I wanted to share my story with you all, hopefully you will find something useful here.
Last week I went to court and had the case thrown out by the judge due to "fundamental errors in the claimants case".
As I know Lowell's read this forum
- and because I have another case pending against them
- I am going to be vague in some respects,
but hopefully there will be enough information to help someone out there win against them.
Over 15 years ago I worked for a well known credit card company.
Shortly after I left, I took out a card with them.
The card was operated normally,
payments were made every month
and when I no longer needed it,
I paid off the balance and closed the account.
All good, no problems.
I even remember when activating the card,
reading back the customer service ops speech they have to read new cardholders.
We both thought it was funny at the time that I remembered the entire speech word for word by memory.
A few years go by and I receive a claim form from the County Court Business Centre on behalf of Lowell,
claiming i owed a large amount of money on the card,
the debt had been sold to them,
they had sent all the required documents and notices
and as I had not responded they had no option other than to issue proceedings against me.
The only problem is,
I had received no letters,
no notices of assignment,
The first I heard of it was when the claim form landed on the doorstep.
I immediately contested the claim and sent letters to Lowell demand they prove the debt.
I sent several letters over a few months.
Lowell ignored all of them.
I included statutory fees where applicable and sent those letters record delivery.
I gave Lowell's more than the required amount of time to respond,
after which the debt becomes unenforceable anyway,
but I was not interested in that.
I wanted my day in court.
I received their witness statement a few days before appearing in court.
It contained one of the letters I wrote,
some of the documents I requested and several others they were using to prove their case.
Being in mind the amount of time passed since closing the account, I no longer had any statements.
I didn't care.
I literally walked into the judges chambers with a copy of the letters I had sent and a notepad, nothing else.
No other documents, nothing at all to prove my case.
Their solicitor walked in with their witness statement, a bundle of documents and enough details to bury me.
I wasn't concerned at all.
Because I was representing myself,
the judge explained how the case was going to be handled,
what I had to do,
and that it was normal in his court for the claimant to offer their evidence first.
I said I understood and sat in silence while the solicitor gave all the details about how I denied ever having a card,
how I obviously was lying as the account statement clearly showed transactions in and out of the account.
They showed copies of all the letters they said I was sent which would comply with their legal obligations
and even said I was lying about working for the credit card company.
They even produced a letter from the HR dept saying no one with my name or details had ever been employed by them.
Back on their evidence,
I was not only guilty,
I was also guilty of contempt as I had sworn in my rebuttal statement that everything I was saying was true.
I just sat and waited patiently for my turn.
The judge allowed the solicitor to finish and then read from his notes to give a summary of the points they had raised.
He asked if the summary he just read was an accurate representation of the facts just given and we both agreed.
Then it was my turn.
The first thing I said was that I never denied having the card.
I actually had it with me and held it up saying "here it is".
I then held up my company id badge which had their logo, an expiry date (long expired) and my photo on it.
I explained that I was never employed by the company,
but as is the case with most of their staff,
I was an agency employee.
The judge noticed I had no documents with me and asked me why.
I said I had requested documents from the claimant which would be able to prove there was no debt to sell, but they had never replied to them.
Their solicitor said no letters were received,
despite one of them being included as evidence in their own witness statement,
with the recorded delivery sticker on it.
I told the judge I had operated the account normally,
and requested he look at the claimants statement of account they included as evidence.
This clearly showed things in my favour and he agreed.
I apologized to the judge for not preparing any more than I had and said I was prepared to defend myself based solely on the documents offered as evidence against me by the claimant.
He asked if I was sure and said he would be happy to adjourn.
I said I was sure.
I asked the judge to turn to the default statement supposedly sent to me and to look at the amount claimed on the default.
I mentioned that it was a completely different amount to the amount claimed as due.
I then asked the judge to turn to another default notice,
again this had another completely different number on it.
I asked the judge to add together the TOTAL amount spent on the card,
ignoring any money paid back in repayments.
That figure did not even come close to the amount claimed I owed.
I then asked the judge to look at the amount claimed on the claim form.
Every single number was different.
Not just slightly different,
not just a fat-finger typo,
but vastly different.
The judge demanded they explain how they calculated the amount they said I owed.
They could not.
I finally asked the judge to look at a certain date on the account statement used as evidence by the claimant.
That clearly showed I made a full and final repayment,
and that I had made no transactions after that.
He accepted that was true and that I owed no money at all.
Their solicitor just sat there squirming through the whole thing.
The judge stated that as I had proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I closed the account with a zero balance,
and because of a series of fundamental errors with the claimants evidence,
there was no case to answer and it was struck out in my favour.
I am currently waiting for a letter from the court detailing the judgement so I can start getting defaults removed and make repairs to my credit files.
Do not be afraid if you get court claims from them.
Most of the time (based on my experiences and reading those of others here)
their information is incorrect,
incomplete or just plain made up.
Fight it with the help of people here,
and if it does get as far as a court room,
you will more than likely win.
I went in with no evidence other than what was provided against me, and still won. You will too.