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  • FIRST POST
    MikkyX
    Letter from "Red Debt Collection Services" - I'm convinced it's not mine!
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 07, 11:22 PM
    Letter from "Red Debt Collection Services" - I'm convinced it's not mine! 30th Nov 07 at 11:22 PM
    Hi all,
    First post, be gentle

    I received a letter last week from a company called Red Debt Collection Services stating they were collecting on a debt of 200 to HSBC. There were just two problems with this:

    1) Although the letter had my name and address on it, the middle initial was wrong. Fiddly, I know, but I thought it was significant considering........

    2) ........I've never owed HSBC a penny

    Upon receiving the letter I phoned the CCCS (currently going through a debt management plan with them) and asked their advice. They suggested that the letter was probably sent to me by mistake as if a company is having trouble tracking down a person who owes them money, they just spam letters to everyone they can find who sounds vaguely similar. I should ring the agency and explain this. So I did and got a helpful sounding girl to talk to, and they agreed to retrace, see if they'd got the wrong man (they have!).

    Today I got another letter from them so I rang up and queried how the trace was going. I got a much less helpful guy who told me that since I'd verified my name, address and date of birth (all of which apparently match their records) the debt was definitely mine and I should pay up. No acknowledgement of any trace. Then the knockout punch (for them) - he said the debt was outstanding on a HSBC current account. I've banked with Barclays and now NatWest but NEVER HSBC. I told him this - he acted like it was irrelevant - still my debt.

    The conversation went round in circles, got a little heated, and ended with him saying I would have to prove I wasn't the person who owed the debt by sending them a copy of my passport and a letter with my signature on so that they could match it to the original documents, and me demanding THEY prove I'm liable for the debt before things proceed any further. Which they won't be able to do since I've had no dealings with HSBC..... I'm thinking of ringing HSBC to ask them what's going on.

    Before I proceed I wondered what advice people here had for me as to where to go next - should I send the proof of ID they're asking for or leave the onus on them to provide the proof *I* requested?
Page 1
    • tallyhoh
    • By tallyhoh 30th Nov 07, 11:45 PM
    • 1,981 Posts
    • 1,909 Thanks
    tallyhoh
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 07, 11:45 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 07, 11:45 PM
    Someone will be along soon to put you right BUT in the meantime don't send them anything, 'specially not copy of passport or signature, companies have been known just to copy your signature onto documents to try & prove you signed for something.
    If they are saying they want to compare your signature, ask them for copies of the agreement/paperwork they hold. There is a template letter for this.
    Tallyhoh!

    Stopped Smoking October 2000. Saved 21,840 so far!
  • rog2
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 07, 11:59 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 07, 11:59 PM
    SEND THEM NOTHING AND DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ANY DEBT TO THEM

    A Debt Collection Agency is legally obliged to send you full details of any alleged debt, including a full statement, which they say that you 'owe'.
    It looks as though Red are 'Phishing' and that this 'letter' is no more than a 'scam'.
    By confirming your name and address you have admitted to nothing.
    The onus of proof is on Red Debt Collection to prove that you are in fact the debtor and not on you to prove otherwise.
    Have a look at the following:

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf
    I am NOT, nor do I profess to be, a Qualified Debt Adviser. I have made MANY mistakes and have OFTEN been the unwitting victim of the the shamefull tactics of the Financial Industry.
    If any of my experiences, or the knowledge that I have gained from those experiences, can help anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances, then my experiences have not been in vain.

    HMRC Bankruptcy Statistic - 26th October 2006 - 23rd April 2007 BCSC Member No. 7

    DFW Nerd # 166 PROUD TO BE DEALING WITH MY DEBTS
  • GeorgeUK
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:32 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:32 AM
    Totally agree with Rog

    You do not need to prove anything. If you provide them a copy of your signature there's a chance that your signature will appear at the bottom of some credit agreement you have never seen.
    After falling off the gambling wagon (twice): 33,600 (24,000+ 9,600) - Original CC Debt: 7,885.91

    Dad Gift 6k Savings & Inv Tst: 2,500
    Loan 10k: 0 Dad 5.5k: 2,270 LTSB: 0 RBS: 0 Virgin 0 Egg 0

    Total Owed: 2,270 (+6k) 11/08/2011
  • MikkyX
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:33 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:33 AM
    Had a feeling things might be that way round. Thanks guys - I will call Red again tomorrow to remind them of their legal obligations.
  • theunknownstuntman
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:39 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 07, 12:39 AM
    Good hunting tomorrow MikkyX, great advice off the guys.
    I am one of the 63336.
    His Grace Lord Stunty the Coherent of Deep Throcking

    'It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep.'
  • Bunnyinthelights
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 07, 7:50 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 07, 7:50 AM
    Total con artists...trying it on
    Idiots, them, not you!
    Empty pockets never held anyone back, only empty heads and empty hearts can do that -Peale
    • RAS
    • By RAS 1st Dec 07, 1:10 PM
    • 28,011 Posts
    • 48,388 Thanks
    RAS
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 07, 1:10 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 07, 1:10 PM
    Had a feeling things might be that way round. Thanks guys - I will call Red again tomorrow to remind them of their legal obligations.
    Originally posted by MikkyX

    Hi - You need to write to them. That way when they cannot find the documentation, you can tell them to bogoff and that if they ever contact you again, you will make a formal complaint (actually they are committing and offence but getting anyone to take them to court is difficult).

    If you just phone, this will keep going. As you have discovered it depends entirely who you speak to and they are not consistent in their behaviour.

    Send the letter rog directed you to, above, recorded delievey.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
    • inmypocketnottheirs
    • By inmypocketnottheirs 1st Dec 07, 1:22 PM
    • 4,537 Posts
    • 2,159 Thanks
    inmypocketnottheirs
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 07, 1:22 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 07, 1:22 PM
    Definately do not call these imbeciles. No doubt it is a premium rate 0870 number or something similar. Write, keep copies and send recorded delivery. Clip the royal mail receipt to your copy and a few days after posting download the delivery acknowledgement from the RM website.
    Don't lie, thieve, cheat or steal. The Government do not like the competition.
    The Lord Giveth and the Government Taketh Away.
    I'm sorry, I don't apologise. That's just the way I am. Homer (Simpson)
  • greyteam1959
    yep I bet its an 0870 number...as the OP says forget telephone calls.
    inmypocketnottheirs has it right on the button do as he / she suggests........
    then forget all about
    • Paul Varjak
    • By Paul Varjak 14th Jan 08, 3:27 PM
    • 4,313 Posts
    • 2,771 Thanks
    Paul Varjak
    I got a much less helpful guy who told me that since I'd verified my name, address and date of birth (all of which apparently match their records) the debt was definitely mine and I should pay up.
    Originally posted by MikkyX
    So, now you have told them your name, address, date of birth and, no doubt, your phone number as well!

    Did you bank with Midland 20 years ago? Red Debt has been known to buy 20 year-old debts!
  • rog2
    The conversation went round in circles, got a little heated, and ended with him saying I would have to prove I wasn't the person who owed the debt by sending them a copy of my passport and a letter with my signature on so that they could match it to the original documents, and me demanding THEY prove I'm liable for the debt before things proceed any further. Which they won't be able to do since I've had no dealings with HSBC.....
    Originally posted by MikkyX
    Do NOT send them anything. As I have previously stated - it is up to Red Debt to provide you with proof of any alleged debt - not the other way round.
    Once they have given you this information, we can best advise on how to deal with it.
    I am NOT, nor do I profess to be, a Qualified Debt Adviser. I have made MANY mistakes and have OFTEN been the unwitting victim of the the shamefull tactics of the Financial Industry.
    If any of my experiences, or the knowledge that I have gained from those experiences, can help anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances, then my experiences have not been in vain.

    HMRC Bankruptcy Statistic - 26th October 2006 - 23rd April 2007 BCSC Member No. 7

    DFW Nerd # 166 PROUD TO BE DEALING WITH MY DEBTS
    • stapeley
    • By stapeley 14th Jan 08, 4:14 PM
    • 2,278 Posts
    • 763 Thanks
    stapeley
    Prime example why you should never phone these people! If an doubt just hit them with a CCA request . good luck
  • Kevicho
    I second Rog, keep a copy of the letter, but leave it to them to make further contact.

    If they call you state that you only want to receive any form of contact in writing, and tell them this is a legal right, otherwise you will report them for harassment.

    Also state you will be expecting £10 in compensation for telephone calls made, and also for stress due to this unsolicited post, otherwise you will be reporting them to the OFT for fraud, and say, as in my opinion, they are attempting to defraud you of money by post.

    Finally if any letters do arrive, put back in the post saying not at this address, as technically this is true as they have a different initial for your name.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 14th Jan 08, 9:10 PM
    • 9,647 Posts
    • 7,253 Thanks
    fatbelly
    Red is part of the Lowell group, I think, and they are members of the Credit Services Association, who say their members abide by the OFT Debt Collection Guidance

    http://www.csa-uk.com/csa/members-list.php

    I think it might be worth a complaint to both the csa and the OFT. Strange how they agreed the date of birth matched their record even though they got your middle initial wrong. Get them to show you the signed agreement!
  • angiegofton
    my husband too has had a letter out of the blue from red debt. it said he owed 1434.66 to barclaycard. my husband did have barclaycard along time ago paid in full. red said this debt is from 1996, we said we were contesting this debt, then recieved another letter saying barclaycard would accept 717.16. we still are contesting this debt. is it right after 6 years if not contested, the debt is dead
    • fermi
    • By fermi 27th Jan 08, 12:12 PM
    • 38,994 Posts
    • 46,787 Thanks
    fermi
    my husband too has had a letter out of the blue from red debt. it said he owed 1434.66 to barclaycard. my husband did have barclaycard along time ago paid in full. red said this debt is from 1996, we said we were contesting this debt, then recieved another letter saying barclaycard would accept 717.16. we still are contesting this debt. is it right after 6 years if not contested, the debt is dead
    Originally posted by angiegofton
    Have a read through the National Debtline factsheet on this. Link below.

    http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/factsheet.php?page=25_liability_for_debts_and_the_ limitation_act
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards and Loans 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

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  • karen.r
    fermi wrote...
    Have a read through the National Debtline factsheet on this. Link below.

    http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/en...limitation_act

    I had a letter today from the same debt collection service & found this website very helpful. I rang the number & spoke to someone who is sending me details of what I need to do about it. I have never been in debt & it looks like I am the victim of identity theft.
  • rog2
    I had a letter today from the same debt collection service & found this website very helpful. I rang the number & spoke to someone who is sending me details of what I need to do about it. I have never been in debt & it looks like I am the victim of identity theft.
    Originally posted by karen.r
    Hi karen - I am pleased that you found the NDL information of use.
    I'm just confused about one point, though - perhaps I have misread your post, so could you please clarify. Is it 'Red'/'Lowell' who are sending you information about 'identity fraud' or National Debtline.
    If National Debtline - fine.
    If Red/Lowell - then please do not get involved. This could be a trick to ensnare you into admitting a 'debt' which is not yours.
    Problems of 'Identity Fraud' should only be dealt with between you, the original creditor (NOT A DCA) and the Police. Any of the Debt Counselling Charities will be pleased to advise.
    I am NOT, nor do I profess to be, a Qualified Debt Adviser. I have made MANY mistakes and have OFTEN been the unwitting victim of the the shamefull tactics of the Financial Industry.
    If any of my experiences, or the knowledge that I have gained from those experiences, can help anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances, then my experiences have not been in vain.

    HMRC Bankruptcy Statistic - 26th October 2006 - 23rd April 2007 BCSC Member No. 7

    DFW Nerd # 166 PROUD TO BE DEALING WITH MY DEBTS
  • karen.r
    It's National Debtline who suspect identity theft, not Red. Thanks for the concern. I will make sure I don't send Red any information because I don't intend to pay anybody elses debts for them, I have enough of my own bills to pay.
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