Detailed Consumer Privacy Notice

Lowell Solicitors are committed to protecting your privacy and that’s why we have designed this website to make it easy for you to get all the information you need.

You can find out all about how we use your personal information, who we may share it with and how we protect it, as well as finding out about your rights and how to exercise them.

If you would like a copy of this privacy notice or if you have any questions about how Lowell Solicitors Limited use and share your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

  • by email at dpo@lowellgroup.co.uk
  • in writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Solicitors Limited, PO Box 1419, Northampton, NN2 1BU.

Select the headings below to find out more.

Lowell Solicitors Limited is a specialist debt recovery law firm which is part of the Lowell group of companies. We act on behalf of other members of the Lowell group to recover outstanding debts including through court and other legal proceedings. Where we use ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘us’ in this notice, we mean Lowell Solicitors Limited unless we say otherwise.

If you have an account with Lowell Solicitors Limited, this means that Lowell Portfolio I Ltd has bought either your account or the right to collect the amount you owe on your account and they have instructed us to recover the outstanding balance on their behalf.

Where we use ‘our client’ in this notice, we mean Lowell Portfolio I Ltd (and Lowell Financial Ltd who manage accounts on their behalf) or any other member of the Lowell group of companies to which Lowell Portfolio I Ltd may transfer its interest in your account from time to time.

For more information about how Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and Lowell Financial Ltd collect, use and share your personal information, please see www.lowell.co.uk/how-we-use-your-data.

Company

 Lowell Solicitors Limited

Company number

 08647091

 Country

Incorporated in the UK

 Registered office

Darwin House, 7 Savannah Way, Leeds Valley Park, Leeds LS10 1AB

We are a controller of your information which means that we are responsible for looking after it.

For details of the UK companies in the Lowell Group, please see the section Who is the Lowell Group? below.

We collect:

  • your name
  • your contact details (including your current and previous addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • your gender
  • your date of birth
  • details about your account with our client including your account number and outstanding balance
  • financial information about you including your credit score, credit history and payment history, information about defaults and missed payments, credit reference information, information about your dependants, information about your income and expenditure (including your mortgage and any other outstanding loans you may have) and any other details relating to your account with us and your ability to pay the amounts you owe
  • details of any county court judgments (CCJs) which you may have
  • details of any bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings which you have entered into
  • call recordings
  • information about you contained in correspondence with you and with third parties
  • your bank account information if you set up a direct debit with us
  • if you make a payment by debit card, we process your card information for the purposes of taking your payment but we do not store your card details unless you consent to us doing so
  • information contained in any court documents relating to your account with us and
  • details of any queries, disputes or complaints you may raise with us.

We may regularly check your credit file to ensure the information that we hold about you on our systems is accurate, complete and up to date. This check is called a ‘soft search’ and may leave what is known as a ‘soft footprint’. This means that it is not visible to any other organisations and will not affect your credit score. It can only be seen by you, us and the credit reference agency and will show as account administration on your credit file.

Where you provide us with information about your family, lifestyle and social circumstances, employment status and your work history, we may record and use this information where it affects your account with us.

Where it has or may have an impact on your ability to pay the amounts you owe, we may collect information about your mental and physical health.  For more details about how we use this information, please see the section Special categories of personal data below.

We may also collect some limited information, including publicly accessible information such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you have if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison. We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and other legislation. Please see the section Information relating to criminal convictions below for more details.

We may also collect publicly accessible information about you, for example through a Google search, where we have been unable to contact you using the contact details that we hold for you.

If you use our website, including registering for an online account, please see our Website User Privacy Notice and our Cookie Notice for details of the information we collect through our website.

Information that you give us

You may give us information about yourself and your circumstances:

  • in any communications with us by telephone, email, post, social media or otherwise, whether this is in connection with your account or to report an issue, ask questions or make a complaint 
  • in court or other documents that you provide in connection with any court or other legal proceedings relating to your account
  • by visiting our website, setting up an online account through our website and filling in forms on our website.

 If you use our website, please see our Website User Privacy Notice and our Cookie Notice for details of the information we collect through our website. 

Information that we collect about you

We may collect information about you that is publicly accessible where we have been unable to locate you using the contact details that we hold for you. For example: 

  • through a Google search
  • news and social media reports
  • entries in online directories and
  • information which is available at Companies House.

We may also collect limited information, such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you have if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison. We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and other legislation. Please see the section Information relating to criminal convictions below.

When you visit our website, we collect information about you and the way you use our website. Please see our Website User Privacy Notice and our Cookie Notice for details of the information we collect through our website. 

Information that we obtain from our client

When instructing us to act on their behalf to recover the outstanding amounts you owe, our client provides us with:

  • your name and contact details (including your current and previous addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • your gender
  • your date of birth and
  • information about your account including the outstanding balance, your payment history and details of any defaults or missed payments. 

Information that we receive from other companies in the Lowell group

We may receive information about you from other members of the Lowell group of companies for our internal administrative purposes and to comply with our professional, legal and regulatory and other corporate governance obligations.

Information that we collect from other third parties

We may receive information about you from other third parties including:

  • tracing agents and process servers who we instruct to act on behalf of our client to locate you or serve you with  court documents
  • court advocates and barristers who we instruct to represent our client at court hearings
  • the previous owners of your account
  • any debt collection agencies who have been instructed to act on behalf of us or our client
  • debt management companies who you have authorised to act on your behalf
  • any other person who has authority to act on your behalf, including someone who is acting under a power of attorney and
  • any law firm who you instruct to act on your behalf in respect of any court or other legal proceedings in relation to your account. 

Call recording

We may monitor and/or record calls for the purposes of resolving issues on your account, training and to improve our quality and service standards.

For details of when we may share call recordings with third parties, please see the section Who do we share your information with?below. 

CCTV images

We operate CCTV at all of our premises. If you visit any of our offices, you may be recorded by our CCTV system.

For details of when we may share CCTV images with third parties, please see the section Who do we share your information with?below. 

We may combine the information that you give us with the information we collect about you from the other sources listed above.

We need your information in order to provide our legal services to our client.  These include:

  • locating you, checking your identity and confirming that the information we hold about you is correct
  • managing your account
  • agreeing payment plans which are tailored to your individual circumstances
  • processing any payments you make
  • taking legal action (such as issuing court or other legal proceedings) against you and
  • taking action to enforce any judgment we obtain against you.

As we have been instructed by our client to provide them with legal services to recover the outstanding amounts that you owe, including through court and other legal proceedings, both we and our client have a legitimate interest in using your information for these purposes.

Where we process your information on the basis of ‘legitimate interests’, we must make sure that those legitimate interests do not override your interests, rights and freedoms. We must do this by carrying out a legitimate interest assessment which we need to share with you. 

What are the legitimate interests?

  • As our client has bought either your account or the right to collect the amounts you owe on your account, it is in our commercial interests to provide legal services to our client to recover the amounts on their behalf that you owe under the agreements that you have entered into.
  • Our client is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and is required to act fairly, ethically and lawfully.  They will always deal with your account in the way they believe is in your best interests and this is reflected in their instructions to us. This includes instructing us to agree a payment plan which is tailored to your individual circumstances to help you reduce the amount you owe.
  • It is also in the public interest for debts which are properly owed to be repaid. This is important for the economy as it helps to keep the cost of borrowing down and means that people continue to have access to credit.

Why is it necessary?

If we don’t process your information, we can’t:

  • make sure that we are dealing with the correct person
  • make sure that the information we hold about you is correct
  • recover the amounts that you owe
  • comply with our client’s instructions to manage the account in the way that they believe is in your best interests
  • agree a payment plan with you which is tailored to your individual circumstances
  • issue court and legal proceedings to recover the outstanding amounts that you owe and
  • comply with our professional, legal, regulatory and other corporate governance obligations.

What is the impact on you?

We collect, use and share your information as set out in this privacy notice, which means that we and the third parties we’ve told you about have access to your information.

We are authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which means that we are required to act fairly, ethically and lawfully.  Our client is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority which means that they are also required to act fairly, ethically and lawfully.

We also minimise the impact on your data protection rights, interests and freedoms by:

  • making sure we comply with the data protection legislation including the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR
  • only collecting the minimum amount of information we need to carry out the purposes we’ve described in this privacy notice
  • having a retention policy to make sure that we don’t keep your information for any longer than we need it
  • carrying out data protection impact assessments to make sure that we identify any potential privacy risks and put appropriate measures in place to protect you from those risks
  • carrying out due diligence on the third parties we work with and making sure that we have contracts in place with those third parties to protect your personal information
  • providing you with this privacy notice which explains how we use your information, what your rights are and how to exercise them and
  • putting in place appropriate security measures to protect your information including have an ISO27001 certificate, which means that we meet the internationally recognised standards for managing risks to the security of the information we hold.

We also use your information to comply with our professional, legal, regulatory and other corporate governance obligations, for example:

  • to comply with our professional obligations including those imposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and
  • to comply with our legal obligations including those under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and other legislation and for crime and fraud prevention.

Please see the sections Special categories of personal data and Information relating to criminal convictions below for more details.

If you use our website including registering for an online account, please see our Website User Privacy Notice and our Cookie Notice for details of the information we collect through our website.

You do not have to give us any information or confirm that the information we have obtained from the third parties detailed in the section Where do we get your information from?below is correct.

If you do not provide us or the court with relevant information, this may have legal consequences for you, including the court deciding in our favour, a CCJ or similar judgment being entered against you and you incurring legal costs.

Under the data protection legislation, information revealing the following are ‘special categories of personal data’:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetic information
  • biometric information
  • information concerning health (including mental and physical health) or
  • sex life or sexual orientation.

The Financial Conduct Authority requires our client to treat you fairly and understand whether you may be vulnerable. You may be vulnerable if your personal circumstances mean that you are at greater risk of harm, for example if you are in financial difficulties, you experience one or more major life events or you have a physical or mental health condition.

We only collect the minimum amount of information about any physical or mental health conditions you may have that we need to make sure that:

  • we treat you fairly and assess whether we believe you may be vulnerable
  • understand whether your condition has or may have an impact on your ability to pay the amounts you owe
  • we are able to comply with our client’s instructions to deal with your account in the way that they believe best suits your needs
  • we make sure that any payment plan which we agree with you is tailored to your circumstances
  • wherever possible, we communicate with you using your preferred method of communication and
  • we take any other steps we believe are necessary to deal with you fairly.

We collect this information on the basis that it is necessary for the purposes of court or other legal proceedings.

If we believe that you are or may be vulnerable, we will share this information with our client on the basis that it is necessary to protect your economic well-being as you may be at economic risk.

If we believe you are in immediate danger, we may process information relating to your physical and mental health conditions (including sharing this information with the emergency services) on the basis that it may be a life and death situation.

We may collect some limited information including information that is publicly accessible, such as media reports, about any current criminal convictions you may have if we have reason to believe that you may be in prison.

We may also use publicly accessible information, for example through a Google search, to confirm that any information which we have been provided with about your criminal convictions is accurate.

We will use this for the purposes of updating the information we hold about you and managing your account.  We may also use this information for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention and for complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and other legislation.

We only collect the minimum amount of information about your current criminal convictions that we need to confirm and update the information we hold about you and to make sure that we comply with our client’s instructions to:

  • deal with your accounts in the way that they believe best suits your needs and
  • take any other steps that our client believes are necessary to deal with you fairly.

We collect this information and share it with our client on the basis that it is necessary for the purposes of court or other legal proceedings.

Where we use information about your criminal convictions and share it with other third parties for the purposes of crime and fraud prevention, we do this on the basis that this is in the public interest.

 Where we use this information and share it with third parties for the purposes of complying with our obligations under the anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and other legislation, we do so on the basis that this is necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations.

We sometimes need to share some of your information with other organisations.

Information that we share with our client

In order to provide our legal services to our client, we will share any information that you provide us with our client, including call recordings, and information relating to any physical and health conditions and criminal convictions which you may have with our client. 

Information that we share with other companies in the Lowell group

We may share your information with other companies in the Lowell group for our internal administrative purposes and to comply with our professional, legal and regulatory and other corporate governance obligations. For details of the UK companies in the Lowell Group, please see the section Who is the Lowell Group? below. 

Information that we share with other third parties

We may share information about you with other third parties including:

  • tracing agents and process servers who we instruct to act on behalf of our client to locate you or serve you with  court documents
  • court advocates and barristers who we instruct to represent our client at court hearings
  • the previous owner of your account, and this may include sharing call recordings for the purposes of resolving issues on your account, training and to improve our quality and service standards
  • debt management companies who you have authorised to act on your behalf
  • any other person who has authority to act on your behalf, including someone who is acting under a power of attorney and
  • any law firm who you instruct to act on your behalf in respect of any court or other legal proceedings in relation to your account. 

Information that we share with law enforcement and emergency services

If we identify evidence of fraud, money laundering or any other crimes in relation to your account, including where you have been the victim of identity theft, we will share those details with the police, the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement agencies.  We may also share information with HM Revenue and Customs where appropriate.

If we believe you may be in immediate danger, we may share your information including details of your physical and mental health conditions with the police and other emergency services. 

Information that we share with regulatory authorities and Ombudsman Services

We are authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This means that we are required to report certain things to the Solicitors Regulation Authority which may mean sharing information about you if there is an issue or complaint in respect of your account. 

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and if you make a complaint to them, we may have to share information about you and your account.

We also deal with the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Consumer Ombudsman Service, the Legal Ombudsman Service and the Credit Services Association (known as the CSA). If you make a complaint to them, we may share information with them about you and your account in order to resolve your complaint.

Information that we share with the court

Where we take legal action and issue proceedings against you, we will share information about you, including your name, address, date of birth and details of your account with us with the court for the purposes of the legal proceedings.  

Information that we share with our third party suppliers

We use a number of carefully selected third parties to supply us with other products and services, such as IT and mailing services. The information that we share with our suppliers will depend on the nature of the products and services that they provide to us but we will only share the minimum amount of your information which is necessary for them to provide us with the products and services we need. 

Information that we share with other third parties

If we or any member of the Lowell group of companies merges, transfers or sells part or all of its business or assets or all or part of its share capital to a third party, your personal information may be disclosed to that third party and its advisers for the purposes of negotiating and completing the merger, transfer or sale.  If the merger, transfer or sale does complete, that third party may use or disclose your information as set out in this privacy notice.

We may also share your information with our insurers, lenders, legal and other professional advisers where necessary. 

Your information is generally stored on servers and filing systems in the UK but from time to time it may be stored in or accessed from countries outside the UK. Where this may happen, we always make sure that there are appropriate safeguards in place, such as the model contract clauses, binding corporate rules or the EU-US Privacy Shield, to guarantee that your information – and your rights – are protected to the same high standard as under UK law.

Model contract clauses

These are a set of standard clauses which have been recognised by the European Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office as providing adequate protection to personal information transferred outside the EEA.

When we include these clauses in a contract with one of the companies we work with, it means that if they transfer your information outside the EEA, they must make sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EEA. 

Binding corporate rules

These are a way for large groups of companies which are based in lots of countries around the world to transfer personal information to companies in their group in a way that complies with the EU data protection rules. The binding corporate rules must be approved by the European data protection authorities before the group of companies can adopt them. 

When one of the companies we work with uses binding corporate rules, it means that if they transfer your information outside the EEA, they have procedures in place to make sure that your information is handled in a way that makes sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EU. 

EU-US Privacy Shield

US companies can sign up to the Privacy Shield (which is overseen by the US Department of Commerce) to confirm that they have put in place procedures to make sure that adequate protection is provided to personal information which is transferred to the US.

You can find out more about the Privacy Shield and check whether a US company has signed up to the Privacy Shield at www.privacyshield.gov.

When one of the companies we work with is certified under the Privacy Shield, it means that they have confirmed to the US Department of Commerce that they have procedures in place to make sure that your information is just as safe as it is in the EU.

We only keep your information for as long as we need it and we will keep your information for no more than 7 years from the date your account with us is closed.  We keep your information for this long so that we can:

  • deal with any issues or concerns that you may have about how we handled your account
  • comply with our professional, legal, regulatory and other corporate governance obligations
  • answer any questions HM Revenue and Customs may have and
  • bring or defend any legal claims.

However, we won’t keep all of your information for so long, and we will delete some information much sooner. We will do this in accordance with our retention policy which we have developed by considering all the different types of information that we hold about you, understanding how long we need to keep it for and agreeing not to keep it for any longer.

Under the data protection legislation, you have a number of rights in respect of your information and the way we use it. Some of these rights only apply in certain situations. We explain below what rights you have, what these mean and how they apply to the way we use your information.

You have the right to

What does this mean?

How does this apply to the way we use your information? 

Access your information

You can ask for:

  • confirmation that we process your personal information
  • a copy of your personal information that we hold and
  • other information about how we process your information.

 

We will provide you with a copy of your personal information which we hold unless the data protection legislation provides an exception that we decide to rely on, for example where there are ongoing court or other legal proceedings. We may also edit out the names of any other individuals to protect their privacy.

Wherever possible, we will provide you with a copy of your personal information in the same manner you make your request unless we agree otherwise with you.

This privacy notice also includes the other information you can ask for about how we process your information. 

Have your information rectified

You can ask us to rectify your information if it is not accurate, complete or up to date.

 

We will update or correct your information, although sometimes we may need to ask you to provide evidence to confirm the changes, for example a copy of your marriage certificate if you are changing your name because you have got married. 

Have your information erased

This is also known as the right to be forgotten.

You can ask us to delete your information where:

  • we no longer need it
  • we rely on your consent to use your information and you withdraw it
  • you object to our processing it and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to continue processing it or
  • we are legally required to delete it.

This right does not apply where: 

  • we are legally required to keep your information, for example under the anti-money laundering laws
  • we have a compelling legitimate ground for using your personal information or
  • we need your information to establish, exercise or defend legal claims, for example where there are ongoing court proceedings.

As we use your information for the purposes of establishing and exercising our client’s legal claims to recover the outstanding amounts you owe, we will only be able to delete your personal information when we no longer need it. 

Our retention policy makes sure that we delete or destroy your information when we no longer need it, so we should never keep your information for longer than we need to. Please see the section How long do we keep your information? above for more details.

Restrict our processing of your information

You may ask us to restrict our processing of your personal information where:

  • you believe the information we hold about you is inaccurate while we check whether it is accurate
  • we no longer need your information but you need it to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim or
  • you object to our processing your personal information while we reconsider our legitimate interests assessment.

We will not process your personal information whilst we consider your request other than to deal with your request. However, we will still be able to process your personal information for the purposes of any ongoing court or other legal proceedings.

We will inform you if we begin processing your personal information again and explain why.

 

Have your information  transferred to you and/or a third party

This is also known as the right to data portability.

You can ask us to provide you with a copy of the information which you have provided to us and which we hold electronically.

This right is unlikely to apply as we process your information on the basis of our legitimate interests.  If this right does apply, we will provide the relevant information to you in a commonly-used and machine readable format.

Object to our processing of your information, including profiling

You can object to our use of your information, including profiling unless:

  • we have compelling legitimate grounds for using your information or
  • we need to use your information to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim, for example where there are ongoing court proceedings. 

You can also object to us using your information for marketing purposes.

As we process your information for the purposes of recovering the outstanding amounts that you owe, including through court or other legal proceedings, this right will not apply in most cases, as we will need to use your information for the purposes of those proceedings.

We do not carry out any profiling in respect of you or your account. 

We do not use your information for direct marketing purposes.

 

Not to be subject to an automated decision

You can ask us to review any automated decision which has a legal or similarly significant effect for you. You can provide us with your point of view and any additional information that you think we need and ask for a human to reconsider our decision.

We do not make any automated decisions about you or your account which have a legal or similarly significant effect for you.

We will always do our best to respond to your request within one month of receiving it and any additional information we need to confirm your identity and understand your request.

However, sometimes we may need some more time to deal with your request, particularly if it is complicated.  Where this happens, we will write to you within one month and let you know why we need some more time and when we will provide you with our response.

If we are unable to carry out your request, we will send you a response explaining why.      

If you would like to exercise any of your rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer:

  • by email at dpo@lowellgroup.co.uk
  • in writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Solicitors Limited, PO BOX 1419, Northampton, NN2 1BU.

Our Data Protection Officer deals with data protection for all our UK companies, so whichever Lowell company your question, query or request relates to, please contact our Data Protection Officer using these contact details.

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about the way Lowell Solicitors Limited processes your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer in the first instance and they will do their very best to help you:

  • by email at dpo@lowellgroup.co.uk or
  • by writing to Data Protection Officer, Lowell Solicitors Limited, PO BOX 1419, Northampton, NN2 1BU.

Our Data Protection Officer deals with data protection for all our UK companies, so whichever Lowell company your question, concern or complaint relates to, please contact our Data Protection Officer using these contact details.

If you are not happy with the way we have handled your complaint or are still concerned about our handling of your personal information, you have a right to take your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office by post at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or via the website at www.ico.org.uk.

The Lowell group is made up of the following companies incorporated in the UK:

Lowell Finance Ltd                               

Company number 05069513

Lowell Portfolio I Ltd                                       

Company number 04857418

Lowell Financial Ltd                                         

Company number 04558936

Lowell Solicitors Limited                                   

Company number 08647091

Fredrickson International Limited                     

Company number 02679522

Lowell Receivables Financing 1 Limited             

Company number 11344999

Interlaken Group Limited                                 

Company number 03167536

SRJ Debt Recoveries Limited                           

Company number 05064551

Tocatto Ltd                                                     

Company number 05069843

Lowell Portfolio III Holdings Limited                 

Company number 08336897

Lowell Portfolio III Limited                               

Company number 08096778

Lowell Portfolio IV Holdings Limited                 

Company number 08647094

Lowell Portfolio IV Limited                    

Company number 08654105

We will regularly review this notice and keep it updated to make sure that the information we provide you with is accurate and up to date.

Any changes to this notice will be highlighted so that you can see what has been changed.  

Where we have made a significant change to the information contained in this notice, we will let you know in the next piece of correspondence that we send you.

This notice was last reviewed and updated in July 2018.