My apologies if this is the wrong forum category. I read a few similar posts here, so I thought 'Online Stores' would be the appropriate section.
Earlier this year I accrued a negative PayPal balance after they took non-existent funds from my bank account, which also resulted in an overdraft with the bank. I was gambling, and I did not realise I had spent significantly more money than I had.
I acknowledge my mistake, and I have self-excluded from the casino, but at the same time I am appalled by the fact that PayPal is allowed to let customers gamble with money which they do not have (especially after the Gambling Commission ban on credit cards for gambling).
I have sorted out the overdraft with my bank, but my PayPal balance is currently negative (it is between -1k and -1.5k).
I received an email from Moorcroft, which reads as follows:
'We act on behalf of PAYPAL and would like to speak to you on a personal business matter. Please contact us on **** *** **** or via our website www.mdrl.co.uk as soon as possible. Calls to the above telephone number will be charged at standard rate.
If you would prefer that we call you back please email us at [email protected]
with your contact number ensuring that your reference number is quoted.
Our opening hours are Monday to Thursday 7.15am to 9.00pm, Friday 7.15am to 7.00pm and Saturday 8.30am to 4.00pm.
We must stress that we are aware of the current position regarding the virus outbreak and the effect it is having on many people across the country. We would ask that you simply contact us so that we can discuss your circumstances and make sure that we deal with matters correctly.'
I am aware that there is a similar post from November 2020, but I am not certain whether anything has changed since then, so any input would be greatly appreciated.
My questions are the following:
1. I have not responded to any emails from PayPal/Moorcroft, and I do not intend to do so, as I do not feel morally compelled to pay them anything (the overdraft was more than enough!). It is obvious that Moorcroft have not purchased the debt (yet), but what are the chances of them doing so in the future?
2. If Moorcroft do purchase the debt, could they send me a letter of claim and try to take me to court?
From what I have read on this forum, it seems that this has never happened yet in the UK.
I should highlight that it is PayPal Direct Debit and not PayPal Credit that I am talking about, i.e. this type of debt does not appear on any credit reports and does not affect my credit score in any way. Is this correct?
3. I assume it is important to mention that I have been away from the UK for over a year, and whilst I do not have any material possessions in the country, I hold a few bank accounts.
What would happen in case Moorcroft decided to take me to court?
I am genuinely not going to be able to find out whether they have sent me a letter of claim, given that I no longer live at the address I used to live at (I was renting); the only way for them to contact me is via email.
Would they be able to obtain a judgment in default against me?
Could they somehow obtain a court order (a 'third party debt order'?) to take money from my other bank accounts, which I still use?
4. I am not certain when I will return to the UK.
Even if they did obtain a CCJ (in my case, a 'decree', as I used to live in Scotland) against me, in what ways could I be affected by that?
According to StepChange (https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/can-i-write-off-debt/statute-barred-debt.aspx), if I do not return in the next 5 years (6 for England/Wales/Northern Ireland), the debt would become 'prescribed', i.e. non-existent (statute-barred in England/Wales/Northern Ireland).
Nevertheless, it is also mentioned that
'If the creditor has already started action to obtain a decree before the prescription period passed, the debt can’t become prescribed'.
Does that signify that if Moorcroft obtained or even merely 'started action to obtain' a decree against me, they would be able to legally force me to pay them back even after 5 years have passed?
As far as I know, if a decree/judgment is not enforced within said period of 5/6 years, a court's permission is required to enforce it (say, if I were to move back to the UK in 2030). Could this realistically happen, and would I have to pay anything (e.g. interest, court fees) on top of the amount I currently 'owe' to PayPal?
Thank you very much in advance!