If you have a debt with a catalogue company, this is known as a catalogue debt. This type of debt is a non-priority debt, similar to credit card debt and loans or overdrafts. This article explains how to pay off catalogue debt.
Who is liable for catalogue debts?
If someone acts as an agent for a catalogue company, sells goods or collects money, for them, they need to be careful about the terms of the agent agreement. A separate account for each of the agent’s customers needs to be created. If it isn’t then the catalogue may hold the agent responsible for any missed payments by the agent’s customers.
As long as separate accounts were set up the agent should not be held personally liable for the customers’ missed payments.
It may be that the agent is liable for the debt to the catalogue company and may need to seek advice about how they can chase the customers who did not pay for the goods they ordered and received. Or it could be that checking how these accounts were set up proves that there is no ability to chase the agent for the debt.
If they do find that there is a need to repay this debt then it would be worth preparing an income and expenditure sheet to see what a manageable offer of payment could be, any of the free debt advice charities will help prepare this and can also look at any other debts that may also need dealing with.
Am I still liable for catalogue debts?
If the catalogue company has never approached you for money in the past 6 years then they are unable to ask you for the money now. However, if they have been writing, requesting the money, have a County Court judgement for the debt, or you have been paying towards the debt then they are still able to pursue you for the debt. For more information please see our article on how to deal with debt.
What happens if I can’t pay off the catalogue debt?
Your debt may be passed onto a debts collection agency. Once a debt has been passed onto a collections agency, all interest and charges on the debt are usually stopped. This means that the debt will not increase any further in size. You should contact the agency and make an offer of payment to them.
It may be beneficial for you to draw up and send a basic financial statement to the agency which displays the income you have coming in every month and also your money expenditures. This will show how much money you have left over at the end of the month which can be used to clear the outstanding debt.
If you are able to make payments towards the debt then starting to make a regular payment may also mean that the creditor can stop applying additional charges and the debt could start to decrease. It could be that you do not have sufficient money available to offer a regular payment or have other debts that are also in difficulty. If that is the case then other assistance may be available to you and contacting a debt adviser to look at your options could be a good starting point.
You may also want to read this article on dealing with eBay debt.