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New Style Student Loan Statute Barred?


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Can someone please advise me as to what my rights are with the Student Loans Company?

 

Graduated in 2002 and moved abroad. Let them know by phone in 2004 that I had a job and asked them to send necessary paperwork to start repaying. Never received it. Phoned again in 2005 to let them know my new address and to request paperwork again, which I never received. Got married and had 3 kids and decided I'd deal with sorting repayments the day they started to do their job and contacted me.

 

Fast forward to a couple of months ago where there are now 5 debt collection companies all chasing me for the default amount on the loan, recorded letters and all. Both from the UK and in the EU country Im in now. They're threatening immediate court action and applications to block my bank accounts in the country Im in now. Ive never yet had a letter from the SLC asking me to fill out assessment forms (despite me requesting) and apparently they put my loan into default over a year ago so are whacking £300 of default fines on per month as we speak. They never bothered to write to tell me my loan was in default.

 

I decide to deal with it and call them last week to get the process back on track, fill in the assessments and start deferring until I get back into work after the most recent newborn. I've never actively avoided the debt and always had it in my mind that I would pay it back, I suppose I got curious as to how useless and long they would be. Also as I haven't worked for a few years now (supported by husbands salary) I just figured I couldn't pay it yet anyway.

 

My issue is they refuse to tell me what will happen once Ive filled in the assessment forms. I asked if the deferment process would start and they only said we'll see once we've assessed your file. I'm so worried they're going to get even more heavy handed than the current letters Im receiving from their debt collectors. I told them I want to deal with only them as how was I possibly supposed to deal with 5 different companies all asking for the same amount. So they reluctantly said ignore them and that they MAY halt the process once I've sent my assessment forms. I feel like theres a bounty on my head and its totally intimidating. Are they or their partners allowed to use so many different companies?

 

I am also really angry that the loan was put in default without any notification. Shouldn't they have sent a recorded delivery letter then? They have had my address for years! Can I contest these charges legally? He said there were also tracing agents fees, and Im gobsmacked, why on earth would they need a tracing agent when I voluntarily gave my address to them years ago! Do tracing agents now switch on peoples computers for them?! I know for sure they had my address as it was the first thing they confirmed with me when I called. Is this just them knowing where I am and letting the charges conveniently build up?

 

So now Im so worried what will happen if I fill in the assessment forms. Also I read about Statute barred loans. Its been well over 6 years since I heard from them. Never acknowledged in writing or made a payment. I don't really want to go down this route. I can't handle heavy handed letters arriving every few weeks from collectors or themselves and can't imagine them accepting the loan is statute barred without a fight. From what I read they can still pester you for the money they just can't take you to court. Is that right? Doesn't sound any less stressful. All I want is a fair deal to get back on track contractually. I most certainly can't pay a penny right now but have property in mine and my husbands name. Im so worried about that. I will almost certainly not be returning to the UK to live nor will I be in employment anytime soon. What are my options? Im so worried I will fill in the assessment form and they will demand the whole lot in one go. What can they actually do to me if I have no income? Their employee on the phone was so unhelpful and quietly very aggressive. He just kept telling me to send in the assessment forms but wouldn't tell me anything else.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

I'd appreciate any advice.

Edited by Michel
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Ignore the DCA's and push with Student loans. There's something not quite right about the whole thing.

 

From National debtline a while ago:

 

A student loan is a debt under statute, this means that the Limitations Act (LA)1980 does apply. The limitations period on this debt is 6 years and not 12 years. However, new style student loans (post 1998?), HMRC can deduct repayments directly from your PAYE even if the debt is statute barred, which only allows you to defend the matter if it is taken through the courts.

 

It will be up to you whether you want to contact SLC or wait for them to contact you. If they did find you, they could start to recover the debt through your PAYE. If they were unable to find you, there is a possibility that they may treat this as a bad debt and sell it onto a debt collection agency (DCA). If this was to happen, the DCA would then try to recover the debt from you. If 6 years have passed with no written acknowledgment and no part payment you can then use the statute barred argument. If the DCA were to start court action, this can be used as a defence, however we would recommend that you get legal advice and take into account the additional costs that may be involved if your defence is unsuccessful.

 

I think the main thing to do is find out if SL has sold it on to a DCA, or if its just being passed around. If a DCA has it, then send the SB letter. If SL has it, then you need to dig deeper. Especially as they are adding on these monthly charges.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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No I don't believe it has been sold on. Not that they admitted to that anyway. I think one collection agent was assigned who has taken it upon themselves to hire others, or the SLC have hired more than one company but I don't think they would admit that. I had to fight with him to get him to tell me which company they did hire and the name doesn't correspond with any of the ones chasing me. I don't know what you mean by dig deeper. What should I be asking/communicating to them?

 

I called the government debtline when this first started and their advice was to ignore all contact and let it go legal. But when the letters got heavy they just told me to seek local legal advice. I literally have no clue where to start.

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What do you mean by heavy? Was it the DCA sending these letters, or did SLC say they were taking legal proceedings? If it was a DCA just ignore them. They cant take ANY action at all. Only SLC can. ANd since you have tried repeatedly to make contact with SLC to pay back the loan ( and hopefully you have proof), they would be very silly to go to court.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Sorry, when I say heavy I guess thats my perception of what I can handle with a newborn and no sleep! I have never received a letter about anything at all from the SLC since 2003. I asked them to send me a statement and the forms last week though, it remains to be seen if they will. The demands are all coming from DCA's now pretty much every week, and now the recorded delivery letters have started.

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Just remember this. If a DCA does not own a debt, then EVERYTHING they say or do is just noise. The majority of times, even if they do own the debt, its just noise. Their aim is to bully, threaten and harass you into paying THEM the money. This is even when they have no legal rights at all.

 

I'll see if i can get an admin or someone more knowledgeable than me to come and advise, as i know from experience that dealing with SLC is not very pleasant at all.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Thank you, I would appreciate that. No I have no proof I contacted them as I did it by phone unfortunately. I don't think 2 phone calls means I made a huge effort, but it should have been enough. Although the fact they have passed my address to a debt collector surely means something in my phone call in 2005 was noted!

 

The amount the DCA's are asking for is the default amount. As in the monthly default charges since they started just over a year ago. SLC told me I am supposed to pay this amount to the DCA and the original loan plus interest to the SLC.

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It is not necessarilly true that a DCA cannot take action if they do not own a debt the creditor may assign the right yo take any necessary action to recover the debt.

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You might want to have a word with National Debtline - they would likely be able to answer all your questions.

 

http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/contact_us.php

 

As you are living overseas, it could be that they are not able to make good on any of the threats they have issued.

 

I am wondering if your thread would best be served in the overseas forums ? What country are you living in now ?

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It is not necessarilly true that a DCA cannot take action if they do not own a debt the creditor may assign the right yo take any necessary action to recover the debt.

 

Very true, but a lot of DCA's rarely do

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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and if its LINK in the chain.

 

or honours lot

 

then take any threats with a LARGE pinch of salt!!

 

IMHO you are abroad, you are never coming back.

 

end off problem.

 

if you read the letters carefully the never say WILL

 

but every word else like if. might.could.instructed.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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They may attempt to obtain a EPO because of where you are, see http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?250889-Can-I-Be-Sued-For-An-Overseas-Debt

 

As for them adding any fees or charges they can't unless it is within your original agreement with the SLC & they can prove they exist.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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I had thought about that but honestly I don't see the letters just stopping and the monthly default will keep being added so imagine the day does come where I end up moving back, the loan could end up well into 6 figures! I think the advice Im looking for is this:

 

How do I handle the DCAs whilst Im dealing with the SLC? Can they really initiate legal proceedings locally so quickly? (France)

Why do the DCA only chase the default fine and not the whole thing?

Can I negotiate cancelling the default fines on the last year as how they have come about are so unreasonable?

What do I do if once Ive filled in the assessment forms, the SLC make an unreasonable demand for instant lump sums given I am not earning?

Once they have all the information from me, will they immediately take it legal and issue an EPO anyway and ignore my plea to just get back on track and defer till I am back in employment? Has anyone else a story to tell on how they handled a default situation after several years of no contact?

 

I am however intrigued to see if the new style student loans can be statute barred? Pre children I would have taken up the gauntlet but now life is about minimizing stress.... It seems to me that yes they can be if you are not in the PAYE system but that there has yet to be a case where the SLC has definitely accepted that one of their new loans has been statute barred.

 

(I have called the government debt helpline and whilst initially really helpful they seem to have taken the one liner of seek local legal advice and are backing away from it.)

Edited by Michel
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Because you are no longer a UK resident they would have to bring an action in France which is not as cut and dried as it may seem. Aside from the French legal system being extremely slow they would either have to apply for an EPO which you can challenge or try to get a French court to allow an application which would have to be heard using UK law as the SL is governed by UK legislation.

 

The cost to them in time, energy & money would have to be their main consideration, particularly as they cannot be certain of winning or indeed receiving any payment if they did particularly if you have no assets or earnings. Also, they are not the creditor they are acting on behalf of the SLC earning a commission so would be more likely to target a/cs they would find easier to pursue.

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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plus any PENALTY charges are purely 'ficticious'

and can easily be reclaimed even if you were in the uk.

 

all they are doing is ranking this up becasuse they can

becasuse they cant get you any otherway than by spoofing you

 

oh the debt is going up...i had better pay it..NO!!!

 

they are hoping 'someone' will do exactly what you are doing

 

and contact them and get fleeced.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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