Debt Collectors

#1
I was using virgin media 50mb last year, had problems in the speed for some time and complained on and on and eventually cancelled the service and steadfastly refused to render payment for the service as it wasn't upto scratch, now I've got some Rossendales Debt Collectors sending me letters to my house threatending a personal visit to come and obtain full payment for a sum of £140.80, whats my options? Anyone ever had an issue with some form of debt collectors, can I not just tell them to f**k off?
 
#2
Debt collectors can be fecked off. It is only a court-appointed bailiff who can, once a court order has been granted, start seizing your stuff.

NB that some licensed bailiffs run debt collection agencies. In communicating with you the debt collectors may make it seem as if the communication is from the bailiff side & is therefore collection is legally enforceable. Without the court order it is not.

Some help here and here.
 
#3
Did you verbally refuse to pay - if so, you have no proof.

Did you refuse to pay for poor service and do it in writing - if so, you have proof and can possibly threaten to throw the problem to some telecoms ombudsman if they refuse to rein in their debt collector and also threaten them with legal action for stress and worry.

I had a mate who was ex Legion and did a bit of debt collecting for an agency oooop in Yaahkshah. He told me: Unless they have a piece of paper from a court they do not get in the door; people make the mistake of believing they have the right just to walk in and sieze your colour telly to repay the debt; they will politely knock, you open the door and the foot goes in.........thats when (in my plod experience) it gets tricky - the question is who assaulted who when fists and tempers fly and they travel in pairs so they can back each other up as far as statements are concerned. An interesting fact my mate did tell me though was, if you cross their palm with silver and outright tell them that is all you can afford they have to take it and feck off.

I'm probably out of date with all that, but thats what I know.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE: If a debt collector is after you there will possibly be an entry against you in the small claims court. One of these will affect your credit rating and ability to get loans, mortgages, etc. If you do decide to pay it off make sure that if there is a small claims entry against you that it is removed.

They may just be bluffing it at the moment though to save themselves the expense of a small claims court entry, its worth finding out.

Good luck.

Edit: Just remembered my Legion mate also told me: They can only sieze items belonging to the individual that has the debt - so make sure everything belongs to your Mrs; and, they cannot sieze anytools of your trade to prevent you making a living.
 
#4
Write a letter to the debt collection agency explaining your grievance with virgin and how they failed to meet the conditions of your original contract. Then tell them any further demands for money from them will be treated as harrassment and reported to the old bill, legal action to follow. This should put off all but the dumbest of chancers.
 
#6
Two ways of dealing with this if you care about your credit rating go here for lots of usfeul information and template letters. Debt subforums:-

Or tell them to **** off the letter is likely to be an empty threat issued to people who dont know how it works. Simply they rely on scare tactics to get payment as they have paid peanuts for the debt and look to make as much profit as possible from you. Baliffs and court orders are uneconomical for a debt of £140.00
 
#7
Has anyone actually ever dealt with these c**ts before though its all good saying this and that, I'll take the advice as mentioned by Scooby but this is what I'm reading in this letter, just got back from Heathrow after seeing off my lil cuz,

"Further to our previous communications you should note your file has been passed to one of our debt collectors who will visit your house in the next few days to obtain full payment

YOU CAN AVOID THIS ACTION BY:

Sending full payment by return of post

Rah rah rah call this number etc

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE your account will NOT be overlooked. We intend to obtain full payment" :)

Maybe I should write back to this advising I intend to eat your girlfriends pussy?
 
#8
ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE: If a debt collector is after you there will possibly be an entry against you in the small claims court. One of these will affect your credit rating and ability to get loans, mortgages, etc. If you do decide to pay it off make sure that if there is a small claims entry against you that it is removed.

They may just be bluffing it at the moment though to save themselves the expense of a small claims court entry, its worth finding out.
Good helpful answer - but just to be clear on this point, no there won't.

The only thing that goes on your credit record is an UNSATISFIED County Court Judgement (a "CCJ"). This means that they have taken the case to a county court, the judge has decided against you (i.e. that you are in breach of contract) and - importantly - that you have STILL not then paid. It is also only at this point that bailiffs can get involved and have the right to come and take your stuff.

For £140 it seems unlikely they will go to court. Also if you never got the service they would have a hard time convincing the judge you were in breach of contract.

You will just have to try and get them off your back or dig in and put up with the harrassment. But remember that "debt collector" is meaningless, they have no powers. It's no different to someone owing you money. You might well want to go round and take some of their stuff, but you'd have no right to.
 
#9
I had an argument with the Local Council over Refuse Collection and,
stupidly, refused to pay my Council Tax, they set these sods onto me,
in the end I obviously had to pay.

I took great pleasure in ringing them from Heathrow with my Card Details
with the Announcer(in those days) giving details of our flight to Nairobi
in the background, childish, yes but I just wanted the twats to know I
wasn't skint, watch them, they are like Vultures.
 
#10
King Walt, this is all hot air unless there is a court order against you. Probably best not to ignore it completely, but a polite telephone call/letter to the debt collectors to warn them they are harassing you & you intend to take the matter to the relevant ombudsman unless they cease & desist should do the trick or make them go to the courts.
 
T

trowel

Guest
#11
King Walt, this is all hot air unless there is a court order against you. Probably best not to ignore it completely, but a polite telephone call/letter to the debt collectors to warn them they are harassing you & you intend to take the matter to the relevant ombudsman unless they cease & desist should do the trick or make them go to the courts.
That is exactly the route I took when dealing with various debt collection firms and the billing department of a large multi-national media company. The thing to do is never back down. If these vultures get a whiff of fear they will be all over you. Always remember their preferred "clients" are the weak and the vulnerable, the little old ladies of this world. The morons who were attempting to harass me must have wasted a small fortune in their failed efforts to get me to pay them £27-00. in the last Six months. Last week I recieved two grovelling letters and an even more grovelling phone call. Yes, I did gloat.
 
#12
Just remember the difference between debt collectors & bailiffs. The former may well threaten or try to gain entry to your place & take your property but they are not permitted to.

The latter, & this is quite scary, can if they gain admission to your gaff start marking things to be taken to settle the debt. They aren't allowed to break in, but they can get in through an open door or window & then they cannot be stopped from taking goods. Another bailiff trick is to say, "let's talk about it quietly inside" or use some other pretext to get into the house.

As I've said if you had bailiffs after you you'd probably know about it. Doesn't help with the intimidation by the debt collection monkeys I know...

Edit to add:

Can a bailiff force his/her way into my house?

Most bailiffs do not have the right to force their way into your home to seize your goods. The only exception is that bailiffs from the Collector of Taxes (Inland Revenue) can get a warrant to force entry, but this is very rare.

All other bailiffs have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they cannot use force to enter your home, for example, by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter your property through an open door or window (front and back) and can climb over fences and gates, but cannot break them down. See also ''If a bailiff does gain peaceful entry to my house, what will they do?''

You do not have to let a bailiff into your house. A bailiff cannot force their way past you if you answer the door. If all your doors and windows are securely closed they will not be able to gain peaceful entry to your house unless you let them in.

Bailiffs are well aware of their limited powers and may use a variety of different means to gain entry peaceably. They may attempt to walk in as soon as a door is opened. They may ask if they can use your telephone to check if an arrangement is satisfactory with their office. They may simply ask you if you would prefer to discuss matters inside. You do not have to go along with any of these methods.
If a bailiff does gain peaceful entry to my house what will they do?

Once gaining entry to your home, a bailiff will usually try to find and seize any goods of value belonging to the person who owes the debt or who is named on the warrant.

Once in the house the bailiff has the right to go into all rooms and can break open any locked door or cupboard inside your house. If the bailiff gains peaceful entry s/he has the right to call again and enter even without your permission, i.e. s/he can break in and remove your goods.

Any attempt to remove a bailiff from your property once they have gained peaceful entry is assault and you could be taken to court for it.

Once in the house, a bailiff will attempt to seize your goods in order to sell them off at public auction to raise money to pay the debt that you owe. The bailiff will make clear an intention to seize various items, either verbally, or by attaching a mark to them, or by touching them. This is sometimes called levying distress or distraining upon goods.

Once the bailiff has seized goods, they have a number of options. They can either remove items they have seized immediately from the property to be stored and eventually sold at public auction. Alternatively, they can leave someone on the premises to guard the items that have been seized or, in the case of bailiffs collecting rent, secure items that have been seized in your home. These last two options are very rarely used.

The most likely outcome is that the bailiff will ask you to sign a 'walking possession agreement'.

What is a walking possession agreement?

A walking possession agreement means that the goods that have been seized now legally belong to the bailiff and can be removed at any time. However, s/he will allow them to remain in your home and you can continue to use them providing you keep your side of the agreement, e.g. you make agreed payments.

In order for a walking possession order to be valid, a bailiff should have gained peaceful entry to the property and seized the goods. It is not enough for a bailiff to list items that they have seen through a window and push a walking possession order through the letterbox for you to sign and return. You should never sign a walking possession order in these circumstances. There is a daily charge for a walking possession order that you must pay, on top of the original debt you owe if they are sold. Remember that goods will be sold at public auction and typically will sell for about 10% of their original value. This means that if you owe £50, a bailiff will probably try to seize goods to the value of at least £500.

A bailiff must only seize goods that belong to the person who owes the money, although any goods in the house can be seized for distress or rent. In practice, many bailiffs will attempt to seize any goods of value at a house they visit - it will be up to the individual to prove ownership afterwards. If you have receipts showing someone else bought the goods then you should show the bailiff these.
Are there any goods that the bailiff cannot seize?

Bailiffs (except bailiffs acting on behalf of the magistrate's court - see below) cannot seize the following goods:

tools, goods, vehicles and other items of equipment necessary for use by you in your employment, business or vocation;
clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of you and your family

Bailiffs acting on behalf of the magistrates' court cannot seize the following goods:

clothing, beds and bedding tools of the trade
basic domestic needs of the family would normally include fridge, cookers, freezers, but may not include video recorders, second TV's, jewellery, washing machines, stereos or microwave cookers.
 
#13
This won't be any help to you but...
I had threats from a debt collecting agency while I was in cyprus over a tiny amount - less than £30 I think. I'd been using a cheap international call provider - you ring 'em, hang up and they ring back, you then dial the number you need... dead simple Importantly you only pay for the calls you make, no standing charges.
I stopped using it as the Cypriot phone company used to block the calls.
I suddenly got a debt collecting agency send three letters demanding payment and or they'd send someone round to collect goods.
I rang them up stating why I wasn't paying as I'd not used the service and I'd not been provided with a itemised bill (again as part of the service) so they put it all on hold till I get the bill. The bill arrives, not itemised. Debt collecting agency gets in touch again with the threats for the next 6 months.
Eventually, after many letters back and forth I got an admission that the whole thing was a computer error...
I wonder how many 'errors' were made, and how many people paid up straight away?
 
#14
Ok cheers fellas, I've forwarded this note by email to the feckin dogs


In reply to your correspondence dated 22nd July 2011,

"This is a polite advisement that unless you cease and desist sending any form of correspondence I'll be counting this as harassment and taking the matter to the relevant ombudsman,

Payment has not been rendered to Virgin Media Ltd in the first place because of an ongoing fault which was never resolved, not that I need to discuss this with yourselves anyway,

Kind Regards,

xxx"

Shouldn't be too hard to enforce a complaint anyway
 
#15
I had a shit O2 dongle account. Dongle was shit told them it wasn't doing the business.

Thought it had all been cancelled, was out the country or 8 months and got a ******* dirty big default on my credit rating. All for about 70 quid

cnuts
 
#16
I had a similar problem with 3 a few years back. I'm very sharp at staying on top of my debts.. after all nobody likes a freeloading cnut, but in cases where the service has been exceptionally poor or not even received I see no issue in witholding payment, even if the only resolution you acheive (if any) is a discount.

In my experience, what most people are saying is pretty much how it is. Such a relatively small sum is not worth following up with anything more than letters. Though the letters are right when they say they don't overlook your account. Expect a long continuation of mail, phone calls, general harrassment. Also, the staff at these firms will view you only with contempt, they have no context on the debts they chase so will always assume you are some bill dodging doley - as such they do seem to go out of their way to fcuk your credit rating as wholly as possible.

The company I work for now occasionally have to employ debt collectors. These guys generally get a percentage of all monies they manage to obtain, for 140 quid the percentage is not going to be all that enticing.. probably wouldn't even cover the petrol.

However, as I said, unresolved this does effect your credit rating, more detrimentally than many people have indicated. By sticking to my guns, I did eventually avoid paying for a service I don't feel I received but managing your finances without access to reasonably priced credit can get sticky.

On an interesting side note, anyone who tells you these unresolved things follow you when you move to mainland Europe is wrong.
 
#18
unresolved this does effect your credit rating, more detrimentally than many people have indicated.
It only effects your credit rating if the debt collectors take the debt to County Court and obtain a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you. They are obliged to inform you that the "case" will be heard at "x court" on "x day" at "x time".

You can turn up and argue the toss with the Court if necessary and if that happens the case is usually "found" on behalf of you (the debtor) because you can present your side of the story. If the case is "found" on behalf of the debt collection agency the court can impose a payment schedule.

If you don't turn up the CCJ is normally created and then, young sir, you're credit rating is affected and your credit rating starts to slide to ratshit. At the same time the debt collection agency can charge silly costs, such as £25* for a letter informing you of the findings. Walking possession is usually charged at £10* per day until the debt is cleared.

* The rates indicated were charged in 1983 when I was a bailiff working on behalf of Liverpool Council - todays rates will be infinitely more than those indicated.

Best of luck

Dave
 
#19
If they do appear at your door, do not allow them entrance and make sure you have a witness present and within earshot. Any form of threat to you, verbally, or written is classed as assault and many Debt Collectors have been arrested and convicted of this.

Of course they still burn your house down, but that's something else.
 
#20
I was plagued by debt collectors a while ago because of a computer error at the local council. A new collector contacted me every 6 weeks due to the same, non-existent debt. It all worked out OK in the end but a few things to remember are:-

As has been mentioned above, they can do nothing unless and until they take you to court and win. Until then, all they can do is send threatening letters.

I found that phoning them is useless. In fact, worse than useless as the phone number is usually one of those high cost numbers where the collectors make a few bob on each call. If they get your phone number, they may use a machine to call you at all hours.

The thing I've found to be most successful is to send a letter stating that they need to provide documentary evidence proving that the debt exists. State that you'll view any further demands for money without evidence as harassment and that you'll involve the police.

That normally stops them pursuing the alleged debt. If it doesn't, the response is usually along the lines of "we haven't got the evidence, Virgin have."

At this point, mention that Virgin have committed a criminal offence if they have supplied your personal details to a third party debt collector with no evidence that a debt actually exists. Tell them they've got a week to show you a copy of a contract with your signature on it or else you're going to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Point out that an organisation up north was recently fined £100 grand for faxing personal details to the wrong address.

If you do get a response to that, it's usually along the lines of "sorry to have troubled you" and the stationery will smell faintly of sh1t.
 

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