Manchester, United Kingdom (PressExposure) December 23, 2009 -- A surprising move came from the Office of Fair Trading yesterday as they decided to drop all its legal action against the unauthorised overdraft charges issued by high street banks. This decision may have been influenced by the recent test case against the banks which was lost by the Office of Fair Trading's legal team, where the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the banks being able to charge for unauthorised overdrafts.
The Judge said the case could be brought to court again using a different legal argument but OFT lawyers have decided that going to court again may take too long to process and it may be years before we get a result, also if they fail it could cost them millions of pounds.
There have been over 1.2 million complaints over unfair fees from customers since July 2007, some have been successful in reclaiming their charges but it is likely now that after the latest ruling, most will fail.
The OFT are now in talks with their legal team over legislative change with banks and consumer groups.
Consumers that were looking to get their charges written off are now looking for other means to get out of debt; one popular solution being checking your credit agreements for enforceability or also known as an 'Unenforceable Credit Agreement'. This process can take between 6 months to 12 moths depending on your case but if successful, you could look at having not only your charges written off, but the entire balance you owe to your lender.
What is an Unenforceable Credit Agreement?
In 2006 section 127 was removed from the Consumer Credit Act. Section 127 was specifically designed to protect consumer from lenders who supply loans and credit cards without the correct documentation. The section was re-added on 6th April 2007 but it means that any improperly drafted agreements taken out before this date could be completely unenforceable and the debt can effectively be written off.
How do I check my agreement?
The first step to check your agreements for enforceability is you must send a 'Consumer Credit Agreement Request' under Section 77 or 78 of the Act along with a standard fee of Â£1 made payable to the creditor. It is also advisable to send a 'Subject Access Request' under the Data Protection Act 1998 in which the creditor must supply all information to you regarding your account. This will cost you a further Â£10.
If the lender cannot supply a true copy of the executed credit agreement then the debt cannot be enforced, meaning it cannot legally be collected, hence the debt is written off.
I should stress by attempting to do this yourself you are entering legal realms and you must be very careful how you proceed further. These matters should only be handled by a qualified solicitor.