they are money grabbing leeches who the halifax bank after years of loyalty using this bank kindly & promptly closed my current account because i owed them a measly £144 as i was struggling at the time to keep it healthy and sold it to these low lifes lowell financial the bank also informed me because of that one transgression that i would never be able to open it back up. wow what would happen if you owed a substantial am-mount. Also when i had scant money they would not give this account but when i acquired £5,700 they jumped in n said open that account as better interest than the basic account so they encouraged me to open it in first place.
These "pieces of brown stuff" demand money (with menaces) from people who do not legally owe them anything!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2009/01/the_chase_for_debts... - Cached:
Lowell - chasing "debts".
When it comes to debt, we've never had it so bad. Personal debt in the UK is at £1.5 trillion. That's the equivalent of everyone in the country owing over £25,000 each. No wonder debt recovery has become such big business.
Debts are now being bought and sold by companies who seem to have no idea why you owed the money in the first place. The result is that many of you are being hounded for money by people you've never heard of for sums that you might not even owe.
One company doing just that is Lowell Portfolio I, part of the Lowell Group, based in Leeds. In the past couple of years we've had hundreds of complaints about the way the company will chase you for money it claims you once owed to some of Britain's best-known companies. In recent weeks we've been inundated with even more complaints - about the way they've been pursuing so-called debt which they bought from one particular big name, the mobile phone network 3.
Letter didn't explain why he "owed" the money.
Chef Stephen Yates was a customer of 3, but when his contract came to an end he moved to a different network and forgot all about 3. Two years later he received two unexpected letters, one from 3 and one from Lowell, a company he'd never heard of. Each letter stated that Lowell had purchased a debt of £211 that Stephen owed 3. The problem was, Stephen had no idea how he could owe the money, especially after all this time.
Lowell's letter did nothing to explain. But the company didn't mince its words; unless he paid up it said it may use "any legal permitted method" to recover the money. Stephen contacted Lowell who still couldn't tell him why he owed the money.
We've heard from more than a hundred fed-up former and current 3 customers who had similar experiences with Lowell. They're being chased for anything from £14 to as much as £800. You'd expect a company demanding your money to fully explain why you owe it but in the cases we've heard, neither Lowell nor 3 were able to provide the records to do that. And worse, some of the people they're chasing can prove there was never a debt in the first place.
IT consultant Phil Glover was a 3 customer until April 2005. He too has had letters demanding money for a debt he knew nothing about. This time Lowell's big threats were for a tiny amount, less than £15; a figure that rang a bell for Phil. When he'd originally cancelled his contract 3 sent an additional bill asking for a further £14.93. Although unhappy it hadn't included it in his final bill, he went ahead and paid and indeed that final payment is clearly shown on his bank statement from that time.
Phil explained all this to Lowell's debt collectors and, after at first struggling to get his message through, they eventually agreed to write off the debt and apologised. That should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. A few weeks after Christmas Phil received another letter, once again from a company working on behalf of Lowell stating that £14.93 was due and that legal proceedings were to follow. Phil was left questioning what exactly he had to do to clear his name for a debt he never owed in the first place.
Steven Yardley, a part-time DJ, closed his 3 account years ago too. But once again he received debt letters just like the others. When he asked 3 and Lowell for proof of the debt, neither one could tell him what it was for. On contacting 3 he was told that they couldn't check the information as the account was too old. All the more reason why 3 and Lowell should properly explain why they were demanding the cash.
Normally when a company can't, or won't, prove why you owe them money, we might usually think don't pay it. Steven thought so too, so he didn't hand over his £50. That was when Lowell really turned the screw. When Steven recently attempted to switch to a better deal for his utilities, he was shocked to discover he was refused due to the fact Lowell had raised a default on his credit history. In other words, it had damaged his credit rating by saying he had failed to pay a debt. Shocking behaviour, considering Lowell hadn't proved there was a debt and that Steven had never owed it in the first place.
When Watchdog investigated, both 3 and Lowell admitted it had got it completely wrong, Steven didn't owe anything. It has now written off the debt and removed the default from his credit history. Pity it didn't do that when he called the company.
Malcolm Hurlston runs a charity that advises people on debt and is horrified that companies can behave like this. He describes it as "absolutely disgraceful" that people who are perhaps not even in debt are being pursued in this way. Even so, there is action that you can take. Malcolm recommends telling them, in writing, that they must send you written evidence in the form of a statement of account of the debt.
If they can't do that within 28 days, Malcolm says that it won't be able to collect the debt.
We have a template letter for you to download that you can send to any company who ask you for a debt you don't think you owe. We also have an exclusive video with Owen Roberts, head of callcreditcheck.com, on how to tackle problems like this, should they be happening to you.
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Lowell Group is a leading purchaser of consumer debt. They debt from a variety of creditors and work closely with each of our individual customers to build realistic and affordable tailored repayment plans.