Challenging catalogue debts

HI, i noticed this on another forum so thought id post it here incase it can help anyone!

".....I have noticed a few postings that involve catalogue debts recently. In practice, many catalogue debts are totally unenforceable through the courts. Where this is the case, although they are unenforceable, they are still legal debts and will find there way onto credit files, even though there is a complete defence if they are sued for in the county court. If a CCJ has already been entered (usually in ‘default’ of a response), it may well be possible to have the judgment ‘set aside’.

The legal position is as follows:

Catalogues provide credit, even where no interest is charged. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) all credit agreements must be properly documented and signed by the borrower/customer. Signing a receipt for goods that have been delivered is not signing a credit agreement. Where no written agreement has been signed by the borrower/customer, the debt is totally unenforceable under the CCA and there is a complete defence to any ct claim that is issued.

If someone wants to dispute a catalogue debt, s/he should write to the catalogue co and request a copy of the agreement that s/he is entitled to under the CCA, sent a fee of £1.00 and ask the cat co to confirm whether or not they entered a properly ‘executed’ and signed consumer credit agreement.

If no copy is sent (while they should send a ‘true’ copy, this does not have to show signatures) the debt is unenforceable unless and until it is sent (as well as being unenforceable because it is not in writing and signed). Also, a criminal offence is committed by the cat co if the copy is not sent within one month.

Catalogue companies know perfectly well that they are supposed to enter properly executed and signed agreements – they asked the govt to exempt them from these provisions and they were refused (because of evidence of abuse in the mail order industry).

They often do not enter into properly executed and signed agreements, and where this is the case, their agreements are, as stated above, unenforceable through the courts. Where this has happened, as someone cannot be successfully sued (as long as s/he defends the case), there is the option not to pay, provided s/he is not worried by an adverse credit file entry or being able to use the catalogue (and probably others) in the future...."


  • tru
    tru Posts: 9,138 Forumite
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    Thanks for that, I've heard that before. I'm tempted to contact the 2 catalogues I owe money to, to save me having to pay them off :D But, the way I see it is, I ordered and received goods, was happy with them and kept them, so morally I should pay for them.
  • Kimberley
    Kimberley Posts: 14,871 Forumite
    But if the debt is sent to a credt debt collector then that debt is enforceable..That is what i was told anyway, don't know if it's true :)
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