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Can somebody help a newbie please? BCW "debt"


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Hi everybody, I hope that somebody can help me with my problem.

 

Yesterday I received a letter from Buchanan Clark & Wells saying that they were instructed by Npower to recover an overdue debt of about £280.

 

Now, on the letter it's written that the supply period was from 01/12/2006 to 04/08/2009.

First of all, I wasn't in that flat anymore from 16/06/2007, when I moved out to another flat. Where are they coming from telling me that I haven't paid the gas for more than 2 years after I moved out?

The starting date instead is right (01/12/2006), as I moved in the flat on that day, but according to them I never ever paid for the gas in 6 months that I've been there. How could that have been possible if it was true? Don't they cut the gas supply if you are not paying for it? Plus, they would have started contacting me since the beginning if I wasn't paying my bills from day 1.

 

I can prove that I moved out of the flat on 16/06/2007 as I still have the contract for the new flat, but I no longer have any proof that the bills were always paid at the time.

 

I made some research on Google and I read terrible things about this BCW company, loads of people contacted and harassed to pay debts of years ago that they never had.

 

Now, I'm very inexperienced with all this legal stuff as I am quite young and I never had to deal with these kind of problems before. I feel quite vulnerable as, since I don't know my rights, I feel like they can turn me how they want me and make it look like I'm at fault. I'd like to know what's the best thing to do now or what I should do to counter at them and let them know that I don't have any intentions to pay any "debt" for old bills that were always paid for.

 

Thanks to everybody in advance for your help :)

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Hi Huff&Puff, I guess the template that I'm supposed to use is the General debt letter - if you know nothing of the debt..., right? Do you think I should just send a letter without modifying the template (well, obviously putting my data) or should I make clear that 1) I moved out on 16/06/2007 and 2) I always paid all the bills that I received during my tenancy? Or there is no point in that?

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In my opinion nothing is gained by giving them any information, I would just say that you want proof of the debt, and see what they come up with. Then we can see how best to deal with things depending on what they come up with, if anything.

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Ok, so in that case I guess I can just send the template as it is with just this little modification:

"I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to Npower, and I demand proof of it."

 

Is that good enough?

Sorry, I don't want to be baby-sitted, I just wanna make sure I do things right! Thanks a lot! :)

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That'll be fine. It really isn't important whether you use a template or just write a one sentence letter saying "prove it" really, the chances are they will ignore it anyway, there is considerable doubt as to whether the employees of DCAs can actually read. But at least, once the letter has been sent you will be able to formlly put it into dispute.

 

I forgot to say, send it recorded delivery, and don't sign it. It is alleged that certain DCAs can be creative with Photoshop :(

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I don't see why not. Is there any proof of receipt with a fax? (I don't do faxes). It's always good to ensure that they can't claim to have not received stuff - lying is a favourite pastime of DCAs unfortunately :(

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I don't use Faxes neither, so I don't know if there is any proof of receiving it, I guess I can find out...

I read around that the best thing is to call them and send the fax "live" while on the phone.. but thinking about it, unless I'm recording the conversation in which they are saying that they received the fax, they could later deny everything as well I guess.

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It is a cardinal rule to never, ever, ever phone them :eek:

 

That is what they really want more than anything, they are expert at bullying people over the phone. In fact, on reflection, it would be better not to fax, because if they get hold of your phone number, you'll soon find out what harassment means :eek:

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I can fax from work.. plus they are telling me that there should be a page being printed out to you that shows time and date of when the fax was received.

Would that be fine then?

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Be careful using a fax from work because their fax no. will show on whatever you send. You would be better using a fax service, some shops still do it or libraries.

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Ok, so I'll reply with a fax from some public place, just sending them the "prove it" letter with no further details about the fact that I wasn't in the flat for most of the period they want me to pay for. If anybody has some additional hint to give me, they are very appreciated.

Thank you guys for the help.

I'll keep updated. :)

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Use both

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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  • 3 weeks later...

Help guys, BCW is back with a FINAL NOTICE, and they are acting like I never made any attempt to contact them back after they sent me the first letter, while instead I sent them the "prove it" letter via fax. (I was unable to find a fax service that gives you back that printed page that says at what time and date the fax was received, so essentially I cannot prove that they got my reply)

 

They say

"Since you failed to notify us of any legitimate reason for non-payment we can only assume that you do not wish to settle this matter amicably.

 

Accordingly, this letter should be accepted as FINAL NOTICE that unless payment is made immediately, we shall seek to commence LEGAL PROCEEDINGS against you, with payment of INTERESTS AND COSTS in addition to the Principal Sum being sought."

 

Now, in what the Legal Proceedings consist of? Can it happen that one day I come back home and I find, say, the computer missing because they came in to take stuff to repay the debt? Or what else can happen, what can they do?

 

Also, am I gonna end up with a sum much much bigger than what they want me to pay now (£280) just because I'm refusing to pay what I'm not supposed to pay in first place? What if in the end I'm forced to pay at all costs but the sum as gone up by hundreds of pounds?

 

What should I do now?

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Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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I'll send it with recorded delivery tomorrow morning... but can they go as far as ignoring that too? Will they pause or stop this Legal Proceeding crap? Will the Interests and Costs start going up anyway?

 

Also, should I attach another page to the "prove it" letter that says that I indeed replied to them but they are failing to recognise it? Or there's no point in that?

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It doesn't matter whether they ignore it or not because you'll have proof of postage & be able to check that it has been signed for. Until they prove you owe a debt and they have the right to collect they cannot use any legal enforcement, if they tried you could easily get it set aside.

 

As for the charges they are adding on.... they are not entitled to do it, so they can swivel. ;)

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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They CANNOT charge any Interests and Costs at all??? Why not? (sorry, It's not that I don't trust your help, it's just that I wanna understand...)

Do they just lie on documents like that then?

 

And it is still unclear to me... in what the Legal Enforcement eventually consists of?

 

(PS: What does it mean that "they can swivel"? sorry, English is not my first language, so I don't know this expression yet.. I tried googling it but I found other definitions..)

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Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Do they just lie on documents like that then?

 

Do they lie? They never stop lying :mad: What you will soon discover, is that nobody will enforce any of the laws or guidelines appertaining to DCAs, therefore they carry on exactly as they please. Never trust what any DCA says or writes.

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Well, this scares me even more..

If they can do whatever they want, what stops them from charging me with these Interests and Costs (on top of this imaginary "debt") even if they are not entitled to, like cerberusalert was telling me?

What stops them from breaking into my house?

Can they really do whatever they want to this degree?

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There's no need to be scared, they cannot do what they want even though they would like to and sometimes infer they can.

 

They cannot add charges or interest unless an agreement specifically includes it within the terms of the contract.

 

They cannot break into your house either.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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