If you have not paid your debt to your creditors, then you could find that you have the unpleasant experience of having a debt collector or a bailiff knocking at your door.

It is important that you understand the difference between a bailiff and a debt collector, as each one of these has different legal powers when it comes to retrieving your debt.

What Are Debt Collectors?

Debt Collectors are not court officials, meaning that they do not possess the same legal powers as a bailiff. It is illegal for a debt collector to pretend they are bailiffs and they do not have the right to force entry into your home. Our page on Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers gives you further information about the differences and what this means to you.

Debt Collections agencies are increasingly being used by companies who have failed to claim back the money which is owed to them through the usual methods. This will happen if your account has fallen into default, which could be caused by failing to pay your credit card bill or falling into arrears with a loan and have not been in contact with your loan provider.

Once the debt has gone to a debt collections agency, your original creditor will not personally be dealing with the debt.

Try to come to an agreement about a manageable repayment plan, and don’t be pressured into making payments that you cannot afford. Debt Collectors have to follow certain guidelines and it is important that you familiarise yourself with them. For example, debt collectors are not allowed to intimidate you, discriminate or pretend that they have more legal powers than they do.

The OFT guidelines offer you further information about how to deal with debt collectors and will inform you about the guidelines that the debt collector must adhere to:


If you are having problems with debt then you may find this situation rather distressing. No matter how serious your debt problem, Harrington Brooks are here to help. We can offer you expert information about your finances as well as possible debt solutions.