Read Time 5 Minutes, 20 Seconds

Despite the daunting presence of debt collectors, they lack the authority of bailiffs. Which means they can’t forcefully infiltrate your home or confiscate your belongings. Nonetheless, shunning these collectors is not a course of action to be lightly considered. 
Allow me to guide you through the available options and help you navigate this matter effectively.

Riana Johnson
Last updated on 18 June 2023
 Fact Checked

Table of Contents

1. What Authorities Are Granted to Debt Collectors?
2. Limitations to a Debt Collector’s Power
3. Facing Non-compliance from Debt Collectors
4. Communication with Debt Collectors
5. Legal Actions by Debt Collectors
6. Encounters with Harassment from Debt Collectors and Credit Agencies
7. Steps to Take if a Debt Collector Oversteps their Boundaries
8. Exploring the Presence of Additional Debt Collectors
9. FAQ


Many debtors that owe money think that debt collectors are bailiffs. 

They could resort to even more drastic enforcement measures if their calls and letters remain unanswered. 

Well, let’s delve into that chilling prospect involving the relentless collectors to find out what those processes and measures might be…

What Authorities Are Granted to Debt Collectors?

Debt collectors can seem intimidating, but what powers do they really have? Many people confuse debt collectors with bailiffs. It leads them to undue stress and anxiety. 

But remember, debt-collecting firms do not possess the extra-legal powers that bailiffs do. In this section, we’ll shed more light on the extent and limitations of a debt collector’s authority.

Limitations to a Debt Collector’s Power

First and foremost, debt collectors are not allowed to force their way into your home. This is a crucial point that every debtor must understand. There is nothing to imagine. Just say NO if a debt collector is knocking on your door and trying to enter your home.

They are allowed to reach out to you through the following mediums only.

1. Letters, 
2. Emails,
3. And phone calls only.

But they can home visit sometimes in extreme cases where they could not reach out to you with the above mediums. If that is so, they are only allowed to talk with you only(the debtor) about the debt case. 

Furthermore, debt collectors cannot take your possessions to cover your debts. Therefore don’t worry. Your valuable belongings(such as jewellery or electronics) are safe from debt-collecting agents.

Now, let’s talk about their visits. They have no right to take money from you forcibly if a debt collector visits your home. 

You do not even have to open the door for them if you feel like don’t want to.

And what will happen if you ask them to leave the premises? 

Then they have to comply and leave your premises. This might surprise you. But yes, you have the power to make them leave. They have to conduct their duties according to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidelines. 

Facing Non-compliance from Debt Collectors

But what if a debt collector refuses to leave or visits your home again after you specifically asked them not to? This is where your rights as a debtor come in. You have the right to report such non-compliant debt collectors to the FCA. 

So remember, you are not helpless in such situations.

Communication with Debt Collectors

Debt collectors do have the right to contact you about your payments if the due you owe is valid. 

You might feel the urge to ignore a debt collector’s calls or letters. But it might not be the best approach for that. We don’t recommend it at all because staying in touch with them can help you understand your situation better. And also they might even provide surprising opportunities for resolution.

However, there are rules that need to be complied with when calling you. Debt collectors have the right to call you between 9 am to 5 pm(office hours only). But they can’t call you at any other non-working times during the weekdays and not at all on weekends. 

You can report them to the FCA if a debt collector violates this rule. This protects your personal time from unwanted disturbances.

Legal Actions by Debt Collectors

What about more serious actions like legal proceedings? Debt collection agencies do have the right to get a court order against you. But it is usually their last resort. 

It’s important to note that reaching this point typically means that;

  • The debtor has been consistently missing payments over an extended period. 
  • And the creditor is dissatisfied with the situation.

All these details provide a clearer picture of a debt collector’s rights and limits. Understanding this can help reduce anxiety and confusion when dealing with debt collectors. 


  • what if a debt collector oversteps these limits? 
  • What should you do then? 

Hang on for the next section. We’ll delve into these pressing questions leaving no stone unturned.

Encounters with Harassment from Debt Collectors and Credit Agencies

Do you know when the actions of a debt collector qualify as harassment? It can be challenging to discern. But let’s unravel this mystery for your protection. Activities that fall under harassment include:

  • Repeated phone calls in a single day or at irregular hours
  • Multiple debt collectors pursuing the same dues
  • Your creditor is bound by law to inform you if they choose to hire debt collectors to pursue you. It would count as harassment if the debt collector contacted you earlier than the original creditor’s notification to you.
  • Contacting you on social media platforms
  • Pressuring you to sell assets or pay a lump sum you can’t afford
  • Using deceptive letters or forms. Some debt collectors forge their letters the same as a court order letter.
  • Verbal or physical threats or attempts to embarrass you publicly.
  • Pretending to be bailiffs or any other government-authorised official that has extra-legal power.
  • Manipulating you to convince you that they have started court procedures when they really not
  • They don’t have the power to Recover your belongings from your property as the bailiffs do.
  • Speaking to anybody about your debts other than you is not allowed.

Don’t you feel more empowered knowing these facts? Knowledge is indeed power, and it’s high time you wielded it.

Debt Collectors

Steps to Take if a Debt Collector Oversteps their Boundaries

You may now be asking yourself, what if a debt collector oversteps their limits? Fret not. You can take action against them in such infringement action.

1. First, collect all evidence. This could include;
1. Letters, 
2. Documents, 
3. Voice notes, Phone recordings,
4. Or witness testimonies.
2. Share a copy of the evidence with the offending debt collector to inform them assertively about their FCA guideline violation. And ask them to stop what they are doing unlawfully.
3. Tell them about their FCA guideline violation and ask for written consent, promising that they will not harass you again.
4. Complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the FCA itself if the harassment continues.

Exploring the Presence of Additional Debt Collectors

In today’s world, debts accumulate in multiple forms. 

Such as, 

  • Mortgages, 
  • Car loans, 
  • Credit cards, 
  • And buy-now-pay-later schemes. 

It can be challenging to keep track of all. And it’s not unusual to owe several companies simultaneously. 

Hence, a regular check of your credit report and bank statements is essential. 

Debt collectors, such as 

1. PRA Group, 
2. Lowell,
3. And Cabot Financial are likely to appear on your credit report if they have purchased your debt.

Don’t forget to 

  • Remain informed, 
  • Act sensibly, 
  • And protect your rights when dealing with debt-collecting firms.


What powers do debt collectors have ?

Debt collectors have the right to contact debtors about valid payments owed. But typically during standard business hours only. They can also take legal actions as a last resort (such as getting a court order against you). 

However, they can’t forcibly enter your home ortake your belongings to repay the debt.

Shop Direct Debt: What Is It ?

Any debt or sum owed to Shop Direct Finance Company Ltd incurred due to different transactions or financial instruments, such as credit cards, personal loans, or retail credit, is a “Shop Direct Debt.” Have you felt about what negative consequences would occur if you didn’t pay this debt on time? I have an interesting question for you now, which you will find the correct answers to in the following questions.

What are the rights of a debt collector in the UK ?

In the UK, debt collectors can 

1. Contact debtors regarding their debts, 
2. and ask for repayment.
3. Obtain a court order as a resort if the debts are true,

However, they must respect the debtor’s rights, like not contacting them outside of the approved hours or invading their private property without consent.

What is the 9-word phrase to stop debt collectors ?

It may not be a magic phrase. You can pause a conversation with a debt-collecting agent by saying, “I cannot afford to pay you at this time”. Thus encouraging them to explore alternative arrangements. 

However, this does not erase the debt.

What should you not say to debt collectors ?

Avoid providing personal financial information over the phone, like your bank account or card details. Also, 

  • Don’t admit to the debt until you have confirmed it’s valid. 
  • And don’t make payment agreements you can’t stick to.

What’s the worst a debt collector can do ?

The most severe action a debt collector can typically take is to obtain a court order against you. This could lead to more serious legal implications. Worst of all is the involvement of bailiffs.

How do you beat debt collectors ?

Again, the goal isn’t to “beat” them but to manage the situation responsibly. 

For that,

1. Ensure the debt is valid. 
2. Understand your rights.
3. Set communication boundaries.
3. And consider seeking advice from a debt advisor or legal professional.

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