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Link Financial / Kearns Solicitors – HELP PLEASE!

mts1977 asked:

Hi – any advice or help in this matter would be really appreciated!

Got a debt of about £3000 with Link and I was paying a small amount off via Stepchange. Stopped doing that to clear everything that was on my equifax/Noddle credit file (Link never showed on either) directly with the companies.

Then a month ago I get a letter from Kearns Solicitors threatening court action. Very alarming as I have a CCJ due to be removed in 4 months and the last thing I want is another going on there!

They insist on me making these payments per month that I simply can’t afford and are really unpleasant to deal with.

However I find out today that Kearns are owned by Link (which they neglected to tell me when I called Link directly this week to beg to reduce the payments a bit).

Excuse my total ignorance in this situation but is there anything I can do to reduce, stop the payments or complain about the aggressive way they have tried to get this money from me?

prism replied:

Ok, I just got rid of this lot. As they have sent you the pre action letter send the letter below to Kearns:

Dear Sirs,

Re: Your Client – xxxxx Limited

Pre Action Conduct – Request for Information

With regard to your letter dated xxxxx 2015, which stated Legal Action would be taken, I take this to be a Letter before Action under the above named Pre Action Conduct Protocol and as such I am responding accordingly.

As you have indicated you are acting on behalf of xxxxx Limited in this action, I assume you are authorised to accept service of documentation, therefore, please accept this request for Information sufficient to understand the claim being threatened and as such is in accordance Section 3 of the Pre Action Conduct, by way of Service Upon You and your client.

As I have never entered into any Legal Agreement or Contract with your client, for any monies or specifically for the alleged amount of £xxxxx; and I neither accept nor acknowledge the assertion any debt has been Legally and Absolutely Assigned to your client, I therefore, request the following documentation under Pre Action Conduct Section 6 (c) as proof of your Clients assertions of a Legal Obligation, to be provided to me within 40 days of the post marked date of this letter.

I. Pursuant to s.77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA1974) a copy of the Original Signed Consumer Credit Agreement, along with a copy of the original Terms & Conditions and any and all subsequent changes in said Terms & Conditions.

II. Statements of the Account referred to, including details of all payments made and calculation of how interest was charged against each item, leading to the Alleged Debt of £xxxxx.

III. Also, as this is an Alleged Debt, I believe Default Charges may have been applied to the Account and as such may be unlawful under the Unfair Consumer Contract Terms Regulations 1999, therefore, I would request details of each and every Default Charge applied to the Account (i.e. if the charge was for ‘Administration’ what Administration was undertaken to support the Default Charge) along with details of any Interest Charged against each Default Charge applied.

IV. In accordance with Section 87.1 Of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended) a copy of the Default Notice from the original owners of the Alleged Debt and Certified Copies of how this was served upon me.

V. A copy of the Legal / Absolute Assignment of the Agreement, including a copy of a Duly Executed Deed of Assignment and / or Deed of Tripartite Novation; and

VI. In accordance with Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925, Certified Copies of how I was served with the Alleged Legal Assignment.

VII. A copy of the Alleged Notice of Assignment sent by the original creditor to the Defendant and again, in accordance with Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925, Certified Copies of how this was Served upon me.

Should proceedings commence against me and your client fail to provide each and every document requested, I will make an Application to the Court to Stay your Clients claim until the request is complied with and request the Court impose Sanctions against yourself and your client for failure to adhere to the provisions of the above mentioned Practice Direction.

Also please be aware, each document listed is required to provide absolute and legal proof of your client’s contention of a legal indebtedness towards them and again, should your client fail to produce said documentation and Proceedings Commence against me.

As a part of my defence I will re-request production of each and every document under an appropriate Civil Procedure Rule, along with a request under CPR Part 39.a (3.3) for the original of every document upon which you intend to rely be brought to any subsequent hearing for examination.

Please note, where I have mentioned a document and there is in your clients possession more than one version of that same document owing to a modification, obliteration or other marking or feature, each version will be a separate document and you must provide a copy of each version of it to me. Your obligations extend to making a reasonable and proportionate search for any version(s) to include an obligation to recover and preserve such version(s) which are now in the possession of a third party.

I look forward to your response in due course.

Yours faithfully

Was it Link Financial Limited or Link Financial (Outsourcing) Limited who are the DCA? If Link Financial Limited then they have no authorisation from the FCA to collect debts, if its the Outsourcing ones then they do. Kearns don’t need to have permission as there is an exception for solicitors.

If it was Link Fnancial then make a complaint to the FCA attaching a copy of the letters received from them. Also add a line to the bottom of the above letter asking then to provide details of their authorisation from the FCA to collect debts.

If you got the letter from Kearns some time ago then you will probably get a claim form come through. When you do let the forum know and probably Tiggy will give you all the advice you need.Just have a look through the forum and you will see there is a lot of people in the same boat so you are not alone!

mts1977 replied:

Thanks for your response, will check which “Link” it was that sent the letter.

Will the fact that they pushed me into paying £170 a month (2 payments of which I have made) affect sending these letters at all?

williams2583 replied:

Not really although they may imply that payment is acknowledgment,thus the payments were made under duress and harrassment

mts1977 replied:

Ok just got this response today:

“We write further to receipt of your letter dated 16th of March 2016 wherein you have requested information to comply with Pre Action Conduct Protocol.

In order to provide the documents requested we require time to acquire, compile papers and forward them to you.

We would however confirm that following the service of the “letter before action” upon you dated the 5th of January 2016, an agreement was reached whereby you are to repay the debt at w rate of £173.80 a month and those payments have been made during January and February 2016.

Currently we are monitoring the agreed payment arrangement and are instructed that the proposed legal action is to be stayed.

If you wish to discuss further or speak to a litigation officer please contact…”

So they are still demanding the monthly payments, what should I do next?

williams2583 replied:

Yes they are as they think you will carry on paying, so dont.

mts1977 replied:

Ok should I send them any further letters it correspondence informing them I’m not going to pay?

I’m just terrified of getting a CCJ

Tiggy replied:

Unfortunately, you made an offer which was accepted and will be seen as legally binding unless you made the offer ‘without prejudice’.

mts1977 replied:

Oh dear, this isn’t very promising.