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Are DCA's REALLY powerless?


shinobi101
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People on this forum often say things like "debt collectors are powerless, don't worry about them"

 

OR

 

"DCA's cannot take you to court, unless you contract with them, either through unconditionally agreeing to pay whilst talking to them on the phone or a written letter with your consent/signature."

 

Is this really true? Are they really powerless? Is it provable to the point you write a "you're only a DCA, get lost" letter?

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I think the point people are making is that DCA's are just chasing for debt by sending standard chaser letters, making scripted phone calls. If you don't pay or admit to the debt, unless they had all the relevant paperwork from the creditor which was enforceable, they would not take it to court. Why would they waste their money and time, when they can sell the debt on?

 

This is why people challenge the DCA's to see if they have all the correct documents to take it to court. Most of the time they haven't, but people are nervous that they might.

 

The choice is whether you ignore DCA's or send letters asking them to prove it. Personally I would ignore correspondence, until they advised they were definately going to court. Why waste time and postage!

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I don't know who is saying that DCAs cannot take people to court :confused: They most certainly can, and do :( However, they can only win if they actually have an enforceable agreement, and everything else is in order. However, as that is often not the case, then they are indeed pretty powerless.

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I don't know who is saying that DCAs cannot take people to court :confused: They most certainly can, and do :( However, they can only win if they actually have an enforceable agreement, and everything else is in order. However, as that is often not the case, then they are indeed pretty powerless.

 

Example here: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collection-industry/251379-help-threat-legal-action.html#post2824570

 

So they're not really powerless then....

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I have it on good authority that DCAs purchase hundreds if not thousands of debts at a time for pennies in the pound. Very basic information is supplied to them on Disc. They then send out the first of their chain of letters and I would assume that there will be a certain percentage of these initial letters that will have the desired effect, namely frightening people into making a payment.

 

Now assume that yields enough cash to clear the amount they paid to obtain all the accounts.

 

They then move on to their second letter, and frighten a few more people into paying

 

So now you get the picture - No files on individuals have changed hands but they have already recouped their initial investment.

 

So when those of us with more knowledge start making requests for more information (which is not on the original disc) they then have to start working to get the information to which we are legally entitled, and this starts eating into their potential profits, so thus we then start getting the mights, cans, may, letters mentioning Court to bring in a few more pennies to cover the cost of obtaining further info as requested.

 

So the more we challenge, the more work they have to do to satisfy our legal requirements, and they know just as well as us which cases are worth chasing, which cases are possibly worth something, and those which they may just as well sell on to other DCAs. again for pennies in the pound.

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The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Depends upon ownership

 

A DCA cannot instigate proceedings as sole beneficiary as they have no cause for action under part 7 unless they have absolute/legal assignment of the alleged debt.

 

'If' they have absolute assignment they have effectively become the creditor and will be acting correctly.

 

'If' they are acting on behalf of the original OC then the OC will have to join them in any action brought...... the effect is that the action is brought at the behest of the OC and the DCA is merely acting upon instruction.

 

The problem tends to lie with drawing a line to determine at what point the DCA has become the assignee (if ever), it is not outside the realms of possibility that a DCA could file claim with no legal cause but with a bulk issued deed to x value which they could sweet talk a DJ into believing included your debt prior to litigation.

 

In short............. I ignore them :p

 

Gez

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I wouldn't say they were powerless, more toothless simply because they have very little to hand when collecting debts when they were not the original creditor and with creditors seemingly reluctant to pass on much paperwork when selling debts on or farming them out to dca's for collecting then a dca really does not have much to fight with save for issuing rash threats and sometimes intimidating letters to try and bully people into submission and as with all bullies once you stand your ground they soon fade into the background.

I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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as Gezwee has said you need to understand the difference between a DCA who has bought a debt and one who is simply acting on behalf of a creditor.

 

A dca acting for a creditor has all the powers that the creditor has, and the creditor is BOUND by the deeds and actions of a dca representing it

 

My advice in this situation is to always respond to a demand for payment of a debt and not ignore it

 

keep ALL envelopes of inbound mail attached to the back of their letter and send your replies by getting a (free) proof of posting slip stamped and attach this to the back of your copy letter

 

If the debt is definately nothing to do with you then a simple "bog off" letter will suffice, as will a response to a SB debt.

 

as for others i would advise against ignoring ALL letters

 

letters that are simply further demands or a circular in nature to a previously answered argument can be filed unanswered but you should ALWAYS respond to any new points raised or offers to settle.

 

with regard to DCA's who have bought or been assigned debts (usually for 10-15p in the pound) - ask yourself why the original creditor would want to sell a debt if they had a valid or strong case to take you to court for repayment

 

THAT is why DCA's have the reputation of being toothless- because they have often bought unenforceable agreements and are just "trying it on"

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Thanks DD. Can you successfully argue privity of contract with them?

 

I know privity is overruled if there is a term in the contract that states that a DCA can be involved, but I'm thinking in terms of making them prove their right to be involved by showing the contract. i.e. saying "show me the contract that gives you authority to deal with this - or get lost"

 

I've tried this twice but got no replies, just more form letters.:(

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it is extremely unlikely that a company or person would seek to represent a creditor if in fact they had not been instructed by that creditor

 

the simple and most common sense thing to do would be to write or phone the original creditor to confirm if this company is acting on their behalf

 

you must think as you would in a game of chess- if this matter ever got to court- where you must persuade a judge that your arguments and evidence are more persuasive that those of your opponent, what do you think will be the judges mindset if your opponent shows evidence of what they will allege to be obstructive and petty behaviour on your part

 

deal with what matters in a matter of fact firm but polite way and leave the "clever dick" stuff to the clever dicks!! IMO

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To be perfectly honest I would never pay a DCA, I will only pay the OC direct, the fact that a DCA may have bought the debt and have the rights to it simply means that the OC has been paid fully for what I owed them, a DCA is simply in it for the profit, so no, they can go play on the motorway, being in debt will not put you in jail, unless it is taxes you owe, so I will quite happily string them along for years!

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To be perfectly honest I would never pay a DCA, I will only pay the OC direct, the fact that a DCA may have bought the debt and have the rights to it simply means that the OC has been paid fully for what I owed them, a DCA is simply in it for the profit, so no, they can go play on the motorway, being in debt will not put you in jail, unless it is taxes you owe, so I will quite happily string them along for years!

 

That's my point BB, I am only willing to pay the OC, not some dirtbag DCA. Problem is I'm very close to being sued by a DCA and the last thing I want to do is fund something as disgusting as the debt collection industry. Not that I'd defend the banking industry of course:roll:

 

diddydicky,

 

I don't deny that the DCA is working for the bank, but I don't want deal with (or worse - pay) the DCA.

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That's my point BB, I am only willing to pay the OC, not some dirtbag DCA. Problem is I'm very close to being sued by a DCA and the last thing I want to do is fund something as disgusting as the debt collection industry. Not that I'd defend the banking industry of course:roll:

 

diddydicky,

 

I don't deny that the DCA is working for the bank, but I don't want deal with (or worse - pay) the DCA.

only ever close to being sued when the court papers drop through your letter box,presumably the address you live at now ,not one you lived at years ago " hey bryan".

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Diddydicky, I would take issue with your comment re always making contact.

It is a personal decision which we must make and i am sure if I had followed this advice, I would be deeper in the mire than I am now.

I have taken many such calculated risks by ignoring letters and have seen 2 DCA's cease sending letters to my address and then send them on to others, one of which was my brother with the same initials.

I have followed the progression of letters as first they enquired, then confirmed my residence at that address by my not replying and then threatened followed by successive deals for early repayment.

One of those accounts is being chased and it is statute barred but i will not break radio silence as I have learned from past mistakes that contact with one is rapidly shared amongst themselves to reveal your whereabouts.

 

This is just my take on this one issue based on personal experience so please dont take it as an attack on your otherwise very helpful record.

 

For the record, I only have 2 accounts left out of 7 that are not now statute barred and have made contact with only one of them before...that resulted in the floodgates from hell being opened hence my opinions on this thread.

Of course I will pay you everything you say I owe with no proof.

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To be perfectly honest I would never pay a DCA, I will only pay the OC direct, the fact that a DCA may have bought the debt and have the rights to it simply means that the OC has been paid fully for what I owed them, a DCA is simply in it for the profit, so no, they can go play on the motorway, being in debt will not put you in jail, unless it is taxes you owe, so I will quite happily string them along for years!

 

It all really depends on what you want to achieve, the extent to which you feel that the other side might succeed in any action against you and your attitude to being chased by and dealing with DCA's for years.

 

there are so many variables that no one answer will suit all

 

if you want to "stand on your principles" and not deal with DCA's then that is fine

 

You are more likely to "do a good deal" on the debt with a DCA than you are with the OC

 

Most creditors with a sound agreement are not going to give you more than 40%-50% discount for F & F

 

 

There are reasons why they sell these debts as they do:-

 

1/ They are sold in Bulk- not individually

 

2/ They cannot get the same tax breaks by reducing the debt to the

customer than selling to a DCA

 

3/ It is not in the interest of major lenders to allow a practice of settling

debts with debtors at low levels to become widespread practice or

common knowledge even if they offer marginally more than they would

get from a DCA

 

4/ It is more than likely that many creditors actually own the DCA's (at arms length)

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Diddydicky, I would take issue with your comment re always making contact.

It is a personal decision which we must make and i am sure if I had followed this advice, I would be deeper in the mire than I am now.

I have taken many such calculated risks by ignoring letters and have seen 2 DCA's cease sending letters to my address and then send them on to others, one of which was my brother with the same initials.

I have followed the progression of letters as first they enquired, then confirmed my residence at that address by my not replying and then threatened followed by successive deals for early repayment.

One of those accounts is being chased and it is statute barred but i will not break radio silence as I have learned from past mistakes that contact with one is rapidly shared amongst themselves to reveal your whereabouts.

 

This is just my take on this one issue based on personal experience so please dont take it as an attack on your otherwise very helpful record.

 

For the record, I only have 2 accounts left out of 7 that are not now statute barred and have made contact with only one of them before...that resulted in the floodgates from hell being opened hence my opinions on this thread.

 

thanks

 

glad to hear of your success- as you say one size does not fit all

 

To clarify- my advice with regard to maintaining a record of answering any NEW issues relates ONLY to those debts which you ARE responsible for

 

Ignoring points that have not been answered,and in particular ignoring offers to settle- however disingenuous they may seem- can come back in court to bite you hard on the bum if you ignore them.

 

The reforms to the civil court procedures is predicated on parties being able and willing to resolve disputes before they get to court........ i would always advise that should you find yourself in court- that you can rebut any suggestion that you have obfuscated or been obstructive to this process

 

the "danger" from "hiding" is that the creditor may well get a CCJ at your previous address without your knowledge and unless you can satisfy a court that you made your creditors aware of your new address - you may find getting such orders set aside rather difficult.

 

indeed, there ARE DCA's who "specialise" in doing this!

Edited by diddydicky
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