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Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

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  • Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if anyone could provide some general advice, I have just recently found out my partner has been hiding debts of a substantial number, one in particular is particularly nasty to Lowell's and stands at just over 10k, does anyone have any advice whether they would enforce in NI and if they do how I would go about defending if they decide to pursue a claim through court, would they assign this to a solicitor here to enforce. This I believe was a shop direct debt, she took the account out in 2010 and stopped paying late 2013 due to ongoing mental health issues & physical health issues, at present her outgoings are more than her income and I am keeping her financially afloat, any advice on whether I should be worried about this or not would be greatly appreciated, she has not had any letters from them she believes in over 6 months, she normally just bins them while I am at work, however another DCA recently obtained a CCJ against her for a different debt and this prompted her to disclose everything to me, having looked at her noddle report I see no searches on her report from Lowell's however want to be prepared as I imagine they will try and pursue her and I know they have been sending her letters she did mention that one or two of them may be offering a discount? I have been doing a lot of reading on the forums here since I found this website but I feel I'm a bit out of my depth at the minute, I just want to be ready for the next letter to come in so I can attempt to tackle this.

    Many Thanks for anyone who may be able to offer some advice
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

    Do you know what her total debts are including the CCJ?

    Are you buying or renting? If you are buying, is her name on the deeds? This makes a difference to the available options for her.

    Do you have any money available for full & final offers? If you don't, any discount being offered is largely irrelevant.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

      Hi Debt Camel,

      thanks so much for getting back to me, no renting privately, no assets whatsoever besides household furniture, total debts are in around the £29k mark, if I had known at the time of default would have argued irresponsible lending, she had a credit limit of 10k with shop direct, they did no financial assessment and her income was listed as 12k which it was at the time. We have no surplus cash, I am in the middle of trying to arrange a payment plan with the DCA who got the CCJ, but I too am quite heavily committed and we both have no savings available for full and final offers if they come looking.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

        You should not be liable for the debts of your partner, especially if there are no legal ties. Have you thought of Bankruptcy, or similar, to get rid of the creditors?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

          Hi Ostell, I am not concerned re liability, my concern is purely for my partner, and a desire to want to help her, she has very much been head in the sand due to ongoing Mental Health issues and has indicated an intention to harm herself numerous times over this. I just therefore want to be able to provide her some reassurance and be able to take on anything that might come through the door. I was considering bankruptcy for her, but am completely in the dark about how to go about this and what it would entail for her, and also don't have the necessary funds to petition for bankruptcy, even an IVA would require a minimum payment beyond what either of us could afford.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

            OK, it needs about £700 to apply for bankruptcy. Have a look at the stepchange charity website about bankruptcy They are suggesting that there are grants and other methods of helping with this. Have you got friend or family that could help with the fee?

            If the amount owed is too much then an IVA would not be a good solution. Does your partner have any property or possessions that are of any value that could be used to apply towards the debts. Yes, there are repercussions, such as a mark on the partners credit file for 6 years. It shouldn't affect you. Remember that Donald Trump has been bankrupt 3 times (I think) and look what happened to him! (perhaps a bad example.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

              lol very good point and made me feel slightly less anxious!!, honestly she has nothing, we have 1 TV and standard household possessions (fridge, cooker etc), her mobile phone is on contract and is her lifeline to the outside world, would bankruptcy only apply to creditors she is in default with or would she have to give up her phone etc as she has been maintaining the payments on this (mostly as I have been paying that for as long as shes had the phone, although the credit agreement is in her name).
              Also does the official receiver control all the money in her bank account or is she allowed to use her benefits that are paid to her, would it be dishonest/illegal to have these paid into my bank account before we started any bankruptcy? I might have a friend who could help us out, my main concern was the repercussions for her, I can manage to pay the payment plan agreed to the CCJ, should I just wait and see if Lowell's pursue a CCJ before acting or even wait until I get another letter from them?

              Sorry for the influx of questions, and thanks again for the advice so far

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

                Originally posted by JSHA View Post
                one in particular is particularly nasty to Lowell's and stands at just over 10k, does anyone have any advice whether they would enforce in NI and if they do how I would go about defending if they decide to pursue a claim through court, would they assign this to a solicitor here to enforce. This I believe was a shop direct debt
                The answer to your first question is yes the debt owner would use the Northern Ireland legal system to pursue any claim. It's a different jurisdiction to England and Wales with different legal procedure.

                However the Consumer Credit Act still applies so my suggestion is you/your partner send a s 77-79 CCA Request to Lowells. This forum has a template letter you can use here >

                https://legalbeagles.info/library/gu...etter-example/

                You can also send the same CCA Request to any other creditors who write to you if the debt is for a credit card, loan, catalogue account, HP etc. That usually quietens things down while they endeavour to comply.

                If they don't/can't comply within the statutory time-frame then the debt becomes unenforceable in court unless or until they do.

                Di
                I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit.

                This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


                Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

                  Hi Diana,

                  Thank you very much for your input on this, I will await letters coming through from companies, then fire off CCA Requests, if and when I receive this would it be ok to scan and post whatever they send back to advise on whether or not the debt is unenforceable? Lowell's have had the debt for some time and given the amount involved I suspect they aren't pursuing aggressively because of their lack of supporting documentation, my partner has said she has received possibly less than 5 letters in the 2 odd years the debt has been with Lowell's, she mentioned a BW Legal one also coming through early this year who I know they are fond of using but again there has been nothing since, do they need to lodge a civil bill in Northern Ireland to take action and will they need to come over to defend if I decide to contest the debt?

                  I really appreciate your input.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

                    Originally posted by JSHA View Post
                    would she have to give up her phone etc as she has been maintaining the payments on this (mostly as I have been paying that for as long as shes had the phone, although the credit agreement is in her name
                    the suggestion that she should go bankrupt seems from what you have said to be much the best way forward for her. Financially, because with that much debt and only income from benefits she needs a clean start as she can't hope to repay it. And because of her mental health - getting rid of the debts won't solve that, but being trapped with unaffordable debt is extra pressure that makes it harder for her to manage everything else in her life.

                    The Official Receiver won't care about the phone costs. As her only income is benefits she will not have to make ANY monthly payments to her bankruptcy, so the OR won't mind what she does with her money. And the phone company won't care providing the contract is not in arrears and you carry on paying it.

                    Also does the official receiver control all the money in her bank account or is she allowed to use her benefits that are paid to her, would it be dishonest/illegal to have these paid into my bank account before we started any bankruptcy?
                    Bank accounts are frozen going into bankruptcy but this is in case there is a lot of money sitting there as an asset, not the small amounts for everyday living. The freeze is lifted very quickly if there are no significant amounts of money there. After that the OR won't "control" her bank account at all, she can do what she wants with her benefits income.

                    She may have to get a new "basic bank account" if her bank chooses to shut hers. This is much easier than it used to be. I am sorry but I don't know what accounts are available in Northern Ireland.

                    She could arrange to have her benefits paid into your account, but if this was a joint account it would be frozen and your credit rating would be affected by her bankruptcy - not a good idea.

                    If it wasn't a joint account that would work but I would see it as a fall back. I prefer people to have a bank account they use in their own name, especially someone with mental health issues, i think she needs to see that life after bankruptcy will be "normal", she doesn't become a second class citizen.

                    Citizens Advice can probably talk about the practicalities of banking for her. And indeed advise on everything else to do with bankruptcy https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ni...-order-is-made.

                    I might have a friend who could help us out, my main concern was the repercussions for her, I can manage to pay the payment plan agreed to the CCJ, should I just wait and see if Lowell's pursue a CCJ before acting or even wait until I get another letter from them?
                    The repercussions of bankruptcy are likely to be minimal for her. And the relief of getting rid of her old debts will be huge. The CCJ and all her other debts will be included.

                    Also my guess is that she may at the moment be feeling guilty by the fact you are having to deal with them, both in the financial sense and in the hassle and stress of dealing with letters and courts.

                    The bankruptcy fee in Northern Ireland is currently £550. There is a court fee of £115 but I think she will be able to apply for an exemption if she is only on benefits. If there is a friend that could help with this fee, it could be a great gift to her.

                    Going for an IVA, with monthly payments for 5 years because it is hard to get the bankruptcy fees is a very bad move.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

                      Originally posted by JSHA View Post
                      if I had known at the time of default would have argued irresponsible lending, she had a credit limit of 10k with shop direct, they did no financial assessment and her income was listed as 12k which it was at the time.
                      You may want to read this information about irresponsible lending on @Debt Camel 's website. If there are any charges and interest which should be refunded this may reduce the balances >

                      https://debtcamel.co.uk/refunds-catalogue-credit-card/

                      and

                      https://debtcamel.co.uk/payday-loan-refunds/

                      I would also check to see if there was PPI on any of the accounts in case it was mis-sold and you could make reclaim.

                      See what, if anything, is recoverable (to reduce the debts) and then you'll know how much is left to deal with and decide how to deal with it.

                      Di
                      I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit.

                      This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


                      Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Advice if possible please Re: Northern Ireland Dealing with DCA's

                        Just wanted to thank everyone so much for their help in this thread, it has actually relieved me so much to find out that this needn't be the crisis I had it billed as in my head, Having discussed this with my partner, I feel like bankruptcy is the way forward for this, obviously we aren't taking this decision lightly and will consult with voluntary agencies in NI to help with this, I just wanted to stop by and offer my thanks to those who helped out in this post, I was losing sleep over this but am now ready to take on the next challenge and get things moving along to relive the stress on both of us.

                        Comment

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