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  1. I just want to say a big thankyou .... ..my husband fought Robinson Way for a debt of £1500 and it turned out to be statute barred. ..his account is now closed. Also I was also chased by Robinson Way for a debt of £78.78 (NEXT Directory)which wasn't actually mine ...the new occupants of out old house thought they would pull a fast one and order £70 of goods in my name ...I checked with Experian and Next themselves. ..Robinson Way have now got the proof the debt wasn't mine. Also I had a debt of £7000 with a Yorkshire Bank Credit Card - Marlin were in pursuit of this (I had to finish work 8 years ago due to disability and couldn't pay my credit cards) .. .I pointed out that this debt was Statute barred and have now received a letter saying they have closed the account and they will not be contacting me any further. If it wasn't for this website, I wouldn't have had a clue what to do. Debt can put you into an early grave - there are so many people taking their own lives due to debt. I have spread the word amongst my family and friends about this website xx
  2. Could somebody please help. Is a credit agreement that was taken out prior to a trading name being added to a licence legal and enforceable? I have just found out that I took out a log book loan with a sole trader. So the sole trader had (his name) trading as **** he had made application to have the name he traded with me as added to his licence but this name was not added until after the date we traded by (8 days). The OFT have advised that it is a criminal breach to use a name that is not on your licence but will not state whether or not the agreement is enforceable. They say that is a legal matter and I must seek legal advice. The financial ombudsman states the same they cannot offer legal advice. So in your opinion is this agreement enforceable Many Thanks
  3. Hi, As you'll have seen from my SpeedCredit posts. I have sent out CCA Requests to all the PDL Companies. I received a reply from MEM Consumer Finance Ltd aka PayDayUK. I have attached the letter and agreement they have sent me (omitting my personal details) It is reassuring they haven't tried to "lift" my signature from the letter. I've heard of some PDL and DCA organisations being dishonest about signatures... So the siggy on the letter wasn't mine! Anyway. Could some of you excellent and knowledgeable people please give me some advice on this attached CCA. Regards, NukeShark
  4. report by the National Audit Office has found that regulation of the consumer credit market is providing benefits to consumers, but that the regulatory regime is not delivering value for money because it is not minimizing harm from unscrupulous trading practices. UK consumers borrowed £176 billion in 2011-12 from credit card companies, small businesses offering hire purchase arrangements and payday lenders. The NAO estimates the Office of Fair Trading saved consumers £8.60 for every £1 it spent on enforcing regulations in 2010-11 by taking action against non-compliant firms: for example, by issuing warnings and revoking licences to provide credit. During the same period, nevertheless, consumers lost at least £450 million from problems that regulation did not address, such as malpractice by firms that was not reported to the regulator. Consumers can also make poor choices themselves. For example, the OFT estimates that, in 2010, if consumers looked for the best deal within high-cost credit markets, they could save up to £120 million. The OFT is not resourced to carry out on a day-to-day basis either the supervision of firms or the monitoring of their compliance with licence standards. This means it can act only when it receives information of non-compliant behaviour by a firm. Therefore some harm must already have taken place in order to prevent further losses to consumers. The OFT funds consumer credit regulation solely from licence fees, and today’s report shows it had £11.5 million to regulate the market in 2011-12. According to the NAO, this is not enough given the size of the market and levels of consumer harm. Furthermore, weaknesses in the OFT’s management information mean it cannot be sure these limited resources are being targeted to the areas of greatest risk to consumers. The OFT’s limited understanding of the costs of enforcement means it does not have an accurate picture of the proportion of its budget which is spent on different activities. In addition, the OFT does not collect information on the level of lending provided by each firm, and therefore does not have a quantified understanding of the supply in the market. Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said today: "Good value for money in consumer credit regulation means minimizing avoidable harm, and doing so cost-effectively. The OFT has achieved a good return for a small outlay, but has not been able to tackle the full extent of harm to consumers in credit markets. This is because it has not had enough resource to regulate effectively or the right kinds of powers. The government’s proposed new regulatory system will need to address these problems." Link: http://www.ccrmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8227&Itemid=35
  5. MY son got a £60 fine 2 years ago for driving without an MOT. Due to family circumstances he and his family had to move and he forgot all about it. Today he has had a letter from the Marsden group saying that the bill is now £300 and every time they write to him it will put more money on the total. He contacted the group and told them that although he could not pay what they were asking he had worked out how much he could pay a month and made them an offer which they have refused. He spoke to the magistrates court who told him the debt had not been sold but had been consigned to Marsden. The action taken by Marsden has almost pushed my son to the point where he would just drive his car off a cliff and it is only his young family that keeps him focused. What can he do.? What rights does he have and if he makes a reasonable offer of payment are they allowed to refuse it?
  6. on twitter about 2 hours ago Bill confirms powers to increase consumer protection, includes better regulation of payday loans first laid in Parliament Jan 2012 #FSBill
  7. Hi My story is a bit involved so I thought I would start at the top and gradually move through the different questions I have. My initial question is if somebody applies to the office of fair trading for an amendment to their licence eg: to add another trading style to it at what point are they allowed to actually trade. Is it from when the application is sent or from when it was approved. I have checked the public register of a particular licence holder and they applied for an additonal trading name and style of credit on the 31st May 2011 this is when the OFT has stated application received on the 17/6/11 they have stated closed so this I am assuming to mean when the application was dealt with. I would like to state they are a sole trader offering mortgages and logbook loans Is the licence holder permitted to trade with the new trading style on the 9th June 2011 prior to what I seem to believe is the date the application was approved? Many Thanks for any advice and there is a lot more questions to come I just want to get things in slow order K
  8. Hi. I am interested in getting qualified in offering consumer advice or something related in the future... What courses are out there? I'm having trouble finding one. A
  9. Hi My vehicle is on HP with Santander (originally with GE money but I think Santander bought them out) Whilst it was with GE money it ran up £165 worth of late payment charges. Now I keep getting letters every couple of weeks from Santander saying I must pay these now, they tried to collect the £165 by direct Debit but I had my bank reverse it as they did not give notice of this. I then cancelled the DD and now send payment off each month by cheque so they can't attempt to do this again. I phoned and asked them to write them off as sometimes you can get through to someone in a good mood on the phone willing to help and will do this but all the person offered was to pay these charges in installments. My repayments are upto date for the hp agreement so will they, and can they take back my vehicle just because I refuse to pay these fees/charges? Also how should I proceed to get this charges scrapped? Thanks
  10. Hi I have a problem in returning an item which is faulty. I only purchased it on Saturday afternoon and have used it for a max of 10 minutes intermittently. The issue is not about getting a refund which Tesco has said (during 5 phone calls so far) I can have. (I paid by cash) The issue is that I am trying to find a way to return it that does not cost a load of money. Tesco will only pay for the item refund, but it is going to cost me a huge sum to return this because I am disabled and have to pay for a taxi there and back. I have tried to resolve this to the best I can, but Tesco are being very unhelpful. I have been put on hold during 4 of those phone calls for several minutes at a time and I have finally been left on a dead line and eventually hung up. What are my rights about the cost of having to travel to return this? I am disabled and cannot carry it as it stands. I budget for a taxi now and then to get to a large store. I do not have anyone to ferry me over 20 miles round journey, the small local store doesn't want to know and I'm stuck with an item that doesn't work.
  11. In August last year, my wife purchased an Asus netbook as a Christmas present for our Granddaughter. In August this year the charger would no longer work. We purchased a new charger, and contacted Littlewoods, explaining that although it was purchased in August, it was not used before Christmas day. My wife has since received an E-mail stating that a laptop charger is classed as a consumable part and therefore only has a six month warranty, and as this item was 12 months old when reported faulty we would not be able to reimburse you any costs. We did not really expect them to offer any reimbursement, but I was under the impression that a standard warranty guaranteed an item for a minimum of 12 months. Could you please help?
  12. High street banks have “lost their moral compass” and must “fundamentally change” their practices in order to restore the public’s battered confidence in them, a leading consumer group has warned. Which? has written to the new head of the British Bankers' Association (BBA), which represents the banking industry, urging him to raise levels of customer service in branches and make banks more accountable for bad practices. The group also warned Anthony Browne, who starts as chief executive of the BBA on Monday, not to give in to pressure from powerful banks to “defend the indefensible”. The public’s confidence in banks has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent months. Routine mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), the rigging of the Libor rate, IT meltdowns and the prospect of higher fees for current account holders have meant that trust in banks is “at an all-time low”, Which? said. The letter, which was written by Which?’s chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith and was sent yesterday, said: “In the wake of all the recent scandals in the banking industry there is a real crisis in consumer trust and confidence. We found almost three-quarters of people don’t think UK banks have learnt their lesson from the financial crisis – up from six in ten in September 2011. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9510087/Banks-have-lost-their-moral-compass-consumer-group-warns-new-industry-chief.html
  13. Consumers turned to overdrafts and personal loans in May as unsecured lending doubled. New figures from the Bank of England show that unsecured consumer credit, primarily loans and overdrafts, rose to £732 million in May from £379 million in April. This was the second highest level (after March) since April 2011, although economists pointed out that it is still below the average monthly level of £1.1 billion in unsecured consumer credit seen since 1993. The figures showed that there was a net increase of £603 million in other loans and advances in May, which was the largest since December 2010 and up from an increase of £439 million in April. However, consumers continue to be careful with their credit cards. In May, Bank of England figures showed that there was modest net borrowing of £70m on credit cards after a net repayment of £60m in April. Howard Archer at Global Insight said: "The appreciable pick up in unsecured consumer credit in May is a surprise but it may have been affected by some people having to borrow more as a consequence of the extended squeeze on their purchasing power. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/creditcards/9372948/Consumer-debt-doubles-in-May.html
  14. http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/news/consumer-focus-research-shows-continuous-payment-authority-confusion
  15. If you have a contract with a trader which involves paying a commission on a re-sale of an item and it clearly states that if I am the seller then it is my buyer who pays the commission to the trader who issued the contract, does the trader have the right to change that contract without telling me to say that it is the seller who pays the commission? If the trader has the right to change the contract what notice does he have to give to the re-seller before this can be changed, and does the trader have to issue a new contract? Any help appreciated, thanks
  16. BACKGROUND: I and my husband had taken a loan from Natwest of £15,000 after we were called in for account review appointment. By the time I started university in 2004, there was already problem with our finances, although my husband is in full time work, things still could not add up, because of the repayments on loan and credit cards which had so quickly massed up, we found ourselves paying childcare with credit cards. My husband then decided to approach the bank after we’ve had a lengthy discussion, to arrange a lower monthly payment. He came back home with a new loan agreement and sat me down, saying that the bank said this is the only way or they might start actions which will put out house at risk of eventual repossession, I still refused to sign the agreement but my husband insisted and pressured me into signing as it was causing a fight. Natwest had repackaged the £15,000 loan into a £25,000 loan! I felt trapped and had really bad premonition, but my husband said he trusted the advise of the Natwest staff. Not long after, we ran into difficulties again, as there was nothing left by the time Natwest all their abracadabra interests and overdraft.Before you could say hello, Natwest had gone to court, even though we had by now got intouch with a debt management company and were paying Natwest some money monthly. COURT CASE: Point of Law NatWest should naturally lose the case because they had made a fundamental error which ultimately invalidates the agreement and thus the loan. They had constructed the agreement on a wrong form! The agreement was a cancellable agreement because:OFT advised that: ... If the agreement is cancellable (because it was signed off trade premises), notice of cancellation rights must be included in the copy agreement, and must also generally be sent by post or email to the borrower within seven days. If the above requirements are not met, the lender can only enforce the agreement against the borrower by getting a court order. The problem was that the agreement was sold to us as non cancellable, there is ample evidence that it should have been a cancellable agreement and indeed, the bank did not contest this fact when the case went to court. Also,Section 67 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 states that:67. Cancellable agreements.A regulated agreement may be cancelled by the debtor or hirer in accordance with this Part if the antecedent negotiations included oral representations made when in the presence of the debtor or hirer by an individual acting as, or on behalf of, the negotiator, unless... (the exclusions indicated are not applicable to us). This was a joint loan but it was sold to me alone when I went to the bank to negotiate repayment on previous loan. I took it home to my wife who refused to sign, but who I forced to sign by stating the advise I was given at the bank that this is the only way out. Unknown to me that it was the worst advise and the bank is avoiding responsibility for this.The mistake above meant by law that the agreement was improperly executed and cannot contain the necessary prescribed term, what my husband continue to call irredeemably unenforceable. The law that guides the court states that: Section 65 Consumer Credit Act 1974 Consequences of improper execution.(1)An improperly-executed regulated agreement is enforceable against the debtor or hirer on an order of the court only. The question now is: Can the county fail to apply Section 127(3) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974? It then went further to add in section 127 that:127 (3)The court shall not make an enforcement order under section 65(1) if section 61(1)(a) (signing of agreements) was not complied with unless a document (whether or not in the prescribed form and complying with regulations under section 60(1)) itself containing all the prescribed terms of the agreement was signed by the debtor or hirer (whether or not in the prescribed manner). It does not take a genius, to put these together.The answer seems to be yes, in this case. But I am convinced that the fact that I cannot defend myself properly, the fact that I was not represented, the fact that my husband was not allowed to speak freely in court on my behalf had been material to the outcome of the case.It is my husband that knows all the argument, I had no clue what was going on.During the county court hearing, the bank solicitor accepted that the agreement should have been cancellable and agreed that the court cannot enforce the agreement if it found that the agreement was, we were happy during the initial discussions when this was cleared but later, the court then went on to find the agreement is enforceable, my husband tried to point out why it should not be but the judge said he’s not qualified to represent me and I had no clue what to say. Not only that, Natwest was awarded cost of over £3,000 bringing the debt to £17,000 plus. My husband appealed the decision on my behalf and we were asked to send in the appeal argument, my husband started running from pillar to post, he went to Citizens Advice Bureau, and various other agencies, but none of them are able to help with consumer credit litigation! I have now received a letter stating that Natwest is going for my house, Natwest has now applied to place a charge on our house, the mortgage is already about 3 months behind and I am about to lose my house! I need help!I still believe that there is a case, possibly a test case to be fought and I am seeking help and advise to go to a higher court to protect my home, my family and my sanity.With help of my husband have now created www.helpfightabank.co.uk where all the above is from. Every little help and advice helps.
  17. Technical forum note: I have had to introduce a space to disable the quoted links, as I am a first time poster, please copy and paste links into your browser and delete the surplus spaces after the h's. Most links are to the FSA Handbook or Wikipaedia. ------------------------------------------------------------------- I am posting this here for two reasons: (1) the case is live and I am interested to hear any counter argument to the arguments I have put forward. I suspect my letter has been sent to legal dept as there has not been any reply in the first instance, whereas up to now the client received replies almost immediately. (2) seems to me that there is a perfectly good case for shareholders having consumer protection, where they meet the conditions I describe below and therefore these arguments may benefit others in the future. By way of emphasis, this is all about whether a shareholder can be an eligible claimant as a consumer where a bank has wronged the company in whom the shareholder has shares. I am not addressing anything else, such as whether the claim is valid. Just the indirect claim, that's the key here - and it is complicated. I have removed all the names except my own and I hope kept the details confidential so that it is the subject matter that is here published for general consumption by consumers, for whose benefit I have written this post. My client received the following response from the FOS concerning whether shareholder can make a claim about the company's bank's actions. Sounds like an obvious "no" does it not? This is "obvious" because of the principle of "privity of contract", and because it just sounds somehow sensible. Here is the FOS response: So one might think, that's the end of it. I was presented with this and decided to have a look. Here is my response: Financial Ombudsman Service Date 12 October 2010 Dear Sirs, Re: clientname NAME CHANGED and case refs removed. By way of introduction I am a Chartered Accountant of 30 years in general practice, and the Clientname's circumstances were brought to my attention by mutual acquaintances. While insolvencies generally trace back to tales of business woe that might sometimes have been avoided, one does not expect to find a bank being an underlying cause of any aspect as has been described to me. As such I have taken an interest by preparing and writing this letter, for no fee. Having read your earlier correspondence I can see that this matter has persisted for some time. I applaud your continuing patience and ask if you will please give your consideration to my review on behalf of the Clientnames generally. In addition to that, I would like to express my mild surprise at the conclusion I have reached. Naturally I sympathise with the Clientnames, but I am accustomed to clients discovering regulations are not as they might like and then having to deliver that news. So in this case my reading has reached an unexpected conclusion. With that said, recognising there may be authoritative text I have not yet seen that would cause me to revise my opinion and in the light of your expertise and experience in these matters I offer the following discussion. INTRODUCTION My discussion in support of the following statements is presented below. (1) "Company officers, consultants and employees are all acting for purposes inside their trade, business or profession per the glossary for "consumer" at 2.7.3 whereas this not the case for every shareholder". (2) "In addition, a consumer is unique in being eligible to make a complaint where the relationship is indirect. Privity of contract does not instantly apply, or rather is dis-applied by the definition." Privity of Contract Within (2) above I mention "privity of contract". This concept underpins contract law not just in the UK, but across our planet. I have added this section to provide emphasis of just how important, nay, fundamental an alteration to our normal understanding of the application of our laws is effected by allowing complaints to cover indirectly affected consumers. Such an alteration means that our standard evaluations and assumptions require careful re-examination in such cases. h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privity_of_contract AUTHORITIES - from the online FSA Handbook. DISP 2.7 Is the complainant eligible? h ttp://fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/DISP/2/7 and in the detail of the glossary for "consumer": h ttp://fsahandbook.info/FSA/glossary-html/handbook/Glossary/C?definition=G210), Throughout there is a distinction between a "natural person,(and) a legal person...". The word "person" is used to include both, whereas "natural person" means a human being; so the distinction clearly appears to be intended by the draughts-people. Definitions are always hyper text linked, so where there is no special definition, the general English language can reasonably be assumed to apply. The link to "person" is here: h ttp://fsahandbook.info/FSA/glossary-html/handbook/Glossary/P?definition=G869 THE RULES 2.7.6 States that the complaint must arise from 1 or more of 14 types of relationship with the bank (respondent). Relationship Type no 2 within 2.7.6 states that the bank (respondent) must be a potential payment service provider or potential supplier, to the complainant. Direct debits are included as payment services here: h ttp://fsahandbook.info/FSA/glossary-html/handbook/Glossary/P?definition=G2617 2.7.6 uses the word "complainant" in each of the 14 relationships. It occurs to me that the undefined word “complainant” encompasses every conceivable category of complainant including both "ineligible complainant" and "eligible complainant", 2.7.6 is NOT concerned with whether or not the complainant is otherwise eligible, but purely with the type of the relationship. For the record I can not offer suggestions for possible types of complainant beyond eligible or ineligible. If the type of relationship is not listed, then an eligible complainant becomes ineligible. However, the complainant is as defined elsewhere, including consumers and indeed others. 2.7.3 States that a consumer is an eligible complainant provided they are not engaged in the relationship in any business capacity, which is worded as: “any natural person acting for purposes outside his trade, business or profession.” 2.7.3 also states at para 2 “a person” at para 2b “ who has rights or interests which are derived from, or are otherwise attributable to the use of, any such services by another person; “. NOTE “person” includes a company. This so states that the link between the consumer and the respondent does not have to be direct, it means the consumer can be a person who has rights or interests derived from or otherwise attributable to the use of services by another person. See "privity of contract" section above for why this is fundamental. PUBLIC INTEREST My understanding is that the complainant is, or can be, the consumer and not necessarily the "person" in the middle. My, or perhaps "the" point being that the complaint has life through the consumer regardless of the existence or otherwise of "another person" in between. So if a bank effectively unfairly disadvantages a consumer shareholder by putting that "other person" out of business by maladministration: there is proper accountability to the consumer. Which one might consider is as it should be, banks should be accountable and take responsibility for their actions just like everyone else, and so far in this case they are evading the issue - my sympathetic opinion of course. It occurs to me that bank maladministration in these circumstances is rare and therefore this issue could be unique in the life of the FOS to date. I say "rare" because one would hope that banks usually have perfectly good reasons for the closure of businesses and are not the cause of it through maladministration: in this case agreeing one thing and then doing the opposite. REVIEW The glossary uses the verb "to act" in the phrase "acting for purposes". Given the legal persona of a company, shareholders are clearly neither employees and officers nor acting by virtue of being a shareholder within any trade, business or profession. Of course a shareholder can be any of these, but that is not the same thing. In life we all act in many different capacities. So for example acting as a stockbroker or other trader in securities could be for purposes inside their trade or profession etc, but that requires skills for the trading of shares. A shareholder does not, indeed can not "act" other than in general meetings of members of a company where they exercise oversight of their investment. Outside that investor act (being none of trade, profession, business, vocation, employment or office) a natural person shareholder simply exists as a consumer. I do not believe shareholder meetings would/should be categorised as acting within a trade, profession, business, vocation, employment or office because they are enacting oversight of their investment, which is not a trade, profession, business, vocation, employment or office. Again a professional exercising their profession would be different and make that shareholder not a consumer. Attendance at any company AGM will show the presence of large numbers of consumers side by side with the professionals. Clearly consumer shareholders have rights and interests (per the glossary of defined terms) because that is the very nature of shares, and this does not amount to acting in business (to save repeating the list again). Clearly the professionals are expected to know what they are doing and consumer protection is not extended to them. Most consumers being unaware will not be persuaded by the actions of a bank and so this situation will rarely arise, indeed taken with that, the banks one hopes do not then maladminister the matter to boot. CONCLUSION I am particularly interested to hear what you think as it occurs to me that seeing a shareholder as a consumer may be intuitive for the general public and perhaps the only real issue in this case. I cannot, however, find anywhere any text that excludes shareholders impliedly or expressly by definition, including a short review of F.O.S. Ltd newsletters. Ordinary shareholders are not in business, they are investors, which statutes expressly distinguish from trading in business, professions, vocations or employments or offices. Case law abounds with argument about the distinguishing features. From the above my conclusion is that if the shareholder can indeed be properly classified as a consumer, then the complaint can be available for you to pursue via the indirect link of "another person". I do hope you find my arguments cogent and with due respect for your positions and as such I remain Yours faithfully, Anthony Mellor F.C.A. Chartered Accountant Working to Professional Standards T +44 (0)121 314 4750 INSPIRING CONFIDENCE
  18. Hi All, I hope you guys can help me out. I bought a new netbook from the internet, it arrived on 23rd December. I have opened the box, but have NOT turned it on. The reason for this is that if I turn it on it will no longer be as-new. I hate it! I hate the keyboard buttons as well as the trackpad. My question is this - am I able to return it using the Distance Selling Act? I am unable to find separate rules when it comes to computers Any help would be much appreciated, as I now have 5 working days (If I can use the distance selling) Regards, G
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