This post follows on from last week’s article called What is mis-sold PPI and are you eligible to make a claim?
PPI is an insurance product sold by UK banks and credit providers. If you think that you might be due a PPI refund for whatever reason, you need to investigate thoroughly to find out the facts and then start a PPI claim.
In this post, I’ll explain how to claim back mis-sold PPI yourself instead of getting a PPI claim company to do this on your behalf.
I’ll also cover how your PPI refund may be calculated so that you can work out how much money might be coming your way if your PPI claim is successful.
Why would you want to bother with claiming mis-sold PPI yourself?
There are oodles of PPI claim companies out there who will be more than willing to help you in your mission to reclaim PPI. In fact, you may already be getting automated phone calls and text messages from such companies eluding to the fact that you could be owed thousands.
That much is true, you could be owed thousands. But what these PPI claim companies don’t tell you until you get into a good conversation with them is that they will take a slice of any refund due to you – sometimes as much as 25% + VAT.
On the plus side, they will do all the digging for you although you will be expected to tell them which credit providers you have had credit with (as far back as you can remember). You will be asked for the account numbers and the amount of credit that you had with each creditor.
If you know this information though, why not put the PPI claim in yourself? You don’t have to do much more work than this anyway and if your PPI claim is successful, you’ll get you to keep all of the money that is rightfully yours.
So how do you claim back mis-sold PPI yourself then?
Step 1 – Get your credit history together
Even if you think you only were mis-sold PPI on one particular loan or credit card, it’s well worth digging out all the information you can about any credit cards, loans, mortgages, car finance, store cards and overdrafts that you have had over the last ten years (go back even further if you can). If you’re investigating mis-sold PPI, you might as well go the whole hog and include everything.
You might already have copies of your credit agreements or statements of accounts, so go through them with a fine toothcomb and see whether any PPI is mentioned anywhere.
If you don’t know where to start with this, one easy way to find this out is to get hold of your bank statements as far as you can go back and go through them to highlight anything that looks like it might have been some form of credit facility. This is time consuming, but remember that this isn’t costing anything but your time and you could get a nice pay-out at the end of this process.
What you’re looking for here is details about the credit that you had including the account number, the rough time period from when you had the credit and the payment amount that you made on a regular basis. I ended up going through our bank statements because we didn’t keep copies of anything!
Step 2 – Find out whether you had PPI on any credit you took out
Once you know the companies where you had credit over the last ten years or so, if it’s not immediately obvious that you had any PPI on the account, you need to contact them and ask. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the details, because the creditor will have the information on file. You just need to give them as much info as you can to speed things up.
You could phone your creditors up about whether you had PPI on the account but I personally think it’s better to write and ask them to respond in writing. This is the letter that we wrote asking one of our creditors for information, which you could use and amend:
To whom it may concern
RE: Mis-sold PPI
I took out a loan with Egg, which started in May 2003 until around 2009 (this year may be slightly out). I can’t remember all of the details of it but the total amount borrowed was in excess of £15K and the monthly payment was £305.56.
I would like to investigate as to whether I had a PPI policy on the loan that I wasn’t aware of. I don’t have any paperwork on this now but can confirm some personal details and the address where I was living at that time:
(Your name here)
(Previous address details here)
(Your date of birth here)
Please respond in writing and let me know what I need to do next to investigate this further. The address where I am living now is at the top of this letter.
I look forward to hearing from you.
As you can see, we didn’t have a lot of information to go by. After waiting around for a while we received a very simple letter back stating not only the account number of the loan we asked about but also another credit card which we’d totally forgotten about. Included in the response was a brief confirmation that PPI was added to both accounts.
Step 3 – If you did have PPI, was it mis-sold to you?
Once you’ve found out the accounts where you had PPI, you now need to have a look at whether the PPI policy was mis-sold to you. Here’s a handy PPI mis-selling checklist which you can refer to when checking your PPI policy.
If you can remember taking out the policy, it still might have been mis-sold to you because certain conditions may not have been pointed out to you at the time of taking out the financial product and the PPI. Your work circumstances might have meant that your PPI policy was void should you have had reason to claim on it. Or you might have been told it was compulsory to take out PPI which is untrue. In our case, we didn’t know we had PPI on our accounts at all, which meant that it was added on without our consent.
If after looking at the mis-selling checklist, you think you have been mis-sold PPI, then it’s time to put in your PPI claim.
Step 4 – Complete this PPI questionnaire and send it to your creditors
Download this PPI-consumer-questionnaire (which is basically a complaint form about PPI), fill in the information with the details that you know and send it off. You can expect a response anytime between 2 weeks and 2 months. The questionnaire has been put together by the Financial Ombudsman and creditors are pretty used to seeing it!
Step 5 – Sit back and wait for a response
Your creditors will have to investigate your PPI complaint once they receive the consumer questionnaire. One of two things will happen next:
- You might receive a letter saying that your complaint has been looked into but has not been upheld along with a reason for this.
- You might receive a letter saying that your complaint has been investigated and is being upheld, along with a breakdown of how the PPI refund has been calculated. This letter will ask you to confirm whether you’re happy to receive the refund or whether you’d like to dispute it!
Step 6 – Over to you again
If your PPI complaint has been upheld you will need to write back and either accept or dispute your upheld complaint. If the thought of disputing your PPI claim seems crazy, think again! Because you need to make sure that you’re getting back every penny that is rightfully yours. So go over the PPI calculation and make sure it’s correct. If not, dispute it.
If you accept the refund amount your creditor has worked out, send back your confirmation letter to that affect and start looking forward to getting to know the Postman a little better over the next few weeks. 🙂 You’ll either receive a cheque or sometimes it may go straight into your bank account.
What happens if your mis-sold PPI complaint gets rejected?
If after you’ve learned the reason for your PPI complaint not being upheld, you still think you have been mis-sold PPI, then you can forward your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman here in the UK.
To do this, you need to fill in the Financial Ombudsman complaint form which also includes the address to everything off to. Send this complaint form along with your original PPI consumer questionnaire and any supporting paperwork off to them.
Because of the number of mis-sold PPI claims in the UK, it’s now taking up to two years before PPI complaints are sorted out so just bear this in mind when sending it off. Don’t wait too eagerly for the Postman this time around but you might just get a nice surprise in the future.
By the way, you can talk to the Financial Ombudsman’s consumer helpline about your complaint before sending in the forms which if you have any questions about anything, could prove to be dealt with quicker. Here are the details:
0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567
Monday to Friday – 8am to 8pm
Saturday – 9am to 1pm
How is a mis-sold PPI refund calculated?
If you’re due a PPI refund your creditor should reimburse you for all premiums charged to your account together with contractual interest. On top of this, a compensatory payment will be paid at the rate of 8%. There will be a tax deduction included at the rate of 20% on the 8% compensatory interest only. Here’s a complete guide to working out PPI refunds yourself with examples over at Money Saving Expert.
After all this, is it worth claiming back mis-sold PPI yourself?
Sure it is! For the price of a few stamps, a small amount of time and a lot of patience, you could well be on the receiving end of a small fortune. Did you know the biggest ever payout was a whopping £82,000?! Pity this guy went through a PPI claims company though as he had to give them £25,000 for their cut of the deal.
If that’s not a good enough reason to claim back mis-sold PPI yourself, then I don’t know what is!
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