Octopus energy litiation - what will be the outcome?

nyoninboh
nyoninboh Posts: 6
First Post
Forumite
Hello everyone

I had my latest Octopus energy statement today, and they have credited my account back to zero, but next to the credit it says 'litigation'. This is the first I have heard of this.

I am very behind with my electricity bill (no gas) - to the point of owing them £11k.

I had previously been dealing with a collection agency and had a payment plan set up with them which I was keeping on top of. Last month they sent me a letter saying that Octopus were taking back over the account. I haven't heard anything from Octopus since, and today's statement was the first I had heard of this litigation.

I have called them and they couldn't really tell me much apart from that the matter will likely go to court. I asked them if there were any other options and they weren't able to tell me, but advised they would get someone to call me back.

I have never had any experience with utility bill debt before, so was wondering if someone could tell me what my options may be? If it goes to court would it be a case of just being ordered to pay it back, with additional charges on top? Is my house at risk (I own with a mortgage). Do bailiffs get involved in such matters? Or will it 'just' (hopefully) be a repayment order and a dent on the credit rating?

Evidently I'm hoping we can come to some arrangement before it gets to court (if it's not too late already). I'm just annoyed that they have done this without even attempting to understand my circumstances after taking back over the account (I know I could of / should have attempted to contact them before now too). I did apply on their website last year for additional help paying bills (a scheme that they were advertising at the time to help people on low income, but I never heard anything back).

Any views / experiences / likely legal outcomes welcome!

Thanks in advance.
«1

Comments

  • Bendo
    Bendo Posts: 266
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    You best starting point is probably to send them a subject access request for all data they hold on you.
  • ecraig
    ecraig Posts: 210
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    No knowledge or guidance from me, but I wish you the best of luck during the upcoming future. Hope it doesn’t get too stressful, and hope it’s just a credit rating dent.
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,467
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    ecraig said:
    No knowledge or guidance from me, but I wish you the best of luck during the upcoming future. Hope it doesn’t get too stressful, and hope it’s just a credit rating dent.

    Credit ratings mean nothing. It's the data in the actual credit report that is looked at.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    ecraig said:
    No knowledge or guidance from me, but I wish you the best of luck during the upcoming future. Hope it doesn’t get too stressful, and hope it’s just a credit rating dent.
    OP credit rating 🤣should be history is already shot given they must have defaulted to go to a collection agency & be on a payment plan. So that is the least of their worries.

    Wish OP well in sorting out.

    Could be that this ends up with a pre payment meter. As some companies were given permission to take people to court over debts again.
    Life in the slow lane
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,124
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 14 February at 11:50AM
    "I had previously been dealing with a collection agency and had a payment plan set up with them which I was keeping on top of."

    Had the debt been sold onto the debt collection agency, or was this agency dealing with your debt on behalf of Octopus. ie. were you actually paying the agency or ultimately paying Octopus?

    Is this a consumer or a business supply?

    I assume you accept the £11K debt? ie, you did use the electricity and you did not get a "bill shock" that meant back-billing rules did not come into play?

    What was the repayment plan for the £11K, and how did you come to that amount. eg, was it going to pay off the debt in 2 years or 20 years? Since you have assets (equity in your home) and if it was 20 years, I can see why Octopus would want to go after those assets. 

    Could you offer to up your repayment to clear off the debt sooner?

    Good luck.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,883
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    I would suggest that you check that the correspondence address that Octopus are using for you is correct and up to date - as any letter before action will arrive in the post. If you do receive a LBA then you need to take action on it immediately as there will be deadlines to be met. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • ecraig
    ecraig Posts: 210
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    @Scot_39 has hit the nail on the head with their post. This is a very high level of debt and, with potential avoidance of clearance/payment, a massive risk of an “unfriendly” punishment if dealt with in court.
    OP should possibly convert assets into cash as soon as possible to get the best and fairest price for their most valuable possessions to go towards their debt repayment. 
    And some really good legal guidance.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,883
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    The suggestion about using equity in their home to clear debt is a really poor one. There is rarely a situation where turning unsecured debt (which if it goes unpaid risks some nasty letters, a phone call or two, and in extreme cases perhaps a CCJ) into secured - which risks the very roof over your head if you find yourself unable to pay it. Downsizing - if that stacks up for you as an individual - grand. It's downright irresponsible to suggest using equity to clear debt though in almost every situation. 

    We also seem to be jumping to a lot of conclusions about the OP's circumstances here. Where debt is involved, it's usually more productive to work with facts rather than speculation - not least as the latter can drive an OP away from the very place - here - where they might get the most help. 

    @nyoninboh - could I suggest that you might want to request that this thread is moved over to the Debt Free wannabe board - you will find more knowledgeable help relating to the debt aspect over there, and unquestionably less judgement. Had I realised that this was on the energy board when I originally posted on the subject I would have suggested it right then. You can make the request if you want to via the "report" function on your original post - and then use the "thread requires moving..." option with a free text entry in the box to request the move to DFW. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • Miri_J
    Miri_J Posts: 19
    First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Have you tried talking to CAP or similar agencies? They are the people to really help you with getting out of a situation like this. Non judgemental advice on paying off debts.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Looking at OP's other posts. I think they are in a serious position in terms of debt.
    So this could be why Octopus is taking action now. 

    They need to seek proper debt advice, from one of the many debt charities. 
    Life in the slow lane
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards