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I am looking for advice on gaining the removal of a default notice recently applied by HSBC. I'm new to this site and therefore have not previously followed any advice provided by this site. I'm requesting the default be removed from my credit reports as I believe I have been unfairly treated and this default has not been applied correctly. I believe HSBC has treated me unfairly as they refused to offer and agree a payment plan that their Final Demand letter offered, their communications, and application of process have contained many inaccuracies that have meant resolving the situation was confusing and difficult, and the detail of the registered default are inaccurate. I have already raised this with the financial ombudsman and they have upheld the decision by HSBC to refuse to remove the default (verbally stating I'd taken HSBC's correspondence 'too literally'). My next step is to challenge this decision by the Financial Ombudsman but I only have until the 13th August 2015. I’d be very grateful for any advice on how to approach this and what else, if anything, I should be doing. The background I opened an account with HSBC in 1992. I stopped using this account when I changed jobs a few years ago and opened a new account with a different bank which my salary is now paid into. As the HSBC account no longer received my salary and direct debits were still set on the account (these are time consuming to set up again), the account went over the agreed overdraft on a couple of occasions due to my oversight in managing the balance and the numerous direct debits that were set up on the account. As the account was effectively dormant, HSBC changed my account to a basic account and removed my formal overdraft in the months prior to issuing the Pre-Demand and Final Demand letters. I made a number of payments to keep the overdraft at its limit but , largely due to the fees charged by HSBC, the account did go over its limit again and (I subsequently discovered) entered HSBC’s ‘collection process’. Final Demand The Final Demand letter I received in September 2014 stated "We recently issued you with a Default Notice on the above account." I have never received one nor has HSBC been able to provide evidence of ever having issued one. Following receipt of the Final Demand notice I called to arrange repayment of approximately 50% of the outstanding sum with a suggestion of repaying the remaining balance but the agent I spoke to insisted that there was nothing I could do to arrange a repayment plan and I’d have to wait until I was contacted by HSBC Repayment Services (HRS). HSBC did not make it clear on the call that transferal to HRS would result in a default being registered and that the only way to prevent a default from being registered was to pay the full debt at that time. I consider that I was treated unfairly as the repeated offer in the letter to make suitable arrangements appears not to be genuine and as such, and for the purpose of clear communication, should not have been included in the letter. HSBC also declined my request to clarify this by email following the call. I requested this as the advice given in the letter and the conversation differed so greatly and I was confused by the unclear explanation of the process. The Final Demand letter stated "If you do not make full payment or make a suitable arrangement with us..." and under the "help is available” section specified that “if you are unable to pay the full amount at this time, please call the above number and we will try to work with you to come to a suitable arrangement” HSBC have subsequently responded to me to state that “As the Final Demand had already been set, only repayment of the full outstanding balance would have prevented the account from being passed to HRS and a Default registered with the CRA's.” I consider that I was treated unfairly as the repeated offer in the letter to make suitable arrangements appears not to be genuine and as such, and for the purpose of clear communication, should not have been included in the letter. Inaccurate registration of Defaults HSBC have subsequently registered a default with only 2 of the three CRA’s but did so approximately 4 months after they told me they’d closed the account and registered the default. I’m not sure why the default was registered so long after HSBC say the account was closed and why the default has not been registered with all CRA’s. Inaccuracies in registered default Whilst I don’t believe a default should have been registered due to lack of Default Notice, the default that has been registered appears to be inaccurate based on HSBC’s stated aim of showing “a true reflection of how the account has been maintained"”. The start balance has been registered as the default balance and the account was marked as satisfied about a week before the final repayment was made. In addition to this HSBC had never registered anything with any credit reference agency before April 2015 (presumably because my account was opened in 1992 before they were obliged to share information with Credit Reference Agencies) and as the date of closure of the account didn't match the date of closure stated by HSBC as my account closure date I don't consider this statement to be accurate. According to HSBC correspondence the closure date was in November 2014 but no default was registered until March 2015. I spoke with Experian in January 2015 and they confirmed a default had not been registered and indeed no information had been received from HSBC at all. This is after HSBC stated they had both closed my account and registered a default. This position only changed in my Experian credit file in April 2015. The implication here is that I could have applied for credit for 4 months after HSBC claimed they’d registered a default without a default having any impact on my chances to get a mortgage etc. In addition to this inaccuracy, the final sentence of the last paragraph of the first page of HSBC's letter of was incomplete and simply stated "This is reported for 6 years although”. Response from HSBC to my initial appeal I’ve written a couple of letters to HSBC raising the issues around what I consider to be inaccuracies and they’ve not really acknowledged them. Instead they state that sending other letters (a Pre-demand letter and the Final Demand Letter that referred to a Default Notice that was not sent) fulfilled their obligations under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Response from the Financial Ombudsman to my appeal After receiving the email confirmation from the Financial Ombudsman that they would uphold the decision I requested confirmation by email that defaults can be registered without a Default Notice having been applied. "I can confirm that you are correct, in line with industry guidance and relevant rules and legislation a default notice should be issued before a default is registered to provide sufficient time for the person receiving it, to take action to try and prevent the default. However, when we receive cases of this type, we look at the overall circumstances of what has happened. As explained, simply because you did not receive a default notice does not mean the default should be removed." The Financial Ombudsman did agree that HSBC’s communication, including the call where they refused to agree a repayment plan, could have been clearer but don’t seem to be concerned by the inaccuracies despite stating that there “is a legal obligation for information that is reported to the credit reference agencies to be a true and accurate reflection of the account”. I’d greatly appreciate any advice on my chances of getting the default removed and the best approach to achieving this.
Hello This week I switched my home insurance to Home Protect, arranging to pay it monthly. Today, I heard from a company called Premium Credit, telling me that Home Protect had set up the credit arrangement for the insurance through them. I was then asked to register on their website and also to electronically sign a copy of the CCA1974 agreement. It also stated that if I hadn't signed by 27th April, then they would add £10 to my account! So my question is, can they actually legally do this? I thought the terms of the CCA1974 states you should sign ONLY if you wished to be bound by it. Effectively, they are fining me if I don't. Clearly, they just want to be able to guarantee any potential court action they might take would be successful by having a "signed" CCA1974 form but this just sound wrong to me. Any advice would be much appreciated. I see this particular company has been posted about before for exorbitant charges for failed direct debits which doesn't surprise me!