Do you want to use a claims company to reclaim any mis-sold PPI?

It is possible for the consumer to pursue a claim on their own. Doing it this way, however, requires a lot of time and a good in depth knowledge of how financial customers were being mis-sold such policies. It also requires the claimant to both read and write a very extensive amount of paperwork.

Do you have the skills and knowledge required?

Millions of claimants have used claims management companies because they didn’t want to take the risk in ‘fouling’ their own claim.

The consumer may also decide to use a claims management company simply because they can’t be bothered carrying out their own investigations. The process of reclaiming your own mis-sold PPI isn’t easy and as the process begins to become more difficult, people often become confused, and quite often they give up! We have worked with many clients who have started their own claims but have decided not to continue when they receive scores of pages of correspondence from their lender or from the financial ombudsmen. Lenders may also be reluctant to offer assistance when claiming back any mis-sold PPI and will actively try to prevent the maximum claim being made. By utilising the services of a reputable claims management company, we know which exact methods to use in order absolutely maximise any monies owed!

By carrying out your own investigations, are you getting the correct answers to tricky questions from the lender?

In our experience some these claims can be far more complex than first meets the eye. When people have difficult questions the lenders often will not answer them. They avoid the issue and just offer a response. If you know what questions to ask and have the opportunity to pose them to a lender, you will understand the point I’m making here. If you read an offer letter from a lender, you will see that the replies can often be very cunning and clever. They tend not to reflect the claim letter in much detail at all.

If you run your own claim and it is your first time, what experience will you draw upon?

There are many myths and misconceptions regarding PPI and the way that lenders have mishandled these claims and they have rejected them in their millions. So you might like to think of getting someone to do this on your behalf if you haven’t got the skill set needed to follow it through.

What type of claims management company might you choose?

This depends on where your personal values lie. If you are looking for a large firm with lots of staff and with lots of resources then there are plenty to go for. They often have huge budgets for advertising and will be seen in the daily papers or on the net – you can’t miss them. They produce large volumes of cash offers for their clients and can seem to be very effective against the banks at first glance. Because of the large volumes of claims they deal with, these companies are referred to in the industry as sausage factories, purely because of the manner in which they handle these bulk volumes of claims.

We are not suggesting that you use someone just because they are at the summit of search engine results – this could just be down to having large budgets for advertising. It’s your money so don’t jump at the first offer. Do you want to repeat the experience again of being just another number?

Should you choose large claims companies?

Larger claims management companies certainly have received bad press recently – unsolicited texts and phone calls, upfront fees and the rest. Where to start? Large claims management companies try to blind you with big numbers in terms of volumes of claims and fantastic average settlement amounts. What does it matter to you if they have settled 100,000 claims? Do you care if their average claim is £2851?

You may be concerned about a business looking after your own claim or that of someone who is close to you, perhaps they might be disadvantaged in some way or maybe they just cannot get their head around this subject (I know that I simply couldn’t before we started the business) then there are a few more things that you might choose to consider.

Do you want to have a proper discussion or just shoot through a generic call centre script?

Do you want to have a proper sensible conversation and not be subject to a meaningless script that was created for other reasons rather than your benefit?

Smaller, family run companies always offer a personalized service

You may have experienced in the past better service from smaller family run businesses than from large national firms. In my experience this is because being a smaller company means they simply value you as a client more than the larger ones. Staff can be easier to get through to and often give a more personal ‘hands on’ service, spending more time on calls and answering tricky questions and ensuring that they take care of the client’s needs. Employees in small firms tend to take more responsibility, the reason for this is they exist as a team; there is often nowhere to hide. They are owned and run with the proprietor at the helm and often don’t employ call centre tactics.

Is every individual claim considered closely?

With smaller claims company’s – it is in their interest to increase your offer and get the highest amount as each claimant is very important to their survival, it is NO WIN NO FEE regime remember. Each of your claims matters to a smaller firm. With larger firms they often look on a daily yield of fees and who could blame them.

Some small firms do all that they possibly can in order to increase the payouts to claimants (hence why lenders do not like them).

Small firms can help clients with Gesture of Goodwill offers. These naturally are offered rather than admit liability and can sometimes be smaller than what is really owed and can be tricky to evaluate.

Will your PPI offer be analysed properly to ensure you are getting everything that is owed to you?

How will a claims company check your offer? Do they add up the differing elements of the offer and check the total? Do they go to the trouble of asking for a copy of the lenders calculations?

Passing the claim on to Financial Ombudsmen Service to finish it off

Will the PPI Company continue to write to the lender rather than just pass on the complaint to FOS 1to finish it off? In this way unless they do their very best, they aren’t really earning their fee.

Letters from lenders

Letters from lenders can seem credible and seek to explain your legal position but they don’t really as the lender is ‘the other side’ in these cases, they are not your friend and you should not take legal advice from them.

There are a host of clever tricks and techniques which lenders can employ to help discredit your claim and put you off pursuing it. They work too. It can often start with the questionnaire or with an innocent call into the bank or a call back from their staff.

CMC’s will all agree on one thing. Whilst lenders have paid out £m’s they haven’t paid out nearly enough on each individual case. This is why we believe that you need an individual with hands on experience to successfully run your claims and not a national brand. Very often it is the smaller businesses that can offer this personal and individual valuable service.

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Peter McIvor