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Contract terms & county court procedures

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So I had an account with Capital One, which has been subsequently transferred to Lowell.


I've been in correspondence with Lowell over CCA issues on and off for what seems like a couple of years!


The capital one agreement is from ~2004, and has no explicit term regarding the assignment of duties - my argument to Lowell has been that Capital One may well have assigned the benefit of the contract to you, but the T&Cs are silent on the matter of duty so the common law position that my duty cannot be reassigned without consent (as I understand it, of course, I stand to be corrected).


In their latest response, Lowell state that they are relying on a definition clause:


22. Definitions. In this agreement: the words 'we', 'us' and 'our' mean Capital One Bank (Europe) plc of 350 Euston Road, London, NE1 3JJ, including our successors and assigns


(Emphasis Lowells)


I'm not convinced!


Now, Lowell are saying that they believe all routes of dispute are closed and that they intend to return this to their collections track (notwithstanding any complaint to the ombudsman). My questions would be:


1) At what point can Lowell restart their automated attempts to enforce? Does the 'we don't believe you have a valid dispute' outweigh the 'protection from unfair practices' notice saying contact me only by post?


2) A CCJ would cause me issues. However, the sum is relatively small. I am minded to call their bluff and, should a county court claim be issued, have it transferred to my local. Now, on the assumption that my defence may not hold up, do I have the option to settle on the courtroom steps (thus avoiding any cost order)? The goal, of course, being to make the debt as unprofitable as is possible!


3) I think the term Lowell are seeking to rely on is, at best, sketchy. Is this a fair assessment?


4) Does someone have an example of a proven unenforceable capital one agreement? I'd like to contrast and compare, if possible.



Thanks all!

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