Ok, I appreciate most answerers will want to include "pay them back" but
please try and avoid that for now.
Quite some time ago, (more than 6 months) my better half was admitted to
hospital in a critical condition having deteriorated rapidly overnight.
They remain there still and ( on the latest review ) are expected to do
so for the next 3 to 6 months. As a side note this hospital is a 50 mile
round trip from our home.
You will hopefully ( or may not ) understand that I have spent the
majority of my time there generally only returning home for a shower
etc, as it has been a very close call quite a few times and when I have
tried resuming a "normal" life have found myself called in by the ward
sister or a doctor as things have looked bleak.
Anyway, I continued to meet our monthly commitments for the next couple
of months and then wrote to all our creditors explaining the situation,
offering to supply medical information if required and asking for their
help and understanding.
The response was very mixed, especially interesting as 5 of our debts
are within the same group. The last of our creditors, the one I expected
the most trouble with, has been great (thanks Lloyds). Anyway back to
the other 5, for the most part I have now temporarily sorted these where
everyone is reasonably happy but my own credit card within this group
have passed it over to debt collection even though they have had the
same information as everyone else and are now looking at selling it on.
I have talked myself blue in the face trying to make them understand the
situation and am having great difficulty understanding how I can get
such a very different response from the same organisation. I have sought
advice from the CAB, CCCS Ltd and Payplan in an attempt to find some
common ground where this creditor would be happy but all 3 organisations
have said the same thing - due to your current circumstances, make
We are not frivolous youngsters that have squandered the money and find
the idea of bankruptcy abhorrent but can honestly see no other option
but, we cannot even afford the court fees for bankruptcy and would need
several months to save such a sum.
Is there any other route I can take to hold these at bay for now, is
there any way to offset the fees that are payable and finally can a
person that is currently bed bound in hospital make themselves bankrupt
without attending court ?
Many thanks for any constructive replies offered.
The following site, which primarily deals with repossession, has some
excellent advice which also applies in situations like yours:
Have a look at the section entitled 'After they contact you and demand
cash', and note the following.
1. At the moment, you are being presented with a claim for money. Unless
either you admit that the claim is correct, or a court independently
makes a judgement establishing that you in fact owe a particular sum to a
particular person, you do not have a debt. Please be very clear in your
mind about this. Obviously, you should not admit the claim unless it is
correct, according to the strict standards of proof that a court would
2. You are entitled to receive from the claimant an exact account of the
alleged debt, including a copy of any original agreement signed by
yourself, and an itemised statement showing how the amount claimed is
3. You are entitled to receive particulars of the information held about
you by the claimant, under the Data Protection legislation, and this will
be useful to you.
You should write to the claimant asking for this information. Usually a
modest charge, up to £10 is made.
4. You should not, under any circumstances, conduct negotiations with the
claimant over the phone. This will render you susceptible to further
pressure, and you will have no record, should court action take place, of
your negotiations. Inform the claimants that you will only discuss the
matter in writing.
5. The following paragraphs could be used in your letter:
Please note that I do not wish to receive any telephone calls in respect
of this matter. I do not wish to receive callers at my home address for
any reason. I will be prepared to discuss this issue only in
correspondence or otherwise by prior written agreement.
I will regard any further approaches other than in writing as harassment
under S40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and any
inappropriate written contact as harassment under that Act or S1 of the
Malicious Communications Act 1988.
I am advised that your approach so far may already be considered in
breach of regulations governing debt collection practices as summarised
in the attached sheet. If necessary I will report the matter immediately
to the OFT which may have implications for both your own company and any
employees/ clients involved.
I do not admit the claimed debt without further proof, and I am unable to
make any offer of payment at present. As soon as I have full details of
the amount and can establish to my satisfaction that the claim is valid,
I will make whatever offer I can afford to resolve the matter.
Please send me a true copy of the credit agreement with <name of credit
company>. I understand that under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (Sections
77−79), I am entitled to receive a copy of my credit agreement on request
and this should be supplied within 12 working days. I enclose a payment
of £1.00 which represents the fee payable under the Consumer Credit Act.
Non-compliance with my request is a criminal offence under the above Act
and will result in a report being submitted to the relevant statutory
authorities. As you are aware, a credit agreement that is not properly
documented and signed by the customer is totally unenforceable under the
CCA and therefore is a complete defence to any court claim that is
issued. Please note that under Section 189 you are obliged to supply
these documents whether you are the original creditor or not.
Please also send me an itemised statement of the amount of the claim and
the grounds for assuming the contract was still in operation.
I am also issuing a Subject Access Rights Notice granted to me by the
Data Protection Act 1998. Please forward me details of all information
you keep on me that falls within the terms of the Act. I was unable to
establish if and what charge you make for doing this but will forward the
amount due if you notify me of it.
FYI debt collectors are subject to strict oversight by the Office of Fair
Trading, and you may also find their web site helpful.