Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


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  1. #1
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    Default Minnie v NatWest ** WON **

    Hello all,

    I already have ALL my original NW statements going back to Mar 98 so have included any pre 2000 charges in my spreadsheet. I have composed my Data Protection Act request letter to to cover the manual intervention aspect and was on the point of posting it in the morning.

    HOWEVER!

    I had a sudden thought. I was bankrupticon in Aug '96 and only discharged in Aug '99 so there was a period of time from Mar 98 to Aug '99 when I was an undischarged bankrupticon with a bank account. Actually it was a joint account with BFriend, the only legitimate way of getting an account at that time. In Dec '98 BF removed himself from the account to leave me as sole account holder.

    This situation was not illegal (as far as I know) but I don't want to do anything that might jeopardise my claim.

    Assuming it may be a potential problem I would welcome peoples views on this. Should I:

    1. Only claim from the discharge date, Aug '99, and if so will this look fishy or could I just pretend I only have statements from that time?

    2. Claim only for the 6 year period from 2000 and forget the previous charges which is not a huge amount compared to the rest, to be honest?

    3. Go for it and still claim the lot. The bank would have to know that I was bankrupt afterall and I'm sure they don't. Or do they?

    4. Ask for everything including statements in my Data Protection Act request and see what I get back and how far back it goes?

    Thanks folks,

    Minnie

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  2. #2
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    Default Minnie v Natwest

    Having slept on this and had more time to think about it I think I have come to the conclusion that sending the Data Protection Act letter will reveal what info the bank has on me anyway and I can see if there is any mention of the bankruptcyicon.

    Looking at it logically I can't see how it would be a problem anyway, it just rattled me a little. I'm still sure they dont know anything about it anyway and I sure ain't gonna tell 'em, I'd hate to give them any possible reason to wriggle out of anything!

    Minnie

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  3. #3

    Default Re: How far back should I go?

    Hi i dont think you should be claiming beyond 2000 anyway. you can at this time only claim back 6yrs

    I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!!

    Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you!


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  4. #4
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    Default Minnie v Natwest

    Hi Cillitbanger,

    there's lots of talk on the forum at the moment about adding up any pre 6 year charges and bunging them in with a claim. The point being that if it's unlawful now it was unlawful then and the statute of limitationsicon becomes irrelevent. Plus, the banks would have to prove otherwise. I dont think it's quite proven yet but it's looking hopeful.

    I am actually gathering information at the moment for charges I also received from 1989 to 1996 with the RBSicon in the hope that I may be able to claim those also. It was a fair old whack, approximately £12,000 so if there's any chance of getting it back I'll be giving it a go.

    Minnie

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    Default Minnie v Natwest

    My progress:

    Data Protection Act sent in June, statements going back to 2000 received in good condition 41( ) days later.

    Prelim letter sent to branch on 21st Aug claiming £2717.66 including some pre 6 year charges.

    Letter received today from 'Manchester Retail Customer Service Centre' promising to "investigate the issues raised" and also that I would be contacted again by 12th Sept. Yeh right!

    lbaicon prepared and will be posted on Monday according to MY timescale.

    Minnie

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  6. #6
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    Default Minnie v Natwest

    Hello all,

    not posted for a while...... busy busy ........so here's an update;

    4th Sep - lbaicon sent

    4th Sep - BOGOF from Susan Law

    6th Sep - Another BOGOF from Susan Law (me thinks Susan doesnt know whether she's coming or going)

    11th sep - Letter from Stuart Higley: Lots of blah blah......offer of approx half claim.

    15th Sep - Letter from Carol Jenkins, customer servicesicon Officer: Charge of £5 debited from account has been refunded. Awww, thanks.

    26th Sep - Letter to Stuart Higley - Acceptance of offer as part settlement.

    29th Sep - Claim submitted to court

    29th Sep - Letter from Stuart higley - More blah blah, offer withdrawn.

    30th Sep - Claim served on NW

    9th Oct - Cobblers filed acknowledgement of service

    28th Oct (28th day) - Letter from Cobblers: Pretty much as described in this thread quoting unenforceable by virtue of "Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977" and stating not enough info received to adequately defend claim.

    28th Oct - Letter to Cobblers & Court, as described by Martin3000 in this thread again (Thanks, great thread) drafted and to be posted on Monday.

    I'm quite enjoying this!

    Minnie :grin:


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    Default Cobblers sent me someone elses letter!!!!

    Hi everyone,

    I hadn't got round to responding to the last letter I got from Cobbetts when I received another one from them today. In the envelope were 2 letters; one to me but also there was one obviously intended for someone else!!!! Anyone expecting a Cobbetts letter today but didnt receive one?

    The letter is a usual one stating all the reasons they think I will fail in court culminating in an offer of approximately half my claim..... with conditions of course. The first paragraph questions the total of my claim and suggesting my sums are wrong. I'll be checking that tomorrow as I don't have the full details in front of me now but can anyone give me any suggestions as to what to do with the other letter? Should I destroy it, post it to the intended recipient, send it back to Cobbetts......?

    Thanks everyone.

    Minnie:grin:


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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hi everyone,

    I finally decided to forward the letter directly to its intended recipient and also sent this letter to Cobblers.

    I refer to your letter of (DATE) the contents of which have been noted and to which I will respond in due course.

    Unfortunately the letter you sent me was accompanied by a similar letter to another correspondent. I have forwarded that letter to the intended recipient without comment. I have noted that person's address in case you should want it, but I have not retained a copy of the letter.

    I would like your assurance that any future letters destined for me will not suffer thye same fate.
    I don't see why I should make it easy for them, if they want to know who's letter they sent to me by mistake they'll have to ask me. Anyone got any suggestions as to what I should charge them for the privilege??

    Minnie :grin:


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    This is the defence I received from Cobblers. I imagine it's pretty much the same as others, but for the sake of continuity, I thought I'd post it anyway.


    Defence

    1. This defence is filed and served without prejudiceicon to the Defendant’s case that the particulars of Claim do not disclose reasonable grounds for bringing a claim against the Claimant to recover the bank charges (and interest thereon) referred to in the Particulars of Claim or any other sum(s). In the event that the Claimant does not properly particularise his/her claim then the Defendant will apply to strike out the Claim and/or for summary judgement in respect of the same.
    2. On allocation the Defendant invites the Court to direct that there be a case management conference in order to give the Claimant the opportunity to properly particularise his/her claim.
    3. No admissions are made as to what charges have been debited to the Claimant’s bank account.
    4. In relation to the allegation that the contractual provisions pursuant to which the charges have been applied are unenforceable by virtue of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (“UCTA 1977”) and/or the Unfair Contract Terms In Consumer Regulations 1999 (“the Regulations”) and/or the common law, the Claimant is required to identify:
    4.1 (a) the section(s) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (“UCTA”); (b) the regulations of The Unfair Contract Terms In Consumer Regulations 1999 (“the Regulations”); and (c) the principles of common law relied upon by the Claimant in alleging that the contractual provision(s) referred to are unenforceable; and
    4.2 the contractual provision(s) that the Claimant allege are invalid by
    reference to UCTA 1977 and/or the Regulations.

    Until such time as these sections/regulations/provisions are identified the Defendant cannot (save as appear below) please to the allegation referred to in paragraph 4 above. The Defendant therefore reserves the right to plead further to the allegation once (and if) the Claimant identifies the relevant contractual information.
    5. The Claimant is time-barred from bringing a claim of unauthorised bank charges prior to (DATE) by the provisions of section 5 of the limitation acticon 1980.
    6. Save as hereinbefore appears the Defendant joins with the Claimant on his/her claim(s) and denies that it is liable to the Claimant as alleged or at all.
    And this is the 2nd letter I received from Cobblers a few days later.

    Upon consideration of your schedule of charges within your Claim, we note that you identify charges to the sum of £1XXX.00 together with a total interest calculation of £1xxx.00. Together, this amounts to £2XXX.00. We assume that the figure you Claim in your Claim is therefore incorrect.

    Furthermore, you set out that your schedule charges incurred in (DATE) and (DATE). Under the Limitation Act 1980 you cannot bring a claim more than 6 years after the date on which the cause of action accrued. You issued your claim on (DATE), and you are therefore only legally entitled to claim between the periods (DATE) and (DATE). As such, you cannot legally claim for the first X entries relating to charges and ineterst on your schedule.

    In any event, our client considers that your challenge to its charges would fail in Court. Our client believes that its charges are fair, reasonable and transparent. It considers that the amounts debited to your account have been applied strictly in accordance with your agreement with it and its published tariff, which is satisfied complies with all the information that it gives to its customers about the operation of its products. As such, our client does not believe your claim has any prospect of succeeding.

    However, as a gesture of goodwill and strictly on the basis that our client rejects any liability to you, it is willing to offer you a goodwill payment of £1XXX.00.

    Acceptance by you of this goodwill payment will be in full and final settlement of your claim against our client and strictly on the basis that:-

    1.) you agree not to disclose to any third party the fact of, or any details relating to, this payment:
    2.) you write to the Court withdrawing your claim.

    Whilst this letter is written without prejudiceicon save as to costs, in the event that you decline this offer, we will draw this letter to the Court’s attention on the basis that we hold the firm view that this offer is entirely reasonable. In the circumstances. This offer will remain open for 7 days until (DATE).
    This is the reply I have composed and will be sending on Monday. If anyone has any suggestions, additons or corrections let me know...............

    I refer to blah blah

    The total sum claimed in the claim formicon is correct. You have overlooked the item which appears at the top of the schedule of charges which is entitled 'Estimate of Previous Charges' and is for £XXX.00.The sum shown under the heading 'Penalty Charged' does not include this figure, but the cumulative total at the end of the summary of charges does. Rgrettably, I omitted to include a copy of the scedule supporting the figure of £XXX.00 and this is now enclosed.

    Your contention, that charges incurred in (DATE) and (DATE) are disqualified, is refuted. The cause of action accrues not from the date on which the claim was issued, but from the date on which I became aware of the unlawful charges being imposed by NWB.

    As to your assertion, that a claim cannot be made for refund of charges imposed more than six years prior to the cause of action, I draw your attention to the following extract from Section 32 of the Limitatuion Act 1980:-
    (1) ......where in the case of any action for which a period of limitation is prescribed by this Act, either-
    ~ (a) the action is based upon the fraud of the defendant; or
    ~ (b) any fact relevent to the plaintiff's right of action has been deliberately concealed from him by the defendant; or
    ~ (c) the action id for relief from the consequences of a mistake;
    the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the plaintiff has discovered the fraud, concealment or mistake (as the case may be) or could, with reasonable diligence have discovered it....
    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above, deliberate commision of a breach of duty in circumstances in which it is unlikely to be discovered for some time amounts to deliberate concealment of the facts involved in that breach of duty....(5) Sections 14a and 14b of this Act shall not apply to any action to which subsection (1)(b) above applies (and accordingly the period of limitation referred to in that sub-section, in any case to which either of those sections would otherwise apply, is the period applicable under section 2 of this act).

    Your clients offer of £1XXX.00 is accepted as a part payment against my total claim and I will reject your condition No 1 regarding confidentialityicon. Consequently the Court will not be advised until the claim is settled in full.

    I acknowledge receipt of a copy of your clients defence under cover of your letter dated (DATE) and I have noted the contents.

    A copy of this letter has also been sent to the Court.
    Minnie :grin:


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hello everyone,

    I'm just a bit concerned that I haven't received my aqicon yet.

    Cobblers entered a defence on the 27th Oct (27th day), then I received a partial offer from them on the 2nd Nov to which I have replied. Most people seem to have received their AQ with the defence or soon after but 11 days on I've still not yet received anything. Is this normal?

    Thanks, Minnie


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Mild panic over!

    Phoned the court today and they informed me the aqicon had been posted yesterday and sure enough it was on the doormat when I got home this evening.

    :grin:


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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hi Minnie, I've just picked up on this thread and wondered if there has been any action since your last post a month ago. Can you update me please? As I have an interrest in this as I was with NatWest many years ago - supposedly statute barredicon now from claiming - and their charges forced my bankruptcyicon as I douldn't pay my VAT bills.
    Regards
    Davidp

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    First of all, apologies for not keeping this thread up to date especially for not replying to your post davidp1948. Anyway, the story so far......

    24th Nov - Completed and filed my aqicon.

    28th Dec - Notice from Court of allocation to the small claimsicon track with court hearing date set for March.

    22nd Jan - Letter from Cobblers with cheque enclosed for almost (see below) the full amount. Letter enclosed stated the usual "no admission of liability.... although confident of a win in court, costs far outway value of claim blah blah".

    I need to say at this point that my claim included some pre 6 year charges of around £600. Cobblers have deducted that amount and sent me a cheque for the rest, just under £3000. They also included this sentence in the letter:

    "As previously stated, acceptance by you of this goodwill paymenticon will be in Full and finalicon settlement of your claim against our client and strictly on the basis that you write to the Court withdrawing your claim."

    They included 2 Notices of Discontinuance forms, one to return to them and one to the Court. The form offers me 2 choices; to discontinue all of the claim or to discontinue part of the claim.

    Now! It's been a long time since I started all this and I'd forgotten the exact amount so on receiving the cheque, I assumed it was for the full amount including the pre 6 year charges and banked it (I know, I know, I should have checked it first....Doh!). However, I haven't yet returned the Notice of Discontuance forms.

    I'd welcome peoples views at this point as to whether I should pursue them for the remainder. I thought I'd scuppered my chances by banking the cheque, effectively accepting the payment as full and final settlement but now I'm not so sure. The Notice of Discontinuance gives me the option to discontinue just part of the claim if I wish but I wonder what the Court will make of me banking the cheque. I know there's also the issue of the statute of limitationsicon but I'm relying on section 32 (post #9 above).

    I'd really like to hear your views on all this.

    Ta, Minnie


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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Bump


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hi everyone,

    I know this is a busy forum and posts move fast but if anyone could please look over the following and let me know if I'm doing things right I'd be very grateful.

    I've come to the conclusion that I've nothing to lose by pursuing NW for the rest so have composed this letter (with thanks to compositions by both bong and jodyperry) in response to Cobbetts part settlement letter:


    "Dear Sirs


    Thank you for your letter and cheque dated xxxx.

    I will accept the goodwill payment of £xxxx.xx only as part settlement and on the clear understanding that I will pursue recovery of the remainder. You have not given reason in your letter, why £xxx.xx was deducted from the total amount of my claim so I can only conclude that it is on the basis that it is time barred according to the Limitations Act. I contend, however, that your client has deliberately concealed the facts relevant to my right of action and I seek to invoke postponement of the relevant limitation period under section 32(1)(b) of the Limitation Act 1980. The facts relevant to my right of action are that your client’s default charges are unreasonably disproportionate to the (costs of the services provided) / (your client's losses in relation to the account breaches). I discovered the concealment in May 2006, as a result of becoming aware of the report on default charges published by the Office of Fair Trading. I further contend that the claim is for relief from the consequences of having mistakenly paid the charges, and seek to invoke postponement of the relevant limitation period under section 32(1)(c) of the Limitation Act 1980. The mistake was in presuming that your client was not unlawfully profiting from the default charges in the manner described.

    I trust this clarifies my position and I look forward to receiving the remaining £xxx.xx in due course. Once payment has been received I will discontinue this entire claim by submitting form N279 to the Court with a copy to you."

    Now! Which of the following do I do?

    1.) Send the letter to Cobbetts
    2.) Send the letter to Cobbetts and a copy to the Court
    3.) Send the letter to Cobbetts with a completed Notice of Discontinuance for part of the Claim and also both to the Court

    Any help gratefully received.

    Ta, Minnie


  16. #16

    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hi Minnie,

    I can't give you any sort of authorititive answer on this, but there are a couple of things that would concern me about proceeding to court. Firstly, you banked a cheque which was sent in Full and finalicon settlement. The very fact you banked it could well be seen as an acceptance of the terms attached and I believe there is a precedent that supports this - I'll try to find the details. This issue crops up regularly on the Yorkshire Bank forum and the concencus has always been that if the cheque is cashed with terms attached then those terms are deemed to be accepted.

    Also, aside from the 'full and final' issue, by accepting the settlement of the post 6 year charges, you have effectively let Natwest off the hook of having to justify them in court. They would only have to argue primarily that the remaining amount at issue was time barredicon, so you'd need to be very sure of your arguement with regards to section 32 and be confident that you can put it successfully to a judge.

    In the event your arguement was rejected on either of the two grounds outlined above, there could in fact be a costs risk dispite the fact that you are in the small claimsicon Track. Costs can be awarded for 'unreasonable behavior', which is something I'm sure Natwest would argue for. I'm not sure a judge would award it against a LiP, but its something to be aware of.

    Sorry to be negitive but if it were me, personally I'd quit while I was ahead and withdraw the claim. By all means seek other opinion though.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    Hi Gary,

    thank you very much for the reply.

    I have to admit that initially my gut instinct was to withdraw the claim but I was just so annoyed with myself for making such a dopey error.

    From from what you say there are too many ifs and buts attached to continuing with this claim and although £600 is a lot of money I'd hate to end up in court over it and jeopardise losing what I already have..........or possibly more :o

    Let's face it, just a year ago I never dreamt I could get any of it back so I will be very satisfied with what I have thank you very much......... Anyway, the builder who has just repaired my roof needs paying!

    Thank you to you and everyone else on this fantastic forum for the advice and I shall consider this claim WON! My donationicon will be winging it's way in the next couple of days.

    Onwards to the A&L forum for my next attack!

    Thanks again, Minnie


  18. #18

    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    I'll get a mod to change the title for you

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  19. #19

    Default Re: Minnie v NatWest ** WON **

    Hi everyone

    In our fight with GE Money, they sent us a cheque for all of the charges immediately after our first letter. We accepted as a part settlement only and banked the cheque. A week later we received a second cheque, this time for the estimated charges (GE Money seem to have a real problem finding statements as many on this site have discovered). We again accepted as a part settlement only and are carrying on our claim for contractual interest as well (just short of £200). Is there a problem with the fact that we have banked the cheques - we have made it very clear that we accepted them only as part settlement.

    GE Money do seem to be unusual in sending cheques rather than offers - is this a subtle ploy to put us in the wrong or am I being paranoid. We intend to serve court papers on Monaday so any advice would be useful.

    Steven

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