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At a glance: How to deal with creditors who are putting pressure on you.
Reading time: 2 mins
This summary covers England and Wales
For a version of this summary that covers Scotland, please click here.

What is harassment?

Harassment by creditors includes: 

  • Repeated calls or visits at unreasonable hours. 
  • Threats, intimidation, or strong pressure to pay. 
  • Use of misleading or confusing language to force you to pay. 

Topic detail 

What rights do I have if I am being harassed? 
The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC) outlines rules that companies who are regulated must follow. The CONC says creditors should treat customers fairly, be clear about their actions, and give a reasonable time to repay debts.  

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPUTR) 2008 says that traders should not engage in aggressive commercial practice.   

How to complain, protect yourself and build evidence 

Start by contacting the creditor, explaining your concerns, and saying how you prefer to be contacted.  

  • Think about writing a letter sent by recorded delivery referencing the CPUTR 2008 and the CONC. You can find a sample letter here
  • Keep a diary of all contact with the creditor which might be helpful as evidence of harassment. 
  • If possible, have a witness when you speak to the creditor.   
  • Politely refuse entry to collectors until the issue is resolved. 
  • Check if the creditor is a member of a trade association and contact them with your complaint. 

After you have complained to the lender, you can also complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or contact the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) directly. Your complaint could, along with complaints from other people, contribute to a case against the creditor. 

Dealing with loan sharks 

Loan sharks are illegal lenders who often target people who need to borrow money and can’t do so legally. They charge very high interest rates and should be avoided – even if you feel you have no other options. 

If you are dealing with a loan shark, you can contact one of the confidential hotlines and seek advice.  

If you live in England, contact: Illegal Money Lending Team, 0300 555 2222  
If you live in Wales, contact: Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, 0300 123 3311 

What else can I do? 

Some telephone providers have a ‘choose to refuse’ service. This may help you to block unwanted and nuisance calls from getting through to you.

In extreme cases you could think about legal action. This can be complex and costly. It’s important to get proper legal advice.

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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