What can a debt collector do?
A debt collector can:
✔ Visit you at home
✔ Speak to you discreetly about your debt and try to set up a payment arrangement
✔ Ask you to make payment to them
But they can’t do any of the following:
✗ Visit you at your workplace
✗ Act in a threatening or intimidating way, or cause a disturbance
✗ Force their way into your house or refuse to leave when you tell them to
✗ Take any of your belongings or clamp your car
✗ Pretend they're a bailiff or enforcement agent - this is a criminal offence
✗ Speak to neighbours, family or flatmates about your debt
If you feel you've been treated unfairly by a debt collector, you can make a complaint. Most debt collectors are members of a trade body like the Credit Services Association, which has a code of conduct setting out standards they expect their members to meet.
What should I do if a debt collector visits?
First, ask to see proof of ID and make a note of their name. All debt collectors should carry this.
Explain to the debt collector what you can afford to pay them, and give them a copy of your budget if you have one.
We recommend paying creditors directly rather than paying debt collectors on the doorstep. If you do pay the debt collector, make sure you get a receipt. You may find if you pay them once they're likely to come back for further payments.
You don't have to open your door if you feel uncomfortable. If you don't want to speak to the debt collector, ask them to leave. You can deal with the debt over the phone or in writing after the debt collector has left.
A visit from a debt collector is a sign that you need help with your debts. If you've not contacted us before, call us on 0800 138 1111 (Free from all landlines and mobiles) for expert debt help, or complete our online debt advice tool.