There was a time in Jenny and Michael Stanmore’s life when the idea of getting debts written off was ridiculous.
With no credit cards and only a tiny home improvement loan, they had enough money coming in to cover the mortgage and bills on their home and enjoy a happy life with their two children.
Then things changed very suddenly. Michael’s employer went out of business in August 2015. Michael was good at his job so he and Jenny were not too worried. It wouldn’t be long before he found another one and they had Jenny’s part-time job and Michael’s redundancy payment to come. The idea of getting their small debts written off was daft – they had money, they would be fine.
Six months passed and things got worse. Their savings ran out and Michael couldn’t find a job. At 53 he found it tough to persuade potential employees to hire him. There was also no redundancy pay as Michael’s old firm had few assets and what it did have was taken by its bank as payment on a secured loan. They started paying some of their living expenses by taking out payday loans online – fortunately, there are plenty of reputable companies in Oakland, CA. This could help, but only if one doesn’t abuse this way of getting emergency cash.
Then Jenny was made redundant at Christmas 2015. To cope until they both found work, they started paying all of their living expenses using credit cards and loans. The idea of finding out whether they had a chance of getting their debts written off sounded more appealing, but still, they resisted. Things would take a turn for the better soon.
Although both Jenny and Michael found part-time work in the summer of 2016 their income wasn’t enough to make a dent in what they had borrowed. Still, they refused to do something about getting their debts written off. The interest began to stack up.
In 2018 they began missing payments, regularly exceeding their overdraft limit, and incurring charges and interest. A way of getting their debts written off was becoming a real necessity but still, something held them back. They believed things would get better and decided to re-mortgage their home and pay off their debts. Then the recession hit and no lender would let them re-mortgage on their part-time income. The property market crashed and they couldn’t sell their home. They were in deep trouble. Now ways of getting their debts written off were essential.
Jenny rang our experts in January 2019 looking for help. She’d heard about unenforceable credit agreements and wanted to find out if it was possible to get some of their debts written off and ease the strain. A quick check of their paperwork revealed something interesting- one of their loans did not have a signed credit agreement, which makes it unenforceable and a candidate for having the debts written off if challenged.
The lender could not produce a copy of a signed credit agreement, although it did attempt to persuade the couple that their loan application form was the agreement so there were no grounds for having the debts written off. By this time we had put the Stanmores into contact with a company of enforceability experts who were dealing with the lender and working hard towards getting Stanmore’s debts written off as quickly as possible.
The lender ignored their requests and consistently declined to produce a signed credit agreement. It then escalated the case to the local courts. It was the day the Stanmore’s had been waiting for. Without evidence of a credit agreement, there could be no enforcement – getting the debts written off was looking ever more likely.
On the day of the court case, the lender suddenly withdrew its claim giving no reason. The judge stated that the lender had surrendered on a very straightforward point of law, which suggested it had probably hoped the Stanmore’s would be scared into giving up before the case went to court. The judge even went so far as to refer to what the lender had done as an abuse of the legal process.
To Stanmore’s delight, the judge ruled the debt unenforceable and the loan debt is written off – all $22,347. Even better, the judge ruled the lender had to pay the Stanmore’s legal costs too!