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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71146
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently came through an acrimonious relationship break-up

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I recently came through an acrimonious relationship break-up and have cleared all the my own debts. My experian report in Feb 2015 shows 999 Excellent credit.
However one debt collector has persisted with an alleged credit card account which is more than 6 years old. I sent the 'statute barred letter' to point out the debt is barred and thus their claims are unlawful. They replied with alleged evidence from Allpay of numerous payments of £2-£5 per month from 2005 to 2011 to the ref account in my name.
I tracked back all my old back accounts to see if an old bank direct debit had been left active. Found none. Allpay eventually found that the payments came from Post Office which I do not use as a form of payment. I only use banks. Moreover 30+ post office payments is ridiculous.
I am convinced this is mistaken identity or fraud (cooking up "evidence" by a 'big boy' to frighten a little boy into coughing up.
I wish to write a 'heavy letter' putting debt collector on notice they are liable for all costs & damages arising if they persist in this false/unlawful claim.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
have the payments been made?
It is quite unlikely they would claim they had if they had not.
Is this a joint card?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo

I have made no payments for 9-10 years, nor have I made any contact in any way to this debt collector. All correspondence has been ignored.

The card appears to be in my name solely and in any event I have never had any joint credit cards with Bcard.

I find this "evidence" highly dubious. Who would want to make 30+ payments via a post office to an account in my name. The only explanation must be mistaken identity and/or an input mix-up by their computer operative , both of which are their problem.

Yes, it could be either of those things. Or it could be accurate. It is difficult to say.
Even if it is not and it is entirely their error, they are not liable for damages as none exist. If they actually sued then they would be liable for costs but if it is under £10k that would only be a small claims court sum anyway.
They won't do that anyway. Debt collectors very rarely do. All they do is write letters and phone.
To be wholly honest, I wouldn't waste too much time upon this. Whatever you send them they are not going to agree. It is not going to be the end of their actions because you send them a strongly worded letter. The point of sending correspondence of that nature is to put on record early your position so you can rely on it in court not to convince the other side that they are wrong.
If there have been no payments or other acknowledgements of this debt within 6 years or if the debt did not exist at all then it doesn't really matter whether you write to them or not. There is just plain no claim.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to write to them denying the debt if indeed you can truthfully. It is not really clear whether or not you do dispute the debt. The fact that you don't know these debt collectors is a non issue. There could be lots of explanations for that. The issue is the substantive debt.
If you do dispute the debt entirely then limitation would not apply.
If it is your debt but limitation applies then just write back to them explaining that you believe they are time barred and invite them to sue if they disagree. Do not mention damages. That will weaken your credibility.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Jo Your advice so far has been excellent.

I intend writing to dispute the debt , explain the extra-ordinary payments which strongly suggests mistaken identity or computer error and in any event they are time barred. Should that be an open letter or without prejudice?

I would send it open.
The whole point is that you can refer to it in court.
Without prejudice is only useful when you are trying to settle.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you