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Gone in circles with MBNA for over two years now - help!

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Hello all. A slightly unusual case here in that I have not made any substantial payments to MBNA in over two years now and yet I still seem to be nowhere NEAR going to court. I have actually reached the point I would rather go to court for the sake of my sanity.

 

(Already have a charging order against me from another creditor so I have nothing to lose in terms of credit score - nor do we particularly care about our borrowing power, as we have learned our lesson thoroughly.)

 

In total we had 11 creditors (secured and unsecured) + mortgage, and we have now reached arrangements with 8 of the 11. I was a high earner and then suddenly a nothing-at-all earner hence the problem. This was two years ago and I returned to work only four months ago. Our combined income now is less than my income alone was previous to 2008, but we're actually quite happy at how things have panned out and we managed to keep the house (we now have massive arrears but a written agreement to deal with them, based on my new employment, which we have kept to so far.)

 

I'm posting for ideas on what to do next for the sake of our sanity, because MBNA are driving us nuts. We have a monthly budget and SOA that has stood up in court, which MBNA have a copy of. And yet the phone calls will not stop.

 

So far I have been through the MBNA internal process - which took over a year - and nobody would even accept even my offer of 50% of minimum payments. Eventually I stopped paying anything to try and force a sensible conversation, which was the right thing to do I think, as it forced a default and got me out of limbo.

 

I was then passed to RMA (same thing - they only seemed interesting in me making a single payment of £10k plus and weren't interested in any kind of sensible conversation.)

 

Then passed to AIC, and I still feel angry now describing those conversations. I did all the right things with CCCS's help (thank you CCCS!) and demonstrated that a token offer was all I could afford. They grudgingly accepted, whilst simultaneously declining my complaint about the behaviour of a Mr X in the Glasgow office. MBNA then upheld my complaint about same despite claiming to have "lost" the recording. Something fishy there. Furthermore AIC then POSTED MY POSTAL ORDERS BACK TO ME. At no point did MBNA tell me anything about who my debt was actually with - and AIC were claiming to have bought it and "I shouldn't be speaking to MBNA." This was a lie.

 

Next up, Optima, who sent me one 14-day letter full of mistakes. I phoned MBNA and asked if my case was now with Optima and they told me it was still with AIC. Since by this point I was wise to these tricks I ignored it to see if I got a proper letter later on. I didn't. That was it from them.

 

Then... Aegis. Been dealing with them for about four months now. Originally the calls were about once a week and we'd go in a little circle where:

 

* I would be asked for the full balance

* I would point out it was over six months' income (never mind deducting outgoings)

* They would make a demand for several hundred pounds per month and I would point out a similar problem with that plan and ask if I could speak to a manager or write to someone with my I&E so we could move forward.

* At this point they'd usually do something like ask me to borrow money off relatives, lecture me about how irresponsible I'd been, or tell me I was being uncooperative. At this point I would politely point out that they were getting well outside the Code of Practice by now and then politely end the call, after being sure to ask that my willingness to have a SENSIBLE conversation was on the notes. Not that they ever read their own notes.

 

I could cope with that.

 

However, now it's once or twice a day. I have now given them approx I&E over the phone, in order to give myself some ammo for a complaint. They have no excuse for phoning and asking for the full amount every day.

 

Now we have a different farcical conversation in which they agree that I can't afford more and in the same conversation tell me that I must pay more and they can't accept less than £100/month. I've tried polite. I've tried angry. I've tried every angle I can think of. At the end of every conversation they promise to escalate to a manager and see what they can do, but then they don't, and they call back 12 or 24 hours later. In every call I then ask that if they can't accept my best offer, which is supported in consumer law, then they need to pass me back to MBNA so we can sort it out. About half the time they agree to do it, and don't.

 

So I am going to write a harassment complaint along the lines that it constitutes harassment if you are simply phoning to annoy the hell out of me rather than enter constructive discussion. Has anyone else tried this angle? We've used the FoS for other things successfully, so we're quite happy to go through the whole escalation process if we need to.

 

Meanwhile, yesterday I phoned MBNA collections to tell them that Aegis were not helping either me or them, and this was MBNA's opportunity to a) stop a complaint b) start some repayments now, since at least offer £10 rather than £1, but they weren't interested.

 

The main problem I have now is finding an address so that I can complain to Aegis in writing. They won't give it to me over the phone and refer me to MBNA. Is this right?

 

I expect my long-term problem is that now MBNA won't take me to court because they realise I'll simply agree the amount I've been offering all along, and a CO isn't going to help when there is an earlier CO on the property already... so they are relying on harassment and all the other fun tactics we are familiar with instead.

 

Is there any way -I- can force an agreement over the defaulted amount? I'd rather be paying an agreed amount rather than firing off £1 into uncertain territory monthly, but I can't even get a two-way conversation going at the moment.

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I know this isn't the solution that you were looking for, however if you're confident this won't move on to court, or at least you don't mind it going to court as you will basically get what you want there (a reduced payment schedule) I would just get a call monitor and no longer respond to them.

 

How about a letter to MBNA and current DCA stating you have done everything in your power to reach a reasonable settlement and invite them to take you to court. Then send £1 a month by internet banking. From then on, ignore all calls and correspondace short of a court summons.

 

I presume you have checked they can actually enforce the debt? Also you may have a claim for charges and/or PPI against the money owed.

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Thanks mathmagician. We are considering changing our telephone number anyway as pretty much the only people that use it now are these kinds of people. If we then get calls to a new ex-directory number we can cause some trouble under the DPA. Definitely no objections in going to court - will relish the opportunity to submit all my unanswered post as part of response.

 

I have a case for charges, but I would like to have established a conversation about what I can afford before I invest days on totalling those up - given that I'm unlikely ever to pay the full balance and I have already been offered a reduction to 40%. Unfortunately it required me to make payment per month that is more than my minimum payment was - nearly £400 a month!

 

"I have done everything in my power to reach a reasonable settlement" - I like that phrase, thanks.

 

Meanwhile - they called again this evening and I tried assertiveness-with-swearing - I managed to get an address to complain to.

 

Aegis Limited

PO BOX 1070

26 Anfield Road

Bromley

BR1 9QG

 

I doubt they can enforce the debt - that's why we're not in court yet - but I at least want to get one complaint in front of the Ombudsman for the benefit of other people here, hence me going through channels rather than just ignoring things. I do owe them some money, just nothing like the amount they are asking for.

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I would be very tempted to play hardball. CCA them, which they may well ignore. Place the account in dispute. Then send them an SAR.

If they fail to produce your agreement you may well find you receive one of those letters that others on here have, stating they will not take you to court unless situation changes.

 

At that point you can decide if you want to stop payments and hope it remains unresolved until becomes statute barred.

 

Wouldn't bother with ombusdman. Total waste of time, they won't acknowledge that MBNA are in any kind of breach (pursuing debts on accounts in dispute etc...). They are a target driven organisation who try to clear as many cases a week as possible. The easiest way to do this is to take everything the bank says at face value and ignore your points.

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Hi Debtdiary, I see you appear to be fairly new to CAG, I would agree with everthing the mathmagician has said.

 

There are many threads about MBNA and if you read them, you will realise that you are :frusty:. If you have written evidence that you have clearly tried to sort things out then you have done your best.

 

DO NOT enter into anymore telephone conversations with them.

 

You have two choices really, either pay what you can afford or go down the enforceability route, which is becoming more difficult at the moment, with the implications of reconstituted CCA's

 

Definitely claim back any unlawful charges and PPI if you have paid it.

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