Abbey wont remove default

Here goes first time using this...

I am in desperate need of some advice and help. I have taken this matter to the Ombudsman however it seems like their not able to do anything either. Can any one help I have copied the letter to ombudsman below and if you wish to see their reply i can also share that.

In 2007 I took out a credit card with Abbey and I used it and made regular on time payments, however in the March 2008 I started to receive double statements. One statement was the usual red and white A5 statement with the normal re-payment method and the other was an A4 black and white statement informing me to pay into a different account. I went in to my Oxford branch and showed these statements to them. The adviser said to me there must be some error and I should not have received them. He took these statements and said he would destroy them and make an entry on my file. The next week I received another Black and White statement asking me to make payment, the statement I received was accurate as it knew my details and it showed how much I had spent and how much I needed to repay. I contacted Abbey and they put me threw to the fraud department explaining me that I must not use my card, hand in the statements to my local branch and that they were going to freeze my account so they could investigate the issue.
I did as instructed. In December 2010 I received a letter from a third party debt collector demanding full repayment of my outstanding balance. I explained that Abbey was investigating the problem they said to me to take it up with Abbey, so I did. I called abbey they said that the case was forwarded to the agency. I asked if my issue had been resolved and the outcome of the investigation. They informed me somebody from the fraud department would call me. I called the agency and paid the outstanding balance, however to this date I have not received a call from the frauds team.

In Jan 2013 I applied for a mortgage; however I was declined due to a default on my credit history. I was advised by my financial adviser to ring Abbey and inquire why there was this default from them.

On Tuesday 29 Jan 2013 12:45pm approximately, I called Abbey customer services and explained to them my situation and what had happened. The lady informed me that due to the account being closed there was no way to confirm who I was, so I must take identification into my nearest branch and call back once they have confirmed my identity. I did so and called from Nottingham city centre branch.
The lady I spoke to understood my issue, confirmed with her Manager and informed me that they would to remove the default; however this would take up to 10 working days. She assured me that she had spoken to her manager and he has confirmed he would do this as soon as he can. I explained that I was in an urgent situation as I had found a house that I wanted to buy, however it was my mortgage that was on hold due to this default. She assured me after I asked her several times that would the default be removed so I can continue with my mortgage application she again reassured me that her manager has said he would do it but the change comes into effect after 10 days.

On Friday 8th Feb 1pm I called and spoke to Shaks. I told him about my issue and about my previous conversation and what they promised to do. He could not find any record of my conversation despite the fact that an entry was made that I was asked to visit a branch and show identification. He emailed his manager explaining the situation and took my number and email address so he could call back and email me. Within an hour he called back with good news saying he has had an email from his manager saying that they would work to solve this problem and would remove the default and would send me a confirming email and this would be done in 5 working days.

On Friday 15th of Feb I called back and asked if there was any progress, there was no record of my conversation and no notes on the system I again explained my situation and the lady assured me that she would have this matter resolved and after speaking to her manager she said that it would change by the end of the month. I asked that my complain be logged and I requested top have a copy of all my conversations with abbey, which she said she would send. I am still waiting for those transcripts and the complain department to call me back. Since then I have rang several times and I have a list of these times also.

I am utterly disappointed and frustrated with the service provided the lack of fulfilling agreements and promises. I am in the process of seeking legal advice, however I want to know what you intend to do to resolve this issue.

Satander replied in writing basically saying they were right in Defaulting account and even suggested I was aggressive towards a clerk whilst calling - I am a minister I don't do aggressive-

I forwarded complaint to ombudsman and they said that Santander were justified as I had not been making on time payments - when I was under the impression that the account was frozen- didn't address the phone calls that I had made and advisers telling me that it would be done. I asked for these phone call conversations but they didn't send. What should I do. My kids have out grown our rented accommodation and I am in a position to buy, Abbey/santander have already caused me to loose one that was perfectly ideal for us.

Thank you


  • jonesMUFCforever
    I have read the top part of the letter - do you agree that you spent money on the card but because of the duplicate statements never paid it off?
  • Buzby
    Buzby Posts: 8,275 Forumite
    These days, it is usual for the consumer to check their own files (at a cost of £6) to ensure problems line these are trapped before life-changing applications are made.

    From what you describe, the default was issued correctly, the fact that some staff members may have put you off the scent is unfortunate, but when is all said and done, if the funds are not repaid as agreed, then a default invariably follows.

    If you had received identical statements then that would lead to the conclusion there was an error, but the fact the statements were different should have alerted you that this was a different account - especially as the A/c reference would be different for the separate products. Indeed, if you checked online, you should have seen all the accounts you had displayed.

    As to a resolution - all you can do is ask for clemency. If there is an amount owing, pay it immediately. If this is not possible, they will state the information is accurate and there is nothing else they can do.
  • matttye
    matttye Posts: 4,828 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    To the above two posters: if everything the OP said is correct, then it's hard to see how he's in the wrong here. There was suspected fraud by (photocopied?) black and white statements being sent to him and he quite rightly sought advice from the bank. They froze his account and said he'd hear from them in due course.

    If the OP has not left anything out, then I can't see why he's done anything wrong. Surely the fraud dept. should've got back to him, said everything was hunky dory and asked him to now pay. It doesn't look like that happened.
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  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Posts: 5,156 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    What I don't understand from this is what you were doing about it? You began getting duplicate statements in March 2008, with the possibility that someone was trying to divert your payments to a different account. You reported it and your account was put on hold to investigate.

    Then you heard from a debt collector in December 2010? I'd have been chasing Abbey for an outcome to their investigations and/or to seek another way to pay pretty much weekly. I certainly wouldn't have waited 2 1/2 years.

    One suggestion is to write to them to keep a paper trail. You have done a lot of your negotiating by phone, then they have denied they said what you believe they said, leaving very little other than your word against theirs.

    Finally I'm not clear whether you have instigated their formal complaints process. Get information on what it is and work your way through it step-by-step.
  • IainHL
    IainHL Posts: 226 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    I agree with matttye here that Jones and Buzby's posts are particularly unhelpful. I too cannot understand why there never seemed to be a response from the Fraud Department at the Abbey.

    I would also agree with Nebulous2 that I would have started putting things in writing a lot sooner. Even if I had waited 2½ years without a response from the Fraud Department, from the point at which it went to a DCA in December 2010 I would have been writing to the Abbey monthly until a satisfactory explanation had been provided.

    Where were the statements in that intervening 2½ years?

    As for the OP, I would suggest that you escalate up the FOS chain, whatever the next step is from your initial decision, I cannot quite recall.
  • BobQ
    BobQ Posts: 11,181 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    I agree that, whatever the failings of Santander/Abbey (I am willing to accept they are significant),you have made the classic mistake of thinking that dealing with a serious issue like your own credit rating you can rely on verbal communications to resolve them. If you had had a file of letters that confirmed the above you would be able to make your case to an ombudsman (or indeed to Santander) more effectively.

    This is no help now. I suspect all you can do now is write to the credit agencies and ask them to append a statement to your file explaining your perspective on things that other financial service agencies can be given.

    In terms of facts you appear to have accepted credit, failed to pay it back in a timely way and so rightly have a blemished credit record. You may know its unfair but I cannot see how you prove it.
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  • jonesMUFCforever
    Simple - until OP contradicts this - he spent money on a credit card and did not pay it back - that is why he has a default.

    Sorry to be unhelpful but I deal in truth.
  • Anthorn
    Anthorn Posts: 4,362 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 29 October 2013 at 4:34PM
    The OP doesn't say whether the Abbey credit card was / is now moved to Santander or is / was moved to MBNA.

    In any case I disagree with the replies: I agree that two statements each with a different destination for the payment is confusing. The mistake is that no payment was made at all. Personally I would have paid as I always had done until I knew different in writing and until then any mistake is their's and not mine.

    I would say the way forward is to first get a statement and then pay what you owe. Within a month the account on the CRAs should be settled and the lender could even agree to remove it from the CRAs but they are not obliged to remove it.

    But the account will be removed anyway six years from the default date and the default date is around two months after you made your last payment. That default date should not be changed and if it has been changed then you have the right to appeal with the company or through an Ombudsman.
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