Consumer has a family bereavement in the six-month time limit

Time limits Consumer Credit Exceptional circumstances

Emily complained to us after the six-month time limit. Her mother had died shortly before the time limit expired and this clearly counted as exceptional circumstances.

What happened

Emily was unhappy that her credit card company had registered a default against her after she missed some payments.

Having complained to the credit card company, they explained that because regular payments weren’t being made, they had applied a default in line with its collections process. The ‘final response’ letter from the credit card company explained, amongst other things, that Emily had six months from the date of the letter to refer her complaint to our service.

Unhappy with this outcome,  Emily brought her complaint to us after the six-month time limit.

What we said

We asked Emily why she contacted us after the time limit. Emily said she intended to complain to us in time, but her mother had died shortly before the six-month time limit had expired. She said she’d complained to us as soon as she  could after that.

The rules allow our service to look at complaints that have been referred out of time if the reason for that delay is due to exceptional circumstances.

We agreed these were exceptional circumstances – because a family bereavement is clearly what prevented Emily from referring her complaint to our service in time, and it took place during the six-month referral period.