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  • FIRST POST
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 3:06 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 2Thanks
    tinyt1977
    Received - Solicitor letter for disputed debt
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:06 PM
    Received - Solicitor letter for disputed debt 28th Dec 17 at 3:06 PM
    Hi

    Please may I ask if anyone would be able to advise me of my best course of action in relation to below?

    In August I received a Notice of Acting letter from a solicitors which asked me to contact them to discuss or pay an outstanding debt to Lowell Portfollio I Ltd. I had never heard of this company so called them to find out that a catalogue company had passed a debt to a collection company, Lowell Protfolio, who had then in turn passed it to the solicitors.

    It appeared that in July 2016 someone purchased items on credit from a catalogue company using my name at an old address. I explained that I had no idea about the account and I had never received the items and I was told it would be investigated.

    This morning I have received another letter from the solicitor. In summary it says that catalogue company were not aware of any dispute while the account was open, (well of course not since I didn't know about the account) and justifies their continued perusal of the payment as all correspondence had been sent to the address registered on file(an address I had not lived at for 7 years).

    I have just got off the phone with the solicitor again and despite explaining once again I do not have an account with Shop Direct they have told me I will need to pay the account or an application will be put to the court for a default against me.

    I do not have the money to pay this or a solicitor to fight my corner. All my contact has been verbal so far so I want to write to them to register my dispute formally. I have found a template letter on this forum which I am trying to use but it is focused towards the collection agency and refers to passing the complaint to the FCA. Please may I ask if anyone can tell me if I still have this option or will I have to face the court?

    Any advice would be gratefully received at a time which should be a very Merry Christmas
    Thank you
Page 1
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 28th Dec 17, 3:24 PM
    • 1,110 Posts
    • 840 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:24 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:24 PM
    Since you are a victim of identity theft head to the police and report the crime. Also get in touch with https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 3:30 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:30 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:30 PM
    Rather foolishly this hadn't even crossed my mind. I'm one with it now, thank you for the prompt.
    • GothicStirling
    • By GothicStirling 28th Dec 17, 3:31 PM
    • 1,002 Posts
    • 739 Thanks
    GothicStirling
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:31 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 17, 3:31 PM
    I'm also in dispute with Lowell at the moment. No need to get a solicitor. I'm sure those better in the know, who are helping me, will be around soon.

    Have you asked Lowell to supply you with a copy of the contract and a Statement of Affairs yet?
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:04 PM
    Hi GothicStirling

    No, spoke to them twice and neither time have they mentioned anything about that.
    I got the impression they just wanted me to pay and go away but why should I for something I have never had.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 28th Dec 17, 4:11 PM
    • 1,110 Posts
    • 840 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:11 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:11 PM
    The onus here is that this is ID theft situation, so really speak with police/action fraud and they will guide you from there. It will not be a fast process, but it will get resolved.
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 4:23 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    • #7
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:23 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:23 PM
    Just googled the statement of affairs and it appears to be something to do with bankruptcy. Would they have sometime like that for me as I have never done anything like that? Sorry, I don't mean to question, just really do not understand the process.
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 4:26 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    • #8
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:26 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Dec 17, 4:26 PM
    Thank you Arleen. I'm having trouble completing the form online so will give them a call.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 28th Dec 17, 5:57 PM
    • 13,075 Posts
    • 12,384 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #9
    • 28th Dec 17, 5:57 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Dec 17, 5:57 PM
    I believe Gothicstirling was referring to a "statement of account" not affairs.

    The advice to report this to action fraud is good, stay off the phone to Lowell, and their tame solicitor, as its seldom productive, you deal with a solicitor exactly the same as you do a debt collector, all contact in writing only.

    You do not need a solicitor, nor will you have to face a court.

    Inform Lowell (in writing) that you are disputing the debt, as you have no knowledge of it, and believe you are a victim of identity theft, also that you have reported it to the police (obtain crime number) and action fraud (obtain reference number) quote both in your letter.

    This letter asks the creditor to prove liability for the debt without formally acknowledging it, try combining the above statements with this template to create a hybrid, run it past me first before you send it :

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

    On another tangent, do you have any idea who could be responsible for this ?
    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/
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 28th Dec 17, 7:55 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    Hi Sourcrate,
    Thank you for your help. I have PM'ed you a draft letter and would be very grateful if you can let me know of any suggestions.

    Spoken to Dad and the house was sold to an investor who was planning on renting the property out. He hasn't heard from them since the sale but according to friends on the street tenants change frequently
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 28th Dec 17, 8:24 PM
    • 13,075 Posts
    • 12,384 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Yes looks good, keep us updated.
    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/
    • tinyt1977
    • By tinyt1977 7th Jan 18, 2:09 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tinyt1977
    Ok so I have received the following response from Lowell by email and in the post.

    We refer to your email dated 28 December 2017, with letter attached dated 28 December 2017.

    We note that you believe this account to be fraudulent and confirm that we have raised this matter with the original creditor previously. Their response being sent to you via letter dated 19 December 2017. We also confirm that we investigated this matter as fraud.

    As you have stated that you were not residing at the application address at the time the account was taken out, please provide proof of residency for this timeframe (9 July 2016), so that we may investigate the matter further. Examples of proof we can accept would include a utility bill or tenancy agreement.

    With regards to what checks may have been taken at the time the account was taken out, we are unable to comment on this and you would need to contact the original creditor directly.

    We may add that the security information you have provided matches what we hold on file. Subsequently, at this stage we are satisfied that we are corresponding with the correct individual and that you remain liable for the full outstanding balance. Our position will remain so, until we are in receipt of information/instruction to suggest otherwise.

    As this account has been legally assigned to the Claimant and we are instructed to act on their behalf, on review we do not believe that any of our contact/correspondence is unwarranted, We would add that you would be required to both specify any substantial damage or distress caused, and to explain why any such damage or distress is in the circumstances unwarranted. However, we would take this opportunity to inform you that we are in any case entitled to contact you, for the purpose of litigation for debt recovery.

    We will hold the account for 14 days from the date of this email to allow you time to provide the information as specified above. Should you fail to respond within this timeframe this may result in a Claim form being issued against you with costs and fees incurred.

    Please note that this response has also been sent to yourself via letter dated 2 January 2018.

    If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you may wish to seek free and impartial advice from StepChange Debt Charity on 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org.uk. If you wish to speak with a member of our team, please telephone us between 8:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday or between 8:00am and 2:00pm Saturday on 0113 335 3334.


    I have council tax bills, mortgage statement and my credit report which all prove I was not resident at the address they are investigating. Should I send these as I am worried that the more I send them just gives them more information about myself?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Many thanks
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 7th Jan 18, 4:10 PM
    • 13,075 Posts
    • 12,384 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Ok so I have received the following response from Lowell by email and in the post.

    We refer to your email dated 28 December 2017, with letter attached dated 28 December 2017.

    We note that you believe this account to be fraudulent and confirm that we have raised this matter with the original creditor previously. Their response being sent to you via letter dated 19 December 2017. We also confirm that we investigated this matter as fraud.

    As you have stated that you were not residing at the application address at the time the account was taken out, please provide proof of residency for this timeframe (9 July 2016), so that we may investigate the matter further. Examples of proof we can accept would include a utility bill or tenancy agreement.

    With regards to what checks may have been taken at the time the account was taken out, we are unable to comment on this and you would need to contact the original creditor directly.

    We may add that the security information you have provided matches what we hold on file. Subsequently, at this stage we are satisfied that we are corresponding with the correct individual and that you remain liable for the full outstanding balance. Our position will remain so, until we are in receipt of information/instruction to suggest otherwise.

    As this account has been legally assigned to the Claimant and we are instructed to act on their behalf, on review we do not believe that any of our contact/correspondence is unwarranted, We would add that you would be required to both specify any substantial damage or distress caused, and to explain why any such damage or distress is in the circumstances unwarranted. However, we would take this opportunity to inform you that we are in any case entitled to contact you, for the purpose of litigation for debt recovery.

    We will hold the account for 14 days from the date of this email to allow you time to provide the information as specified above. Should you fail to respond within this timeframe this may result in a Claim form being issued against you with costs and fees incurred.

    Please note that this response has also been sent to yourself via letter dated 2 January 2018.

    If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you may wish to seek free and impartial advice from StepChange Debt Charity on 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org.uk. If you wish to speak with a member of our team, please telephone us between 8:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday or between 8:00am and 2:00pm Saturday on 0113 335 3334.


    I have council tax bills, mortgage statement and my credit report which all prove I was not resident at the address they are investigating. Should I send these as I am worried that the more I send them just gives them more information about myself?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Originally posted by tinyt1977
    Your under no obligation to provide Lowell with anything, but if you want the matter bringing to a close, I’d send them the proof.

    Otherwise you will likley receive a claim form next.

    You can’t claim it’s a case of fraud, then offer nothing to back up your claim.
    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/
    • Vikipollard
    • By Vikipollard 7th Jan 18, 8:23 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    Vikipollard
    Something similar happened to my Mum a number of years ago.

    She was approaching retirement, so cleared all debt from her Barclaycard, and cut it up. A year later, she moved from that rented address to a private rental.

    Fast forward three years, and her former boss rang her to say Barclaycard had contacted them to try to contact my Mum, as she wasn't replying to any contact about her debt. Long story short, she'd cleared the debt, cut up the card, but hadn't closed the account - she didn't know she needed to. When she moved, she didn't update her address with Barclaycard as she'd forgotten about ever having a card. The Unscrupulous W*ore who moved into my Mum's previous place opened the post when Mum's new card arrived (as the old one expired), signed the card, and spent over £2000 on it.

    Mum could prove when she'd moved, (Council Tax, Rent agreement thingy) and did so. The police were involved, and Unscrupulous Wh*re was arrested. She still had the card and it won't come as a surprise that the signature bore no resemblance to my Mum's. The debt was removed from my Mum's name.

    If I was you, I'd send a copy of my Council Tax bill from the date in question.
    LBM July 2006. Debt free 01 Sept 12 ..
    Finally joined Slimming World: weight loss 33lbs...target achieved 51wks later 06.05.13 & still there
    Aim to be mortgage free in 2022. Jan 17 33250, Aug 17 28974 Nov 17 27066 Jan 18 25788
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