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perfectstranger

HIP Packs - Rip Off Charges -Help needed

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Well I'm not sure where to begin with this so here goes....

 

August last year (2008) I decided to put my house on the market, was given all the spiel by estate agent ---oh yes we know the market is slow but we think we can achieve a sale and in a reasonable amount of time...

So they recommended a HIP through a company they use....which I agreed to on a deferred payment basis ie the charges becoming due 12 months later (which would be end of August 2009).

 

Since taking this out my relationship has ended so I am now a one income household, have fought off repossession, repaid council tax arrears and suffered severe financial hardship as a result. I have written to the HIP company stating that I am unable to pay the £430 in one go and offering £100 per month starting August (which is leaving me broke but I considered this debt a higher priority than credit card debts).

 

Yesterday I received a telephone call from a very rude man at the said company saying they have received my letter - and would agree to the £100 per month but to do this there would be an additional charge of £85!! When I explained that this additional charge wouldn't help as I was already experiencing financial hardship he basically said well tough - if you dont agree to that then we will debit the full amount anyway from the debit card you gave us when you took out the HIP.

 

I'm wondering what my rights are if any on this, I'm not refusing to pay, naturally if I had the money I would but feel that both his attitude and the additional £85 charge are unfair and disproportionate.

 

Help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I just dont see how the £85 additional charge can be justified?

 

Thanks so much

PS

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Did you recieve the hips pack?

 

Also if you gave him your debit card details tell the bank you have lost your and you want a new one, that way he can take the money, also did you aks him for a breakdown of the £85 charge, seems a bit excessive


PGH7447

 

 

Getting There Slowly

---------

 

Advice is given freely but is in no way meant to be taken as Gospel:-)

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Don't lie. Say you cannot find your card and are concerned about it - ask for it to be cancelled and a replacement sent. You may haave it, you may not. Do also remember NEVER give out your debit card number to anyone as this situation is not uncommon (one of the reasons many firms just don't want cheques).

 

Irrwspective of whether you recieved the HIP pack, the debt will be due as you instructed them, but to charge £85 this would have to be made known to you in your original agreement for the supply of the pack. If it is there, you'll be hard pressed to avoid it.

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If they wish to charge £85 to allow payment by 5 instalments, do they not need a Consumer Credit Licence?

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Hi All

 

Thanks for that advice which I hadn't considered about replacing my bank card. I'll also dig out the agreement as I'm sure it doesn't mention anything about £85 there. To be honest if they said it was for example £20 to £25 I would have thought well fair enough, but the £85 just seems so excessive. Plus he was quite menacing on the phone saying they will take the money anyway, I felt very vulnerable and then upset.

I'll dig the HIP details out now and report back later.

 

Thanks again to everyone for lending their thoughts and support,

 

PS

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Righto, I have the paperwork infront of me now and it is very interesting to say the least - amount for HIP £446.50 (agreed).

 

However, it then goes on to say the following:

 

Please be aware that in the event you cancel your direct debit mandate before the funding has been repaid in full that the total amount of funding outstanding including a default fee of £25 will become immediately due.

 

The following fees may apply:

 

Late payment/default fee of £25

A Mid term adjustment fee of £10 (should additional funding be required)

 

So, it would seem if I am correct that their £85 fee isn't in line with what they are quoting. I am more than happy to pay the £25 as I believe that to be fair.

 

Thoughts anyone please?

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Another thought I just had was - would it be wise to involve perhaps the Financial Ombudsman Service to see if they can offer any assistance with the charges?

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ok to update quickly, I have sent a letter to the Financial Ombudsman who agreed that if the £85 charge was not given then they will take it up as a case. Also have sent the 1st instalment to the HIP company involved stating in my letter that I will pay the £25 fee on top of the HIP costs and as it wasn't mentioned in their contract then clearly I must have been misinformed by their advisor :)

Will have to wait and see now I guess.

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You always need to go to the source material to find out what your commitments are. As for the FSA/FO, they take months to review complaints, so you may do better challenging the outfit to justify the complaint saying you agreed to be bound by the terms mutually agreed - not their additional fees which appear to be wholly unreasonable.

 

Basically, you are asking them to put up or shut up. So let them make the first move.

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