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Defending a court action for debt


FredT
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Hi

 

I have been taken to County Court for a debt (phone bill) owed to BT which dates back several months. I could not pay the bill (£400 ish) and was pursued by Moorcroft Debt Recovery. I lost my job and went on to JSA (£90 a week for my partner and I). I offered Moorcroft £10 a month but couldn't make the payments.

 

I no longer have the BT bill and so can't check the amount claimed on the Particulars of Claim. I have filed an Acknowledgment of Service indicating that I will defend the claim in its entirety - that gives me to end of this month to file a defence or pay up. I do not want a judgment against me.

 

Have I done right? Can I defend on the basis that I no longer have the bill to check that what they claim is correct? Or, am I better trying to pay in full (which I have very little chance of doing!) by end of month?

 

If I am defending how do I word the defence? Will the Court strike out my defence?

 

What are the chances of BT's solicitors agreing to accept, say 50% of the claim paid now and the balance in 1 month - but ONLY if they agree NOT to enter judgment against me?

 

Fred

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Have I done right? Can I defend on the basis that I no longer have the bill to check that what they claim is correct? Or, am I better trying to pay in full (which I have very little chance of doing!) by end of month?

 

Fred

 

Not really - but you can ask the claimant to provide strict proof thatthe amount is correct in your defence.

 

If I am defending how do I word the defence? Will the Court strike out my defence?

 

Probably as you owe it are you denying you owe it?

 

What are the chances of BT's solicitors agreing to accept, say 50% of the claim paid now and the balance in 1 month - but ONLY if they agree NOT to enter judgment against me?

 

Highly likely but don't forget you will now have to pay their court costs - Or you could save up get judgement by default and pay the bill within 28 days of judgement being enters and the it will be set aside - buys you a little bit more time.

Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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  • 1 month later...

Moorcroft instructed solictors who took me to County Court for a debt to BT and they have judgment for £600. First payment is to be made tommorrow of £60.

 

I don't have the money as I am on £90 per week Job Seekers Allowance. Finding £60 a month is impossible.

 

What can I do? I fear the bailiffs will call if I don't pay!!

 

Fred

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Did you receive the letter advising you about the court? did you submit a defence or show them what you were earning?

 

If you didn't receive the letter from the court advising on the court date, therefore not giving you any chance of defending yourself or submitting your earnings, you can apply for a set-aside of the judgement. They would need to restart the process again. Really, if you are on benefits, tehy shouldn't be taking more than £1 per week.

 

If you do get a set aside, you could consider looking into whether it's made up of unlawful charges or not and this may reduce it somewhat.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Thanks. The debt is for an unpaid telephone bill. I got the Court Summons and Acknowledgeed stating that I would defend. I did not file a defence and have then received a letter and payment book from Moorcroft dated 9 August stating that their Solicitors would be applying for judgement and that I should use the payment book to make the first payment of £60 by 9 September.

 

The Court has not sent me a judgment and I have not had anything asking about my financial position.

 

Fred

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Phone the court in the morning - doesn't sound to me like they've obtained judgement yet.

 

Send in your defence tomorrow too.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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I have no defence and proceeedings were issued back in July. What if they have judgment and the £60 has been ordered by the Court - although I have no papers from the Court to that effect.

 

How can Moorcroft have determined the £60 itself?

 

Fred

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I think you need to contact the court about this one.

 

If proceedings were in July, if I amy ask, why didn't you submit a defense?

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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