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thegasman

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  1. Thanks yourbank. Exactly what I needed to improve the letter and make sure the content was factually correct Very much appreciated. John:)
  2. Hi Yourbank. Wasn't trying to draw a response from you but trying to draw a response from the letter recipients. You, as with everyone else, are entitled to your views and I respect your right to hold them. My own personal view is that from a social justice stance this whole situation is wrong and should have been dealt with by now. Moore-Blicks has made a legal decision which I am sure is right in law but that doesn't mean it is a just decision. We have ended up with a situation whereby claimants have to wait for their cases to be decided whereas the banks (or at least the Halifax in my case) have just gone ahead and taken what they consider a just outcome into their own hands by setting off the money. I'm afraid I just cannot see true justice in this situation. When I was on the local council I learnt that you sometimes need to shout to get your voice heard rather than just sit back and wait. Many good things would never have happened if it wasn't for people shouting metaphorically.
  3. Thanks yourbank. Trying to draw out a reaction and commitment. Anyone who just responds by refering to the OFT Abbey case will get an even longer letter. Let's see what come back. John:D
  4. Thanks London. Very tempting to add a few expletives - lol!!!
  5. Letter sent to Prime Minister, my MP, my MEP's today- 10th August 2009 Dear , I write to ask your views on the unjust problem of penalty charges being applied by the UK High Street Banks and their apparent disregard of the guidelines set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), Banking Code, and maybe other bodies, when a customer disputes these charges. I also ask for your views on the prolonging tactics being used by the Banks and the Financial Services Authority by continued appeals and requests for staying of Court cases. The latest appeal by the banks appears to be little more than a begging exercise for mercy because it might cost them a lot of money if justice is served. This action is denying reasonably speedy justice to take place. All very serious charges and yet it doesn’t appear that anyone in authority is prepared to speak out and take action against this. It has long been held under common law in this Country that contractual penalty charges which exceed the actual loss suffered are unlawful but it would seem from the High Court Appeal case last year that it is doubtful that this would be a valid legal argument with regard to bank charges. The judges obviously have to work within the law and I respect this but I see this situation as socially unjust and just another example of clever lawyers trying to circumnavigate true justice. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 has confirmed that a disproportionate penalty would be an example of an unfair term and that this would therefore be unenforceable by law and the Director General of the OFT announced in 2005 that any penalty charge which exceeds actual losses is disproportionate. Cont. 10th August 2009/ /pg2 Charging anything up to £40 for a computer generated letter informing you that a direct debit or similar has not been paid and then applying the charge to the account which then possibly takes your account into an unauthorized overdraft situation must be considered disproportionate by the vast majority of people. Yet despite all of this the Banks continue to apply these charges. The Banks are making billions of pounds in profit from these unjust charges so they are unlikely to do anything about the situation so it up to Parliament to force the issue. A 2005 survey by the BBC and others concluded that 1 in 5 bank customers suffered from these unjust charges and I suspect this ratio is now much higher. This is an extremely large proportion of the electorate and therefore requires action if Parliament is to be truly representative of the people of this Country. To get a feel for the anger being generated by this situation I would suggest you take a look at some of the consumer forums on the internet. Two such websites are – www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk and www.moneysavingexpert.com To make matters even worse (and that is saying something) some banks are completely ignoring the Banking Code and Office of Fair Trading Guidelines by continuing to pursue payment of these charges after the alleged debt is officially in dispute. So on the one hand the Banks have managed to get all such cases stayed by the Courts but on the other hand they are still pursuing the alleged debts and even taking money from other accounts you have with them to settle this disputed debt. I find this situation totally outrageous and unjust. We find ourselves in a situation where justice is being denied us for a time but the banks can obtain what they perceive as justice with immediate effect. It seems to me that the Banks are implying that they are above the law. This is a totally unacceptable situation and must be addressed immediately. My own personal experience of this is with the Halifax (a bank in which the Government is a majority shareholder) and I attach a summary of my experience to date so that you can see what is happening. I look forward to receiving your speedy reply and your views on this matter and confirmation of what you intend to do to rectify this situation. Yours sincerely,
  6. Copy of letter going out to Prime Minister's Office, my MP, my MEP's today- Don't expect eveyone to agree with it but I would be obliged if you would let me know if there are any obvious errors of fact - thanks 10th August 2009 Dear, I write to ask your views on the unjust problem of penalty charges being applied by the UK High Street Banks and their apparent disregard of the guidelines set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), Banking Code, and maybe other bodies, when a customer disputes these charges. I also ask for your views on the prolonging tactics being used by the Banks and the Financial Services Authority by continued appeals and requests for staying of Court cases. The latest appeal by the banks appears to be little more than begging exercise for mercy because it might cost them a lot of money if justice is served. This action is denying reasonably speedy justice to take place. All very serious charges and yet it doesn’t appear that anyone in authority is prepared to speak out and take action against this. It has long been held under common law in this Country that contractual penalty charges which exceed the actual loss suffered are unlawful but it would seem from the High Court Appeal case last year that it is doubtful that this would be a valid legal argument with regard to bank charges. The judges obviously have to work within the law and I respect this but I see this situation as socially unjust and just another example of clever lawyers trying to circumnavigate true justice. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 has confirmed that a disproportionate penalty would be an example of an unfair term and that this would therefore be unenforceable by law and the Director General of the OFT announced in 2005 that any penalty charge which exceeds actual losses is disproportionate. Cont. 10th August 2009/ Eleanor Laing MP/pg2 Charging anything up to £40 for a computer generated letter informing you that a direct debit or similar has not been paid and then applying the charge to the account which then possibly takes your account into an unauthorized overdraft situation must be considered disproportionate by the vast majority of people. Yet despite all of this the Banks continue to apply these charges. The Banks are making billions of pounds in profit from these unjust charges so they are unlikely to do anything about the situation so it up to Parliament to force the issue. A 2005 survey by the BBC and others concluded that 1 in 5 bank customers suffered from these unjust charges and I suspect this ratio is now much higher. This is an extremely large proportion of the electorate and therefore requires action if Parliament is to be truly representative of the people of this Country. To get a feel for the anger being generated by this situation I would suggest you take a look at some of the consumer forums on the internet. Two such websites are – www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk and www.moneysavingexpert.com To make matters even worse (and that is saying something) some banks are completely ignoring the Banking Code and Office of Fair Trading Guidelines by continuing to pursue payment of these charges after the alleged debt is officially in dispute. So on the one hand the Banks have managed to get all such cases stayed by the Courts but on the other hand they are still pursuing the alleged debts and even taking money from other accounts you have with them to settle this disputed debt. I find this situation totally outrageous and unjust. We find ourselves in a situation where justice is being denied us for a time but the banks can obtain what they perceive as justice with immediate effect. It seems to me that the Banks are implying that they are above the law. This is a totally unacceptable situation and must be addressed immediately. My own personal experience of this is with the Halifax (a bank in which the Government is a majority shareholder) and I attach a summary of my experience to date so that you can see what is happening. I look forward to receiving your speedy reply and your views on this matter and confirmation of what you intend to do to rectify this situation. Yours sincerely, 10th August 2009 xxxxx v Halifax Bank Details- 1. 2008 – Letter to Halifax requesting charges data for previous 6 years and expressing my dissatisfaction at the level of charges being applied to the account. 2. 2008 – Letter from Halifax stating that charges considered fair and reasonable and list of charges as requested received by me. All letters from this point sent either special delivery or recorded delivery. 3. 23/02/2009 – Letter to Halifax with schedule re-claiming charges. 4. 05/03/2009 – Letter from Halifax stating that charges had been applied correctly and stating that I should contact them to discuss repayment. 5. 03/2009 – Day after receiving above letter I telephoned but they had nothing to add only being interested in repayment by me. 6. 17/03/2009 – Letter to Halifax stating my disappointment at their attitude and response and making a non prejudicial offer of settlement based on a charge of approximately £12.50 per item. 7. 2009 – Numerous computer generated letters from Halifax requesting payment of money. 8. 04/06/2009 – Letter to Halifax stating my surprise that they continued to chase payment when the account is in dispute and informing them of my intention to start County Court proceedings. Also reminded Halifax of my non prejudicial offer. 9. 04/06/2009 – Commence County Court proceedings against Halifax. 10. 02/07/2009 - Formal ‘Account in Dispute’ letter sent to Halifax and pointing out that they were in breach of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) guidelines by continuing to harass me for payment at this time. Also requesting communications is in writing. 11. 20/07/2009 – Due to continued harassment by Halifax I sent a letter of complaint to the OFT and wrote to Halifax informing them of the complaint with a copy. 12. 29/07/2009 – Notification from Halifax that they would call on 30/07/2009 regarding this. 13. 30/07/2009 – I waited in all day and evening but a Halifax representative did not arrive. 14. 07/08/2009 – Notification from Halifax that they had taken the disputed debt, which is also subject to a Court case, from my wife’s personal account into which her wages are paid at the end of each month and paid it into our joint account to clear the disputed amount on Monday 3rd August 2009. 15. 10/08/2009 – Received notification from Ilford County Court that the action has been stayed. 16. 10/08/2009 – Letter to OFT regarding bank set off. 17. 10/08/2009 – Letters to Prime Minister, MP, MEP’s. 18. 10/08/2009 – Letter to CEO Halifax re set off.
  7. Hi all Received the expected Stay from the Court today. So the Court has taken my fees but have put the case on hold whilst the bank has just taken the money anyway - there's justice for you John
  8. Thanks Aequitus Always interesting and informative to read other views. When I personally talk about justice I do mean social justice which does not always tie in with the law in my view. I don't know about other banks but the Halifax would never pay a direct debit (or anything else except their charges) which would take my account beyond its limit. I have no problem with this stance because any such payment would take me outside my agreement with them. I fail to see how then this is a service to me though. The charge is for notifying me of the situation and not for providing me with anything so I then see a charge of £35 for this notification as being a penalty far in excess of the cost of issuing the letter. I am not suggesting in anyway that banks or any other business should not be allowed to make a profit but what I am saying is that they need to be fair. I would include banks in a group of essential services in our society today and as such they need proper regulation and the consumer needs proper protection. I have worked for myself most of my life and assume like many others have my peaks and troughs financially but fortunately I have always managed to keep my head above water (sometimes by a very narrow margin) but how can it be socially just that people less fortunate financially should have to suffer even more in situations like this. This is just one of many instances in our society today where 'the rich get richer whilst the poor get poorer'. Thanks for the comments; speak again later. Regards John
  9. Taking Sols advice as a start - link to No 10's petition site. The more who sign the better. e-Petitions search | Number10.gov.uk
  10. Thanks yourbank. I have claimed the full amount thanks to this site. We should have cleared the other account but I assumed (wrongly) because the amount was in dispute and subject to a Court case nothing would happen until the case was resolved. Regards John
  11. Hi rjex Agree with you. It is disgusting how the banks (and other organizations) are allowed to trample all over us and effectively say we don't give a damn about you or the law, we will do just as we like. When I was at college (many,many moons ago now) our law lecturer taught us that we couldn't make a penal default charge on a construction project. Any charge had to be based on the cost to the client eg. If a project overran by a month then the default charge had to be based on the cost of the loss (eg lost rent, interest payments etc.) and not just a figure plucked out of the air on a whim. I know a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but I see no difference with bank charges. If this same rule applied to the banks then the charge would have to be a proportion of the costs in setting up the original computer software plus the cost of the computer generating the charge and letter plus postage which of course would amount to pence rather than pounds and certainly not £30 to £40 which seems to be the norm. These charges are penal, unfair, and totally unjust. It does seem that justice is starting to slide down the scale in this Country and it is time we very polite and shrug our shoulders society started to fight back on mass. I can't believe I've just written that because I am a most unlikely revolutionary but justice is one of the few things that are at the very top of my beliefs. I feel that a mass mailing to MP's would be good especially with an election not far away. I will have a think as to how this can be done effectively. So that's two of us. If we can make it a few thousand then this then starts to have a effect on Government. Regards John
  12. Hi all Update. I received the Allocation Questionnaire and returned it to the Court. I asked that the case be heard on the grounds that justice is being withheld by allowing the stay of these cases to continue any longer. I don't hold out much hope but it just might fall before a judge on a standing up for justice day. I am waiting for the Court reply. On a much more serious note in my opinion the Halifax have completely ignored my Account in Dispute letter (not even bothering to say they don't accept it) and continued to send 'threatening' letters. I wrote to the Office of Fair Trading with the details and hopefully many other people have too so that they will investigate this situation. I sent a copy of my complaint to the Halifax but again no specific reply from them. My claim against the Halifax is for about £2100 and the account in dispute has been left with an overdraft balance of £850 approx. which is the figure I calculated was owed to me based on a charge of £12.50 per item (not really relevant but just showing why the balance is there). I don't know why I am so surprised but I am - My wife has a separate account with Halifax into which her wages are paid and last Friday we received notification from the Halifax that they had taken the money from her account on the previous Monday to pay off the disputed amount in our joint account. They waited until just after her wages were paid in to do this and didn't give her any prior notification. I find this totally outrageous in that the money is in dispute and more importantly subject to an ongoing Court case. To my mind what they have done is to stick two fingers up to the legal/justice system and have taken the law into their own hands. Fortunately this doesn't cause us any immediate financial hardship but I can't just let this rest. I will be writing to the OFT, FSA, Trading standards, Chancellor, MP's about this and making a hell of a nuisance of myself but I wonder whether anyone can guide me to the right legaleeze to use in this matter. My blood pressure has risen again now I have written this - LOL!! Speak again later Regards John
  13. This is in relation to Barclaycard so I'm not sure whether this applies to the main survey; hence this thread. Earlier this year a payment using my Barclaycard was declined. I was nowhere near my limit so I telephoned them to ask why it was declined. A very nice lady at Barclaycard checked and told me it was a mistake and that the computer had picked up a problem on an old Barclaycard account from 1993. So I can say with certainty that Barclaycard keep records well in excess of 6 years. John
  14. Hi I went along to my local county court and started proceeding against Halifax/HBOS on 4th June 2008. I received a reply from Halifax dated 18th June. I assume there letter was standard in that it simply states that they have asked the Financial Services Authority to suspend the normal timetable for dealing with this. The letter then states that they will not issue or respond to any further communications on this matter until the OFT have reached a conclusion. I have received two letters from Halifax Retail Collections department during this time ( strange interpretation of non communication - LOL!!!), the first asking for payment to be made into my account and the second dated 29th June 2009 stating that if I do not make a payment into my account within the next 7 days they will assume I no longer want the account and they will refer it to their collections department and possible reporting of this account to a credit reference agency. Having looked at several threads on this site I assume this would at the very least be a breach of the Banking Code and if I have understood correctly the Consumer Credit Act. I will write back to them within the next few days with copies to Trading Standards, FSA. OFT and probably the Government as major shareholder. Any advice or directing to a thread would be appreciated. Many thanks John
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