Hi guys, and thanks in advance for reading my post.
I have a personal loan with a finance company, and due to a change in my personal circumstances have been unable to make payments. I have contacted MABS but they are very busy at the moment and will take a few weeks to get back me sorted.
The current problem is that today a debt collector from a company called Debitask called at the door to my mothers house. I am not sure how they got her address, but they told my sister that I owed them money, and that they needed to speak to me.
She asked for them to leave a note, which states that they will call back to see me this Thursday. My car was parked outside her house, (I left it there in the snow and took a bus home at the weekend), and she watched as he took details from my tax or insurance disk, and took my reg number, (he wiped snow off of it to see the full number).
I don't know what my rights are with regards to this visit. I know that I owe the company money, and am working to get this sorted, but do they have a right to call to my mothers house? Do they have a right to disclose my financial information to my sister? Can I stop them from calling to my Moms house again?
I am so stressed out over this, and any advise that you can offer with regards to talking to and dealing with this debt collector would be extremely helpful.
Thank you in advance!
Companies will engage a debt collector when their debtors either ignore/refuse to engage them in servicing the debt. It's a last resort from their perspective. The agency will either buy the debt discounted or charge a percentange. My own view is when an agency is called in the original creditor believes the debt will not be paid.
Debt collectors will exert considerable pressure to embarass a person to pay the debt, as you have found out. They will carry this on for a period of time and will threaten legal action etc.
My advice is to go to the original creditor, acknowledge that you owe the money and negotiate suitable payment terms.
There is different ways he could have got your mothers address. One is by searching an old contact number. It was definitly out of line to disclose any information about the loan to anyone else too,
On to the main problem. The debt. Have you been in contact with the financial company or the debt collection agency to arrange a payment plan? This will stop any further visits.
Dont wait on mabs to sort it out, if you are indeed waiting for them for a long time the debt collection agency could start legal action. Contact them as soon as you can to talk about what you can afford to pay.
Have you been in touch with the collection agency and advised on what you are doing to get this sorted. The collection agencies use it as a complete last resort so if they sent someone to the door they have tried everything else.
They could have got the address from a tracing agent who find addresses of people and they have everyone on the books (guards, public servants, etc) so they can find people with little issue. Its mad really.
Just keep the lines of communication open with the creditor and make payments.
I remember seeing a letter from one (wasn't sent to me) and the wording was something like "to avoid the embarrassment of our agents calling publically to your door." As far as I know they have no specific powers in Ireland, that all remains with the sheriffs.
All the other posters are correct in saying that these chaps are absolutely the last resort. The original company that you dealt with has taken a loss on the debt and will now no longer deal with you. Contact the collection company and come to some sort of arrangement. Offer a small but regular payment, smaller than you think you can manage, just to give you a buffer should your circumstances change again. The last thing you want to do is break whatever agreement you make. Do not give them any reason to send you any further letters as they charge for those and the cost will be closer to €50 than 50c.
Do not bury your head in the sand any longer about this. Being open to dialogue will keep you out of court.
From a family experience,
Contact the loan provider yourself and explain the situation.
Try and sort an agreement that you can sustain, they may be willing to negotiate a settlement or reduced payments.
If the debt collection agency dont own your debt (you should have been notified), contact them and tell them not to call to your house/mothers house.
Tell them that any future dealings should be done by post only.
If they do own your debt, remember they will have bought it at a much lower amount, and they may willing to do a deal.
As already said, don't ignore it or wait for MABS to deal with it.
Edit: I've just seen the post above, and in the one experience I'm quoting there were no charges for letters sent out.
May not be case for all companies.
Get the money together asap. Sell something. The sooner you pay them the better. It won't seem to bad in a couple of months when you have it payed. Just think of the property developers and what they owe.
The difference being, the OP got into financial difficulty through no fault of his own and is trying to meet his obligations.
The property developers got into financial difficulty by shafting the rest of us with enormous house prices and then expecting us to bail them out.
To the OP, did the original finance company at any stage send you a letter to tell you that they were selling on your debt?
If they didn't then they still own it and you should contact them and try and sort this out.
As for the guy calling to your door, they don't have any legal powers and are just trying to scare/bully you into paying. Don't give them anything, but if you are making any payments make them by registered post or direct transfer to the original loan company.
We bought the houses and these inflated prices. Its supply and demand. Everyone wanted a house so they built them and could charge loads as there was high demand. This is why the bubble burst. The property developers aint getting bailed out. NAMA is going to go after them for everything. They are in court every week with their personal finances ruined. Seriously understand what NAMA will do to them and how they are being personally bankrupt and rightly so.
The banks are the ones getting off lightly here.
ALso no mention of sale of debt and most likely its a commission based agreement as very little debt purchased in this country.
Op. contact the debt collection company and make an arrangment you can stick to and keep to it and will be no problems.
I thought that there was a serious oversupply of housing in this country. What else could explain all the empty houses?
From what I've heard of some debt collectors, you're lucky he didn't barge in and start taking stuff.
If someone does that, call the Gardai immediately and let them sort it out.
In my experience, debt collectors don't know the first thing about the law, they don't know anything about judgments, enforcement, instalment orders, orders for arrest and imprisonment, judgment mortgages and the like. If anyone tells me they have heard from a debt collector my advice is to tell them to tell the debt collector that they are on private property and to get off it very very quickly. Of course that does not obviate the need to deal with the debt, but wouldn't even deal with it through the debt collector but rather throught he creditor directly. Frankly debt collectors are the lowest of the low, and should be cleared from any place where they attend. Furthermore, they should be warned that if they have any communication with any third party, and they are wrong in any detail, you will sue them for defamation. I have seen them send out letters to the wrong people, letters with wrong amounts...and remember they often do not even have the power of a court order or a judgment, they only have the neck to turn up at your door. The one thing I would always tell people to worry about is the sight of legal proceedings, debt collectors are a waste of time.
Debt collectors that call to the door may not be great but they are last resort, the creditor has tried everything else.
Also most banks are choosing to use debt agencies to take people to court now as its cheaper for them to use debt agencies solicitors and the agencies will take them to court, actin for the original creditor.
Debt collectors may seem like low lifes and many of the door to door ones are but they are there as there is a need as some people are dodging debts and the banks rightly want there money back.
Also in many instances the original creditor will not deal with the person anymore as they have tried everything and will just outsource the collections and wash their hands of it.
Don't mind Solicitors at all, they know the law and know the limits of what they can do, and will not be calling to people at work and using shame as a tool to get the money. They apply the law, that is the correct approach where a debtor is defaulting.
The problem with debt collectors is that a lot of them I have come across have no knowledge of the law or legal qualifications, just the cheek to approach people directly. I would give them a minute to get off my property if I were faced with them...but of course I would still deal with the creditor directly as that is the fundamental issue.