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Debt Managers Ltd - Offer of discount after settlement made


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My daughter received a letter from Debt Managers Ltd. pursuing an outstanding amount of £240 ish owed to Next. She telephoned DM yesterday and offered to pay by installments which they said they could not do because they were a debt collecting agency and not the client. She was able to settle in full with the help of a loan from the "Bank of Daddy".

Today she received a letter (posted before yesterday) from these people offering her a settlement opportunity- a discount of up to 25%. Whomever she spoke to yesterday must have known this letter was in the post and certainly made no mention of it.

She telephoned them today and was left on hold after being given a very patronising run down of how the British postal system worked.

 

Would she still be able to get any money back of DM and how would anyone suggest we go about doing it?

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Eek - I'm not sure of reclaiming the 25%, you could possibly call it bad practice. :| Try the angle below of pressure to pay in full - was this the first contact your daughter had with the debt collection company? Was she aware of the debt/had made offers to pay/had a payment plan with Next? Was DM Ltd actually working for Next, or had they bought the debt from Next?

 

This should act as a warning for anyone who receives a telephone call 'out of the blue' demanding full payment. No debt collector is allowed to insist on payment in full; they have NO POWER over you unless you let them in on a visit and/or sign something to say they can take away your goods.

 

OFT Guidelines

 

Physical/psychological harassment

2.5 Putting undue pressure on debtors or third parties, e.g. relatives, is considered

to be oppressive

Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

a. contacting debtors at unreasonable times and at unreasonable intervals.

b. pressurising debtors to sell property or to raise funds by further

borrowing

c. pressurising debtors by using more than one debt collection business,

either one after another or at the same time, resulting in repetitive and/or

frequent contact by different parties

d. pressurising debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments, or

to increase payments when they are unable to do so

e. making threatening statements or gestures which suggest harm to

debtors

f. disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and

continuing to make unjustified demands for payment

g. disclosing debt details to third parties, (especially neighbours relatives or

employers), unless legally entitled to do so

h. acting in a way likely to be publicly embarrassing to the debtor either

deliberately or through lack of care e.g. sending open correspondence to

a shared post box.

 

Deceptive and/or unfair methods

 

2.6 Dealings with debtors are not to be deceitful and/or unfair.

2.1 Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

a. contacting people speculatively by e.g. addressing correspondence 'to the

occupier' when there is doubt as to whether they are the debtor in question

b. obtaining details under false pretences e.g. leaving a note at a

suspected debtor’s home telling them to phone to arrange a suitable

time and date for delivery of a package. When they call, they are asked

to confirm their personal details and are then sent payment demands for

a debt

c. refusing to deal with appointed third parties, such as Citizens Advice

Bureaux

d. contacting debtors directly and bypassing their known appointed

representatives e.g. in an effort to deal with someone in a weaker position

e. failing to refer on reasonable offers to pay by instalments

f. not passing on money collected within a reasonable time and failing to keep

and provide details of payments made.

g. where a debt has been bought, failing to establish the details of the debt

history resulting in debtors sometimes being wrongly pursued.

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Not prepared to pay installments ? Sounds like a load of tosh from them in order to try and get the money quicker. I have been paying more than 1 debt collection company in installments for years.

 

As advised, do not deal with them over the phone. They say whatever suits them at the time and are totally unscrupulous.

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Thank you for your replies so far.

 

It would appear then that DM have breached OFT guide lines. What redress is there, if any. Would threatening to report them to the OFT be worth while? Indeed would reporting them to the OFT do any good?

 

 

edited: spelling

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...well, reporting to the OFT is a must. Whether it will get you, personally, anywhere is debateable. As I understand it, the OFT only act against a company once a certain amount of complaints have been received. So every complaint counts.

 

If you wanted to go down the court route, I don't think you would have much luck arguing the 25% offer side of things - the judge will probably see it as a debt that your daughter owed anyway which has now been paid in full.

 

However, the breach of guidelines, particularly the pressure aspect, could be deemed harrassment or intimidation. It depends on what was said in the phone call - can you put down near enough exactly what the woman on the 'phone said? She refused to accept installments - did she say anything about what they would do if your daughter didn't pay in full right away?

 

Any mention of prison, debt collectors forcing entry with police/locksmith, or anything like that, is not only intimidation but comes under another part of the guidelines, 'misleading as to legal authority'.

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