The OFT is clamping down on ‘charging orders’ where lenders can turn unsecured debt into debt secured on your home.
The Office of Fair Trading found that some banks used charging orders for arrears of only £600.
If you owe money on your credit card or a personal loan the last thing you imagine is that your home could be at risk. But banks and card companies have the right to turn unsecured debts (which includes loans and credit cards) into secured debts, which means it's linked to your property. The way they do this is through charging orders. Now the Office of Fair Trading has criticised four lenders - including subsidiaries of high street names - for the way they’ve been using charging orders.
If you owe money, what can you do if a bailiff calls and what rights do debt collectors have?
The government is currently considering bringing in regulation of bailiffs, which would give people better rights when bailiffs are aggressive. Bailiffs and debt collectors (which aren't the same thing) have come in for a lot of criticism from charities (read this information on bailiffs from the mental health charity MIND). So what are your rights if you owe money?
NatWest/RBS say that their basic bank account holders won’t be able to use rival banks’ cash machines.
If you’ve been declared bankrupt, had debt problems or don’t have a credit history, a basic bank account may be the only account you can get.
If you bank with Natwest or Royal Bank of Scotland and you have a basic bank account, which is one where you can’t go overdrawn and that has limited facilities, you’ll only be able to take cash out at NatWest/RBS or Tesco cash machines in the future – or take money out at the Post Office counter. The bank is writing to its one million basic bank account customers, telling them about the change.