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Help - DCAs are getting heavy


slouisewillwin
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Help! I have 3 debts with Abbey. These have been dealt with by a company called First Credit. Following their first contact about 3 years ago I went to Citizens Advice Bureau who helped me with an expenditure sheet and we made an offer that I could afford. They refused this and would not supply details of who I should send payments to.

 

They have contacted me on and off since then in various guises and each time refused to accept my offer or conduct business in writing. They have made hundreds of telephone calls but I will not speak to them as they are aggressive and I would not have a record of what is said.

 

The debts have been passed to Robinson, Way & Co who I have sent a cheque to for all 3 debts, I intend to set up a monthly standing order. However, a collector has started coming to my home and yesterday she showed my partner all the paperwork without even asking who he was - isn't this a breach of the Data Protection Act? She was also aggressive, insisting it would be "best for 'er if she rings me"!

 

In addition, another company Connaught Collections of Croydon claim to have been appointed to act on behalf of First Credit. I wrote to them telling them I have started to pay the debt to Robinson, Way & Co and now I have had a letter from Bishop Investigations (same address) stating that they are going to visit my home and arrange for a Statoury Demand under the Insolvency Act to be issued.

 

I thought that I knew my rights but now I getting scared - any advice please.

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yup, they should not be discussing this with anyone but you. this is a cleaer breach of the data protection act. it would also be deemed as harrasment. it also breaches the oft debt collection guidance. using more than one collector to chase for the same debt is also a breach.

 

here is the guidance:

http://www.oft.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/50F06527-9FC5-4610-B385-999D6E2A8950/0/oft664.pdf

 

some info on harrasment:

National Debtline England & Wales | Debt Advice | Factsheet 03 Harassment

 

i would also consider getting in touch with your local trading standards.

 

with respect of the debts, fill out your income & expenditure and make pro-rata offers based upon what you can realistically afford. start making the payments to show good will if you can.

 

these collectors are NOT bailiffs. they have no extra powers other than to ask for the money. they can not enter your house.

 

do you have any assets? are you in mortgaged property? alot of creditors might use a stat demand but most will not bother with bankruptcy, it costs alot of money for them to use it!

 

you could always try a cca request / sar to see what right these people have to chase the debts too!

 

good luck!

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Thanks, I have no assets, I live in a Housing Association property and my car is on HP.

Will try a CCA request next.

 

it is doubtful that they would go as far as bankruptcy.

 

is your HP agreement up to date? are you looking to keep the vehicle?

how much of the agreement have you paid as a percentage? have the hp firm issued you with a default notice at all?

 

 

sorry about all the questions!

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The car is upto date and I have paid about 10 - 15% of the value.

In fact I am managing all my finances well now, these are old debts and as I have told them I will not borrow money to repay them or over stretch myself so I get into difficulties with my current credit.

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I have had dealings with 1st credit and in fact my local trading standards are investigating them following my complaint. Istcredit/ connaught collections are one and same. Robinson Way are also used by them plus a few others. I CCA's 1st credit, who passed it on to connaught, who passed it onto debt help uk, who passed it onto robinson way. I simply sent a CCA request (recorded delivery)to each of these companies as they contacted me. connaught & robinson way wrote back saying they were handing it back to 1st credit and debt help never contacted me again. I don't even owe them money, they owe me! anyway my point is, send a CCA to any of them that contact you. but be warned 1st credit are really devious. however don't be intimidated by them.

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Thanks ecobabe! That is so helpful.

The lady at CAB who helped me made a formal complaint about 1st Credit because they verbally abused her and harassed her after she put the phone down on them. I will send CCAs to Robinson, Way and Bishops Investigations on Monday.

After reading some of the threads on the forum I am beginning to wonder if it is not a breach of the Data Protection Act to sell on a debt in the first place?!

The advice to me and others is great, I feel better already.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update.

I sent CCA letters to both Connaught and Robinson, Way & Co. Connaught wrote back immediately saying that they had returned the file to 1st Credit.

Robinson, Way & Co have written to say thank you for £1.00 payment but we cannot accept instalments that low! They haven't even read the letter or have choosen to ignore it. I have replied with copy of my request letter. - should I do anything else?

Re the Data Protection breach by their rep I have complained to Trading Standards and Credit Services Association.

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this is exactly what happened to me in fact about 3 of the DCA's did this despite my cca's being properly formatted. Write to Robinson way and any others that do this and simply say that the £1 po was not a payment but the statutory fee as per the CCA 1974, as they are well aware and tell them that the clock continues to tick from the date they received the CCA request, and also tell them that you are lodging complaint with Trading standards et al regarding their blatant abuse of the consumer credit act request. then sit back and wait on the 12 working days + 1 calander month expiring. Be aware 1st credit will continue to do this, but just stick to the Act and it will be fine.

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The Data Protection Act breach should be reported to the Information Commissioner as a complaint.

 

Do the original Abbey debts include charges? Are you seeking to reclaim these?

 

The original Abbey account debt will include charges but it is well over six years old, so I have assumed that I cannot do anything about them.

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Don't assume anything of the sort.

 

There is a line of thinking that you can claim these charges back as they (the bank) were hiding the fact from you that they were unlawful.

 

Do a bit more reading around the site, there's some more info on this in various places, some of it might take a bit of finding though.

 

I'm personally claiming back to May 1996, but doing it in two stages, and the total is looking to be around 20G's :-D

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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