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Solicitors' letters and the debt collection process

You may start to get letters from solicitors if you miss payments to your debts.

This can happen after you get a default notice.

Contact from a solicitor can be a sign your debt is serious. It does not mean you are definitely going to court.

Why am I getting letters from a solicitor?

There are many reasons you might hear from a solicitor about your debts:

Some solicitors also act as debt collection agencies

  • The people you owe may have sold the debt to them. In this case, the letter might ask you to pay the solicitor
  • Or the people you owe may pay the solicitor to collect their debts. In this case, the letter might ask you to pay the original creditor

The solicitor may be part the collection department

They may work for the same company as the people you owe, but use a different name.

  • Check the small print on the letters
    • See if they mention the original creditor, or
    • Look at the addresses to see if they are similar
  • This used to be a common thing many creditors did

The creditor is taking you to court

In this case, a solicitor would contact you.

  • This is not as common as you might think
  • They must send you a 'letter of claim' in the post before sending any court forms

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What can solicitors do to collect debt?

A solicitor cannot do anything different to the people you owe.

They can:

  • Write to you
  • Call to ask for payments

They do not have any extra powers.

They could also:

  • Keep adding interest and charges or
  • Take you to court

These actions are not common.

Solicitors must follow rules from the Financial Conduct Authority when dealing with debts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act.

This includes common debts, like:

  • Credit or store cards
  • Overdrafts
  • Personal or payday loans
  • Catalogues
  • Hire purchase

Solicitors are also regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

This means they cannot:

Make a complaint if they do.

What should I do if I hear from a solicitor?

You do not need to:

  • Send solicitors' letters to us
  • Pay for your own solicitor

Contact from a solicitor is usually a sign you could use some help.

Get free and impartial debt advice from us.

Our expert advisors will:

  • Put together a budget with you
  • Provide expert debt advice
  • Recommend the best debt solution to deal with the solicitor and any other debts you have