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 aross1987 Novitiate

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    Default BrightHouse and Repossession rights? Please Help

    Right, i wonder if you can help me at all, complete novice to this stuff. and hoped that someone can help with regards to BrightHouse (it annoys me to even say there name)...

    ok, so me and my gf have a TV off brighthouse, which we got an agreement out over a year ago. (November/December 2009) We have always paid our agreement, we have the DLC and OSC as well, to which i have only just discovered is ridiculous on both accounts. everything was going fine, payements were on time, all upto date untill 5 weeks ago when my gf lost her job and was taken into hospital due to ill health, without any personnal effort i failed to pay the account for the 5 weeks.. however my gf is home now, and my wages have been sorted out so i rang them to offer a payement this week and one next week to bring the account upto date.. They however refused this, They will not take part payement, and have said that they will be sending someone out today or tomorrow to collect the part payement in cash and collect my TV...
    Furthermore to this, i asked why i couldnt pay collection people tomorrow part payement and keep tv, to which i was qouted.. "we will take the payement in cash, reposses the tv.. we want four regular week payements before we will return the item...." this seems to me ludicrous, ilegal somehow and i was under the impression that due to my goods being over 1 third paid for they cannot just repossess the item, and that also they are required to either have my consent or court order for the goods, and to have sent me a written notice.. i have recieved no post from Brighthouse only four calls to my answering machine in last two days...

    Any advice and help on this matter would be fantastic as i feel alittle lost and unsure what to do next.
    Thanks in advance..


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    Default Re: BrightHouse and Repossession rights? Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by aross1987 View Post
    Right, i wonder if you can help me at all, complete novice to this stuff. and hoped that someone can help with regards to BrightHouse (it annoys me to even say there name)...

    ok, so me and my gf have a TV off brighthouse, which we got an agreement out over a year ago. (November/December 2009) We have always paid our agreement, we have the DLC and OSC as well, to which i have only just discovered is ridiculous on both accounts. everything was going fine, payements were on time, all upto date untill 5 weeks ago when my gf lost her job and was taken into hospital due to ill health, without any personnal effort i failed to pay the account for the 5 weeks.. however my gf is home now, and my wages have been sorted out so i rang them to offer a payement this week and one next week to bring the account upto date.. They however refused this, They will not take part payement, and have said that they will be sending someone out today or tomorrow to collect the part payement in cash and collect my TV...
    Furthermore to this, i asked why i couldnt pay collection people tomorrow part payement and keep tv, to which i was qouted.. "we will take the payement in cash, reposses the tv.. we want four regular week payements before we will return the item...." this seems to me ludicrous, ilegal somehow and i was under the impression that due to my goods being over 1 third paid for they cannot just repossess the item, and that also they are required to either have my consent or court order for the goods, and to have sent me a written notice.. i have recieved no post from Brighthouse only four calls to my answering machine in last two days...

    Any advice and help on this matter would be fantastic as i feel alittle lost and unsure what to do next.
    Thanks in advance..
    Hi - and welcome to CAGicon! Firstly, I have moved your post into a thread of its own. That way it's easier to follow, and doesn't simply just tag onto the end of another thread.

    As you have paid more than one-third of the total on your agreement, BrightHouse absolutely CANNOT repossess their goods WITHOUT your consent, unless they are in possession of a court "return order", and even then they CANNOT forcibly enter your home. The goods are now of "protected status" which means that if BrightHouse DO forcibly seize their goods (without your consent) then they will have acted unlawfully and must refund all payments you have made to date on your agreement. That is the law.

    The Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973

    Of course, I'm sure you don't want to go down the "having to go to court" route? You just simply want to correct your breach (5 weeks of non-payment) and continue with your agreement?

    You may also be interested to learn that as you ARE now more than 7 days overdue on your account, your Optional Service Cover policy has ceased - as has your Damage Liability Cover. Both of these are simply pay-as-you-go weekly services, and as you haven't paid them they have GONE. SOooooooo.... the weekly premiums for these "services" should NOT be included in your overdue amount - and neither should you have to make "back payments" on them. The "cover" these "policies" provided was NOT available for the last four weeks. You cannot be expected to pay for a service you have not received... Now is a good opportunity to get shut of them once and for all!

    First off:

    Write a letter (similar to the one reproduced below) and send it recorded delivery to both your local store and to BrightHouse head office...

    Account(s) number(s) XXXXXXXXX

    Dear Sirs

    As you are already aware, I have recently been experiencing some financial difficulties and, as a result, have fallen behind with my weekly payments to BrightHouse. This is most regrettable, so please accept my apologies

    I am receipt of a default notice for XXXX

    I do not wish to return the goods voluntarily, and as I cannot afford to pay this amount in one instalment, I would like to offer the sum of (reasonable amount) per week on top of my regular weekly payment of XX to clear my arrears over the next XX weeks. This payment plan can start immediately.

    I have made this proposal (and made an offer of payment) at my local store, but my payment was refused. I was told that BrightHouse will not/cannot accept “part payments”. This “policy” only places my account(s) further into arrears and invokes further penalty charges. I find this both immoral, unfair and in direct contravention to OFT guidelines regarding the collection of debt.

    Naturally, I hope you will accept my offer (above) and allow me time to bring my account(s) up to date in both a fair and affordable way. Of course, by accepting my offer, and by me maintaining regular payments (on time) you agree NOT to apply any further “penalty” or “late payment” charges to my account(s).


    I also understand that, due to non-payment, the OSC agreement attached to the above Hire Purchase agreement has now ceased:

    As stated in my agreement(s):

    “Your Obligations: Optional Service Cover
    Section C (b) The service cover premium is renewable each time your regular instalment is due under the agreement. If the premium is not paid Service Cover will lapse.

    Section H (3) This policy shall continue in force until you give seven days notice…”

    For your records, please take note that I no longer require this service, and wish to CANCEL any further OSC policies attached to the above HIRE PURCHASE agreement.

    I also give notice that I will no longer require damage liabilty cover in respect of the above agreement(s). After having consulted with my home contents insurance provider, I can confirm the above product(s) are "suitably" insured. (I shall be happy to provide a copy of my insurance policy on request.)

    Please confirm in writing your acceptance or refusal of my offer in order for me to make the necessary payment arrangements, or to prepare for my defence in the county courticon as appropriate.

    Kindest Regards

    YOU


    cc - BrightHouse local store
    your local Trading Standards (this never hurts)



    Continue to make offers of payment. Make a note of dates (and names) of any BrightHouse staff refusing your payment offers.

    More often, and as an alternative to court action (BrightHouse don’t appear to like going to court), you will probably get the offer of an account re-set. This entails signing a new agreement, which takes your outstanding balance, PLUS your arrears and starts “fresh” with a BRAND NEW agreement spread over a slightly longer period.

    You should think very carefully before agreeing to this, because you risk losing all the rights you have accrued regarding repossession and early settlement, making it easier for BrightHouse to repossess their goods should you get into difficulty again.

    If you do decide to accept an account re-set, insist the store manager (and you) sign the following covering letter and ensure it is stapled to your new agreement along with a copy of your ORIGINAL agreement...

    Original agreement number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    New Agreement number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Date

    Updated agreement to reflect Account Re-Set

    IMPORTANT Payments made previously on this agreement (XX payments to date representing XX of the total amount payable) are to be reflected, and form part of, any revised agreement.

    All rights under the consumer crediticon Act 1974 regarding, in particular, “early settlement” and “repossession” as set out in section J of the original agreement remain intact and continue uninterrupted into any revised agreement.

    Signed - YOU
    (Print name)

    Signed - Store Manager (for and on behalf of Caversham Finance trading as BrightHouse)
    (print name)


    As long as you are doing everything you can to bring your account up to date, and are not simply REFUSING to pay, then BrightHouse has a duty (as a responsible lender) to assist as much as they reasonable can.

    There's some stuff to get going with! If you need any further help, you know where we are!


    Cheers
    Lefty



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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder jotwenty9 Novitiate

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    Default Re: BrightHouse and Repossession rights? Please Help

    Hi,

    I too are in a similar situatuation, and looking for advise.

    I fell behind with payments over Christmas, and someone from BH came out to visit me..i spoke to him on the doorstep and explained my situation to him, and he telephoned the store. He passed me the phone and i arranged to make a payment the following week.

    Unfortunately i was unable to meet the whole payment ( about 90 ) and i stupidly buried my head in the sandicon and didn't contact them to explain why. I was going to make the full payment on the 3rd Feb and hoped everthing would be OK until then.

    Today as i came out of the house with my children a man with a Hi Viz Jacket walked down the path and said he was here with a repossesion order for the Washing Machine (which i have had for a year) and Laptop (only had for a few months).

    I told him that i would not let him in to take the goods and that i would contact the store now to try and arrange payment of the arrears and bring the account up to date, he told me that Brighthouse had sold the debt to his company and he wanted the goods now. Again i told him that i would not let him in my home. He then told me that he would call the Council and the Police and they would give him access to the goods. I asked if there was a way i could arrange a payment with him believing that BH had sold the debt on.

    He then telephoned BH and passed the phone over to me i asked if i could pay 50 now and make another payment next Sat to bring the account up to date..they refused and wanted the total payment now or the so called Gentleman would remove goods with permission or not, and they would keep hold of the goods until account was up to date, i said that i would not be able to had over the Laptop as there was far too much personal information on it...the quite aggressive Gentleman then said he would give me 20 minuites to reformat the Laptop.

    I felt that my only option was to try and see if the payment would go through on my card, which it did 128...this was not spare money that i had it was a tax credit payment that had cleared today which was not due to clear until Monday, we are struggling financially at the moment, i was made redundanticon just before Christmas and my partner has returned to self employment and work is slow..so the money is usually used for gas and electric and the supermaket shop.

    After spotting a thread on this forum re the DLC not being valid, i called BH to see if i had been charged for this with the above payment their reply was yes..i quoted some of Lefty's very useful info..they told me they would need to contact the Insurance Company as as far as they were concerned the money was owed and they would get back to me on Monday...i then went on to say very politely that i felt it was unreasonable for them to demand reposession of the goods without being sent a Court Order and that the gentleman should not have threatened me with the Council and the Police to gain access. She then said he was in the store now and you can sort it out with him and passed the phone over to him...so i quoted some more of the advise from the Forum he very aggresively told me that i was wrong, i said that i would contact Trading Standards..he then told me that they knew of him and he would give me his name and they would know where to get in touch with him...at this point i was almost crying.. he told me his first name and i asked for his Sirname, he said that i wont need and put the phone down on me.

    Sorry if this is all rather long winded, but i would like confirmation that im right in what i said to him and where to go from here. I know im in the wrong for failing to make the payment and can't complain at the store staff as they were quite fair when i received the first visit from them. Today however was totally different, i really did feel bullied in to making the payment. The man was quite forceful, i had to send the children to the car as we were in the garden and i was afraid to open the door for them in case he tried to get in.

    Is it Trading Standards that i would need to make a complaint to?, as i feel this sort of enforcement should not be allowed to continue.

    Your views and advice would be greatly appreciated.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: BrightHouse and Repossession rights? Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by jotwenty9 View Post
    Hi,

    I too are in a similar situatuation, and looking for advise.

    I fell behind with payments over Christmas, and someone from BH came out to visit me..i spoke to him on the doorstep and explained my situation to him, and he telephoned the store. He passed me the phone and i arranged to make a payment the following week.

    Unfortunately i was unable to meet the whole payment ( about 90 ) and i stupidly buried my head in the sandicon and didn't contact them to explain why. I was going to make the full payment on the 3rd Feb and hoped everthing would be OK until then.

    Today as i came out of the house with my children a man with a Hi Viz Jacket walked down the path and said he was here with a repossesion order for the Washing Machine (which i have had for a year) and Laptop (only had for a few months).

    I told him that i would not let him in to take the goods and that i would contact the store now to try and arrange payment of the arrears and bring the account up to date, he told me that Brighthouse had sold the debt to his company and he wanted the goods now. Again i told him that i would not let him in my home. He then told me that he would call the Council and the Police and they would give him access to the goods. I asked if there was a way i could arrange a payment with him believing that BH had sold the debt on.

    He then telephoned BH and passed the phone over to me i asked if i could pay 50 now and make another payment next Sat to bring the account up to date..they refused and wanted the total payment now or the so called Gentleman would remove goods with permission or not, and they would keep hold of the goods until account was up to date, i said that i would not be able to had over the Laptop as there was far too much personal information on it...the quite aggressive Gentleman then said he would give me 20 minuites to reformat the Laptop.

    I felt that my only option was to try and see if the payment would go through on my card, which it did 128...this was not spare money that i had it was a tax credit payment that had cleared today which was not due to clear until Monday, we are struggling financially at the moment, i was made redundanticon just before Christmas and my partner has returned to self employment and work is slow..so the money is usually used for gas and electric and the supermaket shop.

    After spotting a thread on this forum re the DLC not being valid, i called BH to see if i had been charged for this with the above payment their reply was yes..i quoted some of Lefty's very useful info..they told me they would need to contact the Insurance Company as as far as they were concerned the money was owed and they would get back to me on Monday...i then went on to say very politely that i felt it was unreasonable for them to demand reposession of the goods without being sent a Court Order and that the gentleman should not have threatened me with the Council and the Police to gain access. She then said he was in the store now and you can sort it out with him and passed the phone over to him...so i quoted some more of the advise from the Forum he very aggresively told me that i was wrong, i said that i would contact Trading Standards..he then told me that they knew of him and he would give me his name and they would know where to get in touch with him...at this point i was almost crying.. he told me his first name and i asked for his Sirname, he said that i wont need and put the phone down on me.

    Sorry if this is all rather long winded, but i would like confirmation that im right in what i said to him and where to go from here. I know im in the wrong for failing to make the payment and can't complain at the store staff as they were quite fair when i received the first visit from them. Today however was totally different, i really did feel bullied in to making the payment. The man was quite forceful, i had to send the children to the car as we were in the garden and i was afraid to open the door for them in case he tried to get in.

    Is it Trading Standards that i would need to make a complaint to?, as i feel this sort of enforcement should not be allowed to continue.

    Your views and advice would be greatly appreciated.
    What you have described is very typical BrightHouse "bullyboy" behaviour - sadly, it's all too common. The guy in the Hi-Viz with "a repossession order" was just a BrightHouse employee with absolutely NO legal powers to enter your home to remove - or even threaten to remove - goods.

    The law is very simple and straight forward in a case such as yours: If the hire purchase goods you have in your home are of protected status (ie - more than one third of the total payments made) BrightHouse absolutely CANNOT repossess them without your consent, or without a court "return order" which orders YOU to return the goods to BrightHouse. If the goods are NOT of protected status (ie - with LESS than one third of total payments made) BrightHouse STILL would need a court "return order" to repossess them against your will. (The latter will only NOT apply if the goods are in a public place.)

    Your post is very well written, clear and concise. I would suggest adjusting it slightly into letter form, and sending it directly to (and for the attention of) BrightHouse CEO Leo McKee. (You will find the address in the sticky threads on this forum.) You may like to send a copy to your local MP and to Trading Standards.

    You have been subjected to quite appalling behaviour by a BrightHouse employee. This doesn't bode well with a BrightHouse statement provided to CAGicon:

    “…It is BrightHouse company policy that all of our customers and prospective customers should be consistently treated openly and fairly. Accordingly, BrightHouse operates a transparent and responsible business, and takes great care to ensure that company policies and procedures meet all regulatory and statutory requirements...” - David Harwood, Company Secretary


    Cheers
    Lefty

    If the left side of the brain controls your right, and the right side controls your left, then left-handed people are always in their right mind!

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    Default Re: BrightHouse and Repossession rights? Please Help

    I have moved your post to it's own thread dagenham86 and changed the title to - 'BrightHouse took goods in my absence, threatened wife'.

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...hreatened-wife.



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