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Notice of Pending Legal Action, Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors

bricktamland asked:


Today I received a letter from Howard Cohen & Co. Solicitors (please see attached) threatening legal action in relation to an alleged debt of approximately £1,000 which is being chased by Robinson Way.

I had received letters previously from Robinson Way which I have (foolishly) been ignoring and shredding, but now the threat of a CCJ has made me take notice.

Any advice on how to reply/proceed would be greatly appreciated.


robbie bc replied:

I’m of no help to you but would like to add to this…. im in the same boat as you friend tho it hasn’t got as far as a solicitor letter as yet.

The debt (£800ish but now over £1200…why?) is about 7 or 8 years old, originally alliance and Leicester, when Santander bought alliance and Leicester.

I tried to setup a monthly direct debit 3 times (about 5 years ago) but they just seemed to not want to take my money so I decided this was fine by me but after all this time I now have Robinson way after me.

What do I do as I cannot afford to pay £1200? If it was Santander that wanted the £800 I would simply try setup another direct debit.

I should mention in the 5 years since I tried (3 times) to setup a direct debit I never once received a letter or phone call from Santander.

TY for any help to the original poster and myself… good luck bricktmland 🙄

kittiebelle replied:

It could be just another threat, which is very very likely. Debt Collectors send court threats all the time.

This refers to the CPR pre trial protocol so they are now free to issue a claim without further warning?

Do Robbing Ways own the alleged debt?

If not, they can t take you to court, only the OC can (although that won’t stop them from trying)

I would advise taking action to prepare yourself in advance so that you are ready to respond quickly should the claim form land on your doormat.

stoneybroke replied:

kittiebelle, it could be just another threat, which is very very likely. Debt Collectors send court threats all the time.

I agree

stoneybroke replied:

I should mention in the 5 years since I tried (3 times) to setup a direct debit I never once received a letter or phone call from Santander. TY for any help to the original poster and myself… good luck bricktmland 🙄

robbie, how long since u made a payment or made admission to this?

celica34 replied:

To gain you more time, if it was myself i would be sending robbers way an SAR 😉

Making a SAR request – everything you need to know!

This is a template for everything you need to know about making a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the OC/DCA or anyone else you are dealing with. As always, edit to your own requirements.

Mr Debt Forever Free
21 Freedom House
Debt Free Street

6 March 2014

Re: Account Number: 123456789 Ref: 294782762

Sent by recorded delivery.

Dear Data Protection Officer

Re: Subject Access Request – S.7 Data Protection Act 1998.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 I request that you supply me with all data in your possession that relates to me and am entitled to under Section 7(1) of the Act.

If you store older records on microfiche, the Information Commissioner clearly states that you must send me this in fully legible and comprehensible form.

I hereby request the following information;

a) A true copy of the signed credit note (credit agreement)

b) The Deed of Assignment

c) Novation Agreement

d) Statements of Accounts

e) Duplicate statements or print out of all transactions

f) Copies of any stored telephone calls

g) All internal/external emails sent by you

h) All internal/external letters sent by you

i) All computer logs, notes, transcripts and memos stored on your computer

j) Details in any format of ALL information disclosed to a third party by you and to who and why

k) A true copy of the terms and conditions when the account was opened

l) A true copy of any subsequent amendments to those terms and conditions

m) True copies of any Notice of Assignment

n) True copies of any default notices, court orders or pending legal action

o) Information related to any charges such as returned payments etc, please include your breakdown of the actual costs and your liquidated damages

p) All information that is stored by you, by any means of storage.

q) All handwritten notes, memos and letters sent by you

r) All information held by you and any of your other companies, including all of the above requests for each company

If you are unable to comply with any of the above listed requests, you must inform me of such and give your reason why you can not comply.

I enclose the maximum £10 statutory fee to access all the data that you hold about myself. You have 40 days in which to comply with this request as under The Data Protection Act 1988 regulations. Failure to comply with this request will result in a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office and potential legal action.

If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you and can be contacted on 0303 123 1113 or at

Yours sincerely

Mr Debt Free

Can I access my personal information?

You have the right to get a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as a subject access request.

This right of subject access means that you can make a request under the Data Protection Act to any organisation processing your personal data.

The Act calls these organisations ‘data controllers’. –

You can ask the organisation you think is holding, using or sharing the personal information you want, to supply you with copies of both paper and computer records and related information.

Organisations may charge a fee of up to £10 (£2 if it is a request to a credit reference agency for information about your financial standing only).

There are special rules that apply to fees for paper based health records (the maximum fee is currently £50) and education records (a sliding scale from £1 to £50 depending on the number of pages provided).

However, it is important to remember that not all personal information is covered and there are ‘exemptions’ within the Act which may allow an organisation to refuse to comply with your subject access request in certain circumstances.

How do I make a request?

To make a subject access request, follow these steps:

1) Plan ahead – It will save you time if you do the following before writing your request:

Find out the right department and the right person to send the request to. Calling an organisation’s helpline or checking their privacy notice or policy on their website may help you find this out.

Check about the costs and fees in advance.

Make sure you know all the information you need. Organisations are entitled to charge a fee for every request, so you may have to pay another fee to get information you have not included in your original request.

2) Write to the organisation – When requesting your personal information from an organisation, you should include the following information:

your full name, address and contact telephone number;

any information used by the organisation to identify or distinguish you from others of the same name (account numbers, unique ID’s etc);

details of the specific information you require and any relevant dates, for example:

– your personnel file;

– emails between ‘A’ and ‘B’ (between 1/6/11 and 1/9/11);

– your medical records (between 2006 & 2009) held by Dr ‘C’ at ‘D’ hospital;

– CCTV camera situated at (‘E’ location) on 23/5/12 between 11am and 5pm;

– copies of statements (between 2006 & 2009) held in account number xxxxx.

It may also be helpful to include:

– a reference to the 40-day deadline that applies when dealing with requests to provide personal information;

– a reference to the Data Protection Act 1998 and subject access requests; and reference to the assistance that the Information Commissioner’s Office can provide.

3) Keep copies and proof of receipt

It is best to send your request by recorded delivery or by email, and you should keep a copy of the request and all other correspondence. This will be important as evidence if you need to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office that the organisation has not given you the information you think you are entitled to.

What can I expect from the organisation?

How should an organisation respond to my request?

The organisation has to reply within 40 days, starting from the day they receive both the fee and the information they need to identify you and the information you need. A credit reference agency must reply within seven days to a request for a credit file.

If an organisation reasonably needs more information to help them find your information or identify you, they have to ask you for the information they need. They can then wait until they have all the necessary information as well as the fee before dealing with your request.

The organisation should give you the information in writing but they need not do this if it is not possible, if it takes ‘disproportionate effort’ or if you agree to some other form, such as seeing it on screen.

The Act does not define what disproportionate effort means but we think the following should be taken into account:

– the cost of giving you the information;

– the length of time it will take;

– how difficult it will be;

– the size of the organisation;


– the effect on you of not having the information in permanent form.

What should an organisation send me?

You are entitled to be told if any personal information is held about you and if it is, to be given:

– a copy of the information in permanent form;

– an explanation of any technical or complicated terms;

– any information the organisation has about where they got your information from;

– a description of the information, the purposes for processing the information and who the organisation is sharing the information with;


– the logic involved in any automated decisions (if you have specifically asked for this).

Can the organisation withhold any information?

Yes. There are some circumstances where the information you have asked for contains information that relates to another person. Unless the other person gives their permission, or it is reasonable in all the circumstances to provide the information without permission, the organisation is entitled to withhold this information.

There are other circumstances where the organisation can withhold information under the Act. For example, if it would put at risk a criminal investigation or catching an offender. If you want more information on the circumstances when information may be withheld in this way, view our guide to data protection for organisations.

The Act covers personal information that:

– is held, or going to be held on computer;

– is in, or going to be in, a manual filing system that is highly structured so that information about you can be easily retrieved;

– is in most health, educational, social service or housing records;


– is other information held by a public authority.

What can I do if the organisation does not respond?

If you have evidence the organisation has received your request, for example a recorded delivery receipt we may be able to help.

If more than 40 calendar days have passed since you sent your request but you do not have proof the organisation received your request, you may wish to send the template letter below. We recommend you do this by recorded delivery.

Everything you need to know about getting a copy of your credit file from the Credit Reference Agencies

This is a template to send to any of the Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) to request a copy of your credit file. As always, edit to your requirements. Also included are the addresses of the CRA’s etc.

How do I get my credit reference file?

You have the right to write to any of the credit reference agencies and ask for a copy of your credit reference file, which will cost you £2. Your letter should include:

* your full name;

* any other names you have used or been known by in the last six years eg your maiden name;

* your full address including postcode;

* any other addresses you have lived at in the last six years;

* your date of birth; and

* a cheque or postal order for £2 made payable to the credit reference agency.

Mr Debt Free
21 Freedom House
Debt Free Street

6 March 2014

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to request a copy of my credit file that you hold on your records. I enclose a postal order for the sum of £2 as the statutory fee payable.

My full name is Debt Forever Free and my date of birth is 1 April 1989.

My current address is at the top of this letter.

I previously lived at 123 Debt Mountain Road, Broke Town, ZZ1 1ZZ between April 1998 to September 2011.

Yours sincerely

Mr Debt Free

The addresses of the credit reference agencies are:

Equifax Ltd
Credit File Advice Centre
PO Box 1140
0844 335 0550

Callcredit Plc
Consumer Services Team
PO Box 491
0870 060 1414

Experian Ltd
Customer Support Centre
PO Box 8000
NG80 7WF
0844 481 8000

You should keep a copy of your letter and you may want to send it by recorded delivery. Unless the agency needs more information, they have seven working days from receiving your letter to provide you with a copy of your file.

Sometimes the credit reference agencies need more information from you before they can send you your file. For example, they may need proof of your name and address from a utility bill or bank statement.

This is important to make sure that no one else gets your file by mistake or to check that no one else has fraudulently applied for your credit reference file. The agencies do not have to send you your file until they get this information.

There is a 4th “SECRET” CRA ….. It is called

National Hunter
PO Box 2756

You will have to make a (SAR) Subject Access Request to them and it costs £10

National Hunter is solely concerned with preventing fraud. Unlike credit reference agencies, we do not hold any credit scoring records, credit histories, copies of County Court Judgements (CCJs) or electoral roll information.

The information held on our system consists solely of the information provided by you when you apply for a financial product from an organisation who submits data to us. We do not hold any credit scoring records, credit histories, information concerning County Court Judgements (CCJs) or bankruptcies, nor do we store Electoral Roll information.

The application information we hold is used to help financial organisations concerned determine whether the information contained within the application form is accurate. If it is not accurate, this could be because the person making the application is attempting to commit fraud, or it could be that someone is attempting to impersonate an innocent person.

If you are experiencing problems obtaining credit, then we recommend that you first obtain a copy of your credit file from the three credit reference agencies.

williams2583 replied:

Sound advice to me,they are bullshiting.

robbie bc replied:

tyvm for the replys guys, I will need to read thro a couple of times as its so much to take in lol i’m a chef by trade for a reason =)

peaceman replied:

Howard & Co are a piece of piss to get shot of.

Notice how they don’t sign their letters off with the signature of a named person. Therefore the letter cannot be used as evidence in court.

Click on the link to see how I dealt with them when they tried to take me to court.


Hope this is helpful.

stoneybroke replied:

im a chef by trade to I know what ya mean 😕 😎