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    • Amex as with any creditor must help you the FOS should go with you and make them remove all interest charged from the very 1st time of asking for help. the FCA regulations actually almost dictate it, they most certainly clearly state that if the are FCA registered they must help.   it's very telling they have no marked your credit file....almost as if they know they are wrong. it's also telling that an irresponsible lending complaint might well be in order hear too, they can just keep upping the credit limit without checking you can pay. and ofcourse covid plays its part here and they've already admitted as they allowed payments holidays until october in line with the rest of the industry and they should be continuing that. you problem is you keep using the phone, no paperwork no record of things discussed. i'd get an SAR off to them. and get the comms/account log and all the statements from day one and go nail them.
    • Hello CAG, Bit of a long post, may want to get a cuppa before starting reading... 😁   after being a lurker for many years and trying never to get into a mess with credit cards like i did 20 years ago, i've got myself into a mess with Amex... I've tried being open and honest with them, but now getting the feeling they are messing me around.    Its not a chargecard, but a Nectar Credit Card with them. TAKEN out 2016. Balance is just under £15k as of today, was almost at £17k.  Debt still owed by Amex, not been sent to NCO/Arrow etc - YET...    Background (short version): Was all fine with more than min. payment (£500 or so), being made until April 2020 when a number of things reduced my monthly salary from work (mainly, take a pay cut or be made redundant), so I soon quickly realised i needed to tighten my belt quickly. Phoned Amex, advisor said nothing they could do except Payment Holiday. Was put onto that for 3 months, told that Amex will be in touch at the end to restart payments. I asked about interest being stopped/frozen/reduced - not possible. So agreed to payment holiday to give me breathing space. 3 months came and went, no contact from Amex... No payments made, interest still racking up at around £300 a month...    Rang Amex back (July 2020), we cant do anything today because your in the middle of the statement cycle call back next week. Called back week after, no solution yet (i asked about things i seen on Amex US website = Regain program - basically freeze card, lower interest rate and pay a set amount for 12 months - more about this later) > Not available in UK yet.   Want to stay on payment holiday Mister B? I asked if there was any way interest could be stopped as this is making the balance increase and increase. No. Do you want to stay on Payment Holiday? Ok. (Bear in mind, if i came off Payment holiday. Minimum Payment was around £570 per month.  So, stayed on payment holiday... Didnt hear anything from Amex again. Called back up in September 2020. Please call back in October after 10th and we can assist.   Called back after October 10, went through loads of stuff, different options etc, was warned that Payment Holiday might not be extended much longer, but now have a program. Worked out with Amex woman that i could pay around £200 per month. But please stop interest - no we cant but we can reduce this down to 9.9APR instead of 23%... . Amex woman said she needed to submit details to 'Seniors' at Amex, please call back next week for update.   Called back week after, advised that first Amex woman was wrong and had made mistakes, shouldn't have told me what she had told me, £200 is too low, minimum would be £389 per month for 12 months or account will default. Told Amex woman 2 that couldn't afford it, went through this last time, etc etc. Amex woman 2 went off, came back, £329.74 is minimum they can possibly accept, 12 months at that amount per month and interest would be lowered, but not stopped. If you dont take out this 'Program' then account will default and will be passed to NCO or Arrow (I hate them both).  Went off, tried to get loans etc, all refused. Rang Amex back, reluctantly agreed so i can keep credit rating at 'good'.  So, been paying since Nov 2021 @ £329.74.    Letter arrived in December - due to out mess up with moving accounts around whilst on payment holiday, we are going to give you £3074 back. Logged into account, only £30.74 refunded, not £3074. Phoned Amex cos thought it was a joke/mistake - Spoke to some bloke - Oh dont worry, the rest will be applied to account automatically in 7 days. he advised was genuine but then got cut off during call. Called back, spoke to some other bloke, yes, looks genuine but please hold... Came back 10 minutes later. Oh, its a mis-print, you are not the only customer to receive one of these. Each should have been £30.74 not £3074. Me = Gutted.    Wrote a letter to Amex saying how dissatisfied i was with general customer service and felt they were incompetent, blah blah etc. Final response received, Complaint partially upheld, heres £150 credit because we were a bit silly, but thats it. IF your still not happy, go to FOS. Opened a case with FOS... Have sent them the complaint letter to them and have had a call from them about this... FOS are backlogged though and will take another 3 months for complaint to be looked at by them.   Let me make this 100% clear, fully admit to owning the debt, yep, ive spent this money (wish I knew what on, cos having got much to show from it - just general stuff and holidays)... Not trying to shirk out of it, trying my best to keep up with re-payments but im really struggling. After I got paid on 1st April, after paying all outgoings i had £9.83 left in current account so am having to go into overdraft each month which is just a vicious circle.  I would really like to NOT have to down the default route and trash my credit rating and then have to deal with the morons at NCO / Arrow etc.    Meanwhile, this is where I need the advice of the CAG experts... - Credit Limit increases... These were coming every few months and it was just being upped and upped and upped. Credit limit eventually was stopped at £15,400. Some of the increases I never even received letter for, just noticed when I logged into account. >>>> Would this be a case for irresponsible lending?   - Stopping interest - I've read something on FCA site that they recommend (not policy) that if a customer is put onto a payment holiday then they recommend freezing interest for customer so the debt doesn't continue to build. I've asked time and time again, Amex just refuse.  >>>> Any tips on how to get Amex to play ball?    - Full & Final/Short settlement I've rung Amex today, told them I might be able to pay it off. Initially they said full balance, i then pushed, they then said they would accept 80% of balance, pushed them a bit more, got it down to 70%. >>> Surprised, and then very surprised they would accept 70%, anyone else think this is a bit odd? Normally they wont budge, or they wont budge from their first offer... Could their be something wrong on account (missing CCA etc?), or do they want rid of me and account as much as I do with them?   - Cant really keep going at these £329.74 repayments. Something is going to have to give somewhere. I believe they wont go any lower and they will just default it i send £100 instead of £329 and send it out to NCO/Arrow. This might not be a too bad thing though because this would stop the interest right? Anyone thoughts on this?    Anyone think of anything else I could try with them? Again, its still with Amex, not defaulted or anything yet, yep, its all my own fault, i've spent the money, dont deny that, just feel Amex have took advantage etc.   Many thanks for reading. Any advice is greatly appreciated.   Kr, Mista B.     
    • Ok so we have complained to HMRC but were still no further forward with getting the P45/P60. We need this as DVLA has said they need more proof of who he is before giving him a provisional license.  What more can l do. 
    • Hi All   just looking for some advice. I bought a used Porsche Boxster from one of Marshall motor group’s Audi dealers (can I name them?) recently and was assured that it received a major service in October 2020 in line with the manufacturers requirements. The service book confirms this. The dealer also told me on the phone that they have a 6 month rule with any mot or service being done if due within this period which assured me when making an offer over the phone on the car that it wouldn’t need anything doing for a while as I recall saying that.   However, digging through the receipts post delivery I saw that the service was in fact minor and after calling the specialist who serviced it in Oct both they (Sheepishly) and the invoice confirmed that the car did not receive new spark plugs, an air filter, brake fluid replacement or a new fan belt which have now all fallen due and hence the major service due warning light. Had I not investigated this then the car would have potentially gone another 4 years, so 8 in total without some of these items being done.   i emailed the salesman to ask what they would propose to do. The matter is complicated by my living 450 miles away in Scotland, and 200 from their nearest branch, a Mercedes dealer in the Lake District, so I suggested getting my cheapest local specialist to do the works that have fallen due, however I have received no response.   Whilst I am still within my 30 days i don’t want to reject the car, which is otherwise perfect, but the fact remains that the Audi 150 point check only asks for upcoming mot’s to be checked and not services and surely you wouldn’t buy an approved used car and expect to have the service light come on 2 weeks later and have to spend almost £500 putting it right.   i would really appreciate some advice on next steps and perhaps who to escalate this to. Meantime the car is booked in for 2 weeks time to get the work done at the cheapest reputable place I could find.   Many, many thanks in advance
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Screwfix,Trade UK/Shoosmiths chasing Business a/c but no? Personal Guarantee


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Hi,

I'm looking at threads 411036, 281753 and 374505, which are closed. 

I have the same situation. 

 

I signed the attached document in October 2016 and resigned as a director (change of personal circumstances) in November 2016.

 

In August 2019 the company defaulted on their account and in November 2020 the Trade UK solicitor chased me for the payment. 

Of course, 3 years after I had left I knew nothing about the running of the account. 

To this date I had never been contacted personally by Trade UK, despite me being named on this document as the "Account Contact".

 

I had no idea I had signed a personal guarantee. 

I didn't provide any personal details other than my name and d.o.b,; and the for states that they "may search Experian" for verifying my identity. 

It doesn't make clear that this is a personal guarantee.

 

I don't see the outcome of any of the threads above - although one contributor says they made a settlement (but I believe their contract was worded slightly differently).

 

Can anyone advise on this?

Many thanks indeed in anticipation.

 

ScrewfixAccountApplication.jpg

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Just very briefly – you're quite right doesn't appear to be a personal guarantee – but then it does refer to terms and conditions which you agree is signatory that you have read and understood. Do those terms and conditions refer to a personal guarantee? Although I have to say I think that if you signed a personal guarantee then it should be much clearer.

The second thing which occurs to me is that at paragraph f. You have signed as a director. I'm not familiar with company law usual practice, but it suggests to me that they are obtaining a guarantee from a director and if that person is no longer a director – or if the company has been dissolved so that there are no directors any more, then I'm not sure that there is anybody that they can proceed against.

However, we would need more information about what exactly you have signed.

What is the value of the sum they are chasing?

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Thanks very much for your quick reply. 

 

The amount of their claim is nearly £3,500. 

The company is still running, I believe, but it is clearly struggling and I've had nothing to do with it for 4 years now.

 

Really sorry, but I don't have easy access to their Ts and Cs as they were at the time. 

They have probably changed since 2016. 

I could ask for them if it would make a difference.

 

Whilst I haven't accepted responsibility, I have negotiated with them (by begging!) so far to just over half of this amount... and I said I'd give a response by Monday. 

 

Whilst this is small fry in some terms, I am about to be made redundant so every penny counts; and morally I just find it so wrong.  They did 3 years of profitable trading with the business after I left; they have never contacted me in these 4 years until now; and I have never seen the goods they are asking me to pay for.

 

My concern is that I signed "For and on behalf of..." the company and I absolutely fulfilled my obligations in that regard for the one month since whilst I was a director.

 

Much appreciate your time.

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The amount of their claim is nearly £3,500

 

 

Claim ?   Have you received a court claim or just demands ?

 

Andy

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Thanks, Andy.

 

I have received a letter from their solicitor, who has been "instructed to seek recovery of the outstanding balance...".  Apologies if my legal terminology isn't good!  I guess this is a "demand" not a "claim".

 

I phoned to discuss and bleated about my not having appreciated that this was a personal guarantee.  After a couple of iterations we've reached a final offer for settlement from them, as described above.

 

Phil.

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Thanks ...so does this demand refer to a Letter before Claim or before Action or mention Pre Action Protocol ?

We could do with some help from you.

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Oooh! :)

 

Is says they "..are instructed to issue court proceedings with a view to obtaining a CCJ...".  However, it says their client "...would prefer to reach an agreement..." rather than do this, and they asked that I phone their office to discuss.

 

I took this to be an implication that they weren't 100% confident, though of course I didn't want to ignore this.  I phoned and asked if the solicitor thought they would accept £1000 - whilst not accepting responsibility, I wanted to test the waters and buy time, really, whilst I considered whether and how I might pay it.

 

Thanks again!

 

Phil

 

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Once again, you should understand that your question may be outside our experience and so you should treat what we say as "informed/intelligent guess".

However, it seems to me that if you have signed something on behalf of the company then I think that you are representing the company and not representing yourself. Also you signed as a director and once again that indicates to me that the agreement they have is with a company officer and not with you personally.

On that basis, in the absence of any company law to the contrary, I would say that you have not signed a personal guarantee. The piece of paper that you signed – because that's all it seems to be – doesn't have any other information. But of course, there may be some company law about this of which we are not aware.
Have you searched the Internet to see what a personal guarantee looks like? I suggest you do it. Find one or two or maybe even three examples and understand what are the common principles amongst them and the extent of the agreement. You might even like to link to 1 or 2 of them here on this thread.

 

However I'm not worried because you tell us that you have contacted the solicitors directly – and I believe that you did it on the phone, so you have no real record of the conversation – because presumably you didn't record it. (You should read our customer services guide).

But on the phone, I understand that you have reached some kind of agreement – although I don't know the extent of that agreement in terms of its binding nature. It is possible to reach agreements with people which are binding despite the fact that there is no writing.
It might be helpful to know more about the conversation. How was it left? Are you waiting some kind of written confirmation or something else that you have to sign?

Finally, I'm a bit concerned that even if you have only reached an agreement in principle which has yet to be finalised, you have left the solicitors with an expectation that they have agreed a certain settlement with you – and if you are now looking to renege on that agreement in principle, they aren't going to be very happy.

I don't say this to be critical of you. If you haven't signed a personal guarantee then I think that there is absolutely no reason why you should pay anything and I think there is no reason why you shouldn't renege on any agreement in principle – which at the end of the day has been achieved by a solicitor who presumably knows their way around this kind of thing and has lots of experience, against you who seems to have very little experience of this kind of thing and is clearly panicked.
This seems to me to be a very uneven match.

So the questions are –
was this really a personal guarantee? As far as I can see it wasn't.
Did your phone call result in a binding agreement? We don't know enough about it - but there is a strong chance that it did not if it was predicated on an agreement with you as a director and not on a personal guarantee.
If it was not a binding agreement but you then go back to the solicitors and say that you change your mind, they may start to get very nasty and so you should be very sure of your ground.





 

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Please note in the case of a LTD/PLC/LLP/LP Buisness this form should be signed by a Director.

 

You wasnt a Director was you of the company ?

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Thank you so much for your time.  You're spot on - I am very panicked, scared and stressed over it, especially under my current circumstances.

 

I initially replied as a knee-jerk reaction by email, which I headed with "Without prejudice" to try and protect my ignorance.  I was very careful not to commit either way, though, so I'm sure I haven't entered into any contract of settlement . It has to date been very informal - almost friendly. 

 

The solicitor has emailed their responses, but each time he has, he has invited me to phone to discuss and talks very informally.  At one time he agreed it "seemed unfair" in the conversation, whilst not stating it was wrong!  I also felt, until the latest email, that he was suggesting that there was more room for movement on their part and I that I should telephone to discuss it.

 

I also explained when I phoned that I wasn't sure of my legal position, which is why I was phoning, so that I couldn't be held to account for anything I put in writing.  I am sure he wouldn't be surprised if I said I didn't want to settle as I intended to refuse.

 

My own view is very much on the lines of what you're suggesting:

  • I absolutely don't believe this is a personal guarantee.  It is worded as "for and on behalf of" the company, and it asked for my position in the company - not my home address.  They said they would use Experian to verify my identity only, not my credit-worthiness.  They didn't request any personal info other than d.o.b..  I don't think that any Ts and Cs could over-ride this, surely?
  • However, I do feel they have been very "reasonable" in nearly halving their settlement amount and I definitely don't want to jeopardise this unless I'm absolutely 100% certain that the law is on my side.
  • I am very concerned that as soon as I question my liability they will withdraw their offer and add further charges / actions.
  •  

I'm attaching a section from a similar trade agreement I signed which account, thankfully is ok.  It's so different!

 

Thanks again.

 

Phil

 

 

 

SamplePersonalGuarantee.jpg

 

Hi Andy,

Sorry, I missed your question whilst replying to BankFodder.

 

Yes, I was a director, but I could see it wasn't going to generate the millions I'd been promised, so when I was offered another job at 4x the salary I resigned and left. 

 

This was only a month after I had signed the agreement with Trade UK, but it wasn't intended to happen as such.

Thanks

 

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Screwfix / Trade UK Personal Guarantee

Hi- have a lot of experience in this currently , my first point is you signed on behalf of a company , - I shall dig out the relevant ‘elpin’ case law , which is why that is not a personal signature - 

 

and as such does not meet the s4 statute of frauds 1677 meaning it is not a guarantee 

 

that must be in writing and signed (in a personal capacity 

 

If I was in your shoes (although unless you have other evidence ) I would not be paying this , and I think the solicitor is trying it on 

 

give me 10 minutes and I’ll get the relevant case law - I do not recognise this as a personal guarantee , in my unqualified opinion 

 

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Elpis Maritime Co . Limited v Marti Chartering co.inc (1992) 1.A.C.21 

 

The issue was whether a guarantor had signed as a charter party not in his personal capacity but ‘on behalf of’ a company had any bearing on the enforceability of the guarantee under s4 of the statute of frauds 1677.

 

House of Lords held that if a guarantor had signed solely in his capacity as an agent of the company , then he was not party to the charter party at all , and a prior oral agreement (I’m assuming there is no proof of a prior oral agreement) between the parties had not been subsumed in the relevant clause of the charter party, therefor no written or signed agreement of the guarantee under s4 .

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Thanks ever so much, Moss41.  That's really encouraging.

 

I am tempted to phone their solicitor and "innocently" state that I have been advised the above Elpis case law, asking his opinion.  I imagine he will either refute out of hand or suggest I put it in writing for him to take to his client.  If he refutes I'm tempted to pay the £1800.

 

Referring to the other topics I listed in my first email, Trade UK seem to play hard-ball.

 

What do you think?  Should I be more forceful and risk (1) my own legal fees and (2) their original settlement + fees being imposed?

 

Cheers,

Edited by RS200Phil
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you should not ever be using the phone!!

should this case progress to the regulators or to court, you have no paper trail of what was ever said or threatened.

 

write by royal mail only getting free proof of posting from any PO counter.

 

have you actually received one of these and the reply pack?

 

 

 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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i agree with dx100uk,

 

i this still general contact, or have you received a letter before action or pre action protocol pack? 

if you have received a pack i would be responding to it in writing etc for a paper trail.-always respond in writing

 

£3500 small claims, so little cost to defend, and there are , apart from the most useful defence i gave you, others like the Etridge priciples etc- 

 

but for me its a cut and dry elpis case, and i feel unless they have any other evidence, i would simply write back, something along the lines of 

 

-ive sought legal advice

- this does not constitute a guarantee under 'Elpis' statute of frauds etc and explain why

-ask them under what legislation are they relying on that would make this a personal guarantee, as it does not meet the criteria under s4 f the statute of frauds?

 

at this point i would still be writing in a friendly way, politely pointing out its failings in claim and inviting them to explain or demonstrate why you are not correct in your understanding?

 

you must make all decisions that suit your circumstances, whether you want to negotiate , play hard ball etc 

everyone is different

 

and dont under estimate how aggressive they can get, dont get bullied, when their case is weak or unenforceable, they will go strong to beat you down , as its their only really successful way of getting any money out of you.

 

im finding alot of creditors using court claims, merely as a form of debt recovery strong arming, when they dont actually have much success of winning for various reasons.

 

courts are for genuine, enforecable claims-, which can be confirmed , discovered in the pre action stages, not for people to abuse court systems to make people pay, hoping a court letter will scare them (they dont actually intend on making it to court)

 

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Thanks very much both!  I take so long to reply I get another response in the meantime.  Between you all you have given me the confidence to go for it, scary as it is.

 

I think because of the morals of the case - insofar as they know the supply and default happened 3 years after I left; and they never contacted me (I suspect they tried and were told I had left) - I feel comfortable with this approach.

 

I'll get it sent over the weekend.

 

Compliments of the season to all.  So appreciate you kindly taking the time to share your knowledge and experience.

 

Phil

 

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Well keep us updated. And start recording your calls – read our customer services guide. It's essential in all your dealings with any company – not just this lot

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i know weve seen a few screwfix claims here but i dont think we've lost to date

 

can we just confirm WHAT you receive was NOT a letter of claim as per my example

and that the solicitors stated client is screwfix please on their letters and not some powerless debt buyer too..

 

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Sorry, dx100, I didn't reply to your question as I wasn't quite sure how!

 

It doesn't explicitly state that it is a Letter of Claim, but it does seem to fulfil the requirements of such, in accordance with the link provided, so maybe this is what it is.

 

Either way, I was proposing to respond as follows, after an initial warm introduction:

 

The outcome of my legal advice is that I did not sign in a personal capacity, but as clearly stated on the form “for and on behalf of” and the business name is given as “xxxxx Ltd”.  This does not constitute a personal guarantee under s4 of the statute of frauds 1677, as referenced by the Elpis Maritime Co. Limited case.

 

I am attaching the relevant section of the Trade UK form, demonstrating that:

 

1.      The “Trade Account Card Agreement” is made explicitly in the name of the business;

2.      The form is explicitly “Signed for and on behalf of” the company and that company is named as xxxxLtd;

3.      The guarantee in section (f) of the conditions is to guarantee, as a director, the performance of the company.  Records demonstrate that whilst I was a director I fully complied with this guarantee.  The account was not at issue until 3 years after I ceased to be an employee or director of xxxLtd;

4.      The form states in section (e) that the Experian credit reference agency may be used to verify my identity. The implication of this I took at the time to mean it was absolutely NOT a personal reference of credit worthiness, and thus not a personal guarantee.

 

I am also attaching a copy from a section of a competitor’s credit application form.  This form is explicit and unambiguous in being a personal guarantee.  I would expect the same from Trade UK.

 

Now that I am confident of my legal status, I intend to defend my position.  I now consider the proposed action to be not only morally unjustifiable, but legally so.

 

The enclosures are the two images I attached earlier in this thread.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks ever so much again.

 

Phil

 

SolicitorsLetter.pdf

 

I meant to add that my name is stated on the agreement as being the account contact. 

 

In the 4 yours since I left - indeed up to now - I have never received any communications from Trade UK. 

 

Surely they must have tried calling the "Account contact" and been told that I left years ago? 

 

Is that relevant?

 

Thanks

Edited by RS200Phil
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I would imagine , that have run out of avenues to Chase other people and are now , Extending  demands to you ,  

 

If it was me , I would be standing my ground and sending the letter informing them , that there is no personal guarantee , and with out proper evidence of such (which has currently not been provided in there documents/unless there are others we haven’t seen  )  , to cease and desist collection activity 

 

but it’s All about what you are comfortable With , I wouldn’t say that letter is too demanding - they want contact and a payment plan, ccj talk mere threats right now , to scare you 

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thread tidied PDF in your last post .

i would say as this is shoos and they are quite aware of the pre action protocol, that that is not a letter of claim.

it's a cleverly worded threat -o-gram.

 

can i just additionally check, they indicate they included a reply form

i post it earlier in our PAPLOC reply link 

but was there a reply form included like the one i've attached below

 

 

 

 

reply form pap.pdf

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Screwfix,Trade UK/Shoosmiths chasing Business a/c but no? Personal Guarantee

urm...

not par chance in scotland are you?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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