Yay or Nay

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaim Bank & Credit Card Charges
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newleafmumnewleafmum Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaim Bank & Credit Card Charges
Me and my partner had an account with Barclays and an overdraft of £700. The account has since been passed to a debt company with a balance of £900 (reduced from over £1000 with weekly payments but apparantly we didn't clear it fast enough)

We had a reserve on the account which would charge us weekly and when I lost my job we had less money going in each week. Eventually we got to a situation where the money going in only brought us back into our overdraft before more charges were added and we couldn't even draw out the money needed to pay our rent or buy our food. All our direct debits ended up being cancelled as funds weren't available on time and we are still living with electric and council tax arrears.

We're now making token payments to all creditors on advice from cccs until March 2013 when I should be able to start clearing full balances, I'm self employed and have a number of contracts starting then.

I haven't applied for a list of all our charges but I know from memory that they were in excess of £200 a month for interest, returned dd fees, reserve and overdraft charges, this went on for apporx 3 years before we moved our wages to my sole bank account at hsbc and actually started paying our bills.

Do I stand any chance of reclaiming these especially considering our accounts with barclays have been sold off.

I would really love to get the fees back and use them to clear our debts.

I can't sleep, I'm scared to open the curtains incase a debt collector comes calling and sees that I'm in.

This month is the first month I've managed to pay all our household bills on time in a long time and its because I've stopped trying to pay creditors and instead sent out the token payment letters.

I'm exhausted but I have a plan and I'm really really trying.

I've printed the letter to send to barclays and typed a better version of the above. I don't know how much to put to claim so I've just asked for a refund of all fees. Do I have to do the working out myself or can they do it, honestly I think I'd accept any kind of settlement right now.

Any advice.
Total debt £6242
Debt free goal September 2014

Replies

  • Did you talk it through with the bank back when this was happening and try to get the overdraft reserve sorted out? Losing a job is never easy on anyone - I should know as it has happened to me twice now.
    The first thing you should have done was get them to open up a basic bank account for you with no OD, but one where DD etc could be paid for, then you should have not paid any other creditors anything apart from token £1's each month. Everything else like rent/mortgage council tax was the priority - you should have got pre payment meters fitted for utilities so that those debts could have been slowly sorted out and cut out any and every luxury you did not need. Taking this kind of action and showing the bank that you were doing this would have gone 90% of the way to them stopping charges accruing. That's how we did it back in the day in both 1997 and 2004. Finally having got the mortgage arrears up to date ( we had 2 secured debts at that point), I waited for the time they wanted and then re mortgaged with an off street lender at a higher rate fixed for 2 years - when the money arrived, I used some of it to come to a percentage settlement with our creditors. Took 15 months from start to finish. Then when the fixed rate came to an end we got another re mortgage with Abbey for 5 years fixed. Which will end in 2013. Not missed one payment since then as I am now so organised with money that I have it all notated in spread sheet and I tick them all off as they leave bank. And I am now ill with an incurable illness, so am back on reduced work with I hope ESA for next year till Feb 2013. The one thing that you will need to prove is that excess charges have caused you financial hardship over and above your other problems. I assume that for each DD failed or debit card declined they charged £35? Then there would be the £22 reserve fee every 5 business days along with all the interest, so quite a lot of lost money. Did you keep a record of when the charges fell or any letters as this will help in claiming them back.
  • Thank you so much for your reply.

    We've started to sort ourselves out by doing the things you said in your post such as arranging to clear utilitie arrears monthly. This week I've posted letters to all creditors re token payments and waiting to here back. Feels like a weight has been lifted simply by not avoiding anyone now.

    We went in the bank a few times to ask them with help freezing charges and removing the reserve but as we were always in the reserve due to the constant fees they wouldn't cancel it until we got out of it if you see what I mean. That's what lead us to move banks so we could atleast pay the bills.

    We don't have any kind of credit facility on our new account and pay all our bills first, rent in cash and then there will be token payments on debt. I use envelope systems for food petrol etc now too.

    The charges were as you say £22 every five days and £30odd for failed dds etc. I reckon I have the most recent statements which would probably be last year but not going back to when the charges started. I've sent off a data protection request this week to try and work out how much we were charged in total.

    This site is a gold mine I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.

    Now if only I could get the charges back to clear a couple of the debts off.
    Total debt £6242
    Debt free goal September 2014
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