I am a homeowner who moved to Canada last year. I had a tenant at the property and set up temporary redirection which ended in a February 2017.
I missed a January service charge / ground rent payment and within a week or so, my account was referred to solicitors. I became aware of this because I received a redirected mail from the solicitors.
I immediately called the solicitors, informed them on the phone that I was now resident in Canada but would make immediate arragements to pay. I requested a breakdown of charges as well as the option to pay in instalments. They asked for my email address and sent me a breakdown 2 days or so later.
I responded to the email requesting for a payment plan and fee waiver and they wrote back insisting that though no longer resident in the UK, I still owed them the full amount ( I never disputed this).
I accepted to pay the full amount we negotiated by email - I proposed, first 7 monthly instalments which they rejected, and then 4 monthly instalments, but they insisted on either 3 monthly instalments or permission for them to approach my lender, for a fee. I insisted on my proposal as it was what I could afford.
A few weeks after they rejected my payment plan and said they would 'now take legal action', a default ccj was entered against me. I found this out shortly after I returned to the UK in April. I applied for a set aside on the basis that I was not resident in the UK when the claim forms were sent and never received them and hence couldn't put in a defence. More importantly, the claimant was already aware that I was not resident in the UK at the time.
The hearing was held between myself and the claimants solicitor, and the judge rejected the set aside request saying that while he could set it aside, he did not agree that I wasn't properly served, and as such he would not set it aside. Rather, he said he would allow instalmental payment - the same monthly amounts that the claimant had previously rejected..
Given that I had informed the claimant that I was no longer resident in the UK as required by law, and that knowing this, the claimant had the forms sent to an address that they knew I was not residing at, it does not appear that the judge gave this consideration the seriousness it deserved.
I would like to know if there are any chances of successfully appealing this.