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  1. We've lived next door to them for over 18 years, they have been here since the 70's. They are an elderly couply, they are not the problem. Their 40 year old son is. He sells drugs at all hours, his Dad has to answer the door to them. The son plays loud music, games and shouts. One time, this was a few weeks ago. My mum was in the bathroom and he said to his friends 'yeah, their grandson lives sleeps in the bath'. He keeps spying on us in the bathrrom. When we reported this to the council all they said was 'He's got mental problems, he can't help it'. His mental problems are due to drugs, my nephew has learnign difficulities which he was born with. He has called my 18 year old nephew(same one mentioned above) a pervert, peado. Because he plays with his brothers and sisters. He has now got a camera which we reported today, it's pointing towards the public grass/pathway. We were told we were not allowed to record beyond our garden, not even allowed to record him if he contronts us. His dad has been to see the council, nothing. Police have been round and had a word with them, again, nothing. My brother refuses to leave the house now, he's too scared. My mum wants to move but it's hard because I have been bidding since I was 18, I'm now 31 and have gotten no where as I am on low band. My ESA (or council rent) won't cover the rent until I'm about 35. I tried to move out in 2012 but couldn't due to the council refusing me rent. I know it's a lot to take in but can anyone help us?
  2. I'm not sure this is the right place but here goes I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which means I am often very depressed, anxious, scared, etc. I am on medication and generally have the illness to a level that I can cope. However I have got myself in debt with Vanquis, Capital One, Littlewoods and Very. I was making regular payments up to about 6 months ago but then my Mum passed away and my world fell apart. I am on esa and was managing with the help of my partner to maintain my payments. Now I am getting nothing but phonecalls and letters. This morning I received my second letter from Moorcroft for the Vanquis debt (£1287.14) asking for me to talk to them and payment or further action will be taken. I owe Littlewoods £925.73, I have only missed 3 payments on that debt so far but will miss more. I owe Very £2513 including arrears of £409. As for the two credit cards with Capital I owe approx £600 on each card. On top of this I have accounts with JD Williams which I'm not in arrears with but will soon not be able to make the regular monthly payments. I just want advice as to what to do, should I write to them all all and make an offer of a payment each month an hope they accept it. I don't have much money left over each month from my esa benefits so payment would have to be a small amount. Would I be better looking at a debt relief order? I just don't know which way to turn and it is affecting my mental health. It's hard enough dealing with the grief of losing my Mum just under a year ago on top of losing my Dad nearly 3 years ago. I just don't know what to do. I know this is my own fault, after losing Mum i went silly with money, anything to numb the pain I was and still am feeling. I just want some advice and guidance. Thank you for reading my rant and I appreciate any help you may advise me on.
  3. I'm looking for some wise advice from those more experienced than I with insurance and subsidence claims. Our house (circa 1890 semi-detached) is on a small slope and had some evidence of small "historical" movements when we bought it 20 years ago. Very little has changed since, and a structural engineer didn't mention subsidence in an inspection 4 years ago. However, it seems the neighbour's house has developed cracks near the party wall in the last few years, and they seem to suspect OUR house is to blame as we are further down the (small) incline. They say they have inspection reports from the last 6 months, but we haven't seen anything yet. To complicate matters slightly, we are changing from our current landlord's insurance policy to a homeowner's policy in a couple weeks, as we will be moving into the house ourselves. We are worried about 1) raising the issue of subsidence on our current landlord's policy, as this might make our new (already agreed and paid for) homeowner's insurance invalid. 2) waiting until we move in to raise the topic, as our new insurance might balk at a subsidence claim if we make it shortly after the policy starts. 3) being stuck in a no-man's zone between the two policies, with neither willing to cover...if indeed there is subsidence. 4)the neighbours will take some sort of legal action and find a structural engineer that will pin all blame on us. Both our policies are with the same company, which will hopefully help. We don't even know if there is subsidence of course, but it does seem possible. Any advice from those who know more about how insurance companies would treat such things would be most appreciated. What is the best course of action? 1) Raise the issue immediately? 2) Raise it later? 3) Do our own inspection first and only then contact the company? (this will likely push us into the new policy period) Thanks in advance for any information or advice!
  4. Hi, Can anyone offer me any advice on an issue I have with the FOS. I took out life and critical illness cover through a tied broker in 2012. In 2016 I claimed and my claim was turned down by the insurer as they did not know about surgery I'd had prior to applying for insurance. Trouble is both me and the wife know we told the brokers agent all about the surgery on the night he came to get our signatures after checking the application. I made my initial call on the 14/4/12, their agent visited my home on 17/4/12. The FOS got involved after my complaint to the company was turned down. The original sales phone call in which I tell the salesman about my surgery is 'missing'. The FOS adjudicator requested the application and signed declaration from the brokers. What she received (and accepted!) was amazing. Pages 1 to 5 were missing and the last 4 pages (the declaration) were scanned in such a way as to obscure the date in the top left hand corner. There were no other dates on any of the remaining pages. It took me 4 subject access requests to finally receive the complete form including dates. Their excuse for their inability to supply what I'd asked for previously was that their scanner could not scan complete pages the right way up!? On each of the replies to my requests the broker states the completion date of the form as 16/4/12 The FOS is not upholding my complaint. I've always maintained that I (and my wife who took out cover at the same time) told the broker and agent all about the surgery and that therefore, knowing that it was unlikely the insurer would offer me cover, the broker and/or agent altered the application without our knowledge. I even had a photo dated 2 days prior of the 4" scar on my part shaven head clearly visible on the night of 17/4/12! Turns out the date on the missing 5 pages was the 19/4/12 - a whole 2 days after my signature was obtained on the declaration. The date on the declaration was 16/4/12. This appears to be the date the declaration pages were sent to the agent and therefore the declaration was produced on or before 16/4/12. This is where I'd really appreciate some advice - the FOS Adjudicator and Ombudsman actually used the application/declaration in their decision. Can they do this?, should they do this? and where do I go from here? Thanks
  5. A google search led me here as I'm in the same boat as MadMat. I received a call yesterday, 21.11.17, from Cabot and the caller asked if I was free to speak to which I replied 'absolutely not'. This was true as I was just leaving for work at 07.45. Today I received a letter dated 17.11.17 saying they have recently confirmed I live at my address. I am in the process of moving house and can only think that the company that did the tenant referencing (I had to supply 10 years of addresses) passed my details on because I'm usually careful about sharing my details. I have had no credit cards or loans since 2006. I have held my hands up when contacted about my debts, had 3 CCJs, one now paid off, and 11 years on I'm rebuilding my life so this is ....! Would sending the statute barred letter not be acknowledging the debt and potentially open up another route to a CCJ? Also what is the link to the statute barred letter?
  6. Hi Guys, I have recently received a letter from a collection agency demanding I pay the sum of £419.42 in relation to council tax owed to Plymouth City Council from 2011. I have sent a number of emails to Plymouth City Council asking why I owe this money. After completing my degree in 2011 I was forced to sign on and claim housing benefit as there was no suitable work available. My degree was a complete waste of money, but that's a separate issue. After sending and receiving a number of emails they have eventually told me that the reason I owe the money is down to the fact I never informed them of my address change, when I moved out of my student house and into another house share. However, this is not true I remember distinctly informing them and this was reaffirmed to them again at a later date when I was forced to claim JSA again after securing a month's work. They have gone to the Magistrates Court and obtained a Liability Order, which I believe has been done falsely as I do not owe the money because I was exempt. I raised a complaint but they are not budging on their position. Is there anything I can do? Any help greatly appreciated. Cheers, Jake
  7. Hi, I have received CC papers for a debt owing to Moriarty Law on behalf of MotorMile Finance. The total amount is for £350 for a loan taken out in 2013. I have sent in a defence saying that I do not recognise the debt and requesting further information. I have received a letter from Moriarty Law with photocopies of their paperwork. I now have a mediation appointment booked for next week. I am worried because firstly I have never been to court before and it scares me. Secondly, the paperwork does not look correct. The signature in the box that I am supposed to have signed is definitely not mine. They say that they paid the money into an account number XXXXXXXX, but I have changed banks since 2013 and I don't know if it is mine or not. It is possible that this is genuine, I have had payday loans before, but there is also a chance that it isn't (the fake signature is what worries me most). What should I say in mediation? I don't want to end up with a CCJ. I can't afford to pay £350 and I am also disabled so going to court will end up a nightmare as my nearest is the other side of a different county. If I offer them something like £25 as a gesture without admitting liability do you think that they will go away?
  8. Hello. I had some loans with Wonga. I wrote formal complaint and after 7 weeks I get a letter from them. I'm due to refund. Now I live outside the UK and don't have bank anymore. I have sent them my nominee (friend) bank details and now they are saying that they can't transfer money to someone else. Is that correct? They are asking my bank account details in my country, but the thing is that I have some troubles with that. I had a small refund from them few months ago (technical problems as they called it) and it went to my friends account without any problems. I had the same situation with HMRC and it went well. Any thoughts?
  9. Due to recently selling my house and buying a far cheaper house elsewhere I now have a bank balance of £149,509.10 in my Santander account. Despite this they pay me no interest at all. Santander said I could obtain a different type of account that would pay me interest but only on a balance up to £20,000. I am of the impression that the bank doesn't want my money and would prefer me to transfer it elsewhere. I find this very strange indeed because I thought banks needed people with large balances so they could lend to other people and charge interest on the loans. Seems to me if you have a fairly large amount of money the last place you put it is in a bank. Having no idea where to invest my money I assume I will have to just leave it in the bank and watch it depreciate due to inflation. Oh well, such is life.
  10. Last year I entered into one of N'power's 'deals' to save me money. It was actually the best deal around at the time - monthly direct Debit £46.00. This was around June time - a couple of months later, they 'suggested' that I would need to increase my DD because they estimated from my usage that it would cost a lot more over the winter period. They wanted about £65 + - I said no, bearing in mind that the previous review had netted me a refund of over £100.00, I couldn't see that I would be that much behind and I would be happy to just pay any underpayment. Not happy with that, they umm'ed and ah'ed and I compromised at an extra £10.00 per month. So I have been paying them £56.00. Just received my online summary and already I am £97.00 in credit - however, look at this message they left on screen for me.... !! Well tough, I want my money.. . Message from Npower.pdf
  11. I bought some made to measure window blinds from an online retailer. They make it clear they cannot be returned if the purchaser gives the wrong measurements, so I followed their measuring guide to the letter. When they arrived the blinds themselves fit perfectly, but the fixings that hold the blind do not fit the recess I have. These fixings or their size were not mentioned in the measuring guide or anywhere else on the site. I have asked for a refund but they say they can't be returned as the blinds are made to measure. I said I wasn't to know the fixings would be bigger and not fit, and they said I should have expected they be bigger in order to hold the blind. They have offered a discount on an alternative blind which would fit better, but no refund on the initial purchase. They also pointed out I'd ordered a similar blind before and so should have known about the fixings, but I didn't fit that blind myself, and the window it was for wasn't so shallow, so such an issue never arose and I've never even given it a thought. Obviously I wouldn't have bought blinds I know couldn't fit - what would be the point? Where do I stand, in terms of returns? Thanks.
  12. With warmer weather coming along, I thought I'd remind people of a method that works well and doesn't cost much. If you have a fan that can be used on a table or on the floor, you just need a plastic water bottle, maybe more than one, of about 1 litre capacity. Freeze the bottle of water and when you need to cool down, put one in front of the fan so the air blows towards you and is cooled by the frozen bottle. Make sure you put the bottle in something that will catch the condensation or you'll end up with a pool of water underneath. It works and it's cheap. HB
  13. Good afternoon everyone. This is going to sound pretty silly but I have been paying Lowells £5.00 per month for nearly 3 years now, but I have no idea what it is I am paying for. Some of you have been helping me with an actual claim, so know the state my life was in a few years ago, so I won't go into that all again. Anyway - I think (but am not certain) that the debt was an old littlewoods catalogue. I have not missed a payment ever in the nearly 3 years it's been going on for - but my credit file just shows default every single month, so I am getting no benefit by paying it back. I'm rambling (as always) sorry; I just wanted some information on how I can find out what this is for. I am loathe to call them as they've lately been writing to me about an old mobile phone contract, and I'm nervous that getting in touch with them may open another can of worms. My credit score page just says Lowell, and nobody else so I don't have a clue what this is for. I imagine most will think it insane that I've been paying them all this time without knowing what it's for - but I just agreed a small amount to get the off my back at the time, and being homeless I have lost any paperwork they might have sent me long ago. Many thanks people.
  14. Dear all, I am new to the forum and in a bit of a panic. I just don't know what to do. We have been in a debt management plan since 2008 and so since then I of course have not had any credit. I've had a letter from Shoosmiths and now a Court Claim via Northampton County Court Business Centre about an Overdraft I supposedly had with M&S. I thought this strange as I have never had a bank account with M&S. The Particulars of the Claim actually state: The claimant claim is for the sum of £4219.76 being monies due from the defendant to the claimant as a consequence of the defendant incurring an overdraft whilst operating a bank account. It says the debt was assigned to them on 30/1/13 and it says they notified me of that but i have no record of that. I pay another debt to Arrow Global though so I may have received something and assumed it to be part of that. I just don't know. I did have a Personal Reserve with M&S but this was operated like a loan. There was not a bank account. The sum of the Personal Reserve was approximately £3000 but this has been part of the Debt Management Plan so I have no idea what this refers to. I sent a letter to Shoosmiths stating I din't know what they were referring to and that if it is true it is a very old debt so queried their legality in asking for it. I think we crossed post with this court summons though. I've said to the court I will defend all of it but I have to write a defence and I don't know how to do that. Can my defence be that I have no knowledge of that account and have asked for them to prove it is genuine? Losing sleep over this and have that awful sick feeling in my tummy. I don't shy away from my responsibilities and have paid back over £20,000 in debts. I would really appreciate any advice you could give me.
  15. Hi there, My daughter was caught shoplifting 13th December with two other girls, all 17yrs old, at Primark. My daughter had a £10 top in her bag and it was her first offence, the other girls had similar items but have been caught before. My daughter was brought home after been "warned" by police and the other two received a caution. On New Years Eve my daughter received a letter from RLP Civil Recovery Specialists demanding payment from all or one of the three girls totalling £232 or court action will be taken. Now after reading posts on here, speaking with CABS and also reading Google historic pages I am more confused than ever as to whether my daughter should pay some, all or anything at all to this company. Three things mainly concern me: * How can they ensure one or all will pay and if one doesn't when do the others become liable? * If we pay nothing will this jeopardise my daughters chances of getting employment in the future? I work for a bank and had to jump through hoops to prove my employability and credit file. (NOTE: she lost her apprenticeship due to her diabetes related sickness the week after the incident so is now out of work, full time education and no training) * Will they send in the debt collectors if nothing is received from us? My daughter has been on a downward spiral for the past month or so and this is not helping at all. She is receiving help from her diabetes team for her mental health but this is putting far too much strain on an already struggling person. I really don't know what to do. Please, any help is hugely appreciated....
  16. I took out a Unsecured Personal Loan with Halifax online in December 2011. I was NEVER asked questions like, can you afford the payments, are you employed/unemployed, and I certainly was not asked about my income. This have got so bad I am currently on an IVA - Halifax increased the IVA from 5 years to 6 years forcing me to pay for longer. I am now wondering if bankruptcy is the best option. Do I have a claim that Halifax lent to me irresponsibly without going through my finances first?
  17. I bought an Aqualisa electric shower and paid a lot to have it professionally fitted . Almost immediately, when switched on, water began gushing out of the back and down the wall. I looked online and found several postings, including one which explained this was due to a pressure relief valve opening and described how to fix it. Basically, you switch off the electricity, take off the cover, unscrew the valve (difficult) and push a plastic ball back into its tube and then reassemble. OK for a month then it happened again. I phoned Aqualisa customer services and asked for a fitter to repair it under the 2 year guarantee, which they did. Six weeks later same problem. This time customer services said they will make a total of 2 repair visits and thereafter, until the 2 year guarantee has expired, they will post you a new valve which you will have to fit yourself. So what happens after 2 years? You have to buy them and keep changing them yourself or you don't have a shower. It is clearly a design fault, but customer services say it isn't, and "it isn't part of the shower because it's a safety feature", even though it is inside the shower under the cover. What utter nonsense ! I now have a shower that fails every six weeks and the manufacturer won't honour the guarantee. I want my money back but don't know how to get it without spending even more money There are quite a lot of internet postings on Aqualisa electric showers describing exactly the same fault - take a look. Don't buy Aqualisa showers.
  18. Sca mmers have been sending out a host of fake vouchers, purporting to be from some of the nation's favourite supermarkets and high street stores. These fake voucher promotions have been popping up all over Facebook, Twitter and the rest. You will be led through some questions to get your voucher and you will have to supply your mobile number and your address – ostensibly so your “prize” can be sent out. In reality, your phone will be hit by premium rate calls costing up to £5 each https://www.lovemoney.com/news/26495/dont-fall-for-this-supermarket-voucher-[problem]
  19. I am trying to replace my rather elderly Volvo estate. At the moment, I have a wheelchair hoist in the boot that lifts up my wheelchair and deposits it into the boot. The hoist is matched to the car, and the wheelchair, and it can be a pain finding a combination that will fit, and obviously, some tailgate openings are just too small. I therefore went to Volvo UK, and asked them for the dimensions of the tailgate opening of each of their estates - I mean, there are only three, and armed with those numbers I can go to the vehicle adaptations place and see whether my current wheelchair is possible, or if, indeed, any wheelchair/hoist combination will go in to the new body shape. Usefully, so far, I have been sent a price list with the boot volume in litres - and when I pointed out that was not what I needed, I was told to go to the local dealership and see whether my wheelchair would fit. I can think of various reasons why I would prefer their customer service to answer the question I asked: 1. They are unlikely to have all 3 estate models in one dealership. 2. They are unlikely to be very pleased at me lifting a large, scratchy, metal chair into the boot of a brand new car. It does scratch the bumper, and make marks on the carpet. 3. They are unlikely to be very pleased at me asking two members of staff to lift it into the cars, three times over. 4. It would still only give me a guess whether there is space for the hoist. 5. It is a long drive. 6. If Volvo UK are so flipping unhelpful now, before they have my money, I suspect that I have no chance afterwards. Reason 6 may yet prove to be the reason that makes the decision for me, despite my having passed my driving test in a Volvo, and always having driven them since. Does anyone have any idea where I could find the information on the actual size of the hole what leads into the back of the car on the 3 Volvo estate cars currently available?
  20. HI all new here. had a letter 10 days ago saying that a tesco card debt i apparantly owe money on is due to someone called HPH2 adn robinson way are to collect on it. I ignored it to be honest feeling it was a [problem] as i don't remember having a tesco card ever. a new letter came today with a list of payments I can make and to contact them so i did and spoke to a chap about this telling him i don't remember having one and could he tell me more. He said that the last time i paid it was a payment of £70 in July 2010! and I took it out in 2007! I have had problems with cards in the past and dont have any credit cards anymore, just a nice simple visa debit with nationwide. I told him i genuinely dont remember this card as its a supermarket one, i do remember hsbc (which im paying off) and a barclaycard and even a mint card(dont even know if they exist anymore). So he's put things on hold and is requesting information from tescos for a credit agreement. Can anyone advise me on what to do? Sorry if this seems a bit daft but im worried about a card i supposedly had thats not had a payment for coming up to 6 years suddenly popping up out of the blue!
  21. I'm on the wrong end of a county court case that has been total chaos. I never got the original application. I had moved (this was about possession, originally, but was settled and I moved out) the landlord had the papers sent to my old house, and didn't use my forwarding address. Eventually I found out about it and managed to get a copy of the application from the court a couple of days before the hearing. I got a "response" in but because it was late the judge didn't have it and it got adjourned and I got told to pay costs. I went to the PSU, asked court staff, went to CAB, asked about legal aid. Noone seems to be able to help. We had another hearing just recently, 3 days before the hearing the court told me they had no record of my original response. I sent another copy by fax and another by email to the court. They never acknowledged it. I called them back and all the court said was "anything you have sent will be provided to the judge". When I said I was worried as they could not specifically identify my response (while they could identify other things I had sent) they got stroppy with me. At hearing, I checked and the judge said he had got something from the date or the original response, which I took to mean he had received it. during the hearing he didn't seem aware of anything I had said in it and I when I tried to refer specifically to one thing I had to give him a copy of it. He found against me, taking my deposit away, in giving his judgment he said a number of things which lead me to believe he had not, in fact, seen any of my evidence. He said some things that are contradicted by the evidence I provided. The only evidence he referenced, at all, was that provided in the original application (by the other side). I don't know if the judge ever got my defence, or if he did, if it was complete, or whether he read it. I just learned (on CAG) about a thing called an Allocation questionnaire? I never got one of those. I I don't know what "track" this was allocated to. I didn't get a notice of hearing for the most recent hearing. I never got a copy of the orders made at the first hearing. It goes on... I'm a litigant in person. I have nothing left and am single parenting a disabled child on benefits while trying to find work (and fighting the council to get my child into school). I'm looking after my mum with Alzheimer's. I desperately need help. I tried to get the other side to mediate but they ignored me. At the end of the day, I can let the main matter go (that would be morally wrong, but I can live without it). The problem is the costs. I can't pay any costs, that will bankrupt me. I need to appeal. I have lost a week trying to get help from the CAB but I don't know where to start. I want to try to get pro bono help but I need to be referred to that? Anyone who has any advice on this, or knows where we can get real help...
  22. we bought a lodge to live in was informed by holiday site this was ok, we spent £82k on this my life savings this was in November 2015. since this happened I have been diagnosed with primary progressive m.s and decided to sell up and return home to Huddersfield. we informed the site and they have said they will buy it back for £37000 clearly we are all in the wrong business, since this happened we have found out how much they do this I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has purchased anything on sand le mere park in tunstall hull and had a bad experience we are taking this down the legal path.
  23. Good afternoon, Couldn't find an appropriate section that related to my post so here goes.... I live in social housing - same flat for thirty years. For the last five years I have been continually harassed by an employee of the landlord. He makes appointments for workmen to visit without telling me two years ago tried to take me to court for an injunction for access. The case was laughed out of court as he blatantly lied in a sworn affidavit - he then had the cheek to ask for costs, which the Judge rightly refused. Undeterred he has continued his onslaught - he sends engineers to do safety checks on the same things every few months. He lied about needing a new water tank - didn't realise I had recorded the engineer saying the water tank was in perfect order - then tried to get an injunction to bring the next water tank inspection forward by six months - I refused entry. He has now arranged another visit - engineer turned up at my door without an appointment today - I turned him away again as the inspection is not due until the end of October. Time has come now to take steps to stop this going on. I think I need to send a "Letter before Action" but not sure how to word it. Any advice - knowledge of tenancy law greatly appreciated - even if you just send me elsewhere. Thanks
  24. There's a right and wrong way of complaining against payday lenders. If you get it right first time, you're in the minority. There's almost an art to it. But once you know the system with regards to payday lenders, I believe all justifiable complaints can be settled fairly. The payday lenders that remain in the industry are not here to keep paying out in compensation for their past mistakes. They will try almost everything to dismiss valid causes for complaint. But here's how to go about it properly. NEVER call them! Like never. Not only are you wasting time and effort, but they'll try and manipulate you and put you completely off your aim. Keep everything in writing. In my experience, emails are fine and entirely admissible in court (should it get that far). Snail mail is fine too, just more of a faff. If complaining about an array of loans with a particular lender, firstly put in an information request. You can simply ask them for all the data they have relating to you and your loans. If they play hard-ball, put in a SAR request (costs a tenner and takes up to 40 days, but is a legal requirement to comply with). Once you have your data, fire off your FORMAL COMPLAINT. This 'first' complaint must be as detailed as possible (to avoid future letter tennis). Include EVERYTHING that has cause for complaint (see library here for this). Make it clear what you would like them do, be it refund interest paid on unaffordable loans, remove data from credit files etc. Lenders have 8 weeks to issue their final response. Some are quicker than this and come back dismissing everything with a template response. In some rare cases, you may succeed right here. Well done, job done. But most of the time, you're left with the options of taking the complaint to the FOS, the ICO or initiating legal action. The problem with the so-called adjudication services such as the FOS and ICO, is that they have to be prize winners for inconsistency and incompetency. They are target monitoring, box-ticking, largely inept civil servants who have just two weeks of training before being let loose on often highly complex cases involving thousands of pounds. That's not to say they sometimes get it right. But frequently they don't just get it wrong, they actually ignore what's in front of them and make stuff up. In my opinion, the FOS cannot be trusted. However, the justification of using the FOS is that it's free and you may have your case upheld. It's 50/50 after all.. flip a coin and you may win. Even if your case is not upheld you can reject the decision and it's not legally binding. Not helpful if proceeding with litigation, but not always disastrous. Now here's where you can ramp things up a bit and begin litigation proceedings. If I were to go through my huge number of complaints against lenders all over again, I would bypass the FOS altogether and go straight to litigation after formal complaints. You must start by sending the lender a Notice of Intended Legal Action. It’s best to use recorded mail for this as this notice is part of the MoJ Pre-Action Protocol and proof of postage could be paramount later on. This notice should be kept straight to the point. There are templates available on various websites, but’s it’s best to write your own. Title the letter ‘Notice of Intended Legal Action’ to be clear to the lender that this is a pre-action warning that needs responding to. Summarise the fact that you now intend to commence legal action as they have not resolved your cause for complaint. Then clearly state what they have done wrong and the laws, regs, guidelines etc they are in breach of i.e. CCA, DPA, FCA/ICO regs etc. You can quote examples of other FOS cases of identical nature which have been upheld if necessary. You must also be clear about how they can put things right and avoid your intended action. Give them a minimum of 14 days to respond satisfactorily. Receiving letters such as this is not something that payday lenders are typically used to. In some instances, they may fold there and then and settle your complaint. In other instances, they will continue to dispute everything in your claim and may pass the matter on to their legal department (i.e. Colin, two desks over in the office). Other times they may ignore you completely thinking that you are bluffing. If they either dispute your claim or don’t respond after 14 days, here’s where you start your legal claim. [NOTE: Only start legal proceedings if you have the required evidence to prove they are in breach of statute law(s) and/or regulatory rule(s). You will need to demonstrate clearly why they are at fault]. It’s really not as daunting as it sounds. The easiest way is via Moneyclaim Online. Open a Gov Gateway account and all the instructions are there. The fees for doing it online are cheaper as well. For claims up to £300, it’s only a £25 fee, for up to £3000 the fee gradually increases to £105. All fees are added to the total sum you are claiming for, so you’ll get them back if they settle or you win later on. You’ll have to complete the N1 Particulars of Claim form. This is what will be sent to the defendant and it needs to comply with the Practice Direction. There are numerous guides available for completing this. But keeping it very simple and on point is the best way to go. Once sent, the defendant has 14 days to respond by either Acknowledging Service and admitting liability, accepting partial liability, or registering their intention to defend. If after 30 days, there has been no response whatsoever, you can apply for a Summary Judgement against the lender and they will have a CCJ registered against them. Upon receipt of the claim form, most lenders are typically not going to want to end up in front of judge pleading that they are a responsible lender and that the FCA got it all wrong. In addition, as soon as a court hearing is allocated for a payday lender, the Daily Mail will be all over it like a Diana exclusive. The press love stories against these companies and it would only trigger more bad PR for them. So, it is much more probable that they will try and settle outside of court. In the unlikely event that they do take it all the way, worst case scenario is you don’t win, however, this is unlikely if you use your evidence and other case studies effectively. If you have an outstanding balance with them, it’s probably best to thread carefully if the sum you’re claiming for is less than you currently owe. I think if more people started issuing claims against these dismissive lenders, they would have to start resolving complaints sooner. But as it stands, most complaints are not upheld and that’s the end of it. Irresponsible lending of unaffordable loans are the biggest cause of complaint, and if taken all the way, I’m very confident that everyone can be awarded the appropriate redress. Use all of the information available to you and never take a lenders final response as the final word. Good luck with your battles, keep going and you will win in the end!
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