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  1. #1
    lomcovaks's Avatar

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    Default Non English speaker being chased by Lowell Financial.

    Dear Forum,

    This is my first post and my first attempt to assist someone with a debt problem. I am fortunate in having no debt myself but I have been approached by an out of work single mum with no assets and who's first language is not English and asked if I can help her with her spiralling financial problems.

    She has a bunch of letters dating from June 2017 which start with Lowell Solicitors informing her that they are sending her a second notice of county court judgement arrears.

    She then apparently called them and spoke in her broken English but didn't understand what was being said to her but the frequency of the threatening letters has increased exponentially.

    I spoke to her at length and determined that the alleged debt - listed only as 'Vodafone' on the Lowell's letters refers to a SIM she took out for what she believed was a one year contract back in 2010.

    She became pregnant with her first child during that year and returned to her home country for the birth but continued her agreed payments for the year she believed she had signed up for. She then subsequently forgot about the contract, disposed of the expired SIM and lived her life until she started receiving these letters from Lowell.

    It appears that Vodafone misrepresented her original contract and didn't terminate it after the first year and kept adding charges to an account that wasn't used and then subsequently sold the debt onto this company. She also moved her accommodation a number of times as she was living in rented properties. Needless to say none of the letters she must have been sent regarding the court hearings or the original debt was ever received by her.

    Coming to this fresh I'm presented with a number of obstacles as to how to deal with the matter as I don't have access to any of the original paperwork as she not unreasonably disposed of it and I've not had to deal with any debt collection agencies previously.

    If some kind soul could take my hand and suggest a course of action to resolve this matter or how best to acquire the missing information that will enable me to deal with the matter with some authority and knowledge would be most helpful.

    Lowell of course are repeat sending threats and enticements simultaneously but I'm loathe to contact them directly as they're just the hyena feeding on a corpse.

    It seems to me that they may be outside of the limitation on chasing this debt - which would be why they contacted her out of the blue earlier this year but I'm not sure how to check this with such a lack of paperwork. Is it possible to check?

    If it's not outside the limitation period can I possibly persuade a court to rescind the CCJ and attend a hearing to debate the matter with a judge?

    Any other advice very gratefully received.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    R0b's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non English speaker being chased by Lowell Financial.

    Quote Originally Posted by lomcovaks View Post
    Dear Forum,

    This is my first post and my first attempt to assist someone with a debt problem. I am fortunate in having no debt myself but I have been approached by an out of work single mum with no assets and who's first language is not English and asked if I can help her with her spiralling financial problems.

    She has a bunch of letters dating from June 2017 which start with Lowell Solicitors informing her that they are sending her a second notice of county court judgement arrears.

    She then apparently called them and spoke in her broken English but didn't understand what was being said to her but the frequency of the threatening letters has increased exponentially.

    I spoke to her at length and determined that the alleged debt - listed only as 'Vodafone' on the Lowell's letters refers to a SIM she took out for what she believed was a one year contract back in 2010.

    She became pregnant with her first child during that year and returned to her home country for the birth but continued her agreed payments for the year she believed she had signed up for. She then subsequently forgot about the contract, disposed of the expired SIM and lived her life until she started receiving these letters from Lowell.

    It appears that Vodafone misrepresented her original contract and didn't terminate it after the first year and kept adding charges to an account that wasn't used and then subsequently sold the debt onto this company. She also moved her accommodation a number of times as she was living in rented properties. Needless to say none of the letters she must have been sent regarding the court hearings or the original debt was ever received by her.

    Coming to this fresh I'm presented with a number of obstacles as to how to deal with the matter as I don't have access to any of the original paperwork as she not unreasonably disposed of it and I've not had to deal with any debt collection agencies previously.

    If some kind soul could take my hand and suggest a course of action to resolve this matter or how best to acquire the missing information that will enable me to deal with the matter with some authority and knowledge would be most helpful.

    Lowell of course are repeat sending threats and enticements simultaneously but I'm loathe to contact them directly as they're just the hyena feeding on a corpse.

    It seems to me that they may be outside of the limitation on chasing this debt - which would be why they contacted her out of the blue earlier this year but I'm not sure how to check this with such a lack of paperwork. Is it possible to check?

    If it's not outside the limitation period can I possibly persuade a court to rescind the CCJ and attend a hearing to debate the matter with a judge?

    Any other advice very gratefully received.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Are you saying that the person has a CCJ already and you are looking to set it aside, or have proceedings been issued against her?
    DISCLAIMER: AS A PUBLIC FORUM, THE CONTENT POSTED BY ME IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE NOR DOES IT CREATE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL OR OTHER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND ME. IF YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW ANYTHING THAT I HAVE PUBLISHED THEN YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST, AND I CANNOT ACCEPT LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.


  3. #3
    jaguarsuk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non English speaker being chased by Lowell Financial.

    It would be useful if possible to see the letters (with personal information removed) if you are able to post photographs or scans of them?
    My posts on this forum are offered based on my experience dealing with a variety of life events. I have no formal legal training and if in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB. If you follow anything I write on this forum you do so at your own risk and I accept no liability for any loss, costs or other out comes.

  4. #4
    lomcovaks's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non English speaker being chased by Lowell Financial.

    Thank you very much for your replies and my apologies for my tardy response but I was extremely busy yesterday and didn't have time to log on.

    I did sit down with this lady and try to fathom what had been going on and it was a story that's not unfamiliar with many people who find themselves in debt. An unexpected pregnancy, ending of the relationship with the father of the child and compounded with imprecise grasp of English and an unfathomable tendency to throw away vital paperwork because they don't understand its significance.

    I attempted to check whether there was an outstanding CCJ by paying for a scan of her previous address that she gave me through Trust online to view the register of judgements, orders and fines and it came back blank.

    I then tried to persuade her to give me the necessary details for me to send off to the main credit ratings agencies for her credit report as I believe it would list dates of default and any CCJs against her. She became quite defensive at this point and, on reflection I began to wonder if what she'd told me was the tip of a rather larger debt iceberg and she didn't want me to review her personal information.

    At this point I began to realise the scale of the problems this lady is facing and so I suggested she contact one of the debt charities (step change) as they could advise her impartially and she wouldn't be revealing her personal information to an almost complete stranger such as myself. I am also fearful that I would very quickly be out of my depth and likely to make a mistake.

    The majority of the debt she told me about appeared to be for old council tax and working tax credits which could be quite easily miscalculated and so I've told her that I can speak to officials on her behalf as it's more likely I will understand how they've calculated her liability for these payments.

    However, I would like to try and assist with the commercial debt to Lowell's as I find their practises to be most distasteful. The idea of them paying literally pennies in the £ to purchase the 'debt' which she says she was wholly unaware of and then hound the poorest and most vulnerable in society to try and get a pay off really makes me angry.

    There are two sets of papers. There is one letter referring to an Orange debt of only £60.41 and which they're already offering a 60% discount on.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jhj73z59t3j7ilu/3.jpg?dl=0

    Then there is a Vodafone debt which they say comes to £449.03. The first letter is headed 'Second Notice of County Court Judgement (CCJ) Arrears - £449.03.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/z394526vi1w5xcj/1.jpg?dl=0

    I think this frightened her so much she called them and there followed a series of 4 further letters, identical in tone to these two. I suspect that they appear to be just that they've hooked a fish and now they're trying to reel it in and get them to admit liability so I've told her not to contact them again until I know better how to deal with them.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/40he4dl51lg60u6/2.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rq5thhxl96y9l4a/4.jpg?dl=0

    I would very much appreciate your assistance in what steps to take now to clarify where she stands and how best to approach Lowell's.

    Once again, many thanks for your replies.

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