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Heppy

Nationwide Froze my Account to Pay for outstanding charges on an Old Account .

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I have a Nationwide account which I use and keep going just for paying bills etc and also for use abroad .

Yesterday went to a cashpoint and my card was impounded .

I tel Nationwide immediately as I knew that I had sufficient funds in the account . Going through all of the security questions , I was aked how many accounts I had , my response was one . The person on the other end then decided to transfer me to ''another dept'' which I held on for 15 mins and then put the phone down.

So this morning I went into my branch to be told that I have 2 accounts , and that my account has been froze as there is an outstanding amount on the 2nd account . It transpires that this other account was an account that I was under the impression was ceased a long time ago , when I split with my partner for a while as it was in joint names . If I remember correctly it went into the red as charges were added because a DD was applied for before its due date and the salary had not been payed in until its due date .

Anyway I am sure that it is all charges that are on the account .But I was assured by a branch member who is no longer there who I took the matter up with over 5years ago that the charges would be dropped , it now seems to appear that this has not happened .

They have actually froze over and above the amount that they say is outstanding on the other account and I cannot access any of the remaining money , thereby putting me into hardship over the weekend as the collections team who I am told I need to deal with are not available until Monday.

They also appear only to have targetted me for the recovery of this amount and not my partner .

Can anyone offer any advice as to my next move please

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Get an account opened with a bank not connected to Nationwide, furthermore write a letter and state that the account from 5 years ago(and be very precise) was due to have charges refunded and the account closed, right?

Ask them to do as they should have done 5 years ago and to give you your money back.


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FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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I quite agree it doesn't seem to add up that they did bugger all for five years then took action. I would assume it would be best practice to try to contact the person prior to taking this sort of action. Given that you had an active account this wouldn't have been difficult.

 

Kick up a fuss, make reference to the FOS if needs be that should get it in front of someone with authority. It costs them severel hundred pounds for every complaint made to FOS so with something like this its probably cheaper for them to just sort it out.

 

Don't mention the costs of the FOS.

 

I'd just send a brisk letter, in addition to any phone calls you make (as it is urgent) pointing out that you were assured this matter was resolved five years ago. Mention the person you spoke to, its not your fault they are not there, and point out that you've had no contact about the matter and if you had it would've been sorted out.

 

That should do for starters...


The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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After posting this morning , a letter , obviously computer generated arrived , dated 4 August 09 , Again addresses ed to both myself and my partner .

sent by UK Mail , S postage so time was not of the essence when it was posted . As it looks as if they wanted the letter to arive AFTER they had froze the account .

I quote from thie correspondence ,

Despite previous attempts to contact you , Ive had no acceptable payment proposals to re-pay the outstanding balance on your FlexAccount.

 

Due to this unpaid balance , I've frozen your FlexAccount.

 

This may result in Direct debits or standing orders set up from your FlexAccount not being honoured .

 

Please pay the outstanding balance in full within the next 14 days . If you dont I'll transfer the frozen funds from your FlexAccount to reduce this debt without further reference to you .

 

Please call the above number if you have any queries.

 

Yours sincerely

un decipherable squiggle name

 

Unsecured Debt Recovery .

un quote .

 

I most certainly have an issue with the language of this letter . Who is the ''I'' as I am under the impression that the Nationwide is supposed to be a ''we'' .

 

Again they have targeted me , yet have made no reference to my partners account .

 

One of the staff in the branch today told that it was written into the terms and conditions of the society that they are allowed to do this .Im wondering if this is so as this account was taken out about 22 years ago principally to pay the mortgage that we had with them , although the mortgage is long gone .

 

One of my arguments is that why have they froze ALL of my money , why not just the amount that they are saying is owed on the other account .

They have caused me hardship by doing this and yesterday I was left stranded with my 5 grandchildren ,because of my inability to buy petrol to get home .

Edited by Heppy

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I heard NW are still stinging customers £30 a time, lets hope they get hit the hardest when the flood gates open lol! Bunch of cr$$ks and daylight r$bberzs!!

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If the old account was in joint names then the account they have just frozen must be in joint names too for the funds to be offset. Similarly if the old account was just in your name then they cannot lawfully offset funds from a joint account


You may receive different advice to your query as people have different experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement in deciding whose advice to take.

 

If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional. Any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability.

 

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court bundles for dummies

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The account that they have frozen is in my name only . The account where they are saying there is a debt is in joint names . Are you saying that what they have done is unlawful.

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4 + 14 is 18, so they've done the opposite of thier own letter, also they cannot have made much effort to contact you since you were a customer with another active account and you knew nothing about it.

 

"The account that they have frozen is in my name only . The account where they are saying there is a debt is in joint names . Are you saying that what they have done is unlawful."

 

Quite the reverse, with a joint account or loan, both parties are jointly and severally liable which means they can pursue both of you for the full balance. In thier eyes and the eyes of the law they want to be paid and its a third party dispute as regards who owes what.

 

There is a right of set off which means they can use an amount in another account against a debt on another account, however I am not well up ont his area. I know of its existance and hopefully others can advise what the rules are with regards to the names etc.

 

Fortunately there are at least two avenues you can persue here if no such answers are forthcoming:

 

1. Thier procedures seem to be lacking given this is the first you have heard of this, and the letter makes reference to 14 days yet they've frozen the account anyway.

 

2. You took steps to resolve this sometime ago, I would definately pursue this with a complaint, moreso that the issues with thier (seemingly non-existent) attempts to contact you because this caused the problem.

 

As regards them freezing the whole account it does seem heavy handed for the reasons I've previously given, I believe they do this to get your attention but it should only ever be a last resort. Thier systems aren't the best so they may not have had a facility to simply limit transactions on the account or 'freeze' the amount they claim you owe.

 

Surely if they could find you to send the letter you recieved they could've sent others asking you to contact them... This is really not on to put it mildly.


The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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Thanks for your replies , before I make contact with them this morning would it be worth making a call to the FSO ,to log this with them. One other thing I forgot my current mortgage is now due and with the account being frozen I will now go into arrears , (BARCLAYS) , so should they refuse to un freeze the account I will have no access to my funds and could potentially be in a lot of bother .

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Have finally managed to get in touch with the Nationwide , what an obnoxious bunch they are .

The woman I spoke to ,was adamant that I had to pay the £381 .86 saying that I knew that I owed it. I asked her what the debt was for and she replied that she didnt have to tell me , it was an outstanding amount on an account .

I asked politely at this point , for them to send me proof of the debt ,again she said they didnt have to , I had to prove that I didnt owe it .?? How can I possibly do that after all this time , when Ive been under the illusion that this account was closed .

She admitted that I had been into a branch years ago to sort this out , but again wouldnt accept the fact that on that occasion I had closed the account,even though there has been no activity on the account ,only the charges that they have put on it.

She also said that the debt had been passed to a debt collection agency who had passed it back to them as they saw that I had another account with funds in after them not being successful contacting me .

I asked why when they knew that I had another account that they had never put a note on the account to speak to me when I went into a branch .

She also said that they had spoken to me in 2003 , to be honest I cant recall ever speaking to them about it in 2003 as the account must have been closed by then ..

One other thing she said was that the account had been frozen on the 4th Aug , which is the date that was on the letter I received on the 9th.

So basically they had already taken action before allowing me to refute any debt.

I have contacted the FOC who is writing to them , but it can take up to 8 weeks and I am now in a pretty poor position as regards being able to pay my mortgage etc .

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Just out of interest is there any point in me starting a counter claim for unfair charges and sending a SARS or is it too late ?

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"I asked her what the debt was for and she replied that she didnt have to tell me , it was an outstanding amount on an account ."

 

Typical collections muppet, I had a dispute with a Utility company and they said I had to prove I didn't take out the contract. This is just as much non-sense as what Nationwide have told you.

 

If they took you to court, which is thier ultimate threat, they would have to prove the debt they claim exists, and it wouldn't be seen as reasonable that they witheld this information from you.

 

I have a few more questions

 

Where have the statements been going notifying of the charges?

 

How long is it since you recieved any information in relation to this account?

 

Have you spoken to someone from customer services and raised a formal complaint in relation to thier handling of this matter? You'll need to have done this if you plan to go to the FOS.

 

Personally I'd be tempted to speak to the branch manager to try to alleviate the current situation pointing out that, not only will you dispute the charges because you believe they are unlawful, you will also claim any charges incurred as a result of this (ie missed payments for mortgage and other regular payments). Also point out your earlier visit, and your understandting was that the account was closed.

 

"She also said that the debt had been passed to a debt collection agency who had passed it back to them as they saw that I had another account with funds in after them not being successful contacting me ."

 

The above doesn't make Nationwide seem very astute, why couldn't they simply send a letter with the old account details on asking that you urgently contact them...

 

Can anyone advise re the off-set thing? Are they actually allowed to do what they have done?

 

Now here is what I think happened, when you went to the branch I think somebody may have tried to close the account but there was a charge pending, so it wouldn't have let them close it. They should have advised you of this.

 

This is what caused the charges and interest to go into overdrive.

 

The FOS are slow, so really you are campaigning on two fronts, getting hold of someone in authority at Nationwide to get you access to YOUR money, and getting the 'debt' resolved once and for all.

 

The statement issue is potentially important, have they been sending your info to someone else? When you go into the branch why doesn't this old account show up, do you have two totally different customer id's?

 

Lots to think about but I'd be firm on this their collections processes seem deplorable and inept, you shouldn't suffer because of this.


The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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I would send them a SARS for all accounts you have held with them. You can still claim against them unless they wipe all charges ever added. Can't offer you any more advise unfortunately.

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The whole situation is somewhat absurd the 'debt' is thier doing and, with the ammo provided above, I would've thought it'll cost them more to try and stand thier ground on this one. Let us know how you are getting on if/when you hear anything.


The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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