A week last Wednesday I spent an afternoon arguing for a pro consumer response to the OFT guideline in a meeting with the local MP and various members of the third sector group in my area.
There where also various members of the business community present.
Our line was that the guidelines where altogether to lenient on creditors in general and specifically they re-enforced the current backlash to all the ill informed court action that has been so prevalent in the media.
That the Manchester Mercantile Case in indicating that a creditor did not have to keep record of an agreement in a “proof positive “ form defeated the very idea of the contract.
The counters argument was of course the Rankine fiasco etc. and the rise in Claims Companies who are making a business out of promising to get people out of paying there debts.
Seems to me that what we re suffering now is a backlash to what has happened in the last couple of years,. Initially when we first discovered that creditors could be held accountable for what they promised on an agreement and could flex the legal muscle to make sure they did , we were using the regulations as they where intended, for our protection.
Then as usual someone spotted a business opportunity.
This in my view was wrong and a misuse of the intent of the act.
What has happened now is that some banks and creditors have seized the opportunity to use the bad press created by the Rankines and the like, to push through guidelines and common law that two years ago would not have been entertained.
What has to be found now is the middle ground and get back to the position where the laws are used as they were intended.