A man whose credit card debt became the subject of what a judge called "torture" at the hands of his creditors has spoken of his ordeal.
A man whose credit card debt became the subject of what a judge called “torture” at the hands of his creditors has spoken of his ordeal.
Devon-based sole trader Keith Harrison told the BBC the problems started when a series of family illnesses caused disruption to his work and left him owing £15,000 on his card, with MBNA responding by aggressively pursuing him for repayment.
He said the firm did not want to know about his circumstances and he was deluged with letters and phone calls, with one day seeing 15 telephone messages.
Mr Harrison added: “The response from MBNA was exceptionally hostile, virtually from the word go, out of the blue.”
His debts grew to £20,000, but the businessman challenged the company in court last year as Link Finance – which had provided the card in 1998 – had failed to supply written terms and conditions as required by law.
And the judge at Mold County Court ordered the company to cancel the debt, criticising the methods MBNA had used to chase the matter.
Those hit with a severe debt and being chased aggressively by creditors may find they have no legal recourse and in such a situation, individual voluntary arrangements may be considered.
Such agreements will involve creditors accepting reduced payments to be met in equal monthly amounts over a period of up to five years, at the end of which any money left owing is written off.
And the agreement is binding on all parties if 75 per cent of creditors agree to it – meaning any left over who would prefer to aggressively chase up debts will have no choice but to comply.
Figures from Credit Action showed £180 million of personal debt was written off per day in April.
By Joe White