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Going to court tomorrow - What should I expect to happen?


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Dear All,

 

Forgive me, this post may be lacking in detail, but it’s because I need to go to court tomorrow and need to go over my notes and paperwork. So the lack of detail relates to the time I have available to me and not that I don’t wish to share the nitty gritty with you.

 

I owe about £400 to a company and I’m being chased by (and taken to court by a debt collector). I’m pretty confident of putting up a fight and believe I can show that I was tricked into signing a contract (via some notes made by the company that they freely gave me at the time). While I feel confident at the moment, no doubt I will be a quivering lump of jelly at 10 on Wednesday morning when I have to walk into the court.

 

Anyway, my questions really relate to my court appearance tomorrow. What will happen ? I mean, I’ve never been to court before and don’t know what goes on in there. Will the judge be an ogre ? Will he be patient because I am not legally trained ?

 

I have listed my wife as a witness as she was with me when I signed the contract. Will the judge send her out of the court while I give my version of the story, and call her in to get her view of things ?

 

Also, relating to the DCA. I happen to know that they do not hold a current Consumer Credit Licence (their licence was ‘Terminated’ early 2009). Am I correct in thinking they require one ? Obviously I want to mention this in court, but when do I do it ? Do I mention it when the judge first gives me an opportunity to speak ? If I say the DCA has no CCL, why would the judge believe me ?

 

From what I have read (not on this site), the OFT won’t be interested in the fact that this DCA has no Consumer Credit Licence as they can only suspend / place conditions on them if the holder does not abide by the code of conduct. My DCA doesn’t have a licence so seems to be in the clear.

 

In the same vein, the DCA has no Data Protection Licence, do they need one of these too ? If so what can I do about it.

 

Anyway, I’d be grateful for any help anyone can offer, no matter how small. Thank you all for taking the time to read my post.

 

J

 

PS I should have mentioned it is a Small Claims Court.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes I have filed and sent my defence, and also my Witness Statement.

 

With regards to the name of the DCA, may I PM you the name please? I realise it's unlikely they will be reading this post but I just want to take precautions in case they do.

 

J

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WW = Debt Collectors personal name

XX = Debt collectors company name

YY = The people I owe £400 to

ZZ = I have no idea who this company is

** Date of approx 1 year ago

Claimant

Mrs WW T/as Company XX

Assignee of YY Limited collecting on behalf of

ZZ Limited

 

Defendant

My Details

 

Brief details of the claim

Non payment of maintenance fees for timeshare

 

Value

The amount of the account is £408. The Assignor claims interest at 8% under the County Court Act 1984 section 69 from **. The Assignor claims further fees of £70.98 as detailed to the defendant by letter.

 

That is all it has on the claim form.

J

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Sorry have just seen post @ 21:05

 

It is the trial tomorrow. Ie for a judge to decide if I / they are right or wrong and make a judgement.

 

The debt was assigned to the DCA by way of an assignment notice dated XX/04/2010

 

J

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Did you get

 

1/assignment notice from the creditor and a welcome letter from the dca saying the account has been assigned

2/ you mention timeshare, was this by a consumer credit agreement regulated by the consumer credit act 1974

 

3/ did you get a default notice

 

4/ did you get a letter before action

 

5/ when the debt was assigned to the dca, whats the date, month/year

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1/assignment notice from the creditor and a welcome letter from the DCA saying the account has been assigned

Yes - I letter saying 'We have been assigned the above for collection'. NB 'the above' refers to an oustanding account with company YY.

2/ you mention timeshare, was this by a consumer credit agreement regulated by the consumer credit act 1974

Yes - about £1400 was through a UK based loan company

3/ did you get a default notice

Yes - 02/12/2009. Saying Pay within 14 days or else.

4/ did you get a Letter Before Action

Yes - dated 18/12/2009. This says 'LETTER BEFORE ACTION' and says we will get a County Court Claim shortly. NB this letter is from the company I owe money to, not the DCA.

5/ when the debt was assigned to the dca, whats the date, month/year

The debt was assigned to the DCA by way of an assignment notice dated XX/04/2010

 

Is this a Summary Judgement. am not sure what you are referring to, the court paperwork reads ...

 

Notice of Trial Date.

'The Trial of the above claim will take place at 10:00 on 29 September 2010'

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Thanks for your time on this, postggj, I'm really grateful.

 

Well, been to court. I won .... on a technicality.

 

Was due in at 10, but things run late so didn't get into the court until 11.

 

The judge was not an ogre, in fact was extremely polite and understanding (to both sides). Pretty much his first question was directed at the DCA (Yes he turned up). Prove to me that the defendent owes you money. The DCA couldn't. All the DCA could do was show me and the judge a piece of paper to confirm that he had bought the debt for £10 (it's not a typo). He could show nothing that said I owed (and had an agreement) with companies YY Ltd or ZZ Ltd.

 

So the case was dismissed. I was in there for 5 mins at most.

 

When we got out of the court room the DCA said he would get that agreement and see me in court again .... I said 'OK'. No doubt, the DCA was serious about court again, but after finding this site and having a 'practice run' at going to court, I'm feeling pretty confident. I just wish I had found this site earlier than yesterday afternoon.

 

J

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.

 

 

When we got out of the court room the DCA said he would get that agreement and see me in court again .... I said 'OK'. No doubt, the DCA was serious about court again, but after finding this site and having a 'practice run' at going to court, I'm feeling pretty confident. I just wish I had found this site earlier than yesterday afternoon.

 

J

 

The DCA has had his chance and blown it. The doctrine of "res judicia" ( latin for a thing already decided) applies,

This means that once a court has made a decision the same case cannot be put before a court again based on the same dispute/ claim.

The reason for this is obvious, a company with deep pockets could lose in court and keep coming back again until they either found a friendly judge or wore the defendant down financially and mentally,

And, as no one likes losing, the courts would be full of cases being reheard and reheard - the system would collapse.

 

Also above you stay that the DCA does not have a consumer credit license- YOU MUST REPORT THIS TO YOUR LOCAL TRADING STANDARDS DEPARTMENT AND THE OFT,

The authorities take this very, very seriously and the individual running the DCA will get a very hard time from officials who can and will put HIM before a criminal court judge with a very a large fine in prospect.

 

Please, please do this both for yourself but more importantly for the people who cannot stand up against bullies, which is what these people are.

 

Martin

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It would be useful to know which DCA this is; we can check them out and then report any non-compliance to the relevant authorities. Carrying out licensable activity without a licence is a criminal offence, but in such cases it is often the case that there are additional issues in relation to data protection and the Companies Act.

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Thanks, Postggj.

 

I am doing some digging on the DCA now.

 

Do we know the dates a) of DCA correspondence, and b) that the claim was submitted? I suspect that this may well be a case that the OFT will want to investigate but in order to submit a report the Licencing Fitness Team it is best to supply as much evidence as possible - and now would be a good time to do it for reasons I won't expand on here for obvious reasons.

 

Secondly, it appears that the DCA isn't registered as a data controller with ICO - another offence, but I'm still confirming this.

 

Lastly, the DCA appears to be very small - I suspect a one-woman operation - and is a sole trader. This means that as it's not a limited company the Companies Act doesn't apply. However, take a look at the logo - what's the betting they don't have permission to use the Royal crown in it? Having been recently involved in a Trade Mark case (an organisation of which I'm a member of the executive council successfully stopped an organisation using a representation of a crown to imply that they had official authorisation), I know that this is generally not permitted. I'll report this to the relevant people.

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