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I have a loan with Welcome Finance which went to a debt collector called Lewis Group. I paid them £85 a month until one month the direct debit failed. I had no contact from them apart from a letter discounting half of the debt for immediate payment which I couldn't afford. About 25 minutes ago the door bell rang and it was a little old man called 'Victor' working on behalf of Lewis asking to set up payment for this. I told him I couldn't pay today and he wants to come and collect payment when i get paid next week. I don't know whether to pay this man or not.

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Hello and welcome to CAG

 

NOT and don't pay by Direct debit either.

 

I presume that this debt is still owned by Welcome and they have employed a DCA? Welcome are very good at giving loans then slapping on horrendous charges when you miss a payment and then offering a discount.

 

Never deal with anyone on the doorstep or phone - writing only.

 

I am not telling you to avoid paying them but you must do this on your terms and understand exactly what you are paying off.

 

Can you supply more details.

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I'm not sure what to do about this 'Victor' he wants me to call him Wednesday of next week to let him know what time to come round and take the money on Thursday. He wanted £100 a month, i've told him I can't afford that so he said £50 is OK.

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Do you know exactly who 'Victor' is and where he is from? He really has no right to collect money on the doorstep and this is a very dubious practice. If I knocked on your door and asked for money would you pay me?

 

Is he from Provident and has this debt been passed to them?

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Lewis Group (CL Finance) tend to buy accounts, so this may have been assigned. Have you any knowledge of the debt being sold on?

“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

 

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Yes the Debt was sold to Lewis Group and 'Victors' business card has Lewis Group on the top. He told me he was the local agent and prefers to take the first payment in person and then the rest I can pay by direct debit. Should I trust this? It seems a bit odd as surely Lewis should have sent me a letter saying someone would be coming round. He has my name, the amount owed and my home phone numbers.

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I’m sure he was sent by them, but that’s no reason to give him your personal and bank details! You seem committed to clearing your debt, which is commendable, but have you ever considered a CCA request to CL Finance or an SAR to Welcome to ensure you are paying a fair amount and that they have the right to collect it?

“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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No I haven't, to be honest I don't know what they are! I do want to clear this debt as the last four years have just been a constant worry in regards to Welcome Finance. The last time I asked them for a statement I got someone elses. I'm supposed to pay 'Victor' £50 next week and if I don't call him to tell him a time he might just turn up.

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Are you getting statements each year showing how much you have paid and what you owe?

 

You can write to CL and make it clear that Victor does NOT have permission to call at your home.

“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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No - I think that you need to urgently write a letter to Lewis and tell them that you will not deal with a doorstep collector and request that he does not call again. If the guy comes back, politely tell him the same thing and ask him to leave - this is your right under law. Tell him that you will only deal with the office.

 

Secondly, you need to write to Lewis again and ask them for documentation about this loan and their right to collect it, including proper statements. Don't speak to them on the phone or take any calls from them - in writing only. I will dig out some letters for you.

 

If you wish to pay anything you must use a Standing Order - avoid giving them your bank details

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This is the link to guidance on doorstep visits:

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?441-If-you-do-receive-a-doorstep-visit-we-give-these-suggestions-to-Members.

 

Make a formal request to Lewis as I said, don't ring the guy - if he calls tell him you will only deal with the office directly and to go away.

 

Add to the letter that you will only make any future payments by Standing Order and ask them to forward you the details.

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You really should find out the status of your account. Have you any idea how much you actually owe and what you have paid off?

“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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Here goes. Once you have sorted out the doorstep collection business get the following letter off to Lewis to request a copy of the credit agreement plus statement of accounts. You will need to enclose a £1 postal order and send by recorded delivery so they sign for it. Do not sign - print your name. They have 12 working days (plus 2 days for posting) to reply to this request. If they do not send a valid credit agreement within the next 3 weeks, you can send another letter to put the account in dispute and withhold payment until they respond properly to your request:

 

Your Address

 

Date

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re:− Account/Reference Number

 

This letter is a formal request pursuant to s.77(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. I require you to provide me with a true copy of the credit agreement relating to the above account, together with any other documentation the Act requires you to provide.

 

I also require that you send me a full statement of all transactions including payments, fees and charges applicable to this account and details of the balance outstanding.

I expect you to comply fully and properly with this request, within the statutory time limit. You are reminded that should you fail to comply with my request, the provisions of s.77(6) will apply.

 

Your attention is drawn to ss.5(2), 3(b),6 and 7 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUTR).

 

I enclose a postal order in the sum of £1.00, which is the statutory fee. Note that these funds are not to be used for any other purpose.

 

If you are unable to comply fully and properly with this request, you should confirm this in writing at the earliest opportunity, and certainly within the statutory time limit for compliance, and return the fee.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

print your name

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Lewis are Welcome Finance.

 

They are both owned by the Cattles Group and Lewis Debt Recovery are the in-house collection arm.

NEVER telephone a DCA

If a DCA rings you, refuse to go through the security questions & hang up!

 

If I have helped you, click on the star & say thank you

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Thanks - I could not remember if Lewis were Cattles or Provident.

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