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    • monkeybuster
    • By monkeybuster 13th Aug 17, 4:31 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 1Thanks
    monkeybuster
    Advice please on Consumer Credit Act information and settlements etc
    • #1
    • 13th Aug 17, 4:31 PM
    Advice please on Consumer Credit Act information and settlements etc 13th Aug 17 at 4:31 PM
    Hi,

    I have multiple debts which I have been paying £1 a month toward for several years. Some debts are still held by the original lenders (e.g. HSBC and Mint), whilst others have gone to debt collection agencies and been passed on several times. I want to try to settle these, but have a few issues.

    One area I would like to ask about is that of credit agencies not being able to provide original copies of the lending agreement etc as per the Consumer Credit Act. I understand that creditors should be able to provide copies of the original signed agreement; original terms and conditions; all payments made to date etc and that if they can't then this undermines their position to a certain extent in regards to getting money from you.

    Three of my debts appear to have been taken over by a new agency, so I asked them to provide me with evidence that they are the rightful holders “e.g. a copy of the original agreement”. They replied that “we confirm we are the holders of this debt; we are unable to supply the information you requested”.

    Some things I've read have suggested just telling them that I won't pay anything until they prove that they hold the debt (and that they may hopefully give up at that point). However, having spoken to a debt charity, they suggested that the agency may well still legitimately hold the debt and if I don't pay them anything (not even £1/month) then they could potentially initiate court action, which could result in another CCJ.

    I've heard that so long as you keep paying at least £1/month and engage with creditors that they are unlikely to initiate court action. What I don't want to do is back the creditors into a corner by ignoring/not paying anything, and basically forcing them to initiate court action and ending up with a CCJ for the full amount. Might it be better to pay the £1/month, even though they haven't provided the correct information (as per the Consumer Credit Act)? Or does that just perpetuate the situation – would it be best to walk away and not engage unless/until they produce the information requested?

    I am currently still paying my £1/month for these debt to the PREVIOUS agency (Arc Europe) and nothing to the new agency. So:

    2) If I change my £1/month over to the new agency is that “acknowledging” the debt to them? Should I refuse to pay them anything if they cannot provide the Credit Consumer Act information? (or is “acknowledging” the debt not relevant – since I've already been paying £1 anyway does that mean I've already acknowledged the debt and the only issue is who I pay?).
    3) However, I don't want to rock the boat and end up with another CCJ. If I refuse to pay them anything might this then force their hand to initiate court action so I could end up with another CCJ? Is this likely, or if they can't provide the Credit Consumer information that I'm entitled to are they unlikely to take the matter to court?
    4) So my options seem to be either to not pay the new agency anything and tell them that if they can't provide the information I am entitled to under the Consumer Credit Act then I will not deal with them (but that could lead to court action!); alternatively I could start paying them £1 but argue that since they can't produce the documents that I have asked for that this undermines their case, and then use this to strengthen my position to negotiate a decent full and final settlement?

    Sorry for the long post.
    Any advice much appreciated.
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Aug 17, 5:11 PM
    • 11,573 Posts
    • 11,143 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 13th Aug 17, 5:11 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Aug 17, 5:11 PM
    Hi,

    You are reffering to a sec 77/79 request for information, under the consumer credit act 1978.

    This request must be made in writing, and must be accompanied by the statutory £1 payment, info and template letter here :

    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Information-about-your-agreement-under-the-Consumer-Credit-Act-%28sole-name%29.aspx

    The agreement does not need to be signed, nor does it have to be the actual original piece of paper, a reconstituted version is quite acceptable.

    Certain different rules apply to agreements signed before April 2007.

    If a creditor can't comply, then they cannot obtain a CCJ against you in court.

    Acknowledgement of the debt has no bearing whatsoever on making a CCA request, you can do so at any time as long as a balance remains on the account.
    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 either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • monkeybuster
    • By monkeybuster 13th Aug 17, 5:35 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    monkeybuster
    • #3
    • 13th Aug 17, 5:35 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Aug 17, 5:35 PM
    Thanks Sourcrates.

    So if any debt agency says they can't produce the agreement, can/should I basically cease paying and cease dealing with them?
    You mention a "reconstituted" copy... Could an agency send something cobbled together and how might I know whether it would carry the necessary weight to make the debt enforceable? I think I read elsewhere on this site that somebody had received documents which the debt agency claimed satisfied the CCA requirement, but that the person posting disputed this, saying it wasn't sufficient. Is there any way of being sure - I wouldn't want to not pay only to find it gets to court and IS enforceable!

    Also, some of my debts (at least one loan I can remember) were originally taken out before 2007. What are the differences pre-2007 and would that work for or against me?

    Thanks again.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Aug 17, 6:02 PM
    • 11,573 Posts
    • 11,143 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #4
    • 13th Aug 17, 6:02 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Aug 17, 6:02 PM
    All a copy credit agreement needs to show is the name and address of the debtor, account number, original amount borrowed, if a loan, interest rate, and it must be legible.

    Look online at copy agreements to see what info should be included.

    Basically if the creditor can produce a copy agreement dated after April 2007, then it will most likely comply.

    Agreements signed before that date however, must also include the "prescribed terms" applicable to that account, for example, the credit limit, how and when to make payment, interest rate applicable, default fees applicable for non or late payment, etc etc.

    If those are missing from an agreement from that period, a court has already deemed them to be irredeemably unenforceable, so you don't need to pay them.

    Likewise for agreements taken out after that date, non compliance, or if the creditor is unable to produce said agreement, has the same result, they cannot be enforced through the courts, and you don't need to pay them.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 13-08-2017 at 6:04 PM.
    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 either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • monkeybuster
    • By monkeybuster 13th Aug 17, 7:18 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    monkeybuster
    • #5
    • 13th Aug 17, 7:18 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Aug 17, 7:18 PM
    Thanks again.
    A couple of hair-splitting questions (or perhaps grasping at straws!)...
    - Would the debtor address they need to show have to be my address at the time that the credit agreement was signed, or my current address? (I changed address in between taking out various loans etc and subsequently getting into difficulties and defaulting). Or does it not matter - is it just any address to establish a trail to me today?
    - If they could produce the name, address, amount but NOT the interest rate then would their response not comply? And was it for both loans and credit cards that they need to show the interest rate?

    Thanks again. I'll do some reading on Copy Agreements.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Aug 17, 7:33 PM
    • 11,573 Posts
    • 11,143 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 17, 7:33 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 17, 7:33 PM
    Thanks again.
    A couple of hair-splitting questions (or perhaps grasping at straws!)...
    - Would the debtor address they need to show have to be my address at the time that the credit agreement was signed, or my current address? (I changed address in between taking out various loans etc and subsequently getting into difficulties and defaulting). Or does it not matter - is it just any address to establish a trail to me today?
    - If they could produce the name, address, amount but NOT the interest rate then would their response not comply? And was it for both loans and credit cards that they need to show the interest rate?

    Thanks again. I'll do some reading on Copy Agreements.
    Originally posted by monkeybuster
    You are splitting hairs somewhat, ultimately only a court can decide one way or another.

    Anything they send you that your unsure of, show to a legal professional.
    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 either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • monkeybuster
    • By monkeybuster 13th Aug 17, 8:54 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    monkeybuster
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 17, 8:54 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 17, 8:54 PM
    Haha - yeah sorry about the hair-splitting, I'm desperate for any hope that I can reduce some of my debt!

    What kind of legal professional do you think I'd need - will any solicitor who deals with finance be ok, or is this a more "specialised" area? It seems that there may be quite a few fine-points and technicalities etc since some of my debts will be pre-2007 and some post-2007.

    A few other questions if that's ok.
    - Broadly speaking, are the pre-2007 debts harder to enforce because the creditor needs to supply more information?
    - Is it reasonable to assume that those debts that are still held by the original lender (e.g. my HSBC debt) are more likely to comply and have all the relevant information than those debts that have been passed around debt agencies.
    - If it's a credit card, then does the pre/post-2007 distinction relate to when the card was taken out or when I defaulted?
    - Would the debt agency need to show ALL payments made from the start of an account opening, or just from when they took over the debt? (e.g. I'm just wondering if they get could get their numbers wrong and have started from higher balance by mistake - or deliberately?!).

    Thank you again.
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