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YB cave in Mirror article


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Check me out in the mirror today!

 

MIRROR MONEY

 

SHOWDOWN

 

BANKS CAVE IN ON RIP-OFF OVERDRAFT CHARGES RATHER THAN FACE COURT

 

04/07/2007

 

BANKS are caving in and dishing out refunds worth thousands of pounds to avoid risky court showdowns over rip-off charges.

And today could be another big day in the battle against unauthorised overdraft charges.

A judge at Hull County Court is due to hear more than 40 claims from customers hit by excessive charges when they dipped in to the red.

 

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A top barrister, backed by the campaigning Consumer Action Group, will be on hand to represent anyone whose case makes it to court.

 

However, some of these claims have already been dropped after banks paid out to avoid going to court.

Last week in Leeds more than 250 cases were due to be heard in the mercantile court. But hours before they were due to start the majority were called off.

Operations manager Lee Coward, from Leeds, won back £2,700 from Yorkshire Bank. In a frantic last 24 hours lawyers for the bank raced to reach a settlement.

Lee, 32, spent the day swapping faxes as he haggled for compensation on top of his claim.

"I could see that they were desperate not to go to court," said Lee. "They had wasted my time and the court's time so on top of what I was owed I claimed a self-litigation fee.

"They paid it. I never got the feeling they planned to go to court. They were just seeing if I had the courage to take them on."

Like many Lee does not object to paying a small price when he slips in to the red. But Lee, who has two Yorkshire accounts, was astonshed to be hit with £80 charges after accidentally taking money from the wrong one.

The bank wrote to him and said he was being charged £8 a day, plus £35 in charges. Lee, who lives with his wife Melanie and daughter Elise, immediately put money in the account. But a further £8 charge for that day took him overdrawn again.

He pleaded with the bank that he had acted responsibly. But they still docked more than £100 from his account. Lee said: "I was frustrated. No one would talk to me.

"It was because they treated me so badly I decided to claim back every charge they had given me over the last six years.

"I was happy paying charges, but then when I looked in to it I realised it was all a bit of a con.

"They were picking my pocket for years and I was letting it happen."

Lee's situation is not unique. Others scheduled to go to court on Thursday also had dramatic last-minute payouts.

Many were with Lloyds TSB, others included Nationwide building society and Halifax.

Most won back all their charges, plus interest of eight per cent.

Many had also claimed a self-litigation fee of around £230.

Courts have been flooded with complaints since the battle to reclaim unfair charges gained momentum. Judges have so many cases that they are trying to deal with dozens on the same day.

Money Claim, the website of the small claims court, is being upgraded to cope with the flood of cases. It has put up a message advising those hoping to reclaim charges to first try the Financial Ombudsman Service. It is receiving 3,500 complaints a week.

So far the Ombudsman has not had to rule on any cases because, just like in the courts, banks are backing down before a decision has to be made.

If you take your bank to court you will have to pay a fee. The more money you claim back, the higher the fee. But you will get this back if you win or the case is settled.

With the Ombudsman you pay nothing. It also has the power to award compensation if you can prove you have suffered distress or inconvenience. "The message is don't be put off by their bullying," says Marc Gander from the Consumer Action Group.

"Hold your nerve. The banks aren't making it easy to win back charges but most people are still successful."

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wicked news! Another straw to break YBs back nice one and congratulations to all who got their cash lets hope all the back to back claims at middlesbrough on the 7th sept 2pm have the same result good luck to us all

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Indeed great news.

 

Hmm self litigation fee? is that claimed on the day?

"I am more than prepared to repay any money I have borrowed, IF they are prepared to refund any money THEIR agreement doesnt allow them to charge me." Tamadus

 

Thanks couldnt put it better myself :D

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Claim it, they can only say no..... but YB rolled over and paid mine within an hour of my fax. Let me know if you want a template to ask for it!

Yes please

 

was that you 5 mins of fame then Lee? :p

"I am more than prepared to repay any money I have borrowed, IF they are prepared to refund any money THEIR agreement doesnt allow them to charge me." Tamadus

 

Thanks couldnt put it better myself :D

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That would be the money you charge the bank for doing the leg and legal work to get the case to court.

"I am more than prepared to repay any money I have borrowed, IF they are prepared to refund any money THEIR agreement doesnt allow them to charge me." Tamadus

 

Thanks couldnt put it better myself :D

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A litigant in person fee. £9.25 per hour I think for research and preparing/printing letters etc.

 

Be reasonable with your estimates of time spent and if it came before a Judge, you'd get it.

The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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thanks guys like the sound of this good on you for getting it. The hours of work and paper ink etc that have and are put into preparing just the bundle alone are unreal. I have had to pay all the way no exemption from fee's for me. God the office works experience kid gets paid!!!!!! interesting thanks

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