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All/ Anyone

 

I will try to keep this as short as possible without skipping any details.(sorry if its a long one)

 

Whilst living in Scotland from 2000-2007 I managed to acquire a massive amount of debt, I had quite a good income and the banks through credit cards at me, in April 2007 I had about £30,000 owed on credit cards which i was slowly paying off each month. I was also granted credit on a new car on a 5 year agreement, I had always paid all my debts off and my rating was very good, I was sold the car with a standard 5 year agreement in which I paid about 20% deposit and then monthly payments for 5 years. with a get out clause after 2.5years where i could simply hand back the keys and walk away.

 

I lived in Scotland until the end of December 2006 when it all started to come crashing down, i lost my job and the banks (quite rightly) closed my cards. So i found another Job in Switzerland, i continued to make all the payments to the cards and the car, I ended up paying off all the credit cards taking all balances to 0 over the next two years. knowing that i may come back to the UK i kept the car.

 

Having paid 2.5 years on the car and now not coming back to the UK i contacted them to hand back the car, They then said i had no such agreement!!!! that there is a sub clause to the sub clause saying that my car was over £30,000 and that meant the agreement was invalid. i Then replied that the car is now there’s as i don’t intend to make any more payments and i stopped the direct debit. i told them my Swiss address and they wrote me a letter saying that they now owned the car and i would be contacted by a recovery agent. I replied to the letter with collection details about the car, That was Jan 2009.

 

The car sat at my fathers house a further two years before anyone came looking for it despite calls from me to the finance company asking when someone was going to pick it up.

 

its now almost 2013 and a local court has sent to my mothers house an "application for attachment of earnings order" saying that I owe over £15,000.

 

they have taken hte car and sold it but as they waited over two years it (ofcourse) dropped in value, and they are now suing me for more than was left on the debt when they took ownership and they have made no visible adjustment for the fact that they took the car and sold it at auction,

 

I want this solved, i don’t think i owe them any money at all. to top it all off i now live in Sweden and have no plans to return to the UK at all other than to visit family. What should i do to contest this without having to shell out thousands in fees to a solicitor?

Edited by BritInSweden
typos

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well if you want to put your case, you will have to attend court to do that.

set out a statement of your position with facts as you described above, only about the car finance thoough. and submit that to them and the court as aresponse.

If the loan was over £25k then it was not covered by the CCA and you cannot hand the car back when 50% paid off unless it was specifically written into your contract/agreement. that limit was not removed until 2008.

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One last thing, Is it fairfor them to try and force me to pay for the deprecation of the car they left idlefor two years?

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No, they MUST mitigate their loses, any inaction is down to them.

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I just found out they managed to get a (ccj) judgement against me at an address i have never lived since i was a child age 9!!! My father had even sold that house a year earlier, how is it possible??, and what can I/should I do about it?

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you need to speak to the court and get the judgement set aside by filling out the appropriate form, they will advise as not sure myselt N244 I think;

you can search on line.

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As far as I am aware if you were living outwith UK then Set Aside should be a formality. Have a read http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?250889-Can-I-Be-Sued-For-An-Overseas-Debt-%282-Viewing%29-nbsp


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As you are not in the UK, you will need to appoint a Solicitor to apply for a set aside on your behalf. You may be required to return to the UK for any hearing, as the claimant may dispute the set aside. Creditors are allowed to apply for a CCJ using your last known UK address, but it appears they have made in mistake in this case.

 

Any set aside application should be purely about the court claim being sent to a wrong address, where you would never have found out about it, when the claimant creditors had your address abroad.

 

The set aside should be straightforward, but I would expect the creditors to then look at what other action they could take. They could look at a European Enforcement Order, but if you contest the claim, it then goes back to them needing to go to a UK court and then a court in Sweden to enforce the debt. Or they can apply for your bankruptcy in your absence. May I suggest that you obtain independent estimates of the what the cars value at auction would have been, had they sold it two years earlier, when you told them to take it back. You can then work out the difference. At some point you might need to have this information.

 

https://www.gov.uk/county-court-judgments-ccj-for-debt/if-you-dont-owe-the-money


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Thanks for this guys, the difference in value was about £800 in their favour from the time i told them to take it back and the lowest trade value in the parkers guide at the time.

 

I'm willing to pay around that amount and always have been. i actually dont care about the CCJ at all. It has no effect on my life in any way. i just want them to stop hounding my family. I shall write to the solictors who are trying to sue me and tell them where I live and offer them that amount with my reasoning. As like you quite rightly point out a trip to the UK with the solictor at my side to get it set aside will cost a lot more than I actually owe.

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Thanks for this guys, the difference in value was about £800 in their favour from the time i told them to take it back and the lowest trade value in the parkers guide at the time.

 

I'm willing to pay around that amount and always have been. i actually dont care about the CCJ at all. It has no effect on my life in any way. i just want them to stop hounding my family. I shall write to the solictors who are trying to sue me and tell them where I live and offer them that amount with my reasoning. As like you quite rightly point out a trip to the UK with the solictor at my side to get it set aside will cost a lot more than I actually owe.

 

Not quite sure how you work out the cost of getting this set aside ? I thought the debt was for about £15k. There is nothing stopping you completing the N244 form for the set aside with the £80 fee, sending it to to the court which granted the CCJ and then wait for a hearing date. You can then write to the Solicitors chasing the money saying that you have applied for the set aside, as you were not in the UK at the time the court claim was made and the claimant had your correspondence address at the time. This will at least get them thinking. If you get the CCJ set aside, you may then be able to do a deal for them to accept a reduced full and final settlement offer, which might save you a fair amount of money.


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The problem is now they have a CCJ they can apply for a European Payment Order & have it enforced where you are now if in the EU. http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/justice_freedom_security/judicial_cooperation_in_civil_matters/l16023_en.htm

 

If you get it set-aside it will put things back to how they were, which means they would have to bring an action against you in the country you reside. In the vast majority of cases it is not economical for them to do that because of the legal costs & the fact that they can't be certain that you have the assets or the means to pay even if they won.


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The 15k figure is made up by them I have no idea how the came up with such a figure at all.

 

The issue with the set aside is that I will have to go the the court at the hearing date, That means an air travell, hotels ETC.

The court they obtained the CCJ in, Is also in a place that I have never lived (or even visited) at all. It was in bournmouth of all places, The solictors firm are based in watford, so why it weas chosen I have no idea.

 

I have written to the court that asked for my earnings (where I told them I live in sweden and have no UK earnigns at all) and I'm awaiting a reply fromthem. I will then see if i can get a solictor to attend court on my behalf and get the set aside, will that be ok? as i guess paying him/her will be cheaper than the travel and hotels, or do i have to go in person?

 

thanks again guys

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There are a couple of things you can contest the CCJ on, the first is if you were resident in Scotland when you took the original agreement any action should have been taken in Scotland, they've used the wrong jurisdiction. The second is if you were a non resident of the UK action should have been brought in your country of residence & the third is you did not receive any court papers.

 

You would be better emailing the court manager where the CCJ was obtained for advice because I don't believe you have to attend a hearing. IIRC a judge will decide on your application in chambers.


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Thanks for that and yes you are correct on all the above . The last question (i promise :) ) is what happens if the solictors stop chasing me, will the courts do anything or just leave the CCJ on my record?

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If you don't apply to have the CCJ set-aside and the solicitors stop chasing you as long as they don't enforce the CCJ within six years although it doesn't become Statute Barred their right to enforce does after six years;

 

a CCJ doesn't become SB, but unless they enforce it within six years they will have to apply to a court for permission to do so however;

 

Section 24 of the Limitations Act 1980....

 

(1) An action shall not be brought upon any judgment after the expiration of six years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable.

 

(2) No arrears of interest in respect of any judgment debt shall be recovered after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due.

 

For this reason alone, cc judges would not normally allow enforcement.

 

There is case law to suggest that 6 years is enough time for a claimant to enforce a judgment debt. In Patel v Singh [2002] EWCA Civ 1938 and Duer v Frazer [2001] 1 All ER 249 leave to enforce these debts were both refused.

 

The reason being is that it was held that the general rule is that the passing of six years is sufficient in itself and the court would not extend time unless there were exceptional circumstances and it is demonstrably just to do so. It would be for the creditor to argue the reasons for delay and argue why they should take the case out of the general rule.


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Just to let everyone know, I got in Contact with the Finance Company and they have finally agreed to a full and final settlement of a few hundred quid.

 

they will then mark the CCJ as settled. The last question I have is.

 

The duration of the CCJ appearing on my record is 6 years but when does that Clock start?

when its settled or when it was granted?

 

Thanks in advance

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When it was granted.


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