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Dispatches: A letter to my MP


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Greg Clark MP

Tunbridge Wells

 

Tuesday 21 July 2009

 

Dear Greg Clark,

 

I would like to draw your attention to the disgusting behaviour of some companies in the debt collection industry. In particular, to the recent Dispatches program aired yesterday on C4.

 

In this show, channel 4 sent an undercover reporter to a debt collection company named Marlins. They showed:

 

1. Flagrant disregard to the OFT Debt collection guidelines

 

2. The company repeatedly and intentionally misled debtors, sent threats of bankruptcy where it did not intend to carry them out, harassed people who had just had their young child die, harassed people who were dying themselves, ignored the data protection act by informing a persons employer that they were in debt, and committed several acts I consider to be in breach of the protection from harassment act.

 

As someone who has volunteered in the past, and helped people with debt problems, I do not think these are unusual tactics limited to only Marlins.

 

I am particularly concerned about the ongoing lack of regulation in this sector. Unlike other sectors, the government does not do mystery shopping, and it seems hundreds of consumer complaints about companies like 1st Credit, Connaught, and Mackenzie hall are ignored.

 

I carried out an freedom of information request with regard to the number of debt collection companies that had their license revoked by the OFT. I was shocked that the number of complaints to individual trading standards offices were not reported to the OFT. And apparently not considered when granting licenses. Despite that, the OFT directly received 2,582 complaints or enquiries about licensed traders(see http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/annual_report/438243/hc532b.pdf ). This suggests the actual number of complaints was much higher, since debtors are correctly referred to trading standards rather than the OFT.

 

Given the number of complaints, I was surprised that in total the OFT issued notices that they were minded to revoke or refuse renewal of 64 credit licenses during that period. In all 125 notices were served on CCL holders. There were only 54 adverse determinations by the OFT. These, in general, were against only small one man bands or highly disreputable companies. Very few of these were against debt collection companies.

 

In the program there is the quote that the OFT shows its teeth, but doesn't bite. I worry that cases like the recently reported on the BBC of a grandmother that committed suicide as a result of harassment for a debt that she didn't even owe will continue. The OFT was established to protect the public. I don't think it is doing its job.

 

 

Can you help?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Can I suggest other people might want to write to their mp's too?

i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.

 

I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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It certainly highlights the kind of back-scratching that goes on between the so-called regulatory bodies and the finance industry... but I wouldn't be surprised if certain members of the Gov. turn a blind eye as well, Tom.

 

Anything to do with money tends to send morals and decency flying out the nearest window in my experience...

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Can we pinch and ammend that letter please tom?

"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Well said TT :)

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Great letter Tom, I am a victim of Marlin and was invited to appear on the programme last night, but after long chats with the producer, I decided I couldnt hack it. I am still fighting them, and was wondering what could be done, so will cut and paste your letter and use some of the points to write to my MP too. Who knows it may work and it wont be for want of trying

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Can we pinch and ammend that letter please tom?

 

Yes of course you can, although I do think if you can writing it yourself - so it doesn't look like a template letter - is a good thing. More people writing to their MPs is a good thing, especially if they are Tory / liberal democrat, because Tory policy at the moment is to introduce a consumer protection office:)

i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.

 

I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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I think that's a good idea, Craftygirl. I certainly think that if you can personalise it, it will go down better. I haven't had any personal dealings with Marlin, so I had to write a more generic letter.

i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.

 

I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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hiya all and especially tom fab letter

 

id come on to see what i could use for ideas but it looks like some of the points are in your letter, so i m going to use some of your points if i may pls and put in my own words so it doesnt look like a standard template letter

 

i totally agree that the more people who do write to their mp's and include the conservatives has to show all the political parties the people of britain are fed up - and write from your own experiences it shows more impact well thats how i see it

 

so who knows maybe it might just hit the spot for changes

 

laters all and keep positive

 

angel x

Im happy to help with support and my own thoughts, but if I offer any thoughts to your problems please take it as from my life experience only and not of any legal standing. Always take further advice from the legal experts in your final action.:)

 

my new motto is,,,",Taking back control of your life and home - such peace is priceless"

 

This is all due to truecall device , have a serious peek at this you will be thankful like I am x laters angel :D

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Good letter but we need to keep up the presure on our mp's and make them put presure on the oft and ico to enforce the rules against the dca's and not just have tea and scones and a cosy chat, where the dca's blame keying error or rouge staff and promise to do better just to do exactly the same latter on

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dont just send them to oyur local mp, send a copy to each opposition party in your area, and make sure to cc it, so your mp can see its been sent to the other parties.

If you can make the parties fight about it among each other, its more likely that something will be done, specially with a general election on the horizon.

  • Haha 2

question everything!

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dont just send them to oyur local mp, send a copy to each opposition party in your area, and make sure to cc it, so your mp can see its been sent to the other parties.

If you can make the parties fight about it among each other, its more likely that something will be done, specially with a general election on the horizon.

 

 

hiya have clicked on your scales too, good idea, so any party that may be trying to get our vote in our area you mean?

 

cheers angel x

Im happy to help with support and my own thoughts, but if I offer any thoughts to your problems please take it as from my life experience only and not of any legal standing. Always take further advice from the legal experts in your final action.:)

 

my new motto is,,,",Taking back control of your life and home - such peace is priceless"

 

This is all due to truecall device , have a serious peek at this you will be thankful like I am x laters angel :D

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The more the merrier but try not to make it look like a template letter ;)

"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Andrew MacKinlay MP for Thurrock is a good point of contact, he has raised the issue of DCA's behaviour in Parliament several times.

 

http://www.andrewmackinlay.co.uk/news.htm News release 24th April

Edited by the main man

Capitalism is the legitimate racket

of the ruling class.

Al Capone

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Slightly amended copy has been sent to my local MP.....Lets keep it going and see if we can get them to really listen to the electorate....

 

 

t-star

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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Vince Cable, LibDem is another good one to write to:D

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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is a problem with the link in that letter

all you get is

Error - page not found

 

We have recently updated our website and the page you have requested may have been moved or archived.

Please return to our home page to find the information you are looking for or press the 'back' button on your browser to return to the previously viewed page.

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