Letter Before Action

From Consumer Wiki

For the Letter Before Action for the Subject Access Request, see LBA_(SAR).

What is it?

A Letter Before Action is a letter sent to a prospective defendent as a 'last chance' before you start legal action.

Letter Before Action Example (to a bank)

Updated 30th April 2008 following OFT v Abbey & Others

[your address]

[their address]



Dear Sir/Madam,


I am very disappointed that you have failed to respond to my letter of the [XXDATEXX] . I now understand that the regime of 'fees' which you have been applying to my account in relation to direct debit refusals, exceeding overdraft limits and so forth are unfair under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and may be unlawful at Common Law.

I would draw your attention to the terms of the contract which you agreed to at the time that I opened my account. It is an implied term of that contract that you would conduct yourselves lawfully and in a manner which complies with UK law.

I am frankly shocked that you have operated my account in this way as I had always reposed confidence in your integrity and expertise.

I calculate that you have taken £XXXXX plus £XXX which you have charged me in overdraft interest for the sum which you have taken. Total £XXXXX. I am enclosing a copy of the schedule of the charges which I am claiming. I have already sent you a copy of this in my original letter of the [XXDATE OF FIRST LETTERXX ]

Additionally you have entered a default notice against my credit record. This default occurred merely in respect of unlawful charges levied by you or was the result of impecuniosity caused directly by the taking by you of unfair charges which you had applied unlawfully to my account.

In addition to full payment of the sum mentioned above I require that you remove the default entry from the register. Please note that mere correction or amendment to the entry will not be acceptable.

I require repayment in full of this money and removal of the default notice. If you do not comply fully within 14 days then I shall begin a claim against you for the full amount plus interest plus a claim under ss.7 and 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998 plus my costs and without further notice.


In considering this letter before action, you are reminded of the Press Release issued by the FSA on 27th July, which states:

"Consumers who are in very difficult financial circumstances - 'hardship cases'

Banks and building societies will have to conduct a filtering process to ensure that cases of genuine hardship are still dealt with during the waiver period. Cases of hardship would still be entitled to be referred to, and dealt with by, the FOS."

I believe that my personal circumstances fall within this category because....... [add whatever you think relevant]

You are also reminded of my request that you forward a copy of the Terms and Conditions that were in force at the time my account was opened, and any subsequent amendments to those Terms and Conditions. These are requested under CPR Pre-Action Protocol 4.6(c), and your continued failure to provide them will be brought to the attention of the court, should it be necessary to commence a county court action.

Furthermore, I shall submit a Consumer Credit Act 1974 complaint to the OFT upon the basis that you have failed to comply with the OFT's direction of 5 April 2006 and are therefore not a 'fit and proper person' to hold a consumer credit licence under the 1974 Act. If you do not understand what this means then seek advice from your legal department.

Yours faithfully,


DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR SCHEDULE OF CHARGES WITH THIS LETTER Red - if you have a default notice issue as well - which has been caused by the charges. Otherwise to not include this part

Blue - only include this if you intend to do it. Don't make empty threats

Download This File

MS Word Format: LBA.doc