Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but hopefully someone can help me. My wife has been contacted by Thesis Servicing saying that they have taken over her student loan from 1997 and that she owes arrears totalling over £200 because the loan was not defferred for 3 months in 1998.
She has deferred her loan since she graduated as she has never earned above the threshold, however in 1998 she did make one payment but then reinstated her deferrment which the Student Loan Company backdated.
Thesis are saying that under the terms and conditions, the SLC should have chased the arrears and that the reason the Govt. has moved the loans away from the SLC to Thesis is because SLC weren't handling the accounts correctly.
Thesis have asked my wife to contact the SLC and get them to confirm in writing that they have deferred the loan and that they broke the terms and conditions of the loan by not chasing the arrears.
My wife has contacted the SLC who have confirmed to her that her deferrment was valid and backdated and as far as they are concerned there are no arrears, however they won't put it in writing, especially the part about breaking the terms and conditions. They also said that there is a Liaison department for Thesis to contact to get the details, but Thesis are saying they don't need to as they have the paperwork in front of them. They are also saying they will issue a default notice if the payment isn't made.
This is the first that my wife has heard from anyone that the debt has been transferred to another company and she also didn't recieve the deferrment papers this year (which should have come from Thesis) although they are claiming that they have sent both items.
My questions are:
How can this debt be transferred without my wife's agreement or knowledge? Is this legal? Surely her agreement is with the SLC and not Thesis?
Given that the loan is currently deferred, can they legally claim for these arrears?
Are Student Loans covered by the Financial Ombudsman?
What can we do (other than paying) to prevent the default notice?
Thesis are very aggressive and we simply don't want to deal with them. Is there any way to get the account transferred back to the SLC?
It just feels like this shouldn't be legal. I don't understand how your account can suddenly be handed over to another company and them to start going back through the payment history and claim "arrears" on a deferred loan i.e. one that no payments are due on.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.