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Letter when you know nothing about about the debt - AKA "Prove it" letter
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# 1
fermi
Old 20-07-2010, 2:49 PM
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Default Letter when you know nothing about about the debt - AKA "Prove it" letter

From: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan


There are a number of debt collection agencies, whose job it is to chase down unpaid debts for other companies. Disgustingly, one time-saving tactic used is to fish for the right person by sending demands to all those with the same surname, in the hope someone will pay up.

If you're called or receive a letter asking for money, the onus is on THEM to prove that you DO owe the money and that it is genuine debt. So if the debts aren't yours, don't panic; send a letter to say you're not responsible. National Debtline has a template letter you can use.



Quote:
Dear Sir/Madam


Account No: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

I would point out that I 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.

I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you can provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question.

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully
I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

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Last edited by fermi; 04-04-2014 at 4:46 PM.
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# 2
fermi
Old 22-11-2012, 12:15 PM
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Default

IMPORTANT.

Also please note that if you are unsure that the debt being chasing is valid or yours, then use the letter above.

Please do not be tempted to send a request (CCA request) under s77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 requesting copies of the credit agreement.

(1) If you want them to prove your liability for the debt then the above is all you need. Quote other Acts etc and you complicate what is a simple matter.

i.e. They have to prove you are liable for the debt. If they can't or won't, they are obliged to stop chasing you.

(2) Not all debts are covered by the CCA1974 or required to have credit agreements. e.g. mobile phone accounts, overdrafts, utilities etc etc......

Requesting a CCA under the act in those cases is a complete nonsense, and will most likely result in your request being ignored, refused or brushed off.

(3) Only the actual debtor is entitled to make a s77-79 request for a regulated debt. If you think you are not the debtor, then you do not have the right to make the request in the first place.

Just require them to prove the debt without. The above letter is all you need.

(4) A s77-79 request does not have to provide a signed copy of the agreement. So if you are looking to use it to prove whether you took out the debt or not or signed an agreement, then you may be wasting your time.

It is not a good tool for proof of debt. It was never intended for that purpose.

(5) And not least, s77-79 requests are often used when someone is disputing the enforceability of a debt, rather than disputing it outright. Because of that, rightly or wrongly, debt collectors tend to take an adversarial view when receiving such requests and often jump to the conclusion that you do actually owe the debt, but are simply trying to avoid payment. This then backs you into a corner that can then be hard to extract yourself from, when in truth you actually wanted to dispute that the debt was ever yours.


The above is not saying the s77-79 request do not have their place and uses. They do. But when you have a fundamental dispute over whether you owe a debt, they are to be avoided, at least as the first avenue to take.

Most importantly requesting a CCA is NOT a way to remove a default. The High Court has ruled on this, and you will just make more hassle for yourself and make things harder.
I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed

Last edited by fermi; 06-08-2014 at 5:02 PM.
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# 3
fermi
Old 04-12-2012, 3:16 PM
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If the debt collector/creditor ignores your dispute.

As per: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...9&postcount=38 this is a possible course of action.

This is an update of an earlier post.

If you've sent the prove-it letter (by recorded delivery preferably) and not had a sensible response then you need to take it further.

From the FCAs rules 2014 they are engaged in the following unfair practices:
  • A firm must not pursue an individual whom the firm knows or believes might not be the borrower or hirer under a credit agreement or a consumer hire agreement.
  • 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.
  • A firm must not.... visit or threaten to visit a customer without the customer's prior agreement when a debt is deadlocked or reasonably queried or disputed
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Where there is a dispute as to the identity of the borrower or hirer or as to the amount of the debt, it is for the firm (and not the customer) to establish, as the case may be, that the customer is the correct person in relation to the debt or that the amount is the correct amount owed under the agreement.
  • A firm must provide a customer with information on the outcome of its investigations into a debt which the customer disputed on valid grounds.
  • Where a customer disputes a debt and the firm seeking to recover the debt is not the lender or the owner, the firm must (1) pass the information provided by the customer to the lender or the owner; or (2) if the firm has authority from the lender or owner to investigate a dispute, it must notify the lender or owner of the outcome of the investigation.

and probably others - you can tick them off against the guidance.

If they persist with their activity, something like this might wake them up:

Quote:
Dear Sirs

Complaint

On [date] I wrote to you regarding the account with the above reference number, for which you claim I owe £90. I pointed out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to [The Loan Company]. I asked that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless/until you could provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question

Despite this, you have continued to write [and phone] and make demands for payment.

I wish to complain that you have breached the following sections of the FCA's Debt Collection Rules (2014):

[copy and paste the sections]

This has caused me considerable distress and I consider it appropriate that you compensate me for this.

In case you are unaware of the rules of that you are required to follow, I have been told that they are as follows:

On receipt of this complaint, which will be deemed to have occurred two working days after it was posted, you must promptly acknowledge it, in writing, and provide me with a written copy of your Complaints Procedure.

You must keep me updated with the progress of your investigation of my complaint.

Once the complaint has been investigated you must issue me with your final response, explaining your findings and including any proposal you may wish to make in order to put things right. Your final response must tell me if I may take my complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and how long I have to do so.

If you are unable to provide me with a response within eight weeks, you must write to me to explain why, confirm that I can then ask the Financial Ombudsman Service to consider my complaint and provide me with a copy of its leaflet.

I look forward to hearing your proposals.

Yours faithfully
I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed

Last edited by fermi; 22-04-2014 at 1:26 PM.
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# 4
fermi
Old 04-04-2014, 4:25 PM
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Default

Updated for new NDL version citing FCA sourcebook.
I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards, Loans, and Benefits boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com | > New to Forum? Click for Guide <

Free/impartial debt advice: National Debtline | StepChange Debt Charity | Find your local CAB

IVA & fee charging DMP companies: Profits from misery, motivated ONLY by greed
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