Bristow and Sutor Contacting Me About Debt – How to Appeal

Can you write off any Bristow and Sutor debt?

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How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find, Thrifty Family doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provides information about your options. 

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

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Janine Marsh
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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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- Financial Expert
Updated 06 December 2023
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Bristow and Sutor Contacting Me About Debt - How to Appeal

For free & impartial money advice you can visit MoneyHelper. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provide information about your options. This isn’t a full fact-find, some debt solutions may not be suitable in all circumstances, ongoing fees might apply & your credit rating may be affected.

Are you worried about a note from Bristow and Sutor about your debt? You might feel scared or unsure about how to deal with debt collectors. We understand your worry. Every month, over 12,000 people come to this site looking for advice on debt issues.

In this easy-to-understand guide, you’ll learn:

  • Who Bristow and Sutor are and why they might be contacting you.
  • How you can talk to Bristow and Sutor about your debt.
  • Ways to make your repayments smaller.
  • What happens if you don’t pay your debt.
  • How to stop Bristow and Sutor from contacting you.

We know how hard it can be when you owe money, as many of our team members have been in your shoes, dealing with debt and feeling worried, so we know how to help. Let’s dive in and find out how to deal with Bristow and Sutor and make things easier for yourself.

Do you have to pay Bristow and Sutor?

You might not have to pay Bristow and Sutor.

If you genuinely can’t afford your debt repayments then looking into whether you could have your written off might be just what you need. 

If you want to find out whether you qualify for having debt written off or payments lowered then fill out the short form below.

Can you write off any of your debt?

1 of 5

How much debt do you have?

This isn’t a full fact find, Thrifty Family doesn’t give advice. We work with The Debt Advice Service who provides information about your options. 

Who Are Bristow and Sutor?

Bristow & Sutor collects and enforces debts in the UK. Over 2.1 million cases are handled by the company every year, and it works closely with local authorities. Local authority enforcement agents, also known as certified bailiffs, are directly employed and are based at strategic locations across the country to cover every case.

With its headquarters in Redditch, Worcestershire, Bristow & Sutor is a specialist provider of debt collection services for local authorities. Their main responsibilities are collecting council tax, business rates, parking penalty charge notices, and unpaid rent. Additionally, they handle debts related to overpaid housing benefits, rent arrears, and other kinds of fines.

How to Contact Bristow and Sutor

Unlike many debt collectors I have looked at in the past, who seem to make it as hard as possible to contact them, Brostow and Sutor offers a wide range of ways for you to reach out to them. I have listed them all below.

  • For general questions or if you’re a debtor, you can use their ‘Debtor Contact Us’ page. You can also book a phone appointment to talk with their team. They’re open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • They also offer WhatsApp messaging if you want something more modern. 07860 078 251 is the number for this service. Responses will be provided through the same method, as it’s not an instant method.
  • A textphone/minicom service is available for people with hearing or speech problems. You can reach them at 0330 390 201018001 + 0330 390 2010.
  • If you want to write to them, you can write to: Bristow & Sutor, Bartleet Road, Washford, Redditch, Worcestershire, B980FL
  • You can contact them online through their ‘Contact Us’ form. In most cases, they’ll get back to you within 5-7 days.
  • You can contact Bristow & Sutor through their ‘Client Contact’ page if you’re a client. It usually takes them five days to respond.
  • On their website, fill out the ‘Email Form’ and attach any documents you need
  • You can contact them online if you’re a debtor by filling out the ‘Debtor Contact’ form.

Can you lower your repayments?

If you’re struggling to pay back your debt, then you might qualify for a debt solution.

Some solutions lower your monthly payments while others write off a portion of your debt

To find out whether they could work in your situation, hit the button below.

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Who Do Bristow and Sutor Work For?

During my research, I learned that this is a debt collection agency that is mainly used by government bodies such as local authorities. And as I already mentioned, this means collecting council tax debt, rent arrears, etc. Sometimes Bristow and Sutor pass debts to one of their agencies called Credit Security, which also handles unpaid rent and overpaid housing benefits. Bristow and Sutor can also be appointed if a business is behind on its business rates.

It also means they are in the loop when it comes to collecting penalty charge notices for parking and traffic offences. Acting as the collection agent for local councils. 

Though they’re hired by their clients to collect and recover debt, the way they do this can sometimes lead to dissatisfaction and complaints from the people they’re trying to collect from. Check out some of the Trustpilot reviews, they are quite telling.

Why Are Bristow and Sutor Contacting You?

It isn’t always obvious why a collection agency is trying to get hold of you. Sometimes we end up owing a debt we actually didn’t realise we had. 

Why Are Bristow and Sutor Contacting You

Can Debt Collectors Contact You in the Evening and at Weekends?

A collection agency such as Brostow and Sutor, PRA Group, Global Debt Recovery or Lowel Financial will generally go to great lengths to try and get hold of you. This includes trying to catch you at home at the weekend, or in the evening. But they can’t justice reach out at any time, there are some rules they need to follow.

There are several laws and regulations governing debt collectors in the United Kingdom. They set the rules for how often and when they can contact a debtor.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates debt collectors in the UK. Getting in touch with a debtor too often, at unreasonable times, or inappropriately is harassment, according to the FCA. There are no specific definitions in the laws or regulations of what’s considered too often or unreasonable though, unfortunately.

Debt collectors should not contact debtors at inconvenient times, and they should respect requests not to contact them during certain times. Whenever a debtor requests not to be contacted after hours or on weekends, the debt collector should respect that request.

Do Debt Collectors Have To Follow a Code of Conduct?

Yes, debt collectors in the UK have to follow a code of conduct. This is both a legal obligation and often a requirement of professional bodies they may be members of. I already mentioned that the FCA oversees the authorisation and regulation of debt collection firms. FCA rules define the nature of debt collection and the permissions required. Firms need authorisation to collect debt on behalf of a third party and, in some cases, even to collect their own debts.

A good example is the FCA’s breathing space rules, which were updated in 2021. Under the debt respite scheme, creditors are prohibited from certain activities regarding outstanding debts during protective periods.

Apart from FCA regulations, professional bodies like the Credit Services Association (CSA) also have codes of practice their members have to follow. Members are required to follow this code of practice to ensure quality and professionalism. Updates to the code of practice are done in conjunction with the FCA.

In addition, every collection agency, such as Brostow and Sutor, has its own code of conduct that upholds ethical conduct, integrity, and compliance with governing guidelines.

Last but not least, creditors and debt collectors have to follow the law when trying to collect debts. Laws govern how creditors can contact debtors and how they can recover debts. Creditor harassment, for example, is illegal and can be reported to Trading Standards.

What Does the Law Say About Debt Collectors Harassing You?

Harassment is a common complaint from people who are being hounded by debt collectors, so I am going to explain what the law says about this, here.

UK law gives debt collectors clear guidelines about how to deal with debtors to prevent harassment. Any action that makes you feel distressed, humiliated, or threatened is harassment. Despite having the right to collect unpaid debts, creditors can’t do certain things.

For example, debt collectors must respect your contact preferences. When you ask them to contact you by email or post, they should follow your request and not contact you in any other way. In addition, they shouldn’t call or visit you at odd hours and keep their attempts to reach you within reasonable hours.

Unlawful harassment includes excessive phone calls, home visits, or revealing debts to others. Debt collectors don’t have any special legal powers, so they can’t do anything different than the original creditor.

A debt collector has to follow the rules set by the FCA, and any action that violates them can be considered harassment. FCA’s Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC) has more rules and guidelines about acceptable debt collection practices.

There are a few things you can do if you feel harassed. You can complain to the creditor, and if you’re not happy with their response, you can take it to a regulator, like the Financial Ombudsman Service. Another option is to contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) consumer service. Legal action might be possible if the harassment is persistent.

How To Stop Bristow and Sutor From Contacting You

There are quite a few methods for stopping a collection agency from contacting you non-stop. And until you take these steps, they will likely hound you consistently. Even if you move, they will likely find your new address and start chasing the debt again. I’ve listed a few examples of things you can try, below.

  • Reach out to them directly: Bristow & Sutor has several contact methods, including telephone, WhatsApp, and a physical address. You can use these avenues to tell them if you don’t want them contacting you. You should put your request in writing and keep a copy.
  • There are a number of organizations that can give you advice and possibly intervene on your behalf. Citizens Advice Bureau, StepChange, and National Debtline are some of them. They can negotiate with Bristow & Sutor and come up with a repayment plan or a suitable solution. Using an advice agency would require you to provide the necessary info to Bristow & Sutor using their Advice Agency Contact form.
  • If your debts are over £5000, you might want to consider an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). You agree to pay off your debts over time with your creditors. You need an insolvency practitioner to set it up. Bristow and Sutor, like other creditors, should stop contacting you once the IVA provider manages your payments.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Debt?

Debt collection agencies are paper tigers in reality. They have no special powers over and above those provided to any creditor. But of course, this doesn’t generally mean you can just ignore your debt. But what happens if you do ignore it? I’ve listed some possible outcomes below.

  • You’ll be contacted by debt collectors to arrange repayment, but they won’t stop there. Phone calls, letters, emails, or even home visits are all options. It’s all about getting the money back. Contact must be legal, and you can specify the mode of contact you prefer, such as only by post, for example.
  • Any additional interest and charges stop if the debt’s been sold to a collection agency, so it shouldn’t keep growing.
  • In the worst-case scenario, you may have to go to court if you keep ignoring the debt collectors. There’s a possibility you’ll get a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you, which could hurt your credit rating.
  • Creditors can take enforcement action if you don’t respond to a CCJ or follow the repayment terms. A bailiff could seize property, an attachment of earnings order could be applied for, or in severe cases, bankruptcy could be filed.
  • In some cases, you can get your debt written off if you haven’t been contacted by your creditors for six years. The debt becomes statute-barred. The six-year rule doesn’t apply if you’ve acknowledged the debt in writing or paid towards it.

Will Bristow and Sutor Take You to Court?

As you probably worked out by now, debt collectors will not stop chasing you for the debt once they have the bit between their teeth, and if you don’t pay the debt, you face potential legal action.

In the event that you don’t settle the debt, Bristow and Sutor may initiate County Court proceedings if you live in England or Wales. As a result of receiving a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, you will incur court fees, have to pay interest on your debt, have to pay solicitors’ costs awarded by the court, your credit rating will suffer, and the court may declare you bankrupt for debts of more than £5,000 or more.

Therefore, Bristow & Sutor can take you to court if you don’t settle a debt. In general, it’s best to talk to them or get independent financial advice to explore possible options and avoid escalation of the debt recovery process. Know your rights and obligations, and what steps Bristow and Sutor can legally take to get their money back.

Can Debt Collectors Send Bailiffs to Your Home?

In a nutshell, no. Only the court can send bailiffs to your home to collect a debt. In the debt recovery process, both debt collectors and bailiffs are involved, but their roles, powers, and methods are different.

Creditors or separate debt collection agencies may employ debt collectors. They can contact you in different ways, like visiting your house. Debt collectors don’t have the right to take your things away, so you’re not obligated to let them in. The law doesn’t give debt collectors any special powers.

Dealing With Bailiffs

Bailiffs, or enforcement agents, have some legal powers to collect debts. A bailiff might come to your home if you don’t pay your debts, like council tax, parking fines, court fines, and county court, high court, or family court judgments. This usually happens after ignoring letters stating bailiffs are coming. A bailiff can be a certificated enforcement agent, an enforcement officer for the high court, a bailiff for the county court or a bailiff for a family court, or someone who enforces magistrates’ court fines or arrest warrants.

Bailiffs should send you a letter before visiting called a notice of enforcement. You should get this letter seven days before the visit. Your house can only be entered through a door with your permission when they visit. It’s against the law to use force, push past you, break down your doors, or enter your house if it’s just a child under 16 is at home.

Whenever bailiffs collect debts, they can take your belongings, including electrical items, jewellery, and vehicles. If you let them in, they can take things from inside your home, but there are rules about what they can take.

The court may classify you as vulnerable if you’re in a situation that makes it hard for you to deal with bailiffs, like if you’re disabled, seriously ill, have mental health problems, or are young or old. In addition to giving you more time to answer letters or demands, bailiffs have to treat vulnerable people with greater care.

Last but not least, if you pay your debt in full, bailiffs won’t come to your house. If you can’t pay off your debt in full, you have other options, like paying off most of it in one go if you can afford it, or setting up a payment arrangement if you can afford small regular payments.

“It will only get worse” 😩

It’s cliché to say, but with debt it’s true; the longer you leave it, the worse the problem gets

There are straightforward and effective ways to deal with debt, but you have to know your options. 

Fill out the short form to find out about the debt solutions that could reduce your monthly payments or even write off some of your debt.

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The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.
How to beat Bristow and Sutor
How to beat Bristow and Sutor

Looking into debt solutions could help. 

  • Lower monthly payments
  • Reduce pressure from the people you owe
  • Affordable monthly repayments.