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Advice on Debt Collection and "Finance Agreements" needed


Moocheruk
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Hello peeps, i am in need of some advice on a situation i find myself in. I'll keep it short and sweet.

Brief Description of what happened

around a year ag, me, my partner and my daughter went to a photography shoot. We went because of a voucher that was given to my partner whilst out shopping that said something along tho lines of "come to a photoshoot and get a 10x8 picture free". so we did that, then was told to come back at a later date to see the pictures. We came back and saw the pictures, and was told the prices of what things would cost ect. We decided to get the DVD they had made with all the pictures on at a cost of £800. As we didn't have the money to pay upfront i asked if it could be paid monthly, to which he said yes.

The Nitty Gritty

This is where it gets complicated. I paid a £200 deposit and signed a form to agree to pay a monthly sum of £100, and that i would drop it in every month as it was near where i was working at the time. It didn't have all the usual legal jargon a finance agreement has, it was just a piece of paper saying how much deposit i'd paid ect. He said we would recieve the DVD once payment was made in full. So we left the place with nothing. I wasn't able to drop any money in as my job ended and couldn't afford it. We had a phone call from the same company asking where the money was. We explained the situation and agreed to pay £50 a month using a bank transfer. We did this for around 4 months then we stopped due to financial difficulties...To get to the point...I was left a message on my phone from a debt collection agency saying that i need to pay £500 and the odd pence and that i needed to set up a payment plan today or my case would handed over to another collection agency. I rung him back (collection agency) and asked what was going on. He said i had entered a financial agreement and needed to pay the money. I asked why a debt collection service was being used when we hadn't even recieved the photo's, and asked for him to send me the details on the situation including a copy of the "finance agreement" i had signed. He said it would cost £15. I told him that i disputed the matter, and phone call ended with him telling me there was going to another £500 added on top and that he would start the proceedings of getting a CCJ, and would recieve all this within 3 weeks. We have moved since living at the address he gave me over the phone, i did say that was the wrong address but he didn't ask for a new address for some reason, and i didn't give him one.

So my questions are, can a debt collector be called in to recover a debt for something which i dont actually have and was never given?

Do i have a right to see my "financial agreement" without me having to pay £15?

Can they legally enforce what they said they are going to do?

What would my next steps be?

I'm guessing i can kiss my £200 deposit goodbye, and the £200 paid through transfer, and the DVD :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated

(wasn't as short and sweet as i thought it would be :/)

Thanks in advance

Moocher

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First off i'd like to applogize for posting in the wrong forum and thank the admins for moving it for me.

 

Thanks for the reply Tingy, i tried the link you left but it didn't work.

 

i just wanted to clear up some things, as my knowledge of laws and agreements ect are the same as my knowledge of quantum physics...non existent.

First off, have i entered a financial agreement that would warrent a debt collection service being used? i've not borrowed any money from these people, i've paid a deposit of £200, and made 5 payments of £50 for something which has never been in my possession. My last payment was on the 2nd of August 2010.

If i do fill in and send off a prove it letter, i'm guessing i have to tell them my current address which they do not have right now, and i dont really want them having it, as its my mothers address. If i do have to give them my current address, i will. I would just like to know where i stand before i start this battle. p.s. they just rung me again whilst i was typing this (witheld) but i didn't answer and they didn't leave a message.

All your help is greatly appreciated

thanks in advance

Moocher

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Thanks Tingy.

 

If i go down this route, what happens to my £450 already paid, and what happens to my DVD with the photo's on? Thinking back, it wasn't a finance agreement i signed (the usual legal technical jargon contract thingy), it was a payment plan on 1 sheet of paper that they had printed off themselves.

Thanks again

Moocher

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Do you have a copy of the agreement? If not, then I think you're best ignoring the above for the moment and sending them a SAR. This should then give you a copy of the agreement and a full breakdown of all costs plus anything else they hold about you. I have a different SAR letter to the one in the library whhich I think is very good - if you want it just ask.

 

The way I'm thinking is we need to find out exactly what you agreed to in that agreement before we can really move forward as different types of agreement are governed by different rules.

 

Others may advise differently - I'd give it a few hours for people to get home from work and have a read to see if opinion is with me or another suggestion comes up.

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Evening

 

There's no mention (As far as I can see) of the company name involved which would help with searches to see at what level they're allowed to trade as in offering payment plans

 

I know this isn't nice to hear but there's a chance you've kissed bye to your money so far but without more info no one can offer any solid advice

 

Good luck

 

R

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC] I asked them to wait whilst I got my Bank card :violin:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Information that may help if a CCA request is refused due to the lack of a signature . . http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?248863-Signature-demands-fight-back-possible-!&highlight=

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Thanks Tingy.

I did ask him to send me the details (agreement i signed), but told me it would cost me £15, so i said no. I knew then i would need help from someone in the know (you guys)

i shall do my research on SAR right now to see what that entails

any more info on the above would be awesome

Thanks again

Moocher

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Hey Revenant

i didn't really want to name names just yet, but if you think it will help, the photography place is called Splash Studios based in basildon www splashstudios co uk (i dont have the power to post proper links, as i am a noob here :)

and the Debt Collection Company that i have spoken too are called Lasker Collections www ukdebtrecovery co uk, it has the number there that i was told to ring. Its apparently a holding site for www lasker co uk

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Hey Revenant

i didn't really want to name names just yet, but if you think it will help, the photography place is called Splash Studios based in basildon www splashstudios co uk (i dont have the power to post proper links, as i am a noob here :)

and the Debt Collection Company that i have spoken too are called Lasker Collections www ukdebtrecovery co uk, it has the number there that i was told to ring. Its apparently a holding site for www lasker co uk

 

The thing is without knowing who's chucking their toys out of the pram no one would be able to offer solid advice just ideas and opinions

The really experienced caggers will no doubt be along

Regards

R

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC] I asked them to wait whilst I got my Bank card :violin:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Information that may help if a CCA request is refused due to the lack of a signature . . http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?248863-Signature-demands-fight-back-possible-!&highlight=

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ideas and opinions are fine with me. Just an idea of where i stand on a legal side of things. What would be my next step in regards to them adding another £500 on top of what they say we owe them? and them going down the CCJ route. I would still like the DVD, or my money back minus the deposit, or all of it back. They dont have my current address, so i'm at a loss as what steps to take...

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Thanks Tingy.

I did ask him to send me the details (agreement i signed), but told me it would cost me £15, so i said no. I knew then i would need help from someone in the know (you guys)

i shall do my research on SAR right now to see what that entails

any more info on the above would be awesome

Thanks again

Moocher

 

Doesn't cost £15, but does cost £10. If you go thhis route send a PO not a cheque so they don't get your bank details.

 

Here is an SAR letter - they have 40 calendar days in which to respond. If after that time they haven't, give one final warning then take them to the small claims court for your costs.

 

Dear Sir/Madam

Data Protection Act 1998 Subject Access Request

Please would you kindly provide full and complete copies of any and all data you hold which relates to me and my entire history with your company. I have enclosed the statutory maximum of £10.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, take note that the enclosed cheque/Postal Order is payment for the fee relating to my Subject Access Request only and not a payment of any other kind or to be used for any other purpose. If you do not require a fee in order to process my Subject Access Request then kindly return or destroy my cheque / PO.

 

For your convenience I have detailed below a list of what I require, although this is not an exhaustive list by any means and is just an example of some of the information I require with regard to any accounts I may have had or may still have with your company.

 

1. Computer screen notes relating to the conduct of my account

2. Computer screen notes relating to transactions that have gone through my account

3. Internal messages or notes relating to the conduct of my account

4. Internal messages or notes relating to transactions that have gone through my account

5. Recordings of any telephone conversations, whether internal or external, relating to my account

6. Copies of any e-mail's, or other electronic communications, whether internal or external, relating my account

7. Copies of letters relating to my account

8. All information relating to litigation or pre-litigation that has taken place on my account

9. A detailed statement of account showing a breakdown of all costs charged, showing in each case the reason for the cost and the actual cost against that item

10. Copies of all reviews conducted relating to my account

11. Copies of all other paperwork relating to my account.

12. Copies of any and all documentation issued to me or left at my property regarding my account

I trust that the above is clear and should you be in any doubt as to your obligations as a Data Controller, then I would advise that you consult your corporate counsel.

 

As detailed above, I have enclosed the statutory maximum fee of £10. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return. However, please note that the above address is the one to which all previous correspondence has been issued.

Yours faithfully

 

 

(Your Name)

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Thanks Tingy, i shall get on that tomorrow.

Just one question...They dont have my current address (i have moved twice since i lived at the address they have) where in the letter do i add my current address to recieve a response letter from them?

Thanks in advance

Moocher

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Put the address they've been writing to you at at the top so they know it's you, then before anything in the letter say Firstly I need to inform you of a change in my address from that on the letter heading to: xyz. This way hopefully you stop them asking for further ID which they are entitled to do and often use as a stalling tactic as the 40 days starts again if they ask you to provide ID.

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Thanks tingy, i have the letter ready to print. Do they have to send these details out? Say they decide not to persue with this case, can they just say "we wont be sending the details, and have decided not to persue our claim"? as i would really like to see my agreement, as i'm sure Splash had no right to do what they did and am considering taking them to small claims court. i cant believe they called in debt collectors when i dont even have the product i was buying, it was never in my posession.

Thanks for your help, i'll keep you all informed.

I'll be sending the letter recorded delivery

Moocher

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Thanks Tingy

Just an update (putting it on here so i have a record of my whole process with this case)

i had a text message today saying "URGENT - please call the fraud department at Lasker Collections on 0845 505 xxxx in connection with the debt owed to Splash quoting ref FRAUD/xxx. This is your final notice. 0845 505 xxxx www paylasker co uk

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Please observe site posting rules-which includes no external links without prior approval.

I also should point out that since 2006 the CAG has had a perfectly adequate template letter library of our own.

Therefore I would question the need to be posting copied and pasted letters from other sites ?

 

Aside from this,we prefer to have the links posted to the library,as opposed to letter templates.

This is not a new rule-it is designed so that only registered members can enjoy full access to the CAG library,which is consistent with how many forums work.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Please observe site posting rules-which includes no external links without prior approval.

I also should point out that since 2006 the CAG has had a perfectly adequate template letter library of our own.

Therefore I would question the need to be posting copied and pasted letters from other sites ?

 

Aside from this,we prefer to have the links posted to the library,as opposed to letter templates.

This is not a new rule-it is designed so that only registered members can enjoy full access to the CAG library,which is consistent with how many forums work.

 

Martin,

Apologies - no intentional breaking of the rules, and if you can find that exact letter on another site I'd be very surprised as I heavily edited it from one from another site. The one on here is virtually identical to theirs, but I happened to have it saved on my computer. I honestly did not realise normal members could post templates into the library.

 

Also as an aside, I was geninely trying to help this poster which is in the true spirit of this site.

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Ok I accept that you didnt know.

Yes I acknowledge that you are genuinly seeking to help the poster.

Its usual to post up a reminder when we see this,so its not directed at you personally.

As regards the external link,I would have thought that this is generally well known and accepted for all links.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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I'm not trying to make an issue of this honestly, but does that mean you'd like us to report posts with external links on them as I've seen (and followed) loads. They may all have been done with permission I don't know. How do you get permission?

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I apologize if i have broken any rules with regards to placing links in my posts. It wont happen again. Applogies to you Tingy if i have got you into trouble. I have the letter printed out. Who do i make the PO payable to? Do i put the name of the collection company or do i make it payable to department within the company?

Thanks in advance

Moocher

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