Charging Order monies being chased

Hello. This is my first post and hopefully I am in the right place. 
I had two charging orders (land registry search says Interim Orders) in 2010. These followed on from ccj for credit card debt which I buried my head in sand about at the time. House is jointly owned but debt in my name only. Have had no contact regarding this until recently when I started to receive letters from Mortimer Clarke who say they are acting on behalf of their client. Not sure who client is as they didn’t say but assume it is related to charging order as they mentioned this in letters. They are asking asking for payment of outstanding debt. Again buried head in sand but now they have stated they will ask Marstons to visit to put me back in touch with them as I did not respond. Have researched Marstons who are high court enforcers. 
I know I should have dealt with this a long time ago but personal circumstances have changed as had to give up work due to severe health issues and now on benefits and husband diagnosed with dementia. He is unaware of debt issues so dealing with this on my own. He is 78 and very vulnerable now. 
I am not sure what to do next but want to try and deal with this as it’s very stressful and impacting on my health. 
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Comments

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,243
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    edited 18 March 2023 at 9:20AM
    You have two choices: make some payment or ignore.

    If you ignore then this debt will be settled when the house eventually is sold.

    If they want to employ Marstons to visit, the you should know that they have no power to force entry, but you must keep external doors locked. Whether you choose to talk to them through the letterbox is up to you. 

    I wouldn't

    As you are now on benefits, it's unlikely that you have significant surplus income to pay this off in a reasonable timeframe. But you can do the maths. Reasonable timeframe usually means 3-5 years max.

    You could write to them and explain this. It would then be fairly callous of them to continue their harassment.
  • I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me can confirm this, but would these really be Charging Orders?

    I was under the impression that a charging order for a sole debt could not be registered against a jointly owned property, just a restriction.

    Sounds to me like Mortimer Clarke are trying their luck with vague wording to try and get a payment.
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,549
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    Were the interim orders ever made final ?

    Mortimer Clarke are Cabot`s tame solicitors, so they could very easily be the client here.

    Either way, there is very little that can be done to you, obviously keep any bailiff visits under control, and don`t allow them inside.

    With a vulnerable adult living there, an order for sale would be out of the question, and as your only income is benefits, I doubt any payment plan would be doable.

    I would also encourage you to write to Mortimer Clarke and explain your circumstances, occasionally you can save yourself a lot of grief just for the cost of a stamp.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- https://www.stoozing.com/soa.php The "provit letter" is here-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2607247/letter-when-you-know-nothing-about-about-the-debt-aka-prove-it-letter
  • Thank you for your replies. My apologies have checked the land registry info again. It says restriction  but that Optima Legal have the benefit of an interim charging order. Sorry if that confused anyone. 
    If Marstons do visit will I be charged for that visit. If I don’t speak to them would they not keep coming back. I have blue badge in car so don’t think they can do anything to my car. It’s old car and not worth much. I will write and tell Mortimer Clarke we are a vulnerable household. Shall I also make a small offer of payment. You are right not much spare money but could offer £10 per month for ever. The info on the web about Marstons is pretty scary. It’s possible I suppose that that was the point of the threat. 
    Again many thanks for your reply. 
  • sorry the other question I had was that would Mortimer Clarke need to go to court to instruct Marstons if they (or their client) were going to use them to obtain notice twice of enforcement or writ as I thought this would give bailiff extra powers. Sorry to be a pain with so many questions. 
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,549
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    edited 18 March 2023 at 7:32PM
    Out of interest, how much is the debt they are chasing ?

    Sending a detailed letter explaining your circumstances, combined with an offer of payment if you can afford it, should avoid them calling on you at all.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- https://www.stoozing.com/soa.php The "provit letter" is here-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2607247/letter-when-you-know-nothing-about-about-the-debt-aka-prove-it-letter
  • Many thanks for the reply. The debt is £4700. I could not find sample letter on here but have looked it n websites and found letter. I will send letter Monday. If I get notification from Marstons that they intend to visit I will send copy of the letter to them too. 
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,243
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    edited 18 March 2023 at 7:20PM
    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me can confirm this, but would these really be Charging Orders?

    I was under the impression that a charging order for a sole debt could not be registered against a jointly owned property, just a restriction.

    Sounds to me like Mortimer Clarke are trying their luck with vague wording to try and get a payment.
    Charging orders are made by the court, after a defaulted ccj.

    It's then up to the Land Registry to record them. As you infer, a solely owned debt is recorded as a restriction, usually with Form K wording, not a full charge.

    Yes if they go for High Court Enforcement (not possible on consumer credit debts like credit cards ) then those costs would be added to your account.

    I don't see any point in offering £10 if things are tight. It won't pay the debt  (well not for 40 years) and that £10 will make more difference to you than them


  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,243
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    If you want evidence that High Court Enforcement can't be used on a credit card I refer you to marstons website

    https://www.marstonholdings.co.uk/high-court-enforcement/recovering-money/

    "When creditors obtain County Court Judgments for debts over £600 that are not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act, they can ask Marston to help them ..."

    If the clowns at Mortimer Clark want to instruct bailiffs they must use the County Court Bailiff, who is an employee of the court and will abide by the law - I've always found them very reasonable, which is probably why creditors do not like to use them, and why eventually the government will agree to change the law. But it hasn't changed yet.


  • The debt was for credit card. The ccj and charging order was for that debt too. Surely Mortimer Clarke would know that. Was the Credit Card Act in force in 2010. Sorry for sounding so ignorant. 
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