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  1. Hi In 2007 I separated from my husband due to domestic violence issue, child was 20 months old. I was working but just surviving (Finance Officer in the Local Council) * I informed the Bank (our mortgage was with Barclays); Requested to change the mortgage temporally to "Interest only" * The other party refused to agree to the change; The Bank suggested I start making transfers from Reserve account facility that we had, in order to avoid arrears * The other party put a "freeze" on the account to stop me from using it; Bank could not proceed as they had to have both parties' agreement (joint mortgage account) * Bank offered to me to pay as much as I can, and suggested the equivalent of the "interest only" amounts would be sufficient to show a good will *A few months later Mortgage accounts were transferred to Woolwich and somewhere in the process, somehow the "freeze" was "lifted" or something, but my ex-husband managed to transfer the fund of the Reserve account to his personal account - £24,410! * As soon as I realised it, I filed a complaint with the Bank, and requested an urgent investigation. Weeks of phone calls and visits to the local branch followed. 4 months later I received a letter, Barclays admitting their fault and confirming that the other party is solely liable for the debt (the withdrawn amount). * I have on numerous occasions asked how they are chasing him up, is any investigation being conducted - never got a reply due to the Data Protection bla-bla. * In 2014, being better off financially, I approached the Bank to discuss Re-Mortgage options, as I still am paying the Interest only amount. Mortgaged period finishes in 2023. I "have no options and until the Reserve account is repaid, I will be unable to do Re-Mortgage" - was Barclay's reply. Debt currently is £41k+, including the interest on the withdrawn amount. * Every now and then I still receive payment demand letters, solicitors' letter and others. I have to call and explain the case for a 100th+ time! I am up to a point to take the Bank to Court, as I do not see any other way out of the situation. There is no need to say how much stress it causes to me, and the adverse financial affect... Does anyone know what legislation I should use to start on? Can I still quote BCOBS? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Thanks for replies in advance.
  2. 6.30 am - knock at door. Look through window. Evident bailiff. 6.35am - once he was off my front garden went out and spoke to him. Seeking my ex partner from August 2016. 6.45am - provided driving licence from inside house, my car was clamped. 6.50am - my car was now clamped for a fine that had nothing to do with me and not my name on the court warrant. 6.55am - I remained calm and was told on presenting my identification to take my ugly mug back inside 8.30 - phoned authority who's parking services team advised me no discussion until full payment is made I said I am not xxx xxx their response..... your card number is 9.00 - phoned courts to file a complaint advised speak to authority. 9.10-11.30am spoke to Andrew James who refused to speak to me as I was not named on the warrant yet they had my car clamped. Spoke to authority who failed to take action swiftly. 12.30 N16a injunction application filed at court and served on authority and Andrew James 1.10pm the clamp was being removed followed by a grovelling telephone call from the parking services director in the authority. Advice needed for next steps for this unlawful action and claiming lost working hours and damages for public embarrassment
  3. I had 3 medical people unlawfully enter my home today ( they walked right in ) without being notified or informed in advance by any of them or my GP . From what I understand they believed I am at some risk ( without being able to tell me why ) other than my GP's concern over my well being. ( again another mystery ) I requested they leave - they did not and questioned me despite my inability to speak without a struggle / pain ( something my GP knew ) and then gave me ultimatum which boiled down to being forced to see a social worker ( which I assumes means I am now detained ) I still have no idea of how this suddenly happened , but I am not happy about it one bit. Can any one suggest what my rights are in regard to this , and what I should do ( I'm in scotland ) thanks, mikv
  4. Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and would like some advice, I will explain the situation and see what advice others have to offer me. I moved into a flatshare in 2010. I was not on the tenancy to begin with as somebody was subletting to me. They then moved out and I was offered to take the tenancy over so I agreed. I was sharing the flat with 4 other people. When I signed the tenancy agreement with the landlord, he confirmed this was okay with him so I signed the agreement with him and gave him my deposit. The house was in pretty bad shape and I paid some money for improvements. I asked the landlord last October to paint and re carpet the floor as it was in an appalling state. He agreed but I never heard back from him so I left it. There were lots of other problems with the property in the mean time. So in April, I asked him again and he said this would be fine. I bought the materials and he gave me the money back and I done all the labour free of charge. Then suddenly my situation had changed and had to move out giving 1 month notice which I thought was the correct notice period but the landlord changed the tenancy agreement and asked me to sign it reassuring me that I did not have to look over it again as the only thing that had changed was the amount of rent to be paid. So I gave him my 1 month notice and he explained it was 2 months but said he would be fine with 1 month as it was mitigating circumstances. So I thought everything was okay. The boiler broke 1 week before the tenancy agreement came to an end and the landlord ignored my messages and never replied. So I met with him and gave him his keys back. He said he would look round the property and let me know of any issues, I never heard from him so assumed all was alright. I met with him today and he told me that because I moved out 1 month after the carpets and decorating had been done and that he apparently didn`t want to do this even though he never mentioned this that he would be deducting £450 from my £800 deposit for the re decoration and carpets. I feel this unfair. Just to point out another couple of things. The boiler has not been serviced in the whole 4 years I have stayed. My deposit was not put in a TDP scheme. I was not made aware that subletting was illegal until recently as the landlord told me this was alright and he had always done this with all the other tenants. Also there was no inventory made by the landlord or myself I wonder what should I do to get my deposit back.
  5. Can someone help with this Today cash genie took out £170 from my partners bank account for an unpaid loan last year. The money was actually mine and was two weeks benefit money that I had asked the dwp put into her account as I do not have one and they will no longer pay by Giro Cheque. Natwest bank won't act and the loan company will not reply to my E-mails. Where legally do I stand ?. Thank you
  6. Hi, can anyone tell me if my vehicle has been repossessed unlawfully?? I had a logbook loan with Loans 2 Go and last week at 6.50am Hermes Property Services Limited repossessed my car due to non payment. I wrote to Loans 2 Go on 22 August 2013 with regards to my financial circumstances, my ongoing mental illness and self harming issues. I explained thoroughly how this came to be and also enclosed a personal budget sheet and supporting documentation/letters from the medical professionals I see, namely my GP, Counsellor and Psychiatrist. When I called HPS Thursday afternoon, they confirmed that my letter had been received but to date, I have received no reply or acknowledgement what so ever. They also informed me that the fee as of 17 October 2013 that I would have to pay to get my vehicle back would be a total of £795.08, which includes £279.60 repossession charge, £24.00 to release the vehicle and £2.40 storage charge (which is applied daily) along with a 2.9% charge for making a payment with a debit/credit card. The last written correspondence I received from them was a Default Sum Notice served in compliance with section 86E of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 dated 6 September 2013, informing me of a £15.00 late payment charge. Have they acted unlawfully and not followed or adhered to certain guidelines put in place by the Consumer Credit Trade Association? I have never been provided with a copy of their official debt and mental health policy or your complaints procedure either Consumer Credit Trade Association Code of Practice SECTION 14 - DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS EXPERIENCING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES 14.1 Members shall ensure, by regularly examining their debt collection procedures and those of any third parties they employ, that they conform to high ethical standards and allow for proper consideration of the customer’s circumstances and in particular: (a) encourage customers in financial difficulties to inform them of their difficulties at the earliest possible moment (and members will endeavour to respond sympathetically, without prejudice to members’ rights) (b) provide in all relevant correspondence the name or title of a specially trained member of staff who may be contacted if difficulties arise © take into consideration, before determining whether to enforce an agreement, all information supplied by the customer or otherwise in relation to the cause of any default and the customer’s future ability to repay. If the customer has disclosed multiple debt problems, members shall inform the customer of the availability of advisory services. 14.2 Members shall, where appropriate, refer customers to debt counselling organisations and notify customers where they can get free advice, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux, Money Advice Centres, National Debtline, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service or Consumer Direct. Members will work with debt counselling organisations to assist their customers. 14.3 Members shall have due regard to the Debt Collection Guidance issued by the Office of Fair Trading and in particular shall not engage in any unfair business practices identified in that Guidance. 14.4 If a member passes a customer’s account to another person to collect overdue payments, such as a debt collector or solicitor, it will inform the customer. Members will always choose debt collection firms which agree to abide by the Credit Services Association Code or OFT Debt Collection Guidelines. ADDENDUM TO CCTA CODE OF PRACTICE PAYDAY AND SHORT TERM LOANS 6. Help for customers in financial difficulty If the customer is in financial difficulty, lenders will: > Deal with the customer sympathetically and positively and do what they can to help the customer manage what they owe. This may include making new arrangements about how the customer will pay off the debt. In doing so, the lender will consider other debts owed. > Freeze interest and charges if the customer makes repayments under a reasonable repayment plan or after a maximum of 60 days of non-payment. > Not contact the customer or take any action to recover the money owed for 30 days, if the customer is making a genuine effort to agree a repayment plan using either a debt-counselling organisation or a ‘selfhelp’ approach (for example, the customer is suggesting a repayment plan). If the customer or their adviser provide the lender with clear evidence that real progress is being made in reaching a repayment plan, but work has not yet concluded, the lender will extend this ‘breathing space’ for an additional 30 days. > Tell the customer about free and independent debt-counselling organisations. These include: Citizens Advice, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, National Debtline or the Money Advice Service. > Not allow you to borrow further from the lender until all outstanding loanswith the lender have been repaid. > Deal with people whom the customer has asked to act on their behalf, with the customer’s authority, unless those people behave unreasonably. 9. Rigorous complaints procedures When the customer takes out a loan, the lender will tell them about their complaints-handling procedure. Lenders will do this: > in writing – at or immediately after the point of sale; > by giving the customer a copy of it, if asked to do so; and > by giving the customer a copy of it, if they send us a complaint. This information will also be available on the lender’s website or at theirbusiness premises, where appropriate. If the customer wants to make a complaint, they should contact the lender first using their complaints procedure. The lender will acknowledge the complaint within five days of it being received by the lender’s Complaints Department. If the lender needs to investigate the complaint further to respond fully, the lender will tell the customer and keep them regularly updated. If the customer wants to make a complaint to the trade association about the lender’s conduct under the Charter or this Addendum, the lender will give the customer their contact details. As a first step, the trade association will refer the complaint to the lender’s Chief Executive (or a nominated representative) who will make sure the lender investigates it and send a response to the customer. If the customer is still not satisfied, the trade association will try to help the customer reach an agreement up to the time the matter is resolved. The customer may also refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the lender will give the customer their details. Further information on how we deal with complaints is available in the industry Codes of Practice. CCTA GOOD PRACTICE CUSTOMER CHARTER PAYDAY AND SHORT TERM LOANS Key commitments by lenders: When providing payday or short-term loans, we will: > Act fairly, reasonably and responsibly in all our dealings with you. > Not pressurise you to enter into any loan agreement or to extend (‘roll over’) the term of your existing loan agreement. > Tell you that a payday or short-term loan should be used for short-term financial needs and is not appropriate for long-term borrowing or if you are in financial difficulty. > Tell you how the loan works and the total cost of the loan (including an example of the price for each £100 borrowed, together with fees and charges) before you apply. > Check whether the loan is suitable for you taking account of your circumstances. > Carry out a sound, proper and appropriate affordability assessment and credit vetting for each loan application and before the loan is extended (rolled over), to check you can afford the loan. > Explain in general terms what types of information we will consider in making a decision, if you ask us to. > Explain how we will communicate with you during the term of the loan, how payments will be deducted from your bank account and how you can contact us by phone, email or online. > Set out clearly how continuous payment authority works (if we use it) and your rights to cancel this authority, so you can decide if this type of repayment is acceptable to you. We will remind you that if you cancel, you will still owe any outstanding debt and will need to provide an alternative method of repayment on the due date to avoid going into default. > Always notify you by email, text, letter or phone at least 3 days(1) before attempting to recover payment using continuous payment authority on the due date. This notice will ask you to contact us if you are in financial difficulty and cannot repay. THE LENDING CODE Help if you are experiencing financial difficulties Each organisation that follows the code is committed to acting sympathetically and positively if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Contact your lender as soon as you think you will experience financial difficulties and they will work with you to overcome them. This will include: • considering stopping asking for repayments from you for at least 30 days to allow you time to get advice or present a repayment plan; • making sure your repayments leave you with enough money to meet reasonable day-to-day living expenses; • considering reducing or suspending interest and charges if these would cause the debt to increase or lead to the repayment term becoming too extended; and • considering accepting token repayments (a small amount you can afford) until your situation improves. If you owe money to a number of lenders, independent money advice may be recommended. At the end of this guide there is a list of organisations that provide free advice. If you have any mental or physical health issues that affect your ability to repay your debts, you should let you lender know so they can make appropriate arrangements. Debt collection OFT guidance for businesses engaged in the recovery of consumer credit debts July 2003 (updated November 2012) SECTION 2 - OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES OF FAIR BUSINESS PRACTICE 2.1 In the OFT's view, there are a number of overarching principles of consumer protection and fair business practice which apply to all debt recovery activities. 2.2 In general terms, businesses should: • treat debtors fairly – debtors should not be subjected to aggressive practices, inappropriate coercion, or conduct which is deceitful, oppressive, unfair or improper, whether unlawful or not • be transparent in their dealings with debtors and others – information provided should be clear and should not be confusing or misleading • exercise forbearance and consideration, in particular towards debtors experiencing difficulty – we would expect businesses to work with debtors with a view to providing them with reasonable time and opportunity to repay debts and, where appropriate, to signpost them to sources of free independent debt advice • act proportionately when seeking to recover debts, taking into account debtors' circumstances – actions taken in respect of arrears or default should give proper consideration to available options and the likely effect of such actions on the debtor • establish and implement clear, effective and appropriate policies and procedures for engaging with debtors and other relevant parties, including having appropriate mechanisms for responding to reasonably queried and disputed debt and (other) complaints • establish and implement clear, appropriate and effective policies and procedures for identifying and dealing with particularly vulnerable debtors. Most debtors may be regarded as 'vulnerable', to some degree, by virtue of their financial circumstances. Of these, some may be, permanently or temporarily, rendered particularly vulnerable by virtue of the fact that they are significantly constrained in terms of their ability to engage appropriately with those pursuing them for the repayment of debts owed. Debtors with mental health issues and/or with mental capacity limitations (amongst other types of actually or potentially particularly vulnerable individuals) may fall into this category. Physical/psychological harassment 3.7 r. failing to suspend the pursuit of recovery of a debt under circumstances in which it is understood37that the debtor might not have the mental capacity to make relevant decisions regarding the management of the debt and/or to engage in the debt recovery process at that time. Deceptive and/or unfair methods 3.9 M (ii) using the CPA in a manner which is unreasonable or disproportionate or excessive in failing to have proper regard to the possibility that a debtor is in financial difficulties and the consequent need for forbearance For example: • seeking payment before income or other funds may reasonably be expected to reach the account • seeking payment where there is reason to believe that there are insufficient funds in the account or that this would leave insufficient funds for priority debts or other essential living expenses • continuing to use the CPA after the debtor has informed the creditor, or the latter has otherwise become aware, that the debtor is in financial difficulties and cannot afford to repay • continuing to use the CPA for an unreasonable period after the due date without taking steps to establish the reason(s) for the payment failure • seeking part payment before reasonable attempts to collect in full on the due date have been made. Whether use of a CPA is reasonable and proportionate, and not excessive (as regards the frequency or period of collection attempts), will depend upon the circumstances, including whether there may be evidence of actual or potential financial difficulty and whether the debtor has been notified of the failure to collect and has responded to contact from the creditor. The OFT would expect creditors to exercise appropriate forbearance where there is evidence to suggest that the debtor is, or may be, experiencing financial difficulties. If the creditor is unable to recover the whole of the due amount by the end of the next business day after the due date, the OFT would generally regard this as indicating the possibility of financial difficulty. We would generally therefore expect the creditor to suspend use of the CPA until reasonable efforts to contact the debtor to establish the reason(s) for the payment failure and whether the debtor may be in financial difficulties have been made (unless this has already been done subsequent to the initial payment failure). If the parties have agreed an alternative payment date, as a fallback if the full payment is not available on the due date, we would generally expect the creditor to suspend use of the CPA after the due date, and again after the alternative payment date (if the creditor is unable to recover the due amount by the end of that day), and make reasonable efforts to contact the debtor as above. If there is evidence of financial difficulty, we would expect the creditor to reassess the position with a view to agreeing a revised payment schedule or alternative repayment arrangements where appropriate. If reasonable efforts to contact the debtor are unsuccessful or the debtor refuses to engage (and there is no further evidence of financial difficulty), any subsequent use of the CPA should be reasonable and not excessive with due regard to the possibility that an unresponsive debtor may nevertheless be in financial difficulties and that a debtor not in financial difficulties at the time of contact may subsequently be in financial difficulties. If attempts to recover payment continue to fail, we would expect the creditor to make periodic further reasonable attempts at contact, at reasonable intervals, to establish whether the debtor may be in financial difficulties. What is ‘reasonable’ will depend upon all the circumstances including information the creditor has on the debtor’s position, the result of previous contact attempts and the period over which payment attempts have been unsuccessful. Part payments should be sought only following reasonable efforts to collect in full on the due date and having regard to the possibility that the debtor is in financial difficulties. Attempts at part payment, where used and whether successful or not, should be reasonable in number bearing in mind the possibility of such difficulties. For example, if part payment is taken to avoid a debtor incurring a default charge, we would generally expect that only one such payment would be required for this. Debt collection visits 3.13 Examples of unfair or improper practices are: b. visiting a debtor at a time when it is understood or suspected that he is, or may be, particularly vulnerable I note that the OFT expects businesses engaging in debt recovery activities to have regard to The Money Advice Liaison Group's (MALG) voluntary guidelines for best practice in the management of debt; for consumers with mental health problems and debt, which I do not believe they have done. They have also not taken into account The Briefing for Creditors and Debt Collection Agencies by The Royal Collage of Psychiatrists and the Money Advice Trust on Debt Collection and Mental Health; ten steps to improve recovery. Their own Bill of Sale states that “If you have a material change of circumstances we will take this into consideration and may agree to reduce your repayments until such time as you are able to continue with your contractual repayments”. I do not feel this has been done. Yesterday I received a Default Sum Notice served in Compliance with section 86E of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 with a repossession charge for £279.60, four days after the vehicle was seized.
  7. Hello. It's been a while since I last posted on here, but troubles have arisen once again! This dates back to January this year, I have only just gotten myself back on my feet, so feel au am now ready to tackle this. This is very complicated, I'll do my best to explain. There was a lot of naiveity on my part, as I was new to the situation. But overriding this was a huge amount of deception and lies being told by the third parties. So, in September 2012, I contacted a number on a sign displayed outside a small commercial unit, with a view to leasing the property. I hastily arranged a meeting with a man claiming to be the landlord (this will make more sense as I go on). He told me to meet him at his 'office' which turned out to be his car in the car park of his car wash. He brought with him a tenancy agreement. I had a good read through, although it seemed very generic, it did make direct reference to the property. A deposit of £600 was agreed, with a monthly rent of £600 to follow. I paid this fee in cash later that day, and was handed the keys. I immediately set out to purchase relevant equipment. I was opening a two bay car service and repair workshop. I purchased a brand new hydraulic car lift, a compressor and various tools at a cost of approximately £2500. I also purchased various signage and livery at a further cost of £600. Additional costs were incurred in the form of insurance, advertising and various legal costs. Things started well, and business was picking up. I arranged to fit my main sign above the unit. Once fitted, I got a very informal 'text' message informing me that the sign needed to be taken down, as the 'main' landlord disapproved. I questioned this, as it was the first time I had ever heard of the main landlord. He gave the impression he was the property holder. This aroused my suspicions. After a lot of back and forth conversations, it was agreed, that if the words 'servicing, repairs and Tyres' were removed (leaving only my business name) then it could remain. He then revealed this was due to a garage on the same estate complaining I had taken all of his customers. To this I thought, what has it got to do with me? Why are you intervening? Anyway, desperate to continue, I failed to comply, and the sign remained.it was as I erected more signs the problem got worse. I was having a torrid time (with all of the sign issues, the confusion over who the landlord was and also parking problems). Out of the blue one day, the guy who owned the other garage came to me, at first there was tension, but after he explained what was going on I completely understood. It turned out, the whole estate (compromising of 3 buildings and one outdoor use area (another car wash ) was owned (under a 99 year lease) by the same company. A very large property agent in my area, 'lex Allen'. When the garage owner took out his lease over 20 years ago, it was under the proviso he had exclusivity of any motor trade use, meaning my unit could not be used in any way related to the motor industry. He also detailed that at the time of his lease, the estate was bigger, but the council opted to build a bypass straight though the middle of it. The council gave the land a covenant (or something along those lines) saying that there was only certain permitted uses of the land, ( meaning that it couldn't be bulldozed to make way for a KFC). A few days after this, I receive a letter from Lex Allen, telling me to immediately vacate the property. As you can imagine, this was difficult, as all of my equipment was installed, and I was in utter shock! Anyway, I left the unit, and arranged a meeting with Lex Allen. He told me that he had a conversation with the man who he leased the property to (who sub-let it to me) he gave him express permission to let it to me, provided it was not in conjunction with the motor trade. Obviously, it is now clear the man who sub let it to me completely disregarded his instructions, and continued to let it to me. In the lease contract he gave to me which fortunately I still have, it was clearly written that the property was to be used for the purpose of maintaining and repairing cars. He refused to return my deposit of £600, stating that it cost that to dispose of two bin bags of rubbish (which weren't even mine) So, was left jobless, penniless and completely disheartened. I had put everything into that business in the 6 months I was there. I am so sorry about the long story I have told. I suppose the question I want to ask his, where do I go from here? Do I take one of them or both of them to small claims court? Should Lex Allen have made more checks? In trying to contact Lex Allen, he is refusing to sign for my letters, and will not arrange another meeting. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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