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stay on case for reclaimed benefits -help?


tiredandangry
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Like many others my bank has been taking charges from my benefits for years. I am a disabled lady with a long term dibilitating illness. I have just had my case stayed and want to know what to do? I started my case like normal as a request for penalty charges but it wasn't until the OFT case that I looked at Martin Lewis's site and realised I should have just requested my benefits be repaid under a separate law. Do I challenge the stay or do I start again?

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It was Carlisle County Court.

 

This is the relevant wording of the banks skeleton argument which was accepted by the judge and I admit that it accords with my understanding of the Act.

 

13. Social Security Administration Act 1982

The claimant argues the levying of bank fees amounts to an unlawful 'charge' on benefits she receives from the the State. It is plain that this argument is wrong as a matter of construction of the Act, and confuses 'charges' in the sense of fees (to which the Act has no relevance) and charges in the sense of a proprietary right attaching to benefits (to which the Act relates, but which the levying of fees does not create).

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The claimant argues the levying of bank fees amounts to an unlawful 'charge' on benefits she receives from the the State. It is plain that this argument is wrong as a matter of construction of the Act, and confuses 'charges' in the sense of fees (to which the Act has no relevance) and charges in the sense of a proprietary right attaching to benefits (to which the Act relates, but which the levying of fees does not create).

 

Could it not be argued that if a bank is aware that only income related state benefits are being credited to an account, an amount of money which the government states as the minimum amount of money required for basic living - and which is public money, that the terms and conditions allowing the bank to levy fees equates to a proprietary right attaching to benefits. After all, these are not fees that are invoiced to a consumer. They are deducted directly from the benefit as the bank have given themselves that right to remove the fees, before the consumer has access to the funds. This has the same affect as a legal charge to me.

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Thanks everybody. I've spoken to my court who told me to initially write a letter to explain why the case is different from those being dealt with by the OFT. Also spoken to DG solictors (HSBC) who seem to think its perfectly ok to take mine and my daugters disabled benefits. I'm very angry. Going away for a few days I'll let you know what happens when I get back.

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Also spoken to DG solictors (HSBC) who seem to think its perfectly ok to take mine and my daugters disabled benefits.

 

It would seem even the courts think it is right to take money from peoples benefits which they are given to live on.

 

Is there no-one on the consumers side (apart from CAG of course)?

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