How do I get a settlement?

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My husband's original lender in question is National Home Loans, the debt has now been bought by AIC. All the usual moans and gripes surely his Ex is liable for half(apparently not), or they never got in touch to tell us there was a shortfall and now 8 years later they want 15,560 within 7 days or else etc etc. Most of you will already know how it goes, the threats of courts, baliffs and the like. Well, we really want to get this cleared up so we sent a letter offering a settlement on the alleged amount of 3800. We have not had a reponse from this (other than the usual pay the full amount within 7 days one). Are AIC likely to take a settlement at all, if so how much should we be offering. And how do we even get them to acknowledge our letters - so far they have denied that we have responded at all and we have copies of signatures on receipt of the letters they sent. Luckily we are in a position to take out a loan if we can settle as the kids are starting school and I can get a job (Aaaaaaah!) but still can't afford the whole lot. CAB have been no help, they just want us to pay it all right now and acted like they had never heard of something called Full & Final Settlement!

Thanks for any advice,

Linda.

-- Linda (mumsieanddad@aol.com), September 04, 2003

Answers

Linda,

You say the AIC have bought the debt, presumably they are debt collectors, if so, make them prove they have really bought it. You should put them to strict proof of the alleged debt too. Was the property undersold ? Are you within the Financial Ombudsman's window for complaining ? 6 years from date of sale. After all you have been trying to resolve this, you have the proof, and they are ignoring you. The OFT may well be able to help too. Furthermore, the debt should have been assigned to them by the lender in the correct manner. I would sarn AIC immediately (I have a copy of a sarn letter if you want), add on the sarn letter that you require a copy of the assignment document. You will need a qualified solicitor to tell you if the assignment has been done properly. If AIC do not respond to the Sarn you can complain to the Information Commission and request an assessment (if they do not comply with your sarn request they will be breaking the law). If you are not happy with the assessment you can request a full review.

I don't think anyone can tell you if AIC would be likely to accept a reduced settlement, different organisations adopt different policies. The CAB can be a bit hit and miss, have you tried the Mary Ward Legal Centre or NAMV ?

Good Luck,

Mark.

P.S. I'll email you some advice from a solicitor re settling.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), September 04, 2003.


Linda,

It is unlikely that NHL (Paragon Finance Group) have sold the debt to AIC, more likely that AIC are acting on their behalf.

Little concerned regarding your full and final settlement offer, I hope this was offered 'without prejudice' or without admitting liability?

Each case is dependant on its own merits, there is no magic formulae for calculating what a lender or their collector will accept in full and final.

A lot of their decision is based upon what you earn and what you own, the less you have, the less they will accept.

Also i note you mention taking a loan out, has AIC suggested this? DO NOT (unless a brilliant Full and Final Settlement is reached) EVER TAKE A LOAN OUT FOR A SHORTFALL DEBT.

As Mark says, seek help.

Good Luck

-- fairer financial world (fairerfinancialworld@hotmail.com), September 04, 2003.


We sarned AIC originally but they did not reply to this, it was done by registered post but they never acknowledged that we had been in touch. We since sarned National Home Loans and they are preparing the information for us. Should we still push AIC for these details or is it the same thing? Also, can we still deal with National Home Loans or do we have to use AIC, I think you are right in that they are only acting on behalf of NHL. It was our idea to get a loan because we would love to just get them off our backs but 15 560 is a bit steep, especially when we were just getting sorted with things and this came out of the blue. Also as it will be my earnings that pay the alleged debt I would feel a bit bitter about paying his ex-wife's half to say the least! When we sent the offer letter it was without prejudice and that we dispute the debt. Now we have had an acceptance of the offer - for 3 months when they want the balance! I don't think that's realistic as if we haven't got it now, we wont have it then either but I don't want it to go to court because I know my nerves wont handle it! Thankyou for all your good advice, I hope you have plenty more where that came from!

-- Linda (mumsieanddad@aol.com), September 05, 2003.

Linda,

I would deal with NHL direct and cut AIC out of the equation altogether, unless directly requested not to do so in writing by NHL, If NHL do instruct you to do this then, I think, you should still ask for a copy of the assignment, and inform them that they weren't responding to your letters.

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), September 05, 2003.


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