Dealing with Whyte and Co. might seem daunting, but before you part with your hard-earned money, there’s essential information you need to know.
Table of Contents
If you have been contacted by Whyte & Co., feeling stressed is not uncommon. During such situations, many wonder what steps they should take. Even though it’s difficult to deal with debt collectors, we will guide you through it. Afterwards, you will have a clear idea on what your next course of action should be.
Who are Whyte & Co?
Whyte & Co. stands tall as one of the UK’s notable bailiff debt collectors. Their journey began in 1981, carving a pathway in the field of debt collection. Since then, they’ve collaborated with an array of creditors, ensuring debts get settled.
- Foundational Years: the company has been around for years, and there’s no denying the solid foundation upon which Whyte & Co. was built.
- Reputation in the Field: over the past, they’ve not just collected debts; they’ve also gathered respect. Their approach, albeit firm, usually aligns with the law, ensuring fairness in most cases.
- Associations with Creditors: The various creditors they’ve associated with range from private institutions to public bodies. This vast network showcases their capacity to handle diverse debt types.
Understanding Whyte & Co.’s role might reshape your perception. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t solely chase debts. Their functions also encompass:
- Offering flexible repayment plans tailored to individual needs.
- Educating debtors on their rights and ensuring they’re not exploited.
- Resolving disputes between debtors and creditors
Why do Whyte & Co. Bailiffs Debt Collectors keep contacting you?
Primarily, contact from Whyte and Co. signifies an outstanding debt in your name.
Here’s a brief breakdown:
- Unpaid Bills: This could range from utility bills, credit card dues, or even overdue subscriptions.
- Overdue Taxes: if you missed a tax payment, Whyte & Co. might be reaching out on behalf of government bodies.
- Other Arrears: Miscellaneous dues you might have overlooked or forgotten.
- Sold debt: if your original creditor sells your debt to a debt collector such as Whyte and Co., they may chase you for the debt. Some creditors sell the debt for even small amounts, such as 20%. So, if your original debt was £20,000, the debt collection company may purchase the debt for as little as £4,000. So once you repay the debt, they make £16,000 along with additional charges or interest you have received.
Their relentless communication isn’t just a tactic to annoy you; it’s a strategy geared towards achieving their mission: debt recovery.
However, note that even the most prominent debt collectors can sometimes make errors. So, in some cases, they may contact you, assuming you are someone else.
Confirming the Debt with Whyte and Co.
Since errors are possible in the debt collection industry, confirming if the debt is yours is crucial. If you don’t recognise the debt or don’t understand why the cost is higher than the original amount, request Whyte & Co. to send you a copy of the original credit agreement to verify it’s really yours.
This will consist of details such as:
- Where the debt originated
- Accumulated charges over time
So write to the company and ask for the credit agreement. In a situation where they don’t provide this, you’re not obligated to pay.
Once you receive a letter from the company stating that you owe them money, make sure to do the following:
- Direct Communication: Instead of avoiding their calls, pick up the phone. Engage in a conversation and ask Whyte & Co. for a complete breakdown of what they claim you owe. Its better if you could request these proofing documents in written format, as it will come in handy if they take legal action against you.
- Cross-Reference with Your Records: Always maintain your financial documents. This way, you can cross-check their claims with your records, ensuring transparency.
What If You Can’t Afford to Pay the Debt to Whyte and Co.?
If you cannot pay the money you owe, be upfront about your financial situation. Explain your situation to Whyte and Co. and ask them for a payment plan. They might consider monthly instalments or even reducing the sum.
Don’t agree to anything that you can’t afford. Only agree to a payment plan that you’re sure you can handle without missing deadlines. This is crucial as missing payment deadlines after agreeing to a payment plan can lead to consequences.
OR, feel free to fill out our online form by clicking here if you want personal help from our Money Advisor Team based on your current financial standing.
The Effects Debt Collectors Can Have on Your Life
When dealing with debt collectors, it can impact people in many ways:
- Mental Health: The relentless pressure from debt collectors can lead to anxiety, stress, or even depression. Over time, these emotions build up, clouding every aspect of your life. According to research, over half of the debtors that deal with debt collectors contemplate suicide. Many debtors feel trapped, humiliated, and disconnected. Thus, it’s clear that debt collection has a clear impact on the mental health of debtors.
- Relationships: Money matters, especially those involving debts, can strain personal relationships. Whether it’s with a partner, family, or friends, the strain can fracture bonds.
But while it feels overwhelming, remember, Whyte & Co. is bound by the law. Also, the government has taken certain steps to ensure that debt-collection companies treat debtors in a responsible way.
Whyte & Co. Bailiffs Debt Collectors and the Law
Whyte & Co., like all legitimate debt collectors, operate within the confines of the law, including the guidelines of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Understanding what they can and can’t do can significantly alleviate your stress.
- No Intimidation: They might be persistent, but employing intimidating tactics is off the table.
- Truthfulness: They cannot make false claims. If they say you owe money, they must prove it.
- Fairness: debt collectors should treat debtors in a fair way without using any unfair or aggressive tactics to obtain the debt.
- Transparency: they should provide clear information in a way that won’t confuse or mislead the debtor.
- Consideration: debt collection companies should always consider the circumstances of the debtor when dealing with debt repayments.
Some actions they may take against the company if the complaint is upheld include:
- Compensations to the debtor
- Huge Fines
- Removal of License
Can Whyte & Co. Bailiffs Take Everything?
No. Whyte & Co., despite their authority, have certain restrictions. Some items they cannot take include:
- Essential Household Items: Your refrigerator, washing machine, and basic furniture are necessary for daily living, and thus, they remain with you.
- Work Tools: If you’re a mechanic, they can’t take away your wrench. If you’re an artist, your brushes are safe. Items up to £1,350 that earn you a livelihood or are needed for your studies are protected.
- Items that belong to others: any item in your house that belongs to someone else, including your children, is safe.
- Pets and service animals: any type of pet or service animal you have, doesn’t matter the type, is safe.
- Mobility vehicle or Blue Badge Vehicle: A vehicle with a valid Blue Badge or a mobility vehicle cannot be seized.
Bailiffs also cannot take anything that you need for your daily life. This includes anything that falls under ‘basic domestic needs’. They can take a few of these things but should leave you with the following:
- Beds and bedding for everyone that lives in the house
- A table with chairs for each person
- A mobile phone or phone
- Medical equipment or medicine that you require to care for someone.
In a case where a bailiff takes something, they shouldn’t make a complaint. You can also reach out to a debt charity for advice.
Note that bailiffs cannot push past you or forcefully enter your home. Entering through a window is also not allowed. They can come into your house only through a door that is unlocked or open. But if there is a vulnerable person at home, they cannot enter.
So, if you don’t let them in, they can only seize assets outside your house. This includes your car. But if you keep your car in a locked garage or a friend’s house, they cannot seize your vehicle.
So, it is clear that bailiffs cannot simply take anything they want. There are strict regulations that they should follow.
What If I Am a Vulnerable Person?
In the realm of debt collection, not all are treated the same. Special provisions exist for those considered vulnerable.
You as a debtor will be considered as a vulnerable person if you:
- Suffer from a mental illness
- Are pregnant or have children
- Are disabled or extremely ill
- Don’t speak English well
- Are over the age of 65 or under the age of 18
- Are dealing with a stressful situation such as unemployment or the death of a loved one
Note that in this case, bailiffs should follow extra guidelines to make sure it doesn’t cause you any distress.
If you’re a vulnerable person, you will also get more time to decide after the Notice of Enforcement. If you didn’t receive the Notice of Enforcement properly, you can again get more time.
You should inform Whyte and Co. that you’re a vulnerable person, or you can also ask a friend or relative to do it for you. Afterwards, contact them by post or phone.
When you contact them, make sure you:
- Tell them that you’re vulnerable
- Explain why dealing with bailiffs is more difficult in comparison to other people in a similar situation.
- Request them to stop visiting you as it will distress or harm you.
- Inform them a visit or letter could worsen your situation. This includes if you have a heart condition or a mental health problem.
Take note of the terms you agree upon within your discussions with Whyte & Co. regarding future communication. This will facilitate any potential disagreements or grievances in case they deviate from the newly established agreement.
Whyte & Co. Bailiffs Contact Number
|Phone number:||0345 458 9429|
|Address:||7 White Oak Square, London Road, Swanley, Kent BR8 7AG|
|Fax number:||0345 458 9439|
How Do I Make a Complaint Against Whyte & Co. Bailiffs?
No system is flawless. If you believe Whyte & Co. has crossed a line, stand up for your rights.
- Documentation: Every call, every letter, every visit – make a note of it all. These can be invaluable when lodging a complaint.
- Follow Procedure: Familiarise yourself with the official complaints process, either through their website or regulatory bodies. A well-documented complaint can often expedite resolutions.
First, complain directly to Whyte and Co. giving them a chance to resolve the matter internally. If they don’t provide you with a solution or refuse to look into the issue, make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). They will investigate the issue and will fine the company or ask them to pay you compensation if the complaint is upheld.
If you want to further escalate the issue, complain to the Civil Enforcement Authority (CIVEA). CIVEA has a set of guidelines when dealing with complaints against their members.
How Do Whyte & Co. Bailiffs Debt Collectors Make Money?
Whyte and Co. make money through multiple methods. The methods are as follows:
The company, like most debt collectors, purchases debt from creditors for a low price and then chases debtors to recover the debt. So, if the debtor pays back the money, they make a profit. But if a debtor doesn’t make the payment, they experience a huge loss.
This is why most debt collection companies are persistent and rarely give up chasing a debtor for debt. Due to this, some debt collectors even use unethical tactics to get the debtor to pay. However, note that this doesn’t mean you should tolerate any kind of bullying or harassment. If they behave in such a way, don’t hesitate to report them.
Whyte and Co., like any other debt collection company, also makes money from the interest charges and other fees they add. Since debt collection is a huge business these days, it can be very lucrative as long as they are getting money from you.
If they give you continuous calls even after 9 p.m., it’s a type of harassment. So, keep a record of it. This includes:
Inform the agent that you will be letting the agent know that you will be reporting this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Dial 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123 to contact the FOS.
In order to get you to pay debt, collectors also use various tactics. This includes:
- Threats about entering your house
- Relentless calls
- Changing attitude from friendly to aggressive
Even though this is uncommon, it happens often. Debt collectors don’t have the right to do this, no matter how much debt you owe them. If Whyte and Co. engage in such behaviour, don’t hesitate to report them.
In some situations, they might take issues into their own hands. This includes speaking to friends and family about your debt. For example, if they cannot contact you or you don’t cooperate, they might talk to one of your family members or a colleague about it. Note that this kind of behaviour breaches the law and is illegal. So report it to the FOS.
Sending the Team Round
Debt collectors at your doorstep can be unsettling. But knowledge is your shield.
- No Forced Entry: On their initial visit, they can’t force their way in. It’s the law. They cannot come into your home and take your possessions. Only a bailiff can do this. If debt collectors say that they have such rights, it is not true.
- Permission to enter: you’re not obligated to let a debt collector into your house. If you don’t want them to come in, don’t give them permission. You can call the police on them if they not honouring your request and are not bailiffs with a warrant in hand from the court.
It’s an undeniable truth: dealing with Whyte & Co., or any debt collector, can feel overwhelming. But here’s something you might not know…
Armed with the right knowledge, your encounters with debt collectors can be less daunting. There are regulations protecting you. So when that phone rings, or a letter drops, remember: you’re not powerless.
Free Debt Advice
If you’re struggling with debt and need some advice, there are many charitable organisations in the heart of the UK that are eager to lend a hand free of charge.
Some debt charities you can reach out to include:
- Citizens Advice
- National Debtline
- Debt Advice Foundation
Are You Struggling With Unaffordable Debt?
If you’re struggling with debt and looking for a solution, feel free to fill out our online form and check if you’re eligible for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). If not, our Money Advisor team will guide you on the best path you should take for a debt-free future.
Why an IVA Might Help
IVAs aren’t just acronyms. They’re potential lifelines. An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a formal, legally binding agreement to repay your creditors over a set period. Once you’ve got an IVA, Whyte & Co. must halt their recovery actions.
An IVA lasts for a period of 5 to 6 six years, and any debt that’s remaining gets written off at the end of this period. Thus, it’s a great solution in order to become debt-free in a matter of a few years.
Alternatively, you can take up a Debt Relief Order (DRO). However, to be eligible, you should have a disposable income of at least £75 every month. You also cannot have any assets over £2000 or a house.
Alternative Debt Solutions
There are various debt solutions available in the UK. We recommend you choose one depending on your financial situation. Get advice from a debt charity before you pick a debt solution, as choosing the right debt solution will help you to write off debt, but choosing the wrong one will be expensive.
A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a debt solution that helps you to pay off your debt with a single monthly payment. Since it is informal, you’re not tied to a DMP for a minimum amount of payments.
Since IVAs are not there in Scotland, you can take up a Trust Deed instead. This is similar to an IVA. You should pay an amount every month, and that amount is divided among your creditors. During this time, they agree not to take any action or contact. Any debt that’s left at the end of this period is written off.
A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is for anyone who has little income and no assets. With a DRO, you don’t have to make payments for 12 months, and your creditors agree not to add any interest during this period. If your finances don’t improve within 12 months, you can write off your unsecured debt.
You can declare Bankruptcy if you have no realistic possibility of paying off your debt. This allows you to make a fresh start. But note that it shouldn’t be taken lightly as it’s a serious financial situation.
The Scottish version of Bankruptcy is Sequestration. If you have no valuable assets or have little income, you can apply for a Minimal Asset Process Bankruptcy (MAP). It is a much cheaper and faster version of Sequestration.
The Future for Debt Collectors
Even after regulations and warnings from the government, some debt collectors still act in a way that breaks the law. Despite this, it’s important you don’t ignore debt collectors. Make your payments on time or request a payment that you can handle.
Also, note that you don’t have to put up with threatening or bullying behaviour. If you’re struggling to handle the debt collectors, speak to the Financial Ombudsman, who will investigate the issue and see if any laws have been broken.
What is the Debt Breathing Space Scheme?
Breathing Space (Debt Respite Scheme) is a scheme provided by the government to allow you to have some time to get some advice or take up a debt solution. This scheme started in MAY 2021 and provides you 60 days with no:
- Extra fees
- Added interest
- Enforcement action
There are two types of Breathing Space available:
- Standard Breathing Space: lasts for 60 days and is available for individuals with debt problems.
- Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space: for individuals receiving treatment for mental health issues. It lasts for the entire treatment period and an additional 30 days. Note that this is not available in Scotland, and you should apply for a Statutory Moratorium instead.
- When facing Whyte & Co. or any debt collector, it’s pivotal to remember your rights. Equip yourself with information to confidently navigate the process.
- Various charitable entities, including Citizens Advice Bureau and StepChange, offer free and impartial advice. Before making decisions related to Whyte & Co., consulting with these bodies can be beneficial.
- Many in the UK grapple with insurmountable debts. However, with the right guidance, a stable financial future is within reach.
- An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) can be a boon for those in debt. If engaged with an IVA, actions from Whyte & Co. can be halted, providing a structured path for repayment.
- While IVAs are effective, they aren’t the sole solution. Depending on individual circumstances, Debt Relief Orders (DROs) or even Bankruptcy might be more apt.
- The landscape of debt collection is evolving. By being informed about changes in the industry, particularly concerning Whyte & Co., you position yourself to be proactive rather than reactive.
- An initiative that provides individuals a 60-day reprieve from debt recovery actions. If Whyte & Co. is in pursuit, this can offer a temporary shield.
- Before proceeding with any payments, it’s crucial to verify the debt. If Whyte & Co. can’t provide the original credit agreement, there might be no obligation to pay.
- It’s illegal for debt collectors, including Whyte & Co., to employ aggressive methods, violate privacy protocols, or issue unwarranted threats. Familiarise yourself with these rights for a fair interaction.
- If you believe you’ve been unjustly treated by Whyte & Co., you’re entitled to lodge a complaint. Always document interactions and gather evidence to support your case.