Debt Questions forum. General questions on debt issues.

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Byhellsbells979
#178653 hi there! just wondered if anyone can help....
I owed £1300 to Mint who it seems have just passed the debt on to Intrum justitia. I'd never heard of these people and after returning home from work one evening had a message to ring this number with a reference number. So i did..... oops. Got thru to some girl who asked if i had phoned to clear the debt by credit/debit card. I said no, and explained i have just returned to work after being on maternity leave for 9 months. She said i could make a token payment of £10 and then i'd have to pay £114 a month for 12 months. i told her that i couldn't afford that amount so she basically said to ring back when i can make a payment. I've since had letters threatning court action and 'field agents' calling round and another phone call saying that someone would call round. That was about a week ago.

Sorry i'm rambling....

I've phoned them tonight to make a token payment and then hopefully pay £200 in january, which in all honesty i will be able to pay. The girl said i can't make a token payment and the minimum they will accept is £216 over 6 months. If i couldn't do that then proceedings will begin to get the full amount... I told them then that's what they'll have to do....so she said 'ok then' and hung up on me!!!!

I must admit i've not been very co-operative because these people have got some serious attitude! I've found them really rude.

What are they likely to do next to reclaim the debt? should i expect a 'field agent' to call round? And would they take me to court for £1300?
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ByGazza1912
#178655
What are they likely to do next to reclaim the debt? should i expect a 'field agent' to call round? And would they take me to court for £1300?
Ok, to begin with, first and foremost, and I know this is not easy, but please try not to worry. I'll reply in bullet form as it is a lot easier for me :arrow:

*(1) Intrum Justitia have no more powers than those that your original creditor had, they are just a tin pot DCA and one of the worst. They were founded in Sweden originally in 1923. They were actually featured on the BBC's Watchdog programme a few nights back.

*(2) To start the ball rolling, write to them with the *Prove The Debt* letter. Templates can be found across these Forums, but I have included my own at the bottom of this post in blue font. You will need to send £1,00 for this. Whilst you are waiting for them to write back to you, this action in effect puts the account *Into Dispute*, and whilst the account is in dispute, they CANNOT take any further recovery action against you. They will be commiting a serious criminal offence if they do. It will not stop them hassling you with more of their pathetic letters, but they cannot take any legal action against you.

*(3) Take no notice of their pathetic threats to send a "Field Agent" / "Doorstep Collector" or "Collection Agent" to your home. In 99.99.99% of ALL cases this is just a threat and DCA's very rarely carry out this threat because it is simply not cost effective for them to do so.
However, in the unlikely event that they do, do NOT let him/her into your home. You are NOT obliged to do so. Treat him or her like any other unwanted caller, and ask that they leave your property at once, otherwise you will dial 999 and ask the Police to attend. If possible, try to obtain the Registration number of his/her vehicle as this could possibly be helpful in any possible Court case.

Many debtors mistakenly assume that DCA Doorstep Collectors have the same powers as Bailiffs. They do NOT. They have no more powers than the man from the Pru. You will probably find he/she is just the tea boy/girl who they have asked to stop by your home on their way to or from the Office.
Doorstep Collectors are nothing to worry about, I assure you.

*(4) In your letter, advise Intrum Justitia that you will ONLY deal with them IN WRITING. Telephone calls and Home Visits will NOT be acceptable to you. If they ignore this, advise them that you intend to report them to OFCOM and submit a request that their telephone lines be disconnected.

The trick is is to be just as devious and threatening as they are, but without making any threats of violence etc.

*(5) They CANNOT take you to Court no matter how much the amount is for unless they have previously served upon you IN PERSON a CCJ which you then default on. And that is way down the line at this stage, so please do not worry yourself about that for the moment.

*(6) Bare in mind the vast majority of DCA Staff are rude, ignorant, pathetic, arrogant, uneducated little sh*ts with no inter-personal skills whatsoever, and with hardly any training. They are the lowest of the low, and utter scum.

*(7) Insist in your letter that they send you a copy of their Internal Complaints Procedure as you intend to make a Complaint about the way you were spoken to on the telephone. This is your LEGAL right and they have a LEGAL obligation to send this to you.

*(8 ) In the unlikely event that this does go to Court, you will be asked to complete an IE Form and if you can only afford £1,00 per week, then that is all Intrum Justitia will get whether they like it or not. They cannot have money you do not have.

*(9) Do NOT make any further contact with them by telephone.

*(10) They might threaten to apply for a Charging Order. A charging order is an order from the court placed on a debtor’s property (house or land) for monies owed to a lender.
If you have borrowed money and the money is not secured and you have not kept to the repayment arrangement, a lender can request the court to place a charging order on your property so that when the property is sold you will have to pay that debt off first before any of the proceeds are given to you.
In basic terms, the unsecured debt becomes secured on your property. Of course, if you do not own any property, they cannot go down this route, BUT, they could still apply for a Charging Order against any stocks or shares you may own.

Before a court will consider an application for a charging order, the lender must have issued a county court judgement and you must have failed to make payments on that judgement or not paid the judgement according to the requirements of the court.

*(11) Get Everything in WRITING! Do not send any money until you have this agreement in writing! Debt Collection agencies are infamous for going back on verbal “agreements”.

If you pay a debt in full or workout a settlement offer with the creditor or collection agency, make sure to get these actions documented in writing.

*(12) Stick to Your Guns. Never agree to a payment plan you know you cannot afford. If you know that you can afford to send the creditor more than £1,00 per month, tell them that. They will try to pressure you into paying more than you can afford. Do NOT give in to them. They will tell you to borrow from your family, your friends, your church, or even your child's piggy bank. Do NOT allow THEM to tell you how much YOU can afford!

*(13)) Never Refuse to Pay. In the course of politely explaining to your creditors that you cannot afford their suggested payment of £216 per month, they will ask, "So, are you refusing to pay your bill?" No matter how angry you are, do not fall for this trap. They are trying to provoke you and have you on record as saying that you will not pay your bills. This will be used against you in court. Instead, calmly say, "I did not say that. I said I can only pay £X amount per month". If you continue to restate that you can only pay a certain amount per month, the collector will usually get so angry that they will hang-up on you, (as they did in your case) or they will accept your offer.

*(14) Never give a debt collection agency access to your bank account. Creditors and collection agencies have been known to take more than the authorized amount out of people’s bank accounts. By providing them with your bank account information or by paying with a personal cheque, you are enabling this practice. Send payments by Postal Order. Not only will you protect your bank account information, but you will have another record of payment for your files.

Prove The Debt Letter (£1,00)

This is the 'Prove The Debt Letter' I use. It may vary from others. At the head of your letter state this :arrow:

ENTIRELY WITHOUT PREJUDICE: I DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ANY DEBT TO YOUR COMPANY, OR TO ANY OF YOUR ASSOCIATED COMPANIES, OR TO ANYONE ELSE ACTING UPON YOUR BEHALF, OR TO ANYONE YOU MAY HAVE BOUGHT THIS ALLEGED DEBT OFF OF. I REQUIRE YOU TO SEND ME THE DOCUMENTS DETAILED IN THIS LETTER BEFORE I WILL CORRESPOND WITH YOU ANY FURTHER IN THIS MATTER. PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT AT THIS STAGE I AM DISPUTING THIS ALLEDGED DEBT, AND ANY COURT ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING WILL BE VIGOUROUSLY CONTESTED

1. You must supply me with a true signed copy of the alleged Agreement you refer to. This is my right under your obligation to supply a copy of the Original Agreement under the legislation contained within Section.78 (1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 (s.77 (1) for fixed sum credit) - your obligation also extends to providing a fully itmemised Statement of Account.

2. You must supply me with a signed true copy of the Deed of Assignment of the above referenced Agreement that you allege exists.

3. You are notified that you are obliged to supply these documents, whether you are the original Creditor or not under Section 189 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Non-compliance with my request is a criminal offence under the above Act and will result in a report being submitted to the relevant Statutory Authorities.

As you are aware, a 'Credit Agreement' that is not properly documented and signed by the customer is totally unenforceable under the Consumer Credit Act and therefore is a complete defence to any court claim that is issued.

Take note at this stage, that any legal action you may contemplate will be both vigorously defended and contested. You have 12 days from the date of this letter in which to supply me with the above documentation, after which failure to do so but to continue to take recovery action against me whilst I am disputing this alledged debt will be a very serious Criminal offence and I will NOT hesitate to report you to the relevant Statutory Authorities.

You will find enclosed a Cheque/Postal Order (delete as appropriate) for £1,00. This being the statutory Fee for this information. Please ensure you send a receipt for this amount by return of post, and please note, this amount is NOT a payment towards this alledged account, which I do not acknowledge.

Whilst this alledged account is IN DISPUTE, if I receive any more threatening letters from your Company, or anyone else acting upon your behalf, I will not hesitate to report your Company to:-

The Information Commissioner
Your Local Trading Standards Officer
The Consumer Credit Association
The Financial Services Ombudsman

and any other relevant Statutory Authority.

I will NOT tolerate being threatened by a Debt Collection Agency. I will, if necessary, seek to have your Licence to operate as a Debt Collection Agency revoked. There might also be a Legal Case against you for a possible breach of the Data Protection Act by being in pocession of my private and personal confidential details without my express written authority.

Please be advised, I do NOT take your threats lightly, and I will NOT hesitate to seek LEGAL ACTION against you if you continue to pursue the matter whilst it is IN DISPUTE.

The Law is VERY clear on this matter. You are NOT permitted to take any further Recovery Action against all the time the alledged account remains IN DISPUTE.

Any attempts to pursue this alledged account whilst it is IN DISPUTE will be regarded as HARASSMENT and I shall not hesitate to instigate LEGAL PROCEEDINGS against you and report you the relevant Statutory Authorities.

Please be advised, I will ONLY corrospond with you IN WRITING. Telephone Calls and Home Visits are NOT acceptable to me and will be treated as 'Harassment' and I shall not hesitate to commenc LEGAL PROCEEDINGS against you if you ignore this request.


Yours Sincerely


etc etc etc

Now, you could if you wish send them the Data Protection Act Disclosure Request letter, which is not the same as the above, and for this you need to send £10,00. Alternatively, tag the following letter onto the first and send £11,00. This is what I do.

Data Protection Act Disclosure Request Letter (£10,00)

ENTIRELY WITHOUT PREJUDICE: I DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ANY DEBT TO YOUR COMPANY, OR TO ANY OF YOUR ASSOCIATED COMPANIES, OR TO ANYONE ELSE ACTING UPON YOUR BEHALF, OR TO ANYONE YOU MAY HAVE BOUGHT THIS ALLEGED DEBT OFF OF. I REQUIRE YOU TO SEND ME THE DOCUMENTS DETAILED IN THIS LETTER BEFORE I WILL CORRESPOND WITH YOU ANY FURTHER IN THIS MATTER. PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT AT THIS STAGE I AM DISPUTING THIS ALLEDGED DEBT, AND ANY COURT ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING WILL BE VIGOUROUSLY CONTESTED

Please supply me with a complete list of transactions and charges relating to this alledged account from the date it was first opened to the date it was closed, or passed onto your Company. This includes the Account History prior to the sale of the debt to your Company. I also ask for a copy of any default notices you hold, interest I have paid, from when, and at what rate.

Additionally where there has been any event in my alledged account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or your Client's staff or by any other person acting on behalf of your Client, your Company or any of your associate Companies. I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my business with you.

If you are unable to supply data relating to manual intervention because there has been no such manual intervention then please be kind as to confirm this in your response to this request.

You now have 12 days in which to comply. Furthermore, if I discover that you have levied disproportionate penalties against me, added on any extra interest, or levied any other unfair, and illegal charges to my account then I shall be reclaiming them from you.

Yours Sincerely


etc etc etc

Or, you could if you wish, formally invite them to take you to Court to deal with the matter, but you do NOT have to attend, everything is done in writing, but they are highly unlikely to pursue this course of action because of the costs involved. At the end of the day, the chances of them winning are almost a big fat zero.

Of course you will still have to pay, the debt will not go away, but you will only have to pay what you can afford. Remember, DCAs will use all sorts of scare tactics and threats to try and get you to pay up. But at the end of the day they very rarely carry out any of these threats. Think of DCAs as you would the school bully, because in effect that is all they are, bullies, and all bullies are cowards. You have NOTHING to fear from a DCA. They are NOT allowed to register your details with Credit Reference Agencies. Only the original creditor can do that.

A little tip, as difficult as it may sound, maintaining your composure with a DCA allows you to have the upper hand when dealing with debt collection agents. Think of the Debt Collector as your opponent in a game. The more composure you have, the more power you earn. This will translate into being able to set your own terms with the debt collection agent.

And I have yet to meet the person who is able to get blood out of a stone.
had a message to ring this number with a reference number
Was this by way of a postcard or a left telephone message? Either way, if that is all the message stated they have already commited a crime.

The law clearly states that they MUST advise you who they are and what it is connection with. Simply leaving a message asking to to ring such and such a number and quote such and such a reference IS totally illegal.

Information re: Charging Orders sourced from :arrow: HERE

Please CLICK :arrow: HERE to be redirected to the Intrum Justitia website.
Byinnocenti
#178657 Gazza - another excellent post. Sorry to hijack, but just picking up at your point at the bottom, I am getting a woman leave messages on my answerphone ALL the time and she just says she is ringing about a private matter, giving her name and number and thats it. She doesnt say if she wants my boyfriend or me or who she is, so it this illegal? I have never rang it as I know it is a DCA ringing me. And as I dont know who the call is for I am not ringing it back!
User avatar
ByYogi Bear
#178661
innocenti wrote:.....I am getting a woman leave messages on my answerphone ALL the time and she just says she is ringing about a private matter, giving her name and number and thats it. She doesnt say if she wants my boyfriend or me or who she is, so it this illegal? I have never rang it as I know it is a DCA ringing me. And as I dont know who the call is for I am not ringing it back!

Unless it's a scam involving a premium rate phone number, I can't see why this would actually be illegal: she hasn't said who she is or what she wants, so you're perfectly free to do as are doing and simply ignore the calls. If it's getting to be a nuisance, you should be able to block the number she's using.

To find out who it is, try doing a google search on the number she's leaving (and on the number she's using to make the calls, if it's different). Or post the number here and see if anyone else recognizes it!
Byinnocenti
#178662
Yogi Bear wrote:
innocenti wrote:.....I am getting a woman leave messages on my answerphone ALL the time and she just says she is ringing about a private matter, giving her name and number and thats it. She doesnt say if she wants my boyfriend or me or who she is, so it this illegal? I have never rang it as I know it is a DCA ringing me. And as I dont know who the call is for I am not ringing it back!

Unless it's a scam involving a premium rate phone number, I can't see why this would actually be illegal: she hasn't said who she is or what she wants, so you're perfectly free to do as are doing and simply ignore the calls. If it's getting to be a nuisance, you should be able to block the number she's using.

To find out who it is, try doing a google search on the number she's leaving (and on the number she's using to make the calls, if it's different). Or post the number here and see if anyone else recognizes it!


Good idea, I will have to write it down tonight as I am sure I will have another one!

And as for premium rate phone number scams I thought they were just urban myths? :?
Bypleomax
#178663 Hi,
Gazza was reading your reply with interest when you say DCA's are not allowed to register the debt with a CRF is that in scotland aswell?
sorry to hijack just wondering
pleomax
User avatar
ByYogi Bear
#178664 Well, my understanding of this is that a DCA can register an account that they own (ie - a debt which they've bought) as long as the original creditor removes their entry - the same account can't be shown twice concurrently. And, of course, the data must be shown correctly!

That applies throughout the UK to the best of my knowledge.
Byjohnny 72
#178665 a very thorough post by gazza. to put it in a nutshell. assuming they can prove the debt etc and you do owe the money, ignore their demands for payment rates, the amount you pay to them is determined by how much money you have and if they tell you differently (and they probably will) just ignore them. there is no minimum rate they can accept.

send them a financial statement detailing your income and expenditure. if you have any surplus money left then you base your offer from that money only, not forgetting that if you have any other debts you need to cater for them out of the surplus as well

this is how the courts will work out how much you have to pay if it should get to that stage

make your offer and start paying at that rate only, regardless of whether they accept your offer or not

dont worry about it all too much, you'll soon that debt collection is just a game really. when you know the rules of the game its much less worrying
Byhellsbells979
#178680 wow, what a thorough reply that was, thank you so much. It was of great help.

I can hold my hands up to the fact that i do indeed owe £1300, But due to being on maternity leave for a while i couldn't pay anything. I offered the original creditor's (RBS) a full and final of £837 in july which they declined.

I am prepared to pay this debt as fortunatelnow i'm back at work i could perhaps afford to pay 2 or maybe 300 a month...... From the end of january, until then.... not a great deal. It's christmas isn't it!!! i know any dca won't be bothered tho.

I've received a letter this morning from [b]debt investigations ltd[/b] they are claiming the debt has now been transferred to them for investigations and could i contact them.

The reply address on the back of the envelope is the exact same one as Intrum justicia!!! Is this just the same people trying another tactic?
User avatar
Bymarknlinz
#178681
hellsbells979 wrote:I've received a letter this morning from debt investigations ltd they are claiming the debt has now been transferred to them for investigations and could i contact them.
The reply address on the back of the envelope is the exact same one as Intrum justicia!!! Is this just the same people trying another tactic?


Yes it is, most of the DCA's have a "debt investigation dept, or legal dept or pre-court division" its just another scare tactic
User avatar
BySammy
#178682 Gazza -just one point - be careful of that 'Without Prejudice' bit as I think Tim has said it won't protect you - can't remember the exact details now
User avatar
ByGazza1912
#178693
I've received a letter this morning from debt investigations ltd they are claiming the debt has now been transferred to them for investigations and could i contact them
. Just send them the same *Prove The Debt* letter.
Gazza -just one point - be careful of that 'Without Prejudice' bit as I think Tim has said it won't protect you
As long as you include all of the "I do not acknowledge blah blah blah" part....thats all the part I have written in upper case, you are fully covered. Simply writing "Without Prejudice" on its own is when you are no longer covered.
Byred24
#178731 Gazza, I just love your very colourful informative replies, its a pleasure reading them, must take you ages to set them out as you do.

And always so helpful.
User avatar
ByGazza1912
#178733
red24 wrote:Gazza, I just love your very colourful informative replies, its a pleasure reading them, must take you ages to set them out as you do.

And always so helpful.
Well, I don't really notice the time it takes me. I know what I need and want to say, I might have to make reference to other places to ensure my facts are correct, but I am a rapid typist and I just write what I need to say.

But many thanks for those kind words of appreciation.
User avatar
Byalexandra5988
#178769
pleomax wrote:Hi,
Gazza was reading your reply with interest when you say DCA's are not allowed to register the debt with a CRF is that in scotland aswell?
sorry to hijack just wondering
pleomax


They can in Scotland and I have had lots even though I have been in a Trust Deed. I have written and instructed them to amend my CRF as I was in a TD when they posted an outstanding debt post on my file and I will let you know their response if i get one. I have also advised them that I have complained to all the crf agencies and the FO. I hope this works as the posts will stay on my CRF if they don't amend it and the most recent on was mid 2007. :cry: :cry: It has taken a lot to start cleaning my files and is so upsetting that it might all be in vain :cry: :cry:

S

xx
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