Recovery of student loan debts

Shimon Goldwater made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Shimon Goldwater

Dear Student Loans Company Limited,

Please can I know the number of court claims commenced by the SLC in each year from 2005 to 2018 inclusive against student loan debtors (a) in the UK; and (b) resident overseas. In the case of such claims, please can I know the number of claims which concluded (i) through settlement; and (ii) through a judgment being made.

Please can I also know the total sums recovered in each year from 2005 to 2018 inclusive against student loan debtors (a) in the UK; and (b) resident overseas by means of court claims and enforcement proceedings (as opposed to through the usual repayment channels).

Yours faithfully,

Shimon Goldwater

SLC FOI Requests - Do Not Reply, Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

This is an automated response to let you know that your email has been
received by the Student Loans Company Limited ("SLC").

SLC's Freedom of Information Office is only able to deal with requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA"). If your
email relates to a request for information under the FOIA, a separate
acknowledgement will be issued with a request reference.
your email is in relation to a student finance application or account
enquiry, and you have provided sufficient details to identify your account,

your email will be passed to the relevant department. Alternatively,
please contact us using the contact details available at
https://www.slc.co.uk/contact.aspx.

If your email is not a customer enquiry then it has been passed to the
relevant department.

SLC's Freedom of Information Office is unable to advise response timescales

for other departments.

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FOI Requests, Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

Dear Shimon Goldwater

Thank you for your email dated 31/08/2018.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”).

Your request has been allocated reference 202-18.

We will respond to you under the terms of the FOIA and within 20 working
days.

We will contact you further for clarification of your request if this is
considered necessary.  

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

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FOI Requests, Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

Dear Mr Goldwater

I refer to your recent email dated 31/08/2018 requesting the following
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”):

“Please can I know the number of court claims commenced by the SLC in each
year from 2005 to 2018 inclusive against student loan debtors (a) in the
UK; and (b) resident overseas. In the case of such claims, please can I
know the number of claims which concluded (i) through settlement; and (ii)
through a judgment being made.

Please can I also know the total sums recovered  in each year from 2005 to
2018 inclusive against student loan debtors (a) in the UK; and (b)
resident overseas by means of court claims and enforcement proceedings (as
opposed to through the usual repayment channels).”

Response

I can confirm that the information that you have requested is held by the
Student Loans Company Limited (“SLC”).  However, having reviewed your
request and in consultation with the appropriate departments within SLC I
have concluded that this information cannot be released as the cost of
complying with your request would exceed the appropriate limit set out in
the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and
Fees) Regulations 2004.  The limit applying to SLC is £450 or 2.5 days
(calculated to be 18 hours of staff time at £25 per hour).

The information is therefore exempt under section 12(1) of the FOIA and in
accordance with section 17(1) of the FOIA this letter constitutes a
Refusal Notice in respect of your request.

By way of explanation, between 2005 and 2018 legal proceedings were raised
against both Mortgage Style (“MS”) loan borrowers and Income Contingent
Repayment (“ICR”) borrowers.  

The level of detail we hold for MS loans is limited as SLC no longer own
any MS loan accounts, and it is estimated to exceed 18 hours of staff
time, if even possible, to search for and collate this data.

Within the appropriate costs limit we can provide details of legal
proceedings raised against ICR borrowers in relation to their student loan
debt.  Please note that the concept of student loan arrears does not apply
to borrowers who reside in the UK, therefore there is no need to
contemplate legal proceedings as repayments are identified and made via
the UK tax system.  The only legal proceedings issued against ICR
borrowers have been issued against borrowers residing overseas and who
have defaulted on their student loan repayments/obligations to provide
details of their income.  It is not possible to advise exactly when
payments were made as payments made through agents would be held and
transferred periodically to SLC.  We can, however confirm the amounts
recovered against the litigations raised in each year.  
Should you wish to receive this more refined data, bearing in mind that no
legal proceedings have been raised against ICR student loan debtors in the
UK, then we would be happy to progress this as a new request for
information.  

Over the period in question SLC has also commenced legal proceedings
against customers who have grant overpayments – this information is
considered to fall outwith the scope of your current request, however on
the basis that we are not able to provide you the full student loan debtor
data that you have requested, we would be able to provide some data for
this group of customers.  

Internal review process

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date
of receipt of the response to your original request and should be
addressed to the Freedom of Information Office, Student Loans Company
Limited, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD,   Email:
[SLC request email].  Please remember to quote the reference number
above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House  
Water Lane  
Wilmslow  
Cheshire  
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

[1]www.slc.co.uk
Follow us at [2]Twitter/SLCcomms for the latest corporate news and updates

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Dear FOI Requests,

Thank you for your reply dated 28 September 2018.

I would be grateful for the information you offer regarding recoveries made from ICR borrowers residing outside the UK. Please confirm:

1) The number of court cases commenced against ICR borrowers residing outside the UK in each of the years from 2005 to 2018, categorised by the country in which the court cases were commenced;

2) The amounts recovered in those litigations in each of the years 2005 to 2018, also categorised by the country in which the recoveries were made.

Yours sincerely,

Shimon Goldwater

SLC FOI Requests - Do Not Reply, Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

This is an automated response to let you know that your email has been
received by the Student Loans Company Limited ("SLC").

SLC's Freedom of Information Office is only able to deal with requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA"). If your
email relates to a request for information under the FOIA, a separate
acknowledgement will be issued with a request reference.
your email is in relation to a student finance application or account
enquiry, and you have provided sufficient details to identify your account,

your email will be passed to the relevant department. Alternatively,
please contact us using the contact details available at
https://www.slc.co.uk/contact.aspx.

If your email is not a customer enquiry then it has been passed to the
relevant department.

SLC's Freedom of Information Office is unable to advise response timescales

for other departments.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI Requests, Y Cwmni Benthyciadau i Fyfyrwyr

Dear Mr Goldwater

I refer to your recent email dated 02/10/2018 requesting the following
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”):

“I would be grateful for the information you offer regarding recoveries
made from ICR borrowers residing outside the UK. Please confirm:

1) The number of court cases commenced against ICR borrowers residing
outside the UK in each of the years from 2005 to 2018, categorised by the
country in which the court cases were commenced;

2) The amounts recovered in those litigations in each of the years 2005 to
2018, also categorised by the country in which the recoveries were made.”

Response

I can confirm the following in response to your questions for details of
formal legal proceedings raised against Income Contingent Repayment
(“ICR”) borrowers residing outside of the UK.

Question 1
Legal proceedings are taken as a last resort by SLC and seek to recover
monies without recourse to formal legal action.  Any consideration to
initiate legal action must incorporate a value for money aspect ensuring
the costs of action do not exceed the likely recovery value, which for
overseas customers is a key consideration.

There were no legal proceedings raised by SLC against overseas borrowers
in 2005 through to 2008.  

In 2009 SLC piloted arrangements for collecting repayments from overseas
borrowers, including options for legal action with the first group of EU
borrowers who left their courses earlier than expected, therefore the
level of debt was limited to 1 year of tuition fee loans only.  In most
cases, SLC were able to secure payment in full or establish that the
borrower was liable to repay.  Legal proceedings were raised against 9 EU
borrowers through local courts overseas and the Scottish courts, as
follows:

Country formal legal proceedings actions Number of formal
were raised in legal proceedings
raised
Scotland 5
Spain 3
Poland 1

There were no legal proceedings raised by SLC against student loan debtors
in 2010 or 2011.

In 2012 a pilot was undertaken under the European Order for Payment
(“EoP”) procedure.  Legal proceedings were raised against 2 EU borrowers
through the Scottish courts.  These borrowers also had 1 year of tuition
fee loans only.  

There were no legal proceedings raised by SLC against overseas borrower in
2013 through to 2016.

In 2017 legal proceedings were raised against one overseas borrower as
part of a pilot in Australia.    

No legal proceedings have been raised by SLC against overseas borrowers in
2018 to date.  

Question 2

As confirmed in my response to your previous request (reference 202-18) it
is not possible to advise exactly when payments were made as payments made
through agents would be held and transferred periodically to SLC.  We can,
however confirm the amounts recovered against the litigations raised in
each year.  

Amounts recovered in the aforementioned formal actions are as follows:

Year Country formal legal Amounts recovered as a result of formal
proceedings actions were legal action
raised in
2009 Scotland £868.06 (recovered in Greece)
Spain £5413.24
Poland £3293.38
2012 Scotland £2684.05 (recovered in France)
2017 Australia No repayments have been made as a result of
the legal proceedings being raised to date,
however repayments had been made by the
borrower in the past.  

Country of recovery is the same as the country where formal legal
proceedings were issued with the exception of those cases raised in
Scotland – country of recovery in these cases has been stated in brackets.
 

Internal review process

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.

Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date
of receipt of the response to your original request and should be
addressed to the Freedom of Information Office, Student Loans Company
Limited, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD,   Email:
[SLC request email].  Please remember to quote the reference number
above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House  
Water Lane  
Wilmslow  
Cheshire  
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Louise Chapman | Legal Executive
Student Loans Company
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD
e: 32080  t: 0141 306 2080

[1]www.slc.co.uk
Follow us at [2]Twitter/SLCcomms for the latest corporate news and updates

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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