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Letter or calls from Phillips & Cohen Associates

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Letter from Phillips & Cohen debt collectors

This section explains what you should do if you have received a letter from Phillips & Cohen debt collection agency.

If you have received a letter from Phillips & Cohen, you may feel that you are being chased for a debt that you do not think you owe.

debt collection letter

Phillips & Cohen Associates are instructed by banks and utility companies like Santander, MBNA, Npower or E-on to collect their outstanding debts.

Debt collectors like Phillips & Cohen tend to send a variety of standard letters, initially demanding you contact them by phone to arrange payment, then writing to you threatening to visit your home. They will then write again offering an out of court settlement, then threatening to take you to court to obtain a county court judgement or make you bankrupt. These are standard, system driven letters, so don't take them personally, but they can persist for months.

They may also try to contact you by phone, they generally tend to use 08000304101, they will try to call every day until you answer, but they do not leave voice mails.

Whilst this might be worrying, it is up to the Phillips & Cohen Associates to prove that you owe the money, and not your job to prove that you do not owe it.

It is not uncommon for Phillips & Cohen Associates to send out letters to people with the same name, taking a scattergun approach, in the hope that someone will pay.

Depending on your situation, there are many different ways to respond appropriately to debt collectors.

Use the "Prove the debt" letter

As it is Phillips & Cohen's job to prove that you owe the money, simply use the "prove the debt" letter below to ask them to prove that the debt is actually yours. It is often the case that they can not prove the debt and therefore mark it as settled.

Please Note: This letter is not legal advice.

Dear Sir/Madam

Account No: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself.

I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to CREDITOR

I am familiar with the Consumer Credit sourcebook of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which states the following rules.

"A firm must not ignore or disregard a customer's claim that a debt has been settled or is disputed and must not continue to make demands for payment without providing clear justification and/or evidence as to why the customer's claim is not valid." 7.5.3

"A firm must suspend any steps it takes or its agent takes in the recovery of a debt from a customer where the customer disputes the debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds." 7.14.1

"Where a customer disputes a debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds, the firm must investigate the dispute and provide details of the debt to the customer in a timely manner." 7.14.3

"Where there is a dispute as to the identity of the borrower or hirer or as to the amount of the debt, it is for the firm (and not the customer) to establish, as the case may be, that the customer is the correct person in relation to the debt or that the amount is the correct amount owed under the agreement." 7.14.4

"A firm must provide a customer with information on the outcome of its investigations into a debt which the customer disputed on valid grounds." 7.14.5

"Where a customer disputes a debt and the firm seeking to recover the debt is not the lender or the owner, the firm must:

  • (1) pass the information provided by the customer to the lender or the owner; or
  • (2) if the firm has authority from the lender or owner to investigate a dispute, it must notify the lender or owner of the outcome of the investigation." 7.14.6

In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

Furthermore, ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you can provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question.

I await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the FCA of your actions.

If appropriate I will also take this matter forward as a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Information Commissioner's Office.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

(Type your name, DO NOT SIGN IT)

Download the "Prove the Debt" letter

You can download the "prove the debt letter" by clicking here

Once you have printed off and sent the letter, you may receive a response from the debt collection company stating “we have traced the debt back to you”, with a deadline to respond by. You can disregard this, as they still need to provide proof of the debt, which should be the original credit agreement with your signature. This is why you shouldn’t sign the letter, as this would provide them with a copy of you signature and could be used to re-create the original credit agreement.

If you genuinely do not owe the debt, you should receive a letter saying that they have dropped it and you will no longer be contacted. If you do owe the debt then you should look at ways to pay it back, whether this be in a lump sum or installments.

Need Debt Advice?

Our panel of specialists can quickly advise you of your options if you have received a letter or phone calls from Phillips & Cohen.
Simply call the team on 0800 368 8133.
Alternatively take the online debt test and see what debt help you qualify for.

  • Last updated 21 March 2018

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