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Running to Stand Still - Help Needed


Poker Queen
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Hi all,

 

Having discovered this forum and spent a while looking around the place I'm finally starting to think I might be able to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel.

 

I'm currently (and in fact for the last 5 years or so) losing sleep and feeling sick to my stomach at the level of debt I've managed to get into.

 

It all started around 5 - 6 years ago when my husband found himself out of work having previously been earning well. In order to pay the rent and general living expenses (which my salary alone wouldn't cover) we ended up using credit cards. The credit card debts really started mounting up and it was all I could do to just maintain the minimum payments. He ended up finding work in Belgium and for the last 4 years we have been living in Belgium - although in order to keep up the payments on the credit cards I am still working in London and staying with my parents during the week (my language isn't good enough to find a job that would pay enough to cover the credit cards over here). It really is an awful existence and I feel that I'm working my hardest and doing all I can just to make minimum payments on the cards. Of course paying this way means that in fact all I'm doing is paying the interest pretty much. I have one card with MBNA and they are charging me around £250 per month - all but around £10 of which is in interest. I'm still just as much in debt as I was 4 years ago, and with no real prospect of reducing the debt in the foreseeable future. I sometimes wonder why on earth I carry on.

 

Anyway, that was how I was feeling, but reading around here I'm starting to feel a little more positive.

 

I am intending to send CCA requests on each of my and my husbands credit cards. As these credit cards have been held for quite some while (mine were taken out in around 1990, 1993, 1999 and my husband had both of his before I met him in 1997) I am anticipating that they will struggle to find a properly excuted CCA for each of these. I understand that after 12+30 days (is this correct) then I am entitled to cease making payments until such a time as they are able to find the correct CCA.

 

The accounts are held with MBNA, HSBC, Barclaycard and Bank of Scotland. Can anyone share their experience of what is likely to happen? One of my big concerns is that if I cease making payments and then 6 months down the line the CCA is found are they likely to demand all back payments immediately and take us to court. Alternatively if they don't find the agreement and take us to court for non payment, what is the likely outcome - has anyone yet taken this to court?? This is possibly complicated by the fact that we have already missed a few payments to Barclaycard and are now getting almost daily phone calls from Mercers. Are we still likely to have to make these back payments even if Barclaycard cannot find the CCA (i.e. are we only allowed to stop making payments from the point at which Barclaycard default on the CCA request).

 

I do apologise for waffling on for so long and thank you so much if you've read through to the end of this. I have tried reading around the site as much as I can for all the answers to the above, but am struggling to find any definitive answers and am really anxious to start regaining control of our finances and get a 'normal' life back where I'm not being woken by nightmares over the lack of money.

 

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer me any help whatsoever.

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Hi Poker Queen

 

You ave come to the right place for help and advice.

So far you have done the right thing , in sending off for the CCA's.

 

One thing, if any of the DCA's keep calling you, tell them that you will only ever communicate with them in writing, then put the phone down.

If you keep talking to them, you will only get yourself upset, as they will not listen to what you are trying to say and try and coerce you into making payments that you cannot afford.

By doing this, you are on the way to taking control of your situation.

When you do write, use the computer to sign the letters, dont do it freehand.

 

Someone else will be along to give you some good advice and more support.

Dont forget you are with friends now.

Tip us a wink on my scales if you think I may have helped at all;)

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Have you had charges levied to these cards over the years? If so these can be reclaimed with interest which will reduce the balances considerably. Have you thought about contacting National debtline or CCC's. We've all been there and it seems like an impossible situation but all is not lost! Keep reading the threads of others in the same boat as you and you'll soon find the direction you need to go.

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