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Ambrose Wilson and Reliable Collections

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Hello

 

My wife had an account with Ambrose Wilson and we got into difficulties with payment on this and other debts. We have been on a DMP with CCCS/StepChange for a year and all our creditors have not bothered us. CCCS offered Ambrose Wilson £5.00 per month and this is what has been paid every month. They have now sent a letter saying the account is in arrears because the agreed payment was £5 every 28 days meaning over a 12 month period only 12 payments were made and not 13 payments, they have charged £12 for the arrears and £12.00 for sending a letter. I contacted CCCS and they said AW know that payments are monthly and should abide by that but they couldn't help with the charges because companies can do that. We are now receiving two letters a week, one from Ambrose Wilson and one from Reliable Collections (I know they are both the same company). They have now added a further £12.00 admin charge so now £36.00 in charges. That is in addition to about £120 in charges before we sorted out the DMP. I intend to send a SAR so we can get details of all the charges and then claim them back but in the meantime I have a couple of questions if anyone can help.

 

The OFT guidelines say that it is unfair pressure if multiple businesses pursue you for the same debt, I know that both AW and RC are the same company but both are sending one letter per week, this looks to me to be harassment.

 

They have threatened to send someone to the house, I can cope with that but since I am out at work all day my wife is worried about what may happen if someone calls.

 

CCCS have not been much help, at the moment I can't see any point in us paying £5.00 per month if AW keep adding £12.00 every time they send a letter. Should we just stop paying the debt until they stop the charges/harassment.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. The debt is just over £1000.00.

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Hi and welcome to CAG

 

Firstly, don't worry about any doorstep callers. As far as I am aware, they don't have any

 

I would suggest a Formal Complaint to AW (ignore reliable) mentioning the OFT debt collection guidance and the treatment of debtors KNOWN to be in financial difficulty.

 

Mention also that as the DMP with StepChange was £5 a month, not every 28 days. they are in breach of the agreement made with SC.

 

You want all charges removed from the account as you are in financial difficulties, the OFT guidance says that they should stop charges and interest.

The whole point of the guidance is to ensure a debtor is not put into further hardship.

 

If they continue to write and charge for the privilege, reciprocate. Charge them for every letter. I know of one case where a debtor took a creditor to court for charges for communication and one other where one Debt Collector got a cheque fro admin costs of writing.


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The 'branches' of the same company contacting you does not I think breach the OFT Guidance.

ourunt being sold on to a debt purchaser/DCA which will be far more rigorous on collection.

 

How much is owing?


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How much is owing?

 

The debt is just over £1000.00.

 

SF


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Thank you SF.#

 

Lowell seem to be acquiring these catalogue debts at the moment and are likely to issue an SD on anything over £750 so best not to stop paying the OC through the dmp.


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This is the problem with the JD Williams Group, they work on a 4 week billing cycle rather than the more normal monthly cycle.

 

Although what SF says is correct, and it is naughty of them to put their own interpretation on the agreement with CCCS, might not any easy way out of this be to pay them an extra £5 as a one-off payment so they no longer treat you as being in arrears? This would also avoid the potential of being sold to Lowell.

 

I would also be asking CCCS to check carefully the wording of any agreement letters they have from JDW/AW/RC to verify whether 4 weeks or monthly is mentioned.

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