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HELP - Threatened with court

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Hey, this is my first post here so I hope it is in the right place.

 

I recieved a phonecall this morning from 1st Credit - collecting on behalf of First Direct. I owe them three hundred odd pounds and the guy on the phone this morning said that if I did not pay £60 today then they would take the matter to court, this is my last chance as I have defaulted before etc. He also made it known that 1st Credit are also collecting another debt for First Direct for £2100 and one for Vanquis for £375 which would also go to court, although I have not even known till today that these accounts were uhnder 1st Credit control.

 

The thing is I dont have £60 until my benefits go in the bank on 15th Jan 2006, and even then I am £30 overdrawn at the minute, so that will come out first. I told 1st credit that there would be cash there on the 15th and they could happily take it then, but he said today or court. He said borrow it from your friends or family, to which I replied it was silly to try to borrow more money I cant afford to pay back, as that is why a DCA are handling my account at present - I think that piseed him off?!

 

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly where to look for help on these forums, so I was wandering if someone could point me in the right direction. I have tried to browse myself and I keep seeing lots of posts mentioning SAR's, but what are SAR's and how can they help me?

 

And where are 1st Credit getting my debts from? are they contacting everyone I owe money to and asking for my debts? can they just take on all my debts and demand money?

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This is ridiculous. Read through the OFT's guidelines on debt collection and you'll see how much of a muppet this guy is.

 

Examples:

 

falsely implying or stating that civil proceedings will be taken, that civil

action has been started or that a court judgment has already been obtained

 

 

pressurising debtors to sell property or to raise funds by further

borrowing

 

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

to increase payments when they are unable to do so

 

failing to refer on reasonable offers to pay by instalments

 

 

Subject Access Requests entitle you to a full disclosure of ALL information relating to you and your account with the company in question. You need to modify the template letter in the library to suit your situation (as it's intended for banks) and enclose a £10 cheque/PO for the stat. fee. Send it Special Delivery. They have to, by law, provide you with a copy of everything they hold on you within 40 days (+2 for postage). It's useful in situations such as yours because it lets you follow the paper trail of your account and see precisely what they are trying to charge you for, who owns the debt itself, etc. All this info lets you decide whether their actions are unlawful.


-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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This must have been very distressing for you and the amount they are asking for is way too high for someone on Benefits anyway.

 

How old are the debts ?

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I must admit the debts are probably about 4 years old but cant remember exactly. And since then I moved house and admitedly tried to lose the debts, but alas they have caught up with me albeit now under 1st Credit.

 

I was young and foolish at the time and new to credit, so had a few overdrafts and loans and never paid for them, oblivious to the difficulties it could/would put me in now.

 

I was very worried this morning (still am), and also frustrated as I'd been awake all night in pain with toothache, so might not of been the politest recipient to a DCA demanding phonecall this morning.

 

What are the SARs I keep reading about? and can they help?

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...not that I want to repeat myself...

 

From post 2:

 

Subject Access Requests entitle you to a full disclosure of ALL information relating to you and your account with the company in question. You need to modify the template letter in the library to suit your situation (as it's intended for banks) and enclose a £10 cheque/PO for the stat. fee. Send it Special Delivery. They have to, by law, provide you with a copy of everything they hold on you within 40 days (+2 for postage). It's useful in situations such as yours because it lets you follow the paper trail of your account and see precisely what they are trying to charge you for, who owns the debt itself, etc. All this info lets you decide whether their actions are unlawful.

  • Haha 1

-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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...not that I want to repeat myself...

 

Sorry, didnt see the bottom of that post. Not having slept all night'll do that to you.

Thank you for the re-itteration though.

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SAR information is all details on all accounts held by them and should include Deed of Assignments from the original creditors, which they must have before they can legally collect on these accounts. If these documents are not available, then it is likely that the debts have been bought for a pittance and may not be legally enforceable. This will mean that what they are threatening to do is utter bowlarks anyway.

 

The SAR will cost you £10. Send it by recorded delivery and keep a copy of your request. They have 40 day in which to comply, as stated above and in the meantime, it will stop them from taking any further action against you.

 

As for the harrassing 'phone calls... there is a strongly worded letter in the templates library which you should send off to them (also by recorded delivery) asap. If they call again, insist that everything is put in writing and hang up... they will try and feed you all kinds of cr*p about what they can do and will do, blah, blah... Ignore it.

 

Chin up.. we have all been through it, or are still going through it on here. :)

  • Haha 1

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Did I read in your earlier post that you are on benefits ? If you are then there is no way you should be paying large amounts of money to these people. The amount of benefit you get is the minimum amount the government deams you need to live on. There is nothing left to pay debts. If I were you, I would send than an I & E form showing how little money is left each week and offer token payments of £1.

Believe it or not, sometimes it is to your advantage to go to court, as often the courts are more understanding and can see that you can only afford the offered amount.

Good luck and post back if you need help with the I & E.

  • Haha 1

Pam.

 

If anything I've said helps you then please feel free to tip my scales!

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Guest Zooman

Debt is really simple, and easily sorted. To sum debt up I use this:

 

  • You owe it.
  • You have to pay it.
  • You can only pay what you can afford.
  • You can not blood out of a stone.

All you have to do is write to them telling them how much you can afford and how you are going to pay it.

 

Do this today and I will read the copy and offer any help I can. Once they have this and you keep up the payments nothing more will happen.

 

Also it is very rare for DCA to take anyone to court, and even if they did the court would never make you pay more then you could afford per month/week.

 

Also at the risk of repeating myself OFT's guidelines on debt collection are just that guidelines and should you be using them to get you out of a hole you will come unstuck as no company in the DCA world follow them as they do not need to.

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S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) information is all details on all accounts held by them and should include Deed of Assignments from the original creditors, which they must have before they can legally collect on these accounts. If these documents are not available, then it is likely that the debts have been bought for a pittance and may not be legally enforceable. This will mean that what they are threatening to do is utter bowlarks anyway.

 

The SAR will cost you £10. Send it by recorded delivery and keep a copy of your request. They have 40 day in which to comply, as stated above and in the meantime, it will stop them from taking any further action against you.

 

As for the harrassing 'phone calls... there is a strongly worded letter in the templates library which you should send off to them (also by recorded delivery) asap. If they call again, insist that everything is put in writing and hang up... they will try and feed you all kinds of cr*p about what they can do and will do, blah, blah... Ignore it.

 

Chin up.. we have all been through it, or are still going through it on here. :)

 

OK, I've found the SAR template, but could anyone please help with rewording it for a DCA, as I obviously have no account no for a DCA, and I dont want statements (do I?)etc. :confused:

Dear Sir/Madam

 

 

ACCOUNT NUMBER: xxxxxxxxx (or multiple numbers if more than one account)

 

 

Please supply me with a complete list of transactions and charges relating to my banking history with your organisation. Alternatively, a complete set of statements for that period will be acceptable.

 

Additionally, where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my banking business with you.

 

If you are unable to supply this data because there has been no such manual intervention, then please be so kind as to confirm this in your response.

 

I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10. You have 40 days in which to comply. Furthermore, if I discover that you have levied disproportionate penalties against me, then I shall be reclaiming them, and also reclaiming the enclosed £10 Data Protection Act subject access request fee.

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return. However, please note that the above address is the one which you normally use to communicate my private business to me and which you have hitherto found to be acceptable.

I would be happy to collect the Data from my local branch.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

Also where do I find the template letter mentioned about telephone harrasment. I cant see it in the CAG library - or am I totally missing it?

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Hi again,

 

I think all you need do is remove the word "banking" from the 1st paragraph. I would leave the rest as it is and let them give you what they allegedly have on you.

 

I also removed the final sentence from my own docs. because I would not be happy to pick them up from the nearest branch which is some 15 miles away, but it is entirely up to you to leave it in or take it out.

 

The harrassment letter is somewhere in the templates section.... hopefully someone will come along and give you a direct link. Meanwhile, I will see if I can find it... :)

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It's in the BANK TEMPLATES LIBRARY

 

heading : Harrassment by telephone - response letter

 

:) Keep scrolling down and you will find it.

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Many thanks for your time Priority One, I'll get those done tonight and posted first thing in the morning

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