OFT Unfair Practice on Debt Collection

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Anyone currently involved in a battle of exchange of information with various lenders please read on. I've recently read the OFT's guidelines on Unfair Debt Collection Practice (can be found on www.oft.gov.uk). Very briefly, they state "The guidance is aimed at all Consumer Credit Licence holders...it sets out the behaviour that the OFT considers to be unfair and which could call in to question fitness to hold a licence. Examples of the types of behaviour covered include: -failing to investigate or provide proper details/records when a debt is queried or disputed -failing to deal with appointed third parties such as CAB or independant advice centres -Harrassment when letters are sent by greater frequencey than necessary and when their tone is threatening or intimidatory -disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed."

There is loads more relevant info there to read for those of uscurrently involved with lenders. So please please read the OFT's website.

I wrote to the OFT a week ago with particular reference to the practices that Bradford and Bingley have adopted in my particular case which are totally in contravention of these guidelines. They wrote back a week later and have stated that "on the basis of one complaint we are unlikely to take licensing action. However if they have strong evidence, they may take steps to revoke or suspend the licence of the business in question. However, to do this they need to take into account such factors as the number of complaints received, how recent they are and how well evidenced. In cases where evidence is less srtong they may issue a warning to the business putting it on notice that it's behaviour if repeated, will call their fitness to hold a licence into question."

I know there are so many of us that are suffering from these unfair practices the lenders and their agents adopt - their reluctance to provide information especially, their stubborness when it comes to explain wht they are not adhering to the CML 6 years code. I URGE you all to complain to the OFT - this can be done online in a simple form at the OFT website and if done in significant numbers we can hopefully stop these practices or at least get them brought to light, get the lenders to start proving these debts and stop the ridiculous timewasting and threats which inevitably leads to undue stress on the borrower. I especially URGE all Bradford & Bingley victims as now the OFT are aware of the issue, if it can be backed up quickly they may act.

Anyone unable to access any of the OFT info or who needs further clarification please let me know. Let's try to have the upper hand with these guys

Good Luck

-- youwillnotwin (youwillnotwin@hotmail.com), February 14, 2004

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