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Lowell County Court Claim Advice – HELP!!!

Unfortunate Me asked:

Hi there

I have recently received a letter from County Court Business Centre saying I being taken to court by Lowell Solicitors because of an LLoydsTSB account I defaulted on 30/03/2012 (according to Noddle).

I am unsure of what I my options are, unfortunately I am in no better position financially now than when I was in 2012. I just seem to keep prodding along like so many others. Because of this I can not afford to pay £1606.42 the court is telling me to pay.

I have looked for some help online and everything just seems so complicated, I’m not an idiot but I can’t get my head around where I am. Can I send the 3 letters now I have the court claim? Is it too late for this option? What do I do next?

I used the free online credit report service Noddle and noticed that Lowell has bought up all of my previous debts one is a £13,000 credit card, which I defaulted on and the other, a £900 current account default. Are they going to send out for each one? Should I expect to have to contact the County Court 3 more times?

If anyone can help me I would be grateful.

Kind regards,
Mr Unfortunate

Tiggy replied:

First, what’s the debt for ?

Have you Acknowledged Service with the intention to defend, has to be submitted within 14 days of date of service, you can do that through the on line system.

If a claim Is under £10k, send a CPR 18 Request for Further Information to the claimants solicitor or if they’re not using one the Claimant themselves – let me know if it’s above £10k. The whole point to making a CPR18 request is to use it to apply for an Unless Order – Unless the claimant complies with the request for further information made under CPR Part 18 on xx/xx/xxxx by 4pm 14 days from the date of this order, the claim will stand to be struck out and Judgment awarded in favour of the defendant.

This is a VITAL part of defending yourself against this claim, because if they decide to continue with the claim once you’ve submitted your defence you can potentially use this request to get your claim struck out IF they haven’t provided the information requested. There’s a CPR 18 on this link about 5 posts down.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=86170&start=10#.VZ_B-YZ4WK1

Then you need to work on submitting your Defence, again there’s an example on here. This needs to be submitted 28 days from service date, but don’t wait too long.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=87401&start=10#.VksW3nrfWK2

What you need to add into both of these documents that you request under Civil Procedure Rule 39A (3.3) any documents upon which the claimant intends to rely are brought to any subsequent hearing for examination

So quick recap of the process

Acknowledge service with intention to defend, use the online system – 14 days
Send CPR 18 to solicitors
Submit written defence either through online system or post to the Court with signed defence form. – 28 days

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hey Tiggy thank you for responding

I believe the £1600 that Lowell are taking me to court for is unpaid overdraft. Right now it’s just £1600 that they are looking for but I had a look at my credit report and saw that they Lowell have also bought my credit debt which is around £13,000. Which makes me very nervous indeed.

I tried to use the online service to acknowledge the letter but I could not log in online!

I will keep trying and follow what you have suggested to me.

Thank you again.

Tiggy replied:

As it’s a current account you’ll need to change the request and the defence as a current account is not subject to Sections 77-79 of the consumer credit act. Change it to a request for the agreement.

Unfortunate Me replied:

So are you saying that as it is for a current account I have to pay? The problem is I’m self employed and don’t earn that much. Not too sure what the judge will want to see in terms of earnings etc. I just got Tax Credits (Concentrix) off my back now this. Sometimes I really don’t know why I exist.

Thank you again Tiggy, i’ve seen you’ve helped a number of people here. It’s obvious why you exist.

Tiggy replied:

No I’m not saying that, most debts relate to loans / credit cards which are subject to sections 77 & 78 of the Consumer Credit act, so the CPR 18 & defence I posted for you relate to loans & credit cards NOT current accounts.

So if you tried to defend using the template I posted for you you’ll fail as those specifically relate to a loan or a credit card, so basically you need to amend the templates accordingly.

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi Tiggy,

Please excuse my ignorance as I understand they may be talking legalise so when you wrote “Change it to a request for the agreement”.

I assumed I’d need to now come to some agreement with Lowell.

What do I need to change?

I copied the CPR18 Preliminary Request for further information letter like you said. Is this what I need to change, if so where?

Thank you for your help.

Tiggy replied:

Ok quick run dow, under the consumer credit act section 77 / 79 a debt is unenforceable if they cannot produce a copy of the agreement.

Current accounts aren’t covered by section 77 / 79. However, as they’ve taken you to court for breach of agreement you need to ask for a copy of the agreement but don’t invoke section 77 / 78 as it doesn’t apply.

I’ve just looked at the CPR 18 that’s fine as it just asks for a copy of the agreement, BUT the defence template does quote section 77-79 so that’s the one you need to change.

Unfortunate Me replied:

Got it !!!!!

Thanks Tiggy

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi,

Unfortunately I’ve had a lot going on, this issue amongst others has led to the breakdown of my long term relationship and I’m a bit at odds as to what to do next.

Do I send the CPR18 to the Court or to Lowell?

Thanks for your help

Mr Unfortunate

PS Lowell has also sent me a letter requesting that I pay the £13000 credit card debt as I illustrated in a previous post.

Tiggy replied:

It’s all here, this is the process you should have been following.

Set up a new thread for the £13k debt and tell us where you are with it, you’re mixing two debts together.

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi,

I sent out the Application to the County Court to say I was contesting the claim of Lowell. I didn’t receive any correspondance with the court saying they received my application.

I also sent the CPR 18 letter to Lowell. I sent it in time and by special delivery. Two weeks went by and I have not heard thing, until today. This morning I recieved a letter from Lowell Solicitors stating ‘Notice of Pending County Court Judgment’ in the letter they state that I have failed to respond to them which is incorrect. Are these just scare tactics? Should I call them and ask about my CPR18 request? Do I just wait it out? Thank you

Tiggy replied:

When did you submit your defence ?

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi Tiggy,

I did not submit any defence to the court but I did send a letter to Lowell, I can’t remember the date but it was in between my 28 day window.

I a) recieved a letter form the county court judge

b) sent back the part of the letter to say I am contesting the Lowells claims

c) Sent Lowell the CPR letter.

Outside of that I have not done anything other than wait. I did not hear from the court and I have not heard from Lowell other than the recent letter. I think I need a flow chart or something. Have I gone wrong?

Tiggy replied:

It was all laid out for you SUBMIT YOUR DEFENCE WITHIN 28 DAYS of SERVICE. Do it now before you get a Judgement by Default and make things ten times worse for yourself !!

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi Tiggy,

I am sorry that you seem to be frustrated with my efforts. I have a problem reading especially when it is on screen as my eyes tire easily. I could not understand everything you had written.

I think I may be out of luck on this one but I do have others pending. I will put the defence in the post today. But I think it may be too late. I’ll be more prepared for the next one.

Thanks for your help.

Tiggy replied:

Try to do it on line, will be quicker !

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi Tiggy,

I just spoke to the court and they say Lowell hasn’t made a move yet but I am outside my window dates. I’m trying to send to the defence over via email but I can’t log in to the system this is why i had to send the Application of Service by post. I can still get my defence in but its a race against time. There are details that I don’t know such as when Lowell took the debt.

AAARRRGGGHH!!!!!!!

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi Tiggy,

I managed to send over the defence via email. Hopefully it should be okay.

Thanks again for your help

Mr Unfortunate Me

Unfortunate Me replied:

Hi,

After many weeks of hearing nothing since sending in my request (see above) I woke up today to find i received a notice from Northampton County Court. it is a Notice of Proposed Allocation to the small claims track. it tells me to TAKE NOTICE THAT:

1. This is now a defended claim (underneath this “The defendant has filed a defence, a copy of which is enclosed ” has been struck out in pen)

2. It appears that this case is suitable for allocation to the small claims track.

3. i must by 3 june complete the small claims questionnaie and file it with the court.

I’m not sure what this means or whether this is simply part of the procedure. I do know that I requested to see documentation from Lowell in order to show where i agreed that i owed them this money. I recieved a letter from Lowell some weeks ago that stated they were looking into my enquiries. ‘But i have not heard anything from them since.

I’m not sure what to do next i understand i need to fill out this questionnaire and send it back but does this mean my getoutofdebtfree efforts have not worked?

Some advice would be fantastic right now as im unsure what to do.

kind regards

Mr Unfortunate