Problems with your direct debits? We clarify your doubts.
Your gas bills, electricity bills, insurances, homeowner’s association fees… your bank account receives a lot of direct debits every month. But, do you know how to cancel a direct debit mandate? Have you ever considered returning a direct debit? You may find below the answers to your questions:
- How can we instruct our bank to make direct debits in our account?
As the account holder, you must give your bank an explicit and signed authorisation so that payments begin from a certain date. This mandate may refer either to an occasional or a regular payment (every month, quarter or year). In this second case, you wouldn’t need to authorise each payment and they will continue to be debited unless stated otherwise.
- How can I cancel a direct debit mandate?
Cancelling a direct debit mandate must also be done by giving your bank explicit, written, dated and signed instructions. It will only be effective if our bank receives these instructions prior to the first working day before the direct debit is received in your account. If not, it would be effective for the subsequent direct debits.
- What requirements must be met to be able to return a direct debit?
It will depend on whether it had been previously authorised or not:
If previously authorised, two requirements must be met. First of all, the initial amount to be debited was not specified at the time of authorisation. Secondly, after receiving direct debits of similar amounts, you suddenly receive one that significantly exceeds what you’ve been paying so far. In such case, you will be entitled to return it within 8 weeks from the debit date.
For example: You have a direct debit mandate for a 500 Euros insurance annual premium. This amount appears specified on your insurance contract. The following year, you receive a direct debit for 510 Euros, so you wouldn’t be able to return it. However, let’s assume you take out that same insurance and the contract does not specify the price of the annual premium. If the first year you receive a direct debit for 500 Euros and the following year it’s 800 Euros, you will be entitled to return this last direct debit within eight weeks.
If you didn’t authorise the direct debit, it may be rejected within 13 months.
In any case, your bank will have 10 working days to either return the total amount, or to justify the rejection of your request. If the return of your direct debit has been rejected, you must be informed of the available judicial or extrajudicial procedures for claiming.