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HFC Bank - Bit of a complicated one!


poodge
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Help, I need some advice on a debt I have with HFC Bank.

 

When I was married (a few years ago now) my wife at the time was looking after all the finances for the home. Me being very old fashioned I was happy for a bit of pocket money in my back pocket each week. I was unaware that we had a number of debts which my wife was either not paying or was taking out other loans to clear them. Then all of a sudden I got a phone call from HFC bank telling me that my loan had not been paid. I was totally unaware of this and it threw me. After quizzing the wife it looks like she has obtained this loan in joint names. I had a conversation with the local HFC Branch Manager who told me that the signature was not mine on the CCA and advised me to go to the police about my wife. I couldnt bring myself to report my wife to the police and gave her once last chance to resolve the situation.

 

After visiting the citizens advice we decided to remortgage the house to clear the debt. HFC were made aware of this. As I was working away during the weeks I (stupidly) entrusted my wife to get the remortgage arranged. I was happy just to review documentation at the weekend. It now looks like rather than follow the remortgage through and pay off our debts she pulled out at the last minute. So I saw and signed all these remortgage documents which I asked her to post back and she destroyed them. This all happened in 2005 and by June 2005 I had left my wife and was living alone. In early 2006 I had several conversations with the Branch Manager at HFC who confirmed that the debt should not have been mine and that staff at HFC would write off the debt and clear my credit history.

 

We began divorce proceedings and agreed to use a seperation contract rather than letting the solicitors get stuck into us. At the time my wife confirmed that all debts had been settled. However a month before my divorce was finalised I received a call from the Branch Manager HFC claiming the amount is still outstanding and I owed them £25000!!! As I was no longer married to my wife I told them that they should chase her as I was not paying a penny for it. At the time the Branch Manager again confirmed that she had spoken to HFC Head Office staff and they had confirmed they would write the debt off. However, nobody from HFC would call me despite several attempts by the Branch Manager to get someone to talk to me. The Manager assured me, unfortunately not in writing, that my credit history would be cleared.

 

In January 2007 I checked my credit file and I was still in default with them. So again I called the Branch Manager and she investigated the matter. She came back to me saying that someone else had looked at my file and that as I had said I didnt want my wife prosecuted I was accepting liability. They also said that as the money was paid into our joint account I had access to the money. I wrote to the branch making an official complaint.

 

On March 28th they wrote to me saying they were still looking into the complaint. However at the same time they instructed a DCA to recover the debt. The DCA sent a demand for the letter to my father's house in error. He had just come out of hospital after having a stroke and opened the letter thinking it was for him!! I contacted the DCA and told them that the address was incorrect and that I had an official complaint lodged with HFC. I also decided to raise the complaint to the CEO of HFC.

 

Eight weeks after I initially lodged the complaint I received a call from HFC's Area Manager. I explained that I had no job and that they should look to my ex wife for some payment as she was the person who obtianed the money. I have no recollection of signing a CCA for £15000, I'm sure I would have remembered. It was at this point that the Area Manager stated that the loan wasn't even in joint names, despite my wife discussing the loan with them. After a long chat he agreed that this case was quite complicated and would need a couple of days to discuss it with his boss. I also asked him to present my with a copy of the CCA so I can see the signature for myself. That was over a month ago and yesterday I received their official response. They claim that the I am liable for the full amount as the loan was taken out in my name alone and that I had stated I didnt want my wife prosecuted. Also the money was paid into our joint account so I had access to it. They also claim that the signature looks similar on the cca to my passport (how they have a copy of my passport I dont know). Finally they claim I didnt take steps to limit my liability.

 

One of the interesting things is that the Branch Manager had always agreed that nobody had contacted me to confirm this loan. However now they claim that in my file are the Manager's notes claiming I had a telephone conversation with them!! Also to confuse things even more I had always been lead to believe this was a joint loan and my wife had forged my signature away from the Branch. It was only when the Area Manager contacted me that he claimed it was in my name only. However the other week I had a letter from a company called Hamilton who were confirming the loan protection insurance was being cancelled; strangely enough this was adrressed to me and my ex wife!!

 

I realise that I have been far too trusting with my ex wife but never thought she would be so cunning. I'm starting to think that HFC have won the battle. I lost my job last year and now only work part time which is only slightly more than I would get on the dole. I explained to HFC that I was unemplyed and that the stress of it all last year caused me to have a long period off with stress but they dont care.

 

They also claim I have had several conversations over the phone with them arranging for the money to be paid. I cant recollect them and one of them I know they are wrong on. Can I ask them to prove it? and if I do can they produce recording from 2005?

 

Whats really annoying is that my ex wife had a pay off from her employer which she claimed to have used to clear up our debts. Instead she has used it to pay a big lump off a house which she owns!

 

Can I still complain? I asked for the CCA from the Area Manager and he didnt forward me a copy. The letter says they cant prove whether thats my signature or not but as the money went into my bank I was liable.

 

Is it time to go to the ombudsman or shall I face up to the debt? She has also done the same with NatWest for £40,000!! Should I start looking at going bankrupt? or shall I say "here's my £80 a week I earn, I'll give you £5 a week"

 

I cant help feeling HFC have acted poorly in this. They have strung this along and dont seem to even acknowledge that they have underperformed.

 

Any advice please? :confused:

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Hi poodge,

 

I am not a lawyer so the following are my thoughts only.

 

 

Since the contract was based on a fraud then it is void at common law see Pearce v brooks (1866).

 

I think they also had a duty of care to report the fraud to the police with or without your consent.

 

I am sure some of the great people here can be of more assistance.

 

-E

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cheers E

 

I hope you may be onto something there.

 

I get the impression they are just following the simplest course of action.

 

Thanks again,

 

Poodge :)

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I knew i'ld seen this before, so after a bit of digging i've found you're original post on this matter from back in April.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt/80556-beinging-hounded-hfc-beneficial.html

 

You need to go to the police as originally advised! As post #2 says, a contract based on fraud is void, and at the end of the day this is identity theft and fraud. You can get copies of the original agreements by either sending CCA requests or SAR's for all information.

 

I'ld also be contacting the OFT and the FOS and telling HFC that you're fed up of them a*sing around and messing you about. Why should YOU go bust over this?!!

 

You could also contact your local Trading Standards office and ask their advise.

Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK

 

It's time to stop letting them walk all over you which is what sounds like is happening.

 

Good luck, regards, Dave.

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Thanks Dave,

 

I think your right, I have been been concentrating on the complaint I lodged with HFC rather than going on the offensive.

 

I'll send the letter off for the CCA tomorrow.

 

Thanks for the good advice,

 

:)

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The CCA needs to go off by rec. delivery.... or HFC may claim that they've never received it.

 

If you decide to go down the road of making a SAR, then you need to ask for full disclosure, including transcripts of all telephone conversations. It will be interesting to see if they can produce a CCA for you though.... and if so, whose signatures are on it.

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  • 1 year later...

can anybody help me I owe an amount to 1st credit and I haave offered to ay them an amount but they will not accept it they have told me I have to pay in 1 month or they are going to go to court and once they get a judgment they are going to go for my home even though I only have a small amount of equity in it. does anybode have any ideas what I should do.

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You should start your own thread to get advise tailored for you

 

 

We need to know what kind of debt it is etc

 

Ida x

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You should start your own thread to get advise tailored for you

 

 

We need to know what kind of debt it is etc

 

Ida x

 

Hi first time I have tried to get advice and not sure the right way to go about it.

 

It was a personel unsecured loan with the Halifax who have now sold it to 1st Credit.

 

At my wits end.

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