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Court Summons from Howard Cohen / GE Money


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I’m hoping someone could give some guidance to an issue we have.

My 19 year old daughter came to me on Friday last week with a problem she had with a store card of which I had no previous knowledge. :roll:

The card is a Miss Selfridge card through GE Money. Its looks like she had missed or been late with payments over a few months so GE had passed the account to a DCA called Viking. She then ignored the calls and letters and has paid nothing to them since April.

The last letter is dated 23/5/2007 and simply reads,

“Your file with our company has been closed and returned to GE Capital. Legal Action is now commencing. Call 0870 *** ****.”

This is the letter she first showed to me on Friday. She called the number and they gave her another number to call for a company called Howard Cohen & Co Solicitors. When she spoke to this company she was simply to that the account had to be paid in full that day or it would go to court on Monday. After doing some digging around on this site for some guidance we sent a CCA request by SD on Saturday morning, this was guaranteed to arrive to them by Tuesday. However yesterday she received a Court Summons dated 4th June 07, I have contacted the court to confirm its correct.

The amount claimed is £240.16 + £20.00 Court Fee + £50.00 Solicitor’s Costs, totalling £310.16.

A few questions,

If this is paid within 14 days does this mean a judgement wont be entered?

Can we make and offer to pay a one off reduced settlement to the claimant and still avoid a judgement?

I want my daughter to avoid a CCJ at such a young age and if it came to it I would find the money to pay it.

Any guidance will be very much appreciated. :)

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Is it from Northampton Bulk Issuing Centre - if so complete the section where you will be defending the action and state that the account is in dispute due to you requesting a CCA. That should stop for a at least the 14 days that you need to get a copy. Then you just state in your defence at the court date, no CCA so not enforceable. They should not be able to get a CCJ in the meantime, and if they do and cant produce it subsequently it can be removed.

 

Someone should come along soon with some more advice.

 

Sfx

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Thanks for your reply.

 

Yes its from Northampton Bulk Centre.

 

If we send the AOS stating she intends to defend the claim then they produce the CCA and its correct will she then get a CCJ and does this remove our opportunity to settle the claimant without a judgement?

 

:)

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Hi Robert1168,

 

My understanding of it is that if you were to pay off the full amount within one month of receiving the judgment it would be removed from your daughters record.

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Hi Robert1168,

 

My understanding of it is that if you were to pay off the full amount within one month of receiving the judgment it would be removed from your daughters record.

 

If she can show that she has paid the debt in full within one month of the date of the judgment, she can have the entry ( on the register of judgements orders & fines ) cancelled. The court will issue a certificate for her to send to the Registry Trust. The court will charge a fee of £15 to issue the certificate.

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If this is paid within 14 days does this mean a judgement wont be entered?

 

Can we make and offer to pay a one off reduced settlement to the claimant and still avoid a judgement?

 

I want my daughter to avoid a CCJ at such a young age and if it came to it I would find the money to pay it.

 

 

Thanks for all your replies people :)

 

What if I was to try and negotiate a reduced settlement with the claimant? Is this something they are likely to enter into and would this avoid the judgement?

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Guest Mincemeat

First of all, you are nowhere near a judgement. This is just a county court MCOL. I suggest you go onto the Moneyclaim.gov.uk website and complete an acknowledgement of service. This will give you a further 14 days (28 days in total) to file.

 

It sounds very much like they are again abusing the CPR rules on filing, but don't worry, this isn't new. How long has she had the account? If it is only for a short time there may not be enough charges to cover it. If she has had it for longer, there may well be enough charges to reclaim to cover the whole sum.

 

I take it you have not received a letter stating that CL Finance (who I guess is the DCA, Howerd Cohen Solicitors are who issued the MCOL against my wife in December 2006 with respect to an Evans Card passed first to Viking and then to CL Finance).

 

What I mean to say is, have you received a letter from the DCA saying they are now in posession of the account? Have you received another one from GE? On this basis alone you can get this thrown out. What you need to do is get a copy of the original agreement from them and all data they hold. Normally you would send a s77/8 CCA 1974 letter and a SAR (see templates library), but this will take a while.

 

You need to provide some more information now (less the personals) before we go any further, and the chances of you sending the letters this evening are practically nill, so do some more research on here tonight.

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Guest Mincemeat
Thanks for all your replies people :)

 

What if I was to try and negotiate a reduced settlement with the claimant? Is this something they are likely to enter into and would this avoid the judgement?

 

You are too far down the line for that, IF you want to avoid a CCJ that is. The options now are contest (and pay in afew months if it looks like you're not going to win) or pay

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If she can show that she has paid the debt in full within one month of the date of the judgment, she can have the entry ( on the register of judgements orders & fines ) cancelled. The court will issue a certificate for her to send to the Registry Trust. The court will charge a fee of £15 to issue the certificate.

 

Does this mean it wont show with the Credit Reference Agencies? If thats the case I'm more inclined to give them a run for thier money in the court.

 

I just dont want her to run the risk of having a CCJ on her credit file at such a young age.

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First of all, you are nowhere near a judgement. This is just a county court MCOL. I suggest you go onto the Moneyclaim.gov.uk website and complete an acknowledgement of service. This will give you a further 14 days (28 days in total) to file.

 

It sounds very much like they are again abusing the CPR rules on filing, but don't worry, this isn't new. How long has she had the account? If it is only for a short time there may not be enough charges to cover it. If she has had it for longer, there may well be enough charges to reclaim to cover the whole sum.

I will check on the above tonight.

 

 

I take it you have not received a letter stating that CL Finance (who I guess is the DCA, Howerd Cohen Solicitors are who issued the MCOL against my wife in December 2006 with respect to an Evans Card passed first to Viking and then to CL Finance).

 

What I mean to say is, have you received a letter from the DCA saying they are now in posession of the account? Have you received another one from GE? On this basis alone you can get this thrown out. What you need to do is get a copy of the original agreement from them and all data they hold. Normally you would send a s77/8 CCA 1974 letter and a S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) (see templates library), but this will take a while.

Correct, it is CL Finance and no she has not received a letter from anybody to say the account has been assigned to a third party even though it states in the paticulars of the claim one was sent out on 30th May.

 

You need to provide some more information now (less the personals) before we go any further, and the chances of you sending the letters this evening are practically nill, so do some more research on here tonight.

I will post up all that I can find tonight.

 

Thanks for your assistance, how nice it is to know there are so many people willing to help and provide much needed advice. :)

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The account was opened around Feb 2005, she did not use it until May 06 when she took the balance to £148.19. She then almost straight away started to default on the payments. Since then late payment charges, interest and account cover (I assume payment protection) have been added each month.

 

A default notice was issued by GE Money in Sept 06, no balance showed on the notice just the arrears.

 

She had been making some payments since then but I assume interest and charges had continued to be added as the balance reached £240.16.

 

The particulars of the claim are as follows,

 

Particulars.jpg

They state in the particulars that it was assigned to the claimant on the 30th May 07 and that notice was given to the defendant, this has never been received.

 

I hope this gives enough information.

 

Many thanks to you all.

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I'm going to pm Laiste to see if I can hijack a letter she had done for Electric Lemon that I think is applicable in my daughter's case, I have amended it slightly but it reads as follows.

 

Miss

XXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX

7th May 2007

 

Claim Number: XXX XXXXX

Account Number: XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I have received the Court claim filed by your company. To enable me to file a defence and counter-claim, I require specific information regarding the account to be provided forthwith. Given that this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, you are obliged to disclose under the Civil Procedure Rules, the information and documents detailed below. This letter supercedes the request made to Howard Cohen & Co recently. The information must be furnished by the 18th May 2007, which gives you ten days to provide what has been requested. If you fail to comply, this will be reported to the Court, a copy of this letter will be provided as evidence to the same and an order enforcing your compliance will be sought.

 

The following information is required:-

I hereby request all data that GE Capital hold on me from all relevant filing systems, to include a complete list of all transactions and charges on my accountformerly held with GE Capital. I also require a transcript of all recorded phone calls pertinent to this account and all notes made in relation to those calls.

 

Additionally, where there has been any event in my accounthistory over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of GE Capital, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my accountformerly held with GE Capital.

 

If you are unable to supply this data because there has been no such manual intervention, then please be so kind as to confirm this in your response.

 

A true copy of the original signed agreement between GE Capital and myself.

 

A genuine copy of the deed of assignment. Between your Company and GE Capital.

 

Documents relating to any insurance added to the account, including the insurance contract and terms and conditions, date it was added and deleted (if applicable).

 

Details of any collection charge added to the account; specifically, the date it was levied, the amount of the charge, a detailed financial breakdown of how the charge was calculated, and what the charge covers.

 

A true copy of any Default Notice issued in respect of this account.

All Data in respect of this accountheld in the relevant filing systems of CL Finance, including details of all telephone calls made by your organisation to all my telephone numbers and notes made in respect of those calls.

 

Specific details of the fees/charges levied by CL Finance in respect of this account and a detailed breakdown of said fees/charges and what each charge relates to and on what date said fees/charges were levied.

 

I look forward to your co-operation in this matter and receiving the documentation by the 18th May 2007. Additionally, as the information requested contains sensitive personal details, I expect it to be sent by guaranteed next day delivery, to ensure its safe arrival.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

Miss XXXXX

 

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Hi Robert,

 

As Mincemeat has already said, you are a very long way away from a CCJ! This is just the start of the legal process and my advice is that the claim should be defended in entirety and I'll explain why.

 

I don't wish to cause alarm or distress, but the fact that a Default Notice(DN) has been issued against your daughter, is essentially the same as a CCJ as far as potential future creditors are concerned. They do not distinguish between the two as far as providing credit facilities goes. At this stage she will not be able to get credit. You could argue that this is totally unfair and I would agree, but DN's are easier to issue (to alert other creditors) than CCJ's are to obtain!

 

The good news is that the DN can be removed. However, to remove the DN marker from your daughter's credit file, will require that a defence (def) and counter-claim (c/c) are filed.

 

It is my view that you would be able to get their claim struck out on the basis of the assignment alone. Notice of an Absolute Assignment must be given to the debtor. If it wasn't, the burden of proof that it was received by your daughter rests with them as they are the Claimants. Secondly, the Notice must contain particular information, which invariably creditors mess up! Whether the credit agreement conforms to the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, well who knows, but if they can't get past the assignment issue, it won't matter anyway!;)

 

Many agreements are irredeemably flawed, so that will be a further issue to look at. Penalty charges have been raised already, which may well wipe out the debt. Did your daughter receive a DN? If she did, chances are it contained penalty charges, which renders it invalid and precludes the creditor from registering the DN on her file, that would amount to unlawful processing of personal information under the DPA 1998 and defamation. If it wasn't received, they have to prove it was and given that no creditor sends out DN's by recorded or guaranteed delivery, they have no proof!

 

So that gives you an idea of the sort of arguments that need to be raised. In effect what you have to do is rip their arguments apart so that they have no case against your daughter. If they have no case, they have no right to keep a DN on her file. They will certainly resist removing it, if they can't claim any monies, that's why it's removal must be included in the c/c.

 

Creditors are forcing more and more people to go to Court even where only a couple of pmts have been missed, but very often it's the only option if a debtor wants a DN removed, because that marker will stay for a very long time, sadly.

 

If you need statements and of course the credit agreement (if it exists) those two requests using the usual templates, will not produce the info in time for you to file the defence. Have a look at the thread in General Debt, it's titled Illegal CCJ on a/c (or something similar) by Electric Lemon. I wrote a letter for her to send to the Claimants and their solicitors if memory serves, which gave them 14 days to respond. You have a legal right to the info you need to file your def and c/c, so stick to YOUR timetable! If they don't comply there are consequences, which will become apparent when you read the letter.

 

This can all be resolved, just don't worry unduly or be intimidated by the legal process! If you read some of the threads I have contributed to, you will see I have written defences, which will give you an idea of the sort of thing required, which you can adapt for your needs!

 

I hope this helps!

 

Kind regards,

 

Laiste.:)

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Guest Mincemeat

Let me get the paperwork together tonight and I'll PM you

 

Thanks

 

(apologies for hyjacking thread!)

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Hi Robert,

 

I got your PM after I had written my post! So by all means use and adapt the letter I wrote for Electric for what you need. Everyone is welcome to use what I write be it letters, defences and no doubt c/c's soon as well. I am not precious about what I've written, it's for the benefit of anyone who needs it.

 

Regards,

 

Laiste.:)

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Hi and thanks for all your help.

 

Sent the letter as detailed above by special delivery so we will wait and see what they come up with.

 

Something that came to light today is the fact that my daughter was only 17 when she took out the store card, she lied on the application form!!!

 

I dont know what impact this may have, can someone advise?

 

Thanks:)

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Guest Mincemeat

Then GC committed an offence in giving it to her. You are home free. Now, you can either keep this until you see them in court, or inform them now. Either way, I'd say they are stuffed

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One word of warning on that last point. It is a criminal offence to lie on a financial services application so there may be threats to report her for obtaining a service/pecuniary advantage by deception under the Theft Act. in short it's fraud so be careful how you handle that and take proper advice first.

 

Obviously however, the company cannot enter into a contract with a minor.

 

It's a bit double edged so please check first with a citizens Advice Bureau or solicitor.

 

Why has my clicker gone back down to one?????

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Guest Mincemeat

Hmmm, but the company hasn't checked out who she is and is guilty of unscrupulous lending and therefore a big greasy black mark on their reputation when it comes to license renewal.

 

I too would question this and verify with an indemnified professional, but the chances of this going to court are absolutely zero

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I have been discussing with my daughter about what happened when she applied for the store card.

 

When she was paying at the till she was asked if she wanted to open an account to get 10% off, at first she said no but the shop assistant was quite pushy, my daughter agreed. When it came apparant she was only 17 it was the shop assistant who suggested she lied on the form! I assume she did not want to loose out on her commission and I know these shops set their staff targets for these store cards so the pressure is always on to get customers signed up.

 

The only id they took from her was a Visa Electron card, she did not have a driving licence neither was she on voters roll.

 

The first time the card was used for a purchase she was 18.

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Hi Robert,

 

I think it would be unwise to pursue this dispute on the basis of the age your daughter gave when she applied for the card. Whilst the assistant may have persuaded/coerced your daughter to lie, there is no way of proving it and ultimately your daughter took the decision to fib on the application. It is true that a debt is unenforceable against a minor but any relief enjoyed by getting rid of the debt, may be short lived, given the possible ramifications of having not told the truth on the form.

 

I think it is better to use other arguments to get rid of the debt, which will obviously be to your daughter's advantage, without there being any sting in the tail!;)

 

Regards,

 

Laiste.:)

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