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Wife in debt due to fraud on her account...pls help!

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Approximately 2002 fraud commited on my wifes account in which a very hefty amount of money was overdrawn from her account. As a result the police were involved but they were unable to catch the criminal. The bank made her liable to pay this money back and she therefore has been reluctantly paying a small token sum every month for the last few years (this was after advice sought from CAB etc). However until recently she is refusing to pay the money as the debt collectors keep harrasing her to increase the monthly payments.

 

As a result she is now ignoring a constant stream of letters and phone calls from Rockwell debt collectors.

 

a) Is she liable to pay this money?

b) What can these debt collectors do?

c) Do they have any powers...more specifically the power to contact her employers and get money off her that way?

 

 

I would be extremely grateful if someone can help?

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Hi, and welcome.

 

Firstly, do not let all of the threats get to you because that is all they are, mindless threats in the hope of getting you/your wife to pay up.

 

Being as how the police were involved, it is surprising that your wife is expected to pay this money back.

 

My own opinion would be for your wife to change banks and make them prove she owes the money, before paying another penny to them.

 

As this was an overdraft we cannot do a CCA request, but the first thing to do is to make sure that Rockwell have the right to collect and to this end you can send what we call the 'prove it' letter with a paragraph added for the telephone harrassment:

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

You have contacted me/us regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself/ourselves.

 

I/we would point out that I/we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to (insert company name).

 

I am/we are familiar with the CPUTR 2008 and the Office of Fair Trading's Guidance on debt collectionlink3.gif, which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I/we would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. AND in not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

 

I/we would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my/our liability for the debt in question.

 

I/we await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to Trading Standards and also inform the Office Of Fair Trading of your actions.

 

I/we look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully

Re: Harassment by telephone

 

ACCOUNT NUMBER: XXXX

Dear Sirs

I am writing in relation to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

I have verbally requested that these stop, but I am still receiving calls. (Delete if necessary)

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

I am of the view that your continued harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

Be advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded. (**Even if you don‘t yet have recording equipment!!**)

Yours faithfully,

[NAME HERE]

 

Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act

“S40 Punishment for unlawful harassment of debtors.

A person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under a contract he- harasses the other with demands for payment which, in respect of their frequency, or the manner or occasion of making any such demand, or of any threat or publicity by which any demand is accompanied, are calculated to subject him or members of his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation; falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it; falsely represents himself to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment; or utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character, or purporting to have some official character which he know it has not.

A person may be guilty of an offence by virtue of sub-section (1) (a) above if he concerts with others in the taking of such actions as is described in that paragraph, notwithstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment.”

 

Do not worry about an Attachment of Earning yet, there is a long way to go before then.

Others may have differing suggestions, but that is my advice for now, and then when you get a response we will take it from there one step at a time.

 

 


Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Which bank is this with? May well be worth also getting one of the mods to move your threads to the banks relevant section to see if there's any expert advice on offer.

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if the police were involved and it was clear that a fraud had taken place, then she should not be made liable imo.

a complaint to the bank may be a start. if poss, a copy of the police report confirming the fraud may be useful.


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Hi, and welcome.

 

Firstly, do not let all of the threats get to you because that is all they are, mindless threats in the hope of getting you/your wife to pay up.

 

Being as how the police were involved, it is surprising that your wife is expected to pay this money back.

 

My own opinion would be for your wife to change banks and make them prove she owes the money, before paying another penny to them.

 

As this was an overdraft we cannot do a CCA request, but the first thing to do is to make sure that Rockwell have the right to collect and to this end you can send what we call the 'prove it' letter with a paragraph added for the telephone harrassment:

 

....

 

Do not worry about an Attachment of Earning yet, there is a long way to go before then.

 

Others may have differing suggestions, but that is my advice for now, and then when you get a response we will take it from there one step at a time.

 

Hello and thank you so much for your reply.

 

I don't quite understand what a CCA request is (what does CCA mean?)...This wasn't due to an overdraft but rather fraud where a large quantity of money (which she didn't have in the first place) was taken

from her account. She was told that as the bank account was in her name she is responsible for her account and therefore she is liable to pay the money - which she never had in the first place.

 

She has already changed accounts and closed that account.

 

I'm not too sure what a 'prove it' letter will do as they may come back with saying that the sort code and account number was in her name and demand she pays the money. However, no contract or forms were signed with the bank insisting she pays money (apart from the usual terms and conditions etc when opening an account)

 

So what is the procedure - what can they do? So far she has just been ignoring the calls and not respnding to letters. I am concerned they may contact her employer with a view to taking money that way. What legal action can they take as they have stated in the recent letter to contact their 'pre-legal' department?

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It was HSBC bank.

 

Is there anyway in which we can request all the police files regarding this matter and will they still have this in their records bearing in mind it all happened in approx 2002?

 

I understand her solicitors at the time may also have records... could we request notes from them?

 

Is there any point in trying to argue this whole case again/ is it possible?

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Their pre-legal department is similar to pre-school departments operated by many of these companies. These pre-departments (for they have pre-legal depts, pre-litigation, pre-court depts, pre-home visit depts, pre-mature {sorry fruedian slip}, etc.), are usually operated from the next desk, although i beleive some DCAs may even have partitions between the pre- departments.

 

They may try to contact her at work, although this is against the guidelines and should be reported, but do not worry there is now way they could get money from her employer.

 

I would be inclined to send the DCA the crime number you have from the police.

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Personally, I would argue this until the cows came home, it was investigated by the Police as fraud, which undoubtedley had a crime reference number, and whether the bank agreed or not, she shouldn't be paying them anything.

 

Stop the payments, there is nothing they can do, as it wasn't your wife who committed the offence, tell HSBC you want to go to court and have the Judge decide in your favour that it's the banks loss.

 

You could send them this;

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/resources/templates-library/86-debt-collectors/573-general-debt-letter-if-you-know-nothing-of-the-debt

 

And each and every time they reply, send them another.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Personally I would also think about getting the money you have paid refunded.

How has this been allowed to happen, unless deliberate actions by your wife were responsible for this fraud then it is not her responsibility.

Maybe a chat with the FOS could help resolve this.


I have no legal training, any knowledge I have has come from this forum, and my own experiences. Always balance up any advice you get with your own common sense.

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The 'prove it' letter, is to confirm whether or not the account is being chased on behalf of HSBC or whether it has been sold to the DCA.

 

So who allowed the money to be taken from the account even though it was not there? This will be HSBC so 'they' are the party that caused the action, not your wife. I think this does need looking into, especially as you have A Crime Number.

 

CCA is Consumer Credit Account as in Credit Cards, Loans etc.


Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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I'm sure there would have been something in the T&C's at the time of opening the account that would make mention of what happens if a fraud is committed unknowingly.

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unfortunately an overdraft is not covered by a cca consumer credit agreement, and will not have one.

what i would do, i would go to a private investigator who deals in fraud and tell them the police number and bank and everything, as it needs fully investigating.


:p[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

totiesquoties

 

MY ADVICE IS BASED ON COMMON SENSE AND KNOWLEDGE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I AM NOT LEGALLY TRAINED, AND ALWAYS CHECK LEGAL ISSUES EITHER WITH A LEGAL PERSON, OR

THE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION. :rolleyes:

IF I HAVE HELPED, PLEASE PRESS MY STAR, THANK YOU.:lol:

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unfortunately an overdraft is not covered by a cca consumer credit agreement, and will not have one.

what i would do, i would go to a private investigator who deals in fraud and tell them the police number and bank and everything, as it needs fully investigating.

 

No one has mentioned requesting a CCA,

 

£250 a day for a private investigator, Great idea, go to the Ombudsmen and let them investigate it, FREE.


I have no legal training, any knowledge I have has come from this forum, and my own experiences. Always balance up any advice you get with your own common sense.

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It isn't an overdraft anyhow, it is clear cut fraud that the bank allowed to happen.

 

I still stand by my first thought, stop any payment to them, and instruct them to go to court where a Judge will decide, in your favour, that this is the banks loss.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Another thought, is it possible to find out where the money was taken from? You could then try and prove that you weren't there at that time.

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The bank should have done all that along with the Police, I fail to see why the OP should have to prove her innocence, it's a simple case of fraud, of which the bank shouldn't even be requesting payment off the victim.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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It was HSBC bank.

 

Is there anyway in which we can request all the police files regarding this matter and will they still have this in their records bearing in mind it all happened in approx 2002?

 

I understand her solicitors at the time may also have records... could we request notes from them?

 

Is there any point in trying to argue this whole case again/ is it possible?

 

I've asked the mods to see if we have any HSBC experts in the Banking section who may be able to provide further guidance here.

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Thank you for all the replies.

 

The bank insisted she pay the money because they believed she was responsible for her card (which was used in the transaction in withdrawing the large amount of sums) and therefore makes her responsible for the debt. Also the police know where the money was taken from but were unable to gain any evidence to get the culprit - although they did try and question the 'suspect' but this man was never contactable (i.e they could never find him at the address). I believe the police could have done more but did not. In the mean time my wife no longer has the crime ref number - can we get this from the relavant police station and ask them to look for it in their records?

 

My wife actually wants the debt collectors to take her to court so she can get this sorted once and for all by having the judge decide what she should do. The debt collectors are theathening court action since March but as of yet nothing formal has been sent to my wife.

 

The fraud was as a result of cheques being put into her account and money being withdrawn before cheques had cleared - therefore the bank allowed the money to be taken out without the actual funds even being in the account - surely this should not have been allowed in the first place. Also the debt collectors have changed many times so dealing with different ones was difficult for her. Does this indicate the debt was sold? Or do you think the debt collectors are trying to persue the debt on behalf of the bank?

 

That would be very helpful to get an HSBC expert to shed some light on this matter.

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So your wife revealed her PIN number to someone?


I have no legal training, any knowledge I have has come from this forum, and my own experiences. Always balance up any advice you get with your own common sense.

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Nope thats just it. No one knew her pin number she said she wouldn't do that! We don't know how the person was able to take the money out without having the pin number.

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Would have been skimmed then. If your wife ever paid for something on the card and it was taken out of her sight, even for a second, then that is all it takes to skim the card and retain the details off the magnetic strip, all they do then is watch what PIN number you type in and hey presto, they can withdraw money from the account without even having the actual card. I am flabbergasted the Police have simply held their hands up and done nothing.

 

I would again go back to the Station and ask again for it to be investigated, properly, or you will make a complaint to the IPCC.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Couple of questions, were the cheques made out to your wife, or were they third party cheques? Someone must know where the cheques came from, as when they are turned they are the 'original' item so where are these now, and where did they lead?


Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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the pin number could have been cloned somewhere she may have shopped at without her knowledge

the consumer credit agreement there is none for a current account that is overdrawn as an overdraft, even though it was not an overdraft, there are some private investigators willing to help and may give initial consultation of first half hour free, at least could guide you where to go with this.


:p[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

totiesquoties

 

MY ADVICE IS BASED ON COMMON SENSE AND KNOWLEDGE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I AM NOT LEGALLY TRAINED, AND ALWAYS CHECK LEGAL ISSUES EITHER WITH A LEGAL PERSON, OR

THE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION. :rolleyes:

IF I HAVE HELPED, PLEASE PRESS MY STAR, THANK YOU.:lol:

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harrassed senior mentioned the cca earlier, and a private investigator can give free initial consultation, if you shop around there are some that do and will.


:p[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

totiesquoties

 

MY ADVICE IS BASED ON COMMON SENSE AND KNOWLEDGE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I AM NOT LEGALLY TRAINED, AND ALWAYS CHECK LEGAL ISSUES EITHER WITH A LEGAL PERSON, OR

THE APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION. :rolleyes:

IF I HAVE HELPED, PLEASE PRESS MY STAR, THANK YOU.:lol:

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Guest Cartaphilus

I will have to get use to the new 'CAG Chrome look'.

 

although they did try and question the 'suspect' but this man was never contactable (i.e they could never find him at the address). I believe the police could have done more but did not. In the mean time my wife no longer has the crime ref number - can we get this from the relavant police station and ask them to look for it in their records?

 

To my mind, and I don't work for the police (though a few of my relatives have in the past in very senior positions; now retired) but even without a crime reference number they should be able to trace your complaint given it's seriousness. There would be a record of it somewhere is what I am saying to you. I do not know how long the police are legally required to hold records, however.

 

Yep, more than likely skimmed as someone said ... there's also another trick that is used pretty commonly as well as cash machines ... something sprayed onto the keypad or even a fake one placed over the real pad, you can't detect it because it's very flimsy, hence why it's used. Someone stood behind you, there are potentially an infinite number of ways someone can get your PIN even though you may think quite innocently at the time everything looks 'okay'.

 

There does appear to be a definite lack of interaction between each agency, however, bank, police and now debt collectors. Quite why I have no idea as there really ought to be, or you'd think given how you've described things.

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