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School/MTA Solicitors Schools Fees Claimforms Received


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My ex-wife has received a letter addressed to me and her at her UK address. I am not longer a UK resident, but live in Indonesia.

 

I advised the school of this, but the letter is dated the same day as my email, so I guess that Redwood will be demanding their 15% collection fee from the school, because obviously Redwood had already been instructed.

 

This relates to last term's school fees for our daughter, which we did  not pay as we had no money due to covid. I still have no money, due to covid. My ex-wife is on Universal Credit. 

 

They have added 18% annual interest since the start of the last term to the bill(so about 10% for seven months). The bill was discounted by 10% due to covid, as the school was closed except for a week, though they did do online learning.

 

It says 'a copy of the agreement is available on request, though we understand it has been provided to you previously'. I don't believe I have this and am not too sure about the details - my son originally entered and then my daughter. Probably we signed something but I don't have it.

 

Can anyone advise how to proceed? I am not sure if my ex-wife is liable for the full debt or only half. Should she advise the debt collectors of my Indonesian address for service? What charges can they legally make in view of things like 18% interest, etc?

 

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If the contract was with you jointly – then your wife would probably be liable for the full debt.

In terms of the collection fees – a 15% standard collection fee sounds like an unenforceable penalty – and so does the 18% interest. Presumably the interest only cuts in if the bill has not been paid.

How much money are you talking about here altogether?

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It's around £3300 before interest.

 

It does seem like 18% is too high, and I'm not really sure what the legality of backdating it is. I spoke to the school when my daughter was still in school back in April and they were understanding of the situation with regards to covid and there was certainly no mention of interest, which has just been added on to the debt collector's letter.

 

The 15% I'm referring to is what Redwood would appear to charge the school on a contingency basis, per their website - they haven't added this to the bill. I believe that the school have most likely added the interest to try to recoup this 

 

I guess there are two things she can do - either nothing, or write asking for a copy for the signed agreement. Tbh a lot of our household debts were in my sole name but I have no idea here 

Edited by ritesaidfred
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Sorry just to further clarify as I can no longer edit my post:

 

The school emailed saying we owed

£3300 fees minus £250 acceptance deposit = £3050

 

The debt collector has demanded (around 10 days after the email date of the school )

£3300 

Plus interest of £325

 

= £3625

 

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Are the children still attending the school ?

 

If so, have you been given a date when they will be excluded due to unpaid fees ?

 

Think best thing you do is make the school aware of financial situation caused by Covid.

 

What about other finances ? Mortgage being paid ? Equity in property ?

We could do with some help from you.

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Quote

because obviously Redwood had already been instructed.

 

Instructed to do what ?

We could do with some help from you.

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whom are redwood stated client on their letter?

you need to deal directly with them.

 

be very careful here as redwoods and latterly harwoods are very nasty and will rush through everything like CCJ's and charging orders etc 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Yup, I concur it might be wise to talk to the school about what’s happened to you re Covid.

We could do with some help from you.

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Instructed to do what ?

 

according to their website they take typically 15% fee to recover the debt, on a contingency basis

 

I read some complaints on their Google reviews where people who had used then got sued because after the debt owner contact Redwood their client paid, and Redwood wanted the 15%. Now that Redwood has sent out a letter, they are going to want to receive 15% of anything that the school recovers, whether paid to Redwood or directly to the school.

 

Quote

Are the children still attending the school ?

 

If so, have you been given a date when they will be excluded due to unpaid fees ?

 

Think best thing you do is make the school aware of financial situation caused by Covid.

 

What about other finances ? Mortgage being paid ? Equity in property ?

 

no, one child is at university now, the other is at another school, where they have got a full bursary (nothing payable).

 

I am not 100% sure on the timeframes here.

 

The school emailed 3rd November saying 'I will instruct solicitors if you do not reply within 7 days'. I replied 11th November.

The letter was received 14th November and is dated 11th November.  I do not know when it was postmarked - I have asked my ex-wife.

 

It could be that the school contacted the debt collectors in response to my email; i.e. they are not interested in my email which said - we don't have any money, ex-wife is on Universal Credit [which pays her rent - no mortgage/equity], and responded to that by contacting the debt collectors.

 

However what is clear is that they have not replied to my email since the 11th of November. They might reply to it in the fullness of time; my guess would be that they will not as they are quite a small school and I doubt they are dealing with too many parents on a daily basis.

 

 

Quote

whom are redwood stated client on their letter?

you need to deal directly with them.

 

be very careful here as redwoods and latterly harwoods are very nasty and will rush through everything like CCJ's and charging orders etc 

The client is the school, per the letter. 

I have told the school 'neither of us have anything to pay'.

 

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You emailed them? Why not give them a call to explain the situation?

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 2 months later...

Ex-wife has received a County Count claim form at her address, and a separate one in my name as well at the same address (where I used to live)

 

In terms of my part what's the correct way to proceed? Should I reply online contesting jurisdiction, as I am not a resident of England & Wales? Presumably if I don't respond they will try to pursue me at her address?

 

They have claimed 'contractual interest at 8%', debt recovery costs of £337.50, the court fee and legal representative's costs of £80. Are these all allowable costs?

Edited by ritesaidfred
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Topic moved to General legal Issues forum in view of the court claim/s

 

Please read the following link and then copy and paste the relevant Q,s and your responses back here for further advice.Dont do anything until advised.

 

 

Regards 

Andy

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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  • Andyorch changed the title to Redwood Collections/school fees Court Claims Received.

Name of the Claimant ?  - school's name

 

Date of Issue - 26 Jan 2021

 

1.The claimant is a provider of educational services who entered into an agreement with the Defendant for the provision of said services.

 

2.Under this agreement the Claimant provided the Defendant with services in total sum of £3000 which the Defendant has failed to pay nor given any indication was to when payment can be expected.

 

3.In addition to the sum above, the claimant seeks contractual interest at a rate of 8% from the date payment fell due in the sum of £180, and continuing at a daily rate of £0.65.

 

4.The Claimant has also incurred debt recovery costs in pursuing the outstanding invoice in the sum of  £337.50.

 

And the Claimant claims:

Initial Debt £3000

Interest £180

Debt Recovery Costs: £337.50

Costs and Disbursements 

 

The claimant claims interest under s69 CCA 1984 at the rate of 8% from 1/4/2020 to 25/01/2021 on £3,000 and also at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of £0.65

 

Amount Claimed: £3500

Court fee: £185

Legal representative's costs: £80

Total: £3765

 

Have you received prior notice of a claim being issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of the PAPDC (Pre Action Protocol) ? - I have not. I believe my ex-wife has received correspondence, but don't know how compliant it is.

 

Have you changed your address since the time at which the debt referred to in the claim was allegedly incurred? - technically before that, but I did not inform them, so....

 

Did you inform the claimant of your change of address? - yes they were informed several months ago

 

Is the claim for - school fees

 

When did you enter into the original agreement before or after April 2007 ?  - I am not exactly sure. Probably about July 2007? First child entered in September 2007. Second child (subject of claim) later. But don't know how many agreements exist.

 

Do you recall how you entered into the agreement - probably signed something?

 

Is the debt showing on your credit reference files - no

 

Has the claim been issued by the original creditor or was the account assigned and it is the Debt purchaser who has issued the claim - original creditor. debt collector is involved as the 'solicitor's address'

 

Why did you cease payments? - change of financial circumstances

 

What was the date of your last payment?  - January 2020

 

Was there a dispute with the original creditor that remains unresolved?  - some issues with limited education because of covid

 

Did you communicate any financial problems to the original creditor and make any attempt to enter into a debt management plan? - yes, no

 

If you have not already done so – send a CCA request to the claimant for a copy of your agreement - not applicable I think?

 

---

next step presumably would be to get a copy of the agreement under which the fees are claimed?

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is this harwoods sols?

 

pop up on the MCOL website detailed on the claimform.
[if mcol is not working return after the w/end or the next day if week time]
.
 register as an individual on the Gov't Gateway Site
 note down your details inc the long gateway number given, you might need it later.
 then log in to the MCOL Website
.
 select respond to a claim and select the start AOS box.
.
 then using the details required from the claimform
.
 defend all
 leave jurisdiction unticked
 you DO NOT file a defence at this time
[BUT you MUST file a defence regardless by day 33 ]
click thru to the end
confirm and exit MCOL.
...

get a CPR  31:14  request running to the solicitors [if one is not listed send to the claimant]
...
.[use our other CPR letter if the claim is for an OD or Telecom Debt]  ....use this one <<< school fees
.

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/332546-legal-cpr-3114-request-request-for-information-when-a-claim-has-been-issued/

.

on BOTH type your name ONLY
Do Not sign anything
.
you DO NOT await the return of ANY paperwork 
you MUST file a defence regardless by day 33 from the date on the claimform [1 in the count]

..............


 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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MTA Solicitors. 

 

A few questions:

1) I am not in the UK and have no plans to return, but it seems I need a correspondence address for MCOL. Does it matter what I use here? I could use my ex-wife's address, or my parents' address, but I don't want my parents to be harassed by debt collectors. Will this correspondence address be supplied to the claimant? Is there a way to formally correct the defendant's address ?  Or does that come later?

 

2) How do I correspond with the solictors?  There is a generic ('[email protected]') email address on their website. Should I use that? Or is it better to just have a letter sent to the solicitor's address listed on the form and not enter into any emails. Obviously I cannot sign anything via the post (post has taken upwards of six weeks to reach me before, and there is a high rate of theft and loss), though I don't think that necessarily matters.

 

3) As my ex-wife and I are both defendants should we both file CPR 31.14 requests? Or can one or the other do it and then pass it to the other defendant.

Edited by ritesaidfred
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 you both have sep claimforms for the same debt i expect?

If so you each duplicate every move

 

Im not 100% sure but i think if you are a permanent resident abroad this nulls the claim against you. 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

The claim form was served on your last know address....so unless you informed the school of your current address at the time then the claim is deemed as good service..IE Legally served.

 

Just because you are now not residing in the UK does not void the claim.....should they proceed and be successful you will have a UK CCJ registered against your name on your credit files for UK.

 

I would speak to MCOL CCBC and inform them of this point and inform them that you intend to defend the claim but will be dealing it with it by email..the same applies to you informing the Schools Solicitor's.

 

Its important that you work closely and liaise with your ex wife while working through this process.

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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Yes I spoke to MCOL by phone this morning and they told me to email them my acknowledgment of service and later defence (they said not to use the online system).

 

I have also spoken to the solicitors and they said I could serve documents to email to the email address on their website.

 

With regards to the CPR31.14 request, presumably there is any contract that was signed plus any amendments to that, but should I ask specifically about the provision of services?

 

The fees were reduced slightly due to COVID, so there appears to be some sort of acknowledgment that they did not provide a number of the contracted services, though that hasn't been discussed so far, but clearly 'provided the defendant with services' is very much open to dispute.

 

Should I add in an item for 'evidence that that the contracted services were provided'? Or something like that?

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Your CPR 31.14 should request........

 

1.The claimant is a provider of educational services who entered into an agreement with the Defendant for the provision of said services.

 

2.Under this agreement the Claimant provided the Defendant with services in total sum of £3000 which the Defendant has failed to pay nor given any indication was to when payment can be expected.

 

3.In addition to the sum above, the claimant seeks contractual interest at a rate of 8% from the date payment fell due in the sum of £180, and continuing at a daily rate of £0.65.

 

4.The Claimant has also incurred debt recovery costs in pursuing the outstanding invoice in the sum of  £337.50.

 

And the Claimant claims:

Initial Debt £3000

Interest £180

Debt Recovery Costs: £337.50

Costs and Disbursements 

 

So I have hilighted in blue above what I would ask to be disclosed...as this is what their claim relies upon.

 

Copy of the agreement and T&Cs.

List of services promised for the fee charged.

Again the Terms and conditions which provides for contractual interest of 8%

A breakdown of their debt recovery costs

 

We could do with some help from you.

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The Terms and conditions will confirm...hence the request.

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 3 months later...

Open

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thanks.

 

so has been allocated to small claims track, mediation will not take place. 

 

need to send evidence bundle by 14th May. 

 

Presumably this can be by email? And separate bundles for each defendant, given that one defendant is arguing no contract exists with her, and the other one is arguing breach of contract? Or 

 

And if they fail to send any evidence bundle in time can I have the case tossed out directly?

 

Presumably the evidence would be something along the lines of:

 

"Defendant 1's witness statement is that she believes she is not party to the contract. '

'Defendant 2's witness statement is that he the claimant did not fulfill their contractual obligations because....'

and then maybe: 'Child's witness statement is that the education services provided in this time were:

....

 

Normally there would be 

...'

 

I guess since I have made this point to the claimant already, I should add something like 'the defendant sent a CPR31.14 request [enclosed], however the claimant only provided a generic unsigned contract in reply, and there is no evidence as to who the parties '

 

And then presumably given that there is dispute about the contractual obligations then they'd have to go some way to prove they exist.

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what docs to date has the fleecers disclosed anything?

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to School/MTA Solicitors Schools Fees Claimforms Received

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