There’s no doubt about it, being in debt isn’t much fun. It can often feel like you’re on a treadmill with almost no hope of ever getting off. The interest alone can mount up, making the repayments seem like an uphill climb that’s close to impossible to achieve.
If you’re in a situation similar to this, you’ve probably noticed that it’s not very often that you experience a lucky break whereby a cash windfall comes your way. If anything, it probably seems to be the other way around, whereby you are the supplier of cash windfalls to other people!
Uncovering Hidden Money
Wouldn’t it be great to discover a stash of cash in an old cupboard or piece of furniture? While we can’t promise that you’ll be the recipient of such a wonderful gift, it is possible that you are owed money that you weren’t even aware of.
Payment protection insurance (PPI) is a financial product that is often sold alongside loans, mortgages and other finance agreements. Its purpose is to help you with the repayments in the event that you are no longer able to meet them yourself due to losing your job through illness or some other event.
So in and of itself, PPI is a good thing. However, between 1990 and 2010, many of these insurance policies were mis-sold by banks and financial advisers. Millions of people were duped into taking out a policy when it was basically useless to them.
Since 2011, millions have people have been refunded their premiums on mis-sold PPI and paid an additional 8% on top as interest. This is to put them back in the same financial position they would have been in had they had their money in the bank instead of paying out for a PPI policy that was useless to them.
Discovering If You Are Owed Money
It can be easy to think this doesn’t apply to you. Many people remember things like this, so they often reject the idea that they were mis-sold PPI. The reality, though, is that PPI was often tagged on to finance agreements without the purchaser’s knowledge or consent, what’s known as hidden PPI.
That was just one of the many ways in which the product was mis-sold to unsuspecting consumers. As a result, millions of people have had amounts varying from a few hundred pounds through to tens-of-thousands of pounds paid to them in refunds.
The average refund amount across the industry is £2,750 ($4,400). How much would that help your debt situation?
What To Do If This Applies To You
If you think you may have been mis-sold PPI, you should get your claim started as soon as possible. The first thing you’ll need to do is to fill out a PPI claim form. You’ll need to complete a claim form for each claim you wish to make.
Once you’ve completed the claim form, simply send it into the bank or lender that sold you the PPI and await their assessment. They are supposed to get back to you within eight weeks to let you know the outcome of their investigation. It does sometimes take longer, though.
There is also one last thing to keep in mind. It has be known for some banks to reject legitimate claims when they should be issuing a refund. So if your claim is rejected but you believe your policy was mis-sold, you can—and should—take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for further investigation.
The FOS have upheld more complaints in favor of the claimant than in favor of the banks, so the odds of winning your claim are on your side.