Hartlepool advice chief in call to fight back against ‘unscrupulous lenders’

Joe Michna pictured utside the Park Road citizens advice bureau.
Joe Michna pictured utside the Park Road citizens advice bureau.

CITIZENS’ advice bosses in Hartlepool have joined a national campaign calling on customers to fight back against “unscrupulous lenders”.

Three in four pay-day borrowers who got advice from the national Citizens Advice consumer service had been treated unfairly by their lender and could have grounds for an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, says the national charity.

Joe Michna, manager of Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Bureau, in Park Road, said: “We are urging people to stand up to pay-day lenders who have treated them unfairly by making a complaint.

“People come to the Hartlepool CAB after lenders have taken money from their bank account without permission or prior warning, or have chased them for debts they didn’t have.

“Consumers often feel powerless against big business, but if your complaint is upheld by the Financial Ombudsman you could get money back that was wrongly taken or compensation for poor treatment.

“If in doubt, get in contact with us and our offices are at 87 Park Road, Hartlepool.”

People finding it difficult to raise their pay-day loan problem with their lender can contact the Financial Ombudsman, who will help them through the complaint process.

If a complaint is upheld, the lender can be ordered to put things right and consumers could get a refund on loan repayments, interest or default charges or compensation.

People can get advice from adviceguide.org.uk, from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506 or make a complaint about a payday loan direct to the Financial Ombudsman Service consumer helpline on 0300 1239123 or 0800 0234567 or via email complaint.info@financialombudsman.org.uk