Debt collectors' threats to dead dad get brilliant reply

Daughter sends photo of 'new residence'

Updated: 
Clare-Louise Quilty

When debt collectors started sending threatening letters addressed to her dead father, Clare-Louise Quilty had a brilliant response.

The debt collector and a solicitor were threatening legal action if Laurence Quilty didn't pay the €4,806.54 they said he owed - despite his having died in Donegal more than six years ago.

They said they planned to obtain a court order to force him to sell his house.

But Clare-Louise, who now lives in Luton, had the perfect, withering reply.

"Unfortunately my father is no longer contactable at the address in Redcastle, Co. Donegal, as he has actually been residing in Dunboyne Cemetery since January 2008. Attached is a photo of me visiting him at his most recent residence just last week," she wrote.

"I don't think he'll be moving elsewhere in the foreseeable future so please feel free to forward any further correspondence there, although I'm not too sure of the quality of his penmanship these days so please be patient when awaiting your response."

She added: "If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. I expect a rapid response as you have obviously been hot on the case of this issue - sometime in the last decade at least!"

Attached to the letter, she sent a picture of herself kneeling next to her father's grave.

Normally, sending organisations a certified copy of the death certificate should be enough to get the dogs called off - but this isn't always the case. And while Clare-Louise has clearly taken the episode with good humour, such mistakes can be extremely distressing.

Two years ago, for example, we reported on the case of Siobhon Peers, of Davenport near Stockport, who was hounded by a debt recovery firm over what started as a £6 charge on her father's RBS bank account after his death. After penalties and interest, this racked up to £625.

After futile attempts to persuade them that he was dead, she was reduced to taking the urn containing his ashes along to her local branch of the bank.

"It has been a very difficult time losing my father and this has just made it so difficult," she said.

Nine Million in Severe Debt


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