Despite the recent unfair overdraft charges case not going the debtors’ way, it is good to see that consumers are still not prepared to simply accept unfair charges on their loans.
I have read with interest this morning that Mr Parry, a taxi driver in Liverpool has successfully challenged the late payment charges on his personal loan with Close Premium Finance.
Originally the claim was struck out in the wake of the bank charges case, but Mr Parry refined his claim with the assistance of the Consumer Action Group, and had it reinstated. He argued that the £30 fees were unfair under the 1999 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract regulations (UTCCR) despite the fact that these charges were clearly indicated in the terms and conditions. He also argued that the bank charges case did not apply to these circumstances.
It would appear that Close Premium Finance simply failed to defend this refined claim and as a result Mr Parry obtained a default judgment. Close Premium Finance were ordered to return the £502 in fees they had charged him.
A small but rewarding result for Mr Parry and for other consumers in a similar position who may now wish to reconsider their position when it comes to any charges they have incurred on their personal loans.
However we must bear in mind that the Court did not make any ruling about the legal arguments raised and I understand that Close Premium Finance intend to apply to the court to set aside the judgment so we will have to watch this space and see what happens.