Author Topic: Late Mother-in-Law had catalogue in wife's name. Any advice?  (Read 3284 times)

j1982

  • *
  • Posts: 2
Sadly my Mother-in-Law passed away last week. When sorting through her belongings we discovered a statement from the Studio catalogue in my Wife’s name.
The balance is just over £1000 which requires a minimum payment of £64 per month. We were just going to pay it off ourselves (monthly as we can’t afford to pay it off in full) but we’ve now realized that a service charge of £30 is being added onto the balance every month until the debt is cleared.
We will find it very difficult to pay this debt with the extra charges. Is there any way we can avoid having to do this? Do we need to report the fraud to the Police?
We are hoping to get a mortgage one day and worried this will effect our credit rating.
Thanks for reading.

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: Late Mother-in-Law had catalogue in wife's name. Any advice?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 23, 2012, 09:58:32 AM »
Hi there. Unfortunately if this debt is in your wife's name then legally she is responsible for paying it and any associated charges. However if you feel that the account was opened fraudulently I suggest at the very least you speak to Studio, explain the situation and see what they can do to help. If they are unhelpful then I suggest you need to push the fraud angle very hard. Studio should not be opening accounts fraudulently and if this has happened and they will not help in any way then you need to escalate your complaint to the Banking Ombudsaman and the OFT (office of Fair Trading). Telling the catalogue company that you will do this normally helps them see sense by the way......
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

j1982

  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Late Mother-in-Law had catalogue in wife's name. Any advice?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 03, 2012, 11:10:59 PM »
Hi James, thanks for your advice. We visited the Citizens Advice Bureau, they seemed very helpful. They typed a letter for us to send off to Studio. The mood of the letter was that Studio should not have allowed a fraudulent account to be opened. It mentioned something about 'our' studio contract being invalid as we have not signed anything. The letter also contained things like ''Under section 12 of the............Act 1960..........'' which made it sound like we knew what we were talking about.


To be honest I'm expecting studio to ignore the letter, its been about two weeks now and no reply. So I think our next step will be to contact them by telephone like you suggested.


Thanks for your reply, very helpful. Have a good day.

michaelmac43

  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Late Mother-in-Law had catalogue in wife's name. Any advice?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 04, 2012, 11:45:54 AM »
The fact you've had no reply does not surprise me. My suggestion would be to send another letter saying that you've had no reply.


I always feel that these things are best done 100% in writing; it's less stressful, plus you have a record of what was said by both parties.


If the people at Studio phone you (unless it's to say they have written off the debt!) and they are being unhelpful, I suggest you refer to the fact of the CAB's involvement. Say that you need to discuss with your advisers at the CAB and cannot therefore comment until you've done so.

Steven Jackson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 281
Re: Late Mother-in-Law had catalogue in wife's name. Any advice?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 06, 2012, 11:54:52 AM »
Hi there j1982
I think the action you have taken is spot on. Have you heard back from Studio yet? As far as I am concerned I feel that it can sometimes be OK to have a telephone conversation but you must not take anything that is said over the ohone as agreed unless you sunsequently get it in writing. As Michael has said, if you have not heard anything more from Studio then another letter is also a very good idea.
Debt Expert
ivainformation.com