Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Don't blame the banks, they're hungry too

It seems as though the banks as feeling the effects of the credit crunch. Ah, bless their little cotton socks. After my being daft enough and ill enough to believe the advice given to me by my bank after I lost my job I took on an enormous debt. Which of course is the most sensible course of action when one has neither salary nor welfare benefits.

I'll gloss over the time I spent making repayments. Eating was an unaffordable luxury at that time and funnily enough my memories are not happy ones. Eventually I was given help and advice by a debt management charity and ended up with a £1 a month token repayment. Food was a sudden, but welcome shock to my system.

So this morning the bank phoned me. To advise me of their very special offer. They want to reduce my debt and then write it off. How kind of them. Except they want a one of payment to write the debt off. Of £3600. Isn't that nice? They made sure to ask if I would remortgage to get them the money, or if not I, would friends or family remortgage to provide the £3600. Generous or what? They must be feeling the pinch. Perhaps the bank is hungry now? I'm not too sympathetic, but if they really are starving they can come here and I will feed them cat food. Once a day. After all, that's what people consider as a viable option when they don't have any money to eat.

If I'd had the money I would happily have made the repayments, but then I rather suspect that someone somewhere in the bank knew that pushing offering massive loans to people with no source of income whatsoever might just have the predictable result of those people defaulting on their loans. But, like I said to the nice young man who phoned this morning-if I had any money I'd happily pay £3600 to have the debt written off. Ah well, perhaps the bank will eventually be hungry enough to accept whatever is offered. At that point I will auction off my knickers and give them the profits. About £43.62 I reckon.

13 comments:

having my cake said...

Sounds very strange. Martin Lewis gives some great advice about debt and financial management over at moneysavingexpert.com

Im always amazed when the banks ring up asking you to make an 'annual appointment to discuss your account'. But these appointments have to take place during banking hours and if you are a business customer, they seem to be compulsory. So once a year, you have to take time out from paid employment in order for the bank to try to sell you more of their products. Tsk!

Maddy said...

Sadly funnily true. Same over this side as well although I gather that the majority of personal bankruptcies are caused by some major health failure / medical insurance failure. It's a combination that makes my brain hurt badly = serious illness or death and hundreds of thousands in debt.
Best wishes

alhi said...

Oh, you must have some nice knickers, mine probably wouldn't sell!;-)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Cake: It is odd isn't it. I think it's an attitude of any money is better than no money from the banks as they start to feel the pinch.
I love Martin Lewis thank you for the recommendation.
I'm actually ok in that I don't have to pay more than £1 per month, and it's unlikely the bank will ever challenge that as if it went to court that's the amount I'd be ordered to pay.
Tsk is right, how bizarre that you have to lose money whilst you listen to how much more money you could spend!

Maddy: I had heard that about the US, so very sad. It always makes me incredibly grateful we have the NHS and welfare state here, for all their faults we are at least protected to some extent.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Alhi: LMAO! I'm a bit of a la senza addict-especially the cheap outlet version of la senza!
But then, some people will buy anything, second hand knickers seem to have a bit of a niche market ;)

Trixie said...

I bet if you put your knickers on ebay, you'd make the £3600 no problem! ;P

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Trix: I rather suspect you're right, though I'm not sure that'd be for clean pants!

Jim said...

I phoned up the bank last week to cancel my cards as I lost my wallet.

I was a bit flustered in case anyone had tried to use them, but halfway through the conversation the person in the bank asked me to go in for an "account review". To top that she asked me to bring in a copy of my home contents insurance too, because they would be able to save me money on it.

I was so hacked off I made an appointment then didnt turn up.

Mary said...

Steve has it the other way round - when he was on his study break, no wages, no benefits, no income of any kind (it was planned so he was living out of savings) they didn't phone at all. Back to work, wages start landing in the account again, a month later the phonecalls started. Would he like a mortgage? A loan? A credit card? No? But aren't there lots of nice things you want to buy, that you deserve? How about upgrading your account? Or some insurance? Or joining a wine club?

They're nearly as bad as Reader's Digest.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Jim: That's outrageous! Although, I have to say I like your style in making and not turning up for the appt. Cunning plan, perhaps we should all try that?!

Mary: It's ridiculous isn't it! I still get lots of calls/letters from the very bank I owe money to trying to sell me even more of their products. you'd think they'd learn?!

Jim said...

Just spoke to a property developer today (he's quite successful though I have a deep mistrust of 'property developers' in general) and he said he had been called into his bank and told not ask them for any more money for the next nine months. He said he knows others that this has happened to as well.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Jim: That's not a good economic sign! Certainly in the NW there are lots of developments which are being shut down for now until the economy recovers. I predict lots of vandalism and eye sores!

Damon Lord said...

I was seriously ill a few years ago for about 9 months and fell into serious debt. I used to dread answering my phone. I swear that one loan company's employee used to simply phone me up to let off steam and hurl abuse down the phone. A couple of times a week he'd call up and demand sums I simply didn't have. I had just over a pound in my pocket to last me to the end of the month and that was for simple stuff like discounted bread (I'm sure we're all familiar with the right time to go to the shops to get discounts, when in dire straits). He said he'd call round and collect that from me as a 'token' gesture. totally fucking unethical. I managed to get his e-mail address at one stage and sign him up for a load of spam. I also gave his number out to a Nigerian 419 fraudster and he kept getting calls about that. Small victory, eh?