I just received this in from a credit claims company I have an affiation with...
CIRCULAR REGARDING POTENTIAL STAY ON CCA CLAIMS
We are writing to provide information concerning a recent letter sent by Judge Halbert at Chester County court requesting representations regarding the proposal to determine some issues relating to Consumer Credit Act claims. We have read a number of e mail circulars regarding this issue, many of which are inaccurate and wide of the mark. We would like to dispel myths and provide an accurate account of the current position.
On 8th April 2009 a judgement was formally handed down by his honour Judge Halbert at Chester County Court a copy of this judgement is attached. It will be noted that the judgement represented a complete and unequivocal victory for the consumer, Mr Michael John Walker. Judge Halbert determined that SPPL had breached a prescribed term of the CCA and accordingly that the loan could not be enforced by them. He went a stage further, he indicated that there was also a schedule 1 (non prescribed term) breach. Although he was not obliged to make a finding in respect of the schedule 1 breach because he had already found that the agreement was unenforceable. He indicated within his judgment that in respect of the schedule 1 breach the court would not have exercised its discretion to allow the lender to enforce the agreement in any event.
In light of this complete victory by the consumer, SPPL have understandably appealed against the decision. As a result of this judgement a large number of cases are understood to have been issued or are expected to be issued at Chester County Court.
On 1st May, Judge Halbert sent a letter to all interested parties inviting representations regarding the proposal of certain distinct issues relating to CCA claims being considered by way of test cases. We have today been in a meeting with (Name removed) QC and we understand that (Name removed) QC will be attending to make representations in this regard. We further understand that the lenders do not wish for there to be a blanket stay on all CCA claims. The result of a blanket stay in relation to these issues could be disastrous for the lenders. In any claim where they sought to recover payments from a borrower and that borrower alleged unenforceability issues the banks claim would be stayed pending determination of the test cases. This would mean in the interim period the lender could not force the borrower to continue paying.
(Name removed) Ltd would welcome the determination of certain issues which currently represent grey areas, since this would provide additional certainty to the litigation process. A blanket stay on all CCA claims issues is unnecessary and would not be welcomed by consumers or banks alike. Contrary to some inaccurate reports we have read, there is currently no blanket stay on CCA cases. We understand that (Name removed) QC will be putting forward representations that will benefit the interests of (Name removed)’s client’s, introducers and Panel Solicitors’.
We would once again reiterate that the judgement of Judge Halbert handed down on 8th April 2009 was unequivocally in the favour of the consumer, that there is no blanket stay on CCA claims as some reports have misstated and that the judgement and opportunity to resolve certain issues can only be seen as a positive development.
We will of course keep you informed of any developments in relation to this issue and also make you aware of any further successfully decided cases for consumers.