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Old Old Debt and Cabot

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MidlandsWalkerMidlandsWalker Forumite
5 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Hello,
I wonder if anyone could advise on this? Way back in 2003 I took out a car loan, however, I could afford to pay the installments and fell into default. The amount outstanding was in the region of £4000.
In 2010 Marlin, who had purchased the debt, issue a County Court summons asking for in excess of £10,000. I disputed this and returned the directions questionaire to the court, I did not admit liability for the debt as there hadn't been any payments for some years (I believe 6). Marlin then attempted to get me to sign a Tomlin order admitting to the debt and agreeing to pay the inflated sum. I did not reply to Marlin. The last I heard was that they had failed to return the Directions Questionaire to the court and the case was closed.
Unexpectedly, late last year Cabot Financial started writing to me regarding the debt. I wrote to the pointing out that I believe the debt to be statute barred. They claim that it is not because it was subject to legal proceedings. Is there any truth in what they are saying? My feeling is that they are trying to pull a fast one.
Thanks in advance

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Replies

  • edited 20 February at 6:10PM
    Willing2LearnWilling2Learn Forumite
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    edited 20 February at 6:10PM
    If the account was subject to a CCJ, then it cannot become Statute Barred.

    National Debtline say the following:
    Once a creditor has a county court judgment (CCJ) for a debt, the Limitation Act does not put any time limits on how long they have to enforce that judgment.

    If your CCJ is more than six years old, and the creditor wants to use enforcement action, they must first get permission of the court.
    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/time-limits-for-recovering-debts/statute-barred-debt.aspx
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    :smiley:
  • MidlandsWalkerMidlandsWalker Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Thanks for the advice. There was no CCJ, the case was closed because Marlin didn't return the court papers.
  • edited 20 February at 6:41PM
    GalloglassGalloglass Forumite
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    edited 20 February at 6:41PM
    AFAIUI the CC never had a J. 

    I'd go with "My feeling is that they are trying to pull a fast one." The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are what you need to have a look at. As regards the case, it never went to judgment so they would need to start the process again, pay the fees **, and then try to prove the case. Your defence, if they tried this, would be SB.

    ** HMCTS get really p**sed off which people trying to avoid paying court fees. It looks like this is exactly what they tried to do.

    @JustDi may be along to confirm 
    Not a debt professional, nor have I had to use one. I just warn about the "advice" you might get.
  • Willing2LearnWilling2Learn Forumite
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    @JustDi may be along to confirm 
    You meant to tag @Just_Di
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    :smiley:
  • Just_DiJust_Di Forumite
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    @JustDi may be along to confirm 
    You meant to tag @Just_Di
    Here I am :) 

    Di
  • Just_DiJust_Di Forumite
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    MidlandsWalker said: Marlin, who had purchased the debt, issue a County Court summons asking for in excess of £10,000. I disputed this and returned the directions questionaire to the court, I did not admit liability for the debt as there hadn't been any payments for some years (I believe 6). Marlin then attempted to get me to sign a Tomlin order admitting to the debt and agreeing to pay the inflated sum. I did not reply to Marlin. The last I heard was that they had failed to return the Directions Questionaire to the court and the case was closed.
    Unexpectedly, late last year Cabot Financial started writing to me regarding the debt. I wrote to the pointing out that I believe the debt to be statute barred. They claim that it is not because it was subject to legal proceedings. 

    From what you say the claim was struck out because Marlin failed to file a response to the Directions Questionnaire by the court deadline.

    If they want to proceed with this claim then they would have to make an Application to the court for 'relief from sanctions'. 

    However Marlin is not authorised by the FCA so cannot lawfully issue legal proceedings in the first place.

    A little more information will help me to help you more.

    Di
  • MidlandsWalkerMidlandsWalker Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Hello Di,
    Thank you for clarifying things. 
    I understand that Marlin were sold to Cabot in 2014. The 2010 claim (I still have the form) was submitted by Mortimer Clarke Solicitors on behalf of Marlin, at the Northampton centre. The claim was for £4924 but they added interest of 1.96 per day making a total of £10188. The debt was from 2003 and I believe that the last payment made was in early 2004, so I responded that the debt was statute barred. Mortimer Clarke then wrote to me directly asking me to sign a Tomlin agreement that would bind me to paying the inflated sum. I did not reply to this. 
    The case was transferred to my local court in Nottingham but the claimant never completed the directions questionnaire so the case was closed. 
    Later in 2010 Marlin sent me a statement for the sum of £10380, then in 2012 another which now had the original sum of £4924. After that nothing until October last year when Cabot wrote to me asking for payment of £10506, I replied that the debt was statute barred. 3 months later they have replied that it isn’t statute barred because it was subject to legal action 10 years ago.
  • GalloglassGalloglass Forumite
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    Interesting that "Cabot wrote" and not Mortimer Clark. MC would get into a whole load of sh*t if they made statements that were not legally correct. So what you have here is misleading and aggressive business practices. Almost de rigueur in this industry. 
    File all the paperwork and come back if you get anything from a court - after all they are the only people that can persuade you to do something. Apart from your OH.
    Not a debt professional, nor have I had to use one. I just warn about the "advice" you might get.
  • MidlandsWalkerMidlandsWalker Forumite
    5 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    So what you have here is misleading and aggressive business practices. Almost de rigueur in this industry. 

    Do you think there’s any point in complaining to the Financial Ombudsman? Not sure how effective they are 
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    Legal action only has to be started so the statute barred defense no longer applies.
    As said above, it makes little difference what Cabot, Marlin or their tame solicitors say to you, unless it comes from a court, you can ignore it.

    Likewise involving the FOS would be pointless, there remit does not extend to the court room.
    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.
    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, CitizensAdviceBureaux.
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