The UK’s Debt Collection industry is in uncharted waters as are many sectors due to the coronavirus. Most though are still continuing to operate as they fall under the key financial services bracket.
The main problem for many Agencies is that they face the issue of helping to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus whilst maintaining GDPR requirements.
Rather than deal with the operational dilema, some Debt Collection firms have simply chosen to furlough staff in the hope they can survive the current and uncertain climate.
Some Companies are simply not geared up to offer the opportunity for staff to work from home and therefore have continued as normal. All be it with government recommendations implemented.
High Court Enforcement and Bailiff companies have been urged to suspend all ‘in person’ visits to properties and premises. Warrants for possession of properties have already been suspended for 90 days.
The High Court Enforcement Officers Association issued a statement saying “It is important that bailiffs follow the latest government guidance regarding working practices and contact with others, including social distancing measures. We would recommend bailiffs suspend in-person visits unless they are able to comply with advice on social distancing”
Leading B2B Debt Collection firm Federal Management have stated they will be operating as usual despite some staff self isolating. Operational changes have been made to safeguard their staff and service levels during this crisis.
The Chief Executive of the Credit Services Association Peter Wallwork said: “Between them, our members are approaching or in contact with the six million or so households in debt throughout the UK, almost every day and therefore have a unique insight into supporting those in debt – the current Covid-19 pandemic is already placing many of those customers into financial difficulty, or simply compounding existing difficulties even further.
“However, our members are possibly the best placed to help as they continue to exercise forbearance and extend breathing space to customers impacted by this new threat to their financial stability, just as they have always done for customers especially those who may be classed as vulnerable. I believe it is critical that our members continue this activity and assist those people who are bound to be extremely concerned about their situation and signpost where necessary to free to use debt advice.”