The rights you have may vary depending on the type of agreement you have as a customer with a bank/phone company/utility company. For example, the law relating to a gas bill is probably going to be different in some respects to the law relating to a loan from a bank.
It is therefore important to know that free help and advice is widely available for people affected by debt or the debt collection process. The organisations providing this advice and assistance can help you understand and work through this process. We have gathered together the details of a number of debt advisory organisations to help people affected by debt – this information can be found in our Help with your Finances section. Advisory organisations can help you understand your rights and what to expect from the debt collection process.
CSA Code of Practice
The CSA’s Code of Practice should also give you some information about what you can expect from our members.
If you feel that you are being unfairly treated by one of our members and wish to make a complaint, please take a look at our complaints procedure and get in touch with us. If you have any other queries or questions, please feel free to contact us.
Our Code of Practice sets out best practice that we expect members to adhere to. However, in many cases our members will also be required to comply with the rules of certain regulatory organisations/bodies.
As mentioned above, your rights can vary depending on the type of debt involved. In a similar way, not all of our members will be governed by a particular regulator. We have put together a list of common regulators and what types of company they regulate – if you have a problem with a particular type of debt, one of these regulators might be able to help you understand what rights you have, and what they expect of the companies they regulate. We have also produced a useful infographic to illustrate the process which can be found below.
Alongside the regulators, there are also organisations that can help with escalated complaints. If you have already complained to the company and you are not happy with the response, you might be able to take your complaint to one of these organisations. They are often known as ‘ombudsmen’ and their role is to try and resolve a complaint by considering each side independently.
You can find the details of some of the relevant industry ombudsmen here.
Another way for you to exercise your rights is through the courts. There are laws that are designed to protect individuals and if you think that the law has been broken, you might be able to take the matter before a court. In such cases, you should seek independent legal advice to understand the situation and your options.
There may also be instances where a member is taking, or has taken, legal action against you. Unfortunately, the CSA cannot intervene or get involved with any legal proceedings for either party. In such circumstances, we would encourage individuals to seek independent legal advice.