Negotiating With Creditors for Changes in Terms and Loan and Debt Schedules – 2

Everything now is going to depend on which creditor you are dealing with. They vary in ways that are not really logical, and can have differences according who you are speaking to and what section of the company is dealing with your account.

You might think this is a bad thing, I would rather say it shows how important it is to be confident in the knowledge you have made sure you have.

A good company will respond to what information and figures you have given them. It will try to find an answer that suits both you and them. Here you are able to talk in a more relaxed way and with less feeling of guardedness. But that doesn’t mean you should leave the decision up to them.

It is your life; you still need to be sure the outcome is realistic for you.

But then there are the companies that seem to have no interest in what you say to them and simply want their money back willy nilly.

These companies are going to behave unreasonably, and try to sidestep the rules which apply to them. They will prove obdurate, unyielding and take the matter to the bitter end. That end should be the Financial Ombudsman Service, which does insist these companies do the right thing. The FOS has the power to force compensation payments as well, and does.

But all this can be a long road. It can be over a year before there is a resolution, and these companies do try to bully you. I encourage you to not only resist but tell the companies quite bluntly that you will complain as appropriate to the regulators who decide on how to regulate, those who enforce the regulation and issue the licences to trade in credit, and the FOS itself.

The rules are clear and bad behaviour should be reported so the companies may be censured, fined or have their licences revoked.

You are not without power in this.

Once you have grasped what the rules are – by research and advice – you will see how my methods work, and why this is the way is should be done.

As time goes on you may find the companies offer deals that may be very helpful. I have, for example, been offered 50% write offs for payment of the other 50% – usually as a lump sum, of course. With such offers there may be mileage in consolidation, but it is as well to bear in mind you also have obligations.

Among what is expected of you is the general rule to treat all creditors the same. That is subject to common sense and reasonableness of course. Never refuse a full write off, for example, just because only some creditors have offered it.

And if you want to agree to a 50% deal, as I describe, you should strictly offer the same deal to other creditors. It certainly needs thinking about and it is worth checking with one of the charitable advisors how you should handle it.

Joseph Harris
Debt Control Man

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