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Mcfetti

First letter from Debt collection agency - Please help!

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Hello everyone,

 

I've been searching for some advice on how to deal with this but wasn't quite sure if a Water bill is the same type of debt as a credit card type of debt.

 

I received a letter from uksearchlimited (expert debt collectors) yesterday who have informed me that I have an outstanding debt of £110 from an unpaid water bill from a houseshare I was living in from Dec2003 to Feb2004

The debt was assigned to Southbank Capital Limited from Southern Water.

 

Just to give some background information I did live here and I did pay my share towards the bills but I decided to move out pretty much immediately after one housemate threatened the other housemate. I understandably lost my flat deposit. I asked the Utility companies to remove my name from the bills but they told me that I had to get the other housemates to phone up and do it which they told me they would do but unfortunately it looks like they haven't.

 

I contacted Southern Water who the original debt was for and they indeed confirmed that it has been progressed to a debt collection agency and wouldn’t discuss it any further. Interestingly they told me the debt was from April 2004 – March 2005.

I wasn’t even living there at that time. I have got a letter confirming that I was paying council tax at a different address from Feb 2004 which is my saviour.

 

Whats my next step?

 

Do I need to get the statement of account from the Debt collector and hope that the bill refer to the same period?

Or shall I just explain that I’ve contacted Southern Water and found out that I didn’t live at this address for the billing period (including proof letter)?

 

Many thanks for any advice.

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You can always send the DCA the 'No debt is acknowledged' letter

This then puts the onus back on them to provide you with proof that you do owe them the debt.

Did Southern Water inform you that they had sold the debt on? Or did you just receive this DCA's letter out of the blue?

 

I wouldn't bother ringing the DCA it will only give them the satisfaction that they think your panicking! Send the above template and just ignore them until they respond.

  • Haha 1

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks Bazooka Boo.

 

Yes the letter came out of the blue although I have lived in about 4 properties since then (the joys of renting) so I'm not quite sure how they "found" me. I wasn't aware of a debt at all let alone that it had been transferred to another company.

 

Thanks for the link for that letter...I will send that off recorded delivery ASAP.

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Ok I've just come off the phone to get some clearer advice regarding utility bills and the Limitation Act, it does appear that water bills do come under the limitation act, but there are a couple of caveats with that!

Are you still with the same water company?


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks alot for that.

 

I am still living in the same city and still using Southern Water although the account is possibly (I can't remember right now) under a joint account name.

 

I thought the Limitations Act came into force over 6 years? I moved out from that property six years next February so there is still a few months to go.

 

Thanks again.

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The statute of limitations will not apply as the debt is less than six years old.

 

Was it your name on the account with Southern water (at the property from 2004)? it may be that the account wasn't transferred from your name. this shouldn't really be a problem if you have documentary evidence that you were living elsewhere.

 

As already stated I would be inclined to send them a "prove it" letter.

 

It isn't down to you to prove that you don't owe the money, it's down to them to prove that you do :D


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Thanks Spamheed.

 

I think my name was on the Southern Water bill when I lived there (Dec 2003-Feb2004) but possibly not taken off as Southern Water said that the outstanding amount is for April 2004-March 2005.

 

Once\If they confirm they dates the debt is for I will send them the confirmation letter proving I was living elsewhere at this time and hopefully that will be the end of it.

 

cheers!

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Just thought I would clarify the issue surrounding the Limitation Act.

I know it doesn't come into force until six years (five in Scotland) expires after any Payment/acknowledgement blah blah blah,

But my point was that, if you were to argue the debt is Statute Barred (SB)-(I know it isn't) then as you are still paying the same water company, Southern Water, then they 'could' argue that the debt is not in fact SB as you have been making payments to them......

 

However you can now argue that you have continued to be a customer of theirs, and why haven't they informed you sooner of this debt, after all you have been paying them every month, quarter, yearly etc and they have been happy to take money from you without ever mentioning that they are chasing you for an alleged debt:evil:

 

So IMHO and if I were in your shoes, I would ring them and ask for their complaints procedure, there is no need to tell them why and they will not even ask!:cool:

 

I did just attempt to upload their complaints procedure as I have a copy, but Photobucket isn't as simple to use as I first thought!!

 

Oh well, anyhow, ignore the DCA asking for money, fire it straight back to SW, have you always been their customer since moving? Have they ever sent you any notice that their is an alleged debt outstanding at a previous address?

 

To put it bluntly if they have sold the debt on to a DCA then SW would have been paid pennies in the pound for the debt by the DCA, they would have then been paid out by the insurance for the remainder of the debt, so as far as they are concerned, their books are straight and it all balances out, your only drama will now be with the DCA, but as of Feb next year it will be SB anyway, plus your contract was with SW not a DCA, and you have remained with SW since the alleged debt occurred!

Edited by Bazooka Boo

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Many thanks for this.

 

I have been a SW customer for the majority of the time in the last 5-6 years and I've never recieved any notice that I owe them money. This is the first I've heard of it.

 

I gave Southern Water a ring as you've suggested.

The lady in customer services took all the details and gave me an address to send my proof of residence to as well. I also raised the fact that even though I've been a Southern Water customer for the last 5 years I wasn't notified about any kind of debt and that I was not happy that I suddently got a letter from a DCA.

I was a bit hesistant about giving them my existing address and phone number details but I'd rather have given it to them than a DCA.

 

I'm a bit puzzled how contacting SW (and hopefully resolving the issue with them) will stop action from the DCA?

Are SW in a position to do this even though the debt isn't owned by them anymore?

cheers.

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I'm a bit puzzled how contacting SW (and hopefully resolving the issue with them) will stop action from the DCA?

Are SW in a position to do this even though the debt isn't owned by them anymore?

cheers.

 

It pretty much sounds like you have done everything I would have done to sort the problem out:D

 

As they are now aware of where you are and that you have been a customer of theirs since moving, albeit a month or two here and there, then if you pay SW direct, as far as you are concerned, you no longer owe them money.

The DCA can go whistle, I have never paid a DCA yet, I have always paid the Original Creditor (OC), keeping the evidence, then when these DCA's who have no powers come along and demand money, you really are not lying when you tell them you don't owe them a penny:)

 

If there is an outside chance you can raise this money I would pay it direct to SW, if they say they can't accept, then cross that bridge when you come to it.

 

You can in the meantime send the letter in my first thread, this will buy you some time, see what they come back with, then you should hopefully have an answer from SW if they will accept the money!


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Many thanks Bazooka Boo for you advice so far.

 

Southern Water - Customer services have just rung me and stated that because the debt has been sold on they can't do anything about it now. He suggested I forwarded on the 'proof that I was living somewhere else' letter onto the Debt collection agency.

 

The guy apologised when I said I wanted to complain about the fact that Southern Water had never contacted me about it in the past and that now I have a Debt collection agency chasing me up on it. Is this something worth pursuing through their complaints procedure? There is also the fact that the debt isn't even mine.

 

Not heard anything from the debt collection agency yet but once they confirm the details of this debt I guess I will fire off the letter and hope that they accept it.

 

cheers

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I would write/call back and state that the debt is not mine so they had better call of the DCA or you will report them to OFWAT,

 

its not your bill so its not your job to fight this, bloody idiots:mad:


PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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Yep, as above definitely!

Ofwat


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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thanks alot! I am firing a letter off tomorrow stating that I have successfully proved I am not liable for the bill and that I will be reporting them to the Consumer Council for Water if they do not advise Southbank capital that I am not responsbile for the bill. I also quoted the Office of fair trading stating that its unfair to send demands for payment when it is uncertain they are the debitor in question.

Interestingly enough I got a reply from the Debt Collectors basically re-iterating the information they already told me but asking me to ring Southern Water for further information about the bill!! They stated on the the letter "Our client : SOUTHBANK CAPITAL [sOUTHERN WATER] which kind of makes it look like Southern Water still are involved and are wrong to try and wash their hands of it. cheers!

*

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Right ok...I've had no response from Southern Water yet regarding my second letter to them. I think I will give them a ring either today or tomorrow.

 

I have had another letter from the DCA demanding the money again "Your debt has been passed to us because you have ignored previous requests to sort this out" blah blah blah

Is it worth me sending the proof that I was living elsewhere during the bill date to the DCA as well? or only communicate with Southern Water?

I feel if I ignore the DCA then their letters (as designed) will escalate the situation.

 

Thanks.

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ignore the dca it winds them up, your issue is with southern water not these fools


PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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ignore the dca it winds them up, your issue is with southern water not these fools

 

Yes definitely ignore the sad acts:lol::lol:

 

It isn't up to you to prove to them that you don't owe the money, it's up to them to prove that you do:D

 

And as you already have proof you don't use Complaints & Enquiries : Consumer Council for Water

 

Toe rags, teach em a lesson!:D


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi Mcfetti,

 

I notice the last post on this thread was in July, so you may not check back anymore, but if you do you should check out my thread about Southbank Capital Limited.

 

They do not have a consumer Credit licence with the Office of Fair trading, so should not be engaged in debt collection activity.

 

They are also not registered as Data controllers with the ICO so are not leagaly entitled to process personal details, for any purpose!

 

I have fowarded this info to the relevant agencies and strongly urge any one else who can evidence them as trying to collect debts and processing data etc to also let them know.

 

Here is the link:

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt-issues/219009-southbank-capital-limited-unlicenced.html

 

With thanks,

ScruffyProfessor

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Many thanks for this ScruffyProfessor.

 

This is still kind of ongoing although its been almost 2 months since their last threatening letter. I will have a look at that link you've sent.

I'm also thinking it might be worth me contacting Southern Water as I'm sure that they state that they only engage creditted Debt Collection agencies which it seems they are not.

 

thanks,

 

McFetti

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It seems Surrey Trading Standards are interested in this company !!! check the link above again !!


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interesting development


PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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