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  1. My Mother is 96 and has had a M&S CC for many years, used for phone and online shopping which also gave her a feeling of independence as she rarely left the house. She began displaying signs of dementia late last year following a stroke, then fell at Christmas suffering a v serious head injury and was not expected to survive. She was eventually stabilised, though only after two scary doubt-filled relapses. It was then immediately clear that her dementia had deepened v substantially, and to make a long and very evil story short my Mother has in just a few weeks been replaced by someone who looks like her but has no memories, doesn't retain anything she is told conversationally for longer than 30-60 seconds, has no retained awareness therefore of her circumstances or where she is, who never has a yesterday to help her understand today, is confused on a good day and distressed on a bad one, doesn't recognise friends/some-family, and only occasionally recognises me when I tell her who I am. She is now in permanent residential dementia care where we continue to visit a very frail stranger unable to look after herself and needing help with all aspects of daily life, and that we love very much but can do nothing to help, only ... observe. Anyway ... I am dealing with her personal affairs. I would like to know please whether a card-issuer - M&S in this case - has legitimate recourse to family if the card-holder is neither competent nor capable and is unable to settle an outstanding balance, in this case just under £2K. Today the State takes all of Mum's pension and benefits to offset some of the £900+ p.w. cost of her Care, with the exception of a few pounds as so-called pocket-money to provide "personal treats" like toothpaste and replacement clothes/undies etc. Treats? There is no longer any possibility of the outstanding balance being settled by Mum from any source at all, she has no assets and had been getting by just okay on her State Pension+ small benefits whilst in a sheltered-housing bungalow since my Father died. I have been far too preoccupied to bother with the M&S reminder-letters over the past three months, but should take control before things escalate. I don't have any problem ignoring DCs if M&S moves it along, however I'd rather put the brakes on with M&S before that stage. So, to repeat my question ... I assume that in Law M&S would have recourse to income or assets, however there are none and I am wanting to know if In Law there is then permitted-recourse to family for the debt? If they try to make noise instead of writing the balance off, I am perfectly capable of berating M&S very robustly about pursuing a 96 year old woman in residential care with dementia! However, before then I want to be clear in my mind about the legitimacy of any other channels they may claim to be entitled to pursue for recovery. In reality they would actually be unsuccessful that way also as I am 71, retired with no assets and only state pension income, and with debts and obligations of my own already after a past business-collapse. I'm not concerned with that just now however, just in knowing whether M&S would be on solid ground if they should respond by saying that in these circumstances the debt becomes the responsibility of someone's family to settle if their assets/estate isn't able to cover it. So can someone advise on that one point please? Thanks! Howard
  2. On 23rd August 2012, I and the Treasurer of our Residents Association attempted to open a bank account with the Nat West Bank in Twickenham, in order to deposit funding to the tune of £10,000 (with more pledged) for our community garden project. We have waited years and jumped over endless hurdles in order to get this far and thought that opening a bank account would be simple. How wrong we were. Since 23rd, August, every day has been a catalogue of disasters, the form sat on a desk for 2 weeks, then got lost, a copy was faxed, which then turned out to be the wrong form. The Branch Manager had no idea where the form had gone to (although she thought India) and kept telling me that the department in charge of such accounts would not speak to her. Edward Parks, the Area Manager won't reply to messages and every day I am given a different excuse. The correct application form was hand delivered to Twickenham Branch on Monday. It sat there until Thursday before being emailed to Customer Services. The only person in Customer Services who can open the account was on sick leave today. Meanwhile, we have cheques we can't deposit, we have contractors who want paying but no means of paying them and we cannot apply for further funding as we have no bank account to deposit any money into. I feel like it is Groundhog Day. I have never encountered such incompetence and ineptitude by a Bank that I have been a loyal customer of for over 30 years. Who is responsible for these new "systems"? Is it really so complicated now to open a bank account? It is truly pathetic. Can anyone give me the contact details for the Chairman of the Nat West as he really needs to know what is going on at Branch level all the way up. We would give up and go elsewhere but every day, we are led to believe the account will be opened... then some other excuse is given. I have given the Nat West notice that I am expecting £50 per day for every day this account isn't opened. They are racking up rather a lot of money.... All sensible suggestions of how we can get this account opened much appreciated.
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