Len Dastard looks at the updated OFT Guidance for "debt collectors"

24 October 2011

Bitterwallet-Len-Dastard-featuredHola amigos. It is I, Len Dastard, real life litigation executive with a fictional wrestling alter-ego. I won’t lie to you; it was quite a heavy weekend on the Coctel Adelitas so today I need to rest and recover. What better way to do so than sharing with you some exhilarating news...

Déjenos comenzar…

The OFT quite helpfully produce guidance for any businesses involved in recovery of debts to set out the standards expected of them. It is quite a lengthy document which has this month had a much needed update.

The actual document is split in to 4 sections of information. As a very quick overview, the guidance covers:

1.  Introduction

2. Principles of Fair Business Practice

3. Unfair or Improper Business Practices

4. Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement

There is then a further 4 sections of reader guidance relating in particular to:

A. Disputed and deadlocked debt.

B. Statute barred debt (which we have covered here)

C. Other relevant guidance and legislation

D. List of useful references

As most people are aware, many "debt collection agencies" will attempt any method they can to try and contact you to discuss/pursue a debt. Some of the preferred methods now include the use of social networking sites and contacting debtors at unreasonable times (after 6pm usually). Some agencies have also been known to contact people when they are in hospital being treated as a patient!

The guidance also deals with how your personal information is shared with others to ensure that an innocent person is not contacted and asked to repay the debt of another.

David Fisher, the OFT’s director of consumer credit, said: “In the present economic climate, with many people, including those who may be particularly vulnerable, in financial difficulties, it is crucial they are treated fairly by companies recovering their debts. This updated guidance makes clear the standards the OFT expects of all businesses involved in debt recovery, including debt collectors, banks and law firms.”

Got any issues that you would like me, heavyweight consumer wrestler Len Dastard to consider? Get in contact – [email protected] Adios!

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   How To Guides


  • captain c.
    Have the rules changed that much?? It used to be "unreasonable time" was classed as after 9pm/before 8am. I used to work for Intrum Justitia many years ago; I found most people were prepared to cough up, or arrange a payment plan as soon as you knocked (politely) on their door. Of course, being 2 metres tall may have helped.
  • klingelton
    Cabot Financial and Mckenzie hall have recently been chasing me for a debt that i didn't know even existed. it's an old statute barred debt from when i was a student. they claim that i didn't pay my mobile bill and that i owed them £70. they fell down when they couldn't prove that the account even belonged to me. they could provide no details of the account - only my mobile number. let's face it, there will have been times when i put my mobile number on a web form, they prob just chose it and attached some money to it and decided to try and extort it from me. fucking crooks. btw - i still don't remember ever having that debt...

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