Published: 02:08 BST, 23 December 2012 | Updated: 02:08 BST, 23 December 2012
A payday loan centre plagued a struggling dad for repayments as he recuperated in hospital from a suicide attempt over his debts.
Staff at the Cheque Centre chased the dad-of-two on his mobile phone about four times even though his distressed wife had already told them he had taken an overdose.
They then clawed money from the man's bank account three times in just one day despite telling his wife they would put repayments on hold.
Staff at the Cheque Centre, pictured, hounded a suicidal father for repayments as he recovered in hospital
According to the Sunday Mirror, the Cheque Centre swiped just £5 in one transaction in a bid to reclaim a £200 loan.
A friend of the family said of the man's wife: 'She was very angry. She couldn't believe they were taking money out of the account after she had explained the situation.
'She was also furious when they called her husband's mobile in hospital. They called about four times and eventually got through, telling him he needed to come in and pay his debt.'
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The dad took our his first payday loan for £100 with £25 interest. He repaid it and a second loan for £125 on time. However, his worried wife called the centre after he took an overdose just days after he took out a third loan.
The Cheque Centre took around £50 from the man's account. The debt included a £30 surcharge.
It is thought he was struggling with repayments of other loans taken out elsewhere.
The company later provided a repayment plan and the outstanding debt was settled.
A senior manager at the Cheque Centre said the firm will investigate the matter.
There are systems and processes in place to ensure its customers are treated fairly, the manager added.
The Office of Fair Trading recently revealed how some payday lenders dip into customers' bank accounts without permission if they do not keep up with repayments
Labour MP Stella Creasy said: 'It shows how out of control these companies are and the damage they are doing in their quest for profits from hard-pressed families. Further rises in the cost of living next year will mean more people seeking credit.'
Astronomical interest rates on payday loans may now be capped to stop borrowers falling into mounting debt.
The annual rates given by controversial firms that offer short-term, instant loans can be as high as 16,000 per centre. Those loans may now be banned.
The level of the cap will be decided by the new Financial Conduct Authority and apply to all payday lenders.
A damning report by the Office of Fair Trading recently revealed how some payday lenders dip into customers’ bank accounts without asking if they failed to make their repayments.
The OFT is currently investigating 20 payday lenders which it believes are breaking rules.
There has been an 800 per cent increase in complaints about such companies over the past two years, according to the consumer watchdog.
Debt counsellors have been approached by 16,500 people with problems linked to payday loan debt.
Some 16,500 people have approached counsellors with problems linked to payday loan debt
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