B&B strange phone call

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After insisting that the societie's solicitors provide me with documents suggested on this home page, I have received a very odd phone call today. A female rang informing me that she was moving into my area, she told me that she works at an estate agents and they have a system that enables them to contact people. She wanted to know if the properties on my street were either privately or council owned. I told her that they were mixed and that I couldn't help her any further.I currently live with my husband and 3 kids under 7, and now feel that they are going to go after my current home. Can they do this? I dispute the shortfall and do not think they obtained the best price that they claim they did. Any advice, and is a phone call such as this a norm?

-- Debbie Beal (debbie.beal@ntlworld.com), January 31, 2001

Answers

I am surprised at the number of people who contact me through this page who report strange phone calls. Obviously, it is impossible to say whether this phone call is false or not. If she is moving into your area one would imagine that she would be more able to get a view of the private/council house mix by, um, physically looking at the mix of houses. Seems a more British approach than ringing up strangers.

Also, the mix of council houses and private houses in any given postcode is cheaply available through the ACORN system and its variants. You'd also think that a firm of estate agents would, erm, already know the mix...

So I tend to think that she was pulling the wool over your eyes. Whether they *can* go for your current home depends on your level of ownership in it. If you are on the mortgage deeds, yes they can. Otherwise, no they can't.

They don't make decisions that quickly or easily though. There is a great deal of investigation into your circumstances first (and this is already well documented in the Repossession section of this site).

I'll give my standard advice for this situation (and most people choose to ignore it until they have weakened their position further but that is your choice):

Get a decent telephone call recording system (ie not a rubber suction cup device), install it, test it and use it. Tandy sells them for 39.99

Close the joint account with your husband - make your accounts separate and switch to cash for anything you contribute to the household running costs.

You're doing this to protect your husband, as well as yourself.

Keep doing as the page suggests. You have the right to those documents and they will not easily sue you if they have consistently refused to supply them, even though they will not admit this to you.

Lee

-- Lee (repossession@bigfoot.com), January 31, 2001.


It must be the week for weird phone calls. Following on from tons of targetted spams and suspicious credit card offers, I get a phone call today looking for a woman with a "similar" sounding name to mine. Not unusual you might think. Except for the fact that the moron on the phone obviously didn't understand what a time zone is or where he was calling as he called me at 4.00am my time, complete with a luvverly London accent, which is not what you expect to hear in this neck of the woods. Luckily for me I had time to sound incoherently confused and baffled him in French. He hung up. I so detest deceptive practices and wish there was a Law against this sort of thing.

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), January 31, 2001.

Just a note of caution here..it is ILLEGAL to record telephone conversations without the other party being aware that you are doing this.

This is why most companies warn that phone calls may be recorded "for training purposes".

The reason I mention this is because, if push came to shove, it may not be admissible (sp ?) evidence in court as it was obtained illegally (not sure about this mind)

-- Chris (chrishoare@btinternet.com), January 31, 2001.


Regrettably the above posting is inaccurate, albeit I accept it was given in very good faith.

Only recently the via the Association of Investigative Journalists, of which I am a member, uptodate guidelines indicated otherwise.

Accordingly, I would suggest that it is extremely beneficial to record any telephone conversations with your lender, their solicitors, debt collection agencies, or whatever. If, and when, the time is right and you need to refer to the contents of that taped telephone conversation in say an affidavit format, then it could well dig you out of a legal hole, not least if say your lender is committing perjury, or using underhanded tactics and/or fraudulent evidence against you. Having your indisputable evidence to show this, to the Courts will stand you in good stead, if only in bringing the lender to the table with an offer to settle your case, so that they are not shamed in the Courts with all the attendant publicity.

You are perfectly at liberty to record conversations on your personal phoneline, however, it is quite wrong to break into someone's office or home in order to 'tap' their phone to record conversations.

Finally, the act of recording is not so much the area of debate, it is what you do with the evidence that matters. Although some firms print a general disclaimer that they 'may be' recording the call, cannot be taken as satisfactory, as equally they 'may not' be recording your call, and therefore there cannot be, it is suggested, an implied consent to be recorded as they would have you believe. Because they will only produce the tape 'if' it suits them.

Most reporters will err on the side of caution and record, in case any elements of a conversation are later disputed, and as has been eloquently demonstrated all too frequently on this invaluable website, lenders and their agents will all too often stoop to all kinds of tactics in their quest for 'a result', therefore protect yourself and your family.

Why do you think some lenders or their solicitors ask you to call them 'within 7 days of this letter' - why can't they put what they want to say in writing there and then ??

Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it !

Happy taping ! Vic

-- Vic Harper (victorcharper@aol.com), January 31, 2001.


anyone can get a shareware (free to try) telephone recording device with log of time date and room for notes from Veritape-ITS not a tape- works on your computer.

Its very good. Try playing their last conversation back to them-fun! www.veritape.com

-- Notso sure (dedsure@yahoo.com), March 05, 2001.



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