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    • He was one of four former top executives from Sam Bankman-Fried's firms to plead guilty to charges.View the full article
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    • further polished WS using above suggestions and also included couple of more modifications highlighted in orange are those ok to include?   Background   1.1  The Defendant received the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) on the 06th of January 2020 following the vehicle being parked at Arla Old Dairy, South Ruislip on the 05th of December 2019.   Unfair PCN   2.1  On 19th December 2023 the Defendant sent the Claimant's solicitors a CPR request.  As shown in Exhibit 1 (pages 7-13) sent by the solicitors the signage displayed in their evidence clearly shows a £60.00 parking charge notice (which will be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days of issue).  2.2  Yet the PCN sent by the Claimant is for a £100.00 parking charge notice (reduced to £60 if paid within 30 days of issue).   2.3        The Claimant relies on signage to create a contract.  It is unlawful for the Claimant to write that the charge is £60 on their signs and then send demands for £100.    2.4        The unlawful £100 charge is also the basis for the Claimant's Particulars of Claim.  No Locus Standi  3.1  I do not believe a contract with the landowner, that is provided following the defendant’s CPR request, gives MET Parking Services a right to bring claims in their own name. Definition of “Relevant contract” from the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4,  2 [1] means a contract Including a contract arising only when the vehicle was parked on the relevant land between the driver and a person who is-   (a) the owner or occupier of the land; or   (b) Authorised, under or by virtue of arrangements made by the owner or occupier of the land, to enter into a contract with the driver requiring the payment of parking charges in respect of the parking of the vehicle on the land. According to https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/section/44   For a contract to be valid, it requires a director from each company to sign and then two independent witnesses must confirm those signatures.   3.2  The Defendant requested to see such a contract in the CPR request.  The fact that no contract has been produced with the witness signatures present means the contract has not been validly executed. Therefore, there can be no contract established between MET Parking Services and the motorist. Even if “Parking in Electric Bay” could form a contract (which it cannot), it is immaterial. There is no valid contract.  Illegal Conduct – No Contract Formed   4.1 At the time of writing, the Claimant has failed to provide the following, in response to the CPR request from myself.   4.2        The legal contract between the Claimant and the landowner (which in this case is Standard Life Investments UK) to provide evidence that there is an agreement in place with landowner with the necessary authority to issue parking charge notices and to pursue payment by means of litigation.   4.3 Proof of planning permission granted for signage etc under the Town and country Planning Act 1990. Lack of planning permission is a criminal offence under this Act and no contract can be formed where criminality is involved.   4.4        I also do not believe the claimant possesses these documents.   No Keeper Liability   5.1        The defendant was not the driver at the time and date mentioned in the PCN and the claimant has not established keeper liability under schedule 4 of the PoFA 2012. In this matter, the defendant puts it to the claimant to produce strict proof as to who was driving at the time.   5.2 The claimant in their Notice To Keeper also failed to comply with PoFA 2012 Schedule 4 section 9[2][f] while mentioning “the right to recover from the keeper so much of that parking charge as remains unpaid” where they did not include statement “(if all the applicable conditions under this Schedule are met)”.     5.3         The claimant did not mention parking period, times on the photographs are separate from the PCN and in any case are that arrival and departure times not the parking period since their times include driving to and from the parking space as a minimum and can include extra time to allow pedestrians and other vehicles to pass in front.    Protection of Freedoms Act 2012   The notice must -   (a) specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates;  22. In the persuasive judgement K4GF167G - Premier Park Ltd v Mr Mathur - Horsham County Court – 5 January 2024 it was on this very point that the judge dismissed this claim.  5.4  A the PCN does not comply with the Act the Defendant as keeper is not liable.  No Breach of Contract   6.1       No breach of contract occurred because the PCN and contract provided as part of the defendant’s CPR request shows different post code, PCN shows HA4 0EY while contract shows HA4 0FY. According to PCN defendant parked on HA4 0EY which does not appear to be subject to the postcode covered by the contract.  6.2         The entrance sign does not mention anything about there being other terms inside the car park so does not offer a contract which makes it only an offer to treat,  Interest  7.1  It is unreasonable for the Claimant to delay litigation for  Double Recovery   7.2  The claim is littered with made-up charges.  7.3  As noted above, the Claimant's signs state a £60 charge yet their PCN is for £100.  7.4  As well as the £100 parking charge, the Claimant seeks recovery of an additional £70.  This is simply a poor attempt to circumvent the legal costs cap at small claims.  7.5 Since 2019, many County Courts have considered claims in excess of £100 to be an abuse of process leading to them being struck out ab initio. An example, in the Caernarfon Court in VCS v Davies, case No. FTQZ4W28 on 4th September 2019, District Judge Jones-Evans stated “Upon it being recorded that District Judge Jones- Evans has over a very significant period of time warned advocates (...) in many cases of this nature before this court that their claim for £60 is unenforceable in law and is an abuse of process and is nothing more than a poor attempt to go behind the decision of the Supreme Court v Beavis which inter alia decided that a figure of £160 as a global sum claimed in this case would be a penalty and not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and therefore unenforceable in law and if the practice continued, he would treat all cases as a claim for £160 and therefore a penalty and unenforceable in law it is hereby declared (…) the claim is struck out and declared to be wholly without merit and an abuse of process.”  7.6 In Claim Nos. F0DP806M and F0DP201T, District Judge Taylor echoed earlier General Judgment or Orders of District Judge Grand, stating ''It is ordered that the claim is struck out as an abuse of process. The claim contains a substantial charge additional to the parking charge which it is alleged the Defendant contracted to pay. This additional charge is not recoverabl15e under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4 nor with reference to the judgment in Parking Eye v Beavis. It is an abuse of process from the Claimant to issue a knowingly inflated claim for an additional sum which it is not entitled to recover. This order has been made by the court of its own initiative without a hearing pursuant to CPR Rule 3.3(4)) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998...''  7.7 In the persuasive case of G4QZ465V - Excel Parking Services Ltd v Wilkinson – Bradford County Court -2 July 2020 (Exhibit 4) the judge had decided that Excel had won. However, due to Excel adding on the £60 the Judge dismissed the case.  7.8        The addition of costs not previously specified on signage are also in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Schedule 2, specifically paras 6, 10 and 14.   7.9        It is the Defendant’s position that the Claimant in this case has knowingly submitted inflated costs and thus the entire claim should be similarly struck out in accordance with Civil Procedure Rule 3.3(4).   In Conclusion   8.1        I invite the court to dismiss the claim.  Statement of Truth  I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.   
    • Well the difference is that in all our other cases It was Kev who was trying to entrap the motorist so sticking two fingers up to him and daring him to try court was from a position of strength. In your case, sorry, you made a mistake so you're not in the position of strength.  I've looked on Google Maps and the signs are few & far between as per Kev's MO, but there is an entrance sign saying "Pay & Display" (and you've admitted in writing that you knew you had to pay) and the signs by the payment machines do say "Sea View Car Park" (and you've admitted in writing you paid the wrong car park ... and maybe outed yourself as the driver). Something I missed in my previous post is that the LoC is only for one ticket, not two. Sorry, but it's impossible to definitively advise what to so. Personally I'd probably gamble on Kev being a serial bottler of court and reply with a snotty letter ridiculing the signage (given you mentioned the signage in your appeal) - but it is a gamble.  
    • No! What has happened is that your pix were up-to-date: 5 hours' maximum stay and £100 PCN. The lazy solicitors have sent ancient pictures: 4 hours' maximum stay and £60 PCN. Don't let on!  Let them be hoisted by their own lazy petard in the court hearing (if they don't bottle before).
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      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.

       

      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Basic Introduction to Consumer Credit litigation


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You walk into the court room. The entire room hushes, as the eleven men of the jury all look at you. GUILTY! They think! Judge John Deed scowls…

 

Ech, not quite. People have a very warped sense of what a civil trial is. For a start, unless you’re dealing with very very very large amounts of money, no jury. Second, no court room. You’ll go into a nice office room, with a judge whose job it is to take into account the fact that you are a litigant in person, i.e. a normal bloke or lady who doesn’t have much experience of Law. The “trial” will be informal, involve lots of looking at law textbooks by the judge and solicitors, and at worst you’ll end up with a county court judgement for essentially the same amount of money as the claim (give or take a hundred quid).

 

Since almost all claims include collection / penalty charges, IT IS VERY RARE THAT THEY WILL GET THE FULL AMOUNT OF ANY CLAIM.

 

And, I’ll give you some further hints… a heck of a lot of people who go to court actually winJ And even if you lose, the Judge WILL NOT order you to pay more than you can affordJ And HE/SHE WILL NOT order you to go to jail, or punish you in any way…

 

Just look on it as a nice day out in your local town… it aint as scary as DCA’s would have you believe, and the Judge is really a nice person who generally doesn’t like the Claimant very much. After all, the Judge used to be a law student, and law students know something about debt… and tequila, but we won’t go there!

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Now for the Initial Steps:

 

First, I would like you to take a deep breath… litigation is a lengthy process. It’s important not to get ahead of yourself, trying to write a defence before you have any information… you need to gather information at the first stages, it is also important to realise that it’s quite often a waiting game… there will be weeks where you are not doing anything in relation to the claim. That’s normal. Don’t expect to be working on it every minute. Don’t get ahead of the game.

 

Second, we need to know roughly how much money the account is, and whether the account was sold to a debt collection agency.

 

Thirdly, you should call the court, and get the date that (a) acknowledgement of service is due and (b) the defence is due.

 

Fourth, if you sent a credit agreement request (the template letter is http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general-debt/20758-creditors-dcas-letter-templates.html#post162367 ), you should check that the credit agreement request was received and signed for... recorded delivery is not always signed for. If it was signed for, or the check / po cashed, then no worries... otherwise, send a new one special delivery.

 

Fifth, you need to get information, so you will send the letter I post under this thread by special delivery. Hint here, all letters you should type but not hand sign.

 

Sixth can you scan the letters you've recieved so far, removing personal data and so on. Can you tell me:

(1) was a default notice received (and scan the notice),

2. Was a notice / letter before action received (and scan it)

3. Was the account assigned to a DCA?

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IN ENGLAND

 

 

In the XXXX County Court

Claimant -v- (YOUR NAME)

Claim Number: (CLAIM NUMBER)

 

 

Dear XXX

 

CPR 18 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

 

I have received a recent court claim from your organisation. In order to file a defence and counter claim I require some information. 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.

 

The information must be furnished within fourteen days of the receipt of this letter. 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.

 

1. A true copy of the executed credit agreement and any terms and conditions that applied to the account at the time of default and at the time the account was opened.

2. All records you hold on me relevant to this case, including but not limited to:

 

a. Transcriptions of all telephone conversations recorded and any notes made in relation to telephone conversations by your company, or by any previous creditor

b. Where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any 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 account formerly held with ORIGINAL CREDITOR.

c. True copies of any notice of assignment and/or default notice or enforcement notice that you or the original creditor sent me, with a copy of any proof of postage that you hold.

d.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).

e. 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.

f. Specific details of the fees/charges levied by any other agency 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.

g. A genuine copy of any notice of fair use of my data as required by the Data Protection Act 1998

h. A list of third party agencies to whom you have disclosed my personal data and a summary of the nature of the information you have disclosed.

i. Copies of statements for the entire duration of the credit agreement.

 

3. Any other documents you seek to rely on in court.

 

 

I will require this information within the next fourteen days. I must advise you that if the information is not forthcoming, it will be reported to the Court that you are trying to frustrate proceedings and denying me the opportunity to file a defence and counter claim.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

XXXX (type, don't sign).

 

IN SCOTLAND

 

In the XXXX Sheriff Court

Claimant -v- (YOUR NAME)

Claim Number: (CLAIM NUMBER)

 

 

Dear XXX

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

 

I have received a recent court claim from your organisation. In order to file a defence and counter claim I require some information. Given that this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, I request you to provide me with the information and documents detailed below.

 

I request that the information should be furnished within fourteen days of the receipt of this letter. If you fail to comply, it may hamper proceedings and result in me filing an unnecessary defence or counter claim.

 

1. A true copy of the executed credit agreement and any terms and conditions that applied to the account at the time of default and at the time the account was opened.

2. All records you hold on me relevant to this case, including but not limited to:

 

a. Transcriptions of all telephone conversations recorded and any notes made in relation to telephone conversations by your company, or by any previous creditor

b. Where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any 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 account formerly held with ORIGINAL CREDITOR.

c. True copies of any notice of assignment and/or default notice or enforcement notice that you or the original creditor sent me, with a copy of any proof of postage that you hold.

d.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).

e. 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.

f. Specific details of the fees/charges levied by any other agency 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.

g. A genuine copy of any notice of fair use of my data as required by the Data Protection Act 1998

h. A list of third party agencies to whom you have disclosed my personal data and a summary of the nature of the information you have disclosed.

i. Copies of statements for the entire duration of the credit agreement.

 

3. Any other documents you seek to rely on in court.

 

 

I must advise you that if the information is not forthcoming, it may delay or frustrate the equitable resolution of this matter and result in unnecessary cost for both parties.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

XXXX (type, don't sign).

Edited by 42man
Added CPR 18

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OK, so that letter was a little scary, wasn’t it? All those requests for information. There is a reason for that. The more you know about the debt, the more holes in the claimants’ case you can find. Some of the information is more important than other bits, but any or all of it might be the bit that saves you a fortune!

There is a second reason for “the letter”. It is a clear sign that (a) You are getting advice from consumer action group or someone who knows what they are doing, (b) you know your rights and © that you are going to vigorously defend the case.

Even if you chose to try negotiation, you will be doing so from a stronger position. And, if it comes to court, you will be able to defend properly.

Now, to conclude the advice, your immediate actions (in order) should be

1. Call the court, and find out the date acknowledgement of service and defence are due

2. Make sure you acknowledge service... you can do at the MCOL site (Money claim online). I would suggest selecting that you will defend the entire claim, and not submitting a defence / counter claim yet.

3. Check that the credit request letter was received and signed for; if not send it special delivery.

4. Send the letter in the last post, special delivery.

From now on, the rule is that you TYPE and don’t write any signature and that you send all letters special delivery (unless otherwise stated).

Finally, I would remind you that litigation takes time, and that you shouldn’t get ahead of the game. First, you find out information. Then you compare that information to their claim. Then, when you find every possible hole, and only then, do you draft your defence.

And remember, Consumer Action Group is here to help at any stage. Many people here have been through the same things as you, you won’t be judged, and we are here to help.

If you have any concerns or problems, please post them so we can help you.

Hope this helps.

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Establishing that they have a right of action to the debt.

If the original creditor is the claimant, they almost certainly have a right of action to the debt.

If the DCA is the company that is suing, then, they must fulfil certain technicalities:

  • They must have sent you a notice of assignment.
  • They must have a Document (or deed) of assignment.

A notice of assignment must be served upon you in order for a DCA to have a claim to the debt. This Notice of assignment must be absolute (that is they must have all the rights and duties of the contract) in order to sue in their own right.

If the notice of assignment is not absolute, you have every right to object if any case that does not include both the original creditor, and the DCA.

Further, if the notice of assignment is not correct, that is it includes unlawful charges or incorrect data, it spells your name, account number, address, or any other detail incorrectly, it is likely to be invalid.

Lastly, in your disclosure request, you have already asked for a copy of the document of assignment. I would suggest that, if a DCA were to fail to provide such a document, there would be no case to answer since they would have no clear right to the debt.

These are maybe technical points, but they are vital points – no notice of assignment = case struck out.

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Establish that the balance they are claiming is correct

Did you notice all the requests for statements of charges, transactions, payments in the letter?

The purpose of those questions was to give you a secure basis on which to work out what the actual debt is. Did the DCA / Creditor calculate this right?

Now, I hate to say this, but mathematics is important. Thank the big fella in the sky my old mathematics teacher didn’t hear me say that. When you look through the statements you should look for:

  • Unexplained charges, interest payments, or “adjustments”
  • Check that each interest charge is correct,
  • Check that each payment you made is registered.

No 3 is a good reason to submit the S.A.R. to your bank you’ve been intending to for weeksJ and, as a bonus, you’ll be able to reclaim bank chargesJ

The clear question is: do you owe what they say you owe?

It is especially strong if they fail to produce statements at any point over the last 6 years before the default. They have to prove that what they are claiming is correct. Missing statements introduces doubt; you are the defendant, and doubt is good.

Check all the figures, and do the maths to work out interest payments.

I would suggest you counter claim for the difference, and check and default notice did not include such charges!

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Establish that the Credit Agreement is valid,

If they fail to provide a signed credit agreement, and the agreement was made before 2004, in most cases (i.e. not an overdraft agreement, or a non-commercial agreement) you have a completely open and shut case. You’ve won.

Sometime after 2004, if they attach proof of ID to you agreement, and it was online, then that may be enough. This is why you should never send proof of ID other than a copy of their own letters or statements! Post it and ask in the thread below, anyway.

If they send you an agreement that was signed by yourself, or which you believe may be enforceable, I would suggest posting it in

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/general/33174-consumer-credit-act-agreements.html

I would also suggest that you spend some time reading the thread, but I warn you – the debt action Group marathon is to read all 8,000+ posts, a challenge only those with the highest stamina can manageJ Then again, if you read it, you’ll probably know more about consumer credit law than most qualified solicitorsJ That, and by then you’ll have the healthy law student attitude of “needing” half a bottle of tequila…

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Establish that they sent a default notice in the proper format

 

 

 

 

The following information must be contained in the default notice:

 

i a description of the agreement sufficient to identify it

ii the name and a postal address of the trader

iii the name and a postal address of the customer

iv a statement that the notice is a default notice served under section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974

v details of the part or parts of the agreement which, according to the trader, the customer has breached

vi details of the nature of the alleged breach of the agreement specifying clearly the matters complained of

vii if it is possible for the customer to put the matter right, details of what he is required to do in order to achieve this, and the date before which he is required to do so. This date must be at least seven days after the date of service of the notice, or

viii if it is not possible to put the matter right (for example, where goods have been damaged beyond repair), details of the amount (if any) required to be paid as compensation and the date before which it should be paid. This date must be at least seven days (fourteen, if after 1st October 2006) after the date of service of the notice.

 

 

 

Point to note

The date of service of the notice is the date on which the trader either delivers or sends the notice by post to the customer. Where a notice is sent by post, allowance should be made for delivery time when calculating the date by which the breach must be remedied.

 

 

 

Where any action is required under vii or viii above, the following statement must appear immediately after:

 

 

 

IF THE ACTION REQUIRED BY THIS NOTICE IS TAKEN BEFORE THE DATE SHOWN NO FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN IN RESPECT OF THE BREACH.

 

The following statement must appear immediately before the specification of the action to be taken by the trader:

IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THE ACTION REQUIRED BY THIS NOTICE BEFORE THE DATE SHOWN THEN THE FURTHER ACTION SET OUT BELOW MAY BE TAKEN AGAINST YOU [OR A SURETY]

 

The words in square brackets are to be omitted or deleted if it is not intended to take any action to enforce any security

 

Further, there is provision in the consumer credit Act 2006 for a “default information sheet”, although the OFT has not implemented that yet.

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Other Factors

 

 

  • Was there any Payment Protection Insurance, and if it was viable, did they remind you about it at the time you first informed them you were ill/unemployed (if relevant).
  • Was the PPI miss-sold? Was PPI charged for but not actually part of the agreement?
  • What is the interest rate? If greater than 50%APR. and for credit agreements BEFORE April 2007, this might constitute an “extortionate credit bargain”. Or it might not, since each case is determined on its own merits. Ask in your thread for more details.
  • Did they give adequate warning before taking you to trial? The pre-action protocols specify 28 days…
  • Did they ignore/reject reasonable offers? An offer that is in line with CCCS/ C.A.B. guidelines should not normally be ignored, and that may be a reason to fight any costs.
  • Are you unemployed? Most income-related benefits are inalienable. That means, the court can’t claim them. Ask questions on your thread.
  • If you haven't paid, or sent written acknowledgement in the last 6 years (5 for scotland), the debt is probably statute barred. Ask in your thread for details.

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For Credit Agreements Made After April 2006, Or For All Credit Agreements After April 2008.

UNFAIR RELATIONSHIPS.

This is a completely incomplete body of law. It related to the new unfair relationships terms of the Consumer Credit Act 2006.

And it is broad.

In short, it includes anything done or not done by the creditor. At all times, the creditor is to behave fairly and reasonably. Exactly what is fair and reasonable is in question.

  • Did they breach, at any stage, any code of conduct?
  • What procedures did they put in place to check your credit worthiness before they entered the agreement?
  • What procedures did they use when you first informed them of the problems?
  • What procedures did they use to collect money
  • Was it fair and proportionate to take court action? Did they comply at all stages with the Pre-action protocols? Did they reject offers that you made in good faith, that were reasonable?
  • did they harass you, sending rafts of letters, fail to pass on details of your debt.
  • Did they fail to send a copy of the Credit Agreement within time limits?
  • Was there anything else that is unreasonable?

The burden of proof rests on the creditor in claims under the unfair relationships test.

In short, I would advise everyone to record ALL PHONE CALLS to DCA’s and creditors, and keep records of all correspondence.

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Final Stages 1:

If there are holes in the DCA’s Case

I would suggest posting these holes, and asking what next, in your thread.

At this stage, you will need to write a defence and / or counter claim

I can’t give general advice on this; post all your information on your thread, and if possible write a draft defence people can check over.

If there aren’t any holes in the DCA’s case

If there are no holes in the DCA’s case, I would suggest that the most reasonable course might be to offer a limited settlement to the claimant. I would suggest that, if you were to offer a settlement based on your ability to pay, and within the guidelines expenditures of the national debt line or CCCS, then you would be able to include your offer as an argument against costs.

If you can’t pay a court judgement

If you can’t pay a court judgement, you can apply for a variation order or in some cases a time order. I would suggest that you post a question on your thread.

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Final Stages 2:

 

 

What will happen after you submit your defence?

 

Step 1: The court will order a stay of 28 days. This will be effective until 33 days after the stay is sent by the court, and it is for the claimant to decide if he/she wants to proceed.

 

Step 2: If the Claimant decides to proceed, he will inform the court, and an allocation questionnaire will be sent out. At this stage, they will change your court to your local court. You’ll need to fill out the allocation form, and should ask questions on your thread. There several different allocation forms, so I would suggest writing out the headers of the form i.e. a, b, c, d, etc.

 

Step 3: A court appearance. This may be an application hearing, a case management hearing, or a trial.

 

I would always suggest sending a general letter asking the opponents to suggest some procedure for negotiating an amicable settlement to the issues… because that way, if the judge asks did you offer a settlement, you can say you tried to negotiate one, but it was not possible.

 

I can’t give general advice about stage 3: exactly what it will consist of depends heavily on each case, and each judge.

 

However, I can give you some basic advice:

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Appearing at Court.

Before the appearance:

  • Make sure you know where to go.
  • Make sure you follow any court orders (i.e. about sending relevant info to the court / To the claimant)
  • Ring up the court, and ask who you are to report to, and where to go. This will likely be the usher.
  • If you want a friend to be with you, it is best to write to the court a week before (send a copy to the claimants’ solicitors) and ask permission from the court for this. Also, make sure to ask the judge before the trial, and the opponents’ solicitor simple court etiquette. There should be no objection.
  • Your friend shouldn’t speak, except quietly to yourself, unless you have asked everyone else present (and especially the judge) if that is permissible. If the judge says no, make no objection – he/she is entirely within their rights. Highlight that it is because you are inexperienced in law, and feel he/she would “help put your case more clearly”.
  • I would suggest writing a skeleton argument, explaining exactly what your case is. Make notes. Make sure you have all necessary documentation, ordered for easy reference.

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On the day

  • Dress smartly, have a nice hair cut, etc.
  • Make sure you turn up at least 30 minutes before the case.
  • If the opponents solicitor talks to you, and asks if you are willing to discuss the case, say “no, but I am willing to listen to you”. Listen quietly.
  • Don’t believe everything the solicitor says to you. He/she will probably play mind games.
  • Then wait quietly for the case to begin.

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In the court room.

  • Shake the judges and solicitors hand if offered, say “Good Morning / Evening sir/madam” to the judge, smile, be a nice personJ
  • Be polite, and respectful to the judge. Address him/her as “Sir” or “Madam”.
  • Be polite to the solicitors.
  • If you don’t understand, ask questions.
  • If you don’t agree with anything the opponents’ solicitor says, be calm and state your points politely.
  • It is worth giving a copy of your skeleton arguments to solicitors and judge before the case begins. Say something like “Since I’m not a lawyer, I felt that preparing this would ensure help me to clarify the main areas in dispute.” it will put the opponents at an immediate disadvantage – most cases at this level aren’t going to have skeleton argumentsJ
  • Take notes of what the judge says, if possible, or ask a friend to take notes.

Most importantly, be respectful to the court. Don’t demand, humbly suggest. Use moderate language at all times. Don’t annoy the judge. Act reasonably, politely, and calmly at all times.

Whatever happens, come out and have a pint in the pub or a cola if you prefer. Realise if you select Cola, it is sure proof you would make an inadequate law student.

And come back to the forum to gossip about your fun day outJ

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Conclusion

I hope that this thread gives some good, general advice on the basic principals of introductory consumer credit litigation 101. Much of it also applies to general cases.

I can’t hope to do more than a general introduction, but I DO hope that this will help to start the process of calming you down, and giving you a more thorough understanding of the litigation process. Beyond that, the only rules are: Seek and ye shall find, ask and the door shall be open to you…

In other words, there’s a whole great forum out there, and literally hundreds of people going through exactly what you are, all ready to help. We even have some resident professional legal advisors…. (not meJ )

So, if you don’t understand, ask.

And have a good time… remember; once you understand how to do it, litigation is FUN! Especially when you make a professional solicitor crawl away on his bellyJ

Good luck…

And if you win, don’t forget a little donation to CAGJ

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Morality Note

I don’t see the above guidance as anything other than morally neutral. Once a law case is brought, it is essential to be able to defend it for your future interests.

If you win using the above advice, it is your moral decision whether you pay the creditor any further money. I chose to offer no guidance in this matter

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PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE IN THIS THREAD.

 

It is best to post questions in your own thread, where it will be read.

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If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve this, feel free to PM me, or post below:)

 

It's only a draft, as yet.

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Excellent as usual tom, I already PM'ed you whilst you were obviously writing all that. Excellent thread/resource, well done mate...

 

Best regards, Dave.

 

Hi, Dave, I'm sure you don't really need most of the information on this thread; I wrote it so we could point the inevitable newbies to the forum here, who just got a court claim in the post and are panicking. Give them good initial advice, and then they'll understand the more advanced stuff latter.

 

10/10 mate.

 

Will keep this thread just in case!!

 

Thanks:)

 

Dya know what Tom?

You are steadily overtaking Mr Martin Lewis as my hero!!!

Subbing on this thread in case needed for future reference

 

Thanks:) Martin Lewis is great isn't he:)

 

Fantastic Tomterm.... can we request it be made into a sticky please ?

 

:)

yeah, I'll PM Rory in a little while.

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