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JohnnyBall

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About JohnnyBall

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  1. Thanks queensclose, that's an extremely good point and one that hadn't occurred to me. Looking forward to bringing that to the attention of the ICO and the Ombudsman.
  2. Yes, their behaviour seems a bit bloody-minded, when there's no benefit for them in this position. Given the damage involved in carrying a default, I'm more than prepared to fight it all the way. However, nice to see Gerry getting in touch, I shall email him and see where we get.
  3. So - back in 2009, I signed up with EDF for my electricity, got the supply confirmed. A week or so later, I got notice that I was being transferred to Scottish Power. I've got no idea how this happened - might well have been from slightly iffy comparison sites, but no matter. I registered this as an erroneous transfer, and got confirmation within a few days that I was going back to EDF. Unfortunately, and I can't remember exactly why, the actual process of shifting me back to EDF took about 3 months. Now I was going under the assumption that, as under the Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter, my billing would be continuous with EDF and I'd just settle up with them. Being on a quarterly billing cycle, I wasn't concerned at not having a bill from EDF in this period. I assumed that the Scottish Power bills would be automatically cancelled. Now, checking my credit record three years later, it turns out Scottish Power claim they're owed £96, and have stuck a default on my file. I wrote to them nicely asking to remove it (and offering to pay anything legitimately outstanding) but needless to say they have refused to delete the default. The customer service rep answering my letter completely ignored the issue of the fact my account had been slammed. I think this is pretty appalling. The default is going to cost me far, far more than a poxy £96. I would have paid it at the time, if I'd have thought they were entitled to the money. Now they're trying to dodge their responsibility for their dodgy practices in signing up customers, and refusing to follow their own industry guidelines in putting things right. Anyone got any suggestions on how to proceed? Not looking for compensation, I'll even pay them. Just want to get shot of an inaccurate default. Cheers!
  4. I'm currently scratching my head over an issue with NatWest. For a number of reasons, my company was dissolved for not filing accounts just before Xmas. I was expecting this eventually, but it still took me a little by surprise as all the advisory correspondence seemed to get stuck in the Xmas post and didn't arrive until New Year. This meant the company accounts with NatWest were frozen - the first I knew was when I couldn't log in online or use the debit card. I understand this is the process, and even though there was a balance of a few hundred quid in there, I don't really have any grounds for complaint on that score. However, a week or so after the account was frozen, two of my former clients mistakenly sent their rent payments by standing order to the old company, instead of to the management company that had taken over. NatWest were happy to take these payments of course, and I've got no way of recovering the money - more to the point, nor do the clients, who are now in rent arrears. NatWest say the account is "frozen" but not closed - ie money can flow in but not out, and when they finally enact the process of closing the account, the balance is forwarded to the Treasury Solicitor. I'm struggling to understand how the account can be in this kind of limbo - either it's open or it's closed, surely? The Treasury Solicitor publishes (rather vague) guidelines on what banks should do in this situation - http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/output/BVC16-Banks-and-other-Financial-Institutions-about-Cash-Balances-belonging-to-dissolved-companies.aspx My reading of this is the account should be closed immediately the bank learns of the dissolution of the company, instead of this kind-of half-closed status. I don't understand the legal basis on which they can accept payments to a non-existent company that's already been dissolved. Does anyone have any insight / experience of this situation? I don't even want the money myself, I just want to get the payments reversed to help a couple of small businesses now stuffed on their rent bills. I can - and probably will - apply for ex gratia payment from the Treasury Solicitor, but this will take months. And it doesn't change the fact that NatWest seem to be acting improperly here.
  5. That's really helpful, thanks. It's common sense that we can't be made to pay the business rates on someone else's property, but of course I'm worried the law might not work that way. So would the best procedure be to ask for an adjournment on the basis that the facts are incorrect to give them time to sort the bill out properly? Could the magistrate consider the matter there and then and make a charging order for part of the amount claimed if they find our documentation incomplete, for example? Or is it an all-or-nothing situation where if the basis of the summons is inaccurate, it will get kicked out until the facts are properly established? Appreciate the advice.
  6. My ltd company moved into a large empty factory about 3 years ago on a long lease. Immediately, we divided it up into small offices and workshops and then sublet to a variety of small businesses. I notified the Valuation Office and the LA that this is what we were doing, and requested that they reassess for the purpose of business rates. I wrote and phoned regularly, and eventually about three months ago, the VO sent an inspector to take measurements etc. We had a conversation that day and she agreed to backdate the arrangement by two years. We then heard nothing more for a couple of months, and she sent a set of plans that agreed with what was the case in real life. Yesterday, however, I got a summons for nearly £50k for three years business rates at full whack. I rang the council who told me a) the valuation office had only agreed to backdate this division by 6 months and b)I'd have to pay up and argue the toss later. The amount on the summons does not reflect even this paltry backdating, but goes right up to April 2012. Needless to say, I'm not pleased. The Valuation Office took so long to look at the building after my initial request I lost the opportunity to pass the business rates onto the tenants - in fact they would all have been eligible for small business rates relief. I've also got an archive of contracts that shows my company was not the final occupier of the premises, and just effectively a management company. Additionally, the property as defined on the bill includes a large basement area, which is nothing at all to do with us - it has a separate entrance and is not even on my lease. The council refuse to have any conversation on the subject, saying they can only act on information they receive from the Valuation Office. I've been trying to contact them since the summons appeared, but I guess they've all cleared off for the holidays. Does anyone have any idea where we stand legally on this? The VO office information was wrong, and we tried repeatedly to get this corrected. We weren't the beneficial occupiers. Frankly I'd struggle to find five hundred quid, let alone £50k. Any case I could make to the magistrates? Are there any channels for disputing the Valuation Office decision re the backdating? Thanks for any help!
  7. I'm in the process of clearing up my credit file, and most of the problems I had from 2005-6 are now dropping off the file and becoming statute barred now of their own account. However, I've got one default from Capital One from 2007, a long time after I cut up my credit cards, and my priority is to get it removed as soon as possible. I've been reading a lot of the threads particularly regarding the procedure for issuing default notices, and was hoping a knowledgeable cagger could offer some advice specific to my situation. Basic facts are: 1. CapOne credit card taken out in solvent days c. 2003 2. Run into a bit of trouble, so eat humble pie, fill in a budget form and agree to pay £17 / month on a balance of aprox £4k, stick with this from June 2005 to April 2007. 3. Run into a bit more trouble and struggle to make even these payments after May 2007. 4. June 2007 receive a "Notice of Default" under S87.1 demanding full repayment of the £4k principal within 23 days, or they will terminate the agreement, require immediate repayment of the full amount, etc. I can't see anything wrong with this letter, seems to be correct format, other than demanding full amount rather than just the arrears of £34. 4. July 2007 Receive "Statement of Default", default logged with CRAs etc. 5. Aug 2008 Debt sold to Robinson Way So - my understanding from reading the threads about default notices, my account was terminated in June 2007 in the Notice of Default when they demanded all the money back instead of just the arrears. Hence no valid Default. Although it's also my understanding that the robustness of this argument would depend on the judge's mood that morning. I don't think it's likely that Robinson Way are going to try and chase this into court on their own initiative to get their money back, so I'm not unduly worried about having to mount a defence based on the dodgy DN. However, I would like my credit file cleaned up, so not sure how to tackle this. I don't particularly want to go on the attack to Robinson Way or CapOne demanding the removal, as this might remind them of the existence of the debt, and they might fancy their chances in court - unless I'm very sure of my ground. They might also issue a new DN dated today, and thus extending the misery for another 6 years. I could contact the CRAs pointing out the invalid DN - but don't have much faith in this yielding results. ICO? Or let sleeping dogs lie and don't apply for any credit until it drops off the file in 2013? The final option is to make a F&F for 25-50% of the total. However, I'm really not minded to do this - I've been bombarded with calls from RobWay on my mobile, and there is NO legal way they could have obtained the number, suspect they got it through "blagging" the phone company. Don't believe they should be rewarded for this ****** behaviour, they've ****ed away my obligation to the social contract to repay the debt. So what's the best, most pragmatic way to approach this? Cheers for the advice!
  8. I'm currently trying to find some representation for a friend of mine, ideally on no-win, no-fee basis. He was knocked down by a driver / truck from one of the big courier companies, on private land. The truck was reversing at high speed, with its reversing beeper switched off, and sent him flying. There were about a dozen witnesses, and if they hadn't hammered on the back of the truck to stop it, it's quite likely my friend would have finished the day considerably flatter. Fortunately, his injuries weren't too bad - mostly shock, but still quite substantial bruising, and he had to have a few days off work. Anyway, I think it's pretty reasonable that the company / driver get called out on their negligence, and my pal gets something for his pain and missed work. Personal injury lawyers don't collectively have the best reputation, so would really appreciate it if anyone on the board had a recommendation or a good experience. BTW - I can smell sock puppets a mile off! Final details - my friend lives in London, and he also doesn't speak brilliant English, so a firm with an Urdu speaker would be a big benefit. Very much obliged!
  9. They didn't. They sent one notification addressed to a former tenant, incorrectly addressed, so we heard about it second hand. They didn't send anything to any of the companies actually resident in the building.
  10. Unfortunately, my faith in the legal system has now had a complete battering. For entirely legitimate reasons (I've been quarantined at home with swine flu FFS!) we wrote and asked the court to delay the warrant hearing for another week. The warrant application was based on false information, and all we needed to do was attend the hearing and put the facts straight. They failed to give correct notice to the occupier of the intention to obtain a warrant, for one. The judge decided to ignore this request completely, and executed the warrant there and then. Apparently the utilities companies will have their (false) evidence automatically rubber-stamped, and we've been denied the right to a hearing. They were presumably upset at having been made idiots of before, so they came in and cut us off right away - so now our companies are sitting in the dark on the back of someone else's debt. Will be taking legal advice on this one - the warrant wasn't sought correctly, a reasonable request to have the hearing rescheduled was ignored, and now we're all sitting in the dark. Ever come across anything like this before, Gamekeeper?
  11. As a footnote, the warrant WAS wrongly addressed. However, the bailiffs argued very forcefully that this didn't matter as "their legal team had checked the details". All complete rubbish, of course, but fortunately the police officer who came down stood his ground and refused to let them force entry, as the warrant was inaccurate. This was despite threats to report him to his superiors, etc, etc. They were then going to go to the Magistrates' court that morning and get the warrant amended. I argued that as the address was wrong, they couldn't have given notice to the occupier of the premises with the meter in. Again, they argued the toss, but relented eventually. They now have to start the whole warrant process again. Result! This gives a bunch of honest businesses a couple of weeks breathing space to thrash out an affordable deal and keep trading. Thanks again, Gamekeeper!
  12. Thanks a lot, GTP - genius! The power's supplied to one building (the address on the warrant, and also the billing address), but the meter's in the premises next door, at a different address. All I need is the time to sort out a reasonable payment schedule without plunging everyone into darkness - this should do the trick. Cheers!
  13. Hello all, Currently in a bit of a bind with Eon, who've obtained a warrant to disconnect the electricity from my business premises. They're supposed to be coming on Tuesday, so I'm trying to deal with this pretty urgently! The situation is that we share a large old converted factory with four other small businesses. Each company is self contained, but there's only one electricity meter & supply. We asked to get these divided, but the suppliers wanted to charge something like £4k each. Consequently, we decided between us that my company would collect the money from the other tenants, in addition to looking after a few other maintenance tasks about the building. More fool me, with hindsight, you might well say, but it seemed a good idea at the time. Anyway, some arrears had built up over the course of the year, as other people got behind with their bills, but it was all manageable, and I'd reached an agreement for regular payments and Eon were perfectly happy. I've just come back off holiday to discover bailiffs have been round to disconnect us! On investigation, another of the tenants had been sending their share of the payments direct to Eon, and two of their cheques had bounced. This flagged us as not keeping to our payment plan, and as a bad credit risk. Eon are now refusing to take anything less than the full payment, and are coming back on Tuesday to cut the whole site off. I've negotiated and pleaded, but they're pretty implacable, even if this means they're not going to receive a penny, even in this climate. I wouldn't be unduly worried about winding up my own company, and leaving them to chase that. The miscreants are going to be disconnected from the communal supply and can sort their own problems out - they're actually in breach of their lease, so could get kicked out altogether. My concern is for the other, honest businesses getting cut off. There's not a problem with paying the bills either - it's just not going to happen in one lump sum. So my question to the board is how we can reasonably keep the supply on, until we can get on an even keel. The first possibility I can think of is to start afresh with a new supplier, and another one of the companies as the name on the bill, effectively as new tenants. This apparently could take weeks, though, particularly if Eon don't want to play ball. Does anyone have any ideas how I can buy some time between now and Tuesday? We've had conversations between us, and Eon are adamant that they won't accept the amount of cash that we can get together in that time - they wouldn't even take a cheque! A couple of issues worth mentioning, although I don't know if they have any bearing on the warrant: -For the last year or so, we've had suspicions about the accuracy of the meter. We've asked repeatedly for an engineer to come and verify that we're being billed correctly, but nothing's been done. The usual response is that we should get a third party electrical contractor in to do it, but of course that's a complete nonsense - how can a third party check the accuracy of Eon's meter? -The meter itself is not in my premises - it's in a different part of the factory tenanted by someone else. This is where they need access to disconnect. -As far as I can see from the legislation (Right of Entry (Gas & Electricity) Act 1954), in order to obtain a warrant, they need to previously have requested access for the same purpose with no less than 24 hours notice. They certainly didn't do this, so it appears that the warrant was issued on the basis of false information. Any lawyers on the board - am I reading this right? - There's also a massive data protection issue. Another one of the tenants rang up and was freely given a complete rundown of all account transactions without my authorisation. Clear breach of DP, although I haven't done anything with it yet, like refer to Information Commission. Any ideas? Cheers!
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