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Dealing with replies to your offers

When you have made your offers and backed them up with a Financial Statement and proof of income and expenditure, you must now wait for the decision.  

Often it can take a few weeks to get a reply. If you have not heard within 4 weeks, check you wrote to the correct section. If you didn’t, it can be quicker to write again with a copy of your letter of offer and Financial Statement with proofs.  

If you still do not receive a response, check to make sure the account has not been passed on or sold to a collection agency or a solicitor for collection. If you learn that it has, forward on copies of everything to the collection agency.  

If the creditor is not responding to you at all, you may want to make a complaint.  

Keep receipts and records of all payments and records of all creditor contacts.  

Your offer is accepted 

Make sure to get the acceptance in writing. If at first, the creditor has not sent you the acceptance in writing, write them a letter setting out what has been agreed.  

Include: 

  • The name of the person who agreed it 
  • The date it was agreed  
  • Where (if it was a meeting)  
  • How it was accepted, for example, if it was by phone or in person 

If you reach a revised repayment with a creditor regulated by the Consumer Protection Code, they must give you a clear written explanation within 5 days. They must also give you information about how your data will be shared with any credit reference agency, for example, the Central Credit Register or the Irish Credit Bureau

You should acknowledge the acceptance in writing. If you haven’t already told them, you should also let your creditor know when you will start payments and what method you will use to make them. Keep a copy of any written agreements and update your creditor contact log. Then, start making the payments, if you haven’t already, and keep all receipts or records.  

Read more about bill payment options

The creditor has questions  

Deal with any creditor questions as soon as possible, preferably in writing. Keep a copy on your file and update your creditor contact log. If you think their questions are unreasonable, write back to them explaining your concerns. 

Keep making your payments and keep receipts and records. 

The offer is not accepted 

Sometimes one or more of your creditors will refuse to accept your offer of payment at the start. They may demand more than you can afford. Don’t lose heart, you can usually convince them. Show them you are doing your best and can back up your proposal with proof of income and a Financial Statement showing reasonable expenditure.  

If your offer is rejected by a creditor regulated by the Consumer Protection Code, they must write you a letter with their reasons for rejecting your offer.  

Read more about tips for negotiation and use our sample letter D which you can adapt for your situation.  

Keep records of all creditor contacts. You can use our creditor contact log.  

Keep making your payments and keep receipts and records.  

The creditor passes your account to a collection agency 

debt collection agency is a company that seeks to get payment for overdue money owed to a creditor. Debt collection agencies can either buy debts from a creditor at a reduced price or can work for a creditor to collect their debts for a fee. You should be told which is the case.  

Part 8.10 of the Consumer Protection Code means the creditor must tell you that they are working with a third party in relation to your debt. They must also tell you what the new third party will be able to do about your debt.  

If your debt is going to be passed on to a collection agency, it can sometimes make it easier for you to negotiate. In some cases, staff in these collection agencies have a great deal of experience in reaching affordable repayment plans with people in financial difficulty. 

The creditor threatens to take court action  

If a priority creditor is threatening court action, seek advice immediately. Contact MABS for free professional and non-judgmental advice and support. 

We can give you details of other specialist advice if you need it. 

secondary creditor can also take court action if you have failed to pay your debt. However, you will generally only have to pay what you can afford as long as you: 

  • Do not ignore the problem  
  • Respond to court documents on time  
  • Provide details of your financial circumstances. 

You can use your signed Financial Statement in court to set out your circumstances. You will need to show the efforts you have made to reach an affordable agreement, including:  

  • Copies of any letters to and from your creditor  
  • Details of any other contacts recorded in your creditor contact log
  • Proof of payment records will also show your willingness to pay 

MABS offers advice and support 

If you get stuck or just want some free and confidential advice and non-judgmental support contact MABS or read more about how MABS can help

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