Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you propose to complain to the Ombudsman about HSBC or the debt collectors please?
It is Marlin Financial Services that have been writing to me but they claim it is a credit card debt owed HSBC bank. I do not know how you operate as i have not used you before. I was said to have taken credit card facility from HSBC bank which is not true as the time it was allegedly taken I had been transfered back to Nigeria.
Many thanks. The simplest way to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman is by using the following link:https://help.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/helpAlternatively you can make a complaint by email [email protected] or you can call them on 0800(###) ###-####br/>However if I may, I would like to briefly cover a few points before you do so you are armed with all the information you need to make your complaint stick. May I proceed?
I just need your help in dealing with this apparent fraud case.
It is important to know what the Financial Ombudsman can and cannot help you with. Tey have the power to determine complaints about financial services companies but not with debt collectors themselves. Therefore they can help with a complaint about HSBC but not the debt collectors. However since HSBC is the underlying cause this is the key to resolving your present circumstances. You can deal with the debt collectors separately which I will with your permission outline below in a moment.
In order to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman the rules require that you must have first raised your complaint with HSBC directly and worked through their complaints process and received a decision you are not hapy with. If you have not done so the Ombudsman have no power to help and will reject your complaint and tell you to first do the above. If you have already got a letter from HSBC rejecting your complaint which you are not happy with then you can complain to the FO using the above links and they will determine your complaint and their decision is binding on the bank though not you.
With regards ***** ***** debt collectors: consider writing to them denying any liability for the debt and you have ascertained that you were the victim of identity fraud providing your crime reference number. Consider requiring them in writing to "cease and desist" all further communications with you unless it is in respect of issuing proceedings in the county court for recovery of the debt which you can advise will be fully defended by you.
Okay then it will be fine to deal with HSBC since it is they who have engaged the debt collectors. I never got any credit card from them.
Consider advising them that you will consider any other communications besides the above to constitute harrassment and breaches of Section 1 & 2 - Malicious Communications Act 1988, s1 Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and that further communications will result in your considering a report to trading standards as to their conduct with a view to their reviewing their licences and also reserve your rights to seek civil injunctions and costs against them if they conduct continues
A debt collector may not chase you for a debt which you have denied liability for other than through the courts. Such behaviour is unlawful under the above legislation and can result in the above consequences for the agency. If they do not believe you after you have denied liability then their only choice is to issue proceedings in the county court which can be defended by you and based upon what you say you will be able to show that it was not you that incurred the charges. If they are unsuccessful that is an end to the matter though many agencies will not issue proceedings due to the costs involved for them unless they are very confident as to the outcome.
If the matter is being dealt with by the Financial Ombudsman in the event HSBC do issue proceedings in the county court either directly or through debt collectors you can ask that the case is adjourned until after determination by the F.O.
I have noted your advice.
Ref your last post - exactly so. You deal direct with HSBC if they are the debt collectors client. If you make HSBC go away then the debt collectors go away too though as above you can stop them from harrassing you in the meantime using the above approaches as such behaviour is not lawful and my experience is that letters containing some or all of the above points are very effective with debt collectors as it puts your position on record and means that their further conduct can be scruitinised very carefully in terms of their licence.
Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Yes but I admit it is expensive for a pensioner.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me - I am very happy to assist with any follow ups you may have without further charge.
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Your service was good.