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Steady Pay income topup Loan - - CCJ threat Advice


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Hi I've received a threat of a CCJ if i didn't reply by the 12th January to their demands. I'm looking for advice on my next options I've included all correspondence so far.

 

I initially received the following email:

 

Quote

We are writing to notify you that we intend to register a County Court Claim against you on 12th January. This is to recover the outstanding balance of £499.

It's not too late to avoid this! Please get in touch ASAP so that I can help you.  

This is likely to result in a County Court Judgement (CCJ) being registered against you. If you are determined to be at fault, the CCJ will remain on your credit file for 6 years. This is viewed by banks and lenders and will affect your ability to obtain credit

 

I replied and advised I wasn't in a position to repay at the moment and offered a repayment of £20 per month which they flatly refused with the following reply:

 

Quote

We thank you for your offer, however this isnt going to be something we can accept, as it would take too long to resolve this matter. The monies has been outstanding for over 4 months. At the time you accepted our top up, you agreed to £170 monthly which should have first been paid on 20th September. 

We do understand that circumstances may have changed since you accepted our top up, so in order to try and resolve this matter we would be able to accept £100 monthly.

 

I then wrote a lenghtly formal complaint to the company:

Quote

My complaint is regarding the way that my account has been handed and SteadyPay’s breach of both the FCA guidelines and as it transpires the rules regarding Pre Action Protocol (PAP) for Debt Claims.

 

I will make clear that I will not be providing you with access to my bank account as there is no legal basis that you need this, as such you will not be obtaining this access regardless of the terms and conditions

 

Please note this complaint is made of several parts labelled A, B, C etc. 

 

A: I received your email from Daniel Wallace on Tuesday 5thJanuary 2020 which advised that you were giving me until the 12th January to repay the monies owed to you else you would proceed via the County Courts. 

I assume that this was supposed to constitute a Letter before claim/action yet has failed to follow the legal requirements in issuing such a letter. 

A letter before claim/action should include the following items: 

• a cover letter from the creditor. 

• a Statement of Account for the debt. (Not supplied)

• an Information Sheet. (Not supplied)

• a Reply Form. (Not supplied)

• a Financial Statement. (Not Supplied)

• a copy of any Default or Termination notice

The Cover letter should include the following: 

25aa.png

 The amount owed (Supplied)

25aa.png

 if interest and charges are being added (Not supplied)

25aa.png

 Details about the written agreement (its date and who the parties were) if there was one. It should also say that you can ask for a copy of the agreement (not supplied)

25aa.png

 if the debt has been assigned, the letter should give the date of the assignment and who it was assigned to (If applicable not supplied)

Details of how to professionally issue a Pre Acton letter can be found at the government website.

As we can see from the above and if you take the time to read the legislation surrounding Pre-Action protocol you have failed to supply all the relevant information as such a Court Claim would very likely be dismissed due to the failings of your company. 

 

B. SteadyPays failure to abide by the FCA Rules relating to Consumer Credit 

 

In my response to Daniel Wallace, I advised him that I was currently unwell, suffering the effect of Coronavirus this is in conjunction with some mental health issues. I advised him that I could stretch to repay £20 per month which, the response I received simply stated that “this isn’t something that can be accepted, as it would take too long to resolcethis matter. The monies has been (assume this should read have been) outstanding for over 4 months. At the time you accepted our top up, you agreed to £170 monthly which should have first been paid on 2th September. 

 

We do understand that circumstances may have changed since you accepted our top up, so in order to tey and resolve this matter we would be able to accept £100 monthly”.

 

I believe that SteadyPay are in breach of the following sections of the FCA Rules relating to arrears

 

CONC 7.2.2 01/04/2014 

Customers who have mental health difficulties or mental capacity limitations may fall into the category of particularly vulnerable customers.

CONC 7.3 Treatment of customers in default or arrears (including repossessions): lenders, owners and debt collectors

Dealing fairly with customers in arrears or default

CONC 7.3.2 G

When dealing with customers in default or in arrears difficulties a firm should pay due regard to its obligations under Principle 6 (Customers’ interests) to treat its customers fairly.

CONC 7.3.4 R 

A firm must treat customers in default or in arrears difficulties with forbearance and due cons

Examples of treating a customer with forbearance would include the firm doing one or more of the following, as may be relevant in the circumstances:

(1) considering suspending, reducing, waiving or cancelling any further interest or charges (for example, when a customer provides evidence of financial difficulties and is unable to meet repayments as they fall due or is only able to make token repayments, where in either case the level of debt would continue to rise if interest and charges continue to be applied);

[Note: paragraph 7.4 (box) of ILG]

(2) allowing deferment of payment of arrears:

(a) where immediate payment of arrears may increase the customer'srepayments to an unsustainable level; or

(b) provided that doing so does not make the term for the repayments unreasonably excessive;

(3) accepting token payments for a reasonable period of time in order to allow a customer to recover from an unexpected income shock, from a customer who demonstrates that meeting the customer's existing debts would mean not being able to meet the customer's priority debts or other essential living expenses (such as in relation to a mortgage, rent, council tax, food bills and utility bills).ideration.

CONC 7.3.6 G 

Where a customer is in default or in arrears difficulties, a firm should allow the customer reasonable time and opportunity to repay the debt.

CONC 7.3.7A G 

(1) If a customer is in default or in arrears difficulties, the firm should, where appropriate:

(a) inform the customer that free and impartial debt advice is available from not-for-profit debt advice bodies; and

(b) refer the customer to a not-for-profit debt advice body.

(2) A firm may refer the customer to a not-for-profit debt advice body by, for example, providing the customer with a copy of the current arrears information sheet under section 86 of the CCA, or with the name and contact details of a not-for-profit debt advice body or the Money Advice Service; or directly transferring the customer’s call to a not-for-profit debt advice body.

(3) In addition, the firm may provide the customer with the name and contact details of another authorised person who has permission for debt counselling, provided that to do so is consistent with the firm’s obligations under the regulatory system.

CONC 7.3.8 G 

An example of where a firm is likely to contravene Principle 6 and CONC 7.3.4 R is where the firm does not allow for alternative, affordable payment amounts to repay the debt due in full, where the customer is in default or arrears difficulties and the customer makes a reasonable proposal for repaying the debt or a debt counsellor or another person acting on the customer's behalf makes such a proposal.

CONC 7.3.9 

A firm must not operate a policy of refusing to negotiate with a customer who is developing a repayment plan.

CONC 7.3.10 R 

A firm must not pressurise a customer:

(1) to pay a debt in one single or very few repayments or in unreasonably large amounts, when to do so would have an adverse impact on the customer's financial circumstances;

(2) to pay a debt within an unreasonably short period of time; or

(3) to raise funds to repay the debt by selling their property, borrowing money or increasing existing borrowing.

CONC 7.3.18 R 

A firm must not threaten to commence court action, including an application for a charging order or (in Scotland) an inhibition or an order for sale, in order to pressurise a customer in default or arrears difficulties to pay more than they can reasonably afford.

I believe there are a number of sections of this legislation that SteadyPay would be in contravention to I will allow you to review the details of the legislation and provide your written response. 

 

C. I will reiterate my offer of a repayment plan of £20 per month paid on the 20th of each month, this is in line with my current affordability. 

 

Should SteadyPay still wish to proceed with Court Action, I would require all legally required documentation to be supplied to me. Details of our conversations will be entered into evidence to demonstrate SteadyPay’s failure to abide by FCA and Pre-Action Protocol legislation. It is my option that the courts would not look favourably on any business contravening rules to suit their own outcomes at detriment to customers. 

 

I will also be making representations to the press (Local and National) on the treatment that I’ve received so far by your company, during such a difficult time even after I had explained my personal circumstances. 

 

I look forward to receiving your confirmation that no action will be taken until this matter is resolved and that you will provide me with your payment details to enable me to setup a standing order to begin repayment to you in due course. 

 

 

Today I received a response to my complaint which was as follows :

 

Summary of your complaint

 

Starting off and ensuring we’ve got your concerns covered, we believe that your main concerns with SteadyPay are:

 

Issue 1: Pre-action Protocol

Issue 2: FCA breach

Issue 3: Repayment offer

Our response:

 

Pre-action Protocol

The email received on the 5th of January by my now former colleague Daniel was not meant to be taken as an LBA. It was an email to reach out and establish contact and should be taken as a warning of legal actions. As stated in the email when we urged you to contact us, further court actions are avoidable. Ultimately our goal is to be able to work with you in clearing out the outstanding balance.

 

But touching on the points that you have raised in regards to what is required before any court actions, I believe most if not all of them have been supplied already, both my email and by mail mid December to which you never responded - until now. I have attached the pdf file again for your reference.

 

2. FCA breach

 

You have mentioned that you are currently in financial difficulty but failed to provide any evidence to support that claim and refuse to reconnect your bank account in order for us to validate and determine an affordable repayment plan. 

 

We would like to point out that this amount does not include any fees or interest, it is simply what you borrowed. Not only that but we have yet to communicate the default to the Credit Bureau, which means your credit file has not have the negative marks added. Since you mentioned you worked in the industry, we would urge you to take a second and think about what that means for you, the consumer to not have to pay anything on top of what you got and not see the consequences of months of arrears on your credit file. We believe that is beyond treating our customer fair and ties in perfectly with forbearance example (1). 

 

3. Repayment offer

You have made an offer of £20 then £40 and then threaten to do the minimum of £1 and mentioned this is in line with your affordability and are unwilling to commit to more down the line or provide evidence of your affordability by leaving your bank account connected as per our Terms and Conditions

 

Your original repayment, to which you have agreed prior to receiving the top-ups was £170/month. We have accepted to reduce that to £100/month purely based on your statements. Any lower would require further evidence on your part.

 

What we’ve done to resolve your concerns

 

Now we’ve covered off our investigation and the causes why your concerns arose, we’ve carefully taken our time to consider what the most appropriate resolution to your concerns are. In resolving your complaint we’ve taken into account several factors, which includes the background to your concerns, the information we’ve been able to obtain, the root cause of the concerns. We’ve also outlined what our outcome is of our investigation.

 

Resolution [Pre-action Protocol]

The communication provided so far was was intended to be a warning of legal actions (pre-LBA).

 

Outcome: Not upheld

 

Resolution [FCA breach]

Based on the limited information you have provided, on the fact that the amount borrowed has remained the same and has not been inflated with interest or fees over time as it would normally with other lenders, despite being in arrears for months, and on the fact that the repayment plan offer was a reduction of almost 60% in the monthly instalment than what you have originally agreed to - we believe that we believe that we have not breached FCA rules relating to the Consumer Credit and have treated you, the consumer, fairly.  

 

Outcome: Not upheld

 

Resolution [Repayment Offer]

We have put together the following options, please let me know which one you would like to proceed with.

a. £100/month with no subscription fees - and we will not add any negative marks to your credit file such as the default

b. £45/month with subscription up to date - this will show goodwill gesture on your part and as such will allow us to extend the recovery time and we will also not add any negative marks to your credit file such as the default

c. £20/month - we will continue with the default but will not pursue the CCJ as long as the payments are kept

Outcome: Not upheld

 

What happens if you are still not happy?

 

Simple really. Let us know if you’re still not happy or you believe we’ve not considered all your concerns so we can dig a little deeper and try and resolve your concerns. If you’ve got more information that might help us in considering whether a change in the outcome is possible, please do share this with us. We’re ultimately here to help you. If we don’t think we can change the outcome we’ll let you know.

 

You also have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, free of charge – but you must do so within six months of the date of this letter. If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Ombudsman will not have our permission to consider your complaint and so will only be able to do so in very limited circumstances. For example, if the Ombudsman believes that the delay was as a result of exceptional circumstances.

 

I am wondering whether to just lump the £40 a month and juggle some bills or just pay the £20 and take the default. I haven't refused to provide them with details of my financial situation, I've simply refused to give them access to my bank account, they haven't asked for any further details.

 

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I think you need to start giving us details of the alleged debt including date, payments made, creditor, give us the whole story. It's really difficult to give any advice without that basic information.

I expect that my site team colleague @dx100uk will be along later more maybe tomorrow and we'll give advice but probably also ask for more information

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The creditor is Steadypay (Steadypay.co) they offer a revolving credit line which they analyse your monthly pay over 6 months and if you then get paid less provide a topup to cover any shortfall which is repaid over a number of months. 

 

The oustanding balance is £499 which i've not been able to pay since September due to a reduction in income, The original amount was around £700 so I've repaid around £200 so far. 

 

I've advised the company I was in a position to repay £20 a month for the time being (detailed in the original post) which they declined and wanted £100 as month, which is unafordable. 

 

I think the remaining details required are supplied in the original post or the correspondence received and sent to far. 

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why is this in the overseas forum?

as you or steadypay not in the UK?

 

dx

 

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 Steady Pay income topup Loan - - CCJ threat Advice

moved and re-titled.

 

don't give them back access to anything.

 

send one more email stating that all communication is now to be by letter only.

emails will now be blocked and ignored.

 

state your offer again, and request they give you their bank sort and account number and a ref number to enable your proposed payments and DO IT.

state you will review your financial situation in 6mts.

 

ring your bank tell them to cancel any Continuous payment authority to steady UK 

 

if/when you ever do get a letter of claim

 

comeback here.

 

dx

 

 

 

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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you don't have to get their permission...

just do as you say when you say.

 

you should always have been keeping up some form of payment even if as little as £10PCM to show willing.

having done that, it very much strengthens your position should you wish to escalate to say the FOS.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi 
 

I got the following response today.
 

Hi Jason,

I hope you are well.

Many thanks for your response.

Regarding the communication, as we are an online company, all communication will have to be kept online via emails unless notices are legally required to be sent via mail.

As you have accepted option c, we will proceed with adding the default on your credit file, but will cease with the CCJ as long as the payments are kept up. If at any point payments are missed, we will reserve the right to proceed with legal actions against you. To make sure that does not happens and that payments are made on time, we would require for a Direct Debit to be set up and collected asap. 


Are they legally required to reply by mail?

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It is you right to demand all comms by letter only

 

if you wish to reply.

simply state you have failed to give me your banking details

i will not be paying by dd sorry.

 

should you wish my payment proposals to start please supply them.

should you fail to do so, i will take this matter to the relevant authorities that govern you

 

YOu are reminded it is my right to request comms in writing only.

 

Dx

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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