Lantern is a debt collection agency that will chase customers for payment on behalf of other companies, organisations and individuals. Lantern is part of the Credit Services Association and has successfully passed the Collector Accreditation Initiative introduced by the CSA to ensure agencies operate in a fair, legal and compliant manner.
Why is Lantern chasing me?
Lantern is a debt collection agency that will chase customers for payment on behalf of other companies, organisations and individuals. In some cases, creditors will pass accounts to agencies like Lantern which is the likely reason for their contact with you.
Is Lantern a legitimate debt collector?
Yes, Lantern is a legitimate debt collection agency. Lantern is part of the Credit Services Association and has successfully passed the Collector Accreditation Initiative introduced by the CSA to ensure agencies operate in a fair, legal and compliant manner. Although you might not recognise the Lantern name, it is important not to ignore communications from them. You probably owe money to a different creditor that has chosen to use this agency to recoup monies owed from you.
Who does Lantern collect for?
Lantern collects debts for a variety of well-known organisations and brands, including O2, EE and Virgin Media. Lantern also collects debts associated with payday loans, Council Tax payments, defaulted court fines, catalogues and parking tickets. It is also worth noting that Lantern operates on behalf of HMRC collecting a variety of debts including overpayments of tax credits and unpaid tax bills.
Should I ignore Lantern’s letters or calls?
No. If you have been contacted by Lantern, it is important to take some sort of action. Failing to act won’t resolve the issue and avoiding phone calls and letters might mean that Lantern chooses to take further action in order to recoup the debt you owe.
It is worth noting here that Lantern operates in accordance with a certain code of conduct, which means they must give you enough time to explore the debt management options available to you. It is important that you communicate the steps you are taking with Lantern to ensure both parties understand where they stand at all times.
Can I stop Lantern from contacting me?
As Lantern will likely be legally required to make contact with you, you cannot prevent all forms of contact with them. You can, however, set out your contact preferences which they should abide by moving forwards. So, for example, you can request that all communications are conducted in writing via letter rather than over the phone.
I owe the debt and I can afford to pay Lantern. Should I?
Yes. If you are certain the debt belongs to you, Lantern has provided proof that the debt is yours, the timeline for payment has not already lapsed, you are fully liable and you have the means to do so, paying the sum that is owed is a good idea. Not only will this ensure that Lantern will stop contacting you, but you will also be free to move on with your life free from debt.
I can’t afford to pay Lantern. What now?
If it transpires that you are liable for the debt Lantern is chasing you for but you cannot afford to pay it, there are several options available to you.
Being honest and upfront with Lantern could result in the establishment of a payment plan. The plan and timescale will need to be realistic in terms of what you can afford to repay and the timeframe within which your debt will be cleared. It is important that your plan does not contain unreasonable penalties, interest rates or additional charges, which could ultimately become a barrier to you becoming debt-free.
There are also a variety of other debt management routes, including debt consolidation loans, the minimal asset process (MAP) and bankruptcy. These services can provide plenty of helpful advice via phone and an integrated AI chatbot to help you take control of your debt.
Can I write off my Lantern debts?
It might be possible for you to use an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) to have some portion of debt legally written off. There are certain criteria you will need to meet in order to be eligible for an IVA including having more than £5,000 of unsecured debts, which might be comprised of store cards, benefit overpayments, loans, council tax debt, overdrafts and credit cards. You will also need to prove that you can afford to pay £90 towards your repayments each month.
What action can Lantern take?
Lantern has the same legal powers as the original creditor to whom you debt originated. Lantern is legally able to chase you for repayment but they are not permitted to harass you or use aggressive tactics in the process.
Lantern is not a bailiff and although they can send debt collection field agents to your property, they are not allowed to enter without prior permission or remove any goods. If you ask them to leave, they must do so immediately. If Lantern ultimately decides to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, apply for a charging order or an attachment of earnings order, or send bailiffs to your property to recover goods to cover the value of your debt, they must first take you to court.
Could my Lantern debts mean that I lose my home?
As there are several steps that must be taken in advance, it is unlikely that your debts will lead to the loss of your home.
Unsecured debts aren’t attached to an asset but if you fail to keep up with your repayments, Lantern might decide to apply to the courts in order to have the outstanding debt secured against your property. To do this Lantern will also need to successfully apply for a CCJ against you, but if the courts agree a Charging Order will be assigned.
How do I make a complaint about Lantern?
There are several channels you can use to make a direct complaint to Lantern:
Phone: 0113 887 6876
Post: Protection House, 83 Bradford Road, Leeds, LS28 6AT
If the outcome of your initial complaint is not to your satisfaction, you can forward it to the Credit Services Association or the Financial Ombudsman Service.