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Possible Issues Even When Your Claim Is Accepted.
If your complaint to your lender about being improperly sold a payment protection insurance policy is upheld and accepted, you should consider yourself lucky. Not everyone’s complaint is accepted despite their obvious merits. This is why the Ombudsman (the office you contact when your claim is rejected by the lender) is flooded with complaints, 60% of which are eventually ruled in favour of the complainants.
But perhaps you shouldn’t consider yourself too lucky, because some problems can still crop up. Here are some problems that “successful” claimants often encounter:
Just because your lender agrees to refund what you paid for your improperly sold PPI doesn’t mean you can go the next day and collect your money. You may have to wait for a long while, and this frustrating situation is unfortunately also quite common. Your lender may say that you’d be able to get your money within 28 days, but the assurances of these people (who have been proven to have stolen from you via the improperly sold PPI) aren’t really worth much. It’s probably more realistic to expect a wait of 8 to 12 weeks.
Customarily, the lender will add the interest on the money up to the date that it is issued. This may not be as important to you as getting the money as quickly as possible, however. If the delay goes on for too long (longer than 12 weeks, for example), you have every right to contact them to complain and ask of additional compensation for the inconvenience and distress you have experienced. The effectiveness of this tactic is somewhat debatable, though, especially if you are filing the claim without professional assistance.
Another potential problem is that you may not be able to get the money owed to you in your hands. Instead, the lender may use it to pay off any outstanding loan you may still owe them. This practice is what banks call setting off, and it usually refers to when a bank that issues credit cards take money from your savings account to pay for your credit card debt. This practice is also the main reason why it is not recommended to set up a savings account with the same bank that issues you your credit card.
While banks do have a right to transfer the money according to the law, they also have the obligation to make sure that doing so doesn’t leave you in dire financial straits. If it does, complain to bank and explain your circumstances. You should also complain to the Ombudsman if your complaint to the lender does not work.
Sometimes you may be offered a goodwill payment after you submit a PPI claim to your lender. This is a monetary offer that doesn’t come with an admission that the lender did anything wrong in selling you the PPI. You can negotiate the offer if you think it’s too little, or you can complain to the Ombudsman.
If you accept a goodwill payment from your lender that’s less than what you think you lost from the improperly sold PPI, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll get the rest of your money. It may be possible if you received the payment before May of 2011 because of the new regulatory guidelines, but the process for that will be difficult if you don’t have a PPI claims company backing you up.