Legal Help Required – old PCP & Debt Collection agency
After a quck bit of general advice here – hopefully someone can help.
Basically, the question is – why are they chasing me for this debt?
Quick synopsis –
Blackhorse PCP car agreement that ended back in 2006. I handed back car and had paid the required amount to terminate agreement. End of story…
December 2011 get a call from Lowell debt collection folks saying they had taken over the case and I owed 1700 quid outstanding on this agreement.
Checked everything over, and I had made all payments required back in 2006, inc final payment to take to ensure 50% of PCP paid. This they confirmed.
So I asked why I had to pay and what the moeny was for.
It appears in the statement, that they sent of the account with Blackhorse, that after completing transaction with me, Blackhorse sold the car 5 months later, got less than they expected for it. They then waited 5 years and sold this debt to Lowells who are hounding me for the cash.
Eh? That doesn’t seem right at all.
My agreement states once I pay X and hand back the motor, it’s done. WTF are they chasing me for? Am I liable? It was 5.5 yrs ago FFS!
Anyone shed any light?
KevPosted 5 years agoMSPSubscriber
If they had sold the car for more than expected would they have passed the profits on to you? Of course not.
Sounds like they are trying it on, I don’t think they would stand a chance in court. However it does sound serious enough to see a solicitor, just make sure he claims costs from them.Posted 5 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
Try Consumer Direct, they are good for advice on this kind of contract.
Agreed – sounds like a try-on. If there’s nothing in the small print of the contract, and you can clearly show you’ve fulfilled the terms of that contract, you’re entitled to tell them to jog on.Posted 5 years agoBoardinBobSubscriber
Approaching 6 years or maybe reached depending on exact timing. That’ll mean it’s statute barred?Posted 5 years ago
I’m well versed with Lowell. They’re a bunch of shysters. They buy non-existent or statute-barred “debts” and then try to extort money from people. You’ll get increasingly threatening letters, I think Red collection agency will be next if memory serves.
They sent my partner a demand for money for a debt she’d never had. She wanted to pay it just to get rid of them, which is exactly how they operate.
I sent them a letter denying any knowledge of any debt, and if they continued to send further demands without providing proof of the money owed then I’d pursue them for harassment. That was the last I heard from them. I still have it, if you want a copy.Posted 5 years ago
In fact, I might as well copy it here. Here you go.
Account no: [xxxxxxxx]
You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself.
I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to [alleged debtor].
I am familiar with the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.
I would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.
Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.
I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question.
I await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the OFT of your actions.
I/we look forward to your reply.
Etc.Posted 5 years agoperthmtbMember
This in no way should be taken as legal advice – but I had a similar experience with a debt collection agency years ago.
It seems these guys modus operandi is to buy up a large number of cases real cheap, and rely on scary letters and persistence to try and bully a proportion of them into paying. Their only costs are letters and telephone calls, so if a few pay up, they’re quids in. I don’t think they’re really interested in long and expensive court cases, it doesn’t fit with their business model, although of course they’ll use the threat of a court case to get you to pay.
Like you, I believed I didn’t owe any money, so I stood my ground and just politely but firmly stated so. Eventually they gave up and I never heard about it again.
Of course, you should be sure you’re in the right before you call their bluff! Is there a consumer’s advice centre or even a motoring organisation you could get advice from without the costs of full legal advice?Posted 5 years agoprojectMember
a mate handed back the keys to his house when, his g/f left him, she moved into a brand new social housing house, him in a grotty bedsit, after 5 years a letter from the mortgage company asking for the rest of the mortgage plus intrest, a large sum.
Seems as if they wait quite a few years then pounce, as they estimate you should by then be earning more money.Posted 5 years ago
Wow, thanks guys, absolutely excellent feedback. Caveats taken on board that this is not binding legel advice. But shirley STW would be recognised in a court of law now? 😉
Me: But, m’lud, the STW big hitters said I could tell the Company to “Jog on”!
Judge: Ooh, the big hitters eh? Case Dismissed! 😀
Have consistently refuted the debt. Seems like they are “at it”. Great feedback and support from you all.
No way to challenge, 5.5 years on, the condition of the car. Of course, to my knowledge it was pucker. It was signed off, my part of the deal paid, and as far as I knew that was that.
They waited 5 months to sell it, surely it would have depreciated that amount in that time. There is no way that this far down the line they cna challenge that, can they?
It’s the flamin hassle and stress this all causes that pisses me off.
KevPosted 5 years agoperthmtbMember
It’s the flamin hassle and stress this all causes that pisses me off
And of course that’s exactly what these debt collection agencies rely on to get people to pay – just to get them off their backs!
So, if the collective therapy room of STW has managed to ease some of that pain, then you’re half way to beating them already 😀Posted 5 years agopictonroadSubscriber
You might be liable, I had exactly the same with blackhorse finance. When my mum died they took back her car, sold it and as the sale value was less than the outstanding finance they pursued me for it. As it wasn’t my debt and I had other more pressing issues at the time I told them to go away and eventually they gave up.
I used to sell GAP insurance for Renault to cover consumers for exactly this issue. Somewhere in your small print there is probably a term stating that you owe the difference between the outstanding finance and the sale value. Otherwise you could just hand back a pile of bits.
Your choice. I ignore everything that is from one of these 3rd party companies that buy up old debt, it means the original firm have given up.
JamesPosted 5 years ago
I wouldn’t even do that. I’d just say “prove it, or get knotted.” The less free information you can give them the better, it just encourages them.
Never, ever talk to them on the phone. Ever. If they ring, tell them to write to you and put the phone down.Posted 5 years agoswampiMember
as above only communicate in writing to these companies, some of the things they do/say to try and get money is unreal, if it is near 6 years just wait until its statue barred… making a payment or admitting the debt in writing will reset the 6 year time frame. Lots of debt firms try it on with old statue barred debts etc as its very cheap for them and some people do pay up…go on consumer action group website and look at some of the cagger postsPosted 5 years ago
Cheers all, smashing help.
the whole thing just stinks! I did actually call them today, before all the advice on here, but they launched instantly into questions like where I work, if I am a homeowner etc. I told them I was not answering anything as I was waiting a response to my most recent query of xxx March for them to clarify what it was I was being asked to pay, and why.
They then kept trying to say “I’ll put you down as ‘refused to pay'”. I said that this not correct, as ther was nothing to pay as there had been no response yet to my query. They agreed tht yes, there was a query outstanding.
hope that didn’t **** things up, going to take heed of advice given above from now on.
kevPosted 5 years ago
A debt that hasn’t been chased up in six years becomes ‘statute barred’ – ie, unenforceable. Even if they subsequently approach you, you don’t have to pay it.
On the other hand, if you go “yes, that was me” then it becomes un-barred, so you need to be careful what you say.
There’s also strict rules about harassment; it’s unlawful to chase someone for payment unless you can prove the debt exists and can positively identify the debtor. That’s what I was referring to in my shitogram above.Posted 5 years agojonah tontoMember
red, lowell, blackhorse – all the same company. bunch of conmen operating just inside the law trying it on. ask for a copy of the original credit agreement. they wont be able to provide it.
everything cougar is saying is spot on when dealing with these shiesters
personally i enjoy charging them for each letter received and sent. that tends to shut them upPosted 5 years agoLiferSubscriber
phead – Member
Try looking on http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/
Plenty of advice there for similar problems.
Plenty of advice from people who think they know what they’re talking about. We get so many CCA requests on debts that don’t apply because of those idiots.
But we’re not an agency, and hate those charlatans with a passion. Almost as bad as debt management companies that charge a fee.Posted 5 years agocompositeproMember
If you haven’t paid a penny since 2006 and have had no contact it is statute barred ,there is not a legal thing they can do even if you acknowledge the debt
so letter politely telling them to f off
they may conjure up some fiction even that you made a payment or contacted them a few years ago if they do this do not stop till you manage to get one of their scumbag directors in to court
next letter is to point out that any further contact will be classed as harassment under the HRA if they continue point out mr battle as director will be prosecuted under this
watch how quickly Lowell discover they have a rogue employee and were unaware blah blah blah
worked for our youngster who worked for a solicitor’s firm at the time they put her through hell
tbh i wanted so much to get a job at leeds one just to kick some of the management and directors heads inPosted 5 years agoTheLittlestHoboMember
Not commenting on the whys and wherefores but the assumption of paying half the money is wrong in a sense.
It is the rule of halls and thirds that is being applied and it is only present on regulated agreements. From that point you are correct about returning the car and settling the 50%. They are however legally allowed to ensure they get back a car in appropriate condition and mileage to the terms of the pcp contract. Ie if you had signed up for a 15k per annum contract over 3 yrs and handed them a car back at 18mths with 50k on and covered in dents they would be legally allowed to charge you, say £1700 to reimburse them.
Thing is, from your point of view this should have been in a return condition report by them at the time of handing it back. If you have never had anything in writing about its condition at the time and you handed back a car with the relevant mileage and condition (bvrla return conditions are a good guide to what’s acceptable) then tell em to document why you would owe.
The finance co can’t chase you for making a hash of its future value which is what these type of contracts are based on, unless as I said earlier, you went over the agreementPosted 5 years agoTheLittlestHoboMember
Main points of my post
There must be a returns condition report for the DAY you returned it. If not they haven’t got a hope.Posted 5 years ago
They cannot chase you even if it was worth less than their balance. It’s their job to ensure they calculate the finance etc to make sure they protect themselves. NOT YOURSZulu-ElevenMember
To be perfectly honest, I would ignore (and have) anything or anyone involving the words ‘debt collection agency’ and wait for court papers
(note the significant difference between ‘debt collection agency’ and ‘county court bailiff’ or ‘high court enforcement officer’ – two are legally empowered to act to take things off you to settle a debt, one is just some bloke saying ‘give me some money’)Posted 5 years ago
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