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  1. A copy of the letter to the FLA: Finance & Leasing Association Imperial House 15-19 Kingsway London WC2B 6UN Xx/xx/xxxx For the attention of xx, Code Complaints Administrator Dear xx, Your Reference: xx GE Account No: xx My Reference: xx Thank you for your letter dated xx/xx/xxxx. I am very grateful for your assistance in this matter. It is regrettable that it took a complaint to the FLA before GE Money decided to adopt a more conciliatory attitude, one closer in line to that suggested by the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee in their recent reports. Please consider this letter as my interim acceptance of the proposed resolution to my complaint, subject to the provision of the further information and assurances requested below. I have read GE Money’s letter to you of the xx/xx/xxxx. Whilst I am happy that they are now prepared to accept my repayment plan, there has been no apology for the way we have been treated. There are also a number of issues in connection with how the arrears came about, the rate of interest we are paying, the actual amount of the arrears and what happens in six months time, that need to be clarified. I will deal with each matter separately. 1.An apology. GE Money has treated us with contempt and indifference; It has tried to bully and threaten us with repossession to make us kowtow to its demands. Is this the behaviour of a reputable financial institution, with the imbedded business ethics of honesty and integrity, that is doing everything to help its customers through these difficult times; Or is it that of a bunch of ‘smart suites’ who’s greed and lack of moral compass brought about the collapse of the banking system? I am particularly offended by their letter of the xx/xx/xxxx which off handily dismissed our repayment offer and threatened further action against us. Even their letter to the FLA of the xx/xx/xxxx does not offer any apology, just the standard PR response of “we are sorry he feels upset”. That is not an apology for what has caused the upset and it is not acceptable. 2.Rate of Interest. Despite a number or requests, GE Money has declined to tell me how it arrived at the interest rate it is charging on our mortgage. We came off the fixed onto the variable rate during an unprecedented period, where the government was, and still is, pumping billions of taxpayer’s money into the financial sector and where the Bank of England base rate is the lowest it has ever been. Even the LIBOR rate is at an all time low, yet GE Money is charging 12.22% interest. How can it justify such a percentage rate on a secured loan? 3.Notification of Change of Interest Rate. a)GE Money did not write to me on the xx/xx/xxxx, as it claims in its letter to the FLA. Given what was happening in the financial sector at that time, had I received a letter advising me of an increase in the interest rate on our mortgage, I would have immediately complained. A 4.2% increase during a period of falling interest rates is unjustifiable and has the air of profiteering at the expense of its customers. b)I have been in contact with other GE Money customers and all have said that they were never informed of any rate changes, they only found out after their Direct Debit went up. We pay by Standing Order, so without any notification from GE Money, we are unaware of any changes to our payments. c)A number of customers have said that they were told by GE Money that it publishes its rates in the national press and it was their responsibility to keep up to date with them. However, GE declined to say in which papers and when these rates were published. I suggest that GE Money is being disingenuous when it claims to have written to me about a rate change. 4.The amount of arrears. I am still waiting for GE Money to provide me with a complete breakdown of the alleged arrears on our account. I am concerned that a number of charges that have been deemed unreasonable by the Regulatory Authorities have been included in the total. 5.What happens in six months? I would expect our repayment programme to be monitored. However, I am concerned that GE Money has only agreed to my proposal in order to get the FLA off its back. What assurance do I have that in six months time, and despite the payments being uninterrupted, GE Money will not again start to threaten repossession? I have lost all faith in the honesty and integrity of GE Money, its behaviour has been more of the loan shark than a reputable financial institution. I would therefore ask that you to continue to act as intermediary in this matter. Yours sincerely, ====================================== It may be of some interest, but the FLA is under pressure and is fighting hard to avoid all of their member's products being drawn into the Regulatory Authorities' controls. They know that if this happens a lot of the current practices will have to stop. The FLA is lobbying very hard in Parliament, lots of business lunches to 'discuss' the future. Their problem is that MPs are looking over their shoulders at the coming election, and with their own recent problems, they are not keen to be seen on the side of financial institutions. I am copying in my MP to the correspondence. It may not do any good as my MP is in a very safe seat, one where a drunken gerbil with a party rosette would get elected, but it makes me feel better! Cheers, Herron
  2. Well what do you know! Sometimes it is very nice to be proved wrong. I received two letters in today’s post. One, dated the 23rd October, was from GE Money saying that they had received correspondence from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and that they had written to the FLA to accept our payment proposal. This will be reviewed in six months time. The second, dated the 29th October, was from the FLA giving the same information and included a copy of GE Money’s letter to them. GE’s letter was obviously written in an office downwind of a farm, the smell of bull**** is all over it. They trot out the usual rubbish about why their interest rates are so high and then claim they sent me a letter back in October 2008 advising me of the new interest rate. That is a direct lie; I keep copies of everything and I do not have any letter from them about an increase of £100 in our interest rate. In the current financial climate of low Bank of England Base Rates, I would have reacted strongly if I had received such a letter. I also understand from another post to this site that GE Money told someone that they do not write to customers, they publish their rates in newspapers, but when challenged, refused to say when and in which ones. I shall write back to the FLA, thanking them for their assistance and asking them for further help. I now want a complete breakdown of all the charges; a copy of this letter GE claim they sent me; proof of delivery of that letter; confirmation by GE that their response is not just a delaying tactic to get the FLA off their back and that in 6 months they will not try and rip us off again; and anything else I can think off over the next few days. Now I have the advantage, I intend to use it. Any suggestions on what else I can ask for? Regards, Herron
  3. Good! Just for a laugh while I wait for a response, here is the letter I sent to GE: GE Money Home Finance 53-61 College Road Harrow Middlesex HA1 1FB Date Dear Sirs, Account number xxxx I am writing in relation to a number of requests you have made for our new telephone number in order to update your records. As I have stated a number of times in my correspondence with you, I do not wish to discuss my financial affairs over an insecure telephone line with someone whom I do not know. I also wish to keep all contact between GE Money and myself in writing, that way both parties can be assured as to the accuracy of what was said, what was agreed and what was not. However, if GE Money would like to provide me with the following information, and once I have completed my checks, I may reconsider my position: A geographical telephone number of a named person. Their full name and home address. A certified copy of their Passport’s Name and Details page, including photograph. Their National Insurance Number. Their mother’s maiden name. Their financial history for the last 6 years, including all joint and completed loans. A signed consent form to carry out a credit check. The original or a certified copy of their Basic Disclosure of Criminal Records not more than twelve months old. A basic disclosure may be obtained on line at Disclosure Scotland's website. The current fee for a basic disclosure is £23. Please ensure that you forward either the original documents, which will be returned to you, or certified copies. A certified copy, referred to above, is a photocopy taken by the bank that holds GE Money’s client accounts or your auditors, which has been stamped with their official stamp, signed and endorsed by them as a ‘true copy of your original document’. I regret that I am unable to accept copies that have not been certified. Please also note that all costs involved are the responsibility of GE Money. Once I have reviewed the documents and I am satisfied that the named person is financially sound and has no unspent criminal convictions, I will contact them directly and give them a password. I will only discuss my financial affairs on the telephone with this person after I have asked some security questions. I trust this is acceptable to you and I await the documentation. Yours faithfully, ============= I have never had a reply! Cheers, Herron
  4. Will do. The telephone number that GE have for us is an old one and I have refused to give them an updated one. I have told them several times that I will not discuss my financial affairs over an insecure telephone line with someone I do not know personally. However, if they wish to give me a named person and supply their full details, such as home address, date of birth, National Insurance Number, mother's maiden name, financial history and a signed consent form to carry out credit searches, then once I had completed my own checks on that person, I would consider discussing matters over a telephone line. They did not bother to reply to my letter for some reason. This site is superb and the information available is excellent. It is nice to know we are not the only ones fighting these big financial institutions. Cheers, Herron
  5. Thanks Jansus, a very interesting article and I will do some more research into it. I keep copies of everything, including scraps of paper with scribbled notes of telephone calls, and I have nothing relating to IDDs and KFIs. The loan was taken out in 2003, so I am not sure what regulations were inforce at that time; I will try and find out. Cheers, Herron
  6. Likewise! However, judging by what has been posted on this and other threads, it would appear that GE only do things when challenged and only then with ill will and bad grace. One question for any GE staff member on this board; I was told once that the pay and bonuses of staff in the collections department of GE is based on the amount of arrears/money they bring in from customers. The more they collect, the more they get in pay and bonuses. I did not believe it when I was told, but from what I have experienced and what I have read on these threads, now I am not so sure. Is it true? Cheers, Herron
  7. Thanks! I received a reply from them this afternoon, so I at least know they have received my complaint. They say they have passed my complaint onto GE and if I have heard nothing from them within 3 weeks, contact the FLA again. I am not expecting much from the FLA, but I will need to show a Court that I have tried to reach an agreement and that I have followed the correct procedures; Judges like 'correct procedures' and because the 'correct procedures' were not followed, have in the past ruled out vital and important evidence that showed the ****** in the dock did commit the crime and was not the 'pure, kind to animals, loves his granny' saint that his corrupt lawyers make him out to be. Don't let me get started on lawyers! Right, soapbox away! I await GE's response with interest, (but not the meaning of the word that will be highlighted and linked to a pop up!). Cheers, Herron
  8. I was reading through all the correspondence with GE Money when I notice something I had missed previously. According to one of the letters sent to me, we have an ‘unregulated’ loan and if we wish to complain further we should contact the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA). I have no direct knowledge of this association, but from their website, I gather they are a trade body. This probably means they are totally focused on looking after the interests of their members, rather than ensuring their members adhere to their code of practice. This caused me to have a bit of a rethink as we have little chance of the FLA doing anything. Ultimately, this could end up in Court and we have to show that we have followed GE Money’s complaints procedure. We also need to demonstrate that we are the ones trying to reach an amicable resolution and GE is not. Therefore, I have not gone yet for the Subject Access Report. I have written to GE Money to inform them that I have submitted a complaint against their actions via the FLA, and as a matter of courtesy, given details of our complaint. Although we will be submitting our bundle to the court so the Judge can do the pre-trail reading, Judges do not like, nor have the time, to read a mountain of papers. Better, if possible, to have just one or two documents in the bundle that encapsulate our argument and that I can quickly refer to during the trial. I have copied and pasted my letter to GE. It is a bit ‘wordy’ in places, but there are no “I demand that you do this and you do that”, that can come later. I wanted to get across to a non-involved reader that we are the ones being screwed, whilst at the same time telling GE that we will not roll over and play dead. ===== Dear Sirs, Account number xxx It is with regret that I once again have cause to write to you about the way our account is being handled by GE Money Home Finance. I understand that your letter dated xxxx was your final response to our initial complaint and that if we were still dissatisfied with your response, we should refer our complaint to the Finance and Leasing Association. I have now done so and I am writing as a matter of courtesy to inform you of the details of our complaint. The interest rate on our account went up from 8.316% to 12.216%, resulting in our instalments increasing by £99.88 per month, from £xxx.xx to £xxx.xx; a rise of over xx% in the middle of a financial crisis where the Bank of England has reduced base rates to an all time low and has bailed out the financial industry with millions of taxpayer’s money. We were never informed of this increase in the interest rate on our account. As a result, whilst we were of the opinion that we were clearing the arrears, they were in fact increasing. We have no idea how the arrears figure has been calculated and I have asked the FLA to request GE Money to provide a clear breakdown of the arrears. We had an agreed repayment plan with GE Money Home Finance to clear our arrears by increasing our monthly payment to £xxx.xx On discovering the increased monthly instalment of just under £100, we increased our monthly payment by £100 and asked GE Money to accept this amended plan. Our request was rudely rejected. Whilst we were in correspondence with GE Money Resolutions, other sections of GE Money were authorising the start of repossession procedures. We have further increased our payments to £xxx.xx in order to clear the arrears at £xx per month. If the interest rate were to fall, we would continue to pay this amount to clear the arrears quicker. We have asked the FLA to intervene on our behalf and request GE Money to accept our offer. We have asked the FLA to assist in stopping all repossession procedures and threats from GE Money while the matter of clearing our arrears is being resolved. The recent House of Commons Treasury Select Committee report (Fifteenth Report of Session 2008 -09) was published on the 21st July 2009. Given the importance of this report to the financial sector, I am sure GE Money Home Finance has seen it. May I bring to your attention the following passages from it: Page 3 of the reports says: Mortgage arrears charges "We share the serious concern expressed by many of our witnesses that some lenders are charging high and excessive mortgage arrears fees to customers who fall into mortgage difficulties. Such practices are intolerable, placing additional strain on homeowners already struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments. We note that the FSA has already referred four mortgage firms to enforcement action and understand that part of the case against some of these firms is based on excessive mortgage arrears charges. We suspect these cases represent the tip of the iceberg and call upon the FSA to take a much more robust stance towards tackling and eliminating unfair arrears charges" Page 20 (section 40) "As a first step we believe lenders must be required to provide an itemised breakdown of the additional costs their arrears charges are supposed to cover. This would help shed valuable light on whether such charges are reasonable and justifiable as industry representatives claimed was the case amongst mainstream lenders. Alongside this, we believe that the FSA and OFT respectively should review all mortgage arrears charges made by mortgage providers and secured lenders to determine whether they are reasonable." Some comments from the Regulatory Authorities that may be of interest: “Elsewhere, the present debates about bank charges and the previous action of the OFT on credit-card charges are also relevant. We have already seen some customers raise queries about the level of charges made by lenders when they are in debt. The Citizens Advice report suggests that some lenders’ debt-collection practices are distorted by including steps that involve the customer paying additional fees. The range, complexity and level of these charges may all be matters for consideration. But the central question that will no doubt be raised increasingly with the ombudsman is whether or not the charges levied are lawful. More generally, as my earlier brief example of the mortgage arrears fee shows, the application of extensive fees for customers already experiencing debt problems may not be fair treatment. Certainly it does not always sit well with the sympathetic and positive treatment of those in hardship.” Source: speech by Tony Boorman, decisions director and principal ombudsman, at the CML's complaints-handling seminar –London, 12 March 2008. Lesley Titcomb, FSA Director responsible for the Mortgage Sector, said: “As our data shows in these current market conditions more people are struggling to meet their mortgage payments and it is vital that firms treat them fairly. This means paying attention to their individual circumstances and not repossessing their homes when there may be an alternative solution. Repossession has to be the last resort. The FSA’s programme of actions to address the problem areas, includes a closer examination of charges, in particular the circumstances in which these are levied, and whether they are compatible with Treating Customers Fairly”* *Source: FSA reiterates call for firms to treat customers fairly in current market conditions - FSA/PN/087/2008 - 5August 2008. Whilst I understand that Members of Parliament do not normally get involved in disputes between their constituents and commercial organisations, I am sure in the light of this report and the other comments, he will wish to be informed of the manner in which GE Money has dealt with our account. I must reiterate that we are not attempting to avoid the repayment of the arrears on our account. It is the calculation of those arrears, GE Money’s offhand dismissal of our repayment plan and the unnecessary threats of repossession that have caused the offence. Yours sincerely, ============ I found all the House of Commons information from another part of this forum. I have forgotten who did the research and posted it, but my thanks to whoever it was. Cheers, Herron
  9. Hello, Yes we did, but it took another 4 weeks from their letter saying they would send a cheque to it actually arriving. Regards, Herron
  10. Hello! What a brilliant thread, thank you! I was just about to go to bed when I found it and here I am, still reading it. I have started my own thread, ( http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/mortgages-secured-loans/222548-ge-money-another-problem.html ) but basically, I have a second mortgage with GE Money, became ill, reduced 3 months payments, got better, went back to work and increased the payment to the full amount plus a sum to start paying off the arrears of about £900. All this was agreed over the telephone with GE Money. Some months later we received a letter from Eversheds saying that the arrears had increased to over £2000. We then find out that the interest rate had gone up at some point and our payment should have gone up by just under £100 pm, but we pay by Standing Order and GE never told us. So whilst I was happily thinking we were reducing the arrears, they were going up. I wrote to GE, made a payment directly to the account and increased the monthly payment by £100. The arrears are now down to below £2,000 and I asked them if they would agree to this plan, as a Mr xxx had done so previously. GE told me to get s****ed! Any suggestions from this thread would be very welcome. Regards, Herron
  11. Hello, I have just come across this thread and realised how similar it is with what is happening with my secured loan with GE Money. I have written to GE Money to ask them to justify their increase in rates; they just ignored the letter. I am sure some of the more experienced on this site will be able to give us an idea of where we can take our complaints and the likelihood of actually getting somewhere? I know our MPs tend not to get involved with disputes between their constituents and commercial companies, but these are financial institutions and the financial industry has been bailed out with enormous sums of our money. These two financial institutions may not have received any of this taxpayer's money, but they are part of the rotten system. Perhaps our MPs, especially those who were caught out in the expenses scandal, might want to fire a few shots at them to divert attention from their own greed? Is it worth writing to our MPs? Regards, Herron:)
  12. I forgot to mention that when the unsecured loan was cleared, I forgot to cancel the Standing Order and an extra month's payment was made in error. GE Money never said a word about that, so after a while I wrote to them. They ignored my first letter asking for a refund of the extra payment, acknowledged the second and said they would send me a cheque within 21 days (?). 21 days came and went with no cheque arriving, so I wrote again. GE eventually responded to say that, due to ‘an administrative oversight’, they had transferred the excess payment on the completed loan to the arrears on the secured loan. However, as a good will gesture, GE said the original transfer would remain and they would also issue a cheque for the same amount. I replied that had we been asked, we would have agreed to the transfer, but we were not and I was unsure of the legality of moving funds between accounts without our consent. GE replied that it was perfectly legal. Is it?
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