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F**ing debt collectors harrasing my MIL for DP's debt THAT HE DOESN'T EVEN OWE!!

(26 Posts)
lucyellenmum Tue 30-Oct-12 22:12:23

Back in september we received a letter from a "soclicitors" company saying that we owed T-mobile £117 or thereabouts. We were shock and they said that it was from two years ago hmm. We were sure we didn't owe them anything. It turned out that we had an outstanding balance that we paid OFF two years ago to a debt company, full and final settlement of £90, the company agreed that if we paid this they wouldnt want the rest of the money as we could only pay in installments.

This company had bought the outstanding debt from T-mobile, but said that if we could prove we had made full and final settlement, by way of a letter from the original company, then they woudlnt persue it. So i managed to get a letter from the company to that affect but there was an error on it, so had to ask them to resend it - by email this time, i stupidly thought it would be quicker. I am willing to bet it got lost in my spam. Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and i said to DP only sunday "oh, i must contact X because i haven;t received the second, corrected letter".

Last night received a phone call from my MIL, quite distressed, saying that DP must be in trouble as she has received a solicitors letter trying to make contact with him. I put two and two together and told her not to worry, not to reply to the letter and we would sort it out. Anyway, have been busy today so it went from my mind - got phone call from the company trying to say we still owe the money. Half an hour later of talking to some moronic bimbo on the phone telling us, no, we still owe the money as we only made full and final settlement to the debt company. This was not what the "manager" person told us before so i asked to speak to someone in authority, after she argued the toss with me the whole time. So, as luck would have it i spoke to the guy who i spoke to before and he repeated that once they have received the letter it would be fine. I had been in contact with them to tell us the original company had made and error and were resending.

HOW DARE THEY contact my MIL, we had to persuade her it was nothing to worry about, but she is of course convinced it is really serious as "you don't get solicitors looking for you for no reason". The guy i spoke to couldnt explain why this was done, he said it was an error and would be sending out a letter of apology to my MIL explaining that it was sent in error. I am so fucking angry, especially as we were told that if we payed X amount of money that the debt would be cleared!!! We were quite happy to pay off the FULL AMOUNT in installments, but the company pushed for this full and final settlement.

I am now going to make an official complaint about this inscrupulous firm of fuckwits. I have googled and apparently they are well known for heavy handed scare tactics (obviously what they were trying by getting in touch with MIL, saying they were trying to make contact with DP, when they already have his home address, we responded to them immdeately and kept them informed of the error with the other company).

This is clearly harrasment and i have made it clear to the guy on the phone that i will now not be letting this drop.

These people have bought the "debt" from T-mobile for a fraction of what is owed and are now trying to get the full amount (Even though we don't owe it and we have written evidence to prove it!!) from us. I told him he has picked on the wrong person this time and that they a) wont be getting a penny and we will be making a complaint about their company. I am not alone in this as a quick google told me that this company have a very bad reputation.

I cannot even begin to describe my anger!!! Bastards!!!

How many people just roll over and pay debts that they no longer owe!!

I have had this before with a company that tried to say we took out advertising with them and we didn't, they were trying it on - once i made it clear that i wouldnt be messed with and that we did not agree to any advertising they dropped it, but i bet alot of people are too scared and just pay up to avoid further trouble - it shouldn't be allowed to happen, its wrong!!

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 22:49:08

Was it a letter sent to mil in her name or did she open a letter addressed to dp?

lucyellenmum Tue 30-Oct-12 22:53:52

No, it was a letter saying that they were tring to contact DP about a personal matter. I am not sure whose name the letter was in. FIL has the same initials, same name as DP, so if she did open it it was in error. That is besides the point though as they had already made contact with DP at this address, the address of his house that he has owned for 15 years!! So i dont even know how they got her address - its beyong the pale, they know this - i think they were maybe hoping that we would just pay up to avoid trouble angry they are wrong, we don't owe the money and wont be bullied into paying it.

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 22:59:56

Ps the error lies with the previous company as they shouldn't have sold the debt.

The way the new company are dealing is not right but the letter is likely (assuming it is addressed to dp - if it were to mil then that would be a data protection issue) to be automatically sent as part of the collection process so nothing to do with your original discussion with the man waiting for your letter- he will likely have appointed your "account" to wait a week and go back in the system for calls if not received.

What really should happen is the original company should repurchase the debt as it shouldn't have been sold. I would particularly push for this as I would envisage this reoccurring if this new company sold it on again.

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 23:00:56

Sorry xpost

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 23:05:28

If it was to dp I wouldn't count the letter as harassment - at the moment this company think the debt is owed until proved otherwise - they probably get genuine debtors telling them the same thing or that they're dead/ left the country, have moved, it isn't them etc the fault is still with the original company imo they put you in this position

lucyellenmum Tue 30-Oct-12 23:06:41

They didn't, t-mobile did. Im not sure what the letter said though, as it said that they were trying to contact DP over a "personal" matter so they clearly knew it was not DPs addresss now. Yes, that was what happened, it was put on hold, but they have our address and our telephone number, we were dealing with them, so they should not have contacted MIL. They know this.

I now have the agreement from the current company that once they receive a copy of the letter from the first company saying that they accepted full and final payment, they won't persue it.

Apparently this happens alot, people pay off debt on an installment agreement, but the companies contact them and say, oh, if you can afford X now, we will accept that as full and final payment. They go quiet for a few years and it resurfaces.

This needs adressing, im not letting it drop, i think a letter to "Dave" could be in order here.

thebody Tue 30-Oct-12 23:09:43

Sympathies op, probably best to post this in legal as well for advice or go to citizens advice.

lucyellenmum Tue 30-Oct-12 23:12:11

thebody, i KNOW that they are out of line as i have dealt with debts for too long now sad they know they are treading on thin ice. They are company wiht a really bad reputation for this sort of thing, they have picked on the wrong ones this time. I have a plan of action, just wanted to vent my spleen grin

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 23:24:47

Yanbu for feeling pissed off - they are being sneaky sending post to one of your dp's old addresses.

think it happens more due to clerical error than trying to swing it. When they accept a short settlement the remainder is essentially written off and shows on the credit file. The account will be actioned to reflect that.

When they do bulk sales they pick up accounts and exclude things like short settled, accounts where the customer has passed away, bankrupt ( unless a sale of bankruptcy debt ). So either your account was actioned incorrectly or an error occured in the sales process and your having to deal with this crap which is shit.

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 23:26:50

You're sorry

thebody Tue 30-Oct-12 23:28:08

Good for you op, go for it.

maddening Tue 30-Oct-12 23:37:45

Ps complain to the ombudsmen - in addition to the complaint registering with the people who regulate.these companies and can put pressure on them to tighten up their procedures ( as far as am aware if a company registers large numbers of complaints with the ombudsmen they will review the company ) - it will also cost the company £400 grin

lucyellenmum Tue 30-Oct-12 23:44:42

now thats good to know mad grin

WelshMaenad Wed 31-Oct-12 00:03:49

Is it Fredrickson?

It's not up to you to prove you don't use, it's up to them to prove the debt. Write and ask for proof of debt. I guarantee you won't hear from them again.

WelshMaenad Wed 31-Oct-12 00:04:09

Don't OWE.

lucyellenmum Wed 31-Oct-12 00:05:59

This is what i argued with them welsh, it wsn't fredrikson though. That is an interesting point though, thanks.

Islandlady Wed 31-Oct-12 07:01:36

Check the consumer action forum they have a great deal of experience with these clowns - they will give you lots of advise and also they have template letters you can use.

DO NOT speak to the DCA by phone, if they call say 'in writing only' and put the phone down, if they continue to call report them

cbeebiesatemybrain Wed 31-Oct-12 08:21:47

They will claim its a clerical error, its not! Companies like this do this kind of thing all the time and they rely on people not knowing the law and paying up out of fear. I have had loads of calls and texts from a debt collection agency trying to contact a friend who borrowed my phone once to call them angry

DameMarghoulFountain Wed 31-Oct-12 08:29:27

IslandLady is spot on, refuse to discuss it over the phone, answer all questions/calls with 'please continue all correspondence by post' and hang up

is it Bryan Carter by any chance? (same company as Fredricksons)

google the 'solicitors' name, i bet you'll be surprised by the results hmm

lucyellenmum Wed 31-Oct-12 08:51:52

No its a company called HL "solicitors" - a quick google told me they are not solicitors they are debt collectors with a bad reputation.

What i cannot believe is that these companies get away with this all the time.

It isn't even that much money really, although we coudlnt afford it anyway, so i imagine some people just pay up, like you say, out of fear.

BatCave Wed 31-Oct-12 09:36:19

I managed to get a company like this to completely wipe a debt they said I owed, using template letters I googled. They were doing the same heavy handed chasing crap too and it was really intimidating. The debt they were chasing however was out of the statute of limitations or whatever it is called. The best advice I had was do not admit that you owe the money. Although I'm thinking this is a slightly different situation for you.

As a previous poster has said, the onus is on them to prove that you owe the money, not the other way round, so ask for a copy of the original credit agreement. Debt companies like this specialise in buying debts that they have little hope of recovering and IME they apply the intimidating techniques when they have little other way of recovering the money.

Oh and the same company will go by lots of different trading names, I had about 3 different companies chasing me, but turned out it was all the same one under different guises (same managing director!)

lucyellenmum Wed 31-Oct-12 11:15:58

Thanks batcave, that is useful to know. The thing is, we did agree the original contract with T-mobile. We were paying it off in installments, their debt company rang us and offered us a settlement for half the debt, this would be full and final payment. So we have the evidence that the debt was cleared. The manager guy there agreed this, the bimbo on the phone tried to argue that we still owed the outstanding balance.

I will be following through with this though as im pretty tough and wont be intimidated, but other people are scared by these bastards, it has to stop angry

DameMarghoulFountain Wed 31-Oct-12 11:21:48

yup, they prey on 'debtors' using fear and loathing, but be careful, they know the law and use it to then nearest minute. and i mean time.

DS was being hounded by a DCA who managed a CCJ against him by default because they registered it as not contested at 12.01am on the day.

we took that company back to court and had the CCJ overturned, he didn't owe the money, but they took his 'phone calls and enquiries about payment as his admission he was liable, and forced the judgement through.

i used 'legal beagles' website, they were brilliant - and run by solicitors who give proper advice for free.

lucyellenmum Wed 31-Oct-12 11:33:33

Thats a fair warning Dame, i will bear that in mind - they are bastards aren't they. I hope you got it sorted. I will happily "see them in court" ive done it before when a company was being unreasonable and the court found in our favour, their solicitor (who to be fair was very nice woman) was stunned and said that she has never had anything overturned before, she said people usually just pay up once it gets to that stage hmm

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