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Debt Collection Agency and Unresolved Insurance Claim

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Hi there,

 

I am posting my situation here in the hope that someone will be able to provide advice ad guidance. Here goes:

 

In June this year, my car was written off by the insurance company. I called my finance company (Mini finance) and explained the situation. They seemed happy with this, and requested that I keep them updated on the progress of the insurance claim.

 

The insurers have been dragging their heels since the claim was raised. It took 3 attempts to raise the claim in the first place. My insurers are Hastings Direct.

 

Despite numerous letters and telephone calls between myself and the insurers, the claim is still not finally settled. Their initial payment cheques was issued unsigned, and as mentioned, they have been dragging their heels in settling, by issuing cheques for the wrong amounts or not issuing cheques at all. Each telephone call to the insurers is followed by a call to the finance company updating them.

 

Due to the length of time it is taking to resolve this claim, a debt collection agency has become involved. They are called Bluestone Credit Management. Despite Mini finance informing me via telephone that this may happen, I have yet to receive a letter from them, that Bluestone have bought over the debt (which they have done as confirmed in a call today to Mini finance), and that Mini re no longer administrating the account. Mini are however happy to still receive cheques from the insurance company to reduce the amount outstanding, and then pass this information along to Bluestone.

 

Despite asking for confirmatory letters from the insurers as to when cheques have been sent out, and from Mini as to receipt, I am still waiting.

 

I have had a call today from Bluestone looking for payment in full. I have informed them that the claim is still in dispute and that I am unwilling to make any payments until this situation is resolved. I don’t think this to be an unreasonable stance to take as it is my money after all. However, the representative started to become quite pushy and insistant that I make payment today. I had to talk over her, and I informed her that as the conversation was going nowhere, and that my situation was not being taken into account, that I was terminating the phone call. Which I did.

 

Today, I received a letter from Bluestone to the effect that they are acting on behalf on Mini finance, and that they want payment of the full amount BY RETURN. Cheques are to be made out to Mini finance but sent to Bluestone.

 

I have lodged a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service over the insurer’s valuation of my vehicle, and as this is currently ongoing, this is my reasoning for not making payment.

 

Now the figures! At the time my car was written off, there was just over £16000 to pay on the finance. At the time of buying the car, I did not take out gap insurance as Mini were looking for a further £500 on top of a £500 cash deposit. There was no opportunity to spread this payment over a period of time.

 

To date, the insurers have paid out a total of £15,271. £12,480 (after the excess was deducted (that was £345)). £962 after they identified that they had valued the vehicle incorrectly (wrong model despite my insurance details being correct foe the model). £601 after I complained about the value of the vehicle. £883 for accessories which would enhance the desirability of the vehicle (and £345 excess deducted). And a final cheque for £345 to cover the second excess amount that was deducted.

 

This leaves an outstanding amount of £1271.76, however Bluestone are looking for £2499.76, as they have not factored in the final 2 amounts paid by the insurers. They have been told this, but they don’t seem to be interested in knowing the details.

 

The insurers have said that they have paid out 81% of the vehicle value. My car was bought for £17,643.20 excl VAT (£20701.02 incl VAT). 81% of either amount is not £15,271.

 

I have been paying insurance premiums based on the car’s value being £16,000.

 

I do not know if I have answered my own question in this post, but is there anything further I can do?

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For a start you need to find out why there is such a huge difference between the outstanding amount and what Bluestone are requesting.

 

They must provide a breakdown of their figures - I am not sure they are permitted to add charges.

 

I will flag your thread for advice, however, you will probably see lots of people pop in when their working day is done :)


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Hastings Direct have a CAG site rep who look at the Insurance page, so may not see this. It may be wise to post a duplicate post over on the Hastings Direct folder contained on the Insurance page.

 

In regard to your query, the car is only worth its market value and not the amount shown on the Insurance. Many Insurers use the guide, glass.co.uk, which you can obtain a valuation from for a small fee.

 

If the car was less than 12 months old and you were the first registered owner, plus meet the relevant condition, then the following should apply.

 

If your car is a total loss, your insurer will (if you and other interested parties agree) replace it with a new car of thesame make, model and specification as long as:

 

You have owned your car since it was first registered as

new; and within one year of it being registered as new, your car suffers damage where the cost of repair is estimated by your insurer to be more than 60% of the current list price (including taxes) of your car at the time of the damage; and

 

 

  • your car’s recorded mileage at the time of the loss is not more than 12,000 miles; and

 

  • your car is not an import and was sourced and suppliedas new in the United Kingdom; and

 

  • the replacement car is available in the United Kingdom within 6 weeks from the time of the loss.

If a car of the same make, model and specification is not available, the most your insurer will pay is the market value of your car at the time of loss or damage. If you are still paying for your car under a hire purchase or leasing agreement your insurer will pay a claim for the total

loss of your car to the hire purchase or leasing company.


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Good idea, Uncle B.

 

RW, I will copy your first post into the Insurance section.. you need do nothing..


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Without knowing the market value it is difficult to say whether the amount offered is correct or not. You will owe the difference between the market value once it is finally settled and the finance amount outstanding. I don't think that Bluestone acting for the finance company have to wait for the FOS to deal with this, as your FOS complaint only involves the Insurers. Up to you whether you fend them off/ignore them or arrange to pay them say £50 a month towards the outstanding balance of £1271.76, as gesture of goodwill while the FOS resolve the valuation with you and the Insurers. But as suggested, ask them for a full breakdown of the finance account to make sure you have the correct amount showing. You will have something to pay eventually anyway.


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@citizen8. Bluestone want me to set up a payment plan based on arrears of £2499.76, however, the outstanding balance is actually £1271.99 once all the payments from the insurers have been put through. Bluestone are not interested in me paying a plan for £1271.76.

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@citizen8. Bluestone want me to set up a payment plan based on arrears of £2499.76, however, the outstanding balance is actually £1271.99 once all the payments from the insurers have been put through. Bluestone are not interested in me paying a plan for £1271.76.

 

Tell Bluestone to go back to Mini Finance, as the Insurers have made more payments to Mini. Tell them unless they do this and come back with a correct statement, you will not enter into any payment arrangement.


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@unclebulgaria67. Hastings informed me that they would pay out an amount that would allow me to buy back my car. So I have been looking at like models of car. It should be noted that all the models I can find do not have as much "bells and whistles" as my car did. The average price to buy back my car is £16100 (if you include the extra cost of adding the extras onto a base model). Hastings tell me that my car was worth 81% of its value at the time of its loss. As stated in my original post, the figures do not add up. My car was just under 18 months old when it was written off with 12-16000 miles. The original cost to repair the car was under £9000 from a mini dealer.

 

I will also contact Bluestone in writing asking for a complete breakdown in their figures to ensure that they are accurate. If nothing else, it will keep the wolves at bay till the new year. I am fully aware that I will have to pay something to clear the finance, but since this is my first insurance claim, and I have been given the run around from the start with Hastings, I want to make sure that what they are paying out is a fair price. I would still do so even if I had the gap insurance on the mini finance agreement.

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When you buy a replacement car and are interested in GAP cover, just search online and you will find many policies, which are much cheaper than any dealer can offer.

 

If the car was in very good condition, then I would think that Hastings will have to pay out near to what they are advertised by Mini dealers. The FOS always allow for what reduction most people can negotiate when buying a car. I suspect that this car would have been offered for £16500- £17000 and a dealer would have accepted £16k ish. Without knowing the exact model, it is difficult to say. I was just looking at the Dick Lovett site who are a major Mini dealer.


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It was a 2010 model Mini Cooper diesel with chili pack, vision pack, and front spotlights.

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In that case the offer from Hastings was not too bad. It is a case of Mini and Bluestone sorting out the correct balance that you need to pay. I can't see the FOS increasing the market value, but they may look at the inconvenience caused by the mistakes in the claims process if you complained about that.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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A little confused. I might be wrong here but you said that Bluestone had acquired the "debt" but you also mentioned them acting on behalf of Mini finance. If the latter is the case - which seems most likely - and Bluestone are being an intransigent and unnecessary pain then they can be told to spin on their thumb. It strikes me that no aspect of this is enforceable against you at this point so they are simply a spreadsheet harassment trick unleashed by Mini Finance in the hope of making their books look a little better week-by-week. I'd just deal with MF.

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I have today received a letter from Bluestone Credit Management. They inform me that the outstanding amount to pay is £1616.76. Despite contacting Mini Finance during December, and despite my letter to Bluestone requesting an up to date balance and statement of account from them, they tell me they are looking for payment within 7 days.

 

During my December conversation with Mini, they informed me that the debt had been bought over (presumably by Bluestone) and that Mini were no longer interested in dealing with me. However, the letter from Bluestone, and the conversations on the phone seem to indicate that they are acting on behalf of Mini finance. Also any cheques or payments I make are to be made out to Mini finance.

 

The letter from Bluestone threatens court action, additional fees and probably the end of the world as well. I have no doubt that this is a standard letter, but I am reluctant to part with any cash since Mini refuse to speak to me, and Bluestone refuse to provide an adequate accounting of the sum owed and how they arrive at the final amount.

 

I am very tempted to tell them all to go to hell, but I realise that this will be cutting my nose off to spite my face, and will be to my disadvantage in the long run.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on the best way to proceed now, such as whom to contact, or a letter format?

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I asked for and received a statement from mini finance informing me that I owe £1271.76 to pay off the outstanding balance on the finance.

The last letter from Bluestone states I owe ££1616.75.

My letter to bluestone, sent on the 24/12/12, has not received an answer.

Any suggestions on what my next steps should be?

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