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Howard Cohen, oh dear


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Story so far, OH has Wallis Card, is self emoployed, business goes bust, can't pay Wallis card or other cards. Goes to CAB who contact card holders and tell them she's in financial difficulties. They write back with amount outstanding and asking for financial statement.

In the meantime OH is told by CAB, that due to my income (I have a pension and benefits) that she cannot get legal aid so they can't help?

I write on her behalf, for CCA's and stuff, soon as Wallis aka GE Money, get the letter it's side swiped to CL Finance, who immediately call in Howard Cohen, who send notice of assignment, and lay a claim at Northampton Bulk CC the same day.

Claim arrives from CC, dated 9th Feb, 2009, I immediately acknowledge receipt disagreeing with claim, and write to HC under CPR, they write back saying sufficient info in Claim to proceed. On 9th March, 2009 we send in defence by recorded delivery, it is recieved 10th March. We sit and wait for AQ.

Today wife receives this letter:-

Howard Cohen pictures by mightyacorn2008 - Photobucket

and is extremely distressed, and I mean distressed.

 

I contact Northampton, a nice young lady answers, and tells me there is no CCJ, Howard Cohen tried to push the case through on 24th March, 2009 but were told that a defence had been received and that it would be allocated. That was on the 24th. this letter is dated 27th. and even tells her that "the judgement order states that you must pay £125 every month commencing 6th April, 2009. We, of course, retain control of the Court Action etc.,"

 

Oh dear, seems like an understandable mistake..........

 

NEXT MOVE PLEASE ANYONE

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This is VERY interesting....you MUST report them to the OFT, your local MP, send this also to Gareth Thomas - Undersecretary Of State For Trade And Consumer Affairs - and also the SRA....

 

You must also tell the judge that they have attempted deception too.....it might even be worth a letter to the court manager at Northampton.....

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Perhaps a carefully worded letter to Cohen's also......stating that a solicitor committing fraud/deception could be classed as a very serious offence.....i'd get in touch with your local BBC TV station also.....

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I know what I would do.....give them a call (RECORD THE CALL) and get them to confirm that judgement has been awarded....get them to confirm this on the phone...ask them while you're on the phone what the date is !!!

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oh

welcome finance, now GE money....

watchdog are going to be very busy.....dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I'm doing nothing at the moment other than trying to reassure my wife who is still at her wits end. I need to sit down and not rush into anything.

 

Perhaps the first thing I should do is get confirmation from the Court in writing, unfortunately I didn't record the phone call.

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This is unbelievable, and is very similar to the tactics being used by Cope:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collection-industry/191951-copes-solicitors-have-they.html

 

I urge you to contact the media about this - especially BBC1's Watchdog, as well as Radio 4's You and Yours. They're both very interested in this kind of activity at the moment. It is clearly quite deliberate and in no way an 'administrative error'. A complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is also worth a go.

 

As 42man says, it would be worth calling Howard Cohen, recording the call, and ask them to confirm the judgment. That would sound great on TV or radio...

 

Please don't panic, CAG will get you both through this.

“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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I'm also assuming you've had no notice of assignment from GE, nor any letter before action. Sounds alarmingly like this thread:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collection-industry/192263-cl-finance-issue-court.html

“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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They call the court at 4pm on the last day your defence can be submitted; if it hasn't arrived, they ask for a summary judgment. So even if your defence is in on time, it may not have been processed and put in the system and you can get shafted! Easy to overturn, just hassle. I think courts are getting wiser to this kind of practice.

“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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They call the court at 4pm on the last day your defence can be submitted; if it hasn't arrived, they ask for a summary judgment. So even if your defence is in on time, it may not have been processed and put in the system and you can get shafted! Easy to overturn, just hassle. I think courts are getting wiser to this kind of practice.

 

 

Thanks for the info, so best to not delay.

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They call the court at 4pm on the last day your defence can be submitted; if it hasn't arrived, they ask for a summary judgment. So even if your defence is in on time, it may not have been processed and put in the system and you can get shafted! Easy to overturn, just hassle. I think courts are getting wiser to this kind of practice.

 

Claim issued 9th Feb, therefore last day for defence was 14th March, Cohen tried to get summary Judgement on 24th March but were told defence filed, so there is no way not processed, and in any case Cohen's letter is dated 27th March.

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This is absolutely disgraceful. I would also get straight on to the Law Society's Legal Complaints Service and report them.

 

The website is www.legalcomplaints.org.uk

 

I am sure action will be taken against them for this.

 

Good luck.

 

DD

 

I may be wrong, but I read this as being a complaint procedure about the way YOUR solicitor has handled your affairs, and not about another solicitor.

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Have a look at the Solicitors Regulation Authority's website -

 

 

Especially their Code of Conduct -

 

 

And in particular the Core Duties -

 

 

I think you will have plenty to go on to make a really good complaint,

 

Pookey

I'm in the DCA kicking business ..........and business is good!!!!

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I think everyone's in agreement here, that Howard Cohen has given me an ideal opportunity to cause themselves an awful lot of grief, and which could assist lots of other people who find themselves being hounded, etc., by this firm of Solicitors. With this in mind I want to make sure that I do everything spot on, so please bear with me if I seem a little apprehensive, I do it in the best interests to make sure that they cannot wriggle out of because I have made a simple error.

 

I know I have the support of you all and if I make a mistake please feel free to tell me in no uncertain terms.

 

I have sent the basic details to Watchdog and my MP, obviously it is the weekend and there will be no response from anybody yet.

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Complaint registered with SRA:-

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to make a complaint on behalf of my wife regarding the serious misconduct of Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors]

PO Box 110

Cleckheaton

West Yorkshire

BD19 4XT

The circumstances surrounding this complaint are as follows :-

My wife was until recently self employed running her own Public House, unfortunately due to various reasons, the business collapsed and of course left my wife without employment and income. We were obliged to sell our Public House with negative equity.

My wife has Wallis Store Card issued by GE Money, issued 6th April, 2006, with an amount outstanding of £688.74, she was obviously unable to pay anything off it, so she went to the Citizens Advice Bureau, who wrote to all her debtors informing them of her situation.

Upon hearing that my income (consisting of work related pension and invalidity benefits) appeared to exceed their limits on free advice my wife was informed by the CAB that they could no longer assist.

At this time my wife became ill with gynaecological problems, and was referred to a consultant at hospital.

My wife contacted GE Money, and informed them of the problems, they wrote back on 15th December indicating that there were further items to be discussed, the outstanding balance had now increased to £704.23, my wife had informed them that because of the situation she was unable to pay anything at the moment, due to her demise.

On 20th January, my wife wrote to GE Money requesting a copy of the Credit agreement under Sections 77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act, 1974 and enclosed a £1 Postal Order.

 

On 27th January, GE Money wrote to me wife indicating that because my wife had not signed the letter they were unable to deal with the request.

My wife then wrote back to GE Money indicating she was not prepared to accept their refusal to acknowledge her request.

 

My wife then received a letter dated 6th February, 2009, purporting to be a Notice of Assignment, from Howard Cohen and Co Solicitors stating :-

We hereby give you notice that GE Capital Bank Limited of R/O Agar Street, London, WC2N 4HR, have by an assignment dated 4th February, 2009 and made between GE Capital Bank Limited and Cl Finance Limited assigned to Cl Finance Limited absolutely a debt in the sum of £735.73 due and owing by you to them for the balance due under the account reference **************** and you are required to pay the same to the benefit of CL Finance Limited accordingly.

 

Dated 6th February, 2009

Dear Mrs *****

We act for CL Finance Limited

 

A claim has today been submitted to the County Court for issue. You should respond to the claim immediately upon receipt.

Payment in full of £860.73 being the total amount shown due in the claim including costs, will prevent judgment being entered against you.

Payment MUST be forwarded to this office.

Please ensure that you quote reference number **************** when remitting payment.

If you wish to discuss this matter please telephone 0870 751 3202, 8.45 am to 7.45pm

Yours sincerely

Howard Cohen & Co

The following day my wife received a County Court Claim Form issue date 9th February, 2009, the claimant being shown as CL Finance Limited, address for sending documents etc., Howard Cohen, at their address in Cleckheaton and the defendant, my wife.

The particulars of the claim are given as :-

The Claimant's claim is for the sum of 753.73 being the monies due for the Defendant to the Claimant under a regulated credit agreement between the Defendant and GE Capital Bank Limited under reference **************** and assigned to the Claimant on the 4th February, 2009 notice of which has been given to the Defendant.

The Defendant has failed to make payment in accordance with the terms of the agreement and a default notice has been served upon the Defendant pursuant to Section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Pursuant to clause 7 of the agreement the Claimant also claims contractual interest at a rate of 26.478% per annum from the date of these proceedings to the date of judgment, or sooner payment, accruing at a daily rate of 0.62.

 

My wife then received a letter dated 9th February, 2009 from GE Money, again refusing to give details under Section 77-79 of the Consumer Credit Act, 1974 because she had not provided a signature, making no mention of the fact that the Agreement had been assigned.

My wife then wrote on 16th February to Howard Cohen asking under CPR 31.14 for a copy of the agreement, the assignment, the default notice, the termination notice and any other documents they seek to rely on in Court.

My wife received a letter dated 16th February from Howard Cohen, which stated :

Re: CL Finance Limited v Yourself

Northampton ********** - £860.73

You will now have received a County Court Claim in the above matter.

We require payment of the sum due shown in the claim of £860.73 IN FULL failing which we will seek judgement against you.

You will readily appreciate the benefits of maintaining your current staisfactory credit history. If judgment is entered against you, your NAME AND ADDRESS will be entered in the Register of County Court Judgments. This may make it difficult for you to obtain credit. Further solicitor costs, for which you will be responsible will also be added to any judgment entered.

Please ensure you quote refrence *********************** when submitting payment.

If you wish to discuss this matter please telephone 0870 751 3202.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY RESPONDED TO THE CLAIM PLEASE IGNORE THIS LETTER.

Yours faithfully,

Howrad Cohen & Co.

On 23rd February, my wife acknowledged the Claim on line.

My wife received a letter dated 2nd March, from Howard Cohen which stated that :-

We refer to your recent letter in which you made a request for information under the Civil Procedure Rule 31.14.

We are not obliged to provide this information under C.P.R. 31.14. This claim is for less than £5,000.00 and there the rule is not applicable. We can confirm that any disclosure will be dealt with as directed by the court. The Particulars of the Claim should be sufficient for you to reply to the claim form.

We trust this clarifies the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Howard Cohen & Co.

My wife filed her defence by posting by recorded delivery on 9th March, 2009, it was received by the Court on 10th March, 2009, within the permitted time.

 

On 2nd April, 2009, my wife received a letter from Howard Cohen which reads as follows:-

Dear Mrs ,

re: CL Finance Limited - Balance £860.73

Northampton COUNTY COURT - CASE NUMBER

As you are aware Judgment has been entered against you.

Payment, in accordance with the terms of the Judgment must be made direct to The Lewis Group, who will manage and monitor payments in respect of the above action on behalf of CL Finance Limited and ourselves. The judgement order states that you must pay £125.00 every month commencing 6th April 2009.

Enclosed please find payment slips for your own use.

We, of course, retain control of the Court Action and should any payment be missed we shall not hesitate to proceed further through the Court. Should you have any query please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you wish to discuss this matter please telephone 0870 751 3281.

Yours faithfully,

Howard Cohen.

Upon reciept of this letter, my wife who is not in the best of health due to her gyneacological problems became extremely distressed, and broke down.

Knowing full well that the defence had been filed at the Court within the requisite time I immediately contacted Northampton County Court Bulk Centre, having identified myself to the clerk, my wife was forced to speak to the clerk despite being distressed to clarify that I was authorised to speak on her behalf, I was then informed by the Clerk that there was no such judgment, and that Cohen's had tried to 'force' through the judgment on 24th March, but had been informed that a defence had been filed, and the claim would go for allocation.

I therefore wish to complain on behalf of my wife about the actions of Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors which I consider to be unlawful, unprofessional and vexatious, and would ask that you investigate their actions and take whatever legal recourse you think necessary and proper.

Should you require copies of any of these documents mentioned please let me know and I will forward them as soon as practicable.

Yours faithfully,

Edited by Mightyacorn
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Complaint registered with SRA:-

 

Nice one!!

 

It might also be worth writing to 'Howard Cohen' asking them to provide you with a copy of the judgement. Don't give them any indication you have complained or you might use any reply against them, but it would be interesting to see what they come up with! Don't forget to send it recorded.

 

Pookey

I'm in the DCA kicking business ..........and business is good!!!!

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Nice one!!

 

It might also be worth writing to 'Howard Cohen' asking them to provide you with a copy of the judgement. Don't give them any indication you have complained or you might use any reply against them, but it would be interesting to see what they come up with! Don't forget to send it recorded.

 

Pookey

 

Consensus of opinion on this one please, do I send Cohen's a copy of their letter and ask for a copy of the Judgment, or do I just sit tight and keep them in the dark?

 

The other thing is would there now be a conflict of interest if they continue to act on CL Finances behalf?

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Hi folks,

 

I'm in court with HC+CL this week and I am looking for examples of vexatious litigation by them

 

For this, I include any of the following:

 

1) The infamous "we have gained judgment" (when they havent) letter - the more examples of this the better

 

2) Any examples of lack of compliance with court orders, for example -

 

a) failure by HC/CL to enter an AQ by the time stated by the court

 

b) failure to comply with disclosure where a court has ordered it

 

c) failure to show in court for hearing

 

3) any examples of their claims being struck out by the court for the above and other issues

 

4) any examples (I think this covers most people) where they started a court claim less than 10 days after the date of the first "we own this account" letter they sent you

 

 

If I can get as manay examples of this as possible I'm hoping to get a judge to consider a vexatious litigant order, preventing them from carrying on this farce against us and others

 

As you can see, I am a long term ember of CAG and I am sure many long term members would guarantee my authenticity

 

I make this point because if you are willing, I would require the details above, plus

 

i) the court the action took place at

 

ii) the claim number

 

If anyone knows of others that are not on this thread but have had the issues, could you please ask them to view this and consider replying?

 

 

I would ask that anyone who is prepared to pass details does so via PM

 

Thanks all

omnia praesumuntur legitime facta donec probetur in contrarium

 

 

Please note: I am not a member of the legal profession, all advice given is purely my opinion, if in doubt consult a professional

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Hi folks,

 

I'm in court with HC+CL this week and I am looking for examples of vexatious litigation by them

 

For this, I include any of the following:

 

1) The infamous "we have gained judgment" (when they havent) letter - the more examples of this the better

 

2) Any examples of lack of compliance with court orders, for example -

 

a) failure by HC/CL to enter an AQ by the time stated by the court

 

b) failure to comply with disclosure where a court has ordered it

 

c) failure to show in court for hearing

 

3) any examples of their claims being struck out by the court for the above and other issues

 

4) any examples (I think this covers most people) where they started a court claim less than 10 days after the date of the first "we own this account" letter they sent you

 

 

If I can get as manay examples of this as possible I'm hoping to get a judge to consider a vexatious litigant order, preventing them from carrying on this farce against us and others

 

As you can see, I am a long term ember of CAG and I am sure many long term members would guarantee my authenticity

 

I make this point because if you are willing, I would require the details above, plus

 

i) the court the action took place at

 

ii) the claim number

 

If anyone knows of others that are not on this thread but have had the issues, could you please ask them to view this and consider replying?

 

 

I would ask that anyone who is prepared to pass details does so via PM

 

Thanks all

omnia praesumuntur legitime facta donec probetur in contrarium

 

 

Please note: I am not a member of the legal profession, all advice given is purely my opinion, if in doubt consult a professional

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Consensus of opinion on this one please, do I send Cohen's a copy of their letter and ask for a copy of the Judgment, or do I just sit tight and keep them in the dark?

 

The other thing is would there now be a conflict of interest if they continue to act on CL Finances behalf?

 

 

Yes,

 

in your situation I would ask for a copy of the judgment, they will without a doubt then claim "admin error"

omnia praesumuntur legitime facta donec probetur in contrarium

 

 

Please note: I am not a member of the legal profession, all advice given is purely my opinion, if in doubt consult a professional

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Dont send them a copy of their letter.

 

Act all innocent, just write along the lines of -

 

 

Re: CL Finance Limited -v- Mrs Mightyacorn

Northampton County Court Claim No:********

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for you letter dated 27/03/2009 the contents of which have been noted.

 

I would be grateful if you would supply me with a copy of the Judgement entered against me for the above claim number as confirmation that I must pay £125.00 every month from 06/04/2009.

 

I trust this is in order and look forward to your reply.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs Mightyacorn

 

 

 

Dont forget to send it recorded,

 

Pookey

I'm in the DCA kicking business ..........and business is good!!!!

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