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Everything posted by Martyn68

  1. I would also add, from my experience, Link will chase payments when you are speaking to them or they see you as an easy target. When I asked for a copy of the assignment and a copy of the agreement (the standard letters on this forum), and advised that I would report them for harassment if they continued to chase for a disputed debt, they stopped calling or writing. That was 5 years ago. I never heard from them again nor had any detrimental information recorded against me...
  2. My recent email to a DCA: Dear sir or madam, Thank you for your politely worded and articulate letter dated 19 February in which you advised that you are acting on behalf of bcwgroup (Vodafone Connect Ltd) "who has passed your debt to us for recovery." Your letter, which uses a nice blend of red and black (being a Man Utd fan, I found that to be especially endearing) goes on to state that your client is anxious to resolve this issue and has instructed you to collect the balance in full and states that the above balance must now be paid to you immediately (the last word written in a fetching bold font). Unfortunately, as I have advised Buchanan Clark and Wells, and all the numerous people that have written to me or called me over the years, this is not a debt that I have ever taken out and is not attributable to me. Despite this, the numerous companies and BCW themselves have ignored this salient point and continued to press for payment on a disputed debt. The company that have passed this debt to you have totally disregarded the Office of Fair Trading 'Debt Collection Guidance - final guidance on unfair business practices' (I have kindly attached a copy, which you may want to forward to them). As I am sure you are aware, section 2.6h of this guidance states that "Examples of unfair practices are as follows: ignoring and disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment". In addition, Section 2.8i states that "Examples of unfair practices are as follows: failing to investigate and/or provide details as appropriate, when a debt is queried or disputed, possibly resulting in debtors being wrongly pursued." whilst Section 2.8k adds "not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt." I would be very grateful if you would kindly investigate this matter with the same fervour and dedication that you put into wording and colouring your letters. In closing, I am also aware from previous conversations that the debt actually relates to a mobile phone contract taken out by somebody in the 1990s. In order to help you accelerate your administrative work and remove my name from your records, I would like to conclude by advising that this debt is statute barred and that continuing to press for payment could amount to harassment contrary to section 40(1) of the administration of Justice Act 1970. Once again, many thanks for your interest in my financial affairs. Kind regards, Martyn I've heard nothing since...
  3. Mark. I had a similar situation where Paragon agreed to freeze interest, but then disputed this. I understood that the agreement should be almost settled but then finally got a statement from Paragon advising that the bill was 13k (more than I initially borrowed) My advise? Ask for a copy of the agreement. I'm currently holding out for Arrow Global to make the next move, but I have a couple of aces up my sleeve. 1. My original agreement with Universal said that 'Universal Credit will not disclose confidential information about you to any person outside Lloyds TSB Group, unless we have your consent or are required by law to make disclosure. We will only exchange information within Lloyds TSB Group to enable us to review your total relationship with us, for credit purposes, or for marketing purposes.' That being the case, how do Transcom or Arrow have my details. Also? How are they able to justify releasing any information to a credit reference agency? The agreement that I signed categorically stated that they wouldn't or couldn't. 2. The copy agreement that Transcom sent me through was a totally different agreement and document to the one that I signed, with no signature and a different APR (albeit by 0.04%). Also? The Terms and Conditions differed and didn't include the 'DISCLOSURE - Data Protection Act 1984' term in my original document. I hope that helps. Let us know how you get on. Martyn
  4. Wolfhead. I am in exactly the same boat. It seems that this is a common trend. Lookinforinfo, what would make an agreement unenforceable? I requested a copy of my old Universal Agreement and it looked very basic (plus my name was spelt incorrectly on it).
  5. I'm definitely prepared to provide a statement confirming my position. Having an arrangement (without any further dialogue) for over 2 years and then finding my balance has risen by an approximate average of £140 a month over the time because they didn't withhold the interest, as they stated they would, was distressing to say the least.
  6. Stevie, your situation with Paragon exactly mirrors my situation. A 1997 debt. Agreement to freeze interest. No statements. No record of agreeing to freeze interest at their end. Reduced interest latterly agreed. Debt sold to Arrow and managed by CBS. Please can you keep me informed of what is happening at your end, and I will do likewise. I am just about to return a call to CBS Transcom, as I have had enough of them leaving their weekly messages with my girlfriend....
  7. fanack, I've just been doing some google based research on Paragon and came across this which may be of interest: Dated:- 31 July 2000 D PRESS RELEASE ON THE PARAGON GROUP OF PLC issued 11 September 2000 Paragon to amend contract term entitling it to charge contractual interest after judgment The Paragon Group of Companies plc has agreed to amend a term entitling it to charge interest on debts which are subject to court orders. This undertaking is given on behalf of the company and all its subsidiaries. It affects those borrowers who have: agreements regulated by the Consumer Credit Act been taken to court for defaulting on their payments and been made subject to an instalment order tailored to their ability to pay. The term entitles the lender to continue charging interest at the contractual rate while the instalments are being paid. Borrowers who believe that they have cleared the debt then discover that a large sum is still owed. Paragon gave the undertaking after intervention by the Office of Fair Trading against another lender led to a Court of Appeal decision. The Court ruled the term was unfair in that it enabled the bank to obtain judgment against a borrower ordering him to pay by instalments without the court having the opportunity to reduce or disallow the contractual interest rate. The OFT has the power to apply to the High Court for an injunction to stop the use of such unfair terms. Paragon has agreed it will not charge additional contractual interest unless: it has informed consumers about their right to ask the Court to reduce or stop this interest the attention of the Court has been drawn to its powers to reduce or stop the interest. John Bridgeman, Director General of Fair Trading, said today: 'Such contract terms are heavily loaded in favour of the lender to the detriment of the consumer. The courts, when asked to make a judgment to recover debt, take into account the circumstances of the borrower and make an order setting out the level of repayments over a specified time period. The courts have been unaware that these companies have then added interest to the instalments with the effect of adding to the burden of debt. Lenders must realise that they have a responsibility towards borrowers and that penalising them in this way is unacceptable.' NOTES 1. Paragon is a mortgage lender. It is also a major personal finance lender. It advanced loans of £95.6 million in the year to 30 September 1999 (both secured and unsecured). Paragon also finances motor dealers. 2. The court case involved First National Bank which was taken to court by John Bridgeman after it refused to change a similar term in its unsecured consumer credit agreements voluntarily. 3. In February, the Court of Appeal held that the term enabled FNB to obtain judgment against a borrower ordering him to pay by instalments and to continue to charge contractual interest usually without the Court or borrower having been made aware of the term and without the Court having been given the opportunity to consider exercising its powers to reduce or disallow contractual interest. The Court said that the bank, with its strong bargaining position as against the weak position of individual consumers had not adequately considered the borrowers' interests. In the view of the Court the term created unfair surprise and did not satisfy the test of good faith. It caused a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties and operated to the detriment of the consumer who had to pay the interest. 4. The Judges, Lord Justice Peter Gibson, Lord Justice Waller and Lord Justice Buxton unanimously ruled that the term was unfair in these circumstances and asked FNB to amend it to meet the DG's concerns. FNB has undertaken not to enforce the term unless the Court has specifically considered exercising its powers to reduce or disallow the contractual interest payable and the consumer has been informed of his right to ask the Court to exercise these powers. FNB was refused permission to appeal by the Court of Appeal and it has asked the House of Lords for permission which has yet to be decided. 5. Paragon's undertaking matches that made by FNB. 6. The Office took action under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations which came into force on 1 July 1995. These were superseded on 1 October 1999 by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The regulations implement an EC Directive (EC Directive 93/13) in the UK. They apply to standard contract terms used with customers in contracts made after 1 July 1995. The Regulations say that a consumer is not bound by a standard term in a contract with a seller or supplier if that term is unfair. They also give the Director General of Fair Trading and other Qualifying Bodies powers to stop the use of the standard term by businesses and prevent anyone recommending such terms, if necessary by obtaining a court injunction. UNDERTAKINGS GIVEN BY THE PARAGON GROUP OF COMPANIES PLC TO: THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAIR TRADING Each of Paragon Mortgages Limited (“PML”), Paragon Personal Finance Limited (“PPF”) and Universal Credit Limited (“UCL”) undertake, subject to seven prior days notice to the contrary, that:- In any contract regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (“the Act”), it will amend any term having the object or effect of making contractual interest payable on the amount of any judgment for sums owed by the customer, so as to provide the following additional text to the relevant clause: If [name of company] applies for a money judgment in respect of this agreement, the Court may make an order (a “Time Order”) under Section 129 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (“the Act”) for the payment of the amount due to [name of company] by such instalments, payable at such times, as the Court thinks reasonable. If the Court makes a Time Order, it may reduce the rate of interest during the period of Time Order under its powers under Section 136 of the Act. [Name of company] will not enforce any claim to contractual interest accruing after the Court has entered a money judgment and made an order for payment by instalments of the amount due under this agreement unless prior to any such order, the attention of the Court has been drawn to its powers under Sections 129 and 136 of the Act and to this clause and the Court has specifically considered whether to exercise these powers. This undertaking is suspended until 3 months after the disposal of any appeal by First National Bank PLC to the House of Lords in case no CHANF/99/0974/A3 (the “Disposal”). With immediate effect, where a contract made after 30 June 1995 is regulated by the Act and contains a term having the object or effect of making interest payable at the contractual rate on the amount of any judgment for sums owed by the customer, PML, PPF or UCL as the case may be, will not enforce such a term in respect of any sums due under a money judgment where the court has ordered the judgment sum to be paid by instalments unless:- a). before the claim for the money judgment was issued, it gave written notice to the customer in terms of the draft in the Schedule hereto; and b). before the order to pay by instalments was made, the attention of the court has been drawn to its powers under Sections 129 and 136 of the Act and to the term and the court has specifically considered whether to exercise these powers; provided that nothing in this undertaking shall prevent PML, PPF or UCL (as the case may be) retaining in a separate interest bearing account until after the Disposal any sum from the proceeds of sale of a property pursuant to a charging order which represents interest after judgment. SCHEDULE You should note that under the terms of your contract interest at the contract rate will continue to be charged until the balance is fully repaid, whether or not judgment is obtained. This means that if you offer to pay any judgment over time by instalments, the total amount you will eventually have to pay will also include an amount for this ongoing interest. In some circumstances, the court will make a “time order” under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which will allow you to pay what you owe under the contract by such instalments as the court will fix. The court can also reduce the rate of interest over the period of a time order. You may wish to apply for a time order. If you need further guidance, you should get help, for example, from a solicitor or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
  8. Hi fanack. Just found the problems that you are having with Paragon, and the continued charging of exorbitant interest on customers having financial difficulties is something that I have also endured. I started a thread a couple of days ago on my battle with them, and have requested a copy of my agreement from them. To date I have not received anything from them, so I am hoping that I can use their failure to comply with a CCA request as leverage to try and get some form of consideration from them.
  9. I received a letter today from Paragon Finance. Basically saying "here is the information that you requested" and providing me with a statement of all activity on my account. No sign of the agreement. Can anyone guide me on my rights here, assuming that they are not going to pass me a copy of the agreement? Should I write to them again saying that they have not passed me the information that I requested, or is it their responsibility to respoind correctly to my original request? I just feel that I have been lied to and taken for a mug by this company and I want to know how strong my position is. Would I be correct in thinking that my next course of action would be to wait until the 12 working days is up (next Wednesday) and then write to Paragon advising them that they are in default and that the debt is unenforceable and interest should be frozen until they comply with my CCA request? After that, and if nothing is received within the calendar month, should I write to tell them that they have committed a criminal act in not providing me with a copy of the orginal signed agreement? Thanks for any help.....
  10. Hi. I hope someone can guide me in the right direction here. In 1997 I took out a personal loan with Universal Credit for £10,000. I maintained the payments without any problems for a couple of years, but then got into financial difficulties as a result of my business collapsing and the breakdown of my marriage. In this period, the debt was purchased by Paragon Finance, who I was led to believe bought the entire loan book of Universal Credit. I agreed with Paragon to make reduced payments at a level that I could afford after a meeting with an external representative that Paragon out-sourced, who I visited at their house. He agreed that, due to my financial circumstances, interest would be frozen. This surprised me as I believed that my original agreement had been a fixed personal loan and not a monthly charge account. Last November, having first found this site, I sent a Data Protection Act letter to Paragon asking for a breakdown of my account. I was disturbed to find that interest had continued to be charged on my account at the full rate. Despite having paid back in excess of £13k to Paragon/Universal, my balance now stood in excess of £14k. I phoned to complain about the interest charges (I haven't moved forward yet on looking to reclaim collection charges of £600 plus £500 for the out-sourced collection services) and was advised that as I had nothing in writing, I was still liable for the interest that I had been charged over the preceding years and that as the agent was not an employee of Paragon, he had no right to offer this to me in any case. As my circumstances have not improved sufficiently for me to increase my payments to Paragon, I have requested from them a copy of the agreement. I just want to understand my rights so that I can look to get the interest and charges waived that I was initially promised. If I do not receive the information from Paragon within 40 days, am I right in understanding that they have committed a criminal act and that I can then use this as leverage to correct some of the wrongs that they have committed? For the record, the letter that I sent was as follows:
  11. Thanks Elsinore. Paragon have never passed the debt on and all my payments have been to them. They have just applied charges of £305 for an independent debt collection agency to agree a payment plan with them. I am going to send out a DPA letter, to see whether there are any notes on their systems regarding freezing of interest. If there isn't, I was considering the CCA approach and if a copy of the agreement is not forthcoming, demanding a refund of the interest and charges applied whilst I was making the payments under the agreed reduced payment plan. Has anyone else ever had any experience of this?
  12. In October 1997 I took out a £10k loan with Paragon Personal Finance. Unfortunately, at this time interest rates were very high (circa 25%) With a divorce and failed business, I got into trouble with the debt, to the extent that in July 02 they put me in touch with an outside debt recovery company, who I sat down with and prepared a list of my income and outgoings. We agreed a repayment plan of £70 a month and he advised me that interest on my account would be frozen. In December 05, I asked for a statement of my account because I wanted to know how long I had to continue repaying this debt. They sent me through a statement of my account and I have seen that they interest has not been frozen. From July 2002 until December 05 the interest charges were considerably higher than my repayments and the balance has consequently risen from £5643.90 at it's lowest point in November 01 to £10,966.96 in Dec 05, including fixed charges of £590 and "Third Party Costs" of £305.51. I have spoken with Paragon who have advised me that the collector had no authority to suspend interest on the account and that they had no record of this. I foolishly trusted Paragon and their appointed representative and didn't request this in writing. I have since been through another financial review with Paragon (both over the phone and in writing) and they have agreed to accept £40 a month and to reduce the interest rate so that my £40 covers the interest charge. After having paid over £13k to date, I am at my wits end over this debt as I can not see any way out of their grasps. Can anyone offer me any advice or help whereby I can make an arrangement where this account can finally be paid off?
  13. In 2001, a debt I had with MBNA was sold to a Debt Collection Agency (Link FInancial). After being hounded on the phone and in letters, I did some internet research and, although I can't find it now, I did find some info saying that for a debt to be sold, it had to state in the Terms & Conditions that this was allowed. I therefore, verbally, asked Link Financial to supply me with a copy of the agreement. I said that I would refuse to make any further payments until I received this. I have not made any payments since November 2002. I still get phone calls every 2 weeks from Link, and I go through the same rigmarole of insisting that I will not make any more payments until I receive a copy of the original credit agreement. I want to put this matter to rest once and for all. Firstly, do people know whether I am correct in my understanding that the Terms & Conditions of an agreement need to allow for the debt to be sold on? And secondly, would a CCA letter, assuming that a copy of the agreement won't be forthcoming, be sufficient to put this matter to bed? Many thanks for any help that people can provide......
  14. Hi Caroline, I'm not an expert, but from personal experience, it's always better to keep the money in your pocket than to try and reclaim it from someone. From reading through the various threads on this forum, and from the various actions that I am taking as a result, I would personally send them the standard DPA letter. Once you have the list of charges that they have applied, you can then challenge them to deduct these from your account following the standard processes. Best of luck....
  15. Hi Elsinore, Many thanks for your help. By "Struck off", I mean that Companies House were simply advised that the business had ceased trading. I don't have all the Bank Statements, so I am sending Lloyds TSB a letter asking them to verify how the balance has been reached, which I believe they should inform me of seeing that they are pursuing me for the debt as guarantor. I have drawn up the DPA letter to Lloyds TSB, but amending the 1st paragraph to read: To Westcot & Nelson Guest I am sending the following: These letters will be going out on Monday. If anyone thinks I should make any amendments please let me know, otherwise I will keep you informed of developments.
  16. I actually managed to get a £200 refund from Drakes after I was over-charged for collection on a parking fine. If anyone wants a copy of my correspondence, let me know and I'll post up the contact names and fax numbers I used together with my fax/letters when I am back in the office (where I have everything saved on my work PC) on Monday.
  17. Hi. I hope people can help me. I found this site today, and it's given me a bit of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. For several years I worked for myself (although as a Limited Company). Two and a half years ago I had to close the business down after my father (Co Sec) died and I seperated from my ex-wife. The business had an overdraft, of approximately £3k, which I had personally guaranteed (up to a maximum of £5k). Over the years that the business was running, which never survived before it's infancy stage before folding, I regularly received charges on the business for exceeding overdraft limits and occasionally for unpaid items. At the time, I did verbally inform the bank that the business was no longer trading, but I was not able to formally liquidate the business as I was not able to afford this. Even though the business was "struck off" at Companies House, Lloyds TSB have continued to apply charges every month for exceeding the overdraft limit, which have taken the balance of the account up to £3.8k With all the pressure on me, I foolishly buried my head in the sand hoping it would go away as I was also suffering other financial difficulties. Last month I received a letter from Westcot Credit Services in connection with this outstanding sum. I phoned them up and offered £15 per month as it is all I can afford (I have similar arrangements with all my creditors). I was advised to send in a financial statement which I duly did. I received a call a week later from Westcot. I told them that I had sent in the financial statement, but they said that they had not yet received it and would call me the following week once it had arrived. I heard nothing, so was expecting a letter to come through confirming acceptance of the arrangement. Today I received a letter from Nelson Guest & Partners Solicitors saying: My questions, if anyone is able to help me, are as follows: As I was guarantor for the business, am I able to pursue a refund of charges in the same way that I could if it was a personal account? If so, should I direct any correspondence to Lloyds TSB, Westcot Credit Services or Nelson Guest & Partners? How should I challenge any part of this (ie. what course of action would people recommend)? Any help or suggestions would be very gratefully received.
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