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DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

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DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:44 pm

Hi everyone, glad to have found your new home, I don't know what I would have done without your help last year. I'd appreciate suggestions on this new problem.

My wife has received a letter out of the blue from Credit Limits lnternational Ltd, Registered in England No 6854365 in Faversham, requesting payment of a debt in seven days of just over 8k on behalf of a Althea Gestion (by assignment from Credit Immobilier de France Developpement). The seven days have already expired as we weren't here when the letter arrived.

My wife owned an apartment in France with a mortgage from CI but it was (presumably) repossessed and she stopped hearing from anyone to do with it (property management com, bank, broker etc) about five, maybe seven years ago. Unfortunately she has long since shredded the documents so we're unsure how long ago exactly this all happened. Incidentally the letter is addressed to my wife in her maiden name, we were married nine-and-a-half years ago, not sure if that's relevant.

My question is - is the three letter process appropriate here, bearing in mind it's a mortgage, and overseas?

Depending on the answer to the above, my intention was to draft a letter saying:

A) What is this alleged debt, this is the first we've heard of it
B) Please provide documentation proving this alleged debt
C) Demanding payment out of the blue within seven days for an alleged debt could be considered as threatening behaviour (not sure about that one, tbh?).

Should anything be added to the above?

Very much appreciate any suggestions and assistance, thank you.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Waffle on Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:10 pm

If the debt is over 6 years old it should be statute barred limitations act 1980, if that applies in the case of an alleged debt from overseas. So long as your in the UK I don't see why it wouldn't apply. They are not going to hall you back to france for a debt like that.

No third party has the right to enforce any benefit of an agreement, contracts (rights of third parties) 1999.

You could go down the three letters route but if its older than 6 years its should be statute barred and they should not be pursuing your wife for it, nor should a third party be chasing your wife for it.

Im sure some other members will also provide some helpful comments throughout the day, I would wait until you get a broader opinion than just mine before you make a decision.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by daveiron on Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:39 pm

Hi
Like waffLe ,I do not know how things stand re statute barred ,France etc,
hopefully others can give advise ,Some things spring to mind ,could you obtain any bank statements dating back that far or anything else that would give an idea of the date ?
Also should you wish to respond I notice they have given you 7 days to pay ,thus trying to dictate the timeframe ,
therefor give them the same timescale. Demand they supply full documentation to support their proof of claim ,within 7 days & if they do not tell them you will consider the matter closed.


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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:14 pm

It looks as though they changed the law on statute barring from 30 years to 5 years for moveables in 2008. However, for property it remains 30 years.

Do they have a Order of Payment from a French Court which they've converted to a European Enforcement Order?

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:22 pm

@Tiggy wrote:Do they have a Order of Payment from a French Court which they've converted to a European Enforcement Order?

No idea what they have - all they've done is sent us a standard letter. Should the first step be to write as outlined above asking for proof/documentation?

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:46 pm

@dereko wrote:
@Tiggy wrote:Do they have a Order of Payment from a French Court which they've converted to a European Enforcement Order?

No idea what they have - all they've done is sent us a standard letter. Should the first step be to write as outlined above asking for proof/documentation?

What does the letter actually say and what was the 7 days deadline you referred to?

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:07 pm

The core is:

"We are international debt collectors and we have been appointed to recover the above outstanding debt. To resolve this matter, you must pay the above balance in full within 7 days, by cheque or bank payment. Alternatively, we are prepared to look into any meaningful repayment proposals you wish to put forward and take into account your current financial circumstances, or discuss any other solution. We are committed to try and resolve this matter amicably but we can only achieve this with your full cooperation. In any case, it is in your interest to contact us."

The rest is standard about right to seek independent legal advice etc.

I have just found out that my wife phoned them a few days ago because she was worried about not contacting them within the 7 days but as far as I know she said she doesn't know anything about it and please would they send proof.

Thank you.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:39 am

My advise would be NEVER contact by telephone, but it's done now, just have to wait to see what they come back with.

Do you own your own property (in joint names) or are you renting. Is the debt for a significant amount ?

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:43 am

We are tenants and no property owned at the moment - the debt is for just over 8k although they are adding interest - not much yet.

Regardless of the phone call would it not be better to put a rebuttal in writing as well?

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:54 am

@dereko wrote:We are tenants and no property owned at the moment - the debt is for just over 8k although they are adding interest - not much yet.

Regardless of the phone call would it not be better to put a rebuttal in writing as well?
Entirely up to you, but I'd be tempted to see what they come back with and take it from there.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:26 pm

Ok thanks Smile

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:16 am

Credit Limits lnternational Ltd have written back enclosing a copy of the original mortgage agreement with Credit Immobilier from November 2005. The letter just says:

"Further to our telephone discussion on 17th August, please find enclosed a statement of account showing the outstanding balance after the sale of the property in France and a copy of the loan offer/agreement as requested. Looking forward to hearing from you shortly."

I've attached the statement - it's in french with figures but no indication of where it comes from, no address, no details at all.

My wife is off tomorrow on a two week business trip so she is going to write to them saying to acknowledge receipt and that she will look into it when she returns - she doesn't want this hanging over her while she's away.

Any advice welcomed, thanks.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:20 am

Not sure the attachment
worked - trying again .....

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:23 pm

To be honest I simply wouldn't engage with them, they don't appear to have an order from the French Courts / a European Enforcement Order so at the moment they've really got no teeth. The more your wife contacts them, the more they realise they've got her worried and will escalate the pressure.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by petesomething on Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:05 pm

Always remember DCA will lie , and will try to make you worry its part of there game,
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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:15 pm

Update: My wife didn't contact them and they have now written again:

"You have failed to respond to our letter dated 29th August 2017 (copy enclosed) and to make a payment to settle the outstanding debt owed to our client above.
We must therefore inform you that unless we hear from you within 7 days, you will leave us with no alternative but to recommend further recovery actions against you to our client.
Should you be experiencing financial difficulties, we will be happy to discuss a reasonable payment plan proposal with you, however, we need to hear from you in due course.
No further reminders will be sent."

My wife is very concerned and wants to contact them but I'm trying to hold her off. She is a director of a small company and is worried that getting a CCJ will jeopardise her job - I can't persuade her that there will be a long way to go before that stage.

I assume that "further recovery actions" means passing the debt on to another collector?

We have had no further proof of the alleged debt other than the piece of paper shown above.

Any advice welcomed, thank you.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:17 pm

@dereko wrote:Update: My wife didn't contact them and they have now written again:

"You have failed to respond to our letter dated 29th August 2017 (copy enclosed) and to make a payment to settle the outstanding debt owed to our client above.
We must therefore inform you that unless we hear from you within 7 days, you will leave us with no alternative but to recommend further recovery actions against you to our client.
Should you be experiencing financial difficulties, we will be happy to discuss a reasonable payment plan proposal with you, however, we need to hear from you in due course.
No further reminders will be sent."

My wife is very concerned and wants to contact them but I'm trying to hold her off. She is a director of a small company and is worried that getting a CCJ will jeopardise her job - I can't persuade her that there will be a long way to go before that stage.

I assume that "further recovery actions" means passing the debt on to another collector?

We have had no further proof of the alleged debt other than the piece of paper shown above.

Any advice welcomed, thank you.

Even if they started proceedings tomorrow it can take approximately 12 months to get close to a CCJ and she can opt to settle out of Court at any point upto a final hearing.

They're employing standard scare tactics to get her to respond and offer a payment plan and by the sounds of it unfortunately, the tactics are working.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Jinxer on Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:39 pm

Further action can mean anything from writing you more letters to passing it back to the OC pretty much anything. Worry when they send you a Court order or a Court claim form, then you can decide how to proceed.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by iamani on Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:25 am

Hi guys

dereko - advice? Check whether your wife's heart is in it, and try to improve communications.....

Cheers!

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:40 pm

@iamani wrote:Hi guys

dereko  -  advice? Check whether your wife's heart is in it, and try to improve communications.....

Cheers!

No - her heart isn't in it, she wants to play their game and agree a payment plan. As for your other advice, i don't think it's going to change now, way too late Wink

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by dereko on Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:32 pm

Well we didn't reply to that last letter and they've written again, this time with an European Enforcement Order! Why on earth they didn't send that when we asked for proof of the debt I have no idea.

Their letter also suggests that they can convert this to a High Court Sheriff's order on application, with no further procedures. My wife is now furious that I have prevented her from taking action but I don't think I've made it any worse, I assume they'd rather have a settlement than nothing (which is pretty much what they'd get if the Sheriff's came round).

As ever, your advice is welcome - I'll try and attach the letter and Order here. Thanks.




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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:22 pm

I would suggest you take it to a Solicitor, I've no idea if that is actually a EEO and how easy it is to obtain a High Court Enforcement Order.

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Jinxer on Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:44 pm

This may be worth reading as I don't think they have complied with pre action protocol
https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/european-enforcement-order.aspx
https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/pre-action-protocol.aspx

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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by assassin on Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:19 am

If they had a court order or CCJ they cannot even move it to the High Court for 6 months, so it is purely applying pressure and hoping she will pay.
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Re: DCA chasing old debt from French mortgage - 2 questions

Post by Tiggy on Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:18 am

@assassin wrote:If they had a court order or CCJ they cannot even move it to the High Court for 6 months, so it is purely applying pressure and hoping she will pay.

I've transferred claims on two occasions to the High Court for enforcement immediately after Judgment has been received and they've issued the writs of enforcement ( they used to be called the Writ of Fieri Facias - literally meaning the writ of fiery faces as bailiffs were known to frequent hostelries at lunch time and emerge in the afternoon red faced).

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