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Ancient debt resurfaces -Buchanan Clark Wells


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New member here -and I wish I had found this site before I contacted BCW.

 

In short, I got into a bit of a mess, back in 1992. I owed over £10k to various banks & credit cards, which the CAB helped me to manage.

 

Because of my personal circumstances, some of the debt was cancelled, most was paid back and the only troubling debt that remained was an old Barclaycard Visa debt, which was taken up by Thames Credit Ltd. I had a nightmare dealing with them phoning at all hours and threatening that I took a risk and simply stopped responding. On the phone I convinced them that "Mr Soylent" had passed away.

 

Last week I received my first letter from Buchanan Clark & Wells -a "formal demand" for almost £2500. Without thinking, I phoned the number and questioned the debt -they had no details other than the amount, that it was from 1992 and that it was a Barclaycard.

 

I told them I couldn't pay the £1800 they offered to close the debt (I can't), and that I was going to seek advice.

 

Have I opened Pandora's Box by calling them? I dread the thought of bailiffs at my front door. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on how to proceed?

 

Many thanks in advance.

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If this is from 1992 and providing that no payment or acknowledgement in writing signed by yourself has been made since at least 2001 then this debt is statute barred and once barred nothing can reverse that. I'm assuming too that there isn't a CCJ in force.

 

The Limitation Act 1980

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

 

You'll find a letter here, to adapt to your details...

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt/20758-creditors-dcas-letter-templates.html#post162366

 

Be sure to send by Signed For delivery and once they've had the letter it becomes against OFT guidelines on debt collection practise to continue to persue...

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf

 

Good luck, Regards Dave.

 

cag-end-sig.jpg

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Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

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http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

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It's truly amazing just how far some DCA's will go to get money.

A debt from 1992 could well be stat barred TWICE over, yet they still think that they can collect on it.

 

As Dave mentioned send them the stat barred letter (M) and see what happens.

Give us a shout if you need help with anything.

Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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Thanks Dave.

 

The clerk at BC&W said a payment was made on the account in 2003 -which I dispute, although I can't remember everything I said to Thames Credit in my attempts to get them off my back.

 

I will have a look at those links and post here with any developments.

 

Thanks again!

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They need to prove you paid it, not the other way around. Ask which branch of which bank the payment was made...

 

Besides that, as this is from 1992 the 2003 payment if indeed from you would still see the debt Statute Barred anyway. If the debt was last paid/acknowledged in 1992 then it became Stat/Barred in 1998 and nothing can reverse that.

 

Good luck, Dave.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

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A payment may well of been made in 2003, but what happened between 1992 and 2003, 11 YEARS !

Now that's a large amount of time and more than enough for the debt to become barred BY LAW.

 

Edit, Can't you tell Dave and I are thinking the exact same thing here ;)

Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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Edit, Can't you tell Dave and I are thinking the exact same thing here
1980's Radio 1 jingle........ Not half!

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

--

KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

http://www.bornfree.org.uk

BORN FREE FOUNDATION

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A debt is considered Statute Barred if a creditor has not contacted a debtor for a period of 6 years and no action has been taken on the account.

Although the debt is still legally acknowledged as being owed, the creditor is not able to take any legal action against the debtor in order to recover the debt. It is considered unfair if a creditor or debt collector misleads the debtor into believing the debt is still legally recoverable. It is also considered an unfair practice if the creditor or debt collector press for payment after the debtor has stated they will not be paying the money owed. This could amount to harassment contrary to Section 40(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1970.

 

 

So as you are looking at a 15 year stretch there' more than enough time for this to happen.

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Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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For the purpose of the Limitation Act 1980;

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

 

6 years from the date of the last payment or acknowledgement in writing and signed by the debtor.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

--

KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

http://www.bornfree.org.uk

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Just because BCW claim that a payment has been made on a statute barred debt doesn't mean it happened. This phenomenon of people suddenly appearing, (apparently) making one payment and disappearing again is really quite unusual; rather like the amount of letters that seem to go missing when sent to DCAs.

 

I have dealt with BCW on behalf of a client, and found their behaviour throughly unethical.

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If this is from 1992 and providing that no payment or acknowledgement in writing signed by yourself has been made since at least 2001 then this debt is statute barred and once barred nothing can reverse that. I'm assuming too that there isn't a CCJ in force.

 

I have used the template for 'Letter M' from your list, and will send it by recorded delivery tomorrow. I guess we will see if they were bluffing, or if they do have some sort of documentation from 2003.

If a debt has become statute barred, but the unwitting debtor makes a payment, does that 'reset the clock'?

Again, thanks to everyone for your advice. It is a wonderful thing you good people are doing here -if such a forum had been around in the '90s, when I had a number of vicious DCAs on my case, life would have been so much easier!

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Good luck & keep us posted!

 

Regards, Dave.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

--

KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

http://www.bornfree.org.uk

BORN FREE FOUNDATION

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NO.

Once statute barred then it's ALWAYS barred.

This doesn't "void" the debt, but makes it unenforceable.

 

Barred is barred! Nothing can reconstitute....

 

The Limitation Act 1980

5 Time limit for actions founded on simple contract

An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration

of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.

 

Regards, Dave.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

--

KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

http://www.bornfree.org.uk

BORN FREE FOUNDATION

--

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  • 1 month later...

While my letter was signed for on the 17th August, I received no response from BCW.

Today I received another threatening letter...

 

"We regret to note your account... remains outstanding.

You were informed in our last correspondence of impending court action, as part of that process...authority has now been granted to proceed with a personal visitation by a debt investigation officer at your home address

If your address details are incorrect, or if there is a particular time you wish the officer to call we would ask you to contact us immediately on ..."

Any advice on how to proceed?

Should I phone them and ask why my letter has been ignored?

 

Thanks again.

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Ooooh, they are digging themselves a lovely big hole there!

 

Hang on while I find the right links, but they are breaking SO many rules...

 

(By the way, they are talking complete bo***cks.)

 

Should I phone them and ask why my letter has been ignored?

 

NO!!! On NO account should you EVER speak to them by phone!

 

;)

Barclays (2 accounts) WON

Lloyds TSB (Daughter's) WON

 

Cohen's: WON (discontinued)

DLC: Given up, gone away.

Eversheds: Trying!

Equidebt: In default

Intrum J: Return to OC

iQor: Stopped paying.

Link: In default.

ScotCall: Return to OC

Thames: Stopped paying.

 

 

I am NOT a legal or financial expert. There are many CAG members and staff who are better qualified. Please do not make major decisions based on my advice alone.

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Have a look at this:

 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf

 

Particularly Section 2.14 (page 13)

read this first, then the whole of section 2.

 

;)

Barclays (2 accounts) WON

Lloyds TSB (Daughter's) WON

 

Cohen's: WON (discontinued)

DLC: Given up, gone away.

Eversheds: Trying!

Equidebt: In default

Intrum J: Return to OC

iQor: Stopped paying.

Link: In default.

ScotCall: Return to OC

Thames: Stopped paying.

 

 

I am NOT a legal or financial expert. There are many CAG members and staff who are better qualified. Please do not make major decisions based on my advice alone.

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NO!!! On NO account should you EVER speak to them by phone!

 

;)

 

Understood!

 

Thanks oneofakind.

 

It's plain to see that they are breaking a number of the rules in section 2 of these OFT Debt Collection Guidelines. But how should I respond; ignore them or send another letter?

 

Is there another handy template which I might adapt?

 

And can I report BCW to a regulatory body?

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Do you have confirmation that your letter was received by BCW? It's possible your letter and theirs crossed in the post.

 

I'd be inclined to wait just now. You could send them a letter revoking your permission for their 'field monkey' to come knocking at your door. I've seen a good one on this forum somewhere, I'll see if I can find it...

 

;)

Barclays (2 accounts) WON

Lloyds TSB (Daughter's) WON

 

Cohen's: WON (discontinued)

DLC: Given up, gone away.

Eversheds: Trying!

Equidebt: In default

Intrum J: Return to OC

iQor: Stopped paying.

Link: In default.

ScotCall: Return to OC

Thames: Stopped paying.

 

 

I am NOT a legal or financial expert. There are many CAG members and staff who are better qualified. Please do not make major decisions based on my advice alone.

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And can I report BCW to a regulatory body?
Yes, Trading Standards.

Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK

 

Just to re-itterate the OFT guidelines which have already been mentioned;

 

Statute barred debt

2.13 This guidance applies to the pursuit of debt regardless of its age. We will be

carrying out further work on this aspect of debt recovery including analysis of

relevant legislation and practice throughout the UK.

2.14 In the past we have dealt with a number of statute barred debt cases governed by

the Limitation Act 1980, which applies to England and Wales. Based on that

experience our position with regard to England and Wales remains:

a. we accept legally the debt exists

b. it is the methods by which the debt is collected that can be

unfair as follows:

• it is unfair to pursue the debt if the debtor has heard nothing from

the creditor during the relevant limitation period

• if a creditor has been in regular contact with a debtor before the debt

is statute barred, then we do not consider it unfair to continue to

attempt to recover the debt

• it is unfair to mislead debtors as to their rights and obligations, for

example, falsely stating or implying that the debt is still legally

recoverable and relying on consumers not knowing the relevant legal

provisions, and

• continuing to press for payment after a debtor has stated that they

will not be paying a debt because it is statute barred could amount to

harassment contrary to section 40 (1) of the Administration of

Justice Act 1970.

I'ld be tempted to send the Statute barred letter again, and tack the guidelines onto it too. Also ask for a copy of their internal complaints resolution procedure, that always perks the ears!!

 

Make sure to send by recorded or special delivery.

 

Regards, Dave.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

--

KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

http://www.bornfree.org.uk

BORN FREE FOUNDATION

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I'ld be tempted to send the Statute barred letter again

Me too. Most of what you'd want to say in reply to their letter is already in there.

Make sure you make it clear this is the SECOND time you've had to tell them this.

And add this bit to deal with the 'doorstepper' (who probably won't be coming anyway, but always best to make your position clear...

 

 

'Furthermore, please note that I am only prepared to communicate with you in writing. Should it be your intention as you have warned to arrange a “doorstep call”, please remember that there is only an implied license under English Common Law for certain people to visit me on my property without express permission; the postman and people asking for directions etc (Armstrong v. Sheppard and Short Ltd [1959] 2 Q.B. per Lord Evershed M.R.).

 

Please therefore take note that, I revoke license under English Common Law for you, or your representatives to visit me at my property and if you do so without my permission, you will then be liable to damages for a tort of trespass. You would also be conspiring in a trespass if you sent someone from a doorstop collection service company to visit me and should it be necessary, I will seek an injunction.'

 

:grin:

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Barclays (2 accounts) WON

Lloyds TSB (Daughter's) WON

 

Cohen's: WON (discontinued)

DLC: Given up, gone away.

Eversheds: Trying!

Equidebt: In default

Intrum J: Return to OC

iQor: Stopped paying.

Link: In default.

ScotCall: Return to OC

Thames: Stopped paying.

 

 

I am NOT a legal or financial expert. There are many CAG members and staff who are better qualified. Please do not make major decisions based on my advice alone.

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DMD; do you not have to exhaust their complaints procedure before going to the OFT, or am I thinking of the FSO?

:confused:

 

Sorry, meant FOS, obviously. Duh!

Barclays (2 accounts) WON

Lloyds TSB (Daughter's) WON

 

Cohen's: WON (discontinued)

DLC: Given up, gone away.

Eversheds: Trying!

Equidebt: In default

Intrum J: Return to OC

iQor: Stopped paying.

Link: In default.

ScotCall: Return to OC

Thames: Stopped paying.

 

 

I am NOT a legal or financial expert. There are many CAG members and staff who are better qualified. Please do not make major decisions based on my advice alone.

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