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Are debt collectors allowed to harass you?

We explain exactly how and when debt collectors are allowed to contact you so that you can prepare yourself for when they call, and complain when they've overstepped the mark.

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How far can Debt Collectors go?

Under the Administration of Justice Act, debt collectors cannot harass you into paying your debts.

This means they're not allowed to repeatedly:

  • Phone you

  • Visit you at home

  • Hassle you in public

They're also supposed to:

  • Keep their attempts to contact you within reasonable hours: They don't have the green light to visit or call you at any time of the day or night.

  • Respect contact preferences: If you ask to be contacted by email or post, they should follow this request and can't get in touch through any other means.

To stop unwanted phone calls or visits you should inform debt collectors that you only want to be contacted in writing (specifying whether by email or post).

Make sure you ask for written acknowledgement of your request and keep a record of all your correspondence with them just in case.

How to deal with debt collectors

Can debt collectors tell your family you're struggling?

No, discussing your debt with a family member, friend or neighbour without your permission is in breach of data protection laws.

Debt collectors or creditors are not allowed to disclose your financial situation to anyone else without your permission.

How to complain about a debt collection company

Can debt collectors contact your employer?

Speaking to your employer about your borrowing without your permission is against data protection laws.

Unless your debt is a business loan, the company or collection agency cannot call or visit your place of work to collect payment unless you've given them permission to do so.

If you have already been contacted at work you should tell the company not to call or visit you there again, they will be violating debt collection rules if they do.

10 steps to becoming debt free

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