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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Quote Originally Posted by meerkatsmimm View Post
    Consumerline (OFT) dont think they can help, which was as we thought.

    CAB in Northern Ireland no longer offer any advice over the phone, we have to go into a drop-in centre between 9-30 and 12-30 am and we will be seen if the debt advisor has time.

    Is that correct?

    I thought we had to make an appointment to see a money advisor, its pretty hit or miss depending on how busy they will be.

    The guardian is the next move then!

    meerkat x
    Yes meerkat that's correct. You probably won't see a money advisor when you do go, just they'll take details and arrange an appointment. Whilst the CAB do some wonderful works, they helped us out at the first stages but they are limited to what they can do. You may find that you end up taking everything over 6 months down the line to fight all this yourself. It maybe worth going, sorting out an appointment and find out exactly what they can do for your mum.

    Joemay


  2. #22
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Quote Originally Posted by Undercover-Elsa View Post
    Hi Meerkatsmimm,
    Check out 42man's and my post on this thread:
    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...medical-2.html


    HI Elsa,

    That looks interesting haven't noticed that thread, I'll have a look at that also.

    Thanks
    Joemay


  3. #23
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    It might be worth checking somebody like Grant Thorntons (an IP) try them here
    http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/locations.aspx in respect of your
    house issue and possible bankruptcy. You should be able to get a free appointment with them to discuss the matter and they'll advise you whether or not Bankruptcy is a viable proposition and also the situation regarding the property. It may be that your mother won't have to sell it if it's in negative equity...my thinking for that is that it will simply increase the debt so why would it be actioned?

    Good luck in your situation.

    I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.
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  4. #24
    Basic Account Holder meerkatsmimm Novitiate meerkatsmimm Novitiate

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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Thank you folks,

    CAB tomorrow and see how we get on.

    Deb T Bankrupcy just isnt an option and to be honest, having read articles like those posted by Elsa, I dont see why mum needs to be put through those hoops. They can and do write off debts, its just how we channel this to them. But thank you for your guidance.

    Elsa, I posted on the other thread about what I thought of that document - shocking.

    meerkat x


  5. #25
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    I have been advised that if your property is in negative equity you won't be made to sell it. However, bankrupcy files can be held open for 5 years or until such time as the property comes back into equity.


  6. #26
    Basic Account Holder meerkatsmimm Novitiate meerkatsmimm Novitiate

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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hey BBNB,

    I agree, and its that point that leaves my mums home in doubt - its her own 'security' in her life, and she certainly never took out any secured debt, so the creditors arent entitled to it!

    God bless those that do loose their homes, nightmare.


  7. #27
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    You have to decide what's best for you/your mum. There's lots of threads on here to read and help you. You can 1) put together a robust I&E form (note that no-one can tell you how much you should spend on food. The I&E should not mean a substantial loss in quality of life). You can divide any remainder pro rate and offer that to the creditors. You can start paying this even if they keep rejecting it. On this you can stay firm in the knowledge that anyone taking legal redress will not be made to pay more than they can afford. OR 2) you can apply for the CCA and if found to be non compliant put the debts into dispute and legitimately stop paying them until such time as a compliant CCA form is produced in which case you can proceed to point 1). Only you can decide what works for you and your mum but whatever you decide to do you will lots of guidance from people here and support. Knowing your rights gives you the choice. Neither choice is easy but once you've decided what is best you should remain resolute in the face of the DCAs who will play nasty regardless. Also, don't ignore what comes through the door. post up here and get the advidce you'll need even if it's only to confirm what you already suspected! Good luck. Why not write to Anne W. !!!!too! http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...press-aug.html


  8. #28
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Quote Originally Posted by meerkatsmimm View Post
    Hey BBNB,

    I agree, and its that point that leaves my mums home in doubt - its her own 'security' in her life, and she certainly never took out any secured debt, so the creditors arent entitled to it!

    God bless those that do loose their homes, nightmare.
    I don't think bankruptcy should be an option for your mum, as you say it's 'unsecured debt'. In her situation her 'security' is far more important than anything else.


  9. #29
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Quote Originally Posted by meerkatsmimm View Post
    Consumerline (OFT) dont think they can help, which was as we thought.

    CAB in Northern Ireland no longer offer any advice over the phone, we have to go into a drop-in centre between 9-30 and 12-30 am and we will be seen if the debt advisor has time.

    Is that correct?

    I thought we had to make an appointment to see a money advisor, its pretty hit or miss depending on how busy they will be.

    The guardian is the next move then!

    meerkat x
    Hi Meerkat,

    I think all the CAB is going that way but some do offer e-mail advice and home visits. It's worth asking about as they can't expect clients who are ill or housebound just to turn up in the hope they will be seen after waiting several hours.

    If your Mums' illness or financial situation is not likely to improve then the creditors should write off the debts. It's unfair of them to pursue it if they have been given medical evidence to show that she is mentally ill and their actions are causing distress.

    If they still continue to play silly b*****s then a complaint to the Financial Ombudsmanicon should also be on your to-do list.

    *hugs*


  10. #30
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Meerkatsmimm,
    Hi Honey
    I'm stepping up my own research on irresponsible lending, I'll pass on anything that might be useful to you. If we start looking at all the different aspects and tick as many of the IL boxes as possible,in a structured way, it will help to present your mum's case, be it to the bank, the OFT, fosicon, MP Guardian or whomever.
    Lets get a strong argument together for you in a word file then you can fire it off to anyone who might help.
    In respect of proof of illness, initially you can simply state what you feel is enough info, cite the benefits and assert that should proof be required this will happily be provided to a Judge in Court, but that you are not prepared to demean your mother by discussing her private health matters with anyone who cares to read it in their office.
    Speak later,
    Elsa xxxx

    [FONT=Arial Black][COLOR=red][I][B]PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX[/B][/I][/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=sienna][I][B]Please check out my [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/entry.php?180-Debt-Threats-a-quick-self-help-guide"]BLOG [/URL]for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:[/B][/I][/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][I][COLOR=black]All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.[/COLOR][/I][/FONT]
    [I][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=sienna][B]Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx[/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/I]
    [I][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=darkorange][B]Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you . [/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/I]
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hi Folks,

    Its been a long day so sorry for the late reply.

    Hubby is on a 24 hour blood pressure monitor as his doctor believes he has high blood pressure.

    Elsa - Thank you. Thats above an beyond the call of duty, but we will gladly accept any help you can offer. If you want to PM me with what you were thinking rather than posting up on the forum at this stage that would be great and I will work with you on that. Perhaps when we get a finished document together we could start a new thread for others to benefit from as you suggest?

    I think that would be wonderful to put things together in a document that could be sent off, clearing stating mums case.

    We have done letters as stated, but its a case of trying to be firm while at the same time trying not to p*** them off....

    Thats not enough though and they do need to be put firmly in their place.

    Crapstone/JoeMay - agree BR isnt the solution for mum, the creditors have had their pound of flesh off her, she shouldnt loose her home as well (even if its only a small possibility).

    CAB tomorrow, waited for the 3 hours today and the amount of people who didnt get to see someone was crazy. Just so many people in the same boat as ourselves its frightening.

    BBNB, Everyone has been CCA'd, SARicon'd and CPR 1 31.16. Had two applications as a result (one with no prescribed terms and one with some prescribed terms but this has been cleared by PPI reclaim) and the only other document was the 'approved limit' agreement from Eggicon, with a funny date (4 years after mum applied for the card). BC sent nothing!

    No response as yet from EGG to our pro-rata offer (nearly two weeks ago since it was offered) and BC gave us 14 days to get an acceptable dmpicon offer through from either CAB or CCCS, and then they will issue a DN through Mercers.

    CCCS suggested BR - even with just over 120 per month available (although that was including mums DLA). CAB no further forward as yet.

    BC timescales are impossible to keep to, they are such a joke. 6 months since our CCA request (myself and hubbies) they still havent been able to fulfill it, but yet we should be able to get a dmpicon set up in two weeks....

    Nobody has had any payments for a couple of months.

    We put all her accounts in dispute (the ones that we could) a few months ago, so it will be interesting to see what they believe they can do with these accounts.

    But thank you all for this, its a great boost for us all to have this support.

    meerkat xxxxx


  12. #32
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hey Everyone,

    Finally got speaking to CAB last minute on Friday, one of the managers took pity on our pleas for requests to speak with someone, having waited three days in a row to see someone and not getting anybody.

    Firstly, the lady wasnt a money advisor, but she was able to tell us pretty much what they could tell us anyway - she just couldnt get involved anymore than information.

    She believes that mum has a genuine case for trying to get the debts written off due to irresponsable lending. However, to start that ball rolling we have to see a money advisor.

    Right away she stated that if we havent made any payments yet, then we shouldnt, we should stop all correspondance and ignore all letter and calls - then just let the accounts go statute barredicon in 6 years.

    She also stated they were advising more and more people to do the same. It sounded a little flipant, but at the same time I can understand how this is good advice for many. The only caviat she put in was that if some of the debts were large, then some creditors might seek to take this to court to try for a charging order, but that in Northern Ireland, very few people are getting a forced sale of their homes.

    I phoned back today to arrange to see a money advisor, only to be told by the same manager that we would need to call into the drop-in centre, wait to see an advisor again and then complete a raft of forms, then they will refer us to a money advisor after that point....

    Is it really so difficult to get this basic help? God Bless those who are struggling without CAGicon on their own.

    So because of our situation with mum, it looks like its going to have to be a money advisor close to our home she will need to be dealing with, I just dont know if they have different legislation in Northern Ireland than they would in England, so perhaps this will be a mistake?

    That aside, im off to write my e-mail to the Guardian and see if they would be interested in getting involved with mums case.

    She had her first letter from Mercers last week, together with what appears to be a compliant DN. Not good.

    Hoping to get the Guardian onboard so that they next letter we send them has a bit more weight behind it.

    Talk soon everyone,

    meerkat x


  13. #33
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    You in Norn Irn, Meerkat?

    Me too!


  14. #34
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Yep, good old NI!

    us folk have to stick together lol!

    Well I penned a long 7 page e-mail to Rupert Jones, the author of that article that Elsa linked us to at the Guardian, so heres hoping for a positive reply.

    A nice update with BC, Mercers and Scot Call both collecting on the same account and both collecting with two different names and two different numbers - ON THE SAME LETTER!!!

    Maybe they are having to cut back abit on their stamps...

    So thats BC, Mercers and Scot Call all on the one account. We havent even had that with ours, you talk about taking advantage of those who are most vunerable.

    OFT - here we go, here we go, here we go!

    and hopefully your shameful companies names in print in the Guardian soon, hopefully reading this Mr.DCAs...

    meerkat x


  15. #35
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hi Sweetie,
    Just a quickie to say I haven't deserted you.. been on my hols and getting through a pile of office work for my OH..but have been researching Irresponsible lending and Unfair relationshps whenever possible. I'm putting together a file with notes and relevant links which I'll pass on to you.
    I'll pm you with my CAGicon email when I'm done then we can figure which parts apply to your mum.
    Take care,
    Elsa xx

    [FONT=Arial Black][COLOR=red][I][B]PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX[/B][/I][/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=sienna][I][B]Please check out my [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/entry.php?180-Debt-Threats-a-quick-self-help-guide"]BLOG [/URL]for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:[/B][/I][/COLOR][/FONT]

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][I][COLOR=black]All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.[/COLOR][/I][/FONT]
    [I][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=sienna][B]Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx[/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/I]
    [I][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=darkorange][B]Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you . [/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/I]
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hi Elsa,

    I figured you were away somewhere!

    Thats really good of you, it will be great to be able to focus mums creditors more, as they arent playing ball.

    Ill speak with you soon.

    Take care and thank you again,

    meerkat x


  17. #37
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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hi MMM
    I've finally had chance to go over the OFT Guidelines on Irresponsible lending (due for completion October 09), plus Unfair Relationships etc, with a nit comb.
    I append a word file with notes and relevant links..some of which you probably already have . I've transcribed the main parts of the OFT Guidelines into word and highlighted the most likely relevant sections.
    For the benefit of others who don't have time to peruse the massive word file in depth, here are the main points relevant to unfair/irresponsible lending generally, and specifically in mental health problems:

    Irresponsible Lending
    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/consultations/oft1107con.pdf

    4.1 Before granting credit or increasing the amount of credit, creditors should assess a prospective borrower's ability to meet repayments over the life of a loan in a sustainable manner. All such assessments of affordability should involve a consideration of the impact of the loan on the borrower's overall financial well-being. It is not sufficient to solely assess the likelihood of the borrower being to repay the loan in question – which would only constitute one aspect of such an assessment.
    4.2 The OFT would regard 'in a sustainable manner' in this context as constituting:
    • without undue difficulty
    • within a reasonable period of time
    • out of income and/or available savings, without having to realise security or assets30
    • without incurring any/additional problem indebtedness
    4.5 Where the assessment indicates that a borrower would not be able to meet repayments in a sustainable manner over the life of the loan being sought, it should not be made available for that amount and duration and with those terms and conditions. However, a smaller loan, over a shorter period, may be sustainable (in line with the assessment of affordability) and/or an alternative credit product might be more suitable – for example, a credit product that does not involve significant default charges.
    4.7 The extent and scope of any assessment of affordability, in any particular circumstance, should be dependent upon – and proportionate to – a number of factors, including, but not necessarily limited to the following:
    • The nature of the credit product.
    • The amount of credit to be provided and the associated cost to the borrower.
    • The borrower's financial situation
    The borrower's credit history including any indications of the borrower having experienced existing or previous financial difficulty.
    • The borrower's existing- and predictable future- financial commitments including any repayments due in respect of other credit products and the borrower's principal non-credit commitments.
    • The impact of any reasonably foreseeable change in relevant circumstances on the borrower. This would include both changes to the borrower's own personal circumstances and, where appropriate, wider economic changes. A change in circumstances is unlikely to be considered to be 'reasonably foreseeable' unless it was known to be happening, or reasonably should have been anticipated, at the time that the assessment of affordability was undertaken. Relevant changes of circumstance would include a predictable end point of current employment due to circumstances such as retirement or the conclusion of a current employment contract with a specified finite time – either of which may lead to a fall in the borrower's disposable income.
    • The vulnerability of the borrower. For example, whether the borrower has, or appears as if he may have, mental health problems which could impact on his capacity to be able to understand information and explanations and make informed decisions based on his understanding of such information and explanations.
    • The borrower's actual or apparent financial capability.
    4.13 Whilst the OFT would generally expect the level of scrutiny required for small sum and/or short-term loans might be somewhat less than for large sum and/or long-term loans, account should be taken of the fact that the likely impact of the loan on the borrower's overall financial well-being would be directly related to his personal financial circumstances as well as the size and nature of the loan.
    Specific irresponsible lending practices
    Unsatisfactory business practices and procedures
    4.16 Failing to establish and implement clear and effective policies and procedures for the reasonable assessment of affordability.
    4.17 Failing to undertake a reasonable assessment of affordability in individual cases.
    4.18 Failing to consider sufficient appropriate information relating to the borrower's circumstances to be able to reasonably assess affordability, prior to granting credit or increasing the total amount of credit provided.
    Where applicable, failing to verify details of current income and/or expenditure by, for example, checking hard copies of payslip/contract of employment (when a borrower is in employment), accountant's letters (when a borrower is self-employed) or benefit statements (when a borrower is not in employment).
    4.19 Restricting the assessment of affordability solely to an assessment of the borrower's ability to repay a single loan under circumstances in which he has other credit commitments.
    (The OFT considers that such an assessment would not constitute a proper consideration of the impact of the loan on the borrower's overall financial well-being.)
    4.23 Granting an application for credit when, on the basis of an affordability assessment, it is suspected or known, or reasonably ought to be suspected or known, that the credit is, or is likely to be, unaffordable.
    4.25 Failing to take adequate steps, so far as is reasonable and practicable, to ensure that all information on a loan application relevant to an assessment of affordability is complete and correct.

    !!!4.26 Providing credit to a borrower prior to having received from him, or in the absence of ever having received from him, a completed application for credit.
    The OFT would not consider an application to be complete if the creditor had not received a copy of the credit agreement that had been signed by the borrower.!!!
    5.4 Failing to act in the best interests of a borrower by promoting the sale of a particular credit product under circumstances in which the creditor suspects, or ought to suspect, that the product is clearly inappropriate given the borrower's needs and personal circumstances.
    5.5 Providing credit to a borrower in the absence of having appropriately assessed the mental capacity of the borrower, under circumstances in which the creditor suspects, or reasonably ought to suspect, that the borrower lacks the mental capacity to comprehend the information and/or explanations provided by the creditor to inform the borrower's decision.
    5.6 Giving effect to a lending decision by a borrower which is clearly not in the borrower's best interests, particularly under circumstances in which the creditor suspects, or reasonably ought to suspect, that the borrower lacks the mental capacity to comprehend the information and/or explanations provided by the creditor to inform the borrower's decision.
    (a person must have some form of impairment of – or disturbance in – the functioning of the mind or the brain which results in an inability to make the specific decision at that time. Capacity should be judged in relation to a specific decision. In order to demonstrate decision making capacity, a borrower should be able to understand the information relevant to the decision, including the purpose of any proposed course of action, the main benefits, risks and alternatives. In law, a person is assumed to have capacity unless/until it is established that he lacks capacity.)
    www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/ukpga_20050009_en_1
    www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/en/ukpgaen_20050009_en_1.htm

    5.15 Failing to act in the best interests of a borrower by promoting the sale of a particular product, for business and/or personal gain, under circumstances in which the product is clearly inappropriate given the borrower's needs and personal circumstances.
    The OFT considers that creditors should take appropriate action, including alerting the borrower to the risk of an escalating debt, when/if there are signs of apparent repayment difficulties.
    This is particularly important in the case of borrowers with mental health problems, especially under circumstances in which they or their representatives have specifically requested that this should be done. A symptom of some mental health problems, like bipolar disorder for example, may be that the borrower may engage in unusual spending patterns.
    7.2 Failing to treat borrowers in default or arrears difficulties with understanding and due consideration.
    For example, mental health problems may impair a borrower's ability to maintain repayment schedules. Borrowers with mental health problems may be unable to engage with debt repayment and should not be regarded as – or treated as – 'uncooperative' or 'won't pays'. 'Reasonable adjustments' should be made to policies and procedures for recovering debts, to the extent that it is appropriate or necessary to do so, under circumstances in which borrowers are known to be – or reasonably ought to be suspected to be – experiencing mental health problems.
    The OFT would expect creditors' policies and procedures for the appropriate treatment of borrowers with mental health problems, who are experiencing problem over-indebtedness, to reflect the principles outlined in the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) Guidelines 'debt managementicon and debt collectionicon in Relation to People with Mental Health Problems'.www.moneyadvicetrust.org/download.asp
    That's enough to be going on with or the page will break
    Elsa x


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  18. #38
    Basic Account Holder meerkatsmimm Novitiate meerkatsmimm Novitiate

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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    i've already tried responding 3 times....

    Elsa - thank you so much for everything here so far - it looks like i'm in for an interesting read if i can get the internet to work...

    having problems with my internet connection but i'll be around as much as i can.

    thanks again elsa,

    you're a star!

    meerkat xx


  19. #39
    Basic Account Holder mjc007.5 Novitiate mjc007.5's Avatar

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    Default Re: Writing off unsecured debt due to mental illness?

    Hi Meerkat,

    Already much excellent advice here, I am guessing Northern Ireland does not have access to payplan or CCCS (CCCS website talks about "UK" debts and nothing obvious either way on payplan site. www.payplan.com and www.cccs.co.uk . Both will offer free advice and can manage a dmpicon if there is enough disposable income and the challenge on the grounds of irresponsible lending did not work). Also if you can access either of these then with due respect and deference to CAB I think much more accessible (they are both busy at moment though). Probably already considered this, apologies if old ground. From what I can see here it seems clear cut that first choice would be right off on grounds of health and if this fails dmpicon (hence the house remains untouched).

    The stuff from Elsa is outstanding - does this apply to all forms of credit? (my last few credit cards before I saw the light were clearly irresponsible on both parties! ).

    Best of luck with it all, bye for now

    MJC 007.5

    Advice or opinions offered by mjc 007.5 are personal, offered in good faith and without prejudice or liability. Your decisions and actions are your own and should you be in any doubt then please seek the opinion of a fully qualified and insured professional

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