A bit of a shock!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Loans
14 replies 3.8K views
bsjwrightbsjwright Forumite
26 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Loans
Hello. I've got a bit of a worrying situation - I took out a loan with First National Bank years ago for double glazing (approx. £4k). I got into some financial difficulty and couldn't afford to pay it back, so I asked to go onto a reduced payment plan (I had a few other debts, which I have also gone onto reduced payment plans with).

I have been able to increase my payments on these other plans and am getting back on my feet. However, my debt to First National was a bit of a mystery because they NEVER sent me any statements since I started paying reduced payments, so I wasn't able to find out where I was with them. Recently they sold my debt to Asset Link Capital, who have now informed me that I need to contact them to review my situation. I phoned them yesterday to find out that my balance was now £14k!!! I am not sure, but I thought that if the creditor did not provide statements to the debtor, then the debtor was not liable for any interest during the period when no statements had been sent. I realise that maybe I should have contacted First National to request a statement, but surely I shouldn't have had to? If I had known that I was being charged this much interest, I would have taken action to restructure my payment plans in order to prevent the debt from getting this bad. As you can imagine, I am extremely angry about this. If anyone can provide advice on what I should do, I would be most grateful.

:mad: :mad: :mad:
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Replies

  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
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    Write to Asset Link Capital asking them how they come to such a figure.
    When you have these figures take legal advice through someone like CAB.
    The fact that First National have not sent you statements does not mean that you can write off the interest.If you have a lump sum available try an offer after seeing CAB to see how you go.
  • towserivtowseriv Forumite
    322 Posts
    Above is SPAM
  • Gabrovo

    S P A M
    ..
  • bsjwrightbsjwright Forumite
    26 Posts
    Ok, getting back to topic, does anyone else have any advice for me? Thanks.
    :mad:
  • missilemissile Forumite
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    You do not give enough info, to give any other advice than that offered by ejones.

    I guess you have very few options, other than to try to negotiate with Asset Link Capital and without expert advice you will quite likely have to pay up soon or end up in court with sequestration of your assets.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • markldmarkld Forumite
    4 Posts
    Hello BSJ

    We had a similar experience. First National sold 2 of our accounts to Asset Link, who are an extremely diffficult bunch to deal with.

    Have a look at your First National contract, if you still have it. Ours had a clause to say FN could sell the debt, but it had to be operated on the same basis (i.e. regulated under the 1974 act). If yours is the same, there is no way your £4K can now be £14K.

    If you write to them, make sure it's recorded delivery, otherwise they'll deny all knowledge of it.

    Complain to your Local Trading Standards dept, or to the OFT. Although we have a letter from Asset Link claiming that they are regulated by no-one, they do have a credit licence (no 566 896) and so are regulated by the OFT.

    Keep all correspondence. Fight back. Good luck.
  • I have now instituted legal proceedings against them to recover hundreds of pounds of unlawful penalty charges and to stop them overcharging interest.

    No trial date yet, but in their defince ALC say they have capped the charges at £12. I have told them this is not good enough.

    The first problem I had with them is that they would not provide Statements of Account. So I put in formal complaints to the OFT, Information Commissioners Office and Surrey Trading Standards about their activities.

    Then I sent ALC a formal request for statements, and cc'ed the OFT, ICO and Trading Standards. This did the trick, and the statements arrived.

    When I loaded the figures into Excel I found they had been taking much higher interest charges than First National did.

    The OFT maintain a file on their activities, but will not take action until enough people complain. You can write to:

    Mr Andy Lowther, Consumer Regulation Enforcement Division, Office of Fair Trading, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX (ref: E/Complaint/6121)

    Similarly, the ICO have a file. They have closed my case after recommending that I pursue the case through the courts, but it cannot hurt to write to:

    Ms. Laura Hennessy, DP Case Reception Unit, The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (ref: RFA0123828)

    Write to your local Trading Standards Dept. If you happen to live in Surrey, the address is:

    Mr. Tusler, Surrey County Council Trading Standards Dept, Mid Surrey Area Office, Bay Tree Avenue, Kingston Rd, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7SY

    Hope this helps

    Mark
  • That's great, thanks Mark - I did contact them, and after speaking to a girl there, she managed to write off the excess somehow and restored the debt back to around £4k. I need to check the next statement though because they were charging a lot more interest than I thought that they should be.
  • Markid

    Please let me know how you get on. I am in the same situation as you but judgement in your favour should help the likes of me. Did writing to the OFT and ICO help in any way?
  • Thank you this information is fantastic. I am also in a similar situation with Asset Link. Debt from First National a few years ago at approx £4000. Got onto a dmp with payplan. Debt sold to Asset Link who went for and got a ccj with variation order (we pay slightly above this amount and always have) They tried to get a charging order on our house (and failed!). This was a year ago and I have now received a letter to say that the small print in my original first national paperwork has a clause saying they can charge contractual interest after any court judgement. I had heard this last year but had a newborn and was quite ill so didn't have the strength to fight for a while after the initial court case.

    I dread to think where our statement now stands as they do not answer mail and are very rude on the phone, but I will write again as suggested with the cc's in place and start to push again now to get this sorted.

    There are many tactics of this company which seem quite underhand along with their ruse threatening staff, I would do anything to get this sorted. I pay all creditors fairly as I am on my dmp. Asset Link have of course said we should up our payments to them as the debt is ever increasing, but many of our other debts are for a larger amount and all other companies have been helpful so I refuse to treat the bullies better and in fact possibly put my payment plan with others in jeopardy!

    From the research I did online the OFT already tried to take them to court over the clause on stopping interest. They won at first but then lost on Appeal at the house of lors i think, who deemed that we should all be able to read contracts! Yes, in theory but this is the real world and people need some protection. If they are like other debt companies then they have only bought this debt for however many pence in the pound anyway so how can they claim its fair to eventually get more than initial debt with the first company!

    Many months ago they had me in tears on more than one occasion, now I'm just angry!

    Keri -x-

    Markld, is there any chance you could help me with initial complaint letters, etc as I really won't to get moving with this but with two young children I'm having trouble getting my head round writing my thoughts down today
    hey there's no money but we couldn't be happier if we tried
    £2 coin pot - £92!
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