A lot of people will get into a flat panic
if their debt situation gets so bad that they find themselves having to deal with a debt collection agency. There is still a big stigma involved with having a debt collector knocking at your door or calling you on the phone and this is a real sign that your finances might have reached the end of the line.
The problem here is that the panic that you might naturally feel in this situation doesn’t do you any favours at all. It’s way harder to sort out your financial situation if you are worried about what the debt collector will do, what your rights are and what other options you have. Especially if they are putting you under pressure to settle your debts or to hand over your possessions for sale at auction.
But, help is now at hand. The government is well aware of the problems that many of us are experiencing with debt right now. As of April 2009 it has set out new rules that could be useful to you here. Working in tandem with the CSA (Credit Service Association) the body that represents the debt collection sector as a whole the government has introduced some measures to get you some time to sort yourself out if the debt collectors are called in by one of your creditors.
So, what does this mean to you? Well, it basically gives you 30 days grace where your debt collector has to leave you alone. To get them to do this you will have to commit to use a CSA accredited debt advisory service with a view to sorting out your finances. Services that have been approved for this purpose include The Citizens Advice Bureau, Advice UK and The Consumer Credit Counselling Service. All offer free and confidential help.
So, what will this 30 day period buy you? In basic terms it will give you the chance to have an advisor try and help you sort out your situation so that the debt collectors won’t be needed anyway. You could, for example, get help to allow you to agree a repayment schedule with your creditor/debt collector at a level you can afford and that will also keep them happy. All too often people faced with a debt collector will agree terms that they cannot afford simply to make the debt collector leave them alone.
This may not seem like a long time
to sort yourself out but you would be surprised at how much easier it will be to manage your debt problems if you firstly have qualified advice and secondly have the time to work things out. Debt collectors calling at your door, even if they act within the letter of the law, will simply make you feel pressurised. This solution will take the pressure off for a while so that you can be sure to find a solution that suits you as much as it does the people to whom you owe money.