Debt Letter From PDCS (Past Due Credit Services)? Here’s What To Do
Wondering what to do now that you have a letter from PDCS Debt Collectors? Well, you aren’t the only one and there is no need to get worried. Debt recovery is a standard procedure done by the agency. We recommend you find out a few details before you start panicking. For example, do you even owe them money, and do you need to contact the agency to clarify this?
The reality is that PDCS are a big debt collection agency and the probably send out thousands of standard letters to people every day, all through the day. It is entirely likely that you are one of those people who don’t really have a debt pending and the letter reached you in error.
But not to worry, we have several clients whom we advise on how to deal with these stock letters. Yes, you can deal with this issue yourself and we do encourage you to do that. However, we can help you quickly and correctly and probably much faster than you would have done yourself.
Why are you getting these letters from PDCS?
You might not owe any debt. The agency might have reached out to them claiming that you owe them money. This is possible as PDCS is an agency that purchases debt from other lenders. This means that they collect unpaid debts that other agencies have given up on and then make last-ditch attempts to collect on these long-standing debts. As a result, you may not recognize the name of the agency as you don’t owe them money directly.
This is an entirely legal process and PDCS usually buys these kinds of pending debts in bulk deals. As a result, they get great deals as the original company has kind of given up on collecting the pending amounts. A good example would be companies like BT and United Utilities who commonly sell of their pending debts every year in order to clear their accounts.
How did PDCS get my debt?
Agencies like PDCS usually buy these long-standing debts for pennies on the pound and then take up the onus of chasing the borrower to reclaim the debt. When you come down to the nitty-gritty, the agency usually makes a profit even if 20-40% of the debt is repaid by a fraction of the borrowers.
Of course, they do have to be persistent and this means they send out stock letters nearly every month to debtors in persistent efforts to get back the documented debt.
Some of their standard procedures include writing to debtors offering out-of-court settlements for a fraction of the original amount. This may be followed by legal threats of court action or even attempts to obtain a county court judgement to recover their debt. There have been instances in which the agency may attempt to make you bankrupt to collect their pending amounts.
Will PDCS keep contacting me?
The agency will write to you repeatedly and these are usually standard letters that will arrive nearly every week. Don’t taken them personally but do take them seriously. If you do you respond to the letters, the agency will then move to the next step of contacting you through your official telephone numbers or mobile numbers. They may contact you several times daily and the frequency of the calls will increase daily until you do respond to them.
Although they do not have standard telephone numbers, a few previous clients have stated that the PDCS will use a variety of different numbers to try and contact you, from landlines to mobiles. However, you should know that they will not leave voice mails as they want to connect with you personally to ensure that you are aware of their debt collecting procedures.
How can I deal with PDCS?
It will not be easy to deal with the constant nuisance of letters and phone calls. But we urge you not to be frustrated. As these kinds of agencies can collect their pending debt, they are well within their rights to contact you repeatedly.
However, they also must follow strict rules set down by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) on how they contact you and how often they do it. As a result, you do have rights and you can protect yourself.
You can find more information here, including template letters that you can use to respond to PDCS.
You should know that PDCS cannot use unfair, aggressive or excessive debt collection procedures to reclaim their debt. They cannot threaten your property, life or family. They are also not allowed to bypass legal procedures to collect their debt. According to the FCA, they are also supposed to appoint a representative who is authorized to contact you directly.
Please note that the legal representative or the agency cannot threaten legal action that is unlikely to take place.
Can PDCS come to my home?
In case PDCS wants to visit your home, they are legally obligated to notify you well in advance. Please know that they cannot knock on your home at any time as this is considered harassment.
What can you do?
You do have options. You are protected by the FCA and the agency cannot harass you to pay up. Depending on your personal situation, you can also respond to the letters and calls in several different methods.
- Prove the debt: Most agencies buy old and outstanding debt from the original lenders. As a result, the legal time limit for recovering the debt may have already lapsed. Furthermore, the original lender may not really have any paperwork proving the debt. You can write a letter to the agency formally stating that you do not have any outstanding debt and/or ask them to prove the debt is yours.
You can find a copy of the prove a debt letter here which you can send to PDCS.
In most cases, the agency cannot do so and therefore the debt is marked as settled. Make sure the letter covers all legal precedents and ask the agency to share the information provided by the lender with you. PDCS are legally obligated to share the information with you. You should also ask the agency to share any outstanding investigation that was done regarding this debt.
The results of the investigation should be shared with you for legal review as well. You can download the letter online here. Make sure you personalize the letter for your needs.
- Get in touch with the financial ombudsman: You can contact the financial ombudsman service and information commissioner’s office as well. Make sure that you document this in the letter as well so that the agency is aware of the steps you have planned.
- DO NOT SIGN ANY DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING THE PROVE THE DEBT LETTER. This is because most agencies can then use the signature to verify the debt documents that they have.
Keep copies of all documentation handy. Its difficult to store paperwork and we recommend keeping all loan related paperwork in a safe location for as long as possible. There have been cases were debt collection agencies have tried to collect on loans that were as old as 18 years!
If you don’t have any debt pending with the agency, you may receive a letter saying that the issue has been dropped and you won’t be contacted by them. However, this is a relatively rare occurrence.
It is more likely that you will be contacted again with a response from the debt collection agency stating that they have traced the debt back to you. You may also have a deadline to respond to the letter with consequences listed on the letter. You can ignore this as they yet must share their details regarding the original debt with you.
However, debt collection agencies have the right to put negative information on your credit report. This negative information will remain there for seven years and it will affect your ability to get loans or a mortgage. It may affect your insurance rates and your ability to get a good job.
Shall I contact a legal solicitor?
Contacting a solicitor is also a good idea in case none of these options work out. To ensure that you are protected, make sure you make copies of all documentation from PDCS. You can also record calls, especially if the calls were abusive or aggressive. However, in a few places, it is illegal to record calls without notifying the opposing person.
We advise doing these steps with caution. If you really do have debt pending, make sure you get in touch with credit counselling to sort out your debt issues as quickly as possible.
Please be aware of your rights. If you still aren’t sure about the options available, take the time to check the FTC website and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to learn more.