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Help please, have HSBC screwed me over?? Bank charges, DMPs, Debt collection agencys.


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First of all, I know this is long, but I've tried to include every detail as to make it as clear as possible for you all,


I hope someone on here can offer me advice. Right, to the story.. I owe HSBC about 6k which I'm paying off on a DMP with a few other debtors and have been for the past 5 months.


I held my current account with HSBC at the time I got into the financial mess that is the reason for said DMP, so obviously I had some bank charges to reclaim from that account, which is currently 1.5k overdrawn, (the rest I owe HSBC is a loan and a credit card)..


My bank charges totalled 2370 so I sent the 14 day letter blah de blah and finally received an offer of 2014. Now concentrate here because this is where it gets tricky.


I decided that as I'm a bit strapped at the moment, and because I'm paying them back through the DMP (through CCCS) that I'd try and get the money back as a personal cheque. I rewrote the acceptance form they enclosed with the offer, saying basically I accept 2014 in the form of a personal cheque within 14 days, signed it, and sent it off.


About 3 weeks later an official looking HSBC letter came through the post, my cheque! No, it wasn't my cheque it was another acceptance form, the same one I received three weeks ago..


I decided to ring customer services and ask them what was going on, they said "oh sorry sir, your account has been closed, you'll have to go into your branch, where they will give you a cheque". I checked on the internet and yes, I couldn't log on, they had just closed it! I questioned CS thinking it sounds a bit far fetched for banks to give out cheques over the counter, when I got there sadly I was right.


The woman in the bank first claimed they don't deal with bank charges at all, then told me to sign the form and send it back. I said I'd already done that once and could she get hold of the relevant people because no-one will deal with me because my account has been closed, anyway she got really stroppy at this, dissapeared for 20 minutes, and came back saying loudly, "Yes I was right, you'll have to sign the form then we can send it back for you, but because you now owe Metropolitan Collection Services the money, it will just come off what you owe them."


I quickly deduced that this meant my debt had been passed on to Met. and hugely embarrassed at what she'd just done, I signed the form and left the branch red faced. But as I walked to my car I thought, "So I've just accepted 400 pounds less than what I'm owed, and I don't even get the money?" So I marched back into the bank, where the form was still on the side as she dealt with the next customer, and a picked it up and said I needed to think about it, she said fine, and I went home, I've still got the form at home now.


This was about a week ago, anyway I've just had a letter through from Metropolitan, asking for the full amount of 3834.44 that HSBC have passed on.


Does this mean that the 2k has been credited to Metropolitan, thats why its not closer to the 6 I already owe them?


Because I signed the form at all, is that the end of it, even though I still have the form at home?


Should I try sending it in again, with the "cheque" bit added?


If anyone can help, I'd be really grateful, and thanks for reading this rather long post...


Cheers, James

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we've seen this sort of thing before - not the closing of the account as such (although i know it has happened and if you think the main reason for them closing the account was because you were claiming back bank charges -then that's another problem to deal with - there are links on here for that as well) but back to the main problem - as i said - we've seen before where they make an offer and then say that because you are in arrears with what you owe - they are going to offset the money from the offer onto one of their products - and they are within their rights to do this. the fact that you weren't aware that the debt had moved on to metropolitan is very sloppy - they should have made you aware of it.

i'm afraid that the only thing i can suggest that you do - is to send an S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) (subject access request to metropolitan asking for all the information they hold on you - a complete record of what they say you owe) - you might try phoning them and asking for this (i would try to work out if the 2k has gone on your debt - i think it probably has) - i really hate these guys - you do know that hsbc owns/is metropolitan - it's like they've got you coming and going.

i'd like to tell you that what they have done is wrong - but i'm afraid it is called offsetting and it is what they do - the only bright side is that you now owe less. get in touch with metropolitan and work out a payment schedule - tell them you get xxxx each week - and you have this much to pay out for housing, food, basic maintainance bills and food and you have about 10 pounds left which you could repay them with (in other words - it's a debt and will have to be paid - so, maybe check with citizens advice or someone - but they can't ask you to pay more than you have, but you will have to pay something)


one further thought - had you actually filed your claim in the courts then you could have argued that your account was in dispute and i don't think they could have closed it or moved the debt to met. (that may be incorrect) and it's a bit water under the bridge now - but might help someone else in similar situation.



What to do if your bank closes your account



you might get some more help on this here:Debt Collectors and Debt Collection Agencies



someone else may have a different take on all this - but i hate to see a post with no replies - so this may get you back to the top and some more responses, james - sorry i couldn't be of more positive help.

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Thanks for your help mate, well I phoned Metropolitan today to ask them what the 3.8k I owe them is made up of and they said it is my current account and personal loan, which makes sense as my credit card is around 2.2k, which strangely hasn't been passed on to them.


So I'm thinking send the acceptance form back in, requesting a cheque, and hope for the best. Worst case scenario that they refuse and the claim gets held up until the test cases are over, but at least I should then get the full amount knocked off my debt rather than their offer of around 70%, which I'd be happy with to be honest. I just don't think it makes sense accepting a lesser offer, when I can't have the money anyway, the whole point of accepting the offer being to get the money faster.

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Yes I don't mind them operating an offset and reducing the debt with Metropolitan, but not if the "settlement" is for less than the total charges I believe they owe me! In essence I'm accepting their lesser offer, but only in the form of a cheque, otherwise no deal and I'll wait it out and in the end the offset may be operated, but for the full amount.

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