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William415

More AUS debt being chased in the UK

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Hello,

 

I have read through several posts/replies, related to the cases of bobster316, leelang229, and MANDIE94. My case is similar, but it has not yet reached the advanced stages. I would very much appreciate some advice on how to deal with this.

 

In short, my situation is as follows:

 

1. I lived in Australia for 8 years, and racked up a lot of unsecured debt most of which as been paid off. I relocated to the UK in 2005. While I was in OZ, I obtained an Australian passport - so I have dual citizenship (USA and Australia). I am a UK permanent resident, eligible for citizenship in October of this year.

 

2. Australian Credit Corp have tracked me down here in the UK and are seeking payment of approx. AU$30,000 in old credit card debt assigned to them from Westpac Bank. I have written to them denying any knowledge of the debt, and asking them to send me documentation. They have sent historical statements.

 

3. I have no assets or income in Australia (other than a Superannuation account that I can't get released as I still hold an Australian passport). Theorectically, if I could get the Super release I could use those funds to pay the debt.

 

4. Credit Corp have demanded that I reply to them by July 2 with my intentions. The fact is, although I am employed here in the UK and earn a high income, I am barely keeping my head above water wth my debts here and do not have any assets or spare income to pay them. I am hoping to get this debt discharged or cancelled somehow.

 

5. My current strategy is as follows: Declare bankruptcy in Australia (I have emailed www.fredappleton.com.au for information) and have the debt extinguished through the bankruptcy. When I obtain a UK passport in October, I will cancel my Australian passport, renounce my AU citizenship, and release my Superannuation funds (Superannuation is protected from bankruptcy in Australia - or so I understand). I can then remit those funds to help offset my UK debt.

 

6. My other option is to stall Australian Credit Corp until the debt becomes statute barred after six years. I have made no payments for about 4 or 5 years, and have never acknowledged the debt.

 

What do you think of my strategy? Do you think it will work?

 

My number one fear is that the debt is transferred to UK jurisdiction (as in the case of leelang229) and I end up with a CCJ.

 

Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

 

I should also mention that I am willing to scan and post all of the documentation I have received. I am really quite worried about this ... losing sleep!

 

No ideas/advice??

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5. My current strategy is as follows: Declare bankruptcy in Australia (I have emailed http://www.fredappleton.com.au for information) and have the debt extinguished through the bankruptcy. When I obtain a UK passport in October, I will cancel my Australian passport, renounce my AU citizenship, and release my Superannuation funds (Superannuation is protected from bankruptcy in Australia - or so I understand). I can then remit those funds to help offset my UK debt.
If you go this route the Oz bankruptcy won't be registered on your UK credit file, also IIRC you should be able to include UK debts but it would be worth discussing with Appleton's.

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Thank you. I note that on 26 Nov 2009, in your reply to Jayne79 you stated:

 

"They cannot enforce an Oz debt in the UK unless they have obtained a judgement in Oz, which if it is similar to UK law they cannot do unless you are still resident there."

 

Is this still true?

 

Also, I'm worried that Credit Corp can object to the bankruptcy filing in OZ on the grounds that they know I am resident and employed in the UK. Can they do that?

 

By the way, for the information of others on this forum, I was tracked down via a social networking site (Linkedin.com). If others do not wish to be found and harassed, I would suggest have no presence whatsoever on such sites.

 

Thank you for your help - I will keep everyone posted on the progress.

 

William415

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As you have been out of the country for 5 years or so, you may wish to check what time limits there are on Australian bankruptcy and overseas residents.

 

For example, if someone has been out of the UK for 3 years or more, their UK creditors cannot seek to make them BR nor can they petition for BR themselves.

 

I don't know if the same thing applies here in Oz. Presumably Appletons will advise.

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I have not yet heard back from Appletons - I will have to give them a call.

Here is the latest piece of communication from the DCA:

 

"The 2 July deadline, regarding the above accounts, has now passed.

You have demanded I only contact you in written form yet when I did so,

I failed to get any form of a response whatsoever.

 

This is a serious matter with mounting debts in your name.

Please respond urgently otherwise you leave me no option but to contact you on the only telephone numbers I have for you on file.

 

Regards"

 

Any ideas on how I can further stall them until I can sort out the bankruptcy?

 

Thanks.

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William,

 

You've probably had a look for yourself, but all the info on Australian bankruptcy seems to confirm that you have to be an Australian resident to petition for bankruptcy.

 

Since you are in the UK that would seem to rule that possibility out.

 

At the moment it sounds as though your DCA is making all the usual fierce noises about this being a "serious matter" but ultimately they'll have to make the call on whether its worth trying to chase you through the English courts for around GBP16K which may well be stat barred back here in Australia anyway. (You don't say which state your were in which will significantly affect this SB date.)

 

Can I suggest that you read some of the posts on the expat focus forums - Especially those posted by Moc 2006. He used to work as a team leader for an Australian DCA and has some very helpful insights on their recovery tactics for chasing Aussies who've left the lucky country. He still posts on occasion you may be well advised to re-post your question there.

 

As far as stalling Credit Corp, you could always ask them directly what exactly they plan to do about pursuing you in the UK. Since it is illegal for them to deliberately give you incorrect or misleading information, asking them for an honest answer will throw up a raft of "probably" and "may consider" type responses.

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Thanks, Ozzyboy for your post.

 

I have just got off the phone with a company in Australia called A1 Debt Assistance. They are going to try to help me, but did confirm what you have said - I must be resident in Australia in order to declare bankruptcy.

 

The debts were originated when I was resident in New South Wales, so the time limit is 6 years for the debt to be statue barred, if I am correct. One of the debts has not been paid since 2005, and the other 2007 - so not statute barred yet.

 

I really want to sort this out and get it solved, but I do not have the financial resources to pay them. I really do not care what they do to my records or credit rating in Australia, but I am concerned that this ends up as a UK CCJ. Although I have a lot of debts here in the UK as well, I am keeping my head above water and have a good credit rating here that I wish to maintain.

 

I will check out the posts and forum you have recommended - thanks for your help. I would appreciate it if anyone else has any suggestions.

 

Many thanks.

 

W.

 

I just got off the phone with someone from CRS Warner Kugel (www.crswarnerkugel.com.au). They are personal bankruptcy and insolvency experts. The advice I received is to cut off all contact with the DCA, refuse to deal with them in any way, and see how hard they continue to try to collect the debt.

 

The gentleman I spoke to said that he does not believe they will try to pursue the debt in the UK, as it is too expensive and cumbersome to do so.

 

I am a bit afraid to follow this advice, as I continue to fear they will "sell" the debt to a UK DCA, or get a CCJ against me in the UK. But I don't think I have any other options.

 

Advice??

 

Thanks.

 

W

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Personally I would do as you were advised.


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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I just got off the phone with someone from CRS Warner Kugel (www.crswarnerkugel.com.au). They are personal bankruptcy and insolvency experts. The advice I received is to cut off all contact with the DCA, refuse to deal with them in any way, and see how hard they continue to try to collect the debt.

 

The gentleman I spoke to said that he does not believe they will try to pursue the debt in the UK, as it is too expensive and cumbersome to do so.

 

I am a bit afraid to follow this advice, as I continue to fear they will "sell" the debt to a UK DCA, or get a CCJ against me in the UK. But I don't think I have any other options.

 

Advice??

 

Thanks.

 

W

 

Well thats pretty good advice, you can now save all the costs of phoning Oz, dont contact them, if they try to sell to UK, then you deny it. It'll most likely be statute barred in any case by the time it got that far.

 

Please stop worrying

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I will follow this advice, and I will try to stop worrying.

 

The DCA in Australia knows where I work, and has the main switch number for my employer. My fear is that they will call repeatedly, and get me in trouble with my employer. Not much I can do about that, I guess.

 

Hopefully if I cut off all contact, continue to ignore them, they will give up.

 

Wish me luck - and I will keep everyone posted. Thanks to all who have posted advice.

 

W

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I'd concur with the advice to ignore them.

 

Looking at it logically - if they did try to sell these debts to a UK DCA, one of them is already Stat Barred under UK law which isn't exactly an appealing selling point and the other's not far behind!

 

Any DCA will go after debts that offer the quickest and most profitable result. Buying up fairly small SB overseas debts that;

 

1 are unenforceable

2. will take time and money to get them into the UK system

3. do not guarantee any significant return on their "investment"

 

isn't going to be part of their game plan... especially if the OC hasn't been able to provide any proof that the debt actually exists other than a fistful of old statements.

 

If it becomes a problem for your employer that Credit Corp continues to phone you at work when you have asked them not to and provided an alternative means of contact, you should contact the ACCC to lodge a complaint. This behaviour is against the ACCC / ASIC guidelines and although you are in the UK, the offence is being committed in Australia by an Australian business.

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Thanks, Ozzyboy.

 

I'll now wait and see what they decide to do. I've made it virtually impossible for them to contact me via phone or email. So the only option they have is to call my employer. If they try that again, I will lodge a complaint as advised.

 

I'll keep you posted on developments.

 

W

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Well, the DCA slime have popped their head out of the swamp again. They are attempting to contact me by ringing my employer, and sending me email at my work email address.

 

I continue to ignore, and refuse to speak with them ... but this will eventually cause me problems at work.

 

What is my next step? Complaint letter to ASIC?

 

Thanks.

 

W

:mad:

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Guest Mrs Hobbit

Definitely a complaint to ASIC and let your employers know that you are being harassed by this firm. Your IT department can block their emails and the phone calls from them. Let your employers know that you are making an official complaint to the Australian authorities. Don't go into details just say this bunch are are harassing you about something and you wish to have their access to the company blocked.

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Thanks Mrs Hobbit ... IT department has now blocked any emails from the DCA's domain. Not much I can do about the phone calls ... they don't have my direct line, so they just call the main switchboard and ask to be transferred.

 

Will fire off the complaint letter to ASIC later today.

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Guest Mrs Hobbit

William, Charm offensive needed here, choccies and flowers for the telephonist or receptionist, get them to screen the calls.

 

There is a way these calls can be blocked, whoever operates the switchboard will know of this.

 

I am an Aussie, let's level this playing field.

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Well, the DCA slime have raised their heads out of the swamp again. Their latest tactic is trawling the website of the company I work for, and calling anyone whose contact details appear there - trying to find me.

 

Like many corporate websites, we list contact details for media inquiries, investor relations, sponsorship/charity info, etc. So now the DCA slime are harassing my co-workers in an attempt to get me to call them back.

 

They remain on IGNORE mode, but they can get very blooddy irritating.

 

What they are doing HAS to be illegal, right??

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Well, the DCA slime have raised their heads out of the swamp again. Their latest tactic is trawling the website of the company I work for, and calling anyone whose contact details appear there - trying to find me.

 

Like many corporate websites, we list contact details for media inquiries, investor relations, sponsorship/charity info, etc. So now the DCA slime are harassing my co-workers in an attempt to get me to call them back.

 

They remain on IGNORE mode, but they can get very blooddy irritating.

 

What they are doing HAS to be illegal, right??

 

Yes it is illegal, you need to get a call log and report them, no more warnings, do it.

They obviously are causing you distress and this harrassment is against the law.

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Thanks bazaar. How do I report them? To whom? And should I cc the DCA on any complaint letters?

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I am planning to draft my complaint letter to the ACCC this weekend. Does anyone have a template, or any suggestions on what I should say??

 

I am thinking of cc'ing the DCA , and the CEO of the DCA company as well - I want them to know I've complained. Is that a good idea?

 

I really need these clowns to stop calling my office and harassing my co-workers ... this will impact my ongoing employment prospects if this keep up.

 

Thanks.

 

W

Edited by citizenB

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Yes you should always make sure they know what you are doing to stop them, if you ever lose your job over something like this, then you have the evidence to back up any claim against them,

Theres a harrassment letter in the templates section, you can tailor it to suit you.

Make sure you send everything recorded delivery,

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OK, complaint letters have been sent - recorded delivery.

 

I have sent a formal complaint letter to ASIC, and a complaint letter to the "customer care" (what a joke) department of the DCA.

 

I also sent (unsigned) copies via email directly to the DCA, so they know immediately - and have told them hardcopies have been sent via post, recorded delivery. I have re-stated to the DCA that I deny any responsibility for these accounts, and refuse to accept any further contact on the matter.

 

I doubt they'll back off, but at least they should stop harassing my employer and co-workers.

 

W

 

OK, I've included copies below of my complaint letters: (1) Complaint letter to ASIC; and (2) Complaint letter to the DCA, whose representative has been acting illegally. I sent both letters in hardcopy recorded delivery, then I emailed both letters to the DCA (the complaint department and the DCA script merchant who has been harassing me and my employer).

 

First, here are the texts of the letters (I've removed names for privacy):

 

Letter 1:

 

8 August 2010

 

ASIC Complaints

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

GPO Box 9827

Sydney, AUSTRALIA

 

SUBJECT: Complaint regarding illegal harassment from XXX Credit Corp

 

Dear Sirs:

 

I wish to lodge a formal complaint regarding the debt collection practices of XXX Credit Corp. A Mr. DCA from this organization continues to intimidate and harass me in relation to a debt for which I deny responsibility.

 

Here are some examples of the illegal behaviour of this organistaion:

 

Example 1:

 

On 7 July 2010, Mr. DCA of XXX Credit Corp rang my workplace at 8:30am (Local Time). As Mr. ?? does not have my direct extension number, he proceeded to harass and intimidate reception staff at my place of employment. His aggressive behaviour upset my co-workers, and he asked my co-workers personal details about me including my position with the company, my salary, my length of employment, and personal contact details. This both embarrassed me and harmed my professional reputation and breaches the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Australian Investments Commission’s Debt Collection Guidelines 6 and 7.

 

Example 2:

 

On 14 July, 2010 at 9:05am (Local Time), Mr. ?? of XXX Credit Corp again rang the main reception at my place of employment pretending to represent a company that had legitimate business with my employer. He asked to be transferred to our Group Chief Executive, and ended up in contact with the Chief Executive’s personal assistant. Mr. ?? then began a similar routine as in Example 1 of being aggressive and intimidating to my co-worker, and proceeding to ask many personal details about me – including my employment status, work schedule, personal contact details, and whereabouts. This behaviour is not only illegal, but is a threat to my continued employment and livelihood. It is again in breach of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Australian Investments Commission’s Debt Collection Guidelines 6 and 7.

 

Example 3:

 

On 5 August 2010, Mr. ?? rang the direct mobile telephone number of a co-worker of mine, whose details are displayed on the Company website – as he is responsible for corporate sponsorships and charity events. Mr. ?? is obviously trawling the website of my employer, and ringing any employee whose details can be found there and engaging in similar behaviour as in Examples 1 and 2 above. In this particular example, Mr. ?? was both aggressive and rude to my co-worker, demanding to know my personal contact details and whereabouts. He told my co-worker that this was in relation to a bad debt, which further harmed my reputation with my employer and my co-workers and also threatens my continued employment with the organisation.

 

 

I demand that you investigate these actions for breaches of the debt collections guidelines.

 

If you wish to contact me in relation to this matter, you may do so at the following postal address:

 

xxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxx

POSTCODE

UNITED KINGDOM

 

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

William415

 

*************************************************

 

Letter 2:

 

Customer Experience Manager

XXX Corp Group Limited

GPO Box XXX

Sydney, NSW 2001

AUSTRALIA

 

SUBJECT: Complaint regarding illegal harassment from XXX Credit Corp

RE: Account Reference XXXXXX, XXXXXX

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam:

 

I wish to lodge a formal complaint regarding the debt collection practices of your company. A Mr. DCA from your company continues to intimidate and harass me in relation to a debt for which I deny responsibility.

 

The debts in question are not related to me in any way, and I deny any responsibility for these accounts. I have informed Mr. ?? of this, but he continues to harass both me and my employer, breaching the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Australian Investments Commission’s Debt Collection Guidelines 6 and 7.

 

Here are some examples of the illegal behaviour of Mr ??:

 

Example 1:

 

On 7 July 2010, Mr. ?? of XXX Credit Corp rang my workplace at 8:30am (Local Time). As Mr. ?? does not have my direct extension number, he proceeded to harass and intimidate reception staff at my place of employment. His aggressive behaviour upset my co-workers, and he asked my co-workers personal details about me including my position with the company, my salary, my length of employment, and personal contact details. This both embarrassed me and harmed my professional reputation and breaches the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Australian Investments Commission’s Debt Collection Guidelines 6 and 7.

 

Example 2:

 

On 14 July, 2010 at 9:05am (Local Time), Mr. ?? of XXX Credit Corp again rang the main reception at my place of employment pretending to represent a company that had legitimate business with my employer. He asked to be transferred to our Group Chief Executive, and ended up in contact with the Chief Executive’s personal assistant. Mr. ?? then began a similar routine as in Example 1 of being aggressive and intimidating to my co-worker, and proceeding to ask many personal details about me – including my employment status, work schedule, personal contact details, and whereabouts. This behaviour is not only illegal, but is a threat to my continued employment and livelihood. It is again in breach of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Australian Investments Commission’s Debt Collection Guidelines 6 and 7.

 

Example 3:

 

On 5 August 2010, Mr. ?? rang the direct mobile telephone number of a co-worker of mine, whose details are displayed on the Company website – as he is responsible for corporate sponsorships and charity events. Mr. ?? is obviously trawling the website of my employer, and ringing any employee whose details can be found there and engaging in similar behaviour as in Examples 1 and 2 above. In this particular example, Mr. ?? was both aggressive and rude to my co-worker, demanding to know my personal contact details and whereabouts. He told my co-worker that this was in relation to a bad debt, which further harmed my reputation with my employer and my co-workers and also threatens my continued employment with the organisation.

 

 

I demand this harassment stop immediately.

 

I have made a formal complaint of this behaviour to ASIC - if the harassment does not stop I reserve the right to take further action as necessary, including making a further complaints to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading.

 

Finally, I request that all future correspondence in this matter be in writing. I will no longer accept any telephone calls from any representative or your organization.

 

 

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

William415

 

Oh, and after I emailed both letters to the DCA and Mr. ?? - I get the following email from Mr. ??? :

 

************************************

 

Hi "William415"

 

Thank you for the notification. I have read all of the details and look forward to further developments.

 

Regards

 

DCA

Team Performance Manager

 

************************************

 

It'll be interesting to see their next move. They may try to get a court judgement against me, but I can't see how they can do that if I'm not resident in Australia.

 

I'll keep you all posted on developments. Thanks to all for advice and info.

 

William415

 

Well, today I recieved a response from the DCA regarding my complaint. Their response was via email, with an attached Word document - which I have cut/pasted below, removing all personal information. Not sure what to do next, if anything....

 

***********************************

9 August 2010

 

Mr. XXXXX XXXX

 

 

Dear Mr. XXXX,

 

Our Ref XX XXXXXX

Original Ref XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Original Credit Provider XX XXXXXX XXXXX XX

 

Our Ref XX XXXXXX

Original Ref XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Original Credit Provider XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX

 

We refer to the above mentioned matter and to your communication via email dated 8 August 2010 and note the content.

 

Please be advised we are in the process of investigating the issues raised by you and where necessary we will be seeking further and better particulars and we envisage being in a position to respond to you by the 16 August 2010.

 

Should you have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact our office on 02 XXXX XXXXor by email XXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXX.com.au .

 

We aim to deal with your complaint to your satisfaction. If you are not happy with the response you have received, please contact Bxxxxxxxxxx Fxxxxxx, XXX Corp’s Dispute Resolution Manager and she will work with you to agree the next steps. Bxxxxxxxx can be contacted on 1300 XXX XXX or if more convenient by email at xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.com.au

 

Yours sincerely

 

Ixxxx Nxxxxxxx

Dispute Resolution Officer

 

**********************************************

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Not sure what to do next, if anything....
You don't have to do anything yet, the ball's firmly in their court now.

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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Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to the nice chap who runs this website:

[removed]- dx

 

His experience with this organisation is detailed on his website,

and he further reassured me that I don't have much to worry about.

 

 

The cost and hassle of chasing the debt here in the UK will be prohibative,

and by the time they get a judgement, serve me, transfer it to a UK court (even if they could)

... the debt will be statute-barred anyway.

 

He also gave me a couple of other pieces of info that others in my situation might find useful:

 

1. My debt was in New South Wales. Apparently, the legislation in that state related to statute-barred debt is much stronger than other states. Even if you acknowledge the debt or make a payment, it's still statute-barred after 6 years. (e.g., the clock doesn't start again)

2. Complaining to the Privacy Commissioner apparently scares the poop out of DCA's in Australia. They take breaching privacy VERY seriously, and are in the habit of awarding damages to consumers. I think I'll keep that one up my sleeve for now, and if the DCA starts up the harrassment again, I'll complain to the Privacy Commissioner.

 

W

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In the vast majority of cases it is not financially viable for them to pursue. They'll try it on for a while sabre rattling hoping to wear the alleged debtor down but unless the monies involved are many thousands (usually tens of) & they are certain of a return they'll give up eventually.


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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