Last updated: 10 May 2023

UK Collections Terms & Conditions

DebtCo's terms of use are our contract with you. They include our commitment as a collections service provider and your obligations as a customer.

Introduction

In today's digital age, effective debt collection requires not only tenacity, but also the harnessing of modern technology to optimise results. Enter DebtCo - an avant-garde hybrid of a debt collection agency and software developer. With an impressive track record, DebtCo specialises in both primary debt collections (amicable phase) and in the more challenging sphere of recollections—those cases previously managed by other agencies but remain unresolved.

Your firm, recognising the increasing challenges in outstanding debt recovery, especially post the enactment of the Late Payments Act of 1998, seeks a professional partner who can navigate this complex landscape with both expertise and efficacy.

As such, both parties are keen to formalise a symbiotic relationship. This contract serves as the bedrock of our partnership, detailing the terms, obligations, and expectations, ensuring transparency and mutual benefit in our pursuit of settling unpaid debts.

1. UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS

1.1 What Words Mean: Here's a simple breakdown of some terms we'll use:

  • Business Day: Any day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday when London banks are open.
  • Charges: The fees you'll pay, based on our contract details and section 6.
  • Client: That's you! You're buying services from DebtCo.
  • How We Operate: This is our in-house way of collecting debts. It might change now and then.
  • Terms: These terms can change, and we'll mention how in section 13.8.
  • Contract: It's the agreement between you and DebtCo, which includes the contract details and these terms.
  • Contract Details: The info DebtCo gives you about our services, which can be an email or other written form.
  • Debtor: The people who owe you money that DebtCo will help collect from.
  • Intellectual Stuff: This refers to things like patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc. – the things you can't touch but have value.
  • Basic Fee: It's £50 plus VAT (or another amount we've mentioned in the contract details).
  • Services: What DebtCo is doing for you – collecting debts and related activities.
  • Service Details: More info about the services provided by DebtCo.
  • DebtCo: DebtCo Limited, a registered company in England and Wales (company number 12867831).

1.2 How To Read These Terms:

(a) When we say 'person', we mean anyone – whether it's an individual, company, or organisation.

(b) 'Party' refers to someone involved in the contract, like you or DebtCo.

(c) When we talk about laws, we mean those laws as they are now or how they might change in the future.

(d) If we use phrases like 'including', 'include', etc., we're just giving examples. It doesn’t mean there aren’t other things too.

(e) 'Writing' means any form, even emails or faxes.

2. MAKING AN AGREEMENT WITH US

2.1 How We'll Agree: When you get our terms electronically (like in an email), and you tell us to start working, it means you're okay with these terms. So, when you ask us to do something for you, that's when our formal agreement starts.

2.2 What Our Agreement Includes: Our agreement is everything we've written here and in the contract details. You know, we haven't promised anything outside of this. Just to be clear, these terms override any others you might try to include or that might be usual in our line of work.

2.3 About Our Service Descriptions: We'll describe our services in the contract summary and any other written descriptions we give you. If we've given you general info or if there's something in our brochures, remember that's just to give you a basic idea. It's not part of our official agreement.

2.4 Quotes We Give: If we give you a price quote, it's not a promise to do the work for that price. It's just a quote. And it's only good for 30 working days.

3. HOW WE HANDLE DEBT RECOVERY

3.1 When You Give Us a Debt to Collect: When you tell us about a new debt for collection:

(a) Stop trying to collect it yourself or through someone else. Let DebtCo be the only one going after it.

(b) Tell DebtCo about any issues or reasons the debt hasn't been paid yet.

(c) Quickly give DebtCo the original bill or order proof and any other info they need.

(d) Share with DebtCo any contact details you have for the person owing money.

(e) Any money paid back, no matter who gets it, is considered collected by DebtCo, and you might have fees.

 

3.2 If You Want to Take Back a Debt: Tell DebtCo in writing 30 days before. After those 30 days:

(a) If there's no payment plan set, the debt goes back to you.

(b) If a payment plan is in place and the debtor still owes after the 30 days, DebtCo keeps handling it until the last payment. Then, the debt goes back to you.

 

3.3 How DebtCo Handles Debt Collection:

(a) DebtCo will contact debtors nicely, using letters, emails, and calls.

(b) If you ask, DebtCo can share info on the debtor's payment history or other financial details.

(c) DebtCo will continue to go after the debt until it's paid, taken to court, or written off.

(d) DebtCo will tell you about the money collected (after taking out fees) and let you know if there's a debt they couldn't get.

(e) If you ask, DebtCo can also help with extra tasks, like sending official warning letters or starting legal actions. This might cost extra.

(f) DebtCo will regularly update you on the collections and keep good records of everything.

 

3.4 If DebtCo Can't Find the Debtor: If the person owing disappears and DebtCo can't find them, they might need to trace them. If this happens, you'll cover the costs. But DebtCo will always ask you first before doing this.

 

3.5 If Someone Else Collects a Debt: If any other company or bank gets the debt money and doesn't give it to DebtCo, that's not on DebtCo.

 

3.6 Adding Late Fees: If it's allowed in the original agreement between you and the person owing, DebtCo might add late payment fees and interest to the debt.

4. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM OUR SERVICES

4.1 How We'll Do the Job: DebtCo will provide the services as described, doing our best and using our expertise.

4.2 How We Behave: DebtCo follows its own rules, as well as those set by groups like the Credit Services Association and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or other future oversight groups.

4.3 When We Might Change Things: If the law or safety guidelines require it, DebtCo might need to adjust how they do things. If it doesn't change the quality of the service, we'll do it, but we'll always let you know if something like this happens.

5. WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU

5.1 Your Responsibilities:

(a) Make sure you read, understand, and agree to the service details before signing any agreement.

(b) Work with DebtCo on everything related to the services.

(c) Give DebtCo all the correct details they need about Debtors (like names, addresses, and phone numbers) and make sure they're right.

(d) Pay DebtCo based on the rates agreed upon.

(e) Get any required permissions before the services begin.

(f) Follow the rules in section 3 about giving Debt accounts to DebtCo.

(g) If a Debtor talks to you about their debt after you've given the account to DebtCo, let DebtCo know immediately and ask the Debtor to speak directly to DebtCo.

(h) If a Debtor pays you directly, tell DebtCo immediately.

 

5.2 What Happens If You Don't Do Your Part:

(a) If you don't follow through on your responsibilities, DebtCo can pause their services until you fix things.

(b) DebtCo isn't responsible for problems or costs that arise if they can't do their job because of something you did or didn't do.

(c) You might have to pay back DebtCo for any costs or problems caused by not doing your part.

 

5.3 Making Sure Information is Right: If you give DebtCo wrong or incomplete information, and problems arise because of it, you might have to cover DebtCo's costs or any claims against them.

6. PAYMENTS & CHARGES

6.1 General Payment: You'll pay DebtCo based on the rates and details in our Contract Summary.

Charges for Debt Collection:

6.2

(a) Charges for recovering debts are based on a commission rate. You'll pay when we collect a debt (No win / no fee)

(b) We determine overdue debts based on the original due date, not when you give it to us.

(c) You pay us, no matter how the debtor pays.

(d) If you write off a debt after we arrange payment, you still pay us.

(e) If a debtor settles by returning goods, assume the goods are half their value and pay us based on that.

(f) If you cancel a debt before we finish collecting, you still pay the full fee.

(g) You cover legal fees, court costs, and other charges related to collecting debts.

(h) If a payment was made before giving the debt to us, you'll pay the agreed commission on it.

(i) If you accept goods or services instead of cash or issue a credit note, assume you received payment and pay us accordingly.

 

Charges for Credit Control:

6.3 For our credit control service, you'll pay based on the Contract Summary. This payment is monthly.

 

General Payment Rules:

6.4 We usually deduct our fees from any money we hold for you. We'll send you the remaining amount within 30 days.

6.5 If we can't deduct our fees from money we have, you'll:

(a) Pay our invoice within 14 days.

(b) Send payment to our bank account.

(c) Always pay on time, without reducing the amount for any reason.

 

6.6 You'll pay additional tax (like VAT) if it applies.

 

6.7 If a debtor recalls a payment we gave you, you'll pay us back.

 

6.8 You'll cover any bank fees or currency differences.

 

6.9 We can change our fees once a year. We'll let you know 3 months in advance. If you don't agree, let us know in 4 weeks, and we might end our contract.

 

6.10 If you're late with a payment, we can add late fees as per the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act.

7. WHO OWNS THE IDEAS? (Intellectual Property)

7.1 All the creative work and ideas related to the Services belong to DebtCo.

7.2 If we use someone else's creative work or ideas, we'll get permission in writing. If you want to use them, we'll make sure we can share that permission with you.

8. KEEPING SECRETS (Confidentiality)

8.1 If a party (Let's call them the "Listening Party") learns confidential stuff – like technical details, inventions, business secrets, or anything else not public – from the other party (we'll call them the “Sharing Party”), they need to keep it hush-hush. This includes anything the Listening Party learns about the Sharing Party’s products or services.

8.2 The Listening Party should only share these secrets with their employees, agents, or subcontractors who need to know them to do their job under the Contract. And, the Listening Party needs to make sure those folks keep the secrets.

8.3 This “keeping secrets” rule doesn’t end when the Contract does – it lasts even after the Contract is over.

9. WHAT WE'RE LIABLE FOR (AND WHAT WE'RE NOT)

9.1 Let's be clear: There are certain things DebtCo won't dodge responsibility for:

(a) If someone dies or gets injured because of our negligence, or the negligence of our employees, agents, or subcontractors;

(b) If we act fraudulently or misrepresent something; or

(c) If we breach terms implied by section 2 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (making sure we rightfully own the stuff we're selling and not being disturbed when possessing them).

9.2 Now, keeping the above in mind:

(a) DebtCo isn’t liable to the Client for any:

(i) Lost profits, business opportunities, sales, reputation or any kind of indirect losses connected with the Contract;

(ii) Missed savings or wasteful spending (including wasted time of managers); and

(b) Our total liability for all other losses connected with the Contract is capped. It won’t be more than the total amount the Client paid (or was supposed to pay) to DebtCo over the 12 months before the problem started. If the problem started before a full year of our working together, it’s limited to what was paid during that shorter time.

9.3 Apart from what we’ve written here, we're excluding all other guarantees or conditions that might be implied by law (but only as much as the law lets us).

9.4 DebtCo will try its best to get all the money owed by Debtors, but we can't promise we'll recover every penny. We won’t be on the hook if we can’t get all the money back.

9.5 Just to be clear: If a third party (like courts, lawyers, partners in collection, or tracing agents) messes up, that's not on DebtCo.

9.6 We'll do our best to meet any agreed deadlines, but unless we've written it down and signed it, these are just good faith estimates. We’re not promising those exact timelines.

9.7 This "Limitation of Liability" section stays valid even if our contract ends.

10. TERMINATION

10.1 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, each party may terminate the Contract immediately by giving written notice to the other party if:

(a) the opposing party doesn't uphold the Contract and, if the oversight can be fixed, doesn't rectify it within 30 days after being informed in writing about it;

(b) the other party halts payments, or is unable to meet its financial obligations, or, if it's a company, meets the criteria of being unable to pay as described by section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986, or if it's an individual or a partnership, any related stipulations from section 268 of the Insolvency Act 1986 apply;

(c) the other party starts discussing with its creditors about rescheduling any of its financial obligations or attempts to come to some arrangement with them, unless the intent is a solvent amalgamation or reconstruction;

(d) any measures are taken for the potential winding up of the opposing party (if it's a company), unless it's for a solvent amalgamation or reconstruction;

(e) the other entity, if an individual, faces a bankruptcy order;

(f) a creditor of the other party seizes its assets, or any legal action is initiated against its assets and remains unresolved for over 14 days;

(g) there's a move to appoint an administrator for the other party (if it's a company);

(h) the assets of the other party (if it's a company) are at risk due to a floating charge holder's actions;

(i) someone is given the authority, or indeed appoints, a receiver over the assets of the opposing party;

(j) any event or procedure that happens in relation to the opposing party in a jurisdiction it operates in that mirrors or is similar to the events from subclauses 10.1(b) to 10.1(i);

(k) the opposing party stops or indicates it might stop its main operations; or

(l) the other party, if an individual passes away, becomes mentally or physically incapacitated to the point where they are not able to handle their affairs, or is considered a patient under mental health laws.

10.2 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, DebtCo may terminate the Contract immediately by giving written notice to the Client if the Client fails to pay any amount due under this Contract on the due date for payment.

10.3 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, each party shall have the right to terminate the Contract by giving the other party 12 months' written notice.

10.4 Without limiting its other rights or remedies, DebtCo shall have the right to suspend the Services under the Contract or any other contract between the Client and DebtCo if the Client becomes subject to any of the events listed in clause 10.1(b) to clause 10.1(l), or DebtCo reasonably believes the Client is about to become subject to any of them, or if the Client fails to pay any amount due under this Contract on the due date for payment.

11. CONSEQUENCES OF TERMINATION

Upon ending the Contract for any given reason:

(a) The Client must promptly settle all unpaid bills and interest from DebtCo. If there are Services rendered but not yet invoiced, DebtCo will send an invoice, which the Client must settle immediately upon receiving;

(b) any rights, remedies, obligations, and liabilities accumulated by the parties up to the termination date won't be impacted. This includes the entitlement to seek damages for any Contract breach that occurred on or before the termination date; and

(c) Any clauses that are explicitly or implicitly intended to persist post-termination will keep their full strength and effect.

12. DATA PROTECTION

12.1 If DebtCo processes any personal data on the Client's behalf when performing its obligations under the Contract, the parties record their intention that the Client shall be the data controller and DebtCo shall be a data processor, and in any such case:

(a) the Client shall ensure that it is entitled to transfer the relevant personal data to DebtCo, so that DebtCo can lawfully use, process, and transfer the personal data in accordance with the Contract on the Client's behalf;

(b) the Client shall ensure that the relevant third parties have been informed of, and have given their consent to, such use, processing, and transfer as required by all applicable data protection legislation;

(c) DebtCo shall process the personal data only in accordance with the terms of the Contract and any lawful instructions reasonably given by the Client from time to time; and

(d) each party shall take appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing of the personal data or its accidental loss, destruction, or damage.

13. GENERAL

13.1 Force majeure:

(a) For the purposes of this Contract, Force Majeure Event means an event beyond the reasonable control of DebtCo, including but not limited to strikes, lock-outs or other industrial disputes (whether involving the workforce of DebtCo or any other party), failure of a utility service or transport network, act of God, war, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule, regulation or direction, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm or default of suppliers or subcontractors

(b) DebtCo shall not be liable to the Client due to any delay or failure to perform its obligations under this Contract due to a Force Majeure Event.

(c) If the Force Majeure Event prevents DebtCo from providing any of the Services for more than 12 weeks, DebtCo shall, without limiting its other rights or remedies, have the right to terminate this Contract immediately by giving written notice to the Client.

13.2 Assignment and subcontracting:

(a) DebtCo may at any time assign, transfer, charge, subcontract or deal in any other manner with all or any of its rights under the Contract, and may subcontract or delegate any or all of its obligations under the Contract to any third party or agent.

(b) The Client shall not, without the prior written consent of DebtCo, assign, transfer, charge, subcontract or deal in any other manner with all or any of its rights or obligations under the Contract.

(c) The Client agrees to indemnify & hold harmless DebtCo for any action taken by a subcontractor, third party or agent.

(d) The Client agrees that DebtCo may use its judgement based on the best interests of the Client and/or the recovery of any debts placed when assigning, transferring, charging, subcontracting, or dealing in any other manner with any third party or agent. This may include, but is not limited to volume, age, circumstance, dispute, value, or location.

(e) If DebtCo assigns, transfers, charges, subcontracts or deals in any other manner with any third party or agent, the Client agrees that DebtCo may increase the commission rate per debt location by up to a further 10% to accommodate any extra fees or charges. If it is necessary to increase the commission rate beyond this amount, DebtCo shall seek written or verbal confirmation from the Client.

13.3 Notices:

(a) Any notice or other communication required to be given to a party under or in connection with this Contract shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the other party personally or sent by prepaid first-class post, recorded delivery, or by commercial courier, to its registered office (if a company) or (in any other case) its principal place of business, or sent by fax to the other party's main fax number.

(b) Any notice or communication shall be deemed duly received if delivered personally, when left at the address referred to above, or, if sent by prepaid first-class post or recorded delivery, at 9.00 am on the second Business Day after posting, or if delivered by commercial courier, on the date and time the courier's delivery receipt is signed, or if sent by fax, on the next Business Day after transmission.

(c) This clause 13.3 shall not apply to the service of any proceedings or other documents in any legal action. For the purposes of this clause, "writing" shall not include e-mails, and for the avoidance of doubt, notice given under this Contract shall not be validly served if sent by e-mail.

13.4 Waiver:

(a) A waiver of any right under the Contract is only effective if it is in writing, and shall not be deemed a waiver of any subsequent breach or default. No failure or delay by a party in exercising any right or remedy under the Contract or by law shall constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor preclude or restrict its further exercise. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall preclude or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.

(b) Unless specifically provided otherwise, rights arising under the Contract are cumulative and do not exclude rights provided by law.

13.5 Severance:

(a) If a court or other competent authority finds that any provision (or part of any provision) of the Contract is invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision shall, to the extent required, be deemed deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of the Contract shall not be affected.

(b) If any invalid, unenforceable, or illegal provision of the Contract would be valid, enforceable, and legal if some part of it was deleted, the provision shall apply with the minimum modification necessary to make it legal, valid, and enforceable.

13.6 No partnership: Nothing in the Contract is intended to, or shall be deemed, constitute a partnership or joint venture of any kind between any of the parties, nor constitute any party the agent of another party for any purpose. No party shall have authority to act as an agent for, or to bind, the other party in any way.

13.7 Third parties: A person who is not a party to the Contract shall not have any rights under or in connection with it.

13.8 Variation: Except as set out in these Conditions, any variation, including any additional terms and conditions, to the Contract shall only be binding when agreed in writing and signed by DebtCo. DebtCo may sometimes give the Client notice of reasonable additional requirements or conditions relating to particular Services, or a Contract generally, in addition to those set out in these Conditions. The Client agrees to comply with any such reasonable additional requirements or conditions or changes to these Conditions as notified to it from time to time.

13.9 Governing law and jurisdiction: This Contract, and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, English law, and the parties irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.