Facility Trading Services and Knowle Portfolio Investments - what are their tactics

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Eleven and a half years after repo problems my spouse received two letters from Facility Trading Services Ltd of Fleet, Hampshire, company number 3689222. They're a separate company from Facility Trading Services (North) Ltd, company number 4203879, which has been mentioned on this (great!) website before.

The first letter says that FTS act on behalf of Knowle Portfolio Investments Ltd who appear to have bought an old mortgage debt from the original lender, and that Knowle want to be paid in full. The second letter says, without prejudice, that they'd consider a sum less than the full balance (aha!) or an installment payment arrangement (dream on!). They look forward to a phone call, they say.

From that, a couple of questions arise and I'd be very grateful for answers:

1. Most importantly: Has anyone dealt with these cowboys^H^H^H^H^H^Hbusinesspeople before and what minimum percentage of their claim are they likely to accept to go away ?

2. How likely is it that this letter is just a fishing trip to verify my spouse's address and that they get more aggressive once they have such verification ? Their second letter sounded almost nice ;-(

3. Facility Trading Services Ltd (no. 3689222) is not registered with the Data Protection Registrar / Information Commissioner. Facility Trading Services (North) Ltd (no. 4203879) is, but they're not the ones chasing my spouse. What mileage is there in putting the DPR onto FTS Ltd ?

4. Do FTS or Knowle have any tricks or underhanded behaviour up their corporate sleeves that haven't been mentioned on this website yet but have been experienced by a victim^H^H^H^H^H^Hcustomer ?

-- Anon Ymous (ononotagain2575@hotmail.com), June 26, 2003


Before you consider any contact with this company please refer to the limitations act. The lender has 12 years to sue for capital (6 for interest) from THE ACCRUAL OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION. This is the point where the lender was entitled to demand the full outstanding balance because of your default and was normally at the one or two months worth of arrears point. Each time you make a payment after this date the clock starts ticking again. Each time you make an acknowledgement the clock starts ticking again.

There is also another aspect which you should also consider. Was the loan originally with another company such as J&J Securities, CMC, Ocwen? I ask this because Knowle Portfolio took over the shortfall cases from Ocwen Limited by way of an assignment dated 30th November 2000, even though Ocwen ceased to be a limited company on 27th November 2000. It is not always as straight forward as it appears to be. Maybe you would be wise to give the National Association of Mortgage Victims a call before you do anything. 01889 507394. Hope this helps

-- Jane (jane.glover@ntlworld.com), June 26, 2003.


Thanks for the swift reply!

Funnily enough, the letter mentions an assignment date of 30 November 2000, but the assignor company turns out to have been dissolved in 1999 according to Companies House. That's definitely worth a closer look, but it would require contacting FTS, pointing out this error, and seeing what they say. I'm a little apprehensive about doing so at this early stage to ensure that any fishing expedition they may be up to gets them nowhere. Would you think there's a risk here ?

Regards, Anon Ymous

-- Anon Ymous (ononotagain2575@hotmail.com), June 26, 2003.

Be very very careful at this stage not to acknowledge the alleged debt, otherwise you will restart the 12 year limitation period. The limitation period usually starts from the 2nd or 3rd missed mortgage payment (subject to the terms & conditions in the mortgage). It also depends on whether an MJO was issued. Was this a joint mortgage? If so, the other partner may have acknowledged the debt by making a part payment and restarted the limitation period for both. Make sure in any communications regarding this that you state you do not acknowledge the debt and that you dispute the debt and deny liability. Also write "Without prejudice" on any letters too. If you can establish that the alleged debt is time expired and has not been acknowledged I would write and tell them that the alleged debt is now statute barred under "Bristol & West v Bartlett" July 2002, still making sure you deny liability etc as stated above. Let them prove otherwise if they can. I'm not a professional advisor so please check all this with one, particularly with the NAMV if 'Ocwen' is involved, as Jane has said. You could also try the Mary Ward Legal Centre (Ahmed Butt) or Michael Thomas Consultancy Ltd, or Derek McConnell at South West Law Services (Legal Services in the Community) Ltd, 1 hide Market, West St, Old Market, Bristol BS2 0BH (0117 314 6400), or of course your local CAB, but, whoever it is, make sure you find someone highly experienced in mortgage shortfall cases. Hope this is of some use. Good Luck.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), June 26, 2003.

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