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half ax I

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  1. FOS are really bogged down it seems. They keep sending a we are busy and we'll update you in another four weeks.
  2. Thought I would just update to say that the case went to court a couple of months ago and Judge granted the TPDO. Asked for litigant costs but didn't get them but do have 8%. Debt now being repaid. TPDO seem quite rare except against bank accounts and it was difficult to find any similar cases but after taking the plunge it all turned out well in the end. It was good that the third party was not obstructuve. Case Closed
  3. Pen Probably not what you want to hear, but I would check the terms and conditions of your mortgage. There may be a condition that they will charge you all legal fees they incur in respect to your mortgage so irrespective of award of costs in a court they are able to charge their costs to your mortgage under the terms of the contract. However they must be able to justify that these charges are reasonable and you should be within your rights to request a fully itemised breakdown of these charges and if you think they are excessive then I think you can complain. I think the Law Society may be the organisation that can determine the reasonableness. If they have used external legal resource they should have invoices and again these should be able to stand up to scrutiny though I doubt they will offer them up. S
  4. Nice one! Well Done. Hope they sort out pretty damn quick.
  5. 2 x FTE equivalent apportioned must equate to a max of £50k plus the overhead of £25k per head (ie x 2) totals £100k divided by 5000 failed DD's equals £20 per time. OFT reckons £12 should be all it costs and some bank seemed to have proved to them £16 is OK. Must make this lot quite inefficient by comparison. 2 x FTE at say 45 weeks and a 7 hour working day suggest it takes about 45 minutes to deal with each payment failure. I bet that could be reduced through efficiencies to 10 minutes, but that would mean they wouldn't be able to justify the penalty!
  6. Well I bit the bullet and approached the business that owes the money to my debtor. Good news is they have no problem with accepting a TPDO and are willing to sign a witness statement with the salient details. Have written to MCOL to transfer case to local court in order to apply for the TPDO. With luck things should start moving now. Have downloaded the correct form and completed it. Am going to add interest at 8% since judgement obtained, plus application fee and detailed litigant in person costs (all at judges discretion). Feel a lot happier with the prospect that I may get my money back. Would welcome any advice or guidance or opinions.
  7. Phone call to Halifax confirmed this was their final response letter so have sent off complaint to Financial Ombudsman in the interest of trying all options before litigation in accordance with CPR.
  8. Latest update - Fairly obvious that they didn't want to play ball so have eventually decided to exercise the right they suggested and have sent off details to Financial Ombudsman Service.
  9. Volswagen I guess it depends on the individual circumstances. The paragraph before the one you have quoted indicates that they haven't yet had to go forward with an investigation - I guess because the banks don't want that level of intrusion from FOS. I am assuming that the banks cough up in full for the charges and maybe without interest. Sorry to hear of your hardship. I can't see how they could justify a fee of £700 for any service. What do they call that service? As I see it the FOS option is a no lose one. It doesn't stop you following other routes via the court and should at least reopen negotiations with the bank if an offer is forthcoming, which in our case will be better than the current get lost final response. To reply to Kermit Powers last question in original post. I don't think it will count against you. On the contrary you would appear to have explored all avenues prior to litigation and satisfies the "Over-riding Objectives" of the Civil Procedure Rules. S
  10. See FAQs - complaints about bank charges which would seem to suggest that bank's prefer not to have the FOS investigate. Youngest's claim against Halifax has been denied and this would seem the next step to take I think. At least worth a shot. S
  11. Well Halifax have responded before their deadline of 7th June with the letter below. So despite following the normal process it seems they have selected this as one to refuse outright. Could it be because one of the accounts is an ex-staff account? I think a complaint to FOS could be in order so that we are seen to be attempting all avenues before court in accordance with CPR. I thought they each complaint that FOS investigates costs the bank about £400 which is less than the claim. Any thoughts? Thank you for your recent complaint about the charges which have been applied to your account. I am sorry you are unhappy. Our Investigation I have carried out an investigation of your complaint and I am satisfied that the charges have been correctly applied to your account. This letter explains the reasons behind my decision. Why You Have Been Charged When you opened your account, you agreed to our terms and conditions which explained that charges would be applied if you did not keep to the terms of the account. From time to time, we have also sent you information about the current level of charges. This information formed part of your agreement with us and we have applied them strictly according to the terms agreed. We apply these charges because when customers have insufficient funds in their account to cover a payment they have asked us to make, this means additional work for us. As a result, we feel it is reasonable to charge for this service. How We Can Help If you continue to manage your account in this way, future charges will be applied to your account. We know you do not want this and we would like to work with you to help you avoid these charges altogether. We offer free banking, which means your account is free of charge, as long as your account is in credit or within an agreed overdraft limit. To ensure your account remains free of charge, it can help by keeping a running check on how much is in your account. You can get an up-to-date balance at any of our cash machines, over the phone and on line. It is also worthwhile checking the dates of your direct debits to ensure that you have enough money in your account to cover the payments when they are due to be paid. If you need greater flexibility, we may be able to help you by providing an overdraft or extending your overdraft facility. This can help to keep the costs of any unauthorised transactions down. If you feel you need more help to manage your bank account, I enclose a leaflet explaining the situations when charges will be applied and the services we offer. Outcome I am sorry to advise you I am declining your complaint. I hope I have explained the reasons for my decision. You recently received a copy of our leaflet explaining our complaints procedures. Should any of your concerns remain unresolved please let me know what you would like me to do to put matters right. We are keen to resolve your concerns, however, if we are unable to do so we'll provide you with details of how you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service for help. If I do not hear from you in the next eight weeks I will assume you are happy. Yours sincerely
  12. Koos It is definitely worth trying to negotiate a reduction. There is a view that the ERC is to compensate for any loss they might have for early leavers. Given that an offer of the interest for the 2 remaining months would mitigate any loss they would have in those last 2 months there is possibly a chance they would accept. It might be worth asking your solicitor to negotiate the redemption although in my experience they tend to only be interested in doing the basic stuff a solicitor needs to do when there is a sale. In my daughters case the solicitor didn't find some basic errors in calculations and just took Accord's word for the amount owed. Are you moving house or selling up? I guess in any case Friday is the completion of sale date so not much time to negotiate in. As zoot says if ERC is paid include the duress bit and ask solicitor to include it in the correspondence to Accord. My daughter paid an ERC of a similar amount which when the situation is clearer will be worth getting back. Currently trying to get them to repay charges - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/mortgage-companies/84157-mortgage-account-charges-long.html Good Luck S
  13. Koos You would be better starting your own thread under the http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/mortgage-companies/ forum. Why not copy & paste your question into a new one and we can reply there. Send me a PM when you have your own thread and I will visit. I'm sure Paul will too. S
  14. mrsfoot Thanks - I'll take another read of the t&c's and see what it specifically says about the charges bit. S
  15. Ellie Thanks for the click. If they have sent you the final response you could try the FOS complaint route and still have the option of going to court. Think I may try this route for the one we are dealing with. Don't know if you have seen the update to our thread - the one with the request for the modest amount. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/mortgage-companies/84157-mortgage-account-charges-long.html S
  16. Haven't managed to do the N1 and file yet. Their last letter said - Further to our letter of 11th April 2007. I'm sorry that you have not yet had a full response to your concerns. We're still investigating your complaint, and you will receive a response from us as soon as possible, but certainly no later than 7th June 2007. Our complaints leaflet, which we sent to you previously, explains how we will handle your complaint. Yours sincerely I think I might wait for that letter before continuing as will need to wait until after pay day before filing. S
  17. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/mortgage-companies/84157-mortgage-account-charges-long.html#post839053 Draft Order not required I guess as mortgage company have revealed how they calculate that £25 is a valid charge for a failed payment. Anyone any thoughts? S
  18. The reply – My changes/comments in italics! I would firstly wish to point out that Mortgage Company is not a subsidiary of, or indeed in any way connected with, Yorkshire Bank. Mortgage Company is a subsidiary of a different company. Furthermore the Society does not use the CYNthesys costing model. OK my error! Turning to the other specific points you have raised in connection with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Regulation 1999 and other legal precedents, I would comment as follows: In Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & New Motor (1915) AC 79, a charge in relation to a breach of contract is deemed a 'penalty' and, therefore, unenforceable if it is 'for an extravagant and unconscienable [sic] amount in comparison with the greatest loss that could conceivably be proved to have followed the breach'. You will note from the overview provided below that Mortgage Company's charge of £25 cannot reasonably be considered either 'extravagant' or 'unconscienable' [sic] in this context. The charge levied by Mortgage Company is intended to be compensation for Mortgage Company and not a threat to deter breach. Furthermore you are probably aware that Mortgage Company's charge is in fact cheaper than a number of other lenders who are currently charging between £30-£35 for similar services. In Murray v Leisureplay plc (2005) EWCA Civ 963, the Court recognised the difficulty in estimating the amount of genuine compensation and acknowledged that it had to give a degree of leeway and would only strike out a term if it was truly excessive. In other words, there is no requirement that the charge must exactly reflect the firm's costs. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 refers to a disproportionate penalty being invalid. The term, in order to be considered unfair must, contrary to the requirement of 'good faith', cause a 'significant imbalance' in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the consumer's detriment. 'Good faith' is a requirement of 'fair and open dealing'. Fairness refers to the substance of the contract and requires the supplier not to take advantage of a customer's necessity, lack of experience, weak bargaining position etc. Openness requires the term to be expressed fully, clearly and legibly, containing no concealed pitfalls or traps, with appropriate prominence being given to terms that might disadvantage the customer. Our charge provision is expressed clearly, legibly and transparently. The charge is referred to in our Mortgage Tariff, a copy of which is provided to customers with the mortgage offer and annually thereafter with the annual mortgage statement. Additionally, all borrowers are informed of the fee immediately following the first missed direct debit collection which is not charged for. Finally, with over 120 mortgage lenders in the market, we believe that any prospective customer is in a strong position to shop around and consider all likely charges in the context of the overall pricing of the mortgage offering; particularly if they considered the level of all charges as an important aspect of the deal. In considering 'significant imbalance' Mortgage Company believes it is important to examine the circumstances at the time of the contract. In this context market practice is relevant and I would refer you to my comments above regarding the level of fees adopted by other lenders. Mortgage Company firmly believes that it is appropriate for defaulters to pay when in default, rather than spreading the burden of the cost to include the majority of customers who do not default. We therefore uphold the view that whilst there is some financial detriment for a defaulting customer, it is not significantly detrimental given the need to balance the interests of all customers, including those that do not default. In conclusion, taking all the circumstances at the time of the contract (including other providers' charges and rights of non-defaulters) it is our opinion that the charge is levied in good faith and does not cause a significant imbalance in the rights and duties of the parties to the consumer's detriment. By way of further background, I detail below the broad assumptions used in assessing the level of fee charged. In determining a reasonable fee level, Mortgage Company has attempted to calculate the total costs incurred in undertaking and supporting the task. This means that: • There has been a genuine estimate of the total number of expected instances which would give rise to the fee and the work supporting this. For unpaid direct debits, this means the number of failed direct debits anticipated in a calendar year, projected forward with appropriate adjustments based on a reasonable set of assumptions. • Total costs are divided equally between the numbers anticipated. In other words there has been no attempt to try and personalise the charge to individual borrowers or types of borrowers. However, in determining total costs, consideration has to be given to the costs of all relevant services which may be encountered. For example, all borrowers will have received a prior warning that subsequent unpaid collections will attract a fee. In some instances borrowers will contact the Society over the phone to discuss the unpaid item, others will write in. Either of these could, and often do, result in an amendment to future collection dates or the setting up of an arrangement to collect the payment again. • Numbers have been be rounded up to allow for a reasonable element of inflation and to ensure fees remain reasonably stable over a period of time Finally, in determining the level of cost, all external costs, staff processing costs and a proportionate element of general overheads have been taken into account. High level breakdown of costs: Total staffing resource (FTE) involved, based on the timings of specifically related tasks and volumes recorded: • Failure related activity in Lending Services • Telephone support activity in Lending Services • Telephone support activity in MCC • Financial control/banking • IS admin support/post room activity • Team leader & management support 2 FTE In addition, the following overhead costs of operating the business require to be apportioned across this activity. These include: Head Office rent payable insurance rates payable metered utilities Computer overheads purchase / lease / maintenance Business Support functions Facilities Human Resources Information Systems Treasury, Risk, Audit and Legal Network services Directors & General Management costs External Auditors - VAT - repairs and maintenance - shared services / restaurant - cleaning - Health & Safety Overhead costs apportioned on an individual basis (in addition to actual salary and other related benefits received by the staff members involved) equate to approx £25,000 per head. Other costs Stationery Postage BACS charges associated with representations In 2005 the Group processed approx 5,000 unpaid direct debits where a fee was levied. Unfortunately Mortgage Company can not agree to refund the charges as you have requested and I hope my letter clarifies why Mortgage Company have come to this decision, however our previous offer of £x remains open to you should you wish to accept it. I am obliged to inform you that you do have the right to ask the Financial Ombudsman Service to look into it and this letter will confirm that we have reviewed your case. You will find enclosed a booklet setting out the Ombudsman's procedure, which I hope will be useful. You will see for instance, that you will need to approach the Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of this letter. Yours sincerely A named person A specific position So I guess the next step is the FOS and if their “free” cases are used up they will be charged a case fee of £360 which is more than the total I asked for. Where’s the commercial sense in that? Any comments my CAG friends?
  19. sianyboo I think Creation are a different company than GE Capital. Different stores use different providers and they can move them around. Creation have a DUET card. They used to do the cards for the Sears Group of companies. Some of those companies were sold on and changed to their new owners partner usually GE. Creation still provide cards for some companies - this link should give an idea of who they provide cards for. Creation Financial Services Limited - A unique range of skills
  20. Not quite the same. I received a £120 annual bill from Demon earlier this month (for a business dial up service) and was dated 31-05-2001. The service was cancelled in 2000. Looks like a very efficient billing system! S
  21. Letter arrived today referring to original letter and stating they have another 4 weeks in which to respond. 14 days is definitely up over the weekend so time to prepare an N1! S
  22. bigyeti Any idea why there is 11 days between when N1 was filed and deemed served? I thought it was usually a couple of working days after filing! S:confused:
  23. Next stage. VF have corrected the balance at the CRAs. Phone calls to VF confirm that they sent it to DCA whilst it was in dispute and 4 days after wrote confirming the amounts of invoices. They seem to agree this was not appropriate and discussing internally with a view that if they agree they shouldn't have sent it to the DCA then they would remove the Default. That'll be a good result. At the moment youngest can't open a decent bank account and all confirm it is down to this one bad record from VF.
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