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desperately need help

(43 Posts)
nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 10:43:33

I have today received a letter from Link financial outsourcing, saying I owe £5K from a student loan I had from 1994 - 1997. I called them straight away to say i will pay monthly and they are saying that isn't acceptable and that unless I pay it all immediately, they will be round to repossess things etc. WTAF??? How can this be so? Please help!

Frontpaw Mon 02-Jul-12 10:46:39

Did you have the loan? I don't know for certain but am pretty sure they can't just send a 'deamand with menaces' letter. I assume this isn't the company you had any load with and they have either outsourced the loan or sold it onto a collection agency.

Put it in writing that you are willing to pay it off at X a month.

Drumbs fingers waiting for someone who knows better to come along.

savoycabbage Mon 02-Jul-12 10:47:57

Is it your official student loan from the student loan company? Have you got any paperwork?

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 10:51:53

It was my original student loan yes. I have not been in touch with anyone about it since last century!! Having just done a bit of fishing, it seems this company is threatening a lot of people but debts older than 6 years are 'statue barred' it seems? They can't just turn up at my house and start removing things can they [cry] I shouldn't have phoned them appreantly, but obvioulsy wanted to sort it out.

Yddraigdragon Mon 02-Jul-12 10:56:19

There is a fair bit about this on the internet. Google Link financial threats or similar or other peoples experiences?

savoycabbage Mon 02-Jul-12 11:00:51

Yes you have to write to the student loan company every year to arrange to pay or defer so when you didn't they must have sold it!

Sounds like it is statute barred. Have a look on MSE, there is lots of advice re statute barred debts on there.

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 11:10:16

I have found out that they are a very nastycompany - have registered with consumer forums who have a whole load of info about them. I think I need to write them a letter about statute barred debts. Still scared though

iammovingsoon Mon 02-Jul-12 11:34:56

But does it make any difference that you've now agreed to pay it? I.e. that might override the six years thing.

fergoose Mon 02-Jul-12 11:36:39

They cannot come and possess things - they need a court order to do that! Plus statute barred - I am sure they don't have a leg to stand on.

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 11:46:45

well I didn't agree to pay I just said look I don't have £5 to pay you, I could make an arrangement. the she just got funny and said, sell something or ask your family. At which point I just repeated, we do not have anything and cannot ask famiy. She said, well in that case we'll give you 21 days. I said I'm sorry I cannot speak to you right now, this is riduculous - and put the phone down sad So perhaps I've blown it. Gah.

prh47bridge Mon 02-Jul-12 11:47:55

The fact that the OP has offered to pay may mean that the debt is no longer statue barred as she has acknowledged its existence. For a debt to be statue barred it must be 6 years since the OP made a payment or had any contact other than deny the existence of the debt.

They still need to go to court before they can come and take things. Assuming the court decides that the money is owed, they are likely to accept a reasonable offer of repayment by monthly instalments.

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 11:51:48

FUCK !!!

fergoose Mon 02-Jul-12 11:55:48

You can write a letter which asks for proof of the debt, and proof that it is yours and not statute barred. There are copies on MSE and Consumer Action Group. I would be firing one of those off to them now if I were you.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 11:59:59

nomorestudent

They can come to your home, they cannot come in to your home unless you let them in, they can come into your home if a door is unlocked.

dont let them in

If they do come in the have to write a list of what you have, you have to sign it, they then can return and take those goods whether you let them in or not, if you have not signed anything they cannot come in.

They HAVE to accept installment if you cannot pay upfront, as it is not an essential debt you can offer a pound a week!

Not sure if you have voided the statue barred by offering to pay but send the statue barred letter, If you do have to pay write again with a list of your income/expenditure and an offer you can afford.

If they will not accept that they are acting illegally and I would go to CAB who will write to them for you, inform them you have not got the money to pay in full and they will have to get a court order, even if court rules in their favour you can then pay court direct at an amount you can afford!

AFAIK only a court baliff and council tax can enter with legal rights.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 12:04:40

Ok so the statue bar is void

- do not let them in
- do not sign anything
- send them a letter with your earnings/expenditure and an offer of what you can afford not what they want.
- Inform them in the letter that you will be seeking advice from CAB if this is not suitable.

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 02-Jul-12 12:07:17

phd is right, once you offer to pay anything then the 6 years starts again. They are not allowed to use bullying tactics against you though, which includes telling you to borrow the money or threatening the bailiffs! I suggest that you contact the CAB, as this breaches legislation.
The bailiffs are only brought in if there's a CCJ/court order in place. It's important not to let them into your home, even for a minute. Once they have access once, they will take an inventory of your goods and will remove them whenever they wish.

Don't panic, just go and see the CAB.

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 12:10:32

The office of fair trading information on "debt collectors" on national debtline

Harrassment

“Putting pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive.”

This includes:
pressurising you to sell property or take out more debt;
pressuring you to pay in full or in large instalments you cannot afford;

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 12:10:35

trying to remember what I said now -I said that there was no way we could pay that much upfront - not sure I actually said we will pay monthly iyswim. God, I'm just terrified. First time in my life I try to sort something out in a reasonable way ..

nomorestudent Mon 02-Jul-12 12:12:45

Just been getting advice on consumer forum, they say that it needs to be a written admission of the debt?

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 12:14:13

Dear Sir/Madam
Re Account No/Reference No:-

In regards to above reference and my previous contact

We cannot afford to pay in full because ... [your paragraph added here]

We enclose a Personal Budget sheet which shows our total income from all sources, and the total outgoings of
our household. As you can see we have no money left to make offers of payment to my creditors.
In view of our circumstances, would you please accept [no payment at present] [a token offer of £1.00 etc per
month] to be reviewed in six months. If interest or other charges are being added to the account, we would be
grateful if you would freeze these so our debt does not increase.
Should my circumstances improve we will contact you again.
We would be grateful if you would send a [paying-in book] [standing order form] to make it easier to pay you.
Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Yours faithfully

overtherooftops Mon 02-Jul-12 12:16:44

If they refuse

Dear Sir/Madam
Acc/Ref No 4563210025897412
Thank you for your letter of DD-MM-YYYY. We are very disappointed that we seem unable to reach a
satisfactory compromise in this case. As we have already explained, we can only afford £___ per month at
the present time. This is the only realistic payment proposal bearing in mind the enclosed personal budget
sheet.
You have stated in correspondence your intention to commence proceedings in the county court against us.
The commencement of legal proceedings under such circumstances could be counter to the ‘Overriding
Objectives’ of the new Civil Procedure Rules. You will be aware that the Overriding Objectives underpin
everything the court does. Moreover, paragraph 4 of the Protocols Practice Direction states that in cases not
covered by an approved pre-action protocol, the court will expect the parties “to act reasonably…….. in trying
to avoid the necessity for the start of proceedings”.
We would suggest that your refusal to accept our offer could be viewed as unreasonable and we would ask the
court to consider this matter with reference to the Overriding Objectives.
The offer of £___ is of course still open to you to accept.
Yours faithfully

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 02-Jul-12 12:17:37

No, it's verbal also. You really do need to go to the CAB.

fergoose Mon 02-Jul-12 12:23:38

well I would take advice from the consumer forum to be honest and I would not put anything in writing with any offers to pay anything at present.

At the moment I would treat it as statute barred and write to them stating that now.

LadySybildeChocolate Mon 02-Jul-12 12:28:13

Actually, a student loan debt has different time limits to become statute barred. It all depends on when the loan was taken out, for one around this date it's 21 years IIRC. www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/StudentFinance/DG_10034866

For a normal loan, the 6 years do apply. A student loan isn't a normal loan though. I'm sorry.

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