Northumbrian water county court

Hi All

Not sure if this is in the right category so apologies if it is. 
I received a claim form from Northumbrian water.  I had a reminder about my bill and nothing more. I never received a letter before action so I have defended the claim on this point. I received a letter a few weeks ago from the courts saying they’ve sent my defence to the water company and they have 28 days to write to me to see if we can sort it out between us. I received a letter yesterday from them saying:
Either pay what is owed in full by 21st December 
Withdraw my defence and agree to a ccj with a monthly payment 
Go for mediation. 
I will be choosing going for mediation but they state they have followed the pre action protocol as they had sent a reminder and never heard from me regarding payment. Is this right? I thought under civil procedure rules they must send me a letter before claim to allow me time to get debt advice or send them an offer etc etc. I 100% cannot afford to pay them in full as I’m really struggling at the moment financially. I would agree a payment plan but I feel just agreeing a ccj at this point would make no sense; if the courts agree I will get one either way? 
Any help much appreciated. 

Comments

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,224
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    edited 16 December 2023 at 9:50AM
    There'a a preaction protocol for debt claims

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf

    Where it gets a bit wooly is section 7, so noncompliance in itself is not necessarily fatal to a claim.

    My technique with water claims is to admit a lower amount and offer what i can afford to that sum. 

    At some point you will either have to make payment or access charitable help or bung it in a DRO.

    P.s. The better board would have been debt-free wannabe
  • fatbelly said:
    There'a a preaction protocol for debt claims

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf

    Where it gets a bit wooly is section 7, so noncompliance in itself is not necessarily fatal to a claim.

    My technique with water claims is to admit a lower amount and offer what i can afford to that sum. 

    At some point you will either have to make payment or access charitable help or bung it in a DRO.
    I understand I will have to pay and happy to agree a payment plan but I don’t agree that the water company has basically told me to agree to have a CCJ and a payment plan that way. If the courts are going to have a CCJ issued against me I might as well wait until they do. Maybe they will agree a payment plan once it goes to mediation. 

  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,565
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    What I think they are saying is either pay the bill, go to mediation or go to court where they are expecting you to lose and then agree a payment plan through the court.

    You're right that the best option would probably be mediation as you may be able to agree a payment plan there rather than losing in court and getting a CCJ. 
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