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Need advice re Merit Finance


clarky73
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Merit Finance bought our debt from ICF loans a few years ago, we took the loan out must be at least 12 years ago. We have been paying Merit every week by standing order, however, are sure this must now be nearly repaid, but have had no luck getting an answer from them. They have no website, just a page of contact details, and the last time we had any corresepondence from them must have been about 3 years ago in which our debt had doubled, and funnily enough since I queried it they've never been back in touch and they used to be on the phone all the time. We've just kept on paying this debt for fear of being taken to court, but now are fed up and getting a bit suspicious about them. Has anyone had any dealings with them? Are they a legit debt collection agency now? Can I withold payment till I get an answer frm them?

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clarky73...............have a look at recent thread (stefone) lots of dealings with Merit Finance.................................my own view is go for SAR cost £10 send recorded ask for all data they hold on you plus you ask for all statements and a copy of the signed agreement.this should produce every detail you require.Also send with the SAR letter a 2nd letter stating that according to your calculations the account is now paid in full.They have 40 days to respond to your SAR(template letter in Cag file) both letters will generate a reply I should think.............got to say the way this has been handled by Merit should be of interest to Trading Standards..........read the stefone thread.get the SAR in the post etc...................FS

Edited by firstship
spelling error
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MERIT FINANCE LIMITED

OAK GREEN LODGE

THE COMMON

HARTLEY WINTNEY

HAMPSHIRE

RG27 8RZ

Company No. 04538853

 

 

spacer.gifspacer.gifspacer.gifspacer.gif Status: Active

Date of Incorporation: 18/09/2002

 

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Company Type: Private Limited Company

Nature of Business (SIC(03)):

6523 - Other financial intermediation

Accounting Reference Date: 31/03

Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/03/2009 (TOTAL EXEMPTION SMALL)

Next Accounts Due: 31/12/2010

Last Return Made Up To: 18/09/2009

Next Return Due: 16/10/2010 OVERDUE

Last Members List: 18/09/2009

Previous Names: Date of change Previous Name 17/09/2004 PREMIUM FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED 10/10/2002 LEE PARTNERS LIMITED 04/07/2003 LEE AND CO (UK) LTD 13/09/2004 RFH LIMITED

And as for ICF http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2341614647

Merit loans bought the entire loan book when they went bust. IMO if they have not been sending you a statement of account, which they are legally obliged to do so at the very least annually, then I would withhold ALL payments to them immediately and send them a CCA request, which is highly likely to have gone missing.

Enclose a £1 postal order with the CCA request, and PRINT your name, don't sign anything. Send it via recorded delivery, and once they have received it, they have 12 'working' days in which to furnish you with a copy of the agreement, once they do, or don't scan and post it up on here so others can view its enforceability.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?414-CCA-request-letter.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi Clarky I smell something very fishy about this,

 

Who did you originally take the loan out with was it Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited or was it ICF loans ltd as according to company house they seem to be two different companies, Imperial Consolidated Financier Limited reg no is 04538853 and ICF loans ltd is 04172715.

 

Now ICF Loans appears as a trading name under several different companies, on the Pubic Register is shows up under the Original Creditors Name Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited as an (historic) trading name, it also shows up under Booker Montague Leasing Limited as (historic) which also holds the name of Mr Lincoln Julian Fraser whom was also a director of Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited, it also shows up under a company called BN Finance Limited from the 22 November 2002.

 

Also when did Merit buy this debt and did you get a copy of the absolute assignment.

 

Hi firstship can you point me in the right direction of (Stefone) thread regarding this Company Merit as I cannot seem to locate it. (Just edited found it thanks)

 

Hi Bazooka Boo

 

What is your take on all the above which company is which, as I assume from your post that Merit loans bought the entire loan book from Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited when they went tits up but then who are ICF loans.

 

Also Merit only became Merit via a name change in 2004 but Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited went into administration in June 2002,

according to company house Merit was then called Lee Partners Limited back in 2002.

Edited by the tinkerman
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Hi, thanks for your advice. Funnily enough after sending them an email last night threatening non-pyament I got a reply from them today informing me what the balance outstanding is, and it's way more than we thought which makes me think they've added on interest. Can they do this? I've asked them for details of how much the debt was when they bought it and how much we've paid back, let's see how far I get!

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Hi......clarkey..........You need SAR as indicated in my reply 2,it will give you all the answers as long as they comply.........also as tinkerman indicates you should have DOA..........Deed of Assignment when the debt was sold,a copy from the seller and the buyer did you get either?????......FS

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Deed of assignments can only be asked for by a Judge, in this case it will be a notice of assignment.

Merit finance bought ICF when they went bust in 2003, what Merit 'should' have done is to advise you that they were taking over the accounts from ICF who they bought.

IF you have NOT signed any new agreement with Merit, then the ONLY charges and interest they can lawfully apply, will be that you originally agreed to on your initial agreement with ICF, IF they are adding their own interest and charges without notifying you of the new T&C and getting you to sign a new agreement then they will be unenforceable.

 

Have you ever been sent a statement of account since merit took over this account?

If NOT, then IMO STOP payments to them and send them a CCA request which only costs £1.

http://http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?414-CCA-request-letter.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Merit will be adding what it calls Default interest based on the original interest rate on the loan agreement. Merit does this on all accounts where it has the original credit agreement. It will also charge stat interest on all account it holds the ccj on over £5k

 

Also it will charge £10 per standard letter sent to its debtors

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Hmm, not sure on the legality of them being able to collect on that as it wasn't them the OP originally signed an agreement with, regardless of whether or not the interest rate is in the original agreement or not, I'm pretty certain it will state 'between 'us' (ICF) and 'you' 'John Doe'

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi Biggjb

How can they charge stat interest on a CCJ over 5k

surely to do that it would have to have something in the original t & cs

and the OC would have had to have put it in their POC when going for the CCJ

then they would have to see if the Judge granted it or not?

 

If it was not in the original t & cs or POC and granted by the judge a DCA cannot just start adding stat interest surely!

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It has nothing to do with the original T & C's If a CCJ is obtained and the debt is over £5k then legally you can add 8% stat interest each year from the date the CCJ was granted. What Merit have done is back date the Stat interest to the date the original CCJ was obtained. Unfortunately nothing illegal in that. However I am not 100% sure on this next fact but Im sure you can only add Stat interest for 6 years from the date of the CCJ and nothing more

 

I hope this helps

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If the particulars of claim of the CCJ don't state the 8% interest it cannot be retrospectively charged, if it is then there is a good case for a set-aside of the original judgement as the POCs were flawed.

 

It doesn't say here though that the repayments were subject to a CCJ - it says the original poster wanted to aviod that and has been paying up.

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Hi Silly Girl,

 

I have misread part of the thread.

Merit finance will be adding what it calls default interest based on the original credit agreement. The credit agreements have been checked over by it solicitors and due to very careful wording they have been able to inforce this interest.

 

Just for reference

 

I know for a fact that companies do retrospectively apply Stat interest. Also this doesn't always get mentioned in the CCJ as it only applies to debts that are £5k or over when the CCJ is applied. Anything below £5k cannot be charged interest

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I understand that it is nothing to do with the T & CS as that is appertaining to contractual interest sorry I was just covering all areas regarding the interest.

But surely as Sillygirl1 has pointed out they cannot just add statutory interest from the date a CCJ was obtained (unless it was asked for in the Particulars of the Claim and then granted by the Judge on the Original Judgement) even if it was over 5k otherwise they would be breaching the order of the court.

Edited by the tinkerman
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Unfortunately you can. You don't have to ask the judge for Stat interest it on debts over £5k. you can just apply it as that is legal. It tends to be upto the companies to decide if they wish to charge Stat interest and the Courts will back them on this issue. The issue regarding stat interest is how long can this be applied as again Im sure it can only be applied for a Max 6 years

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Now you got me completely confused ?

 

So all of the following posts relating to statutory Interest after Judgement are wrong then!

 

 

for eg http://www.insolvencyhelpline.co .uk/...unty_court.php

 

re interest:

 

 

 

 

'If a creditor has taken the debt to the county court, they may be able to add extra interest once a charging order is made. Interest cannot be added if:

the debt is for an agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act. This includes most ordinary credit agreements, including bank overdrafts.

or

the debt is less than £5,000 in total, even if it is not covered by the Consumer Credit Act.

If the debt is more than £5,000 and not covered by the Consumer Credit Act, then interest is set by the court and runs at a standard rate.'

Also:

 

The County Courts (Interest on Judgment Debts) Order 1991

See for eg 2(3)

(3) Interest shall not be payable under this Order where the relevant judgment—

(a) is given in proceedings to recover money due under an agreement regulated by the

Consumer Credit Act 1974

 

 

 

Civil Proc. Rule 70, 6 states that 'The County Courts (interest on Judgment Debts) Order 1991 specifies when interest may be claimed on county court judgment debts.)'

 

the 91 order states for eg

 

2.—(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Order, every judgmentdebt under a relevant judgment shall, to the extent that it remainsunsatisfied, carry interest under this Order from the date on which therelevant judgment was given.

(2) In the case of a judgment or order for the payment of a judgmentdebt, other than costs, the amount of which has to be determined at alater date, the judgment debt shall carry interest from that later date.

(3) Interest shall not be payable under this Order where the relevantjudgment—

(a)is given in proceedings to recover money due under an agreementregulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974..............

 

 

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResu...=1&SortAlpha=0

 

The general rule

2. — (1) Subject to the following provisions of this Order, every judgment debt under a relevant judgment shall, to the extent that it remains unsatisfied, carry interest under this Order from the date on which the relevant judgment was given.

(2) In the case of a judgment or order for the payment of a judgment debt, other than costs, the amount of which has to be determined at a later date, the judgment debt shall carry interest from that later date.

(3) Interest shall not be payable under this Order where the relevant judgment—

(a)is given in proceedings to recover money due under an agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 F2 ;

 

 

 

So a creditor can try for CONTRACTUAL but not STATUTORY interest.

 

 

Statutory interest does not accrue on an CCA regulated agreement that has been the subject of a CCJ. However, if there's a clause in the CCA agreement allowing for post contractual interest this can be added.

 

If the terms of the CCJ do not allow for contractual interest then the creditor would have to sue again for interest once the original CCJ amount has been paid.

 

 

Any debt regulated under the Consumer Credit Act cannot have statutory interest added on after judgment. However, if in the original application the creditor asked for contractual interest then this can happen.

 

worth a listen.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/items/01/2008_10_mon.shtml

 

AND I WOULD IMAGINE MOST LOANS AND CREDIT CARD DEBTS ARE COVERED BY THE CONSUMER CREDIT ACT 1974

 

 

or am I missing something here?

Edited by the tinkerman
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From what little knowledge I have of Stat interest I am of the same opinion as you.

Stat Interest should be calculated from the date of the claim to the hearing, and then be given to the judge so that he can add this to the amount outstanding, stat interest will be 8% of the amount of the claim, so if the claim is for £3000, then stat interest of 8% will be £240, this is then divide by 365 (days) which will give you the daily rate of interest, and then work out the amount of days from the claim to the hearing, this will give the total amount of stat interest to be added to the claim.

HOWEVER!!!!!

If they are claiming interest under the terms of a contract or agreement which already provides for payment of interest then the stat interest of 8% will be substituted for the contract interest rate.

 

Again IMO once judgement has been passed then they cannot continue to add interest as the Judge will have told you in the judgement the total amount outstanding and which should be paid, if they then add interest or charges which weren't declared in court then IMO this does not come under the CCJ and will be unenforceable.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Also what have Imperial Consolidated financiers Limited reg no 03430855 got to do with ICF Loans Limited reg no . 04172715 anything!

as according to company house they are two different companies, but it seems very strange though that the second company bears the same initials as the first one?

 

Can anyone clear this up.

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