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No win no fee scam

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pollypocket76pollypocket76 Forumite
4 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Hello,
I am looking for advice please, back in 2016 we owned a house which 7 years previously had cavity wall insulation installed, because it was an old terraced house it caused a lot of damage as it had been wrongly installed, we saw you could claim compensation on a no win no fee basis so we signed up as we thought what have we got to loose, we were told it would take 12-18 months but As the months and years went by we didn’t hear much and we had 2 children a boy and girl so the house wasn’t big enough for us so we bought a new 3 bedroom house, we intended to keep the old house, do it up and rent it out but we had a lot of financial problems caused by the new house that we ended up having to sell the old house, this summer the solicitors started contacting us about the claim, as it turns out the claim had to be discontinued as we sold the house, we were no longer insured for the claim and we are now liable to pay the defences costs, nearly £11k and a legal expenses loan at nearly £8k, we have no money as covid has made us both redundant, we are living off benefits and hand outs, we have spoken to citizens advise and a few solicitors with no clear help offered, we are going to take the original claim solicitors to the law society ombudsman but we were thinking if we divorced ( the claim was only in my name not my husbands) and I signed over our house to him and then I could declare bankruptcy would this be a way of clearing these debts off my name? All this has made me poorly my mental health has really suffered this past year, has anyone dealt with any of these issues and come out the other side? Thanks 
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Replies

  • samwilkisamwilki Forumite
    23 posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Hello,
    I am looking for advice please, back in 2016 we owned a house which 7 years previously had cavity wall insulation installed, because it was an old terraced house it caused a lot of damage as it had been wrongly installed, we saw you could claim compensation on a no win no fee basis so we signed up as we thought what have we got to loose, we were told it would take 12-18 months but As the months and years went by we didn’t hear much and we had 2 children a boy and girl so the house wasn’t big enough for us so we bought a new 3 bedroom house, we intended to keep the old house, do it up and rent it out but we had a lot of financial problems caused by the new house that we ended up having to sell the old house, this summer the solicitors started contacting us about the claim, as it turns out the claim had to be discontinued as we sold the house, we were no longer insured for the claim and we are now liable to pay the defences costs, nearly £11k and a legal expenses loan at nearly £8k, we have no money as covid has made us both redundant, we are living off benefits and hand outs, we have spoken to citizens advise and a few solicitors with no clear help offered, we are going to take the original claim solicitors to the law society ombudsman but we were thinking if we divorced ( the claim was only in my name not my husbands) and I signed over our house to him and then I could declare bankruptcy would this be a way of clearing these debts off my name? All this has made me poorly my mental health has really suffered this past year, has anyone dealt with any of these issues and come out the other side? Thanks 
    Do you have a copy of the original agreement?  If so that might point you in the direction of what happens if you sell your house, also it might be worth asking them for a breakdown of how they come to the £11k
  • edited 7 January at 6:57PM
    Minkym00Minkym00 Forumite
    531 posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary
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    edited 7 January at 6:57PM
    Ok first off you should NOT considering divorcing your husband and signing the house over to him. First off that sounds like a massive sledgehammer to crack a nut, and secondly it won’t help you as the Official Receiver can still claim any asset you have given away prior to bankruptcy. AND you would likely find yourself with a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (a court order effectively leaving you under bankruptcy restrictions for longer than the normal 12 months).

    Have you been provided with evidence that you owe this debt? You need to keep challenging it. Approaching the Law Society with a complaint would be my next move.

  • pollypocket76pollypocket76 Forumite
    4 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Thanks, I’m trying to complain to the law society ombudsman now, it’s stressing me out that much it’s making me poorly 
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
    3.4K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    I for one am not a fan of NWNF legal firms.  They are the bottom feeders of the legal world in my opinion.  However, there is nothing in the OP's original post that supports the claim that this is a scam.  More likely that the OP did not take the time to understand what they were signing up for when they agreed to litigate and failed to appreciate that any litigation carries risk.       
  • Fighter1986Fighter1986 Forumite
    621 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
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    Thanks, I’m trying to complain to the law society ombudsman now, it’s stressing me out that much it’s making me poorly 
    This is why its important to fully digest and understand the terms of any agreement you're entering into before you enter into it, and stop what you're doing if you don't fully understand, or fully agree with and accept any of the terms offered to you.


  • samwilkisamwilki Forumite
    23 posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Thanks, I’m trying to complain to the law society ombudsman now, it’s stressing me out that much it’s making me poorly 
    So, do you have a copy of the agreement to see if they are sticking to their side  of the agreement?
  • nyermennyermen Forumite
    528 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    MEM62 said:
    I for one am not a fan of NWNF legal firms.  They are the bottom feeders of the legal world in my opinion.  However, there is nothing in the OP's original post that supports the claim that this is a scam.  More likely that the OP did not take the time to understand what they were signing up for when they agreed to litigate and failed to appreciate that any litigation carries risk.       
    Question mark in my mind is what was actually going on - were they doing anything on the claim or not?
    Easy money to sign people up, then do nothing and when people (eventually) move house, send a big bill.
    Peter

    Debt free - finally finished paying off £20k + Interest.
  • pollypocket76pollypocket76 Forumite
    4 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    It took from start of 2017 until now, we were once told the company who installed the CWI had gone bankrupt! All the guy who came to our house to sign us up kept saying was it’s no win no fee! We have never seen any representation from the solicitors who were handling it so they could go over the fine print ( only bow do we know that this should have happened ),  I don’t have any copies of the agreement I signed, I agree that these legal forms are low lives!
  • edited 8 January at 1:56PM
    phillwphillw Forumite
    3.9K posts
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    edited 8 January at 1:56PM
    we are going to take the original claim solicitors to the law society ombudsman but we were thinking if we divorced ( the claim was only in my name not my husbands) and I signed over our house to him and then I could declare bankruptcy would this be a way of clearing these debts off my name? 
    The ombudsman is your best bet, only divorce your husband if you want to get divorced. 

    If you end up owing them any money then deal with them like any creditor and offer what you can afford to pay. I doubt they'd be able to force the sale of a property that is joint owned by someone who isn't responsible for the debt. They may take a look over any other assets that are owned solely by you (expensive jewelry, dresses, car in your name etc), but I assume you have none if the house is the only thing you are worried about?


  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
    631 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary
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    Do you have or remember if you had any communication with/from this legal firm after the initial consultation? Have they provided an itemised bill of work carried out? 
    Have you actually received a bill from them at all? When you lodge your complaint be clear about all communication you have had from them.
    Also may be worth checking when the installers went bankrupt, ask the solicitors in writing for a copy of your agreement.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do Richard Marx is right there waiting for you.

    Sweet dreams!
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