Defending Myself ...greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
Some questions, but first thanks for the advice I've obtained so far from this board. In advance thanks for any help you can provide here.
Can I sign all my property over to a friend for a nominal sum in order to protect it from being stolen by debt collectors? I 'sell' everything to him and give him a detailed receipt, say.
If I emigrated, would I be safe from collectors?
Can debt collectors legally harass you at work via phonecalls, letters or personal visits? If they do what are my rights of defence in this matter? I've read references to 'breach of peace' in other threads - is this a genuinely powerfull weapon to be used against collectors?
-- Oscar Fontaine (email@example.com), January 27, 2005
Re breach of the peace...if anyone does or says something to put you or your family in a state of fear or alarm, this will constitute a breach of the peace. That doesn;t mean that if they send you a letter asking for their money etc and it naturally upsets you, that you can then claim a breach of the peace. BUT if they call to your home, look in the windows, letterbox, cause a scene by shouting etc or phone you repeatedly and shout at you then this would be considered a breach of the peace and you would have every right to report the matter to the police. You have the law on your side and you should use it to protect you and your family.
Re the phone calls - call BT and ask about their choose to refunse service which is free and will bar them from calling you.
also any inappropriate behaviour by lenders and their collectors should be reported to the OFT.
Stand up for yourself and do not allow them to intimidate you.
-- Moira (Anderston828@aol.com), January 29, 2005.
Actually no, I disagree.
I recently received a couple of hundred calls from my creditors enquiring about my health, a zillion or so letters asking me to please call them, and a half dozen personal visitors to my home as well.
Complain to the police? Waste of a telephone call. Complain to the OFT? Not interested. Complain to Trading Standards? Still waiting for them to get back to me. CAB? We appeared to spend a lot of time talking about options, but I was more confused afterwards than before. Well meaning nice people, and they try their best, but there is an ethical puritan stance to the CAB which gets in the way of actually coming up with a solution.
All of these bodies take the viewpoint that, "Well, you do owe them money, right?"
Goodness knows what would get any of them to get off their fat comfortable behinds and do something about creditors that break the law.
What makes me laugh is the letters out of the blue offering me a loan, with the same postmark and the same error on the spelling of my address, all I have to do is fill in all my finanical details, and a loan/credit card is mine by return.
Then there are the Telemesssages in a bright yellow envelope. Call "Steve" immediatly please, very very urgent.
And before I changed the telephone number to ex-directory; They phone, I write, they phone again, I write, they phone and say they must talk to me on the phone, but I say I'm not willing to talk on the telephone. They state that they are therefore going to call me every day until I do talk on the telephone. Wanna bet.
Everybody tells you to talk to your creditors if you are having preoblems, but my own experiance is that if you have nothing in the way of income or assets, there is little point in doing so.
I remember one creditor who responded to my statement "I've only got Income Support", with "We have a number of customers on Income Support, and they are all paying a nominal payment each week". I told her she should be ashamed of herself. She just ignored me and asked how much I was offering to pay each week. Nuffin I said.
I think the best course of action if you find yourself in these kinds of difficulties is to keep in mind that its only money, and whats more, its their money.
-- anon (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2005.
Hi Oscar The telephone has little place to play in debt negotiations,only deal with creditors by letter, any call you end make sure you say goodbye simple but effective. Some debt collectors abide some don't so don't make it personal keep everything calm taking photos and having a third party around when they do call is a good idea so long as you don't let them into your home they can do nothing, so don't leave any windows open they are not like balifs who are sent by the courts another miscomception You are only liable for debts in the UK You would be bankrupted whilst you emigrated and this would be here for you on your return, so before you emigrate bank youself first and you will be free when you return. I would take advice on signing things over I havn't heard of this being an option or it's legality Regards Adrian
-- Adrian Ratcliffe (email@example.com), March 06, 2005.
Signing over a property as a means of of protecting it from creditors won't work. I believe that any such "agreement" could be 'undone' by the Courts. Think about it, if this were possible, people would be doing it all the time and lenders would probably go out of business. Anyway, best to speak to a professional adviser - you could try Simon Wiggins on his website, go to www.debtquestions.co.uk
Re debt collectors harrassment - I would contact the OFT, there are now stringent new regulations regarding this.
-- M Amos (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 08, 2005.
I totally agree, a bogus charge against a property will certainly be undone by the courts if you go bankrupt.
However, there is nothing to stop you giving a relative or friend who has helped you financially in the past, a secured charge on your property in respect of the money that they have loaned or given to you.
You can provide a second charge to somebody on this basis yourself. You do not need a solicitor, but the procedure is a little bit complex in terms of form filling. Most solicitors are very unhelpful, and they will try to charge you loads of money for just sending out a couple of letters and filling in a couple of forms. You have to get the authority of your mortgage lender to provide a charge in favour of another person and provide this to the Land Registry. If you already have a 2nd charge on your property then you will need the permission of the 2nd mortgagee as well. I believe that permission can't be unreasonably withheld. Go to the Land Registry site www.landreg.gov.uk and I'd suggest that you telephone them to get advice the combination of required forms correct.
-- ANON (email@example.com), March 15, 2005.