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  1. I have an old business debt which I thought had been paid off. I have received no communication from the company that I owe the money to, to say that it's still outstanding, I've just received notice N271 to say it's been referred to my local county court for enforcement. Am I correct in thinking that I can complete form N245 and send it to the court so that I can start repaying the debt as originally agreed? What do I do if the bailiffs come in the meantime, as the court are currently working on stuff received 10 days ago. Many Thanks
  2. pleade delete
  3. This is a long one. We were sold a cooker in April 2010 - when we were there they said the cooker had the gas safety shut off, about 4 months later we came home and the dog hadknocked the gas on and there was no shut off! something I was so instantant about at the time. It took me battling until Jan 2011 to get this sorted, which was only done by the issue of a court claim, where legal services, finally acknowledged me , and it was exchanged for one with the FSD. Right the agreement not to take any further action was they would come and fit it,they would also supply me with an extended cover. They refunded the origin alone, and issued me a new policy which was valid until 2016 (5 year cover) Last night I got home and put the kids dinner in and then went back 1/2 hour later and was not cooked at all, the oven had packed up. Called the "whatever happens" and was told my policy was cancelled their end by Philip! no one can tell me why, no one can help. legal services cannot take calls as no one has their number, BUT they have said for £200 they will come and look at it! I’vebeen in the store they says it’s a mistake, I have emailed legal services, but do not expect a reply as didn’t get one until it was due to go to court. I donot know what to do 17 month £600 cooker not working, HELP. they have never told me the "new" policy was cancelled and it looks like they have cancelled them in error but not helping one bit!! I really really need advice, if anyone can help me I would be very grateful. I can’treally wait all the time it took before, and at the moment can’t afford a newone! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR-
  4. Had an accident about 7 weeks ago and seem to be having one problem after another with my claim. I was not provided with the hire car I had paid for in my policy. After 5 weeks of constant complaining I was finally given a hire car with no explanation or apology for the 5 weeks I had to go without. I received a letter from Hastings 2 weeks ago to confirm that the other party had admitted liability and that they had waived my excess and allowed my no claims bonus. However, I have now received my renewal letter from Hastings which does not take into account the 4 years no claims that I should have. After speaking with Hastings they are now telling me that I will not be given my no claims bonus until they have received all the costs from the other side. The letter they have sent out saying that they are allowing my no claims bonus is therefore clearly false. I am now in a position where I will have to renew my policy with Hastings or I will lose my 4 years no claims bonus! They have said that if I stay with them they will reduce the car insurance accordingly when all the costs are finally recovered but they will not provide me with any proof of my no claims to enable me to get my insurance elsewhere. My car was a total loss and I was given a valuation which was unacceptable. This was referred to their revaluation department who I was told would be in touch within 8 working days to provide me with a new valuation. Over three weeks later and after much chasing up I have still heard nothing. I was also told that an interim cheque for the initial valuation had been sent out to me over two weeks ago. I was told after chasing this up a week later that the cheque had been sent and therefore it must have been lost in the post. They have said that they have reissued and sent out a new cheque, but again this has not been received. The staff on their claims line are unhelpful and when you ask to speak to a manager or someone more senior you are told that even though there are managers in the office they will not speak to you. Apparently it is there procedure that someone will call you back 24 hours later. I have asked for a manger to do this on several occasions and have received no calls. I made a formal complaint over four weeks ago and have heard nothing from Hastings. Am fed up stressed and left wondering what i've actually paid them for.
  5. In the case of McCrossan & Gould v Black Horse Ltd the borrowers had taken out a loan for £16,000 from the lender in order to pay existing debts owed to various creditors. The loan was secured against the borrowers' home. The borrowers also took out a loan to pay the one-off premium for the payment protection insurance (PPI) they had decided to purchase. The borrowers brought proceedings against the lender claiming that they should not be held to their PPI contract. Their first claim was for misrepresentation. The borrowers argued they had been told that unless they took and paid for PPI, they would not be able to obtain their requested loan. Needless to say, what actually happened at the meeting was disputed. However, the court found in favour of the lender. The borrowers' second claim was for breach of statutory duty relating to the assessment of their "demands and needs". The judge found that the PPI recommended by the lender was suitable and there was no breach of the Insurance Code of Business (ICOB) rules. Finally, the borrowers alleged there was an unfair relationship between them and the lender because the PPI was an expensive and unsatisfactory product. Again, this complaint was wholly rejected by the court. The loan agreement provided that PPI was an optional extra The loan agreement was divided into two sections, intended to cover two distinct loans - the principal sum to be borrowed and the PPI. The loan agreement contained a tick-box next to the words "I wish to purchase optional payment protection plan". That part of the loan additional to the principal sum, £16,000, was described on the form as the "payment protection plan". In the judge's opinion, ticking the box could only indicate a decision to take the additional loan. Equally, the taking of the PPI and the loan to finance it was, at least on the face of the agreement, clearly an optional extra. In cross-examination, Mr McCrossan accepted that he had ticked the box after he had initially left it blank. Beneath the tick-box, wording specified that the borrowers understood they were purchasing the products on credit and that those terms could be found in the agreement. The agreement also included the borrowers' right to cancel the PPI, which if exercised, would result in reduced payments relating to the sum borrowed to fund the PPI premium. The payment protection plan was optional, not a condition of taking out credit and could have been cancelled at any time The right to cancel was also set out in the payment protection plan policy document issued by the lender. Additionally, the policy document expressly stated that the payment protection plan, was optional and not a condition of taking out the credit. Allegations by the borrower The borrowers alleged that the lender's employee had told them that PPI was not optional and had to be taken in order to secure the loan. This allegation was made despite the fact that both the loan agreement and protection plan set out express provisions regarding PPI. The issue for the court was whether the lender's employee had misrepresented the true position. In relation to the "demands and needs questionnaire", the borrowers agreed that the relevant questions had been discussed with them. However, they alleged their answer to one of the questions had been incorrectly recorded. According to Mr McCrossan, he had spoken to the lender on two separate occasions in order to cancel the PPI. The lender denied any misrepresentation. The relevant employee was no longer employed by the lender and consequently another employee (Mr Starling) gave evidence on behalf of the lender. He took the court through the lender's standard 'script' which employees would be expected (and trained) to follow in similar circumstances. No misrepresentation by lender - borrowers' evidence rejected Importantly, before considering whether the alleged misrepresentation took place, the judge reminded himself that "the PPI was (having regard to the standard documentation issued by Black Horse) clearly intended by the creditor to be optional." The judge found that Mr McCrossan's requests to cancel the PPI were inconsistent with his evidence that the PPI was a condition of obtaining the loan. Similarly, the judge found that Mr McCrossan's admission that he had ticked the relevant box to opt-in to the "optional payment protection plan" was also contradictory. The judge was very clear on the conflicting versions of what happened at the relevant meeting: "I reject the evidence of the borrowers that they were told that the PPI was mandatory." Further, he found that "Insofar as there is a conflict between the documents produced by Black Horse as explained by Mr Starling, and the evidence of the borrowers, I prefer on each occasion the evidence of Black Horse and Mr Starling." In particular, the judge accepted that the "needs and demands questionnaire" recorded accurately the responses given by the borrowers. No breach of the ICOB rules - questionnaire is sufficient - no loss to borrowers in any event The borrowers also alleged that the lender had breached the mandatory provisions of the ICOB rules in two respects. The first related to the suitability of the PPI. The relevant factual issues were whether the lender had taken reasonable steps to ensure that the PPI was suitable for the "demands and needs" of the borrowers. This was dependent on the lender obtaining relevant information and details from the borrowers and explaining to them the duty to disclose relevant information. The second aspect was the lender's requirement to have regard to the cost of the PPI when considering suitability. The judge referred to the High Court decision in Harrison v Black Horse, which we discussed in our alert at the time where it was established that the lender must have regard to cost where cost is relevant to a borrower's demands and needs. The judge concluded there had been no breach since cost had not appeared to be relevant to the borrowers' needs. The judge found that the lender's employee had properly dealt with the demands and needs questionnaire. The PPI was suitable for the needs of the borrowers "as the borrowers revealed them" and the questionnaire was sufficient in establishing there had been no breach of the duty to ensure suitability. Importantly, as with Harrison, the judge commented in this latest case that if he was wrong and on the facts there had been a breach of the ICOB rules, it would not have resulted in any loss to the borrowers. Accordingly, the claim would fail. No unfair relationship Finally, the borrowers asserted that the relationship between them and the lender was an "unfair relationship" (pursuant to the Credit Consumer Act 1974) because the PPI was an expensive and unsatisfactory product. The judge referred to the Harrison Court of Appeal judgment mentioned above, which provides guidance on unfair relationships. In brief, HHJ Bird summarised various overarching criteria for determining whether a relationship is unfair. He confirmed that the "relationship", and not the agreement, between the parties must be deemed to be unfair. Further, although the requisite "unfairness" is unfairness to the borrower, regard should be had to the creditor. Lastly, the court should not resort to a "visceral instinct that the relevant conduct is beyond the Pale." Applying the principles set out in Harrison, the judge concluded that the lender had no need to discuss the cost of PPI when considering suitability of the product. The judge commented that the "borrowers opted for the PPI, knowing its cost, how the premium was to be funded and the cover it provided. The borrowers chose to insure against the risk of a future inability to pay, and the lender properly established what the demands and needs of the borrowers were". Ultimately, the judge had "no difficulty in concluding that there was no unfair relationship in the present case". Comment On paper, this case did not look very promising. The original salesperson was no longer employed by the lender and the cost of the PPI appeared high. This was a secured loan and the lender had to follow the correct procedure. The borrowers had the 'consideration period' afforded by section 58 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It is very difficult for borrowers to credibly assert that they were rushed into the transaction or didn't know what they were signing up for. This is yet another example of a court preferring the evidence of a compliance analyst from a lender over the first-hand account of borrowers. Even in cases where the original sales person has been called to give evidence, rarely do they remember the particular transaction. More often, they can only testify to the sales process and their training - the same evidence that the lender's compliance analyst gave in this case. The first appeal judgment of HHJ Waksman QC in Harrison v Black Horse is still very useful for trial judges hearing these sorts of cases. This judgment considers in some detail the provisions of the ICOB rules. The trial judge here applied this in deciding that cost was not relevant to suitability under the ICOB rules. The insurance here looked expensive costing £13,949.01. The judge reserved his judgment and considered the Court of Appeal judgment in Harrison where Lord Justice Tomlinson said: "In any other context the suggestion that the charging of a high price for a product freely and readily available more cheaply elsewhere in the market is indicative of unfairness in the relationship between seller and buyer would be met with incomprehension". The claimants had been unable to show that cost was relevant. Lenders facing these claims need to be able to hold their nerve. The Court of Appeal decision in Harrison is not enough for lenders to win these cases. This is because the issue of fact as to whether PPI was mandatory or optional will need to be determined on the facts of each individual case. The borrowers could have taken their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS would have dealt with it using a different set of criteria which is far more favourable to claimants than a court process. In many ways, these cases are less about obtaining damages for clients and are more about generating profit costs for solicitors instructed by Claims Management Companies. In Dickinson v Black Horse, on appeal, HHJ Kay QC branded an order for costs of nearly £30,000 on a £2,000 claim "a quite staggering sum". Here the costs schedule served before trial sought a sum in excess of £10,000 but this is usually an understatement as it omits success fees and "after the event" (ATE) insurance premiums. We frequently see costs claims for £30,000, £40,000 or over £50,000 for simple, low value claims. It is not surprising that the Government has now acted to ban these arrangements in the future. On 24 May 2012, Mr Jonathan Djanogly MP, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice announced that Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) will be brought into force in April 2013. From this date, successful claimants will have to pay any success fee and ATE insurance premium from their damages. It will no longer be possible to recover them from the losing party. So, if a similar case involving a post-April 2013 Conditional Fee Arrangement was heard and a court found in favour of the claimants, then on the same facts as this case, the claimants would not receive any compensation. This is because it would all be taken to pay their insurers or solicitors. Once LASPO is in force, these speculative court claims should finally start to dry up. Link: http://www.wragge.com/analysis_8770.asp
  6. HI all, me again. Just a couple of quick questions regarding the dreaded ESA50,,,,, 1, I've just received one and have just rung the dwp about my last form asking when the decision was made, he said it was made 18/10/11, so it's over six months so they must have given me 12 months esa, well to my thinking. When I asked him why I've received the form 4 months early he couldn't answer and said he'd get someone to ring me to discuss my concerns. Has anyone had this happen? 2, I notice that the form came from ATOS and has to be sent back to them, is this usual practice? I thought the esa50 went to a decision maker not ATOS? Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanx Jimi
  7. I have posted details before of bailiffs being found guilty of THEFT !!! Here is yet ANOTHER ONE....... If you cannot trust a bailiff.......who can you trust.... What is the world coming to !!! http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ipswich_bailiff_stole_4_500_to_fund_gambling_addiction_1_1356897
  8. One person has been late for work 12 times in the last month. The same person is late for work at least twice a week every week. When this person is late i am landed with a less favourable role to carry out as a direct result. When this person is late they do not "sign in" at all. I have frequently brought this up in supervision (for nearly a year) but nothing appears to be getting done. What can i do? I'm never late for work and this is getting me down.
  9. Hi, I am also having problems with David Lloyd. However, I am not sure if I am in the wrong or not... I joined in June 2011 on a 12 month contract.. This year I have really struggled financially after my partner being made redundant (I only work part time), and I sent a recorded letter in Feb this year stating I wished to end my membership and that I would pay Feb bill and then cancel the direct debit. I had a phone call saying the letter had been recieved but that I needed to pay the full 12 months. I was sent a letter in Oct 2011 saying the Ts&Cs had changed, and checked them online. I found no mention of a 12 months obligation and that the contract could be cancelled any time after 3 months. It was on this that I cancelled my membership. I notice that the Ts&Cs have changed again this year, though I recieved no notification of it, back to saying that the first 12 months must be paid for. David Lloyd are phoning me all the time to arrange a payment, as are ARC. I can't afford to pay, nor can I pay the £70 admin fees they are adding on (I'm not even sure if that is legal?) Today I was sent a letter saying that ARC are going to issue court proceedings. Will I need to pay the £191 they are asking for, and the further £50 they have randomly added on? And does anyone have a copy of the 2011 T&Cs? My hardrive crashed and I lost mine.
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