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Cat on the mat

Been paying HL legal for +10yrs on 'an' RBS 'debt' now Drydens want more!

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I’d really appreciate some advice on this matter.

 

 

Briefly – a debt has been transferred to a debt collection solicitor and the outstanding amount has suspiciously skyrocketed.

 

I’ve been paying off a long-standing debt to a firm of solicitors/ debt collectors called HL Interactive.

They were managing this debt on behalf of Royal Bank of Scotland,

though the joint mortgage was originally taken out in 1990 and I have none of the original documentation,

and cannot even remember the name of the lender (it was a French name, taken out through Prudential).

 

 

Last year the balance on this account, which I have never disputed, was approximately £6,000.

I have a letter from HL dated June 2013 confirming this.

I have been making payments to HL for years via direct debit and have had no dispute or hassle from them.

 

Last week I received two letters in the same envelope.

One is from RBS saying that management of this debt has now been transferred to a firm called drydensfairfax,

to whom all queries should now be directed.

 

 

They enclosed a letter from drydensfairfax themselves, and this is the one that worries me.

 

 

According to them, I owe over £16,000.

 

 

While I have never denied the debt, I do not know where this amount has come from and what powers they have.

I am certainly not going to phone them at this stage, especially since I was brought to these forums by googling their name.

 

Is it possible that there is small print somewhere that says my debt

(£6000 or so in 2013) can now be inflated to £16,000+ and that I have to pay it?

 

 

Should I now engage the services of a solicitor?

 

 

Any advice is welcome.

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Hi Cat on the mat and welcome to CAG.

 

So we are to assume that the debt has been assigned from HL Interactive to drydensfairfax.

 

 

Have you ever requested a copy of the agreement by way of a section 77/78 request?

 

You refer to a joint mortgage...is the debt a mortgage/further advance if you could give a little history of the debt...date type etc Im sure you will then get the appropriate advice on how to deal with this.

 

Regards

 

Andy

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This has cash cow written all over it!

 

Time to put the brakes on this and start demanding written evidence that a, this amount actually exists, and b, that they are legally entitled to collect.

 

SAR & CCA time I feel...

 

Keep everything in writing, do NOT deal with this over the phone. Get a paper trail of evidence started.

Keep a diary of events, keep all letters, including the envelopes, and mark them with the date you received them on.

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.Have you ever requested a copy of the agreement by way of a section 77/78 request?

 

You refer to a joint mortgage...is the debt a mortgage/further advance if you could give a little history of the debt...date type etc Im sure you will then get the appropriate advice on how to deal with this.

 

Regards

 

Andy

 

Thanks Andy for the prompt reply. The answer to your question is no, I don't even know what a section 77/78 is.

I was about to write to HL requesting confirmation of the balance at time of transfer,

when I googled 'drydensfairfax' and decided to register on these forums.

 

I'll give what background I can:

a joint mortgage of around £19500 was taken out in 1990, and

things went to pot in 1992 when the marriage broke up and I left the property.

Mortgage repayments were one thing caught up in the mess

 

 

since around 1995 I have been paying back in very small amounts my half of the loan.

I don't have any paperwork from that period but I've been paying back HL for around 10 years

and do have some recent correspondence from them, and more than once a balance in the 6000s is quoted.

 

 

I have never had any court judgements against me and when I got a credit report a couple of years ago

there was no mention of this debt or any associated 'black marks' on it.

A year or so ago HL asked to me to increase the monthly payments, which I did to their satisfaction.

 

These letters from RBS and drydensfairfax, and the new balance of over £16000, have come out of the blue.

Since I created this topic it has crossed my mind that they may have added my ex-wife's share of the debt to mine,

having perhaps tried and failed to get money from her.

 

 

But I'm just guessing, since I haven't seen her in around 10 years when she remarried,

and I don't even know where she lives.

 

 

If that's what they've done I'd certainly deny liability on the grounds that if they didn't consider me liable 10 years ago,

I don't see why I should be considered liable now.

 

That's probably as much info as I have, if it helps.

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What Andy is referring to is called a CCA Request. If they dont have the documents, then they shouldnt be able to enforce in court.

I would complain to Both Drysden's Fairfax and also RBS along with HL Interactive to make sure payments have been aligned to the account correctly

 

If you have that letter from HL, can you put it up? In PDF Format, but removing personal details.

Also DF like to issue Claims like confetti... Id like to see them answer to this one.

 

Bet you its a £10k admin fee ^__^

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OKay many thanks Cat...

 

Here is the section 77 request...I would advise this is your first action to Drysden's

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?387435-CCA-Request-Consumer-Credit-Act-1974.

 

Secondly it would be worth a DSAR so you can quantify all charges payments etc...this goes to RBS.It may also be prudent to request statements from HL to clarify all your payments so far.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?387306-Full-Subject-Access-Request

 

Now Ill try to shed some light for you ... mortgages or joint debts and are joint and several so both of you are liable for the full amount...the creditor can chase either party for the full amount...but given the amount of time you have been paying the debt to HL...that still does not clarify for the difference in presumed balances...only the DSAR will shed light on that and if your section 77 is complied with the terms and conditions of the agreement could explain default interest being added.

 

Regards

 

Andy

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oh dear... someone been visiting the HL legal milking parlour for 10yrs

..disconnect the milking machine now.

 

 

dx

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Thanks, Andy (and others). I'll get on to those requests you suggest. And talk about coincidence - drydensfairfax have just called my workplace. They're certainly eager - in their letter they've allowed me until 8th of this month to phone them. I didn't take the call.

 

Edit: I see my post has been moved. There's obviously more to HL than met my eye!

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Communication with third parties

 

CONC 7.9.6

01/04/2014

FCA

 

A firm must not unfairly disclose or threaten to disclose information relating to the customer's debt to a third party.

 

[Note: paragraph 3.7p of DCG]

 

CONC 7.9.7

01/04/2014

FCA

 

When contacting a customer1) a firm must ensure that it does not act in a way likely to be publicly embarrassing to the customer; and

(2) a firm must take reasonable steps to ensure that third parties do not become aware that the customer is being pursued in respect of a debt

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I'm preparing the section 77 request and will post it today recorded delivery. Is it wise to mention at this stage their attempt to phone me at work or should that be kept in reserve?

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in addition to your s77 request to Drydens, and your sar to rbs, and statements from hl,

 

I would make a Formal Complaint in writing to rbs, concerning the attempted contacting of yourself at work by their collectors Drydens

 

quoting the FCA Guidance as above, they are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their dca

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Hello again folks - update time.

 

 

I’ve received a reply to the s77 sent to Drydens and

I don’t know whether to be encouraged or not.

 

 

I sent them the recorded delivery s77 on 3rd December and by 16th it still had not been delivered according to Royal Mail tracking,

 

 

I sent another by special delivery on 16th, and it was signed for on 17th.

 

 

I received the following letter yesterday (14th Jan).

 

 

I don't have the facility right now to scan it but I reproduce the entire text bar the yours faithfully etc -

 

 

I have not omitted the reference and property address, there are none on their letter.

 

 

The amount of the alleged balance also does not correspond with the amount they asked for last month; it is actually £177 less:

 

'09 January 2015

 

Dear Mr xxxxxx

 

Our Client: Bank of Scotland Plc (Birmingham Midshires Division)

Sum outstanding: £16,638.35

Mortgaged property:

 

We refer to the above matter.

 

As requested, please find the up to date balance above and a payment list along with the initial letter attached. Please note that the balance above also includes the payments made direct to us amounting to £2.00.

 

We must now request that you provide us with up to date income and expenditure details, along with an offer of payment. Please complete and return the attached Income and Expenditure Questionnaire within the next 14 days.'

The 'payment list' they refer to is a list of my payments to HL, and it isn't even complete. And since they refer to payments to themselves of £2, I now know they received both s77s from me. There is no mention of what the figure they claim (£16,638) consists of. I still don't know why it exceeds, by over £10,000, the amount I had been paying off to HL.

 

It appears to me that the information the s77 asked for has not been forthcoming, and that all Drydens actually have is an account reference and a made-up number. It was my understanding that the s77 obliged them to provide me with a copy of the original loan agreement and related documents - which they have failed to do.

 

Also:

1. I wrote to HL requesting confirmation of the balance at the time the account was transferred to Drydens. I know they received it on 5th December but they have not contacted me yet. I did not use a template for this request, I composed a letter myself. Is it worth sending them a DSAR?

 

2. A DSAR was sent to RBS on 3rd December and I received an acknowledgement of the request dated 18th December from Birmingham Midshires (the branch who dealt with the loan when repayment arrangements first commenced in 1997-ish). I have heard nothing since, but the statutory 40 days aren't up yet. Then again I don't know when they received the DSAR since, according to good old Royal Mail tracking, it has not been delivered yet!

 

I'm certainly not going to complete a questionnaire at this stage to admit liability - which brings me to a slight niggle. Is the sending of the s77 using your template regarded as a denial of liability? Or, now that they have not complied with it, should I write to Drydens calling attention to their non-compliance and then deny liability? Or should I hang on for now to see what I receive in response to the DSAR?

 

I know that's a lot of text to wade through but any advice is welcome. Thanks.

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Actually I've just realised I may have made an error. I checked the s77 I sent and it looks as though I deleted a paragraph I should have left in. It's the text in blue in the template that is supposed to be deleted if sending to the original creditor rather than a collection agency. I should have left it in, shouldn't I. What an idiot. Should I send another s77?

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if they've not sen your signed agreement

then tough luck them

 

 

they know the score

 

 

cow removed from milking palour till they do.

 

 

I wouldn't keep wasting money on recorded delivery either.

 

 

al you need is free proof of posting.

 

 

its worthy to note also

 

 

the Birmingham midshires mortgages/secured loans have some very dodgy threads around.

 

 

90% of the 'debt' is typically arrears charges and insurances

none of which wee ever legal needed.

 

 

dx

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Okay, so does the fact that they have not produced the original agreement when requested mean that they have no leg to stand on if they take recovery action against me? My instinct now is to write to Drydens to make it clear to them that I deny liability.

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No need to write further they are fully aware of what you have requested and also their legal obligations....they dont need to to be told they are in default and the implications that transpire.

 

Andy

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Your original loan was with Credit Agricole arranged through the Prudential - I know because I had same in 1991 and it was took over by Birmingham Midshires. The latter start submitting the account with charges etc even though theres no provision in the original contract to do so. I know because I have all the original documents. I submitted a claim for charges - Midshires settled before court hearing. It looks whoever as had your debt has used their own interest and charging structure to milk you.

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