What’s (really) in your wallet?
In modern times most of us have applied for and received a credit card or used and purchased services on credit, believing at all times that we could and would make the required payments without considering the impact of employment issues, health problems and family matters that can get in the way of these payments. It is at these times that the calls from the collection agencies inevitably begin threatening damage to your credit rating, court action and in more inappropriate cases jail or the loss of your employment. It would seem that there is nothing you can do and that the collection company holds all the cards denying you any leverage to settle or negotiate a settlement to your debt or arrears in a manner that you can afford or to dispute allegations and costs that may not be accurate or appropriate.
This is not the case as there are statutes that not only govern the conduct of collection companies but place obligations upon them that must be met before they can take action against you and/or even have the debt assigned to them for collection. These laws include statutes such as the Limitations Act, the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act, and the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act. These statutes regulate or set out if there is a debt, has the debt been properly assigned to the collection agency for collection, who can call you, when they can call you and what charges can be added to your debt and when.
While the law may not always be able to remove the debt it is clear that the above legislation and others can provide you with protection against harassment about the debt, inappropriate charges and/or give you some leverage to properly and reasonable settle the outstanding debt in a manner which you can afford and realistically complete.