What happens if I ignore a debt company?

This guide aims to help you understand the legal actions that Lowell can take, and the potential consequences if you ignore Lowell when we get in touch.

This guide aims to help our customers to understand how debt companies like Lowell might proceed if you are unable to get in touch and work with us. This is intended as a general guide to help you understand the legal actions that Lowell can take, and the potential consequences if you repeatedly ignore Lowell when we get in touch.

Getting in touch

Once your debt has been purchased by a debt company like Lowell, the company will get in touch to let you know that the debt is now with them and not the original company you made a contract or agreement with.

Usually, if your debt has been bought by Lowell, you will receive a letter to let you know that the original company has sold the debt to Lowell.

This is a ‘notice of assignment’, sometimes known as a ‘hello/goodbye’ letter, saying hello from Lowell and goodbye from the original company. It’s a legal obligation for Lowell to send this notice.

From this point on, we’ll work with you to explain the next steps and help to establish a reasonable and affordable payment plan that you can control. For more on this, you can look at our guide on what to expect in the debt collection process.

Can I ignore Lowell? What happens if I ignore Lowell?

We understand that if you start to receive letters from Lowell, you might feel concerned or overwhelmed. If you’re worried, it may feel easier to just ignore letters from Lowell, but this could end up causing serious consequences. We’re here to work with you.

If you choose not to get in touch and ignore Lowell letters, we’ll continue to try and reach out to you through methods like letters, texts and emails. In some situations, we might work with third parties to help us to get in touch with you.

Lowell and legal action

If we reach out to you repeatedly and you choose not to get in touch, we may instruct solicitors, like Overdales Solicitors or Walker Love Solicitors, to take legal action on our behalf.

However, we would always rather prefer to work with you and start helping you to settle your debt through a payment plan. If your debt is with Lowell, you can get in touch with us and discuss starting a payment plan.

If your debt has been passed to one of our third-party partners, such as a solicitor, you will need to contact them directly.

If you’re concerned about legal action, you should seek your own independent legal advice. Citizen’s Advice Bureau has helpful information about finding free and affordable legal help.

What is a letter of claim? Do I ignore a letter of claim from Lowell?

You might have heard of communication from a debt collection company like Lowell referred to as a ‘letter of claim’. This refers to a letter that may be sent if we have been repeatedly unable to get in touch with you, and have instructed a Solicitor to issue a claim against you.

This letter will be sent in accordance with the relevant rules, which may vary depending on where in the United Kingdom you live.

In England and Wales, this letter is sent in accordance with the pre-action protocol. This letter is sent to give you advance notice of legal action being taken against you, and to give you an opportunity to have your say or to request further information before any legal action is taken.

A pre-action protocol letter like this will contain lots of useful information, including:

  • Guidance on how you can respond to the letter
  • Details about how long you have to respond
  • Details about exactly how much debt is outstanding
  • Information on how you can pay, including how you can set up a payment plan.
  • Contact information, so that you can speak to someone about your account, and find out what options you have available.
  • Information about independent and impartial organisations you can speak to for free advice.
  • Details about what happens if you ignore the letter

If you ignore a ‘letter of claim’, or pre-action protocol letter, this could result in a County Court claim being issued against you.  

Will Lowell take me to court? What powers do Lowell have?

If you don’t get in touch or engage with our instructed solicitors, and after a pre-action protocol letter or letter of claim has been sent, a claim will be issued against you, which could result in a Judgment.

This could mean that the amount you need to pay to settle your debt increases with interest, fees, and court costs.

For more information about County Court Judgments in England, check out our guide to CCJs and how they can impact you. Having a judgment made against you can impact your finances, but it is never too late to engage and set up a fair and affordable repayment plan, whether a CCJ has been obtained or not. If Lowell has been in touch, you can start getting your debt under control by responding to Lowell or the instructed Solicitors.

Can Lowell take me to court in Scotland?

Scotland has a different legal procedure to England & Wales, which means that some of the steps and processes we take will be different. If you’re in Scotland and you have questions about the legal procedure, we’d recommend getting in touch with us or with the solicitors who have contacted you on our behalf. You can also check the Scottish Court website for more information.

Will Lowell attend court?

It’s a misconception that having a County Court claim made against you always means that you will have to attend court, or that you will be able to defend your case in a courtroom.

Many defended cases are dealt with digitally or by telephone, and there’s no need to physically attend a court. Where a physical hearing is scheduled, the instructed solicitors will determine whether attendance at the hearing is required or not.

Lowell is here to support and help you however we can. We can help you to create a sensible and reasonable payment plan so you can start clearing your debt in a way that works for you. The best way to resolve your debt is by getting in touch when we contact you.

If you decide to deal with the matter through raising a defence to a claim, our solicitors are instructed to attempt to resolve the matter before a hearing is needed. This can be done through court-led mediation, or through more traditional methods such as by written correspondence or by speaking to you over the telephone.

If you want to know more about how Lowell will work with you, check out our Next Steps page for more information.

If you’re unable to work with Lowell

If you are unable to work with Lowell, or don’t want to get in touch to speak with us and set up a payment plan, it could result in legal action being taken by solicitors acting on our behalf.

Lowell would always rather work with you and help you create a sensible payment plan that works with your circumstances.

What happens if I don’t pay Lowell?

If you ignore Lowell, or ignore a pre-action protocol letter from our solicitors, a claim may be issued against you, which could subsequently result in a Judgment being made against you.

This would mean that a Court has ordered you to pay back the money owed to Lowell. A Judgment can have a negative impact on your finances, and ignoring a Judgment can lead to further legal action being taken, such as enforcement.

For more information about County Court Judgments, read our helpful CCJ guide.

In some circumstances, if you ignore a Judgment, it could mean that enforcement action is taken, such as court bailiffs becoming involved. If you have questions about bailiffs, it might help to check out our complete guide to how Lowell work with bailiffs.

It’s important to remember that at every stage, Lowell will be happy to work with you and support you in clearing your debt, using a reasonable payment plan. We’re here to help, listen to your situation, and understand how we can support you. For more information, check out our guide to the debt collection process, and what to expect.

How long can Lowell chase me for debt?

Lowell are here to help you and work with you to settle your debt in a way that works for you.

In the event that a County Court Judgment is made against you, we will still reach out to engage with you through our instructed solicitors, and try to find a way that we can work with you to help you clear your debt.

Lowell support our customers on their journey to becoming debt-free, and we want to help you find a solution that works with your finances.

Our priority is to support you with managing your debt in the way that’s right for you. If you have received letters from Lowell you can get in touch with us to discuss. If you’d rather not speak to anyone, you can always make an online payment or set up a payment plan through our easy online portal. Where you have been contacted by our solicitors, please get in touch with them directly.

Lowell is here to help and support you. For more information about how Lowell works with our customers, check out our Debt Hub guides or the Lowell blog for more helpful articles.

First published: 10th September, 2021