If you have serious debt problems, trying to reclaim unfair overdraft charges will always be a great help. However reclaiming unfair overdraft charges is not as simple as it used to be, a ruling by the Supreme Court saw the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) lose its legal battle with high street banks over the right to reclaim unfair charges on an overdraft facility, despite this, there are still ways to claim back unfair overdraft charges. To make a claim for unfair charges on an overdraft, you will first have to go through the complaints procedure with your bank or building society, once the procedure has been exhausted and you have a letter of deadlock that states your bank/building society won’t be refunding you, you are then free to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The FOS has said specifically said it will only look at complaints about unfair overdraft charges in 3 different scenarios:
If you have problems with debt and are able to prove you are struggling to meet your priority debts such as rent, mortgage, utility bills, council tax etc. and you are living off credit, you are likely to qualify as being in financial hardship.
An example of this would be if you had gone into your unauthorised overdraft by £3.00 but are charged £35.00 for doing so. The FOS are likely to look at this, however if you do this regularly, you are less likely to succeed.
If you find you are having charges upon charges and you are never clearing your overdraft before new charges are added on, the FOS should look at this.
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