Are you struggling with overwhelming debt? Do you need advice and are unsure of where to turn?
Money worries are so exhausting and can uproot your life if you don’t get in control of your finances. Being constantly worried about debt collectors such as Swift Credit Services can make life feel out of control. Knowing what you’re up against can make it easier to tackle.
We have put together the ultimate guide to Swift Group debt collectors, part of Marstons Holdings, to help you know what you’re working with, and what steps to take. This is not a substitute for debt solutions or seeking advice, but it will help with some of the basics, and how the process works.
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Table of Content
- 1 Who are Swift Group Debt Collectors?
- 2 What can they do?
- 3 Are they a licensed, registered company in the UK?
- 4 Why are you being contacted by them?
- 5 Can I contact them?
- 6 What to do if Swift Credit Services Ltd contact you
- 7 The dangers of debt collection agencies
- 8 How Swift Group Debt Collection works
- 9 How to receive help with debt
- 10 List of Debt Collection Agencies UK
Who are Swift Group Debt Collectors?
Founded in 1974, Swift Credit Services LTD are an enforcement and collections company operating in Wales and throughout the UK that focuses on HMCTS, Council tax, commercial rent arrears or Penalty charge notices.
Swift Credit is based in Merthyr Tydfil. They are a third-party collections agency that works on behalf of the councils and other local authorities.
They now operate under Marstons Holdings who provide other credit information services and insolvency services.
What can they do?
Being contacted by debt collection agency can be daunting, but knowing you can expect can be helpful. Swift Credit is licensed and can send enforcement agents to your property should they be ignored, and can contact you by phone calls, post, and by coming to your address.
They can (after obtaining a warrant) arrange for the recovery of your possessions to contribute to the payment of your debt, and in some rare and extreme cases, take your car and/or home.
Are they a licensed, registered company in the UK?
Swift Credit Services Ltd is regulated by the Civil Enforcement Agency and is a subsidiary of Marston Holdings (registered office no 115994). They have multiple accreditations from the Civil Enforcement Association and ISO/IEC for information and security management, health and safety and security management.
The company is licensed to deal with council arrears as well as parking fines, or commercial rent arrears. Swift Credit Services Limited registered in England and a trusted debt collection agency by the financial conduct authority.
Why are you being contacted by them?
If Swift Credit is contacting you, then it is likely you have an unpaid debt with your local council or are significantly behind on payments to your landlord.
Debt collectors are legally obliged to make reasonable attempts to contact you. Swift Credit Services have over 30 years of experiences dealing with local authority arrears.
If you ignore their attempts to contact you through the phone or post then they may send debt collection agents to your home, which is extremely stressful and may incur an extra cost to you.
The best course of action is to respond to their attempts to contact to negotiate a mutually beneficial solution.
Can I contact them?
According to their website, there are several ways to contact Swift Credit:
- they have a 24 hour automated payment line: 0333 320 1100.
- If you need to speak to the team about court and tribunal service money: 0333 320 1822.
- To discuss Council tax or parking fines with the dedicated team, call 0333 320 2533.
- Call centre opening hours are: Mon-Fri 8 am-8 pm, Sat 8-4.
- For General Enquiries you can email [email protected]
If you prefer to contact them by post Swift Credit have 2 PO Box addresses:
- Court and Tribunal: Swift Credit Services Ltd, PO BOX 12019, Epping CM16 9EB.
- Council and Tickets: Swift Credit Services Ltd, PO BOX 324, Rossendales BB4 0GE.
What to do if Swift Credit Services Ltd contact you
Being contacted by a debt collection agency can be extremely stressful and daunting. But if you are being contacted then there are some details you must check before handing over any money to Swift Credit enforcement:
Check that you do owe the money
It seems obvious but checking that you actually owe the creditor the debt is a vital first step. You can do this by checking your credit score. If the debt is in your name then it should be listed on your credit report.
You are well within your rights to ask Swift Credit Services to prove the debt. They should then send a copy of the original signed agreement to your home so that you can keep a record of the original agreement.
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Another important step to take before paying the debt is to check if the said debt is statute-barred. This means that enough time has passed that they can no longer take payment from you. Should your debt be statute-barred then they cannot legally recover the debt from you. Get in touch with one of our friendly advisers to discuss this further.
Can pay, but won’t?
If it is possible for you to pay your debt without significantly risking your essential payments, like your mortgage or utility bills, then it is important to negotiate a payment plan with your creditor, or debt collector.
It is unlikely that Swift Credit will cease its enforcement services, and the longer you ignore them the more likely they are to involve the county court or bailiffs in an attempt to recover the debt.
Seek debt advice to weigh up your options and understand your rights in this situation. It is unreasonable to expect you to pay while risking the basic needs of yourself or any dependents, so speaking to an advisor can help you get your essential finances in order.
Never take on more debt to pay off your debt with Swift Credit!
If you cannot afford to pay your debt in one upfront cost (which enforcement agents will push for), You have a number of options available to you:
Agree to a monthly payment plan with Swift Credit services, this should be a mutually acceptable amount of money over a reasonable time scale for you to pay the debt back, without incurring unreasonable interest or penalties, this is a common debt solution.
You can agree to the snowball method of debt recovery which consolidates all your debt into affordable monthly payments.
An IVA or Individual Voluntary agreement may mean you are eligible to write off up to 85% of your debts.
A Debt Relief Order might be the right option for you if you find yourself unable to pay your debts and have limited assets. This freezes your debt for 12 months, and if you are unable to pay in 12 months your debt is written off.
It is important to note that this will negatively affect your credit score and a debt relief order is not a substitution for responsible debt management. We’ll talk later in the guide about other ways to write off your debts, and if that is the best option for you.
It is essential that you seek free and impartial debt help form an advisor to explore your options before agreeing on any debt solution with Swift Credit.
The dangers of debt collection agencies
According to citizen’s advice, debt collectors are some of the most complained about enforcers throughout the UK. This is because their methods are meant to apply pressure in order to collect the debt.
Ignoring debt collection agencies can wreak havoc on your life. The calls may become incessant, if ignored long enough they may obtain a warrant from the court to send bailiffs to your home to recover the debt, or possessions to contribute to the payment.
Moreover, as Swift Credit Services is often working on behalf of local authorities, this can drastically and negatively affect your credit score, and appear on your credit report for over six years.
If creditors go unpaid, you may be turned down for credit cards or other loans in the future. It is important to tackle any outstanding debt as a part of responsible debt management plan.
They may even try to contact you at your place of work, although you can choose how you wish to be contacted. Swift credit must stick to your preferred contact method.
If they believe they do not hold your correct contact information, they may contact your neighbours to check this. They are not permitted to discuss the nature of your debt with anyone you know without your express permission.
How Swift Group Debt Collection works
Swift Credit limited do hold the power to take you to court, but this won’t be their first option. They have a regimented process in which they will use to exhaust every other debt collection strategy first.
- Send letters to obtain a direct payment of the debt.
- Call your home to try and discuss the debt with you.
- Send a default notice to you about the closure of your Swift Credit account, from which they will give you two weeks to settle the debt.
- Get a county court judgement issued in order to recover the debt by different means.
- Send bailiffs or debt collector s to your home to acquire the amount owed in goods.
- Apply for an attachment of earnings to recover the debt directly from your wages.
- Apply for a Charging Order to secure the debt against your home.
No debt collection company will take 7 or 8 lightly, and these will be used in extreme, and rare cases. Swift Credit or any other subsidiary of Marston Holdings will not send bailiffs to your door without warning, and they will only take further legal action as a very last resort. It is better to answer the calls and letters to stop the situation escalating out of your control.
How to receive help with debt
The most important thing is to know you are not alone. Debt and collection are on the rise in the UK and affects thousands of households every year. There is help available to you, and it is important that you take it.
The internet has many helpful debt help guides if you feel a bit out of your depth, they give you easy to understand general information about debt collectors and their process, and what you can do.
Doing some of your own research it can provide advice and information that might be able to ease your mind. Although we recommend speaking to a free debt advisor.
Get debt advice
According to a Gov.UK study, 8 out of 10 people said they felt more at ease about their finances after speaking to a debt advisor or money advice service. When seeking help make sure you are open and honest with your advisor, they won’t judge you.
Their job is to help you get out of debt and offer friendly advice to organise your debt management plans.
A debt advisor will always keep everything you say in confidence. They will give you open and honest advice no matter how big or small your question.
They may be able to give you the details of any options you may not have heard of, or see what benefits and entitlements you qualify for. Debt advice is a free and recommended service that will help you take back control of your debt, please contact us for more information.
Write off your debt
In some instances, it is possible to write off your debt. This is usually applied to individuals with a small amount of debt, and little to no savings, income or assets. However you must be able to prove your circumstances, and that they are unlikely to change. An example of this would be being unable to work due to a terminal illness.
An Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) lasts a set amount of time, and anything not paid after this time is considered written off. This is a legally binding agreement neither you nor your creditor can change or exit once agreed upon. This will negatively affect your credit score.
Bankruptcy is a final and extreme way to write off your debts. It allows you to start again and wipes all your debts, but means you will lose all your assets including your home and car. Bankruptcy is a pretty extreme last resort and is never advised as the first course of action.
It’s really important to get in touch with a debt advisor who can provide advice if any possible ways of writing off your debt will work for you.
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Know your legal rights
Knowing your legal rights is the key to staying in control of the debt recovery process. There are several instances where debt collectors may try and overstep their authority, for example, they may demand you make an upfront payment on their arrival, which you are not legally obligated to do.
Here are some common misconceptions about what debt collectors can and can’t do, make sure you familiarise yourself with this so you cannot be intimidated.
- Debt collectors cannot discuss your debt with anyone other than you, without your express permission.
- Swift Credit nor their agents can add interests or charges that are not proportionate to the cost incurred. All payment changes must be in writing.
- They cannot threaten or abuse you in any way.
- Swift Credit Enforcement cannot pretend they have legal powers they do not, for example, they cannot threaten you with bailiffs without first acquiring a court order.
- A debt collector nor creditor can harass you, like contacting you at unreasonable times, and you can request all correspondence takes place in writing.
- They cannot mislead you or demand payments not expressly stated in the contract.
- Trick you into contacting them, like leaving an ambiguous card at your address demanding contact.
- They must notify you of any visitation and cannot enter your home without your permission or court order.
Although a debt collector has a legal responsibility to contact you, in some cases their actions may be over the line. If you feel like you are being harassed by a swift credit debt collector there is a complaints process.
- Email: [email protected]
- Follow the complaints process on their website for more advice.
List of Debt Collection Agencies UK
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