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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.

Rememberallball Mon 01-Apr-19 08:12:50

For all the PP calling Phillips&Cohen Associaltes bailiffs, they are not - they are a specialist company who deal mostly (not exclusively) with deceased customer credit accounts - be they credit cards, bank accounts with loans or overdrafts or utility accounts. The OP will not have P&CA employees turning up on her doorstep in the style of ‘Cant Pay We’ll Take It Away’ or ‘The Sheriffs’ - and given the anxiety this continued situation has been causing the OP I think it’s unfair for people to suggest that this could happen.

I think the OP also has every right to open post arriving at her address even if addressed to other people - and especially when addressed to her exp of more than 12 years who has been deceased for 2 years. And more so when the letter is addressed to ‘Personal Representative of ExP’ after she has been told her address has been removed from his account and that Santander will no longer write to him at her address!! There have been other posts recently where a vulnerable OP left their violent ExP and gave the bank new details and the bank wrote to his address including HER new (supposedly safe from him) address so I can understand why the OP wants the bank to stop writing to her!! She has provided the bank with what is sufficient proof for most organisations that she lives alone and has told them on more than one occasion that not only does he no longer live there but is deceased - they obviously believe her to some extent to send her the letter received around the 23rd stating they will no longer write to her address; and believe her regarding the fact he is no longer alive to refer the account to P&CA.

@NameChanger22, please call the number for P&CA and speak to one of their staff - offer to send them the letter Santander sent you last week. You don’t need to provide them with proof of his death - that’s not your job, they can find the information via the London gazette if his actual personal representative has taken that action as part of setting his estate (but it can cost up to £400 and, with no estate except debts, I can understand why this may well not have happened). Alternatively they can do a search of the register of births, marriages and deaths and obtain their own copy of his death certificate to prove she has been telling Santander the truth. This will then conclude the matter. As I said in my previous post, P&CA are decent to deal with when dealing with sensitive situations as the few credit accounts my mum has at her death last year were referred to them - they arranged for interest and late payments added after the date of death on her death certificate to be removed from the account balances and put a note on each account to say we would settle the accounts once we had completed the sale of her house. And, in the following 6 months, we heard nothing from them!!

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 01-Apr-19 07:26:15

We had bailiffs at our door a few weeks after we moved in.

They arrived with police. They were looking for the previous owners who had moved to a different county.

I presume because they were looking for someone who wasn’t my age they didn’t even ask me for identification they just left.

These debts just keep getting bundled up and sold on when the company come to a dead end.

I wouldn’t take it personally. It isn’t your debt.
You have told them it isn’t your debt. It is up to them to go figure out who’s debt it is not yours.

MyOtherProfile Mon 01-Apr-19 06:38:23

Awful. Hope you get some resolution today.

DilliDingDillyDong Mon 01-Apr-19 06:34:40

Oh good grief.

TheMaddHugger Mon 01-Apr-19 04:24:18

((((((((((madd Hugs))))))))) NameChanger22

It's shite and I hope you get it solved sorted and ended

lemonpiezz Mon 01-Apr-19 00:24:00

Hey OP, I don't want to worry you but there is a high chance that these bailiffs will come to your house.
I had a not dis-similar situation some years ago. A random person I'd never heard of, got a fine and they had used my address. I didn't know them and returned all correspondence, (although eventually I did have a nosy to see what it was all about). It was eventually passed to a debt collection agency who would write to "the occupier" in a plain envelope and then the name and details of the debtor was inside. Nothing I could say would dissuade them, and eventually I got a knock at the door, and the debt collectors had a court order to collect payment or items (And this debt was less than £100)
If this happens DO NOT LET THEM IN. However, if you can show them proof of who you are, and who else, if anyone lives there, then they must return to the court and register this. Then if anyone else tries to get a court order for "wrong person" at your address, it is rejected.
Unfortunately the debt agency concerned sold the debt to another agency and I had to go through it all again. Fortunately they took the correct steps with the court and I've never had any more issues.

I know it's a horrible feeling to have people after you for money that you don't owe, but please try not to let it upset you too much. It can be resolved. Although clearly not by Santander, who are arseholes. So much so I closed my account with them last week.

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 01-Apr-19 00:12:44

This sounds like Santander believed you when you told them you split 12 years ago and he is now dead so were not going to get any money from ex bf so have bundled this debt up with a load of other debts that would cost them more to chase than they would get back and sold them for something like 10p for every £1 of debt so they can get something back.

The company buying the debt now just have to get 10% of the amount of the total outstanding debt + their operating cost to break even. Anymore would be a bonus.

I would write one letter to this new company explaining your situation. Add in that you will be charging them if they continue to write and you have to redirect the mail back to them and I would also say that this fiasco has been going on for however long and continued letters will be viewed as harassment.

k1233 Mon 01-Apr-19 00:04:46

You're not linked to him in any way. His debt is the problem if his estate, not you. If I were in your position, I'd print up a sheet or two of labels saying "not at this address since mm/dd/yy. Deceased. Date of death dd/mm/yy" and slap one on any mail that came for him and stick it in the post. Don't look at what it is and don't worry about it at all. It's not your problem.

OldAndWornOut Sun 31-Mar-19 23:39:34

What else can you give company other than your word when you haven't got a death certificate because you were estranged from that person?

Acis Sun 31-Mar-19 23:16:28

Santander, or any company, cannot take your word for it that he passed away

But they obviously have accepted someone's word for it, otherwise they wouldn't be writing to the Personal Representatives of the Late Mr Ex-Boyfriend.

VanGoghsDog Sun 31-Mar-19 22:33:50

I think they meant to post on Santander's Facebook page, not your own. But many corporates do not enable open posting so you probably can't (I've never looked at Santander Facebook so don't know for sure how theirs is formatted).

Speak to CAB, it will put your mind at rest and tell you the same as many of us here have been telling you.

(As I said before, all the email addresses posted were for the corporate bank, and this is a retail bank issue, so really it will only delay things if you start emailing loads of random people. Head of the retail bank is Susan Allen)

edwinbear Sun 31-Mar-19 21:28:32

OP you asked me and VanGoghs not to post on this thread anymore on account of us both working for Santander. However, you seem so incredibly worried that I really feel the need to explain, once again, that this is simply a case of the bank having an old address for your ex. I occasionally get mail from the people who owned our house before us, 9 yrs ago. Some of those letters may well be from debt collectors but I have no idea, because I don’t open them as they are not addressed to me.

Santander are not harassing you - from what you have said they are not writing to you, they are writing to your ex at an incorrect address. This is not your problem.

Fstar Sun 31-Mar-19 21:16:13

I would tell them over the phone and in writing that you are not the rep, have not applied for probate and do not hold the death certificate. Direct them to the governement site where if there is probate they can pay for a bloody copy themselves to see who the administrator of the estate is rather than bugging you. Also they can electronically check a death themselves so tell them to do this.

Unless the debt was joint or secured on joint property they cant expect you to pay a penny. Bullies, the lot of them.

Sorry you are going through this, disgusting! Also tell them you will go to the media

YouWereRight Sun 31-Mar-19 21:08:17

I suppose registry office hold the records, like births and marriages, but to access that you would need to know where they had passed away. And it would only tell you the informant, not the next of kin.

MenuPlant Sun 31-Mar-19 21:04:14

You were right it's totally not my area but I did have some difficulty with something related a while back and I found it really odd that given probate and death and etc has so many laws and rules and registering and stuff, that there wasn't a register of deaths and who was executor it would make life so much easier and better for so many people. They could even charge a nominal fee to get a record I reckon it could be profitable for govt. And of course save all this time and stress for the op and time and money and solicitors fees for bank eg in this case.

OP I think they have behaved badly and their customer service has been terrible. 12 years of letters!

Cranky17 Sun 31-Mar-19 21:01:15

*I don't understand why you opened the letter, it wasn't for you, you should have just sent it to whoever his next of kin is, or if you don't know, return to sender 'not at this address'.

Had you done that, you'd not have been worrying about the contents.*

All well and good but it doesn’t work. They just keep sending them and in the end they just ramp it up.
Santander do not give up easily..

Good luck op. If I was you I’d use the ombudsman’s I found them to be very helpful with a dispute I had with hsbc.

NameChanger22 Sun 31-Mar-19 20:56:41

I'm not on Twitter and I don't want to join. I don't have many friends on Facebook, I hardly ever use it, so hardly anyone would see it, I can't really see the point of that.

I have listened to everyone's advice and I appreciate it. Obviously there are lots of conflicting opinions on the thread and ideas from different people about what I should do next. I can't do all of them. I still don't know if I should do anything at all, so the most sensible thing to do is ask Citizen's Advice.

YouWereRight - I don't feel attacked at all, I don't know where you are getting that from. In fact, it has been really helpful to share this problem and chat today. So thanks again for listing to me.

YouWereRight Sun 31-Mar-19 20:40:36

Menu, I used to work processing loans of deceased, or possibly deceased customers, P&CA would talk around a database of deceased persons, but provided no details or what or where this is. Though I never pushed further.

NameChanger you'd do well to listen to what VanGoghs is typing. You seem to only appreciate posts agreeing that what Santander have done is vile, whilst seeming to feel attacked by posters offering actual information and help.

Santander, or any company,cannot take your word for it that he passed away. They cannot write off a debt on the word of one person, they need to confirm this. Their letter wasn't threatening to you, from the part you have posted, it was factual and sympathetic.

MonaLisaDoesntSmile Sun 31-Mar-19 20:39:51

Name and shame on twitter and facebook! Social media can be very helpful this way.

Sweetpea55 Sun 31-Mar-19 20:21:40

Santander will look very stupid.

Noloudnoises Sun 31-Mar-19 20:09:47

@NameChanger22 hello, have you sent the email to the people I suggested below? They'll get it first thing tomorrow, you see.

Acis Sun 31-Mar-19 19:26:20

VanGoghsDog - you’re the one making a dogs breakfast of it. It probably is statu barred

It's statute, not statu.

Van Gogh is quite right, we have no idea if the debt is statute barred or not. We don't know when this debt was incurred - it may have been shortly before the boyfriend died two years ago. Time starts to run again if the debtor acknowledges the debt, and again the boyfriend may have done so just before he died.

And, in any case, this isn't OP's concern, because she can't possibly be liable for the debt anyway.

NameChanger22 Sun 31-Mar-19 19:23:44

I meant being over stressed about situations is my problem. I do get very stressed very fast when anything difficult crops up and I don't really know how to feel calm and clear my head. I am working on it. Talking helps.

Acis Sun 31-Mar-19 19:18:50

I understand this is my problem and I will deal try and deal with it.

But it isn't your problem. There is no way you can conceivably be liable for this debt.

Drum2018 Sun 31-Mar-19 18:47:23

Ignore the letter and any more that arrive. Do not draw yourself into any further correspondence or discussion with Santander or the other company. Feel free to throw the letter back in the post with 'Not Known At This Address' on it. After all you are not the Personal Representative of your ex's estate so you shouldn't be opening post for same. It's not up to you to provide any information about his family or last known address. It's nothing to do with you. If they send any further letters just continue to return them if you have a post box nearby.

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