September 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm #55191
Hello all I am new to here, well like so many people I have found myself in great financial difficulty due to massive changes in income . During better times I unfortunately and naievely used my Spanish Credit card to buy usual items such as fuel for car, shopping. I ran up a debt of 545 euro’s which should normally be cleared the following month. During this time I had a lot of things happen, my eldest child was having a terrible time at school here in Spain , my business here was going under and for 3 months I went back to the UK to stay with my parents and help settle my son into English school. During this time I became seriously ill and am now under a consultant in the UK. At no time were any of my mortgage payments in Spain missed however the credit card debt could not be addressed as this would have meant not paying the mortgage. I have now returned to Spain and at all times have been in liason with the Spanish bank manager who is aware of my illness, however knowing that I can only pay the mortgage which surely is the most important thing, he is constantly calling me and has sent a debt recovery agent around to the house to collect the arrears. The last call from the bank manager said that if I didnt cover the Credit card debt then he would embargo my house and start repocession of my house. I have not missed any mortgage payments and am doing my best, but I cannot cover everything, and I am also very ill and under ongoing medical care in the UK. Please can someone advise me if the bank can repocess my house for failure to pay the credit card debt , I am worried sick have very little income and am trying to also keep my head above water for my 10 year old son who is here with me. Thank you so much and hope someone can help
September 7, 2009 at 7:17 am #94081InezParticipant
Hi Jordan, sorry to hear of your illness and difficulties and well done for keeping going! As a single mum myself here I totally understand your situation.
In theory they can do all this BUT in order to get an embargo (charge on the house) they have to go through the courts. That you owe the debt is not under dispute from either side and interest will add up too.
I doubt a judge will allow the reposession of the house for such a small amount and with a child too you have a lot of protection, but I would advise you speak to the manager and make arrangements to pay off the debt on a monthly basis – whatever you can afford – and stick to it. They can do this for you and dont worry too much, the managers do make mountains out of molehills and remember its mainly because his manager is breathing down his neck!
PM me if you want to and good luck
September 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm #94133
thank you for your advice, I think you are right in what you say I should do my best to offer what I can, which this week I have done, I managed to pay off nearly 400 euros this week leaving the balance a 245 e, and still the head office are pestering me. The bank manager says one thing then the head office another. The bank manager seems relatively relaxed at my offer, however the head office call everyday and today I have told them to leave me alone and talk to the branch. If I had a a spare 245 e believe me I would pay them back immediately but if I do that then me and my 10 year old will not eat so I seem caught between a rock and hard place. Up to now I have covered every mortgage payment and covered all my other priority debts, electric, water, food etc. If you have anymore advice then believe me it would be appreciated.
Thanks again for all your help
September 13, 2009 at 7:38 am #94134
I think you have done incredibly well to deal with this and get that debt down by such a large amount under the obviously challenging circumstances. It is not easy. I also think the bank has behaved disgracefully towards you. Generally, if you put in a reasonable offer, and stick to it, they would be more than happy. The continued harassment you are facing would not be acceptable in the UK and you could raise a formal complaint over it. I would be interested to know what bank this is, as they are not people I would ever wish to do business with. I would certainly cut this card up the moment you have cleared the final sum. One of the big problems with credit cards, apart from the extortionate interest rates – which have actually INCREASED while other rates have fallen to an historic low are the rip-off fees for late or returned payments. It can result in a cycle where even a small debt keeps growing at an alarming rate. The amount of chasing/harassment going on here over 245 Euros though seems extreme…
September 14, 2009 at 9:35 pm #94153InezParticipant
All banks are the same unfortunately. You are a mere number and thats it. They arent really credit cards in spain as you pay off all the balance at the end of the month, not like Visa etc. You can opt to pay a set amount monthly and extra if you want, but usually you just clear it
Just ignore them if you can, theres not a lot else you can do, or you can ask for their complaints book and lodge a formal complaint which has to be investigated – if you threaten that they may shut up!
September 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm #94181
Whilst the bank have a right to persue any debt there is a legal and moral limit. And it seems to me that they may have breached both!
The suggestion that request to make a complaint in their Complaints Book is a good one. No firm, bank or otherwise can refuse that! It costs you nothing and will certainly put them on the back foot.
If you want to take it further, ask for his immediate superior’s name and the contact details of the bank’s own compliance department for a formal written complaint.
You have doen very well but now you do not need to be on the defence! And they say that the ‘best form of defence is .. attack’.
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