Jump to content

Annoyed from Caerphilly

Registered Users

Change your profile picture
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


1 Neutral
  1. Hi, note a couple of members have been looking for a definition of hardship. Have been advised by the FSA that the definition banks, etc should work out is outlined in their most recent advice to the banks, etc. A copy of this information can be found at :- http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/doing/regulated/notify/waiver/pdf/disp_quarterly.pdf Main information can be found on pages 11 and 12 Regards
  2. ………..Do I apply through the N244 process firstly, contact the FOS, or write to the bank? I am just unsure what is the best way to approach this. Hi, In reply:- My approach was to contact the bank by telephone first of all and argue that they had a duty to examine cases of genuine financial hardship. Take a look at my entry dated 12th October 2007, posted at 13:19 The crux of my argument was to argue, initially during telephone calls, and subsequently in writing that....... ……….my position (confirmed via contact with the FOS and OFT) is merely that the agreement reached between the banks, FSA, FOS and OFT prior to the OFT v banks case being submitted to the High Court at the end of July clearly states that responsibility for determining and resolving a ‘hardship case’ lies with the bank, that the waiver granted to banks, allowing complaints re charges to be held pending the outcome of the High Court case does not apply to ‘hardship’ cases, and banks should therefore seek to identify and resolve such cases; further that where agreement cannot be reached between a customer and a bank the bank must issue a final response letter as a precursor to the FOS seeking to resolve matters. I argued this point on a no. of occasions, first of all with the dept. that handled bank charges claims (in the case of A and L the Credit control dept., you need to find out who this will be with your bank) and thereafter with the Customer Care Team (likewise re determining the correct dept. in your bank) that took up my case, eventually successfully winning the day on my behalf. It was necessary to ensure that the latter dept. accepted my arguments (during a telephone call) and once they had done so I faxed them a copy of the letter originally sent to the initial dept, (I have copied this letter into the aforementioned entry, namely the entry dated 12th October 2007, posted at 13:19) As indicated, if you cannot determine which dept. you need to contact, seek the support of a PA in the Chief Exec.'s office. Whilst you could go down the N244 route ( and to check I believe this would be an application to set the stay aside) it is only worth doing so if you are sure that the Court dealing with your claim is one of the Courts that is proceeding as normal, if it is a Court that is maintaining the stays until the outcome of the High Court case then obviously there is little benefit in pursuing this route. Alternatively, contacting the bank may be a quicker route, as you will not be delayed waiting for your N244 application to be considered. Re the other option you mentioned, the advice I had from the FOS is that in the present climate you can only seek to gain their support once you have a final written response letter from the bank, and as indicated in several of my submissions, I seemed to succeed by using the request for the aforementioned letter as a bargaining tool with the bank, i.e., consider my case or you MUST provide me with a final written response which I will take to the FOS. Even at this stage (my experience) was that the banks do not wish to involve the FOS, and lo and behold they came up with an offer ! Hope this helps. All the best, and keep at the buggers !
  3. Hi, I didn't use a template letter, just sought to argue my case as per advice from FOS. Follow the detailed information I gave in yesterdays response (posted at 23.09) and earlier responses. Namely, if you cannot get any support from Credit control dept. or other respective dept. handling your bank charge claim, seek support of customer care team, accessed if needs be via a PA to chief exec. Argue that you have spoken to FOS, who have advised that you indicate to A and L that you are suffering hardship due to .... (put forward your own reasons), that there is a duty on bank (as per agreement between banks, FOS and OFT at time agreement reached to jointly submit a test case to High Court) to identify those claimants that are genuine hardship cases, i.e, the imposition of charges having casued genuine financial hardship. You are identifying yourself as such, and rather than submitting a letter under the Banking act indicating the charges applied have caused you hardship and thereafter waiting upto 8 weeks for a reply before (if reply unsatisfactory) seeking support of FOS, you want bank to consider your claim as one of genuine hardship straight away, either from your verbal request or subsequent to you outlining your position in writing. If bank are unwilling to consider your request, advise them that they have an obligation to supply you with a final written response indicating that they do not consider your case one of hardship, or having considered it, that any offer they make to you (if you find it unsatisfactory) is their final position. Push for Customer Care team to take up case on your behalf in line with above. (Quickest route to this team - ring main A and L HQ no. ask for team, insist put through, alternatively, ask to speak to PA to Chief Exec., briefly outline case, ask PA to arrange for team to recall you) Find out who you can send a fax to in Customer Care team outlining your position, i.e., hardship, basis of hardship, reduced income, etc, how charges made financial situation worse and loss of sum of money involved continues to impact upon your position. State that in first instance you want your claim reconsidered, statement re final written response is used as a bargaining tool or tactic, i.e., you have to consider my case OR provide a letter. Do not be fobbed off with claim that as matter is with Wragge and Co. it cannot be considered, re-emphasise that in letter from bank post stay and Wragge and Co. it outlines duty of bank to consider genuine hardship cases, the fact that you have instigated legal action is neither here nor there, agreement re ability of bank to request stays was made with proviso that banks would continue to consider hardship cases. In case it is of benefit to you, have copied below the text of the letter I submitted to Credit Control dept. and thereafter to customer care team arguing my case: Manager Credit Control Department Alliance and Leicester 3rd September, 2007 Dear Sir / Madam, Re: Account numbers 12345678 Mr.**********, request for refund of charges on basis of hardship Note – adapt this letter in line with your own set of circumstances, beef up your position with detailed info. re how (ill health, one off financial burden, etc) you began to suffer difficulties, alternatively, indicate, for example, that your monthly income and expenditure is so tight, that any reduction in income, e.g., charges, led to an imbalance and inability to meet usual monthly expenses. You need to try and show that you are unable to meet obligations and that situation is compounding and getting worse, e.g., as in my case, charges are creating and increasing an overdrawn balance. Letter was originally sent to Credit Control Dept. and subsequently, when they agreed to seek to resolve matters on my behalf (credit control dept. would not move from position of could not assist as matters now with Wragge and Co,) by the Customer Care Team Further to our initial and recent telephone calls, my referral back to yourself via the Chief Executives Office, and your request that I place in writing the basis of the financial hardship I am experiencing along with an indication of the amount of charges applied to the above two accounts. Please excuse the delay in getting this information to you, I have only been able to collate the necessary information with the assistance of a member of my family and at a time of mental clarity. I hope the following suffices, if not please do not hesitate to ask for further information. The basis of the financial hardship I am experiencing is:- · First of all outlined ill health that led to drop in income and eventually position where only income was state benefits · Secondly that my ill health is likely to continue for a time (add to both of these points as per your predicament) Further points:- · the illness was accompanied by financial difficulties – initially I lost track of my financial affairs and failing to transfer funds between accounts to cover expenses or direct debits began to incur charges · thereafter, my sick pay ran out and charges began to occur as I did not have the funds to cover my outgoings or increased living costs caused by my illness leading to the worsening of my financial position · I now rely upon Disability Living Allowance (Higher rate mobility, middle rate care) and Incapacity Benefit resulting in my inability to meet many of my current financial commitments and I find myself unable to make a number of loan or credit card repayments, pay telephone bills (a vital link when you are incapacitated), or sustain many of the commitments we all have (car tax and insurance, home insurance , etc) · matters were made worse by charges continuing to be applied, and most recently, charges taking an account overdrawn, which in itself resulted in further charges · I recently therefore took the decision to close down both of the specified accounts, realising that in effect this was the only option open to me - if I failed to do so charges would continue to mount, principally as I was not in a position to bring the 123456789 account back into credit or the 123456789 account below its agreed overdraft limit · presently my state of health is not that good, I suffered a significant relapse in February of this year ….. outlined current medical condition In total £****** in charges have been deducted from the specified accounts, £**** from (account numbered) 123456789 and £****** from 123456789 Clearly the deduction of such a large overall sum of money has done nothing other that worsen the financial difficulties and hardship experienced. I feel there is nothing to be gained at this point from questioning the level of charges applied; my position (confirmed via contact with the FOS and OFT) is merely that the agreement reached between the banks, FSA, FOS and OFT prior to the OFT v banks case being submitted to the High Court at the end of July clearly states that responsibility for determining and resolving a ‘hardship case’ lies with the bank, that the waiver granted to banks, allowing complaints re charges to be held pending the outcome of the High Court case does not apply to ‘hardship’ cases, and banks should therefore seek to identify and resolve such cases; further that where agreement cannot be reached between a customer and a bank the bank must issue a final response letter as a precursor to the FOS seeking to resolve matters. My further position is that I firmly believe it will be possible for you to address my concerns such that I deem the matter settled negating any need for involvement of the FOS or closer to home the continued involvement of the Chief Executives office. As indicated during one of our recent telephone conversations:- · £****** has been deducted in charges · £***** from account numbered 123456789 · £****** from account numbered 123456789 · were my legal action against A and L (to recover the charges levied) have proceeded to Court I would have been entitled to claim statutory interest at the rate of 8% and Court fees of £120 · respectively:- £**** in interest plus fees of £120 for account numbered 123456789 and £***** plus £120 for account numbered 123456789 This information and a full list of the charges applied to each account can be found in the attached spreadsheets You will note that the overwhelming majority of the charges were applied post the deterioration of my health and financial circumstances. I am willing to forego the amount I sought to claim for statutory interest and Court charges – in total £**** I therefore look to you agreeing to repay in full all of the charges levied and deducted from the specified accounts, namely, the sum of £******* As indicated, I do not, with respect, wish to revisit the question of the fairness of the charges, or of whether some element of each charge was fair. I fully believe that my difficulties meet any definition or criteria of hardship. Many thanks for agreeing to examine matters. I look forward to your reply. Kind regards, ******** Attached / to follow:- Spreadsheets for account numbers 123456789 and 123456789
  4. Thanks, Have been advised by the FOS that they will become involved in claims where they believe there is genuine hardship. Though I had not taken this route with the bank first of all, fortunately I received excellent advice from a no. of FOS advisors, namely:- recontact the bank, indicate that the deduction of charges had caused me financial hardship (as per the banking act), and importantly, rather than waste 8 weeks submitting a letter to the bank to that effect and recontacting the FOS if after 8 weeks the bank would not address my concerns, I was advised to ask the bank to consider matters on such a basis, i.e., without the need for submission of letter, and if they would not address my concerns on such a basis, or did so producing a result I was not happy with, to ask the bank to submit to myself a final statement of their position. This would then be examined by a specialist team set up within the FOS, and if the team felt it was a hardship case the FOS would become involved. Fortunately, although the Credit control dept. (handling all claims) initially refused to send me a final statement, a member of the Customer Care Team persuaded the dept. to consider my submission re hardship, and to give an undertaking that either I would receive some offer of payout or a final statement of their position. Surprisingly, no statement was forthcoming, my case was deemed genuine hardship and an offer for full repayment was made. It seems that even at this stage (with High Court case pending) the banks do not wish to place themselves in a position where the FOS became involved. In essence therefore I put forward the arguments given to me by FOS, persuading the bank that it would not be necessary and a waste of both parties time (for me) to submit a letter claiming hardship under the banking act - removing the need to wait 8 weeks before being eligible to seek FOS involvement. That either an offer was made or a final statement of position was sent to me, allowing me to seek FOS support. Once the bank accepted my evidence of hardship (reliance on benefits, inability to meet commitments, likelihood of continued ill health for some time) an offer in full was made. Would advise anyone contemplating this route to first of all seek FOS advice. (There is a particular term for final statement of position which I regrettably cannot recall, FOS can advise, rest of advice is correct as taken from notes). Thanks for your support and that of CAG generally. Have made a small donation earlier in week, larger one will be following in due course. Have also posted off some T and C to address given. On now to harass credit card Companies !!
  5. Thanks Jan - it was hard to keep motivating myself, but if nothing else I was determined that the slippery characters were not going to riggle out of the basis of the agreement (re examining hardship cases) agreed between the OFT, banks and FSA. Obviously I am not clear if my experience is true across the board, but I get the feeling that other banks may have adopted the initial stance of the A and L - i.e., refuse to even pay lip service to the basis of the agreement, failing in the process to identify which claimants could be deemed to be genuine hardship cases, and even worse, (also) aim to fob off claimants who contact the bank and identify themselves as suffering from hardship. It took me weeks of arguing my case, but with perseverence (and refusing to be drawn into the game playing) it is possible to succeed. Thanks for your support, all the best.
  6. Nice one, not only have you succeeded in rattling Barclays, in the process making it plain that you will not fall for their bully boy tactics (daft how they think they can intimidate claimants via unpleasant phonecalls) but you have also clearly succeeded in persuading the Judge of the unreasonableness of their position. Keep at em ! I know it isn't pleasant as I have been there myself, but like me I am sure that you can see that determination usually wins the day. (Don't forget to claim for costs at the hearing - there is info. on this issue on the site, regretably though I am not sure where it is located. Sure one of the moderators, etc, can assist).
  7. Hi, Have recently settled with A and L for £6483.5, which was total amount of charges claimed in relation to 3 accounts. Given that the Court due to hear my case (Cardiff) applied stays, rather than wait for the outcome of the High Court case I decided to determine whether they was another pathway I could take. Following advice from the FOS I reapproached the bank and asked for each claim to be reconsidered as a hardship case, arguing that their own literature (standard letter re stays) and that of the FOS indicated that banks had a duty to identify those cases where the claimant was suffering genuine financial hardship. (The FOS advised that I was able to follow such a pathway even though my case had been submitted to Court). After much debate and being bumped around various departments the bank accepted the evidence put forward (ill health had led to long term sickness absence and reliance upon state benefits, the amount of charges being deducted causing further financial hardship, leaving me unable to meet existing financial commitments). However, though I was successful in the end the main sticking point that delayed matters for a no. of weeks appeared to be the stance of the Credit Control dept. who oddly are the dept. at A and L tasked with dealing with bank charges cases. Initially their stance was that they could not consider matters and, given my legal action sought to refer me to Wragge and Co., despite my arguing that Wragge were merely legal advisers to the bank and would not be able to reach settlement. Headway was only made when I sought the support of the Chief Executives dept., being passed through to a PA from switchboard, who referred me on to the Customer Care Team, who seemed to have the authority or standing to persuade the credit control dept. to drop their stance, leading to consideration of my submission by the manager of credit control dept. (Alision Riley) and eventual offer of settlement. I was happy to settle on the basis of repayment of charges, foregoing interest and court costs, which though in total amounted to just over £1,300 , given the total value of the settlement seemed a reasonable course of action to take - give a bit to get a lot ! Advice re following this course of action - ensure there is genuine evidence, medical and financial to support your hardship case, and that you submit a detailed fax or email listing each, continue to the seek support of customer care team, and importantly, be wary of a supervisor in the credit control dept. called Mr.Garnett, who you may be referred to first of all - not only does he act as though any refund will come out of his own pocket, but in my opinion would gladly argue black is white, not only will he aim to lead you up the garden path, he may also infuriate you with a whole range of underhand tactics, the best of which is returning your call and more or less immediately stating he has to terminate the call (which he made !) to go into a meeting. Progress only seems to occur when the customer care dept. deal directly with Alison Riley, manager of Credit Control. If like me illness has robbed you of part of your life and through reduction in income caused enormous financial problems, worsened by onerous bank charges, then clearly you are a hardship case. Dig in, follow the above pathway and though it may take you a number of months, you should be successful.
  8. Hi Zootscoot, I'm due in Cardiff Court on the 14th August and wondered:- Should I seek to amend my particulars of claim in line with your above link, or should I leave things stand, i.e., proceed with the POC I issued through MCOL. If it is wise to change do you know the time frame for doing so, e.g., would I have to ensure that the defendent ( A and L ) had a copy of new POC at least 7 days before hearing. Also - do you have any info. yet on how cases due to be heard in the next few weeks are likely to proceed. Are they likely to be heard or stayed. Re Birmingham CC - I realise it is a bit early in the day yet, but do you have any news re any of the cases listed for today. Have they been heard, judgement issued, etc. Many thanks, regards, Eddie
  9. Thanks, Your reply brought a smile to my face - you're right, it's a bright day after weeks of wet weather; what the heck, we all need to hang on in there. I see what you mean re each Court deciding how to proceed - if nowt else the judge lined up for my case was willing to give Shambo a stay of execution ! Thanks for advice, moral support and lift - all the best. Bollocks to the banks !!!!!!
  10. Hi, Like many others, who I imagine are close to despair over the effect of the Test case, I am gutted. My case against A and L was due to be heard in court on the 14th August. Moreover, I have just noted from the A and L website that re court cases their position is:- (from website...) Can I make a court claim for a refund during the test case? Yes, but we will apply to the court to put your case on hold while the test case is running. This is because the issues being raised in customer complaints on unauthorised overdraft charges are being considered in the test case. Is there any point is seeking to ask the court to overturn the stay - possible arguments: A and L are not party to the test case, inappropriate to stay a case for over a year merely to await a decision on general principles, appropriate for case to go ahead and A and L to exercise their right to appeal should they lose OR is it likely that any reqeust for a stay to be lifted will be a complete waste of time; i.e., no judge in the land is going to lift a stay whilst points of law are being examined in a higher court. Could do with some advice, particularly from site moderators, or (no disrespect meant) from those in the know....if there is benefit is seeking to have a stay lifted it would be great is someone could advise me of the procedure to follow !!!! Any ideas, advice or solutions re above and re turning my mind away from jumping off a bridge (so near to Court yet perhaps now so far) ?????
  11. Thanks, Can I ask - How do you apply to have a stay lifted, what is the process or procedure to follow ??
  12. Hi, What do you think the effect of the OFT announcement will be re cases (pending) that are against Banks not party to the OFT action. My case against A and L is due to be heard in Cardiff Court on 14th August. As A and L is not party to the action is it likely that A and L will be able to successfully request a stay of the case, awaiting general decision re principle, or is there a chance that the judge will order that as they are not party to the OFT action that a request for a stay will be declined ?? Could do with some advice, feel cheated in a way - less than 3 weeks from the Court case and this happens !!
  13. Have three cases due to be heard on same day. Court papers for all 3 state that they are directions hearings, however, paperwork for 2 of the cases state that directions will be given 'upon neither party attending' but for the third the paperwork merely states 'Directions will be given' Have been advised by Court officials that in many instances (previous cases) judge has made a judgement at the Directions hearing - is this correct, can it occur ??? Papers state able to appear in person or make written representations re how the case should proceed - is it at this point I submit my bundle or at a later date ?? Defence submitted by A and L's Solicitors is along usual lines, further, offer received prior to defence of a refund on a no. of charges (though not all) at rate of charge minus £12, which bank claim is a reasonable level. Am keen to resolve matters asap - if only for financial reasons, guess I am likely to have to wait a while longer ??
  14. Hi, Given events at Hull Court (A and L have until 28/9 to advise Judge on true costs) does anyone have any thoughts re what A and L are likely to do re other cases. I'm due in Cardiff Court on 14th August, and am hopeful that the case will proceed and A and L will settle. Given recent events though, is it likely that they will adopt a similar tactic to Hull at subsequent cases, or are they likely to have adopted differing strategies around the Country. Also:- Have been advised by the Court that it is due to hear around 250 cases relating to a no. of banks. Will anyone from the CAG be present at Court ?? Secondly, where do I find the link re the bundle of documents I need to prepare for the Court and A and L's Solicitors ?? Many thanks, a slightly worried and anxious claimant !!
  • Create New...