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Advice Please..

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Hey all - looking for some advice on how to proceed with a recent problem (albeit from a long time ago).


I'll give as much info as possible;


In 2003, myself and a friend were given a tenancy from the local housing association (Joint tenancy). We received the keys and if I remember, signed the tenancy agreement.


After a couple of days, we decided we didn't want to move in after all, so went in to the housing association offices, told them, and handed the keys in etc (We both remember doing this, but have no dates/proof etc - its been almost 6 years now).


All was well, forgot all about it, then recently, at my new address (same housing association) which I have stayed in for 3 years+ I received a letter about rent arrears. I assumed it was from this address, but the amount seemed out of proportion (in excess of £300 - I knew I was around £40 in arrears here which I was clearing the following day).


I rang them (the housing association) to enquire, and they said it was for the joint tenancy back in 2003 that I had.


They then passed the debt to Rossendales Collect who have since been harrasing me by post and phone, I stupidly sent them a letter (Housing association told me to let them know I was appealing it and that my case should be put on hold) which I beleive would count as "aknowledging the debt". I done this before I read up on statute barring..


Anyways, Rossendales replied to my letter, saying that the housing association told them to continue recovery as normal.


Now my problems with this:


1. The letter from the council, and the letter from the debt company are both addressed to myself and my fiancee (she's joint tennant).


I didn't know her in 2003, so she's nothing to do with it - yet she's getting debt history for something she hasnt done.


2. The joint tennant (my friend) from the address in 2003 has had no letters, even though the housing association know his address; They are pursuing me for the full amount.


3. We handed the keys in, so no rent was due - the housing association are claiming abandonment, but we both know we handed them in, but have no proof as its almost 6 years ago.


4. The time they left it is ridiculous - I've stayed at this current address for over 3 years, so theyve had my address for at least that long but made no contact, nor did I have any contact at my previous address.


I'm at a loss on what to do, I've tried citizens advice but can never get to see someone, theyre always way too busy I'd have to wait the whole day in hope of seeing someone.


I'm tempted to ignore it and see if they take it to court, and put the above points across, after all, chasing someone completely uninvolved is a big error I'd imagine, not to mention the fact they're pursuing 1 tennant for the full rent, and indeed the time its taken them.


Sorry for the wall of text, wanted to give as much info as possible.



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What exactly did you write to them? It depends on what you state in the letter as to whether this will affect any SB status.


I would be tempted to send Rossendales the prove it letter and get them to prove just HOW you owe money for rent for a property which you never rented.....


Dear Sir/Madam,


Reference no: 00000000000


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,


I would also be tempted to ask why they are chasing your fiancee for this - get her to send the prove it letter as well. This will admonish her from any responsibility (of which she has none anyway!)


However, before this, it would be handy to know what you wrote to them.......if you admit nothing, then you could go for statute barred as NO payment has EVER been made.

:)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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Thanks for the advice - The letter I sent was to Rossendales, it basically said I was writing in reference to and have spoken to who have told me to write to rossendales to let them know I'm disputing the debt.


Rossendales reply was that they had been told to continue as normal.


The debt is from December 2003, so has been about 5 years 6 months.


My phone calls to the housing association have only been to disagree that I owe them money, so I haven't actually agreed that I owe anything, neither on the phone, or in writing..


As for the "prove it" letter, I can send that - however, is it worth my fiancee bothering - as far as Rossendales are concerned, the "debt" I have also belongs to her (the housing association also address everything to do with it to both myself and her, and have passed on both of our names)


Thanks for the help so far :)

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Can I just ensure that there is no decree in respect of this debt?

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not entirely sure what a decree is? All I've had is a letter from the housing association saying I owe it, then a week or 2 later, Rossendales started contact - They've only said the usual that I'd expect from a debt collector, contact them within 7 days (or maybe 14) or they MAY visit my address, or take it to court.

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send the statute barred letter to both rossendales and to the housing association:


Dear Sir/Madam

Acc/Ref No 4563210025897412

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

I would point out that under The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 Part 1 Section 6 "If, after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies has subsisted for a continuous period of 5 years:

(a) without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and

(b) without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged,

then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished:"

I would also point out that the OFT say under their Debt Collection Guidance on statute barred debt that "it is unfair to pursue the debt if the debtor has heard nothing from the creditor during the relevant limitation period".

The last acknowledgement of this alleged debt was made over five years ago. Unless you can provide evidence of payment or written contact from myself in the relevant period under Part 1 Section 6 of The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 , I would respectfully suggest that you are no longer able to take any court action against myself to recover the alleged amount claimed.

Should you continue to pursue this account without providing this evidence I shall seek an interdict and damages accordingly. A formal complaint will also be made to Trading Standards along with a report to the OFT questioning your fitness to hold a consumer credit license.

I await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed and that no further contact will be made concerning the above account after that last letter.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully

Mr A N Other



send recorded


Ida x

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