Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide|
An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.
£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)
BAILIFFS - The Law and Your Rights
Written by John Kruse, one of the leading experts on Bailiff Law, this consumer friendly guide is essential reading for anyone who comes into contact with a bailiff.
The book is easy to understand and clearly explains the rights
a bailiff has, and also what they cannot do when collecting debts and repossessing goods etc.
£13.95 + £2.00 (P&P)
12th January 2011 13:55
Basic Account Holder
I have tried to complain to them got all the standard replies so im gonne submit my n1 this afternoon.
Am I still ok to contlinue to GE money, no one else had any problems?
Also does anyone have a copy of some purticulars please as well.
I will keep you all posted, its not much only around £1800.
12th January 2011 14:23
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12th January 2011 14:26
Basic Account Holder
13th January 2011 18:22
13th January 2011 20:09
Basic Account Holder
14th January 2011 10:11
14th January 2011 10:16
Re: GE Money
You do need ot be really specific with this request............... state clearly what oyu want.............. breakdown of how they arrive at the fee/charge..............how they calculate the interest.......how long someone was activeon your account...... youknow show when and how often they had to actively managed the account.........
you could submitthe court claim first and then submit this request......... as litigation ahd already began......
I amsure withinthelast month somen got all charges back from GE via they.re solicitors Eversheds..as soon as the court poaperwork arrive the offers started......
They will submit a basic defence.. they will alsono dobt send you letters telling you that youwill nto be sucessful. and may use the banks test case...... in an effort to frighten you off.....
the bank charges and this are totally different the test case hasnothign to do with this........
hope some of this is helpful...
17th January 2011 20:24
Basic Account Holder
Re: GE Money
If you want a POC to use against GE Money you just adapt a good bank charges claim.
Then you can add a few more spanners into the works with breaches of FSA guidelines etc.
The consumer credit act unfair relationship angle would also be a good one to add, but I found this POC was long enough already.
This was written in a hurry, and could have been re-worded so as to flow a little better. But it got GE spooked, I'm the person on here who was offered the money to go away.
I still haven't taken GE up on their very kind offer. That's got them a bit confused, Eversheds offered me 50% initially which I declined. I was then offered 75% which I again declined. They then went on to offer me 100% of the amount claimed, including 8% statutory interest and the court fees. Unfortunately they want to gag me so that I can't tell anybody about it. I don't like being told what to do, especially by muppets like GE Money - So we are still at court.
This isn't my first claim so I'm not jumping and agreeing to what they want me to do. I had a 100% certainty of succeeding with this claim but I am rather annoyed to find people taking perfectly valid claims/complaints to the fos and being knocked back. That's the main reason for refusing confidentiallity - I want people to know these ******s roll over and pay up. Unless they want to meet in court and prove otherwise.
Anyway the first and most important thing when dealing with GE Money is to find all identities they have used whilst dealing with your account.
GE Money Home Lending Limited, GE Money Mortgages Limited, GE Money Secured Loans Limited, GE Money Home Finance Limited, GE Money Servicing Limited, GE Money Consumer Lending Limited, GE Money Financial Services Limited, are all names GE use to confuse you.
If you sue against one entity of GE they will tell you and the court "It's not us Guv, we never had an account or a legal relationship with the claimant."
So name each and every possible entity of GE that have ever contacted you for any reason as Defendants in your claim. You may need to print of a dozen or so claim forms, but it shouldn't cost you any more. You'll soon find out which name to sue.
This is my biggest obstacle at the moment, and the basis for GE and Eversheds sham defence. They say I'm suing the wrong GE - but still want me to be a good Homer and take their gesture of goodwill offering me the full amount I'm claiming, then sign their confidentiality agreement. No chance!
I knew of this tactic but had thought after many strike-out attempts failing, they would have ceased using such a worn out argument. It seems they haven't. So I've let the court know all about it of course.
Anyway, if it is of any use to you, here is the Particulars of Claim that I used. It has got them keen to pay up. Feel free to adapt to suit.
Any suggestions/modifications also welcomed.
Excluding suggestions/modifications by Tom at Eversheds of course. He may suggest I remove it for the sake of confidentiallity.
Particulars of Claim
Part 1 Introduction
This is a Secured Loan Charges claim not a Bank Charges claim. The Charges which are the subject to this claim have nothing to do with the Supreme Court ruling against the Personal Current Account providers - Eight British banks and others. ( OFT v Abbey etc.) Because this claim is not affected by the Supreme Court decision, all parts of this claim remain open for determination by the Court, Penalties, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999(UTCCR), misrepresentation and breach of statutory duty.
This claim is brought as the Claimant believes that the charges levied by the Defendants are in fact penalties applied for breach of contract on the part of the Claimant.
This claim is brought for the refund of money paid under a mistake and for restitutionary damages and/or interest under s.69 county court Act 1984.
This claim is brought under reg.6 of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (UTCCR) and alternatively under reg.5 UTCCR.
Alternatively this claim is brought on the basis of a contractual misrepresentation by the Defendants.
This claim is also brought for the Defendants breach of Statutory Duty.
The Claimant's position is that either the Monthly Arrears charges, failed direct debit Charge Fees, Default notice charges and Counsellor Visit Fees that the Defendants impose on its customers are not part of their core business and are so excessively high that they are wholly disproportionate to their costs and are therefore unfair under reg.6 UTCCR, or
That the Defendants occupy a dominant position in relation to the Claimant and have operated their dominant position contrary to the requirements of good faith by misrepresenting the true nature of its charges per reg.5 UTCCR, or
That the Defendants have made contractual misrepresentations.
Part 2 The Parties
The Defendants are a sub-prime secured loan provider offering loans secured on clients property.
The Defendants were formerly known as iGroup. They are now part of GE Money.
The Defendants are regulated by the Financial Services Authority and are subject to the obligations contained in the FSA Conduct Of Business Sourcebook and Mortgage Conduct Of Business Sourcebook, implemented under the Financial Services And Markets Act 2000.
The Claimant arranged his secured loan through a broker, xxxxxx Finance, that offered the Defendants as a secured loan provider which would lend a sum of £xxxxxx to the Claimant. This loan was secured by a legal mortgage on the Claimant's home.
The Claimant entered into a secured loan agreement Account number xxxxxxxx with the Defendant on or around xxth xxber xxxx.The secured loan was provided under the Defendants’ own standard Terms and Conditions. A copy of the loan agreement and terms and conditions are attached.
Between xxxx xxxx and xxxx xxxx the Claimant incurred failed direct debit fees, default notice charges and monthly arrears fee charges totalling £xxx.00. The Claimant has asked the Defendants for a detailed breakdown or costings analysis of these charges but the Defendants have failed to prove them.
On the xxth xxxxxx xxxx the Claimant was also charged £47.00 for a Debt Counsellor visit that the Claimant neither wanted nor benefited from in any way. In fact no meeting actually took place, yet the Defendants charged for this visit. The Claimant has asked the Defendants for a detailed breakdown or costings analysis for this charge. The Claimant has asked the Defendants in the alternative to provide an invoice or receipt detailing such payment to the Debt Counsellor. The Defendants have failed to supply this information to the Claimant.
The Defendants charges are expressed by them to be their costs for dealing with an account whilst in arrears, and their administration costs in representing failed direct debit payments. The Defendants will not supply any detailed breakdown of the charges proving their actual costs.
Part 3 The Defendants’ dominant position.
The Defendants are a sub-prime secured loan company and part of the GE Money group.
The Defendants operate on their own standard terms and conditions which are imposed upon the customer. There is no opportunity for the customer to object to, or to renegotiate any aspect of the mortgage contract. There is no element of mutuality or reciprocity within the contract.
The Defendant sub-prime secured loan company occupies a dominant and superior position to the Claimant because they are fully informed as to the true nature and level of the operations (or activities), and also the true cost of dealing with Customer Late Payment episodes, and yet refuse to reveal or disclose in any way the mechanisms involved or the true costs associated with Customer Late Payment episodes. The Defendants reserve to itself the right to levy charges it describes as “Direct Debit recall charges”,“Administrative Charges”, “default notice charges” and “Monthly Arrears Charges” and will not disclose the level they are calculated to either, instead relying on them being stated in the Terms and Conditions of the secured loan contract.
However the Defendants levy these Charges against its Customers without any proper explanation as to how the costs are derived and so that the Customer is obliged to accept the Defendants generalised explanation of their charges at face value. The Customer is therefore obliged to repose faith in the integrity and straight dealing of the Defendants because of the Defendants superior position in the contract.
The Defendant secured loan company have also largely ignored the Claimants letter before action sent by recorded delivery, received by the Defendants on xxth xxxx xxxx. The Defendants admit that their Default Notice is an automated letter. The remaining points raised in my Letter Before Action are not addressed, the Defendants stating “Having looked at our records I can see that your concerns have been previously addressed and we have issued our final response to you regarding the fees.”, and “Our position remains the same on the points you have raised. I am unable to consider your complaint further and must once again refer you to the Financial Ombudsman Service should you remain dissatisfied.” No further response has been received by the Claimant in respect of the Letter Before Action. (Adapt his to suit your own correspondence with GE ******s.)
The Defendant secured loan company reserves to itself the right to levy Charges it describes as “Monthly Arrears Charge ”, “Administration fee”, “Direct Debit recall charge”, “default notice charge”, “Debt Counsellor Visits”.
Part 4 The Defendants’ misrepresentation.
The Defendants refer to their Terms and Conditions of the Claimants secured loan account. They refer to Monthly Arrears Fees of £40, Direct Debit recall charge fees of £20, Default notice charges of £35. They refer to Counsellors visit charges of £47 when no visit actually took place.
The original guide to fees that the Defendants charged in 2004 details Monthly arrears administration charge £40, Default notice £7, Unpaid direct debit charge £2, Counsellors visit £88.13 (Check all Terms and Conditions in force during the life of your loan/mortgage.)
The Defendants have failed to provide any detailed audited costings analysis for any of these charges, nor provided any invoices or receipts for payments of fees to their debt counsellor.
The Defendants continue to state that these charges represent a true estimate of the actual costs involved in dealing with the Claimants late payment episodes. The Claimant is confused as to how his account has been charged these fees, and this actual work conducted, at the weekends when most businesses are closed. The Claimant believes that these charges are automatically applied by the Defendants computer system, thus disproving the Defendants claims.
A study commissioned by the BBC in 2006 found that the episodes of the type for which the Defendant imposes default fees typically cost a maximum of £4.50 per episode.
The OFT conducted a study into the fairness of the level and application of unauthorised charges in April 2007. The subsequent OFT July 2008 report found a number of concerns they believed needed addressing:
(Although this study applied particularly to banks, it is submitted that the principles of the study and the results are applicable to other companies within the finance industry which operate excessive charging regimes.)
- Low levels of transparency over charges and costs, coupled with a high proportion of banks’ total revenues made on charges and costs.
- The complexity of the charges makes it harder for consumers to control the costs they incur.
- A significant group of consumers underestimate the level and frequency of banks’ charges, and
- A general perception among consumers, not completely unfounded, that switching is complex and risky, contributing to low levels of switching between banks.
The Financial Services Authority has imposed large fines on other sub-prime lenders with similar charging regimes to the Defendants. GMAC were fined £2.8 Million in October 2009 for not treating customers fairly. Kensington were fined £1.23 Million in April 2010 for similar unfair treatment. The Claimant believes that if the FSA found GMAC's and Kensington's charges for customers whilst in arrears to be unfair, it follows that the Defendants similar charging regime is unfair.
(Many other companies have also been fined - Southern Pacific Mortgages Limited SPML, and others. Do some research and add more examples to your claim.)
Claim that the Defendants charges are actually concealed penalties for breaches of contract.
The Defendants have charged varying amounts for the same breaches of contract. Yet they are unable or unwilling to substantiate these charges by way of detailed costings analysis.
The Claimant believes that the Defendants apply these charges as penalties for breach of contract.
The Claimant respectfully asks the Court to determine whether the Defendants charges are penalties. The Claimant believes that the charges debited to the Account are punitive in nature; are not a genuine pre-estimate of cost incurred by the Defendant; exceed any alleged actual loss to the Defendant in respect of any breaches of contract on the part of the Claimant; and are not intended to represent or related to any alleged actual loss, but instead unduly enrich the Defendant which exercises the contractual term in respect of such charges with a view to profit.
Claim under regulation 6 of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCR) 1999.
The Defendants Charges are not part of their core business. They are incidental or remedial Charges and are unfairly high. They are therefore invalid under UTCCR.
Claim under regulation 5 of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCR) 1999.
The Defendants have abused their dominant position by misrepresenting the nature of their charges. This is contrary to the requirement of good faith, and as a result of this the Claimant has suffered detriment.
Therefore it is submitted that the Defendants charging regime is invalid.
The Defendants have misrepresented the nature of their Charges, the Claimant relied upon the Defendants representations because he believed that he had caused losses to the Defendants, and that he had an obligation to indemnify the Defendants for those losses.
If the Claimant had appreciated the excessive nature of the Defendants Charges, he would have investigated making his mortgage arrangements elsewhere.
Breach of Statutory Duty.
The Defendants are regulated by the Financial Services Authority under The Financial Services And Markets Act 2000 and are subject to obligations contained in the FSA Conduct Of Business Sourcebook. Under Regulation 4.2 of the Sourcebook the Defendants are required to ensure that they communicate with their clients fairly, clearly and in a way which is not misleading.
The Claimant believes that the Defendants specialist Contentious Litigation Department, designed to obstruct customers access to information that they seek, is a clear breach of their obligations.
Under Regulation 12.4.1R of the Mortgage Conduct Of Business Sourcebook the Defendants are required to ensure that any arrears charges they apply should only cover their actual costs of dealing with an account whilst in arrears. The Defendants have failed to comply with their obligations.
By misrepresenting the nature of it’s charges both in it’s Terms and Conditions, and in it’s correspondence to the Claimant, the Defendants have breached their statutory obligations.
The Claimant respectfully asks the Court to order standard disclosure when issuing this claim as the Defendants have continually refused to supply any requested information.
The Claimant respectfully asks the Court to order the Defendants to lodge in court full and detailed financial vouching for the Defendants actual losses sustained by the Claimants mortgage arrears, together with their full financial accounts revealing how much income the Defendants generate from their monthly secured loan Arrears Charges, compared to their actual costs of administering the Claimants missed monthly secured loan payments.
The Claimant would be most grateful to the Court if the disclosure extended to all charges including legal and litigation fees charged by the Defendants.
The Claimant respectfully asks permission of the Court to amend his claim once in receipt of all information from the Defendants.The Claimant claims:
Statement of Truth.
- The return of all charges paid in the sum of £xxxx.00 ,
- Court costs,
- Restitutionary damages to be determined by the Court, or
- Interest under section 69 of The County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% per annum to the date of issue, which is £xxx.xx and continuing until the date of judgment at a daily rate of xxp.
- A declaration that the Defendants have breached their obligations contained in the FSA Sourcebooks.
- Removal of any and all incorrect and defamatory information submitted to Credit Reference Agencies by the Defendants regarding the Claimants alleged arrears on the secured loan.
I, Homer J Simpson, of Springfield, believe that the facts stated in these particulars of claim are true, to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Homer J Simpson
xx xxxxxber 2010
18th January 2011 09:53
11th February 2011 20:57
Basic Account Holder
25th February 2011 22:43
The Consumer Action Group
Re: GE Money
On the basis of this news:- http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...lender-conduct no one should have any difficulty reclaiming mortgage arrears fees.
Anny, please will you start your own thread. I think that I have said this to you elsewhere as well.
Please don't pm me about specific questions unless you have posted and it has not been dealt with or unless the matter is confidential.
All attribution rights and moral rights in my copyright work are asserted
Advice & opinions of BankFodder, The Consumer Action Group and The Bank Action Group are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any doubts.
Basic Account Holder
Re: GE Money
Just wondered how you claim was progressing. I have put a claim in to GE money for my mortgage arears fees back and they have retaliated by applying for a possession order. They owe me more in fees than I owe them in alleged arrears. See my thread http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ead.php?295845
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