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court summons help from water bill co..


gwa70
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i,ve received a court summons relating to northumbria water and £300 they say i owe them...

i,ve not received any letter from them about this and am at a loss as to where it has come from......i rang them but they refused to speak to me and said i must contact the solicitor involved..........

is there a template for a letter i can send requesting full details of this debt etc?

i have asked for 28 days with the court so need to start writing immediatlety...

 

is there any protocol regarding water co,s and debt in relation to what they are supposed to do before court action.........surely i,d receive a string of letters before this point.........

the address on the court papers is correct so i assume they have my correct address and any letters would arrive here......

 

any advice etc in dealing with this would be greatly appreciated

 

thanks

 

gary

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Hello gwa

 

How do you normally pay your water bill, by direct debit?

 

So, have you sent an Acknowledgment of Service (AOS) to the Court?

 

You need to send a CPR 31.14/31.15 request letter to the claimant's Solicitors for disclosure of copies of documents mentioned in the Particulars of Claim, they then must comply with your request in no more than 7 days.

 

As far as you are concerened, is your account with this untilities provider up to date?

 

Kind Regards

 

The Mould

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi...sorry for delay in replying...been waitingto hear from xourt and water board........to summarise....

i sent defence to court saying i needed the extra 28 days as i had no knowledge of the debt..

i also sent a cpr request to water board..

the court replied saying water board had 28 days to furnish all documents i,d asked for or claim would be stayed...

the WB replied eventually saying they were puzzled why i,d sent cpr request and tellignme that debt related to 2010-2011 statutory charges less a coupe of payments and with costs added on etc........they didn,t however send me any copies of bills or letters they claimed to have sent as reminder........surely the cpr request is asking for these so i can see official documents relating to the charges etc.....

 

the situation seems to have arisen when i changed bank accounts due to loosing my job and getting into financial problems.....my now ex partner said she would take over paying bills etc and i left it with her..............i then moved out of the area when i was offered work and left my house empty assuming she was paying bills.......i now know different...

 

any letters bills etc they sent never reached me and all i,m trying to determine is that the debt is true and accurate................they won,t speak to me on the phone and my job is in a secure unit where i have to leave my phone in my locker from 8 am to 5.30 pm by which time the solicitor involved is closed..........

 

so................i,d like to know what my best move is..............i have no problem paying off the debt once i establish it but what i,d like is for them to drop the court case.......i don,t want a ccj against me for something so trivial yet they seem reluctant to do the simple thing.................do i write back requesting the bill and reminders etc again or do i leave it and hope the court stays the case when 28 days is up...........if i write and admit liability now will they use this to obtain a ccj gainst me.......seems harsh when all i want to do is see some paperwork to satisy myself then agree to pay them off.......

 

cheers

 

thanks

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Hello,

My wife worked for Thames Water and common principles appy.

Have a look at this link to ofwat, the industry regulator. Ofwat are helpful and proactive and the water co's don;t like dealing with them because of the paperwork involved which uses a lot of staff time and costs the company money.

http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/consumerissues/problemspayingbill/gud_pro_custdebt20070327.pdf

The regulator says you must be treated fairly and certainly Thames would call off their solicitors if you made a payment offer. If you have problems contact Ofwat but remember that this does not stop the clock ticking with the court.

I would try to get a manager in their billing section to sort it out, most of the people on the phones have little sense or latitude in their actions.

You can always put in a holding defence to the court stating that the water co. have not provided you with the info you need under CPR so you cannot be certain that you owe them money.

If push comes to shove and it goes to court and you are told to pay up, do so within 28 days and it does not appear on any credit reference files. I think that when paying you need to get a certificate of satisfaction from the court.

Martin g

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  • 2 weeks later...

the water board are sending a copy bill so i,m happy that i owe them the money once i get the bill...................do i write to them direct and suggest a payment plan or to the court.............they have written the court asking that my defence be struck out as i its clear that i do owe them something..............how do i avoid a CCJ.............if i admit to the debt is this unavoidable if water board refuse to negotiate with me direct.............i can,t afford to pay the debt upfront as i,ve been out of work for a while and am working now but have yet to be paid so would only be able to offer installments...

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latest from water board........they sent a letter saying that despite my cpr request they don,t really understand why i would want copy documents but they will send a copy of the bill to me............all the reminders and court threats etc cannot be sent as they "do not keep physical copies and are therefore are unable to send them"............

i genuienely have not seen any letters from them in realtion to this matter and can,t help think they have never been sent.............if i had seen reminders i would have arranged payment.....................whilst i obviously owe them the missed payments my arguement is why should i pay for fees and court costs when they cannot prove i was given notice of their intent.......etc..........is this a valid arguement if i agree to the outstanding bill but not to the costs incurred etc........................does anyone agree that the court will have to dismiss the fees that have occured as i don,t believe i wass ent reminders and therefore this was avoidable if the water co had sent out reminders....

 

any advice would be great as i need to file in next day or two as water board have moved to have my defence struck out...

 

thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

received a letter today from local court with date for hearing to have my defence struck out........they are saying i was aware of the debt s therefore i have no defence..............i still have not received any paperwork whatsoever in relation to this despite my cpr reqeust......all i have is the water boards letter telling me how much i owe them..............any help on what i should do............am i right in thinking technically they are still in breach of cpr request and i can insist on them providing paperwork befor ei admit to anything.......i,d also like to have the costs struck out as per my lasy post........................anyone got any advice please

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The only way you can avoid costs now is to win the case. However, it appears that you have no real prospect of winning the case - you admit that you do owe the money - so you will end up paying the costs.

 

Even if you could prove that the water board did not send the letters - it doesn't matter that you didn't receive them, it's whether they sent them or not that is important - this is no defence as you say that you do owe the money.

 

If you do want to try and avoid any costs then I suggest that you follow marting's advice in post #4 above and see what happens. However, since he suggested that to you almost a month ago I assume that you have already tried doing this.

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thanks for the reply.......i tried to contact them by phone and they refised to speak to me.........said it had to be done by lettter....i wrote explaining that i could not admit to a debt that i wasn,t certain existed or was correct untill they provided me with the bills.stats etc to back up their claim........as per the cpr request...............they still have not done this........and seemingly refuse to..............therefore all i have is a letter from them saying you owe us this much..........i,m not denying they provide services here or that i do owe them money but my point is i need proof of the amount they claim..................they say refer to you bank account....this is an obsolete account i have no access to or have any old statements.................the law says the claimant must prove the amount claimed yet they refuse to do so...............surely this is a defence.............my case is 22nd dec and i can,t attend as i,m not in the area...........i would like to draft a letter to the court asking them to boot this out on the grounds the debt hasn,t been proved............can anyone help me with a simple wording or point to any case studis etc i can quote or should i just keep it simple and in laymans terms........

i don,t see why i should just admit to owing money on the strength of a letter.................these companies get it worng all the time and i want documented evidence..........i think i,m entitles to that a t least

thanks

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Does the water company in your area have a trust fund? United Utilities where I live does and they often give grants for people for their water rates arrears when they are experiencing difficulties, particularly when they have just lost their job, become ill etc. Woth having a look.

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