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wtf debt recovery letter baffles me!


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Old 08-01-2011, 01:05
Glowstick
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Ive just received a letter regards some debt I apparently owe to shop direct finance(whatever that is). But it seems to be from some collector called Mackenzie Hall. He gives a website, phone number and email for me to pay.

The debt is for 365. Apparently!

Now this has come completely out of the blue. Ive NEVER EVER had any goods from the shop. I never get into debt with anybody actually and always pay up front.

Im just baffled as to where the hell this has come from. Ive never had any mail from them or anybody else about owing money. I dont know whther to contact this guy because then I acknowledge I received the letter. The letter reads;

Reference:Shop direct finance - , 88688865 DDD65367(these not the real numbers)

We are writing to inform you that the above account was assigned and transferred by shop direct finance company limited to MKDP LLP on 2nd October 2010.

This means that the effective owners of the above account are now MKDP LLP.

MKDP LLP has appointed Mackenzie Hall as their servicing agent to manage your account on their behalf. All contact regarding this account should be directed to Mackenzie Hall.

We can confirm that the outstanding amount on your account is 365.27.

then it goes on to say that payments be paid to Mackenzie Hall etc with contact details. Saying if I wish to discuss I can phone or email.

Im really thrown by this and just dont know what to do. As Ive never heard of anything about it before. Does this sound fishy to anybody? A scam maybe? Or maybe somebody ordered something in my name.

Anybody suggest what I should do? It certainly is not a debt of mine! But they have my name and address.

cheers

ps; it came in a brown window envelope with URGENT written in big letters(to be opened by addressee only this is not a circular). Which is why Im reluctant to contact them as it means I received it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:10
davidmcn
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Maybe you are suspiciously similar to somebody else who does owe the money, and they're just fishing? If it's definitely not your debt I would suggest ignoring it. If they're not sure of their facts they're not going to take it to court.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:20
Glowstick
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well yeah this is why Im reluctant to reply. I do have an urge to email and tell them where to stick the debt and it has nothing to do with me.

But that would confirm I am the person it was addressed to. Which may be playing into their hands. As you said it may be another person with same name who they are just sending random letters to at addresses they find hoping one will take the bait.

Im just concerned about bailiffs turning up or whatever. Not to mention being blacklisted etc.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:49
davidmcn
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But that would confirm I am the person it was addressed to. Which may be playing into their hands.
Not really, they probably know that there is someone with your name at your address, so replying to them isn't going to change anything - what they probably aren't sure about is whether you're the person with the same name who has the debt. They might stop hassling you earlier if you reply and tell them that they're barking up the wrong tree, but I doubt their hassle will amount to any more than sending you some more letters.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:58
Goodwin
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It seems the company mentioned buy old debts and then chase them up. You could ask a credit reference company to see if there are any outstanding debts in your name. Either way, according to this link they have form for this kind of thing....

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...d.php?t=253420
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:59
Glowstick
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Hmm been reading a some stuff on the net about Mackenzie Hall. Seems others have had similar letters trying to get them to pay either very old debts or non existent ones.

There's huge threads about them going back a few years. The general feeling seems to be that they are chancers who thrive on you contacting them and confirming your details they have.

edit; seen above post. Yeah thats the forum that I was taken to via a google search on them.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:13
Glowstick
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Not really, they probably know that there is someone with your name at your address, so replying to them isn't going to change anything - what they probably aren't sure about is whether you're the person with the same name who has the debt. They might stop hassling you earlier if you reply and tell them that they're barking up the wrong tree, but I doubt their hassle will amount to any more than sending you some more letters.
well they may have a vague idea somebody that name lives there just from one transaction. I did recently order something online with the exact name and address they have put on the envelope so I think thats where theyve acquired it from because prior to that I very very rarely actually used the name and address for anything.

I suspect they acquire names/addresses then just chance there luck trying to get them to pay money. On the other forum they talk about them asking what car you drive etc...and offering to accept half the owed debt. All kinds of weird BS.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:37
DJW13
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Best advice is to ignore the letter.

If you want to take it further contact them (preferably without supplying any new information to them) and ask for a copy of the invoice they say you haven't paid. I did this with a similar letter and heard nothing since.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:40
CabbagesAhoy!
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Best advice is to ignore the letter.

If you want to take it further contact them (preferably without supplying any new information to them) and ask for a copy of the invoice they say you haven't paid. I did this with a similar letter and heard nothing since.
Bloody FANTASTIC advice!
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:42
JethroUK
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Best advice is to ignore the letter..
You mean worst possible advice ever!

They could turn up tomorow and take his TV and sofa

You should ask them what it's all about - if you're in a flat it could be previous tenant
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:46
Carmen Queasy
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Debt companies are absolutely terrible. They don't give a shit who they upset, offend or cause distress to. As long as they're raking it in they're happy.

Anyway, I wouldn't ignore it. If it's addressed to you then definitely do not ignore it. After working in an industry where debt was a big problem, too many people ignored debt which wasn't theirs (well, you would, wouldn't you?) but in the future it had an affect on their credit rating.

What tends to happen is people get in debt then move away, change their name etc and the original company (Littlewoods in this case) can't find them. They hand it to a debt agency who then try and locate the person - sometimes they even send the current tenants of the property a letter asking for more information! - and when they think they have the right person they lump all the debt onto them, add some admin fees and harass them for the money.

What's likely to have happened is that it's been a mistake in tracking down who the debt belongs to. You probably have similar details to the originator of the debt. For example, my uncle came to my house just before Christmas with a debt letter. His name is Mr D Name (not really that, of course) and he lives at 5 Nilton Road (again, made up ). The letter was addressed to him but after investigating they realised it was for 5 Milton Road and coincidentally the person who lived there had a similar - not the same - name.

What may happen, unfortunately, is that the debt company will be useless and blame Littlewoods (when you call debt companies their sole priority is to get someone to pay; they're targeted on collecting cash) and when you call Littlewoods they'll tell you they can't help because they debt has been sold off.... or something like that!
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:55
eng123
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You mean worst possible advice ever!

They could turn up tomorow and take his TV and sofa

You should ask them what it's all about - if you're in a flat it
could be previous tenant
Don't be daft. People are not just allowed to turn up and demand to take your belongings. They would first have to take the OP to court and have a court order. The Onus is on the debt company to prove the deft is owed. For such a small amount the company would not like it to go to court because it would cost them more than the debt itself.

The best advice it exactly to ignore them. Also OP if you do write to them, print your name and DO NOT sign the letter.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:03
JethroUK
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...People are not just allowed to turn up and demand to take your belongings.... .
You've obviously not heard that 'possession' is 9/10 ths the law

Debt recovery services (bailiffs) will take anything they feel like, cars, etc

If they 'beleive' you owe them, they can turn up and do whatever they like and the onus will be upon you to prove anything happened at all!!!

My Dad rented a shop - filled it with stock - turned up about 2 weeks into business to find himself locked out - he had to pay the debt from the previous tennant to get back his own stock
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:04
*stargazer*
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Glowstick - do you have quite a common name? I had a letter from debt collectors for DVLA in a name that was slightly similar to my previous married name. It was a fishing trip pure and simple. Sometimes if debt companies can't trace a James Jones they write to people on spec with that name to see if they strike lucky.

I suggest you contact Consumer Direct (trading standards) as there is bound to be a standard procedure for dealing with this.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:08
feelsolucky
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I've recieved a few the past few weeks asking at first to confirm whether Mr X lived at my address. It shares the same (common) surname as my OH, but is not. I've ignored it.

The next letter said it may contact my address or ask neighbours if Mr X lives at my address. Again its been ignored as Mr X does not live at my address.

The third has come with specific details relating to a Santander account owing 136 and that they will be visiting my house from the 9th Jan to collect the debt. I know this is a debt unconcerned with me, but should I be concerned? (PS it was a new house when I moved in so it won't be previous owners)
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:08
*stargazer*
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You've obviously not heard that 'possession' is 9/10 ths the law

Debt recovery services (bailiffs) will take anything they feel like, cars, etc

If they 'beleive' you owe them, they can turn up and do whatever they like and the onus will be upon you to prove anything happened at all!!!

My Dad rented a shop - filled it with stock - turned up about 2 weeks into business to find himself locked out - he had to pay the debt from the previous tennant to get back his own stock
Scare stories like this are very unhelpful. People on DS get letters like this all the time and I bet 99% of them turn out to be fishing trips. UK law now (don't know when this incident was you were quoting) is that you are only responsible for your own debts. Not the debts of someone who has lived there before, your deceased granny etc.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:10
*stargazer*
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I've recieved a few the past few weeks asking at first to confirm whether Mr X lived at my address. It shares the same (common) surname as my OH, but is not. I've ignored it.

The next letter said it may contact my address or ask neighbours if Mr X lives at my address. Again its been ignored as Mr X does not live at my address.

The third has come with specific details relating to a Santander account owing 136 and that they will be visiting my house from the 9th Jan to collect the debt. I know this is a debt unconcerned with me, but should I be concerned? (PS it was a new house when I moved in so it won't be previous owners)
I had one from debts collectors for DVLA so I emailed DVLA direct and asked them to call off their bully boys as it clearly had no connection to me. It is disgraceful that this sort of thing goes on.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:13
acker
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Whatever you do HAVE NO DEALINGS WITH THEM ON THE PHONE. If you get in touch with them at all make sure its by mail...registered ( and keep a copy of your letter/letters and ANY letters they send to you....keep all of these together in order ) . All these companies are bullying filth whose behaviour is bad enough when people do owe money . It doesnt surprise me if theyre now wrongly targetting people who dont. If nothing else phone your local citizens advice beureau and make an appointment to see them as the chances are that these clowns have now got their claws into you and wont care about your protestations . Get whatever legal back up you can . Good luck, get them off your case and make them apologise ......if they "threaten" you with court tell them to get on with it, theyll get laughed out, but DO go to the citizens advice.

Last edited by acker : 08-01-2011 at 10:15. Reason: cant believe I couldnt spell phone
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:14
Ber
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You've obviously not heard that 'possession' is 9/10 ths the law

Debt recovery services (bailiffs) will take anything they feel like, cars, etc

If they 'beleive' you owe them, they can turn up and do whatever they like and the onus will be upon you to prove anything happened at all!!!

My Dad rented a shop - filled it with stock - turned up about 2 weeks into business to find himself locked out - he had to pay the debt from the previous tennant to get back his own stock
No they can't unless they have a court order. Only court-appointed bailiffs have the legal power to enter someone elses property.

It is exactly this fear and ignorance debt collection agencies rely on in order to con money out of innocent people like your father - no better than muggers IMO.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:17
manics2003
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Pull down your credit file from experian just to check nothing else will pop up will cost you about 3.

Used to live in a flat and the person who moved in after me decided to have a spending spree in my name. Didnt find out until I applied for a mortgage 2 yrs later.

Luckily it was a council flat and I produced my end of tenancy document proving I wasnt living there when the debt was run up.

How they done it I dont know they used a totally different date of birth. I even know there names when I pulled my experinan file down there names were on it. Scared my brother as well as I was living back at home it had all his details on there as well because of the address. Had to financially dissassociate my self from them.

I found out it was probably juk mail delivered to the flat they found out my name even though I had a re-direct on my post.

Everyone should invest in a good quality cross shredder or burn there post as well. Never give your details out over the phone either.

Needless to say I went to the police but they didnt want to know.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:18
*stargazer*
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From Money Saving Expert:

There are a number of Debt Collection Agencies, whose job it is to chase down unpaid debts for other companies, and disgustingly one time-saving tactic used is to fish for the right person by sending demands to all those with the same surname, in the hope someone will pay up.

If you're called or receive a letter asking for money, the onus is on THEM to prove that you DO owe the money and that it is genuine debt. So if the debts aren't yours, don't panic; send a letter to say you're not responsible. National Debtline has a template letter you can use.

I will see if I can track down the link for the letter.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:20
_radioamerica
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You mean worst possible advice ever!

They could turn up tomorow and take his TV and sofa

You should ask them what it's all about - if you're in a flat it could be previous tenant
You are 100% wrong there. They cannot do that and don't you go around making people scared with completely wrong hearsay.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:24
*stargazer*
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National Debtline suggests you send this proforma letter. We often recommend this charity so I reckon this is excellent advice.

Dear Sir/Madam

Account No: (insert number)

You have contacted us regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by ourselves.
We would point out that we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to The Loan Company.

We are familiar with the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance which states that it is unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

We would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

Furthermore, ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

We would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you can provide evidence as to our liability for the debt in question.

We await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise we will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the OFT of your actions.

We look forward to your reply.
Yours faithfully
Mr A N Other
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:40
eng123
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[quote=feelsolucky;47173640]I've recieved a few the past few weeks asking at first to confirm whether Mr X lived at my address. It shares the same (common) surname as my OH, but is not. I've ignored it.

The next letter said it may contact my address or ask neighbours if Mr X lives at my address. Again its been ignored as Mr X does not live at my address.

The third has come with specific details relating to a Santander account owing 136 and that they will be visiting my house from the 9th Jan to collect the debt. I know this is a debt unconcerned with me, but should I be concerned? (PS it was a new house when I moved in so it won't be previous owners)[/QUOTE

They are trying to intimidate you. If they do on the off chance call around, do not answer the door or let them in and then call the police. They have absolutely no legal powers. They are purely trying to intimidate you and the chances are they won't come round.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:42
*stargazer*
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They are trying to intimidate you. If they do on the off chance call around, do not answer the door or let them in and then call the police. They have absolutely no legal powers. They are purely trying to intimidate you and the chances are they won't come round.
I agree. The same letter has probably gone to dozens of people with similar names.
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