Sunday, 4 March 2012

The air that I breath

The Duke of Wellington once said, "All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don't know by what you do” and I find his words wholly descriptive of the process I have endured throughout my three year mission to obtain a meaningful dialogue with HBOS.

Grateful of knowledge gleaned of the lending industry via a career in financial services combined with a hundred years of financial expertise within my immediate family gave me the impression I would be well positioned to communicate with HBOS about our financial difficulties and effect a solution. Initially I hoped to avoid the forced sale of my home in 2008 by letting it for a three year period to a long term tenant. When this failed I believed an understanding of money might stand me in good stead when requesting debt forgiveness.  Instead, I discovered nothing could have been further from the truth when it came to dealing with the too big to fail bank, HBOS.

Over the past three years I have,

·        Fully explained our financial circumstances and supplied supporting evidence to HBOS

·        Enlisted the help of a many of charitable organisations to verify my circumstances to HBOS

·        Researched and quoted the guidelines for the FSA, FOS and CCS to illustrate my point to HBOS

·        Scrutinised and quoted from a plethora of literature on government guidelines and the Mortgage Code of Conduct to support my case against  HBOS

·        Absorbed the expertise of any number of insolvency experts, tax investigators, accountants and bankruptcy courts to quote to HBOS in an effort to make our position understood


·        Written hundreds of letters to HBOS, their agents and their regulatory authorities initially calling on the use of logic, then begging for empathy and compassion, and finally demanding a formal complaint.

Armed with the aforementioned industry insight, I had hoped for a practical and dignified resolution to our unrecoverable position would eventually be negotiated. Sadly my endeavours have resulted in nothing more than a vast accumulation of knowledge in areas where I formerly had little or no expertise.

On the other hand I have learned a great deal about debt, and am especially well informed on debt with HBOS. From three long years at the HBOS coal face I have discovered,

·        HBOS are neither interested in the truth nor are they motivated to reach a cost effective resolution to an individual’s financial problems

·        Charitable debt handling organisations regularly feel impotent when  battling the banks on behalf on their vulnerable clients and have little in their armoury to offer other than sympathy and bankruptcy

·        Regulatory guidelines for the financial services industry are rarely enforced and their in-house adjudicators are often, at best, subjective and at worst derogatory and unsympathetic

·        Individuals employed in debt collection on behalf of HBOS are often superior in attitude and extremely judgmental.

·        Bankruptcy and insolvency arrangements are a luxury many, including myself, cannot afford

·        No one really believes that debt forgiveness for the individual actually exists in spite of evidence I have supplied to the contrary

·        Letters of logic, compassion and complaint are rarely read by those who have the wherewithal to understand them


·        A little bit of knowledge on the part of the individual can pose a very lucrative commodity when it comes to establishing HBOS’s culpability in the financial downfall of one of the 99%.

This week, I am to meet with the senior partner of a large and established law firm to ascertain if, after three years of pleading for debt mercy, it is I who has grounds to pursue a legal case against HBOS for causing my financial demise in the first place.

It is said there is no point complaining about the air if it’s all you have to breath. And for this reason I have previously looked only for solutions, and later compassion, from my HBOS oppressors. I had hoped our deficit would be forgiven and in so doing allow me to consider my family’s future in a life free from tormentors we could not satisfy.  Now there is the smallest of chances to enjoy a completely different out-look, I can only imagine the joy of breathing air which is no longer contaminated by debt. However, despite this somewhat over-whelming possibility for some good news....

I still won’t be holding my breath!

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