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Drop In Income and Credit Card Debts

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I, like others have found myself in the situation that having been made redundant I have now managed to find another job, but have had to take a significant reduction in pay - around 30%. At least I have a job though.

 

The issues which I have are twofold. Most pressing is that despite cutting back on just about everything there is a shortfall of around £400 a month after everything is paid, and this has now used up any savings we had. The only other thing to attack would appear to be credit card debts, built up some time ago, but which we were paying off steadily before I was made redundant, and which we have struggled to do since my new job started. In total we are paying around £450 a month, so I am hoping to approach the card companies we are paying most to and ask to make token payments and hope that they freeze interest and charges (each has been steadily adding late payment charges over the last few months as I have only been able to pay when I get paid so this is often a few days late. What response am I likely to get? Barclaycard have already been an absolute pain over the late payments and arrears, making upwards of 100 phone calls and refusing to stop despite me telling them that I am not in during the day, but their calls are disturbing my wife's sleep as she works shifts and needs to rest (they said that they are not obliged to stop as it is impractical to have letters going back and forth - I have registered a formal complaint for harassment but still they are calling even while this is 'investigated'). Annoying thing is that the arrears were largely of their making as they reduced my credit limit to the balance then hit the account with a late payment charge then more charges for being overlimit!

 

The second point is that my accounts with B/Card, Citi and Cap One have PPI on them. I considered going for a refund many months ago, but then when things started to get shaky at work I kept up the payments thinking this would be more worthwhile when I got made redundant. When I tried to claim on the PPI though, Barclaycard 'forgot' to send me a claim form until I was actually back in work, and when I did eventually receive details it turned out that I have been paying for all these years for a 'Payment Break Plan' which would allow me to freeze the balance and interest until back in work, not something as I believed which would maintain payments whilst unemployed. I distinctly remember not only that I was told when taking out the card that the cover would keep up payments should I become unemployed, but also that the application would be more favourably looked at if I agreed to the insurance. On that basis surely I would have a good case for a refund of premiums plus contractual interest?

 

For the PPI on the Cap One they also did not come back to me until I was just about to restart work (I was unemployed for three months) and then told me I had to contact AXA to make a claim (funny as I dealt with Cap One, and it was to them I paid the money so why the need to contact AXA myself?). When I phoned to enquire about making a claim I was told that it would be ineligible as I wasn't claiming benefits! As for Citibank, I never received a response at all. Claims are therefore going to be made to all three companies on the basis of mis-selling, but where will I stand if I am (as is inevitable) in default whilst the claim is batted back and forth?

 

Sorry for the long-winded post but the whole thing is getting me down! I appreciate that the PPI part is best answered in the PPI Forum, so will post much of the above there as a separate thread, but can anybody offer some advice on the situation as a whole?

 

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Sounds like you could have a case for claiming back money plus interest if the PPI has been mis-sold, keep pressing on the credit card charges and for reduced payments. Another way of making savings is to switch utility companies, sites such as Martin Lewis.com are good for searching for the best deals, good luck and keep us posted.

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Best if you send a) a Subject Access Request to get all the personal info on your accounts and b) request a copy of your agreements under CCA s78 - see the templates in the library.

 

That way you will know where you stand. It may be that your agreement is unenforceable. Also if you are going to claim for PPI misselling you would need the statements provided through an SAR to find out how much they've been charging you.

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