The law in the UK seems not to want to notice when these things happen,
it seems. A lot of the debt collecting firms that trade in Britain are
owned by foreign investment capital eager to make easy money. There
are laws in place regarding Capquest debt collecting agents, but somehow
the debt purchasing companies trade by breaching the law whenever they
think they can get away with it. They only stop on being scolded by
a body like the FSA or the OFT. Even then the small punishment meted
out is such a small proportion of their income that it doesn't matter,
and they will treat such punishments with utter contempt.
There are a few things you can do to ensure things are difficult for
them and the various strategies of Capquest debt collecting agents.
You can permanently bar their phone number, or you could record their
telephone conversations, you can write to them telling them not to call
round at your home or a combination of these (all these form letters
are at the web site).
Certainly, some debt purchasing companies (DPCs) are much worse than
the rest. There are some DCAs who deal in writing batches of thousands
of tentative correspondence about hypothetical debt to people telling
them they owe money when in fact they owe nothing at all. This seems
to work well for the DCAs because they have cashed in on the fact that
a proportion of people will give in to their threats even though they
know full well they are not indebted to anyone.
It is an option for you to question the validity of the alleged debt
by making a SAR (or Subject Access Request) as a foil to Capquest debt
collecting agents. The owner of the account (the bank or the debt purchasing
company) must give you a true signed copy of your original credit agreement
with the bank if that agreement was signed before 6th April 2007. When
they fail to do this they are in breach of the Consumer Credit Act,
and the debt is then said to be in dispute. As long as the debt is in
dispute they are not allowed to ask you for money (if they do so they
are breaking the law once again) and they cannot sell it on to another
agency (which many are prone to do). For as long as this situation exists
it may not be enforced, even by a court.. If you wish you can get a
solicitor to represent you, due to the difficulty of the law at times.
There are also paralegal firms who offer services in this area.