How can I stop my creditors from harassing me?

November 6, 2019

Being pursued for money by creditors is an extremely stressful situation, particularly if they harass you or you feel intimidated. If you’re facing this type of behaviour, it’s important to know that creditors aren’t allowed to threaten or harass people, and could face criminal prosecution if a complaint is made.

So what might be considered harassment in this context, and what can you do to stop it?

What is creditor harassment?

Situations and actions that could be regarded as harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Hiring multiple debt collectors to recover their money
  • Using letter headed communication intended to look like official paperwork
  • Telling you that they’re working on behalf of the courts when this isn’t true
  • Contacting you at unreasonable times of the day, such as early morning or late at night
  • Contacting you relentlessly
  • Using threatening or intimidating behaviour

How to stop creditors from harassing you

If you believe a creditor is harassing you, it’s important to gather evidence to support your claim. You could make a note of the times they contact you, for example, write down whatever is said, and retain all letters or documentation they send.

You should make a complaint in writing to the creditor(s) concerned, requesting that they stop, stating the methods of communication that are acceptable to you, and reaffirming that harassment is a punishable offence.

If the creditor has hired a debt collector who is affiliated to a professional body or trade association you could also complain to them, as the debt collector is obliged to conform to set codes of conduct and ethics.

If a solicitor is acting on behalf of a creditor and you feel they are harassing you, there’s a formal complaints procedure associated with legal practices that you can follow, which may resolve the problem. If not, you have recourse to complain via their professional association, as harassing a client would be regarded as professional misconduct.

Obtain professional help

Obtaining professional advice can be invaluable in this situation – you’ll be able to understand your rights as a debtor and the constraints placed on creditors who are attempting to collect their debts.

If you’re experiencing harassment from one or more creditors and would like further guidance that’s tailored to your own situation, our experts at Northern Ireland Debt Solutions can help. We work throughout Northern Ireland, and can offer you a free same-day meeting.

Lawrence O'Hara

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 028 2132 6269

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