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I have an old Universal Credit debt which now belongs to Paragon. I had been paying this for years (paid over £15k to date on a £3k debt, that's Paragon for you). A year back I sent the request for the CCA and got back a made up copy. It became apparent (Paragon admitted) they don't have the original CCA from Universal Credit, so I told them I won't be paying anything more.


Recently I have been pestered by Paragon on an almost daily basis (phone calls every day for two weeks), lots of letters etc.


Then on Saturday I received a letter saying as they couldn't contact me (what? I spoke to them every day for two weeks before hand) they would send a debt collector to my house and charge £89.


I phoned them straight away and told them the debt was in dispute as they couldn't produce the paperwork. They got a bit snotty and said I still had to pay even though they didn't have the paperwork. I told them there was no chance of that.


What is the situation with home visits on disputed debts? Is there really anything they can do as they don't have the paperwork?



My Paragon debt story.

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Not sure if this helps from an earlier thread, but in case you need it:


Make a complaint to OFT;


Page 9


Office of Fair Trading


Physical/psychological harassment


Putting pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive.


Examples of unfair practices are as follows:


contacting debtors at unreasonable times and at unreasonable intervals


pressurising debtors to sell property, to raise funds by further

borrowing or to extend their borrowing


using more than one debt collection business at the same time

resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different parties


not ensuring that an adequate history of the debt is passed on as

appropriate resulting in repetitive and/or frequent contact by different



not informing the debtor when their case has been passed on to a

different debt collector


pressurising debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments,

or to increase payments when they are unable to do so


making threatening statements or gestures or taking actions which

suggest harm to debtors


ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are

disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment


disclosing or threatening to disclose debt details to third parties unless

legally entitled to do so


acting in a way likely to be publicly embarrassing to the debtor either

deliberately or through lack of care, for example, by not putting

correspondence in a sealed envelope and putting it through a letterbox,

thereby running the risk that it could be read by third parties

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Send recorded




Dear xxxx


Account Ref xxxx


Please be advised that I will only communicate with you in writing. I have noted your repeated attempts to contact me by telephone over the past few weeks/months and these have been duly logged by time and date.


Furthermore, should it be your intention to arrange a “doorstep call”, please be advised that under OFT rules, you can only visit me at my home if you make an appointment and I have no wish to make an appointment with you. Also note that whilst you have no agreement, and the fact that you are in clear breach of the OFT's guidelines on debt collection, I am seeking legal advice for claiming all monies that have been paid back to you under a restitution claim.


There is only an implied license under English Common Law for people to be able to visit me on my property without express permission; the postman and people asking for directions etc (Armstrong v. Sheppard and Short Ltd [1959] 2 Q.B. per Lord Evershed M.R.). Therefore take note that I revoke license under Common Law for you, or your representatives to visit me at my property and if you do so, then you will be liable to damages for a tort of trespass and action will be taken, including but not limited to, police attendance.


Yours faithfully/sincerely

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£15 k on a £3 k debt they are taking the P*ss have you tried reclaiming charges ect ect . agree with above the probably think you are a soft case that they can get as much money as they want . Well done for fighting back against these parasites they need to be closed down

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£15 k on a £3 k debt they are taking the P*ss have you tried reclaiming charges ect ect . agree with above the probably think you are a soft case that they can get as much money as they want . Well done for fighting back against these parasites they need to be closed down



Originally I borrowed £5k from Universal Credit, I had been paying for a couple of years when I ran into problems. CAB agreed with UC to freeze the interest and accept £1 per month, which was increased shortly afterwards to £10. Paragon took over UC and agreed to accept the reduced payments. What they didn't tell me was they would charge 30% interest. After a few years my £10 went up to about £100, then £145, then £205. After paying for a few years I thought I must have just about cleared the debt, I asked for a balance, Paragon didn't want to give me this and I had to pay £25 for a statement, which didn't arrive. After much pestering I finally got a statement and found they had been charging huge amounts of interest every month and had backdated the interest to the time when CAB had arranged the reduced payments. I paid £10 a month, they charged me several times that in interest. Even when I was paying £145 a month it didn't cover the interest. In fact I was being charged over £200 a month interest.


Paragon argue they never agreed to freeze the interest, which is sort of true as it was Universal Credit who agreed. But Paragon continued to accept the reduced payments without telling me it didn't cover the interest being charged.


There are lots of similar stories out their and BBC Watchdog featured some of them a few years back.


I ended up paying over £15k to Paragon, when I asked for my balance last year it was around £14k, so that's nearly £30k to pay off a debt of £3k.


All my other debts got paid off in full many years ago as everyone else kept their promise of freezing interest. Paragon are the only ones left. I don't think I can claim anything back, as it is all compound interest, the charges only make up a tiny amount of it.



My Paragon debt story.

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This is absolutely atrocious and if i were you i would bring this matter to a sudden halt.


this is possibly the worst case of extortion i have ever come across


i would write to paragon and tell them that you feel that they have fleeced you for long enough and that you expect them to write off any balance on the account


advise them that if they do not do so you will not be responding to any form of communication at all and if anyone arrives at your house the police will be called.


( or if like me you are big enough) instead tell them:-


I must advise you that uninvited callers at this property will be requested to leave - failing which they will be ejected from the property using reasonable force if necessary


Tell them that you have decided that having been fleeced for over15,000 on a 3,000 debt and with a balance remaining of 14000 you have had enough and intend to obtain maximum maximum publicity for their exhorbitant charges and that you will welcome the opportunity to challenge them in court


my advice to you is to take the bull by the horns and DO IT

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Thanks everyone.


It is my intention to get some media interest in this. I know there are lots of similar cases around.


if you dont mind the media coverage my i suggest that you contact watchdog (anne robinson is now back in the seat)


frist though try writing to Tony hetherington at the sunday mail


i am sure he would take this up and he is pretty good

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i'm sorry the other thing i meant to say 9and i dont have any personal experience so others might chip in)


i would have thought one of the CMC's would love to take this on


i reckon they would even get you some money back but it seems it would be a big money (costs) earner for them


might be worth a try for a no win no fee

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for bringing this back up.



Paragon had been a real pain to deal with, they called me constantly (sometimes two or three times a day) and made all sorts of threats.


As mentioned, I had already paid back a considerable sum of money, £15,000.


I discovered that they didn't have the CCA for my debt, and that is what I used against them. I did some research and found that most (if not all) Universal Credit agreements are unenforceable even if they have the agreement, which in my case they didn't.


They have written off the debt although I haven't managed to get any money back from them.


I have pasted the letter I sent below, just in case anyone else is going through the same thing.



My Paragon debt story.

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Dear Sir/Madam


Account 0***********. Account in dispute.


Without Prejudice.


Thank you for your letter dated 22nd June 2009 regarding the alleged debt to your company. Please note that I do not acknowledge this debt and will not enter into any further correspondence with you on the matter.


Failure to supply a true copy of the CCA.

As you are aware, your company are unable to supply a true copy of the consumer credit agreement from Universal Credit, although you have supplied a reconstructed version to comply with a request for a copy. The reconstructed version is not legally binding. Further to this, even if you if you can locate the original, many Universal Credit agreements have technical errors which make them unenforceable along with the debts you purchased from Colonial Finance.


Your letter, dated 29th August 2007, and signed by Glen Brown, states “Please find enclosed a photocopy of the original credit agreement”. Clearly this is a blatant lie as the document supplied is not a photocopy, rather something you made up and passed off as being a photocopy.



Change to CCA - Consideration

On February 15th 2000, Paragon wrote to all customers behind with payments, myself included. The letter requested post dated cheques and a standing order mandate for future payments. In return Paragon offered to consolidate arrears and report the account as up to date. I have in my possession the case notes from Northampton County Court regarding an appeal by Paragon to charge interest after judgement. The defendant argued that the above agreement was consideration and as such modified the original credit agreement. . The transcript asks whether the variation of a loan agreement fell within s 82 of consumer credit act 1974 and refers to . “On 15th February 2000 a standard automated letter was sent by the Claimant to all of its customers who were in arrears and making payments by cheque or cash, in order to offer an incentive to customers to pay by standing order. A copy of this standard letter is attached at exhibit MAH1. The terms of the letter are self-explanatory. It requested: 1 The return of a Standing Order Mandate; 2 A cheque for February's payment and post dated cheque for March.”. I am aware that Paragon dropped the appeal for interest after judgement rather than argue the technical points of this.



Lack of transparency - Unfair relationship test.

CAB agreed with Universal Credit to freeze interest on the account. Paragon then agreed to continue with the reduced payments while adding interest which was considerably higher than the monthly payment. Your company lacked transparency on this, refused to give balances (UC wrote the balance on the top of every letter). In fact the only way I discovered the interest was by paying £25 for a statement, even then I had to call several times to actually get the statement. I am aware I am not alone, I have come across several other cases with exactly the same circumstances. I consider the practices border on extortion.




Your company, fully aware that interest was being added, continued to accept token payments which made up a tiny fraction of the monthly interest being added. Your company kept myself and others completely in the dark with regards to charging interest. Your company repeatedly refused to give balance figures when requested to do so.



Interest added after CAB agreement

At the time I ran into difficulty with the payments, East Northamptonshire CAB made agreements with yourself and other companies to freeze the interest and accept token payments. You claim to have never agreed to this, although CAB still have the records regarding my account as I have visited them several times since.


Payments made on the account total more than the original sum to be repaid by a considerable amount. In fact, had you kept your promise to freeze interest the account would have been paid in full many years ago. Instead you continued to add interest and payments to date total £15,227.27, yet you still claim the balance is over £11,000. At the time you agreed with CAB to accept token payments and freeze the interest, you added £86.28 interest for my £1 payment.



Your recent letter asks for a proposal for a full and final settlement. In my experience lenders only go down this route when they are fully aware a debt is not enforceable. As mentioned above, payments made on the account have fully repaid the original sum plus a considerable amount of interest and charges.


You have recently been telephoning me on a daily basis, despite my asking for you to communicate by letter and stop calling me. I was advised you would call me every day until I paid. This is harassment and as such I have now made a formal complaint against you under the Consumer Protection from Unfair regulations act 2008.


A recent letter also threatened a home visit. There is only an implied license under English common Law for people to visit me at my home without prior permission, postmen and people asking direction etc (Armstrong v Sheppard and Short Ltd 1959, per Lord Evershed). Therefore take note that under English common Law I revoke license for you, or your reprehensive, to visit me at my property, if you do so you will be liable for a tort of trespass and action will be taken, including but not limited to Police attendance.


You obviously have no intention of stopping the constant harassment for this non enforceable debt, please note I consider the account in dispute, as such you may not process my data or pass the account to a third party. Nothing contained in this letter should be taken as acknowledgement of any amount outstanding.



My Paragon debt story.

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To which Paragon replied -



Thank you for your recent letter, I apologise for the delay in responding to you. I have undertaken a full review of your account with Paragon finance and the issues you have raised.


As you know, your loan for £6000 completed with Universal Credit LTD, a subsidary of Lloyds TSB, on 27th March 1995. The loan was to be repaid by monthly payments of £142.41 for a period of 7 years. Paragon acquired UCL in March 1998.


You made monthly payments of £142.41 on the due date until January 1999 when you experienced financial difficulty. At that time, UCL agreed to accept £1 per month as a reduced payment.


When a reduced payment was agreed by UCL, their policy was to supsend interest posted to customers accounts during times of difficulty. The interest continued to accure as per the terms of the contract, to be applied at a later date. As this policy seems to have little merit, from either the customer or lender's point of viewpoint. Paragon decided to simplify matters and talk only in terms of the contractual balance owed at all times. Paragon reapplied all previosuly suspended interest in November 1999.


In April 2004, we reviewed your account and reduced the interest to 12% in recognition of the amount you were paying.


Interest has been charged from the inception of your loan. It is calculated daily and applied monthly based on the current balance outstanding. In the event that the full contractual payment is not made, as has been the case on your account, the balance increases and the interest is therefore adjusted accordingly.


Unfortuantely we do not hold the original UCL credit agreement. We have, however, proivided you with a reconstituted copy, in accordance with the consumer credit act, regulation 3 (2), which expressly states that a copy need not be an exact copy.


Notwithstanding the above, I have considered the points you have raised and as an exgratia gesture decided to wave the outstanding balance on your account. I must stress this is not an admission on our part that this sum is not properly due, but rather a reflection of the time and effort involved in pursing the matter.


I can therefore confirm that your account with Paragon has been closed and no further payments are due under the agreement.


Your complaint relates to your loan agreement and balance outstanding and I hope I have addressed the issues you have raised. We consider your complaint closed.




My Paragon debt story.

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I'm sure they made some of that up. Freezing interest to add it back later? Who does that?


The fact was Paragon agreed to the interest being frozen for however long it took to clear the debt, CAB made the agreement with them, Paragon never kept to it even though I was paying large sums each month and never missed a payment (Barclays did and I managed to clear a debt of £7000 with them).


They are really nasty to deal with and make a lot of threats. Of course, without the CCA there was nothing much they could do about it.


If anyone knows how I can get some of that money back please do let me know.



I'm finally debt free.



My Paragon debt story.

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