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South West Water Adding stayed Claimform + costs to This Years Bill!!

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Guys,

 

The wife and I have each received claim forms from South West Water after missing 2 payments which were missed because the direct debit was cancelled (but not by us!!!).

 

We've had no correspondence from them whatsoever regarding the arrears which we're more than happy to pay but they're claiming for the whole year's payments upfront.

 

Now I'm not sure what to do about this claim, I can't afford the full year in advance so I presume I'll have to fight this. I've acknowledged the form so have to think of something soon.

 

Any ideas gratefully appreciated.

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Take a read here vic

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?432449-County-Court-claim-Welsh-water

 

I will move your thread shortly to the correct forum.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Hi Guys,

 

We missed several payments last year due to a direct debit being cancelled

(not by us but SWW deny it was anything to do with them either!)

which resulted in a claim form being issued for the outstanding payments and also the remainder of the year.

 

We defended the claim as no pre-action protocols were adhered to and SWW refused instalments, insisting on the full balance for the year or nothing.

 

The claim was originally stayed but has now disappeared when I try to log in to MCOL.

 

This years bill arrived this morning and as well as this years outrageous figure,

they've added last years outstanding amount plus Solicitors and Court costs.

 

 

Now as the claim was stayed and they failed to persue it further am I liable for their costs?

 

Also they have not given me the option to pay monthly giving me till the end of March to pay last years bill

and costs and till the end of April to pay this years bill.

 

 

We can't afford to pay it in one hit, what our options?

 

Any help gratefully appreciated.

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don't think they can do that

 

 

I wonder if andyorch is around later and can confirm

 

 

I've merged your old thread for ref too

 

 

dx


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No they cant...they didn't proceed...therefore no judgment or costs.


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Brilliant, thanks for the advice, guess I still have to pay last years bill though?

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why theres no judgement ?

 

 

you pay this years in 10 or 12 equal payments

no matter WHAT they say

there is NO LEGAL REMIT

that allows them to demand it in one or two split lump sums.

 

 

Water is NOT a priority utils bill

and does NOT have the same protection as gas/electric.

 

it can be treated as if its a credit card bill.

the only down side is it can be chased for 6yrs & they can [try!!] to get a CCJ.

 

 

write and tell them HOW and when they will get paid.

 

 

that way they cant argue!

 

 

dx


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Many thanks for the information, some letters to be written I think.

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I think you need to try and find out why the direct debit was cancelled.

 

I think that you should query with your bank. If you did not have sufficient funds in your account, then they might have done something but you need to check.

 

At the end of the day you may have to send an SAR to South West Water and also to the bank.

 

If you can find out who cancelled the direct debit then I think that you have a strong complaint against them for compensation.

 

Who is dealing with the claim against you on behalf of South West water? It should be signed off by some solicitor. If they are trying to claim costs from you for a claim which has been stayed or discontinued, then I think that you need to consider a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

 

I think that if you don't do something quite official about this, then they will keep on insisting that you open the money and eventually it will end up on your credit file. Have you checked your credit file?


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Hi Guys, me again.

 

 

I've had another claim form from South West Water this morning for this year's amount and for last years which they have already litigated for. That particular claim is currently stayed.

 

 

I have been in correspondence with SWW requesting a breakdown of the bill and they replied with a letter before action which had the wording "Letter before issue of claim" clearly displayed in the window of the envelope. I took offence to this and complained but to date have received no reply.

 

 

Can they litigate twice for the same amount?

 

 

Any advice gratefully appreciated.

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No, they cant litigate for the same amount twice. Do you have the original Claim details - it might be worth telephoning MCOL and asking them what the status of the original claim is.

 

Although having said that, if the original claim didn't progress - they haven't actually litigated. But there should be some reference to the claim having been discontinued, I would have thought ?


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Still have details of the original claim, I submitted a defence and they did nothing so it became stayed after the 28 days.

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Then simply tell them they already have a pending claim ....No xxxxxxxx which is currently stayed...ask them to clarify which they intend pursuing and which they intend to discontinue.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Would it be worth mentioning CPR 38.7 in a defence or just write to them "without prejudice" and explain the error of their ways?

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I personally would ring them....you shouldn't be submitting any further defences.


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I spoke to an oik at SWW yesterday who said that the litigation would proceed regardless and the only way to stop it would be to pay the full amount of the claim including their costs. So I'm looking at putting a defence together, will CPR 38.7 be the way to go?

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CPR 38 is not applicable as the previous claim is only stayed and not discontinued...so it will have to be a further defence...relying on the original with the addition of the new litigation and the claimant suing you twice for the same debt.

 

You could have a bit of fun with said defence...give me a nudge if you want any assistance.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Thanks Andy, I was going to keep the defence short and sweet and rely on the abuse of process unless you have something up your sleeve?

 

 

As usual, any help gratefully appreciated.

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No...nothing up the sleeve... similar to that post, your intended here and I will add the legal.


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Quick update on this guys, submitted my defence on 24th November which basically stated lack of itemised bills and the fact that they had already litigated for this account.

 

 

Heard nothing else so presumed the claim ahd been stayed until this morning when I received a letter from the local courts with a hearing date of 16th May allocated to the small claims track. Date for documents and witnes statements is by 21st April so any help or input will be gratefully appreciated?

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Need to see what defence you submitted ?


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Thanks Andy, basically 2 points:

 

The Defendant denies the claim as the Claimant has failed to provide evidence of the alleged debt despite several requests.

 

3. It is averred that the Claimant has already issued a claim for this alleged debt (Claim number ********* in the Northampton County Court) which is now stayed. The Defendant is of the opinion that this is an abuse of process.

 

And the Defendants,

 

4. Respectfully request the claim be struck out or dismissed as the Defendants consider it to have little or no chance of success due to the obvious abuse of process and vexatious litigation which would be an unnecessary and improper use of the Court’s time and resources.

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Wish you had posted here first as advised in my last post...the above is rather lacking.


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Unfortunately, I had to drop everything due to unforeseen work commitments and was unable to check back in due to not having internet access so panicked a bit hence the poor defence!!

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Unfortunately, I had to drop everything due to unforeseen work commitments and was unable to check back in due to not having internet access so panicked a bit hence the poor defence!!

 

Well you will now be able to expand on the defence vis a your witness statement...as there is very little in your actual defence you can refer to documents within the WS and they become your standard disclosure.


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