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E-on Notice of Intent to Apply for a Warrant

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:Cry: Hi folks.

 

I rather foolishly buried my head in the sand regarding a debt to Eon of £400. I received a letter yesterday that appears to have been hand delivered but came with the rest of my mail delivered by the Postman.

 

It says "We called today at -blank- to discuss any problems you may have?"

Firstly they didn't call at all as I was in all day and I've been charged a further £30 for this letter.

 

I really want to pay them as it isn't a massive amount of money and I would much rather be on the tariff I'm on now as prepayment meters are an out and out rip off...I know this from working for Southern Electric many moons ago.

 

The situation I'm in currently isn't the best as I'm not able to work at present as I was a Groundwork and Drainage contractor until a serious knee injury put paid to my job prospects for the time being and I currently am in receipt of benefits because of the injury.

 

What can I do? I was given a payment card a few months back and have made a payment but not as much as they wanted. I know I've been stupid to ignore this for this long but I just want to get the matter sorted for now. I'm pretty scared by all of this as there is mention of involving the Police to assist them.

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Don't know what's happened to this forum since I last used it.

 

People used to be only too happy to help or offer advice...not so anymore sadly.

 

Seeing as nobody had the decency to even try to offer some advice, I bit the bullet and just rang Eon who were extremely helpful...unlike this forum.

 

That is my advice to anyone in a similar predicament...don't put all your faith in these forums as you may never get a response. Be brave and ring the company and offer a small payment, then ask about a monthly Payment Plan. It was certainly far quicker than waiting for some holier than thou Moderator or Forum anorak to have the decency and manners to point me in the right direction:mad:.

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Dear Shytalk 123

 

I am not by any means an expert and I hope there will be some people on here later who can help you. That said I took some advice of this forum that has proven to be good.

 

The very first thing to say to you is there is no immediate cause for worry and there is a lot you can do.

 

As I see it you have two things to deal with. The first is the letter threatening the application for a disconnection warrant and the second is to address the bill.

 

To deal with the warrant threat first:

 

1. Check the letter and see if they have stated a court and the date where the warrant will be applied for. I suspect not in this case. More likely is that a field agent is trying to collect first. The talk of the police is to scare you. Disregard it for the moment. The £30 charge is something you can challenge, and they will very likely back down.

 

2. If the letter you have does not have a court date and location then you have probably received a standard letter from their threatomatic system or from a field collection agent. At this point there is no court date set. However, if you do nothing you will eventually receive another letter several weeks before the court date telling you of the court and time. (What is going on at the moment are efforts by the utility to get you to respond).

 

3. Once you have this date you can go to court to defend yourself. This is what will happen:

 

a). The application for a disconnection will be one of many given to an agent. The job of the agent is to put the warrants in front of the magistrate. He will likely have 20 or more to submit and may be working on behalf of several utilities.

 

b). The agent will not be in a position to argue the merits of each individual case. He is not a solicitor. His job is therefore only to put the paperwork through the court. Any application that is challenged will not be put in front of a magistrate that day. (Only applications not challenged will be submited to the court and all of them will be granted as the magistrates will have no opposing testimony that would give them reason not to grant the application).

 

4. Get to the court nice and early and report to reception. Say you are there to defend an application for disconnection and show the court your letter. Ask the court for the name of the agent handling your case and go and find him. It is likely he will want to find you anyway. (I advise you to shave, dress in your best business clothing and get a file to contain your papers. If you are female you don't need to shave! You will look neat, professional and business like. Indeed you will possibly be neater than the agent. This will put you in a positive position as you will feel more confident and business like and he will think you more credible. This really works and you should do it!).

 

5. When you meet him (or her) be polite and simply state you are there to object to the granting of the disconnection warrant. It is almost certain he will withdraw the warrant for that day as he has no information to put the utility company’s case . He may ask you the reasons for objecting and you can tell him or show him your defence. (see below).

 

6. It is possible for a variety of reasons that the warrant has already been withdrawn and nobody has told you. In this case get him to state on the back of the letter you have that it was withdrawn and his name and date. If you have not been told by the utility company that they have withdrawn their application you might have a nice little case against them for wasting your time etc. and you could get costs etc. back.

 

7. This does not stop the utility coming back on a later occasion with a solicitor to argue for a disconnection but one hopes it is unlikely given that by that time you will have an arrangement in place (see below).

 

Secondly, to deal with the Bill and or prevent the warrant being issued. I would do the following:

 

1. Write a letter (do it today) to the utility and offer them a payment plan that you can afford, not one they try to impose. I would think you need to consider keeping pace with your monthly usage and adding a bit on for the arrears. Either make the first payment by cheque or postal order with the letter or see below.

 

2. Send the letter by recorded delivery.

 

3. After two days go on-line to the GPO track and trace page and make sure the letter has been delivered. Print off the confirmation in case you need to produce it in court later.

 

4. Call the utility to confirm they have received the letter and ask them if they will accept the payment plan. (Whatever their response request they give it to you in writing). If you have not paid them by cheque/po as above then offer payment of the first instalment over the phone by card.

 

5. Irrespective of whether they accept the payment plan at this stage or not, they will certainly accept the payment.

 

6. If they accept the payment plan you are not likely to get the court date letter. If they do not accept the plan get the name of the agent you were talking to and note the date and time of the call.

 

7. Keep to your payment plan until you get the court date letter and keep paying according to your plan even after the letter is received.

 

8. Prior to going to court type out a summary of your case, stating your financial position, the offers you have made, the payments you have made and a diary/timetable of events.

 

9. When you get to the court you can tell the agent you are objecting to the disconnection warrant because you have offered a payment plan and are making payments. Produce copies of your letter, recorded delivery slips, your summary that you intend to show the court etc. This will be enough for the agent to see you have a defence, however weak it may be and he will pull the warrant. (all as above).

 

10. It is possible the utility may come back at a later date with a solicitor ready to fight the case. It would seem from other posts on here that a court is unlikely to issue a warrant of disconnection if you are maintaining payments and addressing arrears.

 

Here is a brief summary of my own experiences:

 

CASE 1

 

1. Paid my father’s arrears (but not the current bill) over the phone two days before the court date.

2. Asked if the warrant application would be pulled. The utility said no as I had not paid the current bill (which was not yet due).

3. Went to court and found the agent.

4. The agent said he had no documents as they had been pulled. He himself advised that I had a case for wasted time/costs against the utility.

 

CASE 2

 

1. Prepared a good written defence against our business electricity supplier.

2. At court found the agent. He said the utility had pulled the case, though no one could find a reason for this.

3. Subsequently spoke to the utility who said the application had been pulled because a part payment had been made (some two months prior to the issuing of the application).

4. Another case for wasted costs.

 

I hope other more experienced CAGers will come on this thread and correct any errors I have made in my advice. This is the first time I have offered any advice to any other CAGer so could do with some confirmation that what I have advised is good and safe. I dealt with both cases above in the same week! And it was the advise on these forums that got me through so want to give back now.

 

The key thing is to deal with the bill and not to worry at this stage. Hope this helps.

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Dear Shytalk 123

 

Just seen your second post. Hope you appreciate my reply took about an hour to write up properly.

 

If you are a little patient I am sure others will be along to help out.

 

In the mean time I am glad the utility is helping you out. Keep an eye on them to make sure they dont try (possibly by accident) to go for the warrant anyway.

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Thank you so much for all your kind help and advice. I feel stupid now for doubting that there are still good people like yourself on this forum.

 

I wish there was some way I could repay you for your efforts. If you ever need any car mechanical advice or advice about Civil Engineering and Drainage...I'm your man:)

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In defence of the forum there was a bank charges decision today which shocked a lot of people, certainly stunned me.

 

I hope it is possible to fight on.

 

I don't have any training in collections but its pretty clear its a standard letter, they will probably wipe the charge if you kick up a fuss as they can't prove they have been.

 

If you are making realistic offers based on your ability to pay they should not disconnect. Ask your supplier if there is a socail tariff or a fund to assist people struggling to pay thier bill.

 

If you are vulerable (pensionable age, chronically sick, have young children or are disabled) then they CANNOT disconnect you.


The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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