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Halifax hounding for overdraft taken out fraudulently by abusive ex


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Hi all, first time poster but long time lurker and admirer!

I am a former Bank worker (not Halifax) so know a little about complaints procedures but now need your help.

 

For background -

 

My partner was formerly in an abusive marriage.

Her ex was emotionally, financially and physically controlling.

All of this is documented in court papers and he is not allowed to see my partner's child and has no parental rights.

 

During the course of the relationship,

the two of them opened a joint bank account with Halifax (before he became completely abusive).

My partner's debit card was at some point confiscated from her by him so she had no access to the account.

 

 

During this time he attended a branch, obtained a form and forged my partner's signature

in order to obtain a £2750 overdraft limit on the account without her knowledge.

 

 

She had no knowledge of this overdraft (which he maxed out in really short order)

until after the divorce proceedings had begun and he had had a restraining order placed on him.

 

 

Halifax began sending chasers for payment to my partner.

She put in a formal complaint which was rejected by Halifax

and followed it up to the FOS which was also rejected.

Naturally she wasn't best pleased

 

 

attended the local Halifax branch

where the Branch Manager managed to bring a copy of the document she had allegedly signed up on his screen

and showed it to her.

 

 

She then showed him several other documents with her signature on

and he confirmed that it was clearly not the same signature or even close.

He promised he would look into it and get back to her.

Unfortunately he never did.

After she chased him twice by email, he just stopped responding.

 

 

My partner suffers from severe anxiety and depression as a result of the marriage

so naturally thought this would be the end of it and simply put it to the back of her mind.

This all happened before I met her.

 

The current -

 

Fast forward nearly two years with no correspondence from Halifax to March of this year.

 

 

My partner received a letter from Halifax confirming that the account had gone past its OD limit

and they were now expecting payment of the £86.54 arrears from her.

 

 

We wrote a formal complaint email to the CEO and requested a DSAR so that we could have a copy of the signature.

This was picked up by someone in the executive complaints team

and we've been going back and forth with them requesting confirmation that my partner is not liable for the debt

(as it was taken out fraudulently by her abusive ex) for the last 4-6 weeks until

yesterday when we received what appears to be their final decision.

 

they've completely ignored our request for a copy of the signature

(although we are still due to receive the DSAR within the next 4 weeks),

 

 

completely ignored any points we've made regarding the financial abuse,

completely ignored everything

- and now the account is being passed to collections,

a default is to be registered against my partner

and she has been issued with a formal demand for repayment

as the account is "jointly and severally liable".

 

 

As a former bank worker myself, I understand this point

but surely this is invalid if we can prove that she did not sign for the OD?

 

WHAT DO WE DO NOW?!

I feel like we did the right thing by only corresponding via email/letter and emailing the CEO direct

but I just feel like Halifax are completely steamrolling us and insisting she pay this debt.

We've tried the local paper (and told Halifax we are contacting them) but so far nothing.

 

Any advice you guys can give would be really appreciated :)

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I think all you can do is wait on that signature - you know they have it, so if it is not included within the DSAR package then you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

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My worry now is that Halifax seem to be escalating things to collections faster than they are dealing with the DSAR - possibly deliberately but not so sure. Should we respond to the latest letter from them or just wait for the DSAR?

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Let them escalate it. They can't do anything. It's a clear case of fraud and theyd be seriously stupid to try anything when there's proof

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Ok thanks for the help guys, will keep you updated when we get the DSAR back although any further advice would obviously be more than welcome :)

 

Is there anything we need to be worried about or expect them to do in the meantime?

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The letter requesting £86.54 arrears...that is in joint names ?

 

Regards

 

Andy

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Hi Andy,

yes the account was in joint names so presumably so are the arrears.

 

 

As far as we can see, Halifax have never chased for the debt from the ex though

and we have no way of contacting him

- nor should we want to as there was a restraining order in place against him for a year after the divorce.

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But is the letter addressed to joint names or your partner only ?

We could do with some help from you.

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Addressed to my partner only

but it refers to the account still being in joint names.

 

 

I presume its because they've never been able to get hold of him

and my partner has been in contact with them

- "jointly and severally liable" and all that.

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I personally would disregard it..wait until they assign it to a DCA...disregard them also and come back here if and when they issue a court claim.In the meantime get hold of your DSAR and quantify all the unfair charges/interest and be prepared for if they ever litigate.(which wont be Halifax)

 

Andy

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This is an unfortunate situation but technically she would still be liable for the debt.

 

For joint accounts, overdrafts can be applied for by any party without the permission of the other parties.

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This is an unfortunate situation but technically she would still be liable for the debt.

 

For joint accounts, overdrafts can be applied for by any party without the permission of the other parties.

 

Agreed and Halifaxs initial response way back when was to fall back on the the t&cs and "joint and several" liability.

However her ex had to sign a form to obtain the od and it was on this that he forged the signature

and it was on the basis of this form that they provided the od.

 

My big worry now is where do we go from here?

What are the consequences?

 

 

My partner is - rightly in my opinion - refusing to accept any liability for the debt

but Halifax seem to only be chasing her.

 

 

What happens if they keep slapping down or completely ignoring our arguments?

How do we win this thing?

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Nothing to win until someone issues a claim form...ignore them.

 

 

You are not going to remove her liability no matter how many letters you send...save your postage.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to keep you all updated.

My partners had the dsar pack which apparently does contain a copy of the forged signature.

 

 

I haven't had a good look at it yet but it's fairly clear it's not her signature.

Is it worth sending this into Halifax and challenging?

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Its your choice...I personally would ignore the lot until a claim form is issued...then you let the rockets off.

 

Andy

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  • 3 weeks later...
Its your choice...I personally would ignore the lot until a claim form is issued...then you let the rockets off.

 

Andy

 

Hello again all and thanks for the help so far.

 

 

We had the dsar and sent a final roll of the dice to Halifax

 

we've just has a final response telling us not to write anymore and that the account is now with collections.

Collections have written to my partner and advised they've set up a £10 a month payment plan.

 

Partner is understandably pretty beaten up by this

- we even included some of the court papers which Halifax have completely ignored.

 

Do we just throw in the towel and pay?

What happens when we wait for the claims form?

 

we're just completely downhearted by it now.

 

Again, thanks everyone for your help because you've been brill so far.

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well cancel it then....

 

 

does she have an account with Halifax they can still raid then?

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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