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Found 20 results

  1. Now the UK has decided to leave the EU, what is the time scale to activate article 50 of the Lisbon treaty ?..
  2. Victory for consumers as cap on energy tariffs to become law READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/victory-for-consumers-as-cap-on-energy-tariffs-to-become-law
  3. Hi guys just back from Durham County Court with a victory over Lowell and it seems i found a Judge who would not be told the law. My case was around a 5 year old debt that i was being chased for but was not mine, Lowell issued a claim despite me sending them a letter to deny the debt. Once i had the claim i sent off a CCA request and it took Lowell 67 days to send some of the information asked for and in this case the Deed of assignment was asked for but Lowell refused and instead sent a hashed up copy of a notice of assignment claiming the Deed was between them and their client. I scanned this forum and got some good advice but the advice was split regards the deed with some saying it does not need to be shown and others saying it should. Well today the judge rather slapped down the Lowell solicitor who told her she had no need to see the deed as the letter of assignment was proof enough. The judge came back with a raft of legal points before dismissing the case stating without the deed Lowell could not prove they owned the debt
  4. We are asking people to make donations in order to help us collect the cost of the transcript of the hearing and judgement in a recent successful case against Npower. You can read the Npower thread here: – http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?436401-nPower-Mismanaged-account-County-Court-claim-issued-aganst-Npower The case which was heard last week is the culmination of a long 2 to 3 year battle against harassment and mismanagement and incompetence by Npower and their legal department. Although the case did not produce the damages which were asked for, the judge did hold that Npower had contractual duties towards their customer and that they were in breach of their duty. This amounts to a very significant victory because Npower denied that they owed any duties at all to their customer - whether in the quality of their account management, their complaints handling or even in respect of a duty to provide accurate bills. (Frankly, you could scarcely make it up!!) Even during the case, the Npower lawyer tried to divert the discussion away from the issue of liability altogether. Furthermore, the judge criticised Npower and made it clear that he thought that the customer had had a very difficult time and was entirely justified in bringing the claim. The claim had been made unnecessarily complicated by the poor and unprofessional bullying approach of the Npower litigation department. This fact was not lost on the judge who went on to criticise Npower in scathing terms about the style of their litigation. We will be doing a full write-up of the case and also of the unprofessional approach which Eversir has had to endure for a considerable amount of time, just as soon as we receive the transcript. We will be publishing much of the transcript on this forum for other Npower victims to read. We have just made the application for the transcript but it is likely to cost in the region of £800-£1000. We need help to pay for this and so we invite anybody to make a donation to us. If we are lucky enough to receive more than the cost of the transcript, then anything extra will simply be used as part of our resources to pay our bills and expenses and to keep on going to provide our help for free. If you would like to donate, then please click on one of the donate links and you should be taken to a PayPal page. If you don't have a PayPal account, click the link anyway because you will be able to use a credit or debit card instead. Please only give what you can afford – but do remember that if you are giving a very small amount, that PayPal takes a minimum fee from every donation and also a percentage. This means that if you are considering donating only £1 or so, a substantial part of this will simply go to PayPal – and so without appearing to be ungrateful, you probably shouldn't donate. Please tell your friends or tweet this message using our short url http://cag.tw/1iqb
  5. I bet this is already on this forum but if it is not this may help persuade a judge or help in your argument. The first ever PPI case was in 1992-93 (Bristol CC 93/10771). The case involved L W Price -v- TSB Bank PLC. It was judged that the total payments of the Insurance Premium were almost as high as the total benefit that could be claimed. The case was won. A 10 year non disclosure clause was put in place as part of the settlement. After 10 years, a copy of the judgement was sent to the OFT and CAB. Soon after, a super complaint was raised.. Hence where we are today.
  6. Hi I recently received a PCN from Parking Eye for exceeding the allowed parking time at Aldi. After reading several threads regarding the unfairness of the level of charges, and the questions over the legality I decided to appeal using one of the template letters available at various websites. Without including the full letter, the key points of the appeal were: a). The sum does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss, nor is it a core price term. It is a disguised penalty and not commercially justified. b). As keeper I believe that the signs were not seen, the wording is ambiguous and the predominant purpose of your business model is intended to be a deterrent. c). There is no evidence that you have any proprietary interest in the land. d). Your 'Notice' fails to comply with the POFA 2012 and breaches various consumer contract/unfair terms Regulations. e). There was no consideration nor acceptance flowing from both parties and any contract with myself, or the driver, is denied. f). This is not a 'parking ticket' - it is an unsolicited invoice with as much merit as the publicly-derided £100 taken unlawfully from customers by a dingy Blackpool Hotel. In addition to this I researched the POPLA appeals process & there are several published suggestions on the internet on how to win at this stage. However, much to my delight I received a reply from Parking Eye within a fortnight advising that they had cancelled the charge & that no outstanding payment is due. So..... before you panic & consider paying this, please do your research and use the templates that are available to you. Do not ignore the letters (this used to be the advice) but make it clear that you will contest this & fight them all the way to court if necessary. I believe that they will then look for easier targets as many articles on this subject confirm. If it is this easy to win then it proves that the Parking Firms do not have a case and if they will so easily drop it then it should be very easy to win at the next stage, i.e. POPLA. Parking Eye claim on their website that they have won many cases at court, however many people believe that these are situations where people have ignored their letters. I would urge you to use the material that is readily available in the form of templates, some people have gone to a great deal of trouble to help consumers in producing these and the do work!!!!
  7. Following receipt of my first Erudio DAF I took the view of many on these forums that the form was intrusive, an attempt to gain additional consents and unnecessary to apply for a deferment. In December I therefore sent proof of income and a signed declaration based on the old SLC form. As was expected I received a reply refusing my application as the form "wasn't signed" A complaint was then raised which was rejected and is now escalated to the ombudsman. I have today come home to a letter from Erudio, confirming my loans have been defered. No reference to a signed form, no reference to the FSO. I've not got a DD in force and they are still claiming that "...not having a DD in force...will constitute a breach of your agreement", but obviously not enough of a breach to allow them to refuse a deferment... For those of you who are still debating whether to cave and sign a form, even a heavily redacted version stand firm. Don't give in to their bullying tactics, only give the information they are required to receive by law. These loans are post-98 loans.
  8. Just had a letter from FOS upholding my claim against Capital One, it was rejected twice by Cap one, saying I had ticked the box therefore I knew what I was buying.... But I work in the public sector with an excellent sick pay scheme, and did 10 years ago when I took out the card. Should be an interesting pay-out, a 2000 limit that over such a long time So don't be put off just keep at them :-D:-D:-D
  9. Lloyds TSB has been ordered to pay a customer over £1700 after it unfairly applied bank charges to his account and damaged his credit file. In what we believe is the first bank charges court claim victory since such cases were stayed in July 2007, Oliver Foster-Burnell (‘orfoster’) has been successful in his claim for a refund of charges and interest. The claim was brought against Lloyds TSB at Taunton County Court where Mr Deputy District Judge Stockdale held that despite the Supreme Court judgment, the unarranged overdraft charges levied on Mr Foster-Burnell were contrary to the requirement of good faith as per section 5(1) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and, as such, unfair.
  10. The following story features in today's Daily Mail and quotes comments from Marc Gander (Consumer Action Group) and Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2763083/Victory-bank-charges-open-payout-floodgates-Court-backs-customer-hefty-overdraft-fees.html *
  11. Hi, Had my tribunal today and was placed in WRAG, so a partial victory.... I'm trying to find out exactly what it entails. how often do I have to attend the fake interviews, and basically what do hoops do I have to jump through in order I don't get sanctioned for some trivial misdemeanor? I would prefer facts, and not hearsay, as I am at the point of exploding at the minute
  12. Hi All, I just thought i would let you all know of how i have dealt with Payday UK (MEM) and in fairness got a bit of a good result, I was a fool in 2011 and took our payday loans continuously for almost a year and i defaulted on the last payment of £145. I was unaware of this and had moved house!! I have emailed them directly not admitting the debt and requesting a copy of the CCA and also a full summary of accounts. I also questioned what information and been sent to my old property and been divulged to the new tenants. I have too and frowed emails explaining that they should have made a search on my credit file to find my new address and the company could not dispute this fact. I have also questioned their morale practice with allowing me to pay a loan and take one out again immediately. Well after quite a few emails back and forth and agreeing to providing my new address so a final response can be sent i have received this yesterday morning. My intention was to get the default wiped and my file cleared!! Well to my suprise the final response informs me that they will not clear the default but will show it as settled and they will agree to pay back 50% of the interest for all of the loans so the £145 is cleared and they will pay me back over £650 also. Well i know the credit file will still show a default, however i have arranged a notice of correction with the credit reference agencies and my credit file is now clear and has increased by over 400 points in the last 6 months of sorting my previous stupid decisions relating to credit. In summary do not accept the debt, challenge it, fight them all the way and you may just get a result. I know the initial situation i got myself into was my own fault however i was a fool and going through a terrible time financially and to be fair that also does not give the right for these companies to rip people off. Cheers Shaun
  13. Hi and thank you so very much for viewing my post. I posted previously about a firm of solicitors who for 5 years refused to give me any bills or invoices, and kept threatening to bankrupt me if I didn't hand over £3000 or sign an agreement agreeing I owed the debt. They would not tell me what they had done with the money they took from me at the outset £1500. They could never show me one single letter or phone call they made on my behalf. They commenced a claim in the County Courts without one bit of paperwork. I mounted a defence and Counterclaim. They did not respond they ignored my counterclaim. THe Judge gave an an Order that they had till 12th May at 4pm to serve full client agreement letters, invoices, bills etc and proof of their debt. They ignored the order, they kept ringing me up telling they knew people at the court I would not stand a chance, I should come into the office and settle or sign a debt acknowledgement. I kept going with my Counterclaim, THey did not respond or acknowledge my Counterclaim, so I filed N225 Request for Judgement. The Judge again issued another order before giving me Judgement that they had to file the paperwork proving their claim within 14 days - they ignored that also they said to me that as they are solicitors connected with the Court they do not have to adhere to the rules ! I made an application to go before the Judge. He read through all of this and he immediately Struck out their claim on the basis that they have not complied to a single case management Order or a further order that was made. He also gave me "Judgement for the Defendant on the Counterclaim for the Sum to be assessed". (Can anyone tell me what this means, how do I get it assessed.) Please - I can't find this term anywhere or what to do? It also said that any party affected by this order may apply within 7 days of service to have it set aside varied or stayed. Today the solicitor has come back to me sending me a load of documents, saying they overlooked the Client Agreement letter but they did enclose it with a copy of a bill 2 years ago. Total rubbish. The courts, and I have been asking to see a copy of the Client Agreement letter and so have I and they could not comply with any of the Orders for disclosure, yet now their claim has been struck out, they have suddenly printed one off and say they sent it to me 2 years ago. No covering letter, no proof of postage. No follow up to find out why I had never signed and returned it. The fact is I never received or ever saw one. My Question is this if they do apply to have it set aside and their claim reinstated what can I do, can I argue, can I point out that they have just cobbled this together and sent a made up copy now to get their claim reinstated Secondly, my Judgement on the Counterclaim for a sum to be assessed. How can I get a sum assessed to enforce the Judgement. Can anyone give me some help on what this means. Sorry to come back to you all, but with your kind help I got this far, I never thought I would beat this firm of solicitors as they were non stop telling me that they had connections at the Court. I think they have egg on their face now. The Judge was appalled. What are the chances of them applying and being successful in having this set aside. Just want to be ready if possible so I know what to do please. Thank you Thank you so very much So grateful I could never have done this without all your kind help.
  14. Hi all, Now, this kind of story will have some resonance with other users of this forum. And my contribution is my 4+ month fight with the DVLA for allegedly not notifying them of a change of keeper.. It started back in October when my partner (named driver) received a letter from the DVLA that stated someone was trying to register the car in their name. My partner rang the DVLA to let them know that the car had been sold on eBay back on the 22nd of June (not May as I had mistakenly stated in another thread) and that the V5C was posted to them on the same day as the sale was completed. I can't remember what the reply was but the agent from the DVLA on the phone was taking notes from my partner with regards dates, times etc. A couple of weeks later she got a letter from the DVLA stating that she had failed to notify them of a change of keeper and that a £35 penalty was due, which would increase to £55 if it wasn't paid within 14? Days. At this point, as I was the actual owner of the vehicle and my partner was merely the named keeper for insurance purposes, I took over all the correspondence going back to the DVLA. I notified them that the documents had been sent back to them and that it was unfair for them to hold us responsible for something totally out of our control. There were a few letters sent back and fourth between us but the third letter from them was almost laughable. after telling them that we had done all we reasonably could do with regards to notifying them, they stated that our statement was noted but did not constitute a defence. They had not received any documents so therefore we were liable. So, as to make my position clear, I duly notified them of chapter 30, section 7 of the Interpretations Act 1978. References to service by post. Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post. After a couple of weeks we received another letter form them stating that the Interpretations Act is clear in that it refers to documents or letters being delivered rather than merely being sent. I wrote back telling them that they are clearly deluded, and talking nonsense as no where in that section if the act does state anything like they were suggesting. I also included the act again and asked them to carefully read it just so they can be clear. Eventually after another letter from them, I wrote back telling them that I was tired of these wasteful exchanges and that their only option was to take the matter to court as I was refusing to enter in further discourse on this matter. I even added that any more correspondence sent by myself to them would result in an hourly charge 0f £6.50 per hour which would include printing and postage costs. After a couple of weeks i received another letter from them stating that this issue was going to court and that i should receive a summons shortly. Low and behold, roughly 2 weeks later a court summons dropped through the door. So with my partners date in court set, which was yesterday, I began to get some nice little facts together about the DVLA. I first started with a freedom of information request that I placed back in December. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/number_of_missed_acknowledgement I asked the DVLA how many V5C documents were received by them between 2010 - 2012 and how many acknowledgement letters were sent out on response within those same years. The reply I received was quite shocking really. The DVLA had no specific records of the amount of V5C's that they received but took a sample (85%) and gave figures out. Now, these figures still don't add up by their own account yet people are prosecuted for not following up on these acknowledgement letters with the DVLA after 14 days. Better still, there is no legal requirement for the DVLA to issue one and this leaves a wide open door for all sorts of abuses to go on. Another freedom of information request was printed which is a little different in how the case came about, but the process in how the summons was made by the DVLA is the same. In this case, the SORN declaration was made but acknowledgement was received. This led to the summons being issued against the person named in the FOI request and i believe the person was acquitted as a result of his research. So, armed with the letters received from the DVLA and the letters sent by me, and also the FOI information, i went to court. The first thing that struck me was the amount of people waiting to have their day in court for issues the same as i was having or for SORN issues. The clerk of the court was who amazed me though. She was going around asking people their names and how they wanted to plead. One gentleman was there for a different case that was being dealt with in the same court room. She asked him why he was there and he said that it was because he had his car clamped by VOSA, because it had no tax, even though it was parked on a private road. She, and i was stunned by this, said to him "well it is an offence so you are guilty and will be fined today". I sh*t you not, that was a clerk of the court telling someone that she had never met before, and whom had no idea of the case, telling someone they are guilty. Whatever happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty? Anyway, i approached the clerk and told her my partners name. She asked why i was there and i told her that i am the partner of the defendant and that i was there to represent her in court. The clerk said that they (the magistrates) may not hear my defence as the summons was in my partners name. I stated that everyone was entitled to representation, i am the partner of the defendant and that i was the owner of the car which relates to this case. The clerk said that she would ask and would get back to me. After around 15 minutes, the clerk emerged from the court and called my name out. I approached her and as i did so she stated that the case had been dropped. I asked why it had been dropped and she said that she didn't know. I asked what i should do and she advised me that i could leave and a letter from the court detailing the case and the verdict would be sent to me after a few days. RESULT! I didn't stop there though. After speaking to the clerk i sat down with other people who were going through similar situations and gave them the FOI requests, and some notes about the human right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the interpretation act. I asked them to read it, understand it and pass it on to the next DVLA victim. My advice to anyone dealing with the DVLA is to always refute their claims if you have done everything by the book. Always record any conversation you have with them regardless of how trivial it may seem and always, always attend court if you are summonsed. After what i saw yesterday, i can definitely say without any sort of undue bias that the DVLA rely on you not knowing your rights, your ignorance of the law, and not knowing your responsibilities within law. This is how they get away with their unscrupulous behaviour and command huge fines. Always, always use the Interpretations Act 1978 Chapter 30 Section 7 as your defence when important documents such as V5C's/V60's and SORN notifications are sent by post and lost by either Royal Mail or the DVLA. Hopefully, you will succeed like i did.
  15. The Ministry of Defence has today confirmed the newly-designed Arctic Star and Bomber Command gold clasp will be available to almost a quarter of a million veterans or their families within weeks. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2284517/At-medal-fit-Arctic-heroes-Design-unveiled-honour-veterans-Russian-Run-Second-World-War.html
  16. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-2217224/Motorists-save-13-premiums-car-insurers-court-victory-legal-fees.html
  17. Hi just returned from Trafford Magistrates court courtesy of a Requisition inforced by DVLA to answer the charge of failure to notify. The vehicle in question was sold 2yrs ago DVLA contacted me 6mths ago.... long story short took advice from the site told their legal eagle i wasn't legally bound to chase up and do their work for them.......... Victory
  18. Well, it appears my 12 month long minicredit saga could be about to reach its conclusion. After passing my account to Freds who then gave up when I challenged them, the account went to OPOS. After texts not explaining who they were,their email confirmed my suspicion that they were working for MC. Their opening email stated they wanted £699 (loan was £100 and I've paid £115.50 towards it so far) and would seek a CCJ if not paid within 14 days. They offered a 50% discount of £349.50. I replied asking them to break down their figure and justify all charges, but I am not paying £699. They came back saying fine, you're going to court as you won't pay, see you there. I replied I'm quite happy to go to court but I've tried for a year to settle this and can prove so, but their £100 charges for debt collection are breaking OFT regulations and should be revoked. Eventually he caved in, and I told him exactly what I'd paid so far. He said we'll settle it for £200, to which I made a counter-offer of £76.50, taking the total paid to £192. Still a little over the odds, but an affordable figure for me to end this hell. It's amazing how it went from £699 to £349.50 to £200 to £76.50 in the space of 24 hours and 6 emails. He also stated that: When this payment is made, the remainder of the balance outstanding is written off and no further action will be taken. The account will then be closed as classified as fully settled. This will show as paid in full on your credit file. The debt will not be passed to any other agency as it will be written off. I'm classing this one as a win . Stick to your guns, know your stuff and don't be scared of them. They're powerless, take control and pay what you can. After this, I have one to go, down from 7 just 9 months ago. CAG is awesome.
  19. 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
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