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  • FIRST POST
    • Dave_Lister
    • By Dave_Lister 17th Mar 17, 3:06 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Dave_Lister
    Help! - Lowell Debt - Received County Court Claim Form
    • #1
    • 17th Mar 17, 3:06 AM
    Help! - Lowell Debt - Received County Court Claim Form 17th Mar 17 at 3:06 AM
    Hi, I'm hoping somebody can help me out - I'm very new to all of this and not quite sure how to proceed so would really appreciate some input from a pro.

    I'm trying to help my mum out, she panicking because she's just received a Claim Form from the County Court Business Centre regarding an old HBOS credit card debt (approx 1000).

    I've looked through several forums and posts but am still uncertain of exactly what to do now. She's never contacted the DCA, nor made any payments to them. Believe the debt might be Stature Barred, however not certain. (Unsure when the last payment was made or when the account defaulted). I hope her memory is correct when she estimates the default to have happened around 2009/2010 - however she recalls that the bank exercised their right to set-off funds from one of her other accounts to pay part of the debt, before ultimately selling it to a DCA (Does anyone know if this counts as a payment and resets the 6 year clock?)

    What should my approach be to challenging this debt that is quite probably, but not definitely statute barred?
    Do we need to complete the acknowledgement of service to apply for more time to do anything? E.g. Should we write to the DCA as well as the court? (perhaps demanding a CCA to see if they can enforce the debt or send them a Statute Barred letter to check the status?) Or is it too late for that and should we just respond to the courts by completing the Defence section?

    What should I include in my response to the court?

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 17th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    • 14,342 Posts
    • 13,536 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 11:14 AM
    Hi,

    I will try and condense what your next steps should be.

    First, acknowledge service, best to do it online, as it gains you more time, 28 days in total i believe.

    If the banks actions re : set off restart the statute barred clock again, i would say they may argue that fact, I cant say 100% one way or the other, you would need legal advice on that one.

    Plenty of advice on this site about how to deal with court claims, i suggest you post there for a better response :

    http://legalbeagles.info/forums/forumdisplay.php?105-Received-a-Court-Claim
    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/
    • Dave_Lister
    • By Dave_Lister 13th Jan 18, 5:00 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dave_Lister
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 18, 5:00 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 18, 5:00 PM
    Thanks for your helpful advice which was the starting point on my journey to successfully fighting this one off!

    In case anybody stumbles across this and like me, was wondering where to start. The following is an account of my experience, albeit a positive one - I am in no way an expert so the following should not be followed as a strict guide.

    Acknowledge service and gain extra time is a must. You need to give the DCA 14 days to respond to most of the letters you send, and their responses to these requests for information will likely influence your Defence.

    Include the following in all correspondence to the DCA/their legal representative:
    'I do not acknowledge any debt to you or any other company or organisation that you claim to be representing.'

    Sign everything electronically, you wouldn't want them obtaining your signature!

    Send CCA request with 1 postal order (and a copy to their legal representative).

    Send a letter stating you don't recognise any such debt from your records going back the past 6 years - and therefore believe the alleged debt is statute barred and requesting proof of any evidence of payments or acknowledgement of the debt that would prove otherwise (and a copy to their legal representative).

    Send a request for documents mentioned in a statement of case under CPR 31.14 - basically requesting proof of everything associated with the details mentioned in the particulars of claim on the claim form that they expect to rely on in court (we'd received nothing apart from the claim form!): Proof of the original default notice, copy of the formal demand for payment, statement of account (to show what the debt is made up of), ask for the notice of assignment to prove that they legally purchased the debt/it was assigned to them.

    The DCA originally wrote back claiming the debt was not statute barred, and provided a letter stating the account began on XX/XX/XXXX which was within the past 6 years (but no evidence). They also said that they had requested a copy of the original CCA from the lender and would forward it once received - this is a good sign, if they had it already, they would have been more than happy to prove that fact sooner.

    In my case as the DCA maintained that the debt was not statute barred, and postured that they would be obtaining the CCA, it was time to write a defence and file it with the court in good time for the hearing. (Copy to DCA's legal representative named on claim form).
    You can telephone the court and email this, due to character limits on the online system I suggest sending as a word document. As I recall this has to be received 5 working days before the hearing, so time really is key.

    Anyway, after all this we were all ready for our day in court - after an anxious wait they didn't show up, instead they notified the court that claim was being withdrawn.

    Success!

    (The question about whether the banks right to set-off and its impact on the 6 year limitation period was unfortunately never answered, as they never even managed to find and send us any evidence).
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    • 14,342 Posts
    • 13,536 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    Thanks for coming back and updating us.

    Nice to hear a success story.
    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/
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