BBC Panorama – “Won’t Pay, Can’t Pay”
Last night the BBC One showed a Panorama programme called “Won’t Pay, Can’t Pay” where they investigated openly about finance agreements being flawed and unenforceable and how a couple had exploited loopholes in the law to have thousands of pounds worth of debt written off legally. They showed the lengths that some lenders would go to in order get make borrowers pay off theirdebts. They interviewed a lady who was being threatened with repossession of her home over a sofa and a step daughter who was trying to sort out the affairs of her step father who owed money and was in a mental hospital.
They interviewedBasil and Amanda Rankine, who said that they had cleared credit card and loan debts of £100,000; but had then decided to challenge their case further in the court of appeal where they had lost and had to pay around £100,000 court costs. The warning here is that you should use a solicitor who should work for you on a no-win no-fee basis. After all Basil and Amanda did it themselves for free and then went on to lose big time at their own cost.
Jeremy Vine the panorama presenter interviewed:
Sir Roy Good who is an eminent lawyer who knew the Consumer Credit 1974 well as he was instrumental in it creation more than 30 years ago. Sir Roy Good explained that the rules relating to the formation of a finance contract are extremely complex and it is very easy for a creditor to make a little mistake. He said that in some respects the rules are not always very clear. This means that any mistake will entitle the consumer to seek a claim for an unenforceable contract. The type of error that would make an agreement unenforceable could be one of the following:
- Has the agreement been signed properly?
- Was the APR calculations accurate and in the right place?
- Did the creditor have a copy o the agreement at all?
Currently there are many companies around that specialise in helping members of the public to seek redress for an unenforceable finance agreement for a credit card, loan or mortgage. You should make sure that any company that you approach does not tie you into a 30% commission payment on completion and a discharge fee. Often these companies will also charge you a fee up front to handle your claim. Look for a company that will charge you a one-off fee for handling and processing you credit cards, loans or mortgages contract and make sure that they have no completion fees or further exit costs and that the solicitors work on a no-win no-fee basis.
I have included a link to the BBC website where you can find the program as seen on the 10th November 2008. You will need to download their BBC iPlayer in order to watch the program. Your thoughts, experiences and comments are welcome. Just CLICK on the green coloured COMMENT bar below and Leave your thoughts or experiences today!