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Halifax Plc bad behaviour

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My partner has an current account with ..... yes the dreaded Halifax. He lost his job and was paying off a loan for £240. He tried to contact Halifax on various numbers in order to arrange a lower repayment, however, he could not get through. He was then contacted by Halifax regarding the loan repayment. He informed them that he tried to contact them to negotiate a lower repayment as he was no longer working, however, they were not sympathic and tried to get blood from a stone. In one response when he asked 'what do you want me to do, knock down a old woman and take her money to pay you', the person replied, 'you can do what you want as long as we get the money'. He was then told that he had an overdraft of this account of £300 and that he could repay the money with this. He refused as he did not ask for this overdraft and did not wish to incur more debt.

 

A week later, he went to the bank to as he also had another account there and checked his current account. To his surprise he found that they had restricted access to his account, therefore, he could not withdraw any funds that he had in there. Halifax customer services was contacted and he was informed that he needed to agree to pay the £240 from the overdraft (that he did not request) before they give him access to his account. He again refused, however, this continued and he then agreed under duress. They are now hounding him by calling him up to 4 times a day, from different numbers even withheld ones and also early saturday and sunday mornings. pestering him for the money for the overdraft, when he already informed them that he could not pay due to his employment status.

 

They are also hounding him for repayments a credit card, which is around £1200, however, it appears to be static as when he pays this account they seem to charge him as well. He also has a loan which amounts to around £12,000, which they are also hounding him for. He requested a CCA and all documents relating to the loan, however, they sent him a signed document which was unclear and full of lines. They then sent him the balance of the loan papers which did not appear to correspond with eachother.

 

He originally requested that his Insurance cover his unemployment but they refused as he was dismissed due to unfounded allegations. After explaining what happened to them he has now completed a form and sent evidence in relation to dismissal and is awaiting a response.

 

Any ideas? :confused:

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Hi There,

 

Doesn't sound like you are having a very good time of it but there are a few things you can do to try and sort this out with the bank. I will try to give you as much advice as possible as I have helped a few people in my loal area in similar situations to this and they have come out of it just fine.

 

Firstly, you have to understand that the people calling you are nothing more than glorified sales people. Most of them are actually paid commission for every person they get to pay back the money owed to the bank. By getting you to transfer the money from your loan to your overdraft the bank see's this as paid even though you still owe them the money, just in a different way. Most of the people you have talked to will have the moral's of a third world dictator. It is very very important, and I cannot stress this enough, that you cease communication with these people. The reason that I advise this is because they will be recording your calls and it is extremely easy for you to say something that they can use against you later, especially when you are a little flustered. Rely on written communication and if they phone, simply inform them to respond in writing as you are not dealing with it over the phone.

 

If the collectors are calling you 4 times a day, this can be construde as harrassment, something which you as a consumer are protected against.

 

So...Step 1: Inform them that the calls must be stopped or you will classify it as harrassment. This is your legal right under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. If you inform them of this and they continue to call you then it will put them in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127. So tell them to stop.

 

A great template is availble on the site here which you can ammend to your own needs.

 

Once you have done this the calls should stop and this will allow you the opportunity to deal with this through the branch, rather than the shark pit.

 

Step 2: Ask them very nicely in writing to help you out but imply that you will kick them in the nuts if you dont. Some of my best result have come from the threat of action rather than actually taking the direct approach and beating them with the proverbial stick.

 

You can do this by asking nicely and extending an olive branch while at the same time requesting information about the account and loan from the bank. This information will be presented as "just for your own records" but the bank know damn well that it could be used to hit them over the head later on so they tend to be more plyable in their dealings with you.

 

Send a letter to them stating:

 

That your husband has lost his job, that you are having financial trouble and are finding it difficult to pay everything while trying to survive day to day and that you need them to consider lowering your repayments to a manageable ammount. Be very clear that you dont want to run from the ammount, that you want to pay them the money but you need their help to ensure that they will get it. Basically you are stroking their ego and asking them for help. Present it to them in such a way that they will get their money, it will just take slightly longer for this to happen. One thing to also tell them is that if your circumstances change for the better, you will of course get things back on track normally with them.

 

Once you have prepared the letter you should attach a copy of your financial statement. Jiggery and pockery it until your disposable income is about the same as the ammount you want to pay them monthly. if you supply the bank with this now then it saves time later. Most banks will reply to your letter and request this anyway in order to assess your request. If you provide it first it shows that you are being open and honest about the situation and they are more likely to respond favourably.

 

A template for the financial statement is also available on the site. I would suggest deleting the logo or it may raise an eyebrow or two at the bank and they will think you are trying to minipulate them.

 

Template

 

Now - For the implied kick in the nuts! Send them a Subject Access request for all information under the Data protection act on both the loan and bank account. Also send a CCA request to the bank for both accounts. They will know that this information could be the proverbial stick you use to beat them with later on. The irony is that if they become ackward with you later on and dont help you out it could come back and bite them in the ass. Further more, failure to supply a full and accurate agreement with your signature on it for the loan means that it is completely unenforceble. This information gives you other routes to leverage them later so keep pressing them for it and ensure that they provide it to you (even if they agree a lower repayment with you).

 

Data protection act - Subject Access Request Template - Must Be Supplied Within 40 Days

 

CCA Request Template - Must be supplied within 12 days

 

 

Step Three - Get a bank account opened away from halifax or bank of scotland (or lloyds now) in order to ensure that this doesnt happen again. If your with a different bank then they cant freeze your account.

 

If everything goes well then the bank should reduce your payments. If not then keep us up to date on the forum and I am sure we will all try to help out.

 

All the Best

 

Martin

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