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    • Is there any paperwork authorising you that Barclays will accept othe than a PoA? HB
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      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Scammed - left with £40k of debts I can no longer pay


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Hello! 

First timer on here, discovered this amazing site and threads on debt issues only yesterday.

After never having a bad debt in my life, almost 2.5 years ago I was scammed by my now-ex partner who calculatingly manipulated me into taking out a bounceback loan, 2 personal loans and a credit card. 

He took all the money via ruthless deception, every penny, as well as the car (bought with unsecured personal loan) and all my furniture, personal belongings and even most of my clothes as well.  I'd packed up my life to move to another part of the country with him, only to discover he'd scammed me and been clever about it, so he directed the removal truck to a location unknown to me (never saw my stuff again!), and car is registered into someone else's name.  All this happened abroad.

I have won a criminal case against him abroad and he has been given a custodial sentence (which he is appealing while on bail), but it is difficult to get financial reparation so I am left with over £40k of debt to my name in the UK.   

I am in my mid-50s, and have no assets whatsoever, I still live abroad (renting) and cannot afford to return to live in the UK due to the debts and decreasing income. It's been devastating and I've been struggling enormously since it happened (Jan 2022). . I have been suicidal at times.

I was making combined loan/cc payments of £1300 monthly for over two years, but I'm self-employed (sole trader) and my UK-based small business has suffered 70% loss of income since Oct 2023 due to changes affecting government funding for the market I provide services to.  My income is commission-based, and has reduced to an average of £1200 per month.

As I currently live abroad (outside EEU), I am not resident in the UK for tax purposes and haven't been for more than 3 years (my work is done remotely outside the UK, even though my clients are in the UK and payment is received into my UK bank account).  That means I am not entitled to an IVA or bankruptcy options.  My only option in terms of a debt repayment solution is a DMP.

I maintain a UK correspondence address (my mother's home) and use this for my bank account, loans, credit cards etc.  I have only informed HSBC (bank acc) and one loan company that I moved abroad and that the UK address is only a correspondence address (been scared of potential consequences of informing them, even though I don't know what they could be or if there would be any).

My worst fear is being taken to court, bankruptcy, etc, and my bank account and income being controlled and all surplus income above basic needs being taken etc, when I literally have almost nothing in life at this stage and desperately want to try to rebuild my life somehow and have some normality again.  Perhaps even move back to the UK if I can afford to.

I've contacted all my creditors except cc (it's an HSBC card so am concerned it would affect my bank account with them.  I also bank abroad with HSBC and have global-linked accounts with them). 

All interest has been stopped on my loans since April (period of 4 months on two loans, 6 months on bounceback loan with Pay As You Grow option agreed).  Continued so far to pay at least minimum payment on HSBC credit card. 

I spoke to PayPlan yesterday and they've worked out a DMP paying £289.50 per month for 11 yrs 7 months, with annual reviews - not signed up to it yet, and concerned about customer reviews I've read about them demanding double payments a year or so down the line and not making payments to the creditors for long periods, etc.  Frightens the life out of me trusting them with the limited money I have - I don't want to go out of the frying pan into the fire in terms of stress that could last years, going by some of the horror story reviews.

Considering the DIY DMP option, dealing directly with my creditors myself.  But not even sure going down the DMP route is the best option.  What do I gain from doing that? Sounds like I will still end up with an arrears or even a default record on my credit file even with a DMP, and I will be paying money I really need to help me get my life back on track, especially as I don't even have a full state pension entitlement - would be better used to pay missing years into that, surely, if I do have some surplus?  Either way, with or without a DMP, I won't be able to borrow so how would a bad credit score affect me anyway?  Seems like it could be best to allow them to go to default in the hope that it can all be SB-ed after 6 years.

At this early stage, I know I will benefit from advice here about what route to go down and pros & cons/risks etc of:

a) DMP with PayPlan
b) DIY DMP
c) Going down the default route in hope of debts being sold to DCA and not paying anything further with result that it is all SB-ed after 6 years.

Struggling to pay off the loans for the next 11 years @ £289.50 seems daunting and such a long time, when I really need every penny to restart my life, regain some dignity, restore my mental health etc...

I hope someone here help me make the right decision at this point, before I've committed to anything or have paid lots of money for years with little dent into the loans....

Details :

HSBC Bounceback Loan (unsecured):  taken Dec 2021, original amount £9000, 2.5%.  Currently owe £4950.  Monthly payment:  £159.  Not missed any payments, but agreed PAYG option in April - full holiday for 6 mths, restart payments at £73.00 in October, term extended to 2030.

TSB personal Loan (unsecured) - taken Aug 2021, original amount £23,000, 9.2%.  Monthly payment £475.  Currently owe £14,550.  Missed 2 payments. Interest stopped since April, no payments offered or made.  Situation to be reviewed prior to default - which will be after 4 missed payments).

Sainsburys personal Loan (unsecured) - taken Jan 2022, original amount £25,000, 8.6%.  Monthly payment £514.  Currently owe £14000.  Missed 2 payments.  Interest stopped since April, made 1 payment of £50.00 on 7 May (offered to pay £50/month until situation reviewed prior to default - which will be after 4 missed payments).

HSBC credit card APR 18.9% - £6900 currently owing, continuing to pay at least minimum payment (£180/month), not contacted them so far.

Applied for Starling bank account, as advised by PayPlan to have a separate a/c from my HSBC one as they would have the right to take money from my account to pay off my HSBC cc debt if I stopped paying that.

Sorry this is so long and a big thank you for reading down to the end!  I hope the detail helps with advising me on best course of action and possible/likely consequences.

 

 

 

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3rd one seems the best option, let 'em default, don't pay a penny, nothing will happen, forget about all of this.

As for Payplan don't touch them with a bargepole, nothing they can do that you can't, and they will pocket fees.

A do it yourself DMP is pointless as it will just string out the statute barred date to infinity.

We could do with some help from you.

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Agreed, let them default.

Keep everything in writing, if they ring to discuss the accounts over the phone, simply say 'everything in writing please', and hang up.

They'll soon get the message.

Get all of your paperwork in order too, if you haven't got any, or are missing relevant documents, then you can SAR the original creditor, which is free and they have 30 days to supply the info.

Keep a diary of events too.

sit back and relax, YOU'RE in control, not them.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks for your prompt reply.

I have some questions, please:

When you say nothing will happen, my 80 year-old mother is worried about potential DCA doorsteppers if/when the debts are sold on - she is a very sweet, quite vulnerable lady and she is worried she may be bullied and harrassed.  If they do come knocking, what should she say?  I told her to say she knows nothing about any of it and they have no right to come knocking on her door and to warn them police will be informed if they come back.  Problem is, I don't think she would be strong enough and can easily be bullied into saying more than she intended once the door has been answered.

Next questions:

1)  Should I inform all my lenders that I have moved abroad before defaulting (to avoid the quirky English law loophole thingy that could end up in a CCJ or worse once a DCA gets hold of it)? 

2)  Can/should I provide an alternative UK correspondence address to my lenders instead of my mother's home address e.g. my virtual office address for my business - would the lenders accept this as I live abroad now and don't live at my mother's address?  Can I just write and tell them, without any further ado and not get into any further questions about it and cease further correspondence with them and default?  And would this stop DCAs coming to my mother's house as it would not be my current residential address on the lenders files when passed to the DCA?  Do they doorstep previous addresses?

3)  If I don't provide a UK correspondence address will I be at risk of not being aware of any Letters of Claim etc and legal proceedings notices etc not reaching me (there's no reliable postal system in the developing country I've moved to).  Worried this would mean I could end up being taken to court without being aware of it and could end up in a worse situation.

2) What exactly will go on my credit file once I've defaulted, assuming no legal action is taken against me?   

4) Should I contact any of my lenders and inform them I have zero assets.  TSB & Sainsburys already have I&E info from me which shows my income  @ £1200/mth is below the combined total of my debt repayments £1300/mth and that my income only just covers essential costs of living @ £1200/mth.  Could it be useful to be on my file that I have no assets, so that the DCA clearly see this when the debt is passed to them?

Thanks again for any advice.

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no DCA is a bailiff end of

neither do they have any legal powers whatsoever.

i would write to everyone simply giving your current abroad address , inc proof of residency.

that will stop all threats going to anywhere else.

 

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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Thanks to you both, I will go ahead an inform them of my address abroad.

Does living abroad and having zero assets in the UK make it less likely a DCA will take legal action to recover the debt?  I know you say DCAs don't have any legal powers but they can instruct solicitors and bring a case against me so I'd end up with the courts on my back - how likely is that given all my debts above?

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Even you lost a court case, there is quite literally nothing they can do, if you have no assets. They certainly have no way of chasing you abroad, other than a few letters.

We could do with some help from you.

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 I have a 5 year rental contract registered in the court abroad, will that suffice as evidence of living abroad?  Apart from that, I just have a residency card which is issued and renewed every 6 months, they don't give me longer than that.

I thought the debt could incur fees and added costs once it's in the court process and end up being more over time?  And that the court can order you to pay in full or in instalments - what if they order that and I can't/don't pay? 

Are there any legal consequences other than having an unsettled CCJ on your credit file?

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If you're not in the UK why should it matter?

 

Even if they did get a CCJ, they can't enforce it without going through a load of hoops 

We could do with some help from you.

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2 things they could do if they managed to get a CCJ and you didn't make an arrangement to pay either in installments or a lump sum.

1. Put a charging order on your property but you don't own one

2. Send Bailiffs, but you don't live here

So it will go on your Credit file for 6 years and after that it will drop off.

We could do with some help from you.

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I just worry because I might want to return at some point in the future and not sure if that would mean coming back to a whole world of pain with court stuff I haven't dealt with. 

Not sure what timescale there is for them taking court action - if it didn't happen within a year, is that the end of it?  I doubt I will be returning to live here before 1 year's time, but I might want to in the future if I can afford it.  

DX: Thanks, sounds like the most important thing is for me to inform them is that I now live abroad and that I have zero assets.

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Well I have none, so I think me telling them would be a proactive preventive step to "help" them weigh up whether to proceed with court action. 

Doubt they would do so if they knew it was a waste of time because I own nothing they can send bailiffs to or put a charging order on.

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6 years from date of DN/Last Payment to take you to court.

 

Further 6 years to enforce the CCJ.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks, good to know. 

Is it best to engage with them once court proceedings begin?

  I've noticed advice on the thread saying ignore everything until Letter of Claim or notice of proceedings

- so that suggests there is something I could do before/when that happens that is important?

Would like to know what those actions/options are for me to take at that stage, to factor into my decision now weighing up the risks etc.

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no need to do anything before a letter of claim, then you can come here and we will help you. Most of these debts are sold on for a few pence in the pound to DCA's, who will try and make you think that they have legal powers. Ask yourself the question why so cheap?

We could do with some help from you.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks very much, would just be reassuring to know I still have options at that point, and can avert anything nasty if needs be? 

so that means they still have another 6 years to enforce a CCJ even after the debt has been SB-ed?

Edited by Expat101
change sentence to make more sense
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you seriously need to read up here then you'd know these answers.

and TBH you are panicking about a nothing burger.

the process they must follow is:

send a letter of claim.

ASK northants bulk to raise a court claim.

IF IF IF you lose and a judgement CCJ is granted, THEN they have 6yrs to enforce said judgement, but ofcourse this is a debt regulated by the consumer credit act so there is NO right of forced entry even if they do return to court within 6yrs from judgement and again ASK the court to send bailiffs out.

as for statute barring, the 6yrs SB starts ticking from the issuance date of the default notice+14 days or from the date of YOUR last payment/use of the credit...whichever is the LATER.

the issuance of a court claim (regardless to if it progresses anywhere) stops the SB clock.

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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Not sure about this, but as I understand it, when a court claim is issued, a validation check of some type is done on the defendant's address?

If the address is outside jurisdiction, then a claim can't even be set up?

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

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It's possible, either way the OP's level of worry is far far higher, than any consequences.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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