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Legality- 0n Consumer credit Licence

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Hi All

 

All I wanted to ascertain here is if a DCA has been named say (A) to buy and collect a debt via an absolute assignment, should they have held a Consumer Credit License in the name (A) in order to do so (yes or no), and if they did not, can they collect a debt under a different name that did hold a Consumer Credit License at the time it was bought if the MD owns or part owns both companies (yes or no)

 

I emailed the OFT regarding this matter and they emailed me back and said "that they no authority to become involved in individual disputes between consumers and traders so we are unable to advise or help you" ?

 

Personally I thought that was a legitimate request classed as general information and can apply to any organization as to whether they can or they cannot from a legal point of view? and I though this would have been covered by the Freedom of Information Act anyway.

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The OFT don't deal with complaints from individual consumers; you have to go through Consumer Direct/Trading Standards.

 

However, the OFT's Licencing Fitness Team do accept reports of possible unlicenced activity.

 

As I understand it (and I stand to be corrected), when a company acquires a debt by way of absolute assignment, they become a creditor by virtue of s.189 of the CCA 1974. The OFT says that a business needs a consumer credit licence to enforce a credit agreement. So, in my view, debt buyers need a licence. DCAs invariably need a licence to collect any consumer debt. Any trading names or styles they use must be declared and will show on the OFT database. It is the company that is licenced, not the individual, and each company requires a separate licence.

 

I don't think FOI will help in such a case.

 

The best way to report unlicenced activity is to send a letter to the Consumer Credit Licencing Fitness Team at the OFT, making clear that your letter is not a complaint, but a report of possible unlicenced activity. You can complain to your local Trading Standards (they will probably ask youi to go via Consumer Direct).

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Just done some more reading on the OFT website and the information on Consumer Credit Licencing lists debt purchasing as a high risk licencable activity.

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Which DCA is involved, then you may get a better response.

 

For example a DCA called HFO Capital buys up debt portfolios, it doesn't have a licence for itself so it sells the debts on almost immediately (reassigning them within 24 hours of purchase in many cases....) to HFO Services, this lot does have a licence.

 

If you are trying to prove the debt is unenforceable because the agency doesn't have a licence then you won't get very far talking to the OFT, it will be a Trading Standards issue.

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Which DCA is involved, then you may get a better response.

 

For example a DCA called HFO Capital buys up debt portfolios, it doesn't have a licence for itself so it sells the debts on almost immediately (reassigning them within 24 hours of purchase in many cases....) to HFO Services, this lot does have a licence.

 

If you are trying to prove the debt is unenforceable because the agency doesn't have a licence then you won't get very far talking to the OFT, it will be a Trading Standards issue.

 

But if HFO capital SELL the debt to HFO services then surely there must be a NOA from capital to services.

 

Also if Capital purchase debts then surely they must need a licence to do that?

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Actually, HFOC Ireland does have a licence! Started 26 March 2008, ends 26 March 2013 (though this begs the question how did they come to acquire HFOC Cayman’s assets at the end of January 2008 as they claim!).

 

Here’s where to go to look at licences:

 

http://www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/default.aspx

 

Hit the CCA Search button on the right.

 

You can search generically by using an asterisk if you don’t know the full name of the company, or think there may be variants, eg. ‘HFO *’ will get all variants.

 

Happy hunting!


“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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Just to complicate things, some companies that buy debts are offshore (for tax purposes, presumably), and so outside the legislation for licencing. However, this has thrown up some interesting ideas that have been explored elsewhere on CAG.

 

For example, a UK company issues credit cards, but then securitises the debts in the US. Can the US company be a creditor to UK consumers (or, more importantly, enforce agreements)? This one has yet to be tested, but the company concerned is very keen to avoid answering the question. A UK company buys debts from another UK company, but uses a subsidiary in Ireland for the assignment. Can the UK company then enforce the debts?

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The other thing with the various HFO's/Roxburghe/T&R is that they are all seperate companies with their own individual set of accounts. But they work and act as one.

 

HFO services po box is billed to Roxburghe at lavender house. So on whose accounts is the bill entered - Roxburghes' - HFO's or both?

 

hfo & T&R use the same franking machine and stationary - whose accounts are they on?

 

They use the same office - who pays and who claims?

 

Then what about wages etc. etc.

 

Now we have proof that they act unethically and possibly illegaly with their claims - so would they also do so with their accounting procedures?

 

I know what my guess would be.

 

Actually, HFOC Ireland does have a licence! Started 26 March 2008, ends 26 March 2013

 

Interesting that they claim to have purchsed mine - before - they had their licence.

Edited by dadofholly

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Okay everyone here goes what do you make of this muck of nettles.

 

 

I have paid this CCJ religiously for the past 10 years and have never missed a payment but what I would like to ascertain is:

 

1, I am paying the right people.

 

2, did these Debt Collection Agencies have a Consumer Credit Licence when they bought the Judgement Debt.

 

3, has the sale of this judgement Debt on both occasions been done legally or illegally.

 

What has triggered my suspicions off is that this second Debt Collection Agency whom now preside under the name Merit Finance Limited has taken me back to Court eight years after so called buying this debt back in October 2002 to ask first be substituted as the new claimant ( WHICH WAS GRANTED) this year after only receiving a copy of their application the day before the hearing so I had no time to form any form of defence secondly they are now asking for a variation order to up my payments and are also adding 8 % statutory interest from the day the Judgement was granted back in September 2000 which was neither asked for by the Original Creditor or granted on the Original Judgement.

 

 

My suspicions have been aroused by both Merits application and witness statement that they have provided me with, on the front of their application it states the Claimants name as the Original Creditor Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited which if it has been sold twice you would presume that it would be in the name of the previous DCA whom called bought the Judgement debt.

Now in their witness statement it states word for word as follows.

 

“Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited obtained a Judgement against the defendant on the 19th Sept 2000 under an Agreement dated the 2nd November 2001 the Claimant assigned the right to collect various debts including this one to Orion Asset Finance Limited, On 24th October 2001 Orion Asset Finance Limited changed its name to ICF Loans Limited.

 

By way of a further agreement dated 1st October 2002 ICF Loans Limited assigned the right to collect various debts to Ronald Francis Higgins. On the same day Ronald Francis Higgins assigned the right to collect various debts to RFH Limited.

 

RFH Limited changed its name to Premium Financial Services Limited on the 13 September 2004; Premium Financial Services Limited then changed its name to Merit Finance Limited on the 17th September 2004.

 

Notice of Assignment on each occasion was sent to the defendant at his last known address”.

 

Now my suspicions are based on the fact that:

 

A, I was never informed that this debt had been sold or assigned from the Original Creditor Imperial Consolidated Financiers to Orion Asset Finance Limited whom then conveniently had a name change to ICF Loans Limited which in short is the name of the Original creditor? So have they therefore sold this Judgement Debt to themselves? Even the Judge brought this up at the first Hearing and their solicitor could not answer her, and when I asked them for a copy of this first assignment (which by the way they stated that I has received in their witness statement) their solicitor stated "that as the claimant was not a party to this assignment my client is not in possession of any assignment notices that were sent at the time", personally I thought they would have had to have a copy of the assignment notice to buy this Judgment Debt to prove that all the relevant documents had been sent to me.

 

B, now you will also see from Merit Finance Limited witness statement that the debt was sold to Orion Asset Finance Limited on the 2 November 2001 yet some 7 days beforehand on the 24th of October it called had a name change to ICF Loans Limited? Again the Judge brought this up in the first Hearing with their solicitor whom stated “the Claimant was not involved in this transaction and is therefore not aware of a reason for the discrepancy in the dates, but the fact that Orion’s Company number is the same company number as on the change of name certificate to ICF Loans Limited, is good enough proof and that it was a simple error made by the parties involved”.

 

 

Personally I think there is more to this than meets the eye especially after reading that the Original Creditor Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited went into administration in June 2002 just six months after 7.3 million pounds worth of contracts including mine was sold to a company which after the name change from Orion Asset Finance Limited to ICF Loans Limited bears the same initials as the Original Creditor Imperial Consolidated Financiers just too much of a coincidence for me, and from what I have read the Serious Fraud Office have been investigating their directors for all sorts of stuff, that was up until this year to which the outcome was that the Director of Imperial Consolidated Financiers was jailed for three and a half years in August for his part in a global fraud conspiracy.

 

 

Now the first sale from the Original Creditor Imperial Consolidated Financiers to Orion Asset Finance Limited took place on the 2nd of November 01 but I cannot find any such company as holding a Consumer Credit Licence ever, now if you look under Company house their registration number comes up as 04172715 which does state that they had a name change to ICF Loans Limited on the 24th October 2001, 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, then it appears again under Booker Montague Leasing as a trading name from the 28th September 2006 to which I believe they then changed their name to Booker Management Services Limited.

 

 

Therefore my question is when this Judgement debt was sold on the 2nd of November 2001 did or should Orion Asset Finance Limited have held a Consumer Credit Licence when this Judgement Debt was bought by them and if not then should this Judgement debt have been sold and therefore have they acted illegally.

 

From what I can make out ICF Loans Limited did hold a Consumer Credit Licence at the time of the sale but would this be valid anyway In light of the fact that it clearly states in the claimants witness statement that it was first sold to a company called Orion Asset Finance Limited and not ICF Loans Limited and therefore should Orion Asset Finance Limited have had a Consumer Credit licence in their name on the date this was bought to allow them to collect this Judgement debt.

 

 

 

My suspicions regarding the second sale of assignment from ICF Loans Limited to RFH Ltd are as follows:

1, Granted I did receive a copy of this assignment from a company called Facility Trading Services Limited but only received it in August 2003, where they informed me that the sale had actually taken place on the 1st of October 2002 as follows:

“We act on behalf of RFH Limited who has instructed us with regards to your default under the loan agreement entered into by you with Imperial Consolidated Financiers Limited.

 

Take note that by assignments dated 1st October 2002 ICF Loans Limited assigned to RFH Limited absolutely all amounts due under this agreement & our client is now entitled to the sum due and outstanding”.

 

Then RFH Limited became Merit Finance Limited in October 2004 via a name change, now if you look under Ronald Francis Higgins whom is the Director of this company on the Public Register it comes up with both Facility Trading Services Limited and Merit Finance Limited yet no mention of a company called RFH Limited to whom this debt was called sold to.

 

Also if you look under their company house registered number which is 04538853 you will see that in fact their name was Lee Partners Limited when they state this debt was bought on the 1st October 2002 and then on the 10/10/2002 it then became Lee And Co (uk) Ltd and not until the 04/07/2003 did it then become RFH Limited?

 

Now from what I can see on the Public Register, Facility Trading Services limited held a Consumer Credit Licence during that period if I am reading it correctly but that was not the company who called bought this Judgement debt, they just stated that they were acting on behalf of RFH Limited.

 

Therefore my question is when this Judgement debt was bought for a second time on the 1st of October 2002 did or should RFH Limited have held a Consumer Credit Licence on that date and if not then should this Judgement debt have been sold and have they acted illegally bearing in mind that according to Company House records it only became RFH Limited on the 4th of July 2003 anyway.

 

Phew!!!!

 

So does all this look and sound above board to you all, and would you say that both sales of this Judgement Debt have been bought and sold legally, personally I have the distinct impression that I am trying to be shafted by this DCA Merit Finance Limited and this Ronald Francis Higgins whom seems to be a one man band and is out to get as much money off me as he can.

 

I did run it by Consumer Direct as well but they said it was out of their league.

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Does a company have to have a consumer credit licence to be able to buy debts - or just to attempt collection on them once they have the licence.

 

For example - could a company purchase the debts in a february - even though it does not gain a lcince untill the March?

 

And what effect would this have on any claim?

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I wonder who you’re thinking about... especially when they don’t get a data protection registration till the August!


“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 wonder who you’re thinking about... especially when they don’t get a data protection registration till the August!

 

Shucks - i think you've sussed me :lol:

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Who are you actually paying - to whom has your money been passed?

 

Licence Details:

 

 

Licence/Application Number Licence Status Applicant/Holder Name 0541569 Lapsed on 15/08/2008 Merit Finance Limited Event Details:

 

 

Event TypeDate of ReceiptClosed DateStatus Notification 01-Jun-2006 05-Jun-2006 Completed Notification 10-Dec-2004 10-Dec-2004 Completed Notification 06-Oct-2004 07-Oct-2004 Completed Variation 01-Oct-2004 03-Nov-2004 Completed New Licence App 17-Jul-2003 14-Aug-2003 Completed

 

 

 

Event Number Event Type Date of Receipt Closed Date Status 1 New Licence App 17-Jul-2003 14-Aug-2003 Completed Licence Event Details:

 

RoleName LICENSEEMerit Finance Limited OfficerLinda Marie Gills OfficerRonald Francis Higgins

Address TypeAddress Principal Place Of Business154A, Fleet Road, Fleet, Hants, GU51 4BE Registered Office154A, Fleet Road, Fleet, Hants, GU51 4BE

 

Categories:

 

Category Consumer credit Consumer hire Credit brokerage Credit reference agency Debt adjusting/counselling Debt collecting

Canvass Off Trade Premises Details:

 

With the right to canvass off trade premises for debtor-creditor-supplier agreements or consumer hire agreements.

 

Quote:

 

 

Event Details

 

Licence Details:

 

 

Licence/Application Number Licence Status Applicant/Holder Name 0541569 Lapsed on 15/08/2008 Merit Finance Limited Event Details:

 

 

Event Number Event Type Date of Receipt Closed Date Status 2 Variation 01-Oct-2004 03-Nov-2004 Completed Licence Event Details:

 

RoleNameAction LICENSEE Merit Finance Limited Added LICENSEE RFH Ltd Removed

Address TypeAddressAction Principal Place Of Business154A, Fleet Road, Fleet, Hants, GU51 4BEAdded / Retained Registered Office154A, Fleet Road, Fleet, Hants, GU51 4BEAdded / Retained

 

 

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