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Can I go to Prison credit card debt?


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Hi everyone.

 

Im reallyworried I recieved a letter today AUTHORISED COLLECTOR VISIT MERIT FORCE.

 

I phoned them up and said I could only pay £10 a month.One of there letters said I could go to court and possible prison.

I owe them £2000

 

Is this True for a credit card debt I could go to prison by the court? Im worried and cant sleep.

 

Thanks for all your time and help advice.Im new to the internet.

 

 

cheers

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Is this True for a credit card debt I could go to prison by the court? Im worried and cant sleep.
No, it's a civil matter not criminal.

 

Have you sent a CCA request to see whether this debt is enforceable?

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First send them a CCA request to see if they are entitled to collect this debt & if it's enforcable. If they fail to provide it within 12 working days from receipt, or the CCA is unenforcable you can legally withold any payment until they do. Send it recorded delivery enclosing a £1 postal order. When you get a reply, scan it & remove any identifying details and post it back here where we can have a look at it. We'll advise you from there;

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re:- Account No: XXXXXXXX/Your Reference Number: XXXXXXX

 

This letter is a formal request pursuant to s.77/78 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. I require you to provide me with a true copy of the credit agreement relating to the above account, together with any other documentation the Act requires you to provide.

 

I expect you to comply fully and properly with this request, within the statutory time limit. You are reminded that should you fail to comply with my request, the provisions of s.77 will apply.

 

If it is your view that you are not the creditor, s.175 of the CCA 1974 applies in the case of a simple assignment, and places a duty upon you to pass this request to the creditor. In the case of an absolute assignment, you are a creditor as defined by s.189. If you contend that you purchased the rights but not the duties of any agreement, you are reminded that s.189 of the Act is clear that an assignment is of both rights and duties.

 

Your attention is drawn to ss.5(2), 3(b),6 and 7 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUTR). I enclose a postal order in the sum of £1.00, which is the statutory fee. Note that these funds are not to be used for any other purpose.

 

If you are unable to comply fully and properly with this request, you should confirm this in writing at the earliest opportunity, and certainly within the statutory time limit for compliance, and return the fee.

 

Furthermore, with regards to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

 

I have verbally requested that these stop, but I am still receiving calls. (Delete if necessary)

 

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

 

You are reminded of the following under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

 

Trading Standards can bring about a prosecution if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:

 

(a) harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;

(b) falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;

© falsely represent themselves to be authorized in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;

(d) utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.

 

I am of the view that your harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

 

Further to this if it is your intention to arrange a call from your 'Doorstep Collectors', I note that there is only an implied license under English Common Law for certain people to visit me on my property without express permission; the postman and people asking for directions etc (Armstrong v. Sheppard and Short Ltd [1959] 2 Q.B. per Lord Evershed M.R.).

 

Take note, I revoke license under English Common Law for you, or any of your representatives to visit me at my property and if you do so without my permission, you will then be liable to damages for a tort of trespass. You would also be conspiring in a trespass if you sent someone to visit me nevertheless. Any trespassers you attempt to send therefore will be dealt with accordingly.Be further advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded.

 

(Print in red optional addition)

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours faithfully **Edit to suit**

 

(Print do not sign signature)

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The person who may visit (although constant telephone calls/letters) are more likely is NOT a Bailiff and has less powers than a pizza delivery person to ask you for money.

 

You need to get their letter to Trading Standards and the OFT as soon as possible as it is overstating their powers which is against both lots of guidelines.

 

You are a very long way off going to jail - a lot would need to happen between now and that end point, imagine if EVERYONE in the country who owed money on a credit card was eligible for jail, there wouldn't be enough jails around and no work would be done because about 45% of the population would be 'jailbirds' and inelegible for work in a lot of areas!

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Meritforce are part of Mckenzie Hall so the person to contact with their letter is Alan Stewart at East Ayrshire Trading Standards. He knows all about this company and their threats. Another nail in their coffin is needed.

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You are a very long way off going to jail - a lot would need to happen between now and that end point,
You can't be sent to jail for a civil debt. Debtors prisons finished with Dickens. ;)

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Thanks for your help Cerb I will print and send off that letter post.

 

Sillygirl are you saying Its possible I could go to jail? ,because at the moment I dont have enough money to pay of the debt.

 

thanks all

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You can't be sent to jail for a civil debt. Debtors prisons finished with Dickens. ;)

 

Perhaps Sillygirl was referring to the possibility of end up in prison for contempt of court such as due to failure to attend an oral examination. I have seen it getting as far as an arrest warrant being issued in this circumstance although I don't know of anyone being incarcerated as a consequence. Just to stress that it is a very remote possibility, first requiring a judgment to be granted and the lender then to apply for the defendant to attend an oral examination.

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Meritforce are part of Mckenzie Hall so the person to contact with their letter is Alan Stewart at East Ayrshire Trading Standards. He knows all about this company and their threats. Another nail in their coffin is needed.

 

I would also send a copy direct to the Office of Fair Trading as this is a very severe breach of their debt collection guidance. Their address is:

 

Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX.

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are you saying Its possible I could go to jail?

As previously stated this is a civil matter not a criminal one. Put the idea of jail out of your head. It's of no relevance to this matter.

 

at the moment I dont have enough money to pay of the debt.

 

Don't worry about that. At the moment you want to ensure that this account is enforceable - so send the CCA request via recorded delivery. Also are there any charges on the account that you could potentially claim back e.g. late payment fees, overlimit fees, collection fees?

 

If they did take you to court all that would happen (assuming that the debt is legally enforceable) is that you would apply for a time order based on your ability to pay. This would be agreed with the judge and only the court would have the power to vary the amount that you pay each week/month. Providing you kept to the agreement no further action would be taken.

 

I phoned them up and said I could only pay £10 a month.One of there letters said I could go to court and possible prison.

 

This is why you should keep everything in writing and not speak to them over the phone. They will tell you any old nonsense to try and scare you (they wouldn't dare put such unsubstantiated threats in writing). Also by keeping everything in writing you have a record of what you have done. For example if you offered £10 a month in writing and this is all you can afford a judge would generally take a very dim view of the DCA taking you to court as court should only be used as a last resort in these matters and the judge may feel that the DCA is rather wasting the courts time.

HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY BY CREDITORS OR DCA's?

 

BEWARE OF CLAIMS MANAGEMENT COMPANIES OFFERING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS.

 

 

Please note opinions given by rory32 are offered informally as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Wish I could get a letter threatening me with Prison, imagine the fun you could have with that letter :D

PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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When you can be sent to prison for your debts

 

Being sent to prison is a great fear for many people with serious debts. In most cases, it's very unlikely. A prison sentence is a last resort, and apart from fraud it can happen only for specific types of debt.

 

These include if you haven't paid:

fines from the magistrates' court;

your Council Tax or business rates: or

maintenance for your husband, wife or children.

 

Imprisonment and Debts: quick facts

Did you know?

 

You can’t be sent to prison for non-payment of debts, such as credit cards, bank loans, and council tax. You can only be sent to prison for non-payment in very limited

cases, for example if you deliberately refuse to pay aliment (money for the support of an individual or children).

You cannot be sent to prison for non-payment of council tax.. Most councils will try to negotiate a settlement. Theywould rather not take people to court. Even if you are taken to court, there is still an opportunity to try to pay your debt, at a rate you can afford

You cannot go to prison if you go bankrupt. You cannot be sent to prison as part of the process if you go bankrupt.There is a type of bankruptcy called “criminal bankruptcy but this is very rare. If you go bankrupt as a direct result of reckless activities such as hazardous overspending and gambling. In these cases you may be subject to certain restrictions called a “bankruptcy restriction order”. If the order is broken it is a criminal offence and you may receive a custodial sentence.

Legal Issues Explained - Imprisonment and Debts: Imprisonment for not paying debts Edited by cerberusalert

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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Steven20

 

Sometimes things are a lot worse then they seem, have you had any credit card charges applied to your Credit Card account? If so you could claim them back with interest.

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It is highly unlikely that you can go to prison for a credit card debt, these companies set out to terrify you into paying them money for debts you may not even legitimately be responsible for.

 

Please please report them to Alan Stewart at East Ayrshire Trading Standards, he can stop them doing this to you again... and stop them sending their drivel to other vulnerable people.

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thanks everyone my mind is a little at ease now,I didnt know all this complicated stuff but I do now.

 

I have just hand written what Cerb posted,and will post that too them recorded delivery today.I will post a reply with the letter they send me back here if thats ok.

 

 

cheers everyone I wont worry in bed tonight so much

Edited by steven20
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dont worry about these cretins at all mate, that is what they rely on, people being worried and caving in to their idle and pointless threats

PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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If they did take you to court all that would happen (assuming that the debt is legally enforceable) is that you would apply for a time order based on your ability to pay. This would be agreed with the judge and only the court would have the power to vary the amount that you pay each week/month.

 

To add to that, even if it did get that far the Judge would only ask you to pay what you can afford. There are many things that are above un-secure debts on the list of priorities, these will always come first.

 

Is this the only debt that you have?

 

If it is and it turns out to be enforceable then your best bet is enter a Debt Management Program with the likes of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, or someone similar, who are free. They will help you with a budget and deal with your creditor(s).

Don't pay what you can't afford.

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Guest Cartaphilus

Hi, as others have already tried to reassure you - but the days of Debtors Prison (ie those seen in Charles Dickens days and which he wrote so much about in some of his allegorical stories) are well and truly gone.

 

I've just come in so haven't had the chance to read the forum properly yet but saw the intial post and that is what my reply is based on (quickly glancing through the rest of the thread for anything else to reply or add in).

 

The idea of the card is to get you on the phone. No other reason.

 

Still catching up so bare with me but this:

 

One of there letters said I could go to court and possible prison.

I owe them £2000

Absolutely outrageous! I'd be onto my local MP if nothing else if anyone said that to me in a letter! That is so wrong on so many levels.

 

If you can, put all thoughts of what these muppets have said in the letter you say you have had away. What they have threatened is apalling and they have no right to say it.

 

As to their card with 'AUTHORIZED VISIT'. Sorry, I can't help but have a laugh at that, but these people CLEARLY need reporting.

 

And what Sillygirl said to do. About Trading Standards. This is out and out intimidation. No other way to describe it. Certainly, a read of the OFT guidelines wouldn't go amiss on 'what we can do and can't do' to a debtor in writing or by phone. Sheeez, I am getting mad over what's happened to you and it's not me but only because I am incredulous with the threats they have made towards you thus far.

 

Add to that, perhaps approaching your local councillor and them involved. That is what I do now BTW with any problems in this direction, get as many people on your side as possible.

 

Re CTX (but also non payment of your television licence BTW which I always think is a waste of court time and OTT anyway; seems a total overreaction to me to send someone to jail for not paying for a TV licence) but yes it is possible to go to prison for non payment if it got that far. It happened to several elderly people, including an elderly vicar. Happens to others also if they cannot pay for whatever reason; mostly vulnerable people who can't fight back against the system, get proper legal advice due to lack of money.

Edited by Cartaphilus
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