Being in debt is one of the most anxiety-ridden circumstances you may ever face in your adult life. Whether that’s due to unpaid utility bills or catalogues, you may feel trapped if you are constantly being pursued by debt collection agencies. However, know that you are not alone and there is help out there for you.
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If you have ever been in debt with a utility client or similar company, you may have dealt with Sigma Red Debt Collection before. As they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, there are set rules and procedures they must abide by – meaning you may be able to find ways to lower your overall debt.
Read on for our ultimate guide to Sigma Red Debt Collectors and how an IVA can work alongside you to wipe away your debt.
Table of Content
- 1 Who are Sigma Red?
- 2 Where are Sigma Red Debt Collection based?
- 3 Are they a legitimate debt recovery company authorised and regulated in the UK?
- 4 What legal powers do they have over me?
- 5 Why is a third party debt collection agency contacting me?
- 6 How do debt collection agencies operate?
- 7 Why is a debt collection agency contacting you?
- 8 What if I can’t afford to pay back a debt?
- 9 How to deal with debt collectors
- 10 Before you pay seek IVA debt advice!
- 11 Up to 85% of your debt could be written off!
- 12 FAQs:
- 13 List of Debt Collection Agencies UK
Who are Sigma Red?
Sigma Red are a debt collection company that will purchase debt from third part clients in an attempt to make money from the interest that gathers. They may also collect debt on behalf of their clients, offering collection services to track down any debt that may be owed.
If you have ever dealt with a Scottish power supplier or telecommunications company you may have already had dealings with Sigma Red. This is because they collect for a range of different clients and people.
Where are Sigma Red Debt Collection based?
Sigma Red Debt Collection is based and registered in England and throughout the United Kingdom. This means they may lawfully operate throughout the entirety of the UK. They have headquarters in both Worcestershire and Birmingham, with call centres directing you to the applicable one suited to your inquiries. If you live within the United Kingdom and you have ever owed a debt, you may have already had dealings with Sigma Red.
They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA for short, and therefore must act in accordance with the regulations put forward by them. If they break any of these rules and regulations, then you should report their conduct to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Ombudsman.
Companies like Sigma Red that are regulated by the FCA must abide by these regulations, otherwise, they run the risk of their agency being shut down. This means any intimidations tactics and immoral actions will not be tolerated. Who knows, your report may be the final one they need to shut down an immoral agency.
What legal powers do they have over me?
Debt collection companies, such as Sigma Red, legal powers are slightly different from bailiffs, as they are regulated by the FCA. Unlike bailiffs, debt collection teams cannot enter your home without permission and take your property to compensate for the lack of debt payments.
Instead, the most that debt collection agencies can do is summon you to a county court using something known as a CCJ (County Court Judgement). This is where the court will decide whether you need to pay money to the debt collection agency or not. If you can’t and the declare you need to, then they may send bailiffs to your property.
As stressful as this sounds, it can be avoided as long as you prepare in advance and seek the debt advice you may require. Make sure you talk to a debt advisor, as they may be able to help you wipe off a large amount of your debt and avoid a court summons.
Why is a third party debt collection agency contacting me?
If you are being contacted by a third party debt collection company, and you were expecting to deal with Sigma Red, they might have sold your debt to another agency. They may also be hiring the aid of a third-party debt collector to help get the money they believe they are owed.
The first thing you need to do if you notice a change in collection agency is to make sure that the debt is actually yours. They may be seeking debt from you, even if you don’t truly owe them money, so write them a ‘prove it’ letter to make sure you do owe them. You should also verify that the new collection agency is legitimate and whether or not they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA.
Any unlawful practices and illegitimate companies should be reported to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567.
How do I get in contact?
The best way to get in contact with Sigma Red Debt Collection is by calling their call centres management team on 01527 405 490. You may also send them physical post, if so, address any letters to Grosvenor House, Prospect Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire, B97 4DL, United Kingdom. Stick with your own contact preferences.
Ideally, any payments made should be done via the phone as this is the fastest and safest way to ensure your money reaches the correct Sigma Red. However, always verify that it is, in fact, Sigma Red that you are on the phone with as you may be prone to fake agencies or scams when making payments through the phone.
How do debt collection agencies operate?
Sigma Red debt collection teams operate in a myriad of different ways. However, as they are on a bonus depending on how much they manage to collect, they might implement intimidation tactics to pressure you into making a payment.
This can cause you added amounts of stress that you don’t need and is also against the regulations set out by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Below you will find a guide to some of these deceitful tactics they may use to get results. If you notice any of them or believe Sigma Red may be using them, contact the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 – The sooner it’s reported, the sooner it will stop!
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Automated Call Technology
An immoral and frustrating tactic used by debt collecting companies such as Sigma Red. Automate call technology is where an agency will set up a system that automatically calls the number of the account holder that owes money. These calls can go on through the night and really have a negative effect on your life.
These calls will continue until you start making payments, so even if you answer your phone they won’t stop calling you. You can try to block the number and contact the financial ombudsman to stop this from impacting your life.
Good Cop, Bad Cop
People have used this tactic throughout the ages, but it doesn’t make it any less immoral or intimidating. A good cop bad cop routine is a sandwich tactic wherein one debt collector will pretend to be empathetic while another will pressure you into paying your debt.
Due to the pressure and negativity from the ‘bad cop,’ you will be much more inclined to listen to the ‘good cop’ and thus pay the debt company money. Don’t be fooled by this tactic, it is extremely deceitful and is used by companies such as Sigma to get people to pay their debts.
As always, report this to the financial ombudsman as it is a deceitful tactic that people associated with debt collection should not be using. It can be fairly tricky to spot, however, which is why it is rarely brought up in complaints. If you feel that you are getting mixed emotions from debt agencies, then they very well could be using the good cop, bad cop routine.
A common practice used by debt collection companies registered in England, and the UK in general, is the use of something known as a ‘Backdoor CCJ’. Essentially, this is where debt collection teams will deposit debt letters and count court summons to a previous address they know you no longer live at.
As you are unaware of these debt letters or summons, you will quickly rack up a fine for not replying to them and thus your debt will increase. Sigma Red have used these multiple times to accrue more money from a debtor than the original credit agreement so make sure you check any previous addresses to ensure you don’t miss these letters.
Why is a debt collection agency contacting you?
If a debt agency is contacting, this means they believe you owe them money, or you owe one of their clients some money. As Sigma Red operate for a host of different clients, it can be tricky trying to ascertain who you owe a debt to.
If you are unsure, contact Sigma Red and ask them for a ‘Prove It’ or a copy of your original credit agreement. This way you will know exactly what you owe money for.
What if I can’t afford to pay back a debt?
Not being in a financial position in which you can pay off your debts is an anxiety-inducing situation. However, thanks to IVAs and debt advisors, it is possible to get debt collection teams off your back and wipe off a large sum of your outstanding debt. It may seem that once you are in debt, you can never get out, but this just isn’t the case.
If you are at all worried about your cash flow and potentially putting other bills at risk while paying off your debt, then you should contact a debt advisor today. By placing customer satisfaction first, they are able to get results and reduce the stress associated with debt collection services. You would be hard-pressed to find a better debt solution.
Can pay, but won’t pay?
As Sigma Red are conducted and regulated by the FCA, they must give you time to pursue the best avenues to pay off your debt. This means if you can pay, but you don’t want to, you have enough time to find the best way to avoid paying more than you would like to. However, try not to hold off too long as they may send a County Court summons to your address.
Before you make your next payment, decide whether or not you truly can afford to pay the debt collector – you could be paying more than you need to. An advisor can provide the debt solution you crave and lower the risk of the HMRC sending you a court summons for refusal to pay.
You should always ensure you have enough money to pay rent, your mortgage and utility bills before paying off a credit card and catalogue debts. You don’t want to put yourself under even more financial burden, but an advisor will be able to help you effectively manage your debts.
How to deal with debt collectors
Dealing with a debt collection company can be extremely stressful. Not only does it place a financial burden on you, but it can also cause stress and wakeful nights – which really won’t help your mental health.
Below you will find 2 of the most common methods you can use to stop pesky debt collectors from pursuing you for payments. The sooner you find the method that works for you, the sooner you can relax!
Seek debt help
The best solution to handling debt letters and looming debts is to chat to either a debt advisor about the possibility of an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement). They have the facilities a person will need to lessen their outstanding debt and preventing a single payment costing more than it should.
IVA services also have the potential to wipe off up to 85% of your debt, thanks to legal loopholes and the analytical skills they provide.
Debt can massively impact your day-to-day life due to the toll your mental health will take worrying about how to make your next payment. There is no shame in seeking help when it comes to handling debts, in fact, it is estimated that in the UK currently, there are around 8 million people in debt.
You are not alone and this isn’t something you need to go through solo, seek debt advice and save yourself months of stress!
Check if you really owe a debt collection company money
Before making a payment and trying to find the best way to save up to pay off your debts, we would recommend contacting the debt collection company asking them to prove the debt is yours. Even debt collections are prone to mistakes and you may be paying off someone else’s debt for them without either you or the agency realising.
To achieve this you should send a letter to Sigma Red, or any other debt collection services you may be dealing with, asking them to prove the debt belongs to you. By law, as they are regulated by the FCA, they are required to do this. If they cannot prove the debt belongs to you, then you do not have to pay them any money towards your debts.
You should also write a letter asking them for a copy of your original credit agreement, this will prevent them from adding invalid interest and give you a way to track your debt. It is also helpful for debt advisors as they will need to know your current outstanding to achieve the best results.
Before you pay seek IVA debt advice!
Regardless of whether you can pay off your entire debt or not, you should always seek debt advice as you may discover you are paying more than you need to. Agencies such as Sigma Red like to build up an in interest on any outstanding debt, as this means they get more of a profit when they finally manage to collect for their client.
A debt advisor could be able to help you decrease your amount owed drastically – more on that below. You may also be able to find an alternative monthly payment plan that suits you and your income much more. There’s no need to stress about not being able to climb up the career ladder due to debt anymore!
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an advisor or IVA provider today, you are not alone in your financial struggles. Complaints to the financial ombudsman have increased rapidly in current times, which is a sign that debt companies are becoming more ruthless. Don’t let your stress pile up, or your debts, contact an advisor as soon as you can!
Up to 85% of your debt could be written off!
Did you know that you may not need to pay off your entire debt? By chatting to an advisor, you may be able to wipe off a whopping 85% of your outstanding debt.
Thanks to their know-how regarding debt and individual voluntary agreements, an advisor may be able to find a loophole that saves you thousands of pounds through an IVA. An IVA works by consolidating all of your debt into one easy-to-handle amount. This is not only easier to track, but it also tends to be far cheaper than the individual debts themselves.
Once you have succeeded in paying off this single consolidated IVA, your debt will be completely written off. This gives you the stress-free relief you have more than likely been seeking. On top of this, once a consolidated amount has been agreed upon, you will no longer have to communicate with Sigma Red. All communication will be handled by your IVA provider.
To be eligible for an IVA, however, you will need to have a combined debt of £5,000 or more. This sin;t just debt you owe to Sigma Red and their client, but any other debt handling agency you have been contacted by. As an IVA is a consolidated amount, all types of debts will be combined into a much easier to handle blanket sum.
Once a plan has been agreed upon, you will be able to determine the best payment plan to suit you. So whether that’s monthly payments across a 3-month span, or bi-monthly across multiple years, an IVA is designed around you and your needs.
How do I deal with Sigma red debt collection?
The best way to deal with collection companies such as Sigma Red is to find ways to lower your overall debt and alternative plans to pay. A debt advisor will be able to help their clients find the ideal way to pay, without putting over finances at risk. Getting debt companies such as Sigma Red, off your back will massively improve your wellbeing and will help you get back into your stride.
What happens if I don’t pay a debt collection agency?
If you don’t pay a debt collection team they will constantly pursue you with calls and house visits in an attempt to claim the money they seek. This can cause untold amounts of stress and may even end in a County Court case if ignored for long enough.
Chat to a debt advisor and get your debt wiped today and relieve yourself of extreme levels of financial stress.
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Can Sigma Red collectors enter my property without permission?
No, they can not. Unlike bailiffs, debt collection teams cannot enter your property and seize your belongings to pay off your debt. In fact, unless you give them express permission to do so, they may not enter your property at all. If a debt collector attempts to enter your home, call the police immediately as this is illegal.
If, however, a county court judge declares that you have to pay your debt, but you don’t have the money to pay it off, they may enlist bailiffs to seize your belongings. This is completely avoidable by discussing your finances with an advisor and finding the right payment route for you.
Will Sigma Red stop pursuing me for debt if I ignore them?
By law, a debt collection team must stop pursuing you for payments if 6 years have passed since the original credit agreement. However, this is an extremely risky idea to bank on as they will usually seek legal action, such as a County Court Judgement (CCJ) before the 6 years are up. Don’t risk waiting 6 years, contact an IVA advisor or a debt advisor to find the best debt answer for you.
By consolidating your debt into one neat little sum, you will be able to get debt collection teams off your back and prevent a CCJ.
Do I need to send a ‘Prove It’ letter?
Although you don’t need to send a letter to a debt collector company, it is highly advisable. By sending a ‘Prove it’ letter, you may discover that the debt does not belong to you at all. This means you will not need to send them any money.
You will also find that sending a letter asking for the original credit agreement will be extremely useful to both you and a debt advisor. It will allow you to easily track your current outstanding debt and provide a way you can keep up to date with any expected payments.
List of Debt Collection Agencies UK
Here is a list of all the debt collectors in the UK.
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