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  1. Hi folks, I got offered a Halifax Ultimate Reward account as an "upgrade" to my Easycash account at a time when I was doing fairly well financially. I was keen to take the account at that time as I was trying to rebuild my credit rating. However, my finances took a nosedive in the middle of last year and I stopped using the Rewards account. Unfortunately I had gone just over my agreed overdraft limit and was of course levied with some charges. I asked if the account could be closed but was told that his was only possible once the overdaft was cleared. So I was in the situation of having no income, trying to pay off the overdaft but being constantly thwarted by the £12.50/month account fee, which pushed me futher into debt and incurred further charges . With me so far? After a while I managed to get them to agree a nominal fee repayment of £1/month but they were still charging the account fee of £12.50! I asked if there was anything I could do about that and was told the only thing would be to convert the account into a standard account but that the overdraft fees would be more that the Rewards account fee - so now I was stuck! A while later I had a further conversation with them and was able to get them to put a "stop" on the account so that no further charges would be levied. Once again I asked about the £12.50 account fee but was given the same reponse as before, so a little better - but not much! I had been going on like this until September 23 this year when I had a call regarding the account and once again I was able to get them to agree to continue with the arrangement we already had in place. Now comes the 1st bombshell: The person I spoke to told me that the £12.50 account fee was purely for the "Rewards" (RAC cover, travel insurance etc, etc) and that if I wasn't using those then the fee could be waived! No one had told me that before so I have been paying that fee for over a year COMPETELY UNNECCESSARILY! So now the fee was stopped and I had some prospect of making headway into the now considerably inflated "debt" of just over £427 (it was a little over £100 when this all started). Now the 2nd bombshell: I was called yesterday (3rd November) by a collections firm called "ICOR" who informed me that Halifax had passed the "debt" to them and that I now had to pay up. I had no prior notification the Halifax were going to take this action and I suspected a [problem] and told them to "foxtrot oscar". Of course I immediately contacted Halifax who confirmed that this was indeed the case. I asked the person I spoke to why I had not been informed that this was going to happen and he said "I have no idea" - great! (the words elbow and arse come to mind). I was furious . I called ICOR today and explained the situation (I am on JSA) and they then expected me to go into detailed financial disclosure about income and expenditure over the phone. I told them I wasn't prepared to do that but was willing to provide the information in a more secure manner which I have now done but I doubt whether there will be any form of acceptable (to me) arrangement forthcoming - if I know anything about collection firms - they were even making threats of "sending the boys round". So my dilema is twofold: 1. Where do I stand with Halifax regarding the unnesseccary account fees - which, of course also created extra penalty fees. Is there any way of reclaiming these? Should I have been informed by Halifax of thier intended action regarding ICOR? 2. What should I do about the collections firm? I certainly will not be dealing with Halifax in any form ever again. Luckily I do have an account with the Helpful Banking people so I am going to transfer everything over to them. Any help will be gratefully received as I am just about at my wits end with this.
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