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Welcome Finance - Sorry it's long!

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I took out a £2,000 in Nov 06, had difficulty making full payments in July 2007. I stupidly took the account to AllClear Finance (Harrington Brooks) who took £120 off me to start my file and despite numerous attempts to contact them never heard from them again. So I contacted WFS and it was agreed I could pay £65 a month.

I got a call in Nov 09 offering a settlement of £780 which I didn't have so the lady asked me to up my payments to £75 a month and told me my last payment would be at the end of August 2010 - relief or so I though.

 

I got another call at the end of June 2010 advising my account had been returned to the regional office from the collections department and the gentleman I spoke to asked if there'd been any changes to my circumstances to which I politely told him I didn't see how that was relevant as my last payment was due at the end of August. He said I still owe in the region of £1,300 – which has obviously increased to £1,820.26 in the space of 6 weeks.

I asked him to send me a copy of my account statement so I could check, I never received this so assumed he'd realised he'd made a mistake, because quite honestly he didn't seem to know what he was talking about, he said I made my last full payment in June 2006 which is impossible as I didn't take out the loan until 2 November 2006 and he kept getting dates, years and even payments mixed up so I was sure he had made a mistake, So as I didn't receive the statement I took this to mean my last payment was in fact 28 August 2010.

I cancelled the direct debit after this payment was made, I got a call from a rather arrogant woman in Scotland on Monday 13 September asking why I'd cancelled it so I explained and she said I still owe £1,800 and as long as I am paying £75 I will NEVER clear the balance as they would have no option but to re-start the interest on the account. I was told I would have to send a recent pay slip, copy of my bank statement and statement of finances, which quite honestly I am not prepared nor think I am legally obliged to do? If I felt I could pay more than £75 a month I would. So she sent me my account summary which is as follows:

 

LOAN AMOUNT £2,000

FEE DISBURSEMENT £75.00

INSURANCE PREMIUMS £696.66

TOTALS £2,771.68

 

 

Loan was originally to be repaid @ £177.16 over 24 months = £4,251.84

 

“AD HOC CHARGES” (???) - £10, £10 = £20

TELEPHONE CALLS - £20, £10, £10 = £40

DIRECT DEBIT CANCELLATION FEES - £65, £65, £25, £20, £65 & £25 = £265

UNPAID DIRECT DEBIT FEES - £75, £25 = £100

Totals £425 in charges

 

INTEREST CAPITALISATION FEES - £2,319.35.

 

 

£2,771.68 Loan, PPI, fees

£2,319.35 Interest

£425 Charges

 

 

= £5,516.03

a difference of £1,264.19 compared with the original amount as per loan agreement.

 

I've cross matched my bank account statements against their statement and I've paid £3,387.28:

8 x £177.16 £1,417.28

18 x £65.00 £1,170

1 x £50 £50

10 x £75.00 £750

 

The balance on the account is £1,820.26.

I'm not really sure what to do next. Are Welcome allowed to charge you for cancelled direct debits? The unpaid DD fees seem absolutely extortionate! All the fees are all different amounts too, it seems they just charge whatever the hell they like. I feel I've been mislead, and in typical Welcome fashion all communication has been done by phone so it's my word against theirs.

 

I'm going to reclaim the PPI, I specifically remember being told I couldn't have the loan unless I signed up for the insurance. I wrote a letter requesting my original loan aggrement but didn't realise there was a fee of £10 so I got a reply stating they won't issue it until I send a cheque, which I will do.

 

I'm going to write to Welcome to complain that I was never advised I was not clearing my balance by paying £65/£75 a month - it seems I've only been paying some of the interest. I've looked on the FSA website but I couldn't really make sense of it. I don't expect to get any joy so my next stop will be FOS.

 

Does anyone else have any advice?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Gemma

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insurance £696 on a£2000 loan

 

wow, thats bad

 

first questionis, do you have

 

A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT

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To get a copy of your agreement costs £1

its called a cca request

 

the £10 iS for an sar

 

SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST

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Not yet, I'm going to post the cheque to them tomorrow for it.

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Ahhh ok.

Is it worth getting the SAR?

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Send a cheque for £1 and a cheque for £10

 

they have to reply with your cca request (agreement within 14 days

 

the sar takes 40 days

 

send recorded delivery

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Thanks for your help.

Once I get the agreement I'll post again.

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LOAN AMOUNT £2,000

FEE DISBURSEMENT £75.00

INSURANCE PREMIUMS £696.66

TOTALS £2,771.68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not really sure what to do next. Are Welcome allowed to charge you for cancelled direct debits? The unpaid DD fees seem absolutely extortionate! All the fees are all different amounts too, it seems they just charge whatever the hell they like. I feel I've been mislead, and in typical Welcome fashion all communication has been done by phone so it's my word against theirs.

 

I'm going to reclaim the PPI, I specifically remember being told I couldn't have the loan unless I signed up for the insurance. I wrote a letter requesting my original loan aggrement but didn't realise there was a fee of £10 so I got a reply stating they won't issue it until I send a cheque, which I will do.

 

I'm going to write to Welcome to complain that I was never advised I was not clearing my balance by paying £65/£75 a month - it seems I've only been paying some of the interest. I've looked on the FSA website but I couldn't really make sense of it. I don't expect to get any joy so my next stop will be FOS.

 

Does anyone else have any advice?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Gemma

 

Yes.. Plenty of advice...

I have been trying to deal with this bunch of perceived thieving clowns for the last 15 months. My complaint has now gone to the FOS. Do not contact WF again unless in writing. Get you original contract from them and then write to them telling them you want your PPI payments returned with the statatury 8% interest. In the meantime, go to the FOS website and dowload their complaint form. Remember... NO MORE PHONE CALLS.... do everything in writing. Don't mess about like I did. as soon as you get your 'Final Response' letter (also known as a dead end letter) go straight to the ombudsman service. I cant put further details of my case here at the moment because it is no secret that the low life at WF trawl these consumer sites.

Good luck.

BigCannon

Good

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LOAN AMOUNT £2,000

FEE DISBURSEMENT £75.00

INSURANCE PREMIUMS £696.66

TOTALS £2,771.68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not really sure what to do next. Are Welcome allowed to charge you for cancelled direct debits? The unpaid DD fees seem absolutely extortionate! All the fees are all different amounts too, it seems they just charge whatever the hell they like. I feel I've been mislead, and in typical Welcome fashion all communication has been done by phone so it's my word against theirs.

 

I'm going to reclaim the PPI, I specifically remember being told I couldn't have the loan unless I signed up for the insurance. I wrote a letter requesting my original loan aggrement but didn't realise there was a fee of £10 so I got a reply stating they won't issue it until I send a cheque, which I will do.

 

I'm going to write to Welcome to complain that I was never advised I was not clearing my balance by paying £65/£75 a month - it seems I've only been paying some of the interest. I've looked on the FSA website but I couldn't really make sense of it. I don't expect to get any joy so my next stop will be FOS.

 

Does anyone else have any advice?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Gemma

 

Yes.. Plenty of advice...

I have been trying to deal with this bunch of perceived thieving clowns for the last 15 months. My complaint has now gone to the FOS. Do not contact WF again unless in writing. Get you original contract from them and then write to them telling them you want your PPI payments returned with the statatury 8% interest. In the meantime, go to the FOS website and dowload their complaint form. Remember... NO MORE PHONE CALLS.... do everything in writing. Don't mess about like I did. as soon as you get your 'Final Response' letter (also known as a dead end letter) go straight to the ombudsman service. I cant put further details of my case here at the moment because it is no secret that the low life at WF trawl these consumer sites.

Good luck.

BigCannon

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Ahhh ok.

Is it worth getting the SAR?

 

Yes definately as this will contain things such a computer notes so then its more than your word against theirs as there will be notes regarding the telephone calls, they usually make a good read ;)


I am a consumer just like you, please get a second opinion or investigate yourself on anything I advise as I am in no way legally trained. Everything I know has come from the Mighty CAG and fellow CAGGERS. :cool:

 

If I have helped in any way please click my reputation star and make a donation to CAG to enable us all to continue to help each other :cool:

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had a letter today dated 14/9/10 about the cancelled direct debit, they're asked me to contact them to make arrangements to pay the balance or make full payment in 7 days.

Account Balance: £1,890.26 which has increased by £70 since Monday, they've obviously charged another £70 for the cancelled direct debit.

 

 

I love the paragraph at the bottom:

 

"Owing to our additional costs in contacting you regarding this matter, we have to advise you that your account has been charged with the sum of £12.00. This charge is payable immediately so please include the amout with your payment."

 

I'm probably going to get slated for saying this but hear me out - this loan is in my maiden name, my bank accounts are in my married name and I have since changed employers - Should I just ignore them? I am in no possition to make a full payment, I am not prepared to send the income expenditure questionaire back. They can try and get a detatchment of earnings order but as I've said I've changed my name and employer so I highly doubt they'd be able to find me. I was quite happy to carry on paying £75 to clear the balance until these crettins got greedy.

 

would I have to wait until they put a default on my credit file before I can check if the loan is unenforceable or can I check now?

 

I want my PPI back but it's looking likely that they'll offset it against my debt?

 

 

I found this on another forum

 

“got to say this, as an ex-employee, be very careful of this company. not only are their rates extortionate, not only do they press as many "added value" products onto you as they can, not only do the "massage" the application information to get deals approved, not only do they bully their own staff, they will kick you once you are down. they have a policy to "re-write" or "re-start" bad debt. so once your car or house is sold, they will contact you to re-start the finance, with a new contract over up to 120 months! in other words, you are going to be an interest slave to welcome for the rest of your life! eventually, when you have re-started 2 or 3 new contracts and still cannot keep up payments and when you finally realise you are going to end up paying £15,000 on a £1,000 loan, they will call you out of the blue and offer to write off 50% of the debt (which already includes 5 or 6 or more years additional interest) They also charge £20 per call and £50 per visit so add another £1750 for "admin fees". So my advice, just stop paying the welcome loan now! don't wait, they will bleed every penny out of you. There is no such thing as debtor's jail. they cannot do anything to you, just stop paying that extortionate loan. Now!”

I know none of that is probably suprising to the rest of you, but there were lots more posts from ex-employees all equally as scary. I'm only just beginning to realise what a bloody mess I'm in.

:jaw:

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Unwelcome Finance

 

Written by endlegal on September 6, 2010

Need a loan? Got a bad credit history, missed mortgage payments, or a County Court Judgement against you? Until February 2009, you could have applied to Welcome Finance – very few questions asked.

Welcome Finance targeted the so-called ‘high end’ of the sub-prime market. Offering unsecured loans at 60% typical APR, successful applicants would in theory hold steady jobs and the means to meet repayments. The inherent risk of non-payment, the theory held, was outbalanced by the enormous profits these loans would realise upon maturity.

The practice was very different. Welcome, a company which at its peak had over a million customers on its books, collapsed in early 2009 after massive ‘accounting anomalies’ were discovered. The board was dismissed in circumstances which remain obscure, and the task of recouping the outstanding value of the company’s loan book began. All this was at the direct cost of the taxpayer: Welcome was itself financed by a syndicate of high street banks, and at the point of the company’s downfall RBS’s exposure was in excess of £500 million. How could this have happened?

The truth is that Welcome Finance operated under a culture of irresponsibility. From the adverts which encouraged customers to borrow vast amounts and ‘spend it any way you want,’ to the unscrupulous behaviour of the company’s salespeople, the marketing was exploitative and professional standards were lax. Under pressure to meet sales targets and achieve bonuses, branch staff concluded unsustainable deals in the knowledge that there was limited oversight from the central company. The consequences were appalling.

In my time at Welcome I regularly saw loans which had been signed off even though the customers obviously had no realistic hope of paying them back. Income and expenditure forms were not completed. Documents were lost on an alarming basis. Full diligence was not completed on many loans, with the inevitable result that fraud was an ever present menace. In the more extreme cases, loans were sold to people who did not even exist. In the latter days of the car finance side of the business we flogged off vehicles that we no longer had access to. In common with much of the financial services industry, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) was missold on an endemic scale. Most shamefully, it seemed that no thought was given to our most vulnerable clients. The worst case that I came across at Welcome was a woman who had been sold nine separate loans – her forwarding address was the mental health wing of a hospital.

The profligacy and irresponsibility of Welcome Finance (and its parent, the wider Cattles Group) has cost the taxpayer millions and thousands their jobs. Ultimately, Welcome’s one million clients will suffer most. Some have been able to claw back some of the money through the regulatory activities of the Financial Services Authority, but I witnessed at firsthand how the ‘light-touch’ regulatory regime was routinely abused and the letter of the law pushed to breaking point.

It is true that Welcome Finance did not apply the astronomical levels of APR that characterise the lower end of the sub-prime market, but once payments had been missed and charges applied, many of our customers found themselves with overall debts that exceeded the original amount several times over. They were then beholden to the company for any future credit, or forced to turn to even less scrupulous legal (or illegal) loan sharks to make ends meet.

That is why I applaud Compass’s campaign to bring greater accountability to lending companies and provide alternative sources of credit to those on low income. Specific groups may be targeted by legal loan sharks, but when crises hits everybody suffers – though those on low incomes inevitably suffer the most. I therefore ask you to credit Compass with your support, and help build a new financial services industry which is sustainable and fair for us all.

Former Welcome Finance Employee.

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I'm probably going to get slated for saying this but hear me out - this loan is in my maiden name, my bank accounts are in my married name and I have since changed employers - Should I just ignore them? I am in no possition to make a full payment, I am not prepared to send the income expenditure questionaire back. They can try and get a detatchment of earnings order but as I've said I've changed my name and employer so I highly doubt they'd be able to find me. I was quite happy to carry on paying £75 to clear the balance until these crettins got greedy.

 

would I have to wait until they put a default on my credit file before I can check if the loan is unenforceable or can I check now?

 

I want my PPI back but it's looking likely that they'll offset it against my debt?

 

Anyone?

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Anyone?

 

Hi Gemmag, I dont think anyone here would ever advise what you are suggesting, Have you checked out your credit report? they can trace you through that it holds all your linked addresses and names, are you on the electoral register? Ill have a read back through of your thread and see if i can suggest anything :)


I am a consumer just like you, please get a second opinion or investigate yourself on anything I advise as I am in no way legally trained. Everything I know has come from the Mighty CAG and fellow CAGGERS. :cool:

 

If I have helped in any way please click my reputation star and make a donation to CAG to enable us all to continue to help each other :cool:

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Reading back I would recommend you write to them offering your proposal for payment along with a telephone harrassment letter whilst you wait for cca and sar to come back that should keep the wolves from the door so to speak, I would also cancel the direct debit and ask for giro slips or information for you to set up a standing order that way stopping bank charges and their charges for missed direct debits. Once you have your sar you can start claiming back all these unlawful extortionate charges.


I am a consumer just like you, please get a second opinion or investigate yourself on anything I advise as I am in no way legally trained. Everything I know has come from the Mighty CAG and fellow CAGGERS. :cool:

 

If I have helped in any way please click my reputation star and make a donation to CAG to enable us all to continue to help each other :cool:

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had a letter today dated 14/9/10 about the cancelled direct debit, they're asked me to contact them to make arrangements to pay the balance or make full payment in 7 days.

Account Balance: £1,890.26 which has increased by £70 since Monday, they've obviously charged another £70 for the cancelled direct debit.

 

 

I love the paragraph at the bottom:

 

"Owing to our additional costs in contacting you regarding this matter, we have to advise you that your account has been charged with the sum of £12.00. This charge is payable immediately so please include the amout with your payment."

 

I'm probably going to get slated for saying this but hear me out - this loan is in my maiden name, my bank accounts are in my married name and I have since changed employers - Should I just ignore them? I am in no possition to make a full payment, I am not prepared to send the income expenditure questionaire back. They can try and get a detatchment of earnings order but as I've said I've changed my name and employer so I highly doubt they'd be able to find me. I was quite happy to carry on paying £75 to clear the balance until these crettins got greedy.

 

would I have to wait until they put a default on my credit file before I can check if the loan is unenforceable or can I check now?

 

I want my PPI back but it's looking likely that they'll offset it against my debt?

 

 

I found this on another forum

 

“got to say this, as an ex-employee, be very careful of this company. not only are their rates extortionate, not only do they press as many "added value" products onto you as they can, not only do the "massage" the application information to get deals approved, not only do they bully their own staff, they will kick you once you are down. they have a policy to "re-write" or "re-start" bad debt. so once your car or house is sold, they will contact you to re-start the finance, with a new contract over up to 120 months! in other words, you are going to be an interest slave to welcome for the rest of your life! eventually, when you have re-started 2 or 3 new contracts and still cannot keep up payments and when you finally realise you are going to end up paying £15,000 on a £1,000 loan, they will call you out of the blue and offer to write off 50% of the debt (which already includes 5 or 6 or more years additional interest) They also charge £20 per call and £50 per visit so add another £1750 for "admin fees". So my advice, just stop paying the welcome loan now! don't wait, they will bleed every penny out of you. There is no such thing as debtor's jail. they cannot do anything to you, just stop paying that extortionate loan. Now!”

I know none of that is probably suprising to the rest of you, but there were lots more posts from ex-employees all equally as scary. I'm only just beginning to realise what a bloody mess I'm in.

:jaw:

 

 

Just to make you aware, I don't know how long ago that post as made on the other forum & if charges were that high back in the day or if it is just an exaggeration but phone call charges have been stopped and although I can't remember the exact charge of a home visit its around £25 last time I checked (still extorinate) The charge for a cancelled Direct Debit is not £70, I think at it's peak it was £25 but I think this was reduced a while ago. A charge will only be incurred for if it was already in process. A direct debit can go into process up to 5 days before the collection date.

Without seeing a statement I can only assume the reason the balance has increased so dramatically is because you've had your interest applied since Monday. It is worth finding out exactly what is being charged to your account.

 

Welcome finance do use external companies to trace you if they are unable to by their own means (will start will experian & electoral roll) but will move to companies that specialise in this area and any charge welcome finance incurrs for this will be charged to your account so if they do find you there'll be alot more charges on there

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I've just checked it and yes you're right, it's on there.

My credit rating is totally trashed, I have a score of 239 :|

 

How do I proceed?

As mentioned earlier I thought I was clearing my balance with WFS but the snotty woman I spoke to said I'd never clear my balance as long as I was making reduced payments. Could you help me right a letter to them explaining I didn't realise and wasn't made aware that by making reduced payments I wasn't clearing the balance?

 

How do I go about claiming back all these extortionate charges for letters, phone calls and cancelled DD's? Do I claim the PPI back first or try the unenforceable route first?

I'm pretty new to all this, I only realised when I got my statement how crooked WFS really are.

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Just to make you aware, I don't know how long ago that post as made on the other forum & if charges were that high back in the day or if it is just an exaggeration but phone call charges have been stopped and although I can't remember the exact charge of a home visit its around £25 last time I checked (still extorinate) The charge for a cancelled Direct Debit is not £70, I think at it's peak it was £25 but I think this was reduced a while ago. A charge will only be incurred for if it was already in process. A direct debit can go into process up to 5 days before the collection date.

 

From my statement:

“AD HOC CHARGES” (???) - £10, £10 = £20

telephone calls - £20, £10, £10 = £40

DIRECT DEBIT CANCELLATION FEES - £65, £65, £25, £20, £65 & £25 = £265

UNPAID DIRECT DEBIT FEES - £75, £25 = £100

Totals £425 in charges

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I've just checked it and yes you're right, it's on there.

My credit rating is totally trashed, I have a score of 239 :|

 

How do I proceed?

As mentioned earlier I thought I was clearing my balance with WFS but the snotty woman I spoke to said I'd never clear my balance as long as I was making reduced payments. Could you help me right a letter to them explaining I didn't realise and wasn't made aware that by making reduced payments I wasn't clearing the balance?

 

How do I go about claiming back all these extortionate charges for letters, phone calls and cancelled DD's? Do I claim the PPI back first or try the unenforceable route first?

I'm pretty new to all this, I only realised when I got my statement how crooked WFS really are.

 

In my opinion and it is purely that....

 

To claim back all the charges you need to write to them and request the amounts be refunded to the account as they are unlawful.

 

Claim the PPi as soon as you are ready! Sooner the better given welcomes own financial circumstances.

 

Unenforceable isnt as easy as it appears and takes time and usually court, you first need to get a copy of the agreement and find out why you think it is unenforceable.

 

As long as Welcome keep reporting on your credit report they will continue to trash your rating, they can also use that report to trace you so think carefully about 'disppearing' as they will far too quickly add a ton of charges for trying to trace you.


I am a consumer just like you, please get a second opinion or investigate yourself on anything I advise as I am in no way legally trained. Everything I know has come from the Mighty CAG and fellow CAGGERS. :cool:

 

If I have helped in any way please click my reputation star and make a donation to CAG to enable us all to continue to help each other :cool:

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In my opinion and it is purely that....

 

To claim back all the charges you need to write to them and request the amounts be refunded to the account as they are unlawful.

 

Claim the PPi as soon as you are ready! Sooner the better given welcomes own financial circumstances.

 

Unenforceable isnt as easy as it appears and takes time and usually court, you first need to get a copy of the agreement and find out why you think it is unenforceable.

 

As long as Welcome keep reporting on your credit report they will continue to trash your rating, they can also use that report to trace you so think carefully about 'disppearing' as they will far too quickly add a ton of charges for trying to trace you.

 

Thank you beyoundhope, you've been most helpful :-)

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Thank you beyoundhope, you've been most helpful :-)

 

No problem, just dont get sucked in with all the its unenforceable talk when there is more than one way to skin a cat :) court and fos are both routes you can take court being costly and time consuming and fos taking an age just bear in mind even with these queries you can dispute the account but agreed payments should still be made as unfortunately account in dispute means nothing as our friends dont register to the banking code and can therefore chase any missed payments whether you are disputing the account or not. Remember everyone is here to give advice but look into what you are advised as none of us know everything :)


I am a consumer just like you, please get a second opinion or investigate yourself on anything I advise as I am in no way legally trained. Everything I know has come from the Mighty CAG and fellow CAGGERS. :cool:

 

If I have helped in any way please click my reputation star and make a donation to CAG to enable us all to continue to help each other :cool:

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