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hi

story so far, like everyone else put my claim in and it was put on hold.

Last july I lost my job and although had a bit of agency work for a while, had a considerable drop in income.

I submitted a request to nationwide to look at the claim under hardship in oct, they replied saying I wasnt in hardship etc., I asked them how they came to this conclusion as I was no longer using the account, due to excessive charges, and I had not supplied them with an income and expenditure.

They wrote back, this time with the standard bog off letter from when you first claim charges back.

I wrote to them again stating I was in hardship and asking them to look into my claim.

after a bit of to and fro they finally sent me an i+e form mid november,after I had threatened with the FOS!, I filled it in and returned it asap.

I received a letter from them end november saying, yes I was in hardship and they would refund £80, which by the way was the amount I was overdrawn with them because of charges.

I replied that I was not happy, and their final response was they will do no more.

I complained to the FOS straight away, and some while later I received a response stating, that nationwide were not obliged to do any more at this stage.

I replied to the FOS stating they hadnt even commented on nationwides handling of my complaint, which was diabolical to say the least, and express my disapointment in no uncertain terms.

 

I have received a reply from FOS today, It says that although I am in hardship the waiver does not mean the bank has to do anything, other than accept your in hardship! and the fact the bank refunded £80 which put the account back in credit was a great step in that now I wont be pursued for the debt blah blah, 'and the bank is under no duty to consider wider financial circumstances other than the extent to which they affect their ability to repay sums owed to it.'

in other words feather their own nest!

they accept my point about the handling of my complaint, 'but it appears that you woul like us to order the bank to refund all the charges'

but as I didnt have significant debts with nationwide, and was receiving regular credits until august, their actions were not so unreasonable that action other than already taken was inappropriate.

 

There has been no action taken regarding the treatment by nationwide.

 

I have written back to the Fos, and asked him to explain what action has been taken, as the £80 refund was in connection with my being in hardship, and my treatment by the bankers.

 

If I issue proceedings for the charges which amount to nearly £2000, what are the chances of it not being stayed, bearing in mind I have a letter from the bank accepting I am in hardship.

 

Sorry for a long read

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Well it has to be worth a go.

 

Have a read here Wood73 :-

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/48-bank-templates/126-application-for-removal-of-a-stay-.html

 

http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/48-bank-templates/127-bundle-for-stay-hearing-.html

 

In cases were the judge has lifted the stay, the banks have paid up before the main case has been heard, like the old days.

 

We have had several where the judge has refused to lift the stay, I like it that NW have admitted you are in 'Hardship'.

 

If you go down this route, we will try and help out with the court forms. You need to do this on Form N244 :-

 

http://www.insolvencyhelpline.co.uk/downloads/pdf-files/n244_form.pdf

 

Hope this helps,

 

lex

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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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as regards the other part of my complaint, reagrding the treatment by nationwide, if the ombudsman still decides to side with the bank, is there any thing else I can do?

 

Seems a bit pointless having a section in the waiver pertaining to hardship cases, when all they have to do is accept your in hardship and nothing more, and the ombudsman talks like he is best buddies with the banks, makes you wonder who's interests are being protected here dosent it.

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as regards the other part of my complaint, reagrding the treatment by nationwide, if the ombudsman still decides to side with the bank, is there any thing else I can do?

 

Seems a bit pointless having a section in the waiver pertaining to hardship cases, when all they have to do is accept your in hardship and nothing more, and the ombudsman talks like he is best buddies with the banks, makes you wonder who's interests are being protected here dosent it.

 

What the Ombudsman has said re the waiver is 100% correct, they do not have to refund even 1p under the waiver. Hardship defined under the waiver will include mortgage arrears/rent arrears, utilities arrears, council tax arrears etc.etc.and usually means extreme hardship. However, I think you may want to go back to the FOS with regards to the time and money spent having to chase them up for a number of months just to provide the basics ie an income and expenditure form.

You have little or no chance on lifting a stay and I wouldn't even waste the expense or time in trying to do so.

Have you read the FSA Waiver on Hardship?

The relevant section is below:

"2.

In making an assessment of financial difficulty the firm will take into account:

a.

evidence of changes in lifestyle, including loss of employment; disability; serious illness; imprisonment; relationship breakdown; death of a partner; starting a lower paid job; parental/carer leave; and starting full-time education;

b.

evidence of the following events:

i.

items repeatedly being returned unpaid due to lack of available funds;

ii.

failing to make loan repayments or other commitments;

iii.

discontinuation of regular credits;

iv.

notification of some form of insolvency or court proceedings;

v.

regular requests for increased borrowing or repeated rescheduling of debts;

vi.

making frequent cash withdrawals on a credit card at a non-promotional rate of interest; and

vii.

repeatedly exceeding a credit card or overdraft limit without agreement (and, in this regard, where a complainant has incurred over £500 in unauthorised overdraft charges in the previous 12 months, that is to be treated as indicative of financial difficulty)."

.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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yes, but it means nothing in reality, and isnt worth the paper its written on. Nationwide have agreed I am in financial hardship, yet that is all they have to do,

so my point is why have the fsa added this to the waiver?

The banks now have an obligation to investigate wether or not your in hardship, if they agree you are in hardship, they dont have to do anything else at all!

a bit of a pointless exercise!

 

Just a bit of bull**** to keep the masses quiet, as most people have never actually read it.

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yes, but it means nothing in reality, and isnt worth the paper its written on. Nationwide have agreed I am in financial hardship, yet that is all they have to do,

so my point is why have the fsa added this to the waiver?

The banks now have an obligation to investigate wether or not your in hardship, if they agree you are in hardship, they dont have to do anything else at all!

a bit of a pointless exercise!

 

Just a bit of bull**** to keep the masses quiet, as most people have never actually read it.

 

So are you still in arrears with a mortgage company/rent, do you have council tax arrears? Do you have utilities arrears? From post 1, I think you mentioned you were not using the nationwide account, were you using another account for benefit payments?

I understand you are angry but I have read the waiver not once or twice but a few times. I agree to a degree that the waiver is not ideal at all because there is no uniform way in which claims are being dealt with as each bank/building society deals with them differently.

.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Subbing with interest on this thread:cool:

 

This is from the library http://www.consumerforums.com/resources/templates-library/48-bank-templates/126-application-for-removal-of-a-stay-.html

 

and I have another article that I printed off by Caro, site team, on 15 Jan 2009 Hardship - Prevent a Stay Before You Get One, but can't find it now!

 

Also read a good thread the other night where a Cagger didn't get the stay removed but the bank used about half his claim to directly pay the council tax, mortgage arrears, etc. (priority debts!) in the meantime which is quite a good settlement in the interim.......8-)

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Hi just to give you some hope, I applied for hardship on the 31st December for £3130 in charges. I received a reply saying no on the 4th February saying I had money in my account and that i hadtaken it out. I then asked them to review their decision as I had to prioritise my money and thats why it was taken out of the account. I have now received a letter this morning telling me they will return £2758 on this occassion only and they will reverse £80 in charges that they have took of this month. So within 10 days the cash should be in my account. So result.

 

The only thing i'm worried about is that in the letter they said

"Although we have refunded charges to your account on this occasion, moving forward we would recommend that you operate your account within the credit balance or any agreed overdraft limit. In order to avoid incurring further charges in the future I recommend you cancel your direct debit payments, and make alternative arrangements with third parties concerned."

 

Can the make me do this or is it as it said recommended.

 

Anyway result either way.

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It was nationwide and i just sent the letter through the personal message service on my internet banking in it i ncluded the points set out by the fsa about hardship and for each point I said for example

Lack of funds?

FSA’s term: Are items repeatedly being returned unpaid due to lack of available funds?

The answer to this is yes. Bank charges 2003 £82.50, 2004 £400.05, 2005 £627.50, 2006 £710,

2007 £510, 2008 £800.

Then failing to pay? I put yes having to reduce loan payments because of missed payments and couldn't afford to make full payment.I did this for each point.I also included a statment of my expenditure and income. Although they also sent me their own expenditure and income form to fill in. As i said they initially turned me down saying the money was in the account for d/d's but i had taken it out. So when I wrote back and asked them to review I said that I had to take the money out to prioritize my money for food and rent and the necessities.

So i hope this gives people a bit of hope.

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well done, shame they dont act consistantly, why is it one result for one and one result for another, in the same circumstances?, I can only summise that they wont refund to me because I have stopped using the account because of the amount of charges.

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I agree Wood, but maybe if we all keep pressing on.......

I feel the need to have to do it, but have been reluctant because they are my only current account and that's where the bulk of charges are....

I don't suppose I would cry too much about having a Post Office book to bank with and pay my bills in cash, in future :|

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/nationwide/176846-aa99-nationwide.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

well, had final response through fromfos this morning, it has been looked at by someone else this time, and guess what, they are in full agreement with the nationwide, they said wether or not my complaint was handled correctly was irrelevant, as the outcome would have been the same, i.e. yes we admit you are in hardship now sod off and stop bothering us.

they have said they will look at it again if I can provide further evidence.

 

It seems the banks can do what they like, with the blessing of the ombudsman!

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Oh Woody, what a smack in the face this all is, shame for you:(. I am still trying to open a parachute account with someone else before I hit the NWide for bank charges under hardship too.....:mad:

 

I don't know what the professional/legal route is next and hope someone will come along shortly with the answers. I am watching closely. There must be some way to appeal if you qualify, as I do, for all the conditions of the FSA Waiver of the Stay on bank charges:?

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Oh Woody, what a smack in the face this all is, shame for you:(. I am still trying to open a parachute account with someone else before I hit the NWide for bank charges under hardship too.....:mad:

 

I don't know what the professional/legal route is next and hope someone will come along shortly with the answers. I am watching closely. There must be some way to appeal if you qualify, as I do, for all the conditions of the FSA Waiver of the Stay on bank charges:?

 

I just want to clarify the FSA Waiver on Bank Charges. The exemption is hardship, which is usually defined as having arrears on things like, rent/mortgage, utilities, council tax. If you have the above then there maybe a likelyhood of a payout, if not, then the answer will be no based on all the evidence that has been produced.

.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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I just want to clarify the FSA Waiver on Bank Charges. The exemption is hardship, which is usually defined as having arrears on things like, rent/mortgage, utilities, council tax. If you have the above then there maybe a likelyhood of a payout, if not, then the answer will be no based on all the evidence that has been produced.

Totally incorrect I'm afraid.

 

Nationwide have agreed that I am in hardship, they sent me a letter to say so, BUT they still refuse to refund charges!

FOS say they are correct, they do not have to refund, all they have to do is look at wether or not you are in hardship, nothing more, if they agree you are in hardship or not means nothing, so long as they have looked.

 

I am still in hardship, with arrears on all my accounts, but FOS say it would be unfair to ask nationwide to refund charges so I can pay my other creditors!

 

the waiver is a load of bull, it is purely to help the banks, and no one else.

The banks are unfairly dragging the case out by going to the house of lords, but what will fsa do - Nothing!

 

Its them against us, only problem is they make the rules. fsa,fos, banks are all peeing in the same pot, it remains to be seen wether oft are on our side.

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I think I will ask the question again. Have you got arrears on rent/ mortgage, council tax, utilities? Have you got anyone who has threatened you with court over these arrears?

.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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rent and council tax are now on benefit, so now arrears, water £500 arrears, elctric and gas on prepaid meter, all other debts in serious arrears.

what difference it makes I dont know, like i said they agree I'm in hardship!

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should also mention, c/tax liability granted in december, so having amount deducted from benefits, could have been avoided if they refunded in november, when they admitted hardship.

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I think I will ask the question again. Have you got arrears on rent/ mortgage, council tax, utilities? Have you got anyone who has threatened you with court over these arrears?

 

YES YES YES is my answer, even the utility companies threatening to cut me off and I have tried all the routes with the above. My Income Support sheet with figures 'that the government says you need to live on' haven't been updated for a few years I think!

 

I qualify for ALL the conditions as listed by the FSA in their Right to Waiver the Stay on Bank Charges Reclaiming under hardship! Woody, do we need to go directly to them, not the FOS, and query the action under their authority?:confused:

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