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Worried about visits from debt collectors?

We can help. Take two minutes to find the right support for your situation.

Get help now

Home visits from debt collectors

The people you owe can send a debt collector to your home. They will usually call or write to you first.

You do not need to let a debt collector in and they have no right to take goods away.

  • A debt collector is not the same as an enforcement agent or bailiff
  • Debt collectors have no special legal powers
  • Do not feel threatened to pay more than you can afford

Find out more about the difference between debt collectors and bailiffs.

Some debt collectors work for creditors. Others work for debt collection agency.

Their job is to get back money owed to their company.

They may let you pay back your debt in stages.

We can help you work out how much you can afford to pay.

Worried about home visits from debt collectors?

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We're here to help

Take two minutes to find the right help for your situation.

Get help now

Can a debt collector come to your house without notice?


Unlike bailiffs, there is no formal process that debt collectors have to follow.

Debt collectors have limited powers and must meet certain standards.

If you are treated unfairly you can make a complaint.

Most debt collectors are members of a trade body like the Credit Services Association. They have a code of conduct and standards members need to meet.

What debt collectors can and cannot do

A debt collector can:

  • Visit you at home
  • Speak to you discreetly about your debt
  • Try to set up a payment arrangement
  • Ask you to make payment to them

But debt collectors cannot:

  • Come to your workplace
  • Act in a threatening or intimidating way
  • Cause a disturbance
  • Force their way into your house
  • Refuse to leave your house
  • Take any of your belongings
  • Clamp your car
  • Pretend to be a bailiff or enforcement agent - this is a criminal offence
  • Speak to anyone else at your home about your debt

Find out more about what debt collectors can and cannot do.

What should I do if a debt collector visits me at home?


  • Ask to see proof of ID
  • Make a note of their name
  • All debt collectors should carry identification

You do not have to:

  • Open your door to them
  • Speak to them

You can always:

  • Ask them to leave
  • Deal with the debt by phone after they have left
  • Deal with the debt in writing after they have left

If you do speak to them:

  • Explain what you can afford to pay
  • Give them a copy of your monthly budget.

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.

We recommend paying creditors directly and not 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 that they come back for more payments.

Can I ignore a debt collector?

Do not ignore any contact you get about your debts.

Debt collectors could take court actions like a County Court Judgment (CCJ) if you ignore them.

Many creditors agree to temporary payment arrangements, which help you pay what you can afford instead of the whole amount.

Worried about dealing with debt collectors?

A visit from a debt collector is a sign that you need debt help. If you've not been in touch with us before, contact us.

Or take two minutes to answer a few simple questions, so we can understand the best way to help you.

"Get in touch with StepChange, you'll wish you'd done it sooner" Rob, Wiltshire