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Hello all, I'm new to the forums so please bear with me.

 

Firstly, let me request that judgemental posts and posts advising me what "a ******" I am be kept in your head. This entire problem was cause by terrible judgement on my part.

 

Let's say, hypothetically, I obtained a £100 loan from Minicredit by giving them false employment information. Gave them a normal monthly wage, the company's full and correct contact information, and falseified NO documents and made NO effort apart from filling in a fake wage and real company contact information.

 

I could not pay the loan on time. I actually applied half out of curiousity, and half out of sheer desperation of not being able to eat and heat, having exhausted my assistance from the social fund. When the money was awarded to me, I spent it believing that I would pay it back when my next benefit payment went in. I was then sanctioned (the reason I dispute, but this is irrelevant) and could not pay.

 

Anyway, to cut a long story shorter, my loan was due on October 15th 2012. I could not pay. I noticed the balance slowly (at first) increasing, so emailed Minicredit to ask they froze the interest (like Wonga did in the past, which I obtained lawfully, by the way), otherwise the part-payments I made would not actually lower the balance of my loan, not even a little bit, due to exponentially increasing interest. And charges, but I'll get to that. They of course refused.

 

Minicredit eventually blocked my account, but continued sending me emails. You can't send a question to minicredit about a general enquiry without choosing from a drop-down list of questions. All of which end up in a (pathetic) automated reply email. If you log in (which, of course, I couldn't) you could send a custom question. I am skint (hence the reason for the stupid decision in the first place) and do not have a landline and hardly EVER top my mobile up. So I couldn't call the number on their site. This left me out of contact with them.

 

Now, this is where I'd like to re-iterate: I know what I did was bloody stupid. But having said that, I still think the following is disgusting, as it would be the same for someone who wasn't dishonest.

 

Initial loan: £100. They deducted a fee for "fast transfer" even though fast transfer is free, and I didn't see an option for any other kind of transfer, I definitely didn't select it manually. So I ended up with £85.

 

Long story short by roughly Jan/Feb this year the balance had reached £1066. I cannot believe it. My irresponsible decision has left me with a debt I have absolutely no chance whatsoever of paying in a reasonable time-frame. It has been passed to Opos limited, who to be fair have a decent website and seem relatively professional. But I have some issues with them:

 

1. In about 3 weeks of constant emailing to [email protected] and a "Vicky Johnston", I have had about 2 maybe 3 replies. They do appear to be ignoring me. I also filed a dispute over the amount via their website's dispute form, as £1066 is surely unlawful, if not it's still quite immoral (I know, hypocritical of me, I agree). They've now sent me the "Intended action" email, threatening "Debt Recovery Service".

 

2. The reply I did have once from them asked me for income/expenditure. If I'm honest here, and tell them I am in receipt of only £55 local housing allowance and £71 Employment and support allowance, will they shop me for fraud? Will they report back to, or check with, Minicredit? Because Minicredit will tell them they thought I was working. I could do without being jailed for fraud. Again, I know I probably deserve it, but please believe me when I say the intention to pay was originally there. So in short: Do I give Opos the truth or will that be making a rod for my own back?

 

I apologise for the length of this email, I am now very concerned that my stupid stupid idea has lead to me apparently facing very little option but to pay £1066 or end up in court for fraud.

 

Please could somebody advise me on any ideas to perhaps get the amount down? Get a small repayment plan agreed? I have other debts but this is the largest and most worrying.

 

Thanks VERY much to anyone who reads and considers replying.

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Hello Darkglobe. Welcome to CAG.

 

If anyone calls you a ****** or any derogratory name, report them. There is NO place for that kind of attitude on CAG.

 

As for minicredits attempts to add on charges, send them a letter to their registered office and deny any and all liability for the charges. They are unenforceable and are considered unfair under OFT guidance on debt collection. Minicredit are very well known for adding on fake charges purely to hike up the debt as a profit for themselves.

 

Now on to your questions.

 

1. You are correct with the statement about the charges being unlawful. Ignore their threats. They will not even venture within 50 miles of a courtroom as they dont want a court to see the false and borderline illegal charges they have added on. The letters they send are designed to scare you into complying with their silly demands. I would suggest making a full complaint about their actions to the OFT as this company are currently under heavy investigation and could lose their licence in 2 months time. I would also advise filing a FULL and FORMAL complaint with minicredit. It doesnt matter if the complaint falls on deaf ears with minicredit, the key is to get the complaint in so you can start the 8 week timer and get the ombudsman involved.

 

2. You are under NO obligation at all to supply a LOW PRIORITY creditor with any I&E information. Same with payslips and bank statements. THey have no legal right to see them and only a court can order them to be shown. Even when a court does order them, the creditor wont get to view them. The court will simply use them to come to a judgement. As this debt wont go near a court, you dont have to worry about all that ;) Also, dont start getting worried about jail and fraud. It wont happen.

 

CAG doesnt condone what you did, but whats done is done, and we can help you. The best way is to stick to your guns, contest all the charges and DONT supply any I&E information.

 

The ONLY money you actually owe is the original loan, original interest for the contracted loan time, and a single default fee.

 

Work out an I&E for yourself, but do not show it to anyone. Since you are on benefits, they only get £1 a month no matter what they say or do. Don't tell them about what you have done, just say you are in financial difficulty and you want all the unenforceable and unfair charges removed, and you will pay them £xx a month. Should they refuse, then you will have no choice but to pay them £1 a month for the life of the account. Dont worry if they try and say they will add on extra charges and interest, as all this will be unenforceable too and a direct breach of OFT guidelines.

 

 

Hope that helps you a little darkglobe. If you have any questions, dont hesitate to ask.

  • Confused 1

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Wow. I was not expecting such a helpful and quick reply.

 

I'd feel a lot better about enforcing my rights if I didn't tell a porky in the first place, mind you.

 

I've not got the time to write a proper reply now but thank you very much for your response and I shall follow your advice. I don't see how people cane be so sure that I won't end up in jail for fraud, though. It is fraud, what I did, right?

 

Thanks again! Seriously, it's actually taken a big weight off my chest.

 

Ah one quick thing: the charges do appear to be in line with the terms and conditions, though. I.e. a few attempts per day at collection, a charge for each etc. And interest. I calculated the charges and it does correlate with their terms. Is it possible then that the terms themselves can be deemed unfair, even though I signed to agree?

Edited by darkglobe87
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I'm about to head to work right now, but if nobody posts a letter by say 9pm tonight, just post back on the thread to bump it up and ill write one up for you to send. I've had my fair share of dealings with Minicredit and Opos and they are easily handled. It also saves you alot of questions and guesswork.

 

What you did can technically be classed as fraud, but it is extremely unlikely anything will come of it. IF they find out you lied, they will try and threaten you with everything, but you can simply say " well, you're meant to be a responsible lender adhering to all OFT and FSA guidelines and regulations. Why didnt you do so in this case? It's the same question the regulators would ask.

 

Plus, you are willing to pay back the loan, just not with the silly charges they add ( such as £400+ for "debit fee attempts").

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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It's in the link SG....

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi darkglobe! Some very helpful and informative posts so far from Renegade, BB and SG.

 

I'm sure renegade will be along with a letter for you as soon as permits.

 

Your scenario, it was an error of judgement - that's all. Don't beat yourself up over it. A silly mistake which most of us have made lots of, some of us continue to do so. I should imagine fraud is a lot deeper than filling in an online loan form. You didn't have the intention of taking the loan out and never paying it back. As renegade has said, minicredit also failed by not carrying out adequate checks when issuing with the loan.

 

That said. And I don't encourage dishonesty btw, but deal with the loan you took plus one months interest and one default charge. Advising them that you incorrectly filled out the form will do no good. It will just give them ammunition to fire and threaten you with all sorts until you back down and line their pockets!

 

There are some month old threads on here from people who have successfully argued with opus and got the ridiculous amount down to the original loan amount plus one months interest and one default fee (I'm on my phone at the moment so can't locate the threads)

 

Keep up with the email ping pong with the lady at opus who is responding. I wouldn't baffle her with legal jargon, with all respect it would probably fall on deaf ears anyway!

 

You're just a name and number on their system. It's a game to them and they'll hound those who they think they're going to extort money out of. There will be others as worried as you who will pay their stupid amounts just to shut them up.

 

Stand your ground and don't take any of their bullying and intimidation. If they ring you, don't answer security questions and tell them simply "in writing only" and hang up.

 

Keep is updated how you get on!

 

Regards

 

BM

It never rains but it pours...

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Darkglobe dont be worried. Minicredit is easy to deal with, they are just full of empty threats you can ignore. Read Oft guidances about debt collection and irresponsible lending and this will help you. Keep dialogue with them quoting relevant paragraphs from oft guidances and minicredit will back off. If they accuse of fraud or whatever, quote paragraph about assessment of affordability. Their debit attempt fees - paragraph about misusing CPA and so on.

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Hello Darkglobe. Welcome to CAG.

 

If anyone calls you a ****** or any derogratory name, report them. There is NO place for that kind of attitude on CAG.

 

As for minicredits attempts to add on charges, send them a letter to their registered office and deny any and all liability for the charges. They are unenforceable and are considered unfair under OFT guidance on debt collection. Minicredit are very well known for adding on fake charges purely to hike up the debt as a profit for themselves.

 

Now on to your questions.

 

1. You are correct with the statement about the charges being unlawful. Ignore their threats. They will not even venture within 50 miles of a courtroom as they dont want a court to see the false and borderline illegal charges they have added on. The letters they send are designed to scare you into complying with their silly demands. I would suggest making a full complaint about their actions to the OFT as this company are currently under heavy investigation and could lose their licence in 2 months time. I would also advise filing a FULL and FORMAL complaint with minicredit. It doesnt matter if the complaint falls on deaf ears with minicredit, the key is to get the complaint in so you can start the 8 week timer and get the ombudsman involved.

 

2. You are under NO obligation at all to supply a LOW PRIORITY creditor with any I&E information. Same with payslips and bank statements. THey have no legal right to see them and only a court can order them to be shown. Even when a court does order them, the creditor wont get to view them. The court will simply use them to come to a judgement. As this debt wont go near a court, you dont have to worry about all that ;) Also, dont start getting worried about jail and fraud. It wont happen.

 

CAG doesnt condone what you did, but whats done is done, and we can help you. The best way is to stick to your guns, contest all the charges and DONT supply any I&E information.

 

The ONLY money you actually owe is the original loan, original interest for the contracted loan time, and a single default fee.

 

Work out an I&E for yourself, but do not show it to anyone. Since you are on benefits, they only get £1 a month no matter what they say or do. Don't tell them about what you have done, just say you are in financial difficulty and you want all the unenforceable and unfair charges removed, and you will pay them £xx a month. Should they refuse, then you will have no choice but to pay them £1 a month for the life of the account. Dont worry if they try and say they will add on extra charges and interest, as all this will be unenforceable too and a direct breach of OFT guidelines.

 

 

Hope that helps you a little darkglobe. If you have any questions, dont hesitate to ask.

 

 

Dark globe that's some great suggestions, i had £150 loan from mini credit last year and within a month it went up to £1k,despite trying to get help from debt line they refused to deal with any 3rd party and without notice continued trying to take cash from my account multiple times a week and twice on some days, eventually some how Barclays processed their request and even though I didn't have an over draft facility, the day before my salary a £1150 plus some £25 charges showed up. Despite calling Barclays 4 tomes that night they said they could do nothing to help, if I had signed any agreement with mini credit I couldn't get my cash back.

 

Real bad experience but now wish to fight back, who do I take on and how?

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Report them to OFT straight away. Start complaint procedure with minicredit so later you can submit it to FOS. The same with your bank, go through their complaint procedure and then FOS. If they debited your account using your debit card, call your card issuer and try to use chargeback facility like visa chargeback. Minicredit loan agreement does not comply with OFT regulations so it is void. Precontract agreement does not say anything about using CPA so it is a breach of OFT guidances.

How long ago exactly did it happen? You said last year.

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  • 1 year later...

I know this a bit of necro-posting, but this issue is still actually ongoing. They've backed down to approx £450 so far, I still think this is too high. I've moved now and receiving no further communications from them or any debt collection companies whatsoever. Am I lulling myself into a false sense of security??

 

Worked through a lot of my other debt problems lately, not had any more loans or anything, but since writing some stern letters pointing out regulations they've flaunted, it's all quiet on the western front!

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They might come chasing eventually if theyre smart enough to use the CRA to find your address. However, keep an eye on your credit file as they do place markers from time to time.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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