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re- debt letter i received today

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JBW1366 | 15:30 Mon 18th Oct 2010 | Law
13 Answers
Hello

I need help regarding a debt of mine.

I received a debt letter from SRJ DEBT RECOVERIES on the 04/02/10 saying this

Dear sir or Madam

Our clinet: xxxxx
Account Number: xxxx
Outstanding Balance £91.56

we thank you for your recent communicatation and enclose documents as requested.

We can comfirm that the current balance outstanding is as in the above heading

Please contact us as soon as possible to arrange repayment.

Yours faithfully

srj etc etc

I wrote back the same day enclosing three postadated cheques for £30.52 each (which have been cashed) for the next three months ending in April.

I rung them on the 27/02/10 and asked if they has received them and he said he had and all was ok.

This was pertaining to a debt with a catalogue, but I wouldnt pay and till it was comfirmed to be mine or my ex, thus the refernce to documents requested.

Then today I get another letter saying I owe £13.55 for trace fees, and this would rise if I didnt pay.

I phoned them and they wouldnt budge when I argued if you receive a bill saying your outstanding balance is £XX.XX and you pay that, then the outstnding balance has been paid.

They say theyve made a note that Im refusing to pay, and the cost will go up and up.

But sureley Ive paid what I owed and that the trace fees date from 01/11/09 why werent they including on the febuary outstanding balance?

AM I WRONG????

what can I do here?

can anyone help? A strongly worded letter, but I'd need help with that!!

ANY HELP PLEASE

THANKING YOU ALL IN ADVANCE

JO

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If a company has difficulty in obtaining money owed to them, usually after having tried by sending several letters with no success, then they will employ the services of a debt recovery agency to retrieve the money. These services do not come free as you can imagine. So.. on top of your debt to the catalogue company you are obliged to pay any fees for the work done by SRJ for tracing you to a new address for instance. They may well have sent you other letters that you have forgotten about but I'm not sure that they are obliged to .I suppose the lesson to be learnt is that you shouldn't ignore any communications from any company you owe money to because you usually end up having to pay more( sometimes a great deal more ) than your original debt.
-- answer removed --
I am not a Solicitor but feel I know enough about the law to agree with vibrasphere.

If there are legal eagles who think otherwise, please speak-up and help JBW.

Ron
I dont think Vibrasphere CAN be right when he says a debt is sold on (true) and you are only liable for that debt - or else the debt collection firm can't make a profit

court fees visits letters and so on

you can certainly tell them to st+ff off if you deny the debt
but here you have admitted it and clearly the debt was yours

so I am not sure if you can repudiate the on-costs.

Citizens Advice are good on this : I would try them

[but I would also pay the outstanding item and put it down to experience]
If it's only £13 and it relates to a debt you've said you owed, then I would pay it just to get them off your back - but I think you should put something like "This is in full and final settlement of all charges" - so they can't come back to you with anything else at a later date. IMO.
1. In the nature of things, this is a small sum & you could have a lot of difficulty with your credit record if you don't pay, the amount demanded goes up & you end up with a CCJ. So it may well be better to bite the bullet & pay it - but boxtops suggestion won't necessarily work. To be completely safe, you need to get SRJ to confirm to you in writing that this amount will be in full & final settlement of all claims before you make the payment.

2. Trace fees are (so far as I am aware) only applicable when the debt collector has had to do some work to trace you. In other words, they have tried to find you at the address the debt owner has given them & have come to the conclusion that you are no longer there. If you have not moved & the debt owner has your current address & you are satisfied you have not received & forgotten/ignored any earlier letters then it is perhaps worth asking what this cost actually relates to because they should not be applying a trace fee if all they did was write to you at the address they were given.

3. You could try contacting the debt owner to ask them whether they know their debt collector is charging this - there must be a contract between the two of them & any ability to raise charges of this kind ought to be spelt out in it.
It seems to me that the debt has not been sold. I read it as meaning that the company is employing debt collectors.

"Our clinet: xxxxx
Account Number: xxxx "

Assuming the first xxxx is the catalogue company then fees may well be due.
If the debt has been sold I can't see how fees can be charged
I agree .. You settled a final outstanding debt.
See a solicitor .. you will probably get a free letter if you are nice to them!
Dear Sirs,

If you wish to pursue this claim (which is disputed), then you must issue Court proceedings.

Any further correspondence from you, concerning this matter, will be ignored.

Yours, etc.



1. Unless your original agreement makes you liable for such costs, you have no liability whatsoever.

2. If they do issue a claim, it will cost them a lot more than the amount in dispute. After wasting their time, and causing them to run up costs, you can just pay up (and they have no right to claim costs from you, because the action is a "Small Claim".
boxtops is being very realistic on this matter; and themas has a point in suggesting that you should enquire the exact reason for a trace fee being applied.

Personally, I would just ignore the letter which you received today and wait to see what is said in the next communication. I doubt that, for such a small sum, you will be taken to Court on the issue, but there is the possibility that you could, as themas has indicated, end up with a poor credit record. Perhaps therefore the best advice has come from boxtops and my opinion along with vibrasphere' should be ignored.... In other words 'pay up as suggested by boxtops and bite the bullet as said by themas.

Ron.
I certainly like the running style of joggerjayne on this one.:-) Her advice is excellent and could be worth a try.

Ron
I agree with boxtops pay it and get it out of the way,things like this have a nasty way of escalating its worth it for your peace of mind.
Question Author
Thank you all for your advice, its great knowing that you all took the time to help me. I have decided to bite the bullet and pay the money, I have sent a cheque and letter with a stamped address envelope so that they can write back to me telling me that all debt and charges have been paid, hopefully they will.... money grabbing B*****DS!!!!

Thanks again

Jo x

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