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Debt - Points to Note and Common Debt Problems

Information and resources for common debt problems


The Office of Fair Trading has produced Debt Collection Guidance.  These are guidelines that the creditors should follow and included collection practices that they believe are unfair (OFT664Rev2)


A credit report can be obtained from the three Credit Reference Agencies in the UK; Experian, Equifax and Call Credit.  There is a statutory fee of £2 for a credit report.



The rules on Bailiffs changed in April 2014 to include how they access your home, the goods they can take and the fees that they can charge.


Advice Guide - Bailiffs | National Debt Line

Loan Sharks

Loan sharks often work from home, charge very high rates of interest and don't give you much paperwork to confirm the arrangements they have made with you.  They often take illegal action to recover money that is owed and can be threatening.


Loan sharks are not authorised by the OFT to lend money and therefore they are illegal money lenders


If a loan shark could be involved call the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit on their 24 hour helpline:


  • 0300 1233311


Advice Guide - Loan Sharks

Parking Charges and Fines

If a parking fine on a public road is incurred and not paid where the police are responsible this will be recovered in the magistrates court and is therefore a priority debt.


If the local authority is responsible for a parking fine incurred on a public road is this is not paid, then the local authority can register the fine at the Traffic Enforcement Centre in Northampton and collect the amount due as if it were a County Court Judgment.  This is therefore a non priority debt.


If a parking fine is incurred on private property, either by parking with no permission or staying too long, this can be recovered via the County Court.  Parking companies are no longer allowed to clamp cars in this situation.


For more information see the Advice Guide's useful Parking Fact sheet on parking fines that distinguishes between those imposed by the police, the local authority and those on private property.


A pawnbroker lends money according to the value of goods left with them (pledged). When you leave your goods they give you a receipt (a ticket)


The pawnbroker must keep the goods for at least six months but you can get them back at any time by paying off the loan plus interest. This can be extended by paying the interest only and re-pledging the goods.  If the loan is not repaid the pawnbroker can sell the goods to pay off the debt.


Advice Guide - Pawnbrokers

Payday Loans

A payday loan is a cash loan that is intended to be a short term loan to be paid back the next time you receive your wages or benefits


Advice Guide - Payday Loans