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Wit's end how to help dd2 and bf when I can't afford to take their debts on

(30 Posts)
lemonice Tue 31-May-05 18:57:45

I posted on similar problem last year and everyone was really helpful and advice was taken by me and I felt very supported. But, the debt problem remains and although they are now both working they are suffering mad bank charges specifically bf has an official overdraft of £500.000 which is more or less permanent, his pay which is about minimum wagfe goes into that account he tends to draw out small amounts and keeps within the OD limit just about last week his bank took two payments out of £105 each time for "misuse of his bank card" can they do this? Obviuosly bringing him way over his OD limit and practically equalling or over his weeks wages? They have been to CAB for help with debt but told they didn't owe enough???

sparklymieow Tue 31-May-05 18:59:23

thats disgusting..... what bank is that, never heard of 'misuse of the card' charges.......

sparklymieow Tue 31-May-05 19:00:23

could they get a loan to pay the £700 off and start afresh??

aloha Tue 31-May-05 19:00:48

He should query this in very strong terms - the charges can and may be withdrawn. I have never heard of such huge charges for a single mistake. Is it written down anywhere that they can charge this? Otherwise I am sure they can't. I think he should change banks. I think First Direct don't impose charges like this and will give an overdraft facility. I think this charge is shocking, frankly.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:06:30

The bank is Natwest. He was unemployed for a while and their debts spiralled because dd2 has 13 month baby and is only working part time. Admittedly bf did little to help himself but now they are or were getting back on track and I just think ffs what's the point in charging him these sums (2 days apart)when he is clearly in financial difficulties. I guess it's not that easy to change banks when you have a poor credit rating and you hav to have a bank account to get paid. Could the Misuse be related to he has used cash back from the till in the pub where he works - is that forbidden?

tallulah Tue 31-May-05 19:06:53

I think banks can pretty much do as they like- "misuse of card" sounds like something we once got stung with. What he should do is complain to the bank about the charge, explaining the circumstances and pointing out that the charge has made a bad situation even worse. A lot of bank charges are automatic and chances are no real person has even looked at his account. If he complains, a person will have to review it. It's unlikely he'd get it all back, but they might refund some of it "as a gesture of goodwill".

Something he should bear in mind though, as he isn't actually "innocent' of the overdrawing, not to get nasty with them but to appeal to their better nature. He needs to almost apologise for the oversight and ask if they could see their way clear to helping, rather than shout and scream and threaten.

(I used to work in a bank's call centre and was always more lenient towards people who were polite- those who got arsey found themselves with a charge that stayed on!)

If that fails he needs to look at moving the account to a different bank. We moved with a whopping overdraft and very little income. HTH.

jessicasmummy Tue 31-May-05 19:10:55

god.... im with natwest and although we went over budget one month, we never got charged that much - it was £25 which i believe is the average with most banks.

Ive never had a problem with natwest, and actually found them to be a sight better than lloyds and hsbc.

all i can suggest is arranges to speak to someone at the bank calmly and see if they can help in any way shape or form.

morningpaper Tue 31-May-05 19:19:19

I think that 'misuse of bank card' if when it is used fraudalently/illegally - basically when someone else uses it with permission of the owner.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:35:57

Thanks MP it was bf using his own card - he was drawing out either £5.00 or £10.00 at a time, can't understand how they authorised it if he wasn't allowed to have it and these sums still kept him just around his £500 limit.

He is now £700 pus overdrawn so no money available to him from his wages. I gave them a parcel of food today.

Dd2 and I did a car boot sale on Sunday and between us just made our gate money back!! Aaaagh

Janh Tue 31-May-05 19:39:47

Has he thought about contacting one of the consumer columns in the national press, lemonice? Or Which? magazine? They love stories like this.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:44:57

Sort of thing I might do but dd2 bf not very likely, I was staggered at the amount 2 days apart I can't imagine any circumstances when it would be justified and to be honest in bank terms the amount he owes Natwest is small.

The trouble with this is that i can't charge in to the bank and sort it out as I would try to if it happened to me and he is not really bank arguing ability type.

Aragon Tue 31-May-05 19:47:08


The other thing worth thinking about is to suggest to your dd and her bf that they simply open a basic bank account (with no overdraft facility) elsewhere and pay all money in there. They then treat this overdraft with NatWest as a debt which they repay as they can afford, it will mean some negotiation with NW but at least their next months wages will be available to them to plan a proper budget. I know this is not a simple solution as it'll give them a naff credit rating but it might be worth doing if they have a crap credit rating already. At least it'd give them breathing space and time to take a look at their finances.


morningpaper Tue 31-May-05 19:48:01

Standing Orders/direct debits/cheques are generally paid because the bank has to pay them, even when you are over your limit.

Speaking as someone who has enjoyed the benefits of regularly abusing her Natest overdraft, the charges are as follows:

- Going over overdraft: £28 per day
- Going over overdraft with Standing Orders, Direct Debits or Cheque - £35 each item
- If you use your NatWest card with over the limit - £35
- Any items they have to pay - £30

I guess he had a mixture of these charges each time (I reckon 3 x 35 = 105).

Aragon Tue 31-May-05 19:49:18

Very punitive charges though aren't they. I get annoyed with banks as they take so many days to clear cheques and even cash sometimes while making hefty charges when we don't quite calculate it right.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:49:19

I thought of that but don't the banks require a reference in order to allow you to open an account? Although I can see if you have a "no card" account it might work.

Janh Tue 31-May-05 19:51:09

Try Nationwide to begin with. Could you be a guarantor (if they need one) or sub them a little bit just to give them enough to open an account?

Aragon Tue 31-May-05 19:51:11

Nope - no reference needed for a basic account. Most banks now offer these basic accounts for people who can't get an account any other way. There's less in the way of credit checking and most come with a Solo debit card to allow card payments but not usually a chequebook.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:51:43

Ah, mp I think you've hit the nail on the head he has used the card say 6 times in a week to take out £5.00 a time thinking he was budgeting and been stung at £35 a time because he was just over his od limit. Mad

Aragon Tue 31-May-05 19:54:36

Those charges are appalling lemonice. The bank are strictly within their rights but they need to be a bit human about it. If your dd and bf have alot of debt then these people can help

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 19:59:33

Thanks for that link Aragon I will look into it.

It is depressing that as soon as they seem to be getting things together they get this sort of thing and it is mostly down to immaturity (and who is born knowing how to manage financially)and lack of experience and circumstance although some is self induced.

lemonice Tue 31-May-05 21:21:05

The other point that I think is important is that they haven't contacted him to let him know he just printed out a statement on a cash machine on the way to work - and discovered the charges two days apart. He was checking to make sure he wasn't past his od limit!

aloha Tue 31-May-05 22:44:22

If he calls it is likely they will reduce the charges. And I really think he should change his bank - the idea of paying his wages into a new account and leaving the OD standing there is a good one. There's no point worrying about being turned down as it almost certainly won't happen and even if it does he won't be worse off - he'll just be in exactly the same position, so he can't lose. So action plan is: Call bank to ask for charges to be reduced.
Open new bank account.

tescolady Wed 01-Jun-05 07:36:38

we have a pretty bad credit history - and went to Nationwide - we opened a basic account with them and was just given a cash card fo the ATM no check book or debit card or overdraft - and all we had to do was take some I.D in.

The form can be filled in online. HTH

lemonice Wed 01-Jun-05 09:58:23

Thanks for the messages. I will suggest that - it won't help them out this week and maybe not next because banks are so slow opening new accounts aren't they?

But it must be a good plan in the long run.

Perhaps I'll offer to go to the bank with him and pretend to be his mother!

I think the good old days when you had a pay packet with cash in it were much better when you are on low pay and you can physically see money in and money out.

tescolady Wed 01-Jun-05 16:48:35

the account was opened that day for us -and the card came through within 5 days

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