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Paragon Finance


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Hi. I hope someone can guide me in the right direction here.

 

In 1997 I took out a personal loan with Universal Credit for £10,000. I maintained the payments without any problems for a couple of years, but then got into financial difficulties as a result of my business collapsing and the breakdown of my marriage.

 

In this period, the debt was purchased by Paragon Finance, who I was led to believe bought the entire loan book of Universal Credit.

 

I agreed with Paragon to make reduced payments at a level that I could afford after a meeting with an external representative that Paragon out-sourced, who I visited at their house. He agreed that, due to my financial circumstances, interest would be frozen. This surprised me as I believed that my original agreement had been a fixed personal loan and not a monthly charge account.

 

Last November, having first found this site, I sent a Data Protection Act letter to Paragon asking for a breakdown of my account. I was disturbed to find that interest had continued to be charged on my account at the full rate. Despite having paid back in excess of £13k to Paragon/Universal, my balance now stood in excess of £14k.

 

I phoned to complain about the interest charges (I haven't moved forward yet on looking to reclaim collection charges of £600 plus £500 for the out-sourced collection services) and was advised that as I had nothing in writing, I was still liable for the interest that I had been charged over the preceding years and that as the agent was not an employee of Paragon, he had no right to offer this to me in any case.

 

As my circumstances have not improved sufficiently for me to increase my payments to Paragon, I have requested from them a copy of the agreement.

 

I just want to understand my rights so that I can look to get the interest and charges waived that I was initially promised.

 

If I do not receive the information from Paragon within 40 days, am I right in understanding that they have committed a criminal act and that I can then use this as leverage to correct some of the wrongs that they have committed?

 

For the record, the letter that I sent was as follows:

 

10 November 2006

 

Dear xxxxxxx

Account Number xxxxxxxxxx

With reference to the above agreement, I would be grateful if you would send me a copy of this credit agreement

I understand that this is my right under your obligation to supply a copy of the agreement under Section 78 (1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (section 77 (1) for fixed sum credit). I also understand that your obligation extends to providing a statement of account. I enclose a payment of £1 in payment of the statutory fee.

I understand that a copy of my credit agreement should be supplied within 12 working days.

I understand that under the Consumer Credit Act, creditors are unable to enforce an agreement if the fail to comply with a request for a copy of the agreement under these sections of the Act.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

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I received a letter today from Paragon Finance. Basically saying "here is the information that you requested" and providing me with a statement of all activity on my account. No sign of the agreement.

 

Can anyone guide me on my rights here, assuming that they are not going to pass me a copy of the agreement?

 

Should I write to them again saying that they have not passed me the information that I requested, or is it their responsibility to respoind correctly to my original request?

 

I just feel that I have been lied to and taken for a mug by this company and I want to know how strong my position is.

 

Would I be correct in thinking that my next course of action would be to wait until the 12 working days is up (next Wednesday) and then write to Paragon advising them that they are in default and that the debt is unenforceable and interest should be frozen until they comply with my CCA request?

 

After that, and if nothing is received within the calendar month, should I write to tell them that they have committed a criminal act in not providing me with a copy of the orginal signed agreement?

 

Thanks for any help.....

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  • 3 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Hi

Can anyone tell me how you go about getting the fees from paragon finance refunded.

Basically I have just discovered a loan i took out in 1997 for £17000 and basically couldnt keep up with the repayments a couple of years later due to redundancy.

Anyway they have now added charges on throughout the years ( am currently under a repayment programme with a debt company helping me and have been since I was made redundant ) my debt originally was £17000 is now £35000!!!!

Surely they are not allowed to add all these charges on and from reading reviews on different forums it is ridiculous these charges. There must be some financial law over them to stop this.

Can someone advise how I would get all these charges taken off the account since I have tried the best in my situation to keep up with the agreement with them.

Thanks

Very worried

Ruth

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  • 3 months later...

First visit to this site. I also took out a loan from Universal credit for £6000 in 1995 got into financial difficulty and arranged a reduced sum. Then Paragon wrote to me and said they were now in control of the debt.

 

I received no statements regarding my account and they did not make me aware of the charges and compound interest. In 1999 I tried to pay off the debt. They said it was 22,000 if I wanted to settle the debt there and then. Alternatively, if I paid £140 for 8 1/2 years (£14,280) that would settle the debt. That meant the debt would be finished in Jun 08.(I havent missed a payment for 8 years) 3 weeks ago I received a letter from Paragon saying I owe £10,000. I phoned them and they said it was a mistake and my debt finished in june 08. I said that in view of the letter I wanted a letter confirming that the debt finished in June 08. I received a letter yesterday that the debt has been settled. Now I should be jumping for joy, but part of this deal I entered into in 1999 was I wouldnt miss a payment for 8 1/2 years. As this is Paragon is this letter legally binding as it is from an officer of paragon. Why have they done this now? I did mention that I thought the amount I had paid was excessive and I would be requesting a statement of account. Could this be the reason for the settlement letter? I have been reading threads regarding Paragon. Does anyone win against Paragon?

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you all look to be at different stages, it might help your individual cases if you all started your own threads but for now here is the outline of what you should do.

 

Regardless of what type of account/loan you have you should write a Data Protection Act Subject Access Request letter (template in the letter template library) to whoever is administering your loan and ask for a statement of your account to enable you to isolate exactly what has been added to the initial figure and what you can claim back. They have 40 days to supply you with this information.

 

You should also write a Consumer Credit Act section 78 request letter to obtain a "true" copy of your loan agreement. they have 12 days to supply this and if they don't your account is in dispute and is not recoverable by them. If they continue for a further 30 days they are committing a statutory criminal offense. see here (sorry its a huge thread but load of info on it)

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general/33174-consumer-credit-act-agreements.html

 

pete

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  • 9 months later...
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I also took out a loan for £5000 with Universal Creditin 1997 This then changed to Paragon at some point, When one of my children was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 1999. I did not work for two years in a period of five, my child recovered following a bone marrow transplant. At this time when money was extremely short Paragon agreed to freeze the interest as long as I paid them a reduced amount. Other creditors also agreed to this arrangement. When all of the other creditors had been paid off I requested a balance from Paragon I discovered none of the interest had been frozen and the debt had risen to £13000. I stopped paying at that point as I refused to make agreement by telephone after they had lied to me the previous time just to get me to continue paying something

 

I have never admitted this debt and now it is with Arrow Global for £17000 whom I received a statement off this week, I have fended off Copes, UK Debt by telling them the debt was disputed. I have never received any communication from Paragon saying the debt was being assigned nor did I receive any statement/ invoices or notification of charges and naievely assumed the debt was coming down, as had been the case with the more reputable companies and in all honesty had more important things on my mind when Paragon made a verbal agreement with me.

 

Now I have received a statement from them I am expecting the next round of DCA s. If anyone can help or suggest possible strategies I would be grateful.

 

Only just getting back on feet following the total of five years my child was battling for life and this is getting me down

Edited by Mark26
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