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At my wits end with a debt. Any advice please?


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Hi all,

A little background first. My wife went bankrupt in March 2004, I went bankrupt in July 2007. We have not worked in ages as my wife had to leave work to look after me and our 3 kids after I had an accident at work which left me incapacitated and unable to look after myself. We are broke:o:(

A few years ago we lived in a rental property (private landlord) and ran up a debt with E.On for gas to the tune of £344.74 which in honesty we forgot about. The debt is entirely in my wifes name and was run up between 06/02/04 and 18/05/05. We were sent a notice of further action from LCS Civil Enforcement to our new address dated 13/11/06 which we ignored as we had by then moved again to a hostel (being ill and evicted as our new landlord did not want tenants on benefit :|:mad:) and later to a council property. In all the upheaval and moves we forgot about the debt.

Today a letter from S.R.J. Debt Recoveries dropped through the door out of the blue saying the following:

 

AGENT VISIT

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

Despite writing to you recently regarding the above outstanding account we note you have failed to contact our offices.

You now leave us with no alternative but to transfer your details to our FIELD AGENT REPRESENTATIVE.

Please contact our offices on 0870......... to arrange a suitable time for our agent to attend. The purpose of the visit is to conduct a pre-litigation report with a view to commencing legal action against you.

This course of action can be avoided by contacting our offices and re-establishing a payment plan to resolve this long overdue account.

 

Thats it word for word. Weve never recieved anything from them previously and to be honest now were more settled we dont mind paying the debt but I don't like the tactics they seem to be using, bully boy comes to mind! They haven't even spelt my wifes name correct grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Should I call them? I can only offer about £5.00 a month as thats all I can afford or I could offer £75 to clear the debt. Will either of these suffice? How can I prove the debt will actually be wiped out when paid as i've never even heard of these people or how they got the debt in the first place??? Anything I can do to slow things down a little. Last thing either of us want now is more hassle or CCJ's:mad::confused:

 

Many thanks for any advice :)

 

Edit: What the hell is a pre-litigation report?

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I wouldn't worry about the Pre-Ligigation Report.

This is just DCA rubbish designed to intimidate you. Countless times on here they claim they're sending someone to visit your home.

They no more legal right to enter your home than the paperboy does.

In the unlikely event that someone does turn up, just tell them to leave. And close the door. If they refuse,phone the police and say someone is trespassing in your garden and using thretening behaviour.

 

Never phone a DCA, they'll just try to bully you into paying more than you can afford. It's always best to do everything in writing with a DCA.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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May be worth sending them a SAR, as there's proably a load of unlawful charges added to the account, which you can claim back and help reduce what you owe.

 

Also never pay them more than you can realistically afford to pay. if you can only afford £1 a month, then send them that. They have no power to legally ask for more, but they will send all kinds of threats of court, etc if you don't. If it does end up in court, the judge would take your financial situation into acount, and set a figure that you can easiy afford to pay.

 

The DCA's know this, and if you show them you have little money to live on, it's very unlikely they will take you to court, as it wouldn't be worth it, as they wouldn't gain anything from it.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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Do you still use E.on for gas or electricity?

 

If not.

 

Write to them advising that you will not entertain a home visit, they have no right to visit your home! Offer them £5.00 per month if you can afford that amount. DO NOT telephone them, advise that you will only correspond in writing.

 

A pre litigation report is a total nonsense, designed to worry you. If they choose to take it to court, the judge would be most niffed, when you have made them an offer.

Please note: I give advice, in good faith, based on my reading and experience. Please satisfy yourself, that any advice given is accurate in content before acting upon it.

A to Z index

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/site-questions-suggestions/53182-cant-find-what-youre.html

 

...........................................................................

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Thanks for the advice so far :cool: I have no intention of phoning them, I can't afford the phone bill that will ensue LOL:D

I've never heard of a S.A.R - (Subject Access Request). What exactly am I requesting from them? Also how can I prove they legally have the right to manage the debt? All I want to do is stall them long enough to get a lump sum of cash together to offer as a settlement.

 

Edit: No I dont use them as my supplier.

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Thanks for the advice so far :cool: I have no intention of phoning them, I can't afford the phone bill that will ensue LOL:D

I've never heard of a S.A.R - (Subject Access Request). What exactly am I requesting from them? Also how can I prove they legally have the right to manage the debt? All I want to do is stall them long enough to get a lump sum of cash together to offer as a settlement.

 

Edit: No I dont use them as my supplier.

 

A SAR means they have to supply copies of all th data and information they hold about you and the account.

 

To make sure they have a legal right to collect this debt, send them this letter......

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Account no:

 

You have contacted me/us regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself/ourselves.

 

I/we would point out that I/we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to (insert company name).

 

I am/we are familiar with the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I/we would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

 

Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

 

I/we would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my/our liability for the debt in question.

 

I/we await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the OFT of your actions.

 

I/we look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

(Your Name) Print do not sign

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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Hi,

I work at the CAB (im new) we had a case the other day which sounds similar to yours, each cab branch has a specialist debt worker and they are s!!t hot when it comes to dealing with this type of thing, they wrote to the agency and got them to write off the debt because they would never recover the money due to hardship.

Also you can get a benefits check done for you, you would be suprised how many people especially incapacitated or disabled people ar'nt getting what they are entitled to.

This forum will really help, you can start maybe by writing to the DCA and telling them that you are on benefits and therefore will offer them £1 per month, and send a postal order or cheque recorded delivery.

Dont deal with these people on the phone! put in your letter that all communication will be in writing, dont worry if they knock the door just ignore them, In the worst case scenario they can take you to court, dont worry no court in the land will make you pay more than you can afford!

Anyway im sure you will get some good advice on here but try the CAB they will help you not judge you.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the letter template. I'll sit down and copy it later when the kids are all in bed and I have some peace and quiet and fire it off asap. Should I send it recorded or just first class?

 

Our local CAB are indeed heroes. However its virtually impossible to get through to them these days, probably as most of the rest of the population needs their help :rolleyes:;) I feel confident that my incapacity advisor has ensured all we are entitled too as she is very very good at her job.

 

Like I say, i'm not trying to duck out of the debt, I just want to be treated properly and not be considered a ****** right from the off which is what they've done by lying about previous correspondance:mad: and need the proof they have legally obtained the debt in the first place:)

 

They appear to be very underhand!

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It's best to send recorded. Then you have proof of delivery. I always keep a record of everything, no matter how small, when dealing with these people. Then if you ever need to complain about them to the Office of Fair Trading, you have all the evidence, and they can't use the excuse of not receiving the letters, if you have proof of delivery.

 

DCA's are devious and will use any excuse they can to get themselves out of trouble.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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HI,

Yes the cab is very busy these days, dont give up, try to see a debt adviser, as i say they may write off the debt due to your circumstances, especially When you get a third party involved such as the cab.

Good Luck.

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Thanks again for the replies. I've been perusing the site for a while this afters. Is there any way I can actually get out of paying this LOL:D I may look into the fact I simply can't afford it but any other avenues of opportunity I might tread? ;) Reading some real funny stuff on the thread Cheekiness towards a DCA :D

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Thanks again for the replies. I've been perusing the site for a while this afters. Is there any way I can actually get out of paying this LOL:D I may look into the fact I simply can't afford it but any other avenues of opportunity I might tread? ;) Reading some real funny stuff on the thread Cheekiness towards a DCA :D

 

Ahhhh, my favourite thread. Many a word of wisdom on that thread, and living proof that DCA's are nothing to be afraid of. :D

 

If you send them the prove it letter I posted above, that may do the trick. Usually when DCA's buy up debts the only info they usually get is the amount and basic contact details. As you've moved a few times, they're probably guessing as to if it's really you or not. Unless they can prove it, then you have nothing much to worry about.

 

It's up to them to prove you owe anything, not for you to prove you don't. Send the letter, then post back here if and when they reply.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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Guest forgottenone
(being ill and evicted as our new landlord did not want tenants on benefit neutral.gifmad.gif)

 

Just picking up on this by itself. Were you under a tennancy agreement with your private landlord? And is it actually legal to then break it on the grounds you are on benefits, presumably you were also receiving housing benefit given the benefits you mention? So, TBH, I can't see the problem your landlord had as they would be getting the money, as it would just run on from your previous occupation eg tennancy ... I mean, presumably your previous landlord *if not through an agent* was happy for you to reside there, knew your situation? Or, was it as I have seen ... just a flimsy bit of paper ... that wouldn't mop up water, let alone legally stand up with 2 signatures on it. Only, most agreements I've seen, properly drawn up ones though are more or less like a booklet.

 

So, just asking ... as to me that sounds illegal for them to do this. Anyway, am sure CAB or others here will assist you. Just picked up on that is all.

 

If none of that applies, please ignore but ... seems you are being discriminated against at the least. And have been given what you've said.

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Excllent post Forgottenone.

 

May as well go down every pathway possible when it comes to helping out on here.

 

It's great so see so many here getting the help they need, and so many people giving up their time to help others too. If only the world was like CAG. It would be a far better place to live in. :D

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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forgottenone: We had a proper rental agreement withour landlady. Unfortunately as it was due for renewal she refused to renew it. She said she needed her house back. Whether or not that was the truth is neither here or there, she was allowed to do what she did but its funny how she was talking of giving us a five year lease before all our troubles and woes!?! We had to make her evict us in the end to get any help from our local borough council which she found difficult and kept us hung on for a few more months which was like living waiting for an axe to fall. It wasn't a pleasant experience, especially as it was really out of our control. We left the space spotless, all cleared and cleaned on our way out and the b1tch tried to scupper our chances of getting a council property by saying to them we'd trashed the place. Luckily my wife had taken pics of it as we left in a spotless condition so she never had a leg to stand on. Funny really when most people look at council tenants and expect us to be the **** of the earth and its the rich who usually have an axe to (unfairly) grind:mad:

This country doesn't do much to protect the weak, I have found:sad:

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It's a sad world we live in where we feel we can trust nobody, and everyone seems out to rip off others. Half the time not for material gain, but just for the fun of kicking someone down who is less fortunate.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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Well I sent a copy of the letter today, recorded. Added a few bits of my own and this is how it reads:

 

 

You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself and, which you further claim you have written to me about previously which you have not. I think we can both agree at this stage that you are using underhand, threatening and bullying tactics in an effort to make me contact you.

 

I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to S.R.J Debt Recoveries.

 

I am familiar with the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance which states that it is unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive and/or unfair methods.

 

Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

 

 

I am removing the implied right of way from the public footpath to my property to any employee or field agent representative of your company. Do not attend this property or you will be trespassing and the police service will be called to remove you.

 

 

I am not prepared to contact you by telephone as I have no idea who you are and in this age of identity fraud am not prepared to speak with an unknown entity about any personal details. The letter you sent wasn't even signed so neither will this one be. I refuse to give a potential [EDIT] the wherewithal to copy and replicate my signature.

 

I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question.

 

I await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the OFT of your actions.

 

I look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

See what happens next I suppose:):confused:

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I hope you used the bold type button for the best bits of the letter so they stand out. Sometimes I hilight mine in red too. Just like the DCA's do, to try and intimidate and scare you.

 

as an example..

 

I think we can both agree at this stage that you are using underhand, threatening and bullying tactics in an effort to make me contact you.

 

I think we can both agree at this stage that you are using underhand, threatening and bullying tactics in an effort to make me contact you.

 

 

That sort of thing. :D

 

Using lots of red ink also saves a lot of black ink, so you can send them lots more get stuffed letters per set of ink cartridges.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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I am removing the implied right of way from the public footpath to my property to any employee or field agent representative of your company. Do not attend this property or you will be trespassing and the police service will be called to remove you.

 

 

 

See what happens next I suppose:):confused:

 

You need to remove the word "public" from the above paragraph (highlighted in red) or change to the word "private".

If there is a "public footpath" to your property, you cannot remove the right to use it because it's a legal right, not implied.

 

apart from that, good letter!

Carpe Jugulum

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well i've still not had any more correspondance from them, nobody has knocked on my front door, i've yet to see a pre litigation report or proof indeed that the debt belogs to my wife:!::confused::rolleyes: If they are so sure we need a good financial kicking I wish they would just get on with it and come up with the goods. I'm not known for my patience:mad::lol:

I'll try the red highlighting if I ever get another letter that demands a response from them :D

What a spineless bunch :)

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