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Cabot Financial: Complain to OFT or FOS?


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On 1st April 2001 I received a letter from Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited advising me that they had taken over the collection of a debt I had to Barclaycard.

 

I wrote to them on 9 May 2001 ofering to pay £25.00 - 30.00 per month and asked whether Standing Order rather than Direct Debit was available.

 

Nothing more was heard from them until I received their letter dated 9 May 2002 telling me that they had, ".. been unable to contact (me) to discuss payment of (my) outstanding debt".

 

On 11 May 2002 I wrote pointing out that I had already made a monthly payment offer. An Income & Expenditure schedule was attached to my letter.

 

On 5 July 2002 Cabot wrote rejecting my offer.

 

The next correspondence from Cabot was dated 29 April 2004 and said they were concerned not to have heard from me, " .... in response to a letter sent to you by our solicitors".

 

Of course, having received no such letter I was a little concerned and wrote asking for a copy.

 

By August Cabot had agreed to accept £5.00 a month by Direct Debit in respect of my outstanding debt. (I was at that time unemployed and unable to pay the previously offered £25.00+ per month).

 

No copy of thier solicitors letter was received and I continued to request this.

 

On 19 December 2004 Cabot telephoned me to say that because of the small monthly sum I was paying they were unable to accept payment via Direct Debit and would need to set up a Standing Order. Exactly what I had asked them to do in May 2001.

 

I explained that until I had a copy of their solicitors letter I was not going to pay them anything as doing so might be legally construed as agreeing to whatever was in the unseen solicitors letter.

 

For the next fifteen months Cabot would telephone me at regular intervals and when I would ask for a copy of the letter sent by their solicitors they would either tell me it had already been sent out or promise to send a copy that day.

 

I also wrote ten letters to them requesting a copy.

 

All Cabot did in this time - apart from lie - was add interest to my debt.

 

On 28 March 2006 I was again advised by Cabot that their solicitors letter had been issued to me on numerous occasions and I asked the person I was speaking to if he had a copy in front of him. He said he did not but knew what it looked like as it was "system generated".

 

When asked why a solicitors letter would be on their system Cabot advised that it was actually a letter warning that the matter would be referred to their solicitors, rather than a letter from their solicitors.

 

I pointed out that I required a copy of the actual letter supposedly sent to me by their solicitors as per their letter of 29 April 2004. I was told that this was easy to sort out and that a copy would be sent to me.

 

Needless to say this never appeared and on 9 June after getting this same nonsense from somebody called Emma, claiming to be a Team Leader, I finally received a letter headed HODSONS SOLICITORS but dated 12 June 2006.

 

I wrote to Hodsons requesting a copy of any letters they had issued to me and getting no response whatsoever referred the matter to The Law Society.

 

The result of that was that I received a copy of a letter from Jeffery Glenn at Hodsons to The Law Society pointing out that although they did not issue Cabot letters themselves, Hodsons had agreed that Cabot could send out letters, on headed paper, supplied to them by Hodsons, " in the form of a template". Apparently, ".. the letter is sent out directly from Cabot's premises under supervision of their in-house solicitor Mr Glen Crawford".

 

A very peculiar practise I thought but The Law Society seemed happy with it and with Hodsons refusal to supply me with any information at all.

 

That being the case I wrote to Sue Pratt at Cabot Financial on 25 November 2006 saying that it was now clear that there never was a letter issued to me by Cabot's solicitors. Consequently, no copies could ever have been sent to me either.

 

Furthermore, as I had been trying to resolve this matter for over five years and the delays and errors that had arisen where entirely due to Cabot I would only agree to make monthly payments in respect of the amount outstanding at 9 May 2001 when I made my original offer of payment.

 

The interest added in the intervening period exceeds £2,000.

 

Sue Pratt wrote to say she had passed the matter to Elaine in Customer Relations.

 

After writing a final letter to Cabot in March advising them that I was going to refer the matter to the OFT and/or the FOS I received a letter from Jane Rodemark, Customer Assurance Team Leader, telling me that she understood the matter had been discussed with Elaine Chivers and that Cabot's underwriters had agreed to accept a full and final settlement of £3,400 by 27 April or a monthly payment of £75.00 for the next sixty months, which would of course total £4,500.

 

The debt at 9 May 2001 was £3,353.24.

 

I now need some sound advise on what course of action to take.

 

Do I have grounds to refer Cabot to an official body? Consumer Direct suggested that I might pass the matter to the OFT on the grounds that Cabot are in breach of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, as amended, in that they did not use reasonable skill and care in collecting my debt.

 

What, if any, penalties can be levied against companies such as Cabot? Which course of action are they least likely to appreciate and which would cause them the most inconvenience?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Finally, apologies if this thread goes on a bit but after nearly six years ........!!

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I am absolutely astounded by some of this!!!! Cabot write the letters supposedly coming from their solicitors????? Absolute bloddy dynamite. I've a feeling you are going to get a lot of activity on this thread.

 

Anyhow. Are you still paying this shower? It's not clear from your post (or maybe I got a bit sidetracked with your other stuff) whether you started paying again at any point.

 

The OFT would CERTAINLY be the people to take this to. Whether or not they do anything is a matter of some debate, but I think it needs to be done. Probably numerous other bodies too, although I'm not sure the FOS would want to know as this is pre 6 April 2007 stuff.

 

HOWEVER. I'd put this debt in dispute STRAIGHT AWAY. CCA the beggers, making dsure you state that as new information has come to light, you ARE disputing this debt, and do not acknowledge it in any way. Start from there, and keep coming back here to keep us informed as to what's happening. Keep reading the other Cabot threads. And let us know exactly what/when you stopped and/or started paying anything. I'm HOPING thet you haven't paid anything since 2001, or acknowledged anything since then as you're not far off this becoming statute barrred.

 

Just had a thought, and this will be a question for others who likely be along soon...

 

As I live in Scotland, and if taken to court, it would be in Scotland. Could I then use the Scottish limitation of 5 years? As The banks do with us in our claims?????

 

By the way, the most inconvenience you can cause them is to actually fight back. As corporal Jones was fond of saying: "They don't like it uppem!!!"

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As I live in Scotland, and if taken to court, it would be in Scotland. Could I then use the Scottish limitation of 5 years? As The banks do with us in our claims?????
In Scotland you come under the juristiction of the scottish Courts.

Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 (5 years)

Court procedures are the Act of Sederunt 2002

He didn't come looking for trouble, but trouble came looking for him.

When the smoke clears, it just means he's reloading.

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YES this is true Cabots do produce Hodsons letters!!

 

In our S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) there is written reference to it with the letter "reference type"

from memory it read "send HD005 or HD004 letter" the reference number shows on the top right side of the Hodsons letters - I only just spotted this when going back over something else I was looking for!!

 

as well as the CCA request - I think it's a good idea to send for your Credit reference reports they cost £2 Exeperian or Equifax etc.. this way you can establish who is writing the data (you'll know which Cabot company or Kings HillNo1) if you haven't already done this and know which company is writing the data.

 

ALSO it's an idea to send a (SAR) Subject Access Request to the original Lenders you can establish if any charges were made to the account while with the original lenders and also send an SAR to Cabots/Kings Hill who ever is writing the data to your Credit Reference Agencies - this way you'll see exactly what Cabots have been up to etc..

 

Doing the CCA request and the SAR request (letters are in the template library and the A-Z list to use as templates) this will put the accounts in dispute - and will let you see exactly what these people have been up to!!

 

Keep posting as there are plenty of us here to guide and help you. It's appalling to see this company do this stuff all the time - it's high time they were taken to task!!

My CCA skeleton argument to use in court -

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/cabot/115280-useful-information.html

 

Useful Letters (CCA request is letter N)

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt/20758-creditors-dcas-letter-templates.html

 

CAG A-Z list of useful places in CAG -

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/69359-cant-find-what-youre.html

 

Introduction to Consumer Litigation -

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt/108467-basic-introduction-consumer-credit.html

CABOT THREADS -

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collection-industry/131321-cabot-threads.html

 

ALWAYS SEEK A PROFESSIONAL OPINION FROM QUALIFIED ADVISORS - any advice offered is from my own experience and knowledge - I am NOT qualified.

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Can you give more info about your compliant to the Law Society.

 

Was it in writing or phone. What did they actualy say. Did they give guidance regarding indemnity?

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Wow! Thanks for the replies.

 

I never paid Cabot anything, my reasoning being that if their solicitors had sent me a letter I needed sight of it, as making payment might have been legally construed as my agreement to whatever was in the letter.

 

As it turned out there never was a letter.

 

I do have all letters from Cabot going back to 2001.

 

My complaint to The Law Society was in writing and I have copies of everything, plus copies of two seperate letters from Jeffery Glenn at Hodsons, to The Law Society, explaining how Cabot issue letters on Hodsons headed paper.

 

Mr Glenn also stated, " I would explain that we act for Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited of 10 Kingshill Avenue, Kingshill, West Malling, Kent" and that, " ... the only letter sent out by Cabot on our headed notepaper is the Letter Before Action ...the supervision of those letters is delegated to Mr Glen Crawford who is a Director of and in house Solicitor to Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited".

 

Clearly Cabot's assertion that a letter was sent to me by their solicitors, made in their letter dated 29 April 2004, was untrue.

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Can you give more info about your compliant to the Law Society.

 

Was it in writing or phone. What did they actualy say. Did they give guidance regarding indemnity?

 

Pliny the Penuriosus,

 

Re: Your specific query;

 

I wrote to the Law Society on 9 August 2006 and explained that Cabot had informed me that they send out letters purporting to be from their solicitors and asked them to confirm that this practise met with the approval of The Law Society.

 

In addition, I asked The Law Society to ask Hodsons to reply to two letters I had written to them and pointed out that if Hodsons were happy for a third party party to issue letters in their name they must take responsibility for those letters.

 

The Law Society passed my query to the Conduct & Investigation Unit and it eventually ended up with Gordons LLP in Bradford where the investigation was carried out by Helen Shires.

 

The Law Society's final report, dated 10 November, stated, "we have carefully consideed the evidence and have decided that there is no evidence of misconduct on the part of Hodsons".

 

They outlined the procedure as detailed in Jeffery Glenn's letters and said, " ... that in those circumstances, it would appear that Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited are effectively acting as agents on behalf of Hodson's which in itself does not breach any of the professional conduct rules".

 

Helen Shires had already written to inform me that, " ... it is not a breach of one of the solicitors professional conduct rules for a solicitor to fail to respond to correspondence received from a third party".

 

It is rather ill-mannered though.

 

However, I took what solace I could from the fact that solicitors hate being referred to The Law Society as it causes them lots of bother and extra work.

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Pliny the Penuriosus,

 

Re: Your specific query;

 

I wrote to the Law Society on 9 August 2006 and explained that Cabot had informed me that they send out letters purporting to be from their solicitors and asked them to confirm that this practise met with the approval of The Law Society.

 

In addition, I asked The Law Society to ask Hodsons to reply to two letters I had written to them and pointed out that if Hodsons were happy for a third party party to issue letters in their name they must take responsibility for those letters.

 

The Law Society passed my query to the Conduct & Investigation Unit and it eventually ended up with Gordons LLP in Bradford where the investigation was carried out by Helen Shires.

 

The Law Society's final report, dated 10 November, stated, "we have carefully consideed the evidence and have decided that there is no evidence of misconduct on the part of Hodsons".

 

They outlined the procedure as detailed in Jeffery Glenn's letters and said, " ... that in those circumstances, it would appear that Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited are effectively acting as agents on behalf of Hodson's which in itself does not breach any of the professional conduct rules". Really! I wonder if their insurers know that as I think they would not be happy

 

Helen Shires had already written to inform me that, " ... it is not a breach of one of the solicitors professional conduct rules for a solicitor to fail to respond to correspondence received from a third party". There seems to be a misunderstanding by Helen Shires. You where asking that Hodsons respond to you on the understanding that they had already written to you according to the DCA

 

It is rather ill-mannered though.

 

However, I took what solace I could from the fact that solicitors hate being referred to The Law Society as it causes them lots of bother and extra work.

 

 

See above

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Maybe no misconduct on the part of Hodsons, but I would certainly take issue with the fact that Cabot have written letter misrepresenting themselves. TOTALLY out of order, and worthy of Trading Standards getting involved. IF they have the balls to do it, that is. It's about time TS got of theor cosy bums in their nice warm ofices and actually started taking these complaints seriously.

 

I'll be speaking to my own TS office when I get home, with further evidence I have gleaned. This lot need to understand they HAVE to be squeaky clean if they want anyone to respect them. Perhaps if they were fair and transparent themselves, they wouldn't get everyone's back up, and just MIGHT actually have "customers" talking to them in a reasonable fashion to try to repay what, after all, in most cases is actually money owed.

 

But to behave as if the law doesn't apply to them? Well, they shouldn't be surprised if a few "rogiue customers" fight back.

 

Good to know you have been fighting this for 6 years though. Only a few months of Cabot baiting to go, and they will probably pass this on to a crowd of baseball bat wielding thugs to try to get you to cough up. Because they know the 6 year limit will have passed, they do like to get in the heavy mob at that point.

 

I wonder what it's like to go through life without a care or regard for your fellow man? (Or woman.) It must make life ever so much easier being able to sleep at night despite knowing you are the cause of marital break ups, suicides, kids going without at Christmas, homelessness. You know, general misery.

 

Our Ken must get through a heck of a lot of Horlicks, I'd imagine. ANd his Christmas wish must get answered all to often. Yes, I've read his letter to santa, where he wishes for more debt. Is that the sign of someone whio gives a sh1t about his victims? Shows him in his true colours, more like.

 

Anyway. Enough ranting and hijacking of your thread. Apologies. ;)

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What exactly are the rules in respect of the six year limit?

 

Once six years have passed since Cabot's original letter can I just forget about them?

 

Fortunately I have my own baseball bat out in the hall.

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You need to have started the ball rolling again within the 6 year period, by acknowledging the debt in some way, or making a payment. If your last payment was back in August 2001, and you haven't come to some arrangement to pay, or otherwise have put your hands up to the debt in that time, I'd say you're pretty well bulletproof after August this year.

 

Have you had a look at your credit records? Is this marked as a default way back then too? I'd be carefull this lot don't keep putting you down as a default every so often in an attempt to kick start the 6 year clock again. Your original default (if any) SHOULD be pretty well over by now, I'd imagine.

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Your acknowledgement of the debt needs to be in writing otherwise for them to claim you have isn't worth a t**s

 

Watch out! they will try all sorts of ways to try & trap you

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Your acknowledgement of the debt needs to be in writing otherwise for them to claim you have isn't worth a t**s

 

Watch out! they will try all sorts of ways to try & trap you

 

 

What happens if you have never acknowledged the debt in writing but you are making payments - does that still reset the statue barred clock?

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Sve by making payments you HAVE acknowledged the debt I'm afraid.

 

However you may wish to consider going down the CCA s77-79 route & see if they can provide you with a 'properly executed signed agreement' & if not they have been collecting money from you without the lawful right to do so & that opens a whole new can of worms for them. They may find they, as others have done on this site, OWE you money by way of a refund.

 

Non compliance by them certainly means you can stop paying as the debt would be unenforcable

  • Haha 1
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Quite also remember if they criminal default they need the courts permission to proceed to enforce & in the meantime you could stop payments which they cannot back date if they do produce it

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I see that some of the above replies to my original post make mention of CCA and S.A.R. (Subject Access Request) letters.

 

What exactly are these and have they been amended or updated by the Consumer Credit Act 2006?

 

Am I correct in thinking that a fee of £10.00 is payable for information requested by the issuing of these letters?

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Tiber please read the FAQ's where many of you questons will be answered.

 

The 2006 CCA is not retrospective so agreements signed before are still subject to the 1974 CCA

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You only need to send £1 to request a copy of your CCA, and the 2006 amendments will have no bearing as any agreement that you may have signed will be pre this date.

 

SAR will cost £10, and is requested under the Data Protection Act.

 

Make sure that when you do send off your CCA request that you emphasise that the £1 is ONLY your fee in respect of your request, and that you do NOT acknowledge any debt to them. Just in case they try to be sneaky and try to insinuate that your fee is a payment towards any alleged debt, thereby attempting to start the limitations all over again.

 

However, if you ARE convinced that this is barred by virtue of the 6 year limitations, I'd not even bother with a CCA request, but simply send them a letter to that effect. Although you may still find SARing them for any data they hold about you would be useful to have in any case.

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