Here's my summarised situation.
I'd like any advice on how I should proceed now.
Took out a Credit Card with MBNA in 1999
Through their unscrupulous lending,
my own stupidity & intermittent mental health issues,
I ran up a debt that I couldn't pay off
I started to have problems meeting my minimum monthly payments in 2010, and requested a temporary interest freeze when it got really bad
(thought this was 2011, but now realise it was probably 2012... further explanation below)
to help me to sort our my finances.
This request was ignored.
After several months I stopped paying anything and prioritised other debts.
Eventually defaulted in 2012
I started to get harrassed by Aktiv Kapital
Over time have now been chased by PRA, another couple of agents and back to PRA
At one stage,
not sure when but probably 2012/13
I requested proof of the debt being owed to Aktiv Kapital/PRA?,
and didn't receive that proof.
At the time I downloaded a template letter to send,
but not sure where from,
but it included the sentence about not admitting to the debt.
Due to not receiving the proof requested I didn't enter into any communication with any of these companies again.
PRA continued to harrass me.
I wouldn't hear from them for months and would then be bombarded with telephone calls as well as letters.
I didn't answer the phone to them or respond to their letters.
Over time they have offered a discount on the debt several times
In June 2016 they advised by letter that they were considering passing the case to their Scottish Solicitors
I received a letter from Brodies LLP in July 2016 stating they had been instructed by PRA to pursue recovery of the debt and threatening court proceedings.
I was convinced at the time that it had actually been in 2011 that I had last communicated with the original lender and sent a Statute Barred letter.
I heard nothing back and when a couple of months passed with no communication I thought I had heard the last from them.
On Saturday I received a letter from Brodies again (6 months later) which included a copy of my original Credit Agreement and copies of the final few months of statements of my account with MBNA showing I made a payment in August 2012.
This letter states that
"To avoid this matter being passed to our Court Action Team, you are required to pay the Debt or contact us to discuss a suitable payment arrangement not later than 2 February 2017"
The amount of the debt being chased is £5781.16
Are they allowed to only give 4 working days for me to contact them?
Are they allowed to come back to me after 6 months of no communication?
Am I entitled to request proof of ownership of the debt by PRA?
Should I contact them tomorrow?
I am not in a position to pay this amount.
Part of me says,
I borrowed the money and should accept that it eventually needs to be paid.
However, if there are any loopholes I can use to my advantage then I'd like to try to use them, as for the first time in 20 years I have all my other debts under control and can't believe this has come back to haunt me.
I've tried to read as much as possible on other threads, but got really confused by some of the terminology being used, so apologies if I should have been able to find my answers elsewhere.