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fraud, delays, charges, default and FOS


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Hi,

 

I'm looking for some advice. I'd be grateful if you can help.

 

A few years ago now I had over £200 of fraudulent transactions on my account that took me over my overdraft limit.

 

I notified the fraud squad at Barlcays and they investigated.

 

As the fraud took me over my overdraft limit I incurred personal reserve charges and bounced payment charges.

 

After signing and returning the fraud claim forms, Barclays took 25 days to credit a bulk of the the fraudulent transactions and incurred fees.

They missed a refund on one of the transactions and missed several reserve fee refunds due that were taken during the investigation period.

So, after all that I was still over my overdraft so I incurred more personal reserve fees.

 

I sent off a simple letter to Barclays explaining exactly what happened and I wanted to know why they didn't not refund one of the transactions and the fees incurred during the investigation.

I asked them to cease reserve fees until this was properly investigated. They did not listen.

 

I stopped using the account and had all my DDs moved to another bank.

 

If they had done their job properly I would have been well within my overdraft limit.

 

I made a token gesture to pay a small amount into the account per week to keep the account active and to show I was not running away.

They never acknowledged this.

 

The reserve fees escalated further during this letter writing period and I continued to receive reserve usage charges totaling over £700!

 

After several letters it was clear that I was not going to receive a proper human investigation at Barclays so I went to the FOS.

 

The FOS have not been very helpful as the adjudicator was terrible at their job getting dates and figures all confused and not answering any of my questions with regards to the Law, Lending code etc.

 

A year later I am still waiting for a decision from the Obudsman.

 

In that time Barclays have defaulted the account and attempted to start collection proceedings.

 

Thankfully they have been put on hold until an FOS decision - but I don't think the default should have ever been there in the first place.

 

My case was and still is a legitimate complaint!

 

The debt was also sold onto a third party and they were harassing me for some time, even after telling them about the FOS complaint.

 

Where do I stand in terms of the default as I believe it to be unlawful and invalid? (Lending Code, CCA1974, ICO, OFT guidance on debt collection etc).

 

Who can I approach to have the unlawful default removed?

 

The default amount was in part, around £100 of my own money and hundreds in disputed reserve fees.

Therefore the default is invalid.

 

I am finding it impossible to obtain new credit and have seen my credit cards all rise to 29.9% interest since the default.

The most annoying this is not being able to get a mortgage.

 

Barclays have behaved so badly and have caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety.

 

Where do I stand in terms of compensation?

Edited by anon2011
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what do the CRA say about this?

 

can you not write to them, briefly explaining the above & ask that they need ti investigate the marker, as the infomation is not correct?

 

dx

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Do you think S.10 CCA is relevant here? Should I hit the CRAs with the following?

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

The default currently held with my Barlcays Bank account is invalid. The debt was in dispute at the time of default and still is in dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service ( ref ## ). By passing information to you, Barclays have breached the following;

 

a). S.37-43 The Lending Code

b). S2.8 Office of Fair Trading - Debt collection guidance

c). Paragraph 42 to 55 - Information Comissioner's Office - Data Protection Technical Guidance on Filing defaults with credit reference agencies

 

Please ensure immediate and complete removal of this default and speak to Barclays Bank PLC yourselves. As you are aware, if they cannot substantiate the accuracy of the data to you then you have an obligation to act; by removing the incorrect data registered. Please note that mere correction or amendment to the entry will not be acceptable.

 

I await your written reply within 14 days.

 

Yours faithfully,

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Hi Anon,

 

Personally, I'd have made a complaint to Barclays HQ - perhaps a named senior officer of the bank.

 

By involving the FOS, you are now stuck with their painfully slow procedure. However, I think you are within your rights to ask them to complete their investigation promptly due to the default or adverse credit markers and ongoing collection activity.

 

Certainly challenge any adverse credit marker or default with the CRA involved.

 

Also, warn any DCA that ongoing collection activity will be reported to the FOS for formal investigation.

 

If the FOS do not give you a satisfactory result, you still have the option to seek redress against the bank seeking compensation for their poor service and, particularly, for damage caused by the default. In this connection, if you can assess the actual costs caused as a consequence of the default marker, you should seek compensation accordingly.

 

8-)

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I have finally had a decision!

 

However, it is not exactly what I was looking for. In fact it was dreadful.

 

20+ recorded delivery letters, 3 years, hundreds of letter writing and research hours. £100 compensation. BOOOO!!!

 

The ombudsman has asked Barlcays to refund all fraud and re-work the account from the date of the last fraud and refund any charges and interest. WIN!!!

 

Reworking the account *should* remove the £700+ in charges and return my account well within my credit limit I had at the time of the fraud. WIN!!!

 

If the account is reworked it shows no overdraft limit incursion therefore no escalating fees therefore no chance of default. WAHEY!!

 

The ombudsman thinks the default should stay and gave no reason as to why. BOOOO!!! The only think I can think of its that he did not say whether the account should be reinstated and the limit restored but for a rework to work properly it must be, surely?

 

What am I missing? Does the ombudsman have a special book they refer to or something that the rest of us don't have access to?

 

Can anyone suggest a course of action? Am I allowed legally to accept the offer of a rework and pursue the removal of the default in court? Surely if the obudsman orders a rework and the rework shows no reason to default that the default should be removed also? Isn't that otherwise a bit contradictory to his decision?

 

Look forward to hearing what you guys think.

 

Also, I didn't get anywhere with the CRA's. They are still waiting to hear from Barlcays after 2 months....

Edited by anon2011
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Hi Anon,

 

You have 2 options:-

 

1. Complain to the FOS that the default only appeared because of the fraudulent transactions and that it should therefore be removed. Tell them you are not satisfied with their suggestion that the default remains, with no explanation. You therefore require this to be reviewed by an Ombudsman.

 

2. Take the matter up with Barclays HQ direct. Complain that the default must be removed entirely or you will seek redress through the court to have the default removed, seek proper compensation for your time and trouble plus compensation for additional interest you have incurred as a direct consequence of the default on your records.

 

Before proceeding with either option however, you should make absolutely sure that you are correct about the default being due ENTIRELY to the fraudulent transaction and the bank's failure to remedy the situation in a timely manner.

 

:-)

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Thanks slick!

 

I have triple triple checked. If there were no fraud I would have happily been within my limit well into 2009.

 

Am I allowed to ask for clarification on any part of the final decision?

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Hi Anon,

 

I think your best bet is to ask for a review of the adjudicator's decision about :-

 

1. The default being left showing against your credit records when it would never have appeared if the fraud amounts had been removed promptly.

 

2. The adjudicator's failure to give any reason for the default remaining.

 

3. The paltry compensation offered which takes little account of all your letters and inconvenience, let alone damage to your reputation caused by the default.

 

When the Adjudicator's decision came from the FOS, there would have been notes about how to appeal for a review by an Ombudsman, which you can use for guidance.

 

If the Ombudsman fails to remedy the situation satisfactorily, you can consider taking court action against the bank for damage caused to your reputation if your credit records were otherwise clear of defaults, etc.

 

We can address this further as necessary but, if the Site Team agrees with me on this, you may well be seeking £1000 or more.

 

In the meantime, send the Ombudsman your brief complaint. This shows that you have tried your best to resolve matters properly, before resorting to any court action.

 

:-)

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Hi Slick,

 

Apologies, but post no5 was actually referring to the ombudsman final decision.

 

An adjudicator pretty much said Barclays were not at fault and they never really investigated fully. They did not respond to any of my queries either and brushed off my main reasons for complaint so I took the adjudicator decision to an ombudsman for review.

 

How does that change things?

Edited by anon2011
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I'll flag this up for further input from the Site Team.

 

This really now leaves court as your only option as Barclays HQ will not review any further complaint, saying the FOS decision is fair.

 

So we need to consider if you have adequate grounds to seek a court order for the removal of the default, consequential losses and compensation for the damage to your reputation.

 

To see what I'm thinking of, read about the cases of Kpohraror v Woolwich Bldg Soc'y and of Durkin v DSG Retail

 

:-)

Edited by slick132

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Hi Anon,

 

Approx when did the frauds take place.

 

Can you confirm if Barclays acknowledged that all the disputed transactions were, in fact, fraud.

 

And when did they refund the last amount, which they failed to refund originally.

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Hi,

 

Barclays have acknowledged that the disputed transactions were fraudulent with the ombudsman.

 

My balance before the fraud (2nd December 2008) was £3394 drawn with a limit of £3500.

 

There were 8 transactions in December 2008 that were fraud. Whilst Barclays investigated I did not have the funds to bring the account back into overdraft so it caused 9 reserve fees between the 17th December 2008 and the 16th February 2009. This took the balance close to £3900 drawn.

 

The fraud was refunded on the 12th Feb 2009 (with one of the eight claimed transactions missing). On the 18th Feb 2009, only 8 of the 9 Personal Reserve fees were refunded. I'm not sure why there was a delay refunding the Personal Reserves as I had expected them to be refunded on the 12th with the fraud refunds. Barclays could give no explanation for this.

 

Because I was still over the limit during the investigation (February 2009), I was charged £66 Personal Reserve on 1st April for the 10th Feb to 9th March period. At this time I was going through the complaints procedure with Barclays Customer Relations about the bits they have done wrong in Jan/Feb. This complaint went on for some time before I made a complaint with the FOS. Both Barclays and the FOS appear to be incompetent as it was such a simple complaint with less than 30 transactions involved. A simple spreadsheet explains everything.

 

A further £88 or £96 a month was added for the the rest of 2009. The account was defaulted July 2010 (£4500) whilst disputed with the FOS. As a courtesy I paid £10 a week into the account to show that I was not "running away" so to cover the overdraft interest. I continue to pay this weekly.

 

If Barclays had done their job properly and in a timely manner I would not have been in a position where Personal Reserve fees increased further and the account defaulted. They seemed to misunderstand that the money remaining in my overdraft (Dec 2008) was mine and I have never had access to it, nor did I want to pay any money into the account to bring the balance down from 4000 to within my limit as that balance was made up of fraud and fees. I would have had to have paid in over £800 to resume normal banking function until they refunded me, something I was not prepared to, or could do.

Edited by anon2011
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Please see attached spreadsheet.

 

Sheet 1 - as per statements

Sheet 2 - rework the account as suggested by ombudsman final decision

 

Sheet 2 shows that I would have available funds until the 3rd March 2009 assuming I paid nothing in.

 

My other complaint was that my debit card was cancelled as part of the fraud investigation yet card transactions went through. I was not aware or was made that any continuous authority card payments could still be processed, particularly during a fraud complaint so I was not expecting those.

barclays transactions.xls

Edited by anon2011
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Hi Anon,

 

Your options appear to be:-

 

1. Seek a review by an Ombudsman of the initlal fos adjudication. *

 

2. Ask the ICO to intervene. *

 

3. Go to court to seek the Default's removal. **

 

* Both of these options may take further considerable time and may still not get you the result you're after

 

** The threat of this may be enough to get the default removed although you cannot rely on this. You may have to actually go ahead and take the court action and this could be stressful and more costly than the other options.

 

Thanks to Martin and Caro of the Site Team for their input.

 

:-)

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