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HFO - UK Debt, Living in US

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Hello Everyone,

 

I left the UK about 4 and a half years ago with debt that unfortunately I was unable to pay. It was about 8,000 GBP made up of 4 separate credit cards. The last time I made a payment was roughly the same time. Recently a voice message was left on my work phone, transferred from one of our customer service departments. The message was from a gentleman asking me to call him in London about an "urgent matter". I have found the number provided is for HFO Services, Debt recovery company.

 

How should I proceed from here? I don't have any information on amount owed, how many of the credit cards this is regarding, etc. I presume they do not have my home address and I don't have a home phone.

 

Thanks for any input,

 

Mark.

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Sounds like they may have tracked you down to your place of work via a linkedin search. DCA **** are buying premium accounts on this service for just this purpose.

 

They are chancing it. IMHO any contact with DCA **** will only encourage them. If they can never reach you via phone and you do not respond to any contact, they will move along to easier targets who are more open to suggestion.

 

Even if this DCA has done somthing dodgy and combined the debt 8k is nothing in the current scheme of things. Just ignore them. It costs them money to keep trying to imtimadate you. They will soo give up if there no response.

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If there is a clear period of six years (five in Scotland) where you made no payment or written acknowledgement of the debt it will be Statute Barred.

 

Unless they have previously obtained a CCJ against you whilst you were resident in the UK there isn't a great deal they can do. If they have obtained a CCJ after you left the UK or by using a previously known address you can get the judgement set aside.


Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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I think you need to have the title of this thread changed so the HFO fan club can come on board, they have broken a lot of rules leaving that voice message... I will alert other HFO experts to this thread....

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Subbing


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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Subbing


At your Service

 

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Hi

 

Ignore - if they do get hold of you don't get into conversation and don't confirm to them who you are or give any details. Just say HF who? They will drivvel on about 'legal matters' and make up all sorts of threats. They do not know that you are the right person, as they could be chasing someone of the same name, just because you had credit cards once don't assume they have it right. It will be one card that they have bought, I would have thought, not all of them - possibly Barclaycard, MS Goldfish or Citi. It is unlikely that they have obtained the correct paperwork for these.

 

They are nasty and work on intimidation - watch out for emails, contact through Linkedin, anything sneaky that you don't know where it is from.

 

There is certainly evidence here of them trying to contact people through their employers - leaving messages, discussing confidential information with work colleagues etc, all against official guidelines. You may have to tell your work that you are receiving 'nuisance calls' from this company but hopefully they will give up. Don't be tempted to contact them.

Edited by coledog

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Thanks for everyone's responses. My concern is even if the 6 years passes, and the debt is not legally enforceable from the UK, what are the odds that it is transferred to a US DCA and legal matters begin over here, is it still not enforceable? I assume the worst they could do is hurt my credit if it is transferred to the US.

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Once a debt becomes Statute Barred nothing can unbar it. Even if they wanted to pursue in the US they would need a court order from the UK first & they can't get that if you are no longer a UK resident. They can't mark your US credit file either.


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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Just an update to this, the same person left a message on my managers voice mail today. Other than telling my employer I am receiving nuisance calls, there's not much else I can do with this until they quit?

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There isn't a lot you can do as under OFT guidelines in the UK they can contact you at work if they have no other contact details. However if they break the Data Protection Act by revealing why they are trying to contact you then you'll be able to make a complaint to the ICO.


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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No doubt HFO would get around this 'admin error' by claiming they are calling from India...


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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One more question regarding this. Would these voice mails be considered contacting me and restart the 6 year clock for Statute Barred? Or does it have to be written confirmation from me? I've read some conflicting information. Thanks again.

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Their contacting you does nothing. Any acknowledgment has to be by you, in writing or by dint of payment to the account. Neither of which you have done.


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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I just spoke to my father at my previous residence in the UK and he received a letter from them regarding this. He also spoke to the gentleman on the phone, and they are threatening to send bailiffs around to my previous residence, and they said they know the state I live in, my wife and my employer. (probably from social networking site as others suggested). They also stated they will request the debt from over here now that they have a dossier on my information.

 

I am a little perplexed now, continuing to ignore this probably won't make the calls stop now.

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They cannot send a Bailiff round anywhere, least of all your fathers property without a court order & to get that they would need to have a CCJ first which they can't obtain against a non-UK resident.

 

Your father should complain to Trading Standards via Consumer Direct about these empty threats; http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/contact

They also stated they will request the debt from over here now that they have a dossier on my information.
As above, not without a CCJ they won't.... which they can't get.

 

Also see this; http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2010/65-10


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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They should not have told your father anything about your private affairs. Time to complain loudly...


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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I found out this is for only 1 of the 4 credit cards. Would it be recommended to try to work out a settlement? I'm unable to make any regular payment but I could try to see if I could make a final settlement somehow.

 

Would this alert my credit card and potential other creditors? Or is ignoring my best solution at this point.

 

Thanks everyone again, I will be making a small donation to CAG.

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Making payments and settling is up to you; HFO will never play fair, however. It’s not in their corporate blood.

 

Nevertheless, this is outside their jurisdiction. And yes, it will alert others. The fact that they are trying to operate outside their legitimate environs would make me fight the feckers tooth and nail! They have broken guidelines already; their actions are seriously wrong; in my book, that renders them in the wrong, as much as any debtor may ever be.

 

But then again, like many others, I have an irrational hatred of all things Turnbull.


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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All they can do is try and grind you down with empty threats and harassment. Even if they could legally pursue in the US it just would not be economically viable for them, it would cost them many thousands & at the end of the day even if they were successful there still is no certainty that they would ever get any money. They will not know anything about your financial situation or what assets you have.... so they would be taking a huge gamble.

 

If you pay anything to them now or even acknowledge the debt it will reset the Statute Barred clock & you will be back to square one. By what you said in post #1 it's very nearly Statute Barred now as it is.


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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You could still send an SAR to the OC (from a UK address) to establish last payments, etc. Then you could send the SB letter with confidence.


“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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Is there also a letter I can send asking for communication in writing only to the UK address they have? or would this merely encourage them more.

 

Edit* never mind, I found it in the library.

Edited by BlueRaider

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Personally I would still recommend that you do not contact them or speak to them in any way, shape or form. Just 'hang in there' and ignore them.

 

Your father, on the other hand, should write a letter of complaint to Consumer Direct and Office of Fair Trading with 'Copy to HFO' regarding them contacting him by writing and by phone about your personal matters and then discussing these with him. This is bang out of order and you can add that you want no further contact from them to your family.

 

The 'personal data' they have will be a mix of old data and stuff they can get from the internet and I would mention this in the complaint because they should not be using this as a threat.


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Regarding the CCJ, I understand they can go through with this as a default at my last UK address. They obviously know I'm overseas, but I would have no proof of this other than the calls. Would a letter to the DCA stating I am overseas but acknowledging no debt help with this?

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DO NOT WRITE TO THEM, they are trying to trap you into resetting the statute barred clock. In their murky world any contact means you accept the debt is yours, especially going through security questions.... they really are the pits.

 

If they do go for a CCJ at your old address they CANNOT enforce this in the USA as their court system is completely different, and they would have a heck of a job explaining why they didn't take you to court in the USA first.....

 

DO NOT WRITE TO THEM, they will eventually give up if they cannot make contact (and they realise that you are abroad, the calls will be costing them a fortune).

 

A UK CCJ CANNOT be transferred to a USA court for enforcement without a lot of questions to the original creditor. They would also have a hell of a job explaining to a court why they brought you over from the USA back to the UK to defend.

 

STOP WORRYING.

 

What you now need to do is contact the Office of Fair Trading here in the UK, the Ministry of Justice and make a complaint, let them know they are leaving voicemails with your manager. This is very much against the OFT guidelines....

 

I am not sure of the USA debt collection processes but am pretty certain this is against anything there too... why not speak to a local government department on this?

 

You won't get into trouble for leaving a debt behind here (a popular myth spread by certain elements of the press) and it could prove to be the ending of this odious company.

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