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  • FIRST POST
    • caz72me
    • By caz72me 8th May 18, 9:41 AM
    • 18Posts
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    caz72me
    Debt Collection Letters and Fines for Previous Owner
    • #1
    • 8th May 18, 9:41 AM
    Debt Collection Letters and Fines for Previous Owner 8th May 18 at 9:41 AM
    We moved into our house last August. Prior to us buying it - the house was rented out to numerous tenants over the years so the owner we bought off hadn't actually lived in the house for quite a few years since splitting with his partner. For about the last 3/4 months (ie. not before about January time) we have been suddenly receiving a lot of post for the guy we bought the house off. To begin with I just 'returned to sender' with a note on the envelope saying he moved out Summer 2017, but we now receive more post for this guy than we do for ourselves and tbh I have got fed up with walking to the post box to return his mail. I started googling the return post codes to work out whether the mail was likely to be junk mail or anything important so I could throw some of it away. Basically it seems as if a lot of these letters are from debt collection agencies, fines for parking, fines for speeding, something official looking from the Inland Revenue. The latest letter this weekend had no return address on envelope and as it was resealable I opened it, this one is his car insurance that has defaulted and he owes them money too and the Policy has been cancelled by the Insurance company, and obviously means his car 'was' insured at our address also, which makes me think the car is also registered here with the DVLA hence the other fines etc which I cannot understand as he didn't even live here prior to us buying the house.

    Even though I return these letters to the sender, the same companies keep sending more and more letters to our address. I even saved up 5 letters from the one company (the one who's postcode looks like its a parking violation fine company) and sent them back with a letter explaining we are the new owners; in a brown envelope without a stamp so they had to pay postage but still they send them to our address.

    Even though I know I can prove that we bought the house from this guy last year if a Bailiff turns up at my door, I don't really want it to get to that point, my husband often works away and after watching many TV programmes about High Court Enforcement Bailiff's, I don't particularly want to home alone if one turns up, all sorts of thoughts are going through my head, like how will I know they are legit, who should I let in and who shouldn't I let in if they turn up, do I leave them alone in my living room when I obtain paperwork to prove who I am, will they stick their foot in my front door if I open it so I can't shut the door to go off and obtain the paperwork etc etc.

    Any advice is appreciated, should I open any of this post and contact the companies direct, or should I just carry on returning the post? As we have lived at this house for 8 months, it is registered to us at the Land Registry and we also pay council tax - don't these companies have access to this information to see that we are now the owners?
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 8th May 18, 9:48 AM
    • 7,663 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:48 AM
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:48 AM
    The letter are churned out by computers because it's cheaper than involving any humans in the process. It's less likely that anyone will waste their time to come knocking on the door without first making basic checks about whether the debtors are still at the same address. And if they do, you just tell them they're out of luck. They'll be used to it.

    after watching many TV programmes about High Court Enforcement Bailiffs
    Originally posted by caz72me
    Please find something else to watch
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 8th May 18, 9:49 AM
    • 12,114 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 9:49 AM
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 9:49 AM
    Don't let any bailif or debt collector into your home....ever.

    I used to get letters for a previous occupant of my home. Returning letters to sender didn't seem to work so I opened the letters and phoned the companies sending them. I explained that Joe Bloggs no longer lived at the property and that I had no idea where he lives now. That did the trick.
    • caz72me
    • By caz72me 8th May 18, 9:54 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    caz72me
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 9:54 AM
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 9:54 AM
    This is one of the reasons I enjoy it when hubby is away, I get to choose what I want to watch on TV



    Please find something else to watch
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 8th May 18, 9:56 AM
    • 6,335 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 9:56 AM
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 9:56 AM
    You can try opening the letters and phoning the organisations concerned and explaining.

    On an occasion when this happened to me, I didn't phone the debt collecting company (because I imagined they would be more difficult to deal with).

    Instead, I phoned the company that were originally owed the money - and they called off the debt collecting company.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th May 18, 10:00 AM
    • 10,525 Posts
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    hazyjo
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 10:00 AM
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 10:00 AM
    Keep a form of ID near the front door.


    Don't let them in.


    As above - ring them. It's worked for me in the past.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 8th May 18, 10:11 AM
    • 1,091 Posts
    • 798 Thanks
    rtho782
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 10:11 AM
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 10:11 AM
    In my experience the staff probably can't stop the letters (as the system knows it is owed money) and can't change the address without a new address to put in.

    I would just file the letters in the shredder myself. If debt collectors turn up they would get told to eff off unless and until they came back with a warrant, up until that point I would not be talking to them or proving my identity in any way.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 8th May 18, 10:17 AM
    • 3,962 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    • #8
    • 8th May 18, 10:17 AM
    • #8
    • 8th May 18, 10:17 AM
    Invest in a chain for your door if you don't already have one. Keep a folder of copies of your proof of name and residency near the door. In the unlikely event of a bailiff turning up, shove a copy through the gap.

    Don't even bother sending post back if it keeps coming; just shred and ignore.

    It happened to me when I first started renting; I just said "that person doesn't live here anymore" and they left. Of course it's more dramatic and exciting on tv.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 8th May 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,091 Posts
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    rtho782
    • #9
    • 8th May 18, 10:19 AM
    • #9
    • 8th May 18, 10:19 AM
    Invest in a chain for your door if you don't already have one. Keep a folder of copies of your proof of name and residency near the door. In the unlikely event of a bailiff turning up, shove a copy through the gap.
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    Why should she have to spend money and prove who she is to strangers? Just tell them to go away... as you would a Capita TV licensing goon.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 8th May 18, 10:21 AM
    • 479 Posts
    • 665 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    We had the same problems when I bought a repossessed property for my daughter. She was young and living alone so it did worry us that debt collectors would be calling on her.

    The previous owner was still using the address and obtaining credit for a few years after it was repossessed.

    We tried the 'return to sender' for a while - it doesn't work. The companies simply don't accept them as they would have to pay the excess postage on them.

    Open the mail and ring the companies. It will work for a while but it will start again when they sell the debt on.
    We were still getting his post seven years later so eventually we just binned it (It has now stopped except for the occasional circular).

    No debt collectors or bailiffs ever knocked on the door despite the often quite threatening letters.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 8th May 18, 10:22 AM
    • 31,662 Posts
    • 19,970 Thanks
    DCFC79
    Contact the insurers and say you have received post for joe bloggs amd he doesn't live there, might work to stop the letters.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 8th May 18, 10:34 AM
    • 25,053 Posts
    • 92,611 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Why should she have to spend money and prove who she is to strangers? Just tell them to go away... as you would a Capita TV licensing goon.
    Originally posted by rtho782
    People have personality differences which affect the way they deal with situations. Physical size comes into this too.

    Perhaps the OP does would prefer a chain as an extra level of security, or perhaps not, but I'm sure she'll be able to decide for herself if investing a couple of quid is worthwhile.
    'It's a terrible thing to wait until you're ready…..Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.' Hugh Lawrie.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 8th May 18, 10:57 AM
    • 6,335 Posts
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    eddddy
    I just said "that person doesn't live here anymore" and they left. Of course it's more dramatic and exciting on tv.
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    I expect they film lots and lots of visits that end up like that, but they don't make it into the final programme - because they're not very interesting.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 8th May 18, 11:40 AM
    • 3,621 Posts
    • 5,418 Thanks
    bouicca21
    I had a similar experience in a rental a few years ago - and bailiffs did come knocking at the door. I told them I wasn't the person they wanted and they accepted that and went away. Keep ID handy just in case needed, but getting rid really shouldn't be a problem. The debt collection letters kept on coming and eventually I just binned them.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 8th May 18, 12:44 PM
    • 5,380 Posts
    • 7,546 Thanks
    deannatrois
    I actually had someone turn up to arrest the previous tenant of the rented house I was living in. I just showed them ID, said I had no idea where they were and they went away.
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