Debt in Contention
Agreements Debt in Contention is a legal service (Legal Audit) performed by a law firm which make an assessment of regulated agreements issued by creditors to borrowers. The law firm contend that certain regulated agreements are not compliant, and considers whether the client has a valid claim it could pursue against the creditors, and as such the service falls within contentious business and reserved legal activities.
Simply put, the law firm assess whether the regulated agreements issued by creditors have any contractual or legal force and comply with the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act”) and its respective Regulations, and legal authorities. They also consider the legality of any assignment, and any claims for harassment, breach of statutory duty, and misrepresentation.
Once you have retained the services of the solicitor, the solicitor will request that interest and charges are frozen. The creditor cannot charge interest until they can provide a copy of the agreement. However, they are entitled to charge interest and charges thereafter.
In terms of charges, the Solicitor, if successful will charge no more than £0.50p in the £1 including VAT of the debt found to be unenforceable or written off; or no greater than 24 agreed monthly payments, whichever is the lesser.
Simply put, your fees if successful will not be more than 50% of your Debt!
If the solicitor is not successful on the debt, all fees will be refunded to you charged for that particular debt.
Once you have been referred and completed the solicitor Client Care Pack (CCL), the solicitors will write to their creditors informing them that they are officially contending the debt. They will ask the creditors to provide the original credit agreement or a true copy, plus any document referred to in it; plus a statement providing information about the amount of credit, and amounts paid and amounts still due; and the notice of debt assignment.
Until the documents and information have been provided, the creditors cannot communicate with you; accept payment from you; or charge any additional fees, charges or interest. Failure to produce valid compliant documents might mean that the debt is unenforceable.
When creditors do provide the documents, the solicitors will then consider compliance with the provision of prescribed pre-contract information; whether the agreements provide certain prescribed information, including information about charges and interest; and whether an assignment has been correctly carried out. The solicitors will also consider a claim for harassment.
We are looking for clients who have unsecured debts and that have been paying into a Debt Management / Settlement Plan or making Reduced Payments for at least 1 year with the debts sold on from the original creditor.
By instructing a solicitor, you will cease to pay any monies to the Debt Management / Settlement company and instead pay the solicitor a monthly amount in line with the fees schedule detailed later on.
Be In A DMP For At Least 1 Year or been making Reduced Payments, With Their Debts No Longer Held By The Original Creditors. (Placed with a Secondary Lender)
have £4,000+ worth of Unsecured Debt.
Be a UK resident, but no Irish or Scottish leads, as the solicitors can only act within England & Wales.
Be able to afford the Fee Agreement.
Where only a proportion of your debts is eligible for the legal service, the law firm’s monthly fee would be apportioned pro rata to the total amount of debt.
If the law firm is successful in respect of one debt and not another, then a fee would only be charged equal to 50% of the debt actually found to be unenforceable, and you would be refunded the balance of any sums you might have paid beyond those fee.
If the solicitor is not successful in challenging the debt, then the law firm will repay any fees paid in respect of that particular debt. However, in the majority of cases, the solicitor has succeeded to date.
In cases where the debt is found to be unenforceable, the debt will still exist. But it cannot be enforced, and can be removed from the client's credit file after 6 years.
Higgs Newton Kenyon Solicitors are experts in Consumer Debt.
Very few creditors keep copies of credit applications with consumer’s signatures, or even a complete set of account statements. The contract from the original creditor to the debt buyer proves where the debt came from and where its been since. Most debt buyers cannot produce any competent evidence to support their claim and this is where Higgs Newton Keyon Solicitors can challenge the legality of the assignment.
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