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Author Topic: Help! Debt collection letter arrived  (Read 21119 times)

guy87

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Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« on: June 12, 2012, 02:35:11 PM »
I received a letter from Getty image about 2 years ago saying I was using an image on my website, which wasn't even a business but a test college project. I removed it immediately. I removed the website a few months later when I got into a real job. They sent a few more letters, which after reading some forum posts which stated that it was a scam, I ignored. I have just received a letter from a debt collection company called atradius asking for £1176.95. I really don't know what to do. They never asked for it to be removed "Cease and Desist", they just asked for money. Any advise?

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 02:46:16 PM »
Read. The. Forum. Posts.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

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guy87

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 03:08:06 PM »
I have, I can't find a definitive answer for what to do. Some people say ignore, some say settle out of court and some say contact them. This is really causing quite a bit of distress now.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 03:29:15 PM »
I have, I can't find a definitive answer for what to do. Some people say ignore, some say settle out of court and some say contact them. This is really causing quite a bit of distress now.

You can't find a definitive answer, because there is none, it's a choice you have to make on how to deal with it, based on the suggestions here, every case is different as are peoples personalities.. Unfortunately not many of here are up to speed on the laws in the UK and we've not had anyone willing to really step up to the plate to help you folks.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

doggycase

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 10:07:26 PM »
I have, I can't find a definitive answer for what to do. Some people say ignore, some say settle out of court and some say contact them. This is really causing quite a bit of distress now.

I suggest you should hire Oscar for that (only if you can afford to spend $195 for the Getty Images letter). How many images do you have copied unintentionally from them? It is highly doubtful that you can be taken to court for this kind of case only.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 07:30:43 AM »
Hiring Oscar is not an option, as this is a UK case, and Oscar is a US Attorney..

I have, I can't find a definitive answer for what to do. Some people say ignore, some say settle out of court and some say contact them. This is really causing quite a bit of distress now.

I suggest you should hire Oscar for that (only if you can afford to spend $195 for the Getty Images letter). How many images do you have copied unintentionally from them? It is highly doubtful that you can be taken to court for this kind of case only.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 11:11:31 AM »
There can't be a debt without a contract. Just reply stating that you have never entered into any contract with Getty and unless a valid contract is produced you will not enter into any further communication. I'd also mention that you periodically check your credit history and if you notice anything untoward on your credit history you will be seeking legal representation.

I'd be surprised if you ever heard from them again.

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 11:19:22 AM »
Here you are

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/consumer_leaflets/credit/oft1299.pdf

"What if the debt is not yours or you have paid your debt?
If you don't think the debt is yours, you don't think you owe the amount being asked for
or if you have already paid the debt, tell the debt collector immediately. 
You don't have to give any documentation to the debt collector. They must provide
information to you to prove you owe the money."

I'm not a lawyer but proof of the debt would surely have to be a contract between you and Getty stating the terms of the contract and have your signature or e-signature and date. Since that doesn't exist neither does the debt.

gettyhater

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 03:17:15 PM »
As mentioned in another forum group on this site, my client has also received a letter from this company.

http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/getty-images-letter-forum/a-new-collection-agency-working-with-getty/

Here is the letter received :


http://www.freeimagehosting.net/zadmt

Was yours the same or similar?

stinger

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 09:03:59 AM »
I am not a lawyer, but when I read this letter it appears to acknowledge that this is not a debt, but a settlement demand.  "Our clients have provided you with a settlement demand . . . "

I thought that, by law, debt collectors can only collect on debts.  Seems fishy to me that they would acknowledge this in their letter.

I do like the part about "Please contact us immediately with any payment proposal you might have."  They would probably really, really, like that.

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 10:19:52 AM »
This is definitely a debt collection. You can tell by the last paragraph discussing the option of a payment plan. Something you have to offer as a debt collector here in the UK.

None of the letters from lawyers I've seen have ever mentioned that and I've read here and elsewhere that if you speak to Getty directly they refuse the option of a payment plan.

Of interest is their threat of legal action. The only action a debt collector can take is to first issue a CCJ which is only effective in damaging your credit history. They also couldn't pursue you for copyright infringement because Getty hasn't assigned them the right to or they'd have to have told you that and provided proof.

I would recommend phoning the Office of Fair Trading and discussing the letter received and whether it is within their guidelines. If it is not the OFT are usually quite good at taking action and can revoke a licence.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 06:01:04 AM »
I received a letter from Getty demanding settlement of £815.65 back in February. After a few communications with them when they were deliberately evasive in their replies, following advice found online I ignored the issue and heard nothing until now.

A letter from Atradius Collections was received on the 10th September but dated 31st August, an identical copy of which can be found on these forums, in which they advised that if the payment wasn't received within 5 days of the date (already passed when received) then they would have no choice but to advise their client to pursue the matter legally.

Any suggestions as to how to respond?

Couch_Potato

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 08:21:37 AM »
Depends how you came to have the image on your website.

If it was an innocent mistake or somebody else put it there and you have asked Getty for proof they have been assigned the right, by the copyright holder, to bring a claim against you then consider the matter closed until you have received such proof.

If you haven't asked for such proof then it's probably a good idea to write them a letter requesting it.

At that point I think it's fair that you can consider the matter closed until you receive such proof. Just note they'll try to tell you a screenshot of your website along with being able to find the image on their website is proof. It isn't.

If you can be bothered send the Atradius letter to the Office of Fair Trading and make a complaint about a 5 day deadline for settling any demand which is blatantly a tactic to scare you into paying.

If it wasn't an innocent mistake and you placed it there after taking it from a site that clearly displays a copyright notice then I'm not sure anyone here can assist you and you should probably get legal advice.

RyanM

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 08:55:04 AM »
I'm quite sure the image was included as part of a template package purchased online but unfortunately I no longer have any documentation regarding the template as it was purchased nearly 8 years ago and the company used no longer exists.

I have copies of emails between myself and Getty from February regarding my request for proof they have been assigned the right to licence the picture and their response was:

'Getty Images has been licencing this image for the last 10 years. As previously mentioned, Getty Images represents the photographer who owns the copyright in these images.  Rights Managed images, such as the ones at issue, are exclusive to Getty Images and available for license only through our website.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Help! Debt collection letter arrived
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 09:03:56 AM »
as usual they provide no proof...tell them to pound salt..

I'm quite sure the image was included as part of a template package purchased online but unfortunately I no longer have any documentation regarding the template as it was purchased nearly 8 years ago and the company used no longer exists.

I have copies of emails between myself and Getty from February regarding my request for proof they have been assigned the right to licence the picture and their response was:

'Getty Images has been licencing this image for the last 10 years. As previously mentioned, Getty Images represents the photographer who owns the copyright in these images.  Rights Managed images, such as the ones at issue, are exclusive to Getty Images and available for license only through our website.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

 

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