Story reported by BBC.
MBNA bank has been accused by a High Court judge of “torturing” a customer with repeated phone calls demanding he repay his credit card.
Keith Harrison had his debt of £20,270 written off by the judge, Nicholas Chambers QC, at Mold in North Wales.
The judge said MBNA had failed to give Mr Harrison the terms and conditions for the card, when he took it out.
The judge denounced the tactics that MBNA and its debt collection firm had used to force him to pay up.
“In my view, the claimant rightly complains that, mainly by MBNA but also by the defendant [debt collectors Link Financial], he was hounded by telephone calls seeking payment of what was said to be due,” said Mr Justice Chambers.
“The calls were a form of torture oppressively frequent in amount and often without attribution to an identifiable number.
The judge was scathing about the non-traceable phone calls which both MBNA and Link Financial – who bought the debt in 2008 – had used to try to recover the debt.
“It seems to me that such conduct has no proper function in the recovery of consumer debt,” Mr Justice Chambers said.
“[There] can be no excuse for conduct of which it must be supposed the sole purpose must have been to make the claimant’s life so difficult that he would come to heel.
“I cannot think that in a society that is otherwise so sensitive of a consumer’s position this is conduct that should be countenanced,” he added.
Link Financial blamed Mr Harrison, from Devon, for being uncooperative and said its own approach had been “both proportionate and reasonable”.
A spokesman said: “We attempted to contact Mr Harrison 18 times over a period of 12 months, as Mr Harrison acknowledges himself through his own records.”
“Although all those calls were unanswered, answerphone messages were left with a polite invitation to call us together with a contact telephone number.
“Mr Harrison declined to do so,” the spokesman said.
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