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Everything posted by Papa_Smurf

  1. I recently spoke to someone who is a discharged bankrupt who managed to get broadband with Virgin Media. Just to clarify, they got broardband with Virgin after they were discharged from bankruptcy. According to the moneysavingexpert website, Virgin Media is one of the companies you can haggle with.
  2. Halifax is part of the HBOS group which is owned by Lloyds TSB and 43% of that is owned by us tax payers. As far as I'm aware the HBOS group also owns: Bank of Scotland AA Savings Intelligent Finance Sainsbury's Bank (50%) Blair, Oliver & Scott (Debt recovery) Birmingham Midshires I don't know anything about HSBC or Barclays. I recommend the Cashminder account with the Co-Operative. They don't seem to be connected to a larger group, the account can be opened on the phone and you can pay in cheques etc at any post office so you don't need a Co-Operative branch in your town.
  3. Regarding your 3 points above, if your brother was on benefits, for example, and a creditor took him to court a judge would not make him pay more than £1 per month. It maybe worth writing to each creditor explaining the situation and asking them to freeze interest and offer £1 per month per creditor. One thing I know for sure is if nothing is done the interest will continue to spiral out of control. It can't hurt to ask.
  4. Any income your brother does get needs to be paid into a bank account that is not associated with Halifax. I suggest the cashminder account with the Co-Operative bank.
  5. You do need to avoid getting an account with a bank that you owe money to. I recommend the cashminder account with the Co-Operative bank. You can open that account on the phone and pay in cheques and cash into your account at the post office therefore you don't need to have a Co-Operative branch in your town. Click here >>> Cashminder As for a mobile phone I think you will need Pay As You Go and I think you'll be ok with any of them. I don't know about broadband.
  6. I suggest the first thing you do is open an account with a bank that doesn't have a connection with lloyds. Beware of the right to offset.
  7. I forgot to add, good for you wanting to negotiate with the creditors rather than goto payplan or CCCS. It's the way I've done with help from this site. Sending the template letter to ask them to hold the account may be worth while in gaining some breathing space, I can't see how it would hurt.
  8. First priority. I personally will only pay non-priority debts via standing order. The creditor can increase a direct debit at their end without telling you in advance which would leave you overdrawn. CCA's. The decision to CCA your debt's is your decision only. People here can advise on how to do it and where to go from there. The advantage of CCA requests would be that it would give you some breathing space.
  9. As for your negotiation letters I think you have the upper hand. Because you're on JSA a court wouldn't make you pay more than £1 per month, per creditor. Creditors already know this which means it is unlikely any court action would take place while receiving JSA. Keep in mind that creditors have no right to information about your redundancy money. You need to keep that aside to cover priority bills. If your situation doesn't improve in a year or two your creditor's may be open to offers of full and final settlements. If that occurs it is very important that you come back to this forum for guidance on how to do this properly. War of attrition I have learnt from dealing with my own debt that it is a war of attrition. At first I wanted the problem to disappear as quickly as possible but soon got used to the reality that I'm in this for the long game. Definition A war of attrition is a protracted conflict in which one side attempts to wear down its enemy by continuously engaging in battle. Which side are you going to be?
  10. I don't know about consumer direct but as for the OFT and trading standards they are not there to offer help. They are more to do with enforcement of rules and laws.
  11. Is that the Cashminder account? What exactly do they report to credit reference agencies?
  12. As you own a property they might go for a charging order to settle the debt. Bankruptcy could also put the property at risk. I'm not speaking from experience, just an observation.
  13. Voicemail hacking After reading about the voicemail hacking it occurred to me that it could happen to anyone, not just celebrities. Your voicemail could be hacked if you have not changed the pin from the default and if someone calls your mobile number and you don't pick up they can enter the default pin and listen to your messages. BBC story below Can my mobile phone be hacked? A question a lot of us have been asking over recent days, for obvious reasons. So I set about finding out about the threats to your phone and mine. I called the network I've been using recently, O2, in search of reassurance. They told me that the original hacking technique which made the phones of anyone who used voicemail insecure does now appear to be obsolete. It involved exploiting the fact that mobile phone operators gave customers default pin numbers - 0000 or 1234 - to access their voicemail from another phone. O2 say that when they investigated back in 2006, 40 customers were identified as having had their voicemail accessed without authorisation by the News of The World's Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire. After that the network changed its system. "A customer is now required to personalise their PIN number from their mobile phone if they wish to access their voicemails from another phone. If a customer does not choose a PIN, they will not be able to remotely access any of their voicemails." But there are other threats out there - just look at this post on the technology site CNET. The security consultant Kevin Mitnick describes another technique that could allow someone to access your voicemail if they knew your phone number. Caller ID spoofing allows anyone with a modicum of technical know-how to get access to your voicemail by convincing the system that it's you calling. According to CNET, the technique has been used in the past to hack celebrities' messages. But rest easy - both O2 and Vodafone told me their systems were designed to make this technique impossible in the UK. Beyond voicemail Don't be too relaxed, though, if you are the owner of a smartphone. The fact that these mini-computers now store vastly more data - from e-mails to calendar appointments to photos - means that any intrusion can be all the more damaging. Last year a security firm called Vigilante Bespoke, which works to protect its clients' phones and computers from hacking, showed me just how vulnerable a modern smartphone might be. Techniques such as text message spoofing and fake wi-fi hotspots that can capture your phone are now available to those bent on mischief with your mobile. I checked in with Vigilante Bespoke this week and was told that new techniques are popping up all the time, when they examine their customers' mobiles for signs of vulnerability. On one client's phone they found a piece of software, a legitimate product, used by businesses and parents to monitor everything that happens on a mobile phone - from voicemail, to e-mails to web use. But in this case it had been installed without the client's knowledge, possibly when he put it down in a public place for a few minutes. Other threats to your mobile security - from scanners to tracking devices - involve a lot of technical knowledge and in some cases a great deal of investment of time and money from those bent on invading your security. But, as we've seen, for some journalists and private detectives backed by organisations with deep pockets, that's feasible if the target is deemed sufficiently valuable. Clueless users The security blogger Graham Cluley told me it was shocking how ignorant most of us were about the threat to our phones. "As devices become more complex and we store more of our lives on our cellphone it will become increasingly important to properly protect them," he says. "The mobile phone operators can't afford to ignore security, and should build in defences and guide users about how best to protect themselves." And even if your phone itself is perfectly secure, what about your computer? On Twitter yesterday George Michael made a series of allegations about the invasion of his privacy by journalists and the police. "In recent years it's gone way further than phone hacking," he said. Others who have been the target of newspaper investigations are suggesting that they were sent Trojans - e-mail attachments that allow someone to gain access to your computer. We still need to see more evidence on that , but a Panorama investigation earlier this year found that this technique had been used in at least one case. So the question to ask is not so much is my phone safe, but is all of my personal data, wherever it is stored, secure from the hacker? Luckily, most of us lead lives so mundane that we are unlikely to find ourselves targeted by the tabloids. That does not mean we can relax - our data may not be valuable to journalists, but for fraudsters it's a potential goldmine. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14118995
  14. If you don't pay anything and don't acknowledge the debt for six years it will become statute barred. Seems to me that cabot are just trying to reset the statute barred clock. My advice, keep the copy of your account in dispute letter in a safe place and ignore cabot.
  15. Account In Dispute Ref: Dear Sir/Madam Thank you for your letter of xx/xx/xx, the contents of which have been noted. You have failed to respond to my legal request to supply me a true copy of the original Consumer Credit Agreement for the above account. I would now request you send me your official complaints procedure within 14 days. On **DATE** I made a formal request for a true signed agreement for the alleged account under consumer credit Act 1974 s77/8. A copy of which is enclosed for your perusal and ease of reference. You have failed to comply with my request, and as such the account entered default on **DATE**. The document that you are obliged to send me is a true copy of the executed agreement that contained all of the prescribed terms, all other required terms and statutory notices and was signed by both your company and myself as defined in section 61(1) of CCA 74 and subsequent Statutory Instruments. If the executed agreement contained any reference to any other document, you are also obliged to send me a copy of that document.In addition a full statement of this account should have been sent to me detailing all debits and credits to the account. Furthermore You are aware that the Consumer Credit Act allows 12 working days for a request for a true copy of a credit agreement to be carried out before your client enters into a default situation. These limits have expired. As you are no doubt aware section 77(6) states: If the creditor fails to comply with Subsection (1) (a) He is not entitled , while the default continues, to enforce the agreement. Therefore this account has become unenforceable at law. As you have Failed to comply with a lawful request for a true, signed copy of the said agreement and other relevant documents mentioned in it, Failed to send a full statement of the account and Failed to provide any of the documentation requested. Consequentially any legal action you pursue will be averred as both UNLAWFUL and VEXATIOUS. Furthermore I shall counterclaim that any such action constitutes unlawful harassment. Please note you may also consider this letter as a statutory notice under section 10 of the Data Protection Act to cease processing any data in relation to this account with immediate effect. This means you must remove all information regarding this account from your own internal records and from my records with any credit reference agencies . Should you refuse to comply, you must within 21 days provide me with a detailed Breakdown of your reasoning behind continuing to process my data. It is not sufficient to simply state that you have a ‘legal right’; You must outline your reasoning in this matter and state upon which legislation this reasoning depends. Should you not respond within 14 days I expect that this means you agree to remove all such data. Furthermore you should be aware that a creditor is not permitted to take ANY Action against an account whilst it remains in dispute. The lack of a credit agreement is a very clear dispute and as such the following applies. * You may not demand any payment on the account, nor am I obliged to offer any payment to you. * You may not add further interest or any charges to the account. * You may not pass the account to a third party. * You may not register any information in respect of the account with any credit reference agency. * You may not issue a default notice related to the account. I reserve the right to report your actions to any such regulatory authorities as I see fit. You have 14 days from receiving this letter to contact me with your intentions to resolve this matter which is now a formal complaint. I would appreciate your due diligence in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you in writing. Yours faithfully PRINT NAME - don't sign
  16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13199797 A man whom a High Court judge said was "tortured" by hundreds of phone calls from his credit card firm has spoken for the first time about his ordeal. Keith Harrison, a businessman from Buckfastleigh in Devon, spoke exclusively to the BBC about the telephone harassment that the MBNA credit card firm, and the debt collection firm Link Financial, had used to try to make him repay his outstanding credit card bill. "They [MBNA] were condescending and rude. The bottom line is they don't believe what you say," said Mr Harrison. "Whatever you say about your circumstances they are not interested, they just want you to get your debit card out," he added. The lenders' behaviour was so bad that it contributed to a decision in February, by Judge Nicholas Chambers QC at Mold County Court, to write off just over £20,000 outstanding on Mr Harrison's card. "I am satisfied that the claimant's description of the way that he was hounded by his creditors is essentially correct not least in the use of "non-traceable" telephone calls," the judge said. "[There] can be no excuse for conduct of which it must be supposed the sole purpose must have been to make the claimant's life so difficult that he would come to heel." Running into trouble Mr Harrison, who runs a design business from home, ran into trouble in 2007 - nearly a decade after first taking out the MBNA card. In the space of three months he was struck by a series of family illnesses. His mother had a serious heart attack, necessitating constant care at home after being treated in hospital. Then both his wife and daughter also went into hospital with serious ailments. Distracted by all this, he neglected his business, failed to invoice some customers and started running out of cash to pay his bills. 'Exceptionally hostile' Mr Harrison was not insolvent. At first he simply made his credit card payments late, on a debt of around £15,000. "The response from MBNA was exceptionally hostile, virtually from the word go, out of the blue," Mr Harrison said. "Telephone calls, various threat letters, they would send postcards. "What became apparent is that they almost had a mechanised collection process they triggered that took us completely by surprise." Mr Harrison discovered that an aggressive system of debt collection had kicked in. "We did pick up the calls initially, but what we found that all the people we spoke to were interested in was payment. "They were call centre staff who almost did not listen to you or believe what you were saying," he said. "The next call would be a different person, you told them the same thing, but they just said 'when are you going to pay us?'" At this stage MBNA also raised Mr Harrison's interest rate from 24% to 30%. And along with late payment charges his debt ballooned to more than £20,000. Then he found he could not pay at all. Hundreds of calls Mr Harrison was receiving phone calls almost every day, and at the start of 2008 started to keep a written log of them. On one day alone he received 15 calls from MBNA. Submitted as evidence to his recent court hearing, the log records more than 700 mainly automated phone calls which he says he received from the credit card firm from the beginning of 2008. Along with the calls in 2007, Mr Harrison estimated he had been bombarded with between 1000 and 1,500 calls, mainly from MBNA, and then from Link - who bought the debt from MBNA in the autumn of 2008. "They would follow a pattern, they would call my mobile, my home and my business in a set sequence," he says. "It was unnecessary and distressing, and there was no need for them as I was communicating in writing." Number withheld At the start of his ordeal Mr Harrison did speak to the callers from MBNA and says he had about 15 conversations with them. But he soon decided not to take any more calls in person and allowed them to be diverted to his answerphone. He found that many of the calls were from withheld numbers, while others left a message for him, either from a real person or pre-recorded. However he could not really ignore them as calls from his local hospital, vital during the family illnesses, were also unidentified. "The people it affected the most was my family. I told them there was somebody terminally ill in the house and the calls were distressing," Mr Harrison said. "The calls kept coming in. I tried to reassure my mother that it was just a bank threatening us and it was unacceptable, but it was incomprehensible to her that someone would keep doing this." 'Extremely stressful' Keith Harrison's wife, Susan, said she was put in a state of paranoia. "It was absolutely horrendous. You'd instinctively go to the phone and think who is that calling? Am I going to get into a really distressing conversation here, repeating everything we are going through?" she said. "I didn't want the children to be subjected to people like that calling them. My heart jumped every time the phone rang. I hate the phone now. It was extremely stressful." Link Financial called too, dozens of times, leaving 18 messages in all. In Link's case Mr Harrison did not have any conversations with the callers and communicated only by letter. He advises other people in a similar situation keep things in writing. "Forget the telephone, it is just a form of harassment - the banks use it as a weapon now. "If it is in writing it is auditable, and it's black and white, and they have less of an opportunity to coerce you and it can be produced in court," Mr Harrison adds. 'Harassment allegations' MBNA, one of the biggest credit card lenders, flatly denies Mr Harrison's story and his allegation of telephone harassment. "Unfortunately, although we left short messages for him, we never got to speak to Mr Harrison and he did not respond to any of our attempts to contact him nor ask anyone to call us on his behalf," MBNA said in a statement. "As we were not a party to the legal proceedings we were not aware of the harassment allegations against us as this was not part of Mr Harrison's pleaded case," MBNA added. It seems odd that MBNA was unaware of the allegations aired in court. It had provided a senior official as a key witness for Link Financial, the debt collection firm which had bought Mr Harrison's debt and which was the defendant in the High Court hearing. The detailed log of the many telephone calls was included in Mr Harrison's extensive witness statement and submitted in the trial bundle of case documents. This statement also contained copies of three letters Mr Harrison had written to MBNA in early 2008, complaining about the phone calls - letters which were then acknowledged by the credit card company. The rules Regulations laid down by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on debt collection suggest hounding debtors with phone calls is counted as improper harassment. The rules say physical or psychological harassment is an unfair or improper business practice. "Putting pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive," says the guidance. It cites as an example of an unfair practice "contacting debtors at unreasonable times and at unreasonable intervals." But despite the evidence before the court and the judge's ruling, MBNA continues to deny that it made nearly as many calls as Mr Harrison recorded, saying they were in the tens, not the hundreds. "We believe the number of call attempts we made in relation to his credit card account, was both proportional and reasonable," MBNA said. "We have robust controls over our contact with customers, in line with regulatory guidance and we did not breach these." Victory? Mr Harrison won his court case primarily because Link Financial could not show that MBNA, back in 1998, had supplied him with a copy of the terms and conditions for using the credit card. This is one of several vital requirements under the consumer credit laws that all lenders have to follow - or run the risk that they can never recover their debts. Despite his victory, Mr Harrison says he feels "hardly any" relief. "Had I lost that case I would have been facing a bill of more than £120,000 of fees. It was tremendously stressful," he said. The lasting effects of his phone call harassment remain with him. "We pick up very few calls now unless they can be identified from family and friends," he says. "It has had a profound effect. Now we always wonder who is calling us."
  17. Here's what I would do in your position, in order of priority. 1. Check my mobile for dialled out numbers. Check the phone bill for dialled out numbers. 2. Knock on door's to ask if anyone knows the person who sold the car at the road side. Road side sellers of cars are quite often repeat sellers, selling one car after another, parked in the same place at the road side. 3. Contact the DVLA and admit the mistake regardless of the outcome. You need to get that car out of your name as soon as possible as you will be responsible for anything relating to that car such as road tax and speeding tickets.
  18. A cash withdrawal at an ATM would solve that problem. If, for example, you have a transaction on your bank statement showing you used some form of bank card to pay for cinema tickets or similar then you will never get those people off your back. You have no obligation to speak to them on the phone. The only reason they send threatening letters is so you phone them so they can threaten you some more. Keep it all in writing and keep copies of all letters, yours and theirs.
  19. Letter requesting a copy of your agreement - It should be sent with a £1 postal order and sent recorded/guaranteed delivery - It should be sent to whoever OWNS the debt, the timescale for providing this is 12+2 WORKING DAYS. If it is not sent within this timescale they are in default of your request. Please ammend paragragh 1 to suit. ie s77 Fixed sum credit such as loans, s78 Running account credit such as credit cards & catalogues and s79 Hire agreements. Your Address Date Dear Sir/Madam Re:− Account/Reference Number 4563210025897412This letter is a formal request pursuant to s.77(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. I require you to provide me with a true copy of the credit agreement relating to the above account, together with any other documentation the Act requires you to provide. I expect you to comply fully and properly with this request, within the statutory time limit. You are reminded that should you fail to comply with my request, the provisions of s.77(6) will apply.(DELETE THIS BELOW IF YOU ARE SENDING THE LETTER TO THE ORIGNAL CREDITOR AS OPPOSED TO A DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY)If it is your view that you are not the creditor, s.175 of the CCA 1974 applies in the case of a simple assignment, and places a duty upon you to pass this request to the creditor. In the case of an absolute assignment, you are a creditor as defined by s.189. If you contend that you purchased the rights but not the duties of any agreement, you are reminded that s.189 of the Act is clear that an assignment is of both rights and duties. Your attention is drawn to ss.5(2), 3(b),6 and 7 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUTR).I enclose a postal order in the sum of £1.00, which is the statutory fee. Note that these funds are not to be used for any other purpose.If you are unable to comply fully and properly with this request, you should confirm this in writing at the earliest opportunity, and certainly within the statutory time limit for compliance, and return the fee. We look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully PRINT NAME - don't sign
  20. Did you carry on making monthly payments since 29th October? If the answer is yes and you can confirm that the payments were received by blair oliver scott, then my advice is carry on making your monthly token payments.Write a letter to them confirming you will carry on with token payments and keep a copy of your letter. You may want to consider sending by recorded delivery. Remember to state in your letter that you wont speak on the phone. Do NOT make payment via direct debit as blair oliver could increase the amount at their end. You might want to consider reducing your monthly token payment at this stage, unless you're already paying £1 per month, as the cost of living has increased since their last contact and the VAT increase is due next month. As long as you never miss a monthly payment it will be difficult for a judge to take them seriously.
  21. As others have pointed out, only a judge can demand to see income and expenditure details. The holy trinity, blair oliver and scott can sit up and beg but they aint getting it. My advise to you, if they phone again, tell them to put everything in writing then put the phone down. Don't engage in a conversation with them on the phone. They can not take you to court for refusing to speak on the phone. The six month review is the time when you write to them letting them know you can only afford a token payment and you politely tell them to foxtrot oscar. Also, remind them in your letter that you wont talk on the phone and "hope to hear from you again in six months". As long as you don't miss a token payment it is unlikely they would goto court.
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