Gym / Daniels Silverman debt collectors

in Debt-Free Wannabe
6 replies 4.2K views
Hello, MSE. I hope I'm posting in the correct forum - please do advise if there's a better place to put this.

My girlfriend has received an email from Daniels Silverman regarding an apparent debt of several hundred pounds.

Some background:

This seems to be from a gym membership she signed up for late last year, on a year's contract, paid monthly.

The DD was paid in full and on time for four months, but in the past few months we have had less and less money available. She cancelled the DD, but didn't inform the gym (not ideal, I know, but it's easy to panic and ignore debt).

The only contact from the gym was one email requesting payment, roughly two months ago.

There are get-out clauses in the gym membership for moving 15 miles from the gym, for being made redundant, or being too ill. In each case, proof such as a doctor's note or a redundancy letter are required.

She has been on ESA for several years due to illness, but no longer qualifies for that as she has moved in with me, and I apparently earn enough that she now only qualifies for her monthly DLA payment (lower rate). I doubt this will count for illness, as she was already ill before signing up with the gym. Despite remaining ill, she has had no choice but to seek work, but so far hasn't had any success, despite many job applications.

The email starts "We have been instructed by (BLANK) to collect the sum of (SUM AMOUNT) which is outstanding on your account."
Followed by "Please note our involvement and ensure all future payments are made to ourselves not our client. Payment of the full balance should be made within 7 days to avoid the possibility of further action being taken against you. "

A quick google suggests that Daniels Silverman are a bunch of, well, perhaps less-than-reputable people. Though as a debt-collection agency I wouldn't expect anything else

There's no way that we can afford to pay the full debt all at once, but would be able to pay a small monthly amount to pay the debt off over time.

Can anyone advise on our options, please? Any answers gratefully received.

Replies

  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    Hi,

    Unless you get a written request for payment in the post, you can ignore these people completely.

    It's cheaper to send out texts and emails for smaller debts, but legally they must write to you and ask for payment.

    Also as they refer to "there client", you can ignore them anyway as they do not own the debt, therefore they can't enforce it.

    If you do get something in writing, write and ask for proof by sending the provit letter, available from the stickies at the top of this forum.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, 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:
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    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    "I don`t trust Bankers, I don`t trust Banks, and I don`t trust you.........Private Frazer".
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • davidffdavidff Forumite
    4 Posts
    Thank you very much for your quick reply!

    Would you recommend emailing them back asking for a written request, or is this email better off ignored entirely - waiting to see if a letter is posted?

    I will have a read of the provit letter.
  • davidffdavidff Forumite
    4 Posts
    Actually, please ignore my previous post. Despite re-reading your reply several times, in my panic it failed to sink in.

    We will ignore until they take it further and contact her in writing.

    Thank you again.
  • davidffdavidff Forumite
    4 Posts
    And I'm sorry - a followup question:

    Would it be worth her getting in touch with the gym company directly, to attempt to come to an arrangement with them, please?
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    davidff wrote: »
    And I'm sorry - a followup question:

    Would it be worth her getting in touch with the gym company directly, to attempt to come to an arrangement with them, please?

    It could be yes, as they still own the debt.

    The usual process is the debt will be passed around 3/4 more collection agency's, each trying there luck.

    Eventually the gym would sell the debt to a specialist debt purchaser such as Lowell or Cabot, who would then assume all rights and privileges, and essentially become the new creditor.

    So if she can come to an arrangement with the gym, she could save herself a lot of hassle.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File and Ratings, 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:
    [email protected].
    Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    "I don`t trust Bankers, I don`t trust Banks, and I don`t trust you.........Private Frazer".
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
  • National_DebtlineNational_Debtline Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    8K Posts
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    Hello Davidff,


    I think you know the debt is genuinely owed and ignoring collection activity is really just delaying the inevitable. An email is still genuine, written contact, and the sooner you start to deal with this the sooner it is all over. You can always double check the contract for a possible dispute, but from your OP there doesn't seem to be anything clear cut you can use.

    If you are concerned about the debt collector then ask them for more details of the debt (such as a breakdown etc.) and that all future correspondence is in a letter as opposed to an email. Your partner should do a SOA and work out what she can afford to pay - even if it is just £1pcm. Write back to them, with the SOA and ask them to accept the offer and freeze any charges.


    Just remember that debt collectors are not bailiffs and have no right of entry or repossession. And they can use the county court to enforce the money owed as well. Are there any other debts? If so there may be other options to deal with things, but if this is the only one ,at a few hundred pounds, then a payment plan would seem the most practical. Good luck,


    Laura
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
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