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.