Yesterday, a letter arrived in the mail from Halifax, that creditor that is the bane of my life. I delayed opening it, as I find myself anxious just seeing their name on any correpondence. I usually wait until just after work, so I can spend some time composing a letter in response.
Well, this afternoon there was an advertisement on tv about debt, and I thought I should open it to see what action I would have to take tomorrow when I call my debt charity for my annual review. I read with surprise that the letter was about my complaint, a complaint I had lodged last year. As I read on, I felt it was very defensive, until I read the fourth paragraph, halfway down the page. They were offering me £100 in compensation for the phone calls that ought to have stopped after I wrote to them back when my DMP started in 2007 requesting they only contact me via post, and remove my contact numbers from their records.
They then outlined my next complaint about returning to regular interest, despite the fact my other account had gone into collections seven years ago, and had not had any added extra interest since then, and how if they continued to add interest, I would probably be retired, or dead, by the time the debt was paid in full.
Now for the BIG surprise: they had decided to refund the interest from the time I went into DMP, in line with my other account, leaving my debt at just £22.00. The last sentence of the paragraph ending with “… we have agreed to write off the outstanding balance in full on this account“. I read it three times before I actually (and I mean literally) shouted out in surprise. No more payments on the account. The debt is cleared. I’m free of them! I’m not sure I believe it, so I am writing this blog in order to have it down on paper. It’s like winning the lottery. This means I may actually be debt free after 11 years. Yes, that is not until late 2018, but with no more interest accruing, the overall debt will decrease.
Now, they included a leaflet in case I want to take the harrassment case further with the ombudsman, but I’m not sure. The relief of just having the account paid off is immense – especially with the other stressers in my life right now – and I would rather walk away from the Halifax altogether, leaving all the anxiety, and hassle behind. If I take it further, I will have to continue to have contact with them, beyond the “acceptance of offer” letter I need to write tomorrow. On the other hand, I’d hate to think they do this to others. With only a few minutes to ponder, I am inclined to walk away from the whole episode.
I guess I will have to see how I feel tomorrow when the shock wears off.
By the gods, it feels (almost) like winning the lottery.