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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i have been approached by a dept collector asking for £ 5,481.35

Resolved Question:

i have been approached by a dept collector asking for £ 5,481.35 for a dept i know nothing off from 20 years ago i phoned them and they said that they would accept £ 1000 as settlement they gave me lots of relevant info about me from then
would i be correct in saying that there is a time limitation for above and why did it not show on my credit history when i applied for mortgage and other finance / loans
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
It is a shame you phoned them. They will probably say that you acknowledged it.
When did you acknowledge it previously?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi jo

over twenty years ago the cab citizens advice bureau helped me settle all my depts . all my depts were settled as per the plan and myself and my wife moved on with our life's up until yesterday i have had no knowledge of the above and i have not been approached ref this and we have readily had credit with no adverse reports

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
OK.
But when did you last acknowlege this?
When was the last time you heard from them?
I am just about to go offline for about an hour but I will be back soon so don't panic if I don't respond immediately.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi jo

sorry i was not clear other than my wife ringing them to day for info we have never acknowledged this

until we received the letter today we have never heard from them

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, but you must have acknowledged this debt at some point?
When she spoke to them what did she actually say? It is critically important.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

on receipt of the letter today my wife rang up asking for information my wife denied knowing any thing of the above and that they arnt getting any monies they then started to say that if we were to pay just £1000 pound they would clear the whole dept at this my wife ended the call i have spoken to my wife at length and neither of us can remember this dept of 20 years ago and at no point did my wife say that the dept is ours even thou they say it is

the only thing we have acknowledged is the receipt of the letter and asking them for info

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the information.
If you have not acknowledged this debt within the last 6 years then, on the face of it, the time barred under the Limitation Act 1980. This is essentially a breach of contract and they only have 6 years to sue for breach.
There is an application that they can make to extend time. That is under section 32 of the Limitation Act. They usually have to show literally that there was fraud or concealment. The have been cases where they have successfully achieved that when they can show the defendant was abroad.
That said, it really doesn't make sense to apply those cases to this situation. What this comes down to is that it was such a low sum of money that they couldn't be bothered to trace you and that will not fall under section 32.
What will have happened here is that the original creditor will have sold this on to a debt collection agency to see if they can recover anything by harassing you. All they can do is write to you and telephone occasionally.
If they do sue they will need to overcome limitation and that is unlikely.
You can always ignore the letters.
If they start telephoning then there is a simple trick to get rid of them over the phone. They will ask you a series of personal questions, such as your date of birth mother's maiden name. Just refuse to answer those questions and then they cannot talk to you any more because they can't identify you under the Data Protection Act. They do keep phoning but it cut shorts the conversation every time and, in the end, they do get the message.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
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