I need some help. I'm feeling very threatened and frustrated.Some three months ago I posted an experience to this Board where a company called Lowell Financial began claiming I owed money to a mobile phone company. I phoned and wrote to them explaining that I had never lived at the address they gave for the debt nor had ever used the mobile company mentioned. They were persistent but using text given on this Board in my letters they eventually stopped writing. I suspect they found that my name matches a genuine debtor and were hoping to intimidate me.However, today they have sent two further letters claiming they have been phoning me and having received no response have moved the debt to a point where they are arranging for a (I quote) "Home Visit Agent" to become involved. Its interesting that they don't have my telephone number.I have today responded by recorded mail that all I can do is repeat my denial of any involvement and suggested that to bring this issue to closure they move the process to a County Court or Small Claims Court.I am certainly concerned about the threat of people on my doorstep. How can I make this go away or turn the tables?The amount involved is around £500. Thanks for any helpZ
Something I found on the interweb:-http://money.guardian.co.uk/consumernews/story/0,14188,1561718,00.html"It's all too easy to be harassed for someone else's debts. So what can you do? Ellie Levenson reports Saturday September 3, 2005"
The dealing with debt boardhttp://boards.fool.co.uk/Messages.asp?bid=50079 has advice on "what they can do to you" , "what you can do to them" and "harassment". Open a post and the links are displayed on the right of the screen. These all assume that you owe the money but the points of law may be relevant. J
I have had a couple of similar experiences in the last couple of years and my advice would be to mostly ignore it if you are in the clear, ie no connection to the debt being claimed. Takes a bit of bloody-mindedness but why should you pay for phone calls and postage and time etc for something for which you have no liability?1. I was being pursued for bills relating to my flat but which were incurred before I bought the flat. They got nasty, legal, harrassing and I just laughed in their faces and repeated time after time the bill wasn't my responsibility. They went away; took about 3 months.2. Got letters claiming debt was owed, bailiffs would come in and seize my TV etc - all relating to a previous tenant (I was renting). Just threw them in the bin. They went away after about 3 months.Certainly don't worry about it and definitely don't waste too much time or money dealing with it - these people are mostly scummy bullies who hope to frighten you or just anyone into paying them your hard earned whether you're liable or not.
Something similar happened to my wife about two years ago. She was contacted by a firm called Mackenzie Hall and told that they had taken over a debt she owed to Lloyds bank for £8000 . At that time she had never been a customer of Lloyds and told them so but they wouldn't have it. She also asked for some evidence such as copy of a credit agreement, to which their response was we haven't got it so you'll just have to pay. Now the onus is on the creditor to prove that the debtor owes money but MH wouldn't have this either. In the end we spoke to Lloyds Bank themselves who told us the debt was for a credit card - MH had said it was for a loan.After a lot of arguing which ended in me threatening legal action against MH for harassment Lloyds worked out that the debt was nothing to do with my wife. She received an apology and MH I believe were given a severe rocket for their bullying tactics.So, be prepared to argue and bear in mind that a lot of the grunts who work for these debt recovery agents are on commission and really don't have a clue what they're talking about.JM
One technique which I've found to work is to threaten them with litigation.You can apply to the Court for what's known as a `declaratory judgment'. As the name implies, this is a declaration by the Court as to any given legal question - in this case whether or not you owe the money being claimed.You would obviously win such a case, and you would almost certainly be awarded your legal costs as well, which could be fairly substantial.I would therefore recommend writing to them on the following lines:"Dear SirsAs I have informed you on numerous occasions I am not the person from whom you are seeking to recover this debt.If I receive any further communication from you alleging that I do owe the debt I will apply to the County Court for a declaratory judgment to the effect that I do not owe the debt. I will also seek an order for costs against your customer.Yours etc"The threat of litigation usually means that the letter will be passed to one of LF's employees with a brain cell, and should have the desired effect. If it doesn't, sue their ass!
Also check your credit file that they haven't entered any defaults.
Many thanks to everyone for their help. Hopefully some of the information posted will assist others who face a similar situation.Z