CCJ without knowledge for a debt that is disputed

Niennamarie
Niennamarie Posts: 19
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edited 5 February at 11:10AM in Debt-free wannabe
Last year TM Legal sent my husband a letter of intent to take him to court. This was for a debt that he’d been disputing for years with the company who had owed it previously.

For context, he took out a loan with Avant Credit when he was in financial difficulty. He complained about the loan to the FOS stating he should never have been given the loan as it was clear he couldn’t repay him. The FOS upheld his complaint and said he only had to pay back the amount borrowed, minus some other stuff.

He was paying back on a monthly repayment plan until the debt was sold on to a different company, and the amount they said he owed was wildly different to what he actually owed. We have no idea where this figure came from, it was like it had just been made up. He disputed it immediately, sending in proof of the amount he actually owed and paused repayments until it was sorted.

It was never sorted. He chased what was happening with the dispute for about 6 months before he gave in. At some point, the amount was adjusted to another incorrect figure, which again seemed to be pulled out of thin air. No context was given. In fact, no communication was made to him at all. He did query it but nobody knew what was happening.

We didn’t hear anything for years, until last year when TM Legal sent the letter of intent to take him to court. He filled in the forms as he should, ticking the box that said it was his debt but the amount was wrong. He sent them all the proof that supported his claim including the FOS final decision, statements showing what he’d paid and emails from AvantCredit confirming the amount owed to be less that they were claiming. He told them he wouldn’t pay more than that unless they could prove he owed more. He then paid the remainder of what he did actually owe, meaning what was left was not his debt. 

They never sent him a response, but did continue to send him letters chasing the debt. The first couple of times he replied saying the debt was not his, each time sending in all the documents to support it. 

Now we’ve just had a knock at the door, and someone handing over a letter that states;
“This letter has been delivered to your address because of your failure to respond to the CCJ that has been entered against you. We shall shortly be seeking our clients instructions in relation to enforcing the CCJ against you.”

My question is, is this real? He’s heard nothing from court regarding this debt, and as I said, every time he’s reached out to TM Legal he’s been ignored. I don’t get how he could have a CCJ without his knowledge of it.

Also, does he respond to this, and if so how should he respond? 

Thank you for any help you can give.
 

Comments

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,235
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    If the letter does not quote a court and the court reference then it is probably false.

    We do hear of cases where a creditor takes cort action at an address that they know is incorrect, then after a ccj is issued in default, they miraculously find the correct address.

    However, that does not sound like what has happened here as the pre-action letter was sent to the correct address but you have never seen a court claim.

    See if there is any mention on his credit file. If there is, then it will give court and reference and you can ask for particulars of claim and dates, prior to making a setaside application.

    It does not help that courts seem incapable of dealing with routine queries at the moment but good luck
  • Niennamarie
    Niennamarie Posts: 19
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    edited 5 February at 11:32AM
    Hi, thank you for your reply. We checked his credit file a couple of months ago after they sent a letter basically saying he would benefit from paying as it’s damaging his credit rating. The FOS did tell AvantCredit that the debt had to be removed from his file so we checked just in case, and there was nothing on it at that point. 

    There is no court reference on the letter either. 

    We will check his credit file again though. If there’s nothing there should we just ignore?

    Thanks again. You guys are always so helpful here, it’s really appreciated. 
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,235
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    Actually I think you should complain.

    TM Legal claim to be regulated by the SRA. The Legal Ombudsman can also rule.

    You should start by writing to TM and calling out their dishonesty.
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,545
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    The problem with the FOS is that there decisions cannot always be enforced, a company has to willingly comply with their ruling, and most do, but some do not.

    There has to be a large number of infractions before the FCA will take action against a company for non compliance with FOS decisions, and it does happen, but it takes time.

    I agree you should take these muppets to the cleaners, both companies conduct has been atrocious, make your voice heard, although the FCA don`t deal with individual complaints, sending a copy to them is putting them one step closer to enforcement action.
    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
  • Niennamarie
    Niennamarie Posts: 19
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    As far as the FOS ruling, I guess it’s just annoying because Avant Credit agreed to the ruling, albeit ‘reluctantly’ (their own words). I have confirmation from them that they did reduce the balance and what it was reduced to. It just didn’t stop them selling the debt on for more. And it’s a pain having to fight this all the time, when (in my eyes) it seems like a pretty straight forward dispute considering the amount of evidence we have to back up our side of things. And even more of a pain now they’re sending people to our house. 

    The good news is, he definitely has no CCJs it so seems like they’re just lying to scare him into paying. The bad news is I have no idea how to get them to stop harassing us. I did attempt complaining to the Legal Ombudsman but it appears that we can’t complain because we’re not TM Legals customers and haven’t paid for their services.

    I also looked in the FCA register, which says;
    “This firm is shown on the Register because it is now, or was previously, an exempt professional firm. This means that it may carry on certain regulated activities but is regulated by its Designated Professional Body, rather than by the FCA.”

    That appears to be the SRA, but I don’t think we can complain there either?

    So it looks as though I’ve hit a brick road as far as making complaints. I guess we’ll just have to put up with it 😭
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,235
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    Surely if they are to remain members of their professional body, they have to uphold the standards of that body, and you would hope honesty is part of that. They will not let you know what they have done but they will receive a complaint, as long as you have gone through the firm's own complaint procedure.

    What you say about the LO does appear to be correct, unfortunately.
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,545
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    Around 2017/18 Avant credit were in serious trouble financially, they were in dire need of funds to survive and were settling customer debts for literally pennies in the pound, a £1000 balance cleared for less than £100 was the norm in lots of cases.

    This ended when its financial backers injected a massive amount of cash into its coffers, but for some 18 months, some excellent settlement deal were on offer.
    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
  • Niennamarie
    Niennamarie Posts: 19
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    Well, that’s kind of annoying. I can’t be 100% off the top of my head, but I’m pretty his debt with them was sold on in 2017 😒 Couldn’t have happened like that for us could it? We’ve never been very lucky 😭
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