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Government Legislation

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Debt collectors who bully and harass families struggling with borrowing are to be tackled by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), it has been reported.

The FOS has revealed that since it took over credit and debt firm complaints in April, it has received many calls from harassed consumers anxious to stop debt collectors chasing them, the Mirror reports.

An FOS spokesperson told the newspaper the majority of debt collection firms followed professional standards but a "few bad apples" could harm the industry’s reputation.

He said: "It is obviously unacceptable for a consumer to be harassed and bullied by any regulated firm – including debt collectors."

Debtors who use an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) as a route out of problem debt will find their creditors are no longer allowed to chase them as long as they meet the court-agreed repayments.

An IVA can allow borrowers to free themselves of debt within five years and money they cannot afford to repay can be written off, with lenders receiving tax breaks instead.

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