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Debt letter from Lantern - Possibly statute barred - next steps?

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  • Debt letter from Lantern - Possibly statute barred - next steps?

    I have received a letter today from Lantern (formerly Motor Mile Finance) about some old short term loans from around 2012. This really is out of the blue, I've heard nothing from them for as long as I can recall and this letter was actually sent to my previous address but was re-directed.

    It is quite a jovial letter, it reads "So, dust off the BBQ, enjoy the sun and take this opportunity to clear your debts before winter approaches". They're offering up to 60% reduction.

    This is a summary of the debts:
    Quick Quid £512 - Last payment date: not shown
    Northway £838.88 - Last payment date: not shown
    Think Finance (UK) Ltd t/a 1 MONTH LOAN: £350 - Last payment date 19/06/2012

    At least one of the debts (probably all) are 6 years since last payment / taking out the credit so are possible statute barred. None of these debts appear on any of my credit records (Experian / Equifax / Noddle / MSE credit club)

    1. What is the best approach with these to avoid acknowledging but ensuring it doesn't escalate to CCJ for example?

    2. The address on the letter is my previous address (moved 1 month ago) and the debts relate to an address before that one. Should I do anything about this? I have a postal redirect in place for next 6 months but don't want a door knock at old address because the new tenants know me and my new address.

    Note that since these bad days of pay day loans in 2012, I have taken responsibility for my finances. I'm a long time YNAB user and have my finances under microscopic control. I have no CCJ's but I do have a some defaults from 3 years ago that are now either satisfied or in a steady arrangement. I'm on the way to cleaning myself up so I don't want to make an error and set myself back.

    Any advice is welcome.
    Last edited by tallmansix; 1st July 2018, 12:20.

  • #2
    You need SAR's / GDPR (won't cost anything) on these where the Last payment date is unknown or speculative and you do not know whether there is a default notice date that might override that date.
    Your purpose is to ensure that these are Statute Barred or to understand when this will be.

    As regards the fishing letter file it away and do nothing at this stage.

    Taking that date 19/6/12 This is my prognosis on the State Barred Date as at 30/6/18(Todays date)
    19/06/12 ---Months 72 6 Years 11 Days
    19/07/18 ---Months 1 19 Days
    Last edited by Roger; 30th June 2018, 10:10.


    • #3

      Since 1st October last year (2017) a debt owner must send you a formal 'Letter Before Claim' giving you 30 days to respond before they can issue a claim. If you've got Royal Mail redirect in place you should get that forewarning.

      Did you get any Notice of Assignment when these debts were sold to Lantern/Motormile Finance?

      Are you now on the Electoral Roll at your new address and do you have any credit (bank account etc) registered to your new address because the two addresses may be linked on your CRA files if that's the case.

      If so Lantern would have no excuse to issue a claim to the wrong address if they carry out due diligence. If they did that (issue a claim to your old address) then you would be seeking a set-aside of any Default Judgment (CCJ).

      Motormile Finance (now Lantern) got a shot across the bows from the FCA not long ago and had to write-off £414 million pounds of debt as a result. Read this >

      It may make sense to make an 'affordability' complaint to the original PDL businesses which can be escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service but a few more facts first would be helpful since you don't want to scupper any potential Statute Barred date.

      I'll ask Warwick65 to take a peek at things since he knows a thing or two about PDLs.

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      • #4
        Many thanks for taking the time to reply, I'm so grateful for your advice that I have just paid for a 1 year AAD+ subscription and I already feel like I have had good value from that.

        Roger: Thanks, I'm doing a SAR tomorrow for all 3 companies so I can get hard facts on the matter - is it ok via email or does it need to be on paper?

        Diane: Thanks, I didn't get a notice of assignment. I was 3 years at my last address and received nothing from these companies or a DCA. I think they only had the address prior to that one on file and may have been sending correspondence there.

        I'm not yet on electoral role at new address - only been here 1 month but have informed them. I can see that CRA's do have my latest address because I have updated all my banks / utilities / credit providers when I moved. The timing is odd and seems that some information has been shared recently when I moved, albeit out of date info.

        Affordability claim might work, I did have a good wage at the time but incredibly I had 6 pay day lenders on the go totalling £3300.

        I know this because today I've managed to find some old spreadsheets, letters and partial downloads of bank statements from 2010. It appears I had a meltdown in April 2010 and wrote a letter to all 6 payday lenders stating I was in a financial crisis and put in a formal CCA request. I also switched bank accounts to stop any payments to these lenders.

        What I have found is:
        Quick quid - last payment 26/03/2010
        Northway was Pounds Til Payday (The Maltese based one) - last payment 26/03/2010
        1 Month Loan - last payment 30/03/2010 however Lantern say 19/06/2012 so I may have made a later payment to prevent action, SAR will confirm.

        I think the reason I didn't pay any of the above was because they ignored my CCA request at the time and either didn't engage with me or didn't threaten me enough to consider making a payment.

        I was also with Wonga in this era but cleared that debt and actually got a refund when they had the FCA investigation. Another lender was Cash Choice and that was cleared in full around 2010 as well.

        PRA group also caught up with me about a month ago for another loan from that era with MEM Finance. I immediately issued a CCA request and have had an acknowledgement with collections put on hold and my £1 returned. The difference with that one is that I did make some payments as recently as 2015 so it is not in the SB league but I'm hoping they can't find the CCA.

        Looking back I can't believe I was in such a state . I'm in a different world now and actually have a savings account
        Last edited by tallmansix; 3rd July 2018, 23:52.


        • #5
          SAR'S & GDPR 2018
          You queried email or Mail. Personally I use Recorded - thinking of a paper trail.

          Have a read of the following Blog. between
          The Tech Clerk & Never-In-Doubt

          For a template of the New SAR GDPR seen Niddy's Blog and Tech Clerk suggestion

          SAR & GDPR 2018

          Niddy includes a letter in His Blog.
          Technical Clerk suggestion is very good

          Originally posted by The Tech Clerk View Post
          Heading for letter = GDPR 2018 SAR REQUEST

          For PRA read Di's comment on another thread

          Originally posted by Diana Mayhew View Post
          "..When (what year) was it assigned to PRA and was it assigned direct to them or was it assigned to another debt purchaser first such as Aktiv Kapital? .."
          Last edited by Roger; 30th June 2018, 23:32.


          • #6
            yes I know a bit about PDL's and also motormouth finance or as they are now called lantern

            If I recall correctly Northway were based in Sliema Malta and therefore sadly not as easy to hold to account

            The cause of action for limitations may depend on how the contracts were worded. Some PDL's were short term loans with a fixed end date and personally i would argue the end date would be the cause of action. I am not sure if they need to issue a DN for a 1 month fixed term loan. Maybe Diana Mayhew could help on that?

            Others were effectively low cost revolving credit and for these there would need to be a S87(1) default notice and the remedy date for these would be the cause fo action - unless this has been resolved in court while I was busy

            I am not quite sure what to do about the letters, as Di said, these are not letters before action and if it were me I would be inclined to ignore it unless there is further communication when I would then send CCA requests and prove it letters to MMF

            As for CRA's - not all PDL's report to all or any DCA's and I have found some that appear on my statutory credit report (£2 cost) but not on Noddle or clearscore

            By the way if MMF say you made a payment in June 2012 that under pressure after it had been terminated the account would still be SB


            • #7
              Thanks Warwick for your advice.

              I've checked my statutory £2 report and none of these show. I'm happy to ignore the letters, no action was threatened and I think it will be unlikely as they haven't chased me for years and I've not been in hiding.

              I've sent SAR's today to all lenders involved so I can ascertain all the facts. Once I have that info I'll come back with a proper diary format so we can track progress properly and hopefully watch some SB's unfold. I've used 10 PDL's over the years and sent SAR's to all but one that has vanished, 4 that I owe as per above and a further 5 that I might go after under irresponsible lending.

              And when I've got the above underway, I might start tackling 4 catalogue accounts that are with Lowell. I've been paying small amounts towards a total of £4k to keep Lowell off my back, it would take 4 years at current payment rate. When I get full details I'll return for advice on how to tackle these and get reductions. I don't think they will be UE because they were opened in about 2012 ish but I'll cross that bridge when I have full info. SAR's submitted on these as well. Also SAR'd bank accounts from that time so I can see the full picture - a total of 16 SAR's sent

              Thanks again everyone for the advice, I'll be back in about 30 days time with a very clear picture and a diary format.
              Last edited by tallmansix; 3rd July 2018, 23:53. Reason: Spelling


              • #8
                Remember there is a lot more than just the agreement that can make it UE in court. But they can be looked at, as and when the time comes