Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    I bought my house over 6 yearsicon ago and I still keep getting fairly regular letters from DCAs addressed to the previous owner's son, demanding payment of various debts.

    Every time I get one of these letters, I phone the relevant company and inform them that this person does not live at this address, has not done for over 6 years and that I do not know them and do not have any forwarding address for them.

    But I still keep getting letters... I can only assume that, because they cannot find any other address for this person (who, according to his mother when I bought the house, was living and working in Spain and using her address as a postal address), they are leaving my address on their files at his last known address or something.

    This has now reached a point where I have received a letter from Meritforce threatening to send an "authorised collector" to my address to collect this debt. I have phoned them this morning and given them the same information and been informed that they will "pass this information to their tracing department for investigation" but that this person "must still be registered at the address somewhere" and that they cannot and will not prevent the doorstep collector from calling at my address. When I was not happy about this, their excuse was that the collector won't be coming to my address looking for me, they'll be coming looking for XXXX XXXX. Oh cos that makes it all better then!

    I asked if they can tell me when this collector will be calling and they said if the tracing department finds that XXXX XXXX is not registered at the address, then the collector won't be calling. But they've already told me that he must be registered at my address somewhere for them to have sent letters to him there! I also made the point to them that, as I routinely call DCAs and inform them that XXXX XXXX does not live at my address, whatever company passed them this debt must already have been thus informed by me - yet they are obviously still pursuing this debt at my address!

    I am getting fed up with this now and it doesn't seem right that these companies can continue to chase a debt at my address despite having been informed that that person does not live at this address. Their attitude seems to be that my word is not good enough and they would have to verify themselves that he doesn't live here - which I suppose is fair enough except they obviously are either not bothering to investigate and verify that, or are for some reason unable to verify that (this concept of him still being registered at this address "somewhere").

    How can I stop this? Is there any way I can force these companies to remove my address from this person's record? Or is there some central system/database where I can officially disassociate this person's name from my address?

    I shouldn't have to be continually phoning DCAs for debts that aren't mine and having to deal with doorstep collectorsicon!!

    Edit: I've just realised from reading through another thread that Meritforce are the doorstep collections agency of Mackenzie Hall - is this right? In which case, I am even more annoyed because I know for a fact that I have called Mackenzie Hall on at least 3 separate occasions (I know because I clearly recall on the last 2 occasions telling them that I had already contacted them about this!) to inform them that this person does not live at my address. How can I stop these people?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    I think you've allowed yourself to become a bit too involved.
    I would just return all mail unopened as 'Not known at this address - return to sender'. Hang up on any phone callsicon. Leave it at that.

    doorstep collectorsicon have no more rights than I do. You can quite legitimately tell them to go away (use you own words). They can't enter your house (unless you invite them in of course, but that's not likely, is it?) or take property. These things can only happen after a court case and then only by bailiffs. In your circumstances that will never happen.

    Unsurprisingly your attempts to disclaim any responsibility have only flagged to the DCAs that someone there is paying attention - and just might be the person they want trying to evade them!

    You've wasted a lot of time and telephone callsicon on this. Give up now for your own peace of mind.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Thanks for your advice. I guess I thought I was being helpful by informing these people that they are wasting their time and the person they are looking for does not live at the address. At first I did ignore the letters and/or return them unopened but I got so fed up of getting them I ended up opening some to see what they were and contacting companies to try and stop the letters.

    Is there really no way I can force companies like these to remove my address from this person's record?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Hi
    The action you need to take is really this, send all letters addressed to this person back to the originator, simply write on the unopened envolope NOT KNOWN AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER, pop it in to the nearest post box.

    A work colleague had a similar problem with mail adreessed to a prevoious tenant, this being opened by his OH (a right prying git), I advised he pop into to our legal department, they advised him that,

    1. It is an offence to open another persons mail
    2. To send all letters back to the originator
    3. Most companies receiving calls from him, would believe that he was the individual they were trying to contact, as letters were intended for that person were opened by him.

    He receives an occasional piece of junk mail address to this individual

    Andy

    Advice is based on my personal opinion, and what I have learnt from this forum.
    If you need legal advice please consider consulting a lawyer.

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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Ah well. Seems like it's my own fault for trying to be reasonable with these companies.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Hi
    You could [EDIT] them off in this way, put the unopened letter into an envelope with the return address, accidentally forget to place a stamp on it, this is my favorite way to annoy DCAicon's at present.

    Advice is based on my personal opinion, and what I have learnt from this forum.
    If you need legal advice please consider consulting a lawyer.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Don't worry we've all been there.


    ... and now we're all cynics


  8. #8
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by old_andrew2007 View Post
    Hi
    You could [EDIT] them off in this way, put the unopened letter into an envelope with the return address, accidentally forget to place a stamp on it, this is my favorite way to annoy DCAicon's at present.
    Now that idea I like...

    Time for some payback I think!

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alipeeps View Post
    Ah well. Seems like it's my own fault for trying to be reasonable with these companies.
    I think you've learned a valuable lesson that everyone on here has learned; You CANNOT be reasonable with DCAs. They view everyone as a liar and a cheat without exception


  10. #10
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by rameses_qc View Post
    I think you've learned a valuable lesson that everyone on here has learned; You CANNOT be reasonable with DCAs. They view everyone as a liar and a cheat without exception
    Yeah, I've had my own dealings with companies like this for debts of my own - I guess I was foolish in thinking that they would stop chasing for unrelated debts once informed that the person they want is not there to be chased. *sigh*


  11. #11
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    I get this wherever I live ... mostly due to people knowing they can avoid debt by not giving forwarding details ... but not always. You may get the occasional situation where someone has died, they have no relatives ... so no one instructs the companies. Happens.

    A few years back I had them coming regularly. I got so fed up with one lot ... a mobile phone company, seemed someone had been using my address to set up an account ... or they'd screwed up with their records ... was always getting mail for someone else from a nearby village for example, purely cos the street address was the same ... so much for postcodes!

    Anyway, I got so annoyed with these people ... they said I had *overseas call centre; no idea about basic regulations in the UK at all* to provide them with proof. Er, get lost! So, I ended up telling them I would expose what they were doing in the papers, radio and TV. Well, they stopped sending them.

    The funny thing is, the person who had lived at that address ... I later discovered where they had gone to live ... guess where? Same village as above. I was sorely tempted to inform the companies concerned where they were living. I never did. Not my responsibility to trace on their behalf. And it was very easy how I found out ... they were in the paper several times.

    So, as everyone else has pointed out here ... I learned in the end ... I felt I had to do it, though ... now I just bin or return to sender. Nothing to do with me.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    What annoys me specifically about these idiots at Meritforce (although I know it's just the usual tactics by these firms and I shouldn't be surprised) is that, in making the point that I have previously notified any DCAs that the previous tenant no longer lives at the address, I specifically asked them if the account had been passed to them by another company and they agreed it had but claimed they didn't know/couldn't tell me what company it had come from. And then I read around on here and find that Meritforce are part of pigging Mackenzie Hall who I've definitely spoken to before (and who I've had my own issues with). God, these people are infuriating.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Er, yes, that's why you should NEVER EVER acknowledge someone elses debt.

    I specifically asked them if the account had been passed to them by another company and they agreed it had but claimed they didn't know/couldn't tell me what company it had come from. And then I read around on here and find that Meritforce are part of pigging Mackenzie Hall who I've definitely spoken to before
    I'm getting confused here? Are these debts belonging to previous tenants ...? So, why are you asking these DCAs these questions? I'm just curious.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by forgottenone View Post
    Er, yes, that's why you should NEVER EVER acknowledge someone elses debt.
    Well perhaps foolishly I didn't think I was acknowledging the debt, I thought I was being helpful and informing them that the person they are trying to contact isn't at this address. Lesson learned. From now on everything addressed to that tenant goes in the bin or back in the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by forgottenone View Post
    I'm getting confused here? Are these debts belonging to previous tenants ...? So, why are you asking these DCAs these questions? I'm just curious.
    Yes, the debt I contacted them about today belongs to a previous tenant. I was just trying to make the point to these people that I knew for a fact I had already informed any DCAs chasing this person that he was not resident at the address - I was trying to point out to them my legitimate displeasure at the fact that this account had been passed to them to chase at my address despite the DCAicon knowing (due to having been informed by me) that the person they want is not living at the address.

    Actually, finding and reading through this website has been an eye-opener and I'm rather glad this situation prompted me to find this place. I hadn't realised just how sneaky and conniving these companies are and I'm had my own problems with them on occasion and I will be much more aware of how to deal with these people in the future!

    So in a way, I guess I could say this has ultimately been a good thing!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    hi- ive been reading through these forums about DCAicon's and some of the advice is so silly, ignoring a debt is the worst thing you can do. i dont mean in your case as its not your debt.

    i do agree with the others that you shouldnt have opened the mail and from now on send it back but by law if you ring a dca as a 3rd party and tell them its not your debt they have to RMDLR which is remove from dialler which removes your number permantly from the dialling system and also ICUGA which is an incoming call unconfirmed gone away. this then shoots the address to the trace department who will then get back to the client and inform them its a wrong address and they will find other goverment ways of tracking the person.

    if you have advised the dcas that it is a wrong number + address therefore it is an unconfirmed gone away and they can NOT come round to your house nor can they save your details.

    hope that helped


  16. #16
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    hi- ive been reading through these forums about DCAicon's and some of the advice is so silly, ignoring a debt is the worst thing you can do.
    Oh, here we go again.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by cherrypie1 View Post
    hi- ive been reading through these forums about DCAicon's and some of the advice is so silly, ignoring a debt is the worst thing you can do. i dont mean in your case as its not your debt.
    The advice isn't about ignoring the debt it is about ignoring your unreasonable and unlawful demands to enforce payment without the authority of the original credit agreement.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Hello!

    Alipeeps - DCAicon must not continue to chase people who they have been informed do not live there - by doing so they may (depending on what they saying to you etc) be breaking the DPA.

    Have a read of this (my bible hehe)
    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/bus...dit/oft664.pdf
    Section 2.8


  19. #19
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    Default Re: DCAs chasing previous tenant's debt - how do I stop this?

    Quote Originally Posted by cherrypie1 View Post
    by law if you ring a DCAicon as a 3rd party and tell them its not your debt they have to RMDLR which is remove from dialler which removes your number permantly from the dialling system and also ICUGA which is an incoming call unconfirmed gone away. this then shoots the address to the trace department who will then get back to the client and inform them its a wrong address and they will find other goverment ways of tracking the person.

    if you have advised the dcas that it is a wrong number + address therefore it is an unconfirmed gone away and they can NOT come round to your house nor can they save your details.

    hope that helped
    Quote Originally Posted by notsoevil View Post
    Hello!

    Alipeeps - DCA must not continue to chase people who they have been informed do not live there - by doing so they may (depending on what they saying to you etc) be breaking the Data Protection Act.

    Have a read of this (my bible hehe)
    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/bus...dit/oft664.pdf
    Section 2.8
    Thanks for the advice both of you - this is the kind of thing I was wondering about... that surely there must be some system/legislation that says they have to stop sending mail etc to my house or sending agents to my house when they have been informed that the debtor they are looking for does not live there.

    Off to read that link notsoevil....



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