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End of week blog Friday 24th July 2009

Page last updated Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Update on the 64 year old gent, see previous blogs of 17 July & 19 June 2009.

This chap telephoned the SunTalk show I was on yesterday and both Jon and I were so moved about his plight that I agreed to take the case on, free, and resolve this ridiculously 20 year old debt once and for all. I have spoken with the debt recovery company today and moves are afoot, I will update you next blog. You can hear the call and my section on the show by clicking here


Spoke today with a 22 year old Police Officer that had got dragged down with her debts of £26,000, instead of going bankrupt she told her family and they helped by raising money and then offered reduced lump sum payments to her creditors in full and final settlement.

I really found this person enlightening and truly an inspiration, she got caught up in the culture of morally and socially being encouraged to spend and pay later through slick marketing and the easy availability of credit from which we have developed a culture of must have now.

I know this is not possible for everyone but on this occasion it worked. The easier option would have to gone bankrupt but this lady said no, I will repay but what I can afford.

Marlin Financial Services - Dispatches TV

Dispatches sent in an undercover reporter and filmed some of the unfair and often misleading tactics employed by some of their staff. This involved the clever management and manipulation of telephone conversations which misled, pressurised and sometimes threatened vulnerable debtors. Not surprising when when staff are paid on results so there is bound to be pressure on them to stretch these rules in order to get results.

If Marlin’s activities are typical of those of other debt recovery agents then there is clearly much more for the OFT to do and I intend to write to Channel 4 asking if they are going to report their findings to the OFT. If they are not then I will.

Many I have spoken to since the programme believe the employee Mark should not be allowed to work within the debt collection industry again and questioned whether MFS are fit to hold a consumer credit licence.

Those consumers who feel they have been subjected to harassment and unfair recovery tactics should contact the Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Direct telephone number 08454 04 05 06 or their local trading standards office.

To help you we have the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) guidelines on debt collection that debt collection firms must adhere to, they can be found here

Remember, being in debt is not a crime, so insist that you are treated properly and politely at all times. Still getting over that programme.

You can view the programme here (49 minutes) but will only have 28 days to do so from the 20th July 2009, alternatively you can watch it on repeat on Friday 24 July, 4AM Channel 4.

HSBC fined 3 million for losing personal data

Three HSBC firms received fines over 3 million from The Financial Services Authority (FSA) for not having adequate systems and controls in place to protect their customers' confidential details from being lost or stolen.

In the last four years, the FSA has fined Capita Financial Administrators £300,000; Nationwide £980,000; BNP Paribas Private Bank £350,000; Norwich Union £1,260,000; and Merchant Securities £77,000 for failings relating to data security lapses and fraud.

It is a serious concern that such large organisations have been so relaxed in protecting their customer's identities. I feel the fines are relatively low when taking into account the overall turnover of these firms; perhaps a criminal prosecution may be the way forward to make these firms sit up and take note.

This personal data could have easily ended up in the hands of fraudsters; identity fraud is one of the fasted growing crimes in the UK.

If you are worried about identity fraud then we list our simple do’s and don’ts to help protect your self which can be found here

The full article can be found here




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