Halifax shortfall - anyone heard of Target Professional Services?

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We are currently at the SARN stage with the halifax over an alleged shortfall. We SARN'd the solicitors acting on their behalf also but they sent the cheque back saying that their client (halifax) had already requested all the information from them as they were providing us with it all. I know they have 40 days to do this and its getting close to that now and we havent heard from Halifax other than to confirm it was being processed. Then today, my husband gets a letter from 'Target Professional Services' asking him to phone them immediately about the shortfall. They say they were asked to contact him on behalf of their client (halifax) and are not there to demand any money from him but to merely discuss his current situation.

Obviously he is not going to phone them, says he is going to write them a letter saying that he informed the Hlaifax that there would be no further correspondance until they have proveided the SARN info he has requested.

But - who are they and what do they want? It seems strange that the Halifax would get them involved at this stage when they are still processing the information for the SARN.


-- lisa (lisajh29@hotmail.com), May 02, 2002


I see from the posts below that you have learned more about Target since you first posted.

You wanted to know why they wanted you to ring.... You have to remember that all shortfall chases are about trying to extract as much money from as possible *as cheaply* as possible.

Lenders ensure that they keep their costs down by assessing the cost/benefits of each different way of handling the different collection methods they have available. But to make that assessment they have to have information about you. Like how much you earn, how much you spend, what assets you own. Ie, what you are worth. They can then decide whether it is worth the cost of taking you to court or not.

Income and Expenditure forms are a key part of gathering information about you. By filling it in you help the lender get a better grip on the cost/benefits of chasing you in different ways. That's one of the reasons why this site strongly recommends that people do not fill income & expenditure forms in. It keeps the lender that bit more off-balance, that bit more uanble to decide what to do about you.

Debt collectors and private investigators are two more information gathering tools. People are surprised to hear that lenders employ private eyes for shortfall collection assessment. My SARN on Bradford & Bingley had odd "3/4" numbers in it. Bradford & Bingley's compliance officer told me that these mean three out of four private eyes had been employed on this case. The Council of Mortgage Lenders admitted to Mortgage Introducer magazine that its members used private eyes to gather information on former customers. This was in response to an article I wrote after several contributors noted people sitting in cars outside their houses, being followed and having their bins raked through. Private eyes and debt collectors are often the same thing - as we show elsewhere on this site. The reason? To prepare a detailed pre-litigation report (AKA a prelit report) that establishes whether you are worth the costs (and risks) of suing you or whether other options - debt collectors or more letters - would be more likely to produce a *profitable* result instead.

Target was being honest - it almost certainly does not want to talk to you about the debt. It wants to talk to you about how much you earn, how much you spend, what assets you own. Ie, what you are worth. This is so it can product a prelit report for Halifax.

I received a roughly similar request to telephone Wescot when I told Bradford & Bingley to prove the debt it claims I owe.

You can see that request here: http://www.home-repo.org/reposses/letter8.htm

You can see my response to it here (I strongly recommend you use my response and stick to it): http://www.home- repo.org/reposses/letter9.htm

You can see the two pages Wescot sent to Bradford & Bingley when it received my response here: http://www.home- repo.org/reposses/wespreli.htm and here: http://www.home- repo.org/reposses/wesprel2.htm

And you can see why all this was being done by reading Bradford & Bingley's internal record of the shortfall chase. To get to the material about what Wescot was doing, you need to scroll down to the entry for 27th October 1997 in the document here: http://www.home- repo.org/reposses/mindset.htm

I obtained this internal record by later serving a SARN on Bradford & Bingley. I obtained the copies of what Wescot sent to Bradford & Bingley by serving a SARN on Wescot. I knew to serve a SARN on Wescot because I saw their name in the documents that Bradford & Bingley sent to me in response to the SARN I served on Bradford & Bingley.

Hope this helps


-- Lee (repossession@home-repo.org), May 02, 2002.

My guess is that they are a debt collecting agency and I would suggest that you treat them as one. What you need to understand is that the Halifax are the only outfit that count and as long as you keep the pressure on them to supply information you can ignore the other flunkeys. In my own case I politely reply to them pointing out that I'm not in a position to deal with the matter since Halifax haven't replied to my requests for information etc.

If the Halifax don't reply to your SARN within 40 days then report them to the Data Commissioner as advised elsewhere on the site.

TPS are just a tactic the Halifax use (just like Direct Legal & Collections, Aplins etc.) to try to put additional pressure on you. Don't phone them whatever you do, because they really will want to discuss how you are going to pay them some money.

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), May 02, 2002.

Thanks Gordon,

I looked them up on Yell - yep they are definitley debt collectors. Up until now it had all been pretty amicable - I think its pretty underhanded setting them onto us even before they can substantiate the shortfall amount - cheeky beggars.

So now - 3 months down the line, we are dealing with the Halifax, their solicitors and no doubt one in a long line of debt collectors. We are intending to get down to the nitty gritty of offering a lump sum to try and get this all sorted out - but who on earth do we deal with when it gets to this stage?


-- lisa (lisajh29@hotmail.com), May 02, 2002.

I think you probably have to draw things out for quite a while longer before you contemplate making offers Lisa. Make it hard work for them and they will hopefully be more willing to settle if you eventually decide that you can't reject their claim for other reasons. It seems that the only way people who have managed to achieve closure in these cases have done so is by eventually filling in an I&E form or giving some details about (low) income. I guess it depends on where you stand. Most of us would like to move on and a lot of us have hopes of owning property again, since this is the only realistic aspiration for many people in the UK. Unfortunately the lenders are very unimaginative when it comes to dealing with people who are very often the victims of outside circumstances. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their property not as a result of poor household management, living beyond their means etc., but because of the incompetence of the Tory government and the debacle of sterling's exit from the ERM. Rather than admit that this was a catastrophe on a national scale, the lenders fall back on their rights under law and treat all these cases as though the ordinary individual mortgagees were totally to blame. That is, it was our fault that mortgage interest rates went to 15%. Why don't the lenders take a more constructive view? Why not try to help us get back on our feet instead of lying in wait until we have struggled back upright to come and blow us back down again? Why not help people who were repossessed purchase property again and allow them to repay the previous shortfall progressively while allowing them back on the property ladder?

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), May 03, 2002.

Hi Target have a web site targetprofessional.co.uk and you will see that they get FROM 15% of the recovered amount Plus all the usual expenses. SO they make alot of money. They are debt collector so be careful and in the case of Halifax they let loose more than one on to you. Also don't make the fatal mistake of buying a mobile phone in your real name because within two months our friends were traced and contacted by THREE Halifax debt collectors.

Cheers Tom

-- Tom (imamsultan@hotmail.com), June 07, 2002.

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