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  1. Sorry chaps it wasn’t just a hit and run I just get quite busy and don’t always have the time. Anyway Heather my statement about Barclaycard not taking people to court was true as of around 4 years ago when I left them. They may have started taking people to court but if it is true then you have just been severely unlucky. As of 4 years ago Barclaycard had around 50,000 accounts in their debt collections department at any given time (Lord only knows how many it is now!). Think of the cost and administration needed to take everyone to court. In the long run it would be a complete waste of time. The very first thing we were told when going through the 2 week training was that Barclaycard had never taken anyone to court because it is simply not worth it. they did say they were thinking about making examples of a few people but to my knowledge this never materialised. They taught us everything even how to [problem] credit card companies by targeting specific retail outlets. As I have already said though the worst they could do was get a CCJ and you would have to pay back whatever the judge felt you could realistically pay. In most cases it would never be anymore than 10% of your disposable income so you have nothing to worry about. My advice would be to call the court and check with them that it is an official document and has been legally applied for. I would not put it beyond Barclaycard to use this as a scare tactic and send out papers that look like court documents when they really are not. Also my mistake guys you are probably right about the 6 years, I just had in my head that it was seven (it has been 4 years or so). The way it works is that any default notice on your credit file will remain on there for life unless you get it removed. The explanation behind the 'in 6 years you are Scott free' idea is that any lenders can only have immediate access to the last 6 years of your credit file. They can request information beyond that period but it has to be at special request and I believe there would be a cost involved so they never bother. If you have paid off any debt relating to a default notice make sure you check it has been removed by the lender on your credit file. If not call them up and demand it is removed immediately. Barclaycard often left it until the customer phoned before bothering to remove these. Also to answer another of your questions usually Barclaycard would adopt the customer is always right policy. I think the reason behind this was because they knew what a [problem] they was running and if anyone bothered to complain they would try and keep them happy. They rely on people not complaining though and will do nothing until someone does. Another point is speaking to the manager really helps. The managers (or team leaders) are generally speaking the biggest bunch of Muppets in the buildings. They have very little phone experience and often when a customer became irate they would immediately cave in just so they did not have to cope with the hassle. The official line when you say 'put me on to your manager' will be ' I am the person managing your account and anybody else you speak to will only say the same as I have'. But do not accept this as that person has a leader who 9 times out of 10 is weak and you can take advantage of it. I cant tell you the amount of times I would spend 45 minutes refusing to refund a late of over limit fee only for my moronic team leader to cave in within a couple of minutes. Letters you send generally get unanswered unless they are pressed. The girl dealing with the mail for my team had the intellect of a 5 year old and certainly had no understanding of the debt recovery laws involved. They want to get you on the phone when they know you are vulnerable and most likely to give in to their demands. See over the phone they can usually get away with saying pretty much what they want but in letters they must choose their words carefully. They keep recordings of all the phone calls they make and you can request transcripts from them if you feel you have been spoken to unprofessionally and keep it as proof if you do for some reason end up in court.
  2. chances are the guy who came to your door was from scottcall. Scottcall are the third stage of the Barclaycard collection process. I'm a afraid you just got unlucky because with Scottcall they pick and choose accounts, it does not apply to everybody. Scottcall will send agents to your house, however usually they would inform you via mail around a week or so before. You have no need to speak to these people. They are not court bailiffs and have no right to come on to your property. If anyone shows up again immediately ask them to leave or phone the police. Do not discuss anything with them, don't even confirm your name. I used to work for Barclaycard so I can confirm for you how Providian fits into all of this. Back in around 2003 Barclaycard purchased Providian credit cards in the UK only. So they bought all of the accounts and therefore all of the debts from Providian. After a short period they launched a new brand of credit card which they called monument. All new customers received monument cards and any old Providian customers accounts transferred. Monument is treated as a different product by Barclaycard, however at the end of the day it is Barclaycard who own your account. Monument is run from Crawley in West Sussex and Barclaycard from Northampton. Barclaycard own Monument and Mercers is simply there in-house collections department. Its all owned by Barclaycard with the exception of Scottcall. Just so you know the next stage will be to write off your debt. Scottcall should be the very last attempt by Barclaycard to recover their money. Once Scottcall report they have been unsuccessful they tell Barclaycard and the account will be charged off. I stated in my other post that your best option is to cut all ties with them until such times as a court order comes through the door. Barclaycard have never taken a single person to court over an unsecured debt so do not let any threats they make scare you.
  3. Hi all Just wanted to give you some heads up info on Barclaycard/Mercers as I used to work for their collections department for just over 2 years. It was the worst time of my life and I hated every minute of it. First I just wanted to confirm that Mercers is simply Barclaycards in-house collections agency. It is basically just a group of their top collectors. They sit in the same room as the normal barclaycard collectors and have access to all the same information. Now for those of you who are unsure I just want to make sure you know that any debt you have through credit cards is unsecured. They cannot send bailiffs to you house, or put you in jail, or visit your work and so on. The absolute worst thing that can happen to you if you do not pay them is for them to take you to court and get a CCJ placed against you. Then a judge will have to determine what you can realistically pay and order you to pay it (this would never usually be more than 10% of your disposable income). Now as for Barclaycard I can tell you almost 100% that it will never even get to court. This is because in the companies history they have never taken a single debtor to court. Barclaycard write off around 34million pound worth of debt every month. So that leads me to my next point. All the phone calls and letters that you receive are simply scare tactics. Barclaycard know that unless they are hard with you they will not get their money back. They will use every trick in the book to get at you. Around the time when I left them they had just started using a few new tactics such as text messages and also calling cards through your door which would say something like 'A member of our team has visited your home today to talk about your account but has not been able to catch you, please call us immediately'. They even began calling on Sunday's (edited) Most of the calls you get are on a dialer system. A computer makes the phone call and then when you pick up diverts it to a agent who gets a beep in their ear. Your account details then pop up on their screen and they begin talking all their crap. They know nothing about your account until they get that beep. We would usually use the time taking you through security just to have a quick glance at your account details. The calls are relentless and they will call you every day if they have to. How it works is that the dialer (computer) creates a list in the morning of everyone in their collection's department. It then starts the list at 8am in the morning and then once finished usually at around 1pm they will simply run it again. Sometimes you would phone the same people up to 4 times a day. It's basically harassment. Likewise all the letters you receive are system generated. Barclaycard use a system called TSYS which sends letters out at certain points in the process. It would usually go the arrears letter, then the default notice, then the DCA notice. So at bit more about the process. If you do not pay them, usually at around 90 days in arrears you will get a default notice. This notice is registered at the credit reference agencies and stays on you record until cleared. Then around 120 days your account will be referred to the debt collection agency (Mercers). The debt has simply been referred to them not bought. Any DCA works on behalf of the original company and is paid commission. If you pay them they then notify barclaycard and collect their commission. If you don't they just send the account back to Barclaycard saying all attempts to reclaim have the money been exhausted. So then If you have still not paid up at around 180 in arrears you debt will be written off. That's not to say that the debt disappears, it simply means barclaycard have given up trying to get their money back. The debt is then registered at a company I cant remember the name of where it is stored (like a debt holding company). You can call up barclaycard and still pay it at any point, but until fully cleared your credit rating will be affected. Now your credit rating lasts for 7 years. So if you didn't pay it back in 7 years you can call them and tell them to take it off your record and then start all over again. However if you have attempted to pay even a penny off in that time the 7 years would start all over. It has to be 7 years completely unpaid for your credit rating to be repaired. So here's my advice to any of you who cannot pay your debt, DO NOT PAY IT!. Though I'm not proud or smug in saying this, when you know the inside outs of how it all works this is the best option for most people. For instance if somebody has a debt of £8000.00 and makes an agreement with barclaycard to pay back £50 a month even with the interest and charges frozen it will still take you far longer than 7 years to pay it back. In that time you could have not paid it and started to rebuild you credit rating. I would deal with some people who fell for the scare tactics and see them bend over backwards to pay all they could knowing full well it was doing them no good. People would set up payment plans for as little as £1 a month knowing full well they would never ever clear that debt. My advice would be to cut all contact with the bank and let the system run its course. Do not open any letters from them and call up your phone company and either change your number or block their calls. Then let this be a lesson to you to not let it happen again. I feel everyone has a responsibility to try and pay their debts but when it comes to the crunch some people simply cant. You cant get blood from a stone! Barclaycard are complete edited. Their aim is to get you in debt with them for life. They use every trick in the book to get you running up the biggest s debts possible. Like they will sign you up with a permanent purchase APR of 14.9% and then 6 months later raise it to 19.9% for no reason whatsoever. Eventually this would usually go up to as high as 23%. Also I would see really young people around say 23 being given credit limits of 10,000 pound when they only had a yearly income of 13000. Any time they would get close to the limit barclaycard would raise it. They know there is no chance in hell that a person earning that sort of money could ever pay of a debt of 10,000 pound. On that sort of debt your talking over £100 a month in interest alone. For any of you being edited off with high interest rates here's a tip. If you call them and tell them you are closing your account because of the high APR they will offer you a lower one on the spot to keep your business. Or they will say if you spend 50pound a month your interest will be 5% (I guarantee this will work as long as your account is in good standing). Remember it is all a big game to Barclaycard and they expect to lose money through people not paying. They just bank on conning the people that do pay enough that they can afford to do it. Do not let them scare you into paying money you cannot afford. If you are willing to make them an offer make sure it is realistic and stick to it. If they do not accept your offer then its tough. Simply tell them that is how much you can afford and if they are not willing to accept it they will have to take you to court to get what they want (I guarantee you this will not happen). Yes your credit rating will be damaged but it was damaged long ago when they issue you with a default notice. Stay firm and do not budge a penny and they will eventually accept your offer. At the end of the day it is down to you to whether you pay your unsecured debt. The credit card companies have nothing on you other than they can ruin your credit rating for 7 years. If you have a really high amount of debt and they did suddenly start taking people to court that is when you can look at an IVA or bankruptcy. Like I said though if you decide not to pay them just cut all ties with them and wait it out. I will be happy to try and answer any questions you have about Barclaycard. They are a horrible company both to work for and to use for credit and I just wanted to give everyone a heads up as to how little they can actually do to get their money back. Don't believe their threats and remember you are the one who has all the control.
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