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  1. I had been with Natwest for 22 years and had a black account with the Gold Advantage Charge card. I was advised to become a company as I would be delivering a service through several agencies. Unfortunately, due to exceptional circumstances and include a bad personal relationship left me in debt and I am about £8 -9k in mortgage arrears on a house I rent out and a personal overdraft that was £12k. In 6 months that OD was cleared and both business and personal accounts were in the black. The difficulty in meeting the mortgage department for an arrangement to be put in place was mainly because this period was over the summer, they would meet with me after 5pm and if I called at 4.45 they would not deal with me. I sent in 2 income/expenditure spreadsheets but they clearly didnt see them but I managed to set up a DD for the mortgage online and I met the deadline. That evening all three of my accounts were closed. I called the callcentre and they said they didnt have me on record. I tried to log a complaint and they were too busy on the Friday but promised they would be in touch the next day. They never did. As a prelude they stopped my access to online banking even though there was no way of spending money or transferring out into other accounts so it made knowing where I was financially and who had paid me and hadnt. The worst thing is that I couldnt operate, I need supplies, sundries and I was without any money to buy food or even some milk. I told Natwest this but they told me all my funds were transferred into the mortgage. It took a further 3 months to work out what had happened and the cause was not offered to me by the bank whose level of investigation was looking at the screen in front of them whilst on the phone. They hadnt cancelled the previous direct debit so every month the original arrangement would draw funds then the older previously arranged dd would be rejected. This was recorded as a default. I tried to make it clear to them there was an arrangement in place, it utilised a payment system set up and approved by the bank and it was their job to find out where the money was disappearing to every month for three months instead they left it to me. I complained about being oushed further into hardship by continued charges I had no way of keeping track of as the online facility had been taken away four months before they closed me down, failed to log 6 out of 8 attempts to complain and didnt care that I had not a penny for two weeks. They tried to issue a repossesion order and I wrote in to the lawyer to say that was illegal as the account was under dispute. In the meantime, I asked for SAR to get all the account information and after three months all I have is mortgage account copies. The lawyers are now calling me and I am sure its about instructing me to pay the arrears within the week or they would issue a repossession order on the house. They cancelled the direct debit that existed so I was conscious to keep puttting funds in every month but trying to function without a bank account lost me more money and irretrievably lost more clients. I am expecting a lump sum of money that will clear the arrears but the knock on effect meant that I was late paying my suppliers and one has taken a county court judgement out against me and bankruptcy is where I am at if I dont have some means of a reprieve. Yes, they said that if i didnt have an arrangement in place my account woud be closed and they talked about recovery. Sounded to me it was going to get better! The arrears werent as much as my overdraft which i cleared in less than 6 months and they had said the the charge card was a different legal entity and when I called the credit card company customer services before they closed my accounts they said that there wasnt any money owed and that it would be fully operational once the mortgage arrangement was in place. That wasn't true and I also lost my 36,000 reward points as I had no online access and frankly more serious things to worry about. i cant really afford a litigation lawyer at the moment and have little faith in the FSA from what I am reading. The banks replies to my complaints are to issues that weren't raised and they have not taken notice of my plea to allow me access to funds I had to eat and drink. I was not notified clearly that every account would be closed down and as far as I am concerned there was an arrangement in place that obviously isnt integrated into the RBS network as they couldn't see that the money had been taken from the holding account and HSBC provided a fast pay reference number. You cannot open another bank account if you have mortgage arrears is what every other bank told me but once I called the Business Debtline they advised me to walk into a bank and ask to open an account. Why didnt the other banks suggest this to me? A week after submitting an application form for a Cashminder account with the coop was i able to restart rebuiding what Natwest pulled down.
  2. Hi all, I’ve now been a CAG’er for almost 2 years and during this time I’ve been very grateful of the help, guidance and assistance (and success !) that I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from. Unfortunately, for the first time (in absolutely ages !) I’ve just become a worried man, once again ! The reason for my worry is due to a longstanding, Natwest (joint) Account and specifically the overdraft facility. This overdraft has gradually crept up to its current level of approx. £4500. The reasons were due to redundancy and a huge amount of bank charges. Despite my desperate plea’s Natwest wouldn’t entertain freezing charges / interest – when in fact all other institutions did, on request ! (At this point I’d like to add I issued a claim for approx. £800 of unfair bank charges, in early 2008 AND superseded this with an additional approx. £200 claim (thus making just over £1000, in total) in the middle part of this year (2009). This remains on hold !) Over many months Natwest have ‘harassed’ me prior to shifting this to their representatives Triton Credit Services, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Shoosmiths. All these institutions have been CCA’ed BUT Irwin Mitchell have now decided to issue proceedings ! I have, today, received a “Claim Form” for Northampton County Court “Bulk Centre”, however, this has been issued specifically to my wife, as opposed to me ! If it was to me I wouldn’t have been so bothered ! I should add that when Triton were CCA’ed DIRECT all I received was a reply from Natwest (not Triton !) returning my £1 postal order AND stating they weren’t able to action as they didn’t hold my signature on record and wanted another form of identification. Furthermore despite me quoting them the EXACT SAME REFERENCE, that they quoted me, they then claimed they couldn’t relate this to any account and therefore wanted me to provide a sort code and account number ! This was the last I heard, from Triton. Next came Irwin Mitchell who were also CCA’ed DIRECT. Again all I received, initially, was a reply from RBS (not Natwest OR Irwin Mitchell this time !) returning my £1 AND stating they weren’t able to action as they didn’t hold my signature on record and wanted another form of identification. Furthermore despite me quoting them the EXACT SAME REFERENCE, that they quoted me, they also then claimed they couldn’t relate this to any account and therefore wanted me to provide a sort code and account number ! This was (so I thought !) the last I’d hear, from Irwin Mitchell before Shoosmiths then tried. Shoosmiths were CCA’ed too and I still await any reply from them. Unfortunately, today, the “Claim Form” arrived, from Irwin Mitchell, on behalf of Natwest. I’m afraid this is the point that I now become ‘snookered’ ! Sorry this post has been so lengthy but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can someone advise how I proceed from here – I guess I’m now left with no choice other than to respond to the Claim within the 14 day timescale ? Do I still have any other options ? If I defend what is the likelihood of them not actually turning up, to court ? Can I attend in lieu of my Wife – who I’d like to keep out of this ? Can anyone offer me any guidance and also does anyone else have any experiences of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors ? Thanks, R
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