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carey anne

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  1. Hello all, I would be very grateful for some advice regarding a secured loan with Swift Advances Plc. My mum took out a loan for £11K in 2002. In 2007 the account went into arrears and a repossession order was issued, I then took responsibility for my mum’s finances. I made the monthly repayments and I telephoned Swift every few months to double check the account was running to order (as the benefits office also contributed to the repayment and often changed the amount they paid). On every occasion Swift advised that the account was up to date and was in fact in credit by around £200. They even offered to refund the credit. In 2010 I received the first statement in the history of the account and was alarmed to notice additional interest charged at around £200 per month (the monthly repayment is £181). I contacted Swift and they told me that an arrears balance of £2500 occurred in 2007 and had attracted additional interest of around £200 per month since this time. As I had never managed a loan before I did not realise that a charges balance existed and never received any correspondence from Swift regarding the matter. the account balance has been increasing since 2007 due to the additional interest charges. Swift never sent any written correspondence regarding the charges balance to encourage repayment and I feel they mislead me over the telephone by saying the account was in credit and not telling me of the additional interest charges or offering to transfer to the charges balance. I complained to Swift Advances and they did refund £500 with no explanation. I then contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service and they have now issued their final response stating that as the charges occurred prior to April 6 2007 and the loan was taken out under the Consumer Credit Act 1794 they were unable to assist as it falls out of their jurisdiction. I contacted them again to ask them to consider the lack of communication from Swift from 2007 onwards and they declined. They said that as my mum had signed the Terms and Conditions of the loan the charges/additional interest were acceptable. I have since contacted Swift again to ask for clarification on how it is possible for an account to have a charges balance and a credit balance at the same time, to ask for a breakdown in the arrears balance and a history of the interest charged along with a 2011 account statement and they have also declined stating that I should contact the Ombudsman if I have any complaints. I am now at a loss of what to do next. I feel that Swift as a lender have an obligation to provide clear information regarding the account and I feel I should have been reminded of the charges balance and the additional interest over the years (I admit perhaps I should have known the arrears balance existed but I have never had a loan before and I trusted Swift staff when they told me the account was in credit). The additional interest and charges amount to approximately £10,000. My mum is a pensioner and as the account is still attracting interest on the old charges balance I cannot see how this loan will ever be repaid. Is there anything I can do? I’m not sure whether I can try reclaiming these charges and interest especially in light of the Ombudsman response regarding the CC Act 1974 but I feel that the lack of communication from Swift is appalling and I want to take it further. Many thanks Carey
  2. Hi All Spoke to Barclays yesterday. They offered the full amount including interest, which totalled £2,082.11 for the mortgage. I actually claimed for £2,600 because they failed to provide 2 years statements despite requesting twice, so i had estimated the charges for two years out of 6. The clerk apologised that for failing to provide these statements but confirmed the actual amount charged was £2,082.11 and offered all of it. I was really surprised, i was expecting the offer to be about 60% of the claim, and when he offered the lot he asked whether i would be happy with that? as though he assumed i would be requesting more. It did make me wonder though whether he was assuming i would be expecting a compensation fee or something as well. I also mentioned the last remaining claim, which is for a current account and was told this is covered by the test case, and because it's so close they are not considering this claim yet. It was 10 months ago that i started this claim and I'm glad to put this one behind me. I'm really happy with the settlement but it does sadden me to think there are so many people out there like my parents who perhaps cannot really understand or argue with banks and as a result are taken advantage of, repeat charges without consideration for an individual's circumstances have such serious implications, i just really hope there's an end to it for everyone. I note the settlement letter says that I must agree that the existence and the terms of the offer remain confidential between myself and the bank!!! I don't like this statement at all and don't want to agree, although i have gained the charges back and i'm over the moon, it has been a real struggle, i have had to write so many letters i cant even count, and, i think the way the bank have treated my parents is terrible. I might just strike through this part. I need to get my mum to agree today and fax it back to the bank as i want the offer to take effect next year. If the offer is processed before 1st January my mums mortgage payment will reduce next year. Anyway, about the power of attorney thing - its not just charges she doesn't understand , it's all paperwork relating to finances, and even the money itself. I manage her benefits, her banking everything but i am not officially her attorney. Someone mentioned this to me before but i just haven't had the chance to look into it. It sounds helpful though, so i will do. I just want to say thank you for all your help, at times when it felt like such a struggle your responses really encouraged me to continue and your advice was really helpful. I'm going to speak to my mum about making a donation as i really think without this site/forum we would not have received this settlement. I am really grateful. Thank you.
  3. Hi Jan How are you? I had a breakthrough the other day, much to my surprise i received a letter from Barclays saying they are investigating the possibility of a settlement for the mortgage. The amount I claimed for is £2682. I'm just waiting to hear whether they are able to discuss this with me as the claim is the joint names of my mum and dad. Obviously they need to speak to the executor of my dads estate which is my mum, however she has some mental health issues and doesn't understand any of this. I've sent authorisation from my mother, so hopefully within the next few days this claimed will be resolved. I don't know what the offer will be but i'm hoping for as close to £2000 as possible. I cant tell you how surprised and relieved I was to get this letter. I have been hounding them since i applied for the stay to be removed, i was starting to think there was no end to it. There was no mention of the current account claim but as least there has been some movement on their behalf. I'll let you know as soon as i settle.
  4. Yeah I know, it's stupid, i am annoyed and disappointed, perhaps the FOS are tired of the complaints and this will slow the process down. I dont know, it's just all so slow. All i can do is wait again! Anyway i've written to the FSA again, their last letter stated there's no definition of hardship, but that banks have an obligation under the Banking Code. So, i let them know that Barclays believe their obligations under the Banking Code have been misinterpreted by the media etc, and as Barclays have acknowledged my mother's financial difficulties but still refuse to deal with the case, i've informed the FSA Barclays are failing to adhere to the conditions of the waiver. I've asked them what actions will be taken for those who fail to adhere. I don't expect much to be done but i'll just keep hassling people till they are sick of me.
  5. Hi Jan Just to keep you updated. I had my complaint returned by the FOS. Although I included the final response from the bank, they say it is not the final response as this would say 'this is the final response, you now have 6 months to submit a complaint'. Instead my letter states 'if you are ultimately disatisfied with my response you may refer your complaint to the FOS'. I replied to this letter from Barclays stating I was disatsfied, I used the template you suggested which requested that the bank provide an explanation of why this was not hardship, if it felt this was the case. So, i thought the letter i recieved in response to this (acknowledging my mums financial difficulty/saying the banking code was misinterpreted etc) was the final response. I mean, there was nothing further i could write to the bank when i have it in writing twice that they are unwilling to consider the case till after the test case, and as there was nothing further that i was expecting to hear from the bank, so i assumed this was the final response. But, after speaking to the FOS they say it isn't. Although i really don't believe that if i had waited, without intervention from the FOS i would eventually recieve another explanation from the bank. So anyway, the FOS have asked the bank to issue a another final response, and if i dont hear in another 8 weeks, i can resubmit my claim. It's just dragging on and on!
  6. I've just read about simon's win, that was fantastic, im soo pleased for him
  7. Hi Jan You are not a pest im grateful for any information you provide. Just an update, I sent another letter to Barclays as you suggested above, they replied and acknowledged that my mother was clearly suffering financial difficulties but stated this does not mean that they should not apply charges. They went on to say the Banking Code has been misinterpreted by the media and elsewhere - I find this a little difficult to understand as the first page of the Banking Code bears the Crystal Mark so the clarity of the document has been approved by the Plain English Campaign! I have also been in touch with the Ombudsman, they sent me a complaint pack which i have completed and posted today. I also wrote to the FSA regarding the situation and am about to write to the Banking Code Standards Board. Hope your well. Carey
  8. Hi Jan I've had a reply from Barclays to my request for a refund. I cant provide exact words as i just phoned my mum and she read it to me but it didnt answer my question. It said we are sorry to her of your loss etc, and went on to say the banks can be very helpful when people get into financial difficulty and there are a number of things they can do- although didnt say what, it said my mum will be contacted by the mortgage department shortly but this in no way means we will be recieving an offer of a refund of charges as they are under no obligation until the test case is resolved. Im so annoyed. I requested that if they could not give a refund to at least provide me with an explanation as to why my parents who, on a low fixed income due to disability do not deserve special consideration under the banking code. They didnt even bother to mention the banking code. My mum who has some psychiatric issues dealt with the finances when the charges were incurred, but since 2006 i have taken responsibility for her, i dont think she contacted them in writing at the time to tell the bank of her struggles but i know there was a home visit from the bank so they were definately aware and yet they still continued to apply charges. Since February this year I have stated my parents only income is benefits etc and they just dont care. I so fed up, when is the meeting with the banking code board? If you need case examples you can have this one. Also did you say you knew a contact at the newspapers? Caroline
  9. Hi jan I haven't heard back from Barclays yet, I only sent the letter on saturday as ive had a lot to sort out but as soon as i have a response i'll let you know. Ive just had a reply from the judge about lifting the stay, his comments below are as i expected As in all cases advanced on the grounds of hardship where Claimants are seeking to lift the stay, I am unable to conclude that the individual cases would result in a speedier resolution of the claim than would result from the final determination of the OFT litigation. Those representing the banks before me on these applications have confirmed that even if the Claimants succeeded in their claims at first instance (and I am in possession of judgments in two cases where such claims have failed at first instance before District Judges) the banks would pursue appeals, if necessary to the House of Lords. That process, if it were allowed to proceed in any individual case, would take at least as long as the final determination of the OFT test case, and in addition would potentially expose the Claimants to substantial adverse costs orders, in addition to the immense strain and difficulty of conducting complex litigation without the benefit of legal representation. Neither Article 6 nor the overriding objectives provide arguments in favour of such a course I think its clear that you cannot take the hardship route in court. Its up to the actual bank to determine whether its hardship. But, as i said the solicitor representing Barclays said that this case is definately not hardship. If applying repeat charges to fixed income individuals whose sole income is disability does not constitute hardship then i have no idea what does. If i dont get the desired response from the bank i will be pushing it further, to the FOS etc. Ill keep you updated
  10. Hi Jan Well i've had no response from the judge about the removal of the stay!! I've just sent a letter to the bank asking for a refund based on hardship, ive informed them if they fail to reply within 14 days i will be contacting all the national newspapers. I have no choice but to contact the press as my mother will loose her home in the near furture if we dont get that money back. Ive informed the bank i will be informing the press of Barclays disregard for the banking code and the repeat application of charges to individuals whose sole income is disability. I know charges have been covered in the media, but they may be interested in the fact that despite the FSA waiver reference to hardship, cases like ours are not being dealt with. I'm just waiting for a reply now, i really hope they give my mum the money back,it could help her keep the home, she's lived there for 21 years and obviously it would be hard for her to loose that aswell as her husband I havent looked on this site for a few weeks now, have many hardship cases had the stay removed yet?
  11. Thank you everyone for your help I'm going to write to the bank and FSA etc and when i have a response i'll think about the papers. This is more about the principle than the money, the money undoubtedly would help my mum but the banks need to recognise disability when applying charges. Such people dont have a means of boosting their income and so are bound to struggle as a result. i think the media would be intersted in this, im not sure but i havnt seen in the paper how charges in particular affect disabled people. The whole thing is exhausting really, i dont want my mum in the paper either but i want to see this issue addressed. Anyway im writing to the bank again this week so i will keep you posted on any reply Thanks again, this site/people who use it are a real help
  12. hello Just to keeep you informed, i went to the hearing on 15th to remove the stay. Although i have not had the response yet from the judge as he said he will contact everyone in writing with his views i am confident the stay will be allowed. Before the judge heard my case of hardship he said his personal views on the matter were that if the stay was removed it would potentially have legal cost implications for the claimants and he also had a major issue with time. He said he is very doubtful that even if the stay was removed that any of the claimants in cases like this would receive their refunds any quicker than if we all just wait for the test case to be resolved. i thought this was odd as ive read the test case could go on as long as 6 years, i cant see why if the stay was removed it would take as long as 6 years to get a hearing date in the small claims court, especially since when i first submitted my original claim i had a hearing date within 3 months!!!!! Basically i felt i was wasting my breath to even mention hardship. I stated according to FSA wauver the banks are reminded to deal with hardship cases in agreement with banking code. He said what waiver??? And then went on to say this doesnt really matter as Banking Code is voluntary. I pointed out my parents sole income is benefits, DISABILITY benefits at that, & that the amount given by the gov is deemed to be the minimum amount a disabled person is required to live on, i then went on the say bank charges have DIRECTLY caused hardhip as they have left my parents with less than the minimum amount law says they need to live on so struggle is inevitable. I also stated they have been unable to meet other financial commitments as a result and received a REPOSSESION order in 2006. I also highlighted how the stay would result in further hardhip. I showed a financial statement (ioutgoings exceed income by £25 per month) and said that statement would balance if money was returned. This is because the charges have increased by mums mortgage debt by £3k and so her monthly payment is higher. Despite all this info the Barclays solicitor said THIS IS NOT HARDSHIP!!!! I then asked for a definition of hardship according to Barclays and she said she didnt know, the jusge then said he couldnt answer either but said it was like an ELEPHANT!!!!! whatever that is supposed to mean. I again restated the facts i.e. claimants left with less than minimum amount a diabled person requires. The overall impression was that this is not hardship and yet no one could define it but hardship is soooo obvious it hits you like an elephant! Oh forgot to mention the FIRST thing the solicitor said was that on 12Oct i was sent a letter offering a FULL refund of all charges and interest for one of my claims (had 3 in total). They even got this wrong tho, said would refund full £850 but as already refunded £250 would give £600. i never received £250!!! The judge said well done to getting refund but the overall impression was that claimants may not get money back if stay removed anyway despite fact bank had just offered me £600. Im disgusted that benefits recipients are treat like this, im going to write one more letter to the bank summarising this then im going to write to FSA (stating that no one is listening to the hardship element of their waiver), the FOS and im going to write to an MP, Im so annoyed banks dont excercise any consideration when applying these charges where only income is disability benefits i might write to a paper Anyway sorry to waffle on for ages, thought someone may be interested. i doubt any stays will be removed at this rate
  13. Thanks for your help. I'll just give it my best shot. Thats interesting about A&L settling on grounds of hardship. I will mention to the judge that some cases have been settled since 27 July. Is CRFX250 the claim number at Cardiff court? as i want to be specific when i mention it. Obviously i hav'nt included this information in the bundle, will i be allowed to mention it or does everything need to be handed in that i plan to refer to? Thanks
  14. Hi again Apologies for the delay but i dont have regular access to the net. Im quite stressed about the hearing on Monday. Went to CAB and they were no help. Went to a solicitor (due to error by receptionist i ended up with a solicitor specialising in family law so she couldnt help) and she had a look at the SSA section 187 and basically said i cant just state refer to this in court, she said i need to have cases to back it up etc. Am feeling worried overall now, i feel the stay will be allowed as i dont know the nitty gritty of the law and as such my parents have just been taken advantage of. Their charges amount to almost £5000, can i state that my parents are vulnerable members of society etc (mental health problems) and that the bank has breached the Banking Code in failing to reduce/suspend charges over the years. Will the judge be willing to listen to the personal side of the case? i know Barclays who already told me on the phone will just say its not a breach of SSA, and i cannot argue with that as i have no evidence Also there were no directions on the letter stating i have a hearing. i have handed in a bundle but i havent resubmitted all the statements again, there are just too many, i have simply stated previously submitted. As with the banking code etc, i hav'nt submitted a copy to the court but i have said ill be bringing it in. I hope the case doesnt get struck out as i havent submitted everything? My dad died a few weeks ago so its all a bit of a mess Any help would be great thanks
  15. Hello Ive got a hearing date for the stay removal on 15th October. Does anyone know whether the SSA 1992 can be used to protect benefits that are NOT directly paid into the account in question? I'm dealing with my parents claims, one is a mortgage and i think the annual statements do actually show the total payment is made up of my parents contribution and money from the social. But the other two claims are for a credit card and a current account, the latter of which im claiming for charges applied since 2001 however benefits were only paid into the account from 2006- i think this may be because my parents use to collect the benefits in cash at the post office. Also has anyone has anyone been successful in removing the stay yet? thanks
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