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Thought debt was statute barred, its not. Advice required

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Hi all,

 

Over the past few years I have been successful in paying off well over 10k of debt (maybe even 20k now), something which I am proud of and hope to continue increasing until everything I owe is paid for.

 

To get to this stage, after many years of struggling to meet a large number of minimum payments after my wife lost her job due to ill health, I realised that if i focused on the debts which were most important or had reached a stage where they couldnt be put off (e.g. legal action started) I could focus on a smaller number of these at any one time but with larger payments which bring down the amounts owed faster. To do this i was using the various templates etc for requesting credit agreements and then more recently statute barred letters, giving me time to deal with each in turn.

 

So that has been very successful i feel, my wife is now completely debt free and I am well on the way to this but recently I have run into a problem. A DCA sent a letter to me which made it clear that they were becoming more active in progressing a debt (4k). As I was not quite ready to begin paying towards this (only 1 month away from paying off something else to free up funds) I did as much investigation as I could and thought it was statute barred, sent of the letter (rather than requesting an agreement) hoping to buy myself the time required to free up some budget and at the beginning of the week received a response. That showed me that I had made 4 small payments which were still within the time period that meant it was not statute barred.

 

So, clearly I need to prioritise this debt as the next one I clear but from what I remember this DCA is not the most friendly so I would like some advice before contacting them with an offer.

 

From experience I know how much I can afford each month (basic payment of £100 with additional ad hoc payments as money becomes available) but how much information am I required to give them? I have been in the situation with another DCA where they asked for details of my earnings etc and then refused my offer based on the fact they thought i could afford to pay more (not taking into account properly what i was already paying elsewhere etc). All this would do is get me into a spiral of stetching each month, stress, possible missed payments and worse.

 

So...

1) Am i required to tell a DCA what I earn when trying to agree payments?

2) Similarly, do they have any right to know the rest of my monthly budget?

3) Am i required to tell them who my employer is? (My employer would frown upon my financial situation based on some wording in my contract and clearly loosing my job etc if the DCA contacted them for any reason is not really going to help my overall situation!)

4) Should I make this offer in writing or given that I can no longer argue the debt is owed, should I just try to speak to someone at the DCA by phone?

5) If writing, should I enclose a postal order for an initial £100 as a good faith type offer, showing I wish to start this payment plan immediately?

 

Through experience I know my limitations etc. I do want to clear this debt, just not risk screwing up my finances further in trying to do so.

 

Any advice answers appreciated.

Edited by uiop

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be warned these small payments are far too often being put forward by DCA's when SB is mentioned

 

first did you make them , never take their word for it if you dont remember making them then question them

 

watch out for their excuse "they were attempted payments" these do not reset the clock


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Hi all,

 

 

 

So...

1) Am i required to tell a DCA what I earn when trying to agree payments? NO

2) Similarly, do they have any right to know the rest of my monthly budget?NO

3) Am i required to tell them who my employer is? (My employer would frown upon my financial situation based on some wording in my contract and clearly loosing my job etc if the DCA contacted them for any reason is not really going to help my overall situation!) NO

4) Should I make this offer in writing or given that I can no longer argue the debt is owed, should I just try to speak to someone at the DCA by phone?

EVERYTHING IN WRITING

 

5) If writing, should I enclose a postal order for an initial £100 as a good faith type offer, showing I wish to start this payment plan immediately?

 

Any advice answers appreciated.

 

If you want to include a payment then include what you can REASONABLY afford. If they start getting shirty with you because you won't give them what they have NO LAWFUL RIGHT TO, just CCA them.

 

Personally, I would CCA them anyway just to see if they have the right to be chasing this debt


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I would query the statement, is it just a single sheet without any letterhead? How small are the payments, they could have been put there by the DCA to assist the debt in NOT being statute barred. Ask them for FULL evidence of how they got the payments.

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HI all, firstly thanks for the responses, they have set my mind at ease before beginning the contact process and I fell in a much stronger/more knowledgeable position now which will assist me in resolving this.

 

To answer some of the questions... I was sent a covering letter and a screenshot of the account details, including payments, dates etc.

 

Looking at the payments I'm sure they were mine as they match my payment pattern during the period i was struggling to pay all of the various things at the same time. This is one of those where I attempted to pay initially but in the end couldnt afford it and had to stop. I just misjudged the timeframe for the SB letter. I'm guessing the reason i couldnt find it on my statements is that i paid via bank slip in a branch rather than any other method. (By this point i had stopped using my debit card etc to minimise my monthly spend through using cash. Withdrew a monthly food/travel budget etc to live off and everything else went on servicing debt/bills)

 

What i am getting from the responses though is that sending £100 with my offer is not a required course of action. I wanted to do this so that I maximised the chance of acceptance from the DCA of this £100 monthly and stopped any need for further stress or threat of legal action. I'm confident I can afford it (essentially it matches the amount i am saving through the other payment that ends this month) and £100 a month on a 4k debt is between 3 and 4 years of payments (if i dont pay extra each month)... dont really want to have this debt kicking about for longer than that.

 

So... first i write to them offering £100 a month. Asking for either a Direct Debit mandate or bank details so i can use internet banking. If they say no to this offer I then try a CCA request and hope that this makes them more reasonable.

 

Agreed?

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no CCA request first they have to prove you owe it and they have the right to collect, when and if you get the agreement back, come back post up what they send with per; details removed, there are people on CAG that can check if its valid, if then its valid 100% then you think about making offers,

 

we are not telling you how to get out of a debt you owe etc CAG will never condone that , but if someone is demanding money from you they actually prove have the right to do so

 

you can put the money to one side in the meantime that you were offering to pay, just DONT make any offer till the first part is completed


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If you feel you can afford that then yes offer it but whatever you do, DO NOT set up a Direct Debit. It is known that DCA's will take whatever they want from your account.

 

Get their bank details and set up a Standing Order. YOU have full control then.

 

I would also ensure that they do not add any interest on this account

 

Just one other point. If this debt is a loan or credit card debt, you could SAR the original creditor and find out just how much has been added in charges and claim them back, reducing your debt even further.


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OK... so no direct debit for now. First do a CCA letter (is this still ok given i sent the Statute Barred one?) then as it was a CC (taken out in about 1998 ) do a Subject Access Request.

 

Do i SAR the bank I took out the card with, or the DCA?

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OK... so no direct debit for now. First do a CCA letter (is this still ok given i sent the Statute Barred one?) then as it was a CC (taken out in about 1998 ) do a Subject Access Request.

No DD-EVER. Doesn't matter that you sent a SB letter first

Do i SAR the bank I took out the card with, or the DCA?

SAR the bank. The DCA will have very little info on you

 

If you need any links, just shout.


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Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Great, thanks all. Your help is very much appreciated. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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no problem glad all the info was of help to you , just keep the thread updated and ask if you need any more help

 

Kip


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Will do! If nothing else, hopefully it will help people who are in a similar situation in the future.

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Hey guys, quick update on this...

 

My CCA letter was posted on Monday (1st available oppertunity after this thread started). That arrived next day with them recorded (27th) and I was waiting on a response.

 

Today a letter arrived from a different company demanding money, though I did note that it is "a division of" the company I CCA'd.

 

So, do I need to send another CCA to this "new" company or is it ok to wait on the original one being responded to?

 

(NOTE: The letter arrived today... dated the day before my CCA arrived with them. I do have some doubt in my mind that it takes 3 days to get a letter from one place to another nowadays... so wonder if this was dated the day before they actually sent it... having received my CCA and wanting to mess me about. I guess we will never know!)

 

Anyway, CCA the new/sub/"division of" company?

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Who was the original cca sent to and who is the new kid on the block attempting to collect?


I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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HI Deb T, PM'd you the names involved as I want to keep this as generic as possible so they cant identify me (or attempt to).

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Yup got that. Given that you've already sent the CCA I'd be tempted to sit and wait for a while, if the new dca gets busy with letters simply put them on notice that you've already sent a CCA request dated xxx from another part of their 'group' and are patiently awaiting their response.

 

If you wait the 12+2 from you sending the CCA and you've heard nothing or no cca has been provided then use the next letter from the template section putting the account into 'dispute'

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/571-failiure-to-provide-a-copy-of-the-agreement-within-the-prescribed-timescale and CC in the second but affiliated DCA by sending them a copy of the letter also.

 

It's a tactic often used by DCA's that when one cannot provide a cca they simply pass it on to the next and the process starts all over again. Some on cag would advise you to simply send another CCA request where others would advise you do nothing etc....it's your choice but if it were me I would not continually keep sending off CCA requests each time a DCA passes the file on as I'm sure that some of them have a system set up so as to pass details for the next to have a go...

 

I had DLC try the same with me, I sent a CCA request they were unable to comply and the next I get is from Hillesden (dlc's parent company) and now I've one from Zinc who I think (can't be sure) are also affiliated to dlc/Hillesden...all asking for money and with 2 out of the 3 threatening all manner of things against me, needless to say none of them have had any further communication from me since I put the account into dispute.


I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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Thanks, my gut feel was to wait so I shall :)

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The only thing to add further is that messaging somebody the names of companies should be approached with caution as simply put you do not know who you're talking to etc.

 

In most instances I would say if a moderator had asked who they were via a post then by all means send them the details you sent me should you want to, no problems with them but if it's a standard member whom you've had no previous correspondence with i.e myself then think a little before sending it. Of course if you've read a person for a while and think they're on the level then by all means go for it but approach everyone with caution and as always trust your own judgement.


I reside in Dawlish Warren but am not a rabbit.

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Hi all, I have received a letter from one of the 3 DCA's (not the one I CCA'd) saying they got my request and dont have the CCA but are requesting a copy. Then there is a note that they wont take enforcement action against me while the request is in progress.

 

Do i still need to send the CCA reminder (the 12+2 has expired) or can I just wait and see what happens now that they have put a hold on things?

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Best to send the leter telling them time is up and the a/c is now is serious dispute.

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OP your being very naive you need evidence that you made those payments As for your 'payment pattern' don't you think they would know your payment pattern & act accordingly. BEFORE you do anything demand proof that those alleged payments were made by you. For example are the payments piffling amounts is so you may not have made them

 

Remember that many DCA's will stoop at nothing to obtain their ill gotten gains

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Hi there

NEVER EVER give a Direct debit mandate to a DCA. They can empty your Bank account at will before you even know about it.

 

If you want to arrange regular payments DEMAND THEIR BANK DETAILS and do it by a Standing Order which YOU specify on it how much to pay.

 

Direct Debits are an utterly EVIL way of making people pay money as this gives the person COLLECTING the money the power to change the amount at wil WITHOUT EVEN NOTIFYING YOU. The first you might even notice it is when you go to the bank or Cash machine and find there's no money left in the account.

 

A Standing Order is FIXED and only YOU can change it.

 

There have been all sorts of horror stories about how Utility companies suddenly change often by 300% or more the amount people pay on Direct debits.

 

Cheers

jimbo

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Time for an update on this thread.

 

On Monday, after months of their being no action by this DCA, I received a letter from them which says that they have included my agreement.

 

Upon checking the paperwork included it seems very clear to me that they have faked it. The first page of this agreement is more like a letter, card number and credit limit in the top right. My current address on the left (not the one I was at when the account was taken out). Below this is a section headed "Credit Agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974" which again lists my current address below this and there is no signature on anything. Not my current one, or the variation I had in the late 90's. This first page is also not on headed paper.

 

Attached to the back of this is a set of photocopied bank Terms and Conditions, which appear to be correct and include a blank Direct Debit mandate. This is then followed by another Credit Agreement, different to the first (longer/older) with no personal details on it, no signature.

 

All of the pages have "Copy" stamped on them, prior to the photocopy.

 

Am i correct that this is a nonsense letter and if so, where do I go from here? I know I will have to pay it off at some point but given this rediculous behaviour by the DCA I would like them to go to the bottom of the priority list.

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Thanks for the update. It sounds like they really are scraping the barrel!

 

I'm sure some of the CCA experts will be here real soon to let you know their learned opinions!

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Sounds like they have attempted a 'Reconstituted' agreement which they claim meets your request but they should indicate if an original agreement exists or not.


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