Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
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    Default A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Hello There

    For over a year now I have been having frustrating dealings with first CCSCOLLECT and now out of the blue the delightful Ruthbridge. If it wasn't for the fantastic advice on these forums I wouldn't have been able to stand up for myself and assert my rights so first off Thank You so much (I shall be donating to keep this place alive).

    At the start of last year I was celebrating being debt free after paying off bank debts etc that I had run up when I was a struggling student. Then out of the blue in March I receive a phone call from a debt agency asking if I've received their letter and could I prove who I am- I say No I have not received your letter and I'm unhappy to pass my details over the phone. A few days later I receive a letter from a company called CCSCOLLECT claiming I owe Cabot Financial 819.57 and that I need to pay in full immediatly. I had to laugh at the "DO NOT SIMPLY WRITE IN, OUR TIME LIMITS ARE VERY STRICT", because of course I'm going to write in and ask what the hell this is all about. Little did I know this was the start of a rollercoaster ride....
    I have kept a diary of every phone call and letter I received to cover my butt. But basically I start receiving phones calls up to 6 times a day, my parents who I live with at the moment field them as they know I can't prove what is said in these calls. CCSCOLLECT shout at my family and start using threatening language to them, when my Dad tries to request names of staff they slam the phone down. All the while I am sending them letters asking for proof of the debt, and everytime they deny receiving them. So each time I sent a letter I enclosed a copy of every letter I had sent previously and sent them recorded delivery and tracked them until they were signed for. Still they claim I am ignoring their "fair" requests to settle the debt even though I have rightly disputed it. Gradually through their letters I piece together that this debt is supposedly with Barclaycard from October 2002. I'm still none the wiser but happy that even if it does exist it will very soon become statute barredicon. After nearly 3 months of daily phone callsicon and getting no proof that a debt exists, I lose it and head to Citizens Advice Bureau (not before receiving, that morning, a cleverly disguised CCSCOLLECT letter claiming to be a solicitor) to get some back up. I have to advise that anyone having trouble with agencies to get to the CAB and get so assistance! Because of my comprehensive diary the CAB guy was able to piece everything together pretty quick and phoned the company directly. They agree that they have 1 month to send me proof or they have to cease collection, and he advises them of the unprofessional nature in which they have dealt with. They advise the CAB guy that at least 200 of the debt is fees they have administered themselves and that will be removed and that they will pass my case back to Cabot to get this proof. Deadline of June 20th 2008 comes and go and I never hear a peep from them again. Until a few weeks ago.... I receive a letter from Ruthbridge on 15th January (truly wonderful human beings :S ) telling me theyve got my account from Cabot and that they are going to commence court proceedings against me if I dont pay up. I ignore this letter, and then I receive a new one on 22nd which is clearly one of their famous template letters as they claim they have been trying to contact me by letter and phone (no phone callsicon at all!) and that I am ignoring them. Basically they are going to make me bankrupt if I don't pay 880.76 (interesting amount indeed) right away. So I send them a letter explaing my dealings with CCSCOLLECT, the June deadline, how I am aware of their bullyboy tactics, how I won't be paying a penny, how I find it sad that they pray on innocent people hoping they won't know their rights and that even if they could prove this debt ever existed then it would be Statute barred anyway so they don't have a leg to stand on. I tell them that they CAB is aware of this case and that my next course of action will be to report them to the OFT. I send this recorded delivery. But today I receive TWO letters in the post, one dated the day I sent my recorded delivery telling me again they are going to make me bankrupt- but if I pay 572.49 they will write it off and even as an "added incentive" will tell credit reference agencies that the debt is Satisfied (omg their generosity knows no bounds). The second letter however is dated the day they received my letter- and they want me to contact them immediatly to "deal with the issues you have raised in your correspondance". I don't know how to take the last letter but I'm finding it all very amusing. I did think about sending another letter back but I had already told them that they shouldn't bother contacted me as I won;t respond so I'm going to stand firm with that.

    I'm so glad I had all the good advice to go on and knew where I stood, also I'm a pretty strong person and won't be bullied in to paying what can;t be proven I owe. But I feel sad knowing that a more vulnerable person would have cracked way before and paid up whether they owed it or not- I have to admit that my nerves were a tiny bit jangled after so many phone callsicon. We started screening every single call just to be sure and its not fun. If at any point they could have proved I owed any of this money I would have been happy to pay, but I'm not aware of the debts existance and it seems noone can prove where it came from. I honestly thought I heard the end of it after the June deadline passed and it went quiet for 7 blissful months.

    Anyways... that was pretty long-winded I'm sorry, but I wanted to share what you helped me achieve. And I would also like to know my best course of action for lodging my complaint to the OFT (and anyone else who might be interested) as I'm not gonna let this one lie. I so carefully kept track of every call and letter and do not want these cowboys to get away with it. Would be nice if my experience could stop someone else being bullied in future. Any help would be appreciated and keep up the good work!


  2. #2
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Well, the OFT guidelines are what people would normally refer to, but they are only guidelines, not law - see the complete document at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/bus...dit/oft664.pdf

    The OFT website warns "The OFT cannot provide advice or assistance to individual consumers or traders" and that you should make a call to Consumer Direct - 08454 04 05 06 - Consumer Direct

    They may take action if a case is passed to them by Consumer Direct or the CAB office you've already gone through.

    CAGicon users are normally advised to send the 'bemused' letter if another DCAicon take the alleged debt up -http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ml#post1900426

    There is a lot of media interesticon in DCA's and their tactics at present, BBC's Watchdog ran a story earlier in the week, a national paper did one on Tuesday, there's been an appeal for anyone dealing with these companies in West Yorkshire - all in all, they are doing themselves no good at all as there are people recording their conversations, which then does little more than have the person who made the naughty comments sackedicon, and the company itself gets away with it.

    There are other people writing articles for the papers even now, it's a story that could fill a full paper, every week, with the many horror stories we know about already, but there are thousands more who don't know their rights abd will pay up - a sad situation...

    Be good to those who give you advice that helps - click the star below to give them your thanks by way of a reputation credit.
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Are they still calling you?



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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Thanks for your quick reply. So I reckon my best course of action is to follow this up with the CAB and see if they can do some legwork for me. The guy who dealt with my case at the CAB was particularly interested in it and took copies of my diary of communication so I'm sure he'd be happy to take a look at the new developments. It's just incredibly sad that in this day and age companies get away with such a,cavalier attitude towards their conduct and the way they treat innocent people.

    My family made me aware of the media interesticon this week so hopefully this is the start of some kind of action (maybe that's wishful thinking). I'll keep a hold of all my information for as long as I have to because I'm ready to pass it on to anyone who could have use for it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by BankFodder View Post
    Are they still calling you?
    CCSCOLLECT stopped calling back in May 2008 when they realised they had no way of proving the debt when the CAB agreed with them the June deadline.

    Ruthbridge have NEVER called me despite claiming they have several times. I work evenings so I'm in the house all day long and so is my Mother so its not even possible we missed the calls (we also have call waiting). I just keep getting letters every couple of days from them, and no doubt this won't be the last I've heard from them.


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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by milkbubble View Post
    ...I reckon my best course of action is to follow this up with the CAB...
    They can have their uses, if you get a good 'un. There are some CAB workers who just suggest paying to get rid of the DCAicon - which is obviously not right!

    With any of these companies, they should PROVE they have some right to collect anything, before hassling people. They are supposed to be 100% sure that they have the right person that the alleged debt relates to - it may be useful hearing what Watchdog had to say on last Monday's program - the bit about Lowell Group is at BBC - Lowell - chasing debts - Watchdog - Blog

    Keep us updated on progress...

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Thanks- I'll be sure to let you know what I receive next in the post. I usually get a letter within 4 days of the last. What a waste of paper

    Funny thing is (and I think I forgot to mention) is that despite these companies repeatedly going on about Cabot Financial- I have never had any direct contact from them.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Also drop an email to Gareth Thomas, MP, the Minister for Trade and Industry - this is his email address:

    berr.correspondence@berr. gsi.gov.uk

    He is having talks with the CSA - the debt collectionicon agencies association - to tell them to get their house in order and one of the issues he is raising with them is people being asked to pay debts that aren't theirs. The more ammunition he gets, the better.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Ok shall do that- thank you!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    I'm slightly confused as to what I should do- I've read lots of stickied threads advising how to file complaints with the OFT and fosicon, and encouraging people to do this, but from the advice I've been given in this tread I was under the impression I wasn't able to make a compaint directly. Please could someone please help me and let me know what I am actually able to do so I can get the ball rolling?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    MB.....just read your awful plight at the hands of these people....

    Please fill in the form entitled 'COMPLAINT FORM' - don't be concerned that is says to use the form for organisations..... - The Office of Fair Trading: debt collection practices

    A recent letter from Gareth Thomas said

    "If you wish to comment on a company's non-compliance with the OFT's guidance, you can do so by going to the OFT website and downloading a complaints form, which has been established so that debtors can provide them with the information they need in order to investigate complaints quickly and effectively."

    PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

    DEBT COLLECTION LETTER/SAR/AGREEMENT TEMPLATES ARE HERE - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...65-legislation

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Fantastic thanks!

    I just noticed that the last letter I received from them is almost identical to the repeated letters Gingerheid received from 1stcredit in their infamous staff training thread- so I won't be expecting any kind of human response anytime soon.

    Its gonna take a bit of effort as I have 3 companies to complain about- Ccscollect for the blatant harassment, Ruthbridge for the threats to make me redundanticon and Cabot for never bothering to contact me directly and repeatedly selling a disputed debt on. This will be fun.... lol


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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    I knew they wouldnt go quietly. Just received a letter from their pretend company 'Express Delivery'. Are they seriously out of their minds?


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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    I am soooooooooooooooo furious it's untrue. Ruthbridge just rang my house and spoke to someone in my household, who told them they need to put everything in writing to me. He then told the person in my house that since they lived there he could discuss the account with them. He waffled on about how because there is a default on my credit file then that is enough proof that the debt exists. He then told the person on the phone that they should get themselves a solicitor as they are sending the bailiffs round on Friday. Are they seriously out of their minds? I overheard the call and he was pretty agressive. And talking to a third party like that, who isn't even a financial associate of mine? Why on earth would they need a solicitor?

    Just sending them a CCA Requesticon now just to make everything official as they seem to not care about the fact that the debt has been in dispute for well over a year now.

    Normally I would just brush it off and laugh about their behaviour but they have overstepped the mark this time. I am LIVID!!


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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    If Ruthbridge are involved I suspect the alleged debt is statute barredicon anyway...Did I read in one of your earlier posts that this account dates from 2002? - If that's the case then it is statute barred anyway.

    Ruthbridge are the worst DCAicon in the country in my humble opinion...and they are only involved (or so it seems) when the debt IS statute barred.

    If the Banks maintain their charges are transparrent and fair, then why appeal against the decision which allows them to be investigated?


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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmhcfc View Post
    If Ruthbridge are involved I suspect the alleged debt is statute barredicon anyway...Did I read in one of your earlier posts that this account dates from 2002? - If that's the case then it is statute barred anyway.

    Ruthbridge are the worst DCAicon in the country in my humble opinion...and they are only involved (or so it seems) when the debt IS statute barred.

    I think it is but then again I still don't know if it's even mine as no one seems to want to give me any information. I'm pretty relaxed in the knowledge that they can't take any action against me. I'm just angry that they would start threatening people in my household.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Firstly if you are able to then RECORD the calls....secondly if you think the debt is barred by statue then send letter 'M' from here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...templates.html

    Send it recorded...once you state that you will not be making a payment towards a debt that is statute barredicon then it is harrassment for them to contact you further...!!

    PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

    DEBT COLLECTION LETTER/SAR/AGREEMENT TEMPLATES ARE HERE - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...65-legislation

    IF WE HAVE BEEN HELPFUL -PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE GIVE A DONATION TO HELP US TO CONTINUE HELPING YOU

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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    Thought I'd give you guys an update. I got my credit report from Equifax and found that not only Barclaycard had put a default on my file but also Cabot. I emailed Equifax and asked them to investigate the duplicate default that Cabot had filed. Today Equifax emailed me back and they had gone straight to Barclaycard who have agreed to remove the default when they do their updates in April. I'm over the moon!


  19. #19
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    I wish I didn't have to say this but despite everything Cabot have now decided to get Mackenzie Hall involved- just when I thought all had gone quiet. 3rd Agency they've sent after me even though Equifax has been in contact with them and they know that Barclaycard have confirmed the debt is not mine. I don't normally ring DCAs but after all this harrassment I recieved a letter from MH saying they are going to send Bailiffs round in 10 days. So I decided someone needed to bear the brunt of my rage- just spent a satisfying 10 minutes shouting at one of the agents, the few times I let her get a word in edgeways, I had a nice answer for everything. Man I feel so much better. Now to do things properly and put it all in writing......


  20. #20
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    Default Re: A little story about the wonderful CCSCOLLECT and Ruthbridge.

    MH are the very bottom feeders in the DCAicon foodchain and specialise in trying to collect unenforceable and statute barredicon debts.

    Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

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