Questions Of Cash: Saying bye-bye to card debts can be a liability - Spend & Save - Money - The Independent

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

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
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

    Payroll & Accounts Assistant

    £20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

    £280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

    £35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week