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Intelligent Finance overdraft and Halifax overdraft


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Hi - thought I'd start a thread as these are my second most painful creditor after MBNA. I thought I'd diary these last awkward creditors as much to share victories as to pick your brains as I've had quite a few complaints and things upheld so far.

 

Background:

We got into difficulties in Autumn 2007 when the company I worked for stopped paying me without bothering with any of that redundancy stuff and eventually went into liquidation. I was then out of work for about 3 months until started own business which did OK in 2008 but folded in 2009 (our main customers were banks - you see the problem!) For that 18 months I was on about 40% of previous salary. From Summer 09 to Summer 10 I had ZERO income and we were both living off a just-under-average wage with a very over-average mortgage, and threat of eviction. The house was on the market for a lot of this period. I found this new job in the nick of time and we're now paying the massive mortgage at the same rate, plus arrears on top, so there is nothing in the pot for unsecured debt until the arrears are cleared (2015 or so!)

 

My issue is that I.F. were the first to know I had problems, way back then. They spent a year telling me they "would stop charges and payments if I could agree a repayment plan" - which I did on the phone verbally about once a month, with many many different departments, and was always told confirmation was coming, but conveniently never formalised at their end. All I was doing was servicing interest. Eventually we got to the point that the interest was going to push me over the limit. This was August 2008 so was still earning then, but struggling badly as the mortgage company would not come down though my income had halved, and I was still foolishly paying full whack on other debts.

 

I phoned and agreed that I would paid £50 per month off if they would stop the £28 charges - I had agreement there and then and a reference for the payment, etc, etc. They added the £28 at the end of the month. At this point I phoned and told them that after a year of paying out money but standing still on the debt we needed to do something else. They passed me around a few teams and eventually I just stopped paying as I couldn't see what else to do given that they were clearly going to keep piling fees on anyway - I might as well spend the money on stopping other accounts going into crises. They phoned for a while and eventually stopped, but the Default was a long time coming - to ensure as much interest as poss went on meanwhile of course!

 

In early 09 we got into full crisis and started missing payments on the mortgage, so at this point I just stopped paying unsecured creditors as I had no other choice as I saw it (obviously older and wiser now!), and I opened a Basic account elsewhere. I should actually have gone to £1/month with unsecured a lot earlier than I did, in retrospect. The stupid thing is that if I'd agreed something useful in 2007 I'd probably still be paying it now as would have prioritised - so they've done it to themselves.

 

I have written to I.F. twice with a full I&E and explaining financial difficulty - once in December 09 and again in September 2010 as we have a definite arrangement to service our mortgage arrears. New job is under half of 2007 salary and our mortgage amt hasn't come down as much as you'd expect - still paying >6%! I've had no reply at all other than form letter to tell me I was in breach of T&C as not paying salary in - about a year after I'd stopped - and the final Default Notice.

 

I have had no sensible reply from I.F. themselves in all of that time. They passed me to our friends Blair Oliver Scott without bothering to tell me. B O S phoned me a ridiculous number of times, even after a phone harassment letter, but eventually accepted my I&E and even sent me slips to pay in.

 

I thought this was a victory but the very next week I found myself with some other outfit in Manchester. (Will have to dig name out.) They were quite good and immediately understood it was can't pay not won't pay. I wrote to them explaining I wasn't happy with the fees & interest from 2008 onwards and they put the account on hold, and wrote to me (twice!) saying they'd written to I.F. That was three months ago, and so... today...

 

... I had a text from iQor. (For anyone Googling iQor 0845 1460186 - 01772 832188 gets you through without paying the 08 charges - have added that to saynoto0870.) I phoned to find out which creditor it was - after reading about them here I've no intention of sending them any personal financial information.

 

So far I had quite a good conversation. I started by explaining that this had been going on > 2 years and I knew the law backwards by now, and I was down to a basic bank account so I couldn't pay by Debit Card over the phone even if I wanted to, so it would be best if they listened. I offered them £1 per month and explained history as above without giving too much detail. She said they couldn't accept £1/month under any circumstances so I asked her not to waste her time and money and just pass the account back to IF - apparently that's out of her control too. I have advised that I am not doing anything until I see written confirmation from either I.F. or iQor that the account is now with them, so we'll see what happens.

 

She wanted me to write in with I&E immediately but there's no way I'm doing that until I have something in writing from them, especially since they don't have a form for it. Says to me they're not really interested and just want material for later bullying. ("You could spend less on etc etc.")

 

I'll see what their initial contact letter says when it gets here. If I don't have one I will ask for calls to stop twice, politely, and then send out harassment letter.

 

There's no question that I had an OD and that it was around £1400 on a limit of £1600 when trouble started, so I'm not looking to make this unenforceable. However I am now wondering what sorts of fees and interest I should look to get back. Presumably anything after the point I told them I was in trouble is on shaky ground? There were several occasions before that where I was charged £28 on going over by £1-2 which I'm now thinking I might ask back on principle.

 

And - should ALL of the £28 since I opened the account be reduced to £12?

 

BTW it started out as an offset account, but after several charges for nonsense and acknowledged errors on their part - but no money back! - I wrote to them and told them I was going to move my mortgage away from them unless they could do something for goodwill. They didn't, so they lost the mortgage business.

 

So - given that we've been going in circles for almost three years - what would you do next? I'll post updates on what happens with iQor. First thing is to wait for the letter.

 

Meanwhile: my partner has a Halifax overdraft which is over the limit entirely through interest and charges added after we told them we were in difficulty. It was well under when we started. We've had a number of "we can't accept £1" letters threatening legal action, and that is all - no actual replies to correspondence. This week we've had a B O S letter and we've replied pronto explaining that so far Halifax have done nothing to address the situation and we will be contesting the balance, meanwhile here's £1 - we'll see what happens. We also included the phone harassment piece as they were calling work number, home number, and mobile, in rotation, every day.

 

Calls to the home have stopped because they were in working hours and I was repeatedly answering them - luckily the bill is in my name, so I threatened them with Ofcom action as they knew fine well they couldn't speak to her at that address at that time of day but kept calling, which constitutes harassing me. Seems to have worked.

 

Are calls to workplace ever acceptable?

 

Anyway, there you go. Any thoughts welcome on either situation, thanks!

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Two calls from iQor today. Both reasonably polite but that's possibly because I controlled the conversation from the word go.

 

Apparently letter was sent out on 1 Nov. Now, since the OFT guidelines state they shouldn't be ringing until I have received the letter I can make a specific complaint to Trading Standards that they are deliberately flouting this specific rule - which I think is just the kind of complaint they can get a handle on?

 

So, 3 calls in 48 hours so far and it's not 9pm yet so we might get another one...

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Wow - they actually did take me out of the dialler by the look of it. iQor letter arrived this morning... only a week after the phone calls!

 

The letter talks about IMMEDIATE LITIGATION, but since I've been firmly told they're NOT going to pass the case back OR take me to court, they shouldn't be sending out false threats. Anyway, I can now reply with my I&E and my offer of £1, and we'll see.

 

Meanwhile from reading other threads looks like claiming overdraft fees back is quite tough compared to credit card - any advice on best approach?

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