As all firms engaged in debt collection activities, Cashfloat strictly follows the FCA’s “Debt Collection Guidance”. These guidelines are applied to the collection of debt once an account is in default with us.
Here we provide a breakdown of how we implement this Collections Policy within our business. Of course, we understand that circumstances vary from person to person, and we always try to apply the guidelines as fairly as possible.
We try to avoid you defaulting on your loan repayments. Here’s how…
- The key features of the credit agreement are clearly explained in the agreement and on our website. This will enable you to make an informed choice before taking out a loan with us. This should help you decide whether you can afford the loan, and avoid you defaulting in the first place.
- Transparency is our number one rule! Our staff are trained to never use misleading or aggressive behaviour when advertising, selling or seeking to enforce a credit agreement so that you can make an informed decision before taking out a loan.
- Our underwriting team make a reasonable assessment of whether a borrower can afford to meet repayments in a sustainable manner, thereby trying to ensure that you do not fall under additional financial strain.
- We make sure to monitor your repayment record over the course of the agreement, offering assistance if you appear to be experiencing difficulty.
- If you are experiencing difficulty, you can rely on us to treat you fairly and with forbearance. We therefore request that you please let us know before your payment is due, if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
Collections Policy: Treating Customers Fairly
- At Cashfloat we always aims to communicate with you professionally and competently. We will give you full and timely information about your account, and we will communicate in a way that is clear, fair and polite.
- Our trained staff will always act professionally and appropriately in the collection of loan repayments. We treat our customers with respect. We will not collect in a way that by its manner, frequency or timing could be seen as subjecting you or your family to alarm, distress or humiliation.
- We will try to help you deal with any financial difficulties. We will ensure that you understand their obligations, and are given all relevant information regarding the options available to you. We will do our best to ensure that your repayments are affordable, both now and in the foreseeable future.
- We also ensure that all relevant personnel are fully aware of the regulations and standards of conduct relating to all aspects of their role in dealing with customers for the purpose of loan collection.
- As a responsible lender, we respect your privacy and will never divulge sensitive personal information to a third party without your express permission.
Methods of contacting you
- Our trained collections team will try to contact you on the numbers provided by yourself, to try and come to an affordable arrangement. As per our company’s policy and procedure, all calls are recorded and noted accordingly.
- Cashfloat’s staff will never impersonate another person when attempting to contact or collect a payment from you. However, our staff are free to use pseudonyms, and stick to it throughout their collection activity.
- Our collectors will not call at the homes of your friends, relations or neighbours, unless this has been agreed with yourself or is one of the numbers provided by you at time of application
- Written communication will be by SMS, letter or email in a clear, simple and easy to understand form.
Times for contacting you
- The hours we may contact you by telephone are solely 8am – 8pm on Sunday to Friday.
- Telephone contact may be made on Bank Holidays, but excludes the following days: Christmas Day & Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- Your preferred telephone number will be used in the first instance. If there is no preference, any of the three listed contact numbers may be used, taking into account common sense and our knowledge of your whereabouts and circumstances.
- Where messages are left on personal answering machines, the company name and contact number will be left for you to call back at a convenient time.
- If you have been contacted and an arrangement to pay has been discussed, further collection contact will not take place unless the agreed arrangement has not been kept, whereupon we will try to re-contact you to discuss the account.
- Collectors will always ensure that accurate notes are made on the systems so that you are not re-contacted unnecessarily.
When contacting you on a public holiday
- Whenever we call you on a Bank Holiday, it will only be between 9am and 4pm. We will always respect your wish to decline discussing your account and call back at another time.
- We understand that some customers may celebrate religious holidays on other days, and respect their wishes if they ask to be called on a different day.
During our call with you
- Before divulging any of your confidential account details, we will always require you to answer some security questions first, under the Data Protection Act.
- When conducting a collections call with you, our staff will never be offensive or aggressive. Language will always be appropriate and professional. Of course, we expect the same of our respected clients.
- We will never claim to be working for the courts, a bailiff, or representing a legal firm or the legal department.
- Threat of legal action or court proceedings is not used as a way of encouraging you to pay, unless this is indeed the next stage of action.
- We will not imply or state that failure to pay a debt is a criminal offence, or that criminal proceedings may be initiated.
- When negotiating an arrangement to pay, we will always try to fully understand your financial circumstance before discussing the possibility of increased payments.
- We always try to keep you as informed as possible, and will not exploit a lack of knowledge, or use unnecessary and unhelpful use of legal and technical language.
- Any collection charges applied to your account will be transparent and clear as to what activity has necessitated the charge. Charges are proportionate to the cost we have incurred in our collection activity.
- Where a charge is applied, there will be a corresponding record of the activity.
- The limits for the maximum number of collection charges that can be applied to your account during the course of one calendar month are as follows:
- An initial missed payment fee of £15.00, should we fail to receive the agreed payment by 5.00 pm on the agreed repayment date;
- Interest on all arrears, on top of the daily interest we add arrears interest of (0.8% – your loan daily interest) and at combined maximum rate of 0.8% per day. Under no circumstances would we charge more than 0.8% per day.
- The interest on all arrears is capped at a maximum of double the capital borrowed. This does not include any court charges that may incur due to non-payment. Whether the charge is applied (and if so, whether it is later reversed or cancelled) is at the Company’s discretion, giving consideration to your ability to pay, and taking into account your specific circumstances.
In the event that you believe that a charge has been added unfairly, we will review why you feel that this was unfair from your point of view, and look to ensure that you are satisfied.
Identifying you and contact with Third Parties
You are free to nominate a third party to act or speak on your behalf, but we do require signed written permission from yourself and recorded on file.
Any request for information about you made by the Police or a governmental body (whether local or otherwise) must be referred to the Western Circle Limited management.
Debt Collection Agencies (DCAS)
Prior to passing the debt to a DCA, we will provide notice to a borrower that the responsibility for recovery has been transferred or assigned to the named third party debt collector.
Debt Management Companies (DMCs)
When a DMC is instructed by you, we will always work together with the DMC in an attempt to agree a mutually satisfactory arrangement.
Upon receipt of notification by the DMC that they are acting on your behalf, and upon receipt of their authority to act, we will place your account on hold for 30 days. This time period will enable the DMC to assess your account and make an offer to ourselves to repay the debt.
The statement of account prepared by the DMC would be examined carefully, and if we believe the offer is too low, we will state this to the DMC.
Exclusions to our policy
We will not allow our loan to be managed by a debt management service if they were approached by the customer prior to the loan inception date. We will, however, not refuse to apply payment to the account.
We will not allow our loan to be managed by a debt management service if litigation proceedings have commenced. We will however not refuse to apply payment to the account.
Collections Policy: Legal action
We may take legal action to recover money due under a credit agreement. Such action is referred to as “civil” action, i.e. the action is taken in the civil courts – failure to pay debts is not a criminal offence and criminal proceedings cannot be taken.
We will not state, imply or threaten legal action when it cannot legally be taken, or imply that legal action has already been taken if it has not.
Staff should not discuss legal action or the implications of such action with you unless there is a likelihood of legal action being taken and one or more of the following applies:
- A customer is unreasonably refusing to make payment;
- A customer is actively and unreasonably seeking to avoid dealing with an outstanding debt;
- A customer is not prepared to make a firm arrangement to clear the debt, or take appropriate steps to deal with the matter;
- A customer has failed to adhere to a previously agreed arrangement;
- A customer has made a repayment offer which is unreasonable in the context of their financial circumstances.
Legal action will only be taken only as a last resort.
This policy was written to help our website visitors understand our business and code of practice. We simplify the language to make it easier for everybody to know who we are, what we provide and how we do it. If you have any comment or require additional information please contact us. We believe that we have developed some of the industry’s leading procedures to ensure we serve our clients with dignity, fairness and transparency.
Updated: August 2016