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Would you buy a nearly new home? Should I have inherited some of my husband’s state pension after his death? THE PRUDENT INVESTOR: My wife wanted a bigger kitchen, forex bankbb com I sold shares at the worst moment possible! EVERY week, Tony Hetherington replies to readers’ letters, adding comments, advice and the results of his enquiries.
If you think you are a victim of financial mismanagement, or want advice before investing, write to Tony Hetherington, Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS. Sorry, but he cannot give personal replies. Please send only copies of documents – if these are relevant to your enquiry. We regret that they cannot be returned. I bought a car with finance from Ford Credit Europe Bank in 1997. After five direct debit repayments, the bank made two unauthorised requests for more money.
On the first occasion I received an apology, but the second time my bank warned me that there were insufficient funds to pay both the correct and the incorrect demands from Ford. I stopped the direct debits and asked Ford to set up an alternative system. 394 arrears, which I paid, and I set up a standing order for the rest of the repayments, which ended in October 1998. 175 to check my payment records, which Ford finally accepted were correct. Recently though, I have found that Ford has informed credit reference agencies that I have persistently defaulted on loan repayments. FORD Credit Europe – or FCE Bank to give it its proper title – can’t be trusted. Its parent company may make decent cars, but this offshoot certainly can’t run a decent bank.
After making a mess of collecting your car loan repayments, a senior official at Ford Credit said on June 8, 1998: ‘I can confirm that we will ensure that the problems with the direct debit instruction will not affect the payment history with ourselves. Yet what did that payment history show? When you checked a few months ago, Ford had registered you with credit agencies as a persistent late payer. The records covered many months and were enough to plant doubts in the mind of anyone else you had applied to for credit in the past four years. I invited the chief executive of Ford Credit Europe to comment.
I asked what had gone wrong, why wasn’t it corrected and what did Ford plan to do about it. All I got back from the company were bland assurances and empty phrases. It was already looking into this, I was told. And ‘we have established corrective actions’. Best of all, ‘we are compensating Mr H’.
But hang on, none of this explains what went wrong, or what the company will do to stop it happening again. And that was on condition you paid your own legal and accountancy fees. As you told me: ‘To protect my credit rating, I had six consultations with my solicitor, three consultations with my accountant, and had to take time off work to attend these meetings. You concluded: ‘If FCE told me the time of day, I’d still look for a clock. It told me: ‘We got it wrong, we apologise once again wholeheartedly to Mr H, and we are determined to ensure this will not happen again.