26 Feb 2015

A question about : Help With Lowell Financial


First time poster!

I am looking for a bit of advice on Lowell Financial Debt Collectors.

Over the last few months several letters have been posted to my parents address where I stayed for approx. 1 year after I had divorced from my wife.

At the address prior to this in around mid 2009 (not too sure on the dates) I signed for a provident loan for my Wife. I think the amount of this loan was around Ј800 (this was to refinance some other loans we had with them). Payments were made for a couple of months however the agent collecting the payments stopped calling after a few months and nothing was heard since. Some letters from provident followed advising that it was being defaulted however I contacted their head office to dispute this as the agent wasn't coming to our door, they advised they would arrange for the agent to come out however no one ever came and no cards were left. At the beginning of 2012 I separated from my wife and moved back to my parents until August 2013.

I have only recently picked these letters up from my parents address. The first few letters are requesting that I get in contact with them to arrange a repayment plan stating that the outstanding balance on the account is Ј2789 (no idea why the balance is this high, I know providents interest is high but would not imagine it would amount to this!)

One of the letters (a notice of sums in arrears which they are required to send out every 6 months) states that the agreement was October 2010 (I'm pretty sure it was a year before this).

The latest letter which is dated 24th November 2014 is offering me a 30% discount (Ј1952.74) as a lump sum payment or by regular instalments.

I am not sure what to do really here, I think there is a possibility that the debt might be statue barred (or close to this date - I am in Scotland) however I do not want to get in contact with them in case this resets the SB clock. This letter advises I have until 4th December 2014 to get in contact to arrange the repayment plan or the offer will cease and they will escalate this to Hamptons Legal to decide whether they should take legal action needed to recover the debt.

Not really sure what action I should take, I have read that generally these types of offers are made if they are unable to enforce the debt due to not being able to locate a copy of the original agreement or it is getting close to the SB date however I'm new to all of this and am started to worry quite a bit as there's no way I can arrange to pay this off as a lump sum and would currently really struggle to make monthly payments to this.

Any advice would be appreciated. After all this time and these letters are starting to pop up at my parents address where I have not lived for over a year I'm starting to get quite worried.



Best answers:

  • 1. You don't have to dance to their tune. The date of Dec 4 is just something they have thrown in to try to force your hand. Probably nothing will happen.
    2. Hamptons Legal is just another letterhead that Lowell use. Red is another. I thought the FCA had told them not to do this.
    3. As you are not sure of your dates, and they have given you Oct 2010 as a start date, it is going to be a few months after Oct 2015 (Scottish law) before you can use their information against them.
    4. If you are not in a position to offer a sum in full & final settlement, and you can't offer a payment plan that clears this in a reasonable time, then maybe now is not the time to start arguing with them.
  • Thanks for the quick response, I'm not 100% sure on the dates I thought it was earlier than the end of 2010 since a payment was made to the debt but they're saying that the agreement date was oct 2010 so agree with why you're saying about it being 2015 before its statue barred or the few months after.
    Do you think I should just wait it out then and see what they come out with next?
    Not sure if they would have sent these letters to my address prior with living with my parents as my mail wasn't being forwarded on by my ex wife (wasn't exactly the greatest separation) so not sure if they've already done this process of sending several letters out to my old address.
  • Hi
    The letter process doesn't really matter as I think Scottish law is the same as English in that the clock starts ticking when you miss a payment and only re-sets when you acknowledge the debt by (1) payment or (2) written acknowledgement.
    I'd sit it out for now.
  • I would string it out as long as possible.
    If they get heavy you can always play letter tennis with them for a while, eg, asking for proof of the debt (this places account on hold until evidence is provided, usually around 2 months), after that, provided evidence is supplied, you could dispute the amount they are claiming, (written complaint, can take 3/4 months to resolve).
    You are just one of thousands who get these letters, they normally concentrate on the ones who say they will pay up first, everyone else ends up on the bottom of the pile.
  • Thanks for your help with this really appreciated. I've received a further letter from lowells advising that my account has been passed for pre legal assessment however it's not too late to get in contact with them to arrange repayment with them. I'm not really sure what to do here, do I send them a letter or give them a call? I think the debts being really close to being statue barred just unsure of the dates and from going through the forums from people's comments on similar experiences a lot of these letters seem to be empty threats as they're usually unable to produce paperwork for provident loans this old I'm totally stuck on what to do and starting to get in a bit of a panic about this.
  • I would ask for proof of the debt in writing, get at least proof of posting. Stay off the phone to companies like this. Don't admit the debt in the letter. Hopefully you can stall til SB.
    If it ever got to court, I'd be mentioning the fact that they stopped coming round, you queried it and never heard anything again.
    Have you checked your credit report to see what the payment status/default date is?
  • Thanks for that, is there a template I can use for this at all? There's nothing showing on my credit report on equifax not even when I had previous provident loans which were repaid. There's 2 showings as repaid in full on experience from 2009 but nothing to provident after that, would this indicate anything in my favour at all?
  • If it's not on your report it's good for you in that it's doing no harm.
    Search for the prove it letter on here, see what proof they can dig up.
    Or just write and say you do not acknowledge any debt and you require proof you owe money to them.
  • found the prove it letter gonna get this sent this weekend, Is there anything that can be put in to find out when the last payment would have been made to the account or would I wait and see what their response is first?
    Thanks so much for helping me
  • Is the following what I should be sending to them?
  • that looks good.
    I would wait and see what comes back, as they may send a statement.
    Be wary though, as some DCAs make up payments on SB debts to try and claim they are not. But as you don't think its quite there yet, probably be ok.
    Just see what they send back then post back on here.
  • Remembering to replace CREDITOR with the actual name of the goon you are sending the letter to.
  • Got a response from Lowell advising that they are requesting statements of account from provident and will cease collection activity in the meantime, what's my next course of action? So I just sit and wait on the statements or send them something else?
  • No point biting until your see what they have (or try to make up).
  • Cool, thanks I'll wait and see what they come back with then. They haven't mentioned sending me a copy of an agreement or anything else, just statements, is this normal practice for them?
  • They will try to get away with whatever they think will most likely get you to pay, and avoid supplying anything that is difficult or may undermine their case.
    For example rather than genuine statement they will often just supply a bare printed list of payments etc that they claim apply to the account. That of course proves absolutely nothing, as anyone can type and print a list of whatever they liked.
    That's why you just sit and wait to see what they try to get away with. Let them dig a hole if they are going to.
  • Got another response today from Lowell advising again that they have ordered statements from provident, they say it may take some time for the statements to be returned to them and they're placing the account on hold for now. Hopefully provident will drag their heels a bit with this.
  • Just wondering if you had an update on this?