Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 19th Feb 18, 2:01 AM
    • 12Posts
    • 0Thanks
    jane_r
    Being chased for an 11 year old debt not owed
    • #1
    • 19th Feb 18, 2:01 AM
    Being chased for an 11 year old debt not owed 19th Feb 18 at 2:01 AM
    Hello,

    Over 11 years ago I took out a debt management plan with what is now called Step Change. Through this, I eventually paid off all my credit card debts and I thought I was debt-free. However, every few years I have received letters from debt collection companies which state that I still owe one debt of 1,500. This is from a Barclaycard credit card, which I paid off via the debt management plan. I have contacted 2 different debt collection companies, explained that I have paid off the debt and sent them proof of payments and the cleared debt via Step Change statements.

    My understanding is that a debt can not be managed by a debt collection company if it is already being managed via a debt management plan. Does anyone know if this is correct?

    Each time I have contacted one of these debt collection companies to explain the situation, it seems the debt is transferred to a different debt collection company. I have contacted Barclaycard themselves and my letters have been ignored.

    When Step Change began to manage my debt, all credit card companies agreed to freeze further interest whilst I was making reduced payments. I believe what has happened in this case, is that the amount I am being chased for, is the interest which would have accrued whilst I was paying off the debt. Hence it didn't show up on my debt management account.

    When I have contacted Step Change for advice, they haven't been able to offer any.

    Can anyone please offer any help or advice? Is there anything I can do to rectify this situation, apart from actually paying the full amount, which I don't believe I owe?
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 19th Feb 18, 11:06 AM
    • 14,328 Posts
    • 13,526 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 19th Feb 18, 11:06 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Feb 18, 11:06 AM
    My understanding is that a debt can not be managed by a debt collection company if it is already being managed via a debt management plan. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    Originally posted by jane_r
    Hi,

    Your understanding is incorrect, you appear to of been poorly advised in the past, debts are passed around different agencies all the time, it makes no difference how they are been re-paid, they can be sold, assigned, managed by whoever the creditor wishes.

    That`s by the by anyway, the important thing here is when did you last make payment to this debt or admit to it in writing ?

    If there has been a period of at least 6 years then the debt will be statute barred, and the company cannot use the courts to recover the money.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 19th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
    • 8,625 Posts
    • 8,960 Thanks
    pogofish
    • #3
    • 19th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
    Maybe the Debt Free forum is the better place to post this - at least if you want help.
  • National Debtline
    • #4
    • 19th Feb 18, 12:37 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Feb 18, 12:37 PM
    Hi Jane and welcome to the forum


    You mention that you believe you are being pursued for the interest on the credit card that could have been charged for the period of the debt management plan (DMP). Do you know whether the interest was definitely frozen on the debt? It is requested that this happens in a DMP but some creditors may refuse.


    Even if the interest was not frozen, it would not explain why the DMP ended if there was an outstanding balance owing. A DMP ends when all debt is paid off. It's worth trying to check with StepChange again whether they can shed any light on this.


    As sourcrates mentions, it's a good idea to check whether the debt could be statute barred. If it is, they will be out of time to pursue you anyway.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 20th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    • #5
    • 20th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    Thank you for the responses.

    I have queried this with Step Change before. They said the debt was cleared and removed from my account with them. I received a vague response when I asked if the interest had been frozen and they said that they ask for it be frozen but that creditors don't have to. They said I should take this up with the debt collection company.

    The final payment made was in September 2014 and the last contact I had with a debt collection company over this debt was 3 years ago. I'm not sure if getting in touch with them now is a good idea or not. Will it go against me? Will the debt eventually be cleared?
    Last edited by jane_r; 20-02-2018 at 10:38 AM. Reason: mistake
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 20th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    • #6
    • 20th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    I realise now that the title is misleading. 11 years ago is when the debt management plan began. The debt was paid off in 2014.
  • National Debtline
    • #7
    • 20th Feb 18, 4:14 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Feb 18, 4:14 PM
    Hi again Jane


    If the last payment was made in 2014 we know the debt cannot yet be statute barred. There has to be have been 6 years without a payment being made, without you acknowledging the debt in writing and no CCJ being obtained. Whether the 6 year limitations period has been restarted since then will depend on whether the contact you had with them was in writing and acknowledged the debt.


    The debt will not be written off automatically, but once it becomes statute barred the DCA has run out of time to take court action to recover the debt.


    It will be your decision whether to try and wait until the debt becomes statute barred or to challenge it now. If you decide to challenge the debt you could try asking StepChange to confirm in writing the debt was paid and settled as part of the DMP and send that on to the DCA.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 1st Mar 18, 11:19 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 18, 11:19 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 18, 11:19 AM
    Hello,

    Thank you again for your response.

    In the past I have contacted both Barclaycard and the debt collection company with a copy of the statement of payments to Step Change for this debt with an end balance of 0. Does this count as admitting the debt, even though I was trying to prove I don't owe it? Both companies completely ignored my correspondence and failed to reply. I was in the process of moving abroad at the time, to an unknown address. I explained this and asked them for further contact to be via email.

    Is the fact that I am living abroad of any relevance? The address I am using in the UK is that of a friend. Do I need to worry about there being any repercussions for my friend?

    If the debt becomes statute barred, will it still remain on my credit file?

    Thanks again for any advice or information.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 1st Mar 18, 11:46 AM
    • 12,342 Posts
    • 9,387 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #9
    • 1st Mar 18, 11:46 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Mar 18, 11:46 AM
    Hello,

    Thank you again for your response.

    In the past I have contacted both Barclaycard and the debt collection company with a copy of the statement of payments to Step Change for this debt with an end balance of 0. Does this count as admitting the debt, even though I was trying to prove I don't owe it? Both companies completely ignored my correspondence and failed to reply. I was in the process of moving abroad at the time, to an unknown address. I explained this and asked them for further contact to be via email.

    Is the fact that I am living abroad of any relevance? The address I am using in the UK is that of a friend. Do I need to worry about there being any repercussions for my friend?

    If the debt becomes statute barred, will it still remain on my credit file?

    Thanks again for any advice or information.
    Originally posted by jane_r
    Presumably your communication was along the lines of 'I paid this off in full - I owe nothing to you'

    That does not sound like an acknowledgement of the debt so I think we can assume that the start point for this becoming statute barred is 2014.

    My advice to you would be to stay firm. If they want you to pay them they must demonstrate why that is the case and be prepared to use that evidence/argument as part of a court claim.

    There are no repercussions for your friend

    Your credit report should hopefully be clear of this debt already - it's worth checking though.

    I think on balance I would give them your overseas address. If they did start a court claim you would not want them to be using 'the last known address' as that would leave you unable to defend it.

    An overseas address might just persuade them that this isn't worth the bother.
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 3rd Mar 18, 8:35 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Thank you for your reply. I will get in contact with them and let my know my overseas address and ask them to prove that I owe this money. I've check noddle and this debt is on my credit score. It's recorded as a default payment every month for the past 3 years. Is there anything I can do about this?
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 3rd Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • 12,342 Posts
    • 9,387 Thanks
    fatbelly
    Jane - what is the default date?

    If this was in a debt management plan that started 2006/7, the default date should be then.

    The entry would then drop off 6 years later.

    I don't trust Noddle to be accurate. Is it on Experian? You can get a free subscription via mse credit club or do a 2 statutory report.

    http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askjames282.html
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 5th Mar 18, 9:04 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Hello,

    On Noddle.co.uk, the date of the default is June 2015; this is when my debt management plan came to an end and my account with Step Change was closed. This particular debt was cleared in Sept 2014.

    I've checked Experian and it says I have an excellent credit score of 974. There's no mention of this, or any other debt.

    I'm really confused by this!
    Last edited by jane_r; 05-03-2018 at 1:29 PM. Reason: Extra info added
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 5th Mar 18, 5:39 PM
    • 12,342 Posts
    • 9,387 Thanks
    fatbelly
    You can't have a default issued after the debt was settled.

    Complain to Noddle (Callcredit) in the first instance

    https://www.callcredit.co.uk/consumer-solutions/contact-us/complaints-procedure

    The good news is that lenders generally don't use Callcredit because they are useless.

    There is a third agency so you should probably check that too - Equifax, trading as Clearscore
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 5th Mar 18, 11:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Thanks. I am in the process of getting my credit score from ClearScore - had to email a copy of my passport for ID and have to wait up to 5 days.

    Have also sent an email to the debt collection company asking for further details of the debt. In the meantime, I have received another letter from them offering me an 85% discount stating that I can now pay just 200 pounds to clear my debt.
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 7th Mar 18, 1:22 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Hello again,

    I've now seen my credit score on ClearScore. I have a score of 307 out of 700, which is slightly lower than the UK average of 380, it seems partly because I'm not on the electoral roll, I don't have a credit card and I haven't had any credit for over a year. The debt I'm being chased for is on there but it's on the closed accounts list. It says "This section will show any closed, defaulted or settled accounts".

    Any further advice in light of this new information?
    Last edited by jane_r; 07-03-2018 at 1:24 PM. Reason: Added extra info
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 7th Mar 18, 5:41 PM
    • 12,342 Posts
    • 9,387 Thanks
    fatbelly
    The score means nothing. You will be viewed as more of a risk if you're not on the electoral roll, don't have a credit card and haven't had any credit for over a year.

    That's all easily resolved.
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 7th Mar 18, 11:40 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Hi,

    Yes, I will see if I can do that. It depends on a friends being happy with me using their address.But, what does it mean it terms of this debt collection company chasing me for this payment?
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 8th Mar 18, 6:15 AM
    • 12,342 Posts
    • 9,387 Thanks
    fatbelly
    Hi,

    Yes, I will see if I can do that. It depends on a friends being happy with me using their address.But, what does it mean it terms of this debt collection company chasing me for this payment?
    Originally posted by jane_r
    As you've seen, there is a difference in your credit reports across the credit reference agencies. Nothing written on any of them proves or disproves your liability for the debt.

    The debt collection agency clearly believes they hold a weak hand if they are offering an 85% discount. It is up to you whether you pay them 200 to get them off your back or continue with your stance of 'I owe nothing'. I'd do the latter.

    However, you should definitely complain to Callcredit about the incorrect information on their file.
    • jane_r
    • By jane_r 8th Mar 18, 9:50 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    jane_r
    Thanks again for your response, I really appreciate all the advice.
    • timbstoke
    • By timbstoke 8th Mar 18, 1:37 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 1,221 Thanks
    timbstoke
    I'd take a three pronged attack here:

    Noddle: Raise a dispute about the default entry.
    Any and all debt collection agencies: write back denying the debt and instructing them to refer the matter back to their principal. If they're offering 85% discounts, they've probably bought the debt rather than being instructed by Barclaycard, so they might not be able to do that, which is why:
    Barclaycard: Send them a DPA request - it'll cost 10 but means they have to send you all data about all your accounts with them. This will include information about whether they continued charging interest. Separately, contact them and tell them you want to make a formal complaint and you need to know their process for this - your complaint being that they are continuing to pursue a debt after the full amount has been paid. If they say they continued charging interest, you pursue another formal complaint because they did this without informing you.

    There's a decent chance that Barclaycard will tell you that they sold the debt and as such they continue the matter closed. Your response there is that they can consider it however they like - they sold a debt that you dispute the existence of and your complaint stands. You need to exhaust their internal complaints process before you can escalate the the ombudsman, so the magic words to remember when they try to fob you off are a polite and calm "OK, I understand. Is this as far as I can take this complaint internally, or do you need to escalate it further before I can contact the ombudsman?"
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

148Posts Today

1,725Users online

Martin's Twitter