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MacKenzie Hall (again!) - Not my debt: Help!


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Hi all.

 

New to the forums and been reading up on "Mackenzie Hall Limited" after yesterday (27th) receiving a red "postcard" from them requesting contact. Not sure if this is the correct forum for this post but it is concerning a debt. I have posted the same message on another advice forum and have been getting conflicting advice, some people saying don't contact them, others saying I need to tell them this is not my debt, so I am turning to this forum for clarification or further advice.

 

I have read through the posts mentioning this company who would appear to be rather "shady" and the best policy seems to be not to contact this company, at least by phone!

 

The card in question was addressed to a friend who lodged with us for approximately six months before leaving to work abroad for a few months.

 

The person in question no longer resides here and has not done so for at least six months. I presume they are trying to collect an outstanding debt for this person on behalf of some company. The text of the card is as follows:

 

"Name of our friend,

Our home address.

 

Important:

 

Please call 01563 554 540 no later than 27th November 2006. This is not a circular or junk mail. We need to speak to you urgently. Quote Reference: Number given. Thank you."

 

The address on the "From" side of the card is Mackenzie Hall Limited at the Kilmarknock address listed in some other posts. The card was sent by Royal Mail 2nd Class post and only received today (27th).

 

I would like some advice from anyone in the know on how to proceed further in relation to this demand. We have very little contact with the person in question now, but I do know that he is due to return to the UK in February 2007, but I do not have an address for him. I know he is returning to live with is partner down South, but I have no idea where.

 

I received a similar demand in July 2005 from a "Direct Legal and Collections" of Brackley, Northants. I replied to them with a letter with the following text:

 

"Your reference: ******

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I am writing to you with reference to your letter of 4 July 2005 to a Mr **** ******, supposedly residing at this address. I would like to make you aware that Mr ***** no longer resides at this address and has been living abroad for at least the last 2 years. This address was used for a short period for forwarding his final mail to, before he left the UK.

 

As far as I was aware all outstanding commitments were settled before he left. I do not have any forwarding address for him and I would ask that you do not send any further letters to this address for this person.

 

Furthermore, should I find that my good credit rating has been damaged by any blacklisting by yourselves of this address I shall be taking the matter up with my solicitor.

 

I am the owner of this property along with my wife and we have no connection or relation to Mr **** other than as a friend.

 

Please can you confirm in writing that no further action will be taken on this matter via this address and that you will continue your investigations elsewhere.

 

Yours faithfully,

**********"

 

I received a reply from that company stating that the contents of my letter had been noted, apologising and stating that no further action would be taken. We have never had any similar mail until today.

 

Please can someone assure me that I cannot be held responsible and have my good credit rating tarnished by the actions of a former lodger. I believe these matters were debts that he had before he came to live here and our address has never been used, to the best of my knowledge, except by ourselves to gain credit.

 

I am desperate to get this matter resolved quickly before any further action is taken by this company.

 

The general consensus I have got so far is that I cannot be held responsible for the for the 'debt' of someone to whom I am not financially associated. I was advised to just ignore the card but my wife is concerned so I need to alt least put her mind at rest that nothing will come of this.

 

I replied to an answer in the other forums as follows:

 

"Thanks for the speedy reply. I thought that was the case, that as it's not my debt I cannot be held responsible.

 

I think I'll hold on to the card as evidence (just in case!) instead of binning it. You advise not to contact them, not even to just tell them that it's not my debt and that the person concerned does not live at this address anymore? Do you think the text of this card amounts to just "scare tactics" given it's wording and the deadline date being the date it arrived? My wife is concerned that if we don't even contact them they will put a "black mark" at the very least, on our property which may cause us issues in obtaining credit at a later date. We currently have a very good credit rating, owning at least one platinum credit and one platinum debit card.

 

I need some advice to reassure her that they will not keep chasing us for the debt....she seems to think that if we do nothing the bailiffs will come round!

 

I will take your advice on contacting Kilmarnock Trading Standards should we get any further mail. Is it fair to say that we are okay to just ignore this mail as it not addressed to our name, regardless of the fact that it is sent to our address, much like mail for a previous owner?"

 

I am turning to help on the CAG forums as they seems to be a lot of people here with some experiences in dealing with this company.

 

Thank you in advance for any help.

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As long as you had no joint accounts with your former lodger then there is no reason that any credit reference agencies will have you linked, your credit rating will not have been effected by theirs.

I have to admit that I wouldn't bother getting in touch with them at all and would simply return the postcard stating "no longer lives here". There really is no need to explain anything else to them.

Pam.

 

If anything I've said helps you then please feel free to tip my scales!

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South Ayrshire Trading Standards are the people who cover the MH area. The Office of Fair Trading are also investigating them at the moment.

 

In this case, I would say that sending it back "not known at this address" would suffice, and ignore anything else you receive from them. It's not you they are after, so there isn't a lot they can do!

 

They commonly chase debts that are statute barred and in cases such as this there are two options - either ignore them altogether and hope they give up, or write back to them stating that you do not acknowledge the debt. They can't take court action on it if it is statute barred and has not been acknowledged.

 

If someone's not sure what the debt is or unsure if it is barred, then using Letter N in the sticky above seems like a good idea, asking to obtain a copy of the original credit agreement, making sure that you still do not acknowledge that you owe money, just in case!

 

But this isn't your problem, so I'd just return it to sender and stick any future approaches in the recycle bin.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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