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Negotiating with Lowell

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  • Negotiating with Lowell

    Hi all

    Can anyone tell me whether it is possible to negotiate the amount paid to Lowell Solicitors for a balance they have been chasing me for?

    I've had a letter from them, the next step is a claim form (incurring costs), following that (if I haven't responded) they may send for a CCJ... I'm unsure whether I'm able to negotiate this final amount as if I am able to negotiate it down by a decent amount I may be in a position to pay however if I'm not able to do this it will be more difficult..

    Have to call tomorrow ideally, I know in the earlier stages they can negotiate the final cost but at this stage is it too late?

    Any advice appreciated!

    Thanks
    Tags: None

  • #2
    for them to get a CCJ then they would have to go to court, and win!!!!!!!!!!!! there are procedures during any court case to negotiate if necessary, how about giving the peeps information as to what the debt is about, remember 98% of lowells cases go UN defended that is what they hope , more info is essential

    Comment


    • #3
      All communication from here onward needs to be in writing and headed "Without Prejudice." Do not do this by phone.

      If you wish to settle this and negotiate then that is your choice, you may do so. I would remember that they pay about 1p in the pound for their debt purchases (so they pay 100p or a £1 for every £100) and as such you should figure out what they have paid in your instance. 30% of the amount you owe (the figure they are quoting) is a good profit to them, but they'll probably work you up to around the 50% mark.

      Don't admit to the debt or anything at all, always refer to the debt as "alleged debt."

      If they agree to a figure you want that in writing and them to confirm that figure is "Full and Final Settlement of the matter."

      Only after you have that in writing do you make any payment to them.
      HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

      My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

      I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MIKE770 View Post
        for them to get a CCJ then they would have to go to court, and win!!!!!!!!!!!! there are procedures during any court case to negotiate if necessary, how about giving the peeps information as to what the debt is about, remember 98% of lowells cases go UN defended that is what they hope , more info is essential
        Thanks for the reply, the alleged debt is for an overdraft - I have until the end of this week to contact them before they send a County Court Claim form incurring costs..

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jaguarsuk View Post
          All communication from here onward needs to be in writing and headed "Without Prejudice." Do not do this by phone.

          If you wish to settle this and negotiate then that is your choice, you may do so. I would remember that they pay about 1p in the pound for their debt purchases (so they pay 100p or a £1 for every £100) and as such you should figure out what they have paid in your instance. 30% of the amount you owe (the figure they are quoting) is a good profit to them, but they'll probably work you up to around the 50% mark.

          Don't admit to the debt or anything at all, always refer to the debt as "alleged debt."

          If they agree to a figure you want that in writing and them to confirm that figure is "Full and Final Settlement of the matter."

          Only after you have that in writing do you make any payment to them.
          jaguars Thanks - is there anywhere I can get a template for a letter to send to them? I need to respond by the end of this week however I will be unable to post anything from tomorrow so I need to get on it today ideally..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KRIS17 View Post

            jaguars Thanks - is there anywhere I can get a template for a letter to send to them? I need to respond by the end of this week however I will be unable to post anything from tomorrow so I need to get on it today ideally..
            You can email them, don't need to send a letter. Something like this:


            Subject: WITHOUT PREJUDICE | RE: Your Reference Number - <<REF NO>>

            Dear Sirs

            WITHOUT PREJUDICE

            I am writing regarding the above referenced matter in response to your correspondence of <<DATE>>.

            I have no recollection of the alleged debt in question and in fact accept no liability for it, however I am also a very busy person whom cannot be distracted by the complexities of a Claim in the County Court or the time that will have to be spent in dealing with one.

            In the interest of saving time, effort and expense I am minded to offer your <<30%>> of the alleged debt as Full and Final settlement of this matter.

            Please confirm in writing if this is acceptable to you, definitively that it represents "Full and Final Settlement" to you and how payment should be affected by reply.

            Once in receipt of this confirmation I will be able to affect payment.

            Kind regards,
            <<YOUR NAME>>

            HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

            My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

            I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jaguarsuk View Post

              You can email them, don't need to send a letter. Something like this:
              jaguarsuk Thanks much appreciated..

              I took your advice, sent the letter, and have received a response which I have added some details below...
              "Your comments have been noted and we can confirm that the above matter refers a former xxxx current account opened in xxx 2010."

              "The last successful payment received on the account was made on xxxx 2014 for £X. No further payments have been received since the account was assigned to our client on xxxx 2015"

              "Our client received contact from you via email in xxx 2015 which stated xxxxx"
              (Details a situation where financial situation was difficult so did not have funds to repay, and where I allegedly offered to pay £10.00 per month - I do not remember this, however if I did do this, it may have been out of desperation to stop them from contacting me and not really understanding or acknowledging the debt they had contacted me about. They said that at this point their client provided me with payment details but no further contact was received.)

              "This led to the account being returned to their recoveries department to attempt to contact you further. As no contact was received from you, Lowell Solicitors were instructed in the matter on their behalf to recover the balance by legal means".

              "At this stage, we have been instructed to recover the balance in full and as such cannot accept your full and final offer of £xxx"

              Unless you are able to supply further details of your dispute along with any supporting information you may have, we ask that you contact us with your proposal for repayment towards the full balance. Failure to provide this information within 30 days of the date on this letter may result in our client instructing us to request that a County Court Claim be issues against you with cost and fees incurred"




              Where do I go next?? Any advice or is this the end of the line with this one? Can I go in with a higher offer of 40% of the alleged debt as opposed to 30%?

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, so now is the time to make them do some work and realise settling is in their interest too:


                Subject: WITHOUT PREJUDICE | RE: Your Reference Number - <<REF NO>>

                Dear Sirs

                WITHOUT PREJUDICE

                I write in response to your correspondence of <<DATE>> regarding the above matter and your comments are noted.

                I still have no recollection of the alleged debt in question and as such I request that you provide the following documentation relating to it:
                1. Copy of the original signed application form for the account
                2. Copy of default notice
                3. Copy of notice of assignment to your client
                4. full history of the account from the original creditor
                5. any and all other information relating to the account your client and original creditor hold

                I look forward to hearing from you soon.

                Kind regards,
                <<YOUR NAME>>
                Essentially what you are doing here is putting them on notice that you know what they need and how to defend this if they claim against you. These are documents they are going to need to bring a claim against you and if they can't get them, then they can't claim.

                Send a Subject Access Request Letter to the original bank asking for copies of the original signed application form for the account, default notice, notice of assignment to Lowell, full history of the account and any and all other information they hold of you.

                This will show you what they can and can't actually get hold of if they don't already have it.

                If the solicitors come back to say that their client has reconsidered and will accept the 30% offer you originally made, the ball is then in your court. You can either agree, then pay or you can respond that your offer is now 20%.

                If they try to source the documents and come back later to say they couldn't get them, but will now accept your offer then you tell them that the offer was made to prevent time, effort and expense being expended on the matter. That their response has meant you have had to spend time and effort on it, so settlement is no longer in your interest while without those documents the alleged debt is unenforceable and that until they prove the debt as alleged you will not be considering any agreement or your position further.
                HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

                My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

                I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

                Comment


                • #9
                  jaguarsuk
                  Thanks for the advice.

                  Bit of an update - I sent the letter to Lowell, and have received a response stating the following:

                  "We ask that you contact us by way of return with your intentions towards the outstanding balance. If no response is received a County Court Claim form may be issues incurring costs. If you do not respond to the claim we may apply for a CCJ...."

                  "A copy of the agreement is not available as the account is in relation to a current account which is not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 ."



                  Any advice on this??!


                  The letter doesn't actually give a timeframe as to when to reply, as the previous ones have, should I assume the usual 30 days from the date of the letter?


                  Thanks in advance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jaguarsuk View Post

                    If you wish to settle this and negotiate then that is your choice, you may do so. I would remember that they pay about 1p in the pound for their debt purchases (so they pay 100p or a £1 for every £100) and as such you should figure out what they have paid in your instance. 30% of the amount you owe (the figure they are quoting) is a good profit to them, but they'll probably work you up to around the 50% mark.
                    .
                    Just on this, the smallest I have seen is 8p in the £1.

                    I have no recollection of the alleged debt in question
                    Do you recall having any overdraft debt with the bank at all ?
                    Any other products with the bank that may have been merged into the overdraft ? ( like loan or credit card with the same bank )
                    Anything show on your credit file ?

                    By return usually means within 7 days.

                    Entirely depends if you want to settle whether you respond with a further negotiation on settlement - you could give options of a one off f&f settlement or a £ per month for X months reduced settlement .

                    Or take your chances, get the court claim then try to defend it, but that of course depends whether you recognise the actual debt and whether, other than techincal document issues there is a defence ( excessive charges / other accounts merged into it / packaged account / ppi type stuff )

                    They seem to have ignored request for default/termination notice & notice of assignment & transaction lists - so you could just go back to them asking for those and reitaerating you don't recognise the debt ( if you don't) and tell them you have sent a SAR to the bank to try find out more.

                    Anything back from your SAR to the bank yet ?

                    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KRIS17 View Post
                      jaguarsuk
                      Thanks for the advice.

                      Bit of an update - I sent the letter to Lowell, and have received a response stating the following:
                      "We ask that you contact us by way of return with your intentions towards the outstanding balance. If no response is received a County Court Claim form may be issues incurring costs. If you do not respond to the claim we may apply for a CCJ...."

                      "A copy of the agreement is not available as the account is in relation to a current account which is not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 ."






                      Any advice on this??!


                      The letter doesn't actually give a timeframe as to when to reply, as the previous ones have, should I assume the usual 30 days from the date of the letter?


                      Thanks in advance.

                      Send them a letter back...


                      Dear Sirs

                      WITHOUT PREJUDICE

                      Thank you for your letter of <<DATE>> relating to this matter.

                      You will note that I did not ask you for an agreement regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 in my letter of <<DATE>> and am a little puzzled why you have either been looking for one or are even referring to one. I clearly asked for a copy of the original signed application form for the account which should include all the terms of the agreement your client alleges I entered into along with other documents.

                      On opening an account of this nature customers of the original owners of this alleged debt enter in to terms and conditions, signed by both parties or an agreement. If as you assert I entered into the original agreement then there will of course be a copy of it and I require you to produce said copy as I do not recognise this alleged debt.

                      Further you will note I asked for a copy the Notice of Assignment from the original creditor to your client in order to demonstrate once they are able to substantiate that an agreement was entered that they have the legal right to pursue the recovery of it.

                      I note you threaten that you may proceed to file a county court claim, however having been asked and now refused to produce the terms of the agreement entered with the original creditor of this alleged debt I would view such a move as an abuse of the court process with a view to costs at any hearing pursuant to CPR 27.14. The judge in any such proceeding can only rule on the liability of a party based on the terms of their agreement and in the absence of a copy of them I think they might struggle to find in your clients favour. It's a fairly fundamental part of contract law.

                      I am a very busy person and I'm sure your client wouldn't have asked you to respond with correspondence trying to baffle me by quoting a regulated agreement I neither asked for or ever thought existed if they had any faith that they could obtain a true copy of the agreement they need to take this alleged debt to court.

                      As someone of their word and in the interest of saving time, effort and expense I extend to your client the offer to accept my settlement proposal previously stated of <<30%>> in Full and Final settlement of this matter.

                      Please to confirm in writing if they wish to accept, definitively that it represents "Full and Final Settlement" to you and how payment should be affected by reply.

                      Should it be the case that they do not wish to accept I will await you complying with my request for a copy of the original signed application form for the account, copy of notice of assignment to your client, full history of the account from the original creditor and any and all other information relating to the account your client and original creditor hold.

                      Finally if it is the case your client does not wish to accept my gracious offer and cannot provide the requested documents I do not expect to hear from either them or you until the point they are able to provide them. Any other correspondence will be treated as Harassment by me and I might have to consider legal proceedings without further reference to you.

                      I look forward to hearing from you soon.

                      Kind regards,
                      <<YOUR NAME>>
                      HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

                      My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

                      I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well it's been a while.. I'm back!

                        jaguarsuk thank you for your previous advice. It was / is greatly appreciated. I sent the letter as you recommended above, and as a result I didn't hear anything back from Lowell solicitors - until now, 5 or so months later.

                        It seems to me as though they have opened up a new claim for the debt, there is no reference to any of the previous contact I have had with them, and they have requested (within 30 days to prevent legal action) my response either in the form of a one off payment for the total amount, to agree a payment plan, and they have included a reply form. Deja vu!

                        I'll copy out the key parts of the letter below:
                        Dear xxxxx
                        Letter of Claim - 30 days to prevent Legal Action

                        We act for Lowell Portfolio I Ltd and we are instructed to recover your debt of xxxxx.

                        What do I need to do now?

                        You have 30 days from the date of this letter to either make a one off payment of xxx, agree a payment plan, or respond to this letter as set out in the following enclosed documents.

                        Information Sheet - Understand your rights in this debt recovery
                        Financial Statement - Work out what you can afford to pay
                        Reply Form - Send us your response to this letter. This can include setting up a Direct Debit plan.

                        The letter goes on to state that if I fail to respond within 30 days it will result in a County Court Claim.

                        I'd have to dig it out, but this seems like the exact same letter they sent to me when they were first trying to chase the alleged debt with me, to which I have sent a number of responses, and now they are starting from the beginning again?

                        I did also receive one letter before this, which I don't have with me at the time of writing this post however I think it was stating that the alleged debt had been passed over to Lowell Solicitors (as it has already been), and as I recall there were no deadlines specified within this letter so I did not do anything about it, until receiving this letter now.

                        Advice would be greatly appreciated. Am I supposed to respond to this as though none of the previous contact has occurred, or do I need to reference what I said to them in my previous correspondence and others before this?

                        Thanks.


                        **Edit - I've just checked and (if it is relevant), they are using the same reference number as before to send me this new Letter of Claim**

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Write back with a copy of the letter from post #11 referring them to the penultimate paragraph and asking them why they have written to you without the documents substantiating the alleged debt. Also, state that having been warned in that letter not to contact you without providing them they know or ought to know that their current course of conduct amounts or ought to amount to harassment contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s1.

                          Instruct them that you expect a response to explain their action within 14 days or else without further reference to them you will consider filing county court proceedings against them and will rely on the case precedent of Ferguson -v- British Gas 2009 to support such a claim.
                          HOW TO COMPLETE AN N180 DIRECTIONS QUESTIONNAIRE (SMALL CLAIMS TRACK) FORM?

                          My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other outcomes.

                          I do not come on here in the evening, at weekends or on public holidays.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            jaguarsuk Great, thank you - appreciate your advice as always!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK so I've had a response on this which I've copied below:


                              "Thank you for your recent letter in relation to the above. We regard this letter as your response to the Pre-Action Protocol.

                              As previously advised as this is a Current Account it is not regulated by the Consumer credit Act1974, the original credit is therefore not required to retain a copy of the agreement. Subsequently, we are unable to request a copy of the document.

                              We confirm that our client has not claimed to have entered into any contract directly with you, nor to have been a party to your contract with the original creditor. The benefit of that contract was lawfully assigned to our client pursuant to Section 136 of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the required Notice of Assignment was sent to you. Please find the Notice of Assignment enclosed along with a copy of the statement which have both been provided to you previously. Please also regard the Notice of Assignment as a formal demand for payment.

                              We do not regard our attempts to contact you as harassment. We have been instructed by our client to recover the outstanding balance on your account. We are also under an obligation as per the Court rules to keep you informed of the progress of your account and inform you of any consequences of non-payment.

                              Please now contact us with your intentions towards the outstanding balance. If no response is received, our Client has instructed us to reinitiate the Pre-Action Process which could eventually result in a Claim form being issued to you with further costs added to the above balance."


                              jaguarsuk and anyone else who can help - what do I do next?

                              Thanks

                              Comment

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