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Being Harassed by Santander Bank - Absolutely Disgusted

(232 Posts)
NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 21:11:29

A few weeks ago I started a thread on here about how Santander Bank kept repeatedly sending the mail of an ex-boyfriend to my address, even though we split up and he moved out 12 years ago, died 2 years ago and I have repeatedly sent mail back to them for 12 years and I have phoned them and made complaints about it twice. He owed them £1,200. He owed everyone money, he owed me a lot more than £1,200.

In the end I went into to my local branch and showed them my council tax bills for the last 6 years proving he hadn’t been living at my address for a long time as all the bills were addressed to me alone and I have the 25% single person discount.

A week ago I got a letter from Santander (addressed to me) saying I was wrong to complain but that they weren’t going to send anymore mail to my address.

Today I got a letter from Santander (addressed to The Personal Representative of the Late [ex boyfriend’s name]). First of all I’m not his representative, so that annoyed me. The letter went on to read:

“At this difficult time, customer care is obviously the main priority and I therefore wanted to advise you that we have referred the above mentioned account to our specialist probate partner, Phillips & Cohen Associates (UK) Ltd.

Until further notice, Phillips & Cohen Associates (UK) Ltd will be responsible for managing this account on our behalf, and where appropriate will take steps to come to an amicable arrangement for the repayment of the outstanding balance from any existing estate.
All future communications should be directed to Phillips & Cohen Associates (UK) Ltd in the first instance ….”

I cannot believe a bank can do this. They said a week ago they would stop sending post to my address and then this. I am extremely worried about this. Can they really get another company to come after me for the debt of a dead ex-boyfriend who hasn’t lived at my address for 12 years. I just don’t understand this at all. Please help and stop me from panicking, especially advise me if you have any real understanding of the law.

Thanks so much.

Amongstthetallgrass Sat 30-Mar-19 21:49:25

The can not chase you for his debt. Don’t worry about it

demolitionduo Sat 30-Mar-19 21:50:56

Please email your complaint direct to the CEO:
nathan.bostock@santander.co.uk

The Executive Complaints Team will pick it up and it should be dealt with properly. I hope you get resolution.

livinglavidavillanelle Sat 30-Mar-19 21:51:43

Oh bloody hell this makes my blood boil. Legally, they are clutching at straws. They literally cannot touch you, so please stop worrying.
Get third party advice to make it stop once and for all, but please do not lay awake at night thinking that his debt becomes yours...it does not.

WhoKnewBeefStew Sat 30-Mar-19 21:53:32

Legally they are not allowed to hassle you like this, it’s againat the FCA code of conduct. Complain to these guys about their behaviour. It’s shocking

register.fca.org.uk

stiffstink Sat 30-Mar-19 21:55:50

Philips & Cohen won’t do anything, they are generally quite sensible and will probably tell Santander to write it off after your first call.

OverwateredCheeseplant Sat 30-Mar-19 21:56:42

This is appalling! Santander can fuck off.

Agree with the person above who said to email the ceo, I’ve read before that people have got insane issues like this sorted quickly that way.

Rememberallball Sat 30-Mar-19 21:57:50

@Namechanger22, as the personal representative for my late mother I have had to deal with Phillip Cohen and Assoxiates for a couple of utility accounts and a credit card. I just wanted to post to let you know they are actually a really decent company to deal with. They wrote to me regarding one account but not the other 2 even though theoriginalmcompanies Gad told me they were referring the accounts to them. An adviser took the time to locate the accounts from my mum’s postcode and the said they would not be chasing us for payment as they understood it can be the case there is no money left after a funeral is paid for (or even before in some cases) and, even if there is money left, it is often caught up in the sale of a property and can take time to be released. They gave me reference numbers for the accounts and asked me simply to get in touch as and when we would be in a position to settle the account.

The reason I’m telling you this is to say call them on Monday, explain the situation - that you are not the personal representative for their client’s deceased customer and have no liability to settle the account. To be honest, if he owed the money that long ago and never acknowledged the debt with Santander, then it would be statute barred by now and, while they could ask the debter to pay it back they couldn’t chase him via court or other legal remedy.

NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 21:59:09

I have lodged an online complaint with the Financial Ombudsman just now. I hope that does the trick. I won't contact anyone else for now, but I will probably call into Citizens Advice on Monday and see what they say too. Thanks everyone. I am trying not to be so stressed about it.

NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:00:21

He definitely didn't die with any estate. He owed a lot of people money and didn't own anything.

NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:03

I will write to the CEO now then. Thanks.

Celticrose Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:12

The debt belonging to the deceased can only come from his estate and if there is no money to pay it then his estate is insolvent. To be honest I would have thought that the debt would be written off by now especially due to the statue of limitations which I think is 6 years after which I think they can not pursue the debt but not totally sure. If the debt was in his sole name then you are not liable. I take that you were not married and did not hold any joint assets which would have passed to you on his death.
Just realised that the amount is £1200. Can not believe that they have not written this off as the debtor is deceased. Are Phillip's & Cohen solicitors if so they should realise pretty quickly that you have nothing to do with his estate. The reason for thinking that is they mention that they are their probate partners and probate is the legal document issued on an estate by the court to enable the execution of the will by the executors. If you were not married to the deceased or related in any way you most certainly are not the personal representative unless he made a will naming you as the the Executrix.
They have not dealt with this in anyway professionally. There may be a breach of data protection here as you are not a legal representative and have been given information to which you may not be entitled.

burritofan Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:34

I would write to a newspaper consumer page too, like https://www.theguardian.com/money/series/yourproblems – incredible how many customer (or in your case, non-customer) complaints are speedily resolved when the press get involved.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:35

I work for a bank.

You really don’t have anything to worry about, in regards to the debt. In regards to their scandalous attitude towards customer confidentiality, I’m not so sure!

Don’t bother with CAB or the solicitor. Refer it straight up to the financial ombudsman if your letter is a Final Response (it will normally say those words within the letter if it is). I’d make a chronological list before you escalate to them just to be very clear.

GuineaPiglet345 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:39

Don’t worry, Philips and Cohen are specialist debt collectors that almost every big company passes debts to when customers die.

You should get a standard letter from them explaining that you are not personally liable for his debt and it only has to be paid from his estate. As you are not the personal representative you can either tell them that or just ignore their letters.

I can’t stress enough that you don’t need to worry about this, it’s just standard procedure.

Unhomme Sat 30-Mar-19 22:02:19

I'd suggest not opening any more letters that aren't for you and send them back to sender. You aren't liable.

TheGirlWithGlassFeet Sat 30-Mar-19 22:04:11

Op don't worry. This is a standard letter sent because they haven't bothered to remove your name. Just contact Philips and Cohen and explain you aren't his personal representative.

Acis Sat 30-Mar-19 22:19:59

If you get any more letters addressed to the Personal Representatives, send them back marked "Not known".

Grumpelstilskin Sat 30-Mar-19 22:22:03

Well, Shitander can whistle for it. Mind you, when it was still Shabby National, they were just as bad.

NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:27:03

I have been sending letters back for 12 years and they've ignored me. I now feel like I should keep hold of any correspondence as evidence. I have just sent a long email to Nathan Bostock (CEO) telling him what has happened. I hope he reads it.

We weren't married. We never had any joint assets.

I will try and stop worrying about this now. Thanks everyone for making me realise I don't need to worry about this. My first instinct is to panic in tricky situations but you have talked me down a bit.

user1486131602 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:30:55

Having worked in banking for many years.....there's a saying: you can't get money from a dead man. Also, if you were not married at the time of his death or taking out the loan in his name only, you're not responsible.
They however, better sharpen up, sending mail to you with his details is a breach of the data protection act, and trying to prosecute you in any way as also against the law. I suggest you look up Santander banking charter, the way the must conduct business, go back to them In writing, and explain that this is the last opportunity you are giving them to get this right or else you are going to the ombudsman and FCA with your perfectly valid/legal complaint. You will also be entitled to compensation for each and every cockpit they have made, that's quite a lot of money over 12 yrs! Also if the loan has not been paid or collection on for 6 years or more it is dormant.
Tell them to stick that up their pipe and smoke it! And just relax. They will back off once the realise you know your rights!

Anniegetyourgun Sat 30-Mar-19 22:35:13

I don't think data protection has any bearing here. It is the ex's information, not OP's, that they have failed to keep up to date, and GDPR doesn't apply to deceased persons in most circumstances. I hope they can and do get into trouble on the harassment front though, through the FCA or Ombudsman or whatever's most appropriate.

Casmama Sat 30-Mar-19 22:37:16

Any debts over 6 years old are not legally enforceable and if you had no joint finances and weren't married then you wouldn't be liable even if it was within the 6 years.
I can understand that you are concerned but you don't need to be. You could quite safely ignore this and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do. Often when debt passes the stage of being legally collected the record will be sold off at a really cheap rate to companies that will contact people on the off chance that they can collect some money.
It might be worth checking your credit record with Equifax and experien as others have suggested and contact them to correct if they have him as a financial associate of yours.

TheFormidableMrsC Sat 30-Mar-19 22:37:56

OP, you owe them nothing. Please stop worrying. Straight to the Ombudsman without any further delay, forget CAB or obtaining legal advice. They have you as the "last contact" but are acting SO outside of their remit that I believe the Ombudsman will come down hard. Please don't worry. Please don't stress. You were not married, it is nothing to do with you. This reminds me of when my mother died, having been a customer of Barclays for about 40 years, and because (due to inconveniently dying), she hadn't paid cheques in from her clients. They decided to pursue my Dad in a way that was so fucking unreasonable it was shocking for a debt that was actually pence. My Dad wrote to them and told them that rather than pursuing a very long standing customer, they should be sending flowers for her funeral and apologising profusely. He also withdrew all his business which amounted to 100's of thousands. They couldn't apologise enough then hmm. You have nothing fear, absolutely nothing. Ombudsman is your key. Good luck flowers

NameChanger22 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:40:08

They have broken the law. I will make sure I read up all I can (even though I shouldn't have to).

Tonight I have written and complained to the Financial Ombudsman and the CEO of Santander. I really hope that does the trick. I just want this to stop and I want them to leave me alone. I didn't want to be reminded of an abusive ex-boyfriend for 12 years. It really feels like I'm being harassed by a high street bank. Thanks.

Strugglingtodomybest Sat 30-Mar-19 22:45:14

Don't worry, I bought a house once and kept getting mail for the previous owner from Lloyds. I sent it back with 'unknown at this address' written on it, but it kept coming, so eventually i opened it to find out what it was about and it was debt. I carried on getting his mail for years but just put it in the bin. Nothing ever came of it.

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