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  • Problem Tenants

    Step Change - creditor

    Have any landlords here dealt with Step Change?

    We had a tenant a few years ago leave owing a substantial debt. They started paying back £50 a month but then still owing about £5,000 they stopped paying.

    We knew where they lived and tried to resolve but ended up going to court. The Bailiffs called at the property but the latest we got from the Bailiffs about six months ago is that the tenant assigned their debt to Step Change, a charity, and the debt is now considered by them uneforceable.

    The tenant is not registered insolvent but the charity has 'bought' the debt and is apparently honoured to pay any creditors back.

    The bailiff confirmed we are on the list of creditors and should hear from Step Change soon. The Bailiffs say they cannot comment any more than that and have no further details.

    However we haven't heard from Step Change and when we tried to follow up with Step Change we were told they couldn't discuss individual cases. 

    How are we supposed to take this forward? Anyone had any experience with such 'charities'? Which seem in the most part to be funded by the taxpayer so I am feeling rather doubly annoyed. 

    All tips and ideas welcome. 

    Thank you

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    The person who owes you money has "sold the debt" that is funny. It's got a negative value, how that works is beyond me understanding.

    I think what the debt collector is saying is that Step Change will eventually sort the debt, so there is no point them trying to put pressure. As its getting sorted, eventually.

    You are still owed the money, so you can wait a little. Otherwise get back on to the Bailiffs, you could also do statutory demand (bankruptcy) if its not forthcoming. Though you'd probably want to ask the court for a Repayment Order (administration order) first.

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    Thanks Adam, we've already waited over six months since hearing of the assignment and heard nothing. It is now over a year from when we got judgment. You mention waiting a little, how long do you think it reasonable before we start considering the other routes you kindly suggested? 

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    I think you've been more than reasonable and have waited long enough.

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    Stepchange (all one word...) see...

    ttps://www.stepchange.org

    - are one of the biggest debt advice charities with, I understand, a good and honourable reputation.


    When you asked them about it, what did they tell you?

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    They wouldn’t engage in a conversation, that is the weird thing. Not even an answer to ‘how long should we wait’. I couldn’t get confirmation that they had our contact details etc. All they would say was ‘due to data protection we can’t discuss any client’s case’. I asked generically then how long typically does someone wait and not about my case, still the same answer. When asked how we could discuss it to reassure them we were the party owed money they still answered the same. They then promptly hung up. I was polite and not at all aggressive. I got the very distinct impression that those who are owed money are the enemy and they described the debtor as their client.

    I might post in all the court documents as part of a letter and try to get a response that way. It’s just the Bailiff said it was their duty to instigate contact and start payments.

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    I'm asking a question that I don't know the answer to.  But if Step change was an individual or a company you could make a statutory demand for payment in 28 days,  and then start bankruptcy proceedings if they did not pay up.  The debt ( I think) has to be more than £750.

    I assume a charity is protected from this?   But the trustees may not be.  Could you issue a statutory demand on them?    The legal eagle who posts on here may well know.  If it is possible to do that it will certainly get their attention. I'm probably talking rubbish, I am not  a lawyer,   but if they have taken over responsibility for the debt, then surely they have a duty to deal with the creditor?

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