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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am being harassed by Restons solicitors I/E form for

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I am being harassed by Restons solicitors for a I/E form for a very old debt that they have bought. I currently pay £50 per month and have never missed. They are saying they will default this unless I respond. This is making me ill with worry. They say I can be offered a reduced settlement but I need to phone. Please advise?
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. The first point to note is that it is a criminal offence to pursue someone for a debt so as to cause harassment - S. 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 - so you do have some protection and you can complain about the solicitor to the Solicitors Regulation Authority if they are harassing you. You have made a settlement so there is no harm in speaking to them on the phone, they will know they are not in a position to sue so it may be worth at least having a phone call. If you do not want to hear what they have to say, then write to them and say you have agreed a settlement for the debt which you have not breached and once and you have the right (under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970) not to be harassed for this debt, say if they continue to chase you, you reserve the right to take any action available to you to report the harassment and conduct. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1) is it correct that only a court can insist on a completed I/E form?
2) they are saying that I am not paying enough per month and cannot accept my offer without a completed I/E form
3) they are also threatening to issue a default on the debt and show it as part settled. This will affect my credit rating. The debt is over 10 years old. Is it correct that they have to enter the original default date from 10 years ago which makes it over the 6 year limit to be shown on your credit file?
Hi,1) Yes they cannot force you to disclose your income and expenses, but it will make it easier to settle if you do;2) They are not obliged to accept a new offer but do you have the existing payment terms in writing?3) What type of agreement originally incurred the debt? if they are going to ignore your payment plan then yes I suppose they would have to issue the default as being over 10 years old.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They won't tell me who the original debtor was. At the time my ex upped and left me with 4 children and I offered reduced payments to all my creditors which I have stuck to till this day. Most are now cleared that's why I am protective of my credit rating. I am thinking of sending a data protection request to find out the original debtor. They bought the debt I presume. Would this assist do you think?
Hi, Thank you. If the debt was purchased by them they would have had to send you a formal notice of assignment of the debt have they done this? Yes you could try a subject access request, but to be honest with you if they will not say how the debt has arisen or give you any details on who they bought it from i would be very cautious. I would say to them they are obligated to prove how the debt has arisen and cannot harass you in this way, say that if they do not give you proper details you will either report to the police or the Solicitors Regulation Authority. - can you confirm with the Law Society that this is a legit firm of solicitors? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
I have checked with law society and yes they are registered although lots of on line forums regarding bully boy tactics and underhand methods. One lady actually committing suicide as a result of worry and threats. I will try an access request and see where it leads me. This is making me ill and been upset today at work as cannot concentrate. Will take your advice.
Hi, Thank you. Do not worry too much, you have two things on yourside (i) Protection from harassment - so keep a diary of all instances of harassment in case you need to go to the police (ii) They are a regulated firm, so you have the Legal Ombudsman you can claim compensation from if they cause you damage. I would be most grateful if you could rate my answer, if I can assist any further please let me know. Kind regards AJ
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