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1st Credit demands more money then i can afford


weston83
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Hiya, i am so stressed out as i had a letter through the post from 1st credit debt collectors informing me that i owed £1800 from a student account i opened in 2001, it was a Lloyds TSB account, i did make some repayments to connought debt recovery agency 3 years ago but stopped as i had a change of circumstances and instead of facing it head on, i decided to bury my head in the sand. However, it must have been bought by 1st credit and when i phoned them, they were really nasty, i offered to pay them £50 a month but they refused saying it wasn't enough. Realistically that is all i can afford to pay them as i am on a low income. They started asking me quite personal questions about my finances and i wasn't comfortable answering them 'on the spot'. They threatened me with legal action so i eventually persuaded them to take £50 a month direct debit but they informed me it was only going to be a temporary arrangement for the next three months then they wanted more, i stupedly agreed to pay more after that period just to get them off my back. Their first direct debit isn't due to come out of my account for 2 weeks. Does anyone know what i can do?

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Hi Weston

 

I know its difficult but the first thing to do is to stop stressing. These people rely on you to stress so they can apply pressure to get more money off you. You stay calm and you stay in control.

 

The second thing to do is to never call these clowns ever again, if they call you inform them that you will only deal with them in writing. They will not like this but simply refuse to answer security questions for your own security and say you refuse to give out personal information over the phone. Any correspondence you send them, make a copy, send via recorded/special delivery. Ensure you always PRINT your name never sign it!

 

You say the debt is from 2001? Was this an overdraft/loan? This is important as there are things you can do depending on the type of debt this is.

 

Next is your personal preference on the level of detail you want to give to a DCA. You do not have to give them any information on your income etc but if you want to demonstrate you are being reasonable you may want to. This makes it harder in the very unlikely event they take the debt to court. The likelyhood is Connought have sold this debt on for a pathetic amount to 1st Credit and now these jesters are trying it on.

 

It would be worth sending a Subject Access Request to 1st Credit to get as much info as you can from them.

 

The important thing though is to never offer them more than you can afford. If £50 a month is all you can afford then so be it!

 

If you have given them your bank details to set up a direct debit I would seriously consider setting up another current account and then do not give those details to anyone ever!

 

Ring up 1st Credit and then ask for their bank details so you can set up a standing order. This way you stay in control.

 

After the 3 months are up if £50 a month is still all you can afford then only carry on paying this amount. However if this debt is from a loan or credit card then your debt may be unenforceable.

 

Crispy

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Hiya Crispy

 

thanks for your reply

The debt was from an over draft attatched to my former bank account, do you think it can be unenforceable? Another thing is, do you think my bank details are unsafe with them, will they try and take more out of my current account then what i have offered to pay? Surely they can't do that? I haven't really got experience in dealing with these idiots so i am very quick to be compliant. It is time i stuck my ground though, i'm just scared of being taken to court.

 

Weston

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Guest Cartaphilus

Utter waste of time giving that advice so have removed it.

Edited by Cartaphilus
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Hiya Crispy

Another thing is, do you think my bank details are unsafe with them, will they try and take more out of my current account then what i have offered to pay? Surely they can't do that?

 

Assuming your current account is with the same bank as the debt then yes they can do this. Open an account elsewhere to protect yourself. The Co-op do a current account that almost everyone can open.

 

As the 1st credit and all debt collectors, it will never be enougth no matter how much you offer, debt collectors are programed to always ask for more. You could offer them the moon on a stick and it still wouldn't be enougth so do not take any notice when they give you the old 'It's not enougth' line.

They will rely on scare tatics and hope you get suckered in so don't listen to any of the bailiff this and court that crap they like to use.

 

Lose the direct debit. Don't give them access to your bank account. They will take more that you agree. Get their bank details and set up standing order.

Make an agreement to pay an amount you can afford each month, write to them with the proposal, send it recorded and keep a copy for your files. Offer them £10 a month or something, don't go in high and send the first payment via a postal order and in the letter state that by accepting this payment you agree to these terms. They will write back saying 'it's not enougth' but they will also cash the postal order so ignor their response and every month pay a tenner. As long as you keep to the arangement they should back off except for the odd letter asking for more which you can file and ignor.

 

Judges do not like it when debt collectors waste the courts time on cases where people have kept to arrangements and debt collectors know this. By keeping to an arrangement the debt collector may well threaten court but it will be extremely unlikely to ever go there.

Edited by ashmk
Typo

Ash.

 

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ouch, i didn't even know they could take more than what they agreed, they are so cheeky, but your right, i need to protect myself so i will be looking into getting a new account..also i will take your advice and offer them £10 a month, first payment postal order and subsequent payments by standing order. One thing for sure is that i will not be speaking to those clowns on the phone again, it's by letter here on in.

Thanks for all your advice, i'll keep posted

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Hi Weston

 

If the debt is an overdraft it is a different beast and different rules apply. I'm sorry I don't know the exact legalities of it but I'm sure someone will be along who can offer some guidance on this point.

 

Regards DD's I echo what everyone else has already said. The problem is the control is in your creditors hands. Look at utility companies who ramp up their customers gas/electric DD's with little/no notice.

 

Legally they are meant to provide you notice of any change to a DD, the reality however......

 

So take control back, change your bank accounts (do not offer the DD migration service!) and then set up standing orders. Ensure the account you set up is notlinked to your old bank.

 

And don't be scared of being taken to court, the worst that would happen is you would have to pay the maximum you could afford and if you offer that anyway a judge is going to take a very dim view of litigation being taken.

 

Offer your payment and stick to it. They will shout, threaten, lie, intimidate but ultimately that is all they can do.

 

Keep positive and you'll get the upper hand!

 

Crispy

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ouch, i didn't even know they could take more than what they agreed

 

Well they are not supposed to but the rules do not apply to debt collectors because they are above the law and can do as they please, or thats the impression they like to give. The reality is they have no powers and use dirty tatics to trick people into paying up.

Ash.

 

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Thankyou all for taking the time to reply and advice me. Toady was also stressful, in fact i didn't sleep all night either. I contacted my bank and they said they couldn't give me another account due to the fact that i have an arrangement with a DCA (aaahhhhh) i am worried that there isn't a bank out there that will give me a account as my credit history is quiet bad ( from my younger days). They (my bank) cannot cancel the DD because the first payment has not exited my account, after that i can of course cancel it, so that might be my best bet. After doing my research on this so called 'reputable' 1st credit, i am now questioning whether i owe the exact amount they say i do? I e.mailed them and asked them for all relevent paperwork and also informed them that i will not be communicating with them over the phone and all communications will be in writing. Hope i have taken the correct actions, still a big stress, it is making me sick.

 

Weston

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Why contact your bank? You need to go elsewhere and drop them.

 

Get yourself a Co-op cash minder account (see here). Its just a basic current account with a debit card and they accept most people even with bad credit. Don't tell them what they don't need to know, ie your debt problem.

 

Personally I would take all the money out of the Lloyds TSB account if they won't cancel the direct debit.

 

You need to stop using the bank you owe money to as soon as possible or they will help themselves to your cash and they don't care if you go hungry.

Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

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Ok Weston, been in very similar situatio to you.

 

My advice is as so:

 

1. Cancel direct debit.

2. Find out which banks are afilliated to yours (owned by the same company) and open a "parachute account" with another bank that has no links. I jumped to Barclays as they are not linked to Lloyds TSB. Most banks now offer a bog standard debit card account with no credit facilities (overdraft etc) but you can still pay bills by direct debit etc.

3. Never answer the phone to them, or if you do, answer only to say "all correspondence in writing please" and put the phone down.

4. Dont panic...honestly it is not worth it.

5. Only a judge in court can demand to know your income and expenditure.

6. Even if it gets to court, the judge will look at your income and expenditure and make a judgement of what you repay based on that.

7. Dont panic...i know that is easily said than done but having been where you are now i am testament that it can be overcome and it only cost me a bit of time and effort. Really, in the grand scheme of things ... this is nothing.

 

In order for us to give you more help, can you tell us if the alleged debt is made up of an overdraft?

Does the amount they say you owe, is it made up of charges for late payment, returned direct debits etc?

 

Oh and by the way, Worst Crudit and Con-naught are very close, they are basically the same company, they pass debts to each other when they dont feel they are getting enough.

Edited by MONX
added a bit!

Advice given is my opinion only, I am not a legal or financial expert (far from it).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't been able to post for over a week as i was away, but when i got back i just got a direct debit guarentee, which the DD has now been cancelled. I got a letter saying the £50 repayment plan is conditional as they want my expenditure details and even employment details. I am not giving them any personal information because they are just bullies and i really do not trust them. The debt was from an intrest free overdraft on my Lloyds student account back, i do not bank with Lloyds anymore. Now, i have read in other posts about CCAs, does anyone know what it is and will it apply to me?

 

Thanks again for all your advice, you've reassured me a lot.

 

Weston

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A Consumer Credit Agreement only applies if you have taken out credit, an overdraft is not considered credit although some caggers argue that it is and that a CCA should apply.

 

What I would do is send a SAR request to Lloyds TSB, this will tell you how much the debt is and what it is made up of.

 

You need to send a £10 postal order admin fee but at least you will know what the state of play is.

Advice given is my opinion only, I am not a legal or financial expert (far from it).

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ouch, i didn't even know they could take more than what they agreed, they are so cheeky, but your right, i need to protect myself so i will be looking into getting a new account..also i will take your advice and offer them £10 a month, first payment postal order and subsequent payments by standing order. One thing for sure is that i will not be speaking to those clowns on the phone again, it's by letter here on in.

Thanks for all your advice, i'll keep posted

 

 

Hi there

Seasoned Caggers will know NEVER EVER set up DD's FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATEVER. You can always set up Standing Orders.

 

Once you set up a DD THEY have your Bank details and CAN change the amount they take fairly easily --Utility companies at one time were notorious at this.

 

Cheers

jimbo

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ah, right, i get what your saying regarding CCAs, never mind. What i have done today is sent a letterto First Credit, opting to set up a Standing Order. I have not refused to pay but after consideration i am still not going higher then £50. If they don't want to play nice then so be it, if they are willing to accept it i may get an easier life. If they wish to take me to court then we'll have to let the judge decide. I am that fed up with them !!

 

Regarding DDs, i didn't really know what a DD was, they were the ones that wanted me to set one up, i agreed without prior knowledge, i have now wised up.

 

I'll let you know if i hear from them.

 

Thanks for your replies

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After sending First Cerdit a letter requesting to pay my monthly repayments by standing order, i got a call today from a First Credit agent, i refused to confirm any details, even my name and asked for any corrospondence in writing, he said that he had recieved my letter and that he was phoning to discuss it (in my opinion there is not anything to discuss, i wish to pay standing order...end of), i again said that i wish everything to be in writing, he then asked for my e.mail address, i said, "why do you need my e.mail address when you clearly have my home address"?, he told me that things will take a lot longer to resolve if everything is in writing, i assured him, payments will be made regardless of standing order set up, even if it means sending them a check every month. He said he will get his flyer team (whatever that is) to send me a letter.

 

Why don't these clowns just let me get on with paying the debt back without making a fuss, all i want to do is set up a standing order!!!

 

I am a bit worried that they are going to start harrassing me and making things difficult, believe me, i have done my research on this company and lets just say i frightened of them (though i will not let on to them that i am).

 

Anyone know what i should do next? or should i just sit and wait for this letter?

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Do not be frightened!

 

That is what they want.

 

You have done all that is required of you, you have informed them that you will only correspond to written post from them and you are setting up a standing order to pay a reasonable amount.

 

Just because a CCA request is not appropriate, this doesnt mean that they have the right to collect the alleged debt or what the original debt was made up from. if i were you I would request a notice of assignment. This would be from the original creditor confirming that they have assigned the debt to the DCA. You should also have a default notice from the original creditor.

 

That is why I suggested the SAR to the original creditor, that way you can see what is owed and how it is made up, if it is made up of charges etc it may be that you can reclaim them back, and who knows it may even be more than the debt itself...they could owe you money. Until you have all the paperwork you dont know.

 

Another thing to consider, what if you pay by standing order for a couple of years (or however long you think it would be to pay off what you think you owe) and they then write back to you and say "hang on a minute you still owe us £3000 because of our adminstration charges etc". If you had the SAR you would be able to argue the amount owed and tell them to go and do one over the charges.

 

Just think about it.

 

Monx

Advice given is my opinion only, I am not a legal or financial expert (far from it).

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If you are still looking for another bank account Halifax have a good online one... no credit checks either....

 

You could always set up a Googlemail account just for them to send you stuff by email without compromising your normal email account as well.

Edited by sillygirl1
Missed a bit
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Yeah your right, will send an SAR and notice of assignment to Lloyds tsb this weekend. I think that 1st credit bought the debt off another DCA, so Lloyds may not have the noa. However, i will get it, one way or another. I am willing to carry out all the paperwork necessary to ensure these clowns do not bully me.

 

And as for bank accounts, Halifax with no credit checks sounds ideal, i will check it out online. I'm not in a major rush to change banks as the debt is no way connected to my currant bank, however my bank details are known to the clowns, so i am going to follow everyones advice and change it. Looking into the co op as well as i've read many good reviews on the cash minder account.

 

Thanks peeps, i'll keep you posted

Edited by weston83
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I've got my SAR letter drafted out, ready to re write and post tommorrow, also i have been researching the OFT guidelines, 1st Credit in my case have broken 4 of these. These are:

 

2.2c 'those contacting debtors not making clear who they are, who they work for, what their role is, what the purpose of the contact is' Well in the lastest phone call, the agent obviously didn't want to tell me he worked for 1st credit and didn't tell me his role, saying that i wouldn't want to admit working for worst credit.

 

2.5 'putting pressure on debters of third parties is considered to be oppressive' Pressure was the first thing they put on me, which is why i panicked, had sleepless nights and felt ill.

 

2.6f 'pressurung debtors to pay in full, in unreasonable large intalments or to increase payments when they are unable to do so'. Well all you have to do is look at the title of this thread. On the first phone conversation, the agent wanted the full debt payed there and then, when i was unable to do so, he wanted £280 a month (gasp). I told him what i was prepared to give and they still say it is not enough, but thanks to you good people, i have the confidence to stick to my guns.

 

2.6b 'pressuring debtors to sell property, to raise funds by further borrowing or to extend their borrowing' Again during the first phone conversation, the nasty agent asked me to ask friends and reletives to borrow the money to pay the debt in full.

 

All in all 1st credit have been naughty boys and girls and anymore of their bad practices, then i will be sending them into the naughty corner (writing a letter of complaint). Just now waiting for the standing order request reply and then, when i send it off, the SAR.

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i still haven't had a response from 1st credit since the phone call. How long does it take for them to send me they're details to set up a standing order? My next payment is due on Friday. Do they want me to default on this? Shall i just send a postal order? What is their problem?

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For the record, 1st credit and CONnaught are the same company, they will pretend to transfer accounts between each other to make you believe that they are being "escalated".

 

The standard procedure of all debt collection agencies is to get you paying, doesn't really matter how much it is, just get you to pay something, this then opens the door for further demands for a greater amount each time. chances are they don't have any documentation to back up their claims. make them prove everything. if you haven't already done so send the cca letter off asap

 

Discuss nothing over the phone and insist that everything is in writing

Never accept a Direct Debit arrangement

Never ever, give these parasites your bank or card details.

equally, they have no right to your financial details

 

Only you and/or a judge have the right to decide how much you can afford, they certainly do not.

They aren't entitled to any private information at all

 

I have a parachute account with the co-op, they offer their cashminder account for those with financial difficulties

Hope this helps

 

 

If you feel that this site has helped you in any way please leave a donation if you can afford to do so.

 

If you feel that have been helpful please feel free to tip the scales.

 

 

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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Hiya Spamheed, thanks for your reply, i can't send a cca letter as it was for a student overdraft, ccas do not apply, however, i haven't got any proof from 1st credit, i have sent a SAR to the OC but as for 1st credit, i don't really know what i have to send to get proof of the debt. They haven't even told me they had taken over the debt, they sent me a letter telling me to ring them immediatley and when i rang them, my story began.

 

I just got a letter saying they will accept my re payment plan for 3 months, and they can change it at anytime, this is on condition thay they recieve my financial statement and they even wanted my emplyers details (they can go and swivvel). But other then that, no proof that the debt does belong to them, whether the amount is correct, etc

 

I am such a mug because i held my hands up and said i probably do owe some money without questioning it, i just have no experience dealing with these muppets, other DCAs have been ok, and have left me alone when i have committed to a financial repayment plans,

Edited by weston83
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Sorry Weston, I didn't read the entire thread so missed that it was for an Overdraft.

 

Okay so it isn't covered by the CCA, however there should still be documentation (usually a confirmation letter or such with a bunch of terms and conditions) etc at the time the OD was entered into. The debt would also be subject to an assignment if it's been sold on, so you would certainly need to see the NOA/DOA, you would also need to see a breakdown of the amount claimed, including any charges or interest added to the amount and proof that they have a right to apply charges/interest to the account.

 

It sounds like you have the right idea regarding your personal information, Give them nowt

You should also be careful if you do decide to telephone etc, they don't usually have a lot of the information they request, so effectively you are just "filling in the blanks" in their database.

What you earn, how and from whom, as well as what you sepnd and where you spend it are nobodies business but your own. if they state that they "must" have, or "need to have" this info, ask them what statute they refer to which compells you to give them this info coz there isn't one, even the government insist that there is no reason to provide an unknown person or persons with personal information

 

If they haven't proven ownership to your satisfaction, or to a reasonable standard, then you have a right to demand proof of their status, if they don't or cant do this then complain as early as possible toTrading Standards and OFT, if there is a doubt that the amount they are demanding doesn't match up, then demand a breakdown, keep it all nice and polite and in writing.

 

If you are happy to pay but can only afford £x per month, then tell them so in writing but be aware they will always demand a higher repayment, regardless of how much you actually pay, this is only a demand and not a right and if they took you to court whilst you were paying the judge would look on them as the thieving parasites they are. any judge will only ever make you pay what youcan afford, even if it's only £1 per month.

 

If the amount you are paying them is placing you under undue stress, or is causing financial difficulties, then write to them and state catagorically that you can only afford £x per month and accordingly you have reduced the amount you will be paying, remember your paying them is a voluntary act, you are under no duress from court order or legal status.

 

Personally I would pay no one unless I know 100% that they have a right to collect the debt and that the amount they are trying to claim is correct, the slightest doubt and they get nowt until they do prove their status, and even then they get what I can afford, they don't want it, then I'll pay someone else

Hope this helps

 

 

If you feel that this site has helped you in any way please leave a donation if you can afford to do so.

 

If you feel that have been helpful please feel free to tip the scales.

 

 

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away. ~Tom Waits, Small Change

 

 

Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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thanks Spamheed, i'm thinking it may be worrth sending an SAR request to 1st credit, i take it within that, they should provide me with their Deed of Assignment? Do you know if there is a template letter around that will help me write to these people requesting terms and conditions and a NOA?

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