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Advice on letter to DCA please

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  • Advice on letter to DCA please

    Hi All


    Can someone please give their opinion/feedback of a proposed letter quoted below, as an attempt to respond to a DCA (their latest letter attached). I would just like to add, that @R0b has been very helpful to me over the past few months.... http://legalbeagles.info/forums/show...e-please/page2 (if anyones interested), however to summarise:


    • Dispute with finance company regarding damages/costs of vehicle purchased on HP
    • FO upheld for them (Startline)
    • During dispute and before final decision from FO, debt was passed to/bought by? Link Financial who immediately added nearly £200 on


    DearSir/Madam,

    Your ref:
    1304571

    Thank you for your letter I received on 10/11/2017, the contents of which are noted.

    I am disputing the total value of these debts with Startline due to unreasonable charges.


    Even although I have all along disputed the damage and costs issued, as a goodwill gesture, I am willing to pay £185.00 by monthly instalments of £20.00 which is 30% of the original alleged repair costs.

    My reasons are:
    • The car already had some damage which I considered fair and reasonable for a 6 yr old car and therefore felt no need to mention at time of purchase
    • I have photographs of the damage, taken before vehicle was collected which do not match with those taken by Manheim
    • I also have a signed copy of the vehicle inspection report by Crystal Collections who collected the car, which verifies the car had only light scratches on doors only
    • I looked after the car for the 2yr period it was in my possession, and I would consider any further damage as fair, wear and tear
    • Although Manheim issued an inspection report, I am convinced they never actually carried out any repair work because the car was sold very quickly at auction after collection
    • They have never provided any photographic evidence of any such repairs



    Take notice that I will not discuss this matter on the telephone, and any communication must be in writing.
    I would appreciate your due diligence in this matter.

    I look forward to hearing from you in writing.

    Yours faithfully


    So basically, does the above need bits taken out, added or changed? I would appreciate any help and advice

    Thanks
    Attached Files
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

    I think you need two letters here, the first one being an open letter which would set out your reasons for disputing the debt. You've said Link have added on £200 to these disputed charges, so is the £798.00 including the £200 fees?
    Also the letter says that the debt was sold to Startline, but weren't they the original creditor anyway? I assume this was a mistake but nonetheless, it should be clear as to what capacity they are acting in, either the new creditor or just a debt collector.

    Your second letter will be the offer letter and ought to be headed without prejudice save as to costs. In this letter you would start off by saying you refer to your open letter of [today's date] regarding the hire-purchase agreement dated [date] between Startline Motor .... and yourself. You would then say something like as stated in the open letter, you wholly dispute the alleged charges and that you consider the car to have been returned in a reasonable condition. Notwithstanding this position, you are, however, prepared to bring this matter to a close and pay an ex-gratia sum of [amount] in full and final settlement of all and any claims under this agreement. You should caveat this offer by saying the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability. Any sums you offer should be broken down as to how you've calculated that amount i.e. what damages you are prepared to pay for and what you aren't - just to avoid any confusion later down the line.

    Set out how your going to pay etc. and that the offer should stand for at least 14 days or longer before it expires and is immediately withdrawn if not accepted within that time frame.

    To summarise, your 'open letter' will set out and explain why the amount is disputed and you should also raise the issues I mentioned above, about their capacity and/or the extra £200 added charges and on what grounds the have a right to do this. Your 'without prejudice save as to costs' letter is setting out your offer of what your willing to pay - the reason for doing this is that it can't be referred to in court until proceedings have concluded and there is the question of costs/damages. If they went to court and didn't get as much then you could argue some your costs for defending should be recouped because they failed to consider your offer and ended up with less than they claimed for - may not always work but it also shows reasonable efforts to settle without proceedings.

    Hope that makes sense.
    LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

      Hi [MENTION=71570]R0b[/MENTION], Yes on both counts. Startline was the original creditor and I too think thats a just a mistake on the letter, and the £798 includes the £200 added by link...see attached (which is the first, and only other letter I've received from Link.

      Do I send the open letter first and wait for a response?

      Click image for larger version

Name:	link-Aug.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	83.5 KB
ID:	1176832

      Do you think this is alright for open letter?

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      Your ref: 1304571

      Thank you for your letter I received on 10/11/2017, the contents of which are noted.
      I would like to enquire as to what grounds you have for adding £200 extra charges?

      I am disputing the total value of these debts with Startline due to unreasonable charges for the reasons mentioned below:

      • The car already had some damage which I considered fair and reasonable for a 6 yr old car and therefore felt no need to mention at time of purchase
      • I have photographs of the damage, taken before vehicle was collected which do not match with those taken by Manheim
      • I also have a signed copy of the vehicle inspection report by Crystal Collections who collected the car, which verifies the car had only light scratches on doors only
      • I looked after the car for the 2yr period it was in my possession, and I would consider any further damage as fair, wear and tear
      • Although Manheim issued an inspection report, I am convinced they never actually carried out any repair work because the car was sold very quickly at auction after collection
      • They have never provided any photographic evidence of any such repairs

      Take notice that I will not discuss this matter on the telephone, and any communication must be in writing
      I would appreciate your due diligence in this matter.

      I look forward to hearing from you in writing.

      Yours faithfully

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

        What do you think of this for the Offer letter? (I used some of their costs)

        Dear Sir/Madam,

        Your ref: 1304571

        *** Without prejudice save as to costs ***

        I refer to my open letter of xx/xx/xx regarding the hire-purchase agreement dated 13/03/2017 between Startline Motor Finance and myself.

        As stated in my previous letter, I wholly dispute the alleged charges as I consider the car to have been returned in a reasonable condition. Notwithstanding this position, I am, however, prepared to bring this matter to a close and pay an ex-gratia sum of £218.00 in full and final settlement of all and any claims under this agreement.

        Please note, this payment is not an admission of liability.

        Payments ONLY for damages as follows:

        Right Front Door (scratches) £55
        Right Front Wheel (scuffs) £60
        Right Front Wing (chips) £55
        Right Quarter panel (dent) £48

        Total: £218

        I am prepared to pay the aforementioned sum by way of monthly instalments of £20.00. This offer will stand for at least 14 days or longer before it expires and is immediately withdrawn if not accepted within that time frame.

        Yours faithfully
        Thanks for any advice

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

          I'll take a look at these today and add any comments
          LEGAL DISCLAIMER
          Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

            Took a look at your open letter so far, and see below a slightly more 'beefed' up version though do not feel like you have to use any of its contents, it is simply an example of what you might want to say. You may want to amend the first bullet point as i am not sure when you took on the car whether it was new or second hand but it assumes the car was second hand when in your possession.

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------

            Dear Sir or Madam,

            Your ref: 1304571

            Thank you for your letter I received on 10 November 2017, the contents of which are noted.

            In your letter you state that the debt has been sold to Startline Motor Finance Ltd (‘Startline’) effective 11 August 2017 however, Startline was the original party to the agreement so I am rather confused as to how the alleged debt could have been sold to Startline if they already are the creditor. I assume this is a mistake but please can you clarify this. I also note that the letter is suggesting that the outstanding balance currently stands at £798.00 whereas the original amount claimed to be owed was £598.00. In light of this, I require a full breakdown of these charges and in particular, an explanation as to the increased balance of £200 and under what grounds this increase has been sought.

            In addition to this, it is also not clear as to what capacity Link Financial are acting under in respect of this matter. Your previous letter of 21 August suggests that you are instructed by Startline to recover the alleged debt and I would be grateful if you are able to confirm the extent of your involvement.

            Notwithstanding the above, you will be aware that the alleged debt which Startline claims to be owed is disputed. I would refer you to Startline if you would like further information about my reasons for disputing the alleged debt but for the sake of clarity, I have briefly set out these reasons below.

            • At the time I took possession of the car, it was [number] years old and had already sustained some damage from the previous owner(s). Throughout the time that the car remained in my possession it was well maintained and any damage alleged to have been caused by me is unsubstantiated. In any event, I consider that the damage amounts to reasonable wear and tear.

            • Prior to collection of the car, I took several photographs which confirms that upon reasonable inspection, the car was in a reasonable condition. The photographs taken by Manheim do not match with those taken by me and so I can only conclude that the damage occurred whilst the car was in Manheim’s custody. Please let me know if you would like me to send you copies of these photographs of which I am happy to provide hard copies at a reasonable cost or free of charge if sent by email.

            • Further to the above, I am also in receipt of a signed copy of the inspection report carried out by Crystal Collections (the company who collected the car). The report only noted light scratches on the doors which I am sure you will agree is reasonable wear and tear for a car that is six years old.

            I trust that the above clarifies my position on this matter however, if you would like to discuss it further then please ensure that all communications are made in writing only to the address at the top of this letter (unless otherwise notified). Alternatively, I will accept correspondence by email which can be sent to [insert email address].

            Yours faithfully,

            [insert name]
            Last edited by R0b; 22nd November 2017, 11:41:AM.
            LEGAL DISCLAIMER
            Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

              Here's an example of your WP letter, might be a bit of overkill with the wording but its up to you as to how much (if any) you would want to use. I wonder though, is £20.00 a reasonable sum of money you can owe? I am not sure whether Startline/Link Financial will accept this without asking for an income / expenditure sheet, which of course you are not obliged to provide. You could perhaps offer an alternative amount such as two instalments for £100 to be made next month with the remaining balance paid 2 or 3 months after that date. Obviously these are just suggestions but its you who will be paying so make sure it is within the realm of affordability.

              P.s. your WP letter suggests you began the HP agreement in 2017, don't you mean 2015? See the square brackets below.

              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Dear Sir/Madam,

              Your ref: 1304571

              Without prejudice save as to costs

              I refer to my open letter of xx/xx/xx regarding the hire-purchase agreement dated [13 March 2015] between Startline Motor Finance and myself.

              As identified in the letter, I wholly dispute the alleged charges as I consider the car to have been returned in a reasonable condition and Startline have, to date, failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that they are entitled to recover any sums in respect of the alleged damage.

              Without prejudice to any rights or defences that I may have against Startline, I am prepared to bring this matter to a close and offer an ex-gratia sum of £218.00 which is broken down as follows:

              · Right front door (scratches) £55
              · Right front wheel (scuffs) £60
              · Right front wing (chips) £55
              · Right quarter panel (dent) £48

              Payment of this amount will be made in [number] equal instalments of £20.00 with a final instalment of [£amount] by way of bank transfer to a nominated account of Startline’s choosing.

              The offer to settle shall not be construed as an admission of liability on my part and acceptance of the same shall be in full and final settlement of all and any claims by Startline arising out of or in connection with this agreement, including my release of all obligations under the hire-purchase agreement whether past, present or future.

              The offer shall remain open for acceptance by Startline until [14 days from date of letter]. After that time the offer will automatically lapse and will be withdrawn with immediate effect.


              Yours faithfully


              [your name]
              Last edited by R0b; 22nd November 2017, 10:09:AM.
              LEGAL DISCLAIMER
              Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

                Thankyou R0b for your replies. Your letters are soooo much better than my feeble attempts. I will send my open letter off today and wait and see what happens.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

                  No problem, your attempts weren't feeble at all, sometimes it just requires a little thought about how you want to present it and what you want to say - always good to have a second pair of eyes

                  You might want to revisit the above examples before you send them off, I've edited them as there were a couple of grammatical errors in there - presentation is always key!

                  Also in the WP letter you might want to mention when the first payment will be made, I've not said that in there but its optional e.g. If accepted, the first payment will be made on X date.

                  P.S just to confirm, your open letter and WP should be sent at the same time but as two separate letters in the same envelope if you wish.
                  LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                  Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

                    Ah, yes, I was wondering about how to send them . I will double check everything too. Btw, I thought as Link offered me to pay up at £7.98/mth, I am assuming they hopefully accept £20/mth, but I know what you mean.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Advice on letter to DCA please

                      Btw, I thought as Link offered me to pay up at £7.98/mth, I am assuming they hopefully accept £20/mth, but I know what you mean.
                      Possibly, but you are however offering a lower settlement so it depends on whether they want to accept a partial amount or try and pursue you for the full amount.
                      LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                      Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi again

                        ( hope you get this R0b )

                        Update on my issue:

                        Response to WP letter - not upheld, therefore they're STILL claiming full amount (which I've only now been made aware it includes the collection charge!) and rather than taking on board my 'Offer' letter, they have just issued me an Incomings/Outgoings form. (see attached)

                        Obviously I've not got anywhere disputing the amount, so if I still want to dispute this, does it now have to go to court?
                        Have I any other options? What would you advise? Getting stressed and really peeved off with them now.

                        Appreciate any help
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi there,

                          It's been some time since my last post but having scanned their letters, is there anything that they have failed to address in terms of a break down of these costs or is it now the case that they don't accept your offer?

                          What are your thoughts on the matter, do you want to dispute it and for it to potentially end up in court or would you rather settle the matter without the need for legal proceedings? Also, what do they mean by uplift, do they mean taking the car away by truck?

                          I can't really tell you what you should do but there is always a risk by both sides taking it to court in that they may not get what they want yet at the same time if you feel that you shouldn't owe this amount then have your day in court and let a judge decide. You've made a reasonable offer and that can be put to the judge when he has made his decision and he might deduct any award he might make in their favour if your offer is seen as reasonable but they ignored it.

                          Have you saved any money in the meantime to pay off the amount they are seeking since last year?
                          LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                          Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What I take from it is, they still want full amount which includes collection of the car. Btw, that was originally £183, now £192. Anyway, I'm sure way back you advised that under CCA they couldnt charge for uplift. They are asking me to confirm my monthly payment offer of £20/month, but for full amount. So basically they have rejected my offer of £218, but allowing me to pay it up - I think! Startline have never proved they repaired any damages - just a breakdown of damage costs. So yes, I am disputing the damage costs including the collection charge. Can you advise on how best to reply?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You are right that I did say the collection charges were not applicable. Your liability is limited under section 100(1) to 50% of the total price payable and any charges imposing additional liability above and beyond this is void and unenforceable. Your only obligation is to make the car available to the lender for collection.

                              If you are disputing the amount and don't wish to pay the full amount, then you need to explicitly state this so there is no confusion. You might want to point out that some of the charges they are claiming are not recoverable i.e. the collection charge and that for some reason there is a discrepancy between the charges issued by Startline and the charges being claimed by Link Financial (which they appear to have not clearly explained). You could then make a counter-offer with any charges not applicable and what you think you are prepared to pay and offer £20 per month.

                              It's probably likely that they will reject your offer again so you will need to consider preparing for any court action, unless you don't want to go to court and defend it and in which case you should seek a settlement.

                              If you want any feedback on your response feel free to post it up here first.
                              LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                              Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

                              Comment

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