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Citi Financial loan written off

A Camden woman who lost her job after an accident, causing her to fall in difficulties in repaying a loan, has had the loan written off after discrepancies were uncovered.

Beverley Hazelwood took out the loan with Citi Financial in 2003, when she was in full time employment. She suffered an accident in around 2007, which meant she was unable to work and was in receipt of benefits. Because of her change in income, she fell behind with the repayments on the loan, and struggled to reach an agreement with her lender.

Beverley’s financial situation further worsened in 2011 when her husband passed away and she was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer.

At the same time, a company called Capquest contacted Beverley. They had purchased her debt from Citi Financial. They issued a statutory demand against her in March last year. Beverley initially went to her local Citizens Advice Bureau, who managed to negotiate a temporary repayment arrangement while the agreement was investigated.  They referred Beverley on to Stephensons Solicitors LLP, who are long standing specialists in challenging the validity of loan agreements.

After looking at the agreement, Stephensons found that there were technical issues with the way the agreement was drafted, which could mean the whole loan was unenforceable. Stephensons wrote to Capquest, who passed the debt back to Citi Financial.

After several months of correspondence and negotiations, Citi Financial agreed to write off the balance of the debt, which at that point was around £5,393, releasing Beverley of any further liability under the loan. They also agreed to pay her legal costs of challenging the agreement.

Andrew Leakey, managing partner of the dispute resolution team at Stephensons, said: “It was very satisfying to be able to reach a resolution for Beverley, especially given her very difficult personal circumstances.

“Consumer Credit Agreements have to comply with very strict regulations, and if they don’t, they can be challenged. If your agreement was entered into before the 6th April 2007, when the law changed, and it does not comply with the regulations, you can sometimes argue that the whole balance should be written off.”

The Consumer team at Stephensons has been helping people across the UK get out of debt for more than 15 years. The firm is nationally-recognised in challenging unfair consumer credit agreements.