Debt collection agency ignoring my emails, claims I've defaulted

Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can advise. I'm at my wits end.

A debt collection agency emailed me back in May asking for me to send a financial statement and set up a payment plan with them. This was no surprise to me, I owe the money and had spoken with the company so I (and they) were fully aware it would be going down this route.

I sent my financial statement and an offer of a monthly payment. I never heard back.

They sent a couple of letters threatening to take me to court, and so I emailed them again in July, attaching the original email, again reiterating my payment offer and submitting my financial statement. Still nothing, just a generic acknowledgement like before.

Then they reported my non-payments to the credit agency. I email them again. I try to call, get cut off before anyone answers. 

I filed a formal complaint, which they obviously received because about a month ago I received a letter saying they were looking into it.

Today on Clearscore, it's showing as a default. 

What do I do? I don't have the money to get a solicitor to advise me. It's so unfair that I've done everything they've asked and they're going to ruin my entire life over it. If I need to move out, then a default could stop me from passing a credit check and getting a new place to live. 

I'm so upset about it. I feel powerless. 

Comments

  • They're not going to ruin your entire life over it. They've applied a default to your credit files which will last 6 years.

    When did you first default on the debt?  Ideally, the default will be applied within 6 months of this date, so ask them to backdate it if not.
  • SusieT
    SusieT Posts: 1,267 Forumite
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    It sounds (from the way you have written the above) as if you made an offer to pay them, but have not ctually sent payments to them? In that case yes you have defaulted as you did not pay for however many months. What you should have done was send the information they asked for and then pay the amount you had offered each month, so start paying what you said you would straight away.  If you want to move the credit referencing will usually only see public information, so the default should not affect that. 
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  • They're not going to ruin your entire life over it. They've applied a default to your credit files which will last 6 years.

    When did you first default on the debt?  Ideally, the default will be applied within 6 months of this date, so ask them to backdate it if not.

    Lots of landlords don't want tenants who have defaults on their files though, so if my landlord ends the tenancy it could well stop me from finding a new place to live. I'm not expecting that to happen any time soon, but as defaults last 6 years it could prevent me passing tenancy checks for the next 6 years. Over something that's not even my fault. 

    I first defaulted on payments in April. I'm not sure what you mean by asking them to backdate the default? There shouldn't even be a default on there, I've been repeatedly offering payments. 
  • SusieT said:
    It sounds (from the way you have written the above) as if you made an offer to pay them, but have not ctually sent payments to them? In that case yes you have defaulted as you did not pay for however many months. What you should have done was send the information they asked for and then pay the amount you had offered each month, so start paying what you said you would straight away.  If you want to move the credit referencing will usually only see public information, so the default should not affect that. 
    That's true, because I had to wait for them to accept the payment offer first. Their original correspondence asked for a financial statement and to make an offer of a payment plan for them to agree to (or not). I don't even have their payment details to pay them. 
    And thanks for the credit referencing information. It makes me feel better.
    I'll try to get hold of their payment details so at least if it goes to court, I've got proof I've been making payments to them. 
  • MorningcoffeeIV
    MorningcoffeeIV Posts: 1,946 Forumite
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    edited 4 November 2022 at 12:37PM
    They're not going to ruin your entire life over it. They've applied a default to your credit files which will last 6 years.

    When did you first default on the debt?  Ideally, the default will be applied within 6 months of this date, so ask them to backdate it if not.


     There shouldn't even be a default on there, I've been repeatedly offering payments. 
    You have to actually make your contractual payments, not just offer to make a payment of some other amount.
  • caimay175 said:
    They're not going to ruin your entire life over it. They've applied a default to your credit files which will last 6 years.

    When did you first default on the debt?  Ideally, the default will be applied within 6 months of this date, so ask them to backdate it if not.


     There shouldn't even be a default on there, I've been repeatedly offering payments. 
    You have to actually make your contractual payments, not just offer to make a payment of some other amount.
    I told the original company that I was concerned about defaults and they said as long as I set up a payment plan with the debt collection agency, that won't happen - which is consistent with what I've experienced before. 

    The debt collection agency asked me to make an offer of a payment plan of something I can afford each month, which I did, and waited for their agreement and for them to confirm the payment details / send their direct debit details and agree which day of the month, etc. This is what has happened before. The debt collection agency comes back to me agreeing to the payment amount and set up a direct debit. And I don't get a default reported. 
  • MorningcoffeeIV
    MorningcoffeeIV Posts: 1,946 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 4 November 2022 at 12:37PM
    caimay175 said:
    They're not going to ruin your entire life over it. They've applied a default to your credit files which will last 6 years.

    When did you first default on the debt?  Ideally, the default will be applied within 6 months of this date, so ask them to backdate it if not.


     There shouldn't even be a default on there, I've been repeatedly offering payments. 
    You have to actually make your contractual payments, not just offer to make a payment of some other amount.
    I told the original company that I was concerned about defaults and they said as long as I set up a payment plan with the debt collection agency, that won't happen - which is consistent with what I've experienced before. 


    It's surprising they would tell you that. But the alternative would have been an arrangment to pay, which is more damaging than the default if it last more than a month of two. 

    So in that regard, a default is a good result.
  • Clive_Woody
    Clive_Woody Posts: 5,852 Forumite
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    Possibly it sounds like you've been fortunate previously, but if you've missed payments and are now offering reduced payments then technically you have defaulted on the agreement and they are correct in reporting this.

    How many payments have you missed?
    "We act as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about” – Albert Einstein
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,831 Ambassador
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    edited 19 October 2022 at 6:15PM
    Just give us a little bit of clarity please -

    (1) who was the original creditor,
    (2) what was the debt for, and
    (3) which debt collector is it?

    Because the way you describe things, it appears to me that the debt collector is just acting on behalf of their client, so have no power to force payment from you, record anything on your credit file, or take you to court, if it`s not their debt, they can`t do anything but ask you nicely to pay.

    Different matter if they have bought the debt, but you would have been informed in writing if that were the case, has anyone ever even written to you regarding this matter?

    You see it may be the original creditor that has defaulted you, and the DCA are just attempting collection of the debt, on their behalf, you need to clarify things for us please.

    Also, regarding your previous experience with payment arrangements, it`s always down to the individual creditor whether you meet the criteria for a default or not, I would say that previously, you have been lucky.


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