'Meeting at No. 10 with the coalition...' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • many people who suffer bad debt problems end up going to debt management companies who charge them and are now setting up 'bank acccounts' to manage all their income. This is an unregulated and dangerous area where, sooner or later, an almightly crash is going to happen

    David T
  • Well done Martin and Dan. It's great to think people who really understand our problems can talk directly to government.

    Please can I point out one thing? Credit card interest rates are crippling, is there any way that they can be reduced. The bank base rate is so low, it really feels like robbery and trapping people who are struggling.
  • Eric_PischEric_Pisch Forumite
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    one man can make a difference (well two, well two with 5 million web subscribers behind them)

    :beer:
  • StressStress Forumite
    22 Posts
    I would hope you will be able to meet on a regular basis to raise issues.

    One issue that I feel should be raised is the reluctance of the FSA to use Section 382 of FSMA to asist consumers claim restitution.
    My previous posts detail my problems, but four years after an FOS decision and £30k in legal fees and things are just starting to get sorted.
    What happens to people who can't afford enforcement? Legal Aid firms are not interested as it's a complicated procedure.
  • Wee_Bargain_HunterWee_Bargain_Hunter Forumite
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    There was a story about petrol prices in Northern Ireland on the BBC website today that included some info about fuel poverty. They quoted a local MLA as saying:
    "Fuel poverty in the North is estimated to be at 40% - compared with the 2006 levels in England of 12%, 23% in Scotland and 21% in Wales."

    There was also a link to the Consumer Council which has useful fuel price monitors for both petrol/diesel as well as for home heating oil.
  • edited 8 June 2010 at 8:36PM
    pure_dead_dopeypure_dead_dopey Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    edited 8 June 2010 at 8:36PM
    Good progress.

    To echo Ted, the way the banks generally treat customers who fall foul of their systems and into default is horrendous and totally unnecessary. I know that some people ( a minority) will try to walk away from their obligations but the vast vast majority want to fix it and in a great many cases are only in financial distress through unfair actions of said banks. The banks generally treat everyone as a criminal and offer practically no help to anyone trying to pay back debt. They expect that you will jump through their hoops, you can be spoken to in the most vile manner and you can be scared into paying more than you can afford all just to suit the bank. They are greedy and unprofessional and at least an enforceable code of conduct needs to be laid down, financial education is great and it will change the financial conduct of the population but life happens and there has to be some recognisable system that debtors can rely on to be treated fairly by the banks, at the moment they more or less do exactly as they like. As a fairly law abiding citizen, I can hardly believe the way banks treat us, if they operated in the real regulated world of business, they wouldn't last 5 minutes, and you don't know about all this going on until you fall into debt. There is a nasty greedy underside to banking and its treatment of customers and it needs to be cleaned up soon.
    More than Two Years in

    Doing it the Niddy way:j:j:j

  • edited 8 June 2010 at 9:00PM
    Professor_Pat_PendingProfessor_Pat_Pending Forumite
    341 Posts
    edited 8 June 2010 at 9:00PM
    It all boils down to one word................GREED.
    There are about 20 or so regulars on our thread under Debt free diaries, all of us on/embarking on DMPs and some of the tales are quite extraordinary ranging from relentless phone calls, threats, intimidation, offers of further consolidation loans instead of DMPs, interest rates hikes to 35%, numerous cases of no communication between depts (within the same organisation) and in some cases downright lies.
    We all survive through supporting each other NOT by support from the banks, there are a few companies that seem to be more supportive than others but there is no consistent approach which in turn causes total frustration.
    Some sort of regulation/protocol regarding DMPs must be an urgent requirement, to bring the banks to order and stop this unpredictability.
    Yes, we all got ourselves into debt, but are all trying to do something about it, sometimes I think this is seen as wrong by the banks who want us to get into more debt so they can make more and more money.
    I will end this rant by expressing my sincere admiration for the charities (Payplan/CCCS, etc) that deal with all these problems in a calm, pragmatic manner. They are quite simply magnificent. PP
    LBM Jan 2010. DFD 2016. :think:
    Paddle No. 5.
    Debt at DMP start (May 1st '10) £54.9k, as of 1st Oct '11 £33.2k. 40% cleared.
    (3 F & Fs down, 5 to go!) :T
  • davidgmmafandavidgmmafan Forumite
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    "The bank base rate is so low, it really feels like robbery and trapping people who are struggling."

    Its not just credit cards, I have no doubt Halifax's change to overdraft charges has left some stuck in debt. Isn't that the opposite of responsible lending? It is a side issue, but a one indcative of how banks treat and view thier customers - with contempt.

    If I could bring about one change, I would pass a law to say that an admin fee must be just that no more no less, this would apply to bank charges etc retrospectively.
    Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport known to mankind and anyone who says it is 'a bar room brawl' has never trained in it and has no idea what they are talking about.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Selden wrote: »
    Will Martin be pressing the argument for the reform of insurance contract law?

    As can be seen from numerous cases raised on the insurance forum, the current law on non-disclosure and misrepresentation gives rise to many problems and is weighted heavily against the consumer.

    In December 2009 the Law Commissions issued a report containing a draft Bill which, if adopted, would make the law in these areas very much fairer.

    All the work is done; the Bill simply needs to be enacted.

    That one hasn't been on my agenda (which is all ready too long - focus is important). However we will be relaunching the MSE consumer manifesto this year allowing people to suggest ideas and provisionally DC and NC have agreed to review and read it - so its a good one for the (please suggest it when we launch it)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    The government have no desire to educate people financially, the FSA's generic financial education roll out is just not happening (I was so called involved). I would also say that I really feel the goverment are more interested in the number of people (voters) who use MSE forums etc not the actual content of the site. They are really not interested if Tesco is giving extra points away this week or the ability to get two pizza's for the price of one. Sorry to be a bit of a realist but many areas on the site are well out of date and would save people more money if updated.

    Like I say, sorry about the winge but it is true the real issue's are not as up to date as the freebies which don't change people's lives.

    Firstly I hope the government are interested in financial education and we'll see. Perhaps your cycnism is well founded that they want the votes of the MSE site (the mse forum is smaller than the MSE site in users though not in page views) but that can still help deliver it (also to be fair this govt has only been in a month)

    As for the site being out of date, there are some articles we don't update in a while - we note that. All the crucial ones (savings, cards, bank charges, broadband, etc are updated regularly) - we on't really have a freebies section (not a big one) so I'm confused by your critique what exactly are you talking about? Which article is out of date that you think critical to people finances?
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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