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Ripped off by Bank Charges Claims Company!


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Hi there.

I am new to this forum and have found many of the threads and info provided both helpful and informative.

 

I do have a slightly different issue relating to the claiming of bank charges, which has been going on for some time now. Any advice would be greatfully received as we're totally confused about the best way forward!

 

BACKGROUND:

During 2007, when news of claiming bank charges came to light, one of my immediate family signed up to a bank charges claims company. The company in question had a professional website and furthermore is regulated by the Ministry of Justice (Claims regulation). A contract was signed enabling this company to act as agents in respect of the bank charges claiming procedures on behalf of the customer (my family member). This particular company charge a flat no win - no fee charge of £250 for services.

 

In October 2007, the owner of the afore mentioned claims company phoned to say that NatWest Bank had agreed an out of Court settlement of approx £1500. My family member was then asked to post the £250 fee and the settlement cheque would follow. The £250 fee was paid by me (as they had no money at the time) - but unfortunately the settlement cheque did not follow!

 

To cut a long story short - the claims company had periodically been emailed by us to enquire about the settlement cheque since October 2007. There have been various responses to include "ive lost the paperwork," "I'm really busy doing accounts at this time of year." etc etc etc. To be honest, because there was information in the media to suggest that banks had placed all cases 'on hold,' we assumed this was the case with this claim too.

 

In 2008, the Nat West went ahead and closed the bank account without notice and passed the overdraft debt to a debt collection agency. My family member was unemployed at the time and struggling financially - but was disappointed that the account had been closed as they had hoped if the bank charges claim had been paid out it would have gone towards paying off the overdraft with them.

 

2009 commenced and the above claims company continued to send out excuse after excuse as to why they hadn't been able to look in to this case! Feeling rather peeved that this company had taken the £250 fee under false pretences, our emails became more persistent. We also raised a complaint about the poor service with the Ministry of Justice.

 

A formal complaint letter was sent to the claims company - no response. Only an email to suggest that a written response was enroute!! - nothing!!

 

In June 2009, my family member made contact with Nat West bank to ask if the claims company had ever made a bank charges claim in 2007?

We were then ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED to discover that not only had the company made the claim as the 'agent' but the £1500 sum had been awarded in October 2007! Nat West confirmed that a settlement cheque had been sent to the claims company as the agents - AND HAD BEEN CASHED!! The bank were sympathetic but did confirm that as the claims company had been given our permission to act as an agent - there was nothing they could do to help!

 

I can not explain how angry we all felt. Obviously the Ministry of Justice were informed and are currently looking in to our complaint. We also rang the police, who confirmed that the actions of the claims company director (sole trader) consituted fraud. The police made contact with the company owner - who admitted his wrong doings on a recorded phone call!

 

Since this time, we have constant contact from the owner of the company - usually promising he has made us a payment - but never does! Also suggesting that we have to get the police and MOJ off his back if we want any money from him!!

 

CURRENT PREDICAMENT:

 

Any advice would be greatfully received please.

 

We are aware the Ministry of Justice are actively looking in to our complaint - but only have limited powers. ie) suspending the business which currently continues to operate.

 

We are also aware that a criminal conviction against this person will not guarantee any financial compensation - and have therefore asked that police action is put on hold.

 

I have become aware that the claims company owner has multiple debts / IVA / second charges etc and is looking at having his home re-possessed.

Is it therefore worth paying for a County / High Court civil claim against this person?

We are a bit confused about all of the enforcement type options available to the Court if he does not / can't pay?

 

Can anyone suggest any way / the best way forward please? Out of principle we don't want this man to get away with this - OR rip off any other unsuspecting innocent victims.

 

(My family member is now aware he should have taken advice on the internet and made the bank charges claim himself - but hindsight is a great thing!)

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Hi there.

I am new to this forum and have found many of the threads and info provided both helpful and informative.

 

I do have a slightly different issue relating to the claiming of bank charges, which has been going on for some time now. Any advice would be greatfully received as we're totally confused about the best way forward!

 

BACKGROUND:

During 2007, when news of claiming bank charges came to light, one of my immediate family signed up to a bank charges claims company. The company in question had a professional website and furthermore is regulated by the Ministry of Justice (Claims regulation). A contract was signed enabling this company to act as agents in respect of the bank charges claiming procedures on behalf of the customer (my family member). This particular company charge a flat no win - no fee charge of £250 for services.

 

In October 2007, the owner of the afore mentioned claims company phoned to say that NatWest Bank had agreed an out of Court settlement of approx £1500. My family member was then asked to post the £250 fee and the settlement cheque would follow. The £250 fee was paid by me (as they had no money at the time) - but unfortunately the settlement cheque did not follow!

 

To cut a long story short - the claims company had periodically been emailed by us to enquire about the settlement cheque since October 2007. There have been various responses to include "ive lost the paperwork," "I'm really busy doing accounts at this time of year." etc etc etc. To be honest, because there was information in the media to suggest that banks had placed all cases 'on hold,' we assumed this was the case with this claim too.

 

In 2008, the Nat West went ahead and closed the bank account without notice and passed the overdraft debt to a debt collection agency. My family member was unemployed at the time and struggling financially - but was disappointed that the account had been closed as they had hoped if the bank charges claim had been paid out it would have gone towards paying off the overdraft with them.

 

2009 commenced and the above claims company continued to send out excuse after excuse as to why they hadn't been able to look in to this case! Feeling rather peeved that this company had taken the £250 fee under false pretences, our emails became more persistent. We also raised a complaint about the poor service with the Ministry of Justice.

 

A formal complaint letter was sent to the claims company - no response. Only an email to suggest that a written response was enroute!! - nothing!!

 

In June 2009, my family member made contact with Nat West bank to ask if the claims company had ever made a bank charges claim in 2007?

We were then ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED to discover that not only had the company made the claim as the 'agent' but the £1500 sum had been awarded in October 2007! Nat West confirmed that a settlement cheque had been sent to the claims company as the agents - AND HAD BEEN CASHED!! The bank were sympathetic but did confirm that as the claims company had been given our permission to act as an agent - there was nothing they could do to help!

 

I can not explain how angry we all felt. Obviously the Ministry of Justice were informed and are currently looking in to our complaint. We also rang the police, who confirmed that the actions of the claims company director (sole trader) consituted fraud. The police made contact with the company owner - who admitted his wrong doings on a recorded phone call!

 

Since this time, we have constant contact from the owner of the company - usually promising he has made us a payment - but never does! Also suggesting that we have to get the police and MOJ off his back if we want any money from him!!

 

CURRENT PREDICAMENT:

 

Any advice would be greatfully received please.

 

We are aware the Ministry of Justice are actively looking in to our complaint - but only have limited powers. ie) suspending the business which currently continues to operate.

 

We are also aware that a criminal conviction against this person will not guarantee any financial compensation - and have therefore asked that police action is put on hold.

 

I have become aware that the claims company owner has multiple debts / IVA / second charges etc and is looking at having his home re-possessed.

Is it therefore worth paying for a County / High Court civil claim against this person?

We are a bit confused about all of the enforcement type options available to the Court if he does not / can't pay?

 

Can anyone suggest any way / the best way forward please? Out of principle we don't want this man to get away with this - OR rip off any other unsuspecting innocent victims.

 

(My family member is now aware he should have taken advice on the internet and made the bank charges claim himself - but hindsight is a great thing!)

 

Hi 9dart

 

Sorry to here about the issues, the company seems a right bunch of con artists, what I did pick up on is that the Bank closed tha account without a letter, i think that they have terminated the bank account incorrectly.

 

I would suggest giving a call to the FO or BO to see what they say. Hang in there, there are loads of Caggers who's knowledge is far more in this area than me.

 

and WELCOME

 

Trooper68

Trooper68:)

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Hi 9Dart

 

This is fraud and you should report the matter to the Police.

 

In parallel to a possible criminal action by the Police you will also have to initiate Civil action to recover the sums through the Court.

 

You should undertake an SAR on both bank and the company who have your money. You need to collect as much evidence as possible.

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Hi 9dart

 

Sorry to here about the issues, the company seems a right bunch of con artists, what I did pick up on is that the Bank closed tha account without a letter, i think that they have terminated the bank account incorrectly.

 

I would suggest giving a call to the FO or BO to see what they say. Hang in there, there are loads of Caggers who's knowledge is far more in this area than me.

 

and WELCOME

 

Trooper68

 

 

Hi Trooper68,

Thankyou very much for your reply.

We made two online complaints to the Natwest regarding the manner in which they closed the account - as my family member made endless calls to them to advise of his unemployment at the time - which they acknowledged at the time and said they would send out paperwork regarding his outgoings etc. Nothing was sent out and as previously mentioned a letter from MCN financial turned up one day to collect the overdraft debt. (Which is being paid monthly at an agreed amount)

However - I wonder whether the bank were slightly peeved knowing they had paid out the bank charges money and it hadn't been used to clear some of the debt! Unfortunately though - we didn't get the bank charges money either!

Natwest did not respond to either of the online complaints made. We have been more pre-occupied with the bank chanrges money - but I may well send an offical written letter to NatWest at some point also.

Thank you

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Hi 9Dart

 

This is fraud and you should report the matter to the Police.

 

In parallel to a possible criminal action by the Police you will also have to initiate Civil action to recover the sums through the Court.

 

You should undertake an SAR on both bank and the company who have your money. You need to collect as much evidence as possible.

 

 

Hi Monty2007.

 

Thank you for your advice also.

I have received a call from the MOJ this morning in fact. The bank charges company owner has been given until the end of today to repay the monies owed or they intend to take action their end in respect of his ongoing business. (To ensure other people do not experience the same issue).

As previously mentioned the police are already aware and are waiting for the MOJ to advise of their course of action. I guess by the end of today we will know whether criminal proceedings will be ensued?

 

You mentioned we would need to make a civil claim in respect of the money. Are you able to advise what the difference between a High Court of County Court claim is please?

 

We do have quite a bit of evidence ie) bank statements with cashed cheque, Natwest cheque no and date, copies of letters, emails etc...

 

Thank you once agin

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You should first send this company a letter before action. You can find a template on the this site, just amend it to suit your needs, or even post the draft here so people can comment etc.

Give them 14 days or so to make the payment, then go ahead and make the claim.

You''l be going through the small claims service, so check out the link here:- Small claims.

Dont worry if this company try to defend, theyve had your money long enough, print off your e-mails as evidence of you contacting them.

 

I'm not sure whether you could claim interest, but I would like to think the Judge would order a slightly higher payment due to the distress this has caused.

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7 days for an LBA and yes add 8% stat interest PF

If I have been of help to you please feel free to click my scales to the left Thanks.:)

I have no legal training and the advice I offer is what I have learnt here and offered as a matter of support. Before you commit to any Legal action you are advised to contact a qualified legal practitioner.

 

Finally if you succeed with your claim please consider a donation to consumer action group as those donations keep this site alive.

 

CARTER V Co-Op

BANK CHARGES

REFUNDED £3567

 

POMPEYFAITH V Co-Op PPI

OFFER MADE BUT REFUSED

ONGOING AND STILL ONGOING

NOW WITH THE OMBUDSMAN

 

R.I.P BOB aka ROOSTER-UK you have always been a Gent on these boards and you will be remembered for that.

 

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Hi Trooper68,

Thankyou very much for your reply.

We made two online complaints to the Natwest regarding the manner in which they closed the account - as my family member made endless calls to them to advise of his unemployment at the time - which they acknowledged at the time and said they would send out paperwork regarding his outgoings etc. Nothing was sent out and as previously mentioned a letter from MCN financial turned up one day to collect the overdraft debt. (Which is being paid monthly at an agreed amount)

However - I wonder whether the bank were slightly peeved knowing they had paid out the bank charges money and it hadn't been used to clear some of the debt! Unfortunately though - we didn't get the bank charges money either!

Natwest did not respond to either of the online complaints made. We have been more pre-occupied with the bank chanrges money - but I may well send an offical written letter to NatWest at some point also.

Thank you

 

Hi 9Dart

 

The Bank charge issue is a common one, they have been seen to close the accounts and demand monies owing, however this is against banking and finance codes if its not done right. I would always recommend opening a parachute account with another bank before claiming, just in case. If your family member had JSA or SS paid into that account and was closed by the bank, i'm afraid they are up the creek (the bank), he/she may have a case as the goverment passed an act if i remember correctly to stop the banks taking out monies from JSA/SS, but you may want to speak to the CAB on this first.

 

FYI don't ring the bank, you will be wasting time, letters only, you want a paper trail, it will be a lot helpful if it went to court. Don't be put off they will try to wriggle of the hook. As another Cagger stated SAR both parties, you will be suprised what falls out.

 

Trooper68

Trooper68:)

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