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Halifax bank charges spiral help!

(38 Posts)
Katherine Tue 08-Mar-05 09:35:33

At the moment the only spending money I have coming in goes into my hlafix account and its just my child benefit of £150 per month. DH takes care of most other things but doesn't give me any.

A couple of months ago I misjudged and slipped over my overdraft limit, by a few pounds. Since then I've had a few more items go through but they've all been under £20. Trouble is Halfiax has charged me £35 for each item plus £28 for going over my limit. I gritted my teeth and figured I'd have to write off most of my child benefit last month. On the first I made a paypal payment of £7. Just got another letter saying I will get the same charges. I thought my CB would cover it but they have taken so much in charges that they have taken more than my child benefit and the same will happen when they debit these charges too.

I just can't see how they can justify charging so much. OK I should manage my account better but I only slipped up by a few pounds and they've taken about £200 for me so far.

Feel really depressed as I just can't seem to get on top of it.

munnzieb Tue 08-Mar-05 09:37:06

well we were in the same boat they were charging us £300-£400 per month - what did we do, change to the lloyds!

misdee Tue 08-Mar-05 09:37:13

go speak to the bank. and check your statement carefully, i once got stupid amount of charges as my bank took a loan payment out twice. they ended up refunding the loan payment and the charges which in total was over £400.

Evesmama Tue 08-Mar-05 09:40:56

my brother is having same prob with halifax

Pinotmum Tue 08-Mar-05 09:41:15

Firstly, speak to them and secondly change banks. We were with Halifax for years and they did this to us once when dh's wages were late in as well as stopping our switch card another time for no good reason so I couldn't pay for shopping in the supermarket (embarrassing). We moved to First Direct and hve found them brilliant so far.

Snugs Tue 08-Mar-05 09:45:30

Always be upfront with your bank. If you take a proactive attitude and contact them as soon as you have a problem, they will be much more helpful (used to work in the overdrafts dept of Natwest, so know how the system works).

You need to speak to them asap and check exactly what has caused the account to go overdrawn each time.

If your normal expenditure would be within your income and it is the charges they have imposed that are causing the problem, then Halifax might be in the wrong. They are not allowed to accumulate 'charges on charges' in that way.

You also need to see about either slightly increasing your agreed overdraft to cover the new amount, or arrange to transfer the overdraft to a loan so that you can have regular sheduled payments and get it paid off at a rate that you can cope with.

Or jump ship - like others have said, Halifax is getting a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing

whimsy Tue 08-Mar-05 09:49:28

We had the same thing happen. Dh wages were late in so on friday we received 5 letters informing us of 5 different bank charges DH called them and to our amazement they have wiped all the charges off the account. even the bloke who told him said he had never heard of it happening before, the lady in charge must of liked the sound of his voice
Have to agree halifax are sods for doing this, we want to move banks too

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 09:56:05

I've had terrible bother with HBoS since they merged. I was paid on a Wednesday... 3 cheques were clearing on the Wednesday.... since the computer deals with debits before credits they tried to clear the cheques BEFORE my wages cleared. They cleared one cheque and bounced the other 2!!! I was charged a £30 charge for going over the limit and 2 x £35 for each cheque that bounced and another charge (can't remember how much) for the cheque they honoured!!

It was Ds and Dd's nursery fees.... it was SO embarassing having to explain and I was furious!!!

As a goodwill gesture they refunded one of the £35 charges. What th fu**???

I have had so many things to complain about over the past year that I am changin banks as soon as I can.

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 09:57:05

Any bank recommendations?

Snugs Tue 08-Mar-05 10:02:12

It's tricky when they bounce cheques like that.

Technically they are in the right - you should only write a cheque if you know you have the funds to cover it and that doesn't mean relying on money you are expecting in.

In reality a decent bank will allow for regular funds, such as salary, that come in on a specific date each month. The problem is in the increase of computerised systems and the lack of human overview of the accounts.

Katherine Tue 08-Mar-05 10:07:00

I know I really want to move. But my overdraft is £1000 and its impossible to clear when I only have £150 coming into it. Each month I vow I won't spend any of it but DH is so C**p at giving me any money I end up needing it for school dinners etc.

I will contact them and see if they will reduce the charges. And I will also get tough with DH so I can clear the overdraft and close the account. But I suspect it won't be quite that easy........

Pinotmum Tue 08-Mar-05 10:07:15

Nat West are as bad as Halifax as I was with them for 17 yrs and saw the service go downhill. I think First Direct are great and haven't heard anything bad about them. (Probably will now)

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 10:11:51

Katherine - If you want to switch banks your new bank should give you the same overdraft.. and apparently will deal with switching all you Direct Debits too! They make it very easy to change so they can poah customers. I'm very poachable !

Snugs Tue 08-Mar-05 10:13:29

Pinotmum - you are right about Natwest going downhill, I can relate the exact time it happened to the changes that went on with the system (I still worked there at the time).

I only stay with them because I still know a lot of the staff and can work the system because of insider knowledge - so I don't get caught out by unexpected charges.

Katherine - with a £1000 o/d and only £150 per month going in you really need to get your repayments structured. Even if you never take any cash out, interest alone will keep adding to the debt. At least if you get it transferred to a loan, the interest will be fixed and you will have a set date for when it will be paid off.

hatmum Tue 08-Mar-05 10:36:57

Am in the throes of trying to leave the HBOS system having been with BoS for 18 years. It has gone downhill shockingly since the merger and things keep going wrong. Classic frustration was trying to not have a DD set up (changed my mind next day when dh got a job offer that involves moving house and thus DD for local attraction no longer wanted). I wrote, I emailed, I phoned, I visited the branch - no joy at any form of communication. In the end, only solved by going through the local attraction. Now trying to close my account and transfer to dh's (with the NatWest who have been brilliant to date and he's been with them 12 years). Do you think I can??? 2 weeks on and still no word from HBOS...v v cross.

Snugs Tue 08-Mar-05 10:42:04

hatmum - the easiest way, if HBOS won't respond is to handle everything yourself. PITA, but at least it gets done.

Contact everyone you have direct debits with and set up new ones on a new account at Natwest. Inform them that you are cancelling dd's at HBOS. Put all cancellations in writing to HBOS, then if they continue to pay out on them, they will be forced to pay you back.

Arrange for any incoming funds to be redirected to new account.

That should cover most things. Do you owe HBOS any money for an overdraft? That is the only thing that might get tricky.

horseshoe Tue 08-Mar-05 13:25:11

Im afraid the same thing happened to me. I found the halifax very unhelpful and they even told me that if I needed a loan for them I would get turned down because they had to charge me and so they couldn't help me out and told me to pay the charges. I have heard so many stories like this with the halifax and I do not see how they can justify £35 a time in charges

nutcracker Tue 08-Mar-05 13:28:42

I have had this too but with Barclays. They charged me 25 pounds for going over my od limit and then 25 for every thing that was taken out whilst i was overdrawn. Barclays though will only charge you 3 times in a month and then anymore are carried over until the next month.

Could you swap banks ?? Nationwide only charge 15 pounds when the same thing happens.

WestCountryLass Tue 08-Mar-05 14:52:56

We've had the same problem with Abbey National, to be honest we are crap with money as DH is self employed and sometimes we are not paid on time but I really think that there should be a monthly ceiling on charges as ous are sometimes astronical and it takes us months to right ourselves.

Tinker Tue 08-Mar-05 14:57:35

Didn't HBOS announce huge profits last week? Now you know why . All banks are bastards - she said reasonably.

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 15:03:26

Just to echo Tinkers post... bastards the whole lot of them!

HBoS left me for 19 days without a valid bankcard! They forgot to order one in time before my old one expired.... the one they sent late didn't turn up. The next one turned up with no pin number... the next one didn't turn up, the next one ordered in the branch by the manager as I stood there turned out not to be ordered AT ALL... and so on.

Card number 5 finally arrived with a valid pin number 19 days after my old card expired! Not so much as an apology.... I was in the branch twice crying.

deegward Tue 08-Mar-05 15:03:29

As someone whose dh works for HBoS, jsut felt I should defend them a bit, as they pay our mortgage. I was always crap with money until I met dh, he views overdrafts etc as you using the bank's money which you are. I know not a populat opinion but...

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 15:05:39

My SIL works for them, my friends Dad is a Director for them... still not going to defend the way they treat some people. And the charges ARE extortionate.... especially when they bounce cheques just coz their computer deals with cheques a few hours before they deal with clearing your wages!!!

Tinker Tue 08-Mar-05 15:08:50

Yes, overdrafts are you using the bank's money. So, how do they explain taking 5 working days to clear a cheque? Thieves, the lot of them. Think mumsnet should start its own Credit Union.

Toothache Tue 08-Mar-05 15:10:25

Tinker - I asked the bank about cheque clearing after they bounced mine. They said they can clear cheques OUT of your account in 24hrs.... but it'll 5 days for you to get access to money if you're paying a cheque IN!!! What the fu**?

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