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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71137
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I purchased a car on loan in 2010 and in 2011, I lost my job

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I purchased a car on loan in 2010 and in 2011, I lost my job and then my insurance cover helped me to be paying while I was looking for work for few months. Then I got a job and refinanced the car in September 2011. I had been straggling to pay but atleast I was communicating when the pay will be late. Then as my pay became regular I started paying every month and some of the late payment charges were paid off and others were taken off. Since 2012, I have had no problem at all. Then in the month February my car had a proble with a crutch and the engine started misfiring. I then called the finance company what I should do. They said what I do with the car is up to me. I therefore contacted the previous car deal who accpted the part exchange. I phone back the finance company telling them that I was going to pay the February instalment late because incase the car dealer will need a deposit. I was told thats fine. I went to car dealer and looked for the car of my choice but did not find it. In the end we agreed that they are going to check with other dealers then they would let me know. I tried to drive my old car for a long distance, I did realise that because it was computerised as soon as one part has a problem, the whole system is affected. I decided that I was going to keep the car. As soon as I made that decision, I immediately paid my February instalment as agreed on 17th of March. Then on 20th of Marach I got a call from the finance company that I have areas of £195.59. I explained to them that thats not the case. I explained everything again and they agreed that they can see the note there. But later they came up with another issues saying the I have arears from 2012. I have tried to explain to them, the customer service team understand but the debt collection team does not accept. I have requested to write to me so that they can explain why they have picked up these arears now because as far as I know just missing one month, they will send you barrages of emails, telephone calls and they charge £25 for each later they send. What can I do? and where can I complain? the arrears they have just told me now is coming to £359.59 but they are refusing to write to me and explain. Please provide advice
Dr Fletcher
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Obviously I will not know what their explanation is for this. However, I would imagine they are saying that there is a missed payment unaccounted for or that there is outstanding interest on a late payment.
This might be legitimate or it might be that they have added fines upon a late payment. If it is the latter then that may offend against UCTA. It is similar with the price they are charing for letters. They will not get away with charging £25 per letter if you went to court.
The question really is whether or not you are prepared to risk going to court. It would be damaging to your credit rating probably but it might be that the due sum is reduced.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Sorry,

I could not log in to my account since yesterday. The customer service has just helped me. Is there anywhere else I can complain apart from going to court? for example I was thinking for complaining to my MP or write Ombudsman or financial services authority

You can always complaint to your MP.
The FSA will probably look at your complaint.
It is quite unlikely they will sue though.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do I always need a solicitor to go to court?

It is a small claims court sum.
They won't sue you anyway. They may add a default to your account but it is not likely they would sue. It is not worth the manpower.
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