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UK debt collectors chase ex-pat

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Hello - I'm a newbie

 

I am being pursued by a UK debt collecting agency regarding an alleged debt with Southern Water for a period of April 2003-September 2006 and at a rented address which I lived at from 1999-mid 2001 (address A)

 

I officially emigrated from the UK in November 2003 and my last UK address from mid-2001 to November 2003 was another rented address (address B).

 

I finalized all of my UK financial obligations before I emigrated and even applied for a tax rebate (with P85 form) stating that I was leaving the UK.

 

Unfortunately I threw away all the documents, tenancy agreements and bills a couple of years ago thinking that I had no need for them.

 

I have been arguing with the DCA:

 

1) that I do not acknowledge the debt and I believe it to be 'statue-barred':

- they say that the debt is not 'statute-barred', because the debt's period is April 2003- Sept 2006.

 

2) that I was not physically in the country for the alleged period:

- they claim that I was at address A from 1999-2003 and address B from 2003-2004 according to electoral records and therefore liable to pay back the debt and they offered to "settle my account if I pay half of the alleged debt". Before this they had calculated that I could settle the account if I paid what they thought was 6 month's worth of the debt (the difference between April 2003 and November 2003?)

 

3) I have told them that I no longer possess tenancy documents or utilities bills for these addresses:

- their reply was "As you can’t prove this fact we only can assume this is your debt..."

 

The DCA initially sent letters under my name to a UK address which I use as a forwarding address. I have told the DCA that I do not and have never lived at that address but obviously the occupants at this address are concerned that their address could be blacklisted. I complained to the DCA and they say that no further letters will sent there as the debt is under dispute. Do the occupants have the right to 'return to sender, not known at this address' any further letters that arrive from the DCA under my name? This is the most annoying part of this mess, as it is damaging my personal relationship with the occupants.

 

How is it possible that DCAs can find my name at a c/o address where I have never lived or registered?

 

What rights do the DCA have in pursuing me for this? I'm a non-UK-resident and have had permanent residence in a non-EU, non-EEA country since December 2004. I have done a lot of web research into this problem (Limitation Act 1980, CCA letters etc.) but without much solution.

 

How can I prove to them that I was not at address A for the alleged period AND not even in the country? Could I get some kind of acknowledgment from the HM Tax&Inland Revenue?

 

I am having daily communications with the DCA and it's getting farcical.

 

Any help please?

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They can assume all they like, it's Statute Barred & even if it wasn't in the unlikely event event that there are reciprocal agreements between the two countries it would not be economically viable for them to pursue through the courts. Tell them to go forth! ;)


Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Hi Wobbleon,

Was a CCJ issued with regard to this debt at any time before you officially left the UK?

Also, while you may not be able to prove a negative ie that you did NOT live in UK after December 2004 but if you have documentation to prove that you WERE a resident of your new country after December 2004 that should surely be adequate proof?

In any event as far as I am aware (and others will correct me if I'm wrong) then unless a CCJ was obtained whilst you were still a UK resident, then there is no way that they can obtain one now. So their threats are toothless.

Others will advise too, see what the consensus is, but I'd tell them that you have not been a UK resident since 2004 therefore unless they can produce evidence of a CCJ issued before this date, as they are now unable to take you to court to enforce the alleged debt then you will not enter into any further correspondence and suggest they close their books on this account.

Elsa x


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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They can assume all they like, it's Statute Barred & even if it wasn't in the unlikely event event that there are reciprocal agreements between the two countries it would not be economically viable for them to pursue through the courts. Tell them to go forth! ;)

 

 

Wow, thanks for the quick reply.

You say that the debt should be statute-barred, although they claim the debt's period is from 2003-2006 (only 3 years ago) and so according to them it is not statute-barred. Do you think this because I have not heard of this debt at all until now and also because I have not been at that address for 8 years and not even in the UK for 6 years? This point which I cannot find clarification for.

 

Thanks again

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How can I prove to them that I was not at address A for the alleged period AND not even in the country? Could I get some kind of acknowledgment from the HM Tax&Inland Revenue?

 

You don't have to prove anything. If you've sent the statute barred letter then they have all the proving to do.

 

 

Just watch out for extraordinary rendition.....coz that's the only way they can get you.:p

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Exactly- it's down to them to prove it, not you.

If you really wanted to get to the bottom of it though, you could always send a Data Subject Access Request to the Water Company to get all your records.


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Hi Elsa

 

No, as far I am aware there was no CCJ issued ever. At my last UK address (address B) I even had the services of Southern Water under my name and paid all the bills, surely even if there was a debt at address A under my name for any previous period they could have made a connection - it was in the same town!

 

Thanks Elsa

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If you lived at the address until 2001 and even if you left owing the debt that would be 8 years ago and well Statute Barred. As for them billing you for 03 - 06 the onus of proof is on them not you, besides I've yet to come across any water company that allows anyone to run up a water bill of 3 years.

 

Do you have your original passport with visa stamps etc showing the dates you left the UK? If so that's all the proof you need.


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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You haven't said which country you're in, would it be Oz or NZ by any chance?


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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No, not Oz or NZ. I'm in sunny non-EU, non-EEA Eastern Europe;-)

 

Thank you all for the quick replies - anyone else have more views? Please

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No, not Oz or NZ. I'm in sunny non-EU, non-EEA Eastern Europe
In that case they've as much chance of taking enforcement as I have of winning the Euro Lottery & I don't gamble.

 

To answer part of your original question, they cannot blacklist an address. ;)


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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They can do nothing apart from the standard threats. You don’t have to prove anything. I would honestly tell them to get lost and to stop bothering you as you aren’t paying. Then never speak to them again. Never call them, it’s a waste of your money. Even if they could prove the debt was yours they wouldn’t be able to do anything anyway, apart from possibly trash your UK credit file, which as you don’t live there will have no consequence on you. The only slight possible way to enforce this would if you had a county court judgement against you in the UK ,technically they could sell the debt to a local Debt collector who could try through the courts in your country, however this is expensive with absolutely no guarantee of success. Also if you don’t have a CCJ against you for this, they can’t apply for one now as you need to have a registered English or welsh address which you don’t. file under ignore and forget.

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Thank you

 

How do I find out if I have a CCJ against me in the UK?

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Hi, You can search here:

CCJs, court orders & fines - Search yourself and others - Trust Online

 

Not sure how far back it goes though...never used it (I daren't!!!! :D )


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Thanks Elsa

 

But it costs £8! I have to pay to prove I'm not a wanted criminal!!

Anybody know of a free method?

 

thanks

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You can subject access request the original creditor for £10. Take your pick. Seems a small price to take control:)

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There's no free method that I know of. The only other way is to register with Experian, Equifax or Callcredit..you may get a free month's trial, but the downside is it splashes your personal details around for every DCA in Christendom to have a go at you. Trustonline doesn't do that.


PLEASE NOTE... I AM MOST SORRY BUT I HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO EXTREME PRESSURE OF WORK - IF YOU REQUIRE URGENT HELP ON YOUR THREAD AND ARE GETTING NO RESPONSE PLEASE HIT THE TRIANGLE FOR SITE TEAM ASSISTANCE. ELSA XXX

 

Please check out my BLOG for the quick guide to debt threats - it has all the info & letter template links you need to get started on your journey of TAKING CONTROL. :roll:

 

All opinions are my own based on research. I am not legally qualified, if in doubt please consult a legal expert.

Hope this has helped or made you smile. Keep your chin up, you're among friends now! Elsa xxx

Please click the *star* of any CAG member who has helped you .

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Thanks Elsa

 

But it costs £8! I have to pay to prove I'm not a wanted criminal!!

Anybody know of a free method?

 

thanks

Yes

 

Just ignore the DCA

 

They can do diddly squat and they know it. The penny or the lev hasnt dropped yet


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"The penny or the lev hasnt dropped yet" very good :)

 

Surely if a CCJ is out there with my name on it then the DCA should have referred to it in their communications?

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if there is a ccj (which i doubt there is) and it was issued while you were not resident in the UK then it is worthless as A CCJ can only be issued if the person is a resident within the UK at the time of the court hearing. the fact you never recieved any particulars of claim prior to court action to allow you the chance to defend it also suggest theres no CCJ against you.

 

These DCA are so desperate right now becuase of us fighting back and standing up to them, that they are now using the underhand and unlawful tactics of going after expats like yourself for outstanding debts, by misleading yourself and other expats in to thinking they have the legal power to collect from you. Truth is they have just about as much legal powers to use against you, as my cat has to **** in his litter try, and thats **** all cos he misses everytime lol (hes getting old though so its a struggle for him - bless him)


Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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(hes getting old though so its a struggle for him - bless him)

 

Bigger tray perhaps?:p

 

 

Going after expats is surely a sign that home grown business is getting harder for them:D

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Bigger tray perhaps?:p

 

I thought about that but he stands on the edge of the tray with his arse pointing in the tray, and then as he tries to squeeze one out he takes little steps forward because of all the straining to get it out lol so he ends up about a foot away from the tray eventually lol


Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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Cats don't like water, so I suppose you could try a little moat around the tray?:rolleyes:

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Thank you all for your advice and support here and on the Martin Lewis and British Expats forums.

Seems I have won the battle. In my case I think I managed to run circles around the debt collectors to the point where they actually provided me with the evidence that I wasn’t at the address at the period that the debt was accumulated. Electoral rolls and such like are not such great evidence of an individual’s location over short periods of times at various addresses. And of course the fact that I wasn’t physically in the country during this period either, stumped them. If you keep them on the run and bombard them with facts and figures, dates and quote the various consumer laws via email then it seems they get fed-up.

I reckon that if you know for sure that you are not guilty then it is just a game of cat and mice with debt collectors and for me it is more satisfying to have proved my case then to just tell them to take a hike and forget about it. Now I feel a bit more comfortable about travelling back to Blighty.

Don’t lose hope and don’t give in!

Seasons greetings, cheers all! :D

teaboy2 - what about putting his tray in a cardboard box :)

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If you keep them on the run and bombard them with facts and figures, dates and quote the various consumer laws via email then it seems they get fed-up.

 

This is so true especially if you take the approach of dealing with two or three people in an organisation. Their internal communications are often so poor it is very easy to keep them on the back foot - very quickly they start contradicting each other as they turn themselves in ever decreasing circles - dog chasing tail springs to mind:)

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