Thursday, 16 April 2015

Differences of Opinion

Graduate of the U.S. naval Academy, motivational speaker and author Denis Waitley once said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat” and while I cannot dispute my failure to bring anyone to account for falsifying my mortgage application continually provides me with an education, the delays incurred by misinformation, ignorance and regulatory belligerence have repeatedly buried me in despair.

Over the years I have spoken to countless fellow victims, whistleblowers, financial journalists, debt consultants, financial regulators and solicitors as well as a plethora of FB friends and twitter users, all of whom have generously shared their expertise. Each nugget of information they have so generously imparted has been carefully stored in my numerous lever arch files, saved on my computer and crammed into my head. As a result, both my head and my computer are now low on memory and my office cupboards are fit to burst.

Yet still, despite my best efforts, there has been nothing to report which warrants even the loosest interpretation of success.

I have been thwarted at almost every turn by the pomposity and arrogance of those working for the collections and mortgage departments at HBOS. Instead of thoroughly investigating my mortgage mis-selling claim they chose misinformation and an unyielding reluctance to share information (information which they are required by law to provide) to deflect and delay my progress and towards an individual reporting mortgage fraud, the Financial Conduct Authority exhibits disinterest and thinly veiled disdain. The Financial Ombudsman Service was equally ineffectual. Not only did they display repeated instances of bungling incompetence which cost me nigh on two years in delays but they actively condoned HBOS’ obstructive behaviour to withhold information which was pivotal to my success.

Since reporting the fraudulent content of my mortgage application to the police last year, I have been told to seek legal advice and, in an effort to secure this, I have presented my case to six different law firms. While my initial approaches have all generated sufficient interest to prompt a request for further information, to date each firm has come back to me with a variety of inaccurate reasons for not wishing to proceed. Discovering that my unsolicited education in mortgage mis-selling has already furnished me with a level of expertise which now exceeds that of some professionals, has not only leftme despondent but my repeated failures to secure legal representation have cost me even more time in delays.

As a result, I now have only eight short months left to make my case before it is deemed statute barred. 

With no money to fund it and only the Fee Free Advice of my Local CAB to rely upon, I had all but given up hope of finding someone to take my mis-selling case to court. Writing further posts to chart my repeated failures seemed pointless, especially when the sole purpose of starting my Life after Debt blog was to raise awareness of ongoing banking criminality, become better informed and increase fellow banking victim's chances of success. However, after seven long years of in depth investigation (while simultaneously dealing with HBOS’ bullyboys) and writing 184 blog posts about each painful step along the way, it seems my determination might have finally paid off.

Thanks to a fellow victim of HBOS who made contact with me after reading my Soulless and Searching post ,I have today received the Terms of Engagement from a firm of lawyers who not only believe my case has merit but wish to take instruction on a no win no fee basis.  As time is short, they have already sent my documentary evidence to a London barrister who specialises in financial cases and mis-selling and I, along with several other HBOS victims in a similar predicament, await his opinion. 

I am nothing short of delighted.

Denis Waitley also said, “[Failure] is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” and those who know me will doubtless agree that saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing has never been one of my strong points. 

So, on the turn of a sixpence, I find my fingers are firmly crossed once again!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Soulless and Searching

Non-conformist Welsh minister, Presbyterian preacher and prolific seventeenth century religious author Matthew Henry, once said, “There are none so deaf as those who will not hear and none so blind as those who will not see” and for those seeking justice for financial injuries suffered as a consequence of the bankster driven economic crisis,  Henry’s words ring particularly true.

Recent years have not only revealed the numerous ways in which the UK’s banks have been prepared to defraud their shareholders, their customers and the taxpayer but they have also served to demonstrate the extent to which those who govern and regulate their actions have been prepared to turn a blind eye. As a result, very little has changed to the way in which banks do business and even less has changed to the way in which they treat their victims.

These days little mention is made of businesses crippled by miss sold interest rate swaps, pensioners whose incomes halved when “with profit” promises could not be kept or families who have suffered the consequences of miss sold mortgages. Instead, we are encouraged to put the past behind us and embrace the current signs of economic recovery feeling safe in the knowledge that “new” banking regulations are playing an invaluable and pivotal part in the UK’s economic success.

Cameron, Carney and Wheatley would all have us believe,
But, for those who have fallen foul of criminal banking, selective awareness is not an option and while predatory bankers and those who benefit from their favours thrive, the victims of banking crime are not only forgotten but left to battle for justice using a system which stacks the odds firmly against them.
  • True to form, it has taken seven years of media coverage and industry whistle-blowing to expose the mechanics of widespread mortgage mis-selling but still no Ombudsman ruling or formal regulatory interest.
Without access to Legal Aid or private funds to initiate a lawsuit and in the absence of a previously established track record of proven mortgage mis-selling cases to run on, my recently appointed DAS Legal representative has fallen by the wayside and, as a result, I now wait braced and unprotected for the next debt collecting onslaught from the Bank of Scotland.  Unlike the banks and the bankers, I have not been allowed to put the past behind me. Nor have I been able to get on with my life. Without legal representation, the best I can hope for is that the unscrupulous Bank of Scotland’s newly appointed debt collecting solicitors Drysdenfairfax might finally, after seven long years of my asking, chose to make use of my full case history to open the eyes and ears of their completely disinterested client to the fact that not only am I absolutely penniless but I, like the Bank of Scotland themselves, have been a victim of their panel approved broker’s very lucrative mortgage fraud  too.

As per usual, I will not be holding my breath. 

American born moral and social philosopher and author, Eric Hoffer, once said, “Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy-the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much hope and expectation” and after all these years of searching for assistance and, in the absence of any form of Bank of Scotland communications, here’s hoping my latest attempt to secure a lawyer, this time one who specialises in mortgage mis-selling, will not result in any further bankrupting of my soul.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Up Close and Personal

American author, Amelia Earhart once said, “You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward” and although my lengthy bank battling journey has fallen a long way short of any results, there is no disputing my decision to act has rewarded me with an enlightening education.

During the course of my investigation into how my family and I became the victims of the financial crisis, I have learned,
  • Bankers intentionally flooded the market with financial products which were open to abuse in order to increase their market share and their bonus’
  •  Regulators and auditors intentionally misled us when the banks culture of greed began to implode
  •  Politicians intentionally feigned outrage and offered empty promises of redress to avert civil unrest.

 Six painful years, five lever arch files and two unsuccessful FOS complaints later I have now reached the following conclusions:
  • Both the FCA and the FOS’s allegiance lies only with the banks and not their victims
  • Austerity measures have made it nigh on impossible for the victims of banking crime to access justice
  • And the voice of the individual,  however loud,  is all but inaudible

 Still void of success in the face of mortgage broker fraud, I have taken the following action;
  • Applied for and obtained (via household legal insurance I purchased in 2005/6)  agreement to spend £50,000 with DAS Legal Services to pursue Karrek Financial Management Ltd for criminal negligence
  • Attended an SME Alliance event for what proved to be a very interesting meeting which not only gave me a great deal of insight into other banking crimes but  also provided me with the opportunity to meet other victims and access professional bank battling expertise
  • And, written the following letter summarising the criminal negligence of HBOS's panel approved mortgage broker to send along with 30 pages of evidence, to my newly appointed DAS lawyer, the Devon and Cornwall police and a barrister I met through the SME Alliance who has kindly agreed to look at my findings,

“Dear [All],

Further to our telephone conversation follows an outline of my case along with supporting evidence.

In March 2006, having discussed our financial circumstances with Karrek Financial Management Ltd through whom we had previously purchased life cover, my husband was told by their mortgage advisor ****** ****** our monthly outgoings could be dramatically reduced if we agreed to switch our existing £725,000 mortgage with TMB to an interest only discounted mortgage with the Bank of Scotland and restructure our short term borrowings. He advised us to increase the debt secured against our home by firstly taking a further £65,000 by way of a Bank of Scotland further advance, secondly by making use of a £40,000 drawn down which, underwritten at outset, would be made available to us after three months of regular monthly interest payments and thirdly by taking a three month payment holiday for which we would also be eligible after making three monthly interest payments. His recommendation was to use all the additional funds raised against the remaining equity in our home to repay credit cards (see Doc 1. copy application form). Keen to alleviate his cash flow problems at a time when the terminal illness of two of his closest relatives (his mother and brother) was making it impossible to divide his time effectively between the needs of his family and the demands of his business, my husband agreed.

I have since discovered that not only is securing credit card debt against a family home a direct contravention of the Mortgage Code and financial regulations but the method the broker used to obtain this remortgage/ further advance was a blatant abuse of their position of trust and nothing short of fraudulent. Instead of advising how best to arrange our finances in the light of our circumstances, the broker’s objective appears to have been to affect a personal gain for themselves (in the form of a handsome introducer fee. (See Doc 2. Copy mortgage offer) by switching an existing mortgage and our credit card borrowings for an entirely unsuitable mortgage product which was not only unaffordable from outset but required falsified information to be used on the application form in order to obtain a Bank of Scotland mortgage offer.

  • After a financial fact finding telephone conversation with my husband, the mortgage application (which we never saw) was submitted online (see Doc 3) by the broker whom we never met using false information which was tailored to fit the Bank of Scotland’s underwriting requirements. We did not supply the information the broker wrote on the application form (see affidavit Doc. 4).
  • There were no acquisition costs to pay, neither were there solicitors or surveyors to instruct as the cost of the valuation and the conveyance, along with instructions, were either taken care of by the lender or added to the advance.
  • And, on 30 March 2006, after being told by the broker verbally (again by telephone) we had received a mortgage offer for £790,000 from the Bank of Scotland as a result of him submitting our application on line we were sent, and duly signed, the declaration page and the direct debit mandate of an otherwise blank application form. There then followed another declaration sheet, once again without a completed application form, approximately two weeks later (see Doc. 5).

As a result of his efforts, the broker earned almost £4000 and we, unwittingly, agreed to move from a very tight corner which could have been rectified by the sale of our house, to an impossible situation amounting to tens of thousands of pounds in arrears (see arrears statement Doc 6), a £217,000 mortgage shortfall (see shortfall statement Doc 7) which occurred from the forced sale of our home in 2009 and six long years of battling with an unsympathetic bank while trying to establish precisely what happened to put us in such a position.  

Had HBOS not sent me an entirely unsolicited copy of our original application form (minus the declaration pages) by way of an explanation to some wildly inaccurate claims they were making about the original purchase price and original purchase date of our house in response to my over valuation complaint to them, I might never have discovered the fraudulent nature of the information the application form contained. This evidence first came to light in January 2013 and, as a result of a complaint I then made to the Financial Ombudsman Service about overvaluation, irresponsible lending and the falsified information on our mortgage application, I was told (in January 2014 after a full FOS investigation had been completed) my case should have cited the mortgage broker and not HBOS.  Needless to say the FOS were unable to uphold my complaint as it was deemed HBOS were faultless because they were not the appointed advisors for the mortgage sale.

The application form which ************ completed states that the mortgage product applied for was a sale he “advised” as a representative of Karrek Financial Management Ltd.  It also states our accounts were available and the mortgage was not self certified.  It goes on to claim the following;
  • ************** had face to face contact with both my husband and I during the application process. This is completely untrue. We have never, on any occasion, met ************ and all communications between my husband and ************ were via telephone, email, fax or post. I have had no face to face or telephone contact with ************.
  • Both ************and Karrek Financial Management claim they saw our original passports for money laundering purposes. This is completely untrue. We were merely asked to send photocopies of our passports and a council tax bill both of which have been signed off by Karrek Financial Management in handwriting which does not appear to be ************'s. (see passport Doc 8 and council tax bill photo copies Doc 9)
  • Our earned income is shown on the application form as approximately 249k plus 75k with a further 50k in rental income for the years 2005, 2004 and 2003. Our actual income, as illustrated by our company accounts and Inland Revenue supplied tax returns, amounted to little more than 50k per annum in total for the years stated. (see financial evidence Doc 10)
  • The purchase price and purchase date of the property is shown as £890,000 in 2004 when in fact it was purchased in 2000 for £250,000. (see Land Registry search. Doc 11)
  • The age of the property is shown as 20 years old when in fact it could be as much as 300 years old or more and part of the property is thought to have been recorded in the Doomsday Book. (see Grade II listing Doc 12)
  • The application states the property has five bedrooms and three living rooms when it actually has four bed rooms and two living rooms (see estate agent details Doc 13)

When I reported the details of this fraud to the Bank of Scotland, I was advised never to contact them again. Next I reported the matter to the FCA who were insistent that what had happened appeared to be fraud and therefore beyond the remit of both themselves and the FOS. The FCA advised me to contact the police. This I have done and my case details have been logged and given a crime reference number. The Serious Fraud Office for the Devon and Cornwall Police advised me to seek legal advice.

Having initially spoken to the Avon and Somerset Police Serious Fraud Office in August 2014 to inquire as to whom I should report this financial crime, I was told the Bristol police had uncovered a similar mortgage broker fraud amounting to 11 million pounds. This week Swinton Insurance Brokers directors were fined £900,000 by the FCA for creating an over incentivised culture which promoted miss selling and wrongdoing. It is estimated they will be required to pay 11 million pounds in customer compensation. I strongly suspect the same unscrupulous methods have been equally lucrative for Karrek Financial Management Ltd  but to date I have been unable to get to the bottom of why they were removed from HBOS’ lending panel during my applications processing. (see HBOS screen print Doc 14).Nor have I been able find out if they have been the subject of other similar complaints or any formal regulatory disciplinary action.  So far, I have requested this information from HBOS, Karrek, the FCA and Openwork broker network support.  My requests have either been ignored or denied (see Karrek’s response letter Doc 15).

While HBOS’ dubious underwriting practices undoubtedly helped facilitate this fraud, their only response to my findings has been to say they acted in good faith.  However, in order to assess my losses I would like to know if the mortgage contract my husband and I thought we had with the Bank of Scotland is now void as a consequence of the fraudulent information contained therein. If this proves to be the case, does it follow that the Bank of Scotland unlawfully obtained a possession order to force the sale of my home? If so, do I have a case for recompense against HBOS as well as Karrek Financial Management?

In addition to the copy of the original mortgage application, I have in my possession a number of pieces of correspondence between HBOS, their panel approved broker Karrek and us, as well as certified accounts and Inland Revenue printouts of our income at the time.  I also have conveyance details for our original purchase of the property and HBOS screen prints stating the broker was removed from the panel during the application process, all of which I have enclosed with this letter. However, despite my repeated requests, I have been unable to secure any documentation from Karrek as they say they destroyed the file once the mortgage was 6 years old. More recently, September 2014, I wrote to both Karrek and their network support organisation Openwork to advise them I plan to take the matter of my falsified application form further. I have not received acknowledgement from either.

In the meantime I have, on the instructions of the police, informed the Bank of Scotland (formerly HBOS) that they have been a victim of fraud and asked them to file a police report too (see Doc 15a). I have received no letter of acknowledgement or response.
I believe the only witness’ I have are employees of the Bank of Scotland, namely those who underwrote our mortgage initially, Jill Miller and Moira Easton (see underwriting correspondence Doc  5) and Mr David Groves in Bank of Scotland Customer Services who sent me my first copy of the original application in January 2013 (see Doc 15b) without the signed declaration pages, when I complained about the inaccurate figures he was quoting while he was investigating my over- valuation/irresponsible underwriting complaint. (see my letter asking for declaration pages Doc 16).

Had ************ of Karrek Financial Management not falsified our mortgage application to secure us an unsuitable and unaffordable mortgage against our home, we would have had no alternative but to sell it for the £925,000 value the Bank of Scotland surveyor gave it at the time (see doc 17). A valuation which both the Bank of Scotland and the Financial Ombudsman have both later endorsed as fair and accurate in my FOS complaint of 2013. Had we sold in March 2006 instead of remortgaging and taking a further advance to refinance, we would have received £200,000 after repaying our TMB mortgage, less agents and solicitors fees.  Instead, ************’s reckless self serving advice led to the Bank of Scotland obtaining a possession order in November 2008 because we were unable to meet our interest payments from outset. This gave the Bank of Scotland the power to force us to sell our home for a mere £665,000 two years later (see arrears statement Doc 6).  Furthermore, I would not have spent the past six years suffering the immense stress of the Bank of Scotland’s relentless and ongoing pursuit of a £217,000 mortgage shortfall which was created from this fire sale.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely”

Political theorist, philosopher, author and reporter, Hannah Arendt, once said, “Confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing” and after seven banking crisis ridden years filled with endless excuses for doing nothing and a plethora of meaningless confessions of collective banking and regulatory guilt, I am sincerely hoping £50,000 of legal funding will not only provide me with an audible voice with which to pursue our criminally negligent mortgage broker but I am also eager for it to provide me a long awaited opportunity to get up close and very personal with HBOS!

As ever, I now wait without patience, for news.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wolves, Sheep and Regulators

Twice elected US president, Radical Republican and former union Army General, Hiram Ulysses Grant once said, "In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten and then he who continues to attack, wins" and after three months of a bank battling impasse in which the Bank of Scotland's debt collection have been eerily silent, I have reach the conclusion an armoury of evidence is my only hope of defence should they chose to launch another attack. Without it, I am nothing more than a sitting duck.

Keen to leave no stone unturned, I embarked on another quest for information. I sent,
  • Another request to the mortgage broker who submitted my falsified application to the Bank of Scotland in March 2006, this time via a DSAR, along with formal notification I suspect them of fraud
  • A DSAR to the mortgage broker’s network support organisation requesting any information they might have relating to disciplinary action taken against the broker during the application process of my mortgage and a letter advising them I have put Karrek on notice
  • An application  to my contents insurance company making a request for legal advice with regard to whether or not my falsified application renders my contract with the Bank of Scotland void, legal representation in the event Bank of Scotland wish to dispute my findings through the courts and some telephone time with a legal representative to explore the merits of a negligence claim against the broker
  • A formal request to the FCA under the Freedom of Information Act requesting all information pertaining to any disciplinary actions or formal investigations relating to the mortgage broker, their network support firm and the Bank of Scotland. I have also specifically requested any information which would shed light on why (according the BoS' screen notes) the mortgage broker was removed from the  Bank of Scotland’s panel of brokers during the processing of my mortgage application in March 2006.
Believing my requests could provide me with pivotal evidence to support my claim that both I and the Bank of Scotland have been victims of mortgage broker fraud, I have also sent,
  •  An outline of my findings to the Devon and Cornwall Police and requested my case be kept open while I await further evidence.
Ten weeks have now passed and I have received,
  •  No response from the broker to my DSAR
  •  No response or even an acknowledgement from either the broker or their network support regarding my letters putting them on notice
  • No file of  information from the brokers network support team on grounds that the DSAR I made only covers personal information and the data they hold is not personal to me
  • No reply from my legal insurers
Thankfully I have received,
  • No objection from the Devon and Cornwall Police to leaving  my case open while I collect and collate further evidence.
However, I have also received,
  • A totally meaningless five page reply from the FCA which concludes with, “we can find no record of a relationship between Karrek Financial Management and the HBOS lending panel and  with regard to all other points of your request “to confirm or deny that we hold any information specifically relating to enforcement or disciplinary action against either ...[the broker] or [their network support provider] Openwork Ltd would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person or a firm (particularly the firms mentioned) and would, or would be likely to,  prejudice the exercise by the FCA of its functions under Financial services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”). Therefore, we are unable to confirm or deny under section 43 (commercial interests) and section 31 (Law enforcement) of the Act whether or not we hold any information relating to action taken by us against these firms.” They further state, “the FCA also has a policy of not commenting publicly on whether or not it is investigating a particular individual or firm.
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs and later 74th  United States Secretary of the Treasury,  Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson, Jr. once warned, “There is a very real danger that financial regulation will become a wolf in sheep's clothing” but if my own experiences are any measure, the complete reverse has proved to be much closer to the truth and, while some would still have us believe these very same regulators are the friends of the victims of banking crime, my six years long investigation into a Bank of  Scotland driven, broker implemented mortgage churning fraud would very much indicate otherwise.

With regulatory friends like these, who needs enemies?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Notorious Difficulties

Democratic socialist and one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century, Eric Arthur Blair (otherwise known as George Orwell), once said, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -forever” and, as a result of this week’s disappointing developments, it’s hard not to imagine the human face being stamped on is destined to be mine.

In March 2006, having discussed our financial circumstances with a financial advisor/mortgage broker, my husband was told we could reduce our outgoings by more than half if we agreed to switch our existing mortgage of £725,000 to the Bank of Scotland and take a further advance of £65,000, secured against our home, to repay our credit cards. Desperate to alleviate his cash flow problems at a time when the terminal illness of two of his closest relatives was making it impossible to divide his time effectively between the needs of his family and the demands of his business, he agreed.
  • The mortgage application (which we never saw) was submitted on line by a broker we never met
  • There were no acquisition costs to pay, neither were there solicitors or surveyors to instruct as the cost of the valuation and the conveyance, along with instructions, were taken care of by the lender.
  • And, on 30 March 2006, after being told by the broker we had received a mortgage offer for £790,000 from the Bank of Scotland, we signed the declaration page and the direct debit mandate of an otherwise blank application form.
As a result, the broker earned £4,500 and we unwittingly agreed to move from a very tight corner which could have been rectified by the sale of our house, to an impossible situation amounting to tens of thousands of pounds in arrears, a £217,000 shortfall following the forced sale of our home in 2009 and six long years of battling with an unsympathetic bank while trying to establish precisely what had gone on. Had HBOS not sent me an entirely unsolicited copy of our original application form (minus the declaration pages) by way of an explanation to some wildly inaccurate claims they were making about the original purchase price and original purchase date of our house, I might never have discovered the fraudulent nature of the information it contained.

Having reported the fraud to HBOS and been advised never to contact them again, I immediately reported the matter to the FCA who were insistent it was beyond the remit of both themselves and the FOS.  Because of this I was told I should go straight to the police and, encouraged by the diligence of Action Fraud's staff to record the details of my case and the news they could present the crime as an Abuse of a Position of Trust, I looked forward to being contacted by the Serious Fraud Office of the Devon and Cornwall Police.

However, all appears not to have been as it seemed as, without even looking at any of my documentary evidence, I am now told the police will not be investigating my claim of mortgage fraud as cases of this nature are,
  • Notoriously difficult to understand
  • Notoriously difficult to take forward if the real victim, namely the bank, does not come forward
  • Notoriously difficult to prove
I am further advised, 
  • I am not the victim of the crime and have therefore experienced no loss
  • I may well be considered complicit in the fraud as I gained from the brokers actions
  • At best, a fraudulent mortgage application is a civil matter or a case for the FOS
They suggest,
  • I bring the bank's irresponsible lending to the attention of the financial ombudsman and the financial regulators.
Politician, historian, author, political consultant and 58th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich once said, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you are tired of doing all the hard work you already did” yet despite the endless hard work of the past six years, this widely documented crime which was designed by the banks, implemented by unscrupulous brokers and facilitated by in house lawyers and solicitors, continues to go unpunished.

In the US the Bank of America recently agreed to pay $16.6 million in settlement for their mis-selling of mortgage backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis, but when it comes to justice for those of us who were coerced into the obtaining the unsuitable/mis-sold mortgages in the first place, there is none.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Truth and Understanding

Fourteenth century Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer and philosopher Galileo Galilei once said, "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered: the point is to discover them” and although discovering the truth about my Bank of Scotland mortgage has consumed my life for the best part of six years, understanding what the truth actually adds up to has only come to light during the past week.

Since the Bank of Scotland secured a court order to repossess my home in November 2008, disposed of it at a knockdown price in April 2009 leaving me with a £217,000 shortfall and then flatly refused to consider our circumstances or discuss their breaches in best practice, I have been kept  very busy.

I have;
  • Written countless letters to the FSA, the SRA, the FOS, the ICO, the Bank of Scotland, their debt collectors and the Bank of Scotland's CEO's Eric Daniels and Antonio Horta Osorio.
  • Scoured FB, twitter and the newspapers for both information and expertise
  • Used my 180 Life after Debt blog posts to find other individuals who have suffered at the hands of HBOS and in doing so secured more expertise
  • Compiled five lever arch files of evidence and information to support my case of complaint
This week, armed with all of the above, I have finally presented my findings to the police and, as a result of three phone calls to and from Action Fraud and the hour long telephone interview I gave, I have now been told the following;
  • The crime I have reported is to be taken forward as an “Abuse of a position of trust”
  • My mortgage application, which was falsified by a third party, ticks every box for mortgage fraud
  • As a result of my report, I must contact the Bank of Scotland once again.
To this end I wrote the following;

Dear Mr *******,

Mortgage Account No. ********-*/***/***
Crime Reference No.XXXX**********

Although you expressly stated in your letter of 24 July, “Any attempt to contact the Bank Of Scotland Plc (Halifax Division) regarding the above account will result in you being referred straight back to drysdenfairfax solicitors” , I have been asked by the police to advise the Bank of Scotland of the crime reference number I have been given for the mortgage fraud  I have reported to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (see above) and make the bank aware that it has also been the victim of the same mortgage fraud so it can file a report with Action Fraud as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

In addition, I am reliably informed that having a crime number will encourage an altogether different reaction to the one the Bank of Scotland has seen fit to mete out to me in the past. Furthermore, my much valued FB friends and Twitter followers expertise, combined with a few legal opinions a little closer to home, suggest the unlawful repossession of an individual’s home and a comprehensive paper trail to boot is pretty solid ground from which to pursue compensation.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the twentieth century, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, once said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is,” and, after six arduous years of searching for the truth, the Bank of Scotland boot  finally appears to be on the other foot and what's more,

The foot appears to be mine!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Maltesers and Madmen

The Maltese physician, inventor, author of Six Thinking Hats and the man who coined the term “lateral thinking”, Edward de Bono, once said, “Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations” and this has certainly proved the case for me in my fruitless attempts to get the Bank of Scotland to write off a mortgage shortfall their irresponsible lending culture, their gross incompetence and their rapacious greed created.

Throughout the past six unhappy years I have spent countless hours explaining;
  •  Neither my husband or I have anything more than a subsistence income with which to support our three children.
  • Neither my husband or I have any capital with which to repay an alleged mortgage shortfall of £217,00,
And, as a result of my recent findings, further explained,
  • Like me, HBOS has been a victim of broker mortgage fraud and, as a result of the falsifications which were submitted by the broker in an online application, their mortgage contract with my husband and I is not only void but cannot be enforced.
However, rather than respond to my repeated requests for documentary evidence to help support my case against the broker with the Cornish police, I have just returned from my much needed two week holiday with family to eight letters from the Bank of Scotland and their solicitors not only asking for payment in full but telling me;
  •       “We understand that this account is not in dispute”
  •    “There is no valid reason for it to remain unpaid”
  •        "We do not wish our request for payment “to have a detrimental impact on your personal finances”
Edward de Bono also said, “Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic” but after six years of flogging the HBOS dead horse I can only wonder...