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LINK chasing me for debt I've been repaying

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I took out two student loans in 1992 & 1993. I deferred them for a number of years and in 2000 I moved house and forgot all about it. They eventually caught up with me by letter in about 2004ish and I called them and negotiated a repayment of £70/month.

 

When the debt got sold to Thesis there was a period where I didn't pay them anything due to a lack of provision of details of how to pay on their part, but I did resume payments eventually.

 

Last year the debt got passed on again, this time to FFHE, and once again I was told to change my standing order details. The details are hazy but I recall speaking to someone from FFHE last year, the standing order form they were going to send me never arrived and there was a brief delay where no payments were made.

 

I started paying FFHE £70/month in July this year. There was only around £500 left so I was due to make a final payment in February 2011.

 

I’ve been happily repaying this for several years albeit with a couple of brief interludes when they passed on the debt and changed their payment details. So I was naturally astonished and furious to receive a phone call two weeks ago from LINK, saying I was in breach of the agreement (because I spoke to someone in May but they didn’t receive a payment till July) and demanding immediate payment of the outstanding balance of around £260. They have contacted me several times since, threatening me with bailiffs and/or court action to recover the debt if I refuse to pay it now, in full. Continuing with my £70/month for the next 4 months is not an option. The woman from LINK suggested I seek advice from a solicitor.

 

I haven’t received any correspondence whatsoever from them since May when I spoke to them to sort out the remaining payments and change the standing order details. Yet they say they’ve been trying to contact me. Well they can’t have been trying very hard – no letters, no phone calls, nothing.

 

I would like to know:

 

 

  1. How can a debt I have been willingly repaying regularly have been passed to a DCA?
  2. Is it binding if I haven’t signed anything? How can I be in breach of an agreement I wasn’t aware of making?
  3. Are they not in breach of the Data Protection Act, since I never authorised my details to be sold/passed on?
  4. Can they issue a CCJ?
  5. How long would it take for them to get bailiffs or take me to court? Would it be before February?
  6. How can they suddenly demand this out of the blue with absolutely no prior correspondence when I’ve been paying?
  7. Will this affect my credit rating?

 

My intention is to ignore them and just carry on paying the £70 until it’s paid off in February. Surely any court would throw it out as a complete waste of time to pursue a debt that’s almost honoured and where there is hard evidence that it’s regularly being repaid in substantial amounts?

 

I’d just like to know where I stand legally and what I should do next time she calls, which I know won’t be long. She’s calling my mobile and home number. I could understand (a bit) if I wasn’t paying them anything but I am. Is this not harassment?

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Is there a clear period of six years (five in Scotland) where you made no deferment, payment or written acknowledgement of the loan?

 

How can a debt I have been willingly repaying regularly have been passed to a DCA?
They will be acting on belalf of the SLC.

Is it binding if I haven’t signed anything? How can I be in breach of an agreement I wasn’t aware of making?
They are bull so and soing you.

Are they not in breach of the Data Protection Act, since I never authorised my details to be sold/passed on?
It'll be in your original SL agreement probably.

Can they issue a CCJ?
They could apply but considering you are paying it would not be in their interest, particularly as a judge could order lower repayments depending on your circumstances.

How long would it take for them to get bailiffs or take me to court? Would it be before February?
They can't use bailiffs without a court order & to get that they would have needed to have obtained a CCJ which you defaulted on.

How can they suddenly demand this out of the blue with absolutely no prior correspondence when I’ve been paying?
Greed on their part.

Will this affect my credit rating?
No.

 

Have you sent them a CCA request to see if there is an enforceable agreement? A lot were destroyed from this period & without one they cannot pursue.


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Thank you, what a quick response!

 

I'm pretty sure there was never a full six years without correspondence. I told them I'd be requesting a copy of all the information they held on me via the Freedom of Information Act and they said there'd be a £10 fee. I decided I'd rather keep my tenner so have been ignorning them but now I know about it, I'll send in the CCA request.

 

If mine has been destroyed, does that mean I could've got away without paying them all these years?!

 

And on the off chance they decided to go the CCJ route, what are the timescales involved? If I've paid it before the court date, will it still go ahead?

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If mine has been destroyed, does that mean I could've got away without paying them all these years?!
They would need it to take any enforcement. Without one they cannot prove a debt exists.
And on the off chance they decided to go the CCJ route, what are the timescales involved? If I've paid it before the court date, will it still go ahead?
It's very rare for a SL to go as far as a CCJ but if they do try by the time they've finished supplying information answering letters etc it wouldn't be until next year.

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If I've paid it before the court date, will it still go ahead?
No.

 

Even if they did obtain a CCJ as long as you paid it within 30 days there would be no record of it kept on your credit file.


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

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Well, an update on my situation. I sent LINK a CCA request letter on 22 October 2010. The 12 working days limit for supplying the information came and went and I heard nothing from them, not even so much as an acknowledgement of my letter.

 

That is, until now. In a letter dated 27 January (received a couple of days ago), they enclosed a statement from SLC from 1998-2009 (note my first loan was taken out 11/11/92 so some 6 years are missing) and a statement from LINK from 2008-2010. They also enclosed (very fuzzy) photocopies of my original loan agreements with my signature and my writing on the date.

 

The letter says this (terrible grammar):

 

In accordance with your section 77 request, we apologise for the delay in responding to your request this has been due to the delay in receiving the required documents. As requested please find enclosed a copy of each properly executed loan agreement that you entered into with the Student Loans Company (SLC) and a copy of your annual statement as issued by SLC. Also enclosed is a copy of your financial history since your account has been serviced by Link Financial Outsourcing Ltd.

 

Then a contact details paragraph etc.

 

At no point did they even acknowledge my CCA request, just ignored it and then this is the first I've heard from them in 15 weeks. That's a lot longer than 12 working days. They also didn't request I send them a payment, or make any arrangement to pay.

 

I have just received a phonecall, on both my mobile and my landline, from LINK. I immediately recognised the woman and pretended to be someone else, so I haven't spoken to them. I don't want to speak to them either given how downright nasty they are but if the last time is anything to go by, they will resume harassing me on a daily basis now.

 

Where do I stand? Given that they took almost 4 months to respond to my CCA request?

 

Thanks!

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PS. I stopped all payments whilst this was under investigation so still owe them £265, apparently.

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If the CCA is not readable they have not complied to your request, you are entitled to a legible copy. Write back and demand a clear & legible copy.


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Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Well, the front is almost but not fully legible. However, they have attached a proper printed copy of the page with the Ts&Cs (ie not a photocopy) as the CCA is completely illegible on these pages.

 

Does it matter legally that they didn't reply within the 12 days allowed on the request letter?

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Does it matter legally that they didn't reply within the 12 days allowed on the request letter?
No not any longer, the reference to committing an offence after 12+30 days was removed from the Act.
they have attached a proper printed copy of the page with the Ts&Cs
It doesn't matter, if you can't read the CCA whatever else they've sent is irrelevant as they may not be part of the original agreement.

 

Obviously you can still dispute this but given the amount left & the hassle of trying to fight is it really worth it?


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Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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I don't want that nasty woman calling me every single day again but I can't pay it for a while. If last time is anything to go by, she won't take no for an answer, refuses to enter into any arrangements of paying in instalments and demands I pay the full amount immediately. This is why I refuse to speak to her. Is there anything I can do to request written correspondence only? Is it better to just ignore them completely?

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Send them this;

 

Dear Sirs

 

I am writing in relation to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

 

I have verbally requested that these stop, but I am still receiving calls. (Delete if necessary)

 

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

 

You are reminded of the following under The Administration of Justice Act 1970.

 

Section 40 of the act provides that a person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:

 

(a) harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;

(b) falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;

© falsely represent themselves to be authorized in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;

(d) utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.

 

I am of the view that your harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

 

Further to this all calls from your Doorstep Collectors must also cease unconditionally and with immediate effect. I note that there is only an implied license under English Common Law for certain people to visit me on my property without express permission; the postman and people asking for directions etc (Armstrong v. Sheppard and Short Ltd [1959] 2 Q.B. per Lord Evershed M.R.).

 

Take note, I revoke license under English Common Law for you, or any of your representatives to visit me at my property and if you do so without my permission, you will then be liable to damages for a tort of trespass. You would also be conspiring in a trespass if you sent someone to visit me nevertheless. Any trespassers you attempt to send therefore will be dealt with accordingly.

 

Be further advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

Print name do not sign

 

As for them refusing to agree to installments just pay what you can afford, thet will not take any enforcement action because they know that a judge would only order you to pay what he thinks you can reasonably afford & that could be as little as £1 per month.... not forgetting they would have to win any action first. ;)


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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Excellent, thank you. I assume I am quite within my right to refuse to discuss this over the phone?

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As suggested it may be better to pay the arrears and then carry on paying as per normal. Think of being free from their clutches within a few weeks and no more hassle.

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I assume I am quite within my right to refuse to discuss this over the phone?
Yes.

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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