Creditors still contacting you - debt management plans
If you've got a debt management plan (DMP), you may find your creditors are still contacting you or asking for payment, even though you're making payments they've agreed to.
This page explains why creditors might still contact you and what you can do about it.
Why are creditors still contacting you?
There are a number of reasons why creditors might still contact you if you're in a DMP:
To send you regular account statements
Under the rules in the Consumer Credit Act 1974, your creditors will normally have to keep sending you annual statements as well as arrears and default notices in a set format. This happens even when you're in a DMP. Don't worry, as it doesn't mean there is a problem with your DMP. However, if you receive other letters demanding payment or threatening court action, you'll need to contact your DMP provider for advice.
You haven't had your DMP for very long
Some creditors may chase you for payment if you haven't yet made many payments on your DMP. You should tell your creditors that you're paying into the DMP that they've agreed to and ask if they'll stop sending you reminders.
They're chasing you for debts not in your DMP
Remember that a DMP won't pay off all your debts. Your priority debts, such as mortgage arrears or court fines, can't go into a DMP. You need to make arrangements to pay these debts first and still need to deal with these creditors yourself.
The creditor has refused to deal with the DMP provider
Sometimes a creditor will refuse to deal with a DMP provider. This could be because the creditor doesn't want to accept the reduced payments or sometimes it could be because they've objected to you using a fee-charging provider, which would mean there's less money to pay the debts you have with them. If the creditor doesn't want to deal with the DMP provider, they can still take action to recover the money you owe, which may include taking you to court.
If this applies to you, ask the creditor why they're not willing to co-operate with the DMP. You can try to negotiate with them yourself to see if they'll change their minds. However, they're not legally obliged to do so, so you may need to keep dealing with this creditor separately.
The creditor has made a mistake
The creditor may simply have made a mistake or not fully updated their records. If you think this is the case, ask the creditor why they're still contacting you, remind them that they've agreed to the DMP and ask them to update their records.
The creditor is harassing you
While a creditor is still allowed to contact you while you're in a DMP, if one is doing any of the following, it may count as harassment:
- making demands for payment in a way that is deliberately meant to alarm, distress or humiliate you, your family or your household, such as turning up on your doorstep threatening to take goods if you don't pay
- contacting you too often or late at night
- contacting you through Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites
- pressurising you to sell property or take out more credit to pay your debt
- using more than one debt collection company at the same time or not telling you when your debt has been passed to another company
- producing any document which looks like it's official when it isn't, or making false claims that a document is official when it isn't
- pressurising you to pay in full or in large instalments that you can't afford
- making threatening gestures or statements.
If you think the creditor shouldn't be contacting you
While there are many valid reasons for a creditor to contact you while you're in a DMP, if they've agreed to the DMP they should accept the fact that you're making payments through it and keep contact to a minimum.
The first step you should take is to contact your DMP provider to explain what's happening. They may be able to negotiate with the creditor to stop contacting you. If they're unable to do this, you can try contacting the creditor yourself, explaining that you're in a DMP and asking them to stop contacting you.
If you believe the creditor is harassing you, you may need help to talk to them.