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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Monday April 16, 2007
05:19 PM

banking bollocks

[ #33003 ]

Natwest capitulates over £35,988

"Our client does not believe that your claim has any prospect of succeeding," it said.

"Although our client is confident that it will be successful at a final hearing, its legal fees will almost certainly outweigh the value of the claim.

"As such our client must take a commercial approach to such claims," it went on.

This is utter bollocks. For all the bravado, the banks will loose. The cost of fees argument they give here is actually backwards. I know - my father worked for a building society. He would loved to have taken some of the mortgage defaulters to court, but the legal department (a) looked at an individual case and said that it would cost more to take to court than was owed. [which was true but] (b) also the department my father worked from taking on independent legal counsel from their own budget. [Helpful, they were.]

The reason the department was prepared to pay with its own real money to take an uneconomic case to court was because it knew that most of these cases were "won't pays" who magically, mysteriously somehow found the money just before the case went to court. The won't pays knew that it wasn't economic to chase any individual case, and relied on this. But the won't pays talked to each other. Had word got round that said building society would take clear won't pays to court, many more would magically mysteriously and regularly find the money.

So if the banks had any confidence in their cases here, they would take a few to court as test cases. Win them. And then say "bring it on". But they don't. So they fear the outcome of actually going to court.

It's the same bravado as the no-win no-fee ambulance chasers had. They relied on the car insurance companies not having the ability to contest the claims, and finding it cheaper to settle up. IIRC one of the insurance companies, fed up with this dubious tithe, simply decided to fight every case. The no-win no-fee chasers went bust - they hadn't ever budgeted for this sort of attrition. It's the same reason that SCO can't win - IBM have more money.

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