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Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Debt Recovery- Legal Action

I used to have a couple of credit cards. One was with MBNA and one with Bank of Ireland.
About a year ago I changed jobs and I couldn't afford to make the minimum payments on the cards (I also had a loan).
I got in contact with Baines and Ernst who took me on board. I now pay them and they pay my debts after comming to arrangements with the companies I owed.
The problem is Bank of Ireland (based in Dublin) have refused to come to an arrangement. They have been receiving as much as I can afford which is about half their minimum payment. Despite it being made clear to them by Baines and Ernst that I was paying as much as I could afford they continued to add fees, interest and charges which (despite payments) has increased the debt by about £800 in the past year. They have sent letters demanding payment which I have forwarded to Baines and Ernst. The have also phoned me and I have told them that I am paying as much as I can afford as they were already informed of by Baines and Ernst.
Today I recieved a letter from them informing that they are comencing legal action against me to recover the debt. I have already made it clear that I do not have any more money to pay them and I have no assets or property so what are they going to gain by doing this? Do they want me to sell one of my kidneys?
27 REPLIES
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Have you spoken with Citizens Advice.
I would suggest talking to the bank but traditionally they are very difficult to communicate with effectively.
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

You need to get yourself along to the Citizen's Advice Bureau ASAP. It sounds like bankruptcy might be a good option for you.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Bankruptcy is usually a last resort as it carries with it problems into the future.
Talking directly with your creditors is usually the best option as they generally want their money back sooner or later and will probably look favourably on reduced payments as opposed to legal action which could go against them in the long run.
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Forget talking to them - If they won't listen to baines and ernst they won't listen to you. All they are interested in is adding on charges and getting the money from you.
Ever thought of moving house or changing your name? - Not to avoid your debts of course, that was just a random question...
Key thing to remember (assuming you live in england and not ireland?) is that bailiffs and debt collectors are powerless unless they can seize your car (if they can find it or get their hands on it) or unless they can gain peaceful entry into your home. If you don't open the door they can't get in.
One other point to remember is they cannot get blood from a stone. If you don't have the money, they cannot get it. It doesn't matter how much they threaten you.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

They have shown that they are unprepared to listen. I am an honest person and have every intension to pay them every penny that I owe. As for my car it is a 1998 Seat Ibiza and worth about 800 pounds and I need it to get to work.
I live in Northern Ireland. Don't know how that affects things.
Despite them closing the credit card account a long time ago they still see fit to continue to add interest, fees and charges every month. I just started a new job last Monday where there will be the potential to make quite a bit of money. I was planning to use this to make them happy but it seams to be too late now.
If someone trys to take my property (my car, computer, tv etc) I will personally destroy this property before the B***ards get their hand on it!
How can people like this sleep at night knowing that they are probably responsible for causing people to take their own lives?!
jmd
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Baines and Ernst are charging you fees too which cannot help matters.
Talk to Citizens Advice or contact a FREE debt solutions agency such as FCL - website www.debtclinic.co.uk or phone them on 0800 716239.
A friend used them about 2 yrs ago, and found them very helpful in getting the company to work with them to sort out his debt.  They have something called payplan which is free or they can help with an IVA which is alternative to bankruptcy - again free service.
He was threatened with legal action too and they avoided that for him.
Also, if you are in a union you can get legal advice free.
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Sean,
Assuming that NI law is the same as the rest of the UK (?) then bailiffs cannot enter and seize goods unless you let them in, or they can get in through an open window.
Remember they are not allowed to BREAK and enter. Door chains, window restrainers etc are not allowed to be broken to gain accessn otherwise it is an arrestable offence - Criminal damage.
Don't worry about your gear. Simply park your car elsewhere where they wouldn't think of looking for it (besides you need it for work, I don't think they would be allowed to seize it) and keep all of your computers, TVs etc locked inside your home. On a hot day if you need windows open, make sure you have width restraints so no-one can open a window and climb in.
I know it sounds drastic but desperate times = desperate measures. Your first priority is to yourself - to protect your home. Anyone else comes 2nd.
jmd is right, talk to the citizens advice - They are taken far more seriously by banks than a commercial debt handling company - After all, you can pay baines and ernst their fees so why not the banks? (Thats what the bank will be thinking).
People that work in the debt recovery industry don't care - thats how they do it. Most of them get a kick out of ruining other peoples lives.
Good luck with the new job!
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Community Veteran
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

I can (and am paying the banks) just not as much as I used to. I pay Baines & Ernst £35/month which I don't mind because they have convinced all but Bank of Ireland to stop adding interest and charges. The £35 is way less than was being wasted on interest before and the balances of the accounts are actually going down slowly now. All but Bank of Ireland that is.
If anyone tries to come into my house and take my possesions it WILL be the last thing they ever do!
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Quote from: PJ
Surely if you declare bankruptcy the bank loses all claim anyway? I can't understand this short sighted approach.

It's a bank PJ...they have tunnel vision Wink
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Declaring bankruptcy usually results in bailiffs seizing goods to contribute towards clearing the debt.
In Seans case, that really isn't an option (unless he can hide his stuff somewhere - EG friend/relative) but even sothe credit record will be in tatters.
Far easier to give citizens advice a shout. £35 per month for baines and ernst could be £35 used to keep the bank at bay..
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Community Veteran
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Apart from my car which is obviously registered in my name how can they prove that any of my property belongs to me. Could I not just say the computers etc belong to my brother and have them arrested for theft?
jmd
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

like I said before - save £35 and pay the Bank it by using Citizens Advice or FCL the free agency I mentioned.
They do not charge you - they get fees from the companies they recover money for!
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

Quote from: seanbranagh
Apart from my car which is obviously registered in my name how can they prove that any of my property belongs to me. Could I not just say the computers etc belong to my brother and have them arrested for theft?

You could try but once they've got their foot in the door the attitude is normally "Prove it!" Besides even if you did convince the police it all belonged to your brother, would you be ready to testify to this in court and lie under oath? - Perverting the course of justice is a VERY serious criminal offence and would easily land you jail time.
Far easier just to keep them out. If you can, register the car in someone elses name (I assume the law is the same over there? - Legal owner can be anyone other than registered keeper). If it is registered in someone elses name they can't touch it yet you can still remain the legal owner (though they'll have a very hard time ever proving it is yours!).
As I've said before, the only way to keep your posessions is to make sure they don't get entry into your home.
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Superuser
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Re: Debt Recovery- Legal Action

What about if he sold everything he owns to his brother for a very small amount, then borrowed it off him?  That way he wouldn't own anything, and wouldn't need to lie in court if it came to that?  Also he could claim that he is doing everything he can to clear the debt by selling all his posessions.
Phil