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UK debt, but living outside UK.. Help please

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I mis-posted this in the wrong section yesterday, so apologies....

Hello all.. I have read this site with great interest over the last couple of weeks. Very heartening to know that people like you existe to help others!

My own situation is that I moved to France in early 08 and had some money and savings left in the UK to cover my debts, but the dive in the markets have really stuffed my investments. I now have a situation where I owe about 40K in unsecured credit card debts (one account of which I had since 1978, another since the mid-eighties), and no way of paying them. I have tried calling the Consumer Credit Councelling Service, who are very helpful, but unable to help because I don't have regular income.

Can anyone suggest my next step? I have written to them all telling them of the situation and paying them a tenner a month, but would need a long-term strategy. Would CCA-ing help at this stage (2 months arrears)? Debts are with NatWest (31 yrs), MBNA (20+ years), Cahoot (5 years) and M&S (about 3 years). All assets now off-shore.

 

Can anyone suggest a course of action to take?

 

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Normally the CCA route would be the way to go to see if any of these can be enforced through court. However (and someone will correct me if I am wrong), I am pretty sure they could take no action as the CCA1974 does not apply in France.......

 

They cannot issue you with court proceedings in this country, so would have to seek to enforce in France......rather unlikely.

 

I'm sure others will have further advice for you, but for now, I would not panic too much.


:)I am not an expert, but I can give good advice about Brighthouse:)

 

Am learning more and more about DCA's too :)

 

I have no legal experience and all advice given is based on the knowledge I've gained from this site.

 

<------If you think I have been helpful, please feel free to tip my scales - remember to put your CAG name though!

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Fully agree I've been there and done it for a similar amount. They will threaten lots but there is little they can do. It is technically possible but DCA's will not attempt it due to the high cost involved.

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Personally speaking, if I were you, then I would CCA them.

 

You could wait until the accounts are passed to EU collection firms, but either way you will need to ascertain as to whether valid CCA's are held.

 

AC

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Hi

Great site and wonderful to know I am not alone!

Hope someone can give me some advice please, had a letter from an French collection firm but don't know if it is enforceable here in France, orginal debt in UK with MBNA but the French CCA states their client is Link. They seem to be threating judicial action but don't know if this is just scare tactics as I thought it was unenforceable in France (just over £4000)

Any advice would be welcome.

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Link Financial are an EU firm, with branches in London, Dublin, France, Spain & Germany.

 

Please be aware of the fact that, over there in Europe you have wonderful Consumer Protection Rules.

 

Have you made a CCA Request yet to MBNA and/or Link?

 

AC

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Thanks all. We are at the stage where we are now being chased to do DMP's with the individual banks. As we have no income at this time, this is a bit of a futile exercise, and as mentioned before, CCCS would not do a DMP because of this, and effectively cut us loose. Are we best just ignoring this (as it will only encourage them to sell the debt on faster will it not?), or complying with their wish for us to call them.

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Never Phone a Bank and/or a DCA, all matters must be kept to the written word.

 

AC

  • Haha 1

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A HUGE thank you to Angry Cat for your very prompt response and very helpful links. I have not requested a CCA yet but think it will be a good idea to do so. The letter I have received is in French I understand some of it but my french is not up to translating it all so I better get the dictionary out! but they do say they are going to start a judiciaire procedure if I don't pay a certain amount each month.

I have read on other threads that they need to have a court order to do this but now I am confused and worried that they are going to take me to court in France. I am not working and have no income, I did write to MBNA to explain my situation but it fell on deaf ears.

Any further help would really be appreciated - I am soooooo pleased I found this site.

Thanks so much

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Hi!

 

You state that the french collection firm has been instructed by Link Financial;

What is the name of this firm?

 

Now, if you are not fluent in french, it would be extremely unfair commercial practice for the firm in question to be writing to you in an alien language.

 

Link Financial are only too well aware that they have to treat consumers fairly.

 

At this point in time, I believe that your best route is to write to Link, requesting a copy of of the alleged original executed Credit Agreement, under section 78 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Head up your request: ACCOUNT IN DISPUTE.

Send a copy of the letter to Link's chosen agent in France.

 

Lastly, I would be extremely surprised if Link and/or their chosen agent could actually take you to a French Court, over a UK matter.

 

AC

Edited by angry cat

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Angry cat... thanks for your time on this..

 

I am sure that I shall be in-line for the letters from Link or whoever MBNA choose to set on us. I agree that it is unfair practice to sell the debt abroad, especially as we (and my co-respondent) have not come to France to dodge our debts, we have just had a change of circumstances which puts us in an extremely vulnerable position, especially when French is not our first language, and we could certainly not mount any sort of defence.

I shall raise our CCA requests next week to see what happens.

In the meantime, do we ignore requests from the banks for further information?

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At the end of the day, if you have no money and cannot pay, there is little that they can do, whether it be here in the UK or in France.

Having said that you have a right to 'know';

You have a right under the CCA to request a copy of the alleged credit agreement and any other document referred to in it;

section 78 is for Credit Cards: Running Account Credit;

section 77 is for Loans etc;

remember these credit agreements would have been drafted under UK Law.

 

You also have a right to make a SAR under section 7 of the DPA to request any and all documents (there is a template letter in the library)

 

Remember, when making these requests there are statutory fees payable;

CCA Request is £1

SAR Request is £10

 

If you make these Request(s) ensure that you mark the payments:

CCA or SAR stautory fee only.

 

Once your requests have been received they have a timeframe in which to comply:

SAR is 40 days after receipt;

CCA is 12+2 days after receipt.

 

By making these requests, your pass the ball back into their court.

 

Finally, if you receive any further requests from the Banks, acknowledge their letters but inform them that you have made legal requests to them for information and until such time that these obligations are met, the alleged account is in Formal Dispute.

 

Take each step at a time...little steps:)

 

AC

 

p.s.if you have a relative and/or friend in the uk, ask them to obtain UK postal orders.

Edited by angry cat
spelling error

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Is it essential to send Postal Orders or can you send Sterling Cheques....

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Better to send a postal order, or an international money order in sterling.

 

However, if that is not possible, yes, a sterling cheque.

 

However, for avoidance of doubt, make sure that you write on the cheque/PO/International Money Order(£GBP):

Statutory Fee only; CCA or, SAR and;

 

Make copies of such, to keep as evidence.

 

Wishing both you and Ocb1 well;

Good Luck!

 

AC

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Hi again AC

Just to let you know the french firm is called French Creances - sorry to be a pest but do you know how I can get Link's address in UK to send my CCA request to.

Many many thanks

OCB1

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The Data Controller,

Link Financial Limited,

Camelford House,

89, Albert Embankment,

London, SE1 7TP

United Kingdom.

 

Send your Request by registered/recorded delivery, to obtain proof of posting/track & trace.

 

Good Luck ot should I say, Bon Chance!

 

AC

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créance - debt, claim.

 

I google french creances but all the information that came up was in relation to securitized debt!

When and if you can find a link to the firm, please post it up.

 

AC

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Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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France Creances/CGD Groupe, agency, Paris

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MBNA & Link Financial;

sounds like another debt that was securitized?

 

AC

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