Question

Hi Jon,

I took out a loan with Black Horse over 10 years ago. I ran into some financial difficulties and stopped making payments. Since then I have moved quite a few times. I have not heard from Black Horse or anyone about the loan for almost 10 years. I always check my post, and my old neighbours would let me know if any post was at my old address.

Today I received a letter in the post from a collection agency stating they now own the loan, and I am to begin making payments to them. The balance has gone up as well. So I phoned the collection agency and the man there said they now own the debt, and to begin making payments to them.

I told him I was going to get some advice as to what to do before making any payments. He then became a bit firmer in his stance saying you owe this money, you need to pay it back.

I am unsure what to do here? Any advice is helpful.

Thank you,

Bobbie

Answer

Bobbie,

A few points need to be made here, and one is that if you have had no contact from a creditor, in any form, for six (6) years, a debt is considered to be Statue Barred; which means it is no longer owed.

The second point to be made is that Black Horse had some difficulties of their own many years ago, so many accounts were forgotten about or seemingly lost in transfers, being sold, etc.

Accounts are sold or assigned to be collected all the time. More and more of these old Black Horse accounts are being bought, pennies on the pound, by collection agencies to try and reignite the collection process.

If it has been over 6 years since you have had any contact about this debt, you no longer owe it. Period.

The collector is trying to get you to re-engage the debt, if you make a payment or acknowledge the debt, then it becomes alive and you then owe the money.

You can just leave it, or contact the collection agency, advise them the debt is Statue Barred, you will not acknowledge the account, and to cease contacting you.

In the past when I have advised clients on this exact same manner, the collection agency backed down, but not until after they tried to emotionally bully the person to try and get them to pay and acknowledge the debt.

You do not owe a debt that is Statute Barred.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Jon

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