Questions Of Cash: Saying bye-bye to card debts can be a liability


Q. Two years ago I was contacted by a firm called Buy Bye Credit, which promised to clear my credit card debt on the grounds that my credit card agreement was flawed. I paid £1,050 for "legal services" but Buy Bye Credit is not in business now and it did not clear the debt. Can I recover my losses? SW, by email.

A. As you say, Buy Bye Credit appears to have ceased trading. The company's website no longer functions and there is no phone number for it currently listed at its Birmingham address. The company's accounts are overdue with Companies House and there is a proposal to strike out the company's registration. A search on the internet reveals many other unhappy clients of Buy Bye Credit. You are one of many readers who have complained after paying to have debts eliminated that remain in place. But you are fortunate because you paid Buy Bye Credit using a Capital One credit card, making the card issuer jointly liable with the vendor for the provision of services paid for. We contacted Capital One on your behalf and it is refunding the £1,050.

Q. My landlord, Heart Lets, is increasing my maintenance fee for common services from £60 to more than £90 per month. The annual management charge of £175 is going up to £216. Do I and the other 14 leaseholders have to pay? DL, Nottingham.

A. Heart Lets says the service charge has not increased for four years and the previous managing agents did not perform their duties properly. It adds: "If [Heart Lets] had left the service charge as it was, then there would not have been enough money in the fund to provide the services and the lessees would suffer." It adds that the freeholder offered to meet you to explain the charges, but you declined to do so. An explanation has now been provided to you over the phone. Heart Lets says any money raised from the charges and not spent will be returned to the leaseholders.

Managing agents have a legal duty to explain increases in management charges. Nicholas Kissen, a solicitor at the Leasehold Advisory Service, explains: "The Service Charge Residential Management Code, published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government, says that managers should always notify tenants of significant departures from the budget and should be willing and able to explain the reasons for them.

"If your managing agents cannot give you a satisfactory explanation for the increase then, while there is no absolute recourse, their refusal might be taken into consideration in any future leasehold valuation tribunal hearing relating to the charges." A managing agent can only charge for items specified in a lease, while charges for repairs must be limited to what has been "reasonably incurred for works and services of a reasonable standard", says Mr Kissen.

Q. I hold power of attorney for my 80-year-old mother and manage her bank accounts online. I applied in October to open a Santander online Saver 6 account and transfer the funds from two online Saver 2 accounts. By January they were still not accessible online, I was told the balance from one of the Saver 2 accounts had not been transferred and I was promised £10 to compensate. By February none of this had happened. I was then told for the first time to complete a new power of attorney form.

The accounts were still not accessible online in March, when I was told the interest rate on the Saver 6 account was no longer attractive and that I should open a Saver 7 account. I am told the Saver 7 account is now open, but I still cannot access it online. LL, Cambridgeshire.

A. Santander says that the problems occurred because the power of attorney was not registered specifically with the new account. It will credit your mother's account with £50 to apologise for the delay in resolving the problems.

Q. I read in Questions of Cash (29 May) of a reader who lost his right to a teacher's student loan repayment, which you got reinstated. I am having a student loan repayment deducted from my salary but I believed it was being paid back by the Repayment of Teacher Loans scheme, because I have taught a shortage subject since 2003. I have completed change of circumstance forms to explain I moved to a different school in 2006, even though I remained within the same local education authority, teaching the same shortage subject. JR, Hitchin.

A. The Student Loans Company is unwilling to reinstate you on the RTL scheme, arguing that you did not "immediately and fully" advise it when you moved schools.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

    £350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

    Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

    £300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

    Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

    Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

    £475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game