Azzurro Associates are an American Hedge Fund backed UK company that purchases debt, particularly Personal Guarantee debt from the likes of Capital on Tap, Boost Capital, Fleximise, Liberus and most notably Funding Circle. They have been a focus of attention on some articles by The Times Enterprise Editor James Hurley (click on links for articles) after their significant purchase of debt from Funding Circle, and incorrectly marking guarantor’s credit ratings with regard to Personal Guarantee demands.
Azzurro related articles:
- Azzurro mark Guarantors credit ratings in error
- Funding Circle sells a further 1,900 defaulted Company Debts and Personal Guarantees to Azzurro Associates
- Azzurro Associates buying up personal guarantee liabilities
In their response to these articles, Azzurro Associates founder and chief executive Andrew Birkwood has provided assurances that Azzurro would treat individual debtors fairly but we have over the last four months seen a marked increase in the issuing court proceedings. We have a number of cases where they have issued proceedings against addresses that were incorrect; in one case they used a previous address when they had been previously placed on notice of a change of address and having obtained judgement, we are waiting our clients’ request of them that they set aside the judgement to enter effective negotiations. In another case they have used a client’s parent address when he had not had a link to that address for years and would not reasonably extend time for the matter to be dealt with effectively. There are further cases where offers made on an obvious affordability basis have been rejected and proceedings issued regardless. And in one case Azzurro Law applied for judgement when an individual was allegedly to be under the Debt Respite Scheme for Mental Health (although we are awaiting further evidence in this regard).
Thankfully it is very rare, but we have on occasion in our 14 year history had to report to their regulatory bodies those firms that flout debt collection protocols in a systemic way.
Given Azzurro Associates previous record on incorrectly marking credit ratings and the fact that Azzurro Law is part of their organisation, we are keeping a close eye to see how the situation unfolds.