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  1. Looking for some advice / information, my wife and I emigrated to New Zealand one year ago, leaving behind some debt which we have been making regular monthly payments. I have in my name 4 credit card debts totalling £12000 split quite evenly over the 4 cards. My wife has a Lloyds personnel loan for £6000 and a credit card for £6000. We are currently coming to the Point where we cannot meet the monthly repayments. I have read on the Internet just walking away is a option as they are unable or unwilling to pursue the debt in NZ. The problem is my wife is a solicitor and so if they declare her bankrupt she would be unable to practice law in NZ. Does anyone think if we said to the various companies we can't keep this up, we want the interest stopped and we want the monthly repayments lowered as we are in NZ they would give in and accept it. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated
  2. First of all, thanks to the providers and contributors to this forum. I am really worried and happy to have found somewhere where I can try to get some answers. Background: I have been living and working in the UK for the past four years. In 2007-2008 my father was going through what was at the time temporary financial difficulties (loss of job & divorce) so I offered to allow him to use my NZ credit cards, on the basis that he would make the monthly payments. In 2009 he had a heart attack and was only working part time so was struggled to pay and basically no payments have been made since late 2009. As a result I have credit card debt to two NZ credit cards - one for NZ$16k (approx £7k) and one for NZ$15k (approx £6k). I have two properties in NZ, but these are highly mortgaged and due to the credit crunch, the banks have refused me a second mortage to repay the credit card debt. I have looked at selling, but after paying the estate agent commission, marketing and paying the mortgage, there would not be enough left to pay the debt. I earn a reasonable salary in the UK but have quite a bit of credit card debt on 0% interest and would struggle to raise a loan to pay the debt in full. We have also had a ban on overtime since this time last year, resulting in an effective 30% pay cut. In short, I am treading water in the UK. My wife is due with our first baby in the next few days and I really don't know what to do! My father managed to raise some cash to make a couple of payments earlier this year and I have had a reasonable relationship with the credit management department at the banks (who know the situation) but the inevitable has happened and both have just been passed to DCAs in NZ. Current Situation: I got an email from one of the DCAs (EC Credit Control) in NZ a little over a week ago, asking me to call them. I should say that up until this point they had my UK phone numbers and email address, but most correspondence was still going to my fathers address in NZ. I called the NZ DCA on Monday and they said that they wanted immediate payment of the debt which was the original NZ$16,600 plus costs of NZ$4,700 making the total due immediately of NZ$21,300. I said that I would not consider paying the costs but had previously spoken to the bank (Bank of NZ) when I was trying to remortgage and they said that they would be willing to accept a full and final settlement of approx NZ$12k, so, if I could raise the money (and I didn't say I could), that would be the most I would be willing to offer. I asked her to send me the details in writing to my UK address (which I gave to her). She said that they had already sent a first demand (to my incorrect address), which they could not resend, but I would get a second demand in the next week. Two days later a letter arrived from EC Credit Control, but this was from their UK based office with all UK registration details on which states: "Our client has referred the above overdue account to us for collection, as you have failed to respond to their repeated requests for settlement. Their instructions are to issue legal proceedings unless payment for the total account is made to EC Credit Control" If the matter is taken to Court, out client will seek Judgement against you for their legal costs. The Court may also order that you pay their Court costs. Failure to make payment will result in court proceedings commencing against you which after obtaining Judgement will result in you being listed as a defaulter throughout the United Kingdom. This will adversely affect your credit rating. Payment must be made b cheque or credit card directly to EC Credit Control. A payment slip is attached at the bottom of this letter to be returned with your remittance" Obviously this makes me concerned, as I am trying my best to deal with the situation via the NZ DCA, and I was not aware that there was any jurisdiction for this debt to be legally pursued in the UK. After reading the forum regarding jurisdiction, and the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance, final guidance on unfair business practices July 2003 (updated December 2006), I don't think that they can do this, but really want some advise on the following: 1. Considering that this has only just been handed to the NZ DCA (and has not reached court or anything), does the UK DCA company have any jurisdiction in pursuing me in the UK? 2. At what point (if any) of legal proceedings in NZ will they have jurisdiction to pursue the debt in the UK? 3. At what point (if any) could they register this debt in the UK and it go onto my UK credit record? 4. How can they pursue me for costs of 25% of the original debt. Does this not have to be in a reasonable proportion to the original debt, or is this subject to the contract that I had with the credit card company? 5. I have never admitted to the debt to the DCA (either in NZ or the UK), but may have in correspondence with the credit card company. Is there any reason for me not to admit the debt? 6. Can they pursue me to pay the full amount? No mention has been made of arrangements, or willingness to accept a full and final settlement. I am a bit at a loss of what to do, but was considering writing to the UK DCA basically disputing their jurisdiction and the claiming that they are using unfair business practices as per the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance, final guidance on unfair business practices July 2003 (updated December 2006): Section 2.4g of the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance, final guidance on unfair business practices July 2003 (updated December 2006) states that an example of an unfair practice is: "... g. taking or threatening to take court action in the wrong jurisdiction, for example, taking action against a Scottish debtor in an English court unless legally justified" As I am already being pursued by the New Zealand office of the company, and spoke to them on Monday 13th September, then I think that they are also in breach of the following: Section 2.6 states "c. using more than one debt collection business at the same time resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different parties d. not ensuring that the adequate history of the debt is passed on as appropriate resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different parties e. not informing the debtor when the debt has been passed on to a different debt collector f. pressuring debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments , or to increase payments when they are unable to do so" " i. disclosing or threatening to disclose debt details to third parties unless legally entitled to do so". Collection costs: Should I also ask for evidence of the contractual obligation I have with the creditor, to pay collection costs and that collection costs of 25% are fair and justified in line with obligation 2.10 b which states that such charges must be "based upon actual and necessary costs". I fail to see how they can claim to have spent $4,000 on collection of this amount so far (in issuing one email in NZ and one letter in the UK). I think that these charges are disproportionate to the original debt and in breach of section 2.10 e. Or should I have this argument with the NZ DCA, and just dispute the jurisdiction of the UK DCA? I really would appreciate some advise on this subject. I am now looking at how I could sell one of the NZ properties privately (to reduce the costs of sale) to try to raise some money. I cant afford to let my father bankrupt me in two countries!
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