Debt - "statute of limitations"?

I've been helping a lady we know with her finances. Husband died 18 months ago, and left everything in rag order. Amongst the piles of letters and unpaid invoices were dozens of letters from a debt recovery company. Of course she had ignored them all.
I managed to unravel it, but not before the inevitable letter from the County Court arrived.
The original debt was from a department store credit card, and was taken out some 15 years ago when they both signed for it. I vaguely recalled reading ( probably on Arrse) about requesting to see a copy of the original application form, which I did. This was not forthcoming, and the Court took this as our "defence" The DRC had 28 days to respond and try "to come to some arrangement about repayments"
Two months later, nothing from the DRC. Does this mean that the matter is now closed ? Or if in several weeks/months they find the copy of the original application form they can reactivate their claim?
I've looked at several "debt help" type websites, but none could answer the question I have. Any one with subject knowledge come across this?
Thanks in advance.
 
I've been helping a lady we know with her finances. Husband died 18 months ago, and left everything in rag order. Amongst the piles of letters and unpaid invoices were dozens of letters from a debt recovery company. Of course she had ignored them all.
I managed to unravel it, but not before the inevitable letter from the County Court arrived.
The original debt was from a department store credit card, and was taken out some 15 years ago when they both signed for it. I vaguely recalled reading ( probably on Arrse) about requesting to see a copy of the original application form, which I did. This was not forthcoming, and the Court took this as our "defence" The DRC had 28 days to respond and try "to come to some arrangement about repayments"
Two months later, nothing from the DRC. Does this mean that the matter is now closed ? Or if in several weeks/months they find the copy of the original application form they can reactivate their claim?
I've looked at several "debt help" type websites, but none could answer the question I have. Any one with subject knowledge come across this?
Thanks in advance.
Citizen's Advice Bureau is probably your best bet.
 
I've been helping a lady we know with her finances. Husband died 18 months ago, and left everything in rag order. Amongst the piles of letters and unpaid invoices were dozens of letters from a debt recovery company. Of course she had ignored them all.
I managed to unravel it, but not before the inevitable letter from the County Court arrived.
The original debt was from a department store credit card, and was taken out some 15 years ago when they both signed for it. I vaguely recalled reading ( probably on Arrse) about requesting to see a copy of the original application form, which I did. This was not forthcoming, and the Court took this as our "defence" The DRC had 28 days to respond and try "to come to some arrangement about repayments"
Two months later, nothing from the DRC. Does this mean that the matter is now closed ? Or if in several weeks/months they find the copy of the original application form they can reactivate their claim?
I've looked at several "debt help" type websites, but none could answer the question I have. Any one with subject knowledge come across this?
Thanks in advance.
 
I've been helping a lady we know with her finances. Husband died 18 months ago, and left everything in rag order. Amongst the piles of letters and unpaid invoices were dozens of letters from a debt recovery company. Of course she had ignored them all.
I managed to unravel it, but not before the inevitable letter from the County Court arrived.
The original debt was from a department store credit card, and was taken out some 15 years ago when they both signed for it. I vaguely recalled reading ( probably on Arrse) about requesting to see a copy of the original application form, which I did. This was not forthcoming, and the Court took this as our "defence" The DRC had 28 days to respond and try "to come to some arrangement about repayments"
Two months later, nothing from the DRC. Does this mean that the matter is now closed ? Or if in several weeks/months they find the copy of the original application form they can reactivate their claim?
I've looked at several "debt help" type websites, but none could answer the question I have. Any one with subject knowledge come across this?
Thanks in advance.
If the Court gave them 28 days, and they have not responded in that time (even to say they were having difficulty locating the document) then I would suggest they are outside of the window of opportunity as imposed by the Court. Would it not be worth going back to County Court to get clarification? I would be surprised if there was not a statement in the Court ruling regarding the state of the claim if the timeline was not followed.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
The key thing is that a debt cannot be sold on without the debtors agreement, that is your first line of defence, they need to produce the original credit agreement and the letter of transfer, signed by both parties. The debt expires six years from when it was last serviced (i.e. a payment made - do not pay the DRC anything, it will be put towards the debt, whatever they say it's for and count towards servicing the debt). There used to be a good website that helped me with debt run up in my name by the ex - it's gone now but there are a few places that hold some of the pages it used to contain. try r/getoutofdebtfree and CURRENT AFFAIRS - Index page
 
If I'm reading that correctly, if after six years the DRC people have not been in touch with her that's an end to it? does that also mean they can come back at some point?
Maybe as mentioned above, the CAB might know.
If it's been that long you tell the court that you think it's time-barred then burden of proof is on the DCA to show it isn't...

As always check with a real lawyer
 
The key thing is that a debt cannot be sold on without the debtors agreement,
You sure about this?

Reason I ask is that banks and lenders often merge or get taken over, and AFAICT they also sell on debt...
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
You sure about this?

Reason I ask is that banks and lenders often merge or get taken over, and AFAICT they also sell on debt...
I think it depends upon when the original agreement was taken out, mine (well, the ex.'s) were pre-2008 and are generally unenforceable, all of the websites funded by the large credit cards and banks (stepchange etc.) say it's perfectly normal and legal, other more 'fringe' websites say it's not. in the OP's case, as long as the debt hasn't been serviced in six years it's statute barred so they're just fishing, pretty much like DCA's that buy up debts, they rely on most people not knowing the legal position and apply pressure to get more back than they paid for the debt - generally they pay less than 10p per £ of debt.
Selling on of a defaulted debt is very different to transfer of a 'live' account, I had a mortgage transferred to another lender years ago, I was given the option to transfer, pay off or re-mortgage with another lender, I would imagine loans & credit card debts would be similar.
 

Aphra

Swinger
There's much misinformation and misunderstanding of how debts can be recovered, not least among the debt recovery firms themselves. There's also a similar level of misunderstanding among the general public and unfortunately unscrupulous people masquerading as experts in finding apparently little known loopholes to get you out of debt for free, for a, ahem, fee, will always find vulnerable people to prey upon. The Limitation Act (as amended) sets out that it is 'acknowledgement' of a debt that is key to when the six year clock countdown begins. This has been held to mean everything from making an actual payment to asking for an up to date balance but generally favours the debtor rather than the creditor. There are well respected experts posting on the moneysavingexpert.com forums, specifically the 'Debt Free Wannabe' board, who can give more extensive advice on this. I'd recommend looking out for posters RAS and sourcrates. I'm not either of them btw. Although I worked for a decade in debt advice (StepChange), my knowledge is out of date so I won't bore you further.
 
a lot of debt recovery companies buy up statute barred debt and then harass to make people pay thats why they inevitably make you a settlement offer which will usually be what they paid for the debt and a nice little mark-up on top, the debt is unenforceable but they will try to make out that they will drag you through the courts if you dont pay up. I also believe that they cant put it on your credit history to affect your credit score as its literally been written off before they brought it from the original creditor.
if some one contacts you about a statute barred debt they are having a punt on getting money out of you, best thing is just to tell them to do one without accepting ownership of the debt as in some cases I believe it can reset the clock but again I'm no expert so please dont take my word for it
 

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