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The Hamster -vs- RBoS


Kurt_Hamster
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The schedule so far...

 

21st Feb 2007: Sent S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) letter...

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

Re. Account number: xxxxxxxx

 

I am writing to request a fully comprehensive list of all the default charges for direct debit, unauthorised overdrafts and standing orders I have paid over the last six years.

Please find enclosed a cheque for the maximum statutory charge of £10. If you are unable to provide this data, I will accept a copy of my statements going back six years; I understand that statements on their own are not covered by the Data Protection Act 1998, yet I’m not requesting the statements per se, but the charges, which I’m entitled to by law.

I look forward to your response within 40 days, as The Royal Bank of Scotland is obliged to reply under the Data Protection Act. If not I shall seek remedy from the Information Commissioner.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Received reply about 17th March 2007

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22nd March 2007: Sent first shot across the bows...

 

 

Account: xxxxxxxx

 

Due to recent media coverage on bank charges I am now aware that you, The Royal Bank of Scotland, have been charging me, charges, that are contrary to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. Schedule 2 (e) of the said regulations gives a non-complete list of terms, which may be regarded as unfair, such as a term that requires me as a consumer who fails in his obligation, to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation.

I believe that your charges are disproportionately high and therefore they are contrary to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Regulations 1999. In addition I believe that your charges are a Penalty. Penalty charges are irrecoverable at common law. The precedent for this was Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage and Motor co Ltd [1915] AC 79.along with Murray v. Leisure play [2005] EWCA Civ 963 It was held that a contractual party can only recover damages for an actual loss or liquidated losses. It is clear that your charges do not reflect any actual and or real loss.

Furthermore if you fail to comply with this letter, I request without further notice a breakdown and proof of all costs involved, in regards to your actual or liquidated losses involved in any breach of contract to which these charges relate with yourselves, and that these charges reflect your true costs In relation to the said charges, and are proportionate to the charges levied on my account as defined in Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. Schedule 2 (e)

 

I also hereby request a detailed report of which clause in your terms and conditions each charge has been applied against.

Your charges appear to be nothing more than a profit-making scheme. Therefore I require you to refund me at a total of £2,188, representing the total, unlawful amount during the last 6 years. I hereby give you 14 days to refund the charges back on to my account. For the avoidance of doubt, if this is not done within 14 days, I will commence my claim in the courts without further warning. This action will inevitably involve you in additional costs.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

 

I eventually received their standard "we are considering your claim" letter on 19th April (dated 17th April)

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Hi Kurt,

 

Maybe a bit late - however, why are you claiming only for the last 6 years? Given the recent coverage - see Bankfodders link at the start of the site, it may be worth a secondary claim...:)

 

Second thing - are you claiming interest - either statutory (8% at court stage) or overdraft interest, or even contractual (more risky!);)

 

I am sure you are well au fait with the process, however you may wish to check the template letters going forward....:roll:

 

Good luck!!!

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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Between the RBoS receiving my 14 day letter (on the 23rd March) and 13th April they hit me with a further £434 pounds in bank charges. According with their late reply letter and the constant charges I deemed this to be their answer and I decided not to give them a further 14 days to get me closer to bankruptcy.

 

So on the 13th April I went into my local branch, took my last £100 from my savings account to pay for the small claims action. Whilst I was there I confronted the teller and asked to see someone about the current batch of charges, she refused to let me see someone, she also explained that she didn't have the authority to refund that amount of charges. I inforemed her that I was about to sue the RBoS and the £434 was in addition to my original demand for refund. She promised to escalate it to "branch level".

 

I proceeded to Stockport County Court complete with what I thought was the right amount of money and the right number of completed forms. Got to the court to find out I was £20 light, and I didn't have 3 copies of the schedule of charges. Damn! I asked the court clerk to look at my form to see if it was filled in correctly, she noted a few omissions which I would have to fill in.

 

Managed to borrow £20 from my daughter, went home hurriedly reprinted some slight changes on the N1 (I have Acrobat Pro so can save filled in PDFs) and printed further copies of the 14 day letter, and schedule of charges.

 

I then returned to the court with my sweaty mitts wrapped around the £120 and the freshly printed sheets. When I got there I met a clerk who was slightly more on the ball than the first one and she noted that I had used RBoS' Scottish head office address. She said this was no problem, but I would have to add an extra bit in the "particulars of claim" section of the N1. I had to write in my spider scrawl on my nice and neatly printed forms "No proceedings between the parties concerning the same cause of action are pending in the court of any other part of the United Kingdom and the defendant is domiciled in the United Kingdom"

 

So on the 13th April, 2007 I entered my claim against the RBoS. The particulars of the claim stating...

 

The claimant holds a current account with the defendant, conducted on their Standard terms and conditions. The defendant from 8th March, 2001 to 8th March, 2007 has applied charges to the claimant account, totalling £2,150.00.

 

The bank's charges are a disproportionate penalty and therefore unenforceable. Penalty charges are irrecoverable at common law. The precedent for this was Dunlop Pneumatic v New Garage [1915] AC 79.along with Murray v. Leisure play [2005] EWCA Civ 963. The Defendants charges are also contrary to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. Para.8 and sch.2(1)(e)

 

The claimant has asked the bank to refund their charges or offer proof that they are true pre-estimate. They have declined to do so.

 

The claimant claims £2150.00, being the sum unlawfully debited

 

The claimant claims interest pursuant to S69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% per annum, being the sum of £652.38

 

(Itemised list attached)

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Ah-ha - you have ! ;)

 

Good luck with the process - keep reading other cases as it will guide you through the court stages....:)

 

A

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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By the 20th April (a Friday) I still hadn't received any letters from the court so I phoned them up, they told me that it had gone out and that the RBoS had been deemed to have been served on the 17t April.

 

The next Monday (23rd) I received duplicates of the relevant documents noting the time travel aspects of the dating applied by the courts ie...

Your claim was issued on 13th April 2007.

The court sent it to the defendant on the 12th April 2007, and it will be deemed to be served on the 15th April 2007.

The defendant has until the 30th April to reply.

 

...so I crossed my fingers and hoped the slow moving corporate internals would lumber past the due date...

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Bugger!

 

On Friday 27th I received a letter from Cobbetts solicitors stating they had put in their AoS on the previous day, the 26th April.

 

I am now awaiting their standard stalling and intimidation letter asking for all manner of information in the most complicated legalese.

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Meantime back at the ranch...

 

20th April:

I received a letter from my local branch manager (who for some reason I have visions of a permed blonde in an 80s power suit, must be my sexist genes or something).

 

It contained a "goodwill" offer of an £88 refund on the "provision that no further refunds were made to my account". At this point in time the current charge level was at £464.

 

My reply was rather more restrained than I was actually feeling...

 

Case Ref: ********

Account: ********

 

With reference to your letter of the 17th April, 2007.

In your letter you state that you have been investigating my case, if this is the case you will know that on the 23rd March, 2007 you received a letter from myself requesting that you refund a total of £2,188 of unlawful bank charges which have been levied on my account by the RBS over a period of six years. As your bank did not respond with the refund within the 14 days stated in that letter I accordingly instigated court proceedings on 13th April, 2007 for which your head office will have been served on 17th April.

Since receiving my letter I have had one letter from yourselves telling me that you are considering my claim. Further, and more relevantly, between the 23rd March and the 21st April the RBS has levied a further £464 in bank charges on my account. I fail to see how a conditional offer of an £88 refund could be remotely considered as goodwill.

Surely your investigation must have shown that I am on a fixed income (I am disabled and on state benefits), and that it is impossible for me to either pay or recoup these charges?. Consequently whilst the RBS is making billions in profits I am now having to borrow from friends and family just to buy food. Your bank charges are unlawful and your charging methodology immoral. You make no attempt at tailoring penalty charges to a customer’s ability to pay and there are no safeguards to mitigate the “snowball effect”, i.e. exactly what is happening to me now. Due to the RBS’ greed my finances are now in tatters and it will take a long time for me to sort out the knock-on effect after you have left me with an inability to pay any of my bills.

Although I do accept the offer of the £88 refund as a precursor to the remainder of £376, I do not accept the conditions that come with the offer. Further more I formally request that you unconditionally refund me the full total of £464 on the basis that I believe that your charges are disproportionately high and therefore they are contrary to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Regulations 1999. In addition I believe that your charges are a Penalty. Penalty charges are irrecoverable at common law. The precedent for this was Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage and Motor co Ltd [1915] AC 79.along with Murray v. Leisure play [2005] EWCA Civ 963 It was held that a contractual party can only recover damages for an actual loss or liquidated losses. It is clear that your charges do not reflect any actual and or real loss.

If these unlawful charges are not refunded to my account within 14 days (ie by 8th May, 2007) I will be forced to again take the matter to the small claims court. I will do this without any further warning. Further, I will add to the claim any more charges that are added to my account in the intervening period. As is my right under English law I will additionally add 8% interest and claim back any court fees.

I await to hear your comments.

Yours faithfully,

 

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I am impressed with your restraint!!!!!:D

 

I am not knowledgable enough on this one, but many others are on the site - however fwiw I would contend that this would add to your case of intimidatory tactics.....

 

The eighties power suit is a worry though!!!!;)

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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Currently the bank charge level as of this Sunday evening is at £616.

 

I have opened another account with another bank. I have phoned my pension provider and the DWP to pay into the new account.

 

Unfortunately I was too late to prevent this month's pension and this week's benefit being paid into the RBoS account.

 

In the last couple of days I have since learned of the Social Securities Act 1992 with regard to the bank taking my benefits. As such I am thinking of sending the bank a "goodwill" letter that will arrive on the 8th May. This will give them a further 7 days to pay up, but simultaneously announce that they have contravened the SSAA 1992, and unless an immediate refund is made I will make an official complaint to the DWP, the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Commission. Furthermore I will attempt to garner as much negative media attention as possible. I will also try to instil in them the knowledge that I am prepared to go the whole way with this as although it is primarily about the money because I need it, it's also about the principle of the matter. I am known for my general lack of interest in money and for my stubbornness about principles, I'm just hoping I can convey this to the bank.

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Hi Kurt,

 

Maybe a bit late - however, why are you claiming only for the last 6 years? Given the recent coverage - see Bankfodders link at the start of the site, it may be worth a secondary claim...:)

 

Second thing - are you claiming interest - either statutory (8% at court stage) or overdraft interest, or even contractual (more risky!);)

 

I am sure you are well au fait with the process, however you may wish to check the template letters going forward....:roll:

 

Good luck!!!

 

I am actually considering an additional claim that goes back beyond the 6 year mark, but for the time being I think I have my hands full (I'm also in the recce stages of taking on Egg too).

 

Yes I have claimed the 8% interest which brought the claim upto (including costs) just under £3000 :D

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I am impressed with your restraint!!!!!:D

 

Actually I was far less restrained when at my local branch. I was deliberately raising my voice so that the rest of the long queue could hear with the minimum amount of straining. Given that the branch is in what might be termed, in Non-PC days gone by, a "lower class" area of Manchester so the chances were that a fair few of the queue were on benefits too.

 

I am not knowledgable enough on this one, but many others are on the site - however fwiw I would contend that this would add to your case of intimidatory tactics.....

 

The eighties power suit is a worry though!!!!;)

 

That was my view too heheheh

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Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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Yes, thanks I've already seen that, unfortunately it's only useful for forthcoming benefit payments and I've already stopped them so there won't be any more going into the RBoS.

 

What I was thinking of doing was taking the LBA template and adding pertinent bits about the SSA Act.

 

I can't make my mind up yet whether displays of legal knowledge and education are perceived by the banks as someone to settle early with or go for harder from the legalese angle.

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Yes, thanks I've already seen that, unfortunately it's only useful for forthcoming benefit payments and I've already stopped them so there won't be any more going into the RBoS.

 

What I was thinking of doing was taking the LBA template and adding pertinent bits about the SSA Act.

 

I can't make my mind up yet whether displays of legal knowledge and education are perceived by the banks as someone to settle early with or go for harder from the legalese angle.

 

True - could be used for any other payments due!:)

 

Generally I think they go for the obvious wins - i.e. those that don't know / or don't have access to legal knowledge.... that way they could potential gain a precedent which would benefit them in future claims. Outside of those who can either afford to, or are 100% confident of, chase until the bitter end - e.g. our Barrister friend, they would prefer not to risk a potentially expensive loss. The gates are already fairly open, a very public loss would be far more damaging..;)

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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Hi all, I'm so pleased to be seeing so many `winners` now. I have a question re my case and the Royal Bank of Scotland. I put in 2 claims for 2 different accounts one being £650.00 which was agreed within a week! the second however which is for £250 they are denying and have replied to the small claims court summons that they are defending it saying they believe their charges are fair!. Surely by settling one account with me they have set a precedent with me by settling on one account, also are they now saying they will defend just to try and scare people off the whole court process? surely they are not going to the wall and defending £250.00? I really feel I should keep going with this one, I would love any help and advice here as I know lots are in my position.

 

TJ (Cornwall)

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Bummer! :(

 

My last letter, which I sent via first class recorded delivery, has just been returned by the Post Office. The excuse given was that there was no-one to sign for it, and it hadn't been picked up from the sorting office.

 

I delivered it by hand today (and asked for a receipt from a confused receptionist who doesn't seem to have been asked for one of those before). I told the girl that I was impressed as the contents had been time sensitive. She reckons the bank had been shut when the mail delivery had been made (WTF does Royal Mail deliver recorded mail to a Bank when the place is shut?!!!!).

 

Fair enough I say, so why didn't someone go to pick it up from the sorting office after the postie had put his slip through the door? "Oh we don't go to the sorting office" was the haughty response :roll:

 

So my rhetorical quandary is... who do I get p*ssed off at, the RBoS or the Royal Mail?

 

Ah well, I was going to write them another letter ripping them a new one for contravening the Social Security Act 1992 anyway.

 

I'm sorry, but I rather enjoy getting stroppy with banks.

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Hi Kurt, Where are you addressing them to? I am using a HO address in the links pages and seems to have no issues.......:)

 

Some Hamsters have all the luck!!!

 

Ging

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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Hi Kurt, Where are you addressing them to? I am using a HO address in the links pages and seems to have no issues.......:)

 

Some Hamsters have all the luck!!!

 

Ging

 

In this instance I was replying to a letter I'd already received from the branch manager of my local branch, so that's where I sent it. They seem to be dealing with it at branch level at the moment, presumably as I haven't started legal proceedings on this set of charges, which currently has escalated, as of today, to £838 (not a bad total given that they managed to do it in only 6 weeks!).

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OMG!:o

 

838 is rather an impressive total in that period! - the good news is it's yours to reclaim!!!:)

 

Ging

Stage 1 - RBS SAR sent 05/03/07

Statements recieved 25/04/07 - £1483 + £88 o/d int

LBA dpa sent requesting ALL data held 09/04 with original 40 day timetable..

Clock is ticking........;)

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I'm just amazed at how solicitors (even though I work in the offices of a solicitor) can use so many words to talk bollocks.

 

My membership of the "Cobbett's Club" ™ has been ratified by their defence in my case which has just been submitted (with 4 days to spare, 2 of which were a Sat and Sun)

 

IN THE STOCKPORT COUNTY COURT

CLAIM NO. 7SK01777

BETWEEN:

 

MR KURT_HAMSTER Claimant

 

-and -

 

THE ROYAL BRINKSMANSHIP OF SCOTLAND PLC Defendant

 

DEFENCE

This Defence is filed and served without prejudice to the Defendant's case that the Particulars of Claim do not disclose reasonable grounds for bringing a claim against the Defendant to recover the bank charges (and interest thereon) referred to in the Particulars of Claim or any other sum(s). In the event that the Claim is not properly particularised then the Defendant will apply to strike out the claim and/or for summary judgement in respect of the same.

 

Without prejudice to the foregoing paragraph, if and to the extent that the Claimant proves the allegation that the Defendant debited charges to the Claimant's bank account, insofar as such charges were debited on a date or dates more than six years prior to the issue of this claim, any remedy in respect of the same, whether damages, restitution or otherwise, is barred by the operation of the Limitation Act 1980 and/or the doctrine of laches and the Defendant will apply to strike out this aspect of the claim and/or for summary judgment.

 

3 On allocation the Defendant invites the court to direct that there be a case management conference in order for the court to consider the making of appropriate orders to give the Claimant the opportunity to properly particularise the claim.

 

4 No admissions are made as to what charges have been debited to the Claimant's bank account.

 

5 In relation to the allegation that the bank charges amount to an unenforceable penalty the Defendant pleads as follows:

 

5.1 In order for the Claimant to sustain a claim that the charges debited by the Defendant are in the nature of a penalty the Claimant will need to plead and prove (a) the clause(s) pursuant to which the charges were applied; (b) that the charges were applied due to a breach of contract by the Claimant; and © identifying in each case the particular breach of contract (by reference to appropriate term(s) of the contract) that the charge related to. As presently pleaded the claim does not plead these matters and therefore does not disclose reasonable grounds for bringing a claim that all or any of the charges referred to in the Particulars of Claim have been applied pursuant to an unenforceable penalty clause.

 

5.2 Until such time as the Claimant pleads the matters referred to in paragraph 5.1 above the Defendant is unable to plead to the claim brought against it and therefore (pending the provision of full and proper particulars of the claim) at this stage denies that any charges have been applied to the Claimant's bank account pursuant to unenforceable penalty clauses.

 

6 In relation to the allegation that the contractual provisions pursuant to

which the charges have been applied are invalid pursuant to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 ("the Regulations").

 

6.1 The Claimant is required to identify the contractual provision(s) that the Claimant alleges are invalid by reference to the Regulations. Until such time as these provisions are identified the Defendant cannot (save as appears below) plead to the allegation referred to in paragraph 6 above. The Defendant therefore reserves its right to plead further to the allegation once (and if) the Claimant identifies the relevant contractual provisions.

 

6.2 In relation to the case of the Claimant that the contractual provisions are invalid pursuant to the Regulations the Defendant pleads as follows:

 

6.2.1 Schedule 2 to the Regulations is an Indicative and non-

exhaustive list of terms which may be regarded as unfair (emphasis supplied).

 

6.2.2 If the Claimant is to rely upon paragraph 1(e) of Schedule 2 to the Regulations then the Claimant is required to plead and prove in relation to each bank charge that is sought the matters referred to in paragraph 6.1 above and all facts and matters relied upon in alleging that the sums paid are disproportionately high.

 

6.2.3 In the circumstances no grounds are disclosed for a claim that the contractual provisions (whatever they are alleged to be - see paragraph 6.1 above) falls foul of the Regulations and in particular paragraph 1(e) of Schedule 2.

 

6.2.4 The Defendant is therefore unable (save as appears below) to plead to this allegation beyond denying that any bank charges have been applied pursuant to terms which contravene the Regulations. The Defendant reserves its right to plead further to this allegation once (and if) the particulars referred to in paragraph 6.2.2 above are provided.

 

6.2.5 Without prejudice to paragraph 6.2.4 it is the case of the Defendant that the Regulations have no application because the charges amount to payment for services provided by the Defendant and the adequacy (or

otherwise) of consideration paid under a contract for services is not an issue to be judged by reference to principles of fairness under the Regulations.

 

7 Save as hereinbefore appears the Defendant joins issue with the Claimant on the claim(s) and denies that it is liable to the Claimant as alleged or at all.

 

Statement of Truth

The Defendant believes that the facts stated in this Defence are true. I am duly authorised by the Defendant to sign this statement.

 

Full name: Lynsey Clare Burgoyne

 

Name of Defendants solicitor's firm: Cobbetts LLP, Ship Canal House, King Street, Manchester M2 4WB (Ref: LCB/RR01362.3823)

 

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Guest ChloeJane

Hi there,

 

It amazes me how much absolute rubbish is put in a defence by these people.

 

The words used and the references made are nothing more than rather amusing.

 

I would not worry as this is pretty standard and they are relying on the word services, which ever so, are still incorrect and again we argue, it is an unfairly weighted contract.

 

You have more than covered yourself with making your claim clear and they have not throughout any of it actually denied the allegations you have made.

 

They have made reference to you being over the six years. The claim begins from when you send your fist letter asking for it back. So ignore that bit.

 

In the rest of it as I have said, they have pleaded a defence for justification but have not in fact denied what you have written in your claim.

 

No admissions to the amount debited - is simple as if the bank would have forwarded a copy of your statements for them to cross check and put the time in that you have, they wouldn't dispute it!

 

My thoughts - standard defence - wait for the court to allocate - frame it and smile as you are definately one step closer to your money.

 

CJ

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A quick Google shows that Ms Burgoyne has been using that template since December last year, and whilst defending at least one other bank.

 

Oh dear, I wonder if she realises that she has helped strengthen my case with regard to the Wasted Costs order that's going to go in after they've paid me?

 

It must be so difficult to click on one entry in the Case Progression of their practice management software... Ding! 1 unit please, that will be £30 thank you very much.

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Having got ****ed off with the brinksmanship tactics of the RBoS and Cobbetts, and after much deliberation after receiving the templated defence from Cobbetts I decided to stop fannying around and for once say things straight.

 

Here's my reply to Cobbetts' defence submission. I wonder if it will be ignored?

 

 

Dear Ms Burgoyne,

 

Thank you for sending me a copy of your proposed defence. I’m glad you are getting further use from a template that you appear to have been using since at least December 2006.

 

Personally I don’t feel the need for a case management meeting. I went to great time and trouble to particularise my claim so that it would be clear to anyone reading it, likewise I am well aware that my claim goes marginally (36 days to be precise) over the 6 year limit. It is my contention that your client does not have the luxury of hiding behind the Limitations Act 1980 due to the many media reports regarding the concealment (as per s32 para 1b) of the true costs of processing unauthorised borrowing.

 

You mention in your defence that you would like me to clarify which contractual provisions I assert are invalid. To enable me to do this more accurately I would request that you send me a copy of the contract I signed when I first became a customer of the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC. Similarly I would further request that you send me any changes to the contractual conditions that have occurred between then and now.

 

Additionally so that I can better answer the points raised in your defence (specifically para 6.2.4) I would be grateful if you could send me, at your earliest convenience, a complete costing breakdown of your client’s procedures of dealing with the processing of unauthorised borrowing, referral charges, unpaid items, guarantee card misuses etc. This will aid me to be more accurate in the particularising of the claim you seem to think that I need to do.

 

When I made my first Subject Access Request to your client I asked for a listing of all charges made against my account no. ********. Additionally I would now like to request any and all notations, logs etc made at the time (or subsequently) of these charges (as listed with my claim). If there are no notations accompanying any of the listed charges I would also like confirmation of that fact. I would also like a listing of whether any or all of these listed charges were processed by a human or by automated computer programming.

 

If your firm had any less a pedigree I would have come to the conclusion that the intent of your defence’s wording was purely to intimidate a litigant in person with its over usage of non-clear English and “legalese”. Further it could also be considered in some quarters to be an overt abuse of process if the known intention is to settle..

 

I would like to make it clear that I am well aware of the RBoS use (in association with yourselves) of using “assault course” tactics in the hope that claimants will drop out before getting to court. This has been well reported in the media and there are many examples reported on several related Internet chat forums many of which actually include your name. There even appears to be an increasing judicial backlash over these tactics (e.g. see Judge Mackie’s recent comments).

 

Please be assured that it is my intention to assert my rights no matter how far it goes and I would be more than willing to take part in a test case should it come to it.

 

Accordingly I wish to notify you in advance that should you attempt any brinkmanship tactics with me and attempt to settle out of court at the “11th hour”, then on completion of any late settlements that may occur I will seek a Wasted Costs order from the judge. Furthermore I will make an official complaint of Abuse of Process to the judge. Additionally I will also make a formal complaint to the Law Society asserting that Cobbetts are complicit in ongoing and repeated Abuse of Process tactics in a manner that is unbecoming of a Law Society registered solicitor.

 

The upshot being that if your client is going to make a settlement out of court then he should do it sooner rather than later. I would also be grateful if you communicate to your client that I will only consider a full and unconditional settlement of everything in my court claim within the next 14 days. After that time I will refuse any and all offers of settlement, preferring to proceed to court and obtain an official judgement. I do not intend to play this game of brinkmanship. A judgement against your client is as important to me as the return of the money. This is partly out of principle and partly due to the shoddy way I have been recently treated by the RBoS.

 

You are most likely unaware of this situation but since March 23rd (the day my first letter of complaint was received) your client has levied a further £868 (minus a “goodwill” gesture of £80) in charges against me. Even to the extent of appropriating my Incapacity Benefit in direct contravention of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, s187. If you can persuade your client that it could be beneficial to all concerned if they could add that figure to any settlement they may or may not be considering. It would certainly save any more court time being lost due to frivolous defences and brinkmanship tactics.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

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