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Howard Cohen / Barclaycard - Letter of Claim

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  • Howard Cohen / Barclaycard - Letter of Claim

    Could do with some advice on the best way to proceed...

    In 1998 when I first started college, Barclaycard came to our freshers fare and I was told if I signed up for a credit card, I'd get a free mobile phone. as an 18 year old, and with mobile phones being a new thing, I obviously did it straight away. Being so young, and not very clever with money, I took the precaution of setting up a direct debit for the minimum monthly payment, so that at least if I forgot to pay it off, I wouldn't keep adding to my balance.

    As time went on, the card itself stopped getting used, and became my 'emergency card' because Barclaycards are accepted everywhere right? Fast forward to 2012 and I moved to my new flat, and change all my addresses on all my accounts. I remember seeing 1 or 2 statements following the move, but at some point they stopped, and because I never used the card, I didn't even notice. In fact, I didn't even have the card and don't remember the last time a replacement for an expired card was event sent.

    Around 2014/2015 I started getting phone calls from Barclaycard saying that I was in arrears on my account. This was a shock to me, because although I knew there was a balance on it, it was paying out an amount each month. Turns out the minimum payment isn't enough to cover the interest, and over time the balance had got higher and higher to the point where it was over it's limit! I phoned up and payed a few hundred pounds to get it back under, which the advisor said would sort it all out. I asked about statements, and was told that I'd signed up for online banking. I wasn't aware of this, and not having the physical card, or any passwords made it rather difficult to log in and keep abreast of my situation. They said they couldn't give me the passwords for security reasons.

    This repeated itself a number of times with me going over my limit, getting phone calls, then making a payment, purely because they say so, and with me not having any access to my account to maintain it.

    Eventually, I said enough is enough, and if they can't give me access to my account details, then I'm not going to pay them any more money. That was in 2016 and in September of that year, a default was added onto my account for £244.57, to be paid before October.

    In late October, because I told them I wasn't paying until I could properly manage my account, I received a bill for the total balance of £2382.24, which if I remember correctly, is significantly over the credit limit of £1500-1750 (I forget exactly what it was).

    In January 2017, I received a photocopy of a letter from Barclaycard (I say that because it was black and white, rather than colour like I'd had before) saying that my account had been transferred to Hoist Portfolio Limited on 16th December 2016, and that they'd appointed Robinson Way as their servicing agent.

    From then until June 2017 I was sent regular letters by Robinson Way, when they stopped for a couple months. In August I started to get letters from Moorcroft Debt Recovery with all of the same discount offers etc. In December 2017, it switched back to Robinson Way.

    Last week I received a 'Letter of Claim' from Howard Cohen Solicitors sent in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims. As far as I can make out, it's all done correctly, so it appears as though their intent is to take me to court - which I'd rather avoid obviously. I'd also like to not pay any money (wouldn't we all!).

    Interestingly, the last letter I have from Robinson Way is dated 3/9/18, and the letter from Howard Cohen says they've purchased the account and it was legally assigned on 5/9/18, which implies that my account has been passed around between them a number of times over the passed couple of years.

    I have until 18/11/18 to respond. I understand that I can't just ignore them anymore, and I need to send the form back. The reason Barclaycard sold the debt, was that I challenged it. I've probably paid the balance off multiple times in interest, and I feel that it's underhanded of them for minimum payments to be less than is required to stop the balance rising, coupled with their refusal to give me access to my account. So do I pick 'Box D' and say I dispute the debt, given that this acknowledges the existence of the debt, or 'Box I' that I need more information, on the basis, that it was a lack of information on the debt that cause me to default in the first place?

    Sorry for the wall of test, but I wanted to try and cover everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Pre-Action Letters
First Steps
Check dates
Acknowledge Claim
CCA Request
CPR 31.14 Request
Subject Access Request Letter
Example Defence
Set Aside Application
Witness Statements
Directions Questionnaire

If you received a court claim and would like some help and support dealing with it, please read the first steps and make a new thread in the forum with as much information as you can.

NOTE: If you receive a court claim note these dates in your calendar ...
Acknowledge Claim - within 14 days from Service

Defend Claim - within 28 days from Service (IF you acknowledged in time)

If you fail to Acknowledge the claim you may have a default judgment awarded against you, likewise, if you fail to enter your defence within 28 days from Service.

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If your case is over £10,000 or particularly complex it may be worth a chat with a solicitor, often they will be able to help on a fixed fee or CFA (no win, no fee) basis.
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