This section holds useful information regarding debt questions and bankruptcy questions.

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

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ByTalbotWoods
#162216 Please note that OFT and the Banks have agreed to slog it out in court to determine what are fair charges:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6918140.stm

What this means is that UNLESS you have already lodged your appeal with the bank, you will be told to wait until after the trial, or put more simply the bank will ignore you because the FSA have said they can!!.

If a bank has already agreed a settlement with you they must pay it, before the OFT v The Banks trial.

All cases that are pending going to court (where you have submitted a CCJ application) have been stayed until the outcome of the OFT v The Banks is known!!

Tim
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ByTalbotWoods
#162425 More to stack against them!

However, the OFT Case will I imagine be quite slow and arduous, as the banks will pay a small fortune in litigation cost, compared with the meagre resources the OFT will be able to pay!!

I suspect that before it even gets into court a lot of closed doors negotiations will take place, and I would not rule out and agreement being found!!

If it does get into court, then it will be a slow process, so don't expect fast answers or results, and though articles like the times one are there, they will not be considered at this High Court case, only the issue of charges!!

If the OFT wins then I think we can say goodbye to free banking, he banks will want their pound of flesh, and they will get it one way or the other!!

Tim
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BySammy
#162430 Yes,I'm afraid so,Tim
I don't actually object to charges for say an unauthorised OD as such, my beef with them is the scale of those charges, like £30 for a £5 mistake. It's pretty obvious they're making a nice profit, in fact a very nice profit..... :(
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ByAnge
#162492 So, does that mean that my Dad (who was going to start re-claiming some of his) can't do that now?
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BySammy
#162500 I think so - going on what Tim has just said
And,unfortunately,it could be a protracted affair..... :(
Having said that,I'm not sorry OFT has taken them to court - I'm afraid the banks have fallen greatly in my estimation of them not that I think they care about that!! :roll:
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ByTalbotWoods
#162509 Ange

Sorry but he's going to have to wait, they have made it clear that no new claims will be allowed, only those that have already been notified.

And yes this could take a long time to come to court.

Tim
BySandyballs
#162520 Tim - I hope you don't mind me posting this as ( from penaltycharges.com ) apparently the FSA can't overrule an Act of Parliament, merely advise on it. If it's inappropriate, feel free to delete, although the info below would suggest more chutzpah ! I think the source is verified.


Dear Members

I thought it would be a good idea to email you all on this as I am receiving hundreds of emails about the implications to the test case.

We have noticed that Bank have been yet again misleading consumers and neither the FSA or the OFT have stepped in to stop this action.

Fact No claims have been stayed unless you receive a letter from the court telling that your claim has been stayed. You then have the legal right to apply for the stay to be set aside. (Updated template for this on the site)

Some of our member have already contacted their court and been informed it business as normal.

What you need to know and do!


1. If you’re a claim filled at the court then you must continue as normal. I.e. if you just received the Allocation questionnaire you must submit this back to the court in the given time limits. If you have received court orders to produce documents or submit further information. You must do so within those time limits.

2. if your not filled a claim at court yet, then you must follow the procedure ie. Get your statements, send the Letter before action and if you don’t get a refund within 14 days on the 15th day you must the issue your claim at your local county court.

3. Don’t sit and wait as the limitations act is still running and every day month you delay in filling you claim is a day/month less you can claim back.

If the banks send you a letter saying that all claim are on hold and the FSA have given them a waiver not to deal with complaints ignore it. you not complaining your taking legal action. Big difference.

4. If the bank does not comply with your Data Protection request (subject access request) and use the FSA wavier as a reason, ignore this The FSA does not have the legal standing to give bank permission not to comply with ACT of Parliament. I,e banks still have to comply and if they fail to do so report them to the Information commissioner.

5. If you used the finical ombudsman route this is now useless as they have agreed to not continue with claims until the test case is heard.

Therefore you need to get a claim filled at your local county court or as above each day/month delay is costing you money as the Limitations act will still apply.


6. Business Claims you need to carry on as normal as the claims do not run using the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 and therefore are not Part of the OFT test Case.


BIG NEWS

People in receipt of Benefits can continue to claim the money taken from their benefits we have new POC on the site for this and yes Penaltycharges.co.uk was the first to have these up and ready for you to use.

The reason you can claim these banks is because the benefit that you are receiving is deemed as alienable under the:

Social Security Administration Act 1992 (s.187) which states as follows:

187.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every assignment of or charge on—
(a) benefit as defined in section 122 of the Contributions and Benefits Act;
(b) any income-related benefit; or
(c) child benefit,
and every agreement to assign or charge such benefit shall be void; and, on the bankruptcy of a beneficiary, such benefit shall not pass to any trustee or other person acting on behalf of his creditors.


In short the above means banks cannot take money from your benefit payments to cover their penalty charges.

We will have a full list of all benefits covered under this act on this site today.

The OFT test case does not involve claims brought under this act so carry on as normal.


Conclusion

You must continue with your claims as normal. ignore everything the bank says about what happening to your claim. i.e. it on hold it been stayed. Unless you heard from the court it has not been.

We are advising member to complain to the FSA and the OFT about the potential misleading information given out by them and the banks.

We would suggest you write to your local MP about claims any claims that might be stayed since the test case is likely to last at least 1 year possibly longer the bank aim to make an estimated 4billion pounds profit if claims are stayed.

As your are aware this money is mostly from those who cannot afford it and your mp should be seeking to address this in the House. There has already been a test case on Penalty charges the Law goes back over 100 years.

If in doubt please use the forum and post question as sorry I cannot cope with the amount of PM’s and emails I am receiving.

Finally please if you not already done so sign the petition here

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk:80/Penaltycharges/
ByDebtDr D
#166366 Hi

Someone sent me this template letter to send the court if your claim has been stayed ! I think its from CAG .



I strongly object to the proposed order of a stay in respect of the claim detailed above upon the following grounds;

Human rights

It would infringe my rights under the European Convention on Human Rights directly and as enacted in the Human Rights Act 1998. Article 6 of the Convention provides that;

“1. In the determination of his civil rights… everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.”

It is submitted that the ordering of a stay as proposed is not reasonable. The 8 banks involved in the High Court test case have recently published identical statements on their websites informing customers that they expect the test case to last for over a year. Moreover, the nature and gravity of the case is such that any judgment is highly likely to be appealed to the Court of Appeal and possibly even then appealed further to the House of Lords. It is entirely conceivable that a final resolution may not be reached for 2 – 3 years or perhaps even longer. It is thus submitted that the period of any proposed stay cannot be accurately predicted and would therefore in effect be indeterminate, which is contrary to the right of entitlement to a fair hearing within a reasonable time as provided for by Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Overriding Objective

The Overriding Objective requires that my case is allowed to proceed speedily so that a just settlement may be obtained by the parties to this case. Dealing with cases justly includes ensuring that this case is dealt with expeditiously and fairly and in a way that is proportionate to the amount of money involved. It is submitted that the imposition of an indeterminate stay in a small claims track case involving a reletively small sum, at such an advanced stage in proceedings, is not just, nor is it expeditious, nor is it fair on a claimant who has outlaid sums by way of court fees in pursuit of a legitimate right to seek a remedy.

Balance of convenience

The sum claimed is insignificant to the bank but it is highly significant to me. Furthermore, although a stay prevents me from recovering my money, the defendant bank is not prevented from levying its charges or interest on debt comprised of those charges so the order of the court has the effect of favouring a powerful and well-resourced institution and does not place any restriction on their continued application of charges which I say are unlawful. Further, many banks are now routinely closing the accounts of their customers who commence claims against them. This amounts to a sanction for seeking a ruling from the justice system and as such is a basic denial of citizenship. I will remain at risk of such action despite the fact that my remedy has been placed on an indeterminate hold.

Additionally, the defendant remains at liberty to enter my name on the default register which it and other banks routinely do in respect of unlawful penalties which are unpaid by their customers. The banks have direct and privileged access to this register. They have no need to obtain a County Court judgment before they may enter a default on the register. This default remains on the register for 6 years and causes enormous damage to reputations. Were my name to be entered on the default register I would find it impossible to get credit or a mortgage and I would have to pay higher fees for any credit which I did manage to obtain. The banks would also remain at liberty to bring legal proceedings against me for the recovery of any debt which mostly or entirely consists of penalty charges, penalty charges which are contended to be unlawful, but which consumers would be helpless to challenge in the event that stays are imposed on any claim where a customer is seeking to dispute the lawfulness of them.

It is submitted that a stay may potentially mean great difficulty for me and yet be insignificant for the defendant bank. In fact a stay is supportive of the banks litigation strategy which is to frustrate justice by repeatedly taking the claimant to the door of the court and then to settle the claim.

The Status Quo

The stay does not maintain the status quo. As submitted above, a stay favours the bank by preventing the claimant’s pursuit of its legitimate remedy without placing any restriction upon the banks activities which I submit are unlawful and/or retaliatory.

Furthermore, as submitted above the present case concerns a relatively small sum and is at a late stage in proceedings, and therefore I submit that to impose an indeterminate stay is unnecessary, inappropriate, not in the interests of justice and further, is detrimental to my rights in a way which is unfair and inequitable.

In the alternative

In view of the preceding paragraphs, if the court accedes to the defendant’s application for a stay notwithstanding these objections, I respectfully request that the court issues the following injunctions:
• That the defendant bank is prevented from applying further penalty charges to my account until the final settlement of the matter.
• That the defendant is prevented from applying interest charges to any outstanding amounts which are comprised of penalties until the settlement of the matter.
• That the defendant is prevented from closing my account.
• That the defendant is prevented from making any entry on its own systems or from communicating any similar information to any third party about any matter insofar as it relates to penalty charges until the final settlement of the matter.
• That the defendant removes any derogatory entry on its own records insofar as it relates to penalty charges. (The Court has the power to do this under the Data Protection Act 1998 )
• That the defendant arranges the removal of entries from the records of any third parties to whom it has previously communicated information insofar as it relates to penalty charges. (The Court has the power to do this under the Data protection Act 1998.)
• That these injunctions remain in place until the settlement of my claim.
• That should my claim proceed to a hearing that a decision should be made at the hearing as to whether these injunctions should be made permanent.
• That if the matter should not proceed to a hearing because the defendant decides to settle outside court, that these injunctions should become permanent.
I, the Claimant, believe all facts stated to be true.

Signed:
Dated:
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#169454 A Date has now been set for the court case:

14 January 2008,

but it will not end there, as it has been agreed that the court will ONLY decide on if the unfair contractual rules do apply to bank charges.

After the court case if the decision is that they do, the banks will have a window in which to appeal, if they don't then the OFT must decide if they are unfair!!

This will then take a period of time, in which OFT will decide on what a fair charge should be, then as they did with credit cards they will allow people to base their claims on the previous six years only.

If the court comes down on the side of the banks, then they will be able to charge what the hell they like!!

Tim
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