Yorkshire BS, Eversheds, WM Associates

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I am currently in the process of dealing with Eversheds regarding a shortfall claim going back 6 years. They contacted me recently with a short letter asking me to phone to discuss the matter. Thanks to the advice on this site I did no such thing and have written instead asking for full details of the debt. That was two weeks ago.

I have not heard back, but my mother has received a compliment slip from a company called WM Associates, asking her to phone them 'regarding an important matter'. The envelope was marked urgent. My sister, who works for a solicitors firm has taken advice and it turns out that WMA are enquiry agents. I assume this has something to do with my debt. As Eversheds have my address and I am in contact with them, I can only assume that they are trying to find out through my mother either my telephone number (which they don't have), or whether I am working or not. When Eversheds originally traced me 3 years ago it was through a phone call to my mother's home. Her phone number has since changed and is now ex-directory! This is what makes me think they are trying to use her again to get info about me.

My questions are as follows: 1) Would Eversheds go to such lengths to find out my phone number? 2) I am pretty certain that Eversheds already have my NI number, could they not use that to find out where I am working? 3) Am I just being paranoid, and could this be a completely unrelated matter?

I would really appreciate any advice you could offer. Thanks.

-- Alison (alison@avick.fsnet.co.uk), August 04, 2001


Hi Alison...

in short the answers are:

1. Yes 2. No (but see below) 3. No, you're not paranoid

Essentially, these companies will go to ANY lengths to try and scr*w some money out of you...and that includes hassling your mother.

Knowing your NI number is useless to them, as the only way they could trace your place of work is through the Inland Revenue, and they won't give out your details to anyone except you.

You really do need to be on your guard I'm afraid, these people will stoop lower than you might imagine to try to force you to pay up. If they do contact you at work, you should write to say that this is unacceptable, and constitutes harrassment. You should request that they contact you, in writing only, at your home address.

Remember to serve a SARN on Eversheds, and it's probably worth serving one on the Yorkshire BS and WM Associates as well.

Lastly, remember to send everything recorded delivery, and remember NEVER to speak to them on the phone. If they do telephone you simply say, politely, that you are unwilling to discuss this on the telephone and that they should contact you in writing.

Reply to every letter, even if it's only to refer them to your previous letters asking for them to document their claim.


-- Chris (chrsh@hotmail.com), August 04, 2001.

Chris has given you some very good advice. Actually, you seem to be doing quite well by yourself thus far, well done. Something you might consider doing: Get your mum to write to WMA asking what the 'important matter' is that they want to discuss. If it turns out to be what we think it is, get her to a solicitor pronto. Also consider complaining to trading standards. I imagine your mum is considering older than you or I, and may have been worried by receiving such a request. Trading standards are always interested in such misrepresentation...

Re your questions. 1. As Chris says, yes, but more lilely your lender sicked the enquiry agents on you. It sounds too imaginative for Eversheds. 2. Revenue can't give your details out and neither can your employer, except to a court. Don't be cowed into telling them anything. Eversheds, again, would be too stupid to recognize your NI number if you spelt it NI NUMBER and handed it to them on a P60. 3. I don't believe in coincidence.

Advice? Wait for Eversheds to get back to you. Their letters always say 'reply in 7 days'. The first time you get one, write back immediately noting their request but informing them you will be discussing matters with your legal advisors and that replies will follow in due course, not within any timescale they dictate. A good letter to get on the file. Otherwise keep going, you're doing fine.

-- (bluemoon@mcfc.co.uk), August 04, 2001.

Agree to all of the above,they may also try looking up your neighbours in directories and phoning them for info.If you are friendly with your neighbours ask them not to help If your not friendly with they why worry.The oldest rick is for debt collectors to impersonate Nat Ins office saying that you have incurred a rebate and where to send the cheque.I know they know where you are but its good advice for other readers

-- roger watts (rwatts.homeloans@virgin.net), August 06, 2001.

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