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Lowell Group, Red Debt Collection and 3 mobile

edited 28 October 2012 at 2:02PM in Old Threads
4 replies 7.2K views
RobotKitschRobotKitsch Forumite
1 posts
edited 28 October 2012 at 2:02PM in Old Threads
Hello there!

This is my first post, so sorry if I'm not posting int he right place.

Yesterday, I received a call from my father who lives nearly 100 miles away from my current address. He had mistakenly opened a letter from Lowell Financial Ltd addressed to me (why it was addressed to his address, I have no idea, as I haven't lived there in 7 years). The letter was threatening a CCJ against me (I also had no idea what one of those was until my dad explained it to me) as they had apparently tried to contact me regarding a £50 debt that 3G had sold to them and had failed.

Upon inspection, he found another two letters addressed to me from the last two months. He is elderly and misses a lot of his post so didn't notice them before.

I had a contract with Hutchinson 3G which ended in 2010. The last payment through direct debit which was taken on the 5th July 2010 was for £23. I called Three this morning demanding to know what was going on and apparently I owed them a £50 contract severance fee. I asked when my contract ended, and they said the 12th July, 2010. When asked when my contract was MEANT to end, they said they could not provide those details. Apparently they tried to contact me about the debt until the end of 2010, but I was alerted to no such correspondence, as I moved out of my accommodation at the end of July and joined an O2 phone contract.

I'm unsure why they could not take the fee from my account at the time seeing as they had previously taken money from my account with a direct debit (if there even WAS a fee, I'm unsure).

This was a bit out of the blue. I had no idea about this potential debt at all, until my dad emailed me yesterday regarding the threat letter about the CCJ. Especially as my account with them ended in July, 2010!

I'm unsure what to do exactly, whether this is some kind of scam, or what my rights are. I'm about to rent my first house with my partner, and have been told that I could have a default on my credit history from Lowell. At my age (early 20s), a default is something I really don't want to experience and I'm panicking!

I would really appreciate any advice, and I'm already drafting a 'prove it' letter to send tomorrow.

Thanks for your time,

RobotKitsch
:eek:

Replies

  • VitaKVitaK Forumite
    651 posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Send them the 'prove it' to start with. You can then decide your course of action depending of what they come back with.

    Have you checked your credit report(s) to see if they have defaulted you. ICO recomend that a default should be registrered within 6 month of breakdown. They should not be recording a default this long after breakdown.

    There is a lot of knowledgeable posters on the DFW board. It might be worth posting there also.
  • edited 29 October 2012 at 1:34PM
    WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K posts
    edited 29 October 2012 at 1:34PM
    The OP is, or was, a customer of the supplier having paid them direct debits in recent years to them.

    The OP has been advised what the debt relates to. The OP should check their copy of the terms and conditions as they don't appear at all familiar with what they originally agreed to.

    Maybe the OP should make an appointment with their local CAB office, taking along all the applicable paperwork, and I'm sure an adviser will explain everything :)
  • CAB_Swansea_Bay_representativeCAB_Swansea_Bay_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    287 posts
    Hi Robertkitsch, thank you for your query regarding Lowell.
    There are two separate issues in your query, the first is whether they correctly charged you a severance fee which you will need to check the terms and conditions when you took out the agreement with them to ascertain. If it was a correct fee then the next issue is whether they sent reminders and why they sent those reminders to an old address. If the contract was taken out in a different address from where you live now then it may be that reminder letters have been sent to your previous address with no response and then when the creditor passed the account to Lowell they did a search and found a record of you at your father's address but if they have ignored a address you had informed them to contact you at you may be able to challenge this. If you do not have access to the terms and conditions of the original contract I would suggest you write to 3 and state the debt is in dispute and ask them to put all action on hold and ask them to send you a copy of the terms and conditions and copies of all reminder letters they have sent to you since the closure of the account so you can see the address they were sent to. It is important you send all letters recorded delivery and keep a copy. If you are still unhappy you can make a complaint and take that complaint to the comunications ombudsmans service at http://www.ombudsman-services.org/communications. If you require more information you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.
    Hope this is of assistance.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • BuzbyBuzby Forumite
    8.3K posts
    I'm afraid CAB Swansea has got hold of the wrong end of the stick. There is no requirement for Lowelll to 'prove' it - this in not a regulated credit agreement, but a service contract. It is not uncommon for mobile firms to send a final invoice that mops up remaining contractural amounts - and NOT take it from the DD (which is more properly used to pay for ongoing service).

    Lowell have probably used their database to track and trace you - and have done so via a relative. There is no defence of saying '3 had a DD', the onus to pay always remains with the debtor regardless.

    As was suggested earlier - check what is on your credit file and see if you have been defaulted. If so, you may be minded to pay 3 what is owed (TO 3) stating that you can find no final demand for payment of any outstanding balance. I wouldn't lose any sleep over Lowell taking you to court - further, as they are not the principal creditor all they can do is threat court action (NOT a CCJ, they cannot 'issue' one - only Courts can, and if you pay the court claim no judgement is made or recorded).

    Since the wrecking of a credit file is 'punishment' enough - Lowell cannot make things any worse, so you shouldn't be in any rush to throw money at them.
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