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  1. We are being chased for a council tax bill from 2010. The council says they had commenced action within a couple of years of the bill becoming due but the bailiffs were unable to collect. To date the council have provided no information as to the court order or why they were unable to collect. I believe this is now a statute barred debt but I have already received two letters through the door by bailiffs chasing this debt. How should I proceed? Jb2019
  2. Dear all I wonder if you can help? Last week I received a letter from our friends at MMF chasing a quick quid loan and threatening a CCJ. This made me take my head out of the sand and decide to do something – but I fear I might be too late I had 15 loans from QQ from December 2010 to the last one in (which was an extension of an existing loan taken out in Dec 2011) in March 2012, which I didn’t pay to break the cycle. I have paid over £3k in interest. I took a loan out every month which was an increase or an extension. At the time they lent to me, whilst I was on a good salary, due to mental health issues I was in total financial disarray. I was on a DMP with debts of approx. £38k, I had 8 defaults and also debts with Wonga (written off) and Payday UK (paid in full). QQ never reported a default to any CRA (although they did send me a default notice y email in june 2012) to be honest with sorting out all the other messes I conveniently forgot about them until MMF kindly got in touch. further to the MMF letter I wrote to QQ to complain about IL and had a standard template reply saying its past 6 years so we don’t have to do anything go to the FOS. I also wrote to MMF informing them I didn’t acknowledge the debt, that the account was in dispute and asking for the loan agreement. They have agreed to put the account on hold for 30 days. So my questions are 1) is it worth going to the FOS after all this time? I have evidence of my financial state at the time as kept a couple of old Credit reports, I could get bank statements (not sure if they will help my case due to my salary and borrowing) but cant do this until pay day, 2) have I now acknowledged the debt by putting the claim in thus resetting the clock 3) as I paid to extend the loan in march 2012 does this count as a new loan (asking as this would be under the 6 year mark?) 4) would it be worth just offering MMF a low FFS figure I really do want to avoid a CCJ or default or do they have to wait for the FOS complaint I have worked so hard for the last 10 years to pull myself out of this mess and am nearly at the finishing line , I really don’t want to give up without a fight. TBH i dont want any cash back just acknowledgement that the last loan is unenforceable
  3. Hi All, I have been a regular reader of the forums in recent years and have now decided to sign up as I am in the early stages of what I feel is going to be a long, drawn-out process with Nissan regarding my Qashqai. I purchased a 2010 Nissan Qashqai 1.5dci Acenta from CarGiant in June 2013 with 32K Miles on the clock. The car came with 2 Nissan Main Dealer service stamps in the book, plus an additional service/check from CG. I have had the car serviced at the recommended intervals set out by Nissan albeit by my local garage (with receipts/history provided). The car has given me 2 years trouble-free motoring up to June 2015 when it needed a new clutch, in my opinion prematurely but c'est la vie! Anyway, whilst driving to visit family this past Thursday (February 18th), the car suddenly lost power and I managed to get it off the road and call a recovery service. The recovery driver suspected cam belt failure and so I opted to have the car recovered to my local Nissan main dealer as I felt that the cam belt has snapped prematurely. The dealer confirmed that the belt had indeed failed and it would cost me £114 for the diagnosis, but if I wanted them to strip the engine down to inspect further damage this would cost another £450+ in labour. At this point I explained that I would expect Nissan to accept some kind of ownership of the problem as the stated cam belt change intervals of '100k miles or 72 months' (quoted by initial service clerk) had not been met. The clerk told me that he would speak with the service manager and get back to me today. He called me this morning to explain that the dealership would offer no gesture of goodwill as the car was not known to them. I explained that it was known to Nissan though and if they were trading under the Nissan badge then it should not matter. Anyway, he was polite enough and was just acting as the mouthpiece for his manager who obviously did not have the tacks to call me and explain himself, so I thanked him but then asked again what the cam belt change intervals were for my vehicle. He then went off to speak to a technician and eventually came back and said "76K miles or 6 years". This contradicts his colleague and also he kept referring to a timing 'chain'. I know from research that my particular engine is belt driven, not chain like all other Nissan engines. So, my next option was to call Nissan Customer Care to raise a case, which I have done today and have been given a 48-hour timeframe for a case manager to contact me. I have read various stories of the same issue, Nissan apparently issued a recall for due to the timing belt rubbing against the water pump but I can't seem to find the recall on the VOSA website. I've also read on various other forums that the cars that were recalled were inspected only for the belt to fail a short time after. The results seem to be mixed, some people receiving no gesture of goodwill at all, some receiving an offer of Nissan to cover the cost of parts and some actually getting the full repair done free of charge. The concern for me is simple - I can't afford the estimated £6k cost to replace the engine which is inevitable as I was travelling at around 50mph when the fault occurred and I've not read of a similar story that hasn't required a replacement engine. My other concern is that Nissan do not seem to be able to give me a conclusive schedule for having the cam belt changed! Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  4. Hello, l am wondering if anyone could possibly give me any advice, my partner and l have arrears with our mortgage company, this was caused by my partner having his work hour's cut, (actually he was one of the lucky few who wasn't laid off), the arrears total £1800, we have spoken to Capstone who were supposed to ring us back to make an arrangement to pay our monthly amount plus some off arrears, their phoning us was to work out how much we can pay back comfortably, they never rang but we have had a letter stating that the arrears must be paid or they will go for repossession, we have had this once before and Capstone phoned us 2 weeks later as were continued making payments of our monthly amount plus between £150-£200 pound off arrears, (l panicked and gave them all my carers allowance and my sons disability money for 3 months) they tried to make me state l would pay £800 a month on top of the monthly payment, which l couldn't do! To cut a long story short l am tired of misleading phone calls and from now on will only communicate via mail, am l able to send Capstone a budget sheet l have filled in myself rather than give all my financial details over the phone? They insist it can only be done over the phone! The annoying part is that we will have these arrears more than cleared before it would even get to go to court for a repo, Capstone don't seem interested in this, just in how much they can get out of us now. l shall continue to make payments of at least the minimum monthly payment and whatever we can toward the arrears regardless. lm sorry for the long post, my partner is so depressed and is becoming suicidal, l am determined that these company's will not have such a negative affect on my family. We had many a sleepless night before this notice arrived, we feel like we may as well be talking to a brick wall. Rachel.
  5. CAG Newsletter - October 2010 01 -October 2010 Newsletter.pdf CAG Newsletter - November 2010 02 - November 2010 Newsletter.pdf CAG Newsletter - December 2010 03 - December 2010 Newsletter.pdf
  6. Hi CAG, There is a known hardware fault amongst Apple and the Apple community in relation to my Apple MacBook Pro model (Mid 2010) whereby a hardware panic during the dynamic graphics card switching causes the MacBook to crash. I got in touch with Apple Support who advised that my MacBook is now considered as "Vintage" and so replacement parts are no longer manufactured, nor am I able to send it to Apple for repair. This fault has been reported to Apple many times from other owners, but I have never received contact from Apple to recall my laptop or advise me that there is a certain time period to receive a repair until it is deemed "Vintage". I am now left with a faulty laptop that constantly crashes, unfit for purpose and looses my work if I haven't pressed save before the laptop decides to crash. So, the only option for me now is to replace the laptop. During my call with Apple Support I asked if they are able to replace the laptop or even discount a new laptop to offset my faulty one. They advised that I need to visit an Apple Store and raise it with them there. I do not have any stores close to me, so before I decide to make the journey to one, would anyone able to offer advice as to where I stand with a replacement be it at a discount?
  7. HI...Brand new to this forum but hoping for guidance. In 2010 I started to get correspondence from VCS stating I had parked outside the bays at Valley C entertainment Leisure Fund. I had no clue what this was about and wrote to them to explain my number plates had been previously stolen and that I suspected this was who had broken their parking rules . I even gave them the crime reference number. I still got letters and calls from them and some legal team I think but eventually they stopped. I presumed the message had finally got through. Today I get a lett from BW Legal saying VCS Ltd have instructed them in relation to the pcn....plus initial legal costs the demand is £174. I no longer have any of the details from 2010.. ..so any guidance on how to proceed would be welcomed. Thanks vry much.
  8. Hi, My friend recently found that his employer from 2009/2010 hadn't registered him with HMRC PAYE but they have deducted the paye and NI from his salary and gave him payslips. Also the company was dissolved somewhere in 2012/2013 and noway he could contact them. He only found out when he inquired hmrc about his employment history for the past 6 years which he needed for his visa application. How can he update hmrc records with this employment when the employer can not be found? What is the best resolution for him? Thanks.
  9. Hi, My 2010 Renault Megane decided to stop on the way to work this morning. Recovery vehicle took it to a garage and diagnosed a cam-belt failure / rebuild costing minimum £1500. Having looked around on various motoring sites some people suggest this will have damaged the engine and require potentially, a whole new one at £4000+ I have full Renault service history and got them to do a 40 point check before the warranty expired in March of this year. I was told everything was fine. So my question is... Where do I stand legally on this as I know Renault will say 'Sorry, out of warranty'. I have never been entirely happy with the car and taken it back a few times to get them to take a look but always been told it's fine. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.
  10. Meriva purchased three years ago, good little car. Started developing an intermittent immobiliser fault three months ago. Failed to start at home RAC called. RAC could not diagnose problem as car would not "communicate" with their diagnostic system, apparently common fault with Vauxhall. Had it looked at by our usual mechanic, again could not be diagnosed. Car started intermittently. Contacted Vauxhall garage had to wait until the immobiliser came on but also had to book an appointment to co-inside with it breaking down! Eventually car again refused to start at home, contacted RAC taken to Vauxhall garage, which is another story! Apparently no fault recorded on system. VG removed immobiliser and Engine Management Unit and checked wiring. Put back together and car started. However could not find the fault. I was told that they could change both the immobiliser and the EMU at a cost of around £800 + VAT but there would be no guarantee that it would cure the problem. Explained to them that the immobiliser would come on again as this was how it had been. They insisted that I collected the car and that I paid £42 for the diagnostic test. I insisted that I should leave the car with them until the problem was sorted. Apparently the fault could not be diagnosed until the immobiliser came on again. I contacted Vauxhall customer complaints and posted on Facebook. Absolutely useless. I contacted the Managing Director who passed me to the Complaints Director. The eventual suggestion was that I return the car to the VG and a team would be sent to look at the car....at my expense! I collected the car and needless to say it is now stuck outside my home with the immobiliser coming on and for no reason intermittently starting. I am unable to drive it anywhere for fear of not getting home and I can't keep calling RAC. I say that the car is not fit for purpose as the inbuilt system to diagnose the fault has failed. I have legal insurance should I sue Vauxhall or has anyone else had the same problem? Help please?
  11. I would be so grateful if I could get some advice please as to how to proceed. I have been through the forums and managed to totally confuse myself now and am panicking over what we should do. A CCJ claim form arrived for my Husband in regard to a Lloyds CC debt dating back to 2010. The original debt was for £1250.19 and has now increased to £1619.82. He knows he owes them money. They might owe him money to in regard to the charges piled onto this cc account including a monthly cc insurance protection fee. The question is how to proceed and after reading through some of the threads I am not at all sure now. If he completes N9A does that mean that he would have no recourse to claim back any monies owed to him? Sorry if I am rambling but I have managed to get myself into a right state over this. I have a long term illness and he looks after me I want to help him as much as I can.
  12. Dear All, Following with reference to Regulations 2003,2005 and 2006 I believe I have a case to pursue to obtain my ILR which I was denied in June 2010 due to poor Representations and also I had no clue of any immigration laws and Regulations at that time only relied of my rep. The real issue is we were given Leave to Remain in 12 March 2015 base on Article 8 through my 14 years old daughter ( 7 years Rule Concession) who came to join me with her mother in September 2003 after a long legal battle Represented by a reputable firm. We won the case (Leave to Remain) at the First Tier Tribunal on 29 June 2014 but Home Office decided to appeal so the case was in Upper Tribunal this year after two sittings which did not yield any results and was adjourned on 27 Feb 2015 for further notice after I raised the issue that I had an outstanding application with the Home Office that was not dealt with. Whiles we are waiting the Home Office performed a U-turn and issued us with the Leave to Remain to be renewed 4 times on 2 and half years bases after which we can apply for ILR. Please Note: About the outstanding application which I think HO did not deal with it. if I am wrong please advice: 1. My last leave to Remain as a Student was expiring in 30 June 2010. so I applied for ILR alone on 10 June 2010 using SET(O) paid the required fees of £840 and acknowledge letter received from HO. 2. On 29 June 2010 I applied for Leave to Remain for my self and 3 dependants (wife and 2 daughters now 14 and 5 years respectively). Also, paid required separate fees of £751 and acknowledge letter received from HO. 3. on 26 July HO refused my ILR based on gap in residency in 2005, 2006 and 2009 due to payment issues. 4. Only 2009 that had 2 problems: one is payment and two is 4 days overstayed according to HO. 5. In 2009 my Student visa expired on 23 January 2009 so I submitted my application with College enrolment letter dated 22/01/2009 and the Cheque for payment also dated 22/01/2009 and posted the application to HO on that same day 22/01/2009 but HO claimed to receive my application on 27/01/2009. unfortunately, I could not and cannot find the proof of postage, but as for the payment HO claimed I paid with Credit/debit Card which was not true. I paid with cheque and I made photocopy of that application and the Cheque and I still have them. 6. On 16 August 2010 a lady called from HO to enquire about the second application (29 June 2010) and I said to her is for Leave to Remain/Discretionary Leave to Remain. She then ask me if I would appeal against the ILR refusal? I said to her I have given the refusal letter to my Solicitor. So she ask me to find out and that she would call again next day. I contacted my solicitor who said the appeal is done because the deadline was 10/08/2010. But the HO lady did not call again. At the moment, although HO had issued us with Leave to Remain but case is still in Upper Tribunal and the Tribunal want to know if there is any case that I want to pursue because the Tribunal is aware of HO U-turn. 1. My question is can I raise my ILR issue again? 2. Do I still have outstanding application? 3. Do I have a case of success in my ILR claim? 4. How do I go about this if I choose to pursue it? Please your advice needed and thanks for reading this lengthy story. God Bless you all.
  13. I invited a local estate agent to view my property for evaluation in early May 2010. I also invited another agent for the same purpose a week later. I invited agent (a) to revisit my home to take the listing. They backdated their signature on the Sales Agreement by nine days, without my knowledge or authorisation. My signature reflected the correct date of the Sales Agreement. The agent did not advise me that by placing my initials in a box contained within the Terms and Conditions of the HIP Pack, I was waiving my rights to the seven day "cooling off" period. They said that they had me do this so that they could proceed with the HIP which was abolished six days after I had signed the Sales Agreement, leaving me liable for the cost of the HIP and their listing fees, should I change my my during that seven day period. They instructed their own conveyancing solicitors to send a questionnaire re the HIP Pack. It was dated the 18 May 2010. giving no time for me to process the paperwork and send it back to them before the HIP Packs were abolished on the 20 May, 2010. Three years later, they started to pursue me for the cost of the HIP Pack. They took the matter to court. I was unaware of the action because they did not send me a copy of their Directions Questionnaire. The Judgment arrived in April 2015. There had been no demand for payment of the HIP Pack and their Listing Fees, + VAT until 2013. I have successfully had the judgment stayed. The other party did not show up in court. They have until the 31st July, 2015 to respond to the Court. After that date has elapsed, the case will be struck out. They continued to list it until end 2011, when they removed it from their listings as they said that my property was too expensive, and had not negotiated a more realistic selling price. There were no negotiations during that listing period, and they had recommended the asking price! I had already reduced the price in 2010, at their request, and then relisted with them in 2011, at their suggested figure, which was £15,000 over the previous year. Following the Judgment, the estate agent sent the sheriffs to me, ignoring the Court's Stay of Writ. The sheriffs advised that they would be here Stay of Writ or not. The estate agent ignored the Stay. I was in a state of shock for some considerable time following the arrival of the Judgment and the sheriff's unexpected appearance. None of the major relevant agencies are interested in this situation, all giving varying reasons for their lack of interest. I wonder what the forum makes of this situation. I seems ludicrous to me that there is no recourse open to me, considering the amount of anguish and trouble that I have been subjected to, I should mention that I am a 74 year old lady, and feel that I have been thoroughly taken advantage of. The other, obvious concern, is that as the relevant agencies are disinterested, the agent is free to continue similar practices.
  14. This is going to sound odd... I had a court decree granted against me: 22/01/2010 for almost £3000. It was in relation to a motorcycle that I purchased on Hire Purchase in March 2007 on a 4 year payment arrangement. I believe the last payment I made to the finance company was around August 2008 (I was made paid off - Contractor). I would have paid just over £2000 on a £3000 bike which had interest on top meaning I was due to pay around £5000 odds... Obviously the court claim in 2010 was for the remaining balance of the credit arrangement including interest! So, would there be 8% interest per annum chargeable on this amount considering that the claim included interest to complete the agreement rather than the remaining actual outstanding balance? Now for the odd bit... I still have the bike! When I was paid off I thought I'd quickly get another job so I took advantage of the time off and stripped the bike bare and sent the frame and other parts off to be powder coated. My money dried up pretty quick and I didn't have enough to put the bike back together plus I'd sold the fairings on ebay to raise cash to get the frame back from the painters... I've slowly built it up over the years and am now almost finished. It has not been on the road or out of my garage since 2008. The thing is, I don't own it! I now have the money to pay the finance company. Well, I have £3000. What is my position? The decree is for just over £2800. Would I simply phone them up and agree to pay that then make the payment or are they going to be looking for the 8% per annum interest on top meaning it'd be over £4000 which would be nonsensical on a bike that might be worth £2000. Also, it's over 5 years now. Do I wait and see if they act before the 6 years is up and THEN attempt to pay assuming that they would be in a weaker position with the time limit expiring (does it?). I want to own the bike. I have £3000. I am severely confused as to what to do and seeking a little help. The bike, as it sits, is worth £3000 to me (the exhaust alone retailed at £1200 back in the day - Titanium race thingy) and I want to get out and about on it once again and have some enjoyment after the horrendous few years I have had. £3000 can easily buy me a cracking second hand bike that'll be mine straight up and I can worry about the other one after the six years are up, IF the 6 years matter (ie: would put me in a stronger position for bargaining). I'm not willing to pay £4000 as I don't have it and if keeping quiet and not making any contact with them (and hoping for the same in return) until January 2016 means I can crack a deal and pay the £3k for clear title then that is what I'd prefer to do. I CAN pay the £3000.
  15. Unbeknown to me I've had £1690 sitting in another council tax account from 2010. I knew I'd kept up my payments and knew I'd done no wrong but had no proof. The council are going to transfer my money into my new account BUT I would like advice as they caused me undue stress in 2013. I hear constantly about the council taking people to court for unpaid tax yet not once until yesterday did they inform me that this was there. I was put through hell back in 2013 when Rossendale bailiffs were on my doorstep. I've paid bailiff fees and court costs unnecessarily. Can I take the council to court for compensation? This account was a joint account for same address. The account i have now is just in my name but partner still lives here. I've only come to know about it because I asked alot of questions at council office yesterday. I was suicidal at one point due to this! Thanks to anyone who can advise and apologies if I've posted in wrong place. Lisa.
  16. Hi there, first post so I hope it makes sense... Can anyone give me a brief understanding of section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 please (in layman's terms) as I'm trying to help my sister with a work problem and I think it might be relevant. She is a member of a union but they haven't been much help! It's relating to an actionable attendance policy at her work. She is disabled under the definition of the act and is employed by a large public sector organisation. She is rarely off work except with disability-related sickness (this has happened 6 times in the 24 years she has worked for them) and when she is it always lasts a few months and therefore breaches the policy guidelines, even though they relax the rules slightly for disabled employees. i.e. in one year Policy - 3 periods or 8 days Disabled employees usually 4 periods or 11 days She has been in work for 22 months without any sickness but then was taken ill and has been off for eight weeks and is due back at the end of March on a return to work plan (reduced hours for five weeks and weekly management meetings). She went to a sickness meeting last week and was told in passing that they will not put up with this level of sickness anymore and mentioned capability. She always takes personal responsibility for her health, takes her meds, lets manager know if a problem is developing, goes to the doctors/counselling etc. My question is that because of her disability when she is of sick she has always broken the actionable attendance policy which puts her at risk of being dismissed. Would it be reasonable to ask that her attendance be ignored under section 15? Just as an aside she has been off with depression and anxiety caused by work related stress. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks Dex
  17. Hi, below i have paste information from the Scottish gov. website. If you are thinking of defending a repossession procedure and that you are not able to get legal aid, you cant afford a solicitors, you can get a Lay Representation to speak on your behalf. You can contact the Scottish Shelter to help you. At the moment i am at the early stage with my bank, they are threathening me with calling up notice if i dont pay up debt over £200,000.00 ( 3 accounts ) two account they cannot produce credit agreement documents. This dispute being going on for 6 years. Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010: Guidance on Lay Representation Introduction/Background 1. This guidance relates specifically to section 24E of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 (the 1970 Act) and section 5F of the Heritable Securities (Scotland) Act 1894 (the 1894 Act), as introduced by the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010 ("the 2010 Act"), and the Lay Representation in Proceedings relating to Residential Property (Scotland) Order 2010 (the Order), which allow for the lay representation of home owners and entitled residents in court proceedings for possession of residential property (including recall proceedings). 2. In early 2009, in response to the economic downturn and consequent rise in repossessions, the Scottish Government convened a Repossessions Group, as a sub-group of the Debt Action Forum, to consider whether protection for Scottish home owners facing repossession was sufficient. Members of the Group represented a wide range of interested parties, including representatives from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Finance and Leasing Association, the Scottish Law Commission, Shelter, Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Legal Aid Board. The Group made a number of recommendations to strengthen protection for home owners, which were taken forward through Part 1 of the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010, to: require all repossession cases to call in court; require lenders to demonstrate to the court that they have considered reasonable alternatives to repossession; and enable home owners to be represented in court by approved lay representatives. 3. Paragraphs 5.3 to 5.14 of the Repossessions Group Final Report, published in June 2009, recognised that the repossessions process, in particular a court appearance, can be intimidating for home owners faced with repossession. The Group acknowledged that there was a need to improve arrangements for assisting those individuals affected by the formal procedures, including better access to information, but also better access to the full range of appropriate advice and representation providers. It was felt by the Group that there were particular issues about enabling access to representation, and that the existing restrictions on rights of audience exacerbated problems. Individuals who did not qualify for legal aid and could not afford to instruct a solicitor were faced with the prospect of appearing at court as an unrepresented litigant. The Group recognised that non-solicitor advisers were limited in what they could do in such cases, and identified that it would be helpful if experienced providers of lay advice and representation, where appropriate, were allowed to play a larger role in helping unrepresented litigants in the court process. 4. To tackle these issues, the Group recommended that there should be statutory change to enable home owners to have the option of being represented in court by approved lay representatives as well as solicitors. This would make the court process more accessible and encourage more people to take advantage of the legal protection on offer. 5. Section 24E(1) of 1970 Act and section 5F(1) of 1894 Act allow for the debtor or entitled resident to be represented by an approved lay representative in court proceedings in relation to a creditor's application to exercise the remedies available on default by the debtor in respect of a security over residential property, including repossession, (extending to recall proceedings under sections 24D and 5E respectively of those Acts), except in the circumstances which are prescribed by Scottish Ministers. 6. Secondary legislation prescribes those persons and bodies which may approve lay representatives. Those individuals approved as lay representatives will be required to satisfy the Sheriff throughout the proceedings that they are a suitable person to represent the debtor or entitled resident and that they are authorised to do so by that individual. 7. The provisions introduced by the 2010 Act essentially introduce rights of audience for approved lay representatives to defend proceedings related to applications for creditors' remedies on default, including repossession. It should be noted that the Act does not confer an automatic right on debtors and entitled residents to such representation, nor does it mean that an approved lay representative is obliged to participate in all proceedings. Nor can an approved lay representative act for a creditor. 8. This guidance is primarily directed towards those persons or bodies who are prescribed for the purpose of approving lay representatives, but is also relevant for approved lay representatives. The guidance explains the role of a lay representative and the competences expected of an approved lay representative. It is intended to aid prescribed persons or bodies in approving lay representatives. 9. The guidance sets out advice on how prescribed persons or bodies should approach the approval process, and importantly how organisations should seek to manage the provision of lay representation so that the individual client receives appropriate assistance from the appropriate adviser. This may in some instances mean that it is more appropriate for the individual to receive assistance from a solicitor than from a lay representative due to the complexity or the type of case that is involved. What is a Lay Representative 10. Section 24E(3) of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 , and 5F(3) of the Heritable Securities (Scotland) Act 1894 define a lay representative as an individual, other than an advocate or a solicitor, approved for the purposes of that section by a person or body prescribed, or of a description prescribed by the Scottish Ministers. That definition is filled out by Article 3 of the Order, as set out in paragraph 20 below. The Role of a Lay Representative 11. Previously, in repossession proceedings, there was a limit to what non-solicitor advisors could do. The only individuals with rights of audience to represent and participate in the proceedings were solicitors or advocates. The provisions introduced by the 2010 Act mean that lay representatives also have these rights of audience, so that any debtor or entitled resident involved in these proceedings can have a lay representative acting for them if they so choose. However, prescribed persons or bodies should ensure that approved lay representatives are clear about the extent to which they can and should be acting in any specific case or circumstance. Lay representatives should be clear about the point at which they are not competent to deal with a specific case or a particular aspect or legal process, and should refer cases where appropriate to a solicitor who is skilled and knowledgeable in this area, or to another lay representative with the relevant skills and knowledge either in their organisation or another advice agency. It is expected that lay representatives will not normally charge for their services. 12. Standard 4.3 in Section 1 of the Standards, refers to referral arrangements. It is recommended that approved bodies, whether accredited or not, adopt arrangements such as are envisaged by this standard. If in the opinion of the lay representative the circumstances are such that the individual would benefit from legal advice, they lay representative should consider referring the individual to a solicitor and remind the individual that they may be eligible for legal aid. The lay representative should therefore be familiar with the financial eligibility requirements 1 of legal aid. 13. The legislation defines the term "lay representative" for repossession proceedings, with a view to both protecting the debtor or entitled resident, and to ensuring that court business proceeds smoothly. Only individuals who have the appropriate skills and knowledge to understand the proceedings and to represent individuals effectively may be approved to act as lay representatives. Someone who does not understand the relevant court proceedings or legislation is not equipped to be able to represent the interests of debtors and entitled residents properly in court. 14. Other people such as a friend, spouse or colleague can in some instances attend court proceedings to support individuals but this is distinct from the active role of the statutorily defined lay representative, and they will not have the right to participate in repossession proceedings on behalf of the individual. Satisfying the Sherriff that you are competent to be a lay representative and authorised to do so. 15. Section 24E(2) of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970, and 5F(2) of the Heritable Securities (Scotland) Act 1894 require that an approved lay representative must throughout the proceedings satisfy the Sheriff that: he or she is a suitable person to represent the debtor or entitled resident; and he or she is authorised by the debtor or entitled resident to do so 16. In line with this requirement an approved lay representative will need to be prepared to demonstrate to the Sheriff that they are competent and authorised to appear before the Court as a lay representative. Approving organisations are encouraged to provide their local courts with a list of persons approved by them to act as lay representatives along with letters of confirmation of approval that individual lay representatives can show the Sheriff if required. This should be done in advance of any hearing in order to inform the Sheriff that such individuals are competent to appear in court. 17. It is strongly recommended that approved lay representatives also obtain written confirmation that they are authorised by the debtor or entitled resident to act on their behalf, which can similarly be provided as documentary evidence for the Sheriff if required. 18. Prescribed bodies or persons approving lay representatives should ensure that those individuals approved to act as a lay representative are aware that the Sheriff is responsible for ensuring efficient use of court time. This means if the Sheriff considers that the lay representative is not a suitable person to act on behalf of the debtor or entitled resident, and therefore that it is not in their interests for this person to continue to represent them, then the Sheriff may discharge the lay representative and they would no longer be able to take part in the hearing. 19. Such discharge and any resulting postponement of the proceedings would be extremely inconvenient for all concerned and the costs involved with postponing are likely to fall on the debtor. It is therefore important that approving organisations ensure that all lay representatives approved meet the criteria to demonstrate that they are competent. Prescribed persons or bodies for the purposes of approving lay representatives 20. Individuals can act as lay representatives so long as they are approved as such in accordance with the legislation, and are not barred from acting by virtue of article 12 or 13 of the Order (e.g. as a result of inadequate performance). Article 3 of the Order prescribes those persons or bodies which have the power to approve individuals to undertake lay representation. These are: Organisations with a current entry on the register of advice organisations established and maintained by the Scottish Legal Aid Board; Organisations which have been awarded accreditation at Type III level against the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers; Local Authorities; and Citizens advice bureaux which are full members of the Scottish Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux - Citizens Advice Scotland. 21. To ensure consistency and high standards, however, it is recommended that all prescribed persons or bodies pay close attention to the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers, when approving individuals as lay representatives. Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers 22. The Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (hereafter referred to as 'the Standards') were compiled by the Scottish Government with the assistance of advice providers in the voluntary and statutory sectors. 23. The Standards are a framework for the development of effective and efficient services and were compiled in recognition of the fact that people choose to access information and advice from various s sources. 24. The Standards framework can be used by any advice provider to improve the quality of its advice service. The standards can be found here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/10/05112820/02 25. The Standards distinguish between three principal types of advice giving and intervention. These are: Type I - Active information, sign-posting and explanation; Type II - Casework; and Type III - Advocacy, representation and mediation at court or tribunal level. 26. There is a more detailed explanation of the Types given in the Standards manual. 27. The Scottish Government specifically directs prescribed bodies to certain standards within the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers for the purpose of this guidance, both in respect of organisational standards as well as those which relate to competencies of individuals. Procedure for approval of lay representatives 28. An individual wishing to act as a lay representative will require to make an application to the approving organisation. A person will not be able to make an application to an approving organisation if they have made an application to another organisation which has yet to be determined. 29. The consideration of an application by the approving organisations must have regard to the interests of persons who might seek to be represented by an approved lay representative. 30. The approving organisation's consideration of an application must also involve an assessment of the applicant's: (a) Knowledge and understanding of: (i)) Scottish legislation and common law in so far as they relate to housing and repossession and (ii) Court procedures and rules, specifically in relation to summary applications in the Sheriff Court (b) Competence at constructing and stating a case both orally and in writing © Advocacy skills, in particular in support and representation 31. The key competences that approved organisations will wish to take into account when assessing an individual's suitability for the role of lay representative are set out in more detail in paragraphs 42-51 below. The approving organisation must also obtain an undertaking that the applicant if approved to act as a lay representative will not act as a lay representative in any situation where this would place the applicant in a situation of conflict of interest, and that the applicant will respect client confidentiality. Training requirements 32. As part of the approval process, the approving organisation may provide an applicant with training in order to assist the lay representative to achieve a satisfactory level of knowledge, understanding, competence and skill in the areas outlined in paragraph 30. 33. Moreover, depending on the competency levels of the applicant, the organisation may need to consider an individual's training needs and arrange or provide training before being able to grant approval. Management and monitoring the performance of approved lay representatives 34. Prescribed persons or bodies have the responsibility of approving lay representatives and it is important that they have systems in place which also set out their own criteria for such approval of individuals. Furthermore such persons or bodies should also have organisational arrangements in place for managing the activity as part of their services. 35. It is recommended that prescribed persons or bodies, whether accredited or not, observe the organisational standards in Section 1 from page 9 of the Standards 3. Close attention should be paid to standards 2.1 - 2.6 4 and 4.1 - 4.7 5 in Section 1 of the Standards, with particular regard to delivering a Type III service on mortgage repossession work. 36. It is advisable that prescribed bodies develop an action plan showing how they intend to manage and deliver the particular elements of service delivery that will be carried out under the lay representation provisions. The organisation will need to be able to relate information about competence, training and supervision of staff to the specific category of circumstance that work will be carried out in. 37. The prescribed persons or bodies should put in place a system for monitoring the performance of individuals approved as lay representatives, paying particular attention to any complaints or concerns about their performance as lay representatives raised by Sheriffs, other court staff or clients, investigating any such complaints thoroughly (see paragraph 59). 38. Prescribed persons or bodies should ensure that approved lay representatives are clear about the extent to which they can and should be acting in any specific case or circumstance. They should be familiar with the financial eligibility requirements of legal aid and remind a debtor where appropriate that they may be able to employ a solicitor through legal aid funding. Lay representatives should also be clear about the point at which they are not competent to deal with a specific case or a particular aspect or legal process, and should refer cases where appropriate to a solicitor who is skilled and knowledgeable in this area, or to another lay representative with the relevant skills and knowledge either in their organisation or another advice agency. Standard 4.3 6 in Section 1 of the Standards, refers to referral arrangements. It is recommended that approved bodies, whether accredited or not, adopt arrangements such as are envisaged by this standard. 39. It is recommended that those persons or bodies with the power to approve lay representatives maintain a definitive list of individuals whom they have approved as lay representatives and review appropriately their performance in this capacity. The approval of each representative must specify the sheriff court districts in which they are expected to act, and it is recommended that the list include that information. This does not limit the number of sheriff court districts in which a lay representative can act but it will be for the approving organisation or body to specify these districts as part of the approval process. 40. It is important that prescribed persons or bodies ensure approved lay representatives are consistently meeting the standards recommended within this guidance. 41. If an individual is not meeting these standards, the prescribed person or body should ensure the individual receives training to improve their performance and should suspend the individual's approval until the person or body is satisfied that they are competent to resume acting as a lay representative. If the person or body remains unsatisfied, they must withdraw their approval. Individual competencies relevant for approval as lay representation 42. It is recommended that in approving lay representatives, prescribed persons or bodies should consider whether individuals are capable of meeting the generic competences for advisers, within the Section 2 Competences for Advisers and Agencies of the Standards. 7 43. Prescribed persons or bodies should note that the competences required for accreditation to Type III - Advocacy, Representation and Mediation level will be particularly relevant for work lay representation . 44. Prescribed persons or bodies should consider whether an individual meets the housing specific knowledge competence for Mortgages/Secured Loans in Section 2 of the Standards. 45. The following key recommended competences are relevant to specific activity that will be undertaken in the court setting. These should be considered in addition to the competences set out within the National Standards, where such competences are not explicitly mentioned in the Standards. Key Recommended Competences of a Lay Representative 46. The key competencies which it is recommended an individual should hold before a prescribed body approves them to act as a lay representative are detailed below. 47. These competencies are considered to be particularly relevant and important when judging the suitability of individuals for the role of lay representative. 48. Has impact and credibility as a representative because: has a good knowledge of subject area, particularly mortgage arrears and repossession procedures used by lenders, FSA regulations and good practice relating to the treatment of customers in arrears, including MCOB 13 8, and consumer credit legislation, and in particular relevant Scottish legislation such as the Heritable Securities (Scotland) Act 1894, the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 and the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010, and the Applications by Creditors (Pre-Action Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2010. has an ability to make links where appropriate with other relevant areas of law retains objectivity has a good understanding of relevant evidence and presents the above in a structured, coherent and persuasive manner both in writing and orally 49. Undertakes legal research effectively researching relevant legislation, common law and case law, government, regulatory and industry guidance and Codes of Practice, policy statements, etc Understanding the importance of collecting and preserving evidence Discussing all options and their consequences with clients objectively and clearly 50. Understands relevant Court rules, protocols and procedures and basic principles of rules and evidence (e.g. hearsay) understands Sheriff Court procedures and possession procedures, including relevant court notices, application procedures and forms understands the procedure involved in conducting a proof understands the role of officers of the court - i.e. sheriff clerks and appropriate behaviour in court, including the importance of not wasting court time with irrelevant, frivolous or theatrical interventions 51. Use their knowledge, understanding and research to identify arguments, defences and remedial strategies in arrears and repossession actions and present these in a clear manner Identifies arguments which support the client's defence and advise on court orders which it may be appropriate to seek Presents these arguments in a structured, coherent and persuasive manner both in writing and orally Understands post-possession order procedures Challenges negative decisions, actions or legal interpretation which may be adverse to clients Demonstrates an ability to 'think on their feet' in a Court/litigation environment Is prepared to pursue a case to a conclusion where competent to do so and where the client wishes to do so, while at all times clearly explaining the consequences of any action to clients, and seeking to negotiate constructive solutions and arrangements with lenders, court staff or other interested parties where feasible. Withdrawal of approval of lay representatives 52. An approving organisation may withdraw any approval it has granted by providing notice to the approved lay representative. 53. The procedure for withdrawal of approval must involve an evaluation by the approving organisation of the approved lay representative's performance, in particular whether the approved lay representative: no longer satisfies the criteria set out in the procedure for approval is performing inadequately and the approving organisation considers that the approved lay representative's performance could not be sufficiently improved by additional support or training; or has acted dishonestly, in breach of client confidentiality, or in a situation of conflict of interest. 54. Where an approved lay representative has been provided with additional support or training and following a further evaluation the approving organisation considers that the approved lay representative cannot perform adequately, the approving organisation must notify the approved lay representative that the approval is withdrawn. 55. An approval of an approved lay representative is deemed to be withdrawn if the organisation which granted the approval ceases to be an approving organisation. Circumstances in which an approved lay representative may not act 56. An approved lay representative may not represent any debtor or entitled resident other than in proceedings where the debtor or entitled resident is a client of an approving organisation, though not necessarily the organisation that approved the lay representative. 57. Where an approved lay representative is performing inadequately and the approving organisation decides not to withdraw approval; and instead to provide additional support or training to improve the performance of that lay representative, the approved lay representative may not represent any debtor or entitled resident until the approving organisation is satisfied that the approved lay representative can perform adequately. Prescribed persons or bodies to provide Scottish Ministers with information 58. Those persons or bodies with the power to approve lay representatives may be required to provide information to Scottish Ministers about lay representatives. 59. Scottish Ministers will not seek to obtain information on individual lay representatives, but it is anticipated that aggregated and anonymised information will be requested from approved organisations, particularly: total number of individuals approved as lay representatives by that organisation the number of lay representatives approved by that organisation over a specified period (for example during the previous year) the range of Sheriff courts in which these lay representatives operate and the number approved to operate in each Sheriff court details of the training provided to lay representatives by approving organisations over a specified period (for example during the previous year) number of lay representatives that have had approval withdrawn over a specified period (for example during the previous year) and the reasons why approval had to be withdrawn Although not required under the Order, it is hoped that approved organisations will nevertheless co-operate, wherever possible, with any other information requests that Scottish Ministers may make for the purpose of monitoring and evaluation, or arranging additional training, awareness raising or other support to ensure an effective lay representation service is available everywhere. For example information might be sought about: the approximate number of cases in which they have provided lay representation for repossession cases the sort of feedback approved organisations have received about client satisfaction levels when they have offered a lay representation service any issues or difficulties (beyond any need to withdraw approval of individual lay representatives) which have arisen in providing a lay representation service, for example an indication of the approximate number of times when they may have had to turn down requests for lay representation and the reasons for having to do so Indemnity Insurance 60. Persons or Bodies with the power to approve lay representatives are strongly recommended to consider the liability of those individuals that they approve, and indeed the liability of the body for the actions of individuals approved by it. Prescribed bodies should refer to Standard 3.9 and 3.11 9 in Section 1 of the Standards and consider their position. They are strongly encouraged to ensure that they have appropriate Indemnity insurance. Complaints procedures 61. Those bodies with the power to approve lay representatives should ensure that they have a complaints procedure in place, for individuals receiving lay representation to use if any problems arise during the process, and that any complaints are investigated thoroughly. (See paragraph 36 above and Standard 3.11 in Section 1 of the Standards) 62. As part of ongoing work to ensure that approved lay representatives are continuing to act at high standards, prescribed persons or bodies should seek regular feedback from users and stakeholders, such as court staff and Sheriffs. (See Standard 3.12 in Section 1 of the Standards) Housing Access and Support Division Scottish Government Yes, its alot of reading. I am doing alot of reading to fight my bank. i am going to represent myself to contest the calling up notice if my bank decide to go down the road issuing me with a calling up notice. The bank's solicitors keep making threats to take me to court (3 letters so far), and Up to now they have not given me clear breakdown of the debt. Just demand the total amount from the 3 accounts that i have with the bank.
  18. Hello and good evening. We booked a family holiday to Fuerteventura, back in 2010, details as follows:- Outbound LGW - Fuertenventura TC Flight No. TCX225K on 12th June 2010 Inbound - Fue - LGW TC Flight No. TCX037L on 23rd June 2010. We were traveling as 3 adults and 1 infant in the booking. Over and above the basic holiday price we also opted for in flight meals (3 x £10 each) and the option to pre-book your seats on both flights (3 x £14 each). Outbound flight and holiday went fine, the return journey however was stressful, chaotic and dis-organised, resulting in an over-all flight delay of just about 8 hours, finally arriving at LGW at 1.15am on 24th, not 5.35pm on the 23 as expected. We were informed whilst at check in that the incoming flight was delayed, but were not given any further information, instead we were herded by the TC reps through check-in and into departures. It turns that mid flight, the aircraft had a fire in one of the food re-gen ovens, which necessitated the plane turning around and landing at LGW for repair. When the air craft finally landed at FUE, the oven had not been repaired so no food was available and we had also been allocated random seats, not the pre-booked seats we had paid for. During the course of the delay, we were issued with vouchers for refreshment, however these barely covered the cost of a cup of coffee / bottle of water, let alone any form of food. Upon return to the UK, we lodged a complaint with TC, initially just for a refund on the food and seat upgrade, but were given the run-around by TC (one up to you TC), so we eventually gave up. So, the question is, should (can)we resurrect the claim and can we claim any other compensation for the delay? Is there a template letter available that we could use in the first exchange? Thanks for reading.
  19. Hi folks its my first post here so please be gentle with me - barclaycard sold my default to MKDP LLP and this company is mention on my CRA file as being the company who issues the default. I have recently sent a recorded delivery letter to barclaycard asking for a true copy of the original 1995 Credit agreement. My question is if they send me back a letter stating this is a reconstituted copy of the original agreement ( what must this reconstituted agreement contain ??) and, should I also send MKDP a letter also asking for a true copy of the original agreement. Now I understand that once tipped off by barclaycard - MKDP may send a claims for the amount outstanding - is this the case and any guidance would be great.
  20. My son has received a demand for payment of £100 from Debt Recovery Plus concerning a parking charge notice issued in 2010 by Excel Parking Services Ltd. Following CAG advice, he ignored the original invoices and letters as he was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged incident, and up to today he heard nothing more. The letter from DRP quotes the Protection of Freedoms act 2012. I have looked at what I think is the relevant act (legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/4/enacted) but it is too complicated for me to gain an informed opinion as I lack legal skills. Any advice as regarding how to proceed (or not) with this issue would be welcome.
  21. How likely I am to get disability element on top of my working tax credits, based on the tax office guide lines, I think I would be entitled to the disability element, but dont know what the tax office would think I work 16+ hours per week Due to my health, I am unable to work, 5 days per week, or any long shifts now, so I only work 4 days ,and 6.5 hrs I have a secure job, in asda, so for me to find a new job, I think I would have some difficulty in doing so My health is poor, due to slow heart rate, high cholestral, and angina, easily get tired, and exhuasted. Have been in and out of hostipal getting tests done for last 2 years Because of my health I have had to take time of sick, and the way my days of sick work, does not allow me to get ssp, as it is my day off Since my health has got poorer, my earnings have been vastly reduced; 2008-2009, £12,600; 2009-2010, £9500, so my gross earning are less than the year before If I didnt get disability element then I would have to work more hours just to meet outgoings, but in doing so, I may very well make my self more ill, as I realy need to rest
  22. In February this year I purchased a Used Citroen C4 1,6 Diesel Exclusive from Lookers Liverpool as the car had very low mileage (8,000 Miles) and came with all the extras. I drove the car back home to Surrey and loved the way the car drove and the comfortable ride etc. A couple of days after using the car I had occasion to switch on the Heated Rear Screen only to discover that several elements on the screen were not working. As the car still had over a year of manufacturers warranty I booked the car in with Citroen London West as they were the closest dealer to my employment. At the same time I ordered a second key as I had only been supplied one key. I was told that the previous owner had only supplied one key and they would write to him and try to obtain the missing second key. I also asked for the seat belt warning system to be checked out. I collected the car and was told that a claim had been submitted to Citroen UK for the new Heated Rear Screen and they were checking the correct operation of the seat belt warning system with Citroen Technical. One week went by and I was told the rear screen would be renewed under warranty and the seat belt warning system would be sorted when the two year service was due. The service was carried out but I was informed the screen was on "back order" and the key I had ordered had been lost by the parts department. It is now Mid-September I have owned the car 7 months and despite the car going back to Citroen London West on 6 occasions I still have not had my new key, Heated Rear Window renewed. The trim panels for the tailgate have not been refitted and the rear parcel shelf is not secure. I have spoke to Citroen UK Customer Services twice and lost count of how many e-mails and phone calls I have made regarding my complaint. I even wrote to the dealer principal and never received a reply. I should point out that I work in the Motor Trade myself and I am totally disgusted with the way I am being treated by Citroen and Citroen London West.
  23. I wonder if anyone has any idea about this. I have reason to complain big time to Unison for treating me unfairly as I have a disability. However, reading through the notes that the CAB advisors have been given on this new law, it states that it does not apply to trade unions. Have I got this right? And if so, who, if anyone, regulates Trade Unions?!
  24. EDF Energy (December 2010) Investigation into compliance with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (the “CHSR”) Ofgem is still investigating whether EDF Energy has breached these regulations. The investigation has now been extended to consider whether EDF Energy’s customer contact centre is complying with the requirements of the CHSR and other related obligations. Regulation 7 of the CHSR requires that suppliers (a) receive, handle and process consumer complaints in an efficient and timely manner and (b) allocate and maintain such level of resources as may reasonably be required to enable it to do so.
  25. Scottish and Southern Energy (September 2010) Investigation into compliance with obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences (Standard Licence Condition 25) Ofgem is investigating whether Scottish and Southern Energy is complying with obligations under standard licence condition 25 with respect to telephone and face-to-face sales activities. By way of background, following the Energy Supply Probe – link opens in a new browser window, Ofgem put in place a new version of standard licence condition 25 with a view to helping domestic customers make well-informed decisions in response to telephone and face-to-face sales activities. In particular, there are new requirements for domestic suppliers to provide estimates and comparisons during face-to-face sales activities (with effect from 18 January 2010) and to secure the achievement of an objective in respect of both face-to-face and telesales activities (with effect from 21 October 2009). In summary, the objective requires domestic suppliers to take all reasonable steps to ensure information provided is complete and accurate, understandable, appropriate and not misleading, and that sales activities are conducted in a fair, transparent, appropriate and professional manner.
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