Update: 22 October 2014: The Government has announced that the liquidation of Farepak has now concluded and the joint liquidators have passed the money in relation to unclaimed cheques to the Insolvency Service. For more information on how to claim your cheque, see Farepak Dividends.
More than 11,000 former Farepak customers are yet to collect their share of a £1 million victim pot, which they're owed after paying into the Christmas savings club that went bust in 2006.
At the time of its collapse, Farepak had 120,000 customers who lost a combined total of £40 million – many were pensioners and on low incomes. (See our Administration Help guide).
Most of these customers were eligible to make claims with Farepak but of those who submitted a claim form, the Government Insolvency Service says more than 11,000 have never cashed the cheque that was sent to them as a result of their claim. It says this could be because they've moved, lost the cheque or passed away.
The Farepak Victims Committee, which was set up in the wake of the savings scheme's collapse, is now urging victims and family members of deceased relatives to make sure they chase up any forgotten claims.
Deborah Harvey, a campaigner for the Farepak Victims Committee and a former customer and agent of the scheme who lost £520 herself, says: "We never imagined that we would still be campaigning eight years on, but we're adamant that every person who was affected by this fiasco gets what's rightfully theirs.
"Given the amount of cash lost by people doing the right thing by paying in advance for Christmas, why should they lose again? If they don't get this dividend, they will have lost out twice."
Since June 2013, when the Government Insolvency Service took over the claims process, only £8,971.72 has been paid out to 64 victims. Before this date the claims process was looked after by liquidator BDO.
If you happen to find a lost cheque, you won't be able to cash it now - instead follow the procedures listed below.
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How do I get my money back?
BDO passed a full list of names of those owed money to the Insolvency Service last year. This list only comprises of former customers who were registered with Farepak at the time it collapsed, and who lodged a creditor complaint in 2007 with BDO.
If you fit into this category, you need to email the claimant's name and address to EAIPS.Unclaimed@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can write to:
EAIPS - Farepak
3rd Floor Cannon House
PO Box 3690
When claiming you may need to provide details of who it is you are claiming for and new address details if the claimant moved home after 2006.
If you're claiming on behalf of someone who's passed away, you'll need to provide a copy of the death certificate and relevant information to prove that this money has been left to you.
You can choose to receive your money back via cheque or BACS, which the Government says will be sent out "within weeks". However, it will charge £1.10 for cheques to be sent or 15p for payments to be made via BACS. This amount will be taken from your payout.
There's no deadline to reclaim the cash, but after June 2019, the Insolvency Service will hand over the unclaimed funds to the Treasury, though it will still be responsible for handling the lost claims.
How much money will I get back?
Victims will receive 14p per £1 paid in from liquidator BDO and 18p per £1 from Halifax/Bank of Scotland (formerly known as HBOS), which was Farepak's bank.
This means for every £100 paid to Farepak, former customers will receive £32. The Farepak Victims Committee says that the average payment to claimants is approximately £128, as the average loss per person was £400.
I never submitted a claim. Am I eligible?
This £1m fund is not for new claimants. It's only for those who were registered with Farepak at the time it collapsed, and who lodged a creditor complaint in 2007 with BDO.
If you didn't submit a claim at the time but believe you are affected, unfortunately there's nothing further you can do to get your money back.