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BlindJP vs Abbey vs Financial Ombudsman - HELP!

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OK Folks I would appreciate any advice that can be given on this one.

Way back in the good old days of people getting their charges back I put a claim in for mine against the Abbey, the total was then around 6.5K inc interest. At the same time (within around 10 days) of this the Abbey withdrew my overdraft saying it wasn't being managed correctly. I work on Oil Rigs and at the time it was very difficult to speak to anybody at a bank or even to monitor my balance as phone calls were limited to 10 mins with an auto cut off and internet wasnt always available onboard. Thus I incurred a fair few charges. I was advised to put the 1600 overdraft that had been withdrawn into dispute as I was claiming such a larger amount through the courts. This I duly did.

Posted guaranteed signed for delivery, all in order etc etc. So far so good.

A while later while trying to get a mortgage I was informed that I had a defaulted account on my credit file that would basically prevent me from getting any credit but they could tell me who what or why.

I went to credit expert.com to find out as much as I could and lo and behold the default was from Abbey! Issued AFTER I had written to them to put the account into dispute. I tried in vain to get hold of somebody at the Abbey but as I officially no longer had an account with them they simply refused to deal with me, in any way shape or form. So I went to the Ombudsman to complain and to try to get the default removed.

This was over two years ago and since then the Abbey have sent their debt collectors in three times. Each time I have simply informed them that the account was in dispute, sent a letter confirming this and that was that.

I informed the ombudsman who told me they should NOT be doing this on a disputed account and to forward the details to him. Which again I did.

Then, last week I received a phone call from them to say that they had still heard nothing from the Abbey as they had requested and as the deadline was the following day it was going to be escalated further.

Three days later I had another phone call to say that the Ombudsman dealing with this saying that he had just received a pile of info from the Abbey (yes, after his deadline) that he now HAD to take into account.

This week I receive a letter from the ombudsman saying that he had reviewed the case notes including telephone call transcriptions, letters etc and that although Abbey could produce all this information but somehow could NOT produce any form of the actual letter they allegedly sent to me informing me that they were putting my account into default and, due to the fact (unbeknownst to me) Abbey did not and had never recognised my request for the account to be put into default he was finding in their favour as he believed and I quote from the conversation I had with him today "in my opinion they probably sent the letter even though you didnt get it" he has found in their favour!

When I asked him how he came to this decision he simply said "its my opinion".

When I asked him if it was standard practice for banks to simply refuse to recognise a customers request without informing them and basically ignoring them where does that leave the consumer, as if this is the case it gives the Banks carte blanche to do anything they feel like (yes I know they do anyway!) , the Abbey is saying "they dont recognise the dispute" no letters informing me of this, nothing, not 2 years ago not since, nothing! and to cap it all off, when I asked him if he thought it was right that the Abbey can give him EVERYTHING he asked for EXCEPT a copy of the letter they claim they sent which is the most important piece of 'evidence', that it's right he finds in their favour?

I said, "do you think that a court of law would go along with that?.. "Your honour I have all the information you requested EXCEPT the main piece of information that proves they are not at fault" It would get laughed out of court." To which his reply was "well this isnt a court, this is based on my opinion"

I resisted the urge at this point to beat the phone repeatedly on the table!

He got quite short and simply told me that we were obviously at an impasse and he would escalate it further as I wasn't happy with the decision! and that was that!


When I did a very, and I mean VERY quick search to find out where I stood I found a wealth of information stating that its a breach of the banking code for the Abbey to default a disputed account and again a breach of the banking code for them to say they dont recognise my dispute.


The ombudsman is apparently escalating this, not that I have much hope there, lets face it, the court case turned into a debacle and now all of us with stayed cases are screwed as we cant afford to fight a risky court case that we are not guaranteed in winning, and if we lost the banks are going for full costs and with our money funding them their pockets are so much deeper than ours!


As I said, I'm keen to find out where I can go from here. The Abbey have deliberately ruined my credit, making me unable to get a mortgage or any other credit!


Since we lost the case and I have also just received a letter from the Abbey saying they are applying for a blanket lifting on stays now the case has gone in their favour with a whole load of legalese I didn't fully understand. Im resigned to the fact that I will have to repay them the disputed sum, but the case is still that they defaulted a disputed account without informing me!


If anyone has any ideas of where to go, what to do I would very much appreciate it.



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I think you've been speaking to an adjudicator and he's escalating it to the Ombudsman for review - because I don't think the Ombudsman can escalate it - could be wrong there.


He should have given you another two weeks to supply any further info or arguments for your case - you may want to consider writing the whole thing very simply including the breaches of the Banking Code, refusal to acknowledge your account was in dispute (what did they think it was - on a fishing trip???) and anything else that's very pertinent.


I'd also talk to the OFT anyway because these are not about the lost case of last year, these are about existing practices and breaches of the Banking Code.


For what it's worth, Santander have lost loads of information during the take-over from Abbey - they've messed up big time with their data, it's just never going to be known by how much.

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Hi Superheroes,


Another case where the FOS seem, unfairly, to find in favour of the bank. :mad:


Sticking to the important points, do you have a copy of your letter to the bank placing the further £1600 o/d in dispute. and did the FOS see your copy of this letter.


Was the £1,600 o/d made up purely from bank charges or where there other transactions in the o/d total.


What was the date of your dispute letter.


What date is the bank supposed to have sent you their Default letter.


If the FOS are now treating your case as a continuing complaint, you'll have to await their higher adjudication which can take ages.


In the meantime, you should put in writing to the FOS that you are not happy with the initial finding, that your complaint is not upheld, and you want the case reviewed by an adjudicator.


I would also make say:-


1. It is odd that the bank's pivotal document is missing.


2. Even if we accept that the bank could have sent the default warning, why was it sent at all when your letter had already placed the o/d in dispute because of the large amount you were reclaiming in charges.



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Hi all,

had a very similar case with the ombudsman for the past year.


I have to say that it has been a complete waste of my time.


Egg registered 2 defaults against me, could not produce any evidence that they had sent them, messed up all the paperwork even ADMITTING that they may have sent them to a wrong address.


FSA still ruled in their favour saying Egg acted in good faith! Absolute quality.


Having also dealt with the FSA on other occasions I have yet to see/ hear of them ever ruling in favour of the customer, as in my opionion they are scared of the banks.


Oh yes - and why is it this country is in such a financial mess.........




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