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Hi, can you help, my wife a self employed fitness teacher , has run up debits with halifax overdraft, credit card, personal loan, mothercare store card, jjb store card, index account, abbey credit card, argos store card, several book clubs and goodness knows what else. I am getting calls from a debit collections agency who will not speak to me and she will not speak to them. She belives that if she ignores it it will go away, and will not discuss it with anyone.

Our house is with the abbey but it is and always has only been in my name, All of her agreements are in her name ( I belive ) what am I liable for , can they take action against the house or me for my wifes debt. What is the best way to get her to understand the situation she is in and how can she get out of it

Many Thanks in Advance

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You should try and get them to stop ringing your house. Tell them once, not

to call again, and if they do, put the phone down on them-do not engage in

any dialogue with them.

If your wife refuses to deal with them despite your requests that she does,

it may be that you should put a note of disassociation on your credit file,

so that your creditworthiness is unaffected by her record.

I may be wrong and if so, perhaps others could correct me, but even though

you are married, the debts incurred are your wifes' alone, so your house cannot have an attachment order applied for instance, as the house is in

your name only.

However it may well be a very frightening period for her and her refusal to

tackle the problem may be confirmation of that fear, so while it will be a

distressing period for you both, she is the one with the greater problems

and would probably benefit from your support.

For instance you could suggest to her that when people run into trouble

on their accounts, companies normally apply very high punitive charges-which

are unlawful, and reclaimable. If you offered to help reclaim those charges

[and how to do it is contained within the Forum]and by thus reducing the

amount she owes, it may help to bring her round to the idea of taking some

sort of action herself.

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Good advice so far. I'd take lookinforinfo's line of thinking one step further and write to the companies who are calling you all the time, saying that you consider their constant calls harassment as defined under the Harassment Act 1997 and that you demand all future communication is directed to you in writing. I'd consider buying a telephone recording device as well (about £10 from Maplins) so that if they do persist, you have evidence of this. Also, if you tell them that the call is being recorded they are likely to end it very quickly as debt collection agencies frequently break the law and are unlikely to want this recorded.

 

Now, as far as the debts themselves are concerned I highly recommend your wife visits the Citizens Advice Bureau to talk through her problems. Not only will they help her devise a payment plan based around her budget (which the companies are very likely to accept) but they will also get them all to stop pursuing the debt for a month or so while payment arrangements are made.

 

Also, a lot of unlawful charges are likely to have been added on to these various accounts, as it seems common practice for debt collection agencies to add on whopping great fees, despite the fact they have no legal right to do so. You can force them to remove these, though it will be a bit of a struggle. The first thing to do is to write to all her creditors under the Data Protection Act asking for a list of all the charges that have been applied to her account. There's a template letter here - it's designed for claiming such charges back from banks but you can adapt to suit your purposes: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/516-1-data-protection-act.html

 

Which legal argument you should use to get the charges back from a debt collection agency depends on whether or not there is a clause in your contract with the original service provider that says they can charge you collection fees if the account goes overdrawn. Even if there is, you can still get the charges knocked off but on a different point of law:

 

1) If there is such a clause, they must be able to demonstrate that the charges are a reasonable reflection of their costs, otherwise they are unlawful and thus unenforceable. It is unlikely that they will be able to justify a £30 charge for a couple of automated letters as being a reasonable reflection of their costs. There's a specific legal process you need to follow in this instance, which I'll go into if it arises.

 

2) If there is no such clause, they cannot add any collection charges whatsoever. Not a penny.

 

To establish which argument you are going to take, you need to see a copy of the original contracts. You are entitled to do so by law, provided you submit your request in writing and enclose a £1 fee. It is a criminal offence for them not to supply you with these documents within 30 days of the request. Furthermore, if they do not have them the debt is unenforceable anyway. There is a template letter for this here - letter N is the one you need: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-bailiffs-advice/20758-creditors-dcas-letter-templates.html

 

Finally, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a copy of every letter you send along with proof of postage. You can get a certificate of postage free from the post office and a judge will assume that the letter was received if you present him with this.

 

Debt is frightening but there are many things your wife can do to reduce the problem and she is not alone. She does need to take an active role in tackling it though, or things will get worse not better.

 

Keep us updated and we'll try to help as you go along with this.

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

If you found my post helpful, please click the scales on the left.

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Maybe you could also ask her to send them all a letter of authority so that you can talk to them on her behalf and you can maybe take some pressure off her?

[COLOR=blue][B]Defaultless since 2012 :)[/B][/COLOR][COLOR=green][/COLOR]

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step one would be to fill in an income & expenditure form. this is also called a personal budget sheet or a statement of means. for all intents and purposes it is the same thing. The form allows you to list what income you have and then all the essential costs you need to live on each month such as mortgage payment, housekeeping, utility bills, tv licence, travelling expenses etc.

 

any money left over is called the surplus, you then need to take from that any priority debts that you might have (council tax, utility bills, any court fines or judgments etc)

 

if you have any left over after that, this is to be used for your non-priority credits (credit debts etc). you divide this up on a pro-rata basis amongst your creditors (the people you owe the most to will get the biggest share - it's fair and equitable that way).

 

you can find sample letters to write to your creditors on National Debtline, for FREE CONFIDENTIAL and INDEPENDENT ADVICE call 0808 808 4000 or if you have a high surplus you could consider using a free debt managment plan from payplan or cccs.

 

there may be other options too, so give cccs or national debtline a call.

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Your wife is self employed and owns no property. Thus even if she is multiple CCJ'd there would be little chance of any effective enforcement action provided the usual precautions against bailiffs were taken. In addition to the good advice given above I, as someone who has been in your wife's debt incurring marital position:mad:, would strongly urge a bit of sympathy. Preservation of your relationship should be the absolute number one priority.

"Why CCJ when you can CCA!"

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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,

 

BUT, as you're married, it's irrelevent who's name the house is in and who is paying the mortgage, she is entitled to a share by law. The size of the share depends on a number of factors, the biggest being, Did you solely own the house before you married ?, if so, what was its value when you married ? Your wife is entitled to a half share of whatever the difference is in value between then and when you either sell the house or split up.

 

The creditors can and probably would get a charging order on her share of the property, however, they would have great difficulty forcing a sale as the debts are not in your name, and it would be unfair to you.

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong,

 

BUT, as you're married, it's irrelevent who's name the house is in and who is paying the mortgage, she is entitled to a share by law. The size of the share depends on a number of factors, the biggest being, Did you solely own the house before you married ?, if so, what was its value when you married ? Your wife is entitled to a half share of whatever the difference is in value between then and when you either sell the house or split up.

 

The creditors can and probably would get a charging order on her share of the property, however, they would have great difficulty forcing a sale as the debts are not in your name, and it would be unfair to you.

 

that is true, you would have to prove there was no beneficial interest.

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the bottom line here is face your demons....hiding away solves nothing other than letting them get away with murder....debt is nothing to be ashamed of and is perfectly controllable if you take steps to sort it out...

do not start thinking about loosing your house, you can control this debt but you need to take action now...

i am not saying its going t be easy but its a lot easier than lying awake all night with worry!!

the advice about sitting down with a pen and paper and writing it all down is the first and biggest step to getting over this...

remember its only money, you still have a brilliant life ahead of you when you get this tempory problem under control, stick together and help each other over this blip in life...you will look back soon and think god what was that all about...and i worried!!!

there is a lot of excellent advice above this post and all over this site, many have been before you and i have no doubt many will follow...get it sorted you CAN do it..good luck 007:)

"ALWAYS QUOTE ME AS BEING MISQUOTED" :D

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