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creditor penalties/fines

Comment 12th July 2010

When Gordon Brown changed our financial system, he seems to have given companies offering credit carte blanche to 'fine' customers who might miss a payment for genuine reasons or fall on hard times.  As I've got older (60) I've only been able to find temporary work after being made redundant (without a big payoff) but, despite proving my income and expenditure some, such as Shop Direct who cover catalogue credit, have harangued and harassed me with threats, fines ('default' sums) despite paying over the odds each month after missing just one payment) until I had to contact the FSA ombudsman whereby they stopped and all charges dropped. I had, incidentally, paid for unemployment insurance but they wouldn/'t pay out.

But what about the poor devils who can't speak up for themselves and have charges put on top of charges -as well as the legitimate interest but that is calculated on the outstanding sum + the charges.  So the poor get poorer and these snakes who simply profiteer at the expense of the unfotunate go on to sell the debts in the sub-prime market which brought us the banking crisis in the first place. These charges should be made illegal. After all, these companies do not have to take on a customer and should bear the risks when they decide to do so. They are no better than doorstep loan sharks who constantly seek to increase the debt with spurious charges.

Why does this matter?

This is important because they encourage people to spend (since my debacle with Shop Direct they've even had the cheek to send me a Littlewoods catalogue and a letter encouraging me to take out more credit), and charge oppressive default sums which have no bearing on the outstanding debt (I was charged £25 on a £22 o/s balance of 1 month's age) and they are no better than doorstep loan sharks seeking to maximise profits at the expense of those who cannot afford to pay cash for many basic requirements.  They have recourse to the courts which would be a cheaper option for the customer.

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