HELP TO RESOLVE DEBT COMPLAINTS & DISPUTES WITH UK LENDERS (BANKS,
BUILDING SOCIETIES & FINANCE COMPANIES) INCLUDING LIAISING WITH
OMBUDSMAN/ARBITRATOR & SOLICITORS.
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR LENDER ?
All Banks and other lenders have Customer Service Departments at a local, area, or Head Office level. Don’t be afraid to complain !! DEBTWISE can help you to draft your complaint. If the complaint reaches a deadlock stage then you can refer it to the appropriate ombudsman. It is strongly recommended you obtain your file (Subject Access Data File) details from the Lender concerned. There is normally a fee of £10 for this service (check with lender concerned) but you are entitled to see your personal (ie not limited company) file under the Data Protection Act. To obtain the file request a 'Subject Access Data Access Report under the Data Protection Act 1998'. The file should include copies of any legal agreements, mandates, correspondence, statements, and bank file notes (note where the account is joint, the lender will require the authority of all joint account holders. The cost is £10 per file)
The British Bankers Association ( 0207-216-8800 ; http://www.bankfacts.org.uk have free information sheets on 'How to complain to your Bank' which gives guidance. If the lender is not a bank, the Finance & Leasing Association (0207-836-6511 : www.fla.org.ukcan provide a free booklet ‘Consumer Code of Practice’. For DISPUTES see next web page as it is important to take care in what is admitted if liabilities are disputed ..DEBTWISE may be able to help! (see Assessment Form details if help is required.). Following changes to legislation, as from December 2009, banks and other lenders need to comply with The Lending Code http://www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk/docs/lendingcode.pdf (The Lending Standards Board) and also Banking Conduct of Business http://www.fca.org.uk/firms/being-regulated/banking/Conduct-regime
The Financial Ombudsman Service (0207-9641234) :www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk produce a guide ‘Your complaint and the Ombudsman’ and provides consumers with a free, independent service for resolving disputes with financial companies who are members of their scheme. DEBTWISE can provide assistance to draft and put the complaint forward. The Financial Ombudsman Service prefers that consumers make complaints themselves. From experience it is considered that help is needed in order to ensure a complaint is focused and that there is documentary evidence. The intention of DEBTWISE is to assist in trying to ensure a complaint is presented in the best way possible to ensure it can be dealt with fairly.
NO CREDIT OR CANNOT OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT ?
If you cannot open a bank account try to find out why! The Information Commissioner’s Office www.ico.gov.uk (01625-545745) produce a free booklet ' Credit Explained' which is very helpful.
For a credit search against yourself quote your addresses over the last 6 years and send £2 to either of the three main Credit Reference Agencies –
Consumer Help Service
P.O. Box 8000
0870 241 6212
Experian offer 30 day trial www.creditexpert.co.uk
Credit File Advice Centre
P.O. Box 1140
Bradford BD1 5US
0870 010 0583 ( for enquiries once you have your credit file)
Consumer Services Team
0870 060 1414
Call Credit Check www.callcreditcheck.com Find out why you have been turned down for credit/improve your chances of getting credit. Also FAQ's re credit status.
NOTE : Credit repair companies are NOT recognised by the above ! The IC Office booklet gives guidance on how to challenge incorrect or out of date information under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The Banks are under no legal obligation to open or operate a bank account although a letter to the Bank Head of Customer Service might have some effect. Also try contacting your local M.P. who might be able to help if there was some form of discrimination.
UNENFORCEABLE DEBT This is a debt which the lender cannot enforce for one reason or another. In a ruling October 2014 Grace George v Black Horse Limited the court decided that there are circumstances where a lender may not be able to record unenforceable debt at the credit registries. If such a debt is recorded then it is suggested that the borrower who is affected refers the credit registry and lender to this case. See FLA website for information on the case (or Google) http://www.fla.org.uk/index.php/recent-court-cases-with-potential-implications-for-members/#
Office of Fair Trading set the standards for debt collection and state acceptable practices http://www.oft.gov.uk/about-the-oft/legal-powers/legal/cca/debt-collection