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Negotiating with DCA without acknowledging debt?


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Hey everyone,

 

I was wondering whether anyone has any experience in negotiating with DCAs without acknowledging debt? I know that on the surface it might appear contradictory, but it'd be helpful to be able to liase with them about settling the debt without restarting the 6 year timer every time. I know that payments reset it, so I'm only talking about arrangements that completely settle the debt.

 

Is this possible? Has anyone done this? I've seen threads on writing to DCAs with non-acknowledgement telling them to go away, but no threads on negotiating with non-acknowledgement.

 

I'd appreciate it if we keep this thread to people who either have experience with this, or have good knowledge on the laws in relation to this, to keep it an intelligent non-speculative post.

 

Thanks.

Rob

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rob has asked that this doesn't get merged with his other thread concerning his issues so I am happy to accede to that request for the time being.

 

But for those who wish to chip in, the history can be seen here in rob's other thread

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?387408-Going-to-write-F-amp-F-offer-letters-should-I-state-that-I-m-living-overseas

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The golden rule is never converse with a DCA

 

The golden rule is never converse with a DCA

 

As soon as you acknowledge the debt in writing or make a payment, game over

 

Send a prove it letter if you must, but never acknowledge the debt, just keep telling them you know nothing of the debt. The DCA will be powerless under the Data Protection Act to discus this matter with you unless you acknowledge the debt

 

work out how long the debt has left under the limitations Act

 

As soon as you go down the road you are suggesting, there is no turning back and they will use it against you.

 

Only communicate with these people if you are experienced or you will end up with egg on your face

 

You might be better getting say 30 % of the debt and offering them that as a full and final if you are committed. Tell them you are unemployed and a relation will lend you the money. But get confirmation on any agreement in writing before any payment is made

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Thanks for your reply. I know that it's possible to avoid acknowledgement by not writing/paying, or to write something in the vein of "It's not my debt, go away." I just wanted to know how to negotiate with creditors without acknowledging debt.

 

I've seen sample letters in USA forums, so it's not as if I'm losing the plot and asking how to turn a cabbage into an egg. I just don't know how/if it works in UK law, that's all.

 

Surely, someone out there has either tried it (with success or failure) or at least knows the legalities around it?

Edited by robgreen
User posted whilst typing, so re-wrote to avoid confusion
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The only way you can negotiate with a creditor would be to send a letter headed "without prejudice"

 

the only problem with that is that you would be an acknowledgement of the debt, if the creditor then took you to court and you lost, the creditor can then use that letter to screw you for costs

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People will choose whether they wish to view this as a distinct thread or to read the other stuff too.

 

It seems to me that it is all inter-connected.

 

Personally I don't see how you can make a payment on a debt or negotiate a full and final on a debt without there being an acknowledgement of it. There may be instances where this could be achieved it your were paying on behalf of a third party but that is not the case here.

 

You have mentioned people doing this "out of court" all the time. This to me simply means that they acknowledge the debt but negotiate with the other side that if they accept the offered payment then ther are conditions attached such as the remainder will not get sold on to another party, the debt is shown as fully satisfied etc. etc.

 

Just because an "out of court" settlement is achieved does not automatically mean that there is no acknowledgement of the debt.

 

As I say, I am happy to leave this as its own thread for the moment.

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1. Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

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3. Reclaim Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

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Read Here

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Read Here

6. Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

7. Thinking of a Full & Final Settlement?

Read Here

 

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I DON'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM BUT IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

 

 

 

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Squaddie, I don't quite understand what you're saying sorry. Are you saying that if I started a letter out saying "Without prejudice", then I wouldn't be acknowledging the debt but that very same letter could somehow later make me liable for costs? How do you mean?

 

ims21, when I mentioned people settling out of court without official acknowledgement of what they are being sued for, I was specifically referring to non-DCA issues such as e.g. being sued for copyright infringement and just wanting to settle to make the person go away. If I knew about how it went regarding DCA issues, I wouldn't be asking the question. Apologies for any confusion there.

 

Thanks for everyone's help.

 

Does anyone else have any insight into this matter?

Rob

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Without prejudice is quite a complicated phrase but in basic terms it means that if no agreement is reached and the case goes to court, the offers and letters etc they have made cannot be brought up by you in court.

 

The meaning of without prejudice 'save as to costs' is that the writer is pointing out to the recipient that when it comes to the issue of costs he/she will be referring to the offer he has made to settle. And that will be relevant on all costs.

 

Its a term of privileged correspondents between the two parties outside the judicial process

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Ahh I see, thanks for that clarification. So, if I understand it correctly, would the following laymen's hypothetical be true:

 

I haven't made any payments or had any communication with a DCA for a year. I write to the DCA today saying "without prejudice...(whatever)". 5.5 years go by with no further communication or payment from myself. They then try to take me to court before the 6 year timer is up (based on my written communication on 6th April 2013). The DCA then realizes that they aren't able to sue because the letter said 'without prejudice' and therefore can't be used against me in any way, shape or form.

 

If that's the case, what is the downside to starting every letter with that phrase?

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If that's the case, what is the downside to starting every letter with that phrase?

 

None unless save as to costs is added after without prejudice AND JUDGEMENT HAS BEEN GIVEN

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Squaddie, thanks again for your advice. Should I always start offer letters with 'WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS'? Or should I only put 'SAVE AS TO COSTS' in special circumstances?

 

As for downsides - are you saying that the only time it's bad to put 'WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS' is if it's after a court has ruled judgement? i.e. if a DCA filed a CCJ against someone, it went to court and the the court instructed, for example, the debtor to pay £2,000. The debtor then can't write to the DCA with a letter saving 'WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS'. Is that what you mean?

 

Cheers

Rob

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OK... now I'm really confused. I just hovered over the phrase 'without prejudice' in my last post, and the CAG definition popped up advising against the use of 'without prejudice' and said "What you should do is to make sure that offers are made without admission of liability. This is far more useful to you."

 

So, it seems like I'm back to square one, which is trying to figure out how to word a settlement offer without acknowledgement / admitting liability. I really don't want to come across as some pompous tw@t by putting 'Without Prejudice' (if that's how it'd come across), I simply want to protect myself against resetting the 6 year timer.

 

Any other wording I could use?

 

Cheers.

Rob

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