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Everything posted by impecunious

  1. Thanks dx100uk Looks like I may have to come to an agreement to pay Jacobs' fees. Hope they like £1/month. As regards the threat to remove goods - thought they couldn't do that if the CT arrears were paid -- and that they couldn't enforce for their fees alone. Best wishes
  2. Please try and explain your story as fully as possible but in a chronological order. It will make it easier for people to understand what help you need. Please space and punctuate your story clearly. It is difficult to read an unbroken block of text. Jacobs were instructed to collect CT arrears. Received letter from them end of January 2019 - promptly paid Council at beginning of Feb 2019. Bailiff attended this morning at 9.00 am. He was not afforded entry. He keeps calling my mobile and sending text messages threatening that a removal van has been booked for 6.00 am tomorrow morning, Obviously, this is a lame threat as he hasn't had access to the property, hasn't done a Controlled Goods Agreement (or whatever they're called now) and hasn't spoken to me. Am I right in understanding that Jacobs are unable to remove goods, etc purely to collect their fees? The initial fee of £75 is valid and will be paid as that was requested in January. I don't know if the second stage fee of £235 is arguable? Can anyone advise. BTW, I'm an OAP now. Thanks guys x
  3. UPDATE The sky didn't fall on my head. It's now been almost seven years since the original court case and, although the debt has now risen to £40,000 (with the addition of 6 years' statutory interest @8%), I still haven't paid a penny for over 6 years. I attended another oral examination (Order to obtan information) 18 months ago where it was obvious that I was still impecunious and could not make any offer of payment (no matter how small). I should imagine that this debt has long dropped off my credit record (if it was ever added in the first place). Although this whole matter was frightening and incredibly difficult to deal with at the time, time has helped as did the advice and support offered by CAG members. Thank you so much. I know this matter will never really go away, ie when the Judgement Creditor dies, I will owe his estate and when I die, my (nonexistent) estate will owe his estate, but at least it's manageable. I just have to jump through hoops occasionally. The moral of this story has always been - never sue a man of straw. Impecunious ☺
  4. In the event of my bank account being frozen and subsequently "raided" as part of a Third Party Debt Order -- can my Housing Benefit be taken? My balance is meagre to say the least ... minimum required to service rent and CT. Imp
  5. When you're self-employed, work related activity can consist of: updating/maintaining records, market research, creating copy for website/blog/advertising, business networking, design/production of samples, keeping accounts, reporting to HMRC/Council (if claiming benefits), online research ..... travelling to see potential clients .... the possibilities are endless. All this on top of any actual hours spent "working" on the phone/texts/making crafts. HMRC may need to be convinced you're self-employment is "commercially viable" with a view to making a profit. Especially in light of the minimum income floor for self-employed. Imp
  6. Yes, alleged accident at rear of party wall next to pavement. Very spurious claim. Insurance was compromised due to insurance company sending documents to derelift building site 8 weeks befre incident. Otherwise it would have been a straightforward insurance claim. Sod's law. Imp
  7. No, it wasn't a driving accident .. I've never driven without valid insurance, tax or MOT. That would be totally unforgiveable. Imp
  8. Claim can be lodged anytime within three years of the date of the accident. Your daughter is lucky - she has insurance - they will deal with it. Imp
  9. Thanks for the responses guys. The quantum hearing awarded £15,000 to the Judgement Creditor and there was c. £12,000 legal costs. Statutory interest for 6 years takes the total to just under £40,000 - an eye-watering amount - but that won't rise now as interest is only added for 6 years. You're right, I didn't have the money then and I certainly have nothing now. It was obvious from the EX140 form that I had to complete at the oral examination this week that I was unable to offer any monthly payments - not even £1.00/month - so I didn't. I have no tangible assets and haven't had a car since mine failed its MOT over a year ago. It would be completely pointless for the Judgement Creditor to pay to transfer up to the High Court for a Writ of Fi-Fa, then pay for enforcement by HCEOs, etc. (After signing up to CAG over 6 years ago, I'm pretty clued up on my rights when it comes to EOs and HCEOs.) He's already paid for the Order to Obtain Information, solicitors fees for attending at court and for a process server. All throwing good money after bad. I can't really see how any kind of enforcement can be made: I'm not employed, so can't do Attachment to Earnings, have no property or assets and no-one owes me any money, so no charging orders or third party debt orders can be made, no attachable benefits ,,,,,, not even enough regular earnings through self-employed to make an instalment order ...... The old guy is 80 now - I really do think he's been badly served by his legal team but there isn't anything I can do to help. His claim for personal injuries was lodged with the court one day inside the three year statute of limitation (I think perhaps following a no win, no fee cold call). It's been almost ten years since his alleged accident and he still hasn't had a penny. His solicitors should have determined my ability to pay before taking the claim to court and giving him false hope. As judgement was found in his favour by default, he "won" the case but I have no idea who pays his legal fees - I certainly can't. I do worry about it .... for him, not for me. I've realised now that despite being hauled through court, mauled by a ferocious but toothless barrister, being a litigant in person and subsequently becoming a judgement debtor, that the sky didn't fall on my head! Until this second oral examination, I hadn't heard a peep from his solicitors for over six years. I presume his solicitors want to see historic bank statements to make sure I haven't squirrelled away any money, despite my accounts debit balances. I can't see the bank spending any time or money raking through the archives to find statements that old. But, I will give it a try - again! Being made bankrupt is not really an option - no-one would gain anything and it's costly. Student loans and unsatisfied claims for personal injuries remain extant after bankruptcy .... meaning I would still be over £55,000 in debt. Luckily, my student loan will get written off soon as I'm nearing retirement age. The only money I really owe is for this unsatisfied claim for damages. it's all an unmitigated disaster really .... if the old guy had come to me at the time of the accident, I would have done the decent thing -- taken him to hospital, compensated him for time off work and for any injury caused ... but, by the time I was made aware of the incident - many years later, I had already become a victim of the recession and had lost everything. I'm sure there's a moral to this story somewhere but it's far too early in the morning ...... Imp
  10. Andyorch - after all this time, what would constitute "fresh proceedings"? "....however an action cannot be brought on any judgment after the expiry of 6 years from the date it became enforceable. The term “action” only applies to the commencement of fresh proceedings on a judgment, it does not include enforcement proceedings so, strictly speaking, for enforcement purposes and enforcement proceedings, no limitation period applies. "
  11. The oral examination was held today. All very straightforward and not in the least daunting this time, with only a paralegal attending on behalf of the Judgement Creditor. The information requested was little more than the normal paperwork I'd produce for the council for continuation of housing benefit. I have been asked to provide bank statements from 10-12 yrs ago and present them at a continuation of the examination (date still to be determined). Not sure if that's possible but will try. Can only produce paperwork within my control. My main source of income is WTC and I get full Housing Benefit and CTR. I honestly can't see how they can enforce the court order (now amounting to just under £40.000) and don't think they have any real options open to them. As far as I know, WTC, HB and CTR are not "attachable" benefits and, as advised in an earlier post, my income falls below the amount that the law says I need to live on ...... definitely a "can't pay not a won't pay" ... Imp
  12. It's been 6 years and 3 months since the original judgement. I must admit, I've been very surprised not to have heard from the Judgement Creditor's legal team before now but I suppose they act on his instruction. The amount of the judgement has now risen to c. £40.000.00. There has never been any attempt at enforcing payment either. I should imagine that the Judgement Creditor's legal team aren't too happy about taking on a big-wig barrister at the time and not being paid for their services. It was always a phyrric victory ... it was a claim for personal injuries - I had no insurance, no assets, no money. Waste of time suing a "man of straw" ..... I couldn't even afford legal representation, so represented myself as a litigant in person. The last oral examination - which was more like an "inquisition" - lasted for nearly 4 hours with no breaks and I found myself confronting a legal team consisting of one barrister, one solicitor and one other ... it was incredibly daunting. It resulted in NOTHING! Obviously, I'm better prepared this time ... I hope it's just a formality this time. I've more or less put together all the information requested. This proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm as poor as a church mouse and completely unable to pay. I may be asked to pay for the hearing and costs on the day ... they can but try! I survive on WTC, HB and a tiny pension and I'm not in receipt of any attachable benefits and I don't have any tangible assets. I thought that the Judgement Creditor must have died -- he's 80+ now but that doesn't seem to be the case. When he dies, I will owe his estate but hopefully when I die, the debt will die with me as I have nothing to leave. I feel sorry for the old guy .... his legal team obviously promised him the earth and he's been living in hope since the accident happened in early 2005. He was delighted to be awarded £15,000 by the Judge at the Quantum Hearing but I told him then I didn't have the means to pay and he probably wouldn't see a penny. it's oh so easy to get a judgement but it's completely another thing converting that into hard cash. Imp
  13. The Order to Obtain Information was hand-delivered to my home address but the name/address on the summons to the court hearing was my business name and the address of the retail unit I briefly occupied last year. A man banged incredibly loudly on my front door - I thought someone was actually breaking in - he refused to show me any ID or state his business and ordered me to open my front door to him. He was very intimidating - shouting, putting his face right up to the glass in the front door and snarling. (I had no idea who he was - it was 8.00 am - I was still in my pjs) I refused to open the door or let him enter into my home.) He then proceeded to shout out loud that I had to go to court otherwise I could be sent to prison. All very embarrassing but I certainly wasn't going to let anyone into my house who I didn't know purely based on the fact that he was shouting at me. I talked to him calmly through the front door. Once he posted the summons through the door, I was relieved to see that it was just an order to obtain information (which to be honest, I'd been expecting for the last couple of weeks). My questions are: 1. Can summons to be served to an address other than that stated on the actual summons? (Before going back to court to have the address changed.) 2. Are process servers usually so damn aggressive? Is there a complaint's procedure? Thank you. Imp
  14. Hi Guys I originally joined CAG about seven years ago to seek advice after being sued for a personal injuries claim. Judgement was made by default - court papers being sent to a previous address by recorded delivery and not received by me, so I was unable to defend myself in court. My subsequent application to set aside was dismissed. Quantum hearing was heard in August 2009. An oral examination was also conducted as to my means. It was evident that I was not in a position to pay and I offered £1.00/month. This was considered "unacceptable" by the Judgement Creditor and I have never been advised the amount that would be acceptable. I have only made payments totalling £6.00 in the early days after the case ... I have never received any correspondence relating to this case from the Judgement Creditor's legal team and no payment enforcement has ever been attempted. This morning I was handed a summons to appear at court for another oral examination later this month. I have no assets, am self-employed, in receipt of WTC, HB and CTR -- my weekly income is considerably less than the £72.40 the law states I need to live on each week. I'm sure the oral examination is just a formality really .. but if anyone could offer any sound advice, I'd appreciate it. Best wishes Imp
  15. Me too ... letting rooms to lodgers is a minefield. I'd researched as much as I could but had never come across this problem before. I just wanted to do what was right. Thanks again! imp
  16. Thanks everyone. The Government website on letting rooms was also really useful. The verbal agreement was for a fixed term of three months - this means that the contract cannot be broken before the end of that fixed term unless both parties agree. He effectively surrendered his tenancy by returning the keys. My ex-lodger has just accepted a FULL and FINAL OFFER. I will refund 50% of his total payment. Lesson learnt! Thanks for your contributions. Imp
  17. The "holding deposit" was £100.00. The guy visited the property last night several times, banging loudly on front door and window. After his threatening texts, I decided it was unwise to talk to him directly after advising him by text earlier in the day that I would seek advice before making a decision about whether to refund/how much etc. Imp
  18. Would really appreciate some sound advice. I have my landlord's permission to sub-let a room in my home. This income covers the shortfall between my HB and my monthly rent. On Saturday, my new lodger paid a holding deposit and two weeks' rent in advance after we had verbally agreed to an initial three month tenancy. (He originally viewed the room three weeks ago.) The guy was desperate to move in and it was all very last minute. (He and his girlfriend had been having significant relationship problems.) We agreed terms and I promised to provide him with a Licence to Lodge the next day as I would be out til late and he started work at 10.00 pm that night. He agreed to this. Later that afternoon, he collected some of his belongings from his previous address and put them in his room (about 4.45 pm). I had to leave him to move in as I had family commitments. At 6.35 pm I received a text from him saying he had changed his mind as his girlfriend didn't want him to leave their home. He demanded his money back in full. Despite subsequent threatening texts from him, I advised him to seek advice from CAB and told him that if he had a legal claim, I would happily reconsider my decision. (He is Polish and although his English is reasonable, he does not understand English Law.) He was advised by CAB to request a refund for the holding deposit and one week's rent - a total of £180.00. He would allow me to retain one week's rent as compensation for changing his mind. I was under the impression that a contract, albeit verbal, still had legal standing and that if he failed to move in, it was not necessary to refund the holding deposit/rent already paid. It was his loss. If I had changed my mind about him moving in, I would have instantly given him a full refund. I feel as if he is effectively depriving me of three month's income and I have still to find another lodger which may take months (if past history is anything to go by). When I was told of his relationship difficulties, I suggested that a month's trial period might be appropriate and to "keep the door open" and not to commit himself to a long rental period. I put this to him three times but he insisted he needed to move in immediately. He refused the trial period and we agreed on an initial tenancy of three months. I would usually take a deposit and a month's rent in advance. I waived this in favour of just two weeks' rent to assist him in managing his budgeting/finances. As far as I am concerned, I have gone out of my way to accommodate him and feel aggrieved that he should now be sending threatening texts to come "with a friend" to collect his money and do everything he can to involve the police (even though it is obviously a civil matter). He texted this morning to say that, unless I refund him, he will make a claim against me and that I could be fined £810 plus costs if the case went in his favour. As an aside, good luck on that one -- I'm impecunious (as the name suggests), so it's doubtful he would ever receive a penny. The income I receive from letting the spare room keeps a roof above my head and prevents me from being evicted. As I said at the top of my post, I would really appreciate some sound advice on this matter. If I am at fault, I will happily make a refund but feel strongly that I shouldn't give in to threatening behaviour and intimidation without being clear on where I stand legally. Thanks guys! Imp PS I have advised him I will respond to his request within seven days and I have advised that I will keep the room open for him for the next fortnight in case he feels the need to leave his home again.
  19. I rent my home from my daughter and son-in-law on a purely commercial basis and am eligible for HB. Nomproblem at all. I have a legally binding tenancy agreement and both myself and my landlord regularly sign a statement confirming our arrangement. I've had no,problems to date. Any shortfall between my monthly rent and my HB is met by letting my spare room. HB Dept is always advised of any change in circumstances and I get to keep first £20 of that income. Imp
  20. I've been renting my current home since December 2006. For the majority of that time I worked but have claimed Housing/CT benefit for the last two years. My local council has now closed my CT account and transferred liability to my landlord, resulting in an initial bill for him of £2,300. This bill has subsequently been reduced to £1,600 now that the council has taken into account the fact that I have been the sole tenant since October last year and a new CT bill has been issued. (I have been the sole tenant paying full rent for all but 8 months of my 8 and a half year tenancy.) On the council's advice, my landlord issued separate tenancy agreements for myself and my housemate for 3 months in 2013 and for 5 months in 2014. (I needed someone to help me pay the full rent whilst I was unemployed/setting up my own small business.) The council now classifies the property as a HMO but only two people max have ever lived here at the same time. The council refuse, however, to remove liability for CT from the Landlord during the 12 months (between housemates) whilst I had sole tenancy of the property and was fully responsible for the CT liability. All the council tax for last two years had been paid but the council has now refunded all those payments and split them proportionately between myself and my ex-housemates. The council are classifying the property as an HMO -- (under the CT regulations, not the Housing Act) in perpetuity. Obviously, this is so wrong. I have sole tenancy and full use of the whole property, have received a CT bill from October last year and am making weekly payments until my CTR is calculated, As tenant, I alone am liable for my council tax liability not my landlord. I have no idea how the house can be classified as a HMO with the landlord/owner being liable for CT whilst, at the same time, I have sole tenancy and have also been issued with a CT bill. The council has refused my appeal and that of my landlord. Can anyone with any relevant knowledge, please advise how to deal with this. Many thanks Imp
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