount requested from you to be wrong or have a doubt, you can write to the agency and ask for proof. It is not impossible for these agencies to make miscalculations or errors. If you request them for proof, they are bound to provide it. If there turns out to be any mistake, they are obligated to correct it.
Should you consider IVA?
An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) can provide you with a way out of the situation you’re facing, though it is not a viable option in all cases. You must owe multiple creditors to be able to apply for this arrangement. Moreover, it would be a worthy option only in case you owe at least 6000 in total.
If you find yourself eligible and opt for it, there are some great benefits you’ll get. The biggest one worth noting is that you won’t have to deal with the creditors. That means all the hassles from PDCS agents will end. In addition to that, you and your property would be protected from any legal action throughout the duration of the arrangement.
To make it work, you’ll have to get an affordable payment plan. You’re advised not to get an IVA otherwise, as the point behind getting it is to write off your debts easily and legally. So, if you can’t get an IVA, you can also get some kind of informal arrangement. If required, consult a debt adviser to determine the best option for you.