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Mollywobbles vs Halifax - HELP PLEASE!!!


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Hello,

 

This is my first post on this site, so I hope it is in the right place.

 

If anyone has any advice or has had a similar experience, I would welcome comments on the following situation.

 

I graduated from university in summer 2005. My overdraft was at its limit, and I had no job and no funds coming in whatsoever. A direct debit for £5 came out of my account (I thought I had cancelled it, but had not done it in time) which took me around £2 over my agreed overdraft limit of £1250.

 

I received a letter from the bank about this, telling me about the charges (this was nothing new, as a student I was not a good money-manager). I visited the branch, spoke with an employee and was told this had been an error. She corrected the error, and showed me on screen that my account was back within the agreed limits of my overdraft. When I received further letters, I thought they were probably processed and posted before I spoke with the branch employee. When after some weeks the charges continued to escalate, I went back to the branch and asked what was happening. A different member of staff told me the first one had made an error, and in fact I was liable to pay the charges, which have since escalated to in excess of £250.

 

I wrote to the bank telling them this was unacceptable. I would have begged or borrowed the original £20 to stop this happening had I known. I had no job and absolutely no income and there was no way I could put my account right. The bank responded inviting me to call their call centre. I responded that I would rather deal with this in writing, or alternatively I would be happy to visit the branch. I heard nothing. They passed my account to a debt collector. I wrote two more letters, received no response. I received many letters from the first debt collected and at least two subsequent different debt collectors which I have ignored. (Should I be inclined to speak with one of them, I wouldn't even know who I should be paying)

 

Recently, I received communication from a fourth debt collector. I contacted them, and said I have no intention of paying them anything as I am yet to hear from the bank in response to my complaint. I believe it is unfair to expect me to pay back the entire overdraft with charges and interest as had this never happened, I would still have access to that overdraft, interest free until this summer, and could have paid back what I actually owed a little each month once I found a job.

 

During my university years I must have paid thousands in charges for going over my overdraft limit, bouncing cheques etc etc. Although I appreciate this is not good financial behaviour, I believe I am no different from many others who have sucessfully claimed back their bank charges. I contacted the bank by telephone in January to request details of charges on my account since the account was opened in 2001. They are yet to respond.

 

Questions:

 

1. Do I need to put the request in writing or does a telephone request count? If so, assuming they have chosen to ignore it, what are my next steps?

 

2. Has anyone else had an experience of claiming back charges in such convoluted circumstances? Should I pursue this? What are my chances of success?

 

3. What of the multiple debt collectors? All their letters state they have been instructed to recover the ammount - this cannot be true for all of them, surely? I am also not happy with the way in which some of these operatives have chosen to pursue this debt - I once received a telegram from one of them instructing me in large typeface on an otherwise blank page with no address details to "contact joe on 0870 xxxxxxx or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN". The number matched the contact number on a letterhead from one of the companies. Surely this is unacceptable?

 

Any advice or similar experiences would be welcomed. Please help!

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Welcome

 

You are not alone.

 

Have agod read of the FAQs and read other peoples threads.

YOu will find that there are lots of people in the same boat as you.

 

You can claim your charges back in full

But you need to spend some time reading first, get to know the process, and if you get stuck or encounter a problem there are plenty of people here to help

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/25457-guide-reclaiming-bank-charges.html

 

Good Luck

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Thanks for your message.

 

I have been reading a lot of threads on the site, its a lot to take in!

 

It is inspiring to know there are so many others in the same boat, many of whom have hopefully enjoyed sucess :)

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Yes there is a lot to read, but its worth it

 

But if you take your time and be well prepared, the process will be easier.

 

Better to spend a week reading, than lose because of something silly you do in a rush.

 

It can get scary at times, and the banks will try to intimidate you, but if you read other peoples threads you will see that its just their standard ploy.

 

Anyway, Start a thread in your banks forum with the title of molly wobbles v big bad bank (or whatever you want), then peolple can follow your progress and you can post your questions there.

 

When you set up a thread if you can post a link here, then ican follow your progress.

 

Good Luck

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"contact joe on 0870 xxxxxxx or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN". :eek:

 

Oh my god! Can these people actually do this? Sorry to jump in on this thread btw, I just can't believe what I've just read!

 

I would seriously consider reporting whoever sent that particular card to trading standards or something, that is shocking

 

I really hope you get all those charges back, I'm going after my bank soon certainly would not know where to start if it wasn't for this site.

 

Best of luck :)

Hit the scales, you know you want to :p

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Do you have your statements so you know exactly what dates and amounts these charges were debited to your account. If you have then you can make a start. Go to the bank templates and find the preliminary letter, you will need to fill in your details for this, then go to the spreadsheets (I think probably english simple excel) and fill this in, then send both prelim letter and schedule of charges to the halifax to start your claim. If you do have your statements it will still be worth sending in your SAR, copy in bank template library, with a £10 cheque or postal order (but it's up to you). Obviously the £250 sounds like it is all made up of charges which you can claim back.

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"contact joe on 0870 xxxxxxx or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN". :eek:

 

Oh my god! Can these people actually do this? Sorry to jump in on this thread btw, I just can't believe what I've just read!

 

I would seriously consider reporting whoever sent that particular card to trading standards or something, that is shocking

 

I really hope you get all those charges back, I'm going after my bank soon certainly would not know where to start if it wasn't for this site.

 

Best of luck :)

I totally agree. I would report Joe and his 0870 number to the Police and make sure BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO HIM

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No, unfortunately, I have disposed of most of the statements and letters from the actual bank.

 

I do have a whole wodge of letters from various debt collecting agencies which have been awaiting my attention for some time.

 

I telephoned the bank some time ago and requested copies of statements etc which they unsurprisingly have ignored. Silly me for bothering to waste time and money calling their call centre.

 

I plan on sending this request to them formally, i.e. an SAR complete with the £10 fee as soon as I get a moment.

 

On a different but related note, I also have two credit cards which were offered to me as a student when I had no money and no income bar the student loan. My conduct as a credit card holder was not good. I used to get 20-30 calls per day from DCAs, 95% of which I ignored - every now and again I would pay something just for some peace - this was obviously money down the drain.

 

With regard to these two cards, one of which is through the halifax, the other of which was a barclaycard, what is my best course of action?

 

- Continue to ignore? It was probably 2004 or possibly 2005 when I last made a payment or acknowledged any contact. If I continue this for three more years, am I right in thinking this debt is wiped out? What does this mean for my future credit rating? Bear in mind these people do not have my current address (mail is forwarded to me from my family home), or any contact telephone numbers, so harrasment is fairly minimal by normal standards.

 

- Send CCAs and SARs and reduce what I owe by as much as possible, then commence paying off the rest? I do not have a lot of spare cash for this, so monthly payments would be minimal. What is the comparative effect on my future credit rating?

 

Re. poor conduct from "Joe" et al, I will certainly be making complaints to trading standards and all other relevant parties once I have sorted out more pressing matters.

 

I can't tell you how great it is to have all this information freely available. I will most definately be making a donation if and when I get my refund from the bank.

 

Thank you to all for the help & encouragement.

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Right, after much encouragement from posters in the DCA forum, I am commencing proceedings against the Halifax.

 

However, things are somewhat complicated in that 1. I have ignored them sucessfully for some years; and 2. My financial affairs were never in a great state even when I used to take these fools seriously.

 

I have just been through a wodge of letters from various DCAs. Its taken me bloody ages to figure out what is from who and which account it relates to!

 

The following is a list of letters I have received relating to my student bank account, which is overdrawn over its limit by some three hundred pounds due in full to charges by the bank. For the details, surrounding this, see my post in the DCA forum.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/75749-help-complex-situation.html

 

1st March 2006 - Blair Oliver & Scott Ltd - if i dont contact them with a proposal or make full payment of £1450.69 they will commence legal action or instruct a local agent to call at my door.

 

7th March 2006 - Telemessage sent in yellow envelope to my address - Please call Lee on 0870 240 5138. No other information on a blank page. NB Telephone number matches number on BO&S headed paper.

 

14th March 2006 - BO&S Ltd - second letter. proceedings commencing as detailed above, due to my failure to respond.

 

28th March 2006 - BO&S Ltd - identical copy of letter above

 

12th April 2006 - BO&S Ltd - notice of intended court action, due on 18th April, six days after the date of the letter.

 

22nd April 2006 - BO&S Ltd - account currently being prepared for further action

 

11th May 2006 - BO&S Ltd - NO FURTHER REMINDERS IN CAPSLOCK

 

18th May 2006 - BO&S Ltd - Notice of Legal Action

 

25th May 2006 - BO&S Ltd - Identical copy of the capslock one, which stated no further reminders would be issued

 

After three months of weekly communications from Mr. J. Smyth, the "Manager" of the "Litigation" department at the highly esteemed Blair Oliver and Scott, communications ceased. Mysteriously, in connection with the same account I received...

 

6th June 2006 - Wescot Credit Services Ltd - notice issued for non payment of debt

 

22nd June 2006 - Wescot Credit Services Ltd - N.B. they are now claiming I owe £1,710.87, including £200 of "legal expenses". Final Notice. They will lodge a claim with Hull County Court in 7 days unless I pay.

 

22nd August 2006 - Wescot Credit Services Ltd - Identical copy of first letter from Wescot. Debt back down to £1,565.53 with no intervention from me.

 

7th September 2006 - Wescot Credit Services Ltd - Identical copy of second letter from Wescot. Debt back up to £1,794.07. It seems to me they are just making these figures up?

 

Then, silence, until...

 

24th December 2006 - Moorcroft Debt Recovery Ltd - 75% settlement offer on a figure of £1594.07. Perhaps Mr. A.J. Martin was in a nice mood as it was Christmas Eve...

 

Anyway, since then, I have heard nothing from any of these clowns. Are they all one and the same, sending letters on different coloured paper for laughs? How does one tell? Who should I write to and should it be the SAR or CCA that I send, bearing in mind this is a bank account with overdraft, rather than loan or credit card.

 

Basically, if it wasnt for an error and unreasonable conduct on the part of the bank, that account would never have gone over its agreed limit of £1250 and I would have been paying off that balance, interest free, as per the terms of my account, until July of this year. As such I am pretty keen to claim back these charges if I can and start trying to repair my shattered credit rating.

 

If I understand it correctly, they should not have passed on or sold this account at all as I made it clear I was disputing their handling of the account and the resulting charges. (Wrote countless letters, never heard anything back except for "Please call our call centre, where we employ the local village idiots...")

 

Many, many thanks to anyone who has made it to the end of this long and rambling message - I really hope someone has some advice for me as to my next steps.

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On the advice of PKea, I have started a thread on the Halifax board, where I have detailed the various communications I have received from three different DCAs with regard to this account.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/halifax-bank-bank-scotland/77618-mollywobbles-halifax-help-please.html#post679944

 

Blair Oliver & Scott, registered office at 8 North Bank St, Edinburgh, from whom I received 9 letters between March and May 2006.

 

Wescot Credit Services, registered office at 64 Dalblair Road, Ayr, KA7 1UH, from whom I received four letters, (two identical copies of each, bar the amount of the alledged debt which changed with every letter, and not always in the same direction) between June and September 2006.

 

Moorcroft Debt Recovery Ltd, registered office at 2 Spring Gardens, Stockport, SK1 4AJ, from whom I have only received one letter as yet, from an A.J. Martin, who, sadly for him, spent Christmas Eve writing to me to offer me a 75% settlement on a seemingly fabricated figure of £1594.07.

 

If anyone has any advice as to my next steps (i.e. who to write to and what to send), I would be so grateful.

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Molly, it took some scrolling up to see your name again!!! lol.

I was in a very similar position- I sent my SAR and all documents to Halifax, Trinity Road, HX1 2RG. I got paid in full!

(and I have had the same pattern of letters! and funnily enough- owe a very similar amount!!!!!!)

The next DCA Letter you recieve, Might just be one from Mackenzie Hall- they are the TW*** of DCAs! search the 'general debt' forum for them! (and it would be interesting if it is- we have a pattern going here!)

But yep, send your requests to Halifax.

 

Hope this Helps!

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If it was me I would send SARs off to your credit card companies as well, you may well be surprised at what you are owed in charges. If you really do your homework on here there are a lot of people claiming contractual interest on their credit cards which is compounded - it does make a big difference on your claim and may well help but you have to read up as much as possible - there are people winning these claims but you have to put the work in (there is no guarantee though that you will get it should it go to court but there is always the 8% statutory). If you go down this road you can then information the debt collection companies that your accounts are in dispute. Your decision at the end of the day. It's good that you are re-claiming your halifax charges though, so good luck.

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Thank you for your message.

 

That is most encouraging. And Well Done on all your sucessful claims!! I am bloody impressed. It seems too good to be true really, but there are so many people here with similar stories, it obviously isnt.

 

I will keep you posted on the next DCA I hear from. Although none of them can surely top charming Blair Oliver & Scott who sent me an anonymous "Telemessage" telling me to phone Joe on 0870 blah blah or BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

 

These people really are the **** of the earth.

 

Anyway, to confirm:

 

- I should send my SAR to Halifax at the Trinity Road address with the £10

 

- No need to bother sending CCAs or anything else to any of the myriad DCAs

 

Sorry to ask questions you good people must have answered many times before, but I'm sure like everyone here I just want to get it right.

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Incidentally, Ab123, I too have a Halifax Visa card which the latest letter shows the balance at £1,103 (I was going to make this a separate post, as the other one was long enough!!!)

 

They pushed this on me when I took out my interest free student overdraft.

 

Letters received again from Blair Oliver & Scott (Nov-Dec 05) (including the nasty joe message I mentioned above), Robinson Way & Company (Dec 05-Feb 06), Horwich Farrelly (Feb 06), Robinson Way & Company (May 06) and Logic Group Plc (June-August 2006).

 

Nothing since, however.

 

Have you had any dealings with the above?

 

Considering I have no idea how much of the alledged £1,103 I actually spent, is there a way of finding out without acknowledging the debt?

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