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I lost an appeal in November last year and costs were applied £750

- I appealed and this hearing was heard within another hearing Civil Case on Jan 4th 2014

- The Judge awarded the claimant £7,123

- off which £5,000 of this was costs.

He mentioned something about only allowing certain sum of costs.

 

I could not pay

- single parent on benefits and offered £5 a month

- this was refused so

 

 

I applied for a redetermination hearing which was heard in March 2014.

I informed Judge I had a caravan old tower 1997 that I could sell worth about 2k.

Advertised on 8 sites including Ebay and no interest.

 

Went back to court on Monday 23rd June to update situation and offered £25 a month (payable by my BF) this was again rejected

- again given another 3 months to sell caravan then other party intends to get a high court writ.

 

The upshot is unbeknown to me this debt has gone up

- I thought the £750 for previous hearing was already added to final judgement of £7, 123

- the other party have now added interest and further costs on both amounts.

 

 

I managed to sell some furniture and jewellery and paid £1,000 in April

- thinking the debt was now £6,123 but the debt has now increased to £7,300 thereabouts.

 

 

Impossible situation.

 

My question would be - how do I query this £750 additional ?

no mention of this in the final judgement so assumed £5,000 in costs was total.

 

Can I question the interest side of things?

 

 

if I managed ( family member) to pay off some and get it under the £5,000 does interest cease?

 

 

The Judge mentioned any debt over £5,000 interest becomes payable.

So would it be worth my while loaning the funds from a family member.

 

Thank you for your help in this matter it is all very confusing.

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Hi debsdarlo and welcome to CAG

 

Question..... costs are fixed and severely restricted in Small Claims Court how did the claimant get an award of 5 K?

 

Regards

 

Andy


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this was a civil court claim against me by a family member - she alleged I owned her over £10,000 went in as fast track claim but took over a year. She got awarded £2,000 out of the £7,123 CCJ.

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Okay so its Fast Track disregard my post above...have you got copies of the judgment.. Costs judgments and any general orders since the judgment ?

 

There is no interest on the judgment unless its above 5K and only then on this type of debt it would be section 69 interest at 8% providing they requested that within their claim.


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the first judgement for £750 was in November 2014 - I then lodged an appeal within 14 days and was told this would be heard on Jan 4th at the Civil Court along with the case against me. I then presumed that the costs of £5000 included the above amount but the claimant solicitors

are putting this on top of the £7,123 CCJ against me and adding interest to both amounts.

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£2k for the actual judgment......£750 being costs......and £5K being costs and you must always start with the judgment ...costs are separate.

 

Your adjudged debt is 2K your costs are now £5750.00

 

The general rule is that a successful litigant can recover costs he has incurred in pursuing the case.

 

In addition, after the date of the judgment the successful party is entitled to interest on the amount of the judgment and on the amount of costs he has been awarded. In some circumstances (for example, in debt recovery cases) he may also be entitled to interest for the period prior to judgment.

 

Interest -- prior to judgment

 

To get interest for a period prior to judgment, a claimant must specifically claim it in his statement of claim. The claim for interest can be based on a contractual obligation (such as a contract term requiring a party to pay interest on late payment of amounts due under the contract) or the statutory right under the Late Payments of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998. In addition, the High Court and the County Courts have the discretion to award pre-judgment interest.

 

In a contract or tort case for damages, the general rule is that interest will be payable from the date that the claimant sustained the loss. In practice, however, it can sometimes to be difficult to establish precisely what that date is.

 

Interest -- after judgment

 

Interest after judgment is usually straightforward. Interest accrues at rates prescribed by statute on both the amount of the judgment and the amount of any costs award, and is not discretionary.

 

In some cases, damages cannot be quantified at the date the court enters judgment in favour of the claimant. In those circumstances, interest will not begin to accrue until the amount of the judgment is quantified. On costs, however, interest is payable from the date of judgment, even if the amount of costs is not assessed until a later date.

 

The award of costs

 

As indicated above, the basic rule in litigation is that the winner recovers his costs from the loser. There are, however, a number of conditions and caveats to that rule, and in practice the winner usually recovers most, but not all of his costs.

 

Recoverable costs include a variety of items, such as solicitors' and barristers' fees, court fees, disbursements (for photocopying, couriers, etc), amounts due under conditional fee agreements and premiums the claimant has paid for "after the event" insurance (which covers his own costs exposure).

 

In deciding what amount of costs to award to the prevailing party, there are a number of factors the court must take into account. Among other things, the court has to consider the way the parties have conducted themselves (including the extent that each has attempted to resolve the dispute before and during the court proceedings), the complexity of he case, and the amount at stake.

 

The court can award costs either on (i) the standard basis, or (ii) the indemnity basis. When the court decides to award costs on the indemnity basis, it is in effect imposing a penalty on the paying party -- usually because the court does not approve of the way that the paying party has conducted itself.

 

On the other hand, where the court disapproves of the way that the prevailing party has conducted itself (by, for instance, responding in bad faith to the other party's genuine attempts to settle the matter) it may award the winner a relatively small proportion of its costs, and on the standard basis.

 

The standard basis

 

The standard basis is the default basis for a costs award, and the court will award costs on that basis unless it specifically decides to do otherwise.

 

To qualify for award on the standard basis, costs must be proportionate and reasonable, both in the way they were incurred and in amount. In applying those criteria, the court will - in broad terms -- employ a three part analysis:

 

First, the court will consider whether the total amount of costs claimed by the winner is proportionate. In doing so, the court will take into account factors such as whether the winner employed an excessive number of experts or used solicitors and/or barristers who were more senior (and therefore more expensive) than were necessary, and whether the winner at any stage offered to settle the matter.

 

Second, if the overall level of costs is proportionate, the court will examine each major item of expenditure to determine whether it was reasonably incurred. Here, for instance, the court will look at whether the winner used a solicitor with a high hourly rate to carry out a part of the work that a less experienced and less expensive solicitor might have readily handled.

 

Third, if the court concludes that the overall level of costs is not proportionate, then it will examine each individual item of expenditure and decide (i) whether that item of expenditure was necessary, and (ii) if so, whether it was reasonable in amount. A factor that can influence the question of necessity is the conduct of the losing party. If the party was consistently uncooperative that will likely have made it necessary for the winner to incur additional costs.

 

In determining costs on the standard basis, the court gives the benefit of the doubt to the paying party.

 

Indemnity basis

 

In awarding costs on the indemnity basis, the court will simply apply a test of reasonableness -- was it reasonable for the winner to have incurred the costs, and are the costs reasonable in amount? When applying these tests, the court will give the benefit of the doubt to the winner.

 

Procedure for costs orders

 

Frequently, the court will make a summary costs order at the conclusion of a trial or other court hearing. In other cases, the court will order a more detailed assessment, which will be carried out by the court's costs officer.

 

The procedures used for assessment will depend on what type of "track" the case is on for purposes of the court rules. In a multi-track case, the receiving party can initiate a detailed assessment of costs, and in doing so submits a bill of costs, which is a technical document usually prepared by a costs draftsman. (In the legal world, costs draftsmen are recognised specialists with considerable training and expertise, and there are separate firms of costs draftsmen who only handle legal costs work.)

 

The party paying the costs can dispute the bill, and the court can hold a separate hearing to resolve the issue. There are also means of appeal, if a party disputes the outcome of the hearing (or the outcome of a costs assessment by the court's costs officer).

 

Look up CPR 40 PD40.8 & 40.8a with regards to relief.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Thank you for that - my other question would be then if the debt is reduced to under £5,000 then no further interest becomes due unless high court writ is issued?

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Yes and no...as I have already stated it depends on how they worded their claim initially.... if they make no reference in their particulars re interest...then there is no interest on the judgment.

 

You could then argue that there should be no interest on the costs either...makes no odds re High Court Writ


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I am told I will be issued with a high court writ - debt is Civil Case £7,300 - single parent on benefits ( owe my own house_ with mortgage - car is on HP for another 18 months - family helping with payments.

 

 

If a Bailiff appears am I right in saying he cant force entry? and cant touch my car?

the other party knows of my financial position so what is the point in this exercise and racking up more costs.

 

 

What happens after the visit? do their come every week? month? year? or is the writ then dismissed? seems pointless when their know someone does not have the means and I am sick of going back to court and covering their costs adding further to the debt.

 

 

I asked for a redetermination hearing and offered £20 a month so why wont the JUdge grant this?.

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The Judge did award them interest at the hearing on the £2,000 but not on the £5,000 costs -

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The Judge did award them interest at the hearing on the £2,000 but not on the £5,000 costs -

 

On a 2k judgment ? It has to be over 5K

 

" The Judge mentioned any debt over £5,000 interest becomes payable."

 

debsdarlo this is all pie in the sky until you type out verbatim the particulars of claim (what the claimant sued you for on the court claim N1) and I have now asked 3 times... we are guessing what if and when.

 

Andy


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Have you applied to stay the writ N244 (Hmct website) and made offer to payments by way of a variation order N245?

 

Your circumstances suggest you may also qualify for fee redemption to make these applications see ex160. At worst the claimant (if refusing your offer) could apply for a charging order on your home, your circumstances eg: single parent on benefits would in all likelyhood prevent any enforced sale of the property.

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I am told I will be issued with a high court writ - debt is Civil Case £7,300 - single parent on benefits ( owe my own house_ with mortgage - car is on HP for another 18 months - family helping with payments. see my comments post #3

 

If a Bailiff appears am I right in saying he cant force entry? and cant touch my car? He cannot force entry to your dwelling but can force entry to any detached buildings ie garage/sheds etc. how much is left owing on the car and what is its value?

the other party knows of my financial position so what is the point in this exercise and racking up more costs. never lose sight of the fact you can't get blood out of a stone!!

What happens after the visit? nothing if you don't let them in and keep the car well away from your house,) preferably in someones garage) do their come every week? tmonth? year? or is the writ then dismissed? seems pointless when their know someone does not have the means and I am sick of going back to court and covering their costs adding further to the debt. they can come as many times as they wish but eventually they will be likely to return the writ to the claimant (they are only valid for 12 months but can be renewed) that is if the claimant wants to throw more money at a lost cause.

 

I asked for a redetermination hearing and offered £20 a month so why wont the JUdge grant this?.

I think your better off following post @3

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hya Debsdario its an still in your home auful situation been ther myself ,but ure in a better posistion than i am now , dont leave the bailiffs in watever u do as once ther in you wont get them out .ime a single parent debt was desputed from the offset .but still due to many errors to my detriment ive lost everything no invoices for my possessions from them ,allong with our home .for a unknown debt of 3k.been homeless for over a year .but still fighting theres no way ime going to leave this unjustice as it is .no arrears with my mortgage up to date with all houshold bills. family members let them in through naievatey ,

 

fight to keep your home to the best of your ability as moving is costly plus renting youd be alot worst of .best of luck xx

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The car is worth about 7k and has over £3k finance left. On the N244 form what would be my reasons for having it set aside. The Judge appeared to be embracing that idea when the other party suggested it. I was also under the impression that you don't know about it, the Bailiffs just turn up and that is the first time you are aware it was applied for.

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Skyler11 - so sorry to hear about your situation - why did you have to sell the house? was it forced sale?

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Under today's regulations you will receive a Notice of Enforcement giving you 7 clear days to make an arrangement that is acceptable to the creditor, this is called the Compliance Stage. The fee for this is £90 and if you make an arrangement within that period that is all you will be charged.

 

When making your proposal include your situation and details of your income and expenditure. I'm sure you can download an I&E form from somewhere. It is important that you are honest in your ability to pay and stick to the arrangement payments if agreed.

 

Unfortunately, these kind of matters are something seen all too often where creditors instruct an HCEO and there is no real prospect of recovery. In truth it only ends up costing the creditor money. The HCEO suffers even more because the £90 abortive fee rarely covers the work undertaken and if payment arrangement is agreed at Compliance Stage does not covers the administration in monitoring, allocating payment and paying it out. So all in all, a direct arrangement with the court makes sense.

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My understanding is that if the other party refuses an offer of payment then the Judge can have final say in accepting my offer of payment and thus making and order. Am I right to believe then the other party cant apply for high court writ unless payments are defaulted on.

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Seems as if we are discussing "might happen" events here. If the Claimant is aware of your circumstances as you have said then they are going to get no benefit from enforcing in this manner or possibly in any other. I assume you have a CCJ against you - did you defend it at all, did you make any offer of payments at the time?


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after ccj happened within 2 weeks I applied for redetermination hearing - attended Judge saw all my income and outgoings - other party refused my offer of £20 a month - only asset I have is an od touring caravan 1997 about 2k - put that up for sale 4 months ago no interest - purchased it two yrs ago for £4,500 - so dropped price three times. Went back to court Monday to report cant sell it on 8 different sites provided proof of adverts, offered £25 still rejected - interest now added to debt and further costs of £90 - told to pay £25 for next three months and back to court again ( more bloody costs) why cant the Judge enforce my payment and agree. Its costing me more and more and dragging on.

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If there is an order that you make these payments then the matter should not have been passed for enforcement.

 

In any event, it would be prudent to put the caravan on a site like eBay for 30 days and sell to the highest bidder. If this was sold and paid to the creditor the Judge might be more sympathetic on your payment arrangement.

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The car is worth about 7k and has over £3k finance left. On the N244 form what would be my reasons for having it set aside. The Judge appeared to be embracing that idea when the other party suggested it. I was also under the impression that you don't know about it, the Bailiffs just turn up and that is the first time you are aware it was applied for.

 

I was not suggesting you apply to have the Judgment set aside...for you to do that you would need grounds to show why that should be, we don't have all the ins and outs of this matter so we have to 'presume' quite a lot. Assuming you did not know of the original ccj due to a lack of service of the claim, then you could apply to set aside on the grounds you were denied an opportunity to defend the said claim.

 

However, if you know the debt exists and you do not have the funds to pay it forthwith, then the most probable out come to set aside would be, the Judge may well set it aside on the issues outlined BUT it would be most likely s/he would simply restore the claimants claim to be heard again at a later date and all you would achieve would be to swap one ccj for another.

 

As hceo's has said you could make your proposal to the HCEO and show the amount being offered is ALL you can afford, if the claimant doesn't accept it there is little more they can do and would advise their client to that end. If you apply to the court direct to stay the writ and vary the payment, (again you will need to show the amount offered is at the top end of what is affordable to you) the Judge will set the payments. Yet another twist to this ...the claimant can then apply to have your stay and payment plan set aside but to be totally honest they would be foolish to do so as it is a fact ' you can't get blood from a stone'

 

You are correct in that once payments are agreed and as long as you do not default (even payment arriving a day late is classed as default) the writ will be dormant.Your creditor will need to ensure the writ is renewed every 12 months because should you default it must be 'live' before it can be acted on.

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Under today's regulations you will receive a Notice of Enforcement giving you 7 clear days to make an arrangement that is acceptable to the creditor, this is called the Compliance Stage. The fee for this is £90 and if you make an arrangement within that period that is all you will be charged.

 

When making your proposal include your situation and details of your income and expenditure. I'm sure you can download an I&E form from somewhere. It is important that you are honest in your ability to pay and stick to the arrangement payments if agreed.

 

Unfortunately, these kind of matters are something seen all too often where creditors instruct an HCEO and there is no real prospect of recovery. In truth it only ends up costing the creditor money. The HCEO suffers even more because the £90 abortive fee rarely covers the work undertaken and if payment arrangement is agreed at Compliance Stage does not covers the administration in monitoring, allocating payment and paying it out. So all in all, a direct arrangement with the court makes sense.

 

How bad is the issue you describe in the final paragraph of your post?

 

In my experience, water companies are among the worst offenders for abusing the legal process, often employing "elastic legal fees" to tip a debt over the £600 mark so they can involve HCEOs. This is despite the fact a customer has made an offer to use a payment plan.

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