Advice Centre

Creditor Harassment

If a creditor is acting aggressively or harassing you, we're here to offer you support.

Firstly, tell the creditor that you are getting advice and will contact them as soon as you can. Ask them to stop further action for a few weeks while you get advice. Creditors are not allowed to intimidate you, harass you or pretend to have more legal powers than they really have.

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:

  • Demanding - 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
  • Disturbing - contacting you too often or late at night
  • Social Media - using Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites to get in contact with you
  • Pressuring - if they are pressurising you to sell property or take out more credit to pay your debt
  • Debt Collection Companies - using more than one debt collection company at the same time or not telling you when your debt has been passed to another company
  • Fake Documents - 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
  • Unreasonable - pressurising you to pay in full or in large instalments that you can't afford
  • Threatening - making threatening gestures or statements

A creditor who acts aggressively could be an illegal money lender, also known as a loan shark. Money lenders must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If they are not authorised, they are operating illegally.

In England, if you think a money lender is operating without being authorised, you can report them Illegal Money Lending Project, a helpline run by the government. They will give you advice about your situation and investigate the money lender. If you would like to call them, their number is 0300 555 2222.

You can find out whether a money lender is authorised by checking the register on the FCA website. If you are being harassed by your creditors, the creditor could be committing a criminal offence. Your local Citizens Advice can help you if you're being harassed.

If you seek additional advice, please get in contact with us by emailing advice@imperial.ac.uk . .