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Prohibition on Assignment of Debts

Comment 15th July 2010

To prohibit the assignment of debts (owed by individuals only) completely.

Why does this matter?

At present, a citizen may enter into an agreement with, for example, a credit card organization (or may owe a debt incurred in some other way) and find himself/herself unable to pay. The creditor may then take action in the County Court either to enforce the debt or to force involuntary bankruptcy of the debtor. I have no fundamental quarrel with that. However, the creditor may also (either before of after the taking of proceedings) assign (usually, sell on) the debt to other organizations with which the debtor has never had any relationship and may welll never have even heard of.

This chain of assignment or selling-on can proceed (as the debt or any judgment becomes less easy to enforce, particularly as the usual time limit of 6 years approaches)  and can lead to some organizations which verge on the gangster or criminal owning the debt and harassing the debtor to the limit of and beyond what is legally permitted at present.

My proposal would kill this semi-gangsterism stone-dead. If a bank, credit organization or loan company or any other creditor wishes to pursue a debtor, this proposal does not of itself prohibit such pursuit. The proposal simply prevents the selling-on of debts and is a timely reinforcement of the rights of millions of British citizens not to be harassed.


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