Debt Collectors false representation of authority and/or legal position in the UK


Those contacting debtors must not be deceitful by misrepresenting their correct legal position and/or their authority.

Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

a) Falsely claiming authority or implying, for example, claiming to be bailiffs or, in Scotland, messenger-at-arms or sheriff officers, and claiming to work on instructions from the courts.

b) Falsely stating or implying that action will or can be taken when it legally can't, for example, referring to sequestration proceedings or bankruptcy when the balance is too low to qualify for such proceedings or claiming a right of entry when no court order to this effect has been granted.

c) Misrepresenting backing or status, such as using a business name which implies public body status, using a logo which falsely implies government backing, or falsely claiming trade body membership. d) Falsely stating or implying that action has been taken when it has not, for example, that civil action has been taken or that a court judgment has already been obtained.

e) Falsely stating or implying that failure to pay a debt will result in criminal proceedings or is a criminal offence.

f) Pursuing third parties for payment when they are not liable.

g) Threatening take court action or taking court action in the wrong jurisdiction, for example, taking action against a Scottish debtor in an English court unless legally justified.

View more topics on Unlawful Debt Collection Practices in the United Kingdom.

The source of this information was provided from the Office Of Fair Trading at and further information on illegal debt collection practices can be found there. Disclaimer: The above information was written in good faith, but we cannot guarantee accuracy or credit approval.