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
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    I'm having trouble with a Debenhams Storecard,

    I called Santandericon Cards and I told them I was having trouble paying my bills at that moment in time. They were understanding about my troubles. I was told that they would send a letter on which I could tell them about my income and my outgoings so they could reduce my monthly payment. I gave them 10 days to do so. I never received the letter. Instead I received the letter below.


    DEBT ENFORCEMENT


    VIKING COLLECTION SERVICES LTD

    P.O. Box 800
    Leeds
    LS99 2AE
    22/09/09

    Dear Miss

    Santander Cards UK Limited

    DEBENHAMS STORECARD Account Number:

    Outstanding Balance:

    Your above Santander Cards UK Limited account has been transferred to Viking Collections Services Limited. This has happened due to your failure to make the acquired payments on your account.

    To avoid further action, which will include further contact by telephone and letter and administration fees. You are now required to pay the full outstanding balance of within the next 7 days. Please contact us on 0870 513 4601 to make this payment by debit card.

    If you are unable to pay the full balance you should still contact us to discuss your payment options.

    Yours sincerely

    R Hodgson
    Viking Collections Manager


    I wrote back with a Debt Validation letter.

    Viking Collection Services LTD
    P.O. Box 800
    Leeds
    LS99 2AE

    Saturday 26th September 2009

    Regarding: Debenhams Storecard Account Number:

    Mr R Hodgson,

    I am writing in response to the letter received from you on date 26/09/09. Pursuant to my rights under Fair debt collectionicon Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b).

    I am requesting that you provide validation of this debt. Note this is not a refusal to pay, but a request that you provide me with evidence that I have a legal obligation to pay you.

    I am not requesting "verification" or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully request that you provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

    Please provide me with the following:

    The amount of money you say I owe.

    What the money you say I owe is for.

    Explain and show me a break down of how you calculated this amount you say I owe.

    Identify the original creditor's name, address and phone number.

    Prove the statute of limitationsicon has not expired on this alleged account.

    Provide me with a copy of the agreement between you and the original creditor that allows you to collect this debt for the original creditor.

    Provide me with a copy of the original contract with my signatureicon.

    Provide me with your license number and any registered agents.

    If you are able to provide me with all of the proper documentation as I have requested. I will require at least 30 days to review and investigate this information and during such time any collection activity must cease and desist.

    Also, during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel for suit. This includes any listing of any information to a credit reporting agency that could be inaccurate or invalidated or by verifying an alleged account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.

    If you fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, or do not provide me with the proper validation, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately.

    I would also like to request, in writing, that no telephone contact be made by you to my home, cell phone, work place, to any family members, friends, neighbors or co-workers. If you attempt telephone communication with me, including but not limited to computer generated calls and calls or correspondence sent to or with any third parties, it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter by Royal Mail.

    Yours Sincerely,

    I received a reply to my letter:

    Santander Cards

    16 October 2009

    Dear Miss

    Debenhams Account Number:

    Thank you for your letter dated 26 September 2009, received on 30 September 2009, regarding the above account. This has been passed to us by Viking Collection Services to respond. Please accept my apologies for the delay.

    I have enclosed a copy of the agreement that you signed to open the account and can confirm that this is the legally binding contract between you and Santander Cards. You will see that the agreement contains your title, name, address, telephone number and signature.

    If you require a full breakdown of the account copy statements can be provided. However, to cover administration costs a charge of 3.00 is payable for each copy statement. If you request more than three statements at any one time this charge will be capped at 10.00. Should you require copies, please send a cheque payable to Santander Cards to the following address stating your requirements.

    Credit Data Management
    Santander Cards
    P.O. Box 700
    Leeds
    LS99 2BD

    Viking Collection Services whose registration number is 508834 are part of the Santander group of companies. As such, we have instructed them to collect the outstanding debt on our behalf and we are entitled to do so.

    Action will continue to be taken to recover the outstanding balance, which is currently , if payments are not maintained according to the terms and conditions of the agreement. We will also continue to report the details of the account to the Credit Reference Agencies and any information already recorded will not be removed.

    If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact our Financial Solutions Unit on 0845 6000025, who may be able to agree a suitable payment arrangement with you.


    I trust this clarifies the situation.

    Yours sincerely

    Janet McGuire
    Credit Data Management
    0871 522 5801

    Enc: Copy of agreement

    Santander Cards, P.O. Box 700, Leeds, LS99 2BD
     

    *The reply was not from Viking Collection Services LTD it was from Credit Data Management, Santander Cards, P.O. Box 700, Leeds. LS99 2BD.
    I did ask for debt validation from Viking Collection Services LTD. I got a reply from Santander Cards instead.

    What I would like to know is: Is the copy of the agreement legally enforceable? I only have a tiny photocopied piece of paper with what looks like the front of the Original Credit Agreement, signed by myself. I have not been provided with any T&C’S.

    I’m not trying to get out of paying my debts. I’m just annoyed that I did not get to sort out paying my debt to the original creditor Santander Cards.

    I have no Idea who Viking Collection Services are. Which is why I sent out a debt validation letter to see if they legally own the debt and I legally have to pay them I can do so.

    If yes/no what should I take for my next step?

    Thank you in advance for you help.
    Nicola.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Thread moved for more input.

    Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.
    If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Just done a very tiny amount of research on tinternet and came up with the following:
    Name & Registered Office:
    VIKING COLLECTION SERVICES LIMITED
    2 TRITON SQUARE
    REGENT'S PLACE
    LONDON
    NW1 3AN
    Company No. 00508834

    Status: Active
    Date of Incorporation: 13/06/1952

    Country of Origin: United Kingdom
    Company Type: Private Limited Company
    Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
    6523 - Other financial intermediation
    Accounting Reference Date: 31/12
    Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/12/2008 (DORMANT)
    Next Accounts Due: 30/09/2010
    Last Return Made Up To: 09/11/2008
    Next Return Due: 07/12/2009
    Last Members List: 09/11/2008
    Previous Names: Date of change Previous Name 26/03/1984 READYCREDIT LIMITED 31/12/1979 BURTON CREDIT LIMITED 22/10/1992 BURTON GROUP PERSONAL ACCOUNTS LIMITED
    Now not having sight of the letter they sent you, I would be unable to further see if they are the 'in-house' DCAicon for debenhams or not.

    However it is pretty much safe to say that if you questioned Viking and Santander replied then they are one of the same, and they are the in-house DCA.

    Santander having bought Abbeyicon, they may well have bought other subsidary accounts, so if your agreement thorugh Debenhams was with the old abbey, then this woul explain their interesticon.

    You would need to scan and post the document they sent you for others to look at in order to get solid advice as to your best course of action, use Photbucket, or TinyPic, but from what you have descibed if the T&C's are not on the same page as yours and their's signatureicon then it 'may' be unenforceable.

    But please scan and post it first to get further advice as to this..

    Boo

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Would it be of any help if I told you that I signed the CA on 09/06/05?

    I've been doing a lot of reading lately and I've come across certain information that states: An agreement that is not properly executed and was signed before 2006 is not enforceable unless it has the debtor's signature and the prescribed terms in the same document.

    Well, the agreement has what looks like my signature.
    I'm unsure of what the prescribed terms are for a store card. I can only find them for a credit card.
    In the agreement it has the credit limit, the total charge for credit and the APR.

    Does the agreement not have to include:

    A term stating the rate of any interest on the credit to be provided under the agreement and A term stating how the debtor is to discharge his obligations under the agreement to make the repayments which may be expressed by reference to a combination of any of the following:-

    (a) Number of repayments
    (b) Amount of repayments
    (c) Frequency and timing of repayments
    (d) Dates of repayments
    (e) The manner in which any of the above may be determined or in any other way and any power of the creditor to vary what is payable.

    There is no reference to any of those terms on the agreement.

    Am I correct in thinking in absence of those terms will render the agreement unenforceable in court under s60 consumer crediticon Act 1974?

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  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Please can I get some help? Help would be greatly appreciated. I don't have a scanner to upload any letters or documents but there must be someone who can help.


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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    I'm not clued up on store cards and CCA 1974,

    However I am thinking that you should be able to request the CCA, this would be done by sending them http://www.consumeractiongroup.c o.uk/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/581-cca-request-letter
    Along with a postal order for 1. And send it Recorded delivery.

    Give them 14 days to respond, if they fail to produce the CA then you can place the account in dispute and legally withhold payment until such time that they do.

    The letters you have sent them asking for this information, is taken from the American fair debt collectionicon practices, so they will have no jurisdiction in the UK which is possibly why they have just given you a load of flannel.

    It would be unwise to tell you to place the account in dispute already, as Ideally we would need to see the documents/agreement they sent.

    I would be inclined to send them an English CCA Requesticon, then see what they come back with, if they say they have already sent you the agreement, then we should take it from there.

    Boo

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    If you have a digital camera you can take reasonable pictures using macro-mode.

    Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

    Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Thank you. I'll follow your advice and see where I go from there.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    I've managed to upload a copy of the Credit Agreement. It's not very clear, but it's the best I can do. Can anyone give me their thoughts on it? Thanks.




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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    It's difficult to read but does it contain the following prescribed terms; Credit Limit (although this can say it will be determined at a later date), %APR, Repayment Terms, Right To Cancel?

    Also have a read of; http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...le-useful.html

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  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    It's only a 4x5 photocopy of a CCA. It's the best I could do. Yes it includes the APR and the credit limit. It does not include repayment terms or right to cancel.


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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Send them this;

    Dear Sirs,

    Account no xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    Re: my request under the consumer crediticon Act 1974

    This account is in disputeicon .

    On xx/xx/2009 I wrote to xxxxxxxxx requesting that xxxxxxx supply me a true copy of the executed credit agreement for this account.
    In response to this request I was supplied a document which did not comply with the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    The document sent purporting to be a credit agreement does not contain all of the prescribed terms as required by section 60(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974. The Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 1983 (SI 1983/1553) made under the authority of the “1974 Act” sets out what the prescribed terms are, I refer you to Schedule 6 Column 2 of SI 1983/1553 for the definition of what is required.

    Suffice to say not all of the terms are present in the document

    Since this document does not contain all the required prescribed terms it is rendered unenforceable by s127 (3) consumer Credit Act 1974, which states

    127(3) The court shall not make an enforcement order under section 65(1) if section 61(1)(a)(signing of agreements) was not complied with unless a document (whether or not in the prescribed form and complying with regulations under section 60(1)) itself containing all the prescribed terms of the agreement was signed by the debtor or hirer (whether or not in the prescribed manner).

    This situation is backed by case law from the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (House of Lords) the highest court in the land. Your attention is drawn to the authority of the House of Lords in Wilson-v- FCT [2003] All ER (D) 187 (Jul) which confirms that where a document does not contain the required terms under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 the agreement cannot be enforced.

    In addition should you continue to pursue me for this debt you will be in breach of the OFT guidelines, I draw your attention to the Office of Fair Trading’s guidance on debt collectionicon
    The OFT guidance which was issued July 2003 (updated December 2006) relating to debt collections and what the OFT considers unfair, I refer to page 5 of the guidance which states;

    2.6 Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

    h. Ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment.

    I require you to produce a compliant copy of my credit agreement to confirm I am liable to you or any organisation, which you represent for this alleged debt, if you cannot do so I require written clarification that this is the case. Should you ignore this request I will report you to the Office of Fair Trading to consider your suitability to hold a credit licence in addition to a complaint to Trading Standards, as you will be in breach of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 section 40

    Since the agreement is unenforceable and the default notice is non compliant, it would be in everyone’s interesticon to consider the matter closed and for your client to write the debt off. I suggest you give serious consideration to this as any attempt of litigation will be vigorously
    defended and I will counter claim for all quantifiable damages

    I respectfully request a response to this letter in 14 days


    I trust this out lines the situation

    Print name do not signicon

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicola85 View Post
    It's only a 4x5 photocopy of a CCA. It's the best I could do. Yes it includes the APR and the credit limit. It does not include repayment terms or right to cancel.
    How did you get on with your query... any news?


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    I sent the letter cerberusalert so kindly posted. Thank you. I did recieve a threatening letter from Viking a week later, telling me to pay up or else. Around a week after that letter I recieved a letter from Santander stating that my agreement was enforceable and I must pay Viking the money I owe them. Anyway I read through the tiny terms and conditions they sent me and they do have all the prescribed terms only they have sent them seperate from the agreement that I signed. I'm not quite sure if they are from the original agreement I signed but thats up to them to prove. I have been reading up on the uk debt collectionicon laws and found that even if the agreement I signed does have all the prescribed terms the agreement with the signatureicon and the t&c's have to be on the same page if signed before 2007. So I'm going to send them another CAA request this time I've used the templateicon on the forum. So I'll see what happens and If anyone has any advice in the meantime, I'm all ears.


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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    To be honest I've not read through this myself, but it may be of some use to you, I've clearly got it bookmarked for some reason?

    Store Cards Market Investigation - Google Books

    Once you have sent them the CCA Requesticon, thats it, no need to keep firing them off to any and every DCAicon that may buy the debt at a later date.
    Keep us informed, and if they respond with it within the time limit or not.

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  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder Nicola85 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    I've taken another good look *with a magnifying glass* through the seperate Credit Agreement and the Terms and Conditions and it does seem to have all the pescribed terms. They are just seperate from eachother.

    * On the front of the credit agreement it has a logo on the top saying that it is an Original.

    * It has a heading in the pescribed form giving the nature of the agreement (Schedule 1).

    Credit Card Agreement regulated by the consumer crediticon Act 1974.

    * The name and adress of both the debtor and the creditor (Schedule 1).

    * Financial Information (Schedule 1).

    Repayments, Rate of interesticon and the Credit Limit.

    The Rate of Interest and the Credit Limit is on the Credit Agreement the Repayments are in the Terms and Conditions.

    * It has a statement of your rights (Schedule 2).

    YOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL.
    Once you have signed this agreement, you will have a short time in which you can cancel it.

    * It has a signatureicon box in the pescribed form (Schedule 5 ).

    Signed by me.

    This is a Credit Agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Sign it only if you want to be legally bound by it's terms.

    Signature (s) of Debtor (s)

    Date (s) of Signature (s)

    Anyway it a looks legally enforceable to me. As I say the Credit Agreement and the Terms and Conditions are seperate.

    To be quite honest it has all gone to far now and I can't afford to pay the full ammount that Viking Collection LTD want from me. So I'm not quite sure what to do now. Should I write anymore letters to them? Or should I start negotiating payment with them. Thanks for all your help.



  18. #18
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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    Hi, Nicola.

    Are there any charges you could re-claim ?

    Regards.

    Scott.

    Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.
    If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    What I mean is I can't afford to pay the 850 that Viking want. I've tried negotiating and they are having none of it. It's the full ammount or nothing. So I'm not quite sure where I stand. Should I expect Court papers?


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    Default Re: Debenhams/Santander Cards-Viking Collection Services LTD

    You've made an offer, it's up to them whether they accept it or not. Make it clear that it's all they're going to get. You pay what you can afford, not what they say. I wouldn't worry over much about court, it's pretty rare.

    Is there no way that you can get access to a scanner? It's quite possible that there are all kinds of things wrong with the agreement, but we need to have a look.



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