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; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies