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donnahaywood last won the day on February 25 2011

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  1. Out of the blue, I have received a letter from MMF which outlines three debts that have been assigned to them and that they are now chasing me for. There is no detail of the debts, just the original loan company name and a balance. The three companies are Mr Lender, Pounds Till Payday and Speed Loan Finance. did have a loan wih Mr Lender that was taken out around 2009/2010 but I was under the impression that I had paid this off, although I don't have any documentary evidence of this. The other two companies I do not recall having taken a loan out with. Should I make contact with these companies directly to see if they can give me any information? Am I also correct in thinking that I can ask MMF for the original credit agreements? Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Hi Katie - I've only just seen this now. As of the 1st April 2014, the IRD have raised the minimum overseas repayment from $3000 to $5000. They are asking for it to be paid as 2 payments of $2500 at the end of March and April - this will start in 2015. I have penalty arrears of $16018.00, and I have set up a repayment plan to repay these. I have agreed to repay $390 a month until August 2017 ( the maximum length they were able to agree to). The $5000 and any extra repayments I make would come off the principal. So, with the monthly repayment plan and budgeting for the minimum overseas repayment, I'm looking at $806/ £403 a month. It's a lot but thankfully, I don't have any other debt so I can afford it, but only just! If the NZ government raises the minimum payment again and the NZ dollar becomes stronger against the pound, then it'll become difficult. I did ask about what would happen if I struggled making payments in the future, and was told that you could go down the financial hardship route, where you would have to provide evidence of your finances, living costs etc , and they may consider reducing or wiping out any loan arrears. Payments can be made through a uk online transfer company called Orbit Remit (recommended by the IRD). They never charge for payments made to the IRD, regardless of the amount of the transfer. They also appear to have competitive exchange rates, and it's a straight forward process. The IRD were helpful when I contacted them and did explain things clearly. However, I'm not sure how friendly they would have been had I not been in a position to agree to their proposed repayment plan. I had the payment plan in place before traveling back to NZ but hadn't made any payments as they were not due to begin until after I returned to the UK. I was told by the IRD that because I had a plan in place, that I would not encounter any issues entering or leaving NZ, and I didn't. Hope this has helped, please feel free to ask any questions I should point out that the $5000 minimum overseas repayment is for those with a loan debt of more than $60,000
  3. The amendment to the student loan bill applies to anyone with a student loan who is not repaying it or is continually avoiding contact with the IRD. The new legislation would give the government/IRD greater powers to get borrowers to repay their debt - it's about changing the laws of the country to allow them to pursue student loan debt in a more aggressive way, so I'm not sure why they would have to amend individual loan agreements.
  4. Yes, it's a scary situation that they are trying to legislate against debt like that. Last week the NZ Prime Minister went to Australia to try and negotiate a deal with the Australian government to allow NZ to have access to their tax records, so they could find people who are not repaying their NZ student loans - it's estimated that kiwis living in Australia owe about $350 million in unpaid student loans. I guess their hard handed tactics are working for them though, as apparently there has been an increase in people (like me!) contacting IRD and setting up repayment plans.
  5. The Student Loan Amendment Bill (No3) had it's first reading in NZ parliament in August 2013. The Bill proposes to make it a criminal offence for student loan borrowers living overseas to knowingly fail or refuse to make reasonable efforts to repay their loans. It proposes to allow the IRD the ability to request an arrest warrant for persistent defaulters who attempt to leave the country after visiting for a holiday. It also proposes to give the IRD greater powers in obtaining the contact details of borrowers from third parties. The bill passed it's first reading 61-59, and was referred, in November, to the Finance and Expenditure Committee who are due to report back to parliament on the 27th February 2014. It's a very real possibility that this will become law. The budget of June 2013 signaled that the NZ government are serious about chasing people up, and gave the ok for private debt collectors to pursue loan defaulters both in Australia and the UK. The government are also allowing for a greater sharing of information between border control/customs and the IRD.
  6. I finally got in touch with the NZ IRD. As I have stated previously, I have not made any payments on my student loan since leaving NZ in 2002. As, expected my loan has now spiraled to the ridiculous sum of $114,000 (I think it was around the $42,000 when I left the country). I have had penalties whacked on top of it and am 14,000 in arrears. I am also being charged $5000 interest on it every year, so I am going to be stuck with it for a verrrry long time. The person I spoke to was actually very approachable and helpful in explaining the way forward. If your loan is over $30,000 then you have to pay back a lump sum of $3000 by the end of each financial year. There is a chance that new government legislation could increase this sum to $5000. Great. I have also agreed to a reasonable payment plan to chip away at the arrears. There is also a financial hardship option if you can't afford to make payments to clear arrears, but you would need to show bank statements etc to prove this. I have never been pursued for my student loan debt since living in the uk, I think this was probably because they had no idea where I was! The only real reason that I decided to get in touch with them was that I am returning to NZ next month for a holiday and I was genuinely worried about the hassle that I would get while I was there (or trying to leave!) - there has been a lot in the media about cracking down on those who have been avoiding loans, and I know of quite a few people in Australia who are now being pursued by debt collectors for their student loan debts. I guess my advice to other kiwis in the same boat would be to bite the bullet and get in touch with the IRD as the debt will only continue to spiral out of control, or you could just never return to NZ and hope that don't catch up with you over here!
  7. I have been having an ongoing hellish situation with Halifax - it's a long story but the gist of it is that my account was suspended/made inactive while an investigation took place, I was never told any reasons why this was taking place (despite asking continually) but I assumed it had to do with a £12,000 transfer I made from Barclays to a Halifax account that I did not regularly use. This money was made up of backdated sick pay and wages from my NHS employer and I was able to prove the money was legit through wages slips, letters from my employer etc. Anyway, in the 3 weeks since I have been "cleared" and told by Halifax, that all is ok, I have largely been unable to transfer or withdraw funds. I have had the odd few days where I can withdraw a small amount of money but then I am locked out again. Pretty much every day, I have had contact with Halifax customer service, either on the telephone or in branch, and been passed around to different departments who always tell me that the problem has been resolved only to find out it hasn't. On their advice, I even opened a new Halifax account and transferred the money in to that but I am having the same ongoing problems. I have been told that there is a problem associated with my with my name due to fraud happening on my account earlier in the year ( this was a result of Halifax sending a new debit card and unrequested pin number to an old address and someone at that address used the card and pin to take money) and the above mentioned transfer. This has all been happening when I have been recovering from having had 4 cycles of chemotherapy for cancer treatment. Anyway, at wits end and want to go as high up as possible to get this sorted.
  8. I don't bank with them but I recently deposited £2800, in cash, in to a friends' account at Santander. Unfortunately, the money was deposited in to another customer's account. The bank have accepted that this is an error on their part but are dragging their feet in getting the money to my friend's account. It's been four days since the error was discovered and they have identified where the money went to but they won't give me a definite answer to when my friend's account will be credited with the deposit. I feel like I'm getting fobbed off by them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
  9. I would strongly advise you to set up a new bank account - money can be taken off cancelled cards by compnaies that you owe money to. Halifaxt do an OK basic one that I was able to open with a very pooor credit rating. I don't think that you should take out a debt consolidation loan - it will just get you deeper into the cycle of debt. Some debt consolidation compnaies are really dodgy so I'd give them a very wide bearth. I would suggest talking to the Consumer Creit Counselling Service. They're a charity and can set up a Debt Mangement Plan or can give you some advice about the options that may be best for you. Or you could call the Citizen's Advice, as they'll be able to give you some support too. If you wanted to try and sort it out on your own, then you need to do a realistic budget that you can send to each PDL company, along with a realistic repayment plan offer. Make sure that you send all correspondence recorded delivery and don't get into negotiations over the telpehone - unless you can record it.
  10. That really surprises me about Halifax as I was able to open an Easycash account with a very bad credit rating, my current account in management and a CCJ within the last year. I was already a customer though so maybe that was the reason???
  11. I've also had problems with Castlebridge. They took £354, without my consent, off a cancelled Halifax debit card. The debit card was cancelled 6 months earlier, on the advice of the bank, in an attempt ot stop PDL's taking large sums of money from me and making my account overdrawn. Halifax wouldn't do anything about Castlebridge as when they looked into it, I had given the origninal card details to the PDL company , so they didn't see it as fraud. After complaining to Castlebridge and also to the Financial Ombudsmen, the money was returned in full. Don't trust them, they will try take money from your account in whatever way they can. I would strongly advise you to open a new bank account and get your wages paid into there and get any overdrafts removed. (I've had to put a block on my original account as another PDL company tried to set up a DD, even though I am on a DMP and making monthly payments to them!) I know this probably seems like a hassle but I believe that it's the only way to be 100% certain that PDL companies won't take your money.
  12. I've had money taken off a cancelled Halifax debit card, 6 months after it was cancelled. Couldn't get money back from Haliax because I had given original card details to PDL company so they didn't consider it to be fraud. I really would suggest setting up a new bank account and blocking the acccount that the PDL companies have details of, so that no money can be taken. Keep an eye on your accounts as I've had companies try to set up DD's.
  13. I think that if you give the PDL companies your Halifax Easycash accout details, you should be OK because there's no overdraft facility. Just make sure that you only ever have the amount in there that you need and no more. Also keep an eye on any other accounts, as recently a PDL company set up a Standing Order on my account without me knowing. Lucily, the account is blocked so no money can go but it's very underhanded. Transfers from my Easycash account to my other Halifax account, and also landlord's Barclays account, are instant but show up on the receipient's account within 2 hours.
  14. Open a new bank account. Put a block on the old account so money can't still be taken. Complain to the Financial Ombudsmen about Payday Express.
  15. The Money Shop did the same thing to me. They took £350 off a cancelled Halifax debit card. The bank wouldn't refund the money as I had given the card details, in writing, to the Money Shop when I first took out the loan. I wrote a letter of complaint to Halifax as I'd cancelled the card on their advice but they still let money be taken. Didn't do much good, I just got a letter back essentially saying that they had to let the money be taken as I had a written contract with the Money Shop. I wrote a letter of complaint to the Money Shop and also complained to the Financial Ombudsmen about them. The FOS were great and wrote a letter to them as well and I really think that this played a part in The Money Shop refunding the money to me. I've also made an officail complaint to the FOS about Halifax too. I would suggest setting up another bank account and not giving your new bank details or card details to the companies you owe money to.
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