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Preparation Costs


sam78
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I agreed a settlement with the Abbey for my claim (sam78 v abbey WON) and I've requested costs. Below is the details of the story so far.

 

"The judge has ordered a small claims hearing for June 13th at 10.30. I have emailed my contact at Abbey to advise them of this - i think they are trying to use scare tactics on me to back out - what do you think? The emails are detailed below.

 

"Just to update you, I sent a request to the courts for preparation costs for this case, a copy was also sent to yourselves, which also advised that the claim had been settled.

 

I have been allocated a hearing for this of 13th June at 10.30am - the details of which should be in the post to you from the courts.

 

I would be grateful if you could confirm that someone will be attending the hearing if you dispute my claim for preparation costs.

 

Many thanks"

 

"Dear Ms Holmes,

 

Thank you for your email notifying Abbey of your plans to pursue your legal claim (7ZP00154) to a court hearing despite the Settlement Agreement reached on 20 April 2007.

 

As stipulated in my settlement email dated 20 April 2007, settlement was agreed in "full and final satisfaction" of your legal claim against Abbey. For you to agree to that settlement and accept payment and then later attempt to pursue your claim in order to receive further costs, puts you in breach of the agreement made.

 

Please be advised that should you wish the pursue this course of action, we will indeed instruct counsel, attend the hearing of 13 June 2007 and will in fact seek a costs order against you in this matter. We will seek to rely on the email correspondence of 20 April 2007 as evidence of our agreement and its terms therein.

 

I hope this clarifies our position"

 

"Thank you for your reply. I have agreed a settlement for the claim with you, though I am now proceeding to claim for the costs of preparation - this does not breech any agreement previously made with you. My letter to you and the courts dated 3rd May details that settlement was agreed between both parties, though I am quite within my rights to request that the judge sees fit to award me costs as per Civil Procedure Rules 27.14 (2)(g)

 

(2) The court may not order a party to pay a sum to another party in respect of that other party's costs, fees and expenses, including those relating to an appeal, except – (g) such further costs as the court may assess by the summary procedure and order to be paid by a party who has behaved unreasonably.

 

I believe that the Abbey has behaved unreasonably in their approach to defending this claim, not least because I believe the Defendant had no intention of ever defending this claim at a hearing. A list of cases that were settled before a hearing was also enclosed - copies of which you should have also received.

 

The judge in this case obviously takes my claim for costs seriously enough to warrant a hearing."

The Abbey have since emailed back to say 'we will instruct counsel accordingly' - Has anyone any experience of this please?

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Hi Sam78,

 

I'm not 100% sure on this but at least this will move your thread back to the top of the pile & perhaps Gary H or someone else 'in the know' will be along shortly. I'd be really surprised if they send anyone to the hearing though...people on here have claimed thousands & Abbey have never gone into the court room so what's a few hundred pounds preparation costs?!...like you say scare tactics to get you to back down I think.

 

Did you follow the instructions in the following link?

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/85726-wasted-costs-order.html

 

Will watch this one with interest. Good luck.

 

Villafan

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Thanks for that. The link is where I got the idea from so followed all the details and amended the letters. Let's hope the Abbey do a 'no show'.

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I'm sure they won't show - the link suggests you apply for it once Abbey have agreed to settle which is what's happened in your case. I'm sure someone will be along soon with a more in depth response.

 

If not just 'bump' your thread again.

 

VF

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Hi sam,

 

this isn't an in-depth response, more an opinion that this sounds like typical abbey bully tactics so I would call their bluff as per the link, which was posted by BF, so has to be 100% reliable

All advice offered here is my opinion only based on what I would do in a given situation. If you wish to act on it you do so at your own discretion

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

I have no legal expertise or qualification, and give advice on the basis of my own experience and nothing else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I've not heard anything from the Abbey since the emails from my previous posts so I'll have to presume they will be appearing in court on Wednesday morning. I've got all my documents together and I even intend to take the copies along so the Judge gets an idea of the work I've put in and how much time has been spent using the photocopier! I'm also taking the email from Louise at the Abbey which states they have a separate ac**** with their lawyers 'for this type of claim'. Wish me luck & I'll post an update at some point on Wednesday.

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The Abbey knocked money off an agreement they made to me for preperation of bundle/administrtaion bundle and this was backed up in a letter with a breakdown of the amounts and what they were for. They did this because the realised they have not paid all the charges they owe me. so wothout changing their charges they tried to reduce that amount. We are going to court as soon as a date is arranged as the abbey have not paid all my charges and i applied for contractual interest. Therefore I will be making sure the judge knows about their breach.

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I only had an email confirmation abou the money they were giving me but I'm going forward with prep costs as I know that they had no intentions at all of bringing the case to court. They have wasted mine, the courts and many other peoples time - if they paid up in the first place it would never have got this far!

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I thought as much. I've nothing to lose really. I'm looking forward to having a conclusion to this and hopefully I'll be able to set a precedent for others to go ahead and claim costs and not feel intimidated by the banks.

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Well, I have now been to court. On my arrival I was told that the defendant had a barrister representing them, not that I was too bothered by that.

The barrister came over, introduced himself and gave me some photocopied pages from a text book about 'the effects of compromise' which I read whilst waiting to see the Judge.

We were eventually taken through to a room to see the Judge and he asked me tostate my case so I basically said that I believed the Abbey had behaved unreasonably by not dealing with my claim sooner rather than it having to go to court. The Judge asked the Barrister for the Abbey for their case which was that I had agreed a full settlement which had included costs for preparation time.

The Judge was very fair and stated that the Abbey were not unreasonable for not defending sooner and that it is not unreasonable for a defendant to enter a defence and then offerrng settlement before a hearing. Although the Judge also understands that the banks will settle before a hearing so that they avoid having to disclose details relating to their charges.

The Judge advised that as I had already had my offer increased to include preparation costs that I culd not request them again.

The Barrister for the Abbey requested that their costs were considered, which the Judge said was unreasonable.

The case was dismissed.

At least this has now been sorted fully.

My advice is that once you begin to reach a settlement that you request preparation costs at this point and incorporate them into your settlement figure.

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  • 1 month later...

wow ive just read your post so did u get your money back?

i am waiting now abbey have untill 17th august to reach a settlement from abbey inwhich i am not sure of the next stage maybe a cout date?

not sure

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