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Where's "my" debt gone?

(28 Posts)
ThouShallNotPass Sat 27-May-17 14:35:03

About 10 years ago, when I was relatively young and naive I worked for my stepdad. It was a family run Ltd company. Due to not being paid by a number of ltd companies who closed down with debts and reopened under different names within days our business couldn't pay our contractors. Mum organised extending the overdraft to £10K and getting a loan of £10K. Not a big deal apparently, mum and stepdad owned multiple vehicles, quads, horse trailers and such and said that if they couldn't pay it back they could sell a few things. I begrudgingly signed papers to become the guarantor. They told me if I didn't, the company would have to close and I would lose my job. I had a one month old baby at the time.

Needless to say, they closed the Ltd company anyway and reopened with a new name. (Owing no debts other than the bank. All workers got paid and all clients were happy)

I didn't return to work and unbeknownst to me, they never made a single payment towards the debt.

Two years later a debt collection company got in contact at my new address. Apparently mum had given it to them after pretending to be me and offering £100 a week. She never paid once. (Despite stepdad bringing in at least £70K a year and having come into a £26K inheritance). I explained the situation, that she had pretended to be me and that I couldn't pay a penny as a sahm and he was lovely about it and said he'd return the debt to the bank as unrecoverable. That was about 6 or 7 years ago now. I've had no contact since.

Does anyone know what is likely to be happening with it? I'm in Scotland if that helps.

Lj8893 Sat 27-May-17 14:36:47

I don't know if it's different in Scotland or even if I'm right at all but I think debts are cleared after 6 years of no contact?

Catzpyjamas Sat 27-May-17 14:39:28

According to Debt Therapy Scotland :

Luckily though, if you’re being chased for debts that are more than 5 years old (and you live in Scotland), they may have become “statute barred” and if so you won’t need to worry about them.

What are Statute Barred Debts in Scotland?

Statute barred debts are those debts that can’t legally be enforced because of a significant lapse of time where the debt has not been acknowledged by the creditor or debtor. This is governed by the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 in section 6.

Unlike the rest of the UK, statute barred debts in Scotland come into effect if the debt is 5 years old, rather than 6 years.

There is a set of conditions involved in statute barred debts as follows:

1) There must be no outstanding decree against you.

2) There must be no record of payment made towards the debt in the last 5 years.

3) There must be no written communication between the creditor and you to say that the debt has been acknowledged.

All three conditions must be met in order for the debt in question to be classed as statute barred. If a debt is statute barred, this basically means that it no longer exists and creditors or debt collection agencies have no right to hassle you.
- See more at:

NotDavidTennant Sat 27-May-17 14:42:39

In Scotland the debt is written off after five years.

ThouShallNotPass Sat 27-May-17 14:48:31

Ooh thanks for that. I definitely never made a payment, (and neither did mum), it's never gone to court and I never acknowledged the debt in writing other than the original signed papers. (Would that count?)
The bank knows where I am as they're still my own bank. Maybe they haven't bothered chasing it as they know they couldn't get a penny seeing that I live in my £150 overdraft? They probably feel sorry for me. wink

I did tell my mum that if bailiffs ever turn up and take my things I will walk into her house and take hers to replace all of mine. She has real nice, expensive stuff. I guess I can tell her that her shit may be safe now. grin

sadmommyhere Sun 28-May-17 06:44:06

Gosh your mum and stepdad sound like a right piece of work

BonjourMeDarlin Sun 28-May-17 06:53:49

Isn't what your mum did fraud?

Tiredemma Sun 28-May-17 07:00:25

Your parents sound hideous. Are you still in contact with them?

Rockefeller234 Sun 28-May-17 07:07:49

Your mum committed fraud and had no qualms dropping you in it by tricking you intto signing as guarantor and then impersonating you. You could easily have gone to prison and lost your child. Your mum would have known this, but did it anyway to save her own neck.

Your mum has demonstrated clearly that she very cruel and selfish. The fact you don't seem bothered by any of this (now debt has been paid) seems very odd on your part. It's either you don't fully grasp the magnitude of what your mum has done or your making this all up.

pinkblink Sun 28-May-17 07:08:33

I can't imagine ever doing anything like that to my child confused do you have a good relationship apart from that?

MakeJam Sun 28-May-17 07:20:41

Bailiffs can't just turn up. They have to have a court order.

It's best not to have a current or savings account with the same bank where the original debt occurred. I was advised that they can take any money from your account. I think you need to get some proper debt advice (especially if you own a property or have any assets), to set your mind at rest.

Check your credit rating with Experian - it should tell you the date of the default. It's about £5 to do a one -off search on line. But it does sound like the debt is out of time and they can't chase you for it.

Your parents sound like a right pair of shits.

AceholeRimmer Sun 28-May-17 08:39:18

That's rotten but glad it seems you're in the clear. It sounds like you're still in touch with your parents though despite them doing this confused

C0RAL Sun 28-May-17 08:42:17

You need to stop having contact with your mum and step dad.

CatchIt Sun 28-May-17 08:43:52

So your mum & step-dad essentially stole £10k from you and you're not really that bothered?

I think you've been really lucky you've not been chased for the debt.

ThouShallNotPass Sun 28-May-17 11:29:31

Unfortunately @Rockefeller234 it's not made up.

It definitely wasn't fraud when I signed the guarantor papers because I knew what I was signing, albeit after being told that as they had plenty of assets and I didn't that in the case of them not being able to pay it back from the business that they would of course sell their stuff to pay it. Of course..... like it was obvious! I mean, who's mum would do that?

I didn't know it hadn't been paid for a couple of years as all letters concerning it were addressed to my parent's house/business after I moved out. I assume/hope the debt letters came in the company name.

I don't know what to say about me being in contact still. I know I shouldn't. I know I should slap the shit out of her. I know I should shout it from the rooftops that my own fucking mother stole £20,000 off me. But she's my mum. She's my 3 kid's grandma. And she is naturally selfish. Biggest example is that she has always kept ponies. They're her life. Growing up my sister and I never got new clothes more than the odd item at Christmas or birthdays. School uniforms were one item of each and had to last the full year. Yet the ponies had the best rugs. New head collars and New Zealand's. They got fed on time, multiple times each day. My sister and I didn't. We had to wait. Any complaints were (and still are) met with "Well they're animals! They can't feed themselves! It's animal abuse to not care for them!!!"
We didn't "starve" as such and had clothes (even if it was size 12 jeans once belonging to mum's mate when I was a scrawny, tiny 14yo and I held them up with a plastic belt I found), but we were never priority. It was and will always be just the way mum is.
Her thinking about the debt is that "it wasn't THEIR fault that other companies ripped them off and didn't pay!" Like they're the victims. In a way they're right, but that doesn't excuse dragging me into it. They gave me a job and paid me fine (enough to rent my own place and have my first child) and I think they feel that I should have been in it with them and that we are all victims of this injustice together.

I honestly believe that because I have never been actively chased for the debt (barring the couple of letters and phone calls to the honestly lovely and understanding and appalled debt company) It hasn't felt like the huge deal it fucking should be. I last checked my Experian credit report about 5 years ago and there was no mention of it. I still get credit just fine now and will request my report again this week.

It's been 10 years since signing. Over 6 or 7 years since last contact about it. I know I will never own a house. I'm married now. My husband supports us and I would divorce the love of my life before letting my mother's debt affect him.
My mum is still my my who big sister and I shrug our shoulders and shake our heads at. Mum is a victim. Of everything. Nothing will change that.

I can have a £20K debt and a mum or have no mum and still have a £20K debt. I guess I just made the decision to keep my mum. If going NC would force or guilt her into paying then I would have done it long ago but it just wouldn't happen.

C0RAL Sun 28-May-17 11:35:45

I think you should go NC for your own sanity and your children's welfare. Not because I think you will get the money paid off.

If she's such a selfish, deceitful , dishonest and self centred person, why on earth are you exposing your children to her ? Just so you don't have to feel guilty ?

Honestly I think you should talk to a counsellor about all this.

ThouShallNotPass Sun 28-May-17 11:38:33

And I know it's coming across like I'm not bothered. I am. I've just had almost a decade to get used to it. I still get a lump
In my throat thinking that I owe more money that I will ever make by being a sahm. I admit that a huge part of me uses the excuse of not wanting to use childcare to never go and get a full time job because I know a regular wage could end up with my wages being garnished if it ever comes back that I do in fact still owe it. Thankfully my husband is fine with being the earner. I do small cleaning jobs etc but no FT working.

ThouShallNotPass Sun 28-May-17 11:49:38

I also don't think that she thinks it's a big deal as when it all came up that I was being chased, both her and my stepdad told me to just go bankrupt and it'll be done with. Especially as the rules around bankruptcy changed to have less impact post declaration on the debtor. Forget that it cost like £500 to declare it and I needed a CCJ to do it.
The collection company and I were at a stand off. I told him I would have to declare bankruptcy if they enforced it and they wouldn't get a penny anyway. He said that doing that wouldn't help anyone, least of all me after what my mum has done.

I know I have been lucky. Seriously fucking lucky. I don't know how or why.

JanetBrown2015 Sun 28-May-17 12:08:20

That is absolutely dreadful of her.

By the way if it were England bank guarantees are signed as a deed which means there is a 12 year limitation period not the usual English six and secondly if the person owed the money asserts that right then I believe their right continues to the debt even after the 12 years. I do not think Scotland has the same laws as England on signing documents as deeds but it may be worth checking.

Also are we sure the mother and step father have no assets at all not even cars that could be used to pay the £20k. I would never put my children in this situatino. I would pay off my debts. Or did the mother and step father go personally bankrupt too?

Did you have separate legal advice when you signed the personal guarantee? In English law the bank are require it otherwise the guarantee can be invalid and in fact the document will say - something like I have had my own independent legal advice and they often want to know the name of your separate solicitor - not the same one used by the other family member. If Scottish law is the same you might be able to avoid this debt entirely. Also make sure you have a copy of the guarantee and check what it says about separate legal advice.

ThouShallNotPass Sun 28-May-17 12:22:05

@JanetBrown2015 DM and stepfather have plenty of assets. He's a bit of a hoarder and they have two land rovers, a Mercedes SLK (?) an Ifor Williams horse trailer (£3K right there), two Honda quad bikes, a lovely yet never used Yamaha motorcycle, 2 trailers, a caravan and then there's the multiple workshops of tools upon tools from mig welders to generators. The quads are used half a dozen times a year. Well, one is.
They also have timeshare so go on a number of holidays a year. They could have paid this debt off ten times over. That's being said, their rent is never paid on time and their council tax always ends up referred to the collections company and they pay it through that. They're asset rich and cash rich, then just a suddenly, poor as church mice and I'm making mum a plate of dinner because I know she's not eating. Full grown adults who love to buy shit but struggle with the bills. Mental.

If I made just half the money they do I would own a house and have every bill paid in advance!

C0RAL Sun 28-May-17 12:22:06

So although you have not had to pay this money, the debt has had a serious effect on your life and that of your family .

Please see a counsellor and get some help to talk about this. You need to be free of the burden of this to be able to move on with your life.

And stop your children seeing these awful people.

ThouShallNotPass Sun 28-May-17 12:34:16

Ha. I couldn't afford a counsellor. blush

It's very difficult to explain. The debt is like the only real bad thing in our relationship. And in their heads it's justified. It "wasn't their fault" if you will. I should have just declared bankrupt and it wouldn't be an issue.
Generally they're okay grandparents and okay - if not annoyingly self centred - people. DM doesn't bat an eye when I tell her I need to borrow a bit of cash out her account and my stepdad will fix my car, decorate our new place or install a shower for me if he's around (he works abroad most of the time). They even bought my first runaround car. It no way makes up for the debt but shows that other than that £20K, it's generally a pretty standard parent and adult child relationship.

C0RAL Sun 28-May-17 12:41:01

I'm sorry, but it's a sign of how enmeshed you are with them that you think this is normal.

Normal week off parents don't get their teenaged daughter to stand guarantor for a debt they never intent to pay then tell her to go bankrupt.

Normal parents help their children out of financial problems. They don't create them , then refuse to fix it when then could.

And you just said upthread that you are avoiding getting a decent job because of this. And your H might be ok with being the only earner now because your Dc are small. But what happens in 11 or 15 years ?

Seriously it's not normal or healthy . Them fixing your shower doesn't make it ok .

It's not about the money. It's about how they treat you and how it's affected your life and still does.

C0RAL Sun 28-May-17 12:43:03

Sorry I mean normal well off

JanetBrown2015 Sun 28-May-17 15:31:24

If they have assets they can sell them and pay the debt surely? Why should it be hanging over you? It's dreadful. If I had got a child of mine into this situation (I haven't - I just cashed my pensions at 55 to give to the older children for housing and to give to HMRC for their massive share of tax on the pension pay out, so the other way round from this) I would sell the assets I had to repay the debt. It must be very hard.

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