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HFO services and Barclaycard debt help please

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Hi, first post so Im not sure this is the correct forum for debt problems but here goes anyway,any help would be greatly appreciated before I take things further.

Ive read stories on this site about HFO Services being a bunch of cowboys and charlatans so I`m wary of contacting them.

I took out a Barclaycard in 2002 and when my relationship broke down in 2004 I struggled to pay the debt off, paying only the interest untill about early 2006 when i ceased making payments (stupid I know) .At the time I owed around £1400 in total to Barclaycard when I defaulted and ignored initial letters from them. After a year or so I heard nothing more and subsequently moved house.

Since then I have heard nothing until today (4 and a half years since I last paid anything or contacted Barclaycard) I recieved a letter from HFO regarding the amount of just over £2500 which I owe.They state in the letter they have tried to contact me several times recently (untrue) and can minimise additional costs and interest charges I`m currently incurring provided I phone them and assure me they want to help.

They state they are currently in the process of reviewing the account and if I fail to get in touch within 7 days ( the letter was 6 days old when I revieved it) this dossier will be passed on to their solicitors and once that happens they will be unable to help me. They state as I have made payments in the past (not to them I havent) it is unlikely that I will be able to make a credible defence to legal action.

The letter goes on to say they will seek a CCJ against me and once that happens they apply for a Warrent of execution for court bailiffs to seize my posessions or alternatively apply through solicitors for an order to obtain information against me.

Attached to the letter is a SUBJECT EVALUATION SHEET

This sheet has my age incorrect by 9 years, information about the estimated property value ( house is owned by my new partner ) and states that my employment details are "confirmed but in print"'

It states that interest is active at 12.00%

There is also a copy of an e-consumerview credit check?


I wish to make steps to clear this debt finally but having read a lot of negative and seemingly underhand tactics employed by HFO I`m unsure of my next step. Should I contact HFO and make an agreement to pay as I could probably afford to pay £60 a month or will this be a waste of time and involve me barely clearing the interest at 12.00pa once again?

Thanks for any help in advance

Comments

  • Consumerist
    Consumerist Posts: 6,310 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
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    Firstly, it would seem HFOS have an extremely bad reputation for misrepresentation and harassment of debtors, their families and employers. Be warned.

    Accordingly, all communication with this company should be in writing. Do not phone them under any circumstances or give them your telephone number.

    I understand that you would like to settle the debt but you should move cautiously with this company. They will almost certainly damage your credit record whatever you may agree with them about repayment. You don't mention whether your credit record is currently good or bad but if you are likely to want new credit soon then it might be good idea to arrange it now rather than wait.

    I suggest that you start off by writing to them. Send the letter by Recorded Delivery post and keep a copy for your records. You can confirm it has been received using the online Royal Mail tracking service. Ask for an account of the alleged debt (i.e. evidence that the debt is yours) and a copy of the Notice of Assignment of the debt to them. It is not uncommon for the wrong person to be chased for debt. Although you may owe money to Barclaycard, you want to be sure that the debt you repay is in fact the debt which YOU originally owed to Barclaycard.

    I suggest that your letter insists that all comunication must be in writing. If they phone you, insist again then put the phone down.

    Once you are satisfied the debt is actually yours then you can set about arranging to repay. Any arrangement should be confirmed in writing. Make sure you can definitely keep up the payments for the duration of the arrangement. Pay by Standing Order from your bank - NOT by direct debit or by debit card payments unless you want your account cleared out without notice.

    Just as a guide, I estimate that it would take about 54 months at £60 per month to repay £2,500 at 12% APR.

    Further to this, you can get lots of advice on dealing with threats and harassment from Debt Collection Agencies in the Debt-free Wannabe forum. You may also, for example, be able to negotiate a reduction in the amount you need to repay if you are in financial difficulties.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • lifeonloop
    lifeonloop Posts: 10 Forumite
    edited 16 December 2010 at 4:39PM
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    Thank you for the advice, Ive posted this in the debt free forum as well.

    Luckily at the minute they do not seem to have a telephone number for me and we are ex directory in my new partners name too so hopefully they will not be able to ring our house. I`m also not looking to acquire any other credit in the near future, my credit rating has been improving in the last few years and I have no other debts apart from my overdraft which is manageable.
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