Bulb and debt collection

We understand it can be difficult when debt builds up on your account. We're here to support you, so the best thing you can do is get in touch.

Find out what happens if:

 

If you’ve been contacted by a Debt Collections Agency (DCA)

If you stop making payments for your energy, or your payments don’t go through, we'll try to get in touch with you by email, letter, phone or text message. If we’re able to reach you, we’ll ask you some questions about your situation to understand how we can support you.

If we don’t hear back from you or receive a payment within 35 days, we may pass your account over to a collections agency.


Debt collection agencies we work with

We work with debt collection agencies when we don’t hear from you. The agency will try to get in touch to organise a repayment plan that works for you.

We use different debt collection agencies depending on whether they need to contact you by phone, email or letter, or visit your property.

If the collection agency needs to contact you by phone, email or letter

We may ask one of the following companies to contact you on our behalf:

  • AIC 
  • DWF
  • Just
  • LCS
  • Ophelos
  • Opos
  • QDR Solicitors/Wright Hassall

If the collection agency needs to visit your property

We may ask a debt collection agency called Engage to visit a property to see if it's vacant, if the occupants are vulnerable, or to discuss your debt in more detail.

Engage will bring a signed warrant with them to confirm they’re working on behalf of Bulb. You can also confirm the reason for their visit by either calling the agency directly or Bulb on 0300 303 0365.


The collections agent will explain your repayment options

The main reason a collections agent will visit your property is to understand your situation. The better we understand what’s happening, the more we can help. 

There are different ways to repay your debt, depending on whether Bulb is still your supplier, or you’ve switched to a new supplier.

If Bulb is still your energy supplier you can either:

  • make a one-off payment for the energy you’ve used
  • set up a Direct Debit for an amount that covers your ongoing usage and repays the outstanding debt over time
  • ask to have a top up (prepayment) meter installed for free - this means you'll pay for your gas and electricity as you use it, which makes it easier to budget and enables you to repay the debt over time
  • choose to pay for your energy through Fuel Direct if you get Universal Credit - Fuel Direct is a government scheme that arranges for your energy bills to be paid directly out of your benefit payments

If you’re unable to reach an agreement with the debt collections agent, we’ll set a date to install a top up meter in your property. Installing a top up meter in this way means we would add extra charges to your account which you will need to repay.

If you’ve switched to a new supplier, you can either:

  • make a one-off payment to settle the balance
  • set up a payment plan (for up to 12 months) with the collections agent 

 

If your account has been escalated to our litigation and enforcement partners

If we’ve been unable to reach you to talk about the debt on your account, we may pass your account to our litigation and enforcement partners. They could seek legal action against you to recover the debt. 

These are the litigation agencies we work with:

  • LCS
  • DWF (Scotland)
  • QDR Solicitors (England & Wales)

You can confirm the agency works on behalf of Bulb by contacting them directly or by calling one of our Energy Specialists on 0300 303 0635.

If you do not get in touch with us at this point, we will also pass your details to Equifax, a credit reference agency, and explain that you have not repaid your energy debt. They will add a ‘default notice’ to your credit report, which may make it harder to borrow money or apply for a bank account in the future. If we have contacted you about adding a default notice to your credit report, please get in touch. We’ll explain what to do next. Alternatively, you can set up payments through your Bulb account.

If you’ve been contacted about defaulting and believe the debt amount is incorrect, or if you’re unable to afford the suggested payments, please get in touch. We can work with you to make sure everything is correct, and make sure you have the support you need.

 

The litigation agency will explain your repayment options

If you’re being contacted by a litigation agency, let them know your situation as soon as possible so you can agree on a solution that works for you. The better they understand your situation, the more they can help. 

If you’re unable to settle your debt in full, that’s ok – the litigation agent will explain the different payment options available. You can either:

  • make a one-off payment for the energy you’ve used
  • set up a Direct Debit for an amount that covers your ongoing usage and repays the outstanding debt over time
  • ask to have a top up (prepayment) meter installed for free - this means you'll pay for your gas and electricity as you use it, which makes it easier to budget and enables you to repay the debt over time
  • choose to pay for your energy through Fuel Direct if you get Universal Credit - Fuel Direct is a government scheme that arranges for your energy bills to be paid directly out of your benefit payments

 

If you don’t take any action to clear your debt

We understand managing debt can be difficult. So it’s important that you get in touch with us right away. 

If you don’t get in contact about your debt, it can affect your credit score and a litigation agency may start legal action against you. This means you could receive a County Court Judgement (CCJ) — a court order telling you to pay a specified sum of money. 

 

If you want to dispute the debt on your account

If you think the outstanding balance is wrong, or you’ve made a complaint to Bulb and we haven’t resolved it yet, contact the litigation agents and let them know. 

If we’ve made a mistake, we’ll sort it out as soon as possible. We’ll make sure we put any debt recovery on hold until it’s resolved.

 

If you need to pause your repayments

If you’ve entered into formal insolvency, the Government’s ‘Breathing space’ scheme or you’re the Executor of an Estate for a Bulb member who has died, contact the litigation agent directly. We’ll make sure to pause any debt recovery during this time.

To prove your situation, they may ask for:

  • meter reading photos with a clear timestamp to prove the date they were taken
  • proof of a sale or tenancy agreement
  • any other documents relevant to your case 

 

Financial support and advice

There are organisations we work with that can help if you are having financial difficulties:

We might be able to offer you a grant or support with your debt. Find out more about the help we offer if you’re struggling with your energy payments

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