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  1. Hi - not sure which forum this belongs to so will try here. Firstly (I say this first to make the situation clear) I deliberately did NOT sign a contract with these guys because I didn't agree with the terms. I was sent reminders to sign all the way up to the date of the first DD.. and then they duly took the first and subsequent DD payments without the agreement signed. (What is this type of contract called where some basic terms are implied by the exchange of money? "Implied Contract"?) this is for car insurance. My favoured insurance broker uses Close Premium Finance for payment installments via a credit agreement - they get the money upfront, you pay 5 monthly installments to the creditor. My final instalment of £47.51 didn't go through as I didn't have the funds. This was on 16th October. On 18th October I receive a default notice dated 17th now claiming £77.51 because of an added £30 fine as per the "agreeement" (which I didn't sign). Several days later they tried to take this from my account by adjusting the Direct Debit amount. I should say here also that I did not sign a Direct Debit agreement either with Close Brothers but only gave my bank details to the insurance broker for this purpose as part of the data they needed to enable payment by installment on their system. The default notice gave me until 6th November to pay this increased amount (the total called "arrears") or they would terminate the "agreement" (which I didn't sign..) . I still didn't have the money until this week - am self-employed and had a backlog of invoices to send out and be paid - and also busy so made no contact or payment. Today I received in the post a letter saying they have terminated the "agreement" and are threatening to demand the remaining six months' insurance premium from the insurance broker and pay themselves the arrears, now increased by a further £15 to £92. If they do this, they will both cancel my insurance, get £150 odd back from the insurer and take their £92 (and return £58 to me from what I understand). Yet I'm only £47.51 short of the full amount (£315 I think total - some £70 odd was paid direct to the broker upfront). I'm at a loss as what to do as I don't know where I stand! I have a few questions: - I did not sign the agreement deliberately so as not to be held to the penalties (they call them "fees" of course") so can they even default me at all and does the Consumer Credit Act come into force for ANY loan, whether you sign a contract with mention of it or not? - Can a creditor default someone after just one day and without sending a notice of arrears first? - By me allowing them to take the payments as scheduled and by them acting to take the money, do we have a contract at all and if so what are the terms? Can they automatically include their full terms or is it only a simple implied agreement of supplying the basic credit in exchange for the scheduled payments? - Have they violated Direct Debit rules by both not getting me to sign a mandate explicitly and by then changing the amount from the schedule that was set out? At no point had I agreed to or been informed of a variable Direct Debit. - What steps can I take to prevent them from taking the remaining premium and paying themselves the fees? Or better still stop them from cancelling my insurance with the broker? (although they've stated they've cancelled the loan?) Any help would be much appreciated as I've no idea as to my rights here or what steps to take (I realise thought the amounts may be trivial compared to some other's difficulties!).
  2. Hi, Please can you advise? In March I had a couple of in depth conversations with a programme advisor for DPG - a company that offers training in HR. In these convos I covered much territory including what if I don't pass (they claim you won't or your money back), what if I lose my job and can't pay etc (they allow for mitigating circumstances). One of my questions was 'what if I just decided to drop out because it wasn't for me/wasn't convenient at that point? Is it that you lose whatever money you've paid?' and I was told that is indeed the case. As a result of these calls I signed up for a 10 month course costing £4200 and I paid a deposit of almost £800. In return they sent me a mini iPad as a welcome gift. They provide no other materials other than access to the online training content. Within days I had my life ripped apart. My fiancee, the love of my life, ran off with my best mate and I am in pieces. I've suffered insomnia, weight loss, violent outbursts,spontaneous bursting into tears, paranoia and truly feel I am losing my mind. Seriously, I am on the verge of cracking up. I tried to struggle on, bury my head in the course to distract myself but it was no good. After just 4 hours use of the training programme I called to say I was leaving. The person on the phone asked for details and I broke down in tears on the phone as I told the whole story. To my surprise she said that as the 14 day cool off window has passed that I am liable for the full fee of the course. This is when I was expecting a sizeable refund of the £800 already paid! At no point in my conversations with programme advisor who answered all my questions - who also took my payment - was there any mention of the 14 day cooling off period which I would like to think would be required as they are effectively distance sellers and their product was purchased over the phone. She said mitigating circumstances may result in a 'partial decrease' and would speak to her boss. I told her that she's had £800 for just 3 weeks access to learning material and just 4 hours was used and that £800 is more than enough. I also said that charging the full fee is scandalous and immoral - not the way a HR-orientated company should operate. As they are a business I made the financial argument that they can keep the £800 as it will be a huge profit margin for them. I was asked to put everything in an email so I did. The programme director replied, ingratiatingly sounding caring and concerned yet and offered the option to defer for the - get this - 'admin fee' of £495 or that I can leave altogether, at which point there is nothing he can do and the full fees must be paid in order to be "consistent and fair as a business". Annoyingly he then said that he can waive all fees if I provide medical documentation stating I cannot continue with the course - which means he can waive the fees if he so wishes! My life is in tatters! My social circle is gone as many knew what was going on behind my back and my so-called mate works in HR which means I have no desire to go that route anymore. I pointed out that I feel trapped and cornered at a time I am most vulnerable (and about to go off work with stress) and that the only options he is leaving me with is to deteriorate further to the point where medical intervention is required (which is sadistic) . Pre-course they mentioned mitigating circumstances - isn't what I'm going through 'mitigating'? He replied saying he understands and doesn't want to add to my stress (ha!) but that he wants to help me (really?) and be fair as a business (by charging £3500 for services not yet rendered). Please help! This cannot be legal, surely? Companies are prevented from applying excessive parking charges because the amount demanded is disproportionate to the loss to their business. What is fair and reasonable about anything they are doing? What is fair and reasonable about basically saying "I can waive the fees if I want to.........but I'm not going to"?
  3. I owe approx £3000 on a vanquis card. I was in a well paid job and comfortably paying back what I owed when I developed a long term, chronic illness and eventually lost my job, I now receive esa. I invoked the PPI on vanquis two years ago which has now ended - during that time they received numerous copies of letters from the dwp and my hospital confirming my situation. When they sent me the letter saying that PPI had run out I sent them my income/expenditure budget statement and details of the other debts I have and the amounts they have accepted (ie, 10k bank loan have accepted £6.50 per month via their debt collector). I offered Vanquis £5.50 which is all I have left to offer them. I also made it clear in my letter that all correspondence needed to be in writing as I am too ill to deal with things over the phone. A few weeks later I received a letter that mentioned nothing about my offer or situation whatsoever but suggesting I contact Step Change (I've looked at them and tbh I dont want a third party involved particularly when the other debts are already being managed adequately and the website seems to want to push people into IVAs) I received a statement where they have added interest, charges because the interest have pushed the balance over the limit AND they have started to apply PPI charges again (even though I would not be eligible to claim PPI again). So I sent them another letter, a copy of the original letter, copy of income/expenditure, etc. Today I received a really shirty letter from them saying they have been unable to contact me by phone, they cannot accept my offer, that I should contact Step Change and that I MUST speak to them by phone! Now, I know full well that they cannot force people to discuss things on the phone and the fact that I have already told them I am unable to seems to have been completely ignored. I'm thinking that it is probably going to be easier just to wait it out for debt collectors to become involved as they are usually (in my prior experience) easier to deal with and do things properly after the initial couple of letters. Or is there something else I can do? I'm very tempted to make a complaint because stress makes my illness worse
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