The problem with an online loan is not only the inability to pay it back and the resulting debt. Not so frequent, but nevertheless taking up the problems that may arise may be related to the wrong way of providing the service, failure by the lender to perform the contract or the cost calculation that the borrower does not quite understand. Legislation aimed at the best regulation of the financial market meant that also in such situations borrowers have the opportunity to appeal to a higher supervisory authority. One of them is the Financial Ombudsman. In what situations can you count on his help?
What is the institution of the Financial Ombudsman?
This body is a state body established to support clients in relations with institutions operating on the financial and insurance market. This institution was created in 2015 and is directly subordinate to the activities of the Ministry of Finance. It therefore has a wide range of possibilities when it comes to protecting consumer interests. Therefore, it is not only a controlling institution, but first and foremost an intermediary, mediation and intervention institution.
What is the scope of activities of the Financial Ombudsman?
Its statutory goal guiding its activity is primarily to prevent abuse on the part of financial entities, controlling whether their activities are carried out in accordance with the law and respecting consumer rights. Specific objectives include:
- consideration of claims of clients having reservations to financial entities;
- deciding the legitimacy of complaints;
- enforcing compliance with complaints and settlements between borrowers and lenders;
- arranging disputes between clients of loan companies and the companies themselves;
- mediation activities;
- prevention of abuse through a legislative initiative;
- conducting social and educational activities.
When does the customer have the right to contact the Financial Ombudsman?
The right to report to the Financial Ombudsman is not restricted or subject to any special conditions, such as in the case of using free state legal duties. Therefore, no age or professional groups are excluded. However, the validity of such a notification is another matter. If they concern an area excluded from the Ombudsman’s area, the complaint will simply be rejected. The Financial Ombudsman will deal with borrowers’ problems in the following situations:
- Breaking the rights of lenders enshrined not only in the loan agreement, but also set out by the law contained in the Civil Code and the Consumer Credit Act of 2011. It may be insufficient or unclear to inform the borrower about his rights, a different way of charging costs than the one appearing in the contract, unauthorized termination of the loan agreement or immediate demand to return the whole borrowed amount. More information about the borrower’s rights is available in the article ” Online loans. What are the rights of the borrower? “
- The lender’s failure to comply with the Act on handling complaints by financial market entities and the Financial Ombudsman. These may be cases in which the lender notoriously rejects complaints, despite the fact that they are embedded in law and their grounds are justified in reality. Matters subject to complaint include failure to respond to a complaint within the statutory 30 days or failure to comply with obligations arising from its positive consideration.
It should be remembered that the Financial Ombudsman only considers applications in which the borrower’s private funds have already been exhausted. His duty is to try to clarify and resolve the dispute with the loan company himself before reporting to the Financial Ombudsman. The complaint procedure should be described in detail in the loan agreement and should be completed, and only then request for further official assistance.
How to contact the Financial Ombudsman?
The above method of contact is a consultancy, and therefore the information contained therein is non-binding and only informative for the lender. He may, however, use advice in the dispute with the loan company. If it fails, it is recommended that an official complaint be lodged with the Ombudsman. If this is deemed justified by the Financial Ombudsman or another body designated by him, he acquires the binding character and forces the loan company to fulfill the obligations imposed on it. The complaint form is available at official website. It can be sent by post or electronically, as a scanned document with a handwritten or electronic signature.
Similarly, you can apply for mediation in a dispute if it has not yet entered the legal process. Mediation aims to resolve not only the formal and legal dispute, but also the financial one related to the debts arising from the loan.
The Financial Ombudsman does not solve personal problems
The institution of the Financial Ombudsman is not a remedy for all problems related to a loan, and even more so it is not the body competent to deal with debt enforcement. Indebtedness resulting from the borrower’s carelessness, unreasonable conduct and negligence cannot be the subject of complaints.