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  • Help with Link please

    Hi,

    First time here and what a great forum.

    I would be really grateful if I could get some help on an issue with Link Financial Outsourcing / Asset Link Capital (I get letters from both ref the same debt so no idea which is the official debt owner).

    Some background on me;
    I got into debt with multiple creditors (credit cards and loans) around 2004/2005. I self managed these debts until the creditors got a bit ridiculous demanding ever increasing amounts that I could not afford to pay and some were refusing to stop interest and charges. I started a DMP with StepChange 10 years ago and have been making payments through them ever since. My original debt has gone from £95k to £35k in that time.

    All my debts defaulted and dropped off my credit file years ago but I have no idea how to tell when that happened or get confirmation of it.

    Background to the Link debt:
    Originally a Sky credit card
    Taken out around 2005
    Original credit limit £3500 (no idea how far over I went with interest & charges)
    Transferred to Barclaycard at some point
    Transferred to Link in Feb 2015
    Remaining debt £1400

    Problem with Link;
    In Sep 2018 I received a default notice that my account was in arrears by £48 and I was in breach of my agreement.
    By the time I received the letter I had about 10 days to pay the £48 and bring the account back in order.
    I spoke to them and they said my account had some historic arrears from 2017. Following a review, in May 2017 StepChange had reduced my monthly payment from £12.13 to £9.90 which they did not accept. They claim to have written to StepChange rejecting the new payment.
    I advised I could not pay the £48 in time and was told not to worry, it would just default but I didn't have to take any action and as long as I continued my monthly payments through StepChange no further action would be taken although it might affect my credit file.

    In April 2019 I noticed my credit rating dropping due to Link issuing defaults. I spoke to them again and they re-iterated the arrears from May 2017 to present due to reduced payments,

    They also said they had not received payments in July & Aug 2018.
    I explained due to personal circumstances StepChange had agreed a two month payment break for the first time in 10 years.
    They said as the account was in arrears they would not have accepted a payment break, I said I have never been informed of this, that I had no idea the account was in arrears, that they had not accepted the reduced payment or the payment break. They again claim to have written to StepChange multiple times and not had a response but agreed over the phone they have never written to me other than the default notice and annual statements.

    They explained that it was their policy to default after an account had been in arrears for 3 months. He could not fully explain why they had allowed these arrears to build up over 17 months other than they "did not agree to the reduction but as the amount was small they did not take any action and continued to accept payment although the account was falling into arrears".

    StepChange have advised they have no record of ever receiving any correspondence from Link.

    While on the phone call in April I asked about getting the CCA, I was told I did not need to write in and my verbal request would be processed and I would get the CCA. This never arrived.

    I sent a recorded delivery letter requesting CCA under terms of Consumer Credit Act 1974 (sections 77-79)... enclosed a £1 check. This was delivered & signed for on 13/05/19. I have not had a response.

    So now I find myself really confused. Do I write a complaint about the way my account has been managed and allowed to get into arrears with no communication and request they remove the default from my credit file or do I do nothing? I am not currently confident enough to simply stop paying and cross my fingers here and my credit rating is dropping every month. If I write back to them, am I more or less admitting to the debt? How do I find out when it originally defaulted & can it default again after it's already drooped off? Arghhhhh!

    Ref the other debts, I intend to send CCA request to all my creditors, mainly so I can get an idea about when it all started for my own records but I stared with Link and one other, Idem Servicing. Idem have already replied to the CCA request that they cannot provide it at this time and it's unenforceable etc. Great, but what do I do now? (Outstanding balance for Idem is around £6k and was originally an Intelligent Finance credit card.)

    All of the other debts are with Westcott some bought by them and other only managed by them (I think) and I have not made these requests yet. I recently learnt about Unfair / Irresponsible lending legislation and thought about making a claim on that basis but most of these debts are 15 years old and I have no idea who lent me what / when and I was hoping the CCA's would give me that info.

    Hopefully your eyes are not bleeding by this point and someone can a) make sense of this and b) point me in the right direction. I have reached a point where I don't think I can continue with a DMP for another 10 years. Thanks
    Last edited by Robesco; 5th June 2019, 00:52.

  • #2
    HI AND WELCOME TO AAD


    Background to the Link debt:
    Originally a Sky credit card
    Taken out around 2005
    Original credit limit £3500 (no idea how far over I went with interest & charges)
    Transferred to Barclaycard at some point
    Transferred to Link in Feb 2015
    Remaining debt £1400


    ok now this would/should of been defaulted befor going to Link,
    so as barclaycard had it last send them a SAR/ GDPR to find out the history of it, you can also send one to Stepchange To see what info they have about all your debts,no fee is needed.

    Please do not talk to creditors on the phone, unless you can record the call as proof of what was said,
    keep every thing in writing so you have a paper trail should it be nessesary to use it.

    If I write back to them, am I more or less admitting to the debt? Arghhhhh!

    sorry but,You have already admitted the debt in you telephone conversation with them
    , plus you have been paying them ,


    How do I find out when it originally defaulted & can it default again after it's already drooped off?

    that is where the SAR/ GDPR comes in, it should contain a default notice or give a date when defaulted, the debt can only be defaulted once, Link bought that debt, so they can put a default on your credit file BUT it must be dated the same as the original one.

    the problem here is, did Barclays default when you entered the DMP or just keep it as an arrangement to pay, if so they would of then officialy Defaulted it, when sold to Link,

    I found Barclaycard make up their own rules as they go along

    As per your CCA request, Link are in default of the request so the account is deemed un enforceable untill a compliable CCA is produced.
    this means they can ask you to pay but can't enforce it through the courts, so you don't have to pay them,

    As for Wescot I think they are debt Managers, not buyers so they will be collecting for the owners of the accounts, any letters you have from them should, have the name of who the debt is with.

    Again Step change will have this information, write and ask for it.


    theres a start for you have a look at some of the diarys to get yourseft used to how they work,

    Then come back here and give us the rundown of your other "alledged" accounts, and see where you can go from there.

    we look forward to helping you

    Nightwatch xx ( mrs)

    I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

    If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Robesco View Post
      I intend to send CCA request to all my creditors . . . .

      . . . . learnt about Unfair / Irresponsible lending legislation and thought about making a claim on that basis but most of these debts are 15 years old and I have no idea who lent me what / when and I was hoping the CCA's would give me that info.

      . . . I have reached a point where I don't think I can continue with a DMP for another 10 years.

      My suggestion is you send s77/78 CCA Requests to all of your current debt owners as a starting point.

      If any debt owner can't/doesn't comply with your request within the statutory timeframe then that debt becomes unenforceable until or unless they do comply.

      Before you consider making any claims you need to be aware that the person who makes a claim has the burden of proof. If you have an arguable case for Irresponsible Lending and/or Unfair Relationships then that could be used as a Defence (if needed) which reverses the burden of proof.

      You've spent 10 long years doing your best so it makes sense to stop and review your options. If any of the debts have been assigned then you've probably already paid them back since debt purchasers typically pay around 10% in the pound for them.

      The best way for the forum to help you is if you make a separate post for each debt on this thread using this format >
      • Type of account (credit card/loan/current account etc)
      • Date commenced (ideally before Apilr 2007)
      • Approx balance
      • Date last paid (approximate date you last made a FULL payment)
      • Are you on arrangement or not paying
      • Status (default/in arrears/up-to-date)
      • Account owner (who is writing to you, a DCA or the original lender or debt purchaser)

      Providing the above information for each account helps Mods and forum members to help you. When you start the process lay your diary out like this perfect example >

      https://all-about-debt.co.uk/forum/d...xie-s-ue-diary

      I also look forward to helping you

      Di

      Legal Disclaimer

      I am a Litigation Executive at
      Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit. If you need to contact me you can send a message by clicking on my username or by emailing me at di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk or by telephoning 0330 053 9340. Our initial advice is always free.

      Any posts I make on the AAD Consumer Forum are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide on the forum is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Wescot are commissions agents not buyers hoping to get money off collections, CCA yes they are in default until they send one ( when they do/IF they do let
        I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

        If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies and advice. Reading this forum and knowing you are there has really inspired me to do something about this rather than just burying my head n the sand and continuing on a DMP for the rest of my life because it's an easy option. The damage this debt has done to my mental health over the years just cannot be measured and for the first time ever I feel like I am taking control and there might actually be some light at the end of the tunnel.

          SAR sent to Barclaycard as suggested and CCA's to all the other creditors.

          I am a little worried about Link and their practises. As they have not responded at all, I know the account is unenforceable however if I stop paying I am worried they will demand full repayment of the account and then suddenly produce the CCA.

          Q1. Should I send a 2nd CCA request or I have seen some templates online about sending a Dispute letter?

          I found a letter from Barclaycard saying the account was defaulted in July 2009 so Link should have dated the new default then.

          Q2. I'm guessing I need to issue a complaint about the credit record to Link, then go to the Ombudsman if no reply even though it is unenforceable?

          Q3. Whats the difference between debts taken out before / after 2007, I have seen lots of sites saying one is preferable?

          Q4. Creditors that have replied and agreed debts are unenforceable, I have seen some advice to continue to pay for a few months just in case they find it. What do you recommend?

          Lastly, I cant access the AAD templates pages, I get a message saying I'm not authorised. Not sure if this is normal.

          Once again, many thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Robesco View Post
            Thanks for the replies and advice. Reading this forum and knowing you are there has really inspired me to do something about this rather than just burying my head n the sand and continuing on a DMP for the rest of my life because it's an easy option. The damage this debt has done to my mental health over the years just cannot be measured and for the first time ever I feel like I am taking control and there might actually be some light at the end of the tunnel.

            SAR sent to Barclaycard as suggested and CCA's to all the other creditors.

            I am a little worried about Link and their practises. As they have not responded at all, I know the account is unenforceable however if I stop paying I am worried they will demand full repayment of the account and then suddenly produce the CCA.

            Q1. Should I send a 2nd CCA request or I have seen some templates online about sending a Dispute letter?

            I found a letter from Barclaycard saying the account was defaulted in July 2009 so Link should have dated the new default then.

            Q2. I'm guessing I need to issue a complaint about the credit record to Link, then go to the Ombudsman if no reply even though it is unenforceable?

            Q3. Whats the difference between debts taken out before / after 2007, I have seen lots of sites saying one is preferable?

            Q4. Creditors that have replied and agreed debts are unenforceable, I have seen some advice to continue to pay for a few months just in case they find it. What do you recommend?

            Lastly, I cant access the AAD templates pages, I get a message saying I'm not authorised. Not sure if this is normal.

            Once again, many thanks.
            I canít answer all your questions, there are many more peeps on here with a lot more experience than me, but hey, things I have learnt so far -

            Q1 - NEVER send a second request for a CCA, whilst they are in default of your request it is unenforceable.
            Q3 - A debt pre April 2007 is preferable due to a change in law I think, (but unsure what change).
            Q4- If a creditor has admitted the debt is unenforceable why would anyone continue to pay them a penny? it just doesnít make sense, put it in a fund just incase you need it to make an offer to a creditor in the future assuming it is absolutely necessary.

            Lastly I think you have to join AAD+ For access to templates, believe me it is worth every single penny! Good luck on your journey to peace of mind and a good nights sleep, the guys on here that donate their time free are totally amazing, you will get the best, most reliable answer to any question.

            Comment


            • #7
              See Di's entry 5th June 2019, 13:17 #3

              Many can relate to your stress over Debts. The AAD approach works and will give you understanding and control of Debts.

              What the MODS need is fuller information here and in a Diary format!
              My advice is do a little homework here and fill in more details using a Diary Entry.
              "..
              Link play games over CCA requests.
              Barclaycard and Default Notices 2009 check to see whether MERCERS name appears, especially with Default Notices.
              The Pre April 2007 is a potential issue.
              What I suggest is you check for the Assigned Owner.
              Does the name ASSET LINK CAPITOL (No 5) Limited appear anywhere?
              (Link may be writing to you but WILL not necessarily be the Assigned Owner)
              .."

              Your priority here should be this Diary Entry .

              As regards LINK avoid contact which is mostly likely simply restarting the Statue Bar Clock (which is 6 years)
              Keep a record the Time and Date of their SMS, emails, phone Calls.
              Post Letter details on here for the MODS to look at BUT THEY WILL REQUIRE AT THE LEAST DIARY ENTRY DETAILS
              .
              Last edited by Roger; 9th June 2019, 00:46. Reason: typos

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Roger, I can't see anything relating to Mercers anywhere. Yes Asset Link Capitol No5 are the debt owner with Asset Link Financial managing. The CCA was sent to the former.

                Historic info is very thin / not available other than what I can gather from creditors via SAR / GDPR so difficult to try and diaraise but I will try when / if I get a SAR response from Barclaycard.

                My overwhelming concern is the damage that is being done to my (otherwise clean) credit file right now by Link issuing defaults against a debt they knowingly allowed to fall into arrears over the course of 17 months without informing anyone. I understand the recommendation I cease contact which is obviously sound advice from experienced people, but how do I stop these defaults otherwise? Their actions are at best unethical and if nothing else the defaults should be dated 2015 on my credit file. I have been paying through DMP so there is no statue bar to worry about.

                "The pre-2007 is a potential issue" can anyone clarify, what the difference is and what potential issue? All my debts are 2004/2005 ish.

                I have CCA request all the other debts as per Di but I will leave those off this thread and will post as diaries if / when I get responses.

                Thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is the FCA entry for
                  Asset Link Capital (No. 5) Limited
                  http://fca-consumer-credit-interim.f...w?accId=652307

                  But we really do need that Diary picture. Better to have facts rather than speculate. The SAR from Barclaycard should assist here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Robesco
                    As previously suggested, doing a proper diary entry for each debt will help us to offer better opinions however to answer one of your questions about the 2007 date.

                    In 2007 the law changed, with debts before that they have to prove that you did sign an agreement that contained all the prescribed terms. The easiest way for them to do that is to show a copy of the agreement with your signature on it -if they can't , should it go to court you could affirm you did not sign one (if that were true).

                    A CCA Request can just provide a reconstituted copy so doesn't actually need your signature.

                    Hope that helps

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, not having signed a CCA is certainly true for some of these debts. It was a time when CC companies were throwing cards at people. Every other ad on TV was another card offering x months free on balance transfers. I had several cards arrive I don't recall every applying for (but still used them) and credit limits were continually being raised without being requested even though I was only making minimum payment at best and my debt on my credit file at the time was probably 5 - 6 times my annual salary. Even my wife who was listed as a housewife with no income was given a CC with £10k credit limit by her bank.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Robesco View Post
                        Thanks, not having signed a CCA is certainly true for some of these debts. It was a time when CC companies were throwing cards at people. Every other ad on TV was another card offering x months free on balance transfers. I had several cards arrive I don't recall every applying for (but still used them) and credit limits were continually being raised without being requested even though I was only making minimum payment at best and my debt on my credit file at the time was probably 5 - 6 times my annual salary. Even my wife who was listed as a housewife with no income was given a CC with £10k credit limit by her bank.
                        Sadly that boils down to irresponsible lending which wasn't an issue in years gone by. Regards the defaults, regardless if you were paying into a DMP or not - once an account is defaulted then that's that - they get one bite at that cherry and it should be properly registered so within 3-6 months of the first missed contractual late payment, ie not an amount on StepChange / DMP - the amount requested on the statement. So if you are saying you defaulted the actual account back in 2009 (Barclaycard) - then take that date and the default with the CRA should be nearby if not the same. That would mean by around 2015 - 2016 the entry should be gone.

                        To combat this you raise a dispute online via the CRA (so Noddle (call credit / credit Karma feed) / ClearScore (equifax feed) / MSE Credit Club (experian feed)) and tell them that the account was defaulted back in 2009 - but you'd need the date to really win the appeal. You'd be arguing, for instance, as follows

                        This account was defaulted by the creditor (barclays) back on 10th July 2009. As such, and in line with current guidelines (i.e. Principles of Reciprocity) this means the account would be defaulted on my credit file around the same time and certainly no later than 6 months of the actual default date. As this is now being reported by a third party whom I have no dealings with, I am formally requesting that you demand they remove the entry as it is wholly unlawful. This is a direct breach of my rights and I will consider legal action again you as the data controller, unless you remove this incorrect and false information within the next 14 days.


                        That ought to about get the CRA's interested enough to tell the 3rd party DCA to sort it and prove the default. But if it was defaulted / last paid in 2009 then it should be gone from your file - period. No exceptions.

                        Read this for more info and a detailed explanation -> https://all-about-debt.co.uk/forum/d...87-s88-cca1974
                        I'm the forum administrator and I look after the theme & features, our volunteers & users and also look after any complaints or Data Protection queries that pass through the forum or main website. I am extremely busy so if you do contact me or need a reply to a forum post then use the email or PM features offered because I do miss things and get tied up for days at a time!

                        If you spot any spammers, AE's, abusive or libellous posts or anything else that just doesn't feel right then please report them to me as soon as you spot them at: webmaster@all-about-debt.co.uk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi folks. Got my SAR back from Barclaycard so can now fill in some blanks with this debt. The SAR did not contain all of what I asked for, mostly loads of statements and a "Triumph Report" that is just 20 pages of data that doesn't make a lot of sense. I asked specifically for any letters or notices relating to defaults which they did not provide although in the interim I have found an old DVD-R disc I had saved 1000's of scanned documents to. I have waded through it and found a letters confirming the account defaulted in July 2009.

                          I will now contest the recent defaults from Link on my credit file via Noddle as per Never-In-Doubt comments in post #12. Do I also write to the debt owner demanding the same or do I let the CRA deal with it?

                          Thanks for all the help so far. I have complied a diary entry below with as much info as I can muster. I'll let you have any updates as and when.

                          Original debt type: Credit card account Sky / Barclaycard
                          Credit limit £3500
                          Current Arrangement: DMP via StepChange
                          Status: In arrears (caused by Link - see post #1)
                          Account owner: Asset Link Capital No5
                          DCA: Asset Link Financial
                          Current balance with Link £1400

                          25/04/06 - Date credit card commenced with Sky / Barclaycard
                          15/09/07 - Date Last paid full payment
                          22/06/09 - Default notice served by Barclaycard
                          14/07/09 - Defaulted by Barclaycard - Letter confirming the will be registering the default with CRA.
                          06/03/15 - Sold to Asset Link Capital No5
                          01/05/17 - Link account went into arrears due to StepChange reducing payments after DMP review
                          01/11/18 - Defaulted by Link (Due to arrears they caused, see post #1)
                          13/05/19 - CCA sent to Link Asset capital No5 - No response
                          08/06/19 - SAR to Barclaycard
                          14/06/19 - SAR response from Barclaycard - Incomplete data
                          15/06/19 - Dispute the Link 2018 defaults with CCA
                          12/07/19 - Received reply from Transunion, Link will not amend the CRA report.
                          27/07/19 - Sent an email to Transunion asking them to look again with evidence of the original default.
                          Last edited by Robesco; 23rd July 2019, 01:13. Reason: added 2 lines to update on the diary

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just send the letter Niddy told you to send to the CRA for the moment. See what they come back with. If they say they have no record of it and you need to get in touch with Link you can then send the proof of default to CRA and tell them to deal with it.
                            I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

                            If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Diana Mayhew View Post

                              Before you consider making any claims you need to be aware that the person who makes a claim has the burden of proof. If you have an arguable case for Irresponsible Lending and/or Unfair Relationships then that could be used as a Defence (if needed) which reverses the burden of proof.
                              Hi, In response to Di post #3 and Niddy in post #12 about irresponsible lending, is making a claim the same as making a complaint? Is it worth issuing a complaint to the original lenders to see what the response is? I guess I am naively hoping a reply would be "yes your right, have some money back."

                              I have CCA'd the majority of creditors and so far 6/9 have written back to say the debt is UE. I have received some SAR responses and more are pending so I am getting a picture of who lent what / when. I am delighted about the UE response so far and will soon tell StepChange to stop my DMP but that really doesn't satisfy me. I know I was irresponsible and have done my upmost to repay what I (allegedly) owe but the banks were also irresponsible. I have been through 15 years of hell and been pushed to the point of being suicidal so many times. I have lost my home, damaged relationships and lived in poverty trying to repay what they irresponsibly lent and the banks should have to answer for some of that.

                              Thanks
                              Last edited by Robesco; 7th July 2019, 17:34.

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