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7 days from a CCJ back in England!

7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:08 pm
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Default 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Just received an email from a debt collector asking me to pay £270 or I will have a CCJ on my record.

Back story....
About 18 months ago, we emigrated to the US (LA). We always leased a car from VW, but had to return this three months before we left. So, we found a mid-term leasing company to hire a car for 12 weeks or so. About 4 weeks into the lease, the company messaged us to say they needed the car back. Obviously, we were pretty annoyed, but moreover, we were in LA at the time (finalising our move from) and asked them if they could wait till we returned. They refused, so we contacted a neighbour, asked them to make the keys available and the company came to collect the car from our driveway while we were away. The company is based in York and we lived in Manchester.

Fast forward a couple of months and we received a demand for £255, 'vehicle recovery fee'. This is a per-mile charge for them to collect the car. The fee could have been waived had we driven the car to York ourselves, but of course, this option was unavailable as the company refused to wait for us to come home. I complained and there was a good deal of back and forth via telephone and that was the last I heard of it.

Until now. I have received today an email (text below) saying a CCJ has been filed against me and if I do not pay in 7 days, the CCJ will go on my record. Now, I know how CCJs work. My questions are:
1. Who should I contact first? The court or the debt collector? I have had no notice of any of the threats etc as I have emigrated and all documents must have gone to the old UK address where I haven't lived for over a year.
2. I live in the US now. Can I apply to have this set aside for free since I didn't receive any of the documentation?
3. If I have to pay the £255 set aside fee, given that the amount requested is £270, would it not be worth me just paying this and wiping my hands of it (although I am still annoyed)?
4. Isn't the term for payment normally 28 days?
5. The threat letter talks of goods recovery. I do not live in the UK so how should I approach this? I would not like whoever moved into my old UK address to have to deal with some threatening bailiffs. I still own a house in the UK too so I don't want a CCJ.

I am tempted to just pay this and be done with it, but since the original demand was so indefensible, I also am loathe to have this company get away with it

Ideas an suggestions are welcome! Thank you!

Text of the letter below.

Dear Sir / Madam,
Titan Business Centre Titan House Central Arcade Cleckheaton BD19 5DN
p: 01274 866820 f: 01274 341234
Date
31 May 2018
Our Reference

Our Clients Reference

Our Client
Autohorn Fleet Services Ltd
Call now on
01274 866820
Court Judgment Total
£270.25
We have now obtained a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you on this matter, a copy of which is attached.
Payment of the Judgment Total is now required within the next 7 days. Failure to pay the Judgment Total means the CCJ will stay on the Register of Judgments, Orders & Fines for 6 years. Banks and loan companies use this information to decide whether to give you credit or loans.
Furthermore we are also instructing a County Court Bailiff to attend your premises to remove goods to pay the Judgment Total plus additional enforcement costs.
The additional enforcement costs that will be added to the outstanding amount are as follows:
1. Enforcement Compliance Fee: £90.00
2. Enforcement Stage 1 Fixed Charge: £282.00
The total amount owed after the addition of the initial enforcement costs will be £642.25 and further substantial costs will continue to be added at the subsequent enforcement stages.
If you wish to avoid the removal of goods and the addition of the enforcement costs as detailed above you will need to make payment of the Judgment Total of £270.25.
Payment can be made by BACS / Internet Banking to our account: Sort Code: 40-27-15, Account Number: 75122295, Account Name: Expert Collections Ltd or by cheque to our address. Alternatively call us today on 01274 866820 to make payment by debit or credit card (a surcharge of 5% will apply for any card payment taken) or pay by cheque to the address above.
** PAYMENT OF COURT JUDGMENT REQUIRED - GOODS DUE TO BE REMOVED**
Yours faithfully,
Legal and Insolvency Department
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Pay it and be done with it ..... they know where you live, so this is going to go on and on and on and just get more costly,
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Agreed. If you really want to feel 'in the right', it could end up costing you a LOT more money!

Pay up and forget about it, but make sure the payment is traceable, so they can't say they didn't receive it down the line.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

I agree with the last two posters...pay it.

Some of our members have experienced UK debt collectors visiting relatives in the hope of recouping the monies. Not a nice experience for an elderly parent to deal with.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Yeah this is my thought too. I will have to just leave them a scathing review online! Thanks!
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
Agreed. If you really want to feel 'in the right', it could end up costing you a LOT more money!

Pay up and forget about it, but make sure the payment is traceable, so they can't say they didn't receive it down the line.
That's a good idea. But, who to though? The court? I've never had one of these before.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Pay by credit card as per the letter or by check sent registered mail to the UK. Do you still have a UK bank account.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

No, but I am certain someone could help me. Many thanks!
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

As you still have a house in the UK pay it. You don't want any lien put on your house and the amount of the debt to keep increasing as they add sundry charges onto it..
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

I agree with others, pay and move on.

A lesson here, for those moving, is to ensure that your mail is forwarded by the Royal Mail. When I moved UK to USA I had my mail forwarded and was glad I did because I got several "thank you for applying for credit" letters. Someone had evidently made multiple applications for credit in my name but, because my mail was forwarded, I got notice of them and was able to stop them before they caused much trouble.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Yes you’re right. Although we did use Royal Mail ‘s service and so much did not get through. Plus there is a max forwarding period of a year which would not have helped in this case.
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Old Jun 2nd 2018, 12:24 am
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

I didn't think a CCJ was enforceable if you lived outside the UK when it was served. Note that what debt collectors do and what the law says are not necessarily the same. Did the debt collector know you were outside the UK? If not then I guess they didn't really do anything wrong in that respect. But you should be able to have it set aside even if already issued, AIUI.

Might be of interest - https://britishexpats.com/forum/barb...ent-uk-621579/

FWIW wifey's former employer cocked up her last few months of pay and tried to claim back a large chunk of money. Contested of course, and they came up with not one, not two, but three new figures, smaller each time once they "realised" they'd still cocked it up. The last figure quoted was about 1/10th of the original figure. I looked through her payslips and contract and didn't believe she owed anything but they sent it to UK collections anyway, who also threatened a CCJ but backed off rapidly once reminded of the law (they knew we were abroad - they mailed it to our US address!). But then cue three years of three different US debt collectors trying to collect on the figures. Each went very quiet once they were asked difficult legal questions like "what legal authority do you have?" (each had none, or were unwilling to prove they had). Unpleasant but you have to quote the law to these people.

FWIW2 we have paid other small debts which were definitely ours. One debt collector was ever so nice - nothing like on TV - and the fee was just $3 for about $250 of debt that had gone to the wrong address, hence not knowing about it. And we also dismissed others (false medical claims - bastards).
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Old Jun 2nd 2018, 2:25 am
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Yeah it's not enforceable as you resided outside the UK when the CCJ was issued, they would have to get an enforcement order from a US court which is relatively simple but unlikely given the amount. I suppose they could apply for a lien on any other real property you have in the UK but they'd have to find it first, not likely given that the debt collector is only charging a £15 fee. I can't see a major skip trace effort in the offing.
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Old Jun 2nd 2018, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I agree with the last two posters...pay it.

Some of our members have experienced UK debt collectors visiting relatives in the hope of recouping the monies. Not a nice experience for an elderly parent to deal with.
How recent would those experiences have been? Law's regarding that type of collection have been considerably strengthened in the debtors favour in the last ten years.
Despite having an internationally rare surname not one of my relatives has had door knockers demanding monies that I owed and I only ever had one in the UK ( who was told to 'do one').
None of my creditors followed me to the US, a couple of them are now pestering me to take up their latest credit card offer, maybe I should remind them how much I took them for, it might stop them sending me their junk! I'm beyond the 7 year statute of limitations which is handy for someone with a historical 999 credit rating who found themselves landed with debt over 50k in Sterling.
I find it hard to believe that anyone is going to spend time pursuing a piddly 250 quid when it'll end up costing them that in gas!
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Old Jun 2nd 2018, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: 7 days from a CCJ back in England!

Originally Posted by zzrmark View Post
How recent would those experiences have been? Law's regarding that type of collection have been considerably strengthened in the debtors favour in the last ten years.
Despite having an internationally rare surname not one of my relatives has had door knockers demanding monies that I owed and I only ever had one in the UK ( who was told to 'do one').
None of my creditors followed me to the US, a couple of them are now pestering me to take up their latest credit card offer, maybe I should remind them how much I took them for, it might stop them sending me their junk! I'm beyond the 7 year statute of limitations which is handy for someone with a historical 999 credit rating who found themselves landed with debt over 50k in Sterling.
I find it hard to believe that anyone is going to spend time pursuing a piddly 250 quid when it'll end up costing them that in gas!
Probably a couple of years ago last time. People have also posted about debts sold to an agency in the country they have moved to. Other than that I have no idea as I have never been in such a position.
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