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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I have just received a letter from a debt agency 'King's

I have just received a... Show More
I have just received a letter from a debt agency 'King's Ransom', for the sum of nearly £20,000 for unpaid school fees. I have two sons with my ex partner. She also has two other children with her new husband one of whom also attended the same school, Grittleton House School in Wiltshire.This school has recently closed down so any outstanding debts have obviously been passed onto Kings Ransom, from whom I received the letter.I have always had an (unwritten) agreement with my ex partner that I pay half the fees for my two sons into her account and she then pays the school directly the total amount for all three.This worked well until December last year when I was surprised to hear from the school bursar that the fees were so far in arrears that he was about to exclude the boys from class. I was unable to reach their mother over a few days so in a panic I paid the school a large lump sum (what I believed she owed for my sons only) I then asked the Bursar, Mr. Julian Shipp, to make sure he kept me fully informed on this matter. I received regular emails telling me that the account was continuing in arrears and I kept informing back that the fees were now fully the responsibility of my ex-partner as I was now in credit with her until Autumn 2016 because of the lump sum I paid the school directly (and not to her first) in December 2015. I am sure he understood the situation.Points.......I am very worried about the debt agency having my details and how this might effect my future credit rating.Are they allowed to try and collect from me seeing as I had no contractural agreement with the school.It is my understanding from Verity that they have sent a similar letter to her. Does this mean they are trying to obtain the same amount from two different sources? If we both paid that would mean they get double the amount. Is that legal?In my opinion the school should never have given them my details as I was not responsible and have no agreement with the school that I am liable for the fees. My agreement was with Verity, my ex-partner that I pay for half and SHE pays the school. Do you agree. Were the school at fault here?The amount Kings Ransom are collecting is the total amount owed by Verity, for all three children. The bursar knows I am only liable for half the cost of two of the children.I have paperwork and statements proving I have paid over the required amount for 50% of my children's fees.Verity has since moved house to Wales with my boys and her husband although they are still keeping the house they have local to the school. I am assuming this doesnt effect her liability.I am very anxious about this. Should I be? I wrote an email to the Bursar immediately and cc'd Verity and King's Ransom explaining again the whole situation. I have demanded that he informs Kings Ransom to cease contacting me and only contact Verity. Does he have the authority to do that now the wheels are turning?I am extremely confident that if this went to court I can prove I am not liable for any of the fees. But in the mean time this could be an awful experience to go through and my finances and credit standing will suffer.Please advise. Thank you.Tom Still
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
Two and a half hours have passed. (not the 8 mins stated)Is there a problem with answering?
I am a moderator for this topic. The question has been posted in European Law and not UK Law. I will move it for you now.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,

Hello Tom my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
I want my name to be taken away from the debt collectors list of people liable for the outstanding fees.
(I have paid everything I was meant to pay)
I assume the only person who can do this is the Bursar.
I wrote him an email to this effect but he has not replied

Did you sign any terms with the school? Did your ex sign any agreement too?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
I did notIm not sure about her.

So they say you are liable despite you not signing any terms and conditions?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
I think so.The bursar knows my agreement with my ex and he also knows I have paid my 50%My ex probably didnt sign anything as she has been pretty hard nosed over the last 9 months about not paying as she wasnt happy with the school. The school was very disorganised. It has now closed down
Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
The school has never really said tat I personally am liable. They just sent me the invoices and tell me how much is owed. Then I remind them again that it is my ex who owes it not me.Only now am I being told I am liable. Told by the debt agency that is.

Ok - if that is the case you are not liable.

You can only be liable if you signed any terms and conditions. You have not and as such you cant be liable if they dont have a signed contract.

In any event they cant claim 8% interest as the base rate is 0.25%. A Court is only going to award 2% at most.

But if they know your ex is liable for half they should be going after your ex.

But you are not liable. There is no signed contract.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
That is great news. But what is stopping them from making my life hell?Do I just ignore all correspondences?Should I continue to get some positive feedback from the Bursar saying agrees with my stand point?Does he have the power to instruct the debt collectors to back off?My ex has told me they sent the same letter to her. Asking her for the same amount. Surely that cant be lawful?

You can't stop them issuing proceedings, its a commercial decision for them.
You should ask a local Solicitor to write to them and set out your position.

They cant affect your credit record without a County Court Judgment.

Debt collectors have no power whatsoever. They are not bailiffs.

I would get a Solicitor to write

Does that clarify?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
Is it worth me pursuing the Bursar to tell them to back off?Once the debts are passed on does he then wash his hands of it all?

You can try yes. No, its just passed for collection generally.

Does that clarify?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
the bursar still has some say? I'm pressing on this because I'm expecting him to say it is now out of his hands.Thanks

Yes. Its not out of their hands, unless they have sold it on. They cant sell the debt on without a contract

Does that clarify?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance and good luck.