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  • FIRST POST
    • Nina1986
    • By Nina1986 4th Dec 17, 8:02 PM
    • 3Posts
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    Nina1986
    My mum just passed away and Philips and Cohen are chasing debts
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:02 PM
    My mum just passed away and Philips and Cohen are chasing debts 4th Dec 17 at 8:02 PM
    This is my first blog post and I just wanted to see if other people on here have faced somewhat similar situation. My mum passed away at the end of October. She had a card with Vanquish credit company and owed about £1200. I informed them that my mum's estate was insolvent in a letter with my mum's death certificate and stated that there were barely enough in her bank account to pay for her own funeral. She has no house or any assets except what was in her one current account which paid for about one third of the funeral bill. Vanquish response was a condolences and to inform me that they will get Philips and Cohen involved. Has anyone dealt with these people? They sent a letter last week to say that they are doing their own investigations into mum's estate despite me saying there was no will or executor. Me and my sisters aren't applying for probate (our brother in law's probate lawyer suggested under no circumstances to apply for probate as my sisters and I will be legally obliged to state what's in mum's estate (nothing) each year. We have been called via our home telephone (not sure how they got hold of our numbers presumably through Vanquish) Philips & Cohen today demanding who is the executor of mum's estate which is no one. If anyone has dealt with them, please would you offer some advice? Mum's Vanquish card doesn't have a joint account holder and I believe we shouldn't be legally obliged to pay her debt. We haven't even grieved yet and they are demanding payment.
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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    • 1,736 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I'd personally tell them to hop it. Its very recent and the fact your late mum owed a small amount is hardly your top priority right now. These people really are the lowest.
    Legally I don't know. Maybe citizens advice can help? Do you have a solicitor who can write to them and confirm your mum didn't have any funds?
    Sorry I couldn't help but be assured these people will try it on. Tell them to stop harassing you, its not your debt.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    • 1,378 Posts
    • 2,064 Thanks
    pearl123
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:08 PM
    Get an appointment at the Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 4th Dec 17, 8:19 PM
    • 1,277 Posts
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    SevenOfNine
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:19 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 8:19 PM
    Others will be along with advice gained from experience, in the meantime this organisation may be able to assist you with info on best way forward, & how to stop this company harrassing you further at this distressing time. It is a freephone number & advice should not be paid for.

    https://bereavementadvice.org/topics/probate-and-legal/insolvent-estates

    My condolences
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 4th Dec 17, 9:07 PM
    • 4,995 Posts
    • 5,556 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:07 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:07 PM
    Write to them, tell them that your mother!!!8217;s estate was insolvent, and that no one is administering the estate. Tell them that you will not respond to any further correspondence and if they continue to pursue you, you will treat is as harassment and will take action unde the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Get proof of posting at the P.O.

    Block their numbers to avoid any further calls.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 4th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 4,142 Posts
    • 3,383 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    This is my first blog post and I just wanted to see if other people on here have faced somewhat similar situation. My mum passed away at the end of October. She had a card with Vanquish credit company and owed about £1200. I informed them that my mum's estate was insolvent in a letter with my mum's death certificate and stated that there were barely enough in her bank account to pay for her own funeral. She has no house or any assets except what was in her one current account which paid for about one third of the funeral bill. Vanquish response was a condolences and to inform me that they will get Philips and Cohen involved. Has anyone dealt with these people? They sent a letter last week to say that they are doing their own investigations into mum's estate despite me saying there was no will or executor. Me and my sisters aren't applying for probate (our brother in law's probate lawyer suggested under no circumstances to apply for probate as my sisters and I will be legally obliged to state what's in mum's estate (nothing) each year. We have been called via our home telephone (not sure how they got hold of our numbers presumably through Vanquish) Philips & Cohen today demanding who is the executor of mum's estate which is no one. If anyone has dealt with them, please would you offer some advice? Mum's Vanquish card doesn't have a joint account holder and I believe we shouldn't be legally obliged to pay her debt. We haven't even grieved yet and they are demanding payment.
    Originally posted by Nina1986
    Legally nobody owes them anything. Do not allow them to bully you. Just tell them that there is no money and that if they persist you will report them for harrassment.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 4th Dec 17, 11:06 PM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,223 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:06 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:06 PM
    I have had dealings with this outfit and they were OK(I may have got lucky) even told me I don't have to pay as it was the estate debt (I was going to pay anyway it was the BG bill)

    They seem to pick up a lot of deceased debts and push probate services.

    If they phone tell them to write to the administrator at the deceased address as it's not you and you have no idea who it is.

    if they ask for the address tell them it's the one on their file.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 5th Dec 17, 8:35 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:35 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:35 AM
    Write to them, tell them that your motherís estate was insolvent, and that no one is administering the estate. Tell them that you will not respond to any further correspondence and if they continue to pursue you, you will treat is as harassment and will take action unde the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Get proof of posting at the P.O.

    Block their numbers to avoid any further calls.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    Very sound advice from Keep pedalling.

    If they do happen to call you on one of their alternative numbers, simply state that you will not converse with them and you consider the call to be harassment.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 5th Dec 17, 8:56 AM
    • 2,651 Posts
    • 2,923 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:56 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 8:56 AM
    As advised - just tell them you are not dealing with the estate.

    They are just trying to work out whether it is worth them applying to be administrators (which they could do), but they would only do that if there was any money to recover.

    You are not liable for the debt.
    • macman
    • By macman 5th Dec 17, 9:19 AM
    • 41,894 Posts
    • 17,378 Thanks
    macman
    Sorry for your loss. You mention that there is no cash left after funeral costs, but are there no other assets in the estate, e.g. property, personal possessions? The estate doesn't just consist of cash assets.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Jenniefour
    • By Jenniefour 5th Dec 17, 9:33 AM
    • 1,311 Posts
    • 1,423 Thanks
    Jenniefour
    macman, OP said no house or other assets. Insolvent estates come up often on this board for the very reason OP stated - creditors trying to get back money.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 5th Dec 17, 3:19 PM
    • 6,487 Posts
    • 8,418 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    I'm very sorry for your loss. As TonyMMM says, they are trying to work out if it is worth their applying to administer the estate.

    Do as KeepPeddling says. Tell them that the state is insolvent, that you are not the executor or administrator and are not in a position to provide any further information, and that they are not to contact you further.

    If they continue, tell them you will consider further contact to be harassment. Make a note of the name of the person you speak to and ask them to ensure that they note on their records that you are not to be contacted.

    If necessary, follow through. Log it with the police, get a crime reference number.
    • Nina1986
    • By Nina1986 14th Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nina1986
    Thank you guys so much for replying. Sorry I haven't replied sooner, everything just seemed too much to deal with. Taking it one step at a time. My sister and I are going to write to Vanquis and Phillips and Cohen probate again. We've been dealing with RIAS car insurance as mum was a policy holder and asking them to stop sending us demands for direct debit mum had. Apparently it is our responsibility to deal with this but after reading your comments, we've sent out a letter explaining we aren't dealing with the estate as there are no assets.

    I really appreciate all your responses. Thank you xxxxx
    • eddyinfreehold
    • By eddyinfreehold 14th Dec 17, 8:23 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    eddyinfreehold
    There is always a period of confusion with administration. In order to simplify things you should inform all those organisations your mum was involved with of her death and enclose a copy of the death certificate. The bank will then freeze her account (I suspect they have already) regardless of whether it is empty or not. Similarly the car insurance policy will be cancelled and they will stop bothering you.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 14th Dec 17, 9:06 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Margot123
    There is always a period of confusion with administration. In order to simplify things you should inform all those organisations your mum was involved with of her death and enclose a copy of the death certificate. The bank will then freeze her account (I suspect they have already) regardless of whether it is empty or not. Similarly the car insurance policy will be cancelled and they will stop bothering you.
    Originally posted by eddyinfreehold
    If only this were true in practice. In my previous experience, some do not 'leave you alone' until you threaten them with legal action.

    On informing British Gas, and Direct Line of a person's death, I was issued with demands for outstanding bills directly to my home address and in my own name. The information was gathered when I called them. Then came debt collection letters (in my name).

    Some 5 months later, I finally have 'condolences' and bills addressed to 'the executor'. I was given £20 compensation by one company but the other has never acknowledged their mistake and the stress they caused.

    BTW it took two 28 mile round trips to the deceased's bank with the death certificate, 8 phone calls to their 'bereavement dept' (which is actually a generic call centre), 2 letters, and 3 months for them to freeze the account.

    What they claim to do for 'the bereaved' on their websites, and what they actually do are very different things.
    Maybe i just had bad luck, but I do wonder.

    UPDATE: by strange coincidence I have today received a letter from EON stating they are instructing Phillips and Cohen. How odd as the account is very much up-to-date and not one penny is owed. This type of behaviour again demonstrates how these companies deal with bereaved people.
    Last edited by Margot123; 14-12-2017 at 2:21 PM.
    • Nina1986
    • By Nina1986 14th Dec 17, 10:23 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nina1986
    Interestingly RIAS's letter was worded 'on your a' which isn't true, it's not our account, we aren't the policy holder and we actually can't drive! I'm wondering then if they would get debt collectors in our names too.

    The Phillip and Cohen business says they take care and sensitivity to the deceased family but we've had phone calls and letters from them. As soon as I informed Vanquis it took them two weeks to get Phillips and Cohen involved. Mum's funeral was on the late November, we got letters that week demanding payment. It's so stressful. Their idea of bereavement training is probably to negotiate and persuade families to pay outstanding debts.
    • eddyinfreehold
    • By eddyinfreehold 15th Dec 17, 1:47 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    eddyinfreehold
    This is fundamentally WRONG, both legally and morally. I did not have an issue with any of this a year ago. The bank and all the connected bodies were excellent. The closest might possibly have been a gas delivery of £700 to my late father's static tank which had been ordered a month before the death. As the estate was solvent and the gas was needed the bank authorised the gas payment. Using a factor or bailiff to attempt to collect outstanding debt from the personal finances of the executor of an exhausted estate is sharp practice at best, illegal at worst. Firms should be named and shamed.

    Firms who are trying to extort money from executors of insolvent estates need showcasing on Radio 4 Moneybox or Radio 4 You and Yours to make a wider public aware.

    My personal thinking is that like voting, parliament, taxation, the constitution, rights and the law, the legalities of death should form part of the PHSE curriculum for all pupils 16-18. The UK is so up itself with things like this...far too embarrassing to talk about, like your payslip or personal wealth.

    Death, taxes, local and national government happen and we should know how they work. Otherwise when the time comes we are all left in a personal mess and the professionals pick up the pieces for us less a 20% cut for their fees. Sorry, Rant Over.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 15th Dec 17, 8:37 AM
    • 805 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Margot123
    Interestingly RIAS's letter was worded 'on your a' which isn't true, it's not our account, we aren't the policy holder and we actually can't drive! I'm wondering then if they would get debt collectors in our names too.

    The Phillip and Cohen business says they take care and sensitivity to the deceased family but we've had phone calls and letters from them. As soon as I informed Vanquis it took them two weeks to get Phillips and Cohen involved. Mum's funeral was on the late November, we got letters that week demanding payment. It's so stressful. Their idea of bereavement training is probably to negotiate and persuade families to pay outstanding debts.
    Originally posted by Nina1986
    My update above is proof that they DO NOT listen to anything. All the bills are paid up to date on the estate I'm dealing with and yet they are still sending letters. They certainly are using the guise of 'bereavement support' to intimidate those closest to the deceased.

    My next step is a complaint to the ombudsman, as I have had no response from EON in the 6 months it's been going on regarding this.
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