this is my first posting of my court claim issued against Natwest. So far it's been smooth(ish) going despite the pathetic attempts at Cobblers to delay the process. After having filed my claim - Natwest came to me offering £3,000 odd, (basically the full amount of the claim, less interest). However my claim is around £4,200 and I of course have duly rejected this offer and sent the usual letter etc.
At the same time Green & Co which is their in house solicitors based in Kendal Court, Telford have been trying to recover the amount of my overdrawn account - which of course is comprised solely of the amount of charges I am reclaiming (basically my account is overdrawn by £4,200 which is exactly what I am claiming back in unlawful charges. It's quite obvious of course what they are trying to do. I have written back to them saying of course you are quite aware this account is in dispute and I have issued a County Court claim for these charges, and that in fact I don't owe Natwest anything, rather they owe me £4,200! I am enjoying all this it is quite hilarious.
However, since I've sent this letter off, I received a letter from Moorcroft their debt collectors saying I had 7 days to pay the full amount or they would start litigation proceedings. Oh hilarious. I have written back to them informing them that this account is already in dispute and until it is resolved they are not able to proceed with any legal action. I have further pointed out to them that this matter is already before the courts, and that Natwest are the Defendants!! I am not in any way intimidated by these people they are pathetic.
Now, since my letter to Natwest rejecting their "kind" offer, I have received in the post a service of the Defendant's Defence from Cobblers.
So far there has been no mention of CPR Pt 18, and I have had a good look at the thread regarding this. I am aware of the stalling tactics employed by Cobblers, but I wanted to post the full Defence here so that everyone might have a look - I'm trying to deciphere the legal diaorrhea and to see also if anyone else has received this particular Defence. I didn't file my claim MCOL rather as an N1 so perhaps that's why I haven't recieved a CPR request, or maybe that's on it's way!!
Anyway - here it is in all it's ridiculous entirety -
1. This Defence is filed and served without prejudice to the Defendant's case that the Particulars of Claim do not disclose reasonable grounds for bringing a claim against the Claimant to recover the bank charges (and interest thereon) referred to in the Particulars of Claim or any other sum(s). In the event that the Claim is not properly particularised then the Defendant will apply to strike out the claim and/or for summary judgement in respect of the same.
2. On allocation the Defendant invites the Court to direct that there be a case management conference in order for the Court to consider the making of appropriate orders to give the Claimant the opportunity to properly particularise the claim.
3. No admissions are made as to what charges have been debited to the Claimant's bank account.
4. In relation to the allegation that the contractural provisions pursuant to which the charges have been applied are unenforceable by virtue of the Unfaire Contract Terms Act 1977 ("UTCS 1997") and/or the Unfair Contract Terms in Consumer Regulations 1999 ("the Regulations") and/or the commonlaw, the Claimant is required to identify:
4.1 a the sections of the unfair contract terms act 1977 b the regulations of the unfair contract terms in consumer regulations and c the principles of comon law relied upon by the Claimant inalleging tha tthe contractural provision(s) referred to are unenforaceable; and
4.2 the contactural provision(s) that the Claimant allege are invalid by reference to the UCTA 1977 and/or the Regulations.
Until such time as these sections/regulations/provisons are identified the Defendant cannot (save as appears below) plead to the allegation referred to in paragraph 4 above. The Defendant therefore reserves its right to plead further to the allegation once (and if) the Claimant identifies the relevant contractural information.
5. In relation to the case of the Claimant that the charges are unreasonable within the meaning of section 15 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 ("SGSA") the Defendant pleads as follows:
5.1 The Claimant is required to please and prove the necessary factors (referred to in section 15 SGSA) concerning the contract between the Claimant and the Defendant which mean that pursuant to SGSA section 15 there is an implied term that the Claimant pay a reasonable charge for service under the contract.
5.2 Further, the Claimant is required to plead and prove a) that the bank charges which have been debited are unreasonable; b) all facts and matters relied upon by the Claimant in support of this case and c) what charges would have been reasonable. (!!!)
5.3 In the circumstances no grounds are disclosed for a claim that the Defendant has acted in breach of SGSA section 15.
5.4 In the circumstances (save as appears below) the Defendant is unablel to plead to this allegation beyond denying that it has acted in breach of SGSA section 15 as alleged or at all. The Defendant reserves its right to plead further to this allegation once (and if) the defects in the pleaded case referred to in paragraphs 5.1-5.3 above are addressed.
5.5 It is the case of the Defendant that the contract between the Claimant and the Defendant does not fall within SGSA section 15 because a) the consideration for the service would be determined by the contract between the Claimant and the Defendant and b) was not left to be determined in a manner agreed by the contract or determined by the course of dealings between the Claimant and the Defendant.
6. Save as hereinbefore appears the Defendant joins issue with the Claimant on the claim(s) and denies that it is liable to the Claimant as alleged or at all.
Well I haven't digested the full extent of the defence but it seems to be saying that - I haven't properly particularised the claim in the POC - which is absolute rubbish and is a known Cobblers tactic, that I must state exactly what acts or law I am relying on - which of course they are fully aware of it's in the POC and they state it themselves, the most amusing defence is the bit where they seem to be saying in 5.2 that it is me that is required to prove that the charges are unreasonable!!!! IT is of course up to them to prove that the charges are reasonable - and in fact I must ask them to disclose exactly what charges they actually do incurr...
Anyway if anyone could shed any further light on this it would be most appreciated. It's interesting that Cobblers have sent this to me direct - I would expect the Court would send this to me in due course. I consider it an intimidatory tactic by them to send it to me first. Basically any correspondence they send to me I do not acknowledge or respond to - I will only respond and deal with the Court - it is them that have the power not the Defendant's Solicitors!!!
Has anyone else received this particular Defence?
Will let you know what happens in the next step!!
Thanks all and POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!