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Me vs Natwest vs Halifax


Ypnos
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Hi everyone

I’m writing here as I’m regularly having panic attacks about my debts. The top and bottom of it is that I owe money to Natwest (Credit Card, Loan, Overdraft – the wonderful days of being a student) and the Halifax Credit Card.

About 2 years ago, I went through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help me come to a repayment agreement with my creditors. Natwest were reluctant at first, but eventually agreed and have not given me any grief since. Halifax agreed immediately, but have been harassing me for the past month or so. Here is what happened in order:

1. I got a statement through asking me to pay £100 minimum payment (my agreement with them was for £17 a month but I have been paying £25 volutarily)

2. Thinking it was a mistake, I continued to pay £25

3. A few days later I got a text message from Halifax asking me to call them. I did and they said that the agreement had “expired” and that they would not be renewing it. Bearing in mind I have no copy of a written agreement with them, I asked them why I had not received a letter advising me of this. After all, any changes to any agreement usually require a written notification. They said they had “contacted” me in February (the text message). I asked if they contacted me in writing and they “kind of” said yes. So I didn’t believe them. But I humoured them and asked for a copy of this letter. No letter was ever received.

4. 3 Weeks ago they started calling my home number with an automated message asking me to call them. The phone rang on the hour, every hour, from 9am until 9pm. I was away on business, but my mother (who lives with me) told me, so I called the number they gave, I got an automated response saying “no agents available, please call back another time”. Yet the phone calls continued. I continued to return their calls and got the same response.

5. I finally got through and asked them why they have been calling. They said I am in arrears and have incurred late payment charges (I have never missed any payments in 3 years). I explained to them that I am still waiting for official written letters detailing the end of the repayment agreement. They said that no letter has ever been sent to me! I asked to speak to a manager, who they said would call me back.

6. A manager did call me back and basically repeated what his colleague said. He was uncompromising and said that unless I paid £60 in the next 5 days, the phone calls would resume. I pointed out that it is harassment, but he ignored that.

I can’t afford that amount of repayment, especially if it’s the bare minimum that just about covers the interest.

I don’t know what to do and the C.A.B. have been less than helpful lately…

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Hi Ypnos and welcome to the Consumer Action Group :)

 

First things first, don't panic.

 

I have asked one of our debt experts to pop over and have a look at your thread, help is coming !!

 

Lex

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&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Thank you for the warm welcome Mr Lex! I realise it's my fault for taking these debts on, but I honestly thought I could handle them... I owe somewhere around £21k in total and bankruptcy is out of the question as I would lose my job...

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Another thing I wanted to ask is whether it's a good idea to pursue Natwest for over £3000 of unfair charges over the last 6 years. Considering how quiet they're keeping about what I owe, should I pursue it now or keep it under my belt in case they decide to kick off?

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Tell them that unless they stop you will start giving the £25 per month to Natwest instead, PS why would you lose your job because of BR,?here are only certain jobs that you can lose because of BR , namely lawyer , Cmpany Director or MP.

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Another thing I wanted to ask is whether it's a good idea to pursue Nat West for over £3000 of unfair charges over the last 6 years. Considering how quiet they're keeping about what I owe, should I pursue it now or keep it under my belt in case they decide to kick off?

 

Yes, you go after those charges. Although the OFT test case is still ongoing you need to get your claim in now. As you say £3,000 worth of charges , I take it you have all your statements ?

 

Starting a claim now, not only puts you in pole position when they do start to pay out again (when the stay is lifted) It also allows you to claim the 8% interest that is allowed by law. Read more here :-

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/barclays-bank/107576-oft-test-case-what.html

 

If you don't have all your statements, you need to send them a SAR, a template letter can be found here.:-

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/516-1-data-protection-act.html

 

If you do have your statements, you can use the spreadsheets to work out the total amount they have taken and the interest at 8%. Remember you can only claim the interest after you file at court. The spreadsheets are here :-

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/182-6-interest-calculation-spreadsheets.html

 

Once you have this information you can send your first letter asking for your money back. There is a letter here you can use :-

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/671-2-letter-preliminary-approach.html

 

Go get 'em tiger, :-D and make sure you read the 'step by step' guide in the links below.

Please help us to help you. Download the CAG tool bar for free

HERE and use the search option for all your searches. CAG earns a few pennies every time !!!

 

Please don't rush, take time to read these:-

 

 

&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Tell them that unless they stop you will start giving the £25 per month to NatWest instead, PS why would you lose your job because of BR,?here are only certain jobs that you can lose because of BR , namely lawyer , Cmpany Director or MP.

I work in a “sensitive” sector and BR might jeopardise it…

Yes, you go after those charges. Although the OFT test case is still ongoing you need to get your claim in now. As you say £3,000 worth of charges , I take it you have all your statements ?

Starting a claim now, not only puts you in pole position when they do start to pay out again (when the stay is lifted) It also allows you to claim the 8% interest that is allowed by law. Read more here :-

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/barclays-bank/107576-oft-test-case-what.html

If you don't have all your statements, you need to send them a SAR, a template letter can be found here.:-

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/516-1-data-protection-act.html

If you do have your statements, you can use the spreadsheets to work out the total amount they have taken and the interest at 8%. Remember you can only claim the interest after you file at court. The spreadsheets are here :-

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/182-6-interest-calculation-spreadsheets.html

Once you have this information you can send your first letter asking for your money back. There is a letter here you can use :-

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/671-2-letter-preliminary-approach.html

Go get 'em tiger, and make sure you read the 'step by step' guide in the links below.

Yeah, I did all that stopping just short of sending them a letter. The C.A.B. advised me that if I went through with it, the chances of them accepting my repayment offer would have been much lower…

But at present, I don’t know what to do about Halifax…

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I would start by telling them you will only communicate with them in writing, and possibly sending them the telephone harassment letter. The manager can ignore it all he likes, once requested they should stop - whether they do is another matter. Don't talk to them on the phone as you won't have proof of anything they say - e.g. "we sent you a letter" vs "we never sent you a letter".

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Today I received a letter from Halifax informing me that me that my credit limit (the account is actually not in use anyway) has been reduced to just £55 above what my current balance is. I will be getting charged for going over that limit in no time.

 

I've also received a statement that demands a new minimum payment. So far, The Halifax have given me 6 different figures in the space of a week.

 

What do I do?? :(

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Hi Ypnos,

 

As far as your minimum Payment goes, there are some letters that might help here:-

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt-issues/20758-creditors-dcas-letter-templates.html

 

I would try letter 'B'.

 

If you can find your 'T&Cs' you will probaly find they reserve the right to alter your credit limit, I am not sure what you can do about that. :mad:

 

Lex

Please help us to help you. Download the CAG tool bar for free

HERE and use the search option for all your searches. CAG earns a few pennies every time !!!

 

Please don't rush, take time to read these:-

 

 

&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Thanks Mr Lex. I was already in a repayment agreement with them for over a year when they suddenly (and without written warning) decided to "expire" the agreement.

 

The C.A.B. have advised me to let a DCA take the account over before making a repayment offer again.

 

Also, they have charged me a "late fee" of £12 on May 14th even though there is a £40 credit showing on the same statement on April 29th. Payments are not due until the 9th of every month and I have not missed any payments to them for over 2 years.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have received the following response from Halifax regarding the phone calls they have been making:

 

I am writing to you from the customer care team in response to your recent complaint that we received on 23rd May 2008. Naturally I am concerned that you have found cause for complaint and from the outset please accept my apologies for any distress or inconvenience this matter may have caused.

To summarise, I understand you are unhappy with the number of telephone calls you have received regarding this account. You have requested that stop these calls and you want future correspondence in writing. Should we continue to call you feel we would be in breach of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

If I may explain, we do call all customers who are outstanding on their contractual payments but our intent is not to cause distress. We call to make customers aware of the status of their account and to come to an arrangement. Our telephone service aim to provide a quick and mutually beneficial resolution to any situation and I am sorry if we have failed to meet your expectations of good service on this occasion.

I do need to advise that we are able to retain customer’s telephone numbers for management of their contracts so we would keep your details on file until the debt is cleared. I am sorry if this was not explained to you previously and I hope to be able to resolve your concerns regarding the number of calls you receive. We do not feel that customers by telephone breaches the above acts.

In order to hold telephone calls we need an arrangement on an account. We do have an arrangement on your account for £17.00 a month to be received for the 26th June and 26th of every month. Providing payments are received as agreed this will hold telephone calls temporarily until we need to review your account.

Your account at present is one month in arrears. When it reaches seven months arrears we will register a default notice and pass it to a collection agency called Blair Oliver and Scott. I am not mentioning this to cause any further worry, simply to explain how we will manage your account. It does often benefit customers to be with Blair Oliver and Scott as once with them no further charges are applied allowing any payments made to come directly off the outstanding balance. They can offer a more long term debt solution.

When they start managing you account they will write to you. Please contact them with your offer of payment as it will allow them to put an arrangement on which will prevent them calling you until they need to review your account. They review arrangements every four to six months so you may receive a call at this point. If you discuss the account with them they can accept a further arrangement and hold calls again.

I am sorry you have found cause for complaint and hope I have clarified the issues you have raised.

 

Below is a list of my most recent transactions to them:

25 OCT 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

26 NOV 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

27 DEC 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

25 JAN 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £20.00

25 FEB 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £20.00

25 MAR 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £40.00

25 APR 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £40.00

The May payment isn't there because I wrote them under CCA and on advice of the CAG I have stopped all payments to them.

I have never missed a payment to them so quite why they think I am in arrears is beyond me. Furthermore their letter states that I have an arrangement with them for £17. Every time I spoke to someone on the phone they said that the arrangement expired and had me paying £40 a month to them, which I don't really have but paid anyway.

Could I please get some advice on how to proceed? Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Is this is a good enough response?

 

Dear Sirs

 

I note with concern that you have ignored my letter to you (dated 17-05-2008) with regards to the number of phone calls received from you and my instruction to you, under the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and Protection from Harassment Act 1997, to only contact me in writing.

 

1. In your response to my letter (dated 17-05-2008), you ackowledge that we have a repayments agreement of £17 per month and you also state that I have a missed payment. In response, I would like to remind you that all statements I have received from Halifax show that I have not missed any payments and below are the dated extracted from my bank statement showing my repayment days and amounts:

 

25 OCT 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

26 NOV 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

27 DEC 2007 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £17.00

25 JAN 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £20.00

25 FEB 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £20.00

25 MAR 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £40.00

25 APR 2008 S-ORDER TO HALIFAX VISA £40.00

 

As you can see, not only have I kept up repayments, but I have also increased them. The reason for the increase was because I received a phone call from one of your staff advising me that the repayments agreement had "expired". Your staff also advised me that I had been sent a letter informing me of this, a letter which I never received. On speaking to a manager at the Halifax I was informed that what your staff had said to me by phone was entirely false and that no letter had been sent. This is another reason why I want all future communication to be made in writing. As you have ackowledged in writing that an agreement still exists and I have been keeping up repayments (as above), I will expect no further communication from the Halifax on this matter.

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Please help us to help you. Download the CAG tool bar for free

HERE and use the search option for all your searches. CAG earns a few pennies every time !!!

 

Please don't rush, take time to read these:-

 

 

&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Thank you Mr Lex.

 

Today I found out that my letter requesting the CCA was lost in the post. Luckily I sent it recorded, but the RM has no idea where it is...

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Anyone at all...? I'm not sure how to respond to these guys...

 

 

Around 2 years ago i dated a girl that had terrible problems with the Halifax and the constant calling

 

I though she was 'making it up' but no calls came nearly every hour

 

She started to just put the phone down on them but it was harresment in my mind

 

Maybe try watchdog , get Halifax on the TV

 

Sorry doesnt help you at all but just shows you are not alone

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Thank you Mr Lex.

 

Today I found out that my letter requesting the CCA was lost in the post. Luckily I sent it recorded, but the RM has no idea where it is...

 

You could send it again, stating that this is your 2nd request, with a copy of the first one. Did you send the first one 'special recorded' if so, someone must have signed for it. Funny most mail gets through but so many CCA requests don't ??

 

Lex

Please help us to help you. Download the CAG tool bar for free

HERE and use the search option for all your searches. CAG earns a few pennies every time !!!

 

Please don't rush, take time to read these:-

 

 

&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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ha! just today I got an agreement through the post from them!

 

And it's nothing more than a printout of a standard credit agreement. No signatures at all. The covering letter says that this is all they're required to provide under Section 78, which I know to not be true.

 

What do you think I should do next?

 

PS the post office sent me 12 free stamps!

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Hi Mr Lex

 

I've been through this post several times and I don't understand it... I looked at the guidance PDF and it applies to many facets of my situation, but I am unsure as to what to do next. The phone calls continue...

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