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Thames Credit Ltd


clare_cat
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Hello,

 

I've just joined in the hope that someone can give me some advice.

 

About 10 or 11 years ago I ran up about £6000 in debts on a Barclaycard, and store cards, as well as a bank overdraft. This was a particularly bad time in my life (I almost had a nervous breakdown and was completely broke, with no other means of support), so I buried my head in the sand, moved on to avoid the numerous collection agencies who were chasing me in an attempt to start over.

 

I'm not proud of this, but since that time I have recovered, got on with my life and learned my lesson about debt. Still don't have much money, but at least now have a good credit rating and a responsible job.

 

Until yesterday. Out of the blue I recieved a letter from Thames Credit, saying that they had been trying to contact me at a previous address and that I should immediately contact them on xxxx, to avoid them attaching a default notice onto my credit reference file.

 

The letter is really vague - it doesn't say how much is outstanding, or even to which company. It just quotes a long reference number which I've never seen before, and urges me to phone them ASAP. I also noticed they've mispelt my surname slightly and haven't got my full address (the flat number is missing)

 

What should I do?? Can they really chase debts so old - I'm sure I would have been issued with a CCJ at the time, but this would have expired after 6 years. I haven't contacted them, as I don't want to acknowlege any of this debt.

 

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Sorry this post is so long, I was too worried to sleep last night, and just the memory of this time in my life is horrible ...

 

Clare_cat

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If you have not acknowledged the debt within the past 6 years it becomes Statute Barred as per the Limitations Act 1980.

 

An acknowledgment would be you admitting you owe the money or making a payment to them or anyone else for the alleged debt.

 

Whilst the debt may still exist, it is unrecoverable through the courts.

 

I would write to Thames Credit Ltd stating that you do not acknowledge any money is owed to them or anyone else. Any alleged debt is Statute Barred as per the Limitations Act 1980. Further contact from them is UNWANTED and would be considered harassment as per s40(1) Administration of Justice Act 1970. Tell them they should cease communicating with you further or you will contact the relevant authorities.

 

Always refer to it as an "alleged debt".

 

That should do it, send the letter recorded too.

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Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I appreciate the advice and I will send the letter as described. As the debt is statute barred, does this mean they can't record anything on my credit file?

 

I've lived at my current address for over 6 years, and the one before that for 2 years and have never had any contact with anyone re this debt. Am just relived to know there isn't anything much they can do...

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If you have not acknowledged the debt within the past 6 years it becomes Statute Barred as per the Limitations Act 1980.

 

An acknowledgment would be you admitting you owe the money or making a payment to them or anyone else for the alleged debt.

 

Whilst the debt may still exist, it is unrecoverable through the courts.

 

I would write to Thames Credit Ltd stating that you do not acknowledge any money is owed to them or anyone else. Any alleged debt is Statute Barred as per the Limitations Act 1980. Further contact from them is UNWANTED and would be considered harassment as per s40(1) Administration of Justice Act 1970. Tell them they should cease communicating with you further or you will contact the relevant authorities.

 

Always refer to it as an "alleged debt".

 

That should do it, send the letter recorded too.

 

No. I wouldn't do this! Personally, i'ld write to T.C. and, initially i'ld write to them using the same address details that they used to contact you and without signing the letter stating 1st off that you do not acknowledge any debt to them. And secondly ask them why exactly they are contacting you (they're fishing!). Stating that if they cannot supply you with the exact reason for their contact that you will be unable to converse with them further. Simple as that!

 

Keep it plain and business like. The main theme being, they MUST tell you why they are attempting to contact you.

 

Good luck, please keep us posted!

 

Regards, Dave.

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Hi Clare,

 

Click on the link below and scroll down to Letter M. Send it by rec. delivery and keep the receipt.

 

Creditors and DCAs - Letter Templates & Budget Planner

 

The 6 year clock can only be reset within the 6 year limit - once a debt is statute barred it remains statute barred and cannot be re-started.... unless there is a CCJ. If there is a CCJ, although it may drop off your credit file after 6 years, it can still be enforced :

 

If the creditor has been to court and there is a County Court Judgement outstanding, then you cannot use the Limitation Act to dispute you owe the debt. It does not matter how many years ago the creditor went to court, the County Court Judgement will still exist. However, the creditor may not be able to enforce the Judgment without the court's permission if the Judgement is over six years old.

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"If there is a CCJ, although it may drop off your credit file after 6 years, it can still be enforced"

 

Not sure above correct. This is in limitations act:

 

24:--

  • (1) An action shall not be brought upon any judgment after the expiration of six years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable.
     
     
    It seems to suggest that the creditor can only re-apply to court for up to 6 years after the judgement (or up to 6 years after last payment if later as each payment restarts the 6 year clock). After that time you can use limitations act, which is logical because who would obtain a CCJ then not bother getting payments?

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Please re-read my post...

 

However, the creditor may not be able to enforce the Judgment without the court's permission if the Judgement is over six years old.

 

Re-enforcement after 6 years may be difficult for a creditor... but it can happen and... it is possible for a debtor to avoid paying CCJs by constantly moving house and having no fixed address... which has nothing to do with a creditor not bothering to collect payments. If they can't find you, then how can they collect ?

 

I suppose it depends on the creditor.... whether they re-enforce it or not after a long period of time. However, as I understand it, a CCJ can override the Limitations Act.

 

:)

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Thanks for all of the advice - that in itself made me feel a bit better!! :)

 

I'm a bit confused now though...as to what they can legally do and I'm worried that if I did get a CCJ for this debt (I'm honestly not sure one way or the other) that they'll be able to hound me for ever. :confused:

 

Isn't this the case if the Limitations act doesn't apply to CCJs?? Would they have to go to court again to reinforce the CCJ, and if they did would I be able to go and argue my point against them? (I've had a look online, but couldn't seem to find anything that explained the procedure for reinstating CCJs clearly)

 

I have to say that I'm also a bit nervous of sending any reply to them, as I'm worried they might start some sort of full on harrassment if they realise I got the letter? At the moment, my hope is that they're only fishing, as diskmandave put it.

 

Should I wait and see if they send anything else before responding? They haven't even told me how much its for, or from who?

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Thanks for all of the advice - that in itself made me feel a bit better!! :)

 

 

I have to say that I'm also a bit nervous of sending any reply to them, as I'm worried they might start some sort of full on harrassment if they realise I got the letter? At the moment, my hope is that they're only fishing, as diskmandave put it.

 

Should I wait and see if they send anything else before responding? They haven't even told me how much its for, or from who?

 

I'm pretty sure that you would have heard something before now if you had a CCJ on this debt... they wouldn't just let it lie for this amount of time. The only way to know for sure would be to get a copy of your credit file from Experian, Equifax and Call Credit. £2 each.... but seeing as the debts are so old, any CCJ would have dropped off by now anyway.

 

Seeing as it is already statute-barred and assuming there is no CCJ, you could safely ignore them for now as they are not threatening to do anything. If they continue to pester you however, use the template letter M as advised (Limitation Act). In the meantime, keep hold of all correspondence that they send to you.

 

:)

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There is a copy of limitations act in the libarary but this version has titles in it to make it easier to identify if a particular section is relevant or not.

 

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/cp151apa.pdf

 

If you get a copy of all 3 credit reports and there's no CCJ listed then they cannot enforce one. If there was a CCJ more than 6 years ago then it would no longer appear on your credit report and the limitation act can be used (section 24). However Thames Credit can apply to court under section 32 to try to get the CCJ time limit restarted. In this instance they must apply and prove to the judge that you committed an offence in order to avoid payment during those 6 years. Its for the judge to decide but if you deliberately avoided all chances of being traced for the 6 years (eg lived with family, not on electoral register, cash only paid jobs, no benefits) then the judge may well favour them, if you spent the whole time traceable (eg appeared on electoral roll, took out further credit) then the judge is more likely to dismiss their claim. Evenif you did a bit of both the judge can still rule in your favour. The judge would also look at what efforts have been made to trace you, eg they would have to show that they made regular effort throughout the 6 years and I would guess that that paperwork they so often miss would let them down!

 

Although it is for them to proof to a judge, not you to defend, if it really did come to that action (unlikely) then any good ammunition about yourself would be useful to take - those credit reports show how good you are especially any loans etc you took out more than 6 years ago but still appear on your report as payments have been made within the last 6 years (this effectively takes your credibility back even more than 6 years which appear on your report). These are brilliant too as showing just how traceable you were!

 

I found something else out - CCJ's are removed from the central court register 6 years after judgement too.

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This information (and all the advice!!) has been so helpful... I'll wait and see what - if anything, they do next....

 

As I haven't been deliberately trying not to be found I'm sure they could have tracked me down a long time ago had they been bothered. At least now I'll know what to do, if they ever do threaten anything further.

 

Not a nice thought, but at least have been able to stop worrying about it I'd have more than enough ammunition to see them in court, although I guess its unlikely to go that far!!!

 

:) clare_cat

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