There's A Fair Chance You Might Not Need To Make A Payment To Restons Solicitors Debt Collectors!
Are you being chased for historic debts? Perhaps missed a payment on a Debt Management Plan and now had your debts referred to Restons Solicitors? Or received a letter of Pre-Action Protocol informing you of their intent to file for a CCJ against you?
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Who Are Restons?
Restons Solicitors are a big outfit, and they have a form for winning CCJS by default! Intentionally.
Even when they know your current address, they'll send early correspondence to previous addresses, ignore new owners or tenants instruction that you're no longer at that address, and proceed with court action with the full intention of winning by default by not giving customers the chance to defend themselves in court. In the debt collection industry, these are known as backdoor CCJs because they don't give you the chance to fend them off.
How to Deal with Restons Solicitors?
Professional debt advice is the only way to deal with Restons Solicitors. They use underhanded tactics, pressure people onto payment plans that they know they cannot afford and will insist on a payment plan that leaves you with very little disposable income.
Paying beyond your means to a debt collector never ends well because the inevitable will happen when your cashflow runs short forcing you into taking premium rate credit just to make ends meet... To afford the kid's school uniform, replace a broken washing machine or other essential appliance, or buy a new pair of shoes when your child suddenly sprouts another half shoe size.
None of these are considered priority expenses by Restons Solicitors.
If they do make contact with you asking for income and expenses details, while sneakily asking you how much you can afford to repay through a payment plan, do not complete the forms. An offer to repay by instalments is an admission of the debt being owed, and they can use that in court. In most cases, they refuse offers anyway, insisting you can afford to pay more.
Income and expense forms from Restons Solicitors do not need to be completed, but you cannot ignore them either. The only time you need to complete income and expense details is when the court asks you for it. They need that information to see what you can afford to repay (if you lose) and if you ignore those and don't attend the hearing, the court is likely to award a CCJ against you by default. You need to defend your case.
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What Can Restons Solicitors Actually Do?
Initially, all they can do is try to recover money through court action by filing a claim against you. This is done through the MCOL (Money Claim Online) system. Much of their processes can be automated, especially when they know they're sending debt letters to the wrong address because then you can't respond and the entire system is date-based.
A legal claim for debt recovery requires various actions to be taken at different intervals, mostly within 14-days or 28-days. Knowing the system, Restons Solicitors will follow the legal procedures to the date, to ensure court action is initiated at the earliest stage. The faster they work, the faster they get a court hearing date. If you're slow to act (and they hope you will be) courts award in favour of creditors by default.
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What Happens If Restons Win a CCJ Against You?
The court will write to you notifying you whether you need to pay the full amount and within what time frame. Usually, this is 14 days or 28-days from the date of the court decision. Should the debt be repaid within the time period specified by the court, the CCJ notice will not be included on your credit file.
If you don't settle within the time frame, your credit file will be updated with the CCJ entry notifying future lenders of the debt default, the amount of money the court awarded, the date of the event, and the name of the court that awarded the Judgement order. Once on your credit file, it remains there for at least six years. Possibly longer if you acknowledge the debt by making a partial payment, or entering into a long-term repayment plan, such as 10-years.
Restons Solicitors have been known to attempt to recover debts (+ collection charges) on default debt management plans for debts older than 10-years. This is because debt only becomes unrecoverable when it is statute-barred and that only happens when no action has been taken to acknowledge the debt within six years from the date of the last entry on your credit file.
If Restons Solicitors have won a CCJ, you may be able to have the Judgement set aside, get a Reterdermination or apply for a payment "Variation".
Can Restons Solicitors Enforce a CCJ?
No! Reston Solicitors are not a debt enforcement agency, nor are they registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. They are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), but that does not give them any powers for debt recovery. What they can do to collect on CCJ awards is apply to the County Court for enforcement action, but it's up to the court to decide if their application merits a County Court Bailiff attending your property to attempt to recover goods using the Seizure of Goods.
As with most debt rackets, they make a lot of threats about enforcing action, which include obtaining a Charging Order, an Attachment of Earnings, a Third-Party Debt Order, Warrant of Control, and even actions that could lead to bankruptcy.
The types of enforcement actions they could take are never straightforward because they collect for secured and unsecured debts. On a secured debt, (over £5,000) for homeowners, they will always pursue a charge on your property because it's more likely to sell at some point, and they'll take their money then. For money owed that's under £600 and credit card debt that falls under the Consumer Credit Act, it must be enforced through the County Court Enforcement Officer and cannot be escalated to High Court Enforcement Officers.
There are strict rules debt collection firms need to follow, but this one does play hardball and will continue to be a thorn in your side until the debt is fully recovered using any means necessary. Nothing is off the table with this company.