Overdraft debt - statute barring question

Hi there, hoping for some advice on when an old overdraft debt becomes statue barred and what I should do about it. Apologies tried to be thorough but it's turned into an essay!

I had a student overdraft account with RBS as a student. My records from then are imperfect and I don't seem to have kept much, if any, of the paperwork from the account other than a letter from them from April 2012 saying my account was converting to a graduate account with a tapering overdraft. I paid off what I believed was the entirety of the overdraft (it was £1000+) at this point (2012-2013). This was my only RBS account and I didn't use it further at all. I then moved twice and likely didn't inform RBS as I had forgotten about the account. I didn't receive any new correspondence from RBS for years. 

Then on 24th May 2018 RBS and Cabot Financial sent me letters to my current address to say that my debt had been passed to Cabot from Apex Credit Management. I had no idea I had a debt, or that Apex had apparently been managing it. The RBS letter said that as of 29th March 2018 my account was assigned to Cabot instead of Apex and that as of 31st January 2018 my account had an outstanding balance of £272.82. This was the first I had heard about the account or from RBS in years. 

At the time I looked up statute barring and Cabot and decided to just ignore it given I was fairly sure I shouldn't be on the hook for anything at all. Since then my debt has not increased, Cabot have passed it to various others but always taken it back and gone through waves of communication. It has now been 5 years, 6 months since Cabot's first communication with me. In the last few months they've sent me a few more letters which made me wonder about what, if anything, I should do. A recent letter offered to clear my debt by paying off as little as 25% of the £272.88! 

My question is when should the 6 year statue barring start and what should I do?
  • Is it 6 years from last communications from me / payment on the overdraft and account? If so that would have been passed long ago. 
  • Should it be when Apex Credit Management were given my account to 'manage'? The only problem is I never received any communications from RBS or Apex about this! 
  • Maybe it should be with Cabot, but if so would it be from March 2018 when the RBS letter said they had assigned it to Cabot, or May when both RBS and Cabot first got in touch with me?
  • Maybe it should even be January 2018 when RBS quoted my apparent outstanding balance from?
My slight concern if it's one of the latter dates is that 6 years would be coming up and Cabot could try and seek a CCJ, though maybe that's unlikely over a small debt like this. 

What do you think? Should I just continue to ignore it? Should I wait until 6 years have elapsed from 2018 next year and then get in touch? 

Thanks a lot for any help. 


  • Well if you’ve not written to anyone about this debt since 2012 then I’d say it’s well and truly statute barred. I doubt whether anyone has gone for a ccj for that amount. It’d probably cost them more than the debt is worth. 

    These companies buy up debt for pennies in a pound and rely on the fact that lots of people don’t know the legislation and will panic and pay up. Just ignore them any letters/text messages from them and carry on as normal. If you really feel you have to then the statute barred letter can be sent. If you get a letter before action then come back and post on here. 
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,543
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    When did it default, what date ?

    The cause of action date is normally assumed to be the date of default, otherwise, any period of 6 years without a payment or written acknowledgement by you.

    If the last time you used it was 2012, then I agree, it likely went statute barred years ago, I'd just send the statute barred letter to them the next time they write to you.
    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
  • Thanks both - I wasn't aware when the default was and nothing shows up on my experian credit rating. However I  checked clearscore for the first time and it seems to show 3 'missed payments' in December 2017 - February 2018 which must be this. How it's possible that it would only be then, 5+ years later - I have no idea. 

    Anyway that presumably means it would become statute barred early next year so I suppose I'll continue to ignore until then.  

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