One of the greatest benefits of a Debt Relief Order (DRO) is that it’s a legal, formal debt solution. It puts a stop to the creditors taking any action against you for bad debts that are included in the DRO:
- you cannot be taken to courtroom for a CCJ (or any Legal responsibility Order for local authority or council tax debts);
- if you have a CCJ, your creditor cannot send the bailiffs in – and debt collection agencies shouldn’t claim that they can do this.
The DRO does not remove the money you owe until it’s completed after twelve months. During this time period, it can certainly be cancelled, for instance, if you inherit some money or get a large pay rise.
This means that your creditor is authorised to send you a statement of exactly what your financial debt is during your DRO period before getting DRO info and help from any company, however, they cannot say that you should make a payment to them. Plus they should not be contacting you about it or calling around if they’re a doorstep creditor.
If you’re considering a Debt Relief Order, you should not be concerned that you’ll still be pursued for your financial obligations – issues in this area are quite rare.
The first couple of weeks
You may possibly get some calls, receive notices or visits from doorstep creditors in the first couple of weeks right after your Debt Relief Order starts. Generally, this is because the company has not received the notice of your DRO yet, or the information has not been given down to the person calling you.
Let them know that you’ve started your DRO, give them your DRO number and the date. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they will not bother you again.
What happens if collectors continue to call?
You can ignore all of them because they don’t have any legal capacity to do anything whatsoever – however, if you simply get any court notices regarding your debt, don’t ignore these because it is better to stop a CCJ being issued at the earliest opportunity.
You can also make a complaint. There are actually 3 main concerned parties to complain to:
- The Financial Ombudsman
- The Debt Collector
- The Financial Conduct Authority
Make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman (FO)
Before you go to the FO, you must have complained on paper to a particular company. If the company rejects the complaint or does not respond within 2 months and they keep trying to get payments from you, make use of the FO’s complaints procedure – it’s easy and user-friendly. Ask your Ombudsman for a ruling that the company must stop asking you for payments and ask for compensation for their behaviour.
File your complaint against them in the Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is actually the regulator for credit. The FCA will not consider your particular complaint and get back to you, but it’ll be passed to their monitoring team who can certainly take action against the company. They can fine or cancel the license of the company that breaks the rules. It’s very easy to report a company, you can contact them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org