Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What about claiming interest?
A. Yes you can claim interest. But be aware that there is STATUTORY interest and CONTRACTUAL interest.
CONTRACTUAL interest is the rate of interest that the financial institution has charged YOU. This can be surprisingly high and is also likely to have been compounded. Before adding contractual interest to your claim, we suggest you PM a Moderator for further assistance.
STATUTORY interest is the amount of interest that the courts have the discretion to award, and this is currently 8%.When you put in a court claim, and not before, you should claim interest at the statutory rate. To claim this, you should add to your claim:
"The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% per year from (date when the money became owed to you) to (the date you are issuing the claim) of £(enter the amount) and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment, or earlier payment, at a daily rate of (put in daily rate of interest)"
You will need to work out the interest you are owed up to the date you start the claim. You first need to work out the daily rate of interest. To do this multiply the amount of your claim by 0.00022, and this will give you the daily interest rate.
Please note you cannot claim statutory AND contractual interest.
Q. Can I claim compensation for the stress involved in claiming back charges, together with any increased debt?A. You would have to put forward a very strong argument to substantiate this, and provide proof of any distress caused. This is extremely difficult and rare. It would most likely lead to even more stress.
Q. I have filed my claim in the courts and the bank has put in a defence. I have now received an Allocation Questionnaire. It asks me to complete it and send a cheque for £100. Is this right?A. Yes, but only if your claim is for over £1500 and this can be claimed back from the bank should you win. If you can’t afford the £100 it’s worth phoning the court, as they may well allow you to pay later. A guide to completing the Allocation Questionnaires is in the Templates Library.
Q. The response from the bank is not satisfactory and I now wish to take the claim to court. What address should I use to send the court papers to the bank?A. You can send it to any of their registered addresses, the branch or Head Office. You will find a list of addresses in the Bank Contacts section. If you find that the address of your bank is missing, please contact Admin. Box office numbers can cause problems so avoid using them if at all possible.
Q. I have a business account. Can I, or my company, still get penalty charges back?
A. Yes you can, but the procedure is different from claiming back personal charges. You will need to rely on the Common law of contract and the Unfair (Contracts) Terms Act 1977 as this deals with business to business relationships. An initial letter for business accounts can be found in the library.
Q. How can I be sure of the amount of charges that have been levied to my account?
A. The most complete way of getting details of all your charges & transaction (and any other information which is held about you) is to send a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the financial institution. They are then obliged under the Data Protection Act to supply you with this information, and the charge for this is £10. The cheque or postal order should be made out to the financial institution, and addressed to the Data Controller. We strongly suggest that you send this request Recorded Delivery (as we do for most correspondence). By doing this, you can use the “track & trace” facility on Royal Mail’s website, and identify that your correspondence has been delivered and on what date it arrived. There is a SAR in the template library.
Please be aware that there is no obligation for them to send statements. Whilst you will often receive statements, this is not obligatory, and you may receive your details in the form of a schedule or a list.
Of course, if you bank online, it may be possible to retrieve the information in this way. This is perfectly acceptable initially, and may be all you need to do. However, if the case starts becoming more complex, it may well be that you will have to send a SAR.
Q. How long should I wait for a response to my SAR?
A. Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, the information must be received by you within 40 working days of receipt of the SAR.
Q. I have not received a response to my Subject Access Request. Is there anything I can do?
A. Yes. You should first submit a request to the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you wish to consider forcing the financial institution to comply, you should use one of the letters in the templates library. If you have to force compliance via the courts, you will also find the appropriate letter in the templates library to help you do this.
Q. I'm currently on an IVA/debt repayment plan. Should I notify the Debt Management company that I am doing this?A. We would suggest that you inform them of your intentions
Q. I have been defaulted by my bank/financial institution. What can I do about this?
A. The legality of Default Notices that have occurred as a direct result of penalty charges is currently being tested. We will keep the site updated with any news. You are welcome to contact a Moderator or Assistant Moderator for further support with this issue.
Q. If it weren’t for the penalty charges imposed on my account, I wouldn’t have been in default. What can I do about this?
A. If you proceed to recover your bank charges and are successful, you must ensure that the removal of the default is part of the final settlement. You should check that it will be REMOVED, an entry to say that the default has been satisfied or corrected is not acceptable. If your financial institution refuses to make this part of the deal, then make it clear to them that you will proceed to court. You must get an offer to remove a default in writing. Whilst it is likely that your request will be fulfilled, should you have to proceed to court, make sure that any offer to remove a default is recorded by the Judge.
Q. I have decided to take my claim to court –where do I start?
A. There are three ways for you to do this:
If you decide to use the form N1 in options 1 & 2 above you will have to complete the “Particulars of Claim” (POC), and these can be found in the templates. You should make three copies of the form. 2 should be sent to the court and you should keep one for your own records.
It is also advisable to send the schedule of charges to your financial institution, even if you have done so previously.
Whilst option 3 (MCOL) may seem the most convenient, the space allowed for the Particulars of Claim are very limited, and we suggest that you contact a Moderator before you make any changes to the template of the POC or producing your own. Having to omit vital information as there isn’t enough space on the form may be detrimental to your case.
MCOL should only be used if money is the only thing you are claiming.
If you are receiving benefits, you may be exempt from court fees. In this case, you would need to use the form N1 and complete the exemption form available from the County Court.
Advice & opinions of Tamadus and the Consumer Credit Support Group are offered from personal experience only. They are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Use your own judgment. It is suggested you seek advice from a qualified, insured professional at all times
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Last edited by Tamadus : 19-06-2007 at 08:59 PM.