Although it takes years for an outstanding debt to be forgotten under legal limitations, many Britons are sticking their heads in the sand by screening telephone calls they expect to be from debt collectors.
Figures from the Debt Advisory Centre show that one in 12 Britons screen their calls to avoid people chasing them for payment – whether they are debt collectors or the creditor themselves.
One in five people have barred certain numbers from being able to call them at all, whether to chase payment or for any other reason.
And a massive 69% of all Britons screen their calls for one reason or another, more than two thirds of the whole population.
DAC spokesman Ian Williams said: “It is very common for people with problem debt to avoid answering the phone.
“Those with a number of lenders trying to contact them often receive multiple calls a day adding to the stress they are already experiencing trying to manage their finances.
“They may feel that avoiding calls brings a temporary relief but creditors will keep on ringing and try to contact them in different ways too.”
If you are a creditor and are finding it difficult to get through to your debtors on the phone, the figures highlight the importance of trying other methods.
You might want to attempt to contact them by email, although this is arguably even easier to ignore; writing through the post is the traditional way, if you have a contact address.
Either way, hiring a debt collector can pay dividends; we can provide a tracing service to re-establish contact with debtors who have gone AWOL, including those who have deliberately ‘done a runner’ with your money.
We can also send out properly worded letters – and often the appearance of a debt collection agency’s name in the letterhead is enough to spur debtors into action to repay what they owe.