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help! united utilities have issued court action on my terminally ill mum

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Hi,

Please can anybody help with some advice?

My mum fell behind on her water bill after my Dad died and she got ill with cancer.

Earlier this year she contacted United Utilities explained situation and also sent a trust fund application.

She has been making monthly payments but missed June's payment as normally I go to pay bill for her but I was on holiday. This week I went to pay 2 months' instalments by cheque in the post office with a letter apologising and requesting water payment card. I sent this special delivery.

When I got back I discovered that she had been sent a form from court as United Utilities have started court proceedings.

She is so stressed out and she is already really ill. United Utilities were already aware that she is terminally ill and struggling, Please can someone help me form a defence and give advice on filling out theform?

 

Thank you for any help you can give x

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One question first : Are you now up to date with all the payments ?

 

I would call UU first and check if they are still going ahead as it might be that the letter crossed in the post with your payment and they do send out certain letters and forms to force people to pay their bill so it might be part of the scheduled recovery action and if that is the case it can be stopped by them.

Is your mother on a water meter ?

 

I am sorry to say that UU will not care that your mother is ill but it might be worth asking about the access / vulnerable householders scheme.

 

As to defence..There is nothing better in my mind then the truth. Your mother was behind in her payments as you were on hoilday and she is ill. On your return you paid to date and are sorry it was forgotten. Honest and to the point.

 

Oh and whilst I think about it, are they asking for the whole amount now ? Have they cancelled the payment plan ? You need to check that as it would make a difference to what they want

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Hi,

I have spoken to UU and they did not make a mistake, they intended to go ahead with the court action and to claim the whole amount. They also said they will not accept any more payments in the meantime.

Thanks x

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Whatever you do, carry on making payments as it will make them look bad in court. They cannot reject payments whatever the circumstances and have to accept them otherwise they are going to look even more stupid in court.

I am unsure on water regulations etc but i do knwo that they cannot cut off the water. Maybe she should consider having a meter fitted as it may work out a lot cheaper than paying according to the rateable value of the residence.

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Surfer is correct. Carry on making the payments anyway as it will help the outstanding amount no matter what and look better in court.

 

I do know about the water act ~( worked with it daily) The water will not be cut off that is correct but they can take you to court and add fees etc. If it were me I would go back to UU and see if they will allow to pay in full ? How much is outstanding on the bill anyway ?

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It seems that you have 'spoken to' United Utilities. That is nearly always a mistake as you will be dealt with by a customer services rep who answers by script and has no discretion.

 

You should write a letter of complaint so that the case will be properly considered.

 

Where do the 'court papers' come from? I expect MCOL Northampton?

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