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  • FIRST POST
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 27th Nov 17, 8:27 PM
    • 8Posts
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    roisindubh
    old debt haunting me
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 17, 8:27 PM
    old debt haunting me 27th Nov 17 at 8:27 PM
    Just after some advice please. 18 years ago my first wife ran up lots of debts in my name on credit cards and catalogues.

    In 2000 with the help of citizens advice i came to informal agreements with all the creditors to pay them back on a monthly basis. Everything went hunky dory and most of the debts have been paid. However one particular one has raised its ugly head again. I owed one particular catalogue several hundred pounds, I have been paying it off in monthly instalments from 2000 till the end of 2015 when the collections agency at the time (which I beliewve was the 3rd or 4th one to service the debt) stopped cashing the cheques. When I checked online they appear to have gone out of business. Previously (2011) I had moved house and made everyone aware of my new address. All the agencies bar this one started posting to my new address. I was also in dispute with them at the time as the debt appeared to have increased by sixty pounds (standing at 189 instead of the 127 i had it listed as, i know it only seems a piddling amount in the scheme of things.) I carried on paying them on a monthly basis whilst asking for an explanation for the disparity. None was forthcoming and then they went belly up.

    To the present day. This morning I received a letter from a new agency called capquest claiming they'd purchased a debt i owed to arrow global for 189.00 I'd never heard of this Arrow Global but through a process of elimination it seemed to come down to the same debt (alhough they couldn't recognise or confirm half of the previous agencies the original catalogue company tied up so I figured it was that one)

    I acknowledged that I did still owe them some money but not the figure they were claiming. I asked them several questions re the original amount (they didn't know) The payments I'd made in the past (they didn't know) How they came to the figure they claimed I owed( we got it from the other company) Can you get some figures to see where the disparity is (no, as i't so old we don't have any paperwork)

    At this point I said to them that you've sent me a letter claiming I owe you 189 for a debt you've purchased from an agency I've never heard of who apparently bought this debt from someone else several years ago but you have no documentation to prove I actually owe you 189 quid.

    The response was can you prove you don't owe us 189 quid. They then mentioned there was a ccj against me for it in 2001 which may have put the cost up. I said I've never had a ccj ref any of the debts as I have been paying them off on a monthly basis since 2000 so why would they apply for a ccj when I'd already been paying a different agency monthly for over a year previously. They couldn't answer and had no details of what was on the ccj. I then stated I had the figure from the second agency 3 years after the alleged ccj which should theoretically include any costs incurred from said ccj to which they agreed. Based on the 2004 figure the money outstanding was still lower than what they claimed. This second agency had also included 50 quid late payment charges for a cheque they'd already cashed which when I disputed they wouldn't refund. The response from the latest agency was we've got an exisiting ccj against you (from 16 years ago) you need to take legal advice and pay up.

    Anyway, what I'm wanting to know is where do I stand. I'm not aware of a ccj. Ive dilligently paid all these agencies, the final one I knew of went out of business. My debt has been transferred again. Do I have to pay the full amount they're asking even though they have no paper trail or evidence to back up the amount. Can they take further action against me?

    I'm just wanting a fair crack of the whip. with the charges added on by several agencies the figure I actually owe is well under 100 quid but this new agency is demanding nearly 200 with no evidence other than (it's the figure we've been given) I've asked them to go and get some paperwork, which, supposedly they're going to do from arrow (which coincidentally after doing some digging is part of the same group of companies anyway) but the girl on the phone was "but it's so old they probably won't have any either " A this point I was getting somewhat peeved although I kept a lid on it and responded with "You've sent me a letter asking me for money, you've no history of who i've been paying, how much i've been paying or what was in dispute and I'm just meant to take it in good faith that you're correct or prove otherwhise"

    Like I said, not a massive amount but it's more a point of principle. How can someone cone chasing an arbitrary amount and not have to back it up with any paperwork at all
Page 1
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 27th Nov 17, 8:46 PM
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    fatbelly
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 8:46 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 8:46 PM
    Everything in writing.

    Two letters should sort this:

    1. A prove-it

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2607247

    2. If this looks like your old debt but they have not sent a copy of the agreement, then a cca request (s77-79 consumer credit act)

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/getting-information/credit-agreement-advice.aspx
    • Max and sasha
    • By Max and sasha 27th Nov 17, 8:57 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    Max and sasha
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 17, 8:57 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 17, 8:57 PM
    Hi there

    Send them a prove it letter, you will find the template on this site, the company ( capquest) need to prove to YOU that you are due them the money, but as they have said to you there is no paperwork......
    They have probably bought this debt for pennies, if they do somehow prove you owe this debt offer them a low full and final settlement.


    Max
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 27th Nov 17, 9:05 PM
    • 12,731 Posts
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    sourcrates
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 17, 9:05 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 17, 9:05 PM
    Do as Fatbelly suggests above.

    You need to take back a little control here, as your letting the DCA’s call the shots, instead of you.

    They MUST provide evidence of liability when asked, you have no obligation to prove anything.

    CCJ’s only stay on your file 6 years, then vanish, also any creditor wanting to enforce a CCJ over 6 years old, must go back to court and obtain permission to do so, after 16 years it’s highly unlikely the court would agree to this.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 27-11-2017 at 9:08 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 27th Nov 17, 10:50 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 17, 10:50 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 17, 10:50 PM
    so just to clarify, send them a prove it letter a a cca letter at the same time?

    My main concern is covered by the cca letter as they seem very vague on details and don't seem to have any paperwork. My wife said there should be a paper trail from the original purchase through the several dva's showing what I owed and how much I paid to date but they seem to struggle with even the basic details. I'm guessing if it's all legit they should be able to comply with the request. Do I send them both at the same time or separate envelopes or doesn't it matter

    thanks for the advice guys it's putting my mind at ease slowly
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 27th Nov 17, 11:03 PM
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    fatbelly
    • #6
    • 27th Nov 17, 11:03 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Nov 17, 11:03 PM
    Just send a prove-it and see what comes back.

    They should be able to send a copy of the agreement, statements to prove the balance and a copy of the notification when they bought it.

    It's unlikely they'll be able to provide much of this, so they can't really prove it's your debt..

    If they do prove it (quoting the original reference would be a start) you then do a s77-79 request, and the account is unenforceable until they rather find or reconstruct the original agreement.

    Why I wouldn't go straight to the s77-79 request is that it assumes it's your debt and I'm not clear from your post that that is true.

    None of your phone calls count as acknowledgement btw.

    I'm assuming that the ccj bit is completely made up. If they have one they will quote the claim reference and the issuing court.
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 27th Nov 17, 11:51 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    roisindubh
    • #7
    • 27th Nov 17, 11:51 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Nov 17, 11:51 PM
    thanks, i'll send them a prove it letter and see what happens. They did quote a ccj reference but this was a year after I'd already started paying them and it was the first I'd heard of it, plus why would the dca at the time (intrim Justicia) apply for a ccj if I was paying as per agreement
    • Shashy
    • By Shashy 28th Nov 17, 8:40 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    Shashy
    • #8
    • 28th Nov 17, 8:40 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Nov 17, 8:40 AM
    You still sound a little stressed at this and I don't think you need to be. Just so there's no ambiguity here and you fully understand what people are saying; if they don't have the proof that you owe them money, then the debt is completely unenforceable, and owe them nothing. The burden of proof lies 100% with them.
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 28th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    • #9
    • 28th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Nov 17, 6:52 PM
    Thanks everyone, yes shashy I am a little bit stressed, I tried explaining to the woman at capquest that as far as I was concerned the original debt they think it links to was paid in the main with possibly less than 100 left if at all. I asked them for proof I owed them the amount they quoted, their reply was it's the total in the letter from arrow, can you prove you don't owe. My reply was surely that's not my job. Can't you fish out the payments I've made down the years. This is when they started sayinb that they didn't have any docs as it was too old. They couldn't even tell me who the previous dca's were, so I guess they're going to struggle for most paperwork. Yes they quoted a ccj reference but i've never even been aware one was applied for.

    I'm much calmer now, I'm printing the prove it letter tonight. I will keep you all appraised and come back for more advice as the situation dictates
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 28th Nov 17, 7:04 PM
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    poppasmurf_bewdley
    so just to clarify, send them a prove it letter a a cca letter at the same time?

    My main concern is covered by the cca letter as they seem very vague on details and don't seem to have any paperwork. My wife said there should be a paper trail from the original purchase through the several dva's showing what I owed and how much I paid to date but they seem to struggle with even the basic details. I'm guessing if it's all legit they should be able to comply with the request. Do I send them both at the same time or separate envelopes or doesn't it matter

    thanks for the advice guys it's putting my mind at ease slowly
    Originally posted by roisindubh
    That is the whole point of the CCA request. If the DCA cannot provide the details required for the CCA request, then the whole thing is dead in the water as far as they are concerned and they will be unable to pursue the debt.
    "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery." Mr Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 28th Nov 17, 8:52 PM
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    sourcrates
    Thanks everyone, yes shashy I am a little bit stressed, I tried explaining to the woman at capquest that as far as I was concerned the original debt they think it links to was paid in the main with possibly less than 100 left if at all. I asked them for proof I owed them the amount they quoted, their reply was it's the total in the letter from arrow, can you prove you don't owe. My reply was surely that's not my job. Can't you fish out the payments I've made down the years. This is when they started sayinb that they didn't have any docs as it was too old. They couldn't even tell me who the previous dca's were, so I guess they're going to struggle for most paperwork. Yes they quoted a ccj reference but i've never even been aware one was applied for.

    I'm much calmer now, I'm printing the prove it letter tonight. I will keep you all appraised and come back for more advice as the situation dictates
    Originally posted by roisindubh
    This is the reason why you should only deal with debt collectors in writing, itís a lot less stressful.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 7th Dec 17, 6:57 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    Sent a prove it letter to Capquest recorded and signed for. Received a reply today with very little info again

    it says

    "re shop direct (carval)
    account number 10774313
    how much you owe 189.52

    Thank you for contatcing us

    we can confirm that this relates to a mail order account with Great Universal, subsidiary of Shop Direct, which was taken out on 27th July 1996

    If you have a dispute on this account then please provide us with full details of this, along with any supporting documentation so we may investigate this matter further

    This account has been placed on hold until 03 January 2018 and we would be grateful if you could contact us on or before this date to advise on how you wish to proceed"

    Again very little detail apart from an old debt from 21 years ago that I never disputed I owed at the time. An account number I can't verify and a figure that as far as I'm concerned they've plucked out of fresh air. In fact nothing new from the original letter that started all this saga off. THey're effectively asking me to provide documentation to prove I don't owe 189.52. Now I may be a novice at this but surely it's down to them to prove I do owe it otherwhise people could send out letters for debts for whatever value and even if they're paid up, unless you have proof to that effect they can chase you again.

    How do I proceed with this. Is it time for the cca s77-79 letter asking them for all the relevant paperwork now bacuase as far as the prove it side goes all they've got is a reference number attached to a debt from 20 years ago and no records of any payment or anything else
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 7th Dec 17, 7:31 PM
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    sourcrates
    No payments in 20 years it will be statute barred.

    They must prove liability 100%.

    Send the statute barred letter, that should put it to bed.

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Time-has-run-out-to-recover-the-debt-%28sole-name%29.aspx
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 7th Dec 17, 7:42 PM
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    fatbelly
    Of course if there was a ccj then it's not statute barred but that now seems unclear.

    It seems (as I suspected earlier) that they cannot prove anything.

    If the latest letter made no reference to a ccj then this hybrid letter might
    suit:

    I do not acknowledge any debt to you or any other company or organisation that you claim to be representing.

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Reference number :

    You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself.

    I would point out that we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to <creditor>.

    I am familiar with the Consumer Credit sourcebook of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which states the following rules.

    "A firm must not ignore or disregard a customer's claim that a debt has been settled or is disputed and must not continue to make demands for payment without providing clear justification and/or evidence as to why the customer's claim is not valid." 7.5.3

    "A firm must suspend any steps it takes or its agent takes in the recovery of a debt from a customer where the customer disputes the debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds." 7.14.1

    "Where a customer disputes a debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds, the firm must investigate the dispute and provide details of the debt to the customer in a timely manner." 7.14.3

    In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

    Furthermore, ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

    We would further note that based on the information you have supplied, this account would also be statute barred under the Limitation Act 1980

    Under the Limitation Act 1980 Section 5 "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".

    I would also point out that in their Consumer Credit sourcebook, the Financial Conduct Authority states the following rules:

    "...a firm must not attempt to recover a statute barred debt in England, Wales or Northern Ireland if the lender or owner has not been in contact with the customer during the limitation period." 7.15.4

    "A firm must not continue to demand payment from a customer after the customer has stated that he will not be paying the debt because it is statute barred." 7.15.8

    We would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you can provide evidence of both:

    (1) proof of my liability regarding this debt.

    and

    (2) payment or written acknowledgement from me in the relevant period under Section 5 of the Limitation Act.

    We await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise we will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the FCA of your actions.

    You must also treat this as a formal complaint, and as such I require a copy of your complaints procedure and a response to take to the Financial Ombudsman.

    I look forward to your reply.
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 7th Dec 17, 7:53 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    the basic outline is yes, during my first marriage I ran up some debts, the bulk of which are now all paid. This one, whilst the debt is 20 years old the company I was paying up to 2015 stopped cashing cheques, HL legal apparently stopped trading. I had no further communication from them saying where to send money. When I stopped sending cheques the amount outstanding was substantially less than the 189.52 capquest claim but in the phone call i had when I first had contact from them it was "can you prove you don't owe it" which seemed strange. That's when i posted on here and following advice sent a prove it letter. The ccj is something capquest threw into the call last time round, I knew nothing about that.

    So you would recommend this letter rather than the cca s77-79 letter in this situation then as I believe that due to me paying up to 2 years ago mean it is not statute barred, in which case i'm probably better with the cca letter. Sorry if i sound like a numpty but I'm used to paying my debts and that being the end of it, this sounds more and more like a set of chancers trying for cash without any actual paperwork other than a reference number and a supplier from 21 years ago and a balance that is also woefully out of date (they've already advised me in the call that the debt is that old they have no records of payments and don't know if the previous company has. All they know for definite is the value of several cheques paid in the last five years or so but no balances prior to that
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 7th Dec 17, 8:06 PM
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    • 12,068 Thanks
    sourcrates
    In light of the above send the hybrid letter in Fatbellys post.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 7th Dec 17, 8:35 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    one last thing before I send the hybrid letter just so I can get it right in my own head (sorry but not used to being hounded). I have paid cheques in the last two years as I stated above, they know the value of the cheques from 2015 so If I paid them in the last two or three years does that not make it not statute barred. Also they have my details from 21 years ao when the original catalogue was taken out. My argument with them was that I believed I had already paid the substantial bulk of this off up to 2015 when HL legal stopped trading and I want them to prove I haven't. Will this hybrid point out to them they have to show I'm still liable for the 189.52 they're claiming now and not just the original starting debt. Sorry to sound like a novice. I just want them to provide unequivocal proof of me owing them 189.52 which I don'tbelieve they can. Will this hybrid suffice as I know the cca letter asks them to provide a statement.

    would including this "Please send me a copy of the above credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account including any interest or charges added.

    I understand that under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (sections 77-79), I am entitled to receive a copy of any credit agreement and a statement of account when I request it. I enclose a payment of £1 which is the fee payable under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    I understand a copy of any credit agreement along with a statement of account should be supplied within 12 working days.

    I understand that, under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, creditors are unable to enforce an agreement if they fail to comply with the request for a copy of the agreement and statement of account" be detrimental to my case or strengthen it do you think
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 9th Dec 17, 3:46 PM
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    fatbelly
    I think you've either got to say

    I don't recognise the debt but from the evidence you've supplied so far it would be statute barred anyway

    or

    Yes it's my account, please supply a copy of the original agreement

    "re shop direct (carval)
    account number 10774313
    how much you owe 189.52

    this relates to a mail order account with Great Universal, subsidiary of Shop Direct, which was taken out on 27th July 1996

    Thank you for contatcing us
    really doesn't prove anything.

    All they have done is quote an original reference. If you recognise that as yours, you could move on to request the cca.

    Shop Direct were not bothered about signed agreements ten years ago so I think it's very unlikely (but before my time as an adviser) that they were getting them signed 20 years ago, let alone keeping copies.

    As it is such an old debt you have a second section of the consumer credit act (since removed) that you can also rely on to protect you.
    • roisindubh
    • By roisindubh 10th Dec 17, 2:52 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    roisindubh
    cheers for the advice fatbelly. I've sent the hybrid letter to them, I'll see what they send back this time, it's jst galling that they dig up an old debt from years ago, fail to spell my name correctly and the only evidence they can supply is a 21 year old catalogue number and a figure that may have been plucked from fresh air for all I know. Once i get a reply i'll no doubt be back on here asking for more advice
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