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Advice on debt collection methods please


martinwhite
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Dear all,

 

I have an issue with MBNA. I have read the other threads on the site and came up with this letter which I am planning to send to Steve Bailey, Head of Customer Advocate Office. Could I please ask for comments before I send it? It's largely based on a template I found here.

 

Thanks

 

Ref. MBNA account xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

I received a letter from MBNA dated 4th October 2006 regarding the status of the above account. Despite the marked date, this letter was not received until Tuesday 10th October.

 

At the soonest possible opportunity, Wednesday 11th October, I called the number on the letter, and made a debit card payment to bring this account up to date and include next months payment as well. This letter was the first communication from MBNA or any other person regarding the status of the account.

 

Later that evening, I received a phone call at home from person saying they were from a company called GVI. She wanted me to divulge all kinds of personal security information before discussing the purpose of the call. I had no knowledge of GVI and was therefore understandably reluctant to divulge security information over the phone to a complete stranger calling out of the blue. Eventually I gave her just enough information to enable her to tell me that the call was in relation to the above account. I told her that I had paid MBNA directly that afternoon but she was insistent that I make a further payment to her. Eventually I tired of explaining that I had already paid and hung up.

 

I received another call from a similar-sounding person the following evening at around the same time. Again, it was concerning the above account. Again, I told her that the account was paid up to date but she insisted. I told her that this was harassment. This was denied and I was told that the calls would continue until I paid GVI, or MBNA advised GVI that the account was up to date. She then asked for even more personal information – which I consider GVI (as an outside company I have made no agreements with) have no right to. The person asked who my employer was. I said it was no business of hers, and hung up.

 

Thankfully I did not receive a call on Friday evening but on Saturday morning I received a letter from GVI saying that if I did not contact them immediately [my emphasis] then they would begin calling me at home and at work.

 

I called the MBNA helpline and discussed my case on the morning of Saturday 14th October. The person I spoke to was unhelpful, unsympathetic, and in my view, unaware of the legal situation regarding outstanding debts. Your representative said that MBNA or its agents are “entitled to call you every day once you go into arrears”. He also said that you are entitled to call me at work too. This is clearly not the case, and the Citizens Advice Bureaux confirm this in their guidance. Your representative further compounded his lack of understanding by telling me that if I hadn’t gone into arrears I wouldn’t have received the calls! Quite apart from being an insult to my intelligence, I am staggered by the way a large financial institution such as MBNA is so carefree with its legal responsibilities. Suppose you send a collection of large men with baseball bats to extract money from me, will this be my fault too? The ends do not justify the means, and the importance of this point cannot be overstated.

 

GVI called my home again this afternoon and spoke to my wife. My wife told the caller that I was at work, and the caller asked my wife to give me a message which my wife agreed to do. My wife told the caller that I had already paid a week ago and that she couldn’t imagine why GVI were still calling me. Despite being told for the third time that I have paid, despite asking my wife to pass a message, GVI immediately called my mobile phone regardless. I know it was immediately afterwards because my wife tried to call me to pass the message that GVI asked her to pass, but my phone was engaged. I spoke to my wife as soon as that call ended, to discover that they had already called her. It was very embarrassing to be called at work as I work in an office amongst other people. I told this person that all issues with MBNA are resolved and I wanted no further contact with third-party companies and ended the call.

 

This behaviour constitutes harassment; let me state quite clearly to you that I require ALL communications in writing in future. Do not telephone me again - remove any telephone numbers you hold for me from your systems.

 

I fail to understand the business logic of delegating the debt collection to a third party company (who you presumably must pay whether they make a collection or not) and then chasing it yourself anyway. Quite apart from the fact that you are plainly paying another company for something that you are yourselves still undertaking, this is guaranteed to cause confusion and stress. I appear now to be in the situation that GVI are not aware my account is up to date with you despite the fact I made what amounts to a cash payment over a week ago. This situation is either arrived at by incompetence or a ploy to give a seemingly valid reason to harass the debtor into paying one or other of you.

 

I hold MBNA responsible for the actions of its agents and contend that MBNA is vicariously liable for their actions. Your telephone calls are in breach of the Office of Fair Trading guidelines. If you continue with them after the receipt of this letter an official complaint, together with a log recording the times and frequency of the calls will be passed both to that office and to the Trading Standards office. For your information note that ALL telephone calls are recorded.

 

Harassment of Debtors is a criminal offence in England and Wales under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 in that it is intended to cause alarm and distress to the recipient. Your methods will not be tolerated. Any further contact of this kind will result in a formal complaint, containing copies of all correspondence including yours, will be submitted to the relevant authorities. This will be relevant to questions of your fitness to hold a licence under the Consumer Credit Act, whether or not it results in a prosecution.

 

Take further note that continued telephone calls after the receipt of a request not to call may constitute a criminal offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

 

Communicate in writing and ONLY in writing, your telephone calls will NOT be answered.

 

HOWEVER, CALLS WILL TRIGGER COMPLAINTS TO THE REGULATORY BODIES.

 

I trust that I have made myself understood on this matter. I look forward to receiving your response on this matter and your assurance that all future communication will be in writing.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

Me

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  • 2 years later...
Sounds good to me.

If you do mistakenly take a call, insist on the ID/employee number of the person that calls.

 

 

does psychological harrassment over a period of time where one is obliged to deal with a parrticular person in a financial institution and no other person is allowed to handle the case also come under same act?:sad:

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  • 1 year later...

hi everyone.

so glad i have found this site, as it has helped me greatly dealing with idiots from Allied. i was so worried about my MBNA credit card, but after reading all the info on this site I know exactly where i stand.. have just sent off CCa request, and i await their reply. Please do not be fooled into thinking you have to pay them the full amount as requested to me with in 48 hours. (they might send the heavys round blah blah.. tell them would they mind tying their horses up outside (COWBOYS) LMAO dont answer any security questions ... just ask them one security question .... what size pants are they..S/M/L...they are such jokers ..what fun i will now have with these parasites..Dont get me wrong, i will pay my dues but will not be bullied into borrowing money to pay them.. to be honest i would rather this account go to court (CCJ) as i will end up paying what i can afford. Allied are not above the law. never will be..

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