We attended our Prelim Hearing today . . . here's how it went:
Had a bit of a late night last night. I was convinced that I would be asked a question I couldn't answer so I made sure I had all the information I could - Gary your links are amazing! - finally, it was all together in a lever-arch file and tabbed so I could find everything easily and quickly!!
Arrived in plenty of time for the hearing - we wanted to be as relaxed as possible. The Court staff were all very helpful and friendly - like they were just normal people!! (only joking if your reading!).
Due to the time we had on our hands, we managed to look at the Court lists for the day - plenty of banks names on there! We also over-heard a coversation with the Usher where she asked for 'boxes' for the Judge to look at as so many cases had been settled at the last minute they had nothing to do!
At the appointed time we were called through to see the Judge. I expected to see a bit of a pompous old fart, frankly (sorry if any judges are reading!) but I was surprised by a very polite, friendly man. He invited us into the room and asked us to take a seat.
After this happened he explained that he had received a letter from S,C&M yesterday explaining that a payment for the full amount claimed would be credited to our bank account within 5 working days.
He then composed an 'order' detailing that everything that had been promised must happen by the dates stated. If it didn't this could be turned into a Judgement so we could send the Bailiffs in to collect our money if necessary.
We then had a 20 minute or so conversation (our Pre Lim was only scheduled for 10 mins!) about how many such cases he was seeing; how much of a waste of court time this was; how he was currently in a Judges internet forum discussing this very topic; etc etc
His feeling was that banks would eventually be forced to pay back the difference between an acceptable charge (for example the Financial Ombudsmans charge of £12 from Credit Card Companies) and the actual amount charged. We also had a chat about the morality of financial institutions lending people up to £40k when they clearly would not be able to pay it back!
This Judge was very 'switched on' and 'in touch' with 'real life'.
All in all a very successful day - cheap plonk tonight better stuff when the monies in the account!!
We must take this opportunity to thank everyone on this amazing site that has helped us through this process, either directly or indirectly. In particular Gary and Barty - you are stars!
We will let you now when the money has been paid in. Our donation will be paid then.
If anyone is facing a Pre Lim or thinks we might be able to help on any topic please dont hesitate to get in touch.
Martin & Diana