BPO Collections

BPO Collections

This page was last updated on 1 September 2021

BPO Collections In 2021

BPO Collections Limited are a debt collection agency based in Ardrossan, Scotland. They collect debt owed to them or their clients from all across the UK. 

Find out more about BPO Collections Ltd, and why they might be contacting you, by reading this article. You’ll find lots of helpful advice about dealing with debt on this page too.

Who are BPO Debt Collections?

BPO Collections Limited is a debt recovery company, with its office address in Marina Quay, Dock Road, Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland, KA22 8DA. You should find their trading address on any correspondence you receive. 

They’ve operated since 2006, working on behalf of many recognisable blue-chip companies as well as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

They’re owned by Prospect Financial Europe Ehf, their Icelandic-based parent company.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

You can listen to an audio recording of this page below.

 

What are debt collection agencies?

Debt collection agencies are companies that try to reclaim unpaid outstanding debts. 

Some work on behalf of clients and receive a fee for successfully recovering a debt. Others buy “bad debts” (that is, those that are unlikely to be repaid) at a reduced cost, then undertake a collections process to reclaim the full debt back.

Often, debt collectors pay less than 10p per pound of debt they buy, so retrieving the full amount with interest can be highly profitable.

Who do BPO Collections Ltd collect for?

BPO Collections are employed by a variety of recognisable companies, such as:

  • Npower
  • EE
  • United Utilities 
  • TalkTalk
  • O2
  • Scottish Power
  • Sky 
  • Barclaycard
  • AA
  • Virgin Media

Their clients also include smaller businesses, for example small credit card providers and local lenders. They are also employed by HMRC to collect debts owed to the government, and by local councils for unpaid council tax.

Does HMRC use BPO Collections?

Yes –  Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs list BPO Collections Ltd as one of eight debt collection companies licensed to retrieve government debt. To find the most up-to-date version of that list, follow the link here.

Debts collected by BPO Collections for HMRC include:

  • Unpaid tax bills
  • VAT debt
  • Overpaid tax credits 

If you receive a debt letter from BPO about one of the above, you’ll need to deal directly with BPO Collections rather than HMRC. 

N.B. Council tax debts are not owed to HMRC, but to the local council that issues them. BPO Collections work with local councils to collect this type of debt too.  

Are BPO Collections legitimate?

Yes, they are a legitimate company. They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and are part of the Credit Services Association

They are registered on Companies House with reference number SC295285. 

Their publicly available telephone number is 0141 255 0502, and you can look them up on their website: https://www.bpocollections.co.uk.

Why are BPO Collections contacting me?

If you are being contacted by BPO Collections Limited, they believe you owe one of their clients money. 

This may be a bit confusing, because the creditor you signed a credit agreement with will not be the one that sends the debt letter — it’ll be from BPO, who you’ve probably never heard of before.

But don’t worry, BPO Collections Ltd are just the debt collection company employed to retrieve the debt. You’ll deal exclusively with them throughout the process. 

What tactics do BPO Collection use?

Initially, you will receive debt letters in which they will request payment for an outstanding debt. You may also receive phone calls. 

In this correspondence, it is typical for a debt collector to threaten to apply for a court order against you if you ignore them. 

Like other companies specialising in debt collection, field agents are sometimes employed to visit you at home and discuss your debt. These agents will also offer to agree a repayment arrangement with you. 

N.B. These debt collectors are different from bailiffs. They cannot force entry into your home, and they legally have to leave if you ask them to. 

How do I stop BPO Collections? 

The best thing to do is immediately send BPO Collections a letter asking for proof that you are liable to pay.

If a customer disputes liability, debt collectors must by law listen to the customer’s claim and respond in a ‘timely manner’. You are not obligated to pay BPO Collections until they provide you with this written confirmation.

"Debt collection agencies are companies that try to reclaim unpaid outstanding debts. Some work on behalf of clients and receive a fee for successfully recovering a debt. Others buy "bad debts" (that is, those that are unlikely to be repaid) at a reduced cost, then undertake a collections process to reclaim the full debt back."

Sometimes BPO Collections mistakenly send letters to someone with the same name as the debtor they’re trying to contact. But if they prove that you do owe money, you should try to arrange a payment plan with them. Paying BPO — or just saying that you’re willing to do so — is important to ensure that they don’t petition for legal powers to be used against you. 

What do I do if BPO Collections are mistaken or act unreasonably? 

If you believe they have no valid grounds for claiming money from you, you should contact BPO Collections for proof of your liability to pay. They, not the customer, have the burden of proof. If they prove this to you but you still believe they are mistaken, you should seek legal advice.  

Moreover, people can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if they believe BPO Collections have acted unethically. They will investigate if they see a customer disputed BPO’s actions. 

Remember that you are not alone in this: there were more than double the complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman Service this year versus previous years. 

What can’t BPO Collections do?

By law, BPO Debt Collections have to adhere to the guidelines set in place by the Financial Conduct Authority. They must also stick to the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which guarantees some form of protection for debtors.

This means, no debt collector can: 

  • Ask for excessive collection charges
  • Harass you
  • Threaten to take your property if they legally don’t have the power to  
  • Contact you directly if you have appointed a representative to act on your behalf 
  • Threaten legal action if it is unlikely to take place

They must also provide you with prior warning should they come to visit your home.

What are BPO Collections allowed to do?

BPO can do whatever they feel is appropriate and within the law to recover outstanding debts. 

As mentioned, they can:

  • Contact you by sending letters or making telephone calls (though this has to be ‘reasonable’)
  • Send field agents to your house 

They can also, if you ignore their correspondence, apply for a County Court Judgement. A County Court Judgement is a form of court claim that gives BPO Debt Collection the authority to order bailiffs to visit you. 

What if my debt is over 6 years old? 

As per the Limitation Act, if a creditor or debt collection agency has not begun legal action against a debtor after 6 years, they can no longer do so. This is called being ‘statute-barred’.

So, if a County Court Judgment has not been applied for within 6 years of a debt becoming outstanding, a court can no longer consider it. This effectively means that the debt is wiped off – you still owe money, and debt collectors can still ask you to pay, but they have no legal power to force you to. 

If legal proceedings have begun before the 6-year deadline, it does not count as statute-barred, and debt collectors can pursue the money indefinitely. 

Should I pay BPO Debt Collections? 

If they have proven that you owe them money, you are legally obliged to pay. BPO Collections chase those who don’t pay so ignoring their communications is a bad idea. 

Get all the trustworthy advice you can before making any decisions, though. Organisations like Citizens Advice provide free debt advice, or you can go to a debt charity.

Remember: If you have an unpaid debt, your credit file is going to be negatively affected. This will make arranging a credit agreement more difficult, meaning it will be harder to apply for mortgages and credit cards. As such, it is important you resolve the issue swiftly. 

debt collection company

What can bailiffs sent by BPO Collections do?

If a court finds valid grounds for the need for enforcement, BPO Debt Collections will be licensed to utilise bailiffs. How much power they have depends on the kind of debt that you owe. 

Income tax and court fines 

If BPO employed bailiffs are collecting these debts, they will have the ability to use force to enter your home — even if you are not there.

They must use ‘reasonable force’ however, and so they will likely hire a locksmith to open your door rather than attempt to break it down. Additionally, bear in mind that this is still a last resort: they will first ask to be let in, and, if you don’t do so, they will check for open doors around the property.

Other debts, including council tax and money owed to businesses 

For these debts, bailiffs’ debt recovery powers are curbed. For example:

  • They cannot come to your house between 9 pm and 6 am
  • They are only able to enter your house through your door
  • They must be let in, they cannot use locksmiths to gain entry 

N.B. Bailiffs will typically offer to arrange a repayment scheme before taking your belongings. But if you remain uncooperative, then they will seize high-value items from your home like TVs or computers in place of collecting money (though there are restrictions on the items they can seize, e.g. they must belong to you and not a family member). 

What if I can’t repay BPO Collections?

First, you should engage with BPO Collections and let them know. They will talk to you about the repayment plans they offer, and may be able to give you the best debt solution for your circumstances. 

If this is not successful, there are other avenues open as well.

Apply for a Debt Management Plan (DMP)

A Debt Management Plan is an agreement between you and your creditor, in this case BPO Collections. You would agree to make payment to a third-party financial company once a month until the debt has been paid off. 

N.B. Some companies charge a fee for overseeing these payments  

Apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is another agreement that would be made between you and BPO Collections. You would arrange to pay independent debt specialists called ‘insolvency practitioners’, who would then split the money you owe between your creditors. Often, between 50% and 60% of your debt is written off, and you are shielded from BPO Collections’ communications.

Get a Debt Relief Order (DRO)

If you owe under £30,000 and can prove that you have very little spare income, a DRO will offer you a 12-month respite on paying certain qualifying debt back. Additionally, it is often the case that this debt is discharged when the 12 months end.

How do I deal with debt?

Once in debt, it can feel like you have lost significant control over your finances.

But don’t worry – if you put your mind to it, you will eventually balance your books.

These tips should help you on this journey. 

Seriously reflect on your financial situation 

You should sit down and think honestly about your financial situation. Calculate your typical bills for essentials and work out how much you have left after making payment.

If you do not have enough left over to make payment on your debts, you need to decrease your expenditure or increase your income. To do this, you could:

  •       Sell your property and downsize 
  •       Begin a second/evening job
  •       Spend less on leisure activities/items 

If you can manage to make payment on essentials and on some debt too, you need to decide on the best way to repay your creditors. To do this, you should decide which debts constitute ‘priority debts’ that you should deal with first.

To decide upon priority debt, you should bear in mind: 

  •       The interest rate
  •       When it is due 
  •       Any penalties in place for non-payment 

N.B. Never try to pay off a debt by getting payday loans. These unsecured debts usually have very high-interest rates and penalties should you miss the payment deadline. 

Be conscious of your spending

There are many small changes you can make to help yourself become more financially prudent. You could, for example: 

  •       Have breakfast (and coffee, if you take it) at home before work each day 
  •       Make lunch for yourself
  •       Spend time indoors in the evenings as opposed to going out
  •       Drop subscription services, like gym memberships or streaming services, that you don’t use 
  •       Use greener appliances and turn down the heating to reduce utility bills 

This advice is not only important for eliminating your debt, but for ensuring you don’t fall back into debt. Secured with these habits, you should be well on your way to becoming more attractive to lenders in the future. 

Article author

Katy Davies

I am a keen reader and writer and have been helping to write and produce the legal content for the site since the launch.   I studied for a law degree at Manchester University and I use that theoretical experience, as well as my practical experience as a solicitor, to help produce legal content which I hope you find helpful.

Outside of work, I love the snow and am a keen snowboarder.  Most winters you will see me trying to get away for long weekends to the slopes in Switzerland or France.

Email – katy@helpandadvice.co.uk

LinkedIn – Connect with me

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are BPO Collections?

BPO Collections Limited are a debt collection agency based in Ardrossan, Scotland. They collect debt owed to them or their clients from all across the UK. 

What are debt collection agencies?

Debt collection agencies are companies that try to reclaim unpaid outstanding debts. 

Some work on behalf of clients and receive a fee for successfully recovering a debt. Others buy “bad debts” (that is, those that are unlikely to be repaid) at a reduced cost, then undertake a collections process to reclaim the full debt back.

Does HMRC use BPO Collections?

Yes –  Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs list BPO Collections Ltd as one of eight debt collection companies licensed to retrieve government debt.

What can’t BPO Collections do?

By law, BPO Debt Collections have to adhere to the guidelines set in place by the Financial Conduct Authority. They must also stick to the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which guarantees some form of protection for debtors.

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