PDCS stands for Past Due Credit Solutions. It is a debt-collection agency, based in Clydebank, Scotland. PDCS buys and collects unpaid debts. It buys bad debts in bulk from finance companies and then tries to collect the money owed.
PDCS also works on behalf of some of Britain’s biggest companies to help them recover payments that are overdue (past due accounts). Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is one of its clients.
The company purchases debts at a discount but charges the defaulted clients the full amount. According to ScottishTrustDeed.co.uk, PDCS can double its profits by getting just 20% of debtors to pay up. A debtor is somebody who owes money – it is the opposite of a creditor.
Like most debt-collection agencies, PDCS typically sends standard collection letters demanding that debtors contact them by phone so that they can settle their debt. The letters also inform debtors that they intend to visit them at home.
If that doesn’t work, i.e., it doesn’t get people to pay up, they will send another letter. This time PDCS offers an out-of-court settlement, which is followed by a threat to file a CCJ (County Court Judgement). They may even threaten to make the person bankrupt.
The company may also telephone the debtor. However, they never leave a voicemail message.
When people get a letter from PDCS, they may wonder why they are being chased for money that they believe they do not owe.
The agency chases other entities’ debts, which is why many people don’t recognise them. It is a third-party agency, which means that they have never had a direct relationship with the debtor.
If you get letters from PDCS, don’t take them personally. They are standard letters which are sent automatically; they are part of a system. They can persist for a very long time.
What to do if PDCS contacted you
If PDCS has contacted you either by post or telephone, it helps if you know what to do next so that you can protect yourself.
ScottishTrustDeed.co.uk writes the following regarding getting a debt letter from PDCS:
“If PDCS called you or sent you a threatening letter, call us at Money Advice Online for assistance. Simply dial our debt helpline 0800 368 8133 or click on the link provided. Our representatives will get in touch with you right away.”
FCA Guidelines for Debt Collectors
The Financial Conduct Authority or FCA is a UK financial regulatory body. It operates independently from the Government. It regulates financial companies that provide services to consumers. Its task is to maintain the integrity of the British financial market.
PDCS and other debt collectors must adhere to strict debt collection rules and regulations (guidelines) laid down by the FCA. The FCA sets out minimum standards that debt collectors must comply with. If they don’t, they risk losing their license.
Below are some details on the FCA’s guidelines:
- Debt collectors are not allowed to claim excessive or unfair collection charges.
- Harassing debtors is prohibited.
- They must not threaten to seize people’s property or possessions when they cannot do so lawfully.
- If legal action is unlikely to occur, they are not allowed to make threats (of legal action).
- If they plan to visit people at home, they must give them advanced notice. They are not allowed to just turn up and knock on doors.
This FCA web page has information on PDCS.
Your Debt – Don’t Ignore It
If PDCS is writing to you, it is most likely that your credit file has been affected negatively. Whoever you owe money to has probably already written off your account as defaulted. To default means to fail to repay a loan.
You should not ignore letters or phone calls. If you do, you risk facing a County Court Judgement. Debt collection agencies can work with bailiffs who will seize your possessions. Bailiffs are court officials.
Responding to a letter
One way to protect yourself is to write back demanding that PDCS prove that you have an unpaid debt. Also, ask them to prove that you owe the amount they indicated in their letter(s).
According to ScottishTrustDeed.co.uk:
“If they cannot prove that the debt is yours, they have no choice but to mark it ‘settled’.”