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Virgin Credit Card - Harrassment ?


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Hello All,

 

I had a Virgin Credit and after a failed attempt to move abroad I was left with a balance that I couldn't pay and no job. The stress of what happenned when I was abroad has meant I have been signed off sick by my GP and am on medication and receiving counselling. Their PPI refused to pay out as when I was sick the compnay I was working for was not based in the UK and I wasn't paying UK NI. I went to see Citizens Advice and they advised me to send a financial statement and an offer of teken payments to Virgin, which I did.

 

I then made the first payment and received a letter from them asking me to contact them. This is after receiving phone calls every other day from a call centre asking me to make an immediate debit card payment to bring my account back into order. When I spoke to them they agreed to put my account in a debt managment queue and that would give me 6 months to get things sorted before they sold the debt on.

 

I then received a text asking me to call 08000113073.

 

I am now receiving anonymous texts asking me to call 08000113073 to discuss a query.

 

Should I call them ? I don't have any written details from them to prove what they have said and have told them that it is distressing to constantly have to repeat everything every time I talk to them.

 

Thanks in advance

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Hi hamish

 

Welcome to CAG.

 

Write and tell them you don't want to discuss anything on the phone but to put everything in writing. If they still persist, and experience unfortunately is that they will, you send them te telephone harassment letter from the templates library and take it from there.

 

I'm afraid that MBNA are particularly nasty to deal with and have no regard for the OFT, the law or even common human decency :mad:

 

However, they are also pretty stupid and quite a few people have seen them off.

 

Keep us informed, ask any questions you like and we'll ne here tp help. In the meantime read a few threads and te FAQs.

Steven

 

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Hi Hamish,

 

I can verify that MBNA are nasty pieces of work. I am in the same boat and they have by far been the worst people I have had to deal with. I received 5 calls a day, all week, and ended up sending a telephone harrassment letter to them, and they agreed to recall the account from India, where the call centre was.

 

Since then, they have gone straight to default me, and over 3 months later still fail to deal with any correspondance I send them.

 

Two things I will say - don't get intimidated by them. There are many more like you and I out there, they can't take us all to court. And most of the letters you will receive, increasingly nasty in tone, are computer generated - despite what they say, DO NOT speak to them on the phone. Under the Banking Code you have the legal right to request contact in writing only, so make sure you do this

 

By us all sharing our stories, we can help eachother, and beat the buggars!!

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Well said Decanus :)

Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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Hi Hamish,

 

I can verify that MBNA are nasty pieces of work. I am in the same boat and they have by far been the worst people I have had to deal with. I received 5 calls a day, all week, and ended up sending a telephone harrassment letter to them, and they agreed to recall the account from India, where the call centre was.

 

Since then, they have gone straight to default me, and over 3 months later still fail to deal with any correspondance I send them.

 

Two things I will say - don't get intimidated by them. There are many more like you and I out there, they can't take us all to court. And most of the letters you will receive, increasingly nasty in tone, are computer generated - despite what they say, DO NOT speak to them on the phone. Under the Banking Code you have the legal right to request contact in writing only, so make sure you do this

 

By us all sharing our stories, we can help eachother, and beat the buggars!!

 

 

Thanks for the info - to be honest Virgin is the only debt we haven't paid as insurances kicked in for the rest and some we've managed to scrape enough cash together to pay. They called again today and two days ago when I spoke to them and asked them not to calll again. ~I mentioned the harrassment and the Indian guy at the other end quickly ended the call. I didn't answer the call today. I also received 2 letter, one from MBNA saying I was just a month behind and should pay up to avoid hurting my credit rating and another from Virgin with my statement included saying I now owed them £543, three months payments. I think they'll probably default me next month.

 

I can't honestly see the point in writing to them and providing a financial statement and then speaking to the account management people, finding a resolution (my account was put ina debt management queue and I was told to look to resolve the situation within 6 months) and then continue to get the same treatment I would have received if I hadn't been in touch at all !

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After getting a letter on Thursday to say I owed 1 months payments and then a letter today to say I owed 2 and informing me my account has been stopped and the next step is a default AND after receiving and ignoring a phone call at 8-30 this morning ... I got another phone call from MBNA asking ME why THEY were calling !!!!

 

After I explained everything again they suggested I called the Account Management team to clarify the details of what I had already written to them to explain. After telling them I had done this they said they will call back on Monday.

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Hello Hamish2008!

 

Really sorry to sound like a stuck record, but the best advice is to avoid speaking to them on the Telephone. Ever.

 

They will tie you in knots. They have no interest in what you have to say if it does not involve a Payment or your Debit Card Number, or preferably both!

 

You must take back control from this bunch, and the only proven way to do that, is to start by moving ALL Contact to Letters.

 

You must adopt the firm belief that the Telephone was not properly invented as far as you and the MBNA are concerned.

 

Your only sensible option is to KEEP THINGS IN WRITING!

 

This removes all the confusion, and it also gives you time to think. Time to read what they say, discuss it here on CAG, and then think, and only then write back to them.

 

If they Call, just Log the Time/Date and make a note of the Number that Called you. Keep a Log of Mobile Numbers and Calls too, and start compiling a Harassment Case against them.

 

If you can, get a Telephone that shows the Calling Line Identity (CLI), and also try to find a way to Record any Messages they leave (onto Tape or CD-ROM etc). Likewise, if you can Record Conversations, then it may be worth taking the odd Call just to get them to confirm it is them Calling so you can add that to your Harassment File. After confirming who they are hang up, no point actually discussing anything else. All you want is their annoying voices on Tape to confirm who is Harassing you.

 

Once you do all this, I know you will find your life starting to come back, and you can begin to turn the tables on them.

 

Have you sent them a Request to see your Agreement?

 

If not, then you need to do so ASAP. It costs just £1, there is a Template Letter for this on CAG, I can't spot it at the moment, but if you can't find it, just say so, and me/others will hunt out the link.

 

Update...here's the Link, you need Letter N:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...templates.html

 

Note to any Mods reading this...I can never find the CCA Request Letter! I know it's there, but it's not that easy to find...just spent 5 mins failing to find it!

 

That Request could well be the best thing you do, as you may find they are on very thin ice when it comes to Enforcing this alleged Debt.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

BRW

Edited by banker_rhymes_with
Added Link for CCA Request Letter Template
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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks banker - to be honest i'm a little hesitant to go down this route as i'm not actually disputing the debt, i just need to some time to get myself right and then back into work and then i can sort this out.

 

since my last update i got a call last week where i explained yet again the whole scenario and was advised to call the people that i wrote to with the dfinancial statement and try to get them to arrange for the t*ssers in india to stop calling me. advised them that i ddin't want to speak to anybody and might write to as them to put all communications in writing.

today received an automatic message asking me to call and then about 10 mins ago another call asking me to contact them urgently. the cals are really getting me down and i find them both embarrassing and really stressful. it's not helping me at all and if anything is hindering my recovery.

 

is the purpose of the CCA and SAR process to not pay the debt at all ?

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thanks banker - to be honest i'm a little hesitant to go down this route as i'm not actually disputing the debt, You are not disputing any debt, you are asking them to prove they have a right to collect it. i just need to some time to get myself right and then back into work and then i can sort this out.

 

since my last update i got a call last week where i explained yet again the whole scenario and was advised to call the people that i wrote to with the dfinancial statement and try to get them to arrange for the t*ssers in india to stop calling me. advised them that i ddin't want to speak to anybody and might write to as them to put all communications in writing.

today received an automatic message asking me to call and then about 10 mins ago another call asking me to contact them urgently. the cals are really getting me down and i find them both embarrassing and really stressful. it's not helping me at all and if anything is hindering my recovery.

 

is the purpose of the CCA and S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) process to not pay the debt at all ? That is entirely down to your own principles in the matter. However if all you want is time, then an unenforceable agreement will give you all the time you need.

 

If they don't hold an enforceable agreement, it doesn't mean you don't have a debt.

Please note: I give advice, in good faith, based on my reading and experience. Please satisfy yourself, that any advice given is accurate in content before acting upon it.

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http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/site-questions-suggestions/53182-cant-find-what-youre.html

 

...........................................................................

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Hello Hamish2008!

 

I see rippedoffagain has given you some good advice.

 

If I can just add a few additional comments...

 

...to be honest i'm a little hesitant to go down this route as i'm not actually disputing the debt, i just need to some time to get myself right and then back into work and then i can sort this out.

 

I know the feeling, but know from my own hindsight that these bankers manipulate people's perceptions and feelings until people honestly believe the spin that Debt is all of your own making and never theirs, and so you have a moral obligation to keep Paying it.

 

You've hit some snags, so the reasonable desire of a reasonable person is to try to reason with the bankers, to try and explain the issues, and express a desire that you are determined to climb back into the Debt Hamster Wheel ASAP so that Debt Payments can resume.

 

My advice is that you need to stop, and take a long hard look at the Debt itself.

 

Please remember that these bankers don't lend Money out of the kindness of their Hearts, they do it for one reason only, and that's to make more Money. They make that extra Money out of you.

 

They have Teams of Lawyers to Draw up Contracts that will bind you as tightly as the Law will allow to whatever Financial Product they are Selling.

 

They have Teams of Marketing Psychologists who know how to lure Consumers into position to Sign Up to whatever Financial Package they are touting to get YOUR Money.

 

They have Teams of Designers to promote these Financial Packages, by the use of Pretty Colours like Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum, along with Advertisements to make people believe that Debt is good, and Debt Cards are fun and funky.

 

They encourage people to believe that bankers are not just a business, but something far more superior and moral, a step up from Government and State.

 

They play with your mind.

 

Now, take a step back. Think back to when you first signed up for that Card. Did you approach them totally out of the blue? Did you have to hunt and hunt to find them? No, they will have made it all too easy for you to Apply for that Card.

 

Soon enough, you had that Card in your hot little hands, and then you were off Spending that Limit.

 

You were also Paying it back too, every Month.

 

I bet they raised your Limit a few times?

 

I also bet they raised your Interest Rates a few times?

 

Have a good look at your Card Statements, and start to add up the big numbers:

 

A = Total Purchases (not including Interest, Penalty Charges and Fees).

 

B = Total Interest.

 

C = Total Penalties.

 

D = Total Fees and other Charges like Credit Card Cheque Handling Fees.

 

E = Total Repayments.

 

Take a look at A and E. I bet you have Paid them more than you have Spent. If so, then they have their Money back already.

 

Now add up B+C+D. Add that to A, and then take away E. The figure is the outstanding Debt on your Card.

 

In most people's case, that Debt is made up almost totally of charges.

 

So, you've spent a lot of money, and you've probably Paid back at least as much. And yet you want to go back and Pay them all of that Interest and all of those Charges?

 

Fair enough, IF they have you stitched up like a Kipper with an Enforceable Agreement.

 

But, what if they don't?

 

What if, despite their Teams of Lawyers, they were someone too greedy and too arrogant to actually comply with the Law?

 

If they don't have an Agreement, then do you really want to get well, just so that you can climb into their Debt Hamster Wheel and go back to Paying them lots and lots of Money to top up their Profits?

 

My point is that you must be sure there is a Debt worth Paying. You may find that the Debt you thought you owed, is actually a Debt they have encouraged you to create. It may not be a Debt all of your own making.

 

If that is so, then you owe a Debt to yourself to make absoluteloy sure these people have a Legal Right to make you keep Paying.

 

The Agreement is there to bind you. But only provided they have done their job correctly. If they have, then it will bind you to whatever Debt they have helped you to create.

 

However, if they have not done their job properly in the eyes of the Law, and the Consumer Credit Act in particular, then the Law is there to protect you.

 

No Agreement = No Enforceable Debt.

 

If that is the case, then you can decide if there really is a genuine Debt to Pay or not. Morals were no doubt in short supply when they were busy engineering your Debt, increasing Credit Limits perhaps, increasing Interest Rates perhaps, adding Unlawful Penalty Charges perhaps, presenting a Loan with PPI perhaps...need I go on?

 

You've already shown you have morals by slogging your guts out to Pay them, and then by trying to reason with them when you hit harder times to show you still wanted to Pay, when you could do so.

 

Now is the time to stop being messed around by these people.

 

since my last update i got a call last week where i explained yet again the whole scenario and was advised to call the people that i wrote to with the dfinancial statement and try to get them to arrange for the t*ssers in india to stop calling me. advised them that i ddin't want to speak to anybody and might write to as them to put all communications in writing.

 

Perhaps you can now see why I say don't speak to them?

 

today received an automatic message asking me to call and then about 10 mins ago another call asking me to contact them urgently. the cals are really getting me down and i find them both embarrassing and really stressful. it's not helping me at all and if anything is hindering my recovery.

 

Absolutely. These Calls are Harassment. Start Logging them, and start realising that by doing so, you are proving to yourself that these people are not nice, and their repeated Calls are neither decent, well intentioned nor fair.

 

is the purpose of the CCA and S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) process to not pay the debt at all ?

 

No, abolutely not.

 

Their purpose is to exercise your Legal Right to check that the Financial situation you now find yourself in is all Legal and above board.

 

Spend £1 now on a s78 CCA Request to see your Agreement.

 

Then sit back and wait to see what, if anything, they come up with.

 

Never, ever forget they were all powerful and holding all the Aces when it came to drawing up that Agreement. So, where is it then?

 

Showing you the very Document they are relying upon to bind you to this alleged Debt Mountain is the very least they can do.

 

If they keep Calling you after submitting that Request, then it's Harassment. Log all Calls, note all Letters.

 

Then Spend £10 and send them a S.A.R - (Subject Access Request). This is to demand that they show you all the Data that they hold about you.

 

Read on CAG, plan all of your moves, and you will start to get your life back.

 

If you feel there is a Debt, and you are happy that they are fair and reasonable and have an Agreement, then by all means go back to Paying them...

 

...but at least you will know where you stand. When you do resume Payments, you will have a clear picture of the true position. Likewise, you will know what to look out for, and will not be happy should you see any nasty little tricks like Interest Rate hikes for no reason, or Unlawful Penalty Charges that should not be appplied to your Account.

 

Hopefully, you will also have examined the Big Numbers for your Account, and will see just how much better off you could've been had you not opted for that Card, and had you stuck to using Cash and/or a Debit Card instead.

 

Having looked at one of my own Cards, I can now see that I spent 72k on the Card, Paid back nearly 80k, and had charges and Interest Payments added on that came to over 23k!

 

In other words, I was shafted for 31k overall, just so that I could spend 72k overall.

 

If someone had said: "here, give me 40p for every £1 you spend", I'd have not been very polite or interested.

 

Examine your own Card's Numbers and, if you have had the Card for a few Years, I bet you are not that far off the same ratio.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

BRW

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Nice post BRW. I agree entirely. The bankers encourage people to spend to the limit, and will eventually attempt to take your home if they can.

Please note: I give advice, in good faith, based on my reading and experience. Please satisfy yourself, that any advice given is accurate in content before acting upon it.

A to Z index

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/site-questions-suggestions/53182-cant-find-what-youre.html

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hamish - Post number 10 by BRW -is very well put that is exactly how I am looking at my MNBA card - I am sending the SAR and CCA request today - I am not denying any of my debts but I intend to look at all those numbers you have stated and will even have a look at what it should have cost if they hadn't doubled the interest rate and let them have that - as that is what I originally agreed to.

 

I don't know about you - but I have a terrible memory and used to forget to make payments on time - so it would slip one month I nearly always caught it back up the next month while I was still working - lo and behold the credit limit nearly always went up the month after I recovered form the blip - responsible lending - I don't think so - I spent it I know that but they can't claim complete innocence on this

If you can keep you head when all of those around you are losing theirs try parking your helicopter somewhere else

 

 

The PPI Saga

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got a statement today that shows more interest added after they had agreed by telephone to place my account into a debt management queue and freeze interest. i was aslo told i would have 6 months in which to resolve my situation before they sold the debt on. have received 2 letters this week warning of impending legal action and 3 or 4 phone calls, none of which i have answered.

 

so i'm sending off a letter today that is a CCA and telephone harassment letter cobo but was also thinking of merging the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) as well and sending them £11.

 

this is what i've got so far, the SAR will be related to charges but more for the notes on my account - i used to work for first direct and know that extensive notes are always placed on accounts so any record of the conversation i had must be on there, any ideas of how i can word the SAR or would it be better to send 2 requests ?

 

thanks,

 

 

Edited by hamish2008
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Personally, I would keep your CCA request and S.A.R separate. :)

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Hi Hamish,after reading your thread I think we both have a lot in common!I think everyones right, its time to stop being reasonable and start playing hardball,I'll be sending my CCA request next week,I've spent enough time trying to sort this out and its time MBNA accepted that the amount I'm offering is not some random figure but ALL I CAN AFFORD!you should be focusing on getting your health back to 100%, not constantly having to repeat the same things to them and dealing with harrassment over the phone!

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got a statement today that shows more interest added after they had agreed by telephone to place my account into a debt management queue and freeze interest.
Just to reinforce what BRW and the others have said - don't talk to them on the phone.

 

They are not interested in anything you say unless it is to pay them.

 

They do not keep a record of anything you say except your debit card number

 

They do not keep any promise the make on the phone because they don't keep any record of it

 

They are not interested in 'helping you' on the phone - they are only interested in your money

 

They are not interested in your problems - they are only interested in your money

 

They are not interested in your ability to pay - they are only interested in bullying you into paying

 

They are not interested in the banking code because it interferes with them getting their hands on your money

 

They are not interested in the OFT guidelines because they interfere with them getting their hands on your money

 

They are not interested in the law because it interferes with them getting their hands on your money

Steven

 

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Harassment by phone is a criminal offence.

 

It is an offence under ss1&2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

It is an ofence under s127 of the Communications Act 2003.

 

Both provide a penalty of up to 6 months in prison and/or a significant fine. The law says that the guilty person is the person doing the harassent and the person who allows it. I believe that it would only take the imprisonment of one credit card company CEO to stop telephone harassment for ever.

 

Any takers?

Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

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Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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MBNA are a shocking bunch. DO NOT believe anything they say...

It took 2 letters from me to get them to recall my account from an Indian call centre who were ringing me 5 times a day, as well as my copying them in to letters of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman and OFT. I had an apologetic letter back saying they would stop this action , although they reserve the right to ring me about my account (I said no, I reserve the right under the Banking Code to request for contact only in writing)

They have not made any effort to reach agreement with me. I sent a statement of affairs, the next two letters did not even acknowledge it!! If they are as poorly organised as they seem, I would say do not give in to them, as I do not think they would want to go to court.

 

Most important of all, keep EVERY detail of EVERY contact with them. I had a case recently when it was claimed a letter from me had not been received - it was only when I pointed out it had contained a cheque payment to them that they had cashed (and I could prove) that they had to say they had received it.

 

THAT is the level of the people you are dealing with......

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Hello Decanus!

 

Fully agreed.

 

Hello Steven!

 

Harassment by phone is a criminal offence.

 

It is an offence under ss1&2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

It is an ofence under s127 of the Communications Act 2003.

 

Both provide a penalty of up to 6 months in prison and/or a significant fine. The law says that the guilty person is the person doing the harassent and the person who allows it. I believe that it would only take the imprisonment of one credit card company CEO to stop telephone harassment for ever.

 

Any takers?

 

Yes, me. I will start another Thread soon, but I have been logging every single Call from all of the bankers who have been Harassing me and my family, and every single Message is Recorded.

 

I will either use this to Counter-Claim, or will start a single action against each for Harassment. When I start that Thread, I could do with all the help I can get to set out exactly what steps are needed to start a Claim for Harassment, and then take it all the way. Using whatever Legislation we can use, from the ones above, to Health & Safety at Work etc, if we can use that in terms of them engaging in tactics designed to cause stress.

 

DCAs are now starting on me, so Call Volumes have escalated further. Around 20-30 Calls a Day. Split between a few bankers, but still multiple Calls from each.

 

One recently from the MBNA was effectively a Threat to Visit. Had I been a timid old Lady or someone of a nervous disposition, it would've been very scary. I'm not, as you may've guessed! So, that Recording has been Logged with all of the others!

 

Tip to all, it's hassle, but keep a good Time/Date Log of all Harassment Calls. One day, one day, soon, we will outline a "Painting by Numbers" method to use this against them!

 

Keep up the good fight!

 

Cheers,

BRW

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What i am suggesting isn't a claim or counterclaim but a criminal prosecution. It would be a different sort of fight because you would have to persuade your local constabulary to take it seriously and actuall put some effort into getting a case to court. Of course, you have all the evidence so they don't have to do that bit - in fact youprobably have more evidience than most cases that get to the Old Bailey :D

Steven

 

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Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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Hello Steven!

 

Criminal Prosecution sounds fine with me.

 

I am quite serious, but am still gathering the evidence at the moment. But when you add up the constant Telephone Harassment, and the letters threatening post CCJ and Post Court Payment default measures, it's totally disgraceful.

 

I've had the ones sending me a Copy of my Title Deeds, the Pink Pig Letters, the Opitma Threat on a Letterhead with no Contact detals, add all that to the Harassment Calls and it's all pretty damning.

 

Well, it ought to be.

 

But I've been Logging this like a man on a mission since the start of 2008, so that's 6 Months of evidence. Only wish I had started Logging it the 6 Months before that, but had Family Illness issues and my attention was elsewhere.

 

Boy, that's 12 Months of Harassment! I had not realised it has been that long. But only last 6 Months have been carefully Logged.

 

But for everyone who is being hounded by these bankers, I hope to take the fight right back to them, and hope that others can follow my example when I start.

 

I will probably have to use some of this to Counter-Claim if any take me to Court, but the real aim of all this Logging is indeed to hit them very hard just to prove a point.

 

That point being: this is not acceptable behaviour and bankers are not above the Law.

 

One day. But not yet.

 

Cheers,

BRW

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As I said before - I believe that one CEO sent to prison even for a fortnight would end telephone harassment for everyone forever

Steven

 

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My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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wow BRW my 'problems' seem small potatoes in comparison to the abuse you're getting.

 

to be honest i think i'm losing my bottle a bit and don't really have any confidence that the CCA and SAR will stall them in the slightest - in the new few weeks I'm at the end of the three month period in whihc I said I would revue it further with them, although I have asked for an official I&E form from them as they seem to have totally ignored the previous one I sent. i don't really know where to go from here ...

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