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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14788
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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A fake debt sold to debt collection agent, Need it to be UK,

Customer Question

A fake debt sold to debt collection agent
JA: What state are you in? And is a local attorney or other consumer protection advocate helping with this?
Customer: Need it to be UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Tried to contact CAB and Tading Standards
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Alarm company would not cancel my monthly subscription. See below for a summary: I have been trying to cancel my Verisure alarm system monthly payment since August 2020, and since then have had numerous, illegal obstacles put in place by Verisure to prevent the cancellation from happening. Please see below a summary of my situation:
• In August 2020 I contacted Verisure by phone and asked them to terminate my contract as I was due to move abroad and would no longer be residing at the property
• They told me they could not cancel over the phone, and I needed to wait for a call-back from their cancelation team in order to process the cancelation.
• I waited for the call and never received it. We went through this cycle 3 or 4 times, and I spoke to numerous agents and supervisors and was continuously fobbed off
• I put my request in writing to state I wished to cancel and Verisure refused to process the request
• They have now sold the fake “debt” to a debt collection agent
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

There is nothing to stop the debt collectors from pursuing you. You can simply ignore them or reply to them and reiterate why you do now owe the money. The key issue is to ensure you reply to a small claim, if they pursue you. If you do not, you will end up with a CCJ which then lasts for 6 years and will severally affect your ability to secure future credit.

You say you tried to report this to Trading Standards - that should be followed up in my view as they can close a business down for this sort of thing.
You can reach them here if you need the website details: https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/contact/

Debt collectors are not bailiffs - they have no powers as such. They will simply try to collect the money their client thinks you owe. You can turn them away if you dispute the debt and they visit you - they can’t enter your home and take goods. They would report back to their client they were unsuccessful and it’s then up to their client whether to take matters further.

They will send a letter before action to you if their debt collection attempts fail - which is required under the pre action protocol to give you the chance to avoid court action. They usually give you 14 days to pay before they will take civil court action.

If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help.

You should not ignore the court papers as if you do, the claimant will apply for judgment in default meaning they win and you would not be allowed to defend the claim.

A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

If the claim has no merit (it sounds like it has no merit given the facts) then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived.

You should first invite the claimant to voluntarily discontinue their claim within 7 days if it gets to this point - tell them if they don't then you will apply to strike out and seek your costs if you are forced to do so. If you have no response or they reply and refuse then you could apply to strike out.

The application costs £255 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the court fee. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record.

But certainly I think you would succeed in a defence, just to be clear.

I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you this is helpful. I no longer live in the UK and this seems to be a long winded process.
Am I best to ignore the debt collection agent for now until I hear back from training standards?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

You can ignore it, yes. However, if they have written to your UK address (or former UK address) then their client may still issue a small claim and you would have no way of knowing about it unless you had a redirection postal facility. Yes, perhaps chase up Trading Standards as hopefully they will be able to do something

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
OK. I have a redirection facility and have not received anything from the debt collector. The only reason I know is that the debt collection agent left a voicemail on my partners phone
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
thank you
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 16 days ago.

OK, thank you. If they escalate then feel free to come back to this site for ongoing help.