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  • FIRST POST
    • broke_expat
    • By broke_expat 15th Feb 17, 1:10 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    broke_expat
    Feeling so far away
    • #1
    • 15th Feb 17, 1:10 AM
    Feeling so far away 15th Feb 17 at 1:10 AM
    Thank you for reading my thread, sorry it's a little long and rambling. I'm a little lost about what to do next as things seem to be racing away without me being able to control them.

    Summary: Got a CCJ applied in the last few days, no idea what to do.

    My tale:
    I was irresponsible in the past, ran up debts on credit cards and overdrafts and in the end had to get the citizens advice to arrange a payment plan with all my creditors. This went well, for quite a few years, my debts were manageable, although I was left with very little left at the end of the month.
    I started out with
    MBNA Credit Card - £20,000
    HSBC Overdraft - £1,000
    Tesco Credit Card - £3,000
    Marks and Spencer Credit Card - £3,000

    I stuck to the payment plan in place and the debts started to go down.

    The issue was that I then emigrated to Asia, I rented my house out and continued to make the repayments by transferring money each month into my UK bank account. The rental income was slightly less than the mortgage (£20 per month), so each month I transferred enough to cover the mortgage and debts.

    A few things then started to go wrong with the house, not major things but being so far away I just had to let the letting agents sort them out and take the money out of the rental income. This led to the shortfall where the money being transferred was less than the amount needed, so I started to fall behind on all of the bills.I missed a few mortgage payments, so stopped the credit payments, initially I thought until I had enough to get back up to date with the mortgage, Things didn't get much better financially, so I never put the payments back in.

    I've now been away from the UK for 2 years. I recently put back in place the redirect of my mail (couldn't afford to do it previously) and when I received my mail package there was a letter from the County Court Business Centre in Northampton, stating that a company called PRA Group had filed a CCJ against me.

    In the letter was a claim number, and a website address for moneyclaim.gov, but the website needed a password that was included in a different pack that I had not received. The letter is dated 16th Jan, and when I called the County Court Business Centre to see if I could get the password I spoke to a rather rude and unpleasant person who had no intention of trying to help, or providing me with any information on how to proceed apart from calling PRA. I told her that the address is no longer valid and I had not received any mail on this, or knew who PRA Group are, but she wasn't interested (I've since worked out that MBNA sold on the debt to these people).

    So here I am, I think I'm definitely going to get a CCJ due to the fact that they filed it against my previous address, and I hadn't updated my details to my current address. This is very difficult, as being on a visa with restrictions, the last thing I need is for creditors to start chasing me in this country for money owed in the UK. I didn't have enough time to weigh up any options (if I have any) to stop the CCJ from being completed.

    What can I do? I don't dispute the debt, but stupidly (yes, judge me for being stupid) I forgot to pick things up again when things got a little better financially. I am still not able to pay off the debt (the bill says £11,000), and I now have 2 dependents, so I really can't afford to pay off a lot as I think a new baby is going to take all of the spare cash I have each month.

    My concern lies in that the letter states they may send bailiffs to my last address, I tried explaining on the phone to the court office that as I hadn't lived there for 2 years this was a really stupid move, but this may end up scaring my tenant into not renewing his lease (putting me even further into debt).

    What are my options if I get a CCJ:
    I have no intention of moving back to the UK in the forseeable future (although being on a 1 year rolling contract who knows what the future will bring)
    I could try and contact the smaller creditors, I think I am down to around £1,000 each on the Tesco and M&S cards. I think I have around £2,000 available if I use all of our savings so I could make them an offer of 50% and then see if I can sort out anything with the others.
    How long do CCJ's last? What are the implications of just continuing to ignore this? I have a mortgage on my house in the UK,so I guess changing mortgage would be an issue, but do mortgage providers cancel mortgages because you get a CCJ (even though you pay the mortgage every month)?
    Should I contact PRA and is there any flexibility in the amount now owed (I am only really happy to do e-mail communication)? It says pay £11,000 within 14 days, but this seems stupid for a court to try and enforce, if we had £11,000 sitting around we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. I have no assets in the UK (apart from the house), but the equity on the house isn't huge (maybe £40,000)

    Can I contest the CCJ at all? What other debt management options are there?

    I am a sucker for burying my head in the sand and hoping it all goes away. It doesn't look like it will this time though, so time to man up, become the husband and father my wife and child deserves and sort this all out.

    Thanks for taking time to read.
Page 1
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 15th Feb 17, 8:18 AM
    • 10,462 Posts
    • 7,812 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #2
    • 15th Feb 17, 8:18 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Feb 17, 8:18 AM
    It sounds like you have 'judgement in default' (top left of your 'letter'?) and are being asked to pay £11k 'forthwith'

    I tried to work out if you have a N1 claim form but that's what would have contained the password so I think you are past that stage and the MCOL site will not help you now.

    You could try for set-aside (takes the claim back to the claim stage) but it sounds like you admit the debt so the more realistic options are
    • to vary the judgement to an instalment order (but you say you have no surplus income)
    Factsheet here (https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/varyingpaymentsonaccj/instalmentsonaccj.aspx) if you want that option
    • leave it and see what they do. However, they may realise that you own the address they have for you and so could apply for a charging order.

    Do you own the property solely or jointly?
    Last edited by fatbelly; 15-02-2017 at 8:26 AM.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 15th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    • 9,791 Posts
    • 9,594 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #3
    • 15th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    Two choices really, go for set aside, downside to that is a £255.00 court fee.

    Best option is to apply to amend the Payments using court form N245, to something affordable.

    They can go for a charging order straight away if they know you have a house, orders for sale are rare, but as it's your second home, technically, it may be at risk.

    All the more reason to come to some arrangement.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    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 : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    • broke_expat
    • By broke_expat 16th Feb 17, 2:13 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    broke_expat
    • #4
    • 16th Feb 17, 2:13 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Feb 17, 2:13 AM
    It sounds like you have 'judgement in default' (top left of your 'letter'?) and are being asked to pay £11k 'forthwith'

    I tried to work out if you have a N1 claim form but that's what would have contained the password so I think you are past that stage and the MCOL site will not help you now.

    You could try for set-aside (takes the claim back to the claim stage) but it sounds like you admit the debt so the more realistic options are
    • to vary the judgement to an instalment order (but you say you have no surplus income)

    • leave it and see what they do. However, they may realise that you own the address they have for you and so could apply for a charging order.

    Do you own the property solely or jointly?
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    That's correct, Judgment for Claimant (in default), and asked to pay £10,500 + £600 costs forthwith.

    I never did receive the N1, although I'm sure it was sent out, just never received the thing in my package from the UK.

    The house is solely in my name (I met my wife after I'd emigrated). We received some money for the wedding and baby, but really don't want to explain what a mess I was in before I emigrated, so using this isn't an option (maybe £1,000-£2,000 I could explain away on "house expense")

    I'll try and go for the installment order, but if PRA stick to the £11,000 forthwith, then I'll just sell the house and weigh up the options after that. When you get a CCJ, are you still left with the same options as prior (make them an offer to clear the debt), or are you then committed to paying the full amount?

    Thanks for the links,will look into them today and get in touch with the court to get that installment form.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 16th Feb 17, 7:41 AM
    • 10,462 Posts
    • 7,812 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #5
    • 16th Feb 17, 7:41 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Feb 17, 7:41 AM
    You actually still have the same options. But the problem is that they now have more options so you may not get such a good deal if you are looking for, say, payment over a long period or a discount for settling with a lump sum.

    I wouldn't necessarily rush to sell the house as long as your rental income is covering your expenses.

    It's not a very likely scenario but if PRA wanted to be aggressive, a charging order followed by an order for sale is an option for them.

    I agree that varying the order on an N245 (you can download these) is probably best as long as you can offer a reasonable payment, which in your case would be at least £150 per month
    • broke_expat
    • By broke_expat 17th Feb 17, 7:54 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    broke_expat
    • #6
    • 17th Feb 17, 7:54 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Feb 17, 7:54 AM
    Thanks again for the reply.


    So I've had a little more time to think about this, do a little bit of research etc.


    There's a few forums where people are stating that it's not allowed for a UK court to issue a CCJ against a non UK resident. It appears from some expat forums that people are saying that a UK court has no juristiction over a non UK resident (as we have no possibility to attend court to mount a defence), so I should be able to go for the removal of the CCJ completely from my record.


    Not sure how true this is, but will be contacting the court today to see if they are willing to discuss this further (lets hope I get a different woman today), If so, I guess I may then be able to discuss the problem with PRA and come to some arrangement without the stress of the last week.


    Anybody any thoughts on whether a UK court can take action against someone living overseas? I'm not blaming the court for their original decision (as they didn't know I was overseas), but hopefully proving my non UK residence may be enough to get the decision reversed.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 17th Feb 17, 2:13 PM
    • 10,462 Posts
    • 7,812 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #7
    • 17th Feb 17, 2:13 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Feb 17, 2:13 PM
    If you want to try for set-aside there's a factsheet here

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/howtosetasideacountycourtjudgment/settingasideaccj.aspx

    You would be contesting jurisdiction.

    I'm not sure whether it would work as the claimant is allowed under England/Wales rules to use the last known address.

    If you can show that they should have known your overseas address that would help.

    If you need more advice on this , National Debtline may be the place to ask
    • Farel01
    • By Farel01 17th Feb 17, 3:01 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    Farel01
    • #8
    • 17th Feb 17, 3:01 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Feb 17, 3:01 PM
    Anybody any thoughts on whether a UK court can take action against someone living overseas? I'm not blaming the court for their original decision (as they didn't know I was overseas), but hopefully proving my non UK residence may be enough to get the decision reversed.
    Originally posted by broke_expat
    You have tangible assets in the UK though, though your rental property. How are you taxed on that?

    I know this is not the same issue, but I'm from the Netherlands and have been living in the UK for about 9 years. 5 years ago my parents got a letter threatening me over an old debt that I would have to pay in 2 days before court action was going to be taken. I didn't dispute the debt and I realise I forgot to mention to them that I was moving abroad, so got into contact with them and they set up a payment plan. Can you maybe see if any leeway can be found because you were abroad?

    Also, why don;t you just sell the flat and settle all your debts?
    Debt free as per 22/12/16 -
    • desperado88
    • By desperado88 20th Feb 17, 10:54 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    desperado88
    • #9
    • 20th Feb 17, 10:54 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Feb 17, 10:54 AM
    Thank you for reading my thread, sorry it's a little long and rambling. I'm a little lost about what to do next as things seem to be racing away without me being able to control them.

    Summary: Got a CCJ applied in the last few days, no idea what to do.

    My tale:
    I was irresponsible in the past, ran up debts on credit cards and overdrafts and in the end had to get the citizens advice to arrange a payment plan with all my creditors. This went well, for quite a few years, my debts were manageable, although I was left with very little left at the end of the month.
    I started out with
    MBNA Credit Card - £20,000
    HSBC Overdraft - £1,000
    Tesco Credit Card - £3,000
    Marks and Spencer Credit Card - £3,000

    I stuck to the payment plan in place and the debts started to go down.

    The issue was that I then emigrated to Asia, I rented my house out and continued to make the repayments by transferring money each month into my UK bank account. The rental income was slightly less than the mortgage (£20 per month), so each month I transferred enough to cover the mortgage and debts.

    A few things then started to go wrong with the house, not major things but being so far away I just had to let the letting agents sort them out and take the money out of the rental income. This led to the shortfall where the money being transferred was less than the amount needed, so I started to fall behind on all of the bills.I missed a few mortgage payments, so stopped the credit payments, initially I thought until I had enough to get back up to date with the mortgage, Things didn't get much better financially, so I never put the payments back in.

    I've now been away from the UK for 2 years. I recently put back in place the redirect of my mail (couldn't afford to do it previously) and when I received my mail package there was a letter from the County Court Business Centre in Northampton, stating that a company called PRA Group had filed a CCJ against me.

    In the letter was a claim number, and a website address for moneyclaim.gov, but the website needed a password that was included in a different pack that I had not received. The letter is dated 16th Jan, and when I called the County Court Business Centre to see if I could get the password I spoke to a rather rude and unpleasant person who had no intention of trying to help, or providing me with any information on how to proceed apart from calling PRA. I told her that the address is no longer valid and I had not received any mail on this, or knew who PRA Group are, but she wasn't interested (I've since worked out that MBNA sold on the debt to these people).

    So here I am, I think I'm definitely going to get a CCJ due to the fact that they filed it against my previous address, and I hadn't updated my details to my current address. This is very difficult, as being on a visa with restrictions, the last thing I need is for creditors to start chasing me in this country for money owed in the UK. I didn't have enough time to weigh up any options (if I have any) to stop the CCJ from being completed.

    What can I do? I don't dispute the debt, but stupidly (yes, judge me for being stupid) I forgot to pick things up again when things got a little better financially. I am still not able to pay off the debt (the bill says £11,000), and I now have 2 dependents, so I really can't afford to pay off a lot as I think a new baby is going to take all of the spare cash I have each month.

    My concern lies in that the letter states they may send bailiffs to my last address, I tried explaining on the phone to the court office that as I hadn't lived there for 2 years this was a really stupid move, but this may end up scaring my tenant into not renewing his lease (putting me even further into debt).

    What are my options if I get a CCJ:
    I have no intention of moving back to the UK in the forseeable future (although being on a 1 year rolling contract who knows what the future will bring)
    I could try and contact the smaller creditors, I think I am down to around £1,000 each on the Tesco and M&S cards. I think I have around £2,000 available if I use all of our savings so I could make them an offer of 50% and then see if I can sort out anything with the others.
    How long do CCJ's last? What are the implications of just continuing to ignore this? I have a mortgage on my house in the UK,so I guess changing mortgage would be an issue, but do mortgage providers cancel mortgages because you get a CCJ (even though you pay the mortgage every month)?
    Should I contact PRA and is there any flexibility in the amount now owed (I am only really happy to do e-mail communication)? It says pay £11,000 within 14 days, but this seems stupid for a court to try and enforce, if we had £11,000 sitting around we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. I have no assets in the UK (apart from the house), but the equity on the house isn't huge (maybe £40,000)

    Can I contest the CCJ at all? What other debt management options are there?

    I am a sucker for burying my head in the sand and hoping it all goes away. It doesn't look like it will this time though, so time to man up, become the husband and father my wife and child deserves and sort this all out.

    Thanks for taking time to read.
    Originally posted by broke_expat
    Although i cant help,in a bit of mess myself financially your last paragraph struck a chord with me as i was thinking the exact same about my own situation and i just wanted to post and say good luck and i hope it all works out for you.
    • broke_expat
    • By broke_expat 21st Feb 17, 2:51 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    broke_expat
    Although i cant help,in a bit of mess myself financially your last paragraph struck a chord with me as i was thinking the exact same about my own situation and i just wanted to post and say good luck and i hope it all works out for you.
    Thanks a lot, it's difficult trying to sort this mess out, but I hope we all get there in the end.

    Also, why don;t you just sell the flat and settle all your debts?
    It's not always that simple. I agree, I could do that and just pay everything off, but there isn't THAT much equity in the property, plus with the bad credit ratings already in place there is no way I'd ever be getting back on the property ladder. Whilst I have no intention of ever moving back to the UK, it's always good to have the option of a place to move into if I ever do. Plus, whilst the property is let, the mortgage is going down each year far more than the property is costing me (so it's not a bad long term investment).

    I've now received form N244 and am currently completing this to send back to the court. I can't believe they want £255 to review the form, but I guess it is what it is. I'm not sure how much detail to go into on the form, but I'll keep looking to see if I can find any examples.

    I am also getting some £1 postal orders sent from the UK so I can start the process of claiming back any PPI I'm owed.

    Finally, also writing to all my current creditors and offering them 10% for a F&F settlement, explaining living abroad etc. and will try and negotiate into something that I can manage.
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