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  • FIRST POST
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 6th Nov 18, 10:49 AM
    • 18Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    Howard Cohen Court claim
    • #1
    • 6th Nov 18, 10:49 AM
    Howard Cohen Court claim 6th Nov 18 at 10:49 AM
    I don't know if I've posted in right place. I was wondering if you could advise me on how to handle a situation please. I have been contacted with reference to an outstanding debt by Howard Cohen solicitors, their clients Hoist portfolio. I had no information on this debt so was unsure what it was relating to. I had an inclining it was reference to a debt from 2011, Halifax credit card. I paid my creditors settlement figures following divorce /house sale and this particular creditor declined. They wouldn't accept anything but the whole amount and advised they'd contact me. The last contact I had was approx Oct 2012. I heard nothing until now. I followed advice and admitted no liability to the debt. Requesting further documentation. This got ignored and I then received court papers (approx back in June 2018). I defended this online on the basis I had no knowledge, information and hadn't received a letter before action etc. I received another letter from Howard Cohen enclosing the notice of assignment. I then sent recorded delivery, a cca request. I have now received all the relevant documentation from Howard Cohen, giving me 14 days to respond before a CCJ is applied for. The debt is now just over 6 years old (October) but wouldn't have been when they made the initial court application. I'm wondering if they could still apply for a CCJ if they had made this application prior to the 6 years being up. I'm Unsure how to deal with this now. I have not to yet returned to work (due to the 14 hour shift pattern I worked ) as I care for my 3year old child. Her father supports us financially but I have no income of my own at present. I have other debts I cannot pay and currently pay just 1per month. I now live in social housing and have no assets. I'm considering writing to Howard Cohen but unsure how to approach this as I can't offer any reasonable amount. I'm concerned how/if to acknowledge the debt as they could then apply for a CCJ if they can't already? I'm equally concerned to challenge it as they could apply for a CCJ which I can't afford. I can't find any information that' the 6 years' relates to an application for a CCJ or any court application process. I'm trying to approach this in a way that is going to cause me least impact on an already difficult financial situation. I appreciate any advice you could give on this.
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 6th Nov 18, 12:37 PM
    • 15,731 Posts
    • 14,791 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 18, 12:37 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Nov 18, 12:37 PM
    Hi,


    They only have to start court action before the 6 years are up to get around the limitations act, and it looks as though they did that.


    What exactly have HC asked you to respond too ?


    Have they sent you an income/expenditure form to fill in ?


    You could write to them, enclose a copy of your budget along with a copy of this letter :


    https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/sampleletters/Pages/Token-payments-or-no-offer-of-payment-%28sole-name%29.aspx


    edited to your own circumstances.


    Just be honest, if they see you have no disposable income, they may just drop the whole thing.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 6th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    • 12,983 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Nov 18, 12:48 PM
    It sounds like they are going to apply for summary judgement

    24.2 The court may give summary judgment against a claimant or defendant on the whole of a claim or on a particular issue if –

    (a) it considers that –

    (i) that claimant has no real prospect of succeeding on the claim or issue; or

    (ii) that defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim or issue; and

    (b) there is no other compelling reason why the case or issue should be disposed of at a trial.
    There is no guarantee that the court will give them that (in fact they should not) as you have challenged your liability for it and it sounds like all they can produce is a notice of assignment. Neither have they responded to your cca request, although it is not clear whether that formed part of your defence.

    As it sounds like you have other debts, you should get a specialist from Citizens Advice or National Debtline, to look at the bigger picture here. It may be that something like a Debt Relief Order would knock everything on the head.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 7th Nov 18, 8:16 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    • #4
    • 7th Nov 18, 8:16 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Nov 18, 8:16 AM
    Thank you for your advice.

    They've sent me a letter stating they think my defence will be unsuccessful and invite me to withdraw my defence. Their 'client' may accept a resonable offer of installments. I've since contacted a debt management company who have helped with a debt management plan and advised I contact Howard Cohen offering 15 a month. That said, this is still from my partners income, whom I'm relatively estranged from as I explained above. So I'm a tad worried how long I can produce that....

    I'm disheartened that the original lenders were once offered a reduced but fair settlement when I had some money.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 7th Nov 18, 8:29 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    • #5
    • 7th Nov 18, 8:29 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Nov 18, 8:29 AM
    Thank you fatbelly.

    They did send me all the relevant documents which included the CCA (which they called something else but without checking I can't recall) but basically it has my original signature on the agreement. They sent me this when I sent a second request recorded delivery for the documents. I received notice of assignment and statements too.

    I have taken the advice and contacted debt management. I've gone with a debt management plan. I dont know much about debt relief orders, but that wasn't offered to me as an option at the time. Bankruptcy and insolvency were the alternatives. The debt relief order scares me somewhat. It could be because I have a car registerd in my name as I used it for school commute however, although the car (purchased) and upkeep is paid for by my partner, it's considered mine as its registered to me, although at the time this was mainly for insurance purposes and I was the main user, this situation has changed now, he is the main user but I kept the registration details the same as its futile to change it now I'd assume, as it of how it will be perceived.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 7th Nov 18, 4:31 PM
    • 15,731 Posts
    • 14,791 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #6
    • 7th Nov 18, 4:31 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Nov 18, 4:31 PM
    I've since contacted a debt management company who have helped with a debt management plan and advised I contact Howard Cohen offering 15 a month. .
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs

    I really hope its a free debt charity you took advice from and not a fee charging debt management company ?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 7th Nov 18, 9:01 PM
    • 12,983 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 18, 9:01 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Nov 18, 9:01 PM
    Thank you fatbelly.

    They did send me all the relevant documents which included the CCA (which they called something else but without checking I can't recall) but basically it has my original signature on the agreement. They sent me this when I sent a second request recorded delivery for the documents. I received notice of assignment and statements too.

    I have taken the advice and contacted debt management. I've gone with a debt management plan. I dont know much about debt relief orders, but that wasn't offered to me as an option at the time. Bankruptcy and insolvency were the alternatives. The debt relief order scares me somewhat. It could be because I have a car registerd in my name as I used it for school commute however, although the car (purchased) and upkeep is paid for by my partner, it's considered mine as its registered to me, although at the time this was mainly for insurance purposes and I was the main user, this situation has changed now, he is the main user but I kept the registration details the same as its futile to change it now I'd assume, as it of how it will be perceived.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    I'm not seeing a reason not to do a DRO.

    As for the car, it sounds like you are the registered keeper, not the legal owner so even if it was worth more than 1000 on Parkers Guide, it wouldn't need to get a mention.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 1:10 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:10 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:10 AM
    Yes, StepChange
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 1:33 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:33 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 18, 1:33 AM
    I'd naturally like to do DRO. From what I've researched, the relief people feel after.

    However, I can't prove I don't own the car any more than I can prove he does. I can't find purchase documents. As for the registered keeper, I know it states on V5 it does not determine ownership I've read nothing but ignorance here in eyes of debt collectors. StepChange said that debt collectors will consider the registered keeper the owner, end of.

    I suppose its down to the DRO advisor. But I would need written the proof I'm led to believe.

    Its extremely chewy situation for me. My 'partner' was former army (sent money home to his wife at time) No money sense and no credit rating. Couldn't even get car insurance at one stage. Everything is done through me. He now, sorry to say for his age, has his first bank account... Credit rating worked off a joint one with me. This however has put me in an Impossible position to prove I've had no real incoming of my own, as it operated from my name too. But StepChange have understood all I've explained so that's something, for now.
    I have my own bank account but will take some time to set it up from scratch. At the moment my priority is keeping my priority outgoings up to date.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 8th Nov 18, 5:53 AM
    • 12,983 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    fatbelly
    I'd naturally like to do DRO. From what I've researched, the relief people feel after.

    However, I can't prove I don't own the car any more than I can prove he does. I can't find purchase documents. As for the registered keeper, I know it states on V5 it does not determine ownership I've read nothing but ignorance here in eyes of debt collectors. StepChange said that debt collectors will consider the registered keeper the owner, end of.

    I suppose its down to the DRO advisor. But I would need written the proof I'm led to believe.

    Its extremely chewy situation for me. My 'partner' was former army (sent money home to his wife at time) No money sense and no credit rating. Couldn't even get car insurance at one stage. Everything is done through me. He now, sorry to say for his age, has his first bank account... Credit rating worked off a joint one with me. This however has put me in an Impossible position to prove I've had no real incoming of my own, as it operated from my name too. But StepChange have understood all I've explained so that's something, for now.
    I have my own bank account but will take some time to set it up from scratch. At the moment my priority is keeping my priority outgoings up to date.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    You are right on most points.

    Debt Relief Orders do what they say - they give relief from debt. They work well and have been the best innovation that I have seen since I started out in debt advice 18 years ago.

    I have been a DRO intermediary with CAB since they were invented in 2009 so I can give you my view on how I would approach the car situation.

    I would not ask to see a purchase invoice from your partner. I would however advise that if ownership were ever investigated he would need to be willing to state that he bought it. It's very unlikely to be investigated because a car that you use but do not own does not get a mention on the application.

    What debt collectors think does not matter (they are wrong even if they use the phrase 'end of') and if you want correct advice from stepchange you must get behind the frontline staff who are not DRO intermediaries and often seem to give wrong advice on them judging from what we see on these boards. National Debtline are much better.

    I hope stepchange are advising you to complete the court paperwork correctly so as to get an instalment order on that ccj. If not you will get a 'forthwith judgement'. That makes no difference if you are doing a dro, but could lead to the creditor trying other enforcement methods if you don't, and they do not accept the 15. And if the debt is over 900, that offer does not clear it in what is seen as a reasonable period.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 12:07 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    You are very informative and I'm very appreciative. I have taken on board what you've advised on how you would approach the car situation. Maybe I should contact national debtline. Do you have any advice on how I can approach the joint bank account situation. Simple way to explain is that everything operates from it for the reasons I previously stated but I'm happy to explain in more detail. I have no real income and he currently supports the property, children etc. But he takes anything extra as its the only way if we separate he will have money to set up. I've finally expressed this to StepChange but not debt collectors as I'm sure they've heard such 'stories' before. This has been going on for sometime and I've tried to deal with it alone, failing miserably.

    As for StepChange advising correctly on court papers. I've dealt with that alone until this point. An application for CCJ has not been made yet so I've had no paperwork, but StepChange advised if this happens, contact them at that point.

    So I'm unaware of all you've raised on this, it's news to me. But it makes sense with what you're saying regarding the reasonable term... As it stands they're claiming 2500 that's including solicitors and court application to date. So now I'm thinking the letter I was about to compile tonight on StepChange advice may not be the way forward. I'm at a bit of loss here
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 8th Nov 18, 12:21 PM
    • 12,009 Posts
    • 13,836 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    May I comment on your financial situation?

    If I am reading you correctly you currently live with a partner (who is the father of your child), you have a joint bank account but have no access to anything left over as your partner 'takes it' in case you separate?

    Have I got this wrong?
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 1:00 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    Hi. It's not quite like that. We are amiable. He's not completely cutting me off, he isn't without compassion. However, he is only will to help with bare minimum. I take nothing for myself but ask if I need. What goes into the account goes out in direct debit for outgoings, bills etc, foods covered. He takes what's left. He is currently paying one credit card that is 95 per month. But will not commit to anything much more. His basic wage is enough to support that house and the kids. He is working overtime for his own benefit to get money behind him because if we can't find a resolve between us, that's been going on for some time now, he has no money behind him. He will not withdraw his funds and leave us high and dry. (this swings in roundabouts because whilst they're incoming I can't claim anything either, I've been asked this before) but I wouldn't want to be reliant on benefits anymore than being reliant in him. It's his income, we are not married. But very hard to express when you reside under same roof.

    Since this situation has worsened he now chooses to work away in week... Which basic give him before tax 25 extra a night (hgv). He only does that because he needs this to see both parties alright.. Please ask if I've not explained that well.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 6:05 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    I have since come home to a letter from the courts. Notice of allocation to the small track hearing. Date scheduled for January. However, the judge having reviewed the papers for the case is recommending mediation (again) as an attempt to resolve.

    It didn't happen previously because I didn't have any relevant paperwork. I'd assume now this pushes aside my original response and expenditure in writing to Howard Cohen. I can simply respond to the court and at most a courtesy letter to Howard Cohen.
    • James1968
    • By James1968 8th Nov 18, 7:50 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    James1968
    Accept mediation. Even if this fails, at least the Judge won't see your defence less favourably.

    don't forget, as the defendant , you can ask for the case to be allocated to your nearest Court.

    You mention that you made an offer to the original account holder back in 2011. If so, make sure to mention that the debt may be statute barred.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 8:07 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    I have since come home to a letter from the courts. Notice of allocation to the small track hearing. Date scheduled for January. However, the judge having reviewed the papers for the case is recommending mediation (again) as an attempt to resolve.

    It didn't happen previously because I didn't have any relevant paperwork. I'd assume now this pushes aside my original response and expenditure in writing to Howard Cohen. I can simply respond to the court and at most a courtesy letter to Howard Cohen.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 8th Nov 18, 8:10 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    Oops that posted twice. Thank you for your reply. I have to accept this mediation really, I've no grounds not to now (this is the second offer, now I have paperwork).

    It would have been statue barred apparently but they started proceedings within the limitation period.

    I did also initially select my nearest court.
    • BadDebtor
    • By BadDebtor 9th Nov 18, 10:35 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    BadDebtor
    Can't read such massive paragraphs

    Breaking it down so it can be understood

    I don't know if I've posted in right place. I was wondering if you could advise me on how to handle a situation please. I have been contacted with reference to an outstanding debt by Howard Cohen solicitors, their clients Hoist portfolio.

    I had no information on this debt so was unsure what it was relating to. I had an inclining it was reference to a debt from 2011, Halifax credit card. I paid my creditors settlement figures following divorce /house sale and this particular creditor declined. They wouldn't accept anything but the whole amount and advised they'd contact me.

    The last contact I had was approx Oct 2012. I heard nothing until now. I followed advice and admitted no liability to the debt. Requesting further documentation. This got ignored and I then received court papers (approx back in June 2018).

    I defended this online on the basis I had no knowledge, information and hadn't received a letter before action etc. I received another letter from Howard Cohen enclosing the notice of assignment. I then sent recorded delivery, a cca request.

    I have now received all the relevant documentation from Howard Cohen, giving me 14 days to respond before a CCJ is applied for. The debt is now just over 6 years old (October) but wouldn't have been when they made the initial court application. I'm wondering if they could still apply for a CCJ if they had made this application prior to the 6 years being up.

    I'm Unsure how to deal with this now. I have not to yet returned to work (due to the 14 hour shift pattern I worked ) as I care for my 3year old child. Her father supports us financially but I have no income of my own at present.

    I have other debts I cannot pay and currently pay just 1per month. I now live in social housing and have no assets. I'm considering writing to Howard Cohen but unsure how to approach this as I can't offer any reasonable amount.

    I'm concerned how/if to acknowledge the debt as they could then apply for a CCJ if they can't already? I'm equally concerned to challenge it as they could apply for a CCJ which I can't afford.

    I can't find any information that' the 6 years' relates to an application for a CCJ or any court application process. I'm trying to approach this in a way that is going to cause me least impact on an already difficult financial situation. I appreciate any advice you could give on this.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 9th Nov 18, 10:50 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ziggydiamonddogs
    I understand, thank you.

    I'm a bit more understanding of what I originally posted now. Since, I gave received a Notice of allocation to the small track hearing. Date scheduled for January.

    However, the" judge having reviewed the papers for the case is recommending mediation as an attempt to resolve"
    • BadDebtor
    • By BadDebtor 9th Nov 18, 11:07 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    BadDebtor
    Hi. It's not quite like that. We are amiable. He's not completely cutting me off, he isn't without compassion.

    However, he is only will to help with bare minimum. I take nothing for myself but ask if I need. What goes into the account goes out in direct debit for outgoings, bills etc, foods covered. He takes what's left. He is currently paying one credit card that is 95 per month. But will not commit to anything much more. His basic wage is enough to support that house and the kids. He is working overtime for his own benefit to get money behind him because if we can't find a resolve between us, that's been going on for some time now, he has no money behind him. He will not withdraw his funds and leave us high and dry. (this swings in roundabouts because whilst they're incoming I can't claim anything either, I've been asked this before) but I wouldn't want to be reliant on benefits anymore than being reliant in him. It's his income, we are not married. But very hard to express when you reside under same roof.

    Since this situation has worsened he now chooses to work away in week... Which basic give him before tax 25 extra a night (hgv). He only does that because he needs this to see both parties alright.. Please ask if I've not explained that well.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    So basically what happened was you had a debt that was about to go off statute in October and in June they tried to extend it by 6 years by getting a CCJ, at least you were informed!

    The mistake was to defend online, you should have asked that it be transferred at the time to the small claims track for a hearing as you has no knowledge of the alleged debt.

    It is not unheard of for debt companies to copy your signature from letters you write querying a debt onto a CCA and claiming it is the original agreement. Might be worth checking your signature at the time with what you sent on any correspondence. You can obtain copies of your correspondence by doing a subject access request under GDPR it is free now.

    Not sure how you can be "relatively estranged from " and "Amiable"

    You say he supports you financially but not on what I would call a fair basis

    Forgive my no nonsense approach but I am just saying it as I see it.

    It sounds to me as if this so called "partner" has coercive control over you, speak to a womens shelter support group or something to understand it more.

    I think it is time to break this relationship and have a fresh start in your life.

    He is away most of the time anyway and he is the main user of the car.

    So tell him that he needs to leave immediately and you will sell him the car for 50% of current value, keep the cash for emergencies.

    You will be entitled to Housing Benefit to pay the rent and it can be paid directly to the HA so you lose nothing.

    You can apply for JSA and seek some part time work to get child tax credits and tax credits if appropriate. Do a budget so you can work out.

    Explain to him that if he does not pay you for the car and go you will include the car in your debt declarations and it may be taken and sold.

    Explain further that as debts were run up by you as a couple without him paying a fair share to overheads you will hold him responsible and the debt companies may too if they can.

    So once he is out, get his name off the tenancy with HA

    You will then be free to do a DRO assuming your total; debt is below 20k and you have no reasonable hope of paying off debt in a reasonable period of time.
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