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Debt and mental health. Both are linked and debt collection companies must do their bit to ensure debtors are not left feeling in a poor state. What do reputable companies like AYOM do?
 

Recently, Ben Hun of workhe.com published an insightful article on debt and mental health. In his article, he focussed on student debt and student poverty. The article found evidence linking debt and mental health intrinsically. With this in mind, we wanted to highlight the importance of debtor mental health when undertaking debt collection.

Debt and mental health - What part do debt collectors play?

FCA regulation

The financial conduct authority governs debt collection. Any debt under their jurisdiction (primarily consumer debts) must abide by their rules. When it comes to mental health, the FCA ensures collectors follow best practices to not hinder a debtor. This includes ensuring a collector contacts a debtor no more than a set number of times in a given period. It also ensures collectors respect the wishes of a debtor should they dispute or seek legal assistance. If a debtor utilises a solicitor, the solicitor then becomes the main point of contact. AYOM is registered under the FCA with licence number 664900.

CSA regulation

Much like the FCA, the credit service association also set rules for debt collection. The CSA however is not mandatory. As a body of credit service companies, the CSA looks to find best practices. It has codes of conduct and regular member meetings. It looks to build on FCA regulations and further tighten the industry. The CSA publishes compliance round ups roughly every 2 weeks, updating policy consistently. With the intention of adding to already good FCA regulation, CSA members commit to that extra mile of care in their work. AYOM recently renewed its relationship with full FCA membership until June 2019.

Debt and mental health

So how do debt collectors manage mental health issues? Mental health is a more thought about issue at present than ever before. Thankfully this also means collectors are changing with the times and adopting new techniques when dealing with debtors.

At AYOM we adopt our 3 core values:

  • Integrity
  • Commitment
  • Empathy

Of those 3, empathy is very important when dealing with debtors. AYOM handles a large number of consumer debts and to uphold our values ensures a much simpler process. We have a commitment to both sides to resolve a debt, and must have empathy to find the best solution. One of our best achievements to date comes in the form of a Trustpilot review from one of our own debtors. Adam, who owed money and was in conversation with us, said on Trustpilot:

“AYOM sent a letter and I called. The collector was great! She listened to the situation (although brief as I was tired of explaining to brick walls about it). She made me feel at ease, and made everything simple and understandable and I knew they just wanted to help. It is a real shame other companies are not as empathetic!”

To have praise from the debtors’ side is a proud moment for us and we hope to continue our excellent reputation for handling debts in this way. We can’t thank Adam enough for being brave and writing his review despite the circumstances.

Debt collectors must treat debtors with empathy and listen. They must treat them as humans and be prepared to work with them depending on their situation. To do so will limit the negative effect on a debtor and help speed up the collections process.

If you’d like to learn more about how AYOM works, you can find detail on our services page. You can also call 0800 130 3357 or email enquiries@ayom.co.uk. We are happy to explain how we work and whether we can help you if you have business or consumer debts requiring collection. Use a reputable, human company and choose AYOM