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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My friend worked as a self employed mechanic building a racecar

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My friend worked as a self employed mechanic building a racecar for a company 2 .5 yrs ago. " yrs ago. He did the work he was supposed to do and he ended up arguing with the company because they would not let him come home at xmas to see his son. basically asked for keys back and said he had to leave if he did not stay over xmas period. They never had a contract and the employer told him that he was covered by THEIR insurance. They have been hounding him for two yrs now with a debt collector and threatening to take him to court now to pay over 12,000 including lots of added on charges. They claim that he caused damage to the car and it didn't work properly. He says otherwise. The FCA will not get involved even thought the debt collector is bullying him and using nasty tactics. They have not produced one shred of evidence but will not leave him alone. He is really worried that they are actually going to get a court date and is looking like it is going to give him a nervous breakdown. The police won't get involved either.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can't see how to 'rate' the answer?

okay, I wanted to know what he can do? He can't get legal aid even though he is not working at the moment due to looking after his mum.

Are there any organisations that can help, citizens advice didn't know and it seems like there is no advice out there.

He didn't do anything wrong, we think this is just spite and revenge because the man's business was not going well and he wants someone to blame.

Can someone just employ a debt collector and demand money without any evidence?

Is he liable for the fact that the car didn't win at the race and broke down, ( it was a cross country very long race) ?

My friend has been a car engineer for 2- yrs with no prior problems and always satisfied customers and winning cars, e.g. recent car he worked on was ***** *****'s mini that is doing very well! SO bearing that in mind I believe him that he didn't do anything negligent. He is dyslexic so people take advantage and I think this is what is happening.

I have written letters back to them every time and sent a formal complaint to the MD of the debt company but they continue to ignore this and harras. The last letter say that he has 2 days to pay or he will go to court. PLease is there anything that he can do as he cannot afford any solicitor??

There are no organisations that will act for free I'm afraid. In truth though, there is no action that can be taken here anyway.
Yes, any person can employ a debt collection agency. They can do no more than write and phone anyway.
There is not a great deal that can be done to stop a debt collection agency doing that I'm afraid. Unless they get a CCJ they cannot take any real enforcement action against him.
I wouldn't waste your time complaining. They are not doing anything unlawful.
If he maintains that he is not liable then just ignore them until they do issue. You must deal with a court summons of course but debt collectors letters have no legal standing in themselves.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


could he counterclaim from them for harrassment and the damage that they have done to his mental state and his health in general? I only ask this in case it is a means of defense, he just would like it to stop happening.

They have said that they are going to turn up at his home ( this is owned by his mum, he just lives there at the moment) would the police have to act if they did turn up there?

Lastly, is it very unwise to represent himself at court ? I have told him not to do this but he says that he just can't afford a lawyer.

No. This isn't harassment. This is debt collection. In any event, this isn't a claimable damage.
The difficulty with is that a court is not going to say that receiving some letters and phone calls amounts to something sufficient to cause mental anguish. Its mildly annoying at best.
Had they turned up at his home that would have amounted to a ground to complain to their professional body as that would exceed their authority but they haven't done that.
No, he will be fine at court unrepresented. They won't sue anyway. If they were going to sue they would have done it straight away rather than instruct debt collectors. It will come to nothing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, that is reassuring to hear, thanks!

I just want to say though, it probably would be the opinion of a court that letters don't have the power to destroy peace of mind but in this case they would be wrong. He has become very ill..digestive issues through the stress of it, his hair has turned grey and mostly fallen out..he can't sleep etc. He' s been doing this 20 yrs and built up a good reputation which is now ruined because this man has been badmouthing him but he cannot prove that. It just seems extremely unfair on him.

I, however, feel better for getting some advice, many thanks. I will rate it now.

Yes, that would be the view of the court. Letters don't destroy peace of mind. In any event, however annoying they may be, they are not unlawful.
But it still won't come to anything.
Even if they do sue they have to prove what they allege.
Generally speaking, if a company is intent upon suing they will just do rather than waste resources on debt collection. Debt collection is for debts that are not likely to be sued upon as a rule although not exclusively.
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