16-year laptop legal battle to go to Supreme Court

A man who accused a bank of destroying his credit rating after he bought a laptop in 1998 will see his case reach the Supreme Court.

Richard Durkin has been locked in a legal dispute with HFC Bank – part of the HSBC group – for 16 years, after starting a credit agreement to pay for a £1,500 laptop which he later returned to PC World.

Durkin argues that a shop assistant told him he was entitled to return the laptop if it did not have the features he was hoping for, and when he did so, Durkin said the credit agreement should have also been cancelled.

Allegedly being wrongly blacklisted for not maintaining payments meant he was unable to buy a home. His legal fees have now reached £250,000.

“People don’t realise how much damage a default on your credit record does until they actually have one,” he told The Guardian. “It’s like I’m in a financial jail.”

The case will be heard in the Supreme Court, which is especially reserved for cases “of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population”, on 28 January.

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