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    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #41

    Dec 2, 2008, 11:43 PM
    Mustshop, when the banks changed the T&C, and hence the fees, did they notify you in WRITING at least 30 days before the new charges where going to be used?
    If not this makes for a stronger case against them.

    Ps I have adjusted the previous reddie as they where really unjustified.
    As you have already noticed Mustshop, AMHD is a truly international site, so location information is extremely important.

    After all I'm from the UK and had great success with the whole UTCCR issue.

    Have a look at the Calling All Brits link in my siggie.
    mustshop75's Avatar
    mustshop75 Posts: 23, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #42

    Dec 3, 2008, 01:37 AM

    Curlyben, thanks so much all round! You are a star :) :)
    Am from the UK originally so have already read your link - most interesting and useful!!
    Thanks again. Claire :)
    artlady's Avatar
    artlady Posts: 4,208, Reputation: 1477
    Ultra Member
     
    #43

    Dec 3, 2008, 01:54 AM

    Fighting big brother is no easy task but since you have been treated unfairly I would contact your attorney general and file a complaint with them.I know that in New York they do a fine job of answering claims and at no cost.
    If the bank was negligent than sometimes just a letter from the attorney general is enough to make them rethink their position.
    Good luck!
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member
     
    #44

    Dec 3, 2008, 06:27 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by artlady View Post
    Fighting big brother is no easy task but since you have been treated unfairly I would contact your attorney general and file a complaint with them.I know that in New York they do a fine job of answering claims and at no cost.
    If the bank was negligent than sometimes just a letter from the attorney general is enough to make them rethink their position.
    Good luck!


    The problem is that he's in Australia - no Attorney General. That was the misunderstanding when the thread started.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #45

    Dec 3, 2008, 06:44 AM

    Comments on this post
    mustshop75 agrees: No they definitely didn't! Thanks for that - your advice has been incredibly helpful! THANK YOU!

    Are you sure? I get notices all the time from my banks with lots of fine print that I barely read. For example, recently my bank imposed a fee for an automatic transfer from my overdraft protection line. I have no recollection of seeing this, but my bank was able to provide evidence of a mailing where that was mentioned.

    So I would be very surprised if this information about raising fees was not included in the fine print of some mailing.

    I still have to go back to the fact that this charge is the result of your actions or lack of actions to maintain the balance in your account. I doubt that a court of law would reward you for that.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #46

    Dec 3, 2008, 07:00 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by artlady View Post
    but since you have been treated unfairly .... If the bank was negligent than sometimes just a letter from the attorney general is enough to make them rethink their position.
    Good luck!
    The problem here is I see NO evidence that the OP was treated unfairly. He was late on his loan payment and the bank exercised their contractual right to deduct that amount from his bank account, but the account balance had been left too low so an NSF fee was charged. Where is the unfariness or negligence in that?
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #47

    Dec 3, 2008, 09:07 AM
    Scott, the unfairness aspect of this is the amount that has been charged, NOT the fact there was a charge at all.

    The UTCCR, in the UK, is a comprehensive piece of statute legislation that ensures that companies don not act in an unfair manner.
    this8384's Avatar
    this8384 Posts: 4,564, Reputation: 485
    Ultra Member
     
    #48

    Dec 3, 2008, 10:03 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    Scott, the unfairness aspect of this is the amount that has been charged, NOT the fact there was a charge at all.
    I'm not so sure it is. The OP is complaining that s/he was charged and that they feel the bank "profitted" from them. Scott and I have been pointing out that it was their responsibility to ensure that there was money in the account.

    Obviously, you and the OP are from different areas than Scott and I, but $40 really isn't that out-of-line here in the US.

    I still can't believe that the bank never sent notification of the rate increase. Like Scott, I also receive tons of literature from my bank, credit cards, etc. all regarding APRs, fees and the like; I don't take the time to read it all but I do save it in the incident that I ever need to reference it in the future.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #49

    Dec 3, 2008, 10:58 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    Scott, the unfairness aspect of this is the amount that has been charged, NOT the fact there was a charge at all.
    I have to question that also. I can understand a fee that is not punitive being limited to what the process costs. But an NSF fee has a dual purpose. Besides reimbursing the bank for the cost of processing the returned/rejected payment, its also to encourage the depositor to manage their money better. This fee could have been avoided by the depositor.

    I'm all for legislation to protect the consumer, but not at the expense of the service provider, they have a right to make money and try to prevent losses.
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #50

    Dec 3, 2008, 12:56 PM
    Scott and This, That IS the point here.

    Under UK common law charges of this nature are unlawful if punitive in nature.
    This is concerning businesses unfair bargaining powers when it comes to consumer contracts.
    After all we have virtually no power when it comes to negotiating a bank contract, we cannot change any of the terms and all the power lies with the banks.

    The banks can charge for their services, but this must be a reasonable amount and not excessive, as this charge clearly is.
    After all it doesn't cost the bank $40 to return a payment, at most it would be around $5 as it's completely automated.

    It all hinges on the Banks fiduciary duty.
    Fiduciary definition | Dictionary.com

    At present this whole thing is being tested in the High Court in England.
    The Banls have already LOST the first stage and we are into the appeals process.

    Basically they are fleecing us and are now being brought to book.

    This campaign has been ongoing for the last few years and, so far, the banks have been unwilling to go to court to answer the charges presented.
    They have chosen instead to simply pay out.
    Now if they believed that they had a solid case this would have been stopped along time ago with the banks simply filing a complete defence.
    It took the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to drag them into court to answer the charges.

    Please, have a read through my Brits link as it explains the while thing in a lot greater detail.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member
     
    #51

    Dec 3, 2008, 02:58 PM

    This really is a fascinating thread. I worked today and asked a Bankruptcy Attorney who also deals in trusts, estates, banking about setting amounts banks can charge in US and he has no idea who regulates the charges and what would be considered "reasonable."

    I couldn't remember all the details here and it would make no sense for the bank to do so but he said if this is some sort of consumer debt with payments to be made directly from the account as some sort of requirement the debtor would have violated the contract and would owe the balance immediately (I'm not saying it would make sense but "he" thinks that's the situation.)

    Interesting the difference between the US and other Countries and really interesting reading. I see both sides of the argument but the law appears to be on the side of the OP.

    Now my question - who determines what is a reasonable fee and who determines what this bounced payment (for lack of another phrase) cost the bank in manpower - ?

    Most interesting thread.
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #52

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:13 PM
    Judy, in the UK this power rests with the OFT.
    Back in 2006 they judged that credit card charges where unfair at 25 on average for late payments and over limit.
    This has since be reduced to 12 as the OFT said they would not investigate below this level.
    Now they didn't say that 12 was fairer than 25, but in their view it was acceptable.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #53

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:30 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    Back in 2006 they judged that credit card charges where unfair at 25 on average for late payments and over limit.
    This has since be reduced to 12 as the OFT said they would not investigate below this level.
    Back in 2006, the pound was about twice the dollar. So 25 lbs would be about $50. At the time late fees were around $29. They are now about $39.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member
     
    #54

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:32 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    Judy, in the UK this power rests with the OFT.
    Back in 2006 they judged that credit card charges where unfair at 25 on average for late payments and over limit.
    This has since be reduced to 12 as the OFT said they would not investigate below this level.
    Now they didn't say that 12 was fairer than 25, but in their view it was acceptable.

    All I'm sure for sure about right now is if I ever have a credit card and/or banking problem in the UK, I'm calling you. In fact, I'm putting you on speed dial right now!
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #55

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:42 PM
    Judy, Consumer Credit Law is one of my hobbies, and quite good fun it is as well.
    Just be thankful your not a collection agency ;)
    this8384's Avatar
    this8384 Posts: 4,564, Reputation: 485
    Ultra Member
     
    #56

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:42 PM

    Judy's right; this thread is very interesting.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of this, as I'm not from the UK or Australia. I know that here in the US, if my customer wrote a check to my business and it bounces, I'm allowed to charge my customer a fee but there's a cap on the amount of what I can charge. I see this situation as essentially, a "bounced check" so I'm still not entirely sure how the OP can get out of paying this. I mean, they had to have been notified that this was the amount that the fee was; how can they turn around and say "I don't like that amount" and fight it? To me, that would be like calling up my credit card company and saying, "I don't like the APR that I agreed to when I signed the contract, so I'm not going to pay any interest on my card."
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,493, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #57

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:48 PM
    The point the OP is trying to make is they where aware there would be a $15 charge for this, but when they where hit with a $40 for the same thing they where, understandably, not amused.
    I can completely simpathise with this.

    Yes, banks are a business, but there is a limit, as you said yourself, This8384.

    Currently bank charges in the UK range from 20 to 40 ($60)for similar transgressions.
    These charges also can escalate rapidly and cause people extreme financial hardship, especially if the debt spiral kicks in and they end up with charges on charges on charges.
    I have seen some seriously outrageous cases, where people have lost their entire monthly paycheck to charges!!

    This is the whole point of the reclaim campaign, as they are blatantly profiteering from people's mistakes and mismanagement.
    this8384's Avatar
    this8384 Posts: 4,564, Reputation: 485
    Ultra Member
     
    #58

    Dec 3, 2008, 03:56 PM

    Agreed; $40 when you're expecting only $15 isn't pleasant. But that goes back to the whole information thing. The OP claims they were never informed of any increase; Scott and I clearly don't agree with that because we get paperwork upon paperwork which states what we're getting charged and why.

    As for blatantly profiteering, I don't think that banks are really the "good" guys but it's your responsibility as an accountholder to ensure that there are adequate funds in said account. The OP already stated that they were aware that the loan payment was past-due; personally, I just don't find it to be profiteering.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #59

    Dec 3, 2008, 04:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlyben View Post
    This is the whole point of the reclaim campaign, as they are blatantly profiteering from people's mistakes and mismanagement.
    And this sticks in my craw a bit. As a free market capitalist, I'm not much in favor of protecting people from themselves. If the charges are the result of their mistakes and mismanagement, then why not charge them for it? Maybe there needs to be more education so people do a better job of managing their money. And maybe part of these fees can go towards that.
    Iknowalotofstuff's Avatar
    Iknowalotofstuff Posts: 144, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #60

    Dec 3, 2008, 07:42 PM

    In most jurisdictions, consumer protection laws require bankrs to give some form of advance notice before a fee can be charged. Look at your original agreement with the original bank. Most bankrs have some form of ombudsman to handle customer complaints. Why not contact that office and see what information they can provide you about the merger and the change of the fee schedule.

    Suing someone for $40.00 may be viewed as frivolous by the court. Should you lose the cost consequences plus the filing fee are a lot more than $40.00. Unless you can claim some kind of damages (ie effect on credit rating, increase of fees at the bank, etc.), a fight on a matter of principle might not be worth it.

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