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Student Loan Screw-Up

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worrying post this morning. turned out to all have been a big mistake, like every time I speak to Honour Student Loans. Goodness only knows how much I actually owe them, I don't think they know either..

If you are looking for information regarding Honours Student Loans or something they've messed up, please try the forum at http://www.honourstudentloans.co.uk
12th Oct 2005, 12:28   | tags:,

teflon says:

I take it Honour Student Loans are who the Student Loans Company pass your details on to, once it's all too much for them to understand?

12th Oct 2005, 12:30

mat says:

Yeah. Sadly, HSL make SLC look like highly organised, dedicated and caring professionals.

12th Oct 2005, 12:31

teflon says:

Wow.
I did an article for a campus publication last year which ended up with the headline "Arse, Elbow, Student Funding". Summed it up fairly well.

12th Oct 2005, 12:42

seaneeboy says:

Jesus.

I *HATE* SLC. Total farce. Ended up having to pay them £450 last year in one lump to avoid them taking me to court.

I wouldn't mind if I'd been screwing them over or anything, but they'd messed up my deferrment for 6 months, so just decided to throw it all away and that I had to pay the backlog of cash.

Utter utter cnuts of the highest variety.

12th Oct 2005, 12:43

afternoon says:

Yikes!

12th Oct 2005, 12:45

mat says:

Seanee - HSL tried something similar on me last year; but I deflected them for a few months, then they accidentely credited my account with £2392, which cleared the arrears. And then that sum somehow became the arrears, hence this letter.

They were very sorry on the phone, but to be honest, every time I get mail from HSL, I have to phone them up and sort out some kind of screwup. Chap I spoke to today was helpful, but told me he couldn't send out a statement, confirming that I didn't owe them this £2392. Er, WHAT? All they do is manage loans, yet they can't send me a statement?

Be glad you're still with SLC. Honestly - I have one loan with SLC, and it's orders of magnitude less trouble to manage.

12th Oct 2005, 12:51

Hotdog says:

Sounds like a right pain

12th Oct 2005, 13:12

Rich says:

HSL now 'manage' my SL. HSL 'lost' my application for deferment.
Imagine their office:
"Right you lot I am getting it in the neck from above that we are not crawling back enough money, therefore you must lose 500 applications for deferment".
etc

It is anumbers game, ask fibonacci.

20th Oct 2005, 18:23

Helen says:

Hmmmmm. I haven't heard a whisper from them for quite some time...

They're probably sulking because I don't earn enough. Quite frankly that makes me sulky too.

20th Oct 2005, 18:59

DJ HELLO! says:

I know this is random but has anyone got a contact number for HSL - I need to ring them and I've lost my letter.

I can't seem to track them down on the internet

31st Oct 2005, 12:08

mat says:

Try directory enquiries, I don't have a number for them to hand either.

31st Oct 2005, 18:21

Amanda says:

Honours student loans:

0870 6000 137

31st Oct 2005, 19:09

munkt0n says:

bugger, I hid from the SLC for nearly ten years, until I foolishly put myself on the electoral role.

31st Oct 2005, 19:19

Kev says:

I could only get in touch with these comedians by doing a Google and searching for ages for a number, seeing as they don't even appear to have a website anywhere. Pretty appalling really.

23rd Nov 2005, 13:09

steve says:

Three times i've tried to set up a standing order to repay installments to these donkeys. Three times the money has failed to go through because they gave me the wrong account details. So each time i get a letter charging me another tenner for missing another payment.

What the fuck is going on??? WHo are are these muppets? They're taking the piss. This has got to be a scam. People can only be this incompetent on purpose.

Bastards. Bastards Bastards Bastards Bastards Bastards!!!

30th Nov 2005, 12:15

Hoov says:

I'm about to go travelling & must defer my HLC loan...

Wish me luck, peeps!

:|

13th Dec 2005, 23:23

Boydo says:

These fuckwits don't have a clue - I'm now being charged with arrears because they took months to send out the deferrment form despite repeated requests.

At one point last year I got a letter with a £15 charge. Called up to query it (the day I got the letter) and im told it's actually £30 because another letter had be sent since then!

Then the guy on the phone try to haggle with me saying he would take off the "new" charge if I paid the other one there and then. It took about 2 months and multiple phone calls to finally get them removed.

Tip - don't bother with the monkeys who answer the phones - most of them don't have a clue - just get put straight through to their complaints department - they are the only people able to actually do stuff.

19th Dec 2005, 11:49

seaneeboy says:

Another tip - Fax through exactly what you want, and keep the transmission reciept.

19th Dec 2005, 12:05

anonymous(xdreemcatcherx-at-aol-dot-com) says:

I cannot believe that there are so many people with the same problems and hsl co seem to be getting away with all this - I have a part time job which I really enjoy but have my loan deferred due to earnings and they are now chasing me for £166 because they lost the deferment information - do the complaints department do anything more than the unhelpful ones on the end of the 0870 no?? grrrr

20th Dec 2005, 11:02

Sionnach says:

I am so glad I never had a student loan, sorry to hear about all the crap you guys seem to have to put up with. Sounds unbelievably bad :-/

20th Dec 2005, 11:06

Mas says:

I only did a google search to try and find SLC's website and ended up here. I thought my situation was an isolated one off, cos no company can be *THAT* screwed up!! I put in for my deferment application and they ended up losing it. Eventually when they said they got it, they ended up losing the supporting documentation (WHAT!! how the hell do you end up losing one bit of a letter and not the other - Dimwits!!) Then after 6 months of this malarky going on and like everybody else above I too was penalised with extra payments for the completley unnecessary letter they sent out. I honestly believe we should get together and collectlvely do something about these bozo's - then again do we really want to be spending anymore time ringing or writing to these jokers!!?? (Sorry folks i'm well miffed off!)
PS: Thanks Amanda for the phone number for SLC.

20th Dec 2005, 13:58

mat says:

That's HSL's number up there, not SLC. In fact, much of this discussion has been about HSL, not SLC.

I *like* SLC - compared to HSL, they are friendly, helpful, organised and reasonable.

Suggest we get back at them by not earning enough to start paying back our collected loans, that'll show 'em.

20th Dec 2005, 14:35

Electric_Sheep says:

I've only had small problems with SAAS. Mostly due to forms.

Filled the forms in, send 'em away. Week later, get a letter through the door saying i didn't fill in certain sections. I did. So i re-filled them anyway. Week later, i get the same letter. So i re-filled them. Week later, same thing happens. Had to call them in the end to add me to the database. The SLC are idiots.

20th Dec 2005, 14:57

mat says:

I haven't had any problems with SLC. SLC have been helpful, organised and generally very good compared to Honour Student Loans, who are the people who sent me the letter above, and the people who've screwed up everything, forever.

20th Dec 2005, 15:04

kel not logged in says:

My experience of the SLC isn't great, to say the least but that's a myriad of tales (one of which was the foundation for Teflon's story 'Arse, Elbow, Student Funding'.)

Just training the people who answer the phones to actually know what their job is would help a lot.

20th Dec 2005, 15:10

Mas says:

Goofed up! Didn't mean to write SLC - actually meant HSL!!

Do you think I should go for a job at HSL!!??

20th Dec 2005, 16:06

Kate Marston(katemarston-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

I am sick to death of this.

HLC are incompetent idiots who can't even advertise there own telephone number correctly! I get a call from them every month to say I am in arrears. Every month I phone them and they have applied my money to some random account - probably lining the fat idiots who run the company's pockets.

It is about time we took a stand. I don't know what I owe them as they never send me a statement and won't. Is anyone able to set up a website in order to bring this monkey mafioso down. If you can then please email me. Suggestions of a name for the website much appreciated.

It is going to be my new years resolution never to accept bullshit from these telly tubbies again!!!!!!!! Please all join together to support this just cause.

3rd Jan 2006, 17:31

Rich says:

Someone should write to Watchdog. That'll learn 'em!

3rd Jan 2006, 17:53

mat says:

Watchdog? Write to the FSA

3rd Jan 2006, 17:58

Redwind(red_wind-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I have also been having problems with Honours Student Loan Company. Over the past three months I have been receiving silent and nuisance phone calls for Honours Student Loan Company. Each time they have called regarding my account and each time I have requested a loan deferral form, as I am earning below the repayment fresh hold. It took tree months for this form to arrive but whilst waiting their calls kept on coming asking for repayment, sometimes up to three times a day. I also received daily silent calls which were irritating at first, but then quite unnerving, as I began to feel that the calls might be malicious. I started to dial 1471 after each silent call and logged the numbers. It turned out to be Honours. Complaining by telephone to Honours customer care-line did not help, the call just kept on coming.

If you feel that you wish to complain about the HONOURS STUDENT LOAN COMPANY you will find the addresses below useful. Keep a record of your communications as it maybe useful as evidence. Remember you are not alone and if enough of us start kicking up a stink, we might just get something done about it!

In the first instance write to:

Complaints Dept.
Honours Student Loans
Selectapost 30
Rotherham
S97 3ZY

Tel: 0870 6000 137 (Generally a waste of time calling)

Kelly MP, Ruth
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BT

dfes.ministers@dfes.gsi.gov.uk
/>
Silentcall Guard
Register free with this organisation to block most UK based silent calls within 48hrs. It really worked for us!
www.silentguard.co.uk/
/> Tel: 0870 444 3969 (National Rate)

Ofcom
Ofcom is the independent regulator watchdog and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services. They have the power to prosecute companies that breach telecommunication regualtions – this includes companies making silent or nuicence calls.
Tel: 020 7981 3040
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/landline/silent/
/>
BBC Watchdog
Consumer Affairs Program on BBC1
BBC Watchdog
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS
Tel: 020 8535 1000
http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/
/>
Telephone Preference Service
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) helps you to make sure your telephone number is no longer available to organisations, including charities and voluntary organisations who may telephone you with offers and information you do not wish to receive. This service is free and legit!

www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/
/>

5th Jan 2006, 18:29

skiver says:

glad to see i'm not the only one getting grief off these brain dead monkeys - i get phone calls sometimes every half an hour.
geanted i am trying to dodge them because they are hassling me but do these goons ever give up - this is nothing but pure harassment

9th Jan 2006, 12:20

skiver says:

Just wanted to add - the post above is very helpful, I intend to put as much complaining in as is possible and i urge everyone else to aswell.
I have deferred my payments with no trouble until last year when for some reason HSL took over my account, I gave them all the information they needed to defer but still they kept coming back with payment requests, I ignored it as it was their mistake and continued sending my deferment forms to confirm i could not pay.
recently they come up with I owe the £800.00 in payments and call to remind me every day, sometimes ringing every half an hour, usually 5 or 6 times a day. Sometimes when i amswer it is a silent call, sometimes there is some idiot there who reads from a script and other times when i answer there is someone there who hangs up.
Why should anyone have to put up witht his shit from a company.
So thats my rant, I fully intend to put a complaint in thanks tho the above post, otherwise I suggest we gather a posse and go to their offices and kick fuck out of them all

9th Jan 2006, 12:46

louise says:

Since wrote earlier this year the HSL have completely ignored all my communiications to them charged me 150 in letter charges and now have referred the debt to a debt collectors who willl be shortly calling at my door. Nice huh when i work part time supporting families and particularly young parents to make decisions on whether they return to learn or go to work.........guess which direction i point them in nowadays ........certainly not college unless they are funded!!!!!

12th Jan 2006, 17:13

Margaret says:

Searching the net for contact details for HSL and found this website. Thought I was the only one getting nuisance calls from them. No problems with Student Loan Company until it was taken over by this bunch of idiots. Have posted of 6 deferrals in the past year including the relevant pay slips - no record of them at the HSL offices, and no sign of my payslips either. Keep getting calls, despite trying to explain to them time and time again. Sigh. Fully intend to submit a complaint to the address given above.

23rd Jan 2006, 17:02

Ian says:

I have a story worse than all of you... I'll post when I know I can... I've had all the calls and the threats, but I don't have a student loan! And there is more...

Thanks for the FSA link!

24th Jan 2006, 23:08

Alicia says:

Well, the SLC are appalling if you're living overseas. They are nasty. I'm doing a PhD overseas and the length of the course is 7 to 8 years...however the SLC despite the fact that I'm registered at a university don't believe that the Uni even exists. They tell me on a regular basis that I'm lying. That's only one of the many complains that I can talk about. Amongst other problems they've caused is that they charge me for their inability to comprehend that they shouldn't use a bulk mailer based in the Netherlands to sent their mail to Canada. ..the problem is that you're given 2 weeks to do the paperwork and send it back to them. Its impossible to do this since the post office only delivers/collects post 5 days a week.

27th Jan 2006, 00:06

Lee says:

HSL & SLC are by far the worse arch nemisis' I've ever faced.

Started in 2002 when they (SLC) refused to accept a P60 as a statement of earnings - granted but I'd had that many temp jobs and changed adresses I didn't have anything else (they also lost my P60), three months later I was booted out of the family home - money arguments (i was skint with a money grabbing bitch of a mother). To top it all off I had to go to court as a witness to a horrific crime. needless to say, the tranquilizers my doctor prescibed to ease the insomnia did work, however they made things a bit scatty.

Any how I had that many other problems I didn't even think of the student loans, as i was only earning a pitence as temp. Finally 5 months after getting booted out of home, the caught up with me.

I tried to explain my predicament, but the arsehole on the phone just said I'd be goin to court and there was nothing I could do about. It was only two months later when I spoke to someone else (another debt recovery agency), who said I could still defer. Which I did, I'd had a stable-ish temp job for a few months - sent off yellow deferement form with statement of earnings from employer. fine, I was defrred - with 3 months taken off the arrears leaving about 300 quid to pay back.

3 months later I got a telephone call at work saying my deferrment had not ben processed because the statement of earning provided by my employer had used a fiscal week calendar instead of actual dates... that added another 500quid or so to the arrears, the twat on the phone said it was my reponsibility to phone them back and see if my application to defer was successful.

Needless to say, I started a mass campaign against them, requesting data protection act info - largely useless but I'm making them work for their dirty cash - they did provide recorded telephone conversations on a CD but you need to ask for that.

My advice would be to do everything in writing, especially if you're new to their telephone bully tatics, which used to be quite stressful, now I find it makes more sense to humour them, wherever possible ask to speak to someone you can understand - regradless of their accent.

cheers for the above addresses I'll be sending my complaints.

sound like the people in here need a few law students who've had the same treatment, if we shout our heads off someone has to listen.

30th Jan 2006, 13:50

teflon says:

It's probably worth mentioning that if you're currently having problems with either the SLC or HSL, then you could get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
or www.cas.org.uk in Scotland.

30th Jan 2006, 14:47

Truebrit3(chris-dot-gable-at-armatis-dot-com) says:

I have had major problems with SLC. I have lived in France and belgium, in both countries SLC have repeatedly failed to send deferment forms to me, in fact they say they are sending them but I don't get them. I see no reason why I would not return them if I have received them; The cll centre staff will often lie over the phone. SLC are a disaster zone. A member of thier staff once told me that even if they had made a mistake and had not sent the form to me I would still have to pay !!! I asked for this in writing and of course it was refused ! I "owed 850 pounds this went up to over 1100 £ with costs, I have since managed to have all the costs removed but still the 850 £ remains. I Provided a deferment form the 28 /09/05 a yellow one provided by wescot (debt collectors acting for SLC) SLC refused this as it was " too early to defer) 10 days later (date on the letter) the computer generated deferment form arrived from SLC ??? They cannot be allowed to act in this way, if we act on our own then of course they will win, anyone who wants to start with the long process of action against SLC please reply to this forum. I have so far had all my costs refunded and had the account returned to SLC from the debt collectors. In my latest call i wanted to escalate my complaint, I was told that I would still have to pay ! (against credit regulations,I am waiting to get a recording of the call) I made a payment to buy time to complain. The person I spoke to wrote on the file " customer will ontact us to make payment once he has sorted his finances out" he marked the file as "waiting for customer contact" My MP wrote to them they replied that I had failed to return the defement forms and that the case was with debt collectors as I had not repsonded.
The reply I sent to SLC (the one they never received ) was in possesion of wescott when they served me a final notice, this letter (that SLC had never received) had been forwarded to them by SLC !!! I have also just contacted watchdog PLEASE DO THE SAME we must all apply as much pressure as possible to SLC !

31st Jan 2006, 17:12

A totally frustrated customer says:

Does anyone know how to get in touch with HSL frm overseas??
I have literally been trying to get in touch with them for over two months and they have sent me a court order and I can't even get through to them to make the friggin payment!!!!!!!! If someone can help I would be most grateful!!! Have tried +44-8702420061. Is that the correct dialling code???? Totally fed up...

1st Feb 2006, 14:28

TRUEBRIT3(chris-dot-gable-at-armatis-dot-com) says:

00448702420061 is ok
its 0044 then the uk number less the first zero.

Hope this helps.
In the meantime send them a recorded delivery letter explaining that you cannot reach them by phone as 0870 numbers cannot always be reached from abroad !!

good luck

1st Feb 2006, 14:42

A totall frustrated customer says:

Just done so

1st Feb 2006, 15:03

A totally frustred customer says:

Thanks , True Brit3.

1st Feb 2006, 15:07

Truebrit3 says:

no probs !!
I'm still waiting for SLC to callback or reply by email !!

I know they won't and they will then try to charge me for delays again !!!

want a bunch of toss*****

1st Feb 2006, 16:11

Lee says:

I'm telling everyone I know who has dealings with SLC & HSL about this blog. There was nothing in the contract I signed which mentioned anything about immoral bussiness practice or harrassment. Knowing what I know now I'd sooner have worked nights throughout my degree. The goverment has clamped down on Loan sharks yet it seems the biggest culprit is still lurking in the shallows where the easiest pickings are. Graduates are all after the same things in life, houses, cars etc.. and yet we face daily threats of CCJs and bankruptcy. they know that we have to surcumb to their demands because they (SLC) can end any reasonable chance of acheiving the things our predecessors took for granted -who also hapened to stumble upon free education. Who the eck owns the SLC anyway? is it Lloyds Bank? I remember a while back that they bought batches of loans but who is the head honcho.

1st Feb 2006, 17:48

Truebrit3 says:

I am very serious about bringing SLC to task !! I have already writen to Ruth Kelly and my MP. PLEASE ALL CONTACT WATCHDOG AT www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog it is important to bring as much pressure to bear on SLC as possible even though watchdog is not the longterm solution !! I will update here when I have more news.

Keep records of phone calls get names and ask for call recordings

we have to make gouverment and SLC realise that they cannot act this way !

1st Feb 2006, 18:39

Lee says:

Have just written to watchdog Truebrit... also offered them some choice telephone recordings that SLC sent me in the post... just listening to them now, reliving the innocense of my youth, when I didn't have the foggiest about the true definition of incompetent. If anyone wants a copy... hopefully will be on Watchdog sooner rather than later. Please, more people write to watchdog.. I emplore thee

1st Feb 2006, 19:59

truebrit3 says:

Excellent Please all contact watchdog !!!

the more that do the more chance we have !!

2nd Feb 2006, 13:38

seaneeboy says:

Lee - that's fantastic that you have taped copies! You could MP3 them and stick 'em online :)

2nd Feb 2006, 13:41

Lee says:

Yeah deffo, I'm trying to edit them (wav files) so that people cant get my bank numbers etc.. once I do I'll let you know where you can listen to them.. I think the best thing I did was to be very polite to them coz I reckon they've shot themselves in the foot... on one conversation i have, you can clearly hear the woman laughing after I'd put the phone down, I think thats dispicable, when they know damned well that my point is valid. On another conversation, after they'd deemed my deferrement form incomplte and not informed me til a good few months after (extra 500 quid or so) the cheeky git tells me it's my responsibility to phone them back... you'd have thought that as a paying customer they could afford me a telephone call & letter. if enough people write to watchdog complaining they'll get it in the face. The media love stuff like this, especially has that poor girl commited suicide last week, because she could see no way out of her SLC situation. It makes me sick that a company that was set up to help students has revealed it's self has a bully that could force a customer (and thats what we are) to the point of taking their own life.

2nd Feb 2006, 16:43

truebrit3 says:

I agree fully, its unbelievable what they get away with, we are weak as individuals but together we are strong !!

2nd Feb 2006, 17:03

Lee says:

Just in case anyone doesn't know, you can get the cd recordings from SLC, you have to ask for it though as part of the Data protection act, they have to send it to you, I'm just waiting for last years CD's... there are three of them.. EU law means they have to keep recordings for at least 10 years I think...

2nd Feb 2006, 19:27

Dhamaka says:

Hi all,

I'd love to try and get a piece written about this for one of the nationals, but before I do I need names and 'copies' of evidence. If anyone would like to help out contact me through my blog and I'll answer you through a proper email so you know who you're talking to. To be able to write something I need a couple of real people's names but I absolutely guarantee - here in public - that I will not identify you in any way at all withouth your prior, specific knowledge and consent.

I can't promise anything because sometimes I wonder what drives editors' views of what their readership wants, but I can try, and more public pressure has got to help you (and the article will help me pay my bills)

Teflon - depending on what you think maybe I could work with you? We could share credit & depending on the amount of work we both do share the money too?

guys, the other thing you need to know is getting something like this together takes time. Usually months rather than weeks

Hope to hear from y'all..

2nd Feb 2006, 21:08

truebrit3 says:

I just sent you a message !

3rd Feb 2006, 13:09

Dhamaka says:

got it - will answer - thank you!

3rd Feb 2006, 13:10

truebrit3 says:

Keep updating the blog as you continue to chase SLC

4th Feb 2006, 14:10

CJ says:

Has anyone ever asked honours for a copy of the credit agreement made with them? The form of a simple contract between you and honours is required.

If they can not produce one the debt is not enforcable, and since honours never had any credit agreements in the first place..... hmmmm

7th Feb 2006, 13:35

Lee says:

I like your thinkin CJ but I'm guessin the SLC contract is the one that makes the debt enforceable. Just like if you owe British Gas money they can sell your debt to someone else?

I'd like to know where it says in the original credit agreement that I'd have to deal with incompetence/rudeness/harrassent on the telephone.

Swines Like Cash

7th Feb 2006, 20:23

Dhamaka/Daz's Rent-a-Mum says:

will let y'all know about what comes of the article but need more people and it'll take a while

7th Feb 2006, 20:30

Pitarou(peter-dot-mcarthur+hsl-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

MONEY SAVING TIP

Save yourself a fortune by *not* calling HSL on their 0870 number. Call them on 01132073154 instead; it's their number for "people calling from abroad". If you find calls to that number are blocked, try calling via a trans-national service such as Skype.

Boydo's earlier post is correct: the only way to get results is via the Complaints Department. In my case, Complaints waived a particularly absurd £15.00 surcharge and accepted that I never reached an agreement with them that HSL previously claimed I had.

MY SAD HSL STORY

Due to chronic illness, I'm dirt-poor and I find keeping up with paperwork is tough. I didn't send off my deferral application in time, so I ended up £280 arrears.

I contacted HSL, explained my situation blah, blah, blah. They sent me a form for me to document my circumstances, which I completed it and returned straight away.

And their reply?

"Since you haven't replied to our previous correspondence, we are charging you £15.00."

Cheeky swines. (Yes. They *did* receive my form.) The Complaints Department eventually waived that charge, although they won't waive the charge for the *following* month when I was still waiting for them to reply.

I wrote to them again, but still got no acknowledgement. Then I phoned them. That's when they started lying to me. I didn't record the calls, but here's the gist:-

ME: How can you charge me for not answering your letters, when *you* are the ones not answering *my* letters?

HSL: We *did* reply to them!

ME: Really? None of your colleauges told me that when I asked them the same question, and *I* certainly haven't received anything!

HSL: But you've already agreed to repay your arrears at £5.00 a month.

ME: Where on earth did you get that notion?

[A burst of on-hold music, and then the call ends.]

Did the phone system fail, or did they hang up on me? I'll never know.

Two days later, I had my first sighting of a reply from HSL. It was dated a full week before the phone-call, but it was franked on the day *after* the phone-call. Oh yes, and it was written by the person whom I had been speaking to. And the letter itself was as fishy as a 9 bob herring ... I won't bore you with the details.

I wrote a complaint. About a month later, they wrote back and denied my allegations. Well they would, wouldn't they.

As for my debt? HSL insist that, as a matter of policy, and regardless of how much I can afford, they will accept no less than £5.00 a month. I have offered a token payment of £1.00 a month which, under my circumstances -- what with my other, larger, higher priority debts -- really is the most that I can reasonably offer.

My negotations with HSL have reached deadlock. I have formally informed them that I believe their is no point in discussing things further, and I await their next move. I imagine I will be hearing from their Debt Collection Agents in future. Perhaps the Agents will be more reasonable?

8th Feb 2006, 14:04

seaneeboy says:

You could perhaps ask for the tapes of your conversations to clear it all up?

8th Feb 2006, 14:10

Rich says:

Uhm... No. No they won't. Good luck, though. Just to reiterate, in case this hasn't already been mentioned, the best way to get them off your back/taking unwanted payments at least in the short term, is to go to your bank and ask them to cancel the direct debit. The company will then be unable to restart it without your permission. Problem can then be dealt with at your leisure.

8th Feb 2006, 14:12

seaneeboy says:

Eep - but be careful with that. If anyone does that with the likes of NTL they get a mark on their credit report which is very difficult to shift...

8th Feb 2006, 14:19

Rich says:

But with student loans stuff it doesn't happen... I'm sure... I hope, anyway...

Anyway, it only costs £2 to get your credit report and then you can add notes to it and get stuff removed, is siiiimple. Ish.

8th Feb 2006, 14:22

Electric Sheep says:

I guess i don't really take it for granted being a Scot, getting my tuition fees paid for by the scottish executive.

8th Feb 2006, 15:10

spinboy says:

Aye but you've got the "secret" graduation endowment fund to pay. Put annoys me is that I'm about to finish uni, but have to pay £60 quid to actually graduate and get my degree. Robbery.

8th Feb 2006, 15:29

teflon says:

No, no, you've got it wrong, spinboy. The £60 is the fee you need to pay to join the General Council.
It just so happens that you can't graduate without it.

8th Feb 2006, 15:38

spinboy says:

Baws to them. Joe was telling me the other day that his sister still hasn't graduated because she refuses to pay the fee.

9th Feb 2006, 21:37

Lee says:

60 quid instead of 1600 quid i know which I'd choose...

9th Feb 2006, 22:18

Ant says:

I've just got my arrears cancelled in court, as the client "Honours Student Loans" could only provide a credit agreement with the Strudent Loan Company, They had to pay court fees, I just filled in my appeal and contested the charge on the form provided on the CCJ along with a photocopy of the original crerdit agreement.

Good luck to you all with this shambles of an outfit, and remember the law is on your side as you have never taken out a loan with honours

11th Feb 2006, 12:36

Lee says:

errr

15th Feb 2006, 22:10

Lee says:

sorry, I've just put two of my recorded SLC Ltd conversation on a website for your delactation...manymore to follow.. obtained by the data protection act request.. but i realised I'd left some personal info in... will post very shortly

15th Feb 2006, 22:13

Mike says:

In common with a previous poster on here, I am being pursued by HSL for arrears on several student loans, even though I have never taken out a student loan! This has been going on over 2 years, and they never take a blind bit of notice of what I tell them. I have now reported them to BBC Watchdog, and also to the Office of Fair Trading. The OFT have shown some interest & I would urge everyone else to report their problems to the OFT.

20th Feb 2006, 18:49

Nikki says:

Have just found your web site. I live in France and haven't had any contact whatsoever from HSL until yesterday (after three years of silence) when I was informed by phone that I had two years of arrears. The idiot on the phone said it was my fault for living in France that I haven't received deferment forms since 2003 despite requesting them and sending in details of my income. Have been here for 13 years and never had any problems with SLC. Thanks for the adresses - will be getting in touch with them very soon

4th Mar 2006, 10:53

Angie says:

Have just found this site having just had a hellishly frustrating conversation with SLC which resulted in them telling me that despite their error in my deferment application this year they couldn't do anything as my account is managed by HSL so I would need to contact them for a new deferment form and begin the process again!!!!!!! I am 9 months pregnant and so was rather 'feisty' with 'June from SLC' who kept putting on bloody hold while she checked with 'Her Superior Imogen'......

22nd Mar 2006, 11:54

unbelievable says:

I Have been having an on going problem with HSL after SLC failed to tell me that my loan/debt had been passed on/sold to HSL and I contacted SLC 4months after I should have received my deferment form, to be told that they didn't know anything about me. When I pressed the point they said "oh yes, your debt is with HSL, you'll have to talk to them" at which point I asked them what they were talking about and they gave me the number of probably the most disorganised organisation?? in the world! That was October 2004 and I am still disputing the period that they say I owe for, which is the period of the hidden handover! They have deferredme for the rest. Admittedly I live in Spain, but the mail does still get through, mostly by donkey, but it doesn't seem to get to HSL, not by post fax or even registered fax.
My latest attempt is to try to get contact information for the "Student Loans Company Assessor" who is supposed to be their ombudsman as such, but none of these organisations will give me his/her number/address unless I ask for it in writing and it has seemed a little strange to me that my attempts to ask them in writing for this info seem to never arrive! AAAAgh.
That's better. Has anyone ever tried to get to this ombudsperson is it a real thing or ..........?¿?¿

17th Apr 2006, 20:34

Rich says:

Start looking here - www.ombudsman.org.uk - haven't been able to turn up anything solid about that, but I think that'll be because each case is individually assigned to a different person. It does mention that the process takes ages, which is because it's got to go through the horrors of Governmental bueracracy. Regarding the missing letters, might be an idea to send them by registered mail or courier, that way there'll be definite records of them arriving so they won't be able to lie about not receiving it.

17th Apr 2006, 21:30

unbelievable says:

Thanks Rich,
After sending the first letter by mail, I then faxed twice with about a month in between each fax, and each fax was automatically diverted to a number that HSL deny knowledge of, and then thirdly by registered fax which gave me evidence of receipt, but they still deny receiving it, in the end I faxed it to my old university administrator who tried twice to get it to them and they say they have now received one but they have said that before and then denied it later. It costs me a fortune phoning them from Spain and I have no number for them to phone me on, but thank god, after reading this site they seem to be into harrassing people by phone. I would recommend that no-one ever gives them a phone number, as they have no right to have it.

19th Apr 2006, 13:06

yoji says:

Oh this thread is fantastic. I thought I was the only one having problems like this. Like unbelievable, I was not notified of the handover (I also live abroad), though I was in the process of a dispute that is still ongoing and thought that HSL was a collections company! After all, some dodgy po box, no fax, no website, and no notification.

A short summary of my problems with these companies, SLC and HSL, is that I applied for deferment when I left my job to return to uni. got the papers back, and then about a month or so later started gettng demands for payment of arrears.. Sorted that out, kind of, in oct 04 - SLC asked me to send deferrment forms again, which worked, but then their 3 month limitation on arrears left me stuck footing a months payment for their screw up!

Oh, and the latest attraction at HSL. A letter from "overseas collection department" - with an email! But wait! I sent one email at the end of march. no reply. so sent a follow up a week ago - the mail bounced. The address does not exist! Contacted to hosting company (Ventura), but haven't heard from them either.

Well, I'll cut off the story there and let you know what I have done. If you go to the SLC site, you will find that they adhere to Credit Services Association guidline (yeah right!). Anyway, if you contact CSA they will send you complaint forms. I have just filed a 30 page 'dossier' on both companies. That is, 30 pages of unanswered letters. If you check out the CSA guidlines, I'm sure you can find a number of violations. In my case, I disputed a charge and asked for an explanation. By CSA guidlines, they are obliged to provide you, the debtor, an explanation. I can't believe myself that I sent over 30 requests for an explanation... but there you are.

Frankly, these companies need to be completely gutted and restructured.

CSA website: http://www.csa-uk.com/
/> CSA Code of Practice: http://www.csa-uk.com/COP%20-%20CSA.htm

3rd May 2006, 06:10

AGENTV says:

I USED TO WORK FOR ONE OF THE STUDENT LOANS COMPANIES IN QUESTION AND TO BE HONEST IM AMAZED THAT ANY OF YOU EVEN GOT A DEGREE! IT MUST OF BEEN IN MEDIA STUDIES OR CHILD DEVELOPMENT OR SOME OTHER SHITE THAT WILL GET YOU NOWHERE. ITS NO WONDER THAT YOUR NOT EARNING ENOUGH TO PAY YOUR STUDENT LOANS BACK. IT'S VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SIT THERE AND SLAG THE SLC & HSL OFF BUT TO BE HONEST HALF OF THE TIME ITS YOUR OWN FAULTS. AS FOR MOANING ON SAYING HONOURS LOST MY DEFERMENT FORM WELL HSL DONT EVEN DEFER YOUR LOANS SLC DO ITS PRINTED IN HUGE LETTERS ACROSS THE FRONT OF THE DEFERMENT FORMS YOU MUPPETS. I THINK YOU SHOULD OF ALL READ THE FINE PRINT OF YOUR CONTRACTS A BIT MORE CAREFULLY. HALF OF THE ADVICE GIVEN BY OTHER MEMBERS ON THIS SITE IS INACCURATE AND TOTAL RUBBISH AS FOR THE GUY WHO WAS AVOIDING HIS DEBT BY NOT REGISTERING ON THE ELECTORAL ROLL WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS I HOPE THEY TAKE YOU TO THE CLEANERS MATE THERE ARE SOME GENUINE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WORK HARD TO PAY THE MONEY THEY BORROWED BACK AND YOUR JUST OBVIOUSLY A SPONGER.. THE GUY WHO RECKONS HE TOOK HSL TO COURT AND WON WELL I KNOW THATS BULLSHIT FOR A START WHY EVEN LIE ABOUT IT YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY GOT TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS WHY DONT YOU GO OUT THERE AND SPEND YOUR TIME PUTTING YOUR DEGREE TO SOME USE THATS IF YOU EVEN FINISHED YOUR COURSE. GRANTED SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE VALID CASES WERE THERE HAS BEEN A MISTAKE AND IM SURE IF YOU CALLED EITHER COMPANY AND SPOKE TO A CSA IN THE SAME WAY YOU'D LIKE TO BE SPOKEN TO YOURSELF THEY WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP YOU. ALL THE STAFF I HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH WERE FRIENDLY AND MORE THAN HELPFUL. REMEMBER THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS AS WELL AND MOST OF THEM HAVE STUDENT LOANS THEMSELVES. OH AND WITH REGARD TO THE DEFERMENT FORMS GOING MISSING SO HSL OR SLC CAN MAKE A QUICK BUCK OUT OF YOU WELL ONLY ONE COMPANY DEALS WITH DEFERMENT AND THATS SLC. HSL WOULD ACTUALLY PREFER YOU TO DEFER YOUR LOANS RATHER THAN PAY THEM OFF ALL MEMBERS OFF STAFF WILL TRY TO PERSUADE YOU TO DEFER RATHER THAN REPAY AND IF YOU DEFER LONG ENOUGH YOUR LOANS WILL GET WRITTEN OFF. ITS A WIN WIN SITUATION. SO IF YOU TAKE A BIT OF TIME EACH YEAR TO MAKE SURE YOU SEND IN THE RIGHT PAPERWORK AND KEEP IN TOUCH YOU'LL NEVER HAVE TO PAY OFF ALL THAT MONEY YOU BLEW GETTING PISSED.

ON BEHALF OF ALL THE CSA'S WHO HAVE TO PUT UP WITH YOUR WHINING SHITE EACH DAY. YOU SHOULD HEAR YOURSELVES.

AGENT V.

24th May 2006, 18:15

alfie says:

I can see you missed the degree module in "turning off caps locks for dummies 101"

It's a shame that, otherwise I'm sure your input would have been appreciated; it being so measured and all.

24th May 2006, 18:26

AGENTV says:

I can see you missed the point, DIPSHIT.

25th May 2006, 12:44

polarzoe says:

I've had a long battle with HSL. When they took over my account from SLC, they tried to change the terms of my account. I had written agreement of deferment from SLC, however HSL claimed that as an independent company they could now demand payment despite my agreement with SLC. After many months of letter writing and phone calls I eventually won my case with the help of Trading Standards.
I've since had numerous problems with them - letters 'missing', no record of my phone calls, intimidating phone calls, 'pay x amount today or we'll fine you'. A couple of weeks ago I rang to speak with their complaints department and was told that all complaint must be put in writing. I asked to speak with a supervisor, and was told one would ring me back. I'm still waiting. I've also asked for copies of my phone calls as suggested by someone previously. I was told that this was not possible, but that for a fee they could supply a copy of notes. Has anyone managed to get recordings of their calls from HSL (rather than SLC)? Thanks, polar zoe

31st May 2006, 08:06

Rich says:

Wow, I hadn't seen agentv's response, if this is the sort of person who's working for these companies then god help us all. What an arrogant, entirely missing the point prick! No wonder nobody gets anything helpful out of them.

31st May 2006, 09:14

seaneeboy says:

Indeed. The cool thing about everyone else on this thread is thatthey're never going to be considered stupid enough to have to work for SLC ;)

31st May 2006, 10:43

Rich says:

And of course anyone coming in through a google search for Honour Student Loans will be able to see exactly what they're like.

(I also notice that AgentV signed up to moblog to make his comments, so it might be an idea for anyone looking to contact HSL to go to his empty page and click on the contact user button. You might have to sign up yourself, but hey ho. I bet they could use some friends.)

31st May 2006, 12:41

AGENTV says:

depends wat you want to know i dont work for them any more but i can probably give you some info
and i have lots of freinds thank you

v

1st Jun 2006, 21:15

kiteless says:

Today I opened a letter from 'clarity' asking for almost six grand, HSL claim never to have got my change of address letter and were unable to contact me regards a deferment to which I am entitled (i have been on incapacity benefit for around four years because i am sick). But my post has been forwarded and nothing came from them. The clarity letter is addressed to a rough approximation of my address and it managed to get here, HSL claim their job is not to find people ( i guess that's for the debt collectors once HSL have avoided granting a deferment), the scripted phone answerer put down the phone on me, I am writing to clarity to have the account passed back to HSL for the deferment that is my right. The phone answerer almost proudly declared that HSL had been on watchdog and had MP's after them, like a criminal proud of their time served (look how hard I am). In the Hansard record of answres about HSL it is revealed no special funds were allocated for informing 'clients' of HSL's buying the debt or for handling change of address issues or deferment issues arising out of the change of companies. Make of that what you will. I was glad to find this blog as I felt threatened, alone, angry and nauseas with worry. I now see I am not alone in being treated so poorly by HSL and take some comfort in that, I think I will use my blog here to document my dealings over this matter and I invite others to join me so that ultimately this kind of thing is stopped from happening, -outsourcing to companies who are unable or unwilling to do the job and displacing the problems they have onto the public- ironically for honours student loans, they are most dishonourable.

1st Jun 2006, 22:06

HeadUpMyArse says:

you people need to read the t/c's of ur freakin loans...99.9% of the time the fault lies with the interlectually minded people, in this case the graduates, the fools who are supposed to rule our magnificent country! god help us all!!!! i work for an official ombudsman, and have dealt with hsl and slc, and they have never been in the wrong.....as for rich, kiteless and the other morons who chat crap...get a flippin life, take some responsibility get a wash, stop listening to the levellers, and pay ur debts, stop sponging off the welfare

1st Jun 2006, 22:32

kiteless says:

Prejudice is an ugly thing.

2nd Jun 2006, 04:40

mat says:

And that's why I use the 'delete' button... I don't want comments like that on my moblog, thanks AgentV...

13th Jun 2006, 13:52

teflon says:

this is getting confusing..
I replied to a commeny by agentV, which mat then deleted, so I removed my comment, and then he replied to my (now deleted) one.

13th Jun 2006, 13:55

mat says:

*head explodes*

13th Jun 2006, 13:56

hildegard says:

"They have never been in the wrong" Really? Just as an entirely representative example;
"At last Honours Student Loans has made a thorough investigation of your case and discovered that your direct debit mandate was cancelled by someone in its own office, which it calls an 'administration error'. It has cancelled the £60 charge and sent a new direct debit mandate as you have now decided to keep paying rather than defer.

Its letter to you confirming this spelled both Cheltenham and Gloucestershire wrongly, which does not reassure me that your problems are over."
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/cash/story/0,,1794660,00.html

13th Jun 2006, 13:57

mat says:

HSL have been in the wrong, in some fashion, nearly every single time I've had the displeasure of dealing with them. Even the legendarily dreadful Scottish Power look organised and professional next to HSL..

13th Jun 2006, 14:02

teflon says:

I need to remember (so, naturally, am using a comment on moblog to remind myself) to phone SLC and ask them why they've not started taking money off me yet. I'm going to wait till my next payslip (on Thursday) though just to make sure they're not just a wee bit late.

13th Jun 2006, 14:03

Joe says:

I'm so glad I just put my loan in a pep and payed it all back at once...minus my profit of course
*smug*

13th Jun 2006, 14:05

mat says:

yeah, well, I blew mine on records and drink and drugs and excessive fast living.

*smug*

13th Jun 2006, 14:15

teflon says:

Everyone's a winner!

13th Jun 2006, 14:17

Joe says:

I prefer your method

13th Jun 2006, 14:18

itsme says:

I see you have problems with your deferment and you state that HSL are donkey's etc!! please dont think i'm having a go at any of you i know they get it wrong at times but you will have been advised that the SLC are the only people that can defer your accounts when we say we will send a defement form to you we request this from the SLC , we are not allowed to deal with anything in relation with deferment of the loans we do not have the systems in place to do that !!! god i wish we did it would make things so much easier . we as a company have to do the same thing as you and request info on deferments from the SLC who can take up to 2 weeks to get back to us with a reply al i would advise you is if you have not received communication within 3 weeks after you sent your form off is to call SLC or HSL and chase it up we have so many accounts we cannt track every letter or piece of info up to see if customers have sent it or not as im sure you will appreciate i work for Honours and i admit we do make mistakes at times we are human and the problems do get sorted but here is me bitching lol 80% of the time we have to rectify SLC's mistakes

16th Jun 2006, 23:29

itsme says:

the site for honours is www.honoursstudentloans.co.uk

16th Jun 2006, 23:32

itsme says:

also may i add in reply to one of the blogs left the thought that we get money if you do not defer your account is incorrect we get paid for keeping people in deferment ,

16th Jun 2006, 23:41

Rich says:

So you admit that the system is not suitable for the task it's designed for and that you are unable to process the information you receive in a timely and efficient manner?

That's mighty comforting.

17th Jun 2006, 00:22

itsme says:

im saying that we are unable to prcess any info we do not defer accounts

17th Jun 2006, 06:52

Rich says:

So why do you exist, then? Why is it not all dealt with by SLC?

IT
MAKES
NO
SENSE

17th Jun 2006, 10:36

itsme says:

The reason we exist according to the government is that they wanted to highlight the relationship between the public-private secter but in reality from my experience is that slc are not what you think they were ok at giving out the loans but people who wuldnt pay them back they woldn't chase for payment also i think the government just wanted a lump sum of money to spend on other things but thats just my opinion

17th Jun 2006, 12:48

Monkeynuts says:

The previous post is correct. The disturbing thing is that the government will have sold the debt off for only a few pence in the pound - I would be interested to see the actual figures. Good to see public money being misused in this way. they have effectively thrown money away and could have given everyone a grant instead!

30th Jun 2006, 11:52

harassedmonkey says:

I have received 11 calls in three days. Because of the irritating nature and constant harassment I sought legal advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. This is what they told me:

Harassment of debtors is a criminal offence in England and Wales under section 40 Administration of Justice Act 1970. The offence is committed when a person uses certain methods to try to force another to pay an alleged debt for instance it is unlawful for a person to harass someone with demands for payment in a way that is calculated to subject them or members of their family to 'alarm, distress or humiliation'. This includes the frequency, manner or occasion of the demands as well as any threat or publicity that accompanies it.

The offence applies to both persons who undertake illegal debt collecting practices and to someone who arranges for or conspires with others to do this. The penalty for the offence is a max fine of £5,000 and is triable in the Magistrates court.

And now the important thing ... it is open to ANY PERSON to initiate a private prosecution against someone who is committing an offence under the legislation. To do this apply to the Magistrates Court for a summons. You need to go to the court with any relevent evidence and the summons should be issued without formality. There is no charge for the summons. The court will arrange a date for the hearing and deliver the summons to the debt collector.

If we all went down this route they would have to change their ways. After all a fine of £5,000 is more than I actually owe them. I have also put this in my letter of complaint to them about their harassment.

10th Jul 2006, 22:05

radish says:

Aye, but you could just pay them, no? After all, if you don't owe any money, they'll not call you...

25th Jul 2006, 12:11

kog says:

HSL use nothing less than harassment, lies and coercion to recover debt.

A record of phone calls from SHL

26/06/06 SHL - Account put on hold

27/06/06 SHL - Account can't be put on hold

28/06/06 SHL
29/06/06 SHL
30/06/06 SHL
01/07/06 SHL x2
03/07/06 SHL
05/07/06 SHL
08/07/06 SHL x4
11/07/06 SHL
12/07/06 SHL
13/07/06 SHL
14/07/06 SHL x5
15/07/06 SHL
17/07/06 SHL
18/07/06 SHL x4
19/07/06 SHL x2
20/07/06 SHL

5th Aug 2006, 15:09

mxy says:

Hey guys - I just found out I'm in arrears for 2138.68 pounds sterling. I also found out I was in arrears last year for over 800 pounds, and had this paid off promptly. I thought things were back to normal, and recieved two letters saying I had successfully defered on all three of my accounts. Only the pther day did I find out that I had only paid of the arrears on one account, and as two had been taken over by HSL (which I was not informed about), I still had arrears for this also.
And this all came about through SLC illegally withdrawing funds out of my account, buttin gme in dept, causing a bank fine, even after I had sent my Deferement and contacted them by fax to ensure they had recieved it. I promptly cancelled my direct-debit and contacted them persueing legal action. I did this for three months, and recieved no reply. Unfortunately, I changed location, and they obviusly didn't recieve my address change. I live abroad, and am all about resolving the situation in a constructive friednly manner - I am now once again trying to r-establish channels with them, but so far to no effect

29th Aug 2006, 16:02

lynne says:

ooooh, interesting. i sent off my three payslips for my defferment, they called me to say they hadnt received them, i said they had, they called me a liar, they sent them back to me, i sent them back, registered post, they sent them back to me, with the front of the envelope that i had sent them in. they are such a pain in the ass. i started paying it off as then i thought i wouldnt have to talk to them as they cocked it uot so badly. but they have! so i am deferring it again. they do make normal student loads company look good. thank you, rant over.

29th Aug 2006, 17:11

Howard(howardlawton-at-postmaster-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Would anyone who has been harrased by HSL and their sister company PDR -Pennine Debt Recovery touch base with me. I am currently campaigning against this comapny with the DfES, Consumer Direct and OFCOM. Including- entrapment to get students to pay when they should be deferred, additional charges, bullying, failure to answer correspondence, whitewash of a complaints procedure etc. -I am especially interested in telephone harrassment , they use an auto dialer system I had months of 7/8 calls a day every day and them obtaining mobile numbers etc. Harrased monkey please contact I will summons them myself. We have to make a stand or they will get away with harrassing ex students, they must be stopped and the govmt called into account for selling our loans to a dutch bank- the owners of HSL. Confidentiality will be preserved where requested but I need some idea/proof how extensive this is tThe Dfes seem to think my case is isolated. e mail howardlawton@postmaster.co.uk lets stop the distress this company causes. Thank you

3rd Sep 2006, 18:09

Howard(howardlawton-at-postmaster-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Teflon just to clear this up. Student Loan Company are administrrators for student loans, they handle deferrment - do not send your deferment forms anywhere else. Even if contacted by HSL -Honours student loans. In November 2004 the governement sold ALL the early original student loans to a Dutch banking consortium -without any controls over how they are administered they set up HSL . Beccuase I was threatened with someone calling at my house and was pesterred 7/8 times every day I sent deferrment to HSL -as you would, BUT they then say only SLC can make deferal hence you owe them money. Deferments can only be backdated three months they say so you owe arrears -then they add on charges. They also run a company called PDR Pennine Debt Recovery-this is still HSL though they wont admit it! They will ring you every single day multiple times starting at 8 am in the morning. There complaints procedure is waste of time, they keep repeating the same mantra. They will bully and threaten you with legal action, bailifs ettc and are hard and rude. Complain in the first iinstance to DfES who are responsible for this debacle, that should at least stop the phone calls, other posts suggest where else ie consumer direct, Ofcom etc. Ofcam do not investigate individaul complaints but if they get several will.

I assure you that any corresspondence with HSL will be ignored, complaints will be standard replies and get you knowhere and they will not give up harrasing you which is illegal and their operation is against the 2003 comunication act. You are not alone but this process can be very frightening and distressing, you can e mail me for support - I have been fighting this comapany for 12 months now, they are all talk-they wont take you to court they can't they are acting illegaly but we must stop this distress and ensure the government changes it's policy. Chin up you are not on your own, lets harrass them -make their life the hell they make ours. howardlawton@postmaster.co.uk Those lucky enough to have later loans are lucky SLC seem understanding and flexible, HSL are just loan sharks, beware they are specialists in getting you to give in and accept debts that you should not.

3rd Sep 2006, 18:46

mxy says:

Well guys, in the same breath HSL have said my loans are defered:

"I can confirm that your current outstanding balance is ##### and your loan is currently deferred until 19/11/06." - dated 9th August '06

and then, that it's terminated:

"I will be unable to issue you with the deferment application form which you have requested as your loan agreement has now been terminated and you are no longer eligible to have your loan deferred" - dated 6th September '06

After continued attempts to contact them, and establish communication channels... What gives HSL? Why the two faces?? Is this legal to just terminate a deferment while still current?

Any advice would be helpful...

6th Sep 2006, 15:45

Howard says:

MXY < There is a post back at the begining of these posts about HSl trying to change loan agreements with a guy who fought back, the ruling was they could not change the agreements. I do not htink they are incompetent but rather deliberate in their tactics. mush of what they do in chasing these loans is illegal, the charges, the attempts to invalidate loan agreements and of course the telephone harrassment. But it isn't clear what they inted to do next, how can you terminate and existing agreement. As they keep using the fact that deferment HAS to be handled by student Loan Company which I took to be an agreement reached with the DfES on purchasing these loans then how can they then re-write that. Just what do they intend doing next is anybodies guess, but with me they strung me along until I had passed the three months they state is the maximum that they could back date defer ment and then stated chasing me for 'arrears'. You could ring SLC and ask them whether you are deferred on their records. But I would seriously consider talking to the CAB perhaps on their help line. and would also recommend placing a complaing with consumer direct, you can do that on line it only takes a mo. Then at least if they then start chasing you for arrears -which they will you have amunition to fight back. I just hope they do not start harassing you by phone, it's awfull. If you are contacted by a company called PDR, this is Pennine Debt Recovery, this is still HSL they use it to protect their operation, it's easy for them to bully with debt in the title and if they get complaints against them then they can blame it, fold it and start another . They are the same company. I would pre empt any of their tactics and get support. I would dearly love you to place a complaint with the DfES, wont get you far but the more that complian the better, and again you have evidence of your concern. You can complain to Dfes on Line worth a couple of minutes of your time. HSL and PDR are bullies who try to entrap students to accept debts and charges, they are the scum. Internal complaint procedure is just a joke but I suppose you would have to show that you followed every possible avenue. Good Luck mate you will need it.

6th Sep 2006, 17:45

Howard says:

MXY Just thought about what they may possibly be trying to do with you-make out that you have broken the original agreement therefore make out you have to agree with a new one - don't if they try, Your problem is differnet to mine though they used entrapment with me. My email is in previous post above. Please feel free to use it if you would like to touch base with someoen who is going through problems with HSL, I might be able to give you some insight and as they say a problem shared is ... I know what it is like feeling you are on your own against this manipulative and bullying organisation

6th Sep 2006, 20:26

Pip says:

Hi all,

I have had major problems with both SLC and HSL. However, SLC is by far the better of the two, even if they have denied receiving deferment forms of mine, even when sent by recorded delivery.

SLC deliberately cut contact with me when I put in a complaint about their loss of forms and also their unfairly added charges as a result of these losses.

I have kept in contact with them, despite their lack of response to me.

My loan was passed to HSL without my knowledge, and I heard from Pennine debt recovery just 2 days after Honours contacted me to request payment. I had been away for a few days, so Honours got only the answerphone.

I have never refused to pay, nor have I ever been in a situation where I could not defer. I have freely kept in contact, but have been forced into this position of facing a debt recovery team as a result of continued incompetence on the part of the loans companies.

7th Sep 2006, 16:01

Colette Shaw BA hons(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net9) says:

I have been readin g your experinces with HSL. I am also following a period of blatant harrassment from HSL, with litigatiosn procedure. I see their tactics as underhanded and I doubt whether their beahviour is deemd reasoanble? nverthelss I am going to make sure these tactics are brought to the notice of future students,and give HSL the press it deserves. My partner is currently havign a meeting wiht am MP and we aregoing to raise thse issues. Following thsi I am going to write to Panaorama, as they ahve already aired teh tactics of Bnaks in their rapacious need for profit, that has roped many customers to borrow money, withinterst rates so high, they have literally beeen driven to despair and suicide. I have not doubt that many of the borrowers have nbeen passed on to collection companies such as HSL. Whom treat the customer as if they were moral degenerates. My experience of HSL, the collections department of Student Loans, is that a lte applcation for deferment is treated as a modern day equivalent to palcing one in the stocks: aperson is expxoed to uncontrolled and agressive whims of thestaff. I have had it put to me that I should make a payment, wiht not other indication that I am in a positin to question why, it was a command, then thecaller hung up, offended by a response to defend a postion using pure reason, My partner and I have reported to the police, thye have given us a crime refernces number. we are now seeing the level of calls made to me, as exceeding 'reasonable' behaviour. The tenet behind the unethcial and underhanded and ugly approach to bullying others, is that a customer who has taken out a loan does not deserve respect. I maintain that this is fast becoming an aspect of socail conditioning, this has to stop. Right now, here. POVERTY IS NOT A CRIME.
I can assure you that you have been treated unreasoanbly and that you are in a postiosn to defend your rights as a customer. Do not consider it otherwise. I would suggest that teh levels of communcatiosn with companies are not worth the respect they are currently given. Do not answer calls, do not give your phone number to these comapnies. Write to Customer Assistance, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD. As first commencement of action,if need be, reprt to eh polie, teh will give youa criem refernce number, you are then in a positoon to change your phone number without havein to pay your user extra phone costs. I am takign this as far as it will go. My thoughts are with you. Good Luck.

Colette Shaw mature student,

8th Sep 2006, 12:07

Howard says:

Sorry Itsme I might accept the problems HSL has nut that does not excuse the way you deal with people. Yoour company is acting illegaly and in contravention of the rules and guidelines of the communication act 2003. Do you wonder why people get upset when corespondence is ignored when you recieve 7/8 phone calls every dau starting at 8 am. It is HSL that hides behind SLC if its a problem do something about it, you yourself admit you cannot track all corespondence, my experience is that HSL ignore it until a complaint is placed externaly. HSL uses bullying tatics and I can honestly say I have had only one decent conversation with your operators in dozens. I aacept people like yourself and that one operator care. I feel sorry for you being caught up but please don't be indoctrinated by HSL's institutionalised attitude that it's all SLC's fault. HSL and PDR are causing misery and uneeded anxiety to thousands of innocent individuals. my personal experience has been hell for some 14 months now and it is still not resolved. I would suggest you might write to the DfES and explain your frustration clearly this cannot be allowed to continue HSL and PDR are ruining peoples lives.

8th Sep 2006, 12:15

Colette Shaw Comments wiht corrections.BA hons(ocen-at-onetell,net) says:

I have been reading your experinces with Honours Stuednt Loans andSL. I am also following upa period of blatant harrassment from HSL, with litigation procedure. I see their tacticns as underhanded and I doubt whether their beahviour is deemd reasoanble uner the law? Nverthelss I am going to make sure these tactics are brought to the notice of future students,and give HSL the press it deserves. My partner is currently havign a meeting with an MP and we are going to raise these issues. Following this I am going to write to Panaorama, as they ahve already aired the tactics of Banks in their rapacious need for profit, that has roped many customers to borrow money,:with interest rates so high, the customer have literally beeen driven to despair and suicide. I have no doubt that many of the borrowers have been passed on to collection companies such as HSL., whom treat the customer as if they were moral degenerates. My experience of HSL, the collections department of Student Loans, is that a late applcation for deferment is treated as a modern day equivalent to placing one in the stocks: a person is expxosed to uncontrolled and agressive whims of the staff. I have had it put to me, mid conversation on teh phoen to one of the staff at HSL, that I should make a payment, wiht not other indication that I am in a positin to question why, the tone was a command, then the caller hung up, offended by my response to defend a postion using pure reason, My partner, (disgusted by their tactics), and I have reported to the police, they have given us a 'crime referencesnumber.' We are now seeing the level of calls made to me, ona ahsared alndline,as exceeding 'reasonable' behaviour. Thsi means being treated as blatent harrassment. The tenet behind the unethcal and underhanded and ugly approach to bullying others, is that a customer who has taken out a loan does not deserve respect. I maintain that this is fast becoming an aspect of socail conditioning, this has to stop!Right now, here.! POVERTY IS NOT A CRIME.
I can assure you that you have been treated unreasoanbly and that you are in a postiosn to defend your rights as a customer. Do not consider it otherwise. I would suggest that the levels of communcation with such companies are not worth the respect they are currently given: Do not answer calls, do not give your phone number to these comapnies. Write to Customer Assistance, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD. As first commencement of action, if need be, report to the police, they will give you a crime 'refernce number,' you are then in a positoon to change your phone number without haveing to pay your user extra phone costs. I am taking this as far as it will go. My thoughts are with you. Good Luck.

Colette Shaw mature student

8th Sep 2006, 12:22

Colette Shaw BA hons(ocen-at-onetll-dot-net) says:

Many thanks to you all, and thanks to: Harrasmentmonkey, Redwind and Howard for very useful reearch and information provided here. It is a psotive forum.
Apologies for all typing errors on my part, I am sure I have disgraced myself, but iIhope the readers are able to get the gist?
Regards Colette

8th Sep 2006, 13:24

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

ps: futher to infor provided here, regardin section 40 adminstration of Justice Act 1970:proceedings under such circumstances could be counter to ‘Overriding Objectives:’

Notwithstanding, paragraph 4 of the protocols practice direction, which states a requirement of pre-action protocols: The court requires
Notwithstanding: PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE PROTOCOLS PRACTICE DIRECTION, WHICH STATES A REQUIREMENT OF PRE-ACTION PROTOCOLS: THE COURT REQUIRES “PARTIES TO ACT REASONABLY, IN TRYING TO AVOID THE NECESSITY FOR THE STARTING OF PROCEDURES.

Which means when one party is unreasonable they are exceeding legal bounds.
I fel that the action of HSL should be brought ot theattention of the wider public. Which brings me to thank you for setting up this forum.

Thank you once again.
Colette

8th Sep 2006, 13:43

Colette(ocen-at-onetell,net) says:

PPS, Those of you whom feel overwhelmed by the level of harrassment, I suggest that you follow futher response to bullying by HSL, that you will be forced to consider bankruptcy. Should you strongly consider bankruptcy as an option the company will lose any chance to recover full amount of loan. In my view students should not be leaving with a life time of debt to pay, for the opportunity of education and degree, there was a time when students left with degrees without a humungous debt like a noose around the neck. They were the fortunate ones .The policies of our times arising from inflation, coupled with promises to bring better standards of education, have produced the econocmical climate we have now. And allowed for the bullying mentality to be fostered and engendered in the desperate attempt to redress loss caused by the trend of loans. and borrowing. Further to this students leave with degrees, less opportunity for jobs and less chance of achieving higher income. This problem will increase with population increase. Thousands of students have had to take bankrupcy as a desperate measure.

Regards Colette

8th Sep 2006, 15:11

howard says:

Collete You are clearly very upset, moths of harrassemnt and bullying has left me depressed and anxious. I fully support your actions and wish you luck. Im sorry therefore to let you know that the government introduced a clause that makes student loans bankrupt free, you still owe the money even if you go bankrupt. The only way round this as I have seen posted elsewhere by sissaffected students is to pay the loan by credit card then go bankrupt on the credit card comapny. Now we are in this position and it ihas iffected our lives and is damaging our health it seems wrong to do this. This would mean they have made a profit from the misery they have caused , personaly I would die rahter than pay a penny I do not owe to these bastards. I am glad you got a crime number well done, I was in such a distressed state and ill with worry I did not have the strength at that time. We can work together I have stated all along in my fight against HSL and PDR that I did not want another student put through this worry and misery, You post upset me, I have failed so far, I can feel your anger and frustration, it comes across in your posts. Why would this governement take such drastic action as to change the laws of bankruptcy the anaswer to get a higher price when they sell us down the river to some street loan shark. The only thing I am waiting for now is for them to send someone round to break my legs. Take care it's not worth lossing our health over , says I. Atleast through Mats blog we kknow we are not on our own, wish I had found it earlier Mat we all owe you a pint.

8th Sep 2006, 16:45

Colette(ocen-at-onetell-dot-net) says:

Thank you Howard for your response, and useful information regarding bankruptcy. Is that so? Well, it has changed since my daughter filed for bankrptcy after her degree then? I will have to look inot that one... we will see what we can come up with ...any useful infromation will be passed ont this forum in an attempt to support fellow students.

Your tips about a credit laon is a good one though. I cannot say I have much sympahty with the banks with the inflated interst rates they slap on, and it is always going to be the small to average income earner that is exploited.

Howard anyone who dares to raise a finger to you in the extremt will na seriously accountable for their actions. I have also liekened their behaviour to littel above that of gansters. I iwll keep you posted on how things progress. Meanwhiel it is great to keep the lid of this, and get reid of any conspiracys of silence, students should not keep bear this alone or in isolation. Great forum!

Thank you again for your concern.

Colette

8th Sep 2006, 17:32

Colette Shaw BA hons(ocen-at-onetell,net) says:

To the agent 'what his name' (up there) ? Appalling tone of language, very aggressive and yes, very unmeasured, I agree with Alfie. I am afraid Agent V's world is very black and white and leaves very littel room for individuality, He seems to be under the impressoin we all achieve degrees to sit in an office? That office work will provide us with a better income, no doubt like himself or as belives ? What about the other sectors of the community each as valuabe:? Many people make conscious decison to earn less in order to bring comfort to others, and why the assumption others are not 'hard working'. We work very hard, it would be nice to be paid more for it thougH! Well iAgentV most certainly gave a very sound example of the black and white mentality that smokes screens during attemtpts to reason with theHSL? Edifying! He couldn't have done a better job of giving a wonderful example of what one is up agains in the kind of metality demonstrated could he? He demosntrated very well reasonable, intlelligent and visionary virtues it take to be a HSL staff. Well done Agent V for showing us the magnitude of your wisdom! What does the V satnd for I wonder? Venom? Vehemence?
Thank you again wonderful all. Keep courageous as you are.

9th Sep 2006, 14:31

Colette(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:

PS-A good book to read: For AgentV ( up ther)e which might help educate him is by John Lane starts with the introduction
“ This is a book about simplicity- not destitution, not parsimoniousness, not self denial- but restoration of wealth in the midst of an affluence in which many of us now live, in overcrowded and manic consuming nations. It is a book that rejects the sense of continual deprivation, the idea that there are always new necessities. It is a book that has nothing to do with subsistence living on the Lake island Inisfree, but everything to do with having less and enjoying more: enjoying time to spend with your family, enjoying time to pursue creative projects, enjoying time for good eating, enjoying time just to be.”

Regards

Colette: Painter and care giver

9th Sep 2006, 14:57

Pip says:

There must be a way of getting a campaign organised against HSL? Given that there are so many people that have been affected by them and SLC's underhand tactics too. I know of many people who have been experiencing hardship as a result of paying off their student loan early, partly through SLC illegally taking payments during deferment (and they've not been able to get the payments refunded) and partly through harassment and the loss of deferment paperwork (which has made people 'give in' and let them take the money to save the stress).

I am not in a position to pay a penny. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old, and I'm not going to let my children starve just because HSL have decided that I should pay over £100 pcm from our extremely low income.

I have not been able to work since my 2nd son was born, as I have been suffering from postnatal depression. I had been on antidepressants for a year, then I just managed to get off of them and I find that HSL want to send me back to the place I've just struggled to leave. Their incessant phone calls have left me having anxiety attacks every time the phone rings.

It is criminal, unnecessary and must be stopped. Can somebody here set up a plan of action that we can all follow, so that our united voices are heard?

I, for one, would be happy to contact any organisation or person that may be able to do something about this. I just don't know who to contact to best effect?

Any ideas?

9th Sep 2006, 22:16

Howard says:

Hi Pip there is a parrallel there, I used my post grad to work in mental health on the front line with short trem contract and extreme behaviour with just over minimum wage, It's catching! I had a breadown last year. On top of which I endured months of harrassment from HSL and PDR, It's bad enough being thrown onto £56 a week just cos you are ill, bu how can you recover when faced with an 8 am call up from HSL every morning. Then as Colette states the ignorance and vindictiveness of PDR/HSL staff who seemed to relish being at advantage. I wish they would take me to court, I really do truth is though they won't..

It has been suggested here that the government is compliant cos it suits them-too true I urge each and everyone to at least complain to the DfES. WE have a tool here it takes two minutes it causes them hassle, it makes our presence known, lets do it. Look this sort of distress is going to, if not already drive someone to desperation and suicide.

Then theres future students will they sell of more so cavalierly, I have a daughter at uni, my sons just graduated , theres only the three of us here, a low income family single parent family, which has been burdened with education costs of over £40,000 plus, but also all the other costs and debts.

I'm the same generation as TB, JP and the rest, they got their education courtesy of my mum and dad free, they have betrayed us, they take the piss, we need to protect ourselves and future students and make it known we have been sold out to some Dutch bank who employs loan sharks who just stop short of breaking legs, but they certainly break hearts.

It's up to you out there, how do you feel, up enough to send an e mail of compliant on line, just a couple of minutes to get it of your chest, fight back and let them know- e mail please to sandra1.wright@dfes.gsi.gov.uk thank you, thank yourself. Honestly you will feel much better.

10th Sep 2006, 08:41

anonymous says:

Thanks, I will email later today.
I am sorry to hear about what you have gone through. I really understand this very well. Honestly, If I could afford to pay these companies anything, then I would, but they don't seem to believe that we're doing anything except 'dodging' repayments.

Also, no-one in the benefits system seems to understand that when you do a post-grad you end up with further debts, the repayments for which cut your benefits income dramatically. There is no income level protection with these, so these have to come before the student loans repayments.

No-one prepares you for this, or warns you that being free of debt is not going to happen until you're at least 40, which will always mean that you can't afford to stay at home to look after your children, if you decide to have them.

My depression developed as a result of returning to work and having to leave my 4 month old baby for 14 hours a day. It took just 3 weeks of that to make me suicidal and I was signed off work then. I'd had to give up breastfeeding, my hormones were crazy, and HSE had to get involved as I was expected to lift heavy objects! The last thing I needed was to have to go to work each day, but these debts make it a necessity.

If anyone from SLC or HSL are reading this, then try to understand that most of us would love to be earning enough to pay back these debts, and would be happy to get free of them in this way.

Harrassment does not make the money for repayments 'magically appear', even if you do start calling at 8am every day! Ignoring letters of complaint, and sending a statement and a repayment plan instead, is not going to mean that we can now make these payments.

Good luck to everyone who is locked in battle with these companies. Please take Howard's advice and email the dfes.

10th Sep 2006, 10:30

Pip says:

BTW I am the above "anonymous".

10th Sep 2006, 10:30

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Dearest, Pip, Howard and Anonymous,

I have been updating, and reading your thougths. I was so shocked to read futher of your plight Pip! That you are being palgued with two dear little ones to take care of. And Howard's state of health too etc. This is ad nauseum diabolical state of affairs!

Yes I do have some ideas to do with multiple charges against this company, so please start reporting the police the unreasonable level of phone calls as the first step. Change your number. Ask for any furhter communication to be put in writing if yo have not doen this already?

The more complaints this comapny receives regarding their constant breaching of the law the more you have a credible case agaisnt them, And the more it reaches public awareness, also you may be surpirsed: some member s of the police have used student loans too, and are quite understanding. I spoke to one.

I think you are right Pip a campaign to bring the company's underhanded ugly tactics to braoder light, to bring them into ill repute.

They are very smug about the fact that they have had MP's and Watchdog after them, and are still standing! I read from one other student's reports.
I sense it is the end of the road for them This kind of collective egoic confidence gets teh blase attitude and usually begins to trip itself up at some point: By it s own nature of wanting to flaunt its victories., to fel empowerd.

They should and will get the press they deserve, I have written to let HSL and SL they know that is what I intend to do, that i have lost trust and respect for HSL.

SL Customers Assitance by the way, have been very professional and supportive as far as they can be, At least that is the impressoin I am currently being given? But SL cannot get hold of recorded phone calls made between customers and staff if the staff are working for HSL: this seems to be out of their domain.

I have asked Customer Assistance why some of my accounts have been passsed to HSL? , I am at present waiting for feedback from Customer Assitance regarding this query? And waiting for feedback from the complaints department of HSL. I am not expecting any professional response from them, And I suspect they are a farce, but I am at least ,keeping in communication with them, whilst they ignore advice from Customer Assitance to backdate deferment and clear arrears.

I stress this is written communciation, No giveing of your phone number any more, WRITTEN COMMUNICATON only, if you need to call them may I sugget do it from a public call box or make number untraceable. This is your right to privacy.

I I ahve let them know that my new landline number will be no longer availble, as my last number was patetnly misused. It was lik ea virtual palygound for 'back street 'mentality. Ridiculous! How can they expect customers to take them seriously after such behaviour! Outrageous!

But I have decied not to air too much regarding my course of action on this site as ther ewill be no surprise for them. And I suspect they are keeping abreast of things, They listen to recorded internal phone calls not I suepct tokeep teh staff in order as so much to measure the effectiveness of their tactics, and hone them to a fine art.

Let us say we have to be aware ot these possibilties. Remember Agetn V (Vitriol up there) as an example.
My course of action planned includes Universities being brough to awarenss of this matter,

The present and New Advertisement regarding Student Loans, well! I have it on my agenda to write to Advertiseing Complaints, as they are unaawre they could be stringing student along like lambs to the slaughther. Imagine all those dear young people wth God knows what kind of future in store?

I too suffer fom my health after year sof nursing and caring in EMI units during my years as a student, I worked part time in these palces, as a result have injured my spine, The nervous system is pronounced here, and subject to changes in physical and emotional environment. In truht I should not be doing any weight bearing. But I need my job whislt I launch myself as painter. I am preparing for my first exhibition. But now find my tiem being partly absorbed by the demands of the HSL, and I cannot stop thinking of you all here.

Heart goes out!

Colette

10th Sep 2006, 12:04

howard says:

Hi I had my lalndline disconnected due to HSL/PDR, and changed my mobile sim card. This was after complaining to them in writing, and CHarles Stewart intervening on my behalf the clearly knew the distress they had caused. Imagine my delight to recieve a phone call and voice mail message on my mobile-from HSL!!! How they got my new number I may well never know there response in writing was a pearler esp. has Charles had asked to be copied their response to me which was that the mobile number they had used had been on my personal records from taking out the loan.

Clearly they are not averse to telling a few porkies. I was also told thier records showed they had not called me more than twice in any one day, and that it was only to gather information! and they conform to Ofcoms regulations and guidelines-well you have to say there compliants procedure is one sided but very entertaining, with them being prepared to lie to the DfES think that I have somehow confabulated my complaint!

10th Sep 2006, 21:59

Howard says:

Can anyone explain to me why my loan repayments as calculated by HSL are £53 a month. My sons are much much lower despite owing more money, I thought we had been told that repayments where easily managable!

10th Sep 2006, 22:02

howard says:

Our speeling in these posts is terrible-but has a mental health practitioner I would say that is is the result of stress and anxiety-as well as anger. The message -one of intense frustration and the feeling of helplessness- is more important than the presentation, its a release of pent up anxiety so before someone says graduates can't spell just hink why grads and postgrads fall to pieces in these posts. Well thats my excuse anyway, To misqoote Terri Prithchet deeling wi the HSL is like -playing snakes and ladders with greased rungs.

10th Sep 2006, 22:27

Colette Comments wiht corrections.BA hons(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hello Howard, and all.
Funnilyt enough Howard I was going to train as an art therapsit, tnen started training as a phsychotherapsit. Then had a change of heart and begant to follow what my body was telling me, where the most inspiration lay was where th emost energy Ihad togive, my painting. Hnece, i did not follow up futher studies.

Don't worry about the spelling, My msspelling mostly typing errors Tut! tsu! Hard to keep track in these boxes. But even writers make errors has nothing to do with intelligence a lot to do with wher eyour focus is at theiem as you point out
It si 2.25 am I suffer from bouts of insomnia, and try to put my nocturnal habits to good use now. Having some milk ( goats) to settle my tummy.
I cannot answer the question of how they arrive at their sums, Can anyone else here?

I have a list of bodies I am going to write to, I decieded a letter a day ( keeps the doctor away) will be suffice. Mean time to keep you all posted in regard to what kind of responses I get from whomever I write to.

I really loath behvaing like a hornet wiht a fat ars eand huge sting, But I geel I am being given no option here.
I am attemting to keepmy levels of anxiety to a minimum. Live in the moment,: reality check: Roof over your head, a loving friend nearby, the smell of a good cup of coffee, or tea for that matter, well something along those lines. Take time to go out for walks, excersise keeps the body chemicals regulated, do not let the demon fears take over: I try to get out of my head when I consider I have given the subject enough consideration for the time being, and absorb myslef in something that gives me pleasure. Gardening is good too, anything that one likes l to do. Well this is my approach to challenging times such as these.

Yes, agree with you Howard, this is a good site to have a cathartic release.

Regards

Colette

11th Sep 2006, 02:45

Colette (oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:

PS great that you have stopped the phone call channels!

11th Sep 2006, 02:49

mat says:

this is my blog y'know, not so much an area for your collective catharsism. But, y'know, carry on if you want to.

You may find this whole thing more productive if you find a real forum somewhere to discuss it all. who knows..

11th Sep 2006, 12:13

Howard says:

Mat Sorry mate I realise what you are saying, unfortunately there is not a forum, yet. Thats why I encouraged people to e mail me direct. If you could hang on a little til we can set up something else. Your blog has been so helpful to individuals that are distressed and is providing support in that the DfES and office of fair trading has sight of evidence that individual complaints are backed up with evidence from this site that many students are experiencing the same harrassement etc. it might make all the difference, Meanwhile individuals cn find my e mail on earlier postings and contact me direct as some have done- for what the trading standards have to say which is not good contact me. I would urge anyone to complain to them you can do it on line. Sorry once again Mat.

11th Sep 2006, 13:10

mat says:

Doesn't really bother me, I was just thinking you guys might find it easier with a proper forum with threads and profiles and private messaging and so on. Something like this, maybe?

11th Sep 2006, 13:19

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hello Mat,
Yes, a good idea to exapand forum, and not take too much space here on your blog. I had no idea! Apologies! Bless you.

I am fraid this thing is big, and needs room for expansion, and to find out how many other students are being exploited in this way, and to let them know we should be bringing the HSL breaches of law into the open.

Please, please do not feel shy to come forward, and share. We need you.

My partner has suggested complaining to Company's House, this is a registration comapny for all companies to be legally viable to present themsevs as cerdible company. The complaint will outline that HSL registration number: '3716001' is non compliant with the rules oultined by the Financial Standards

If anyone want to write to me, Pip, Anonymous, Howrd etc, please feel free to do so, use my email address above. I am not doing anonimity here. Too old to hide, Keeping msyelf open so far, so good.

PS Ihave had a letter from HSL this morning. Obviously annoyed they can no longer harras me by phone, so now I have things in writing they have to pose as reasonable, whislt claims that they will consider my financial poisiton if I am havinfg difficulty wiht paying arrears for late deferment, (despite repeated lrequsts to them to waive fees and backdate deferment.) I have responded, that I am currently out of work, due to poor health. I will not be back to work until the end of Novemeber. Whist I follow a programme for recovery. They have slapped on an adimistration charge of £7.50 Hilarious sulking, Becasue they had to write a letter, and canm no longer harrass me by phone.

iIhave requested they pay me £10. admistration fee for the letter sI was forced to write due to diabloical communciation in the collections department, I was forced to send the letters special delivery, the cost £5. a letter. All true! Wher do they get the notion that they are not themselves incurring cost whislt they ignore letters bully and harrass peole to ill health, and drive up ther own phoen costs wiht theincessesnt and unecessary phone calle to customers?. They need to be put in the picture, someone will be filing ofr damages if they continue thsi lien of action.
Their actiosn are causing repercussive events in health and finance of many lives.

They will no doubt be responsibel to drivng others to despair and feelings of suicide, I strongly suspect in their attemtps to illegally procure money from those whom have had the misfortune to trust and fall foul to sub-clauses and changes in S L agreements.


Regards to all

Colette

11th Sep 2006, 13:22

Howard says:

Sorry Mat _I will make this my last post and expect people to contact me direct but this is usefull information

Communication Act 2003 section 127
(2) A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety, he-
(c) persistently makes useof a public electronic communication network
Sorry Mat I'll buy you a pint sometime to make it up.

11th Sep 2006, 14:10

mat says:

I don't drink mate, but thanks for the offer. :)

As I said, I'm not particularly bothered, just think that you guys may find this easier to do with a proper forum. Please carry on here if you want to though, it's no problem for me at all.

11th Sep 2006, 14:13

MXY says:

Update:

After being told my loan can be defered by HSL, they then said they made a mistake and that my contract is being terminated on NOv 19th and I must start payments on the 20th - This comes after clearing off myu arrears once more, and afte being told by the HSL that they are NOT responsible for deferal process. I have a 3 contracts - 1 with SLC and one with HSL. HSL are saying it states in my contract I am not eligable for deferment anymore. Whereas, SLC say that I AM eligable, and have deferd me until next year, where I will receive deferal papers once more... How can the same contract, 2 bought by HSL and one still owned by SLC be different enough to affect different legal regulations? They were the same when I signed them, what's happened since?? Is there some big mis-understanding in the legal clauses that HSL is picking up on that myself and SLC are not?? Please, HSL - ANYONE WHO REPRESENTS THEM ON THIS FORUM - Make sense of this situation ofr me, as I'm past understanding...

PS: ALL my communications with SLC and HSL are thuroughly documented.

11th Sep 2006, 14:38

mat says:

MXY, suggest you read back a few posts. This isn't a forum, this is my blog. HSL have no representatives here.

11th Sep 2006, 14:40

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Dear Mat and MXY, cane we crete a forum and get the attention fo other ggradautes who are undergoing these same things?
Colette

11th Sep 2006, 16:42

mat says:

Feel free. I won't be doing it for you though, as I already have a website to manage.

Suggest you start by buying honourstudentloans.com/.co.uk and some webspace, (from here, for example) which is still available as HSL are actually "Honours Student Loans" and didn't think to buy other domains that are very close to theirs. That ought to get the site a good ranking on google, which is what you need to get noticed.

Free forum software is available all over the internet, PHPBB being only one of the options available.

Here endeth my advice.

11th Sep 2006, 17:28

Colette(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:

Hello Again Mat,
Thank you so much for advice. Good, and sound and I hope such a forum wlill be conducive to helping many others
Goodbye all.

Regards Colette

11th Sep 2006, 18:50

Charles(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hi Mat,
How did your blogsite get the first entry after HSL?

11th Sep 2006, 19:01

mat says:

You mean on google?

Because I know what I'm doing when I make a website, and I've had some very good advice from good search engine experts as well. In this case, like most of them, it's becuase this page changes fairly regularly (google likes that), includes the words "honour student loans" a lot and a few other factors too technical to detail here.

My guess would be that HSL's own site only outranks this page becuase of their domain name, so if you guys buy honourstudentloans.co.uk, you'll be right up there on google too - so other people can find your site. Obviously, linking it off this page would help too, which I'm certainly happy to do if you did get such a site set up.

11th Sep 2006, 19:25

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Mat.

Thank you for your help, yes we have set one help, it would be ncie to link up?

You are a star! And of course you you are a tech wizard!

Thanks again.....

I must get some sleep I have a furious headache.

Take care
Colette and Charles

PS Pip, Howard and all are invited to share, as it is their forum too. No expense. Your are valauabel support, whenever you feel you are able to give it, visit anytime. will send details by email.

11th Sep 2006, 22:58

Howard says:

Colette and Charles -well done look forward to meeting you there. Great thanks to Mat a problem shared and all that. Just got back from CAB looks like bankrupty for me if I can sell enough stuff on e bay to pay the £450 fees!!!! But it won't get rid of my student loan. But another CAB meeting coming up to slap HSL and PDR with a summons. Happy Days.

12th Sep 2006, 11:33

Colette(ocean-at-onetell-dot-com ) says:

Great Howard, now youu will only have the one debt to mange and be feer to manage teh other, then yo can file for damages having been forced into bankrupticy, despair and ill health.
I sent you a brief email, and I hope tosend another with our, your and Pis, and all website address. Mat we hope to link ? And hve you as welcome interloper.

Cand C

12th Sep 2006, 13:31

mat says:

Colette - becuase you're not a moblogUK member, you can't post URLs in comments (sorry, we were getting a lot of "online poker" and worse spam in anonymous comments), but if you use the 'contact user' button on the top left of this page and send me the url to your forum, I'll happily link there.

12th Sep 2006, 13:34

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net9) says:

oh God how awful were those typing errors! I simply cannot see what Iam typing? Should read: Great Howard, now youu will only have the one debt to manage and be freer to manage the other, then you can file for damages having been forced into bankrupticy, despair and ill health. (What a palaver!)
I sent you a brief email, and I hope to send another with our, (your and Pips, and all others )website address. Mat we hope to link ? And hve you as welcome interloper.

Cand C


12th Sep 2006, 13:37

Charles(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hi Matt,
www.honourstudentloans.co.uk is nearly running. I've uploaded the PHPBB software however it is not working yet. If you've got tips?
Charles

12th Sep 2006, 21:51

mat says:

looks to me like you don't have apache set up to recognise PHP scripts. Try emailing your hosting company's support team, or checking their support forums. there's not much I can do from here.

12th Sep 2006, 21:56

Charles(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:

Hi Mat,
Thanks for the advice, will follow.

Cheers

Charles

12th Sep 2006, 23:20

Colette(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:



As your complaint concerns a breach of the Communications Act 2003, it would seem appropriate for this to be considered, in the first instance at least, by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). You may wish to raise your complaint with them. Their address is Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA, switchboard 020 7981 3000, fax 020 7981 3333. You can also complain online at

14th Sep 2006, 14:57

Colette(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:

We hope to launch a complaint about phone Harrassment with regard to th ebreach of this law:An investigation is required into the business activities of the company registered under the above name - also known as Honours Student Loans.

The company is non compliant with the regulations set out for the the financial industry.
Communication Act 2003 section 127
(2) A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.
(c) persistently makes useof a public electronic communication network

It is therefor required to have the companies business activities suspended and striken of the register of companies house.

Please, if any of you have had this terribel kind of harassment from HSL make a compliant with the above.
Mar, still seeting up site, meanwheil Chares is having ameeting with the MP where these isssues will be raised.
Kindest Reagrds
Colette

14th Sep 2006, 15:02

Howard says:

Colette Take a look at The Protection from Harassement Act 1997
For those interested Trading Standards will not take action on my complaint-despite me 'informing' them of both above acts. They maintain it is not harassment as long as it is not during Unsocial Hours which start at 8 am. I have lodged my dissapointment at their decision with my complaint but they won't budge. I suspect strongly it is because of possible embarassment to the gov.mt otherwise they are pretty stupid and niave -you decide. Anyway you might want to lodge your own complaint the more the merrier and the more they will have to explain when we are succesfull, believe me I will ask them, through open letters to the media, meanwhile lets keep plugging away.

15th Sep 2006, 09:53

Howard(howardlawton-at-postmaster-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I have been sending out this 'press release' with a covering letter don't kow if it will help or not, but if you want to use it, or if you write your own and send them off we will eventualy get somthing printed which would then hopefully snowball. Am I getting bitter?

Student Loans sold to ‘loan shark’ bringing despair and debt to thousands.

In November 2004 the government sold out a whole raft of student loans to the highest bidder, Honours Student Loans, bringing confusion despair and debt to hundreds of thousands of ex-students. HSL have been accused of using tactics normally the reserve of backstreet loan sharks to force students into accepting debts that they should have been protected from, creating a new underclass of ex students. HSL are accused of entrapment, bullying and harassment of an unprecedented scale and of making a mockery of the governments pledge to protect low income students and their families.

When the government introduced student loans it argued that low income students where protected from unnecessary debt and hardship by the 85% income threshold. Those students, it proudly announced, who after graduating found themselves in low incomes, would not have to pay back their student loan. This includes many who went on to use their degrees in public service such as teachers, social care workers as well as individuals who through circumstance or lack of opportunity found themselves on low incomes- often at the minimal wage. The larger proportions of students who fail to benefit from higher wages after graduating are from the lower income families, which the government claimed they wanted to encourage into university.

Thousands of those ex students have suddenly found themselves victims of the confusion around the deferment process and of unprecedented incompetence, harassment and bullying resulting in their being forced to pay back their student loans, despite being on low incomes. This has brought despair, thrown whole families into hardship, brought many to the brink of suicide and created a whole new underclass. They feel that the government has sold them out to the highest bidder and that the DfES (Dept. for Education and Standards) have washed their hands, abandoning them as the victims of a flawed education policy.

Those ex students accuse HSL of incompetence and deliberate entrapment within the deferral process. Deferrals can only be backdated three months, but HSL delayed in sending out deferral forms, then created confusion regarding the process, lost deferral forms and correspondence and only informed the student when they have past the deadline by demanding arrears and immediate full payment of the loan. The monthly repayments demanded are often over £100 a months, more than a low income family could afford and they add their own charges. They are also accused of forcing students to sign new agreements which benefit HSL. Those students that succumb to the harassment and set up direct debit payments have found HSL making regular errors, and HSL force the student to pay extra charges for their own mistakes.

Many students first realisation that they have not deferred is in the form of a postcard telling them that they are in default and that an agent will be calling at their house within the next three days. These postcards are from company called PDR or Pennine Debt Recovery, which just happens to have the same postal address as HSL. It is what happens next that has brought misery, fear and anxiety into those ex student’s homes, the demands and the way they are enforced.

Using an auto dialler system the phone calls start at 8 am every morning of the week, 7 or 8 phone calls in one day is not unusual and some students have been harassed this way for months. This has caused despair and anxiety and many students report that the daily haranguing has affected their health, driving many to the doctors through the anxiety and illness this daily and multiple intrusion into their lives brings, on top of the despair at not being able to meet the payment demands made.

I is also widely reported that HSL and PDR staff who man the phones, have only one script threatening court action and are rude, ignorant and arrogant, adding to the distress and anxiety felt. This is of course on top of the letters which regularly demand payment and threaten court action and debt recovery.

Accusations are also made that the internal complaints procedure is one sided, that of HSL, and that the DfES maintain they cannot interfere. This has driven many students to take their own action, in particular against the telephone harassment. The despair is now at such a level that ex students are organising themselves to put pressure on both HSL and the government. Lives are being made a misery, families placed under pressure and forced further into debt. This is causing anxiety and illness, and there is the very fear that this has and will drive some ex-students to suicide.

15th Sep 2006, 10:34

Howard says:

Sorry in the covering letter I stress the creation of a 'new underclass' for some media this will probably be a better aproach imagine a new underclass popluated entirely by graduates - frightening and a mockery of the governments alleged policy to encourage those from poorer families, and it's supposed protection for those who use their degrees in the lower paid social sector.

15th Sep 2006, 10:40

Howard(oceen-at-onetel-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Howard,
you wrote that beutifully. It is so eacti in describing the phcholcoigical abuse that eh ex students have been subjected to. Iam writing to Pip offline, as I do not want theHSL to know my course of action, or give them sneeak peviews. I tried emailing you before but it was returned 'failure' can you email me? Above. I really want togive my support in this and until the forum is set up we need to keep in communcaition... thank dear Mat for his blog. yes, iknow it is an absolute wretched state of affaris and Iam determiend this will not continue. We will stick together and bring thsi to th eattention of others. I promise.
Kindest regards

Colette

15th Sep 2006, 14:37

Howard says:

SLC have asked the government for permission to sell information on all student loan defaulters to other financial institutions, currently students are protected. If this is allowed students who through debt or through no fault of their own as we see here with HSL will find themselves blacklisted altogether or paying higher interest rates for any form of credit. This includes mortgages, loans etc.

We will see the creation of a new underclass, an underclass composed entirely of graduates. We must pull together and fight these proposals as we fight the injustice of HSL. We have been betrayed in the sale of our loans, and we cannot trust the DfES not to sell us out to the SLC , all so the SLC can maximise their profitability and add value to student loans. Anyone who has read the statement issued by SLC will see the same students are skivers terminology that we have all become familiar with Institutionalised predjudice.

Colette could not e mail you please try again howardlawton@postmaster.co.uk

18th Sep 2006, 13:00

Colette(oceon-at-onetell-dot-com) says:


Hello Hward and all,

Still bashing away at it with lots of letter writing.
Howard. I have sent another email I hope it reaches you?
Website still being set up.

Kindest regards all

Colette and Charles

18th Sep 2006, 19:00

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hello Mat,
All quiet onte Western Front? What have we allbeen up to I wonder. Much letter writing is one answer.

The other thin that has transpired during the pregant pause is a new webs site, I have enterd your site address onto it, for informal discussion etc but I cannot put our webs site address in this littel comment box as it will not accept it? What cane we do Mat?

3rd Oct 2006, 10:04

seaneeboy(seaneeboy-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

Collette - people without an account aren't allowed to post up web links because we get all sorts of spamming problems otherwise. if you send an email to seaneeboy at yahoo dot com with the address in it I'll add it in for you :)

3rd Oct 2006, 10:11

|Colette(ocean-at-onetell-dot-com ) says:

Hello Mat,
Yes, I see, of course!
Thank you so much, I will try to send an email with web iste address. Test Run

3rd Oct 2006, 19:01

seaneeboy says:

Hi Colette,

Thanks for your email - I'm not mat, I'm actually Sean, another moderator on this site.

For all those reading this thread, HERE IS THE FORUM COLETTE AND THAT LOT ARE TALKING ABOUT

Ta daaaaa!

Best of luck and all that.

3rd Oct 2006, 19:44

Colette(ocean-at-onetell-dot-com ) says:

Hello Sean,

Please excuse misnomer, it is difficult to tell who has switched to what psuedonym, (or if a perosn has or not)?. All the same if Mat is not about ,and you are Sean, a 'moderator', are you able and willing to place or site address on your blog site and moderate from your end?, And f not that is OK too. As we do not want ot be unwelcome guests. Thank you have a good day.

We hope to get as many as we other s as we can to share stories etc

Take care

Colette
PS did you get mey email Sean? Sorry it was addressed to 'Mat'.

5th Oct 2006, 09:01

seaneeboy says:

No problems - I've just emailed you back.

The best way for you to keep promoting this campaign through moblog is to Click here to set up your own moblog then you can keep us all up to speed that way.

Bect of luck with your campaign.

5th Oct 2006, 09:33

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hello Sean,

Thank you so much. Magic!
All linked!

I am not a high tech sort of person as you may have gathered, so all help very much appreciated.

Hope your day is a fun one.

Colette

6th Oct 2006, 10:38

Colette(ocean-at-tleleubs-dot-nut) says:



MORE than £60 million has come out of the public purse to help pay the interest on Scottish student loans, it emerged yesterday.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, sold off £200 million worth of Scots student loans to banks in 1998 and 1999 as part of his pledge to stick to Tory spending limits when Labour first came to power.

But because banks charge a higher rate of interest than students pay, the government agreed to make up the shortfall in the form of a subsidy.
>Figures revealed in a written parliamentary answer yesterday showed that over the past six years, a total of £62.5 million has been spent by the Executive on funding that subsidy.

Fiona Hyslop, the SNP's education spokeswoman, yesterday accused the Chancellor of "putting his political ambitions ahead of the wellbeing of Scottish taxpayers".
"Taxpayers continue to pay through the nose for student loan debts which are now owned by banks," she said.

"The banks will be happy since they're getting the repayments from the graduates as well as the subsidy from the public purse.
>
>"The average graduate takes 13 years to repay their student loan, and as the length of time taken to repay the debt is increasing, taxpayers will be footing the bill while graduates struggle to pay back their loans for years to come."
A spokesman for the Executive yesterday defended the decision to sell off the student loans to banks and rejected calls for student loans to be replaced with grants.
>
>He said: "The purpose of the debt sales was to realise some of the cash value of the government's assets and to transfer some of the risk of default to the private sector.

"Under the terms of the sale, the government pays the new owners a subsidy which tops up the sums collected on their behalf by the Student Loans Company to reflect a commercial rate of interest.

"There is a cost to the government of providing student loans because we have to take into account the cost of administration and the interest subsidy. However, as a student grant is non-repayable, it would cost considerably more to provide student support in this form as opposed to the loans system."


9th Oct 2006, 01:56

Chris Gallagher(christopher-dot-gallagher1-at-dwp-dot-gsi-dot-gov-dot-uk) says:

Howard - in your posting of 8/9/06 you mention the "moths of harrassemnt". I'm glad someone else has noticed these critters - I thought it was just me leaving the light on and forgetting to close the window. I fear though that they will be as nothing compared to the plague of "caterpillers of pursuit" which will hatch out next spring.

Seriously, though, I have had problems with HSL harassment since they took over administration of my loan from SLC. They continue to threaten me with legal action, as I have repeatedly invited them to do, but they then fail to do so. In my case, I graduated in 1999 and applied for repayments to be deferred as soon as I heard from the SLC the following year. They lost or did not receive the application, I applied again this time recorded delivery, they lost it did not receive it etc. etc. etc until ultimately they claimed that I owed some payments. I have since steadfastly refused to pay on the grounds that I more than fulfilled my obligations and that any fault lay with them. They seemed to accept that position without rancour over the years that they had the loan. Then HSL take over and I, like others am bombarded with telephone calls - as many as 13 in one day - and the substances of my responses is ignored. I would be delighted to defend the matter in the County Court and they know that because I've told them so with measured frequency. If there is a possibility of a group action being brought to stop them using these tactis, I'd be happy to be part of it. Although I am now a low grade civil servant, I was a freelance journalist until a couple of years ago, working for, among others, the Guardian. Search their website for some of my previous work. I'll happily pursue the prospects of getting a piece in one of the nationals if that helps.

Good luck all

9th Oct 2006, 15:25

Colette(ocean-at-tleleubs-dot-nut) says:

Chris,

Have sent an email to Howard to let him know you have left message for him on Mat and Sean's blog.

Up ther for our site

Colette

9th Oct 2006, 18:30

Howard says:

Chris- I sent an e mail but don't think you got it, if you scroll up a couple of messages I left my e mail in message -drop me a line. We have new info regarding agreements and think they will help you- howard. I have sent out 'press releases but not very succesfull as yet but not a proffessional like you!! We are gradually making headway and giving as good as got, so anyone else we can help - for example they cannot charge you then fight back drop me a line - lets make their life the hell they made ours

12th Oct 2006, 10:52

Poorsinglemother says:

I did everything that was asked of me by HSL i.e defered when asked, payed a massive £400.00 (saved from my childbenefit and evening job to by school uniforms and a new bed for my son as he got to big for the cot bed) when I was told they had not received my deferment form. So here i am again a year later - with HSL again telling me that a deferment has not been received and that my deferment ran out on the 15th september 2006 - they also insisted that they are allowed to send a letter dated 20th september 2006 informing me that i am now in arrear and that they are charging me £7.50 for reminding me through a letter. However they are so kind 'cause they did say that if I payed £74.00 today they would take off the charge. I agreed 'cause i have not yet brough me gas token's, electric token or carried out my weekly food shop down at Aldei - I mean it's better that i take the £80.00 in my purse and pay them instead of giving my children these 'treat'. Only problem is that I don't have a credit or debit card nor do I have any friends or family who are willing to allow me to use there card - as HSL suggesteed. BUT I will pay them - well there is nothing more they can do they say except take 10 days to send me a payment book, by which time they say I will incure another £7.50 charge. Well - I'm sure one of my children can do without a buspass and lunch money for a week while i pay the 'Letter charge'. One day i will have to explain to them why...being part of a singleparent household makes them 'scum' and that it is much more important that they go without food and heat and light so that HONOR STUDENT LOAN comes first. and if anyone from HSL is reading this message I suggest you ring me at 8.20 am tomorrow because I'm usually getting the kid's ready at 8 am and it is so annoying when the phone won't stop ringing, oh yeah I'm working very late tomorrow so you can ring a bit latter than 9 pm. I always want to be reasonable and I really don't want to miss our conversation's - i meanit's the only entertainment i get. -poorsinglemother.

23rd Oct 2006, 15:19

Howard says:

Poor single mum It's their responsibility to ask student loan company to send out your deferment form. They cannot charge you because it is not mentioned in the original contracts we took out with the student loan company. Write to them telling them you will not pay charges as they are acting in breach of credit licence agreement and your original agreement contract. Tell them you wish to formaly complain as this is the second year runnning that they have failed in their adminastrative duty regarding your agreement in failing to notify SLC that a deferrment form should have been sent to you. They will not take you to court they would not win any action as they are the ones in breach of contract regarding your agreement. Make sure you tell them you wish to lodge a formal complaint, when that is exhausted you can tell them you wish it to go to the independent advisor which is the final stage of complaint. Feed your kids. When you write to complaing request a copy of your agreement, (even if you have your original) and for a copy of the customer policy statement and a copy of their complaints procedure. You can also warn them off harrasing you by stating clearly in your letter than any contact with you should only be made in writing. These bastards rely on frightening and bullying you into making payments you are not obliged to work. One thing that works is to write to your local mp, and copy your letters to Hsl and send with your letter of complaint to your mp. make sure you put somewhere on your letter Copy to right honorouble........Mp whoever it is. These people are bullies and we need to stop them in their practice, and you cannot afford to play their games with them, if we don't resist it will happen again next year to you and to others who are unable to pay.

26th Oct 2006, 13:36

howard says:

Further to above post you can qoute this in your letter, If you have not got a copy of your agreement I can assure you they have no mention of any charges in our original agreements

Debt Collection Charges form Office of fair trading

1.10 In the Office’s view, there is no legal basis for a creditor (or a debt collection agency acting on the creditor’s behalf) to claim collection costs from a debtor in the absence of express contractual provision in the agreement between the debtor and the creditor. If there is no such provision, then collection charges cannot be demanded as a debt due under the agreement. If an agency claims an entitlement to recover charges pursuant to a separate agreement with the debtor, there must be a binding contact to this effect, with legal consideration (ie benefit) provided to the debtor. A letter served on the debtor merely informing him that he is liable to pay certain charges is not in the Office’s
view such an agreement, regardless of whether it is signed by the debtor.

1.11 The above applies to all credit agreements, whether regulated or not, although for regulated consumer credit agreements there is an additional reason why costs might not berecoverable.

The Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 1983 require inclusion in the credit agreement of an indication of any charges payable on default. If this is not included, the agreement is not properly executed, and so will not be enforceable against the debtor without a court order.

26th Oct 2006, 13:43

Howard says:

Do not forget to include

In view of the continued telephone harassment, which is having an adverse effect on my health and which I am keeping a record of, all future contact with me should be by letter only.

26th Oct 2006, 13:48

mat says:

Howard - forum, here. Much more useful place to put this kind of stuff.

26th Oct 2006, 14:31

Howard says:

Yes mat but poorsingle mother did not find that forum so needed reply here, if I could have directed her to that forum I would have, all the information is there but she found yours not ours! sorry

29th Oct 2006, 03:26

Sue says:

Can anyone help??? I have finally paid off my loan. I finished paying it in April. However the robbing B@$*"@rds continue to take over a hundred quid of my wages each month. they say that they wont know its been paid off until april next year, and they will get in touch in june next year???? What do I do???

30th Oct 2006, 15:43

Colette(ocean-at-tleleubs-dot-nut) says:

Hello Sue,

Can you wrrite to Office Of Fair Trading?

How are HSL takig the money from you wages, from your bank, or direct?

Our web site is up there Click on highlight Sue 3rd October entry.

I hope you are getting more help, CAB?

Kindest regards

Colette

3rd Nov 2006, 12:02

sue says:

the new system for taking money is through your national insurance number. the inland revenue take it without any means testing. the problem is they don't give the money to the student loan company for another year .

4th Nov 2006, 11:26

sue says:

have had very expensive chat with loan company and have to send off all payslips from april. so could be the start of them sorting it out

4th Nov 2006, 11:33

Colette(ocean-at-onetel-dot-net) says:

Hello, Sue,

Yes, I hope they will sort it out, but if you have nany more probs, all adresses on webiste above.
Meanwhile I continue to wrtite as many letters to bring HSL's tactics to light. Esepcailly phone harasment, and silent calls.

Lots of coverage in newspapers at present about these kinds of calls, Ofcom will be clamping down on them in 2007. We hope...

Regards Colette

6th Nov 2006, 21:05

Steve(stevefreestone2005-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Anyone have any knowledge or run ins with this "organisation" that bought a lot of Student Loans from the Student Loans Company a few years ago?

Heres my story: I paid off my entire loan (£4,200) yesterday. HOWEVER, Honours Student Loans have said that despite this, I am contracted to pay, by direct debit, a sum of £87.50 until next September 2007, despite no longer being in debt with them. They say that I am contracted to do this and it does not matter that I have paid the loan in full. If I was to end my direct debit with the organisation, I would be in breach of contract and they would be able to charge me as regards their loss, or send out the bailiffs.

Any ideas?

25th Nov 2006, 20:15

kelly(kellyyeoman21-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

I tried to deffer a year ago and HSL totally messed this up, not sending forms out etc etc, they say i owe £200 at least and i have told them i am on JSA they continue to find reasons for harrassing me for this money. I now have a letter from Brookdale & Walker who seem to be part of Pennine Debt Recovery, they say i have to pay the balance in full or they will issue legal proceedings. Whay should i do? Is it too late to do anything now?

20th Dec 2006, 10:55

mat says:

you could declare yourself bankrupt*. I hear that's popular these days. Or maybe try this forum right here that I am linking too here, which may be able to offer better advice than I.



* don't declare yourself bankrupt. that's a really, really, bad idea.

20th Dec 2006, 11:50

Dellakins says:

I've really had enough with these ppl! Why is it that when ever you talk to a monkey at the end of the phone they can't help you. I'm sick of them loosing my letters and loosing my details !

Ive lived away from home since i was 16. I have my own house. I live with my bf and we are finacialy inderpendent from anybody else. THEN WHY AM I STILL A DEPENDENT STUDENT!! Oh I'm under 25? I'm not married? My mum works for the LEA so they know i still know her?? AAAARRRRGGGGEE I'm independent!!!! I DON'T SEE MY MUM PAYING MY MORTGAGE!

STRESS

5th Jan 2007, 11:13

Howard(howardlawton"postmaster-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Going bankrupt will not help, student debts are exempt from bankruptcy. I would suggest the following, 1. complain on line to the DFES, at least it puts pressure on HSL SLC and raises awareness, 2. write to your MP, they put pressure on DFES and raises awareness. 3. make sure you have written to HSL SLC whichever appropraite outlining your case and compliant. and finaly make an appointment with your local CAB, the CAB is now aware that this is a national problem and are investigating the problem and it.s extent and it gives you the protection and support of a proffessional organisation and once again it puts pressure on HSL, which can only ne a good thing.
DO ALL THESE IF OY ARE RECIEVING TELEPHONE HARRASSMENT. And if you want to share you anger then e mail me I will understand your frustration and perhaps myself and others who have experienced this problem, can help with our experiance -you are not alone

15th Jan 2007, 17:30

Adders says:

This sounds bad but:

I am sooooo glad there are others having the same problems. I thought I was alone, or an idiot and had made some sort of error.

It started a year ago for me - I deferred. SLC sorted it, HSL kept taking money - 5 months later and they're still taking money. So I cancel my DD and had to fight to get my money back.....not an easy task. They took £100 too much and asked for it back. to be awkward, I refused and said I'd be as wquick about it as they were refunding over £500 to me. In September I got a threatening call, had a row and that was that. Then another in November - they were charging me for the omney owed...so I agreed that in Jan I would not defer and pay back all I owe - including the amount that they had given back in error. So we agreed the amounts, dates and I handed over the DD details.

The payment date came and went.....HSL did not take the money. Then I get a phone call "you're in arrears, pay up or we;ll start charging you"......this is still going on.

Basically, HSL say it's not their fault and I should pay up - I responded with a massive f**k off....went down a treat. They say I've never handed DD details over, unyet I've never had any letters or phone calls asking for them!

It's not event that I don't want to pay - I WANT TO. But they keep messing up and expecting me to pay for their mistakes....what's happened to customer service?

Anyone got any advice as I asked them to defer the payment by 1 month to make up for their mistake and they're refusing, saying I'll be charged etc....

30th Jan 2007, 13:19

AGENTV says:

BY ANY CHANCE ADDERS DID YOU STUDY AT 2 DIFFERENT UNIVERSITYS OR WAS THERE A GAP IN YOUR STUDY? IF NOT THEN YOU MUST HAVE A LOAN WITH SLC AND ANOTHER WITH HSL WITH 2 DIFFERENT DEFERMENT DATES, WHICH MEANS YOU MUST RECEIVE 2 DEFERMENT FORMS YOU MUST CHECK THAT ALL YOUR LOANS ARE LISTED ON THE DEFERMENT FORMS AS THE SLC WILL ONLY DEFER THE LOANS PRINTED ON THE DAF FORMS... REMEMBER IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS.

3rd Feb 2007, 13:39

Rich says:

And it's your responsibility to not type in all caps, man.

And once again it is the customer's responsibility to correct for the abysmal organisation and bueracracy inherant in your borderline-fraudulant company. nice work, V, you're really selling yourself here.

3rd Feb 2007, 13:41

Naz says:

the best thing to do if you want to stop charges and phone calls is to request a daf well before ur current one runs out that way you'l get it deferred before any payment is due. secondly if u are having problems deferring ass kissing will get u an 18 day hold, when doing this request to speak to the same advisor in all contact with hsl. If you are more than three mnths in arrears e.g four mnths down pay a mnth as thats "all i can afford" and get them tohold the acnt...once deferred three mnths will be backdated.

5th Feb 2007, 10:08

anonymous says:

p.s I have to agree with AGENTV its suprising that some of the customers have actually been to uni...as the majority seem to be on benefits :-/ And it's funny how people think they can get away without paying by not updating hsl of their whereabouts.....THEY WILL FIND YOU!

5th Feb 2007, 10:17

AGENTV says:

Whats your problem with CAPS LOCK Rich? Do you need to talk to someone about it?????? Are you an ex english student by any chance??

Naz seems to playing the system well even though it's a little bit naughty. one thing to note though is that deferment forms can only be sent out 8 weeks before your current deferment runs out. Deferment forms requested before that period will not be sent. Good idea to make a note of when your deferment ends though. V

5th Feb 2007, 12:56

Alfie says:

on the internets AGENTV, caps lock is considered SHOUTING!

5th Feb 2007, 12:58

AGENTV says:

APOLOGIES!

6th Feb 2007, 12:43

geo says:

Hi all, The thugs at Pennine have caught up with me over a £5120.00 debt to HSL who I never had an agreement with! My agreement was with SLC. anyhows, this after 9 years of duckin'ndiving, thought i'd given 'em the slip...

22nd Feb 2007, 15:11

KK says:

question for AgentV - I see from your input that you seem to know a lot about HSL and how it works, so please advise how is it when people pay back their loans in full or Direct Debit a monthly amount under joint agreement they still receive harrasment calls?? Pray do tell I'm very interested to understand why and how this harrasment works... also are all staff trained in appauling mannerisms?

Very interested to read your comments.

27th Feb 2007, 12:01

AGENTV says:

Unfortunately the Staff have to put up with people like geo who left the coment above yours. These are the people that borrow the money and refuse to pay it back which I personally think is a slap in the face to all the other ex students who have paid back what they owe. There are also many ex students and current students working for HSL & SLC. Unfortunately the old mortgage style loan which you probably have was not thought through very well unlike the new income contingency loans. I appreciate there are errors but if you work with HSL or the SLC I'm sure the matter will be rectified. You have the right to take it to an independent assesor if you feel that either company have neglected to administer your loan correctly, obviously there are precedures but if you call and ask the company who is looking after your loan I'm sure they will be happy to help you. Remember if either company believe your account to be in arrears they will be firm with you but if you feel you have a valid point don't be afraid to escalate it to a supervisor. Better still put it in writing.

1st Mar 2007, 00:48

NikNak says:

Does anybody have the number for Pennine Debt Recovery - I've been left a number on my voicemail, but it's one digit too short.

I paid off my arrears 3 months ago, and they're still contacting me, threatening court action........

The number that they left was 0870 240 347

2nd Mar 2007, 11:02

Bob the Builder says:

I have become seriously pissed off at HSL over the last 2 years. These bastards chased me endlessly when I was seriously ill (literally at death's door - with kidney failure).

I am not a very forgiving character.

I will start by providing an alternative contact number for the barsteward's premium rate telephone line:

0113 207 3154 (courtesy of www.saynoto0870.co.uk)
/>
Don't give them the satisfaction of using the 0870 numbers as it just puts more money in their coffers.

I am interested in making a concerted effort to take these tosspots on. If you'd like to be involved, email me on:


studentloanscampaign@hotmail.com
/>
I am particularly interested in hearing from people who have expertise in:

web design, programming etc
PR, Media
Copy Writing
Flyer/poster design

Cheers,

Bob the Builder

3rd Mar 2007, 11:52

Bob the Builder(studentloanscampaign-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

Forgot to mention, I will post the details of the Directors once I get round to finding them so that people can write to them directly.

3rd Mar 2007, 11:59

alt says:

HSL is under investigation by the OFT for breaches of credit law.

If you have a complaint about HSL, I urge you to contact your local Trading Standards. They will add your complaint to the action.

If enough people complain, HSL could lose it's license and be put out of business.

6th Mar 2007, 14:29

spooky says:

Bob - cannot reach you at above address...

15th Mar 2007, 15:27

Lazarus says:

Also having problems - for the third year now I think it is since they moved from Glasgow I've not had my deferrment form sent through, and have first heard about it when I get a nasty letter about my arrears.

The calls I've had from all the HSL advisors ahve been abusive and rude, and they refuse to accept that they haven't sent the forms out, and then tell me I'll be cahrged £15 unless I clear the arrears now. I'm aware this charge is now illegal owing to last year's OFT ruling on bank and loan charges but they don't want to hear.

Taking it up with Trading Standards now, it's a joke.

21st Mar 2007, 08:59

Bob the Builder(studentloanscampaign-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Apologies all, email is:


studentloanscampaign@hotmail.co.uk
/>
Please note .CO.UK and not .com.

24th Mar 2007, 12:34

spooky says:

Has anyone else received a note through the door from PDRS saying: " ...we have been instructed to arrange a call at your home and have assigned one of our representatives to try to contact you within the next three days..." ?

28th Mar 2007, 18:48

davey says:

hi this sounds like *criminal* extortion, i have been getting regular harassment for 'arrears' by the Student Loans Company even though i have sent deferment forms every year, also they have charged £20 for standard computerised letters they have sent - isn't it unlawful to charge more than the true cost of sending these letters (about £1.50?) , even if they're justified in sending them ? They applied two separate charges of £20 twice within the space of five days, giving me no time to respond, surely this is fraudulent ? Like many i am now threatened with debt collectors / bailiffs & the possibility of a CCJ for a debt that i don't owe. The SLC says that if a deferment form has 'not been received' - i.e. 'lost' by them, then the borrower can only backdate the deferment for 3 months, even if they've sent it iin good time & even if they're on Income Support etc . This goes against the spirit of the whole agreement.

*** This treatment is what you get in this country if you're from a poor background (hence need loans) and dare to be bright and dare to want a higher education. Even if after graduation your income is below the average the SLC & their associated debt collectors find illegal, dishonest, underhand ways of trying to recover the funds back from you, even when you're fully ( & legally) entitled to deferment. Pretty isn't it ?

A good contact is Tony Levine at the Guardian -
capital.letters@guardian.co.uk , if a few of us emailed him with our stories he may do a feature article on the extortion by the Student Loan Companies & those that have bought their debts, & expose their harassment.


30th Mar 2007, 14:14

spooky says:

Thought it might be useful to post this - received a reply from nationaldebtline.co.uk, answering my questions about various things concerning debt collection etc, and this is what they had to say:

“It is deemed under the section on Physical/psychological harassment 2.6 e. that the following is bad practice: “not informing the debtor when their case has been passed on to a different debt collector”. It is therefore clear that a company should inform the debtor if a debt is passed to another agency for collection. There is no fixed time scale mentioned in the Debt Collection Guidance.

A debt collection agency does have the right to contact a debtor to ask for immediate full payment. However, the guidance under the same section as above in 2.6 f. states that “pressurising debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments, or to increase payments when they are unable to do so” is unfair business practice.

A debtor has the right to dispute the debt if they do not believe that they owe the money or that the amount stated is incorrect. In such cases it is advisable to send a letter requesting a copy of the executed credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account to the debt collection agency, enclosing £1 to make the request legally binding. They then have 12 days in which to supply the information. If no credit agreement exists the creditor should not take court action against the debtor.

Creditors and debt collection agencies generally get a debtor’s details from the credit reference agencies. When a person moves address and goes onto the electoral role at their new address this creates a link between the two addresses.

The debt collection guidance states that debtors should be given adequate notice of the time and date of a visit from a debt collector (2.11 g.).

It is important to remember that a debt collector is not a bailiff and has no powers of entry or removal. A debt collector has no greater collection powers than the original lender.”

For further details and tips on letter writing etc, check out their website (they responded to my e-mail within 48 hours). Hope this is of some use.

30th Mar 2007, 16:55

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Hi,

I live in the USA and am having trouble with HSL over a student loan dating back to 93! Bottom line is they are unable to provide an accurate statement of my payments, etc, etc - keep saying they are adding admin charge to the debt, threatening debt collectors, etc.

Suggestions? Advice?

What happens if I just tell them to sod off? can they pursue the debt in US courts? (BTW: I will never be returning to Britain but do have relatives their & do visit - will the debt collectors threaten them etc|? Thanks

7th Apr 2007, 20:10

spooky says:

Will get back to you on this one Max.

8th Apr 2007, 11:26

jo(k9flipflops-at-aol-dot-com) says:

I'm having trouble with HSL over a deferment application the SLC "lost" in 2004. they took 4 months to fix the problem and HSL are chasing me for repayments for those 4 months despite my loan having been deferred every year since 1998.

SLC's fault NOT mine.

I'm at the Brookdale Walker stage, have just written a letter to them and found there's no address on their bloody letter. great, another way of re-directing you to the aggressive phone people.

I stopped answering the phone to them and just let the 10 calls a day ring out.

I am happy to go to court and stand my corner, all I need's an address so I can tell them so!!

10th Apr 2007, 15:32

Ric(ric_j_hill-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

I just spoke to Honours they have been rining me about some charges that they put on my account when my loan was defered a few weeks late. I rang the number 01132073154 and they removed the charges from my account.

11th Apr 2007, 11:17

spooky says:

Max - have posted message to your e-mail address.

12th Apr 2007, 11:27

jay20 says:

hi all.

I've just recieved a letter from Westcott demanding repayment of £1629.39!!

I sent the f irstdeferment form off - which they lost! Sent the second one recorded delivery - which they claimed was never recieved! The third one was sent by recorded delivery again, to which I finally got a reply back in Dec 06 - even tho the letter was dated Nov 06!

I've rang to complain but they still insist I pay for the months before deferment of my loan was confirmed, even tho it wasn't my fault!

Really don't know what to do????? Any advice???

12th Apr 2007, 17:52

spooky says:

Jay,
If you post an e-mail address, I'll send you some info - it is too much to put up on this site.

12th Apr 2007, 18:25

jay20(jay20gill-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Thanks :-)

12th Apr 2007, 18:37

davey(purple3326-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

hi spooky, in a similar situation, deferred loan since 1992 2 years ago say they never received form, on low income, now they're threatening me with court for whole amount of loan (pre-1998) any info apprec !

18th Apr 2007, 17:11

spooky says:

Hi Davey,
Have just posted you some info.

18th Apr 2007, 19:21

alabaster b.(alabasterblaster-at-pookmail-dot-com) says:

Hi spooky, in same situation as max above, could you send me the same info? Cheers.

21st Apr 2007, 18:12

spooky says:

Alabaster - on its way.

21st Apr 2007, 18:46

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Hi Spooky, got the info - much appreciated. The problem is i can't afford to consult a local solicitor either.

I'm tempted to just offer them 20 a month or leave it.

23rd Apr 2007, 02:07

spooky says:

Hi Max,
Will send you some more info on how to make an offer, tell them that you can't pay etc. I don't know about the "sod off" bit though...

23rd Apr 2007, 11:45

Irene(imanca-at-hotmail-dot-it) says:

I'm having a real fit due to these criminals from HSL!! More so after having found all your comments on this blog, oh dear! As I don't have time to read all of them, CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN OFFICIALLY FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST THEM FOR MALADMINISTRATION? Is it the Financial Services Authority? Please help! All I receive from them is threathening letters...

23rd Apr 2007, 13:16

spooky says:

Hi Irene,
Have posted you some stuff; don't know about the legal side of things - I am still trying to get some answers, including one from a finacial advisor from a certain broadsheet newspaper.

23rd Apr 2007, 13:46

spooky says:

“There are those amongst the creditors who do practice unfair tactics in order to recover monies owed to them. This could be because of a number of reasons. Either the people who do this are unaware of the guidelines outlined by the OFT, or they rely on the consumer not knowing their rights and how they are protected. In either case lenders are at risk of losing their Consumer Credit Licence if an investigation is carried out into their business practices.

Some of the guidelines outlines by the OFT according to the Debt Collection Guidance, July 2004 are as follows:

Creditors should not use more than one debt-collecting agency at any one time.

If a debtor queries a debt, and money that is owed, it is unfair for the creditor to continue with recovery proceedings during the time the debt is being disputed.

If requested, the creditor or debt-collecting agency must provide details of an outstanding debt. It is not all up to the debtor to prove they do not owe a debt, is it up to the creditor to prove they do if the debt is disputed.

It is unfair for a creditor to mislead a debtor into believing criminal action or criminal proceedings will take place when attempting to recover a debt. BEING IN DEBT IS NOT A CRIME!

Creditors are fully responsible for third parties they appoint, such as in-house and outside debt collecting agencies, so if they are using third parties who practice unfair tactics, they are in turn risking loss of their own licence. They are responsible for fully screening the third parties they use and ensure they are aware of and practice, the guidelines outlined by the OFT before using their services.

If a creditor or debt collector tries to continue to make contact knowing you are vulnerable, suffering from illness caused by the situation or seeking medical advice, this could also be classed as an unfair practice as they are putting undue pressure on the debtor.

If a creditor or debt collection agency disregards requests made in respect of when and where to contact the debtor, this can also be classed as unfair.

If you request a creditor not to contact you at work because this could jeopardise your job, and the creditor disregards your request, this could be classed as unfair practice.

A creditor or debt collector who contacts you by phone, letter or visit, must state clearly who they are, where they are from, their role and the purpose of contact.

If a creditor or debt collector attempts to use unhelpful technical language to confuse or mislead the debtor, this is considered as an unfair practice.

A debt is considered Statute Barred if a creditor has not contacted a debtor for a period of 6 years and no action has been taken on the account. Although the debt is still legally acknowledged as being owed, the creditor is not able to take any legal action against the debtor in order to recover the debt.

It is considered unfair if a creditor or debt collector misleads the debtor into believing the debt is still legally recoverable.

It is also considered an unfair practice if the creditor or debt collector press for payment after the debtor has stated they will not be paying the money owed. This could amount to harassment contrary to Section 40(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1970.

It is considered unfair for a debt collector to visit a debtor’s place of work unless it is a business debt.

It is acceptable for debt collectors to visit debtor’s homes if the debtor has agreed or requested a visit; debts are disputed or deadlocked, or the debtor has avoided contact. However, debtors must be forewarned of a visit and given time to seek advice or support before the visit. If a debt collector comes to your door and you request him/her to leave, they must do so.”

taken from:
Debtquestions-dot-co-dot-uk

I have some more info, sample letters etc, but they are in pdf format. Will e-mail on request.

23rd Apr 2007, 17:21

steven(failtemochara-at-yahoo-dot-ie) says:

Hi,

I have three student loans (pre-1998) of which I had last deferred in May 2005, and then moved to North America to travel and am still here now... I have not heard from student loans company since and had forgotten about deferring my loans(due to the happiness of being free and on the road). However, i recently remembered i need to defer them each year, and that im probably going to get loads of interest now on them when i return to the uk? Partly my fault, but as I had no mail to my UK address from them I didnt respond in kind, any ideas on how to play this?

Stevo

25th Apr 2007, 02:39

spooky says:

Have dropped you a line on e-mail.

25th Apr 2007, 10:18

jillameena(jillameena-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

hey guys

i have had no end of trouble since my loan was transfered to HSL. From a long list of problems they have now cancelled my right to defer because my loan was in arrears... despite the fact i was paying this back at £15 per month. I have tried to complain 3 times but had no response. Does anyone know where i can make a complaint against these bastards. I think they are using bullying tactics to try and get money back from folk. Worried they will send the debt collectors around. pleae help

25th May 2007, 00:11

spooky says:

Jillameena,
Have sent you some info.

31st May 2007, 15:56

studentabroad says:

Any ideas on this one spooky. I have been living in Oz for many years and have no intention of ever again again living in the UK [maybe the odd visit]? If i never pay back the loan what are the consequences?

20th Jun 2007, 05:30

spooky says:

This was the response I received from the national debtline when I asked them about a person living in the US; similar situaiton to yours:

"You have then stated that you have a friend in America who is experiencing problems with a Debt Collection Agency. If the debt originated in the UK but dates from 1993 then it may be covered by the Limitations Act 1980.

The Limitation Act 1980 sets out the rules on how long a creditor has to take action against you for a debt, that is, take you to court. A creditor normally has 6 years to recover unsecured debts and 12 years to recover secured debts. After this time the debt is known as ‘statute barred’ or ‘time barred’.

The ‘clock’ starts running when the total debt becomes due, or is ‘called in’. This is often after the time allowed on a default notice runs out. The clock starts running again if you make a payment or write to the lender agreeing that you owe the debt. This is called ‘acknowledgment’. A written acknowledgment means you have clearly admitted in writing that you owe the debt (verbal acknowledgment doesn’t count).

For debts you owe in joint names with someone else, a written acknowledgement will restart the clock ONLY for the person who admitted the debt. However, if either of you make a payment this will start the clock running again for BOTH parties.

Once the time limit of 6 years (or 12 years in the case of secured debts) has run out, the creditor cannot start the clock running again on the debt even if you make a payment or write acknowledging the debt afterwards.

If the creditor has already taken court action, the Limitation Act does not apply. However, the creditor will need permission from the court to enforce a county court judgment against you if it is over 6 years old.

Debts that are over 6 years old should not normally show up on your credit reference file.

If a court judgement has already been obtained or if the debt is not covered by the Limitations Act the creditor would need to try to seek enforcement via the court. It is very difficult to provide comprehensive information whether a creditor will take civil legal action where their customer has moved outside the UK. Whether or not a debt is enforceable is dependant upon the country that the debtor has moved to. However, there may be a “Reciprocal Agreement” with the United Kingdom. This means that any creditor could proceed with enforcing a judgment that has been obtained through the UK court. Although even if an agreement is in place it can be difficult and very expensive to undertake such action. We would suggest that your friend contacts a local solicitor regarding this issue."

Hope it's of some use...

20th Jun 2007, 21:28

studentabroad says:

So bottom line do you reckon I should or shouldnt pay back the rest of my loan based on the above?? I mean really the loan dates from prior 1994??

21st Jun 2007, 01:47

spooky says:

To be honest I really don’t know. I suppose what the student loan people will do is weigh up the cost of getting the loan back; is it worth them chasing you up. Have you told them you are living in Oz, or have you paid anything to them since moving? If they have a contact address for you they may just send you nasty letters periodically. Judging by the way they operate, I don’t suppose they will want to waste money chasing a loan that they’ve no real hope of retrieving. Their scare tactics (pay up in seven days or else etc) probably work on enough people to cover the cost of those who can’t/don’t pay.

When did they last write to you and have you responded? Is someone forwarding on your mail from an old address? What sort of letters have you had from them?

21st Jun 2007, 11:37

kog says:

Don't complain to HSL, pointless. Complain to the FSA, if everyone complains to the FSA about the idiots at HSL the FSA will be forced to take action

25th Jun 2007, 13:16

kog says:

HSL haven't been so bad this year - not yet anyhow. But last year they realy did become a thorn in the rear, calling me many many times, a lot of the calls I didn't record, but here are some I did

26/06/06 one call
27/06/06 one call
28/06/06 one call
29/06/06 one call
30/06/06 one call
1/07/06 two calls
3/07/06 one call
5/07/06 one call
8/07/06 four calls
11/07/06 one call
12/07/06 one call
13/07/06 one call
14/07/06 five calls
15/07/06 one call
17/07/06 one call
18/07/06 four calls
19/07/06 two calls
20/07/06 one call

They gave me all that hassel only to defer my repayments

25th Jun 2007, 13:32

Worried would-be teacher says:

I need some advice: I defaulted on a student loan that dates from 1994. They tried to catch up with me (and my mother) various times, but have not been in contact with me for a good 5 yrs or so. I'm pretty sure it was a debt recovery company who spoke to me last time. I've never paid any of it back, and indeed I couldn't get any credit for a few years. Now, however, I am playing a straighter game, and I am going to do Teacher Training in September. I need to apply for a grant and a loan in order to do this. Looking at the finance form, it says usual practice is not to give funding to anyone who still owes money.

I really don't know what to do. I am in no position to pay back the old loan atm, but by becoming a qualified teacher I will be in a position where I could pay it back. I can't afford to go to college without a grant/loan.

Do I declare the fact that I have had a previous loan? Is it likely to have been 'written off'? Do I chance it and say I have never had a loan before? It seems short-sighted for them to refuse me funding to get a qualification that will ensure me a career whereby I can pay a loan back...

I'm in a catch-22. Can anyone give me any advice? Cheers guys!

26th Jun 2007, 18:42

Alfie says:

afaik unpaid or defaulted loans stay on ones credit record in the UK for 5 years, at which point they are assumed as losses by the company, and disappear from your file. I'm not sure how this relates to student loans. You can always get a copy of your credit report from experian: http://www.experian.co.uk/

26th Jun 2007, 19:02

spooky says:

Hi Kog,
Have you tried registering your number with TPS (Telephone Preference Service) ? It will take 28 days for it to activate but should then get rid of all the unwanted marketing calls.

\\spt\\ku.gro.enilnospt.www\\\\:ptth


28th Jun 2007, 21:30

richard78 says:

Really pleased to have foundthis site. Been having trouble, like everybody else, with HSL for years now. I won't bore you with the details as everybody, i guess, sounds like they've been through the same process with these idiots ot HSL: 'missing' forms, harrassment on the phone, charges, them wanting to be pen-pals etc... Anyway, I've been ignoring them for so long, they've passed the account to a company called Clarity. Got a postcard this morning (nice of them-they hadn't even been on their hols) saying they're coming to see me on Wednesday. Does anybody know anything about 'Clarity'. Should I get me best china out or lock the door? I really hope you all sort your issies out with these numb-skulls, because I've given up. Actually wish they would take me to court and get it over with!

3rd Jul 2007, 13:28

spooky says:

Hi Richard,

The only 'Clarity' I know of is a debt collection company from Coventry.

April 1999: "...A consortium of Nationwide Building Society and Deutsche Bank was the successful bidder for a portfolio of around 506,000 loans accounts, which were sold on 23 March for around £1bn to HONOURS Trustee Limited, a company formed for the purpose of purchasing student loans.

The sale will help the Government meet its economic and fiscal objectives by developing new public/private sector partnerships which transfer risk to the private sector, and disposing of public sector assets which are no longer needed, so as to enable the financing of investment in key public services, such as education. This sale will also help the Government to meet its manifesto commitment to stay within published spending targets for the 1998-1999 financial year...”. Etc

It would appear that HSL (Registered office: Honours Trustee Limited) uses several different debt collection companies to provide the muscle. If you’ve had more than one of these companies pestering you, check out the ‘Registered in England No. ******’ at the bottom of their letters or the registered office address, you’ll find them identical in some cases; they are just one big happy family. If you contact, say company A, you may well get a response from company B (Honours Student Clones). Funnily enough, one of the “companies “ signs off with a ‘J. Lamb’ and HSL have an Honours Manager called ‘Miss Joanne Lamb’ who deals with complaints.

Either way, these people are not allowed to come round to your house without your consent – they are not bailiffs and have no such legal powers.

5th Jul 2007, 20:52

Ruth Kelly says:

These clowns lost my derferment too and to be honest I couldn't be arsed to mess around with them to much. After they told me lie after lie on the phone I just agreed to pay £5 a month. They try to get more now and again but fug'um that's all they'll get off me in my lifetime.

9th Jul 2007, 18:42

soulcatcher says:

Hi Alt

You say HSL is under investigation by the OFT for breaches of credit law.

How do you know this? This sort of information is supposed to be confidential.

SC

12th Jul 2007, 14:33

max says:

Hi

I am in the US & recently got HSL to accept what I can afford. Today I get a threat letter from Pennine Debt Recovery (which I assume is just HSL by another name). Suggestions?

Thanks

12th Jul 2007, 21:47

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

forgot my contact info.

The threat letter from Pennine was from someone Yates

12th Jul 2007, 22:21

h says:

I left uni in 1998, i moved house 3 0r 4 times and never heard from anyone with regards to the student loan. I moved home 9 weeks ago and yesterday i came home to a letter from Pennine requesting nearly £6k and saying that i have ignored previous letters from HSL when I can honestly say i have never had one. i no longer have any information regarding the loan, interest fees etc and have never received an annual statement. can anyone tell me is this pennine company ripping me of interest wise? i feel like moving home again - quick.

13th Jul 2007, 10:48

anonymous says:

h,

Pennine seems to be part of HSL. Ask them for a copy of the credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account including any interest or charges applied. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (sections 77-79) you are entitled to receive a copy of any credit agreement and a statement on request. It doesn't matter whether or not they are the original creditor. Enclose a cheque or postal order for a quid (fee payable under the CCA 1974). They are supposed to supply a copy of the agreement etc within 12 working days. Send it by recorded delivery.

13th Jul 2007, 11:18

spooky says:

h,

Pennine seems to be part of HSL. Ask them for a copy of the credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account including any interest or charges applied. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (sections 77-79) you are entitled to receive a copy of any credit agreement and a statement on request. It doesn't matter whether or not they are the original creditor. Enclose a cheque or postal order for a quid (fee payable under the CCA 1974). They are supposed to supply a copy of the agreement etc within 12 working days. Send it by recorded delivery.

13th Jul 2007, 11:19

Howard says:

I am in interesting conversation with the DFES. One of the justification HSL is using against ex students is the three month rule. Now in 2005 they where late in requesting Defferments being sent out by SLC. They then suddenly demanded repayment because defferal was outside the three months usually this conbsisted of full re payment most of us got this to just the months between defferal date and the time we realised and sent another defferal. NOw I have checked all available acts and regulations. The three month rule was introduced in 1997-1998, after many of us had taken out loans. My argument is that they cannot then apply that to our contracts retrospectively. Also they have charged students penalities for letters etc. If you check the office of fair trading they say that any charges have to be clearly stated on contracts. Also any on disability should be able to negotiate an extension on repayments HSL will deny this. but see 1990 1991 and 1992 regulations.

15th Jul 2007, 15:48

Howy says:

For all students hit by HSL trap of only three months backdate. The regulations which started the three month rule were introduced in 1997/8. The regulations clearly state in opening paragraph that this does not apply to any course starting before 1st August 1997. NOTE course not loan, so if your course was still running after this date so you took another loan, it still does not apply, it goes on the date you first applied for a loan for that course.
You can search regs at opsidotgovdotuk

16th Jul 2007, 16:10

spooky says:

Forgot to say folks - if you send a letter with a request for an account statement etc via recorded delivery, unsurprisingly, you may find that it has not be signed for at the other end. Keep a note of cheque numbers or postal order receipts so that you can check whether they have taken your money (HSL will probably say they haven't received your letter if they didn't sign for it).

Their postal address is a "Selectapost" contact (from their website, letters etc) so it is basically a PO Box set-up - the postman will probably just drop off the letter without a signature and then the letter will be put down by Royal Mail officially as lost. Post it to:
Honours Trustee Limited
Office Tower 42
Old Broad Street
London
EC2N 1HQ

20th Jul 2007, 21:05

spooky says:

This may be of some use. Sorry it's backwards but I had to get round the encryption.

fdp.5102%teehS02%noitamrofnI\\ecruoser\\aidem\\ku.oc.enilnosun.ecruoser\\\\:ptth

24th Jul 2007, 14:33

seaneeboy(site moderator) says:

24th Jul 2007, 14:39

spooky says:

Thanks.

24th Jul 2007, 19:21

kog says:

For those being chaged £15 - £20 per letter from SLC for late deferment go to
http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk
/> same rules apply to SLC as the banks
http://www.twoyou.co.uk/images/reclaim.jpg

5th Aug 2007, 10:55

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

OK, The latest - Pondscum HSL agree to accept 100 US dollars per month (me in US). I pay 6 months in advance (they charge me a mega bank fee per payment). I have a letter from HSL saying they accept that amount. Now i get a letter from Brookdale & Walker (signed by some butt-wipe J Lamb) asking for 3600 plus pounds ("we'll huff and puff & blow your house down, add arbitrary huge fees,, etc, etc").

Advice? Am i right in thinking i have no worries if BW take me to court? After all, I have a letter from HSL saying they accept the amount & also the cashed cheque.

Thanks

11th Aug 2007, 19:32

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

meant to say - i paid 6 months in advance (600 dollars) to save on the bank fee they stick me with. The human excrement at BW said they will also add 'statutory interest' - what the hell is that?

I hope they all die of cancer.

12th Aug 2007, 14:34

spooky says:

Just ignore the Brookdale & Walker letter - they don't really exist anyhow from what I can tell. If you've agreed something with HSL then B&W; can just stick their imaginary company up their proverbial.

Have you asked for a full statement including all charges, interest, credit etc from HSL at any point?

12th Aug 2007, 16:54

max(zebedde8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Thanks Spooky. I'll ignore the letter. I made an official complaint to HSL - I assume they'll file it up their butt.

I have a statement yes, but will ask for another. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

13th Aug 2007, 19:39

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

the latest from pondslime - no explanation about brookdale wanker, etc:

" the arrangement, which you had in place was that you would send each month a payment of $100.00 towards your account.

It was not agreed that we would accept payments in advance as the lump sum payment of $600.00 has been paid towards clearing your outstanding arrears. Hence the reason that we asked you to send payments monthly.

Despite this lump sum payment your account is still in arrears and we will still require payment of the $100.00 each month in accordance with the agreement made in May 2007.

Your account will be placed on hold for a further $100.00 for this month and then each month thereafter."

suggestions?

15th Aug 2007, 15:26

spooky says:

Max,
During which years did you borrow the money? My student loans were the old mortgage-style loans so the credit agreement is probably different to that of the newer income-contingent style loans. Mortgage-style loans were available if you started your course between 1 September 1990 and 31August 1998.

16th Aug 2007, 19:15

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

they are from 93-96

thanks

16th Aug 2007, 20:26

spooky says:

Once I've finished drafting my final letters to HSL of the Office of Fair Trading (probably next week), I'll send you copies of them. It may well be just a case of filling in the blanks as I think we are both covered by the same consumer credit agreement 1974 and terms and conditions of the loans.

17th Aug 2007, 10:38

max(zebedee8f-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Thanks spooky. & guess what: they now ignore my emails - particularly the repeated request for a detailed statement that actually has my account number on it

do they actually have any power to get money from me in the USA? My income is taken up with feeding kids, paying rents, etc.

cheers

17th Aug 2007, 11:27

max says:

HSL scum on my request for a detailed statement:

"In relation to your request for a detailed statement. You will be sent
this information in September as per the terms and conditions of your
contract."

Suggestions?

17th Aug 2007, 12:37

spooky says:

Max,
Unfortunately, it seems that they can chase you abroad.
Will be in touch soon.

17th Aug 2007, 12:38

max says:

latest from dog excrement HSL (after I insisted they send me a statement):

"In the past we have sent you statements as a gesture of goodwill. As per
the terms and conditions of your contact we are not under any legal
obligation to send you interim statements other than your yearly one in
September. You will be sent your statement in September as previously
advised.

"Also for your reference is attached a copy of our complaints procedure in
relation to the other issues you have.(See attached file: Customer
Complaints Procedure.doc)"

17th Aug 2007, 12:54

max says:

can tey chase me abroad with much success given that the whole thing is in dispute? I have no assets, etc

17th Aug 2007, 12:55

stig(anon-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

Max - HSL reply to you violates the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (sections 77-79) that says you have a right to get statement on request. Also you have a right to get a copy of the credit agreement



thoughts people?

17th Aug 2007, 13:57

stig says:

Max - send them this:




(Your home address__________________ _
___________________
Date:_______________
To: ________________
___________________
___________________
Dear Sir/Madam
Account No: _________________________ ____
With reference to the above agreement, I/we would be grateful if you would send me/us a copy of this credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account including any interest or charges applied. I/we understand that under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 [sections 77-79], I am/we are entitled to receive of my/our credit agreement and a statement of account on request. I/we enclose a payment of £1 which represents the fee payable under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
I/we understand a copy of my/our credit agreement and statement of account should be supplied within 12 working days.
I/we understand that under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 creditors are unable to enforce an agreement if they fail to comply with the request for a copy of the agreement and statement of account under these sections of the Act.
I/we look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully
(Your signature)

17th Aug 2007, 14:02

mat says:

my thought would be "didn't someone set up a forum somewhere so you lot could discuss this kind of thing in a way that wasn't on my blog?"

I mean, please carry on. But I just think a forum would work better for you all.

17th Aug 2007, 14:02

Offended! says:

I am shocked that Max's message of 12/8 has not been moderated. Is it really acceptable for an educated person to want everyone at HSL to die of cancer!

6th Sep 2007, 20:56

Alfie says:

It's not a nice thing to say, and it's offensive (perhaps more to some than others), but its not up for moderation; if we thought it was -

a) a threat
b) threatening
c) defamatory to their personal character
or
d) obscene/pornographic

then it would be.

6th Sep 2007, 21:23

stig says:

i second max's comments - a plague on HSL & all who work for them.

HSL are not exactly pleasant in the way they chase, harrass, threaten folk etc.

I suggest offended do some research on HSL's tactics & the bullying tactics of its minions like Brookdale Walker.

Presumably offended is one of the HSL trolls on here?

7th Sep 2007, 21:30

stig says:

hey offended,

i'm quite sure that if max wanted your opinion he'd suggest you take HSL's dick out of your mouth first.

7th Sep 2007, 21:39

stig says:

no offence meant to you alfie by the way.

i just hate HSL for what they have done to me and countless others

7th Sep 2007, 21:41

spooky says:

Have to lend my support to Alfie on this one.

Offended - look at the amount of misery that HSL has caused, look at the way they've been treating people and will continue to do so until someone somewhere stops them, before you judge Max for an offhand remark (unless of course you believe in divine providence). How many times have you heard someone say that they're "gonna kill 'im" and then they've actually done it? I'm sorry you find Max's remark offensive but I'm sure many people out there are deeply offended and scared by the actions of HSL, so I'm afraid that I am struggling to sympathise.

8th Sep 2007, 14:22

Tentacles(manytentacles-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

Hello,

i've just got back from my honeymoon to find a letter from Pennine demanding he payment of 3K from my student loan.

I havent heard anything from SLC in 6 years or more. I called HSL this morning and explained that I have had no attempt to contact me. They said that it's my responsibility to change my address with SLC (very true but who honestly remembers to contact everyone with change of address). I checked my address and it was the old one but I asked how pennine had found my new address. he said they had traced me. I asked why they couldn't have when they failed to get replies. he then waded in with 'it's your loan', 'your responsibility' etc.

So I called Pennine. The same accent answered the phone who said he would put me through to the person in charge of my account. The person from HSL had the same name as my contact for Pennine. What a coincidence!

he wouldn't answer his phone so someone would call me back. When they did I spoke to a woman who took my name etc. when she asked how much I could pay back, i said 50 a month. She tried for 100 immediately and wwhen i said no, she went to 75. I said no again. She agreed with 50 a month (and a 3 month review) if i paid 50 then and there on card. I said I didn't have my wallet with me (which of course, i did.) She then wanted my bank account details to set up the direct debit. At which point I decided to end the conversation.

Any ideas where to go from here?

Thanks guys. This blog has saved me being sucked in too quickly.

11th Sep 2007, 10:24

spooky says:

I'll email you some stuff Tentacles.

11th Sep 2007, 13:53

stig says:

i think you made a mistake tentacles - you must have forgotten that you told them about your change of address - they just never did anything about it - you sent them letters - it is their fault if they ignored them right? (And can they prove you did not mail them?) - nope. Lets see how they like a taste of their own tactics!

12th Sep 2007, 01:14

rick says:

Anyone had any dealings with Mrs kirk at hsl? Is she kosher and fair or scum like the rest of that evil bunch?

14th Sep 2007, 22:46

spooky says:

Any relation to Captain James T Kirk?
By the way, I am not a trekkie.

15th Sep 2007, 16:01

rick says:

I'd say that i wish the entire HSL operation was 'beamed up' but I don't want to make poor old offended feel outraged.

May HSL and all who sail in her be eaten by vicious Klingon dogs with big mad fangs!!!!

15th Sep 2007, 19:28

Offended - (tiptoeing back!!) says:

I too am currently behind with my loan repayments and having received an arrears letter from HSL I began reading this blog for advise.

I appreciate that the author making the comment was frustrated with HSL, however, I just felt that wishing something as devasting as cancer on another person was an insult too far. I meant only for that particular comment to be moderated - not the whole message.

Anyway back to my situation - thankfully after escalating my call to a supervisor I have now reached an agreement with HSL that I can live with. Dare I ask you to wish me luck!

17th Sep 2007, 21:49

stig says:

good luck with HSL offended. Lets hope they don't end up pissing all over you & you end up wishing them ill.

17th Sep 2007, 23:46

stig says:

hi - anyone know why HSL has doubled apr for coming year from 2.4% to 4.8%?

BBC (could not post link) said RPI is 4.1%

also any update on HSL being invesitagetd and losing its trading license?

19th Sep 2007, 19:30

stig says:

this augurs well for HSL borrowers in USA:

Senate Bill Would Allow Borrowers to Discharge Private Student Loans Through Bankruptcy
By KELLY FIELD


Fred J. Konopasek was fresh out of college and working for a car-rental company in 2003 when he was attacked in his sleep by his girlfriend's angry ex-boyfriend. The attack left him with a concussion, two black eyes, and more than $10,000 in medical bills.

Uninsured, and unable to make the payments on a $32,000 annual salary, he filed for bankruptcy, erasing his medical bills and $20,000 in credit-card debt that he had accumulated during four years at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.


To continue reading this premium article, you must have a Chronicle account AND a subscription or an online pass.

could not access full aRTICle - sorry

20th Sep 2007, 21:41

khan says:

Hi

I've found a link explaining why the Student Loans Company have set the APR to 4.8%.

"The rate is linked to the retail prices index, an inflation measure, for the year to March, which this year was 4.8% - in March 2006 it was 2.4%.


The last time the rate was anywhere near this level was in 1991. A spokesperson for the Student Loans Company said: 'This rate is unusually high. I don't think anyone would expect it to be 4.8% again and we expect it to reduce next year.' "

Just search for SLC and 4.8% on google.

Hope this helps!

21st Sep 2007, 21:27

spooky says:

Below is the e-mail response I received from the Office of Fair Trading. The more of us that complain, the greater the chance that something will be done about HSL. Please, please catalogue all your grievances and send them off.
(
pierre.cagnon@oft.gsi.gov.uk)
/>
Response:
Dear Dr Spooky,

Consumer Credit Act 1974 ('The Act')

Complaint Against: Honours Trustee Ltd/Pennine Debt Recovery (Brooke Walker)
Licence No: 4656092/378656



Thank you for your email received on 21 August 2007, regarding the problems you have been experiencing with the above traders. I apologise for the delay in responding.


We are always interested to receive complaints such as yours as they are a vital source of information in helping us to investigate the behaviour of traders that hold consumer credit licences. The traders you have complained about do hold a consumer credit licence.


If a business wishes to be involved in activities relating to consumer credit or hire, including debt collection, they must have a consumer credit licence. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has a duty to monitor the fitness of all traders that hold a consumer credit licence. In considering fitness, we take into account whether a business has engaged in unfair business practices. This includes any evidence that traders have not complied with any guidance issued by the OFT. The OFT has, for example, issued guidance to consumer credit licence holders engaged in the debt collection industry. The guidance sets out minimum standards that we expect of debt collection traders, consistent with fitness to hold a consumer credit licence. The guidance is intended to ensure that debt collectors treat debtors fairly. Non-compliance with this guidance will call into question the fitness of licence holders and applicants.


We investigate all complaints received about consumer credit licence holders and, where we have the necessary evidence, we do take appropriate action. In our initial investigation of all complaints we consider how many complaints we have received overall and how strong the evidence is to support any action. It is unlikely that a licence would be revoked on the strength of one complaint. Where we have strong evidence that unfair business practices have occurred, we may take steps to revoke or refuse the licence of the business in question. However, if we are to do this we need to take account of factors such as the number of complaints received how recent they are and how well evidenced. In cases where evidence is less strong we may issue a warning letter to the business putting it on notice that its behaviour, if repeated, will call their fitness to hold a licence into question. Any action we do take has to be proportionate. If an approach from the OFT makes a trader change its behaviour and treat consumers fairly in future, this is preferable to putting a trader out of business.


If we do take any licensing action against this trader it is likely that we would need to disclose your identity to this trader along with details of your complaint. I should therefore be grateful if you would provide me with written authorisation to disclose these details to the traders. I have enclosed a disclosure consent form for you to sign and return to me hard copy by post to Office Of Fair Trading, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX


We have noted the details of your complaint, to consider alongside any other complaints we have received with a view to any licensing action we may decide to take. We may therefore contact you again if we require further information. Meanwhile, given that the sanction of licence refusal or revocation is such a significant one there are constraints built into the process for taking such action. For example, because of restrictions in Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2002 relating to disclosure of information, we cannot disclose specific details about any action we may take, nor comment on any adverse information we hold on individual licence holders.


Unfortunately the OFT has no power to intervene in individual disputes, and therefore we are unable to assist you directly in this matter. However, you will be able to obtain practical advice by contacting Consumer Direct either by telephone (08454 04 05 06) or online at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.
/>

Consumer Direct is the first point of call for consumers, providing first tier advice on a range of consumer matters, including advice on shopping, information on consumer rights and practical guidance on individual problems and how to gain redress. Where further help is needed, such as specialist advice, face-to-face assistance, or intervention, Consumer Direct refers consumers to another agency, such as Trading Standards Service, that is best placed to assist.


Furthermore, the Financial Ombudsman Service ('FoS') can help with most complaints about consumer-credit products and services if the consumer has failed to satisfactorily resolve the matter directly with the financial institution itself. The FoS can be contacted at:-

The Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SR
Tel: - 0845 080 1800
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
/>

I have also enclosed details of organisations which may be able to assist you. Thank you again for writing to us and bringing this matter to our attention.



Yours sincerely

Pierre Cagnon

Enquiries and Preliminary Investigations Centre
Markets and Projects


Debt: Organisations That May Be Able To Help

CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
Citizens Advice Bureaux give free, confidential and impartial advice on debt. Details of your nearest bureau can be found in your local telephone directory.
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
/>

ADVICE UK
Contact independent advice agencies through Advice UK at:
Advice UK
12th Floor
New London Bridge House
25 London Bridge Street
London
SE1 9ST
Tel: 020 7407 4070 (National) Tel: 020 7407 6611 (London)
www.adviceuk.org.uk
/>
For agencies in Northern Ireland contact Advice NI on 028 9064 5919
www.adviceni.net



NATONAL DEBTLINE Free telephone helpline for people with debt problems. More information at:
Telephone: 0808 808 4000
www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
/>


CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELLING SERVICE Provides free confidential service to help achieve realistic solutions to debt problems, avoid bankruptcy and learn to handle money. More information at:
Telephone: 0800 138 1111
www.cccs.co.uk
/>


PARENTS, PENNIES AND POUNDS Provides free confidential advice to families on debt and money management. More information at:
Telephone: 0800 652 07775
www.moneystuff.co.uk
/>

27th Sep 2007, 16:37

Steve F(stejfarrell-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Hi,

I am having major problems with HSL with regards to unfair charges, threatening letters etc..

Can anyone point me in the right direction to lodging some sort of complaint against them

22nd Oct 2007, 15:37

Baileyji(bmtr2-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Hi all,

I think that a copy of this site should be sent to the OFT. The number of complaints and problems will put the scum at HSL out of business for sure.

What do you guys think???

31st Oct 2007, 12:08

C-Bear says:

I've just received a phone call from Pennine Debt Rcovery whilst at work. The woman I spoke to was very aggressive, wouldn't listen to what I was saying and accused me of being unco-operative. It ended in a shouting match - she was shouting over me so I then told her I was going to put the phone down as she wasn't listening to me. This has really stressed me out and I can't get my mind back on my job. I'm literally shaking! I'm so glad I found this website, I need the support of people in similar situation, so will contact Howard separately

Everyone should make a stand - it's outrageous that a company can behave like this and get away with it.

14th Nov 2007, 10:09

max says:

If we stand collectively against the human excrement at HSL (Pennine are just a turd dangling from HSL's butt BTW) there is nothing they can do.

How is your case getting on spooky?

best regards

14th Nov 2007, 13:30

spooky says:

Max

After many exchanges, requests for CCA statement of account, charges etc and a bit of legal speak thrown in, HSL decided that I didn't owe them anything until next year.

I'd stated quite clearly that they had not fulfilled their legal obligations to me, thus I would be in no further contact with them. This final letter was sent to them in August reminding them that the account had become unenforceable by law.

All the stuff I asked of them was provided well out of date i.e. past the default situation and up to the point where they have actually committed a criminal offence. Incidentally, the information they provided was barely legible. However, they have taken no notice of this and just recently (November) have sent me another 'statement' together with a cheque for two pounds to reimburse me for monies lost.

The two CCA requests that I asked for in June and July were both legally binding documents on account of my having included the required legal fee of one pound for each letter. I have no intention of cashing their cheque and am forwarding all copies of my correspondence with these charming people to the Office of Fair Trading together with a signed complaint disclosure to allow the OFT to use my name in dealing with the complaints.

I am also going to forward the responses I received from my Local Trading Standards office, my local MP, Consumer Direct, and National Debtline, for their information. It’s a fair wad of paper!

Office of Fair Trading
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square
London
EC4Y 8JX

Unless people complain things won’t change!

15th Nov 2007, 11:58

spooky says:

Just out of interest:

Under normal circumstances, you will not go to prison because of debt. The problems of debt are dealt with under Civil Law. This means that the creditor who is owed money may be able to levee financial penalties onto the debtor e.g. increased interest charges. However, the penalty of a prison sentence can not be applied.

There have been a few instances in the past where individuals have avoided the payment of Crown Debt such as Poll Tax Payments and Income Tax evasion with criminal intent. In these instances, prison sentences can be issued by the court.

15th Nov 2007, 12:12

mark langham of rustington, west sussex says:

who cares get a bloody job and pay it you hippy scrounger

15th Nov 2007, 13:05

spooky says:

Guys, send your complaints to the OFT:


enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk
/>
It's as easy as posting on this site.

15th Nov 2007, 13:08

Howard(howardlawton-at-postmaster-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Can I remind people that if your loan was before 1st August 1997 then the THREE MONTH BACKDATE DEFERRAL ruling dooes NOT APPLY to you. The Education (student loans) bill 1997/8 stated paragraph 1.2 that the bill DID NOT APPLY to any student who's FIRST loan was before 1st August 1997.
Your loans are regulated by The Education (student loans) Regulations 1992 which states a period of BACKDATING DEFERALS of 12 MONTHS NOT THREE. He majority of loans owned by HSL are before 1997, when they nastily ring you quote the above.If the will not stop Harasing you then search DFES you can use contacts on this site to complain. I pushed and pushed especialy about the stress and affect on my health and they contacted HSL and stopped the calls, but you have to be pushy. But give them some stress and delight in the fact that HSL are being exposed as fraudsters.

16th Nov 2007, 16:09

ali(aliross1970-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

Hi everyone, seems i am not alone. been having problems with HSL for years. Now have an agency called Clarity harassing me on a daily basis for full payment. They seem to be particulary persistent and deaf to reasoning, logic and the OFT guidelines. Anyone else had dealing with them?

21st Dec 2007, 15:41

Max says:

Clarity will just be HSL by another name. Just tell them to piss off and report them to the OFT etc.

Lets hope that all HSL employees die of cancer over xmas.

21st Dec 2007, 20:14

Jack says:

quick query for folk (espeically spooky).

When i took out my loan (way back in early 90's) I was told it would cancel if not repaid by age of 50. Dies that still apply even if my loan was 'sold' (for a pittance!!) to Honors?

Thanks and merry christmas to all

21st Dec 2007, 20:16

spooky says:

Hi Jack,

As far as I know your loan is cancelled at 50 if not paid off but I'll have to double check; I won't see the person I need to ask until the new year I'm afraid but I'll find out as soon as I can for you.

23rd Dec 2007, 20:23

spooky says:

"The old mortgage style student loan is written off at age 50 but ONLY if:

a) You last borrowed before reaching 40 years of age (if you last borrowed between age 40 and 50 then it is written off at age 60) &

b) You have never been in arrears with your student loan account. I guess if you have been in arrears it’s not written off at 50 since it’s a specific requirement for cancelling the loans. It’s best to check with SLC in those circumstances.

As for the new style loan system, I have not got a clue, sorry."

This is from a friend of mine who luckily has just reached 50 and so has had her loan cancelled but I'm guessing she was never in arrears with SLC. I hope this is of some help Jack. I would check with SLC and not Honours Student Loans as your more likely to get an honest answer, and more specifically no harassment, unreasonable demands, or earache!

9th Jan 2008, 10:21

ali says:

anyone else had dealings with clarity? they are not part of hsl. they are a seperate collection agency owned by a Garry Stran, who is 'passionate about providing world class results through world class people'. really. and they offer 'a forensic approach to collections'.sigh. what this means is that they silent call every day.


hsl, clarity, pennine etc, wankers one and all.

15th Feb 2008, 21:18

Vince(vincevincent-at-email-dot-com) says:

Hi,
Great work everyone.
I have had enough of Pennine aka Honours Student Loans and am willing to take them on especially having discovered so many of you out there with similar problems.
Spooky, your post on 15th Nov 2007 is excellent thanx I will be trying the same.
In a moment of madness I even thought of arranging to pay a fixed amount per month but the arbitrariness of the whole process means nothing would stop them from demanding more money further down the line or indeed the whole amount due.
I am willing to get together with others if necessary. Please email me!
looking forward to a swift, sure victory.
Vince

18th Feb 2008, 17:23

fed up and tired says:

Hi All

I have been having a great run around regarding my SL for years. Having moved often, I diligently informed the SLC of my change of address. Every time they would send correspondence to my old addresses and charge me for the privilege. I have argued all the arrears but never got anywhere with them. I always find whoever I speak to, to be rude and robotic in their response. Two years ago I was, after chasing them up (and being told, yet again that I had not informed them of a change of address) I was told that I had increased arrears on my account (remember I have always deputed these 'arrears' however i agreed to £5/month). I was informed that I had stopped paying the agreed £5 / month and as they had to 'search' for me (remember I chased them up) they had placed a number of arrears fines, interest etc on my account. I spent a great deal of time trying to sort this out. Eventually my Bank (reluctantly) got involved and told the SLC they the cancellation of the Direct Debit had come from the SLC! The feedback I got from the bank was that the person they had spoken to was arrogant and unbelievably difficult to speak to when trying to resolve the matter. After all this I spoke to SLC again and after an initial argument where the person at the SLC denied the discussion with the bank, I suggested that the DD be put back in place.


Last year I wrote to them to inform of a change of address and to ask where the deferment forms were. I then sent several emails asking again and complaining of the lack of response. After several more emails (have i got nothing better to do with my life??) at last a reply, to tell me that I had been in arrears with deferment and I had not honoured the agreed monthly payment. I was told to pay the entire amount. I said it was all unfair and underhand. I asked for a statement to explain the ridiculous sum demanded. At first this was refused but I explained that they would find it difficult to uphold such a demand of money without providing a statement of its content. They gave me a limited time to respond to that statement and an income/expendure sheet. I filled out and sent the latter and awaited the statement. The statement was sent to my old address, so after managing to get it forwarded to me I was out of their 'generous' time limit; however i had sent the income sheet. I emailed them again to ask what was happening. A swift reply this time (considering the number of emails i had sent previously without response at all) to say that the 'debt' is now passed to a debt collection company called NCO Financial Services Ltd. Because of this the SLC say they can no longer deal with me (I am unsure if they are including the deferred loan too). Any suggestions before I explode with rage? I think the whole way the SLC operate is disgusting. I cannot understand why a contract agreement signed between two parties can be sold to a third party and still remain a legal document. I know it does, but this should be wrong - if for instance I wanted to only deal with ethical companies, being my right, but one of those companies sold my contract to an unethical company it would be against my rights - all quite disgusting methinks.

Spooky - I would be glad to receive the letter templates you have been offering. Thanks

12th Mar 2008, 12:17

spooky says:

Hi "fed up and tired".

If you give me a contact email address I'll forward on copies (word.doc) of the letters I've sent to HSL etc and the OFT.

13th Mar 2008, 19:48

max says:

is there any more news on Honours losing their license to trade etc?

The soner we crush these gobshite scum the better.

5th Jun 2008, 14:42

spooky says:

I haven't heard a thing from HSL since sending them the two CCA requests (June and July 2007) and reporting them to the OFT, so I imagine if they were still going to harass me they would have done so by now; although I've done nothing wrong.

8th Jun 2008, 17:29

spooky says:

Out of interest, has anyone heard any more from our friends at HSL? From what I understand their tactics now appear to be to send letters to people every six months to remind them of their arrears/debt, but they don't seem to have the vicious clout that their initial demand letters had; maybe that's because they haven't played by the rules and this is a last ditch attempt to 'scare' people into paying for goodness knows what. Hopefully, it will be their swansong.

24th Jul 2008, 22:48

ali(aliross1970-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

i have nt heard from hsl for about two years now. calls from debt collecting agencies though average 3/4 times a day, due to me 'defaulting' on the credit agreement, though i have done no such thing. no idea who now 'owns' my debt,requests for statements etc are ignored. so as of now, will stop paying and hope someone takes me to court. shocking that this is all apparently legal

29th Jul 2008, 21:49

scotsgirl says:

I have all of my loans from a Scottish Uni with HSL after they were sold by the Scottish Government. I worked at uni (4 nights a week) and my parents gave me nothing (though they could/should have).

I'm not on a direct debit as the date of the payment would have to stay the same as it's always been (they say) and that is too early in the month for me before my huge rent and bills come off. It would be too close to call.

I am eligible for deferment but but have been putting off applying as I want to try and pay it off if I can.

For some time HSL were calling my parents' house (they found the number fromthe address I had originally given to The Student Loans Company) and my parents had to threaten them with being 'reported' after they refused to stop calling. THey have people that work from different telephone numbers at weekends and even phone on a Sunday. I think the silent calls may be because they have automantic dail-up and then it takes a few moments for them to be connected.

Eventually they got the message and I don't think they called my parenst again (but it had gone on for 6 months). Now they just call me on my home phone or mobile, yes, up to 4 times a day and at weekends. Often from a 'private number'.

Once, I got a letter saying they were sending round 'debt collectors' in the next 2 days!

Most recently though (July 25), I've had a 'notice of arrears' and a leaflet on handling debt. I was worried it was the start of some more threatening behaviour but hopefully this is the latest and softer way fo handling things.

I called up and paid my 200 odd pounds (went into overdraft etc) but really I don't undertand why they hassle us so much. After all, interest/inflation is much higher now and at 4% they are gaining a lot each month on any deferments/non-payments.

As for the 'agent' person, wow he need to STOP SHOUTING in messages. He is so angry about 'students' but no-one likes being in debt and many people are annoyed that the compny they were dealing with was changed without any consultation at all. THe tactics I was exposed to and the hassle my parents got was all after the change-over.

As for us all having crappy jobs, I did not study (shout it) 'CHILD DEVELOPMENT' but am a secondary teacher. I also don't DRINK. I work about 50 hours a week and am in work today, my supposed long summer break. Yes, it may be another of your so-called crappy jobs and maybe one day I WILL earn a lot more, in the meantime should my home and my parents have been subjected to this misery, all because I had to borrow to pay rent at uni?

I hope the Scot Nats do write the loans off one day, though it would be divisive and feel unfair if it was only for the Scots. I would love to know how much the admin costs at SLC and HSL. Also, how much the government got for selling off the debt.

1st Aug 2008, 10:34

scotsgilr says:

In first line I mean UK government - there was no such thing as Scottish Government. Slip of the tongue!

1st Aug 2008, 10:38

les says:

what is latest on HSL losing its licence to trade etc?

thanks

17th Aug 2008, 21:04

maxo(customerservice-at-honoursstudentloans-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

hi gang,

what tactics work against the scum at HSL? What say we turn their tactics against them? - bombard the fuckers with emails to customerservice - say one per hour or so - & phonecalls (reverse the charges etc etc)

thoughts?

lets hope a spam robot picks up there email aqddy above.

21st Aug 2008, 00:43

ziggy(anon) says:

so what is the latest on HSL losing its trading rights etc etc?

please folk, let me know and end the radio silence

if we stick together we can beat the vermin at HSL

21st Aug 2008, 00:48

alec says:

hi gang,

HSL are not responding to any of my emails about my account

what is going on there? suggestions?

best wishes to all

28th Aug 2008, 22:19

rex says:

has this forum gone dead? spooky? anyone?

what is the latest on the HSL & SLC farce?

cheers

5th Sep 2008, 12:52

Lex says:

I now pronouce this forum officially dead. Looks like SLC and HSL have beaten us.

Many thanks to Spooky for all the work fighting them to date anyhow - much appreciated.

10th Sep 2008, 00:43

spooky says:

It ain't dead just yet...

2nd Oct 2008, 01:35

max says:

keep on fighting them folks - don't let the bastards grind you down!

has everyone given up? no posts for ages

5th Oct 2008, 23:16

max says:

any idea how the current financial troubles are impacting HSL & the bank they are part of?

13th Oct 2008, 22:11

spooky says:

Have written to Watchdog amongst others to try and get them to make their archive material concerning student loans more accessible, as I know they have covered the student loan story back in 2006. As yet I’ve received no reply. Will try other media sources to try and get information. Most of the reports I read concentrate on the interests of student finances facing the credit crunch, but there appears little if any information about how the Loans companies are being affected. It would be interesting to find out.

17th Oct 2008, 23:49

spooky says:

Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Idea…

Title:
Improved complaints procedures in relation to student loans
Department Responsible:
Department for Children, Schools and Families
Problem Description:
The Student Loans Company and other PFI student loan companies including Honours Student Loans do not have complaints procedures which are as open or robust as other financial institutions and/or other QUANGOs. This substantially disadvantages borrowers who may wish to complain about these organisations.
This problem is caused by conflicting regulations or guidance.

Proposed solution:
All of the lenders, including the Student Loans Company and Honours Student Loans should be regulated by the Financial Services Authority, because their main activity is acting as a financial service, eg providing loans. This would allow any borrower with a complaint to take the matter up with the Financial Ombudsman Service, and would ensure that the student loans companies meet the same standards as other financial institutions.

Furthermore, there should be a mechanism for escalating appropriate complaints about the Student Loans Company to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. As a QUANGO of the DfES, there should be a more transparent and robust complaints procedure than that which currently exists. This would also streamline the processing of complaints about these organisations as they would be dealt with by well-established and respected bodies.
Cost or time incurred:
This would save the government money as there would be not need for separate student loans complaints procedures. Two existing bodies could carry out the role.
Department:
Department for Children, Schools and Families
Sector(s):
Public Sector
Category(s):
Education and skills

Official Response:
Improved complaints procedures in relation to student loans:
The Student Loans Company have a clearly defined and published process for handling complaints.
The jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service has recently been extended to cover consumer credit licence holders such as the Student Loans Company and Honours Students Loans. Thus, holders of pre-1998 ‘mortgage-style’ loans with complaints arising after 6 April 2007 now have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service after eight weeks from the date of their complaint.
‘Income-contingent’ student loans, administered via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, are not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act and fall outside the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman. The Student Loans Company’s existing complaints framework includes access to an independent assessor service, where appropriate.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction to consider complaints in respect of the Students Loans Company.

17th Oct 2008, 23:57

spooky says:

Are Honours Loans failing students?

Jo Thornhill, Mail on Sunday
9 March 2008

The company that bought more than £1bn of student loans from the Government in the late Nineties is coming under increasing fire over its shoddy administration.
Message boards on consumer websites are carrying comments from former students venting their anger about Honours Student Loans.
They say the company is in administrative meltdown, with paperwork being lost regularly.
And as the Government prepares to offload a further £6 billion of student loans to the private sector, the situation could worsen for borrowers.
HSL, owned by Deutsche Bank and Nationwide Building Society, has been criticised for a heavyhanded approach towards former students who do not receive vital paperwork and as a result fall into payment arrears.
Sharon Brooks, 35, a retail manager, and her partner, Dr Peter Whalley, 39, from Exeter, Devon, have had six months of torment at the hands of HSL as a result of its aggressive pursuit of arrears on her £2,500 loans.
HSL's failure to send Sharon the appropriate forms led to her suffering severe stress. Peter, a senior research fellow in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at Exeter University, had to take power of attorney over her account to sort out the matter.
Sharon was still too upset by her experience to be photographed for this report.
Sharon took out her loans when she was studying graphic design at West Herts College, Watford, between 1991 and 1993.
Borrowers with student loans taken before September 1998 can defer repayments for 12 months at a time if their gross income is less than £21,360. But they must complete a deferral form every year. HSL sends out the forms in July and August - though the rules are different for student loans taken out after September 1998.
Sharon's problems started when she called HSL last August to request a deferral form because hers had not arrived. HSL failed to send it and Sharon phoned again the following month. HSL claims a form was sent, but Sharon says she did not receive it. At the time she was living in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
When HSL did not receive her deferral declaration, it changed her account from 'deferred' to 'live', which meant monthly repayments were due. When she didn't pay, HSL classified her account as in arrears. Sharon finally found out about this when she received a letter from HSL in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, asking for immediate payment of £126 arrears.
'The deferral form had always arrived on time,' says Peter. 'We had no reason to think it had gone astray, but when Sharon tried to sort out the problem, HSL didn't want to know and was unsympathetic.' After many phone calls between Peter, who was now looking after Sharon's account, and HSL, the issue came to a head with the company threatening to send round 'representatives'. It also called Sharon on Christmas Eve, after she had moved to Exeter to live with Peter, demanding immediate payment.
'The saga has been a complete nightmare for Sharon and made her very ill,' says Peter. 'HSL has behaved aggressively and did not understand that the arrears had been caused by its own administrative error.'
Jon Carroll, spokesman for the National Union of Students, says the union has received repeated complaints about HSL. He says: 'In the main, the complaints relate to administration problems, such as the loss of a notification for change of address or deferral forms. But clearly such administrative bungles can result in severe difficulties for borrowers if their loans then fall into arrears.'
Since last year borrowers with HSL have been able to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service - but only for complaints arising after April 6, 2007. For more information, log on to financial-ombudsman.org. uk.
Peter and Sharon had filed a complaint to the Ombudsman, but after Financial Mail's intervention HSL waived the loan arrears, admitting it had made an administrative error. On Friday, the lender said: 'Sharon Brooks' case is an isolated case. HSL does not have widespread problems in this area. It is borrowers' responsibility to obtain a deferral form.'

18th Oct 2008, 00:00

spooky says:

Bankrupt: 4,000 students declare bankruptcy - and many more unable to clear debt
And, like Laura Schwartz, they don't know where to turn, as rates of insolvency and stress counselling soar. Marie Woolf and Sophie Goodchild report
Sunday, 29 January 2006
Record numbers of graduates are declaring bankruptcy because they cannot repay their loans. The Student Loans Company, which handles the financing for the Government, says more than 4,000 of its borrowers have declared bankruptcy, with 3,486 still insolvent.
In London alone, 68 graduates who took out student loans declared bankruptcy in 2004.
MPs warn that student debt is now a national crisis and teenagers will be put off university. Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said the figures were a disincentive for those from poorer families. "What's really concerning is that debt might put off youngsters going to university."
The level of student debt is also expected to increase when top-up fees of up to £3,000 are introduced this year.
Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said: "Mounting debts are being hung round the necks of students like millstones and it is shocking. These young people are starting their careers with one arm tied behind their back."
Laura Schwartz is among this new breed of debtor, middle-class and well-educated. There are an esti- mated 138,000 of them falling behind with bills or risking serious difficulties.
Ms Schwartz, 23, agonises over how she will pay the £15,500 cost of her history studies. She says: "I've spoken to students who are considering bankruptcy and maybe that would not be such a bad idea."
The average debt owed by those in higher education has also soared in the past decade, from £3,400 to more than £12,000. Counsellors warn that they risk of mental illness and psychological trauma because of facing such a financial burden at a young age.
In some cases, they have even been driven to suicide because they see no way out. Lisa Taylor, 26, hanged herself last July at her father's home in Blackburn, Lancashire, because she was £14,000 in debt. At the inquest, the coroner revealed a bundle of letters to her demanding repayment.
The National Union of Students says unprecedented numbers of students in higher education are seeking counselling to solve not only their credit problems but the psychological stress of coping with debt.
"Being in debt is stressful, and of course it takes a psychological toll," says David Malcolm, a policy officer for student finance at the NUS. "Debt does that to anyone. It's particularly bad for students because they are not earning money to pay it back."
The days when students could manage on a maintenance grant are long gone, and parents are having to spend thousands a year - the average is £4,500 - to keep their children clear of financial problems.
Under the present system, graduates have to start repaying when they are earning more than £15,000 a year. The Student Loans Company seeks 9 per cent of the excess earnings.
Even if students do declare themselves bankrupt, they still have to repay their loans under guidelines introduced in 2004, which state these remain the responsibility of the student.
Ms Schwartz, who lives in student accommodation at the University of East London, has to juggle casual jobs, including bar work, with her studies to keep her head above water.
"It's frightening, and such a massive burden to have at the beginning of your working life," she says. "It means people will have to try to get jobs that pay lots, not necessarily the socially responsible jobs they really want."
The Government gave Ms Schwartz loans of £4,000 for every year at university and a £500 hardship loan she applies for every year. With a £2,000 overdraft, she says she cannot even afford the £30-a-month interest on her loans.
"It hits the poor," she says. "There's a real danger of university turning into enclaves for rich people's children to piss around in for three years."
Degrees of Debt: The high cost of learning
£500m annual amount parents pay in university costs
£33,708 projected student debt at graduation by 2010
544% increase in student debt since grants cut. Debt totals more than £5bn
90% of students in debt. In 1992, only a third were
57% of students who work do so to buy basic essentials; 11% work to pay tuition fees
31% increase in student debt since 2002 caused by rise in studying and living
£30 weekly average undergraduates live on after rent
75% of students work during term, three in 10 for more than 20 hours a week
66% of 2003 graduates moved back home to save, and to pay off their debts.

18th Oct 2008, 00:03

spooky says:

20,000 graduates overcharged for student loans

By Richard Garne, Education Editor
Tuesday, 22 July 2008

More than 20,000 graduates were overcharged on their student loan repayments last year.
They have forfeited hundreds of pounds in overpayments because money is still being deducted from their salaries despite having paid back the full amount they owe on their student loans.
Figures given to MPs for the first time show that 20,900 young people were overcharged last year – about one in 50 of the students who should have finished paying off their arrears.
The figures have prompted claims from Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrats' higher education spokesman, of "bureaucratic incompetence". He said: "It comes at a time when many people are feeling the pinch and definitely don't want to be paying back more than they have to.
"The Student Loans Company [SLC] needs to ensure mistakes like this simply can't happen. It should start by putting better procedures in place to keep incontact with graduates so it can at least let them know when they are reaching the end of their payments."
One of the reasons cited for the overpayments is that HM Revenue and Customs has to notify the SLC of repayments through the tax system. Bill Rammell, the Higher Education minister, said: "Due to the time lag in the SLC receiving information from HMRC , it is possible for borrowers to overpay before the SLC becomes aware that their repayments should stop."
When graduates try to reclaim overpayments, they have to send all their pay-slips to the SLC so it can calculate the overpayment and make a refund.
The number of students overcharged has soared from 600 in 2001-02, the first year students could have concluded their repayments, to 20,900 in 2006-07. The figures given to MPs show the numbers have decreased slightly on the previous year when 21,800 students were overcharged.
The rise is being put down to an increase in the numbers reaching the end of their repayments – although the percentage of students overcharged has more than doubled in the six-year periods from 0.9 per cent to 1.9 per cent. At present students start repaying loans once they are earning more than £15,000 a year.
Mr Rammell added that moves were already under way to reduce the prospect of students being overcharged – including the setting up of a new website facility which would allow students to keep track on how much they still owe in repayments.
Since it was established 10 days ago, scores of students have used it to pay off their outstanding debts – with the SLC receiving more than £1m in repayments, including £16,000 from one individual.
Mr Rammell added: "The Student Loans Company is working on further improving the loan end process and has been asked to put arrangements in place which will reduce the number of borrowers over-repaying at the end of repayment."
A spokesman for the SLC said: "We are always conscious of the fact there can be a time lag between the repayments being made and receiving confirmation of that." He said action to reduce the delay would be introduced next year.

18th Oct 2008, 00:05

spooky says:

I'm now off to do some homework on the boys that send us such delightful demands through our front doors... I'll let you know what I find.

18th Oct 2008, 00:09

spooky says:

Please accept my apologies for the lengthy if not turgid nature of the following report. spooky

NUS WELFARE UNIT 2006/07

Mortgage-style loans were available if you started your course between 1
September 1990 and 31 August 1998 (or were treated as a continuing student
when you started in the 1998/99 academic year). These loans are not meanstested,
and are governed by the Student Loans Regulations 1990. Loans are
repaid from the April after you graduate (or otherwise leave your course), in 60
equal instalments – unless you took out five or more, in which case the
repayments are spread over 84 instalments.

a. Mortgage-style loans
Repayment can be deferred if you are earning less than 85 per cent of the
national average wage, but you must actively request this - it will not happen
automatically if you are not earning more than that amount. Deferment can be
requested if you are earning less than £2,011 (2005/06 rates) before tax per
month.
If you are not in arrears to the SLC, liability to repay these loans can be cancelled
in certain situations:
If you reach the age of 50 (or 60 if you were aged 40 or more when you last
took out a loan)
If you become permanently unfit for work due to a disability
If you die
If you have not otherwise paid back the full amount of your loan or loans 25
years after repayments start.
Note that some of these loans were ‘sold’ to the Honours Student Loans Company
(which is separate from the SLC) in the late 1990s, and their administration was
transferred in 2004. However, the repayment rules as mentioned above should
not be affected.

b. Income-contingent loans
These have been available to all new students to help pay living costs since 1
September 1998. From September 2006 or later, any student with fees to pay
(whether or not they are a new student), additional loans to pay for the fees
charged are also available.
The maintenance loans are partially means-tested and both types are governed
by the Student Support Regulations 2006. Repayment for both types begins in
the April after you graduate (or otherwise leave your course), and payments are
subtracted from your salary by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) before it is paid
into your bank (except in the case of the self-employed, who will arrange
repayment during the self-assessment process).
However, payments are only taken if your income is above £15,000 per annum,
at a rate of 9 per cent of any income above this level, regardless of the total
amount of loan debt you have. This is done automatically by HMRC, and any
amount of repayment taken should appear on your payslip.
If your weekly or monthly income varies during the year, you may make
repayments even though your total annual income does not exceed the threshold,
or you may make greater repayments than necessary. In this event you can ask
for a rebate from HMRC at the end of the tax year, although any amount returned
to you will then, of course, remain outstanding.
If you are not in arrears to the SLC, liability to repay these loans can be cancelled
in certain situations:
If you reach the age of 65 (if you started your course before 1 September
2006)
If you have not otherwise paid back the full amount of your loan or loans 25
years after repayments start (if you started your course on or after 1
September 2006)if you become permanently unfit for work due to a disability
If you die

The student loan regulations state that the onus is on you as the borrower to
inform SLC of any changes in your circumstances or personal details. As
mentioned, if you are a borrower of the earlier, mortgage-style loans, you must
also ensure that arrangements are in place if you wish to defer your loan
repayments.

NUS would advise borrowers to ensure that:
clear records of contact with the SLC are maintained for personal reference,
including details of all conversations, statements and agreements by both
parties, together with the name of the staff member contacted;
all correspondence from the SLC is dealt with as quickly as possible;
you inform the SLC in writing of any changes in circumstances, such as
your address, and ask for this correspondence to be acknowledged in writing
by the SLC. If you do not hear from the SLC in a reasonable period of time,
you should contact the SLC to ensure that your correspondence was received
by SLC;if borrowers on mortgage-style loans have not received a deferment form
from the SLC at least one month before the dates payments would
commence or recommence, they should contact the SLC as soon as
possible to ask for further forms to be sent;
you request that telephone agreements on the part of the SLC and the
borrower are backed up by letters confirming the verbal statements and
agreement;
if the borrower has met the administrative requirements and feels their
deferment request has not been dealt with promptly by the SLC, the borrower
should write a letter of complaint.

NB: The SLC now records phone calls. This should enable them to refer back to
any phone call made within a reasonable period of time.

Borrowers who leave the UK following graduation
If you intend to leave the UK following the completion of, or withdrawal from,
your course, you should contact the SLC and make arrangements either to defer
(via a third party with Power of Attorney) or commence repayment. If no
arrangement is made, the SLC will attempt to trace you and request proof of
earnings.

Remit of the Independent Assessor
The role of the Independent Assessor is to investigate and report on disputes
referred to them between borrowers, or intending borrowers, and the SLC. They
do not have a remit to investigate complaints in respect of a college’s or an
awards body’s role in certifying eligibility.
The Independent Assessor may investigate a complaint if it constitutes:
a breach of the SLC’s obligations under any loans contract;
unfair treatment; or
maladministration,
and has caused you pecuniary (ie financial) loss or expense, or an unreasonable
degree of inconvenience.
The Independent Assessor will consider written evidence submitted by you and
the SLC, but they will not conduct oral hearings. The Assessor will then produce a
report, which will be sent both to you and the SLC. If the Assessor makes
recommendations to the SLC, and you accept them (in writing) within three
months, the SLC must either implement those recommendations or explain, in its
annual report to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the reasons why
it has not done so.
One of the recommendations the Assessor may make is that the SLC award
compensation, up to a maximum of £5,000, for any loss, expense, anxiety, or
inconvenience incurred by you.

Complaints about the administration of repayments by HM Revenue and Customs
should at first be addressed to the HMRC internal procedures. If you are not
satisfied with the outcome, an independent review of the case can be requested
to the HMRC’s Adjudicator. Appeals against decisions by the HMRC (eg the
amount of loan instalment due to be paid) should be addressed to the Tax
Commissioners.

Details of the complaints procedure for HMRC can be accessed here:
www.hmrc.gov.uk/leaflets/cop1.pdf

a. Mortgage-style loans
If you have borrowed mortgage-style loans and default on payment (eg because
you have cancelled a direct debit, or changed bank accounts without notifying the
SLC), their arrears procedure will apply. This is as follows:
i) A reminder letter will be sent to you by the SLC requesting you settle the
arrears promptly.
ii) If the first letter does not secure payment after a set period, a second
reminder letter will be sent out; this will incur a £15 charge on your
account.
iii) If the second letter does not secure payment, the SLC will terminate your
account and send you notice of this. This means you are required to pay
the outstanding balance immediately. However, it may be possible to
reopen your account, and arrange deferment of payments if you are
eligible, although a set amount may still have to be paid before the SLC
will agree to this.
iv) The SLC will pass your details to a debt recovery agency after your
account is terminated. They will seek payment, but should not at this
stage have any power to confiscate property. It is also the SLC’s policy
that, should an agency try to contact you in person, their representatives
take deferment forms with them so that, if you are eligible, this can be
arranged and your account restored.
v) If outstanding loans are still unpaid, the SLC’s legal department will then
attempt to contact you indicating they intend to secure a court order. Even
at this stage it is possible to make arrangements with the SLC for
repayment.

vi) If all of the above fails, then the SLC will attempt to secure a court order
which would allow them to seize assets belonging to you to the value of
the outstanding debt.
You may also be charged for legal and other costs the SLC incurs during the
process.
It is important to stress that in the event of problems arising, early
communication with the SLC can ensure that extra charges and other action are
avoided.

b. Income-contingent loans
As HM Revenue and Customs controls repayments for these loans through the
taxation system, it is more difficult to fall into arrears than with mortgage-style
loans. However, if you do not provide accurate information on your income to
HMRC, or go abroad and fail to maintain contact, or if your liability for repayment
is made under the self-assessment process and you do not make the repayments
for which you are assessed, you may be charged additional interest and
surcharges.
If you continue to fail to make repayments, the SLC may attempt to gain a court
order as above.

Frequently asked questions
Q: I have mortgage-style loans, but I have not kept in contact with the SLC
because of illness or another mitigating circumstance. I have never earned above
the threshold, but they are now pursuing me for repayment and will not let me
defer. What can I do?
A: Deferment of mortgage-style loans is not automatic, and in the regulations the
onus is very much on the borrower to keep in contact with the SLC and ensure
any deferment is arranged. Moreover, the direct debit that would have been set
up at the time the loan was taken is not supposed to be cancelled without the
SLC’s permission, and any change of bank details should be communicated to
them.

For these reasons, the SLC is usually disinclined to use its discretion to
retroactively defer loans and, in its view, reward those who have breached their
loan agreement. Where serious illness or other compelling circumstances can be
shown, they can be more understanding, but there is no legal obligation on them
to do so.
Therefore, resolution can be a difficult process. You should seek further advice
from a professional agency.

Q: If I leave the UK will my student loans be cancelled after a certain number of
years?
A: Not any more quickly than if you remained in the UK. Even if you move abroad
you are still required to maintain contact with the SLC and provide them with
details of your income, which they will convert to UK pounds sterling and
calculate what, if anything, you are due to repay.

Failing to do so will result in extra charges and interest being added to your
account. Living abroad may make it more difficult for the SLC to pursue
repayment, but they will certainly do so when (or if) you return to the UK.
However, the general cancellation rules still apply as long as you do maintain
contact and do not fall into arrears.
Note that new guidelines have been introduced for repayment if you move
abroad, and the repayment threshold may be lower or higher because of different
standards of living in your country of residence.
The SLC also believes it can use the EU to take action against defaulting
borrowers living in other EU countries. Contact the SLC for details.

Q: Can I cancel my student loans if I declare myself bankrupt?
A: No. It was for a time possible to do so if you had income-contingent loans, but
this avenue was closed in 2004. The Government’s position is that because this is
public money, it should be protected from bankruptcy.

Q: Although my income is over the threshold, I cannot afford to make
repayments. What should I do?
A: Speak to a professional debt counsellor, who may be able to help you
reorganise your debts and negotiate with the SLC.



18th Oct 2008, 00:21

spooky says:

Harassment by Debt Collectors
There are limits on what debt collectors can do when they are pursuing you for a debt. In this fact-sheet we list some of the problems people experience with debt collectors and outline the protections the law offers you.
When Can a Debt Collector Visit Me at Home?
A debt collector is allowed to communicate with you by visiting you at home. However, personal visits should not be used as the first contact, or to intimidate or harass you. Initial contact should be by either mail or telephone.
Guidelines on debt collection state that a debt collector should only attend your home between the hours of 7.30am and 9pm (though this law is being reviewed and might change shortly). Debt collectors are not allowed to make contact with you on Sundays or public holidays. The debt collector should leave your home as soon as you ask him or her to.
A debt collector must not leave any notice stating the name of the debt collector, that s/he is a debt collector or give any other information that would tell a passer by that a debt collector has visited you at home.

When Can a Debt Collector Visit Me at Work?
Debt collectors should only contact you at work as a last resort or if you have expressly asked to be contacted at the workplace.
Debt collectors should handle all workplace collection inquiries with discretion and ensure that no one else is aware of the purpose of their visit.
It is against the law for the debt collector to disclose, or cause to be disclosed, to your employer the fact that you are in debt unless you agree to this or it is required for the debt collector to perform a legal process involving your employer (eg a garnishee on your wages).
Debt collectors should leave the workplace upon request.

What a Debt Collector Can Do
Debt collectors are allowed to make reasonable efforts to contact you. However, they cannot use physical force or undue harassment or coercion.
A debt collector can make reasonable demands on more than one occasion, for the purpose of reminding you of your obligation and drawing your attention to the likelihood of legal proceedings if payment is not made. A debt collector cannot though, intimidate, demoralise or exhaust you through the frequency or nature of his or her approaches to you, or the content of the letters or phone calls he or she makes to you.
A debt collector can threaten to take you to Court to recover the debt and advise you of the additional cost and damage to your credit rating from being taken to Court to recover the debt. The debt collector cannot, though, say or do things which are intended to intimidate or threaten you, such as threatening criminal proceedings (as distinct from civil proceedings), or the immediate seizure and sale of your house or belongings.

In deciding whether or not a debt collector has acted lawfully in demanding payment, consideration will be given to:
- the language the debt collector used,
- the time and place at which the demand for payment was made, and
- whether or not the debt collector exaggerated what would happen to you if you did not pay.

What Can't a Debt Collector Do?
In addition to the things a debt collector cannot do mentioned above, debt collectors are not allowed to:
- use threatening, aggressive, personally abusive or obscene language,
- use a threatening, aggressive, or abusive manner when dealing with you,
- convey the demand to uninvolved family members, particularly your children,
- convey the demand through a third party in order to embarrass you when you could reasonably have been the subject of a direct communication,
- have excessive contact with you;
- make correspondence look like a court document when it is not one to mislead you into paying the debt,
- demand you pay enforcement costs (unless the debt collector is repossessing property you purchased using a mortgage where you failed to meet the repayments under the mortgage); - or charge unreasonable costs.

Things You Can Do If You are Being Harassed By a Debt Collector.
If a debt collector harasses you (for example by doing one of the things mentioned above), you should consider putting your protest in writing to the debt collection company itself. See also Consumer Credit Legal Centre website:
Fact-sheet: Debtor Harassment and a Sample Letter to Creditor/Debt Collector Regarding Debtor Harassment.

If this does not stop the harassment you should contact either the Office of Fair Trading or the FSA. If you need advice on to how proceed with a complaint contact your nearest community legal centre or the Legal Aid Commission.

18th Oct 2008, 00:42

fairdealondebt says:

[edit: putting potentially worried people in touch with loan sharks is hardly a great idea, sorry!]

7th Nov 2008, 08:14

Max says:

what is latest on hsl? they stopped replyng to my emails, etc, etc

9th Nov 2008, 23:12

spooky says:

Don't know what the latest is but maybe the good ship HSL is finally sinking? It's what they deserve for making so many people's lives hell.

12th Nov 2008, 19:53

spooky says:

Max, I cannot get through to your email address, has it changed? I have some information you might like to get you hands on. If you still have my email get in touch.

13th Nov 2008, 20:52

spooky says:

I take it I am still talking to Zebedee?

13th Nov 2008, 21:08

Jake Maverick(brotherjacob-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

Hiya all,

Been having a lot of similar problems with these yobs that refuse to give names! I have been in dispute with them for over ten years now!!!

The matter has become very urgent and I believe that it is about to escalate to violence again. I still want to know what the yobs names are and have them held personally accountable for their behaviour. I am also looking to have the whole debt written off as well as compensation for the numerous DPA violations, threats and harassment- not only of myself but my family as well!!!

I have already tried using Small Claims Court but the Court refused to even accept it and sent it around my neighbours (with a lot of other very personal documents) presumably because I complained about their staff's behaviour.

I have desperately been looking for a solicitor for several years now willing to take this on. The thought occurs that there is 'strength in numbers' and we should all gang up, find a decent solicitor (if that is not a contradiction in terms) and go after the buggers as a collective/ class action.

To that end, I would be grateful if people could contact me (email address below). Hopefuly, if we can gang up on them it might still be possible to get it sorted and avoid the impending violence!!!

Regards,
JM

brotherjacob at yahoo dot com

PS I just checked

ww.honourstudentloans.co.uk/phpBB2/

This can't be their genuine website, surely? With

ww.Fool.co.uk/Student_Loans

>>

on the page???? THEY'RE JUST TAKING DA PISS, SURELY? BUT THEN WITH G-MEN YOU NEVER KNOW IF THEY'RE 'REAL' PEOPLE OR BEING SERIOUS OR ANYTHING........

13th Nov 2008, 22:39

spooky says:

I am still waiting on some information which I requested a few weeks ago. I've since been informed the information I requested is on the way, more specifically concerning the 'dark arts' of debt collecting tactics that the collectors themselves would rather the likes of you and I knew nothing about. As soon as I get the information, which will hopefully be sometime within the next week at the latest I will post the incriminating material for all to peruse at your leisure. It may make some interesting reading.

13th Nov 2008, 22:58

max says:

hi spooky - just saw the message here & have emailed you

cheers

16th Nov 2008, 00:51

spooky says:

Hi Max,
Tried replying to your email but it's been thrown back twice with a delivery failure notice. Try a new message and I'll give it another go.

18th Nov 2008, 11:00

spooky says:

Got your message Max but unable to reply still - delivery failure notice.

18th Nov 2008, 22:19

max says:

sorry spooky, have sent you a new address from my old one.

no idea why it bounces - mega sorry

new one should work will check tomorrow

cheers

18th Nov 2008, 23:09

wole(wolebabs-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

i have just had an interim attachment from the courts requested by HSL - they r trying to sell my home because of a outstanding student loan that goes back to the mid 90s, any idea anyone?

23rd Nov 2008, 16:46

wole(wolebabs-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

i have just had an interim attachment from the courts requested by HSL - they r trying to sell my home because of a outstanding student loan that goes back to the mid 90s, any idea anyone?

23rd Nov 2008, 16:46

spooky says:

It seems to be easier for HSL to do this in Scotland; are you based in Scotland? It seems life is becoming much easier for the creditors to get what they want these days through people's assets and not direct payments. I doubt it will be very long before this 'availability' becomes widespread. The government have been greedy bastards and are now trying to recover their mistakes.

"Interim attachment is a new diligence commenced on 1 April 2008. Part 7 of the 2007 Act inserts Part 1A into the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002. It protects the interests of creditors pending the issue of a decree by enabling them to attach a debtor's tangible assets on the dependence of a court action.

The scope of interim attachment is limited and excludes articles specified in section 11 of the 2002 Act as well as articles within a dwelling house, perishable items and certain items connected to the trade of the debtor.

This interim diligence does not, when a decree is granted, allow the creditor to take immediate action to dispose of the items attached. A further valuation and attachment must be carried out prior to a creditor taking action to realise the value of goods."

I wish I could help but I'm not a lawyer. Maybe your citizens advice bureau can help - I know you can make an appointnment for free legal advice at some centres; I would definitely seek some advice if the courts are involved, although I wouldn't put it past HSL to lie, as this sounds serious. I find it difficult to understand how they would be permitted to make such a claim against your home for what probably amounts to less than a fraction of its value. Like I said, I am not a lawyer, but if I was you I would try and seek advice otherwise you might find yourself agreeing to something that you are within your rights to object to.

24th Nov 2008, 14:11

spooky says:

Merchants of Misery: Debt collection is one of the UK's fastest-growing industries

Agencies pursue 20 million cases a year and resort to underhand (yet often legal) tactics. Now, a change to the law will make their business even easier. Jonathan Owen and Ian Griggs report
Sunday, 17 February 2008

Debt collection agencies and bailiffs are raking in unprecedented sums from Britain's growing mountain of personal finance misery, an Independent on Sunday investigation has found. Last year the agencies and bailiffs pursued no fewer than 20 million cases and the methods they used to squeeze money from people are so aggressive that experts ranging from the Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) to members of the House of Lords are now calling for legislation to curb these excesses.

A growing army of thousands of "debt chasers" is making millions from the misery of Britons who have spent years spending above their means, in what campaigners have slammed as "legalised profiteering".

Personal debt is at a record high of £1.4 trillion, averaging £29,684 for every adult in the country. And people now face the possibility of bailiffs being able to break into their homes and take possessions by force. The sweeping new powers will be outlined by the Government in May, when it publishes details of how a new Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act will work in practice. In a statement to the IoS, a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesperson claimed that the new powers for forcing entry will be used only "as a last resort... in strictly controlled circumstances", and only "once full independent regulation of all private-sector bailiffs has been implemented". But it emerged last night that, despite bailiffs remaining unregulated, MoJ officials are proposing that they be allowed "to use reasonable force, restraint or violence against debtors thwarting the bailiff's seizure of their goods".

Although the Government pledged to regulate bailiffs a year ago, nothing has happened; the findings of a consultation on the issue that should have been published last July have yet to see the light of day. The CAB will meet policy advisers at the MoJ this week to discuss these new powers.
More than eight million Britons are in serious debt – a quarter of whom are struggling to make their repayments. Major lenders are taking legal action against people's assets, according to evidence from the Credit Management Research Centre at the University of Leeds, which warns that people's homes are also at risk.

Until now, Britain's credit boom has been sustained by rocketing house prices and a stable economy, but it has left many vulnerable to even a slight downturn in their fortunes. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is warning of "a growing number of consumers experiencing debt-repayment problems in 2008", with mortgage repossessions and bankruptcies set to rise.

"Clearly the use of debt collection agents is on the increase because the big lenders are selling their debt to collection agents. The financial institutions want to get debt off their books quicker than they used to do," said Professor Nick Wilson, chair in credit management at the University of Leeds. "We're tending to see more court action to get charges made against people's properties and incomes."
Bailiffs are notorious for the methods some of them use. Tricks of the trade include charging extortionate fees for visits that never take place, intimidating people through aggressive behaviour, and lying about the extent of their powers to trick people into letting them into their homes or even into paying up on the spot.
But now, amid calls for tighter regulation, the powers of this controversial profession are to be widened. "It is legalised profiteering," said Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall, chairman of the Enforcement Law Reform Group, a body that campaigns for fair enforcement of debts. "It is very much like the systems of tax collections that one reads about in books from the Middle Ages. There is no effective control on what many of these bailiffs are charging."
Debt campaigners warn that government failure to regulate the debt sector could result in an escalation in confrontations with bailiffs and debt collection agencies. Peter Tutton, the CAB's national debt policy adviser, said: "We regularly see cases of bailiffs misrepresenting their powers, acting in an abusive or aggressive manner, pressurising people into paying lump sums they cannot afford, and imposing excessive fees that can drive already vulnerable people deeper into poverty and debt."

County court judgments reached 796,528 last year – a staggering increase of 48 per cent since 2004, when they stood at 538,383 – according to new figures provided to the IoS by the Registry Trust. And bankruptcy orders soared from fewer than 20,000 in 1998 to more than 62,000 in 2006.

Record numbers of people are flooding the CAB with desperate appeals for help with their debt disasters. Enquiries have shot up by 20 per cent in the past year alone, and the charity deals with 6,600 new debt problems every day. It claims that up to two-thirds of bailiffs could be guilty of harassment and intimidation, with 40 per cent accused of misleading people about their powers of entry.

Britain's debt culture has spawned a massive growth in the debt collection business. The Credit Services Association (CSA), which represents the majority of debt collection agencies, has seen its membership more than double in the past five years, from 134 in 2002 to 291 in 2007. Its members now deal with more than 20 million cases a year worth £15bn in total – triple the amount they dealt with in 2000. CSA members bought a record £6bn of debt last year, with major high street lenders such as Marks & Spencer, the Co-operative Bank and Lloyds TSB among those selling off their debts.

Owen James, managing director of Interim Justicia, a debt collection firm that has almost a million "customers" in Britain, and which had group profits of £37m in 2007, told the IoS: "We are looking forward to controlled sustainable growth... there's a lot of potential in this market."

Local authorities around the country raked in about £360m in legal fees over council tax bills alone in 2006, when four million liability orders were issued with fees ranging from £85 to £125 for each one. Debt counsellor Sheila Hardy said: "Council tax debts are a money-spinner for councils and it is an absolute scandal."

Writing in a recent industry newsletter, Steve Roberts, managing director of bailiff firm Ross & Roberts, warned that a trend for local authorities to insist that collection firms pay the council's outstanding debt before recovering the money and adding their cut would increase the pressure on some to "raise huge fictitious fees and do bogus calls".

Consumer organisations have reported incidents of fights involving bailiffs in people's homes, people being pushed over – in one case suffering a broken arm – or even having their children made to hand over pocket money to settle outstanding debts. Many people are subjected to inflated fees for phantom visits that never took place, as well as being lied to by bailiffs trying to trick their way into their homes.
And things are set to get much worse, according to the Conservative MP Henry Bellingham. "Already powers are being abused and that is going to get worse because we will have more and more people having their homes broken into by bailiffs," he warned. "This is happening as debt has increased to record levels. We have got a bailiff industry out there that's now going to be in possession of much greater powers of entry at a time when more people are going to be having problems with debt."

Vernon Phillips, director of the Enforcement Services Association, a trade body for bailiffs, responded last night: "Many of the complaints that we do receive are 'he said, she said' and there's no actual evidence." But he then admitted: "Bailiff firms are reasonable people and will acknowledge that one or two of their bailiffs might overstep the mark in their overzealous attempt to collect debts. There have been occasions in the past when members have been fined or expelled."

Attacking government suggestions that bailiffs could be regulated through the Security Industry Authority (SIA), he added: "The SIA is not a body that the industry has a great deal of faith in because basically it doesn't know what it is doing." Mr Phillips acknowledged there remained problems with some bailiffs. "Regulation would be good for the industry and drive out the minority of cowboy operators that give the majority a bad name."

The Credit Services Association (CSA), which represents debt collection agencies, is keen to play down the extent of the problems. The CSA gets hundreds of complaints each year, more than half relating to "intrusive methods" used by debt collectors. But Kurt Obermaier, its executive director, said: "There are bound to be people who aren't happy to be pursued for their debts and there are bound to be people who are complaining and trying to find ways of avoiding their responsibilities. I think that one has to accept that with the huge volume that we are dealing with there are from time to time situations that are not ideal, but as an industry we are committed to maintaining ever higher standards of practice."
'The strain got too much for her'
Beryl Brazier, a 61-year-old widow from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, drowned herself in a lake in April 2006. After her death her family realised that a mix-up had resulted in Mrs Brazier's being hounded by debt collectors chasing someone else's £17,500 debt.

Kim Brazier, her daughter-in-law, said: "The debt company has taken the life of a good woman who would still be here if the mistake hadn't been made. She did all the right things, but the letters kept coming and I think the strain got too much for her."

The Office of Fair Trading and the Information Commissioner have launched investigations into the activities of the debt companies involved in the case.
'I tried, but I couldn't keep him out'
Simon Cousins, 52, from Southend in Essex, suffers from chronic joint pain and has been unable to work since 1991.
He claims he was attacked by a bailiff chasing up a £1,400 council tax bill, who forced his way into his home last October. "I took advice from National Debtline, who told me that I did not legally have to allow the bailiff entry," he said. "When he called, I put my foot across the threshold and told him I was not going to grant him entry. He attacked me and I couldn't keep him out."

His wife called the police, who threatened Mr Cousins with arrest for breach of the peace. He said: "I was forced to pay the money there and then after having been assaulted."
'They were rude and inflexible'
Anthony Lewisohn, an 82-year-old retired judge from Cobham, Surrey, was pressured into parting with more than £500 by bailiffs who turned up on his doorstep and threatened to clamp and remove his car over a parking ticket. Letters had been sent to Mr Lewisohn's old address, so the visit came as a shock.

The former judge described the bailiffs as "thugs" and said that they could not give him proof of where or when he had committed an offence, or that letters asking for payment had even been sent to him. "They were rude and inflexible. It was very unpleasant," he said.

27th Nov 2008, 13:34

max says:

what is the lastest on HSL anyone?

CHEERS

20th Feb 2009, 18:56

spooky says:

It would be interesting to know exactly how much the recession is affecting the credit companies; but it's also pleasing to see greater media coverage highlighting the difficult plight of some debtors when trying to come to a reasonable arrangement with the debt collection company. There are it seems a number of regulatory bodies and help forums around, but what is the point of regulation and advice and guidance without some sort of workable action plan. Things have to change and not by shuffling paper from table to table. Laws need to be consistent i.e. to protect the debtor and the creditor. At present the debtor seems to my mind to have the legal short straw. How many creditors featured on recent television programmes have received court orders to pay tenants and have got away Scott-free and worse, are continuing to conduct business transactions elsewhere. They still owe tens/hundreds of people money and no-on seems to be concerned enough to chase them up. It is a criminal offence. But it seems acceptable for a student with an old grant to be threatened with being taken to court which could result in a possible suspended sentence or an order the relinquish funds directly from their bank account.

My honest opinion right now is that the status quo as we know it will not change, at least not in the foreseeable future. Government bodies can be set up left right and centre but unless that are prepared to meet the problem head-on, nothing will ever be resolved.

Don’t treat the symptoms, treat the cause.

25th Feb 2009, 19:55

Leo says:

is anyone actually making any headway in telling HSL to get stuffed? Are they getting money out of folk or are they chasing their tales, sending threatening letters, yammering on about non-existent debt collection agencies, etc, but getting no money from anyone?

regards to all

27th Feb 2009, 20:04

enough-stress-already says:

This is the first year I've had any problems. I've called them twice to update my address, yet still I haven't received the form for deferment. Sounds as though the headsets are on minimum wage and have more immediate concerns than getting my address right.

I can't remember, is the form personalized? Because if not (and maybe even if it is), some kind and beautiful soul could scan it and make it available as a torrent...If I ever get the form I'll do it myself.

7th Mar 2009, 21:57

spooky says:

Leo,
I haven't had any more bother from them in terms of threatening letters although I do still receive letters saying that I owe x amount. As they have committed an offense in replying to my CCA request months after they should have and then not supplying the correct information I suspect they haven't got the clout anymore.

enough-stress-already,
As far as I'm aware I don't think the form is personalized, at least it never used to be; I think it's just a standard 'fill in the blanks' affair.

9th Mar 2009, 18:33

seaneeboy says:

Blimey, this one is running and running... I paid off the last of my student loan the other day, and MAN it feels good.

9th Mar 2009, 18:34

Sick2death says:

Good to hear I am not the only one experiencing problems with Honors Student Loan sharks. They lost my deferment in 2005 and took money from my account. When I tried to ring I remember finding it difficult to get through and so I wrote a number of letters which they have no record of and I have never had the money back

Then my account was suddenly deferred again. Hurrah! Until 2007. They have no record of my deferment application and re-application. They keep ringing and writing. I have again sent evidence that I have never earned enough to begin re-payments but they are saying I am in arrears! They are appalling and need to be investigated.

11th Mar 2009, 21:02

spooky says:

As Watchdog are currently showing some interest in debt recovery agencies what's say we bombard them with emails about HSL, Pennine, Brookdale & Walker, Westcott and whatever other guises these criminals are currently adopting?

12th Mar 2009, 11:49

Al says:

How common is it that HSL never replies to emails and letters?

The b******s never reply to me.

21st Mar 2009, 15:41

spooky says:

They do reply but maybe under a guise you don't recognise. Their trick is to make you (the debtor) think that you are being pursued by one or more debt recovery agencies.
Let them state out the exact financial arrangement you have.

22nd Mar 2009, 00:25

Al says:

Hello Spooky,

Thanks for the reply. HSL never reply to my emails. I email them instead of snail-mail.

23rd Mar 2009, 21:50

Al says:

Hello Spooky,

Thanks for the reply. HSL never reply to my emails. I email them instead of snail-mail.

This is the address i mail:

customerservice@honoursstudentloans.co.uk

23rd Mar 2009, 21:50

spooky says:

If they provide a point of contact then it is their own fault, if when people contact them, HSL chose not bother reading the messages. As long as you have proof of contacting them (copies of emails etc) then they have no complaint. You've done the right thing.

Don't hold your breath though, from what I gather HSL are none to quick in responding to reasonable requests. Whatever you do don't give them your phone number!

27th Mar 2009, 18:18

Al says:

Thanks spooky

Is anyone actually investigating HSL ect as the bunch of criminals they are? Is the credit crunch & global financial problems sticking it to them in the same way they try to stick it to us?

29th Mar 2009, 00:16

Angry says:

I and my wife (both pensioners) are being harassed for the second time in 12 months by Honours Student Loans because our address and phone no. are the only ones they have for our daughter who does not have a permanent address. Last time I had to have their number blocked when we were getting calls every 10 minutes or so.I have explained the situation but the calls keep coming.
Anyone know what the real as opposed to "Selectapost" address is in Rotherham-I need to "interview" them.
TC

19th Apr 2009, 18:43

spooky says:

Angry,
The only thing I can really suggest is to try the old Student Loans Company (Glasgow) number. Presumably they still have some sort of skeleton structure in place to deal with people who took out the original mortgage style loans. The number I have for them is: 0345 300 900. Whether or not this number is out of date I do not know, but it's worth a try. If not maybe the "operator" can help. The address for SLC is:
Student Loans Company,
100 Bothwell Street,
Glasgow,
G2 7JD

Good luck in finding them.

20th Apr 2009, 12:39

Angry says:

Thanks or that spooky.Think I have tracked them down to Meadows Road, Manvers Ind.Estate, Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham. For anyone interested there is a FREEPHONE No. 0800 614949 and it works. See who can hassle whom now!
TC

20th Apr 2009, 17:33

Angry says:

Honours Student Loans. Their parent company is Ventura, 01709 316000. They will put you through (local rate call).They also have local rate call nos as follows:01132 072853 and 01132 072206.

21st Apr 2009, 17:54

ally says:

any news on what is happening with the s**te at HSL? are they in trouble or ?

1st May 2009, 23:36

I AiNt PaYinG yOu says:

Got an HNC few years ago and didn't do much for my employment prospects, always had crappy low-paid jobs.

Decided to bugger off and travel around Asia, spent years in Thailand, Cambodia, Japan etc and am now back in the UK.

This country is pathetic! Loan/mortgage/personal injury garbage advertised everywhere you look constantly. Student loans on my ass but I just laugh at them. They can say what they want. As for me, it is back on the plane to Asia once I have enough money saved, and there I will stay. I will have a little chuckle to myself while thinking about all those battery hens sitting in the collections dept of their grey call centres, while I enjoy the rest of my time on this spinning globe in tropical paradise. AND in a country that doesn't revolve around financial BS.

UK - Bye bye!
Student Loans - LOL!

And as for hanging yourself at 26 over a crappy little debt, speechless......


14th May 2009, 16:50

Ally says:

Is their any news on HSL? I never hear from them? Are they going under?

26th May 2009, 21:08

Dick says:

I hope so as they don't deserve it.

27th May 2009, 15:51

LJ says:

If you check your HSL payments go you will find they go to Club Limited - this is the same organisation that scammed students selling them offer cards to clubs that gave them absolutely nothing that the club didn't already give to people for free anyway. The whole outfit is based upon a scam and therefore they should have been arrested for Fraud years ago.

27th May 2009, 17:15

Bob_Sahota(bobsahota-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

People,

I received a call from the SLC asking for money but I had sent throug deferment forms on 2 occasions!! Guess what!! They've lost them...now I have to pay £104 but I can reclaim it when I send my third-time-lucky deferment forms only this time by RECORDED DELIVERY.

PS. Don't phone their 0870...use:
0113 207 3154 for Honours Loan Company
0141 243 3660 for Student loan company

PSS. Always use recorded delivery

ohpe this helps



for you graduate
Bob




2nd Jun 2009, 12:25

Peppermints says:

I love the claim by SLC staff that all our problems with them are our fault because should have read the T's and C's more carefully. Where are the business ethics in falsely advertising "interest free" loans to 17 year olds who aren't even old enough to vote?!

I started university the year before the top up fees came in and there was an aggressive and concerted effort by the govt to entice students into higher education and this "interest free loans" rhetoric was at the forefront of the campaign. I remember leaflets and advisors coming into my sixth form college specifically saying that a percentage would accrue on the loan in line with the inflation rate.
Nothing was mentioned in any of the rhetoric about interest in line with the BOE base rate. To people who dont have experience of the student loans system the whole process and the T's and C's can be confusing and unclear. The SLC and especially the govt have made no effort to clarify the real terms and implications of their contracts in language that 16 and 17 yr olds can easily understand. They are happy for teens to buy into the rhetoric so that they can continue with all of the scandalous activities outlined in the rest of the forum.

IMO, anybody who decides to work for a loan collection company that hounds and harrasses people is of questionable integrity, happy to make a quick buck from other peoples' misfortune.

Its all a bit shit really. Sad times.



7th Jun 2009, 08:08

d1x28a(e3rfw9-at-msn-dot-com) says:

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9th Jun 2009, 08:05

m9emts(n28lx6-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

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11th Jun 2009, 00:05

w0xrwq(9x7gxk-at-msn-dot-com) says:

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12th Jun 2009, 17:14

Lazza says:

any HSL news anyone?

22nd Jun 2009, 21:15

spooky says:

I wish I had something positive to report but presently I don't. I might dig around again and put it to the office of fair trading - they were quite helpful the last time I wrote to them. To be honest I wish the recession would bite the arse of Honours student loans, and the company would curl up and die. That's what they deserve.

23rd Jun 2009, 10:18

Martin says:

What is the latest on HSL people? They have seemingly stopped contacting me.

8th Jul 2009, 17:57

Rex says:

If folk took my advice they'd just ignore HSL, Pennine, etc.

Unless they send you something registered mail you never "get it" right? If they can play that game so can we. Bottom line: the more expensive it is for them to collect any money (eg - they have to email you registered etc every time they contact you) the less profitable your loan is and the less interest they'll have in trying to collect. Basically, make them spend a fiver to collect a quid!

Thoughts?

11th Jul 2009, 14:30

barneymagrew says:

I'm in the County Court later this month with HSL. Same story as everyone above. Took loans out 91-3. Was granted deferment until 2004. Began to get demands from HSL, tried to contact SLC. Nada.I Have no paperwork (2 house moves and 1 burglary) but neither do they. Any suggestions would be welcome

14th Jul 2009, 15:34

spooky says:

There’s an interesting programme scheduled on Channel 4 on Monday 20th July at 8 o'clock. For those of you that don't already know:

"Dispatches goes undercover to investigate one of Britain’s least loved but booming industries: The debt collection business. Presented by Jane Moore, the programme reveals some of the tactics deployed to get debtors to pay up, and talks to those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this treatment."

16th Jul 2009, 14:19

spooky says:

Thought this may be of use to some folks.
The following is taken from the BT.com website:

How can I stop or prevent malicious calls?
General advice
Blocking or screening your calls
Reporting persistent calls
Further information

General advice
Remain calm and don’t engage with the caller. Many malicious callers are motivated by getting an emotional response from you, and walking away from the phone for a few moments before replacing the handset can be more of a deterrent than simply slamming the phone down or retaliating verbally.

Don’t disclose any personal information. This may seem like an obvious point, but many people answer their phone by stating their telephone number, or worse, their name. If the caller has dialled your number at random they are more likely to remember it and call you again if you reinforce their memory in this way. Answer the phone with a simple ‘hello’ or wait for the caller to speak first.

Keep any answer phone messages short and to the point: never leave a message informing people that you are away from home, for example, but simply state that you are unable to take the call at present. A male voice message may be more of a deterrent than a female voice, and women should consider changing their phone book listing if this gives any indication of their sex or marital status. You may find your answering machine a useful tool for screening your calls.

Blocking or screening your calls
The following BT services may help you:
Caller Display - see the number that's calling you before you answer
Choose to Refuse - block particular numbers from getting through to you
Anonymous Call Reject - block incoming calls from withheld numbers
BT Privacy at Home - a free service that includes Caller Display and registration with the Telephone Preference Service
You may also wish to make your telephone number ex-directory

Reporting persistent calls
If you are receiving persistent nuisance calls, please contact our specialist advisors at the Malicious Calls Bureau on 0800 661 441 (24hrs, 7 days a week). However, if you are receiving abusive, threatening or obscene calls, malicious or otherwise distressing to you, then you should report them to the police.


How can I stop silent calls?
Many silent calls are generated by automatic dialling equipment in call centres, where more calls are made than there are operators available to take them. To reduce the number of calls of this type, you can register your number with:
The Silent Callgard Service at www.ukdatait.co.uk/silent.htm or by dialling 0870 444 3969
The Telephone Preference Service at www.tpsonline.org.uk or by dialling 0845 0700707

Blocking or screening your calls
The following BT services may help you:
Caller Display - see the number that's calling you before you answer
Choose to Refuse - block particular numbers from getting through to you
Anonymous Call Reject - block incoming calls from withheld numbers
BT Privacy at Home - a free service that includes Caller Display and registration with the Telephone Preference Service.

21st Jul 2009, 13:29

midmod says:

newsflash " LORRY DRIVER EARNS 30K/YEAR " if i'd have known that at the start of 4 years in adult education i would be 120k + student loans better off now. I have a friend who tread the same path as me,,,,,works for BAE as an engineer,,and earns the same as me. It sucks to be educated,,it just means you can evaluate how effective the powers that be are, at taking your pants down and pulling money out of your arse for your entire working life.

29th Jul 2009, 01:59

midmod says:

ignorance is bliss.........my father has been telling me that for the last 40 years.......he's starting to make sense at last

29th Jul 2009, 02:02

Jimmy says:

I have to say I think Rex has a point. If we collectively give HSL the run-a-round and make them spend a pound to collect 50p they'll stop chasing us.

What do others think?

2nd Aug 2009, 12:49

Wazza says:

Any news on HSL? They gone down the bog yet with the rest of the shit?

14th Aug 2009, 18:15

spooky says:

Sadly, the toilet seems to be blocked Wazza, so they are still hanging around.

I've had another three letters recently - this time from another debt collection company called CCI legal. Yet again the amount of money I supposedly owe is different to that stated in previous letters from other companies. They can't even get their story straight.

Frankly, I would rather do time than give these bastards any money - fact is I don't have to, but CCI are trying their luck anyhow.

19th Aug 2009, 12:10

Wazza says:

Do you even bother replying to these scumbags spooky? By this stage are they just trying it on (I mean hey - they might get 50p out of you!) or are they just so deluded they actually think you owe them?

How would they explain to a court why they keep saying you owe different amounts?

Are other folk paying up or telling them to sod off?

And whatever happened with the anti-HSL campaign that is mentioned in one of the posts above?

Cheers to all (& don't let the bastards at HSL grind you down - I mean hey, the anti-poll tax campaign (non-payment and all that en masse) got that putdown eventually right?

20th Aug 2009, 21:10

spooky says:

No, I don't answer them Wazza - I haven't acknowledged them since sometime 2007. Four more years and the "debt" is statute barred. Every time you correspond with them it returns the clock to zero i.e. another six year count until the debt is statute barred. Statute barred meaning that they can then never legally pursue you for the debt through the courts.

21st Aug 2009, 17:05

Lester says:

Very glad to have found this forum. A quick query someone may be able to answer.

I have an HSL loan from about 15 years ago. I recently changed my citizenship (to the country where i live). Can HSL still pursue me legally? Or since I'm no longer a Brit am I off the HSL hook?

Am glad to see there are others who are resisting HSL.

21st Aug 2009, 17:49

spooky says:

I think (though I'm not absolutely sure) they can still pursue you wherever you are Lester - although it would probably be at greater cost to them. If you are still receiving some mail say to your parents place in the UK, tell your parents to forward it on to you but under no circumstances should they reply to them on your behalf; get them to post it on to your current address and keep any letters for your records.

22nd Aug 2009, 11:26

Lester says:

Thanks for reply. Can they pursue me in the US courts? Can they even take action against a US citizen?

22nd Aug 2009, 15:53

Pharmg933(johng631-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Very nice site!

23rd Aug 2009, 04:38

spooky says:

To be honest Lester I don't really know. It's worth checking it out if they have the equivalent of our Citizens Advice Bureau over there. Other than that I cannot give you any concrete advice, sorry. My gut feeling is that they may still be able to follow it up, but again I'm not sure.

23rd Aug 2009, 10:26

BALA says:

Got HSL chasing me for 1400, i'm on rock n roll now due to credit crunch agreed 5 a month with hsl got pay rise off gov 2.50 wk now hsl want 10 told them to stuff it not giving them anything they promised to take me to court? has anyone been to court????

30th Aug 2009, 09:31

Zippy says:

Hey Bala,

If you are on the dole you should be able to defer (& not give HSL anything). I'd say go see your local citizens advice bureau asap.

They should be able to help you in writing a letter etc. You might also want to contact your local MP.

30th Aug 2009, 15:35

spooky says:

BALA,
A word of caution - my local MP took seven months to reply to my letter about HSL. If you're on the rock n roll you are eligible for deferment, unless of course you have a secret hundred thousand pound stash somewhere. Judging by what folks have said about their experiences of deferment, be prepared for a long haul and much ignorance and aggression. You could of course tell them to sod off but that risk my friend is entirely yours to make...

1st Sep 2009, 09:33

kelly says:

You cannot run from HSL. You cannot run from any student loans - no matter where you are, or which country you are in. It may take them a while to track you down, but when they do (and they will) you will be faced with the bill. Student loans are protected funds - hence the reason they cannot be included in Bankruptcy - so unless they themselves breach the credit agreement so you can subsequently fight to render it null and void, you cannot get out of paying it.

I've had untold shit from HSL. It used to be SLC, but as someone previously said, HSL now make SLC look like angels. I've had no problems with them - it's ALL HSL loans I've had problems with.

And the ocmplaints department do sod all as well - they told me they would pass my complaints to their legal department who would be in touch - no one bothered to. They are nothing but a bunch of useless tossers, and I am seeking independent legal advice to see if there is a way of cancelling the agreement on the grounds of their incompetence - in all their uselessness, I am convinced they must have by now given sufficient grounds on which to build a very healthy case.

15th Sep 2009, 14:25

mat says:

On the plus side (as it were), all my student loans are now at -0.4% APR for at least the next 12 months.

Yes, that means they pay me. Woop!

15th Sep 2009, 15:28

Mick says:

Hi Mat,

How come -0.4 APR? Please explain

cheers

Mick

ps - tell HSL to go kiss my bum .

15th Sep 2009, 19:38

mat says:

Presumably because we're in a recession and the retail price index is currently at -1.6%.

15th Sep 2009, 20:13

Mike says:

Have they written to say it is -0.4?

Why would it be -0.4 & not -1.6

(apart from the fact it would be disastrous for folk other than the scum filth at HSL I'd happily see the RPI go to -200%!!).

16th Sep 2009, 00:56

mat says:

Yes, I have it in writing. I also phoned them to confirm.

The reason it's not -1.6% is because the loan interest rate is only linked to the RPI, not the same as it.

It does say all this stuff on your loan agreement.

16th Sep 2009, 12:03

spooky says:

There are different credit terms of agreement between the SLC and HSL loans - I have the old mortgage type loans (SLC) so in my case they have breached their contract in failing to produce my records of repayment within thin the allotted time (That means they have committed a criminal offence). I'm not sure of the exact terms of the more recent loans taken over by HSL, other than to say they will probably be more difficult to fight in a legal battle. I would recommend seeking legal advice if you can. You may be able to present a reasonable argument, in terms of harassment, inconsistencies etc, it is possible you might be able to string them up by the short and curlies if they have violated their initial agreement. Hell, they can't even come up with a consistent figure in my case (It has been different every time), there are some outrageous discrepancies. The last figure I received for repayment was zero, but over 1,300 pounds (approx) in arrears. I think I get a different figure every time. I have also received a demand from some 'legal' (dubious) firm based in Snowdonia! How far does their net stretch? Is it just another subsidiary firm? I've a feeling they want me to contact them because they have offered me a payment of zero until 2010 in the hope I will respond. As I explained, they violated the terms of their contract two years ago; this is simply a ploy I think for me to get in touch with them and set the clock back to zero. I have not been in touch with them for two years; I have to sit out another four before the loan is statute barred. I think they are trying to dangle the carrot to the donkey but I’ve got a kick like a mule so bring it on!

16th Sep 2009, 13:11

les says:

any more news on HSL etc?

Keep up the good work people!

2nd Oct 2009, 21:13

Pearcey says:

I would appreciate a little advice from you seasoned pro's at "communication" with HSL.

1 - My loans relate to 1995 and 1996 so are old "mortgage style". Does this fall under the CCA 1974?

2 - One of the loans is in arrears, but not the other, which is under deferment. (lets not query how you can defer one but not the other on the same form/application!!) and it is for the arrears that HSL are chasing me.

Although bankruptcy (in 2007) cannot apply to student loans, does/can it apply to ARREARS to student loans, especially ones "sold on" to HSL?

It is my belief that the loan was sold on to a "private limited company", a company I have no previous agreement. The law appears to be vague. As HSL treat ARREARS as different and seperate to a student loan, are they therefore a student loan (and protected from bankruptcy) or not a student loan (and therefore not protected). There appears to be no case law regarding this.

8th Oct 2009, 12:39

spooky says:

Pearcy,

In answer to you first question yes, mortgage style loans are covered by the
Consumer Credit Act, 1974.

I cannot give a simple answer to your second question because HSL are not themselves consistent with their demands. I've had loans deferred without request, but they have requested that I pay off the arreas on one of my loans but not the other. They are just dangling the proverbial carrot and hoping I'll bite. Consistency is not their middle name. They are playing a tactical game with those they fear may able to control the situation. They have no hold over some people due to their own incompetence.

I am not sure about the third issue either, although I can say that if your loans have been sold on to a third party that is perfectly legit. You do not have any say in the matter. The government needs to take a more serious look at how this system operates and how much it is making some people's lives hell. These debt collection agencies are ruthless and uncaring - you are just another number to them and they want your money and try by hook or by crook to get it; don't fall for the telephone patter; in fact take my advice and don't call at all. Make sure you keep all the letters and demands they have sent you so at least you can prove their inconsistencies at least.

I think bankruptcy does apply to student loans, at least I think to the old mortgage style loans but make that your last option as it will affect you credit rating for (I think) about five years.

The law is not entirely clear about what these companies are allowed and not allowed to do, and that makes it easier for them to confuse people and make sometimes quite ridiculous demands.

I had no reply when I contacted the Financial Services Authority (FSA), but did receive a polite but unfortunately vague response from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). It seems at the end of the day these regularity bodies don't actually have the power to do anything; this is why the law needs to be changed so that the terms of contractual agreements are made absolutely unequivocal. That way everyone concerned knows exactly where they stand. I think both the FSA and OFT seem reluctant to get involved because it may stir up a hornets nest – this begs the question, what exactly is their function?

I intend to write again to the OFT but will not mention HSL – I will simply concoct a hypothetical situation and see what they have to say.

Hope this is of some help.

20th Oct 2009, 12:09

Les says:

My advice to one and all is make them spend over a pound to try and get a pound. They'll soon give up when they see it is not worth it.

Thoughts?

20th Oct 2009, 15:28

spooky says:

I'm not so sure Les. The problem with that is as long as you maintain contact with them, the time they have to chase you actually increases i.e. they start counting from the time you contact them and the time period in which they have to haul you in remains at six years (five years for Scotland), because you continue to acknowledge the debt. The clock returns to zero every time. These tenacious b*astards don't give up easily if at all no matter how ludicrous their demands because they frighten enough people with their bullying tactics to make up for any small loses they incur. If it costs them a pound here and there in the short term they don't care - they are playing the long game.

23rd Oct 2009, 10:32

R says:

This is all very scary stuff. I recently "woke" up to the issue only recently after recieving a torrent of bad advice from my friends. Youve heard it, "your depts get wiped if:

Utter crap.

Now I havnt communicated with the SLC for quite some time and Ive been living abroad for around 6 months. Thankfully I got my loan after the 1998 line, so it may just be a matter of passing on the details. Bottom line: I have never earned enough to mean I start paying.

My big worry is what happens when I die the dept unpaid? Does it go to my next of kin?

Would I be honestly better off ignoring it or doing the decent thing and contacting them first? Bearing in mind I havnt really paid attention to them for something like 6 or 7 years.

Thanks.

1st Nov 2009, 22:29

spooky says:

R,

I know that the debt is written off if you can prove you will never work again because you have some sort of disability that prevents you from doing so. I don't know if this would extend to a situation where you were working whilst suffering a terminal illness (I do not know how far the sympathies of these people stretch, or whether they have any scruples at all). Another possible situation is this: although unable to work again, you have enough capital and income from other sources to pay off some, if not all of your loan(s) – I would imagine they might have a shot at that one depending on your life expectancy etc. cruel but possibly true. The only other way that I am aware you can avoid paying back your loans due to income shortages, is by declaring bankruptcy, but do this as a last resort as it will affect your credit rating for the ensuing five years. If you die your debt will be written off and your next of kin will not be liable to pay a penny.

Keep hold of any letters you receive. Don’t phone them. I have not heard to date, of anyone getting a visit from their supposed ‘debt collection representatives’. When people first receive a threatening letter (usually stating that you comply within a three day deadline), people panic and immediately contact HSL. The minute you do that, they’ve got you where they want you – on their terms. Sometimes if you give these 'companies' enough rope they will hang themselves. If you are working and able to pay off the loan(s) then I think it’s only fair that you do, although I did not and still do not condone in any way the whole idea of freezing then the stopping of LEA grants and proceeding to the Student Loans system. I am very VERY F*cking annoyed that this country has invested in and valued education so little. Big debts and a brain drain is all that’s been accomplished. Best not mention the recession…

Education, Education, Education………….?

2nd Nov 2009, 16:17

R says:

Thanks Spooky.

From what I can tell from my parents they stopped bothering to send me the quarterly statements a while ago. Don't know why. As I understand it, 1998 post loans don't count as "fixed term" ie mortgage style loans. Ie one must earn over a certain bracket per month before tax (in England its 15,000 - good luck with that!) before payments are arranged. Great way of keeping the poor, poor if you think about it eh?

Still, as Im moving to Norway I apparently need to make them aware of my intent and provide income records so they can adjust my threshold on a yearly basis.

Oh yeah, does Honour Student Loans deal with post 1998 loans? I can see very little reason for them to do so if they take it straight out of your tax PAYE.

Would be a good time to be schizophrenic eh?

So bottom line is, I shouldn't communicate with them and they will go away?

5th Nov 2009, 17:14

spooky says:

Well, I think the debt collection procedure is so murky the 'collectors' themselves keep confusing their own story. My personal history of communication goes like this:

First contact - Honours Student Loans
Second contact - Pennine Debt Recovery
Third contact - Brookdale and Walker Associates
Fourth contact - Pennine Debt Recovery
Fifth contact – PDRS Ltd
Sixth contact - Brookdale and Walker International Debt Recovery Experts
Seventh contact - CCI Legal Services Ltd
Eighth contact - Honours Student Loans
Ninth contact - Pennine Debt Recovery
Eagerly awaiting tenth contact…

You get the picture? Sounds as if they are having an identity crisis; of course all these ‘companies’ are part of the same racket. If this isn’t an example of intimidation, I don’t know what is, and I don’t even know if it’s legal. How can six supposedly unconnected companies be permitted to pursue you for the same debt at the same time? Make any sense? That’s an unequivocal NO then. Where’s the Law in all of this?

“From what I can tell from my parents they stopped bothering to send me the quarterly statements a while ago. Don't know why. As I understand it, 1998 post loans don't count as "fixed term" i.e. mortgage style loans…” – you’re right on that one.

“Oh yeah, does Honour Student Loans deal with post 1998 loans? I can see very little reason for them to do so if they take it straight out of your tax PAYE…” – as you say I don’t know why it would concern them, but I really don’t know – my loans pre-date 1996.

“So bottom line is, I shouldn't communicate with them and they will go away?”
Hmm. I think they’re more inclined to stick around like a bad smell.
Wish I was moving to Norway…

8th Nov 2009, 19:16

adrien(daemon3030-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

I suggest using the Freedom of Information Act to get all of the information on the file pertaining to the alleged debt.
You should find out if you were actually loaned something and who loaned it.
You can zero your debt in a few different ways.
One is to challenge the collector to validate the contract and the debt.
Two is to use precedent cases that governments have used to excuse student loans (equality before the law is paramount, meaning if someone else got excused, you can too).
There is more you can do...more info is available upon email request. If you send me a message, please mention what your situation is and what you'd like to do about it. Thanks.

9th Nov 2009, 09:21

Ziggy says:

What is latest on HSL? Have they dried up n' blown away like the dog turd of legend?

3rd Dec 2009, 01:42

spooky says:

I am currently awaiting a second response from the Office of Fair Trading (the first was inconclusive); will post it when I receive it.

3rd Dec 2009, 11:38

spooky says:

My second letter to the OFT:
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your response regarding the practices of debt collectors. My main interest was whether one debt collector can operate under several different names in pursuit of the debt. The ‘parent’ company (not disclosed here) has a registration number which is the same as all of its other ‘clients’. Is this legal? Can one company pretend to be several different companies? Not all the companies bother supplying a registration number at times – whether this is an oversight, or that their registration number has expired, or the company has not been granted a licence to practice, is unknown.

Is it also legal for a completely different company to pursue the same debt concurrently whilst themselves operating under two different registration numbers. Is either of these two things legal?

I am in no way expecting any intervention on my personal account, I simply wish to know whether these practices are legal or not. Please do not send me another copy of the CCA 1974, as I have already in my possession ample copies.

These issues are extremely important to a good many people for whom I am making enquiries and should not be taken lightly; these companies are insidiously destroying the lives of many.

If you are a regulatory body then surely you must exercise a rigorous vetting process before issuing a licence to trade? If you are powerless to intervene in any single case, never mind move toward prosecution, you must surely be aware of the body/bodies that can; else what is the function of a ‘regulatory’ body?
Kindest Regards
spooky

OFT response:
Dear spooky

Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act)

Thank you for your email of 27 November 2009, further to your email of 16 November 2009.

As we have stated in our response of 23 November 2009. The OFT has no power to intervene in individual disputes, and therefore we are unable to assist you directly or advice you in this matter. Without further details to identify these traders the OFT is unable to consider your complaint for further action under the Consumer Credit Act.

I would be grateful if you could provide further details on the practices carried out by the traders that you find unfair, giving specific details of any telephone conversations you’ve had with the trader. It would also be helpful if you could include any documents you have sent and received in relation to this matter.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write to us about this matter.

Yours sincerely

Enquiries and Reporting Centre
Office of Fair Trading

Tel No: (084) 5722 4499
Fax: (020) 7211 8877
Date: 3rd December 2009
Email:enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk

I think the only way forward with this is simply to bombard the OFT with complaints and details of correspondence, we have had with HSL etc. This is why it is important to keep copies of all letters, phone calls threats whatever you have experienced and file them. The OFT are obviously squirming and do not want to get involved and reply with a simply yes or no; so we must force their hand.

3rd Dec 2009, 13:17

spooky says:

Check the registration number at the bottom of these hound’s letters: Honours Student Loans, Pennine Debt Recovery, PDRS, Brookdale and Walker, Brookdale and Walker International Debt Recovery Experts; you should find that they will all be operating under the registration number 866802.

You may also have received a letter from another company with a completely different registration number – make a note of it.

Contact (best to write, as their email system tends to reject yahoo, hotmail etc address) the OFT and ask them if one company can pretend to be several different companies. Ask for a simple yes or no. Be direct but not rude.

4th Dec 2009, 11:35

hildegard says:

It's important to note at this point that the govt plans on giving debt collectors even greater powers. Since they are clearly failing in oversight & regulation of the present powers, it is incumbent on people who are experiencing difficulties with these companies to call both the govt & the OFT to account.

Write to your MPs, get your friends & family to write to their MPs. don't trouble yourselves with e-petitions & other fashionable gestures - hard copy is still where most MPs live.

Wider publicity is vital - I suggest contacting both Watchdog & the BBC Radio 4 consumer programme, You & Yours.

In the meantime, anyone who has the funds to purchase equipment to record telephone calls should do so. There are some very simple-to-use products available below the £100 mark.

I have heard at least one of these debt chasing companies harassing an ex-student who is so severely mentally ill that she is unlikely ever to work again. They breached the bailiff's code on 7 counts in the space of as many minutes, threatened her with action they are not legally able to take & left her actually shaking with fear. Having listened in on the conversation, I offered to support her in a formal complaint but she was too frightened to take any such action & though I tried to find some sort of responsible regulatory authority to whom I might make representation, it proved impossible without first disclosing all her personal details.

The govt have simply institutionalised bullying & incompetence.

4th Dec 2009, 12:15

mat says:

Re: MPs - if you're not already all over http://www.theyworkforyou.com get on it. It's a good, easy way to contact your elected representative, and more.

My MP is, despite being a Tory, really good at replying to messages sent via TheyWorkForYou. Also, their alert service lets you know just what your representative has been up to.

I would vote TheyWorkForYou as the single most important UK website of the last five years, no question.

4th Dec 2009, 13:13

spooky says:

Have written to Watch Dog but didn't get a response - they will probably have to be inundated to feature it on their show.

4th Dec 2009, 14:46

hildegard says:

Lovely thing about TWFY is that they'll fax your MP for you, so the less IT-literate don't even have to get to grips with the scary teletyper. ;)

4th Dec 2009, 14:55

spooky says:

Has anyone here actually been taken to court? I have been receiving letters from these various ‘companies’ for almost three years now, and they have done nothing; this suggests to me that they can’t do anything except try to frighten me into giving them money.

The wording of the letters says it all really, e.g.: “Unless payment is made direct to Pennine Debt Recovery within 7 days of the date of this letter, legal proceedings for the recovery of the outstanding balance may (note the use of the word ‘May’ and not ‘Will’) be commenced without further notice.”

5th Dec 2009, 10:45

spooky says:

By the way, I have received thirty three letters to date.

5th Dec 2009, 10:55

el topo says:

I'd like to know if HSL has actually taken anyone to court too. They are scamming us. If you ignore them and let their charges mount up, will they ever go to court to get those charges and aren't these arrears made up by them? The whole set up is a con.

11th Dec 2009, 20:43

Aly says:

They (HSL) and their minions (Brookdale) etc threaten me but I have yet to get a court invite.

My loans are 15 plus years old anyhow. Good luck collecting.

12th Dec 2009, 00:32

Anonymous says:

I always wanted a higher education but at what cost?

I opted to go to war (yes way back machine Sherman). Gave 21 years to the USA MoD (pun). Learned more, earned less.

12th Dec 2009, 05:29

El Topo says:

I really do wish that I had never gone to university, and that I had never voted Labour - they sold the student loan debt to loan sharks and let's not mention the wars or bonuses/expenses...what a stinking country...

12th Dec 2009, 12:05

spooky says:

Happy New Year Everyone!

I will be writing yet another letter to the Office of Fair Trading....
To say this is getting tedious would be an understatement. I ask a very simple question which requires a very simple answer. If they do not give me an answer I will keep on writing until I get somewhere – bear with me as I may be some time.

1st Jan 2010, 14:28

Viv says:

My 97/98 loan has now finished but 'arrears ' are still in dispute.
As had an easy relationship with SLC up to 2004 Then was sent baliffs letter followed by harassment by phone etc
What happened? All letters have usual SLC letter headings but have felt am dealing with loan sharks.
How do I find out if my loan was sold to another company without contacting SLC?

5th Jan 2010, 12:35

spooky says:

I received a visit from the bailiffs to my parents address during the summer recess, while I was still at university! I explained this to the bloke and fair-play to him he was extremely apologetic and said not to worry about it - I never had another visit. This was during the time that SLC were still running the show. What was patently clear though was that the proverbial right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. It seems things have gone down hill even further since then.

Viv,
I suppose the only way you might find out is by contacting SLC at their address and ask whether they are still dealing with the administrative side of things - ask when the loan itself was sold on. I think 97/98 was the year that SLC sold out to HSL, but you’ll have to confirm this by contacting SLC. Don’t contact HSL.

7th Jan 2010, 10:31

Viv(veetee49-at-googlemail-dot-com) says:

Thanks for the advice Spooky. Bit reluctant to contact as informed them loan was statute barred in 08. Still get regular letters 'tho but National Debtline advised me that if they had a case they would take me to court.
Instead am sent demands for money at regular intervals followed up by demands from debt collection agencies.

7th Jan 2010, 17:22

spooky says:

Viv,
I think the National Debt-line people are right. I get financial "death threats" every couple of months or so, with no repercussions. As you say, they are more than likely just empty threats because they have no case.

8th Jan 2010, 13:29

Viv says:

If I ever do make it court have vowed to get maximum publicity for my appearance. These people deserve to be exposed nationally.
If you register your complaint at your local Citizens Advice Bureau not only will they try to help but the problem goes down on their social policy database. Enough collected and they lobby parliament.


Enough collected

10th Jan 2010, 13:17

spooky says:

Viv,
The main problem is getting people off their arses to visit their local CAB.

11th Jan 2010, 13:05

Viv says:

This is true.

Off to quiz the Lib Dems on their 'free university education' policy. There must be a catch. If not then will definetly be getting my vote come the election.

11th Jan 2010, 14:51

helen shaw(artistaelishaw) says:

I have also fallen victim to the student loans company. I moved to Spain 5 years ago and despite giving, and spelling out, my address numerous times they have failed to send me my deferment papers on time and then have subsequently aggresively harassed me for money. Each time I seem to have resolved the problem it happens again. I have written several letters of complaint to the student loans company and called them by telephone from Spain, (which is not cheap!). After five years I am still writing letters of complaint! I have now taken it to the financial ombudsman. I really hope it ends soon. I feel very angry and upset about the whole thing. Thank you so much for providing me with a space to sound off my frustration!

14th Jan 2010, 15:06

Ellen says:

My partner took out a student loan in 1994-1998. He has never paid anything on the loan and never last requested deferment in 1999. He's received letters over the years and he think he may have spoken to someone on the phone about it about 2 years ago. However he has never made payments or written to them. Getting the letters upset him a lot as he was on incapacity benefit for several years and has now moved in with me (he hasn't informed them of his new address - but it sounds like, even if he had that they wouldn't have kept a record). Since he has not acknoledged this loan in writing since 1999 and has never made a payment is it possible that this loan would now be considered statute barred?

6th Feb 2010, 20:36

spooky says:

If it was a clear case of him having updated his address so that the responsibility lay firmly on them to contact him but they failed to do so, then yes, the debt would be statute barred; tough sh*t for them (it’s well over the 6 year limit without written contact or payment). I have since discovered (I hope this is true) that telephone calls do not count as an acknowledgment of a debt and cannot be used by a creditor to prove you owe them money. However, the difficulty of the matter is that it is your word against theirs: you can say you kept them updated on your whereabouts, and they can say: no you didn’t which is of course a stalemate (there is the matter of his name being on the electoral roll to consider). There must be something written in statute law (I am not a lawyer) concerning this – good luck in finding it. The Office of Fair Trading won’t give me a straight answer.

If it turns out that he did/didn’t keep them updated but was required to and has no proof, it may be a tricky situation as it could look like a case of him wanting to avoid payment. As painful as it may be, running away from debts doesn’t make them disappear. You have my deepest sympathy but you’re not on you own, and they are not going to send one of their “representatives” to come round to your house to beat you up, as some of their scare-mongering letters like to suggest. This is the reason people immediately contact them when they receive such letters without stopping to think – they’re frightened (who wouldn’t be?). That’s how the credit b*stards work.

IHTM28384 - Law relating to debts: statute-barred debts
If a lender allows time to pass without receiving any payment an action for recovery may become barred.

Under the Limitations Act 1980 the time limits are
• in simple contracts, 6 years
• in contracts under seal, 12 years.
If the debtor acknowledges the debt in writing or makes a part payment within the original limitation period, then the time limits start to run again from the date of acknowledgement or the date of payment.

Even though the lender may be barred from pursuing recovery, a debtor may decide to pay the debt after the expiry of the time limits. Because of this you should allow a debt which is otherwise statute-barred if the personal representatives pay the debt and you receive evidence that the payment has been made.

The above instructions do not apply to debts in Scotland. Under Scottish law, if a lender allows time to pass without receiving any payment an action for recovery may become barred under the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. (For details of this Act see Gloag and Henderson 10th edition at Chapter 15.). These debts are completely extinguished and cannot be enforced. Once the prescriptive period expires the debt cannot be allowed as a deduction.

Hope this is of some help.





7th Feb 2010, 17:58

Alex says:

If I ignore their HSL letters over a period of years and then say I never got them surely the onus is on them to prove that I got them. This assumes I am on the electoral roll etc etc.

Am I missing something? Why is the onus on us when it comes to proving we sent/they got a deferment etc but the onus not on those scum when it comes to proving they contacted us?

8th Feb 2010, 13:23

spooky says:

Alex,
To be perfectly honest, I don't really understand what the hell we are supposed to do, what they have to do, who owes who, and how much etc. I understand the frustration and I know how tedious it is; I last wrote to them 3 years ago (registered post – containing a cheque for one pound to make my letter legally binding, which they cashed, thus acknowledging my communication) and I'm still alive! I requested a copy of the original Consumer Credit Agreement with my signature (which they must supply within a period of twelve weeks, else commit a criminal offence if they persist with harassment for a debt they can't prove exists). They produced two badly photocopied illegible pieces of paper 5 months later. Quite what they were thinking I don’t know. They continue to send me letters in various different guises from bogus companies announcing different payment plans, amounts owed in arrears etc. They are clutching at straws. At least with so many of us being harangued and badgered dare I say stalked, they don’t have the man power to get themselves and their files in order. They are a completely unprofessional outfit.

8th Feb 2010, 17:47

Alex says:

Have HSL ever actually taken someone to court? Any evidence of that?

8th Feb 2010, 21:33

spooky says:

I have asked myself the same question and nobody has aswered in the affirmative. I suppose until someone who has suffered any sort of legal promlems as a direct effect of the creditors actions, we simply won't know. I don't personally know of anyone being collared and dragged off to court.

9th Feb 2010, 13:02

Viv says:

Think the reason is why I have made not it to court is that there really isn't a case to answer.
If SLC admit the truth, that I was in contact with them, then the contract has not been broken. Therefore no arrears are owed. But they have decided that, as there is no proof of my contact (as it was by phone) then I have broken the contract. But this makes the debt statute barred as it was over 6yrs before they asked for payments.
Which is why they harrass with letters and should be reported to the OFT.

13th Feb 2010, 10:54

Zippy says:

I think it best to just ignore HSL. If they mail you - destroy unopened. Then you are honestly pleading ignorance of what they say - let them prove they contacted you.

If enough of us ignore them they'll dry up & blow away like an old dog turd.

Also, does the Royal Mail still deliver mail without a stamp and charge the person they are delivering to? If so, lets write to HSL regularly (send them stuff they'd be interested in - football news from the paper and similar or the latest goings on in Corrie or Emmerdale as reported in paper) - but without a stamp!

Thoughts?

13th Feb 2010, 13:03

spooky says:

I almost hate to admit this Zippy, but I did send them a picture of a baseball bat (unsigned)! As for the royal mail thing, I don’t know – I’ll ask the postman the next time I see him.

More people need to complain to the OFT; a slow trickle of occasional letters is not enough.

14th Feb 2010, 11:00

bill says:

what is latest on HSL? are they going under?

23rd Feb 2010, 00:16

spooky says:

I have asked the OFT and they say HSL are a legit company, but are extremely reluctant to divulge whether the practices they use to extract money from debtors is acceptable. A regulatory body that does not want to regulate, reminds me of politics and spin. In short, I have no idea bill. Trading Standards didn’t even reply if I remember correctly – I wrote to them about three years ago. What is the point of having ‘regulatory bodies’ when they obviously don’t regulate, at least not very well. Employing people to push pens to do what exactly…?

24th Feb 2010, 13:44

spooky says:

I am trying to wade through some rather turgid books on Consumer law, Criminal law, and Human Rights.

24th Feb 2010, 13:46

Ben says:

Are HSL obliged to provide a copy of the original credit agreement if I ask for one. If they don't or it is illegible junk what does it mean legal-wise?

27th Feb 2010, 14:53

spooky says:

They must provide you with a legible copy, on demand, of the contract agreement with your signature on it. If it's illegible, incomplete, or does not possess your signature (copy or original), then it doesn't count as proof of your debt.

27th Feb 2010, 18:36

Ben says:

If is illegible etc - what then? What do I do?

cheers

27th Feb 2010, 22:37

spooky says:

From the nationaldebtline.co.uk:

“It is deemed under the section on Physical/psychological harassment 2.6 e. that the following is bad practice: “not informing the debtor when their case has been passed on to a different debt collector”. It is therefore clear that a company should inform the debtor if a debt is passed to another agency for collection. There is no fixed time scale mentioned in the Debt Collection Guidance.

A debt collection agency does have the right to contact a debtor to ask for immediate full payment. However, the guidance under the same section as above in 2.6 f. states that “pressurising debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large instalments, or to increase payments when they are unable to do so” is unfair business practice.

A debtor has the right to dispute the debt if they do not believe that they owe the money or that the amount stated is incorrect. In such cases it is advisable to send a letter requesting a copy of the executed credit agreement and a full breakdown of the account to the debt collection agency, enclosing £1 to make the request legally binding. They then have 12 days in which to supply the information. If no credit agreement exists the creditor should not take court action against the debtor.

Creditors and debt collection agencies generally get a debtor’s details from the credit reference agencies. When a person moves address and goes onto the electoral role at their new address this creates a link between the two addresses.

The debt collection guidance states that debtors should be given adequate notice of the time and date of a visit from a debt collector (2.11 g.).

It is important to remember that a debt collector is not a bailiff and has no powers of entry or removal. A debt collector has no greater collection powers than the original lender.”

For further details and tips on letter writing etc, check out their website.

28th Feb 2010, 12:30

Viv says:

Still waiting for things to happen after January warning "if you don't pay this" etc
Heartening to know that people are still on the case.

Or is that a dream? Has no one reported SLC to OFT?

8th Mar 2010, 23:25

spooky says:

Firstly, study the language they use in their letters: "if you don't this...( they then go to say legal action WILL, or MAYBE (big difference)taken to court to obtain what you may or may not owe them?) They usually say "Maybe" from what I've learned about the old mortgage style loans, because I think its not really worth them chasing a lost course. They simply rely on scaring people; when the debtor sees the word "Court", they panic.

I have reported letters to the OFT, including a complete 6-7 page summation three times with a full descrption of my experiences over the years, and still the regulatory bodies have done nothing. They just keep asking for more. I can't do this on my own folks.

What we need is for other people to do the same - one person alone is not going to win this battle. I would very much appreciate it if someone else would make some effort to contact OFT, Trading standards etc. I post all I find out but I can't do it all on my own. One person standing alone cannot fight this hoard financial vultures. Please will others join in, otherwise this is a complete waste of time.

Some people seem eager to look for the answers to their question, then leave the forum.

9th Mar 2010, 13:16

Bill says:

I agree with Spooky (I am not in the UK - I'd contact OFT etc if I was) that HSL are all bark & no bite. Have they taken anyone to court? I doubt it. I just ignore them & toss any mail they send without bothering to read.

But Spooky does need and deserve your help. He is a star for standing up to HSL etc. Good on you mate!

10th Mar 2010, 01:04

spooky says:

Thanks Bill.

12th Mar 2010, 08:55

Bill says:

Incidentally, on debt collectors I assume folk are in their right to refuse to let them in and to tell them to "go away" (or rather more colourful words along those lines!).

They have no powers as far as I know.

And look at it this way. If local councils find it nigh impossible to collect unpaid council tax/poll tax from the early 90's then HSL have no chance of collecting from a similar time-period.

Like Spooky says, HSL rely upon frightening folk into paying up or sending them money. Ignore them and they are toothless.

12th Mar 2010, 12:02

spooky says:

Just a small fact-finding book for those of you that may be interested:

“Consumer Law”, editors: Jacqueline Martin & Chris Turner, UK £6.99
ISBN: 978 0 34088758 5

Chapter 24 is specifically dedicated to Consumer Credit.

It comes from a series (15 books) known as “Key Facts” with books covering everything from criminal law to jurisprudence etc


20th Mar 2010, 09:55

Ron says:

After 6 years of regular harassment from Student Loan/Honours/Pennine/Clarity I finally managed to pay off my student loan. I made haphazard payments as and when I had spare money. In November 2009 I heaved a sigh of relief that they were off my back when I paid Clarity the final amount due. FCK ME if Honours didn't send me a letter for interest/or whatever charges. I had a touch of red mist and demanded they send me statements from the start (2003). I hoiked out all my old bank statements and started going through. Why am I surprised that over £600 of payments have NOT been allocated to my account. They clearly show leaving my bank statement, yet Honours have chosen to pocket them. Thieving rotten scum b*stards. All those years I've struggled to make payments, been threatened with legal action, and not only has my credit rating suffered but they've had the audacity to charge me late payment fees of £15 time. I'm spitting feathers right now.

20th Mar 2010, 17:22

Munson says:

Firstly, I whole heartedly agree will all the comments re HSL, they are scumbags they sent me a letter suggesting legal action and I have just received a letter from Pennine Debt Recovery telling me their client HSL have instructed them to reclaim the debt, are they the same as HSL?

8th Apr 2010, 10:26

spooky says:

They are all part of the same racket; the registration number at the bottom of the HSL "debt collection" companies should read 866802. Some letters you receive may or may not provide a number at all.

As for the "legal action" bit, see if their letters read legal action MAY commence or legal action WILL commence. If it says MAY it is simply an empty threat; fright tactics (I bet the letters say MAY).

8th Apr 2010, 12:14

Anonymous says:

Yeah the reg no is 866802, I think they located me from going on the electorial list. The legal action bit was as you say suggestive not definitive. This letter states that Pennine will " take appropriate action to secure payment of amount due ".

I don't owe them any arrears, I paid my loan back in 1999, and they claim I owe 2k in arrears. I have no intention of paying anything.

What do you think Spooky? Scare tactics? Just sit tight? I know if I contact them via telephone thay will never leave me alone!

Great blog btw

8th Apr 2010, 16:25

Munson says:

Sorry the Anonymous post above is me ;-)

8th Apr 2010, 16:27

spooky says:

Don't call them (even if you do/did it does not count as an acknowledgement of any debt) and as you say, they won't leave you alone.

If your loan is paid off then don't worry about it. It sounds like a load of b*llocks to me. Sometimes I think they just pluck the figures out of thin air.

11th Apr 2010, 13:42

Munson says:

Cheers spooky, have HSL ever actually taken anyone to court that you know of?

12th Apr 2010, 15:27

spooky says:

I haven't heard of anyone, no. However, I did read somewhere that someone had taken HSL to court (sadly I don't remember the details of the case).

13th Apr 2010, 12:28

Munson says:

Recieved a letter from " PDRS Ltd " today
telling me a representative will be calling to my home in the next 3 days, is this another bluff tatic? Or shall I just bin it?

19th Apr 2010, 10:11

maxy says:

Munson - when (if?) PDRS guy shows up. Don't answer the door. Or answer & tell to piss off.

19th Apr 2010, 22:11

Munson says:

cheers Maxy, encouraging to know others are standing up to these scammers too

20th Apr 2010, 06:52

spooky says:

I have never heard of HSL (and their subsidiaries) "debt collectors" turning up at the door. They simply don't have the man power. However, if you leave the house, bailiffs are allowed to enter your home via an unlocked door or window as this is not classified as forced entry. They are perfectly within their rights to do so. Make sure you lock everything up.

20th Apr 2010, 15:46

maxy says:

bailiffs & debt collectors are different things right? Former are court agents?

I wonder if PDSR try & collect from 'rough' council estates? Amusing to ponder - think about it

20th Apr 2010, 23:28

Munson says:

Thank you both for the advise, I bet they don't try that Maxy, although in the event of them door stepping you the temptation to belt them would play right into their hands, assualt etc

21st Apr 2010, 08:03

Maxy says:

I was more thinking of the 'pound to mind your car mister' then when out of sight

let the pitbull loose etc.

21st Apr 2010, 12:20

Munson says:

Like your style mate

21st Apr 2010, 14:35

maxy says:

let us know what happens with pdsr or whatever the clowns call themselves.

lets hope someone kicks their canister in before they get to your door!

21st Apr 2010, 23:15

Munson says:

will keep you informed although I tend to agree with Spooky, " if " they turn up, think they are all bark n no bite

23rd Apr 2010, 08:07

spooky says:

I have never heard of them turning up on any ones doorstep. I think they simply sit in their main office and try to frighten people over the phone.

23rd Apr 2010, 09:42

Munson says:

Keep up the good fight, these " compaines " are gangsters!

23rd Apr 2010, 10:53

Munson says:

No callers to the door as of yet

27th Apr 2010, 21:02

ally says:

lets hope the pdsr scumbag rep got eaten by rabid klingon dogs!!

27th Apr 2010, 22:37

Munson says:

Round this way there is more than a strong possibiltiy of that ally!

28th Apr 2010, 07:18

Munson says:

Latest letter from Pennine (genuine spelling mistakes included) :

We are extermely concerned that you have chosen to ignore our previous requests for payment resulting in your Honours Student Loan still being seriously overdue.

This is your final opportunity to come to an arragement with us regarding your outstanding debt

If you fail to contact us within 72 hours of receiving this letter we will assume that yuo are purposefully avoiding repayment of this debt. Your account will be rturned to our client along with our recommendation to pursue legal action against you for recovery of the full loan balance

Legal Proceedings may result in the following consequcens:

A judgement in your name my be entered in the court records

A warrant could be issued which may involve the court bailiff visting your home to remove goods

If you own a house in your name or jointly, a legal charge could be made against the property

If you are in a full time employment an attatchment of earning order could be directed to your employer to make Deductions From Your Wages

Each of these steps will incur costs which you will have to pay

Please note action will be suspended ONLY if you do one of the following

Telephone us NOW on 0844 8267877 to arrange debit / credit card payment

Sends a cheque / postal order to the above addresses

Send us a completed Deferement Application From wtih supportting documentation today

Call us TODAY on 0844 8267877 with reasonalbe repayment proposals

We can only help if you contact us

What do you make of that? Another letter of bluff? " May ", " Could " and " Might " again. " We can only help if you contact us" ! Jesus Christ, I paid my loan off in 1999! In full, I dont owe any arrears. Finally they didnt call round the other week and I waited in!

29th Apr 2010, 11:40

ally says:

yep munson, more bullshit - i thought pdsr had already been round to see you as per the earlier letter the tossers sent

they dont have a leg to stand on -

good luck mate

the more we stand up to these bastards the more they'll step away

29th Apr 2010, 12:15

spooky says:

I know it's boring to reiterate, but this is their standard approach.

29th Apr 2010, 17:56

spooky says:

Thus far, I have received 40 letters since 2007.

30th Apr 2010, 13:31

spooky says:

...and it also sums up just how realistic their grip is on innocent individuals. Three years of threats and no action yet taken.

2nd May 2010, 10:35

bernie says:

this is just like with the poll tax & trying to collect that

ignore the scum & HSL will ignore you - they'll send threats etc but no more

2nd May 2010, 15:37

Munson says:

Your both spot on, as mentioned earlier in this blog shall we en mass send THEM constant mail without paying the postage? Or would that re stooping to their level ;-)

4th May 2010, 08:26

marty says:

did they ever come round munson?

HSL are vermin

11th May 2010, 12:29

spooky says:

Redirected mail basically costs next to nothing as it takes up only a small amount of time: just a little more man-power on behalf of the Post Office. The same applies to 'return to sender'/not at this address. Therefore we could only inundate HSL with spurious letters before the PO guess what's going on.

As for the recipient being charged for unstamped letters I don't know how that works; again the Post Office (even the dullest of the dull) will soon cotton on before simply binning the letters. This may however confuse genuine letters with scumbag letters from the likes of us. Confusion all round methinks. I think we have time limitations; a small window of opportunity to cause as much havoc as we can.

11th May 2010, 12:48

Munson says:

No Marty have not had the pleasure of their visit and Spooky your right and re causing havoc tell me what you have in mind and I'm bang up for it.

Latest letter is from Brookdale & Walker who funnily enough have the same Reg no. as HSL, Pennine and PDRS 866802. I would ring these idiots just to see what scripted shite they will spew at me, but I don't owe anything and if I contact them they will never leave me alone

11th May 2010, 16:18

spooky says:

Well, we have a cat that naturally like the rest of us has to answer the call of nature. I'm absolutely certain she would be willing to donate a small token for the cause given the indignation of her owner. One snag - some of these 'letters' must have stamps on them to make sure they are opened, but it is a minor sacrifice on our part if it means stinking out that god damned Post Office box in Rotherham! A few letters with various different styles of handwriting delicately spread poo/food (dogs, cats, yours… So that the contents aren’t too obvious) place them in different shaped envelopes and spread them inside an A4 slip of paper i.e. left-over cards from Christmas, office stationary etc After all, what’s a couple of quid? 2 x 12 books of stamps per person would be enough. The killing blow is that we all do it at the same time. An impenetrable stampede of snowballing sh*te!
Please get as many mates as you have and join in dislocating the new governments opening party. Get all the people you know and we’ll bombard them.

I’m almost beginning to enjoy this.
It may take weeks to arrange a date, but I’m up for it!
Is anyone else up for going on a trip down Juvenile Street?

12th May 2010, 14:13

mat says:

Please do take that kind of thing away from my blog, guys. It's a criminal action and I want no part it planned here.

95% or more of the people who work for HSL are just normal, everyday, non-evil people trying to do their job so they can pay their rent, and their own bills. That includes ALL the people who open the incoming mail.

Ever had a crappy job 'cos it's all you could get? The kind of job that makes you feel awful every single day because you have to hassle people for money or you're be fired? The kind of job where you KNOW that the system you work in is broken and stupid but you can't do anything about it 'cos you're just a phone/letter jockey and your opinion is considered worthless by your crappy boss? Just what you want in that situation is some thoughtless, selfish idiots posting you some turds. Real mature, guys. Real grown-up and clever.

If you have issues with HSL, write to their director(s). Politely, becuause a shit-stained tirade is going right in the bin without being read, and rightly so. Write to the loan regulator. Politely. You catch more flies with honey, etc.

12th May 2010, 15:33

spooky says:

It isn’t half tempting though... I have to disagree with the crappy (no pun intended) job thing. From what I know of these outfits, some even have competitions within in their offices to see who can 'bag' the most money from the vulnerable and claw from people that could do without the hassle. They are uncompromising vultures. Have you heard anyone say anything pleasant about them on this thread?

I have little if any sympathy with these people Mat; metaphorically speaking they are sending crappy letters to people every day.

13th May 2010, 09:25

mat says:

You're entitled to your opinion, and that's fine.

Please understand that any posts made to here which could be taken as incitement to, or organisation of, criminal actions will be removed. This is still my blog, and I have no wish to be involved in such activities.

13th May 2010, 12:10

spooky says:

I would never suggest, associate, or implicate you in any of the above activities; thus I apologise unequivocally for any distress I have caused you. I shall vent my spleen more graciously in future.

13th May 2010, 12:43

mat says:

You don't need to apologise, I'm not distressed about it.

The point is that if the organisation of crap-posting etc happens on my blog, I can be held at least partially responsible, at least from a legal point of view. Especially seeing as I'm a lot more traceable than you guys (OK, I have your IP addresses, but that's not always useful for tracking people down)

Vent away - I should think the pages and pages and pages of assorted venting above is proof I don't mind that, but please don't incite or plan actual crimes, that's all I'm asking.

13th May 2010, 12:54

spooky says:

No problem mate.

13th May 2010, 14:06

hildegard says:

Paul Chambers' conviction earlier this week for tweeting a joke involving a threat to blow up Robin Hood Airport puts some of the comments above onto a genuinely sticky wicket.

This podcast is worth listening to for the facts & implications of the Chambers case; http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2010/05/podcast-on-paul-chambers-case.html

13th May 2010, 23:16

Zac says:

I think folk are just blowing off steam about taking action. & who can blame them?

But seriously folk, don't take it too far - just refuse to pay, ignore whatever HSl send you, etc

14th May 2010, 00:17

hildegard says:

That's the problem with the Chambers conviction - it doesn't matter if they are just blowing off steam. It didn't matter that Paul Chambers had no intention of any criminal act, including the criminal act of threatening RHA, nor that his intention was to tweet to his followers, rather than transmit a threat to RHA (it only came to RHA's attention because of an airport employee performing a Twitter search on "Robin Hood Airport"). The Crown Prosecution Service are viewing the transmission of threats by electronic communications as a strict liability offence - it doesn't matter if you mean it.

14th May 2010, 00:53

Rex says:

Quick query: How does the CPS view the threatening letters from HSL & their offshoots? Presumably they are - in Munson's case - trying to extort money by threat of menaces? Can Munson report them to the police etc? Thoughts?

Personally, I'm for the ignore their letters, tell their offshoots to piss off, and similar. But if anyone can take legal action against the bastards I say more power to ya mate!

14th May 2010, 12:24

spooky says:

I can't get a straight answer out of any of the authorities that I've written to even though I have provided them with all the information they have needed or asked for. It appears that the law is, if not favouring the debt collectors it is at least turning a blind eye to what they are doing. What is the point of having a regulatory body if it doesn’t do anything? It’s just a waste of money. The regulatory bodies claim to investigate complaints and irregularities but then say they are powerless to take action.

If you respond to any letters from these companies (HSL and co.) that claim you owe them money it counts as an acknowledgment of debt. As these b*stards are all branches of the same tree, treat them as one big parasite and ignore them all.

14th May 2010, 15:04

spooky says:

I don't have my own blog and as you can see I don't post my email address. I would however have no problem in contacting you personally if need be. I am very reluctant to do so as you just don't know who you are contacting. It’s nothing personal, honestly.

16th May 2010, 14:13

Munson says:

I thought that exactly while I was typing my last post. Weds tmrw, so should recieve another letter from our threads in the north.

BTW I deleted my account on here to remove my email and it also deleted my posts!

18th May 2010, 09:00

spooky says:

I suppose I'm about due a letter from our mutual friends too as I haven't heard anything since December 2009.

19th May 2010, 12:39

Munson says:

I have mate! Currently 4 in 4 weeks, the latest, which turned up this morning is again from HSL informing me that my account is being reviewed for a home visit by their agents " Fieldcall Ltd ", Interestingly the company at the foot of the page is Honours Trustee Ltd with a new reg no. of 3716001. Any thoughts?

19th May 2010, 17:06

spooky says:

"Fieldcall Ltd" is a new one on me. I've had some strange ones pop up now and again with different registration numbers, and they like their 'client' (HSL) are just full of hot air e.g. I received a letter from CCIlgeal Reg number 627305 saying they were acting on behalf of HSL. They have an account name: Honours plc and a description declaring the situation as x outstanding student loan. They go on to say that they will seek their client’s authority to issue legal proceedings against me forthwith. Obviously, their threat has no teeth else why would they need to consult with HSL whether or not to chase me round the block and take me to court; surely they would just do it – they wouldn’t need to ask permission. They may use frightening letter headed paper but that’s as mean as they get. Just study the language they use in their letters.

21st May 2010, 12:06

Munson says:

Yes I agree. It is good that this blog exists just to help people who are being hounded by these idiots. Without annoying Mat " Direct Action Now! " ;-) think its time for a nice pint in the Sunshine

21st May 2010, 14:41

Rex says:

Mat's forbearance is much appreciated. This blog is invaluable in providing info concerning how to deal with HSL and their minions.

21st May 2010, 21:14

spooky says:

Just out of curiosity - where do all you friendly folks hail from? I’m bumbling around in Birmingham at the moment.

25th May 2010, 12:33

Munson says:

London for my sins

26th May 2010, 22:02

Max says:

Canada for my sins.

28th May 2010, 21:03

spooky says:

Good to know the hand of Sauron stretches across the globe, eh? B*stard.

29th May 2010, 10:40

Max says:

HSL send their evil minions everywhere. And yes, B*stard* they are indeed.

Keep up the good fight peeps.

29th May 2010, 15:13

Rex says:

What is the latest on HSL and the OFT?

2nd Jun 2010, 23:22

Munson says:

Our friends appear to be annoying someone else! Have not been contacted for a full two weeks now, obviously will get a letter in the morning!

9th Jun 2010, 16:54

spooky says:

I've just received another letter this morning - they must be running out of steam as it contained no threats just a notice of sums in arrears.

Could someone else please try writing to the OFT (I'm getting tired guys)? It would be nice to know how they respond to other complaints.

11th Jun 2010, 11:03

spooky says:

It will be interesting to see what the new government thinks on the subject the whole HSL debacle. (A clash of the titans or croquet played with grenades (Whatever floats their boat.) The next three years will have to watched very carefully.

11th Jun 2010, 14:30

Munson says:

Your right re the new government mate, I'm up for writing to the OFT, but didn't you get a rather weak reply saying that would do nothing about HSL

11th Jun 2010, 15:59

spooky says:

Yes, I have received anaemic replies from the OFT, but unless masses of others write to them, and yes I know it can be boring, even if we get no responses (you should almost certainly get a response) it is a perfect opportunity to remind them we’re still here and unforgiving and logistically hanging-on. Our teeth are still tightly gripping their delicate parts of their unholy body.

What is the point of having a regulatory body in place to make sure that no-one does anything naughty, but then upon finding someone, that body overlooks or doesn’t really care about changing policy? Some poor sods details have been dragged mercilessly though the mill (and for what).

I can feel my gung-ho spirit rising within me!

Yes, I have received anaemic replies from the OFT, but unless masses of others write to them, and yes I know it can be boring, even if we get no responses (you should get a response) it is a perfect opportunity to remind them we’re still here and unforgiving and legitimally hanging-on.

12th Jun 2010, 09:39

spooky says:

Yes, I have received anaemic replies from the OFT, but unless masses of others write to them, and yes I know it can be boring, even if we get no responses (you should almost certainly get a response) it is a perfect opportunity to remind them we’re still here and unforgiving and logistically hanging-on. Our teeth are still tightly gripping their delicate parts of their unholy body.

What is the point of having a regulatory body in place to make sure that no-one does anything naughty, but then upon finding someone, that body overlooks or doesn’t really care about changing policy? Some poor sods details have been dragged mercilessly though the mill (and for what).

I can feel my gung-ho spirit rising within me!

Yes, I have received anaemic replies from the OFT, but unless masses of others write to them, and yes I know it can be boring, even if we get no responses (you should get a response) it is a perfect opportunity to remind them we’re still here and unforgiving and legitimally hanging-on. Polishing our teeth as we speak.

My letters from 'our mutual friends'are know in excesss of somewhere between 40 - 50 to date.

12th Jun 2010, 10:10

spooky says:

I wonder on a larger scale what this entails for the global education highway. Will we now have heat-seeking crack squadrons on the rooftops, while frogmen become saturated in our badly drained paddling pools?

12th Jun 2010, 10:24

spooky says:

Just how many of you folks are living/staying in the UK at the moment?
Overall population within the United Kingdom~65ish

Approximate population of: England~60Million
Scotland~2.5Million
Wales~2.Million
Northern Island~1.6

Government control scan filters can sideline people that are generally unfit for work, and yet gone on to become employed for a short time before the apparent health problem. In years gone by the government had various benefit agencies, school leavers, apprentices, etc

This seemingly nice open fluid style of government basically appears to the likes of you and I you might think not such bad proposals.

However, remember the “Work Clubs” started – if after six months you had still not managed to acquire part-time or full time work. The Government offered a reduction in benefits if a person did not sign onto the six month course. The figures taken from the workshops, apprentices were not counted as ‘the unemployed’ within the national number of the unemployed. So the Nationally Unemployment Figures simply became less. They were incorrect.

Well it’s not that’s simple really is it - -Ooh, look there’s another three legged donkey with the last of its academic entrails slithering down the steps of the Great Hall following lines of eviscerating graduates peering up at the vultures who simply can’t wait to pick the money from their educated bones….that’s if there’s anything left on them.

I never thought I’d see the day when the education of our children was so low on our lists of priorities; it hardly beggars a serious mention. It brings tears to my eyes.

And where do we go from here…….?

12th Jun 2010, 11:47

Muson says:

Is it down to the lake I fear?

14th Jun 2010, 12:08

spooky says:

I fear that lake may have to be a pretty big one...

However, I shall not surrender.

14th Jun 2010, 16:51

Munson says:

Good on you mate, no retreat and no surrender!

15th Jun 2010, 08:25

spooky says:

Has any one else taken the trouble to write to the OFT?

19th Jun 2010, 10:31

Bern says:

If HSL take action legally how would it usually work? What are the steps and timeline?

cheers

30th Jun 2010, 21:45

spooky says:

The OFT cannot take legal action as they are a regulatory body. What they need is a mountain of complaints about HSL on their desks in order to make them stand up and take notice, forwarding the information to the relevant body (legal or otherwise). We need to harass them as much as HSL harasses us. It takes effort and it is tedious but unless people get off their arses and do something, nothing will change. I have not yet encountered anyone who has been taken to court, but I’ve also not encountered anyone that has been bothered to act against the state. I can’t do it all on my own guys – a contribution to the course would be much appreciated.

6th Jul 2010, 13:33

Bern says:

keep up the good fight spook

i am doing what little i can

regards & god bless

6th Jul 2010, 21:13

Munson says:

I have written to OFT what reply do you think I'll get back spooky?

11th Jul 2010, 08:55

Lester says:

What happens if I just ignore the letters from HSL and the debt-collecting fakes it owns? If I just bin them, don't open the door (I don't anyhow unless I know who it is).

Would anything happen other than more letters?

13th Jul 2010, 12:10

spooky says:

Sorry I haven't answered sooner Munson but I've been ill this week and have not checked my mail, websites etc. I'll have a dig through my not inconsiderable files and check to see how long the OFT took to respond to me.

Lester, if you've not replied to them just check the language and see if the use the word "may" instead of "will" when referring to legal proceedings. If it's a "may" ignore them; sadly they will continue to send you mail.

17th Jul 2010, 12:58

tomtom(tommyhallows-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

I have just recieved a letter supposable off SLC asking for over a grand back as I finished my course early which is bullshit. I have got this letter twice now as I think it is a scam. I got another letter awhile ago asking for some of my grant loan back like £112 because I left uni when my exams finished. This was really as it was like my annual statements showing why I owned it them back. The letter I got today has a 0141 number when normally its a 0800 number. I got a number the other day off some guy from student loan using a 0800 number but gave me another number to check how much money I owe. Also I checked online to see what I owe and in corispondents I can see all the letters they sent out including the one I repayed but these two letters asking for over a grand isnt on there. Confused. Could it be a scam. I know its wrong anyway. Should I ignor it like the other one. I am currently unemployed living on £5-rarely £20 a week if they porve they want this money back now there getting a few quid a month!

19th Jul 2010, 01:07

spooky says:

I think this is the strangest case I've heard to date; I really don't know what to say. I would be inclined to let them try and sort it out, as if they don't know the details how on earth can they expect you to? It is their job to inform accurately and the onus is not on you to do their admin, so I suppose I would just wait and see.

19th Jul 2010, 13:20

Munson says:

I'd ignore the letters Tom, they are a scam. No worries Spooky, haven't heard from our friends lately but received a letter from Mackenzie Hall who claim to be a debt recovery and tracing company you ever heard of them?

19th Jul 2010, 13:20

spooky says:

Nope. Yet another name to add to the ever expanding list.

19th Jul 2010, 17:05

spooky says:

Sorry that I've not responded sooner Munson - to be honest I simply forgot.The OFT took somewhere between 1.5 - 2 weeks to reply to my first letter. Have you heard anything from them yet? If so let me know what they said. The guy who dealt with my case was a bloke called Pierre Cagnon (Enquiries and Preliminary Investigations Centre).

28th Jul 2010, 12:16

Les says:

Our best bet is to just bin any letters from HSL and not open the door if they show up in person?

What powers do these clowns actually have? Have they ever taken anyone to court? Is it really worth the aggro to try and collect on a 20 year old loan?

29th Jul 2010, 11:40

spooky says:

I'd hang on to the letters if I were you Les as they may come in handy in the future - proving harassment etc. I’ve heard of people taking HSL to court but not the other way round.

I don't think they have much, if any, power at all; certainly not concerning the old mortgage style loans. I think the government turned the sale of the loans into a complete fiasco. There was so much paperwork involved that they got themselves into a right mess - hence the scare tactics HSL use – it’s the only option left open to them. Basically, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

1st Aug 2010, 12:07

Les says:

I have the old style loans - from the early-mid 90's. I'm also abroad permanently. If i ignore them is there anything I can do (I'll hang on to the letters as you suggest - cheers)


Thoughts on what - if anything - they can do? Just send me letters?

1st Aug 2010, 15:12

spooky says:

Yeah, they'll probably just continue to send you mean letters (Grrr!) from the bogeyman that runs their operation. I think if they had a "case" worth pursuing they would have come after you and a good many others by now.

2nd Aug 2010, 10:57

Mrs Ruth Brown says:

Hello every one,
My name is Mrs Ruth Brown I am spam. I'm only still here so that Spooky's reply below makes some kind of sense.

8th Aug 2010, 03:03

spooky says:

Forgive me for being a little bit cynical but it sounds a bit too good to be true. I am rather dubious about transferring from money from a loan shark to a sharp toothed barracuda, particularly as they their contact addresses are hotmail and g-mail; Sounds suspicious. It’s up to you whether you take the risk but don’t become entangled in a scam: “kind” and “understanding” – I can’t help but smell a rat. Banks don’t contact by email only by phone for security reasons. Enough said.

8th Aug 2010, 12:18

benny says:

latest on HSL guys? Everyone has gone silent

11th Aug 2010, 00:08

spooky says:

That's because no-one knows what's really happening - which is no bad thing benny. The less we hear from HSL, it appears the less authority they have. The phrase "clutching at straws" springs to mind. Scary letters is all I've encountered - I'm shaking in my boots.

11th Aug 2010, 16:44

Munson says:

Your right there Spooky, sent a letter to OFT 2 weeks ago, havent heard from them or HSL so far, hope your well mate

11th Aug 2010, 18:01

spooky says:

I'm OK Munson, cheers for asking. Hope things are alright at your end.

13th Aug 2010, 12:38

Rex says:

Hi folks,

Glad to see everyone is keeping up the good fight against HSL (especially spooky)

Given the vast number of uncollected poll tax debts that can't be collected from, the early 90's i dont really see that HSL have much chance of getting theirs from the same time collected

13th Aug 2010, 18:14

Viv(veetee49-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

Greetings Spooky et al,
Just been knocked back for financial support for an OU course.
SLC have claimed I owe them 'arrears' and despite satisfying all the other criteria and this was NOT a loan application, have been refused.
Now the battle begins.
If SLC think I owe them money then why haven't they taken court action? Could it be that they can't provide any proof?

23rd Aug 2010, 15:26

spooky says:

Viv, I doubt very much that court action will be taken. I am glad to see this thresd is still running; if you look back through the messages you might just find the gem you are for. I know it is turgid and tedious read at times but at least take a glance or two.

I hope this thread relieves some of the anxiety and wory of people that think they are alone and have fear the 'heavies' coming round on their front door - that is not going to happen - if nothing else they simply don't have the resourses or proof of 'wandering 'arrears'.

24th Aug 2010, 15:59

Munson says:

Spooky's right there Viv IMHO, Spooky I've not heard back from the OFT as yet or from our old friends!

25th Aug 2010, 14:27

Viv says:

OU financial support have suggested I 'liase' with SLC.
As I have 'liased' with SLC for nearly 5yrs the experience has left me a little jaded.
Think I'd prefer to deal with the local loan shark. At least I could involve the police.
SLC seems to enjoy the freedom of a government department. How so?

25th Aug 2010, 21:47

spooky says:

Viv, my advice to you would be to send a letter stating that you will have no further contact with SLC/HSL. Unfornately because you have liased with them, the clock has gone back to zero. It's a pity because if you had hung on for another year (without contact), you would be free of the b*stards, and there would be nothing they could do about it - there would be no way for them to pursue you using legal action of any sort. It would be case closed. My Condolences my friend - another six more years of nasty letters to go I'm afraid. Don't reply.

26th Aug 2010, 15:12

Viv says:

Good news. OU says I can appeal the decision by writing to them and not SLC. Phew!
Just need some info on '97 loans. What happened around 2004? Was the student book sold? and if so, who to? Just want an explanation why my amicable relationship with SLC deteriorated to threats of baliffs and accusations of breaking my contract.
Cheers.

1st Sep 2010, 13:08

Les says:

Latest on HSL? I've not heard from them for a while. Have they gone under?

9th Sep 2010, 00:52

spooky says:

I must first apologise for the length of these next posts – it’s a bit of a whopper and you’ll be forgiven for falling asleep.

The latest letter I received from HSL on Saturday:

Dear spooky

Account number XXXXX
We write to inform you of the new payment amount that applies to your Honours Student Loan(s). The date and amount of your monthly payments repayments from September 2010 to August 2011, when we will write to you again, are:

Repayment amount Payment Due Date
£0.00 25th of each month

The repayment amount shown does not include the arrears and charges of £1,573.42 outstanding on your account. Unless you already have an agreement in place, you should contact us today on Tel: 0844 826 7836 to discuss how you will bring your account up-to-date.

If you have more than one Credit Agreement with us, the amount quoted covers each of the agreements whose numbers are shown below. If you also have Credit Agreements with the Student Loans Company you should receive a similar letter giving details of repayments due to them.

Your Loan Agreement with us:

XXXXX
XXXXX

The repayment amount is based on the current interest rate set by Parliament, which when applied, produces an Annual percentage Rate of 4.40%. The interest rate is set for 12 months at a time and may change again next September. If the interest rate does change, a new schedule will be sent to you detailing your new monthly repayment amount. Your Annual Statement confirming all transactions during the past 12 months is enclosed, along with a Questions and Answers sheet for your information.

Registration of Defaults:
Customers who do not meet their repayment obligations may have a default registered with a Credit Reference Agency. Once registered , a default may affect your ability to obtain further credit, including a mortgage.

Yours Sincerely,

Scribble

Honours Student Loans
www.hounoursstudentloans.co.uk

14th Sep 2010, 16:58

spooky says:

Sadly no Les...

14th Sep 2010, 17:01

spooky says:

I must first apologise for the length of these next posts – it’s a bit of a whopper and you’ll be forgiven for falling asleep.

The latest letter I received from HSL on Saturday:

Dear spooky

Account number XXXXX
We write to inform you of the new payment amount that applies to your Honours Student Loan(s). The date and amount of your monthly payments repayments from September 2010 to August 2011, when we will write to you again, are:

Repayment amount Payment Due Date
£0.00 25th of each month

The repayment amount shown does not include the arrears and charges of £1,573.42 outstanding on your account. Unless you already have an agreement in place, you should contact us today on Tel: 0844 826 7836 to discuss how you will bring your account up-to-date.

If you have more than one Credit Agreement with us, the amount quoted covers each of the agreements whose numbers are shown below. If you also have Credit Agreements with the Student Loans Company you should receive a similar letter giving details of repayments due to them.

Your Loan Agreement with us:

XXXXX
XXXXX

The repayment amount is based on the current interest rate set by Parliament, which when applied, produces an Annual percentage Rate of 4.40%. The interest rate is set for 12 months at a time and may change again next September. If the interest rate does change, a new schedule will be sent to you detailing your new monthly repayment amount. Your Annual Statement confirming all transactions during the past 12 months is enclosed, along with a Questions and Answers sheet for your information.

Registration of Defaults:
Customers who do not meet their repayment obligations may have a default registered with a Credit Reference Agency. Once registered , a default may affect your ability to obtain further credit, including a mortgage.

Yours Sincerely,

Scribble

Honours Student Loans
www.hounoursstudentloans.co.uk

14th Sep 2010, 17:02

spooky says:

Tea-break

14th Sep 2010, 17:03

spooky says:

HSL then go on to provide a change of details form such as address, bank details etc.
and a statement. The next party piece is a sheet of :



USEFUL INFORMATION
Calls may be recorded for training purposes and/or fact of verification.

BASIS OF INTEREST CHARGED
Interest on your loan (or on each instalment, if your loan was advanced in instalments) is charged from the date the loan or the relevant instalment was credited to your bank or building society account. The interest is added (and thus compound interest) monthly. The interest shown overleaf is calculated at the daily rate of -0.0010%, which applied till 31st August. When the interest rate is negative a monthly credit will be applied to your account rather than a debt.

NEW RATE OF INTEREST EFFECTIVE FROM 1ST SEPTEMBER 2010-09-14
THE OLDER INTEREST RATE EQUATED TO AN APR OF -0.4%. THE NEW INTERST RATE FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1st SEPTEMBER 2010 IS A DAILY RATE OF 0.0118%, EQUATING TO AN APR OF 4.4%.

DEFERMENT OF LOAN REPAYMENT
If you already started repayment you may still be entitled to defer repayment of your loan if your gross income (excluding certain disability related benefits) per month is £2,204 or less.

If your repayments are not due to start, no action is necessary now. You will be reminded about deferment arrangements before your first repayment becomes due.

REGISTRATION OF DEFAULTS
Customers who do not meet their repayment obligations may have a default registered with a Credit Registered Agency. Once registered, a default may affect further credit, including a mortgage.

QUERIES
If you have any queries regarding this statement, please visit our website at (can not provide web informationas as I am not registered) notify our Customer Service help line on 0844 8267 835 between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or 9am and 1pm Saturday. Alternatively, write to us at Honours Student Loan, Selectapost 30, Rotherham, S97 3ZY. Please quote the customer reference number shown at the top of this statement on all correspondence.

SETTLING YOUR CREDIT AGGREMENT EARLY
You can settle this agreement at any time by giving us notice in writing and paying off the amount you owe. If you wish to settle early you should contact us for a final settlement figure.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION
If you have a complaint, please take it up with Honours Student Loans in the first instance. If you are dissatisfied with our Final Response to your complaint, you may refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for consideration. If the events leading to your complaint occurred before 6 April 2007, you can ask Honours Student Loans to refer the matter to the Student Loans Independent Assessor.

PAYING LESS THAN THE AGREED SUM
If you pay less than your agreed payment in most cases it is likely to take longer and may cost you more to pay off the debt under the agreement.

If you have difficulties making payments under your credit please contact us if you have not already so to discuss terms for the rest of the agreement. You may also want to seek advice on what to do from an independent free advice agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

DEBT COLLECTION AGENCIES
If your account is currently with a Debt Collection Agency, payments that you have made within the last 45 days may not show on the current statement.

If we have taken legal action against you against you, the amount that you owe may be higher than the balance showing on your statement because of legal fees and costs that you are liable for.

STATUS OF HONOURS STUDENT LOANS
Honours Student Loans is the registered trademark of Honours Trustee Limited is an independent private limited company. Honours Trustee Limited is not a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of the Honours Student Loans Company Limited.

14th Sep 2010, 17:08

spooky says:

Tea-break

14th Sep 2010, 17:09

spooky says:

Questions and Answers

HOW AM I ADVISED WHEN TO STARTING MAKING MY REPAYMENTS?

We will have written to you in February were due to start repaying your loan in April of that year.

We will advise the estimated amount you will owe at 31st March and the monthly amount you will repay based on that estimate.

We will advise you of the bank account from which we will collect your monthly repayment by direct debit. If these details have changed you must immediately complete and return the new direct debit instruction, which is attached on the reverse of your covering letter.

In April we will have sent you a schedule of the actual monthly repayments you will nee to make between April and August. We will have collected these automatically from you bank or society if a direct debit was in place. Each September we will provide you with a schedule of the monthly repayments you will make from then until the following August. This schedule will show any changes in the amount you pay as a result of any change to the interest rate.

HOW WILL I KNOW THE INTEREST BE CALCULATED?

As the rate of interest is always based on inflation (Retail Prices Index) the APR for the period of September 2010 to August 2011 will be 4.40%

The interest is calculated daily at the appropriate rate from the day your loan starts. The interest is added to your account every month if the interest rate is negative this will be a credit rather than a debit. We will send you an Annual Statement every September. It will show you the interest that applies, how much interest has been added during the year, how much you have paid during the year and the balance outstanding.

CAN I DELAY REPAYING MY LOAN?

Once your loan is due to be repaid, you can ask us to allow you to delay (defer) repaying your loan for 12 months. We will send you a deferment application form and instructions on how to complete this with our letter in February. This form gives details of the maximum income level you can earn (before Income Tax and National Insurance) if you wish to delay repaying your loan. The gross income level until August 2011 is £2204 per month. If you are earning over this threshold you will not be eligible to defer your loan repayments.

Deferment is not automatic, it must be applied for annually if you are eligible.

Interest will continue to be charged during the period when you are when you are not making repayments.
Repayments must be made until you are advised that you deferment has been authorised.

Please be aware that your account must be kept up to date with payment or deferment or you may lose the right to defer.

STANDING ORDER

If you are paying by standing order please advise you bank or building society of the change of the change in the payment amount as we are unable to do this on your behalf.

14th Sep 2010, 17:10

spooky says:

Tea-break

14th Sep 2010, 17:10

spooky says:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Under the terms and conditions of your student loans you must hold a valid direct on your account unless Honours Student Loans agree otherwise.

If your address changes you must notify Honours Student Loans within 14 days. Please use the change of details slip at the back of the letter which accompanies your statement.

INFORMATION FOR DISABLED BORROWERS

To qualify as a disabled borrower you must receive any of the following benefits:

- Disability Living Allowance
- Disability Premium
- Disabled Persons Tax Credit
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Short Term Incapacity Benefit
- Long Term Capacity Benefit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disability Premium.

These benefits are deducted when assessing your gross income for deferment.

In addition to the disability benefits being deducted, disability related costs could also be deducted. One twelfth of any expenditure a customer will pay because of their disability during the next 12 months can be deducted from monthly income.

SPECIAL REPAYMENT AND DEFERMENT ARRANGEMENTS

If you are you are unable to work for the next 3 years due to your disability, you may apply for an extended period, subject to the provision of specific medical evidence.

If your disability means that you are permanently unfit for work, your loan may be cancelled subject to the provision of specific evidence.

In addition to the above, written confirmation will be required from the DWP regarding the amount of disability benefit you are in receipt, and the period over which your benefit is paid.

WHAT IF I GO ABROAD?

If you plan to leave the UK you will need to let us know in sufficient time for us to make arrangements for you to either defer repaying your loan or to start to repay it

Due to the Data Protection Act we will only take instructions from the account holder or person holding Power of Attorney on your behalf.

An overseas number has been set up for your convenience Tel: 00 44 1132 073154
LOAN ACCOUNT NUMBERS

If you have more than one Credit Agreement with us, this statement covers only the Agreements with account quoted overleaf. This statement does not cover any Agreements held with the Student Loans Company.


Lots of love HSL

14th Sep 2010, 17:11

spooky says:

Where’s the nearest pub?

14th Sep 2010, 17:14

les says:

they realy charging you 0 per monthly repayment?

they can stick the arrears up their arrears (but fold it first so the corners are nice n' sharp!)

keep on keepin' on peeps

14th Sep 2010, 23:20

Munson says:

Spooky, I had a similiar communication form them as yourself! And as yet no reply from OFT

15th Sep 2010, 08:18

spooky says:

I noticed the word "Parliament" in this letter. No tea and bicuits for anyone that voted for the Tory Party.

15th Sep 2010, 11:43

Munson says:

I had a letter delivered by hand today by Fieldcall.co.uk which stated:

Lender: Clarity ( Honour Student Loans Homeowner )
Account No: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Fieldcall Reference Number: FCxxxxxxxx

I have been instructed to meet you to discuss any problems you may be experiencing with the above outstanding account.

I am able to offer advice with regard to resolving your financial difficulties.

In order to help bring this account up to date please telephone me on 07802807292 so that we can arrange a mutually convenient appointment. If I am not immediately availble to speak to you, please leave a contact telephone number and I will return your call as soon as possible.

I look forward to meeting you and shall be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Yours sincerely

Vince Comb

Registered Office: Fieldcall Ltd, 2 Swan Court, Lamport, Northampton NN6 9EZ Company No.04898479 Registered in England & Wales

Now the thing is previously all letters from HSL have been posted, this was hand delivered and was written on the envelope. So someone must have called to the house to drop it off.

What do you make of this? If I was in at the time they called I just wouldn't have answered the door. Are they subcontracting door stepping tactics now?

16th Sep 2010, 19:49

les says:

google fieldcall

their email is @clarity

they are just clarity/aka hsl by another name

17th Sep 2010, 19:51

Munson says:

Cheers Les, but that's the first time i' ve heard of any of their bods actually turning up at someones front door

18th Sep 2010, 18:49

les says:

hi munson

do they have any powers? You can just not open door or tell them to sod off right? If they persist in banging on the door call the police!

thoughts anyone

regards

18th Sep 2010, 19:02

Munson says:

My thoughts exaclty Les, I have no problem teeling them where to go I was just under the impression that they didn't have any real powers and their threats off a visit where hollow

19th Sep 2010, 17:44

spooky says:

I am off with my band Athiests, see you later (I am dyslexic) whatI meant to say that was my band of Atheists.

I missed the bugger and am know one duvet cover and one fitted sheet short. Damn!!!

19th Sep 2010, 18:04

Munson says:

Wise words!

20th Sep 2010, 14:10

Les says:

It could be worse - Tom Hicks could buy up HSL!

21st Sep 2010, 11:34

spooky says:

Too true Les, too true. It's all about money; which ever way they can make some more. One billion is just small change these days.

22nd Sep 2010, 17:22

viv says:

Hi,
Anyone been through the official complaints procedure?

Found out yesterday why I have been harassed for so many years and am now about to go through this to the bitter end.

Anyone else tackled it?

24th Sep 2010, 12:33

spooky says:

What official complaints procedure are you refering to Viv; and what did you find out about the harassment thing? Interesting to know - anything to beat these w*nkers is a good thing to share.

24th Sep 2010, 14:21

les says:

i agree with spooky

i wish HSL would buy into liverpool fc - then they'd get a battle to end all battles from the kopites!

24th Sep 2010, 23:20

viv says:

The complaints procedure is on the 'web site. Ends with OFT for 'new' and Financial Ombudsman for 'old' style loans.
For your complaint to be effective you have to complete the procedure to show you've attempted to resolve the situation.
Have dealt with Finacial Ombudsman before and they are concerned with justice and not rules and regs.

29th Sep 2010, 12:04

les says:

hey munson

any more news on the guy who came to your door - the debt collector bullyboy - sorry, the financial recovery accounts executive

29th Sep 2010, 12:17

Anonymous says:

Les, they put another letter through the door by hand, saying if I didn't contact him they have to report it back to HSL! So am expecting another flurry of letters of those idiots

2nd Oct 2010, 09:51

les says:

they (HSL and all the rest of em') are all letters and no bite.

Bin the letters I say.

2nd Oct 2010, 21:03

Jeanne MH Kenshaw(jeannblizzzy-at-gmail-dot-com) says:


please and please for your own good and benefit,ignore any loaner from this sites..contacting you they can help you.they are evil and not real !!..they are all SCAMS !!!!! i have fall victim to many there due to my curiosity and anxiety to be debt free,I lost thousands of dollars to these persons.well thank God now,it is all a history !!..if I where you I would get my post deleted from that site immediately,because any chance and
opportunity given to these guys,they would hold onto it,and suck off your hand earned money.my story and experience would showcase a good reference and preference of a good source of legitimate and reliable
help for you that would take you LESS THAN 48 hours,( irrespective of your credit score but MUST have a good income source as a proof of your swift payback),rather than exposing yourself to risk of these evil and heartless people here...email me rightaway at " jeannblizzzy@gmail.com " if you are interested..PLEASE BE REAL !!.NO GIMMICKS !!.. thank you....JEANNE

8th Oct 2010, 07:34

Munson says:

Really Jeanne? ;-)

14th Oct 2010, 07:32

Pharmb334(johnb654-at-aol-dot-com) says:

Hello! adcddfb interesting adcddfb site!

14th Oct 2010, 19:19

zig(crmccann-at-aol-dot-com) says:

keep on keepinng on

17th Oct 2010, 21:29

Rex says:

Latest on HSL? Anyone?

19th Oct 2010, 21:46

Rex says:

Latest on HSL? Anyone?

19th Oct 2010, 21:46

Les says:

Lets hope HSL go under very soon. I'll not hold my breath though.

Does anyone have any news? Munson - hear anything more on your door caller debt collector guy?

Are they actually taking anyone to court - good luck to them trying collect on payments from anyone who is living in France!

20th Oct 2010, 00:15

max says:

what is the first step they will pursue if i just start ignoring any letters they send me?

20th Oct 2010, 00:21

Munson says:

No Les have heard nothing more since they called round ( twice ) and havent had any letters form HSL recently, Max ignore the letters from them or their cohorts until you get a letter explicitly stating they are taking legal action against you in a court of law they are just chancing their arm mate

20th Oct 2010, 09:18

Munson says:

No Les have heard nothing more since they called round ( twice ) and havent had any letters from HSL recently, Max ignore the letters from them or their cohorts until you get a letter explicitly stating they are taking legal action against you in a court of law they are just chancing their arm mate

20th Oct 2010, 09:21

Max says:

Cheers mates. I hope they bring the obligatory quid with them so the kids will 'mind' their motor! Assuming they are dopey enough to drive to my estate and expect to keep their wheels.

20th Oct 2010, 12:08

Dicko from Wang Lane says:

What is happening with HSL? Are they in trouble? They have stopped sending me letters.

25th Oct 2010, 12:07

spooky says:

The intervals between letters varies. Sometimes they get excited and send two in a month and other times they send one every six months. There's no telling what they'll do.

26th Oct 2010, 13:10

Munson says:

Long time no see Spooky hows tricks?

29th Oct 2010, 17:50

spooky says:

All quiet on the Western front (my long suffering friend). The last time I heard from our mutual friends was early September - I'm not expecting a Christmas card, but you never know.

30th Oct 2010, 15:20

Munson says:

Spook, what did you make of our friends of friends Fieldcall pitching up at my door? Not once but twice!
Is this the first you've heard of them calling at someones house?
I haven't heard from them in a while or recieved a reply from OFT. Keep up the fight mate

30th Oct 2010, 18:57

Les says:

Keep up the fight folks! Don't let then proverbial B*****s grind us down.

30th Oct 2010, 23:20

spooky says:

Muns,
It is the first time I've heard of them paying a "social" call. I'm very surprised to be honest. It may be that they've just struck lucky (one of their minions lives in the next street or the bogey man's on your blood trail). It is Halloween after all! It would be interesting to see if they keep up those tactics or that they've done the same thing to someone else. Weird. I wish more people would post their experiences.

31st Oct 2010, 12:15

Munson says:

Yeah it is Halloween, mate and they are pretty horrible, imagine its a busy time of the year for you Spooks

31st Oct 2010, 15:46

spooky says:

Yeah, I must remember to wash my whites...

31st Oct 2010, 18:49

Les says:

HSL show up at the door and just say trick or trick

31st Oct 2010, 21:24

Munson says:

No treats Les just tricks! And Spooky I'dgo for a boil wash mate just in case!

1st Nov 2010, 08:13

Viv says:

Greeting Comrades,
Am still following the SLCs very slow complaints procedure. Mine ends with Financial Ombudsman not OFT.
Have appointment with local MP as want her to tackle David Willetts - Minister of State for Universities & Science. A 2 pronged attack as I climb the slow ladder of hierarchy that is compliance.
Due to continueing harassment ie they still insist I contact a debt collection agency - why I don't owe anyone any money. Have decided to ask for financial compensation from Financial Ombudsman.
Harassment is sending demands for money and threats of baliffs and blocking innocent peoples applications for OU courses whilst not providing any evidence that monies are owed or seeking recourse in the courts.
Keep The Faith!

3rd Nov 2010, 14:44

Les says:

Keep fighting them Viv. Don't let them grind you down.

3rd Nov 2010, 17:27

Munson says:

Unity is powerful boys stay strong!

3rd Nov 2010, 22:42

Munson says:

Unity is powerful boys stay strong!

3rd Nov 2010, 22:42

Viv says:

Try the Consumer Action Group website.

Apart from Spooky there's not alot of info to be had here.

10th Nov 2010, 13:40

rex says:

News on HSL? Are they in financial trouble or?

12th Nov 2010, 22:34

spooky says:

Rex,
Now I just count the months as they slip by; there have been no notable differences in any of their letters they send so I assume they are for the time being at least, just rolling vitriol off the production line in the hope of getting a result.


18th Nov 2010, 13:12

Rex says:

Hi Spook

Have HSL ever taken anyone to court? Anyone know what happens/has happened to anyone who just ignores any supposed arrears (we all know what HSL's 'record-keeping' is like) and ignores any letters/phone calls etc?

I just ignored my supposed poll tax debt (taken to court with a ton of others en masse by Camden Council - was on dole at time!) back in the early 90's and nowt ever came of that. Why is HSL any different?

Regards to Spook and all others.

18th Nov 2010, 20:02

spooky says:

Rex,
I have not heard of anyone being ushered into the courts; everyone seems to be getting unpleasant letters without further action. I have received forty two letters since March 2007. I think if they wanted me that badly I would have heard something serious to that effect.

22nd Nov 2010, 16:26

Rex says:

Just got a letter from HSL - they added an admin charge to my total and are planning to pass me on to a debt collector agency. Good luck to them I say: My loans have been deferred for the past 5 or so years! I'd like to see that stand-up in court.

Are they really that muddled up when it comes to paperwork etc?

22nd Nov 2010, 20:45

spooky says:

If you've just received a letter Rex, then mine's probably in the post. I think I'm about due a get-well card.

I think they're still writing their records on cave walls not paper.

23rd Nov 2010, 11:20

Munson says:

Have just received a letter from Drydens Lawyers telling me they are the solicitors for Honours Trustee Limited demanding full payment otherwise the usual " legal proceedings my be issued me etc "

Anyone heard of Drydens? Reg no 06765260 Address 2 Humbolt St, Bradford BD1 5HQ

It's the first contact I've had from these monkeys in a few months

23rd Nov 2010, 11:54

spooky says:

All the registration numbers of the "debt collection agencies" are splinter groups from HSL; they are directly involved with HSL. Most of the main "agencies" are registered with the number: 866802. I have received only two debt collection letters that have used a different reg., no. The letter was from:

CCI Legal - 627305 + 549634

23rd Nov 2010, 17:01

Rex says:

Looks like they are just fishing with us all to get a few bob.

Any suggestions on how I deal with the admin charge? Just igore it with the rest of the letters in the bin or challenge it or?

cheers mates

23rd Nov 2010, 20:16

Munson says:

Cheers for the info lads. Hows Spooky? Shall all the bloggers on here send a massive christmas card to the HSL massive?

24th Nov 2010, 08:02

Rex says:

"Shall all the bloggers on here send a massive christmas card to the HSL massive?"

Only if we charge the clowns a massive admin charge for sending it!

24th Nov 2010, 16:20

Munson says:

& Interest Rex

24th Nov 2010, 22:00

spooky says:

Hi Muns,
I was thinking along the lines of a bomb rather than a Christmas card...

25th Nov 2010, 09:49

spooky says:

Student rallies can be organised - read the article in 'The Northern Echo'. Thank god there is still some life within the student body.

25th Nov 2010, 10:14

Rex says:

You might want to delete your alternative to a card comment Spook. It may upset our host (we are grateful for his letting us vent here and share info).

cheers

25th Nov 2010, 12:55

Munson says:

Wishing all at HSL an Explosive Christmas? Smashing Spooks!

26th Nov 2010, 06:48

spooky says:

It was only a stink bomb Rex...

26th Nov 2010, 11:17

spooky says:

It was only a stink bomb Rex... just so they could have a smelly little Christmas.

26th Nov 2010, 11:18

Rex says:

make sure you charge them an admin fee spook! and also make sure to tell them you MAY take legal action against them!

happy xmas one and all

28th Nov 2010, 19:37

Marissa (marissa-dot-mackenzie-at-live-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I've been experiencing problems with SLC for the past 2 years over a claimed arrears of £821.46. Reason they claim, as per most of the above posts, was a deferment form which just magically disappeared in 2008. They failed to notify of this problem until well after the 3 month backdate period, which I am now thinking was intentional. Glad to know I'm not the only person who has experienced problems. I am currently seeking advice from my local CAB, so we'll see what happens after I see a financial advisor. But in the interest of fairness, I came upon this legal document, which does have a heck of a lot of legal jargon. But it may be useful to others who have problems.

http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DBFiles/Decision/i322/SLC%20v%20IC%20(EA-2008-0092)%20Decision%2017-07-09%20(w).pdf

p.s. Spooky like your ongoing work for those of us who have been failed by a big bunch of school-yard bullies.

30th Nov 2010, 01:09

Munson says:

Update re: Drydens Lawyers

They are actually threatening legal action:

We refer to our letter dated 22/11/10 and note that we have been unable to make contact with you

Please be advised that, unless we hear from you beforehand, legal proceedings will be issued against you in 7 days. Our intention is to obtain a County Court Judgement against you

When a Judgeemnt is obtained, the cost of the action are usually added to the debt. Once a Judgement has been obtained, our client will seek to enforce it by way of a Charging Order which would secure the debt against your property. Further enforcement could follow if proposals are not forthcoming.

Should you wish to avoid this course of action, please contact Mrs V Lawn without further delat to discuss the alternatives available to you

What do you think? Empty threat? Any advice very welcome

Cheers

30th Nov 2010, 09:51

Rex says:

Empty threat I'd say. What do you think Spook?

Why would they not have done that in the first place instead of sending a guy to your door.

Would the county court find against you?

30th Nov 2010, 12:30

Munson says:

Thats what I first thought Rex, but I don't really know, I don't owe anybody any money and have no CCJ's against me but this is the first time they have said they are taking action rather than saying they may

30th Nov 2010, 12:40

spooky says:

Firstly, thank you Marissa - we are all trying to do our best, and yes it is a relief to know that you not the only person suffering at the hands of these vultures.

Rex,
It's the first time I've heard them use positive language before, by saying that they "will" take you to court.

Muns,
"Please be advised that, unless we hear from you beforehand, legal proceedings will be issued against you in 7 days. Our intention is to obtain a County Court Judgement against you."

I can't help but think it's some sort of trap - these people are known for twisting situations to suit their own ends. They say “intention” – I think this is rather non-committal, and that they need something from you first- it all seems to hang on what you do rather than what they do.

I'm really not sure about the bit that says "unless we here from you..."
My guess is they need to hear from you so that they are able to go through the courts. By law a debt must first be acknowledged in order for them to proceed with legal action. It all sounds a bit dodgy to me Muns.

Personally, I would take the risk of not contacting them and see what happens; but that is just my view.

30th Nov 2010, 15:07

Munson says:

Thank you Spooks, not just for the reply but for all your advice on this blog.

I too feel its a bluff to get me to acknowlege a debt,I don't owe, but the bastards are playing mind games ie do I want the risk of a CCJ against me? Even though I don't own any money to them. Will see what they do after 7 days thanks again.

PS I still havent had a reply off OFT!

30th Nov 2010, 15:39

Rex says:

My guess is after the 7 days (which is ny now right?) they'll go back to 'we must hear from you or else' ... etc etc

if they had a leg to stand on they'd just go ahead and do it.

they are trawling for readies methinks.

30th Nov 2010, 22:59

Wilbur says:

What is the big deal with a CCJ anyhow? Please explain. If they get one against me it boils down like this right: Either I have a problem getting a mortgage I'm never likely to try and get or the court says I have to pay them back at a few quid (most I can afford) a month (plus the interest is frozen right).

Also, I read somewhere that they can't get a CCJ against someone without a UK address. Is that true? If so, I'll leg it to the continent. Can they collect from abroad?

Great site BTW - anywhere similar you suggest I look for advice.

1st Dec 2010, 00:05

Rex says:

Any news Munson?

Did your legal action letter arrive yet Spook?
I say we ought to take them to court for sharp practice and bullyboy tactics.

1st Dec 2010, 12:23

spooky says:

Apparently Wilbur, they are quite within their rights to go globe trotting in order to catch their prey; sorry for the cheerful news.

1st Dec 2010, 12:24

spooky says:

Am still waiting for the festive frightener, have not yet received it - but I'll be sure to let you all know if/when it arrives.

1st Dec 2010, 12:30

Munson says:

Rex, I won't find out till next Mon /Tue if I'm to be carted off to Tyburn to swing or be throwen in debtors' prison

1st Dec 2010, 13:33

Wilbur says:

But how can they do it Mr Spooky? What use would a CCJ be? What about if the debtor is in a country without a reciprocal agreement?

Good luck Mr Munson!

1st Dec 2010, 19:41

Rex says:

Incidentally Munson, what year do they claim you owe them from?

cheers

1st Dec 2010, 19:42

Rex says:

Can they pursue legal action for a loan which is deferred? I'd have thought they were on thin ice.

1st Dec 2010, 19:44

Bill says:

Got a threatening letter from Drydens. Are they for real or just another HSL by another name front?

2nd Dec 2010, 00:23

Munson says:

Rex 1999! The think is I paid mine off in 1999 and I don't owe them anything

2nd Dec 2010, 07:31

spooky says:

Well, as predicted, I've had my Christmas card.

4th Dec 2010, 12:55

rex says:

from dydens spook? will or may take action

cheers mate

4th Dec 2010, 20:09

spooky says:

No, from HSL Rex (same old rubbish - I think they just send me the same letter with a different date on it). Haven't had anything from anyone else. I am quite pleased that I'm unpopular this Christmas.

5th Dec 2010, 10:55

rex says:

well hey spook - HSL knew you needed something extra for the fire this winter! so they may or may not take legal action, then again - they may or they may not

they may even send james may to your door asking for money!

cheers

any news with drydens at your end munson?

5th Dec 2010, 12:45

eddie says:

News guys? HSL vanished?

9th Dec 2010, 20:45

spooky says:

If anyone finds anything, post it up the boards; I haven't heard any rumblings yet, eddie. They are probably still trying to scrape the eggs of Charles and Camilla’s car

I think the government is more concerned with their latest problem of having to contain Nick Cleggs enormous U-turn on Higher Education Fees. Naughty Nick: he has at the very least put an ugly foot straight up his manifesto-pledged ar*s. I did one of my degrees at a “Russell Group University”, and they are already thinking about the tasty £9k financial caps. Two elections ago I voted for the “Libs.”, this was mainly due to their promise of improving education. There was an infinitesimal chance of them gaining power, but their only hope was through a Coalition government. They know they have lost the fundamental core of at the next election – with young talented people not turning up to vote or as I did, at the following general election spoiling my ballot paper. At this rate I will be doing exactly the same. I think the Tories are quite comfortably sitting in their bomb shelter playing with their plastic ships and tanks, whilst the “Libs” are going over the top of the trenches to try and draw back some of their credibility (If they have any left). It’s a long crawl on your belly through no-man’s land Nick…

Russell Group Universities (The Top Twenty Universities):

University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
Cambridge University
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Imperial College London
King’s College London
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
London School of Economics and Political science
University of Manchester
Newcastle University
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
Queens University Belfast
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University College London
University of Warwick

Basically, The Russell Group want's set up as an equivalent to the “Ivy League” in America.

But some of our guys have been quietly rubbing their greasy little hands in the UK for years now, certainly within the last 15 years.

12th Dec 2010, 12:50

Rex says:

Any news anyone? When will the students demo at the HSL offices!

16th Dec 2010, 12:06

spooky says:

I read the online Guardian everyday, and I think if there had been some major upheaval it would have been splashed across the front page, together with the recent student demonstrations.

17th Dec 2010, 13:15

Maxi says:

Just got a threat letter from Pennine (acting for HSL). They may take me to court, put me in the comfy chair, maybe even get out a soft cushion.

Are they just HSL? Anyone actually been taken to court, etc ect by Pennine?

Merry yule to y'all!

21st Dec 2010, 20:42

Tam says:

Just ignore Pennine Max. They are HSL; same Box number and selectapost.

21st Dec 2010, 23:38

Rex says:

Spooky, Munson: Any news witrh your Drysden travails and so on? They take you to court? Not come down your chimney and leave prezzies?

cheers mates

22nd Dec 2010, 13:05

spooky says:

Tam,
These 'companies' appear to be the same horse ridden by different jockeys. When I contacted the OFT they were very non-committal as to whether this practice was legal or not. They seem to be willing to turn a blind eye, anticipating this cancer will go away. I think they are hoping there are no organised demonstrations etc; the higher echelons at the top of the educational tree might otherwise find themselves falling from their glorious heights and dropping into dirty water, and sinking to the bottom a very murky pond with breeze blocks attached to the feet.

22nd Dec 2010, 15:30

spooky says:

Rex,
I know what I'd like to drop down their chimney - silly me, they have so many selectapost addresses I'm spoilt for choice; and I am not trudging up to Rotherham in this weather.

22nd Dec 2010, 15:33

Rex says:

Maybe HSL will leave you biccies and a bevvie! And then charge you a tenner admin fee for doing so!

22nd Dec 2010, 23:03

Munson says:

Had a letter from Drydens telling me again they are intending to get a CC judgement against me, I'll wait and see!

23rd Dec 2010, 08:06

spooky says:

Have a good Christmas break everyone, and don't forget - it's not really Christmas without the yuletide family row!

24th Dec 2010, 17:26

spooky says:

Apologies if you have already seen this on the net - may be of use to some:

Google - HSL 2011 Student Loans
I can't provide the exact link as I am an anonymous poster.

It should come up with a link to a consumer action group for "Student Loan Charges SLC HSL and Interest" as one of the links from a consumer action group.

It's not a bad site in general for finding out all kinds of info. I know it is an old post but it may be worth a gander.

1st Jan 2011, 13:43

ed says:

what is the deal on the loan being wiped out once you hit the age of 50?

2nd Jan 2011, 00:12

spooky says:

ed,
A friend of mine hit fifty and so she did not have to pay back her loan. I can't remember the exact circumstances, but I do recall she was working as a post doc. and also a single mum; so as that was factored into the equation, I don't know if she was paying her loan back or she had her payments deferred. I suspect the latter.

2nd Jan 2011, 13:41

Rex says:

So what is happening with Walker--Beadlsey or whatever they are called taking you/us all to court?

16th Jan 2011, 13:03

Rex says:

news spook and munson?

21st Jan 2011, 12:07

spooky says:

Apart from my Christmas card there's nothing to report Rex.

21st Jan 2011, 12:29

Rex says:

Anyone taken to court - Munson?

Are they following up on their threats or do we just keep binning the threatening letters?

cheers mates

27th Jan 2011, 12:33

spooky says:

They are empty threats designed to frighten the addressee.
HSL hope to exploit the vulnerable into reacting swiftly and gaining a prompt response by those who are unaware of their devious methods.

29th Jan 2011, 15:51

Les says:

What happended with Drydens Munson? Did they get you in the end or more BS?

30th Jan 2011, 17:01

Munson says:

Nothing since they told me they were taking me to court, as Spooky says they are empty threats to frighten you, until I get an offical court summons I'm not taking it seriously

1st Feb 2011, 07:17

spooky says:

Well, it might as well be written in Russian: .ru

10th Feb 2011, 18:28

Rex says:

Any more hsl news? Anyone taken to court? Sent to devils island? Put in the comfy chair and tortured with soft cushions? etc

18th Feb 2011, 12:18

spooky says:

Papillion escaped from Devil's island...took a bit longer to sort out the paperwork though.

26th Feb 2011, 00:39

spooky says:

Just out of interest - has anyone received any more letters from HSL and their blossoming charade of spurious subordinates?

15th Mar 2011, 18:09

spooky says:

This forum needs to continue as I think we aught to keep a vigil eye on the ball. Sometimes you get the "spin" response.

Beware of those who only give you half a story they are not telling a true idea of what will really happen. What is said in group inside the echelons of government design.

Sometimes you can gather more information simply by reading through the lines important to gather a list some of the questions. Sometimes when academics won't answer a question or provide the usual patter, you can get more information from them - but it must be subtle. Buy them a drink.

Exeter University was the first one to crack, I suppose this is where the changes begin (I am so releived that I went to uni when I did). Put quite simply I could have gone (£6000 - £9000).

15th Mar 2011, 19:26

spooky says:

The last comment comment I made should have read......"Put quite simply I could not have gone....".

15th Mar 2011, 19:28

Rex says:

Yep - another letter from HSL. They "may take further action" against me!

15th Mar 2011, 20:06

spooky says:

Gets a bit tedious after a while; I've just about given up with their paper wasting. They must be contributing to the destruction of a rainforest somewhere.

16th Mar 2011, 15:51

Rex says:

Anyone landed in court yet? Munson?

Keep up the fight friends. Don't let them beat us. They are just bloodsuckers.

16th Mar 2011, 23:20

spooky says:

It's a pity that there isn't some form of making people's voices heard or just a record of the numbers of people being screwed.

17th Mar 2011, 13:20

spooky says:

Has anyone heard anything along the jungle drums? It's all quiet at my end - no communication since christmas.

28th Mar 2011, 11:16

Rex says:

Just the usual we may, or we may not, but then again we might, or might not, from the stinkers.

Munson is likelty in the Scrubs or on Devils Island!

28th Mar 2011, 12:19

spooky says:

Munson,
Are you behind bars yet taking a holiday at her majesties pleasure?

10th Apr 2011, 13:13

spooky says:

Does anyone want a book concerning "Debt Collection Secrets"? It is by an American author but may offer some guidance on the legal adminitrsation in Britain.

If you wish to have copy (I have two - both are up for grabs) you are more than welcome to have one - I will pay the postage.

If you do not wish the authorities to find out your address, use a relations or friends address.



10th Apr 2011, 17:32

Rex says:

I've not heard from them since they sent a we may or may not huff and puff and blow your house (wish I had one mates!) down.

10th Apr 2011, 18:19

Rex says:

I've not heard from them since they sent a we may or may not huff and puff and blow your house (wish I had one mates!) down letter

10th Apr 2011, 18:19

Munson says:

No lads i'm still at liberty! They have left me alone for a while now

11th Apr 2011, 14:58

spooky says:

Please don't delete this email Mat it is a sincere message. If anyone wants a book on "Debt Collection Secrets", please let me know -I have two copies up for grabs. To save you providing the vultures finding out your address, use a friends or relatives address. I will pay the postage, and although it is written by an American author it may prove useful in providing insight into the British legal system.

12th Apr 2011, 17:06

Rex says:

Anyone know what HSL would have to do to get a county court judgment? Do they need your current address or any address you've lived at?

What else? Cheers mates!

14th Apr 2011, 01:09

spooky says:

They took 6.5 years before I got my first genial letter. I had lived at 12 different address and nothing has been done. Suffice to say, they seem to b*gger all.

14th Apr 2011, 12:28

Rex says:

How do they get a CCJ? Do they need to tell me at my new address (they know it) or will any addrss do?

cheers

14th Apr 2011, 21:09

spooky says:

I suspect once they know where you are they will hound you with their last breath.

15th Apr 2011, 10:36

spooky says:

Please don't delete the posts that people who require a little knowledge of how the legal system works. Some are genuinely frightend by the toxic letters they receive. Two people showed interest in the books I offered, and I am more than willing to post them. Every piece of information is a help.

17th Apr 2011, 12:27

spooky says:

From what I recall two people wanted the "Debt collection secrets" books - I can pop them in the post on Tuesday when I'm passing the post office; just give me a safe address i.e. not your own.

17th Apr 2011, 17:21

spooky says:

This is not a spam post! From what I recall two people wanted the "Debt collection secrets" books - I can pop them in the post on Tuesday when I'm passing the post office; just give me a safe address i.e. not your own.

17th Apr 2011, 17:22

Viv says:

The 'official' complaints procedure as per SLC's web-site halts at stage 2. MP's intervention is required just to get a reply.
Now preparing my complaint to Financial Ombudsman.
Also Spooky is it true that debt collection agencies only pursue for 3 months and then return to SLC?
This could explain why I've had 4 so far and 2 solicitors.

8th May 2011, 22:56

spooky says:

Viv,
Yes they usually disppear after 1 or 2 letters, or they might reappear much further down the line. At some point HSL will throw in their letter headed paper just to remind of you financial status; as if we don't already know.

Another thing is that quite often all the different 'companies' all share the same registration codes. So you may think that there are many chasing after you, but in fact, there may only be two or three cabals.

I wrote to my MP (Labour - Lynn Jones) and it took 7 months to get a reply, and it was pretty anaemic at best. Non-commital, flowery, sound-bytes. She had nothing to lose as she was stepping down to pursue other interests esp. work involved with psychiatrec illness, so why didn't she speak her mind? She is left-wing and holds to the true ethos of the labour party. She neither liked Blair or Brown so she had nothing to lose.

Am also preparing a letter of complaint to my FO. Viv, and whilst I'm there I will have to bring up the subject (which I have done many Times before) of a scam I might part of. A protection plan which I didn't sign for (Lloyds Bank)

10th May 2011, 13:51

spooky says:

Viv,
Yes they usually disppear after 1 or 2 letters, or they might reappear much further down the line. At some point HSL will throw in their letter headed paper just to remind of you financial status; as if we don't already know.

Another thing is that quite often all the different 'companies' all share the same registration codes. So you may think that there are many chasing after you, but in fact, there may only be two or three cabals.

I wrote to my MP (Labour - Lynn Jones) and it took 7 months to get a reply, and it was pretty anaemic at best. Non-commital, flowery, sound-bytes. She had nothing to lose as she was stepping down to pursue other interests esp. work involved with psychiatrec illness, so why didn't she speak her mind? She is left-wing and holds to the true ethos of the labour party. She neither liked Blair or Brown so she had nothing to lose.

Am also preparing a letter of complaint to my FO. Viv, and whilst I'm there I will have to bring up the subject (which I have done many Times before) of a scam I might part of. A protection plan which I didn't sign for (Lloyds Bank)

10th May 2011, 13:51

Rex says:

Have HSL dried up and blown away? Anyone been to court yet? Munson mate?

25th May 2011, 23:02

spooky says:

Nothing to report at my end Rex. A cynical comment though: With the imminent increase in student fees, the government may be a little too preoccupied with the income they are about to make from future students to worry about older "cases". It is unfair on students to be, but from the governments point of view it is quite lucrative (they must be rubbing their hands). Frankly I am appalled with their approach to education - it makes me feel sick. They’ve put past students under consierdable stress with their Machiavellian debt collection tactics, and they are about to put future students under an inordinate amount of pressure by trebling their fees. The system is seriously disturbing.

You still about Muns?

26th May 2011, 14:34

spooky says:

Just when I was beginning to think it’s been a while since HSL contacted me, I receive a letter from them today! Typical. It was only the usual crap though, nothing significant, not even an empty threat.

27th May 2011, 12:44

Rex says:

Be warned spook - they may or may not take you to court. Ignoring them may result in their deciding that they may take action

Yep - the usual BS from HSL. A plague on em' all I say mates!

27th May 2011, 23:12

spooky says:

Rex mate, to be honest I think if they were going to take legal action they would have done so by now; they have committed a criminal offense in not providing me with a copy of the original signed agreement between myself and the student loans company within 12 weeks of asking (I sent them a legally binding letter to request this info. back in 2007), and what they eventually sent 5 months later was not worth the paper it was photocopied on. They are required by law to send updates on a persons account, and that is all they are now doing in my case.

28th May 2011, 11:50

Rex says:

They sent poor old Munson off to devils island I think.

But, like Papillon, he'll escape I bet!

28th May 2011, 20:37

spooky says:

Aye, he's probably got a nice little pad in Venezuela.

29th May 2011, 13:02

Munson says:

Hello! Am still at large! I havent heard anything lately, so you know I'm bound to get a letter shortly then! They haven't threatened court action to my knowledge sorry I havent been on for a while

2nd Jun 2011, 07:52

spooky says:

Welcome back fellow sufferer. You do realise that by saying you haven’t had any contact with HSL means that a postcard is in the post! If it’s been around 6 months since you last heard from them, you can expect a letter. They must contact you at least twice a year to confirm the status of your loan. Them’s the rules apparently for all sharks!

2nd Jun 2011, 14:35

Rex says:

I guess they'll send me the usual fairly soon. As they lack the courtesy to answer the queries I've raised then they can whistle in the wind for any kind of reply.

4th Jun 2011, 21:40

Rex says:

Anyone know owt about CCI? They are the latest to email me on behalf of HSL. Suggestions?

10th Jun 2011, 19:39

spooky says:

Just another minion of their evergrowing entprize. If they do no supply a list of accumalted arrears and status within 12 weeks . They have committed a criminal offence. The us fly Jolly Roger!

14th Jun 2011, 16:25

Rex says:

". If they do no supply a list of accumalted arrears and status within 12 weeks . They have committed a criminal offence"

Please explain spook.

cheers mates

18th Jun 2011, 18:47

spooky says:

Strewth Rex it's been so long, but I'll try to dig out some stuf...

DEFAULT UNDER THE CONSUMER CREDIT ACT 1974
FAILURE TO PRODUCE AGREEMENT


Account No. **** **** **** ****

Basically you send them a letter with a £1 deposit which makes the letter legally binding (they will cash it, but as their outfit is such a shambles this works in peoples favour) – confirmation of a recorded delivery from the Post Office plus a statement from your bank. You make a formal request for a copy of the original agreement(s) including any interest or charges applied for the account number(s).

In my case the information requested was not provided. Under sections 77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) a statement of the accounts should have been sent along with any other documents mentioned in the CCA. You are (the creditor) reminded that you are obliged to supply these documents, whether you are the original crditor or not, as defined under Section 189 of the CCA 1974.

The CCA 1974 allows 12 working days (+2) for this request to be carried out before your company enters into a default situation. If the request is not satisfied after a further 30 calendar days, your company commits an offence (my time limit expired by a period of 5 months).

To the Creditor:
As you are aware, Section 78(6) of the CCA of the CCA states:
(a) You are not entitled, while the default continues, to enforce the agreement and
(b) If the default continues for one month you commit an offense.

Therefore as of ** August 2007 my account became unenforceable by law and no further payment will be made by myself to the above account as they have failed to comply with a request for a copy of the original credit agreement(s) and a failure to to provide a full breakdown of the account(s) including a statement of interests or charges applied under the relevant sections of the CCA, and they also failed to show the credit payments I made.

That is why Ladies and Gentlmen, they can but send the occasional silly letters; and after 6 years in England and 5 years in Scotland, they can do nowt about it.

I am well into my 4th year now.

20th Jun 2011, 17:17

spooky says:

I do hope people don't lose heart at reading any of the above and think they've "missed" their opportunity to start the clock ticking; it may be true that the official wait is longer for some than others, but don’t give up hope. I felt the same thing four years ago: “six years of waiting and I don’t know what lays ahead of me at the hands of these unscrupulous individuals – what do I do?”.

I simply stumbled across information from various sources I didn't even know existed at the time and started to discover who exactly HSL (in their assortment of guises) were and all about their tactics, and posted any information I found onto this blog.

If only I knew then what I know now, I would never have responded to that initial postcard threatening me with a visit from “One of our representatives within the next three days if you do not contact us” (I paraphrase), I would have laughed.

Doesn’t their shambolic display tell you something?
Don’t give up…


21st Jun 2011, 19:21

Mr.Karl Craig(karlcraig23-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

Good Day,
I am Mr.Karl Craig, a Private Loan Lender and a co-operate
financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also
offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at low interest
rate , loan terms determinant, Loan amount between the sum of
$2,000.00 (Two Thousand Dollars)to $1,000,000.00 (One Million) US
Dollars. Loan for developing businesses a competitive edge/ business
expansion.
E-mail address: karlcraig23@yahoo.com
We Offer the Following Kinds of Loans
* Personal Loans (Secure and Unsecured)
* Business Loans (Secure and Unsecured)
* Consolidation Loan (Secure and Unsecured)
-Low Down or Zero Money Financing Program Available
Application For loan
First Name:
Last Name:
Date Of Birth:
Marital Status:
Address:
Sex:
Phone No:
City:
Zip Code:
State:
Country:
Nationality:
Occupation:
Monthly Income:
Amount Needed:
Duration:
Purpose of the loan:
E-mail address:

23rd Jun 2011, 09:20

Ben says:

Anyone know if the following is the right email for CCI Legal?

accounts@ccilegal.co.uk

Reason I ask is every time I try to mail them I get 'there is a problem with the address' from my email.

25th Jun 2011, 07:11

spooky says:

'Tis the right one Ben. If it doesn't work then it's a problem a their end. I ignored them completely. The only 'company' I recognised was HSL, and they've blown their chances.

26th Jun 2011, 16:47

Ben says:

Are CCI for real or just another HSL clone like Clarity and the others idiots who mail me.

27th Jun 2011, 18:51

spooky says:

I think they are for real; the only difference on the surface at least, is that they don''t share their registration numbers with HSL or any of its crop. The HSL bunch tend to use the same reg. numbers (if they bother to use them at all!). CCI sent me two letters about two years ago and I haven't heard from them since.

28th Jun 2011, 13:46

mac keyloggers(ghost50-at-aol-dot-com) says:

I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are not right. Write to

me in PM.

11th Jul 2011, 21:26

Keyloggers download(ghost48-at-aol-dot-com) says:

I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are mistaken. Let's

discuss. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

12th Jul 2011, 10:27

spooky says:

No need for apologies Keyloggers - all opinions welcome; in fact the more the better. Within the black lagoon lies more than one monster (HSL).

12th Jul 2011, 12:00

Kimmy Chen says:

Greetings,

CCI legal are threatening me with their overseas agents (I live outside the UK). Ideas?

14th Jul 2011, 23:52

Online outlet store(ghddost6150-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

I consider, that you are not right. I am

assured. Let's discuss it. Write to me in PM.

16th Jul 2011, 07:29

spooky says:

Kimmy,
I've had two letters from them and it came to nothing - I simply ignored them and I've heard nothning since. Whoever they are, it seems they are impotent in the UK, so I have serious doubts that they are capable of doing anything overseas.

16th Jul 2011, 08:54

Kimmy says:

On the advice of legal advice here I have asked them to send me a copy of the original credit agreement but they refuse to send it. I am not sure what to do next. Best wishes to you all

17th Jul 2011, 00:41

spooky says:

Kimmy,
If they refuse then you've got nothing to worry about. If they had your money (which I very much doubt) they'd have to produce a copy of the original signed agreement; that is the law in this country. For them to withold that information yet continue with demands is illegal.

17th Jul 2011, 15:57

Benny says:

On the basis of my own limited dealings with CCI Legal they are all bark and no bite. I agree with Spooky. Just ignore their empty threats. Maybe even look into initiating legal action against them for ignoring legally-binding requests.

19th Jul 2011, 17:14

replica Uhren(dfsdfsdd-at-sdfdsf-dot-com) says:

The important and duly answer

22nd Jul 2011, 17:24

Ed says:

Anyone hear any more from Clarity etc? Did they lock Munson up?

25th Jul 2011, 20:08

spooky says:

He's banged up on Desert island having a a laugh driking Ponche Crema and Chinotto and Chicha.

25th Jul 2011, 20:57

Ed says:

Has anyone ever heard of Clarity, HSL, CCI, al the other fill-in-the blanks minions, etc ,etc actually taking anyone to court?

25th Jul 2011, 21:44

spooky says:

They feature earlier in the blog I know it's a drag but trace it back.

27th Jul 2011, 16:22

Bill(bill44-at-aol-dot-com) says:

28th Jul 2011, 20:53

Kimmy says:

HSL reply to my queries but CCI never reply. Suggestions?

29th Jul 2011, 17:12

spooky says:

HSL hold the keys to the locks of many prison doors behind which lie various imposters such as CCI - don't expect a reply; in the fact the more you write to them (HSL or their gang) the tighter the grip they have on you. For every time you contact them you start to clock starts ticking which gives them six years (5 years in Scotland)to chase you. Don't acknowledge them.

29th Jul 2011, 17:48

Kimmy says:

If I try the send a pound-send me the agreement route should I do this to the SLC, CCI, other collectors, or all of them?

30th Jul 2011, 00:50

spooky says:

Don't bother Kimmy - I can't state it any clearer.

31st Jul 2011, 14:41

Kimmy says:

My thinking was then they'd not send and commit an offence and not be able to enforce.

The clock would start again but there is only a week or so on it. Thoughts Spooky?

Best wishes

31st Jul 2011, 22:23

spook says:

The clock started as soon as you contacted then.

1st Aug 2011, 17:31

J says:

Hey, what can anyone tell me about Henry Higgins and Guy Richard who claim to work for CCI?

2nd Aug 2011, 19:37

Ed says:

Ignore CCI mate. They are all bark (well, letter) and no bite.

Nowt they can do other than send you letters

5th Aug 2011, 22:05

rex says:

latest on HSL?

11th Aug 2011, 23:10

spooky says:

Not a dickybird at my end.

12th Aug 2011, 13:50

Benny says:

Here's an interesting snippet. CCI Legal claim to be in business for 20 years (check their website). The parent company - based at Stanhope House in the Wirral (google them guys) says:

Legal Information
Company Registration No.: 04358908
Incorporation Date: 23 Jan 02


2002 ain't 20 years ago is it now?

Thoughts on that gem?

16th Aug 2011, 00:35

spooky says:

Sums is bout as bad as English; that'll learne ya!

18th Aug 2011, 12:33

Benny says:

Not sure I get yer drift spook? am i missing somethink

18th Aug 2011, 18:09

spooky says:

A brian cell or too.

21st Aug 2011, 13:35

Benny says:

No need for rudeness. What am i missing?

2002 to now is 9 years - not 20.

21st Aug 2011, 19:05

Rex says:

News from the wonderful world of HSL, Clarity, Fieldcall, CCI and SLC?

You in the pokey yet Munson and Spooky?

24th Aug 2011, 00:51

spooky says:

spooky in the pokey - now there's a thought. Hey, I wonder if they have internet access?! Maybe Munson is having a holiday at her majesty's pleasure - been quiet for a while.

No news from our mutual friends.

24th Aug 2011, 14:50

spooky says:

As you probably already know (it is still worth a read):

(usual prefix) lrb.co.uk/v33/n16/stefan-collini/from-robbins-to-mckinsey

24th Aug 2011, 16:40

John says:

Quick question. If I ask the company (be it HSL or SLC or Clarity) for a statement, when should the start date be? From the date I supposedly signed the credit agreement or?

Thanks in advance. Keep up the good fight everyone!

26th Aug 2011, 20:01

Bernie Baum-Baum says:

Hi

Just found this forum when searching for CCI. Anyone know what happens when CCI give up and say it is all back in the hands of HSL?

Pee and poop on them all I say.

In response to question above. The start mate. Always the start.

26th Aug 2011, 20:11

spooky says:

John,
As Bernie rightly says: "The start mate".

Bernie,
As for the cabal HSL Clarity etc - they are all in it together. One for all and all for one.

27th Aug 2011, 11:12

Munson says:

I have not been banged up! Have had two letters from HSL threatening they may take legal action now considering that last year they were saying they were taking a CCJ out against me and nothing materialised I would conclude they are full of shite and just trying to scare ppl. Unless you receive a letter clearly stating they are starting legal proceedings against you, my advice would be to use their letters as toilet paper

ps Hi Spooks have you missed me?!

3rd Sep 2011, 11:23

spooky says:

I thought you might been shackled to a sea wall at high tide and left to the mercy of the sea monsters.

3rd Sep 2011, 17:05

Munson says:

No my friend its been the bain of work that has been keeping me off line!

4th Sep 2011, 08:06

spooky says:

Well, welcome back.

4th Sep 2011, 08:17

spooky says:

How long have you fellow sufferers been under the cosh? I thought about it yesterday, and I couldn't believe I've served five years in the trenches. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

8th Sep 2011, 10:14

spooky says:

"Have you recently become employed? Have you experienced a redution in your earnings?

If you answered 'YES' to the above then you may able to defer your month for 12 twelve months.

If your gross income* monthly falls below the current deferment threshold of £2311.00 per calendar month you may may be able to defer you loan(S) for 12 months.

To find out why more telephone us today on 0844 8267836

Or email us us on
custmerservice@honoursstuents.co.uk

For more information information on defermentvisit: www.honoursstudentloans.co.uk

*Gross income is calculatedbefore any deduction (for example, income Tax or National Insurance)

If your application to is accepted any arears thet are older than three months will remain outstanding and will require you to contact us to contract us to to esestablish repayment plan."


Aw, bless their little cotton socks the're trying to be sweet...

14th Sep 2011, 16:59

spooky says:

Anyone else heard anything or is it all quiet on the western front?

I think the current freshers are going through their honeymoon period at the moment. The reality will probably kick-in before the end of the year if not sooner, poor buggers.

29th Sep 2011, 14:27

Rex says:

Not heard a dicky-bird mate from HSL or any of the clones

long may it stay that way!

29th Sep 2011, 21:24

spooky says:

Sadly, something tells me it won't.

30th Sep 2011, 13:24

DeeMica(rosamondii-at-aol-dot-com) says:

The query is: how are you going to do. You will need to to get a niche marketplace that you are eager to advertise their products.

4th Oct 2011, 19:13

spooky says:

Please forgive my ignorance, DeeMica, but I don't really understand exactly what you mean.

5th Oct 2011, 17:48

Ed says:

Latest on HSL, CCI etc ?

16th Oct 2011, 15:59

spooky says:

I've had my 6 month "report" so probably will not here from them for a while.

17th Oct 2011, 13:14

Ed says:

I guess mine is on its way. Lets hope they leave us all alone for a decade or more!

How are other folks doing? Munson in the clink yet? Others?

17th Oct 2011, 20:42

spooky says:

Don't know about Munson - been quiet for a while; I guess the lock-up that Muns is in doesn't have internet access. Rex is still about though.

19th Oct 2011, 15:36

Munson says:

I quite like the fact that you lot think I've been banged up the slammer! Pun intended :-). Am still at large, had nothing so that means will get a letter pronto. As been stated before they are all bark and no bite, so don't give up the fight!

21st Oct 2011, 11:04

spooky says:

So, you do have internet access. What about daylight?

21st Oct 2011, 17:21

Munson says:

That's a sore point mate I'm being hounded by the Daylight Student Loans company ;)

28th Oct 2011, 08:31

spooky says:

Take off your cyclops glasses and cook 'em!

30th Oct 2011, 13:45

Munson says:

I need the glasses mate to read the constant letters, talking of which has anybody had any seasons greetings from our friends in the north? I'm bracing myself for mine!

Keep up the fight lads

18th Nov 2011, 09:05

spooky says:

I had a letter a couple of weeks ago; don't know if I'm still on the Christmas card list. I must be nearing 50 or so letters by now (I stopped counting after 43) and endangering the habitat of some orangutans. Maybe I should say THEY (HSL et al.) are threating the rainforest. Incredible stuff.

18th Nov 2011, 14:52

spooky says:

Had another harmless letter folks - that's another baby orangutan without a home. I think all these paper wasters and tree fellers should take a trip to Borneo and see first hand what they are doing to the environment.

6th Dec 2011, 07:04

Munson says:

Ditto Mr S they really do get through some paper don't they? On the plus side cuts down on buying bog roll this end, if you pardon the pun !

8th Dec 2011, 07:53

spooky says:

Might be a bit rough though! However, I do share your sentiments.

8th Dec 2011, 10:19

spooky says:

Have a good holiday everyone and see you in the new year, providing the heavies don't come round to beat you up first!

22nd Dec 2011, 17:15

Munson says:

Yes mate festive greetings to you all, look forward to more pestering from those idiots next year!

23rd Dec 2011, 07:59

spooky says:

Anyone heard anything? I received another letter which arrived the day before christmas eve. How nice? I'll have to check soon to see how long they have been writing to me - it is a good few years now.

28th Jan 2012, 09:28

Ed says:

I bin whatever they send me these days mates. More junk mail I says.

31st Jan 2012, 21:33

kate says:

I am so sick of HSL, was trying to find out more about it and have now discovered that I am not the only person who is being harassed by them!

I have also received tens of phone calls every day, millions of letters, postcards saying they have visited my house, charges as they say they havent received deferment forms (which i have sent!!)

I have now noticed that this month HSL have listed my account as defaulted on experian credit file.

They own a 97 and 98 student loan apparently but I dont know how they can get away with what they are doing. I called SLC to see if i could deal with them but was told that HSL have different T and C's which they could not discuss- I dont recal ever being told about all these different T and C's. I have all the original documentation from 97 and in particular find the SLC customer service policy very funny. They state the service which they will provide e.g. We will do the following " approve applications for deferment quickly and efficiently".

I did not agree to deal with HSL and they are certainly not keeping to all the terms and conditions for which I did sign for.

Am I stuck with this headache forever?? Thye do not receive or "lose" everything that is sent to them.

Now that I am older I also dont think it is right that 17 year olds can sign aggreement which they do not fully understand which cause grief for years!!!!

What does anyone know about HSL??

8th Feb 2012, 19:46

Munson says:

Fully agree with you Kate, keep checking back here it is a very useful blog, I haven't heard from then since Nov 2011, que letter!

17th Feb 2012, 09:00

spooky says:

Sadly Kate, I think HSL have got enough fuel in the tank to keep going longer than any of us would like. I think their bloodlust is frightening sufficient numbers to allow them from being forced back down the black hole from whence they came. I agree with you concerning the need for full and proper advice for anyone thinking of entering higher education - as soon as the honeymoon period of starting a course disappears, the harsh reality might just begin to hit home.

19th Feb 2012, 12:20

zig says:

Keep ignoring them and they might just give up. Right?

I prefer making them go dow the spend a quid to get 50p route

20th Feb 2012, 19:29

spooky says:

Another surreptitious scam planned at fiddling a little bit of money from unsuspecting innocents is money that your bank may be cheating you of - a fee for ‘protection’, or a ‘privacy scheme’. I have been trying to stop my bank (represented by a horse), to stop relieving me of £6.99 per month. This had been going on for a number of years and I was helpless to do anything about it as every time I asked them to cancel it, they said it was beyond their power as I set the whole thing up - even after I’d written to head office. It finally stopped when I saw eventually, a helpful manager in December 2011 (at yet another branch) that ended the scheme there and then at the push of a button, something that all the previous managers could and should have done after my many requests.

Now, I have the laborious task of writing to Head Office in order for them to produce a document with my signature on it to substantiate their claim that it was indeed I that set the whole thing up. I can’t wait to see what they have to show for that one! It has to be the original or copy of the original signed agreement.

Heed the warning: it may be people closer to home that are robbing you straight from under your nose. I kick myself for being so trusting, particularly when all in authority are singing from the same hymn-sheet. Check your statements carefully and if in doubt ask the powers that be for the paperwork. They must produce it by Law!!

23rd Feb 2012, 08:52

Rick says:

My tuppence worth: The more of us ignore HSL and their minions letters, query, challenge, repeatedly ask for paperwork, original docs, credit agreements, etc etc the better.

The more work and expense we create for them the more quicker they'll get the message and find its not worth the hassle of threatening us etc

23rd Feb 2012, 16:41

spooky says:

What do you all think about the "voluntary" work schemes for young people that they will be, ahem, "offered", following graduation should they not have found a job? Don't all shout at once...!

29th Feb 2012, 12:41

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6th Mar 2012, 11:01

alfred beilin(alfiebeilin-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

afternoon everyone im looking for mitch shiverton is he still posting here
alfred beilin

8th Mar 2012, 02:43

spooky says:

"Deaf Lib Liner", "Convert Him Shit", do you mean?

8th Mar 2012, 12:52

Dex says:

Keep fighting HSL peeps. Never give in to their bullying and lies.

8th Mar 2012, 15:59

Johnny Cashless says:

Any of you afflicted by the outrageous overseas thresholds for student loans?

Thresholds outside of Europe are almost always way below threshold for UK, even though the cost of living is as much or more than the UK in some places(gulf states,North East Asia, for example).

Also, unlike in the UK where if you earn under £15,000 in a tax year, you don't have to pay the SLC anything and are entitled to a refund if you do, if you work abroad you are not entitled to any refund on your earnings-even, it seems, if you earn much less than the threshold for that country.

If you went to Kuwait (one of most expensive places to live in the world) worked for 4 months, earnt £9, 0000, returned to UK and then were unemployed for the rest of tax year, you'd have
to pay the SLC £540 even though this is under the threshold for UK AND Kuwait.
How is this fair?

Are people following me?

Another annoying thing is that you are counted as resident in the UK for tax purposes if you are not out of the country for at least six months, but counted as non-resident by the SLC if you are out of the country for more than three months and thus may be liable to pay UK taxes yet have money deducted from you by the at overseas rate .

You could be living abroad and living off a paltry salary by local standards (by any standards actually) and still have 41% of your pay deducted (i.e. 20% income tax, 12% nat insurance and 9% to student loans).

The overseas thresholds would be a little fairer is they applied to non-UK tax payers only, but as things stand at the moment they don't.

When I contacted the SLC about the unfairness of this I just got a 'rules is rules' response, but how can it be fair that people working abroad should be discriminated against in this way? Can't see any justification for it. Strikes me that the SLC are using the overseas thresholds as a sneaky way to squeeze more money out of us. Who, when they are signing up for a student loan, thinks to look at the overseas thresholds (who would even know they were going to be working abroad)? Why should the terms and conditions be different for those working abroad (especially if they are paying taxes back in the UK).

The problem is, I think, that this doesn't affect enough people so nothing is said or done. (How many of you have worked in Kuwait, for example?)

I've been screwed over twice (that's how I see it anyway). Did two lots of four months stints in Kuwait. Didn't earn that much by UK standards (earnt under the threshold for the UK in the years I did those stints), but still am now being stung for lots of dosh.

Really nothing one can do, because unfair as the system is, these are the rules of the system. And rules is rules.

Yours,
Johnny

10th Mar 2012, 11:26

Eddie says:

"Really nothing one can do, because unfair as the system is, these are the rules of the system. And rules is rules"

And rules is meant to be broken! So lets start giving SLC & HSL & all the rest the mega-mega run-round. Keep asking them for ever more detailed explanations, etc. They are legally obliged to comply right spook?

10th Mar 2012, 13:17

spooky says:

I'm glad I'm living in the UK and not in Kuwait - getting screwed once is bad enough, but using me as a cash cow is simply disgraceful. Universities use overseas student as cash cows with absolute impunity. I am glad I am not living in Greece or Portugal right now - they are seriously struggling with their GDP.

I know these figures are out of date but:
China 8.7%
India 5.7%
Indonesia 5.6%
Australia 1.4%
South Korea 0.2%

11th Mar 2012, 10:23

spooky says:

On the down side:

Brazil -0.2%
France -2.3%
USA -2.3%
Canada -2.6%
EU -4.0%
Turkey -4.7%
UK - 5.0%
Germany - 5.0%
Italy - 5.0%
Japan - 5.2%
Mexico - 6.5%
Russia - 7.8%

I wonder what the GDP is on the moon.

16th Mar 2012, 10:20

Anonymous says:

I wrote to the student loans company as I had a few failed uni starts when in abusive relationship.a uni took me to court but wouldn't give me the date. Then student loan company transferred my account to collections for the whole ammount. Even though id spoken to the slc before and they said they would add the amount to my loan to be paid off when I earn money. I am sick not gonna be earning. I ask them why t

24th Mar 2012, 21:50

angelgirl says:

I wrote to the student loans company as I had a few failed uni starts when in abusive relationship.a uni took me to court but wouldn't give me the date. Then student loan company transferred my account to collections for the whole ammount. Even though id spoken to the slc before and they said they would add the amount to my loan to be paid off when I earn money. I am sick not gonna be earning. I ask them why they say I don't know but call collections

24th Mar 2012, 21:51

spooky says:

Firstly, I am sorry to hear things didn't work well in your previous relationship. Secondly, you're the first person that I've heard of that has actually been taken to court by a university or SLC/HSL (a court date can take a while to come through). However, a demand for returning the whole amount is not unheard of. The rigmarole of asking for a copy or original signed agreement with the Student Loans people (probably HSL) can be the first step of many in settling the argument. They have to by law produce this information within twelve weeks of asking. They will probably take months, if they produce it at all, but the onus is definitely on them not you; this is true for all creditors). If you do decide to write to them send a one pound cheque (keep the stub to prove the date) along with you request (this makes everything legal), and send it by registered post. Even though they use a PO Box to collect their mail, that's their problem.

4th Apr 2012, 14:02

Les says:

I agree with spook - ask for a copy of the original signed credit agreement. Their paperwork is a total shambles. Also visit your local CAB for input. Folk are glad to rally round to fight these debt-chasing parasites like SLC and HSL.

4th Apr 2012, 22:14

spooky says:

Paul - I don't give out my details (email address). If you're unsure of anything type "spooky" - I knnow it's laborious task, but I think all the information is there.

17th Apr 2012, 09:29

Les says:

So what is the latest on the struggle versus HSL and similar peeps?

Long live us and down with them!

29th May 2012, 22:44

spooky says:

Funny you should ask Les, I was thinking about this just yesterday - my recent audit confirms 45 letters in to date, and something tells me this will not be the end of it. I was hoping I'd reached the big 5-0 then I could have had some sort of perverse celebration.

31st May 2012, 14:15

Les says:

Keep on fighting the stinkers spook. If we all give the big V-sign (knuckes facing front) there is nowt the swine can do!

31st May 2012, 22:54

Ally says:

Any news on HSL enforcement techniques or are they giving up? Maybe they have bigger fish to fry like Greece's upcoming default on all its debt!

17th Jun 2012, 15:36

spooky says:

No baseball bats yet, but I am expecting the Spanish inquisition! Their chief weapon is: "surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise....".

"Cardinal Fang! Fetch...THE COMFY CHAIR!"

Agh!

19th Jun 2012, 15:47

Ally says:

HSL just may send you a letter to say that they may send you a letter to say they may send you a letter that may threaten you with a letter than may threaten your being threatened with a threatening letter about the threat of being stuck in a comfy chair! And if they really want to mess with you they'll get a soft cushion!

cheers mates

21st Jun 2012, 00:15

spooky says:

Personally, I hope they don't use the "cup of tea with custard cream" treatment - I'm afraid I might just have to give in.

21st Jun 2012, 11:56

spooky says:

I was hoping to reach my half-centuary, but by this time next June (2013), I'm only going to make it to 45/46 letters. Still, I could play for England going on previous experience.

9th Jul 2012, 15:15

thestudent says:

Hi everyone,

this blog scares me tbh and makes me regret I ever came to contact with "the company".
I have a question, probably it will be off topic but I couldn't find a better place to post this (and sorry but didn't have time to scroll through the whole page, but still read as much as I could - it's 01:24am at the moment).

Long story short - came to England (from EU) in 2007 and started a course. Repeated the first year in 2008/2009 but dropped out afterwards (left as I found out it wasn't the course for me).
Was working 2009/10 (in UK).
Started entirely new course in 2010/11 but at the same uni. Difficult course and am repeating the first year 2011/12 with much better results and enjoying the course.
I got a tuition fee loan for 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.
In 2010/2011 I couldn't take a tuition fee loan as I have used up the first year and repeat year for the 4 years available. So I took a maintenance loan to pay for my fees. This year I was expecting to pick up my "repeat year maintenance loan" which I did get. I wanted to pay this years tuition again from the maintenance loan.
However - I got two letters in a row, about 3 days apart, that I am getting the tuition fee loan as well. I found this weird as I know about the 4 year limit (3 years+ repeat year).
So I decided to call them and double check - I have told them my understanding of the tuition fee loans and I said that I feel this is not in accordance with the rules I have been told earlier. The student advisor said, that since I started my first course before 2009, thus becoming their customer before 2009, I am a "pre-2009 cohort" (that's the word she used) and that means different rules apply for me (she didn't explain how and what exactly).
Following that our conversation went (almost exactly) like this -
Me: So even though it's over the 4 year limit, I am eligible for both tuition fees and maintenance loan because I am a pre-2009 cohort?
Advisor: Yes.
Me: So I can use the maintenance loan for my living expenses and the tuition fees will be paid in full by SFE?
Advisor: Yes, that's exactly what it means, don't worry, your tuition fees are sorted.

So of course, I got on with my life, and was happy about the situation as a maintenance loan does help a lot with rent if you have no job and income at all.

Come end of April - got a letter that actually they will not pay my tuition fee loans. (but still yes for the maintenance loan).

This put me in a bit of a vicious circle - I have no job, income or anything, I am mostly dependent on the student loans. I was hoping of paying half now (still have some money left from the maintenance loan) and other half from next years loan. However my uni account got blocked, can't even pick up my results, and don't even know if I have passed or what. They said I can't get through to next year if I don't pay the tuition fees in full prior to the beginning of next academic year.
If I can't pass, I am not going to get a tuition fee and maintenance loan next year (2012/13) as "promised" by the SFE.

Now it basically looks like I can pack my bags, go home, and flush 5 years in England and all the uni and everything down the toilet.

There are some very smart people on this page - can I ask for any advice?
Do I have a ground to stand on? And most importantly - should I try and pursue anything in this matter? After reading about HLC for the first time ever here on this page, I am worried they may pass my details to them as well? I really don't need that kind of hell in my life right now.

Really sorry if I posted this in the wrong place but didn't find anyone with the same problem after hours of google.
Also, sorry for any mistakes, still learning English every day:)

12th Jul 2012, 02:07

thestudent says:

also respect to all of you for keeping this page alive and kicking! :)

12th Jul 2012, 02:12

thestudent says:

just came back briefly to double check if my post did go through, and just realized that in my first post I used HLC instead of HSL for the honour student loans, sorry about that!

12th Jul 2012, 02:37

spooky says:

Thankfully, in my time we were funded by our Local Education Authority (LEA). Margaret Thatcher froze the amount we received from 1990 onwards - this was the prerequisite to the introduction of the Student Loans Company (SLC) which the government sold out to (Honours Student Loans a.k.a The Titanic). HSL tries to deal with the mortgage style loans; theatening letters, etc. During my time at univerity you were allowed to repeat a single year with funding by your LEA whether you passed or failed a years study, or the subject was simply not for you. I must confess I don't know how it works now, other than it is a complete shambles. The only thing I know is that HSL rely heavily on scare tactics to make people panic. Sadly it works in a lot of cases. Sorry I can't answer your question.

12th Jul 2012, 12:48

thestudent says:

Hi Spooky,

thanks for your reply, will try the CAB today and see what I can do. Nice work with this page!!!:)

12th Jul 2012, 13:26

thestudent says:

Hi,

so I spoke to CAB and am waiting for an education advisor to call me back.
I also spoke to SFE today and was advised for the first time in many calls that I should write a complaint.
The e-mail address I was given ends with @slc.co.uk, which makes me hope it's still full on SLC and not HSL dealing with complaints at this level.
I feel I should write a complaint but will have a think about it - now that I know that there is something like HSL in the background I feel even more like I am playing with fire. Can't afford to burn myself at this time.
I have bookmarked this page, I will post any future developments in my case if that's alright, in case someone with a similar fate stumbles upon this great page.

12th Jul 2012, 18:07

spooky says:

Basically you send them a letter with a £1 deposit (cheque) which makes the letter legally binding (they will cash it, but as their outfit is such a shambles this works in peoples favour) – confirmation of a recorded delivery from the Post Office. You make a formal request for a copy of the original agreement(s) including any interest or charges applied for the account number(s) and bearing your signature.

In my case the information requested was not provided. Under sections 77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) a statement of the accounts should have been sent along with any other documents mentioned in the CCA. You are (the creditor), reminded that you are obliged to supply these documents, whether you are the original crditor or not, as defined under Section 189 of the CCA 1974.

The CCA 1974 allows 12 working days (+2) for this request to be carried out before your company enters into a default situation. If the request is not satisfied after a further 30 calendar days, your company commits an offence (my time limit expired by a period of 5 months).

To the Creditor:
As you are aware, Section 78(6) of the CCA states:
(a) You are not entitled, while the default continues, to enforce the agreement and
(b) If the default continues for one month you commit an offense.

Therefore as of ** August 2007 my account became unenforceable by law and no further payment will be made by myself to the above account as they have failed to comply with a request for a copy of the original credit agreement(s) and a failure to to provide a full breakdown of the account(s) including a statement of interests or charges applied under the relevant sections of the CCA, and they also failed to show the credit payments I made.

That is why Ladies and Germs, they can but send the occasional stropy letters; and after 6 years in England and 5 years in Scotland, they can do nowt about it.

I am now into my 5th year.
Sorry to repeat an earlier post, but I hope it's of some use.

13th Jul 2012, 09:28

spooky says:

The problem is you may encounter numerous requests for your original credit agreement: “you will receive “public execution” forms - ignore them. Any deference you have sent in the post some months ago. Those forms, are warning shots across the bow they will often defy ever having received them i.e. they seem to get lost in the post's in left hand and the right hand doesn't what it's doing. They are extremely good at mixing things up. If you intend to write to SLC and not HSL. They are not very good with handling their deferrals But yet again this works on your side. But again that is their responsibility.

Little Tip: Read all the information if HSL say “maybe your actions” instead of “ this will result”, this is a pretty good sign that does not have the organising ability of my 8 year old nephew.

Also, very seldom is there is a signature on the demanding letter, which basically means no-one what's to put their name to this shoddy matter.

14th Jul 2012, 07:00

melonybereford(melonybereford-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

hi there tommy if you are still in need of them here is the web address
and some info , there very helpfull ,say myself-melony put you on

30th Jul 2012, 16:16

spooky says:

Hi Melony,
Be mindful of other companies offering you a bailout: Mr Karl Craig (he mentions himself above – nothing personal mate; but there is a reason that companies like yourself offer loans to the inexperienced - it is a lucrative business – and is why they often get banned from this blog). Mel, it seems you may well end up decorating your underwear once you discover what they are really all about. Think of all the ads on TV at the moment, offering loans to people who are a bit tight at the end of the month (can't wait 'til payday)...Better the devil you know I say, no matter how incompetent!

31st Jul 2012, 22:16

spooky says:

PO Box® Collect 6 Months £105.00 (excluding VAT)
1 year £185.00 (excluding VAT)

PO Box® Delivery
Choose to have mail delivered from your PO Box® to the address on your application
Duration Prices (payment must include VAT)

PO Box® Delivery 6 months £125.00 (excl. VAT)
1 year £230.00 (excl. VAT)

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Choose to have mail transferred from a street address into your PO Box® and you can also request that all mail in the name of the PO Box® holder to be held in the PO Box® for collection
Duration Prices (payment must include VAT)
PO Box® Transfer of Normal Address Mail 6 months £150.00 (excl. VAT)
1 year £275.00 (excl. VAT)

PO Locked box -(renewals only)
Duration Prices (payment must include VAT)

PO Locked Box 6 months £160.00 (excl. VAT)
1 year £255.00 (excl. VAT)


"...should be associated with the heart, that being the presumed seat of the emotions for most people."

So that's where all of our £1.00 legally letter binding cheques go to - they have to pay for their PO Box addresses.

4th Aug 2012, 16:12

alvin says:

my tuppence - the more we all resist HSL and give em' the runaround the more chaotic their paperwork will become and the more chaotic is becomes the less likely they are to get their day in court. Keep wasting their time peeps

17th Aug 2012, 23:32

spooky says:

Alvin,
I think they are doing a pretty good job of messing things up on their on - without doubt, that's something they excel at.

I think I'm due another letter at the end of summer and I don't think it'll contain a free ticket to the Azores.

23rd Aug 2012, 12:51

alvin says:

just got 2 letters - they may take legal action

25th Aug 2012, 21:55

alvin says:

any news from munson? is he in pokey yet?

25th Aug 2012, 21:56

bilby says:

folk around or all locked up by SLC etc?

1st Sep 2012, 20:17

spooky says:

I've not been thrown in the hole yet. Nothing to report, but I'm pretty sure I'm not far off receiving my quarterly statement.

3rd Sep 2012, 15:50

Bill says:

They sent me the usual: Legal action if I don't reply in X days. Of course, the letter arrives way more than X days after the date on the letter. Hollow threats or should I be worried?

9th Sep 2012, 17:03

spooky says:

As you say, if it's the usual letter Bill, there's nothing to worry about. These things are usually specious.

11th Sep 2012, 13:54

spooky says:

I received my christmas card early this year - yesterday. Same old rubbish.

13th Sep 2012, 15:43

Eddie says:

Any word from Munson or others? It looks like HSL and all the rest have dried up and blown away!

29th Sep 2012, 23:53

Zac says:

Has anyone on here ever heard of HSL or any SLC or any of their minions actualy ever taking legal action against someone?

30th Sep 2012, 20:43

spooky says:

I don't know of anyone personally, and have not seen anything in the media Zac, but I seem to remember someone saying on this thread (apologies - cannot remember who) that they had taken HSL to court!

1st Oct 2012, 13:52

Zac says:

Has everyone vanished? Munson etc? Eddie? What is latest on HSL, SLC, Clarity, Pennine, etc

24th Oct 2012, 20:20

spooky says:

Found this on another site, but it is dated 2008:

"For loans before September 1998, the loan is a simple contract so will be statute barred after 6 years. From September 1998, they become statute barred after 12 years as they are classed as a contract under seal.

The fact that you have made payment does not restart the clock on the statute barred debt, but you will probably need to make it clear that you know that the debts are statute barred and will not be making any further payment towards the debt. Not sure when you agreed the 1998 loan so this is he only part you may need to worry about. If you do need to pay this, make sure you write stating that your are paying money for this specific debt so that the payment is not applied to one of the earlier statute barred debts.

I would send the statute barred letter to them and wait for their response as to whether the 1998 debt requires payment or not. Even after their reply i would be seeking proof of this agreement so i could see the month and date of the agreement they are wanting payment for." [sic]

I have been told in the past that if you contacted them (HSL) to discuss the (your) debt, your acknowledgement restarts the clock at zero (the SLC loans prior to 1998 are statute barred after 5 years in Scotland). However, if you are paying them money on an already statute barred loan, it's unclear to me whether you would be able to reclaim what you've paid them. Legally your payments could be veiwed as an indication to repay the debt regardless of requirement. If the latter is true then I am inclined to think you may relinquish the right to challenge the creditor. In this primitive example the creditor has done no wrong; you have volunteered payment. However, if they have used harassment or any unreasonable behaviour toward you (which HSL do), I would think there is some legal stand you can take to nail them in court. Whether you would get your money back is another thing – it may just amount to your not having to pay them any more. Not recovering your money could be dismissed as bad luck. On the other hand, compensation is a possibility, and could be awarded if e.g. their heavy-handed tactics can be proven to have affected your health. To be honest, I don't know. Judging by what I've read on this thread, there is no shortage of examples of aggressive behaviour by HSL. They should be put to the sword for using pernicious pressure, via threatening letters, phone calls etc. on vulnerable individuals.

If all of this is truly a reflection of the legal system in this country then it is a disgrace. The government seems quite happy to turn a blind eye to what methods some creditors are using in order to extract money from debtors. It does not seem to matter how some creditors accomplish their aims.

As for Pennine et al, they are all members of the same cabal. Their attempts at being a separate legal force are pathetic. If I was them, I would be embarrassed to put my name to their artwork.

27th Oct 2012, 14:49

spooky says:

Haven't had any letters from the other 'pretend' solicitors for some years now. It seems that HSL have given up on that approach - at least in my case. I just get the odd letter from HSL every few months, and that's it. I wonder if I'll reach my half centuary before the whole affair becomes statute barred.

28th Nov 2012, 13:25

martellawintek(martellawintek-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

hello trevor it took me ages to find it here is there contact
filling address ,ring them if you need them urgently ,say martella newins put you on

28th Nov 2012, 20:30

bill says:

how does th statute barred thing work mr spook?

thanks

29th Nov 2012, 15:20

brieveMic(drpipps7upktss-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

Anybody figured out this Rice nomination?

29th Nov 2012, 22:15

martellawintek(martellawintek-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

hi there nev it took me ages to find it here is the web address
and some info ,ring them for advice ,say martella newins recommened yous

30th Nov 2012, 11:34

spooky says:

"Statutory law or statute law is written law (as opposed to oral or customary law) set down by a legislature (as opposed to regulatory law promulgated by the executive or common law of the judiciary) or by a legislator (in the case of an absolute monarchy).[1] Statutes may originate with national, state legislatures or local municipalities. Statutes of lower jurisdictions are subordinate to the law of higher.

"Codified law"
Main article: Codification (law)
The term codified law refers to statutes that have been organized ("codified") by subject matter; in this narrower sense, some but not all statutes are considered "codified." The entire body of codified statute is referred to as a "code," such as the United States Code, the Ohio Revised Code or the Code of Canon Law. The substantive provisions of the Act could be codified (arranged by subject matter) in one or more titles of the United States Code while the "effective date" provisions—remaining uncodified—would be available by reference to the United States Statutes at Large. Another meaning of "codified law" is a statute that takes the common law in a certain area of the law and puts it in statute or code form.Private law (particular law)

Another example of statutes that are not typically codified is a "private law" that may originate as a private bill, a law affecting only one person or a small group of persons. An example was divorce in Canada prior to the passage of the Divorce Act of 1968. It was possible to obtain a legislative divorce in Canada by application to the Canadian Senate, which reviewed and investigated petitions for divorce, which would then be voted upon by the Senate and subsequently made into law. In the United Kingdom Parliament, private bills were used in the nineteenth century to create corporations, grant monopolies and give individuals attention to be more fully considered by the parliament. The government may also seek to have a bill introduced unofficially by a backbencher so as not to create a public scandal; such bills may also be introduced by the loyal opposition — members of the opposition party or parties. Sometimes a private member's bill may also have private bill aspects, in such case the proposed legislation is called a hybrid bill.

In Canon Law, private law is called "particular law."[2]


My advice would be to have a quick chat with a genuine law firm, not one of the "lending loads of cash/solve all you bills in one go/low interest deals loans etc. which to tend to crop up on this site quite often.

I know all of this makes for dry reading, but a quick chat with the lawman will probably lay to rest all the troubling questions you've got and answer them in seconds.

1st Dec 2012, 12:17

spooky says:

By the way, they can deforest the planet by sending you umpteen useless letters, but if the debt becomes stature barred they can no longer take any legal action against you (as far as I know).

7th Dec 2012, 11:44

eddie says:

merry xmas to one and all

31st Dec 2012, 15:49

spooky says:

Happy New Year!

1st Jan 2013, 14:10

Frustrated(edrays1971-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Don't get me started with SLC what a bunch of incompetent muppets. I have always sent my deferment forms within two weeks of receiving them. However I was shocked to see that direct debits were being taken by them from my account for about 3 months. This happened for around 3 years. Of course when I contacted them about this I was told I had not returned my deferment form. I cancelled my direct debit eventually and now send my deferment forms registered delivery. However due to cancelling my direct debit and them misplacing my deferment forms I now have arrears of £258.00 dating back to 2007! I had been contacted by Wescott and about three other debt collection companies acting on behalf of SLC. This debt has now been passed on to a company called Thesis Servicing and another bunch of complete incompetents and who I believe are partners with SLC. They phone and harrass regularly and also e-mails regardless of being told I will only respond to a physical letter through my door. This was 18 months ago not once have I received any letters, but still plenty of phone calls and e-mails. I have written complaints to them several times and still they persist. I have also been registered as bankrupt 5 years ago, but guess what SLC is exempt from bankruptcy orders. How the hell is that right. Maybe because they are run by the government or so I was threatened with by one of the muppets from Thesis Servicing and therefore "I have to pay no questions!" I have written a complaint to the FSA who said they were to busy to deal with my complaint, I have also sought advice from CAB all of which was frankly a waste of time. I have to say I am exasperated with the whole situation, but think I will be contacting Watchdog and my MP and possibly the media also. I suggest we all do this as it really does need exposing as the scam it is. I vaguely recall when taking out the loan being told that if I did not earn enough to pay the loan back that in 25 years the loan was written off. Does anyone else know if this is the case!

23rd Jan 2013, 20:11

spooky says:

Unfortunately, I think people get caught out as far as Direct Debits go as sometimes it can be an absolute task and a half to stop them. I've recently had personal experience of this with Lloyds Bank. They claimed that I had put into process a fixed monthly rate of payment to them. They neither told me what this was for and that I could not cancel it as the rights to the money lay with the payee i.e. Lloyds bank and not the payer, me. If it had been a Standing Order set up by me, there would have been no problem, I could have simply cancelled it as the rights to the money would have been mine. I suspect I have fallen prey to a PPI scam or some such (no idea how – these things tend to happen insidiously without the account holder even knowing about it). I still am not sure what is was for and they won't tell me. It took me two years to convince and argue with them to stop it, until one managerial subordinate did it at the touch of a button and advised me to complain. He was the last in a long line of people I'd spoken to previously. Now I have to go through the process of asking them for a full explanation and written proof of an agreement that includes my signature. They won't be able to provide this as I haven't signed anything. No doubt it will be a protracted exchange as they owe me about two hundred quid and they certainly won't want to give it back.

As for your case, there might have been something in the paperwork (small print I suspect) that you signed up for without realising it, therefore you could have avoided your account being debited if you'd seen it. Sadly, I know this is of no consolation to you. However, you are certainly not the first person to have their deferement applications go awry. That I'm afraid is a classic. Yes, you are right on the salary issue – if you don't earn enough then you are exempt from paying it back, and it is written off after 25 years if unpaid due to your financial diffculties or not meeting the rate that stipulates you are able to repay; and when you reach the age of fifty (having made contributions or not). If they have been taking it without honouring the code of practice i.e. your requesting a full legible copy of the consumer credit act (1974) with your signature on the agreement, then they should give it back (you would hope). Send a letter via secure post together with one pound (making it legal binding) asking for the CCA. They have to send you the information within forty days. If they don't produce it then the debt is “In Dispute”. Remember, the court works for both you and the creditor, so no-one should lose heart if they situation is genuine, you might even be able to take the creditor to court, particularly if they are using harassment.

I cannot see why the debt you have would ever get to that stage. I've not yet heard of it. I suspect if that happened you would have to prove your financial circumstance(s) with copies of statements showing income and expenditure should the creditor decide to seek repayment via a county court judgment – but that should prove no problem if the creditor is in breach of contract. It seems these days that it is acceptable for the creditors to treat people as guilty until proven innocent. If after six years you have had no contact with them then the debt becomes statute barred and they can no longer pursue you for repayment through the courts. As for the other “debt collectors” that appear to crop up in every case I hear from, just ignore them. You have requested a copy of the CCA from the original creditor so you don't owe them the time of day. I have lost count of the supposed “companies” that have all laid claim to my debt, and yes they are forever making unreasonable and unexplaied charges on the debt. Some of the letters are simply outrageous. My eight year old nephew could do a better job. I have never received more than one letter from each of these different outfits.

I have intentionally remained in receipt of paper statements so it is easy for me to look up the exact date of when my troubles with Lloyds started. It is a nightmare looking through statements online – I think that is why they keep offering me the chance to change; it is easier for them to hide their mistakes if they've done something wrong – the online statements will not go back far enough.

I too contacted my MP but she took seven months to reply so don't hold your breath. Trading Standards weren't bad.

Hope this is of some use.

25th Jan 2013, 14:10

spooky says:

Also, It might not be a bad idea to find out what your credit rating is. Try the Experian Site. The are others out there that will provide the same services for a small fee such as £2 or £10.

28th Jan 2013, 15:24

eddie says:

what is latest on HSL and all you guys ?

28th Mar 2013, 21:29

spooky says:

Well, as they say: "no news is good news!". I'm not so sure that I go along with that philosophy...

Still, one thing that seems to be true is the decline of panicky posts on this thread.

2nd Apr 2013, 17:01

Munson says:

Hello me old mates! Any news? I've been working away so haven't been on lately and now I'm back have changed address so our friend's from the north havent tracked me down yet. Don't give in!

5th Apr 2013, 17:16

Eddie says:

Hi Spook. Welcome back Munson. Never give in folks - give the big spanish archer!

5th Apr 2013, 23:39

spooky says:

Watcha, Muns, Ed.

Unfortunately, there's that thing called the electoral role Muns. Still, enjoy the silence for a bit.

I think if I've got my maths right, my "debt" is statute barred in the summer. August I think.

8th Apr 2013, 16:55

Munson says:

Hello Spooks, yeah I know but I might give that a swerve this time though, roll on August for you then mate

21st Apr 2013, 09:16

spooky says:

I feel like a celebration. Just this morning I received my 51st letter from the HSL consortium. Surely they must be running out of paper by now - just think of the wastage.

26th Apr 2013, 14:16

Munson says:

Make a paper hat out of it mate and celebrate ;)

26th Apr 2013, 14:44

spooky says:

It'll be a pretty big hat. Maybe I'll make a marquee instead in preparation for the BBQ season.

26th Apr 2013, 15:27

eddie says:

what do they say in the letter spooks mate? Just the usual 'we may or may not do this or that' crap right?

27th Apr 2013, 20:43

spooky says:

I paraphrase: here is how much you owe us, then they provied a list of your credit (which is usually £0.00.) and then provide you with a list of how much you owe them (£2000-5000-£10,000) whatever it may be. It's basically a breakdown of your arrears. They usually slip in a pamplet about about the FSA and that's it." Nothings has changed.

28th Apr 2013, 12:26

spooky says:

I wouldn't loose any sleep over it if you've been getting this treatment for some time now.

28th Apr 2013, 12:27

eddie says:

they've been chasing me for the past couple of years mate. i usually bin what they send unopened.

28th Apr 2013, 16:15

eddie says:

there was some chat a while back about hsl losing their license to trade etc? owt ever come of that?

28th Apr 2013, 16:16

spooky says:

There have been mutterings about this from various sources but I suspect a 'public holiday' would have been declared if HSL had gone belly up.

29th Apr 2013, 11:22

spooky says:

Everyone enjoying the summer?

13th Jul 2013, 14:51

spooky says:

Clearing 2013: elite universities compete for £1bn in student fees ...
www.theguardian.com/.../elite-universities-compete-student-fees-clearing

Aug 15, 2013 ... Russell Group universities have joined competition for students, with successful A-level candidates now able to trade up.
Tuition fees | Education | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com/education/tuition-fees

Tuition-fee rise 'still deterring' would-be university students. 31 May 2013: Number of applications rises 2% to 428,000, but is still below the level seen before ...
International student fees survey 2010-11 | Education | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com/education/page/internationalfees

These tables highlight the different fees charged by universities for overseas students on both arts and science courses, compared with UK and EU students.
Video: Student fees protest: 'This fight is not over' | Education ...
www.theguardian.com/.../video/.../student-fees-protest-london-video

Dec 10, 2010 ... Follow students from Birmingham university and Westminster Kingsway college as they take to the streets in London to protest against tuition ...
Student tuition fees protest passes off peacefully | Education ...
www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/nov/.../student-fees-protest-peacefully

Nov 9, 2011 ... Few incidents reported as police appear to outnumber students and activists marching in protest against fee increases.
Student fees protest: 'This is just the beginning' | Education | The ...
www.theguardian.com/.../nov/.../student-fees-protest-conservative-hq

Nov 10, 2010 ... Conservative party headquarters attacked in what ministers acknowledge is likely to be 'just the beginning'
Soaring student fees: Pain without gain | Editorial | Comment is free ...
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/.../soaring-student-fees-editorial

Apr 6, 2011 ... Editorial: Recouping the vanished teaching grant by charging high is a natural impulse there is little reason to suppress.
Filming the student fees protests | Help | theguardian.com
www.theguardian.com/help/.../2010/.../filming-student-fees-protests

Dec 10, 2010 ... John Domokos from the Guardian's video team outlines his approach to filming the recent demonstrations against plans to increase tuition fees.
Higher tuition fees caused 'wild swings' in student numbers, figures ...
www.theguardian.com/.../jan/.../tuition-fees-student-numbers-figures

Jan 18, 2013 ... Some institutions have reported big drop in enrolments while others have expanded, according to Ucas statistics.

5th Sep 2013, 16:46

spooky says:

Just a quick heads-up folks. You are probably all aware that "Lloyds TSB" is now dissolving back into their original banks: Lloyds Bank plc. and TSB, respectively. No surprises there.

My concern is that, not unlike a good many of you I was sold a Payment Protection Policy, or PPI to its friends. When this happened I do not know, which branch I was at I do not know. And hey, it can also be done over the telephone (somehow). What does this mean? Not a lot as I was completely unaware that I had unwittingly just signed up for PPI. They kept telling me that I’d set it up and it could not be cancelled even though it was their mistake.

In short, they took 2.5 - 3 years (£7.99pm) from me and I was powerless to do anything about it. I was miss-old something I didn't need nor want, and all of this took place behind closed computer doors. I was fobbed off by clerks (x), managers (y), until eventually following three years in and out of mental health units I came across a nice young junior manager that could detect a little fire in my nostrils. He simply said: "Fine that's not a problem" and cancelled the whole debacle with a flick of a switch. No problem since.

Now comes the juicy bit…

My advice: Go to the PPI Complaints, underneath, Guidance. If you’re not with Lloyds TSB I suggest having a quick look at your own banks’ site. AS not info you get on the telly is true now is it…? Fill in the forms and send them off – they need a kick up the backside for this one.

7th Sep 2013, 15:51

spooky says:

Seems like a good opportunity for each other to claim, something like: we did this bit, but we don't know anything about that bit, we dealt with X and Z but not Y...sounds familiar? Loans people?

7th Sep 2013, 16:02

spooky says:

Quick update: It seems as if they are not interested in whether or not a debt is statute barred - they've sent me two letters in a matter of weeks. More of the rainforest destroyed unnecessarily...

24th Oct 2013, 13:24

spooky says:

Hard advertising for hard-up students?!

4th Nov 2013, 11:49

Eddie says:

Since HSL sold a chunk of The loans what is happening now?

Cheers mates

10th Jan 2014, 12:33

spooky says:

Don't know what's happening with them. Not had any love letters from them this year as yet.

17th Jan 2014, 14:53

spooky says:

Please excuse me from stating what most people probably realised a long time ago, but after a question has been posted about the on-going HSL saga on this thread, which can remain inactive for some time, why must there always be posts from other money lenders? Is business that poor? If you have an HSL debt, don’t transfer it to another lender.

19th Jan 2014, 09:38

Eddie says:

I read about them selling a stack of loans to a big global firm. Did they sell all our loans or a chunk? How does this change things? Can they now collect or would they not buy the dead loans?

20th Jan 2014, 13:03

spooky says:

Don't know if this is still available or helps ...

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2007/feb/20/consumernews.consumeraffairs2

24th Jan 2014, 12:59

spooky says:

Mr Williams Andres,
Legit loan companies don't usually have yahoo email addresses...

7th Feb 2014, 11:53

spooky says:

I thought this might of interest to some folks regarding the sale of loans. It refers to all loans i.e. those that were taken out right from the inception of the loan scheme back in 1990.

http://bit.ly/1gWp4i3

7th Mar 2014, 03:42

spooky says:

21st Mar 2014, 13:24

spooky says:

A channel 4 interview with Universities Minister David Willetts:

http://bit.ly/1jfPKjH

23rd Mar 2014, 13:13

spooky says:

Another 'legit' loan company with an address like this:

saintsmithloanlink001-at-gmail-dot-com

Need I say any more? How long will you stick around Mr. Smith?

For other folks, just received my latest love letter from you know who. Thought they would have stopped by now as it's pushing the nine year mark since I had anything to do with them, and around double that since I took a loan out (which incidentally I did start to pay back, until it became financially unfeasible).

11th Apr 2014, 12:35

spooky says:

Mr. Wells,

Sounds like a wonderful experience (Godly?). I'm an atheist and a skeptic. You appear very spirited, so that may be the reason for your linguistic falterings. All the best to you mate.

17th Apr 2014, 13:47

spooky says:

Lee Chang,

Another loan firm(!) operating via a gmail address. Pardon my Cynicism, but that's not really a good start is it?

And advertising on a student orientated blog...Why would anyone exchange the devil they they know for the devil they don't? Peddling your wares with total impunity.

The number of 'companies' offering loans via this blog is simply astonishing.

9th May 2014, 13:09

mat says:

You do know they're just automated scammers, not legit companies, right?

Computer programs scanning the web for words like "loan" and "debt" and so on, and posting automatically.

No different to the spam you get in your email.

9th May 2014, 15:49

spooky says:

Yes, I know they're crap - they just get on my nerves, so I vent my spleen.

Do they get removed from MoBlog whenever they crop up? It's a pity they get on here in the first place.

9th May 2014, 16:41