Just a quick blog with reference to my 3rd month of bankruptcy.
Not much to report really. I still have a working bank account and a working pre paid Monzo Debit card, so life seems ‘fairly’ normal, besides of course, from not having any salary or savings that is. My £73 ($95) per week from the woeful UK Department of Work and Pensions, is being paid straight into my new ‘basic’ account and this keeps a small death benefit insurance policy (£5), my Spotify direct debit (£9), my mobile phone Pay As You Go account (£10) and a bit of petrol money all square. Yes, for you diligent readers … ‘petrol’, because the car leasing company have still not collected the car yet…
I had two letters from a company called PRA Group last week informing me that they have recently purchased my accounts (the debts) I had with a particular creditor. Their documents are very friendly looking with nice little rounded mail symbols, personal account numbers, a great colour scheme and even your own pin number and barcode. They even have a friendly name in a lovely readable font electronically signed at the bottom, which I do not believe for one second actually exists as a person in the flesh. Usually companies use a name as a particular department, ie. if the letter says ‘John Smith’ at ABC company, then it will go to the outstanding arrears department of that company, whereas ‘Sue Brown’ at the same company will end up at the HR department. It states clearly, but in very small letters and tucked away amongst the lovely green and blue, child friendly, rounded telephone and mail symbols, these words – “What you owe to us”….. £***. It didn’t take long with the help of the world’s favourite spy source, err I mean search engine, to find out about them (see the 4 blue links in this paragraph).
PRA group are a debt collection agency, plain and simple. They have a sales team that basically cold call banks, loan and credit card companies and the like, and offer to purchase any debts from those institutions. They only pay about 10% of the actual debt price, but then they try to recover 100% of the original debt plus their fees. I read one story online of a man that owed £3000 to a high street bank and couldn’t pay it. The High street bank offered him a settlement figure of £2000, but he still couldn’t afford it. PRA purchased the debt and sent the man a demand for the initial amount of £3000 plus £450 costs and an ‘Admin fee’ of £278; and with an interest rate which was far higher than the banks original agreement. Now, bearing in mind that PRA only paid approximately £300 for the debt from the bank in the first place, they were trying to make nearly £3500 out of a man that couldn’t afford £2000. Once I had researched their tactics and business, I called the UK Insolvency Agency with my concerns.
I have dealt with Glen at the Insolvency agency a number of times. I have called him direct with questions and concerns, yes, direct, no holding, no automated ‘push 1 for this and 2 for that’ options – absolutely direct to his desk; and do you know what? He answers every time. I wrote about the UK insolvency Agency in my blog entitled Shock Win in the Eurovision Song Contest and my thoughts about them still stand. For a UK Government run agency, they are exceptionally fantastic and helpful. Glen as always was very positive, helpful and friendly and he simply informed me to send the letters to him to deal with. His parting words to our fairly short conversation were priceless. “Don’t worry Mr Darvey, they’ve wasted their money.”
His parting words to our fairly short conversation were priceless.
“Don’t worry Mr Darvey, they’ve wasted their money.”
As always, I will keep a copy of those letters as I have done with others, but the originals are already winging their way to his desk as I type. I have more research to carry out about this and will report my findings in October to you.
Note. I just searched for the name at the bottom of the letter – and it appears she does exist ! 🙂 If she knocked on the door, I may be inclined to pay ! #justsayin’.