Courts, online claims service swamped by bank overdraft cases
Both county courts in the UK and the government’s Money Claim Online service for small claims cases are being swamped by claims filed to recover bank overdraft charges. In the case of the online claims service, the site has slowed to a near-standstill at time due to the high traffic on the site.
While there is no record of the exact nature of each claim handled by the service, the fact that it is now handling twice the number of claims as it did last year – 600 new cases every day – it is likely that the upswing in overdraft claims is the main reason for the increase. The site’s help desk has started callers to try logging in after regular business hours until it is able to install the extra equipment needed to handle the increased traffic.
County courts, meanwhile, are also being flooded with cases filed by individuals claiming that their banks have charged them too much for overdrafts. Some courts have had so many cases filed that they have begun scheduling all similar cases on the same day so that they can be deal with at the same time.
Judges in some courts have become so annoyed by banks settling just before a case is to be heard or not sending a representative to scheduled hearings that they have settled cases in claimants favor even before a hearing can be held. Other judges have threatened to dismiss claims without hearing because they believe the individuals have no chance of winning their cases.