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hfhfd v Capital One

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I've decided to start a thread on my situation to make things easier for me and anyone who can help.

 

I am about to try to claim back charges from Capital One for a credit card account that went a few pounds (less than £10) over the limit but which, with their charges and interest the past couple of years, has transformed into a debt of several hundred pounds.

 

I stopped making payments to them a few months ago because the minimum payment had reached ridiculous levels way beyond what I could afford to pay.

 

Since then, they have hounded me without reply from me while I tried to work out how to proceed (I've not made much progress there, I'm afraid, overwhelmed by all the advice, often conflicting, that is floating around on the web). They cancelled my credit card account, which I hadn't used in over a year anyway.

 

Most recently I have heard from CapQuest giving 'the opportunity' to make a 'final payment' of more than a hundred less than they were previously chasing. Basically, without me doing anything, they have halved the fees that I calculate they've charged. If they paid the full amount of the fees, even without interest, my balance would be under control and within the limit. That seems encouraging to me as it's them saying, without actually saying it of course, that the amount they were previously chasing me for is not realistic or fair. However, I'm not going to fall for this bogus offer.

 

I just wonder if anyone could tell me how should I begin? I had started a letter requesting a refund of charges + compound interest, but I'm actually not sure who I owe the money to at present. The CapQuest letter ('LETTER BEFORE ACTION') says at the top:

 

'Our Client: Capital One Bank (Europe) Plc'

 

so I guess they're only acting on behalf of Capital One rather than having bought the debt, though that's only a guess. I've seen reference to CCA request letters and the like on here but never actually anything that tells me if that is what I should be doing or if it's relevant or what's its point is or when is an appropriate time to use it. I don't dispute that I owe them some money just not all this money. Or should I reply to the offer which, like I said, was sent without me doing anything other than ceasing all payments to them.

 

Any help and guidance would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Helen FHFD

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how old is the a/c?

give us its history

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Less than 6 years and after the OFT ruling. It only got into difficulty in 2009 and that is when the first charges were applied. So these are the 'lower' £12 charges.

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If you have a list of the charges then you can ask Capital One to pay them back to you. These would be all charges, those at £12 and those more than that amount.

 

If you do not have a full list of the charges, then you would need to do a SAR and pay £10 to Capital One for the priviledge.

 

Once you have them then list them in a spreadsheet and add the 8% stat interest and if you are feeling brave also add Contractual Interest as well.

 

Be prepared though Cap One are a tough nut to crack. My first letter went off a couple of weeks ago asking for nearly £4.7k of charges and interest back.

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Thank you, letsdothis. I have a full list of charges so can miss out the Subject Access Request, I think, which will save me £10.

 

I think I'm going to add the interest according to their high rates (30% and more) as these are what helped to put me in difficulty. Statutory interest is only £30 or so pounds. I've just typed in the charges on an interest calculator and with interest at their rate, I work out that they owe me a few pounds which I'm prepared to write off as a gesture of goodwill. :)

 

Good luck with your claim too! It's good to hear about others in the same boat.

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Hi

 

They will probably write back to you after your first letter saying they need x amount of time to look into your complaint. They did with me.

 

Then they will write back telling you that they believe the charges are fair, and offer you the difference for all those over £12 - ie so if you were charged £20 then they would offer the £8 back. All the charges are reclaimable, £12, £20 etc etc

 

You will have to play ping pong with letters, and eventually probably have to actually issue a court summons for the amount that you are claiming, as only then do they then seem to bottle it.

 

Here's a template I used and amended to suit my purpose.

 

Account Ref: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

 

I am writing to request that you repay all the late payment fees and/or over limit fees that have been applied to my account.

 

I do not believe the charges reflect the true cost to Capital One and are unfair and disproportionate. I am therefore requesting a refund based on the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

 

This is supported by the Office of Fair Trading’s April 2006 statement into credit card charges, which noted that the level of charges at the time, and prior to that period, were unfair.

 

I am already aware that after the OFT recommendations, Capital One reduced their charges to £12 however, I would remind you, that in the same OFT recommendations, the following is also mentioned :-

 

“We are not suggesting that default fees should be set at £12, and a court will certainly not consider that a default fee is fair just because it is below the threshold”. “We consider that a contract term is likely to be unfair if it requires consumers to pay more as a result of a default than the court would order them to pay if they were sued for breach of contract. This means that a default charge should not exceed a reasonable pre-estimate of the administrative costs that the consumer ought to have realised would be likely to be incurred by his or her card issuer in dealing with defaults”.

 

Therefore if you write back telling me that you are only going to repay the difference of anything over £12.00, in order for you to charge me £12.00, you must demonstrate to me that it costs Capital One £12.00 for late payments. I should warn you also that in any court claim I will ask for strict proof of this charging structure and ask for the court to order disclosure of this structure.

 

The charges total £amount, plus as I believe I have been unlawfully deprived of the money I have calculated £amount contractual interest which has been compounded at 22.05% this is the interest rate currently shown against my account, along with interest at the statutory rate, the amount the court will award.

 

I therefore ask that you repay me the full amount of £amount. I have attached a full schedule of the charges and interest with this document.

 

Additionally, you have also entered a default notice. This default occurred merely in respect of unlawful charges levied by you or was the result of impecuniosity caused directly by the taking by you of penalty charges, which you had applied unlawfully to my account.

 

In addition to full payment of the sum mentioned above, I require that you remove the default entry. Please note that mere correction or amendment to the default entry will not be acceptable.

 

Please repay this money in full and remove any default notice and late payments makers against my account, within 14 days.

 

If this deadline is not met, or you do not offer me the full amount I am asking, I shall again write to you, giving you a further 14 days to repay these monies, in the form of a Letter Before Action.

 

I look forward to a full response to this letter within 14 days.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

If it helps at all.

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That is brilliant, letsdothis, thank you! I had been thinking over dinner that I was going to anticipate the £12-OFT-ruling-palm-off reply from them in my first letter and seeing that you've done this has made up my mind. :)

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That is brilliant, letsdothis, thank you! I had been thinking over dinner that I was going to anticipate the £12-OFT-ruling-palm-off reply from them in my first letter and seeing that you've done this has made up my mind. :)

 

No worries, the reason I included that was to stop the generic response saying we would offer the difference.

 

Maybe that's why they wrote to me saying they need 4 weeks to respond, I caught them out, as they have no preformatted responses. :-D

 

Good luck with your claim.

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Thanks, letsdothis, haven't sent it yet. I was feeling very encouraged when I read what you wrote but now I am feeling generally baffled again and overwhelmed. I want to add details of my particular case/situation but these of course aren't in the standard letter templates and I'm having difficulty writing them plus I'm not sure if adding them undermines the reclaim or adds extra support. Also, not sure whether to sign the letter and other confusions. This whole thing is very depressing. Sigh...

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