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  • FIRST POST
    • Yoooz
    • By Yoooz 17th Apr 18, 12:09 PM
    • 23Posts
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    Yoooz
    How to prepare a good defense for a hearing at the County Court
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:09 PM
    How to prepare a good defense for a hearing at the County Court 17th Apr 18 at 12:09 PM
    Hi all,

    I would be grateful if I could get some advice as how to prepare for the court hearing.
    It is a long story but I will try to cut it a bit short and explain the circumstances.

    In 2007 I took out a credit card with then Lloyds TSB bank. I always paid the required amounts on time and never had any problems with them regarding that.

    Then in 2010 I asked them for consolidation load as I also had existing loan with them, another credit card for my girlfriend and a couple of grand of overdraft on our current account to make it easier to repay. They agreed and the loan started in March 2010. They cut through the chip of our credit cards and accounts were suppose to be closed after the last interest repaid, also overdraft was reduced.
    All good at that point but...around December 2010 I received letter asking me to start repaying the balance on my credit card as it's overdue. I phoned them up and explained that I don't have any credit cards as the last one was closed some 8 months ago only to be told it's still active with a balance of around 800.That was a shock to me, knowing that I have closed all the credit card accounts. It was a car insurance premium, which my car insurer requested for the next year. As I paid for my car insurance by the credit card the previous year the same payment was applied. I was not aware of it expiring as I was in and out of the country as my wife gave a birth to our son in September 2010 and went abroad for a few months during her maternity leave.

    I phoned Lloyds TSB and spoke to a representative, who could not explain how the payment
    out of the closed account could have happened and only told me to start making payments
    towards unlawfully re-opened credit account.
    Despite that I still offered to repay it by making repayments but the last three of them have never reached the credit account at which point I contacted the bank to let them know that I will not be making any further payments towards the account until those payments are transferred
    onto the credit account as it is pointless since the money disappear. I received a couple more phone calls from then then but told until I see this money on the account I won't make another payment as it's pointless exercise. Not heard from them since.

    Now after some 6 years I received letter from Lowell Solicitors telling me that they issued a court claim against me to recover that money. I contacted Lloyds but they told me to speak to Lowell Solicitors as they've got all the relevant paperwork.
    I have since filed the successful defense based on the fact credit agreement was entered into by creditor only, without my knowledge and consent, which breaches the Consumer Credit Act 1974, part V points 60 & 6 as my account was closed by me in 2010 and I have not sign a new credit agreement since.

    It will now go to a hearing and would be grateful if I could get any advice how to defend against this claim.

    Many thanks for your help in advance
    Last edited by Yoooz; 17-04-2018 at 12:15 PM.
Page 1
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    • 8,006 Posts
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    eskbanker
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    What evidence do you have that the credit card account was actually closed?

    You make reference to various points which suggest that you considered it closed but the acid test is whether Lloyds TSB agreed and what clear documentary evidence there is of this.

    Personally I'd have thought that making subsequent repayments towards a new charge on the account would indicate that you accepted its reopening, as the time to challenge its legitimacy was back then rather than now.
    • Yoooz
    • By Yoooz 17th Apr 18, 1:00 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Yoooz
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:00 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:00 PM
    I managed to find a letter from bank confirming the opening of the consolidation loan, which says the credit accounts will be closed. I also got statement from that loan showing the balance transfer from the credit account.

    They were surprised now when I contacted them as to why that payment went out of the account as it shows on their system the account should have been closed when I opened the consolidation loan. Their representative I spoken with could not explain that but said all the relevant paperwork is with the solicitors now and she can't do nothing about it.
    It looks as if someone forgot to click the right button on their system.

    Back then I haven't challenged it as I thought it would be fair to repay but the payments have not reached the account at all so they were taking the money from me but not putting it onto the account. It turned out now that apparently they issued a new card (they couldn't do that as the account was closed), which I never received and as I was making payments on the old account number hence the money have never reached it.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 17th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    • 9,285 Posts
    • 13,498 Thanks
    meer53
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:24 PM
    If you cancelled your car insurance as you left the country, you should be speaking to your insurer to ask why they debited your card. If you didn't, then they were within their rights to process the debit to your card, if the card was cancelled it would still have debited as they had prior authorisation from you.

    It's a simple process for your card issuer to move the payments to the correct account, I think you'll find that there has been no breach and that you still owe the money. Do you have a solicitor ?
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 17th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    • 8,006 Posts
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    eskbanker
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    It still seems to me that you recognised that you owed them the money but that some sort of admin mistake led to some repayments going astray - I can see why you'd be unhappy about this but to my mind it doesn't mean that the debt has magically gone away. Having implicitly accepted the debt by making repayments I think you'll struggle to convince a court that you don't now owe them the remaining balance. You may believe that they're on weak ground on some sort of technicality, but haven't really made that case above and they presumably feel they have a decent case to let it get this far.

    However, as you accept in your OP, it's a long story and there will obviously be more to it than you've posted so far - what is the bank's line of argument for example? What happened to your repayments? What did your credit card statements say all the way through? Did you change address at some point without notifying them?
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 17th Apr 18, 1:28 PM
    • 1,576 Posts
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    Shakin Steve
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:28 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:28 PM
    Did you contact the insurance company that took the payment in 2010? Did you insure the car with someone else or did you make use of the insurance that had auto renewed?
    The reason for my questions is that, if you did contact them and explain the situation, they should have reimbursed your premium minus admin fees. If you did not contact them it could be said that you should pay for the service you used.
    EDIT: Three replies in four minutes. Hope mine is still relevant.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 17th Apr 18, 1:37 PM
    • 1,576 Posts
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    Shakin Steve
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:37 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:37 PM
    To give you some sort of example: I have a continuous payment authority with Sheffield University for my sons accommodation fees. Three payments in October, January and April. I received a new card, with a different sixteen digit number, from my bank in February, I let the university know. However, if I hadn't let them know, the bank would have still paid the fees due in April, this is what CPA is all about.

    People need to remember to cancel all CPA's when closing an account.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • 18cc
    • By 18cc 17th Apr 18, 5:45 PM
    • 737 Posts
    • 493 Thanks
    18cc
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 5:45 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 5:45 PM
    I would answer your question in the same way I would advise anyone who has a county court debt hearing - don't worry, stay calm if you can, put your point of view forward, tell the truth and see what the judge has to say. In general, they are fair people, have seen it all before, can tell the genuine people from the blatently idiotic, and try to reach fair settlement whenever possible.
    • Yoooz
    • By Yoooz 17th Apr 18, 6:55 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Yoooz
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 6:55 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 6:55 PM
    Thanks for the advice.
    I'm at work at the moment and haven't got enough to answer all the queries though will try after work.
    In terms of the car insurance - when I went out abroad with my girlfriend we have moved out of the flat we were renting but when I was coming back in 3-4 weeks time I was going to stay at the hotel until I find something to rent, I ended up renting from my friend and that was reason I couldn't change the address with the bank as had no new one to give them. In that 3-4 weeks I was away the car insurer send a renewal thus I knew nothing about it as I genuinely forgot it was due. Then Lloyds must have also sent the credit card statement to that address as I only found out about it when it was overdue. I still used the car though so needed the insurance. When I contacted the insurance company, what they called the ''cooling period'' was over so it would have cost me over 100 to cancel it, hence I didn't bother, instead I offered to repay the card. But as I mentioned earlier I made a total of 3 payments for the total amount of around 150-180, which haven't reached the account. I asked them to get it right as I can't keep paying if the money disappears. It's only when I went to speak to them now they understood what the problem was. They couldn't work it out back then as the money was never transferred.
    I do understand when your car expires then car insurance premium would still go through even if there's a new card now but if you close the account you are terminating the credit agreement at that stage and no further payments can go out of the account from that minute - that's my understanding of the agreement as I went through the T's & C's, correct me if I'm wrong.
    • Emily Joy
    • By Emily Joy 17th Apr 18, 7:22 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Emily Joy
    if you close the account you are terminating the credit agreement at that stage and no further payments can go out of the account from that minute - that's my understanding of the agreement as I went through the T's & C's, correct me if I'm wrong.
    Originally posted by Yoooz
    Well, you are wrong. When you cancel a credit card you are advised that you need to cancel/rearrange all subscriptions/CRA independently. This is also the reason why your credit card account doesn't disappear from your online banking for a year at least.

    I am somewhat confused - I would expect the payments you've made to bounce back?
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 17th Apr 18, 7:38 PM
    • 1,576 Posts
    • 1,341 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    Well, you are wrong. When you cancel a credit card you are advised that you need to cancel/rearrange all subscriptions/CRA independently. This is also the reason why your credit card account doesn't disappear from your online banking for a year at least.

    I am somewhat confused - I would expect the payments you've made to bounce back?
    Originally posted by Emily Joy
    You are quite correct. I closed an MBNA card a few years ago but forgot to cancel the RAC recovery. Sure enough, it went through about two months later. MBNA were very good and alerted me to the fact before any charges were incurred.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 17th Apr 18, 11:57 PM
    • 8,006 Posts
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    eskbanker
    I still used the car though so needed the insurance. When I contacted the insurance company, what they called the ''cooling period'' was over so it would have cost me over 100 to cancel it, hence I didn't bother, instead I offered to repay the card. But as I mentioned earlier I made a total of 3 payments for the total amount of around 150-180, which haven't reached the account. I asked them to get it right as I can't keep paying if the money disappears. It's only when I went to speak to them now they understood what the problem was. They couldn't work it out back then as the money was never transferred.
    Originally posted by Yoooz
    So the bottom line is that Lloyds TSB lent you enough money to keep your car insured and you haven't paid it all back yet, but you stopped trying when you didn't get to the bottom of an allocation problem with repaying?

    Based on what you've posted, I don't think you stand a chance in court and would suggest you just find out what it takes to settle it all before paying up and moving on with your life....
    • Yoooz
    • By Yoooz 18th Apr 18, 10:39 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Yoooz
    So the bottom line is that Lloyds TSB lent you enough money to keep your car insured and you haven't paid it all back yet, but you stopped trying when you didn't get to the bottom of an allocation problem with repaying?
    Originally posted by eskbanker
    My argument is that Lloyds did nothing to rectify the problem with the payments going missing. I have asked them to check my current account, which was with them to to get to the root of the problem but they failed to do that. Now the amount I'm asked to pay is completely inaccurate as it STILL, after over 6 years doesn't include the payments I've made towards the card - that is what I'm not happy with. If the amount was not included in there then the interest was charged on the wrong amount and therefore the amount they're demanding is completely out of the blue. The consolidation loan I had with them is now fully repaid without any late payments so was the card until I closed it, which proves I always pay the correct debts on time but...they cannot ask me to make payments when quite clearly they could not fix this simple problem at the time - that's all I asked them to do. It's only now, when I contacted their representative after 40 minutes of checking sh worked it out that the payments weren't going into this account as it was previously closed something had to be done to allow the payments to reach it. To me that's a clear fault at their side as I can't access their systems. But I might be wrong again
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 18th Apr 18, 11:57 AM
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    eskbanker
    I can see your argument that there's fault on their side too if they've failed to allocate your payments to the debt but you should have sorted that out with them in 2010 rather than ceasing all repayments and seeking to rely on the alleged error(s) years later. You say "they cannot ask me to make payments when quite clearly they could not fix this simple problem at the time" but I think you'll find they can ask that - were you expecting them to simply shrug their shoulders and write off the debt?

    When you say "I have asked them to check my current account, which was with them to to get to the root of the problem but they failed to do that", what were you expecting them to be able to do - surely you have access to the statements that will clearly show the money leaving that account and presumably not being returned?

    To a neutral observer, the idea that Lloyds wouldn't be able to resolve money leaving one of their accounts and not arriving in another is hard to believe, but I really don't think that negates the existence of the debt in the first place, so if you'd indicated that you were able and willing to pay off the bulk of the debt with the exception of the disputed missing repayments then it wouldn't have got this far. However, if you feel you have clear evidence of the repayments being made then if you make it clear that you're able and willing to repay the undisputed part of the balance then I'd have thought that you should be able to reach a settlement....
    • Yoooz
    • By Yoooz 18th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Yoooz
    Thanks for your advice. I will contact the solicitors again and see if we could agree a settlement as so far they stuck to the amount they were given by Lloyds and wouldn't change it. I never denied the debt just couldn't believe how the money could go out of the closed account...8 months later, even their representative I've spoken with a few weeks ago couldn't explain that. After I worked it out it was genuinely payment for something of my use I offered to repay it but as I mentioned earlier I can't keep paying more than my budget allows me every month (I'm not rich, otherwise I would've repaid it within minutes So after I made a payment, 3 days later I would have received a phone call asking me to pay towards it...my answer I already paid, OK we will give a couple of days for the payment to clear...3 days later another phone call...at that stage I made another payment...few days later another phone call asking me to pay...I could put it under ''herassment'' After I made 3 payments like that I said no more till you get it sorted at your end...6 years later those payments are STILL not recorded on that account. In my opinion that is a breach of credit agreement where they say any payments will go onto account and cover interest first then repay the balance...again I might be wrong but that's how I see it from my perspective.

    Thanks again for any advice
    • davethorp
    • By davethorp 18th Apr 18, 1:46 PM
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    davethorp
    This would have been better in the debt section of the board.

    If the last payment was made by you over 6 years ago then this sounds statute barred to me. If that!!!8217;s the case statute barred is a complete defense to any court proceedings. Again you!!!8217;ll get better advice in the debt section of the forum and you should request the thread be moved there ideally

    Would also be helpful to know what stage of the court process you are at. Have you just received the claim form or have you already submitted a defense and are looking for help in preparing for hearing

    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 18th Apr 18, 1:54 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Obviously the issue is whether the credit card was closed in 2010. There is a difference between just getting the card cut up and destroyed and actually closing the account. As I understand it you asked for a credit card for your girlfriend? Was that a joint card on the credit card account in question or did she open her own? Was there a balance outstanding on it at the time of the consolidation loan and do you have any documentary evidence that the credit card was closed and repaid in full. If you have a letter from the bank saying the credit card will be closed then that will be the crux of your case.

    Automatic renewals are the bane of a lot of peoples lives and I guess the car insurance was on automatic renewal? It is a shame that was not spotted much earlier but it may be worth contacting the insurance company although being so long ago it may not be able to be corrected. Was the 800 all car insurance or was there a remaining balance from when you consolidated which presumably Lloyds never transferred? I agree that Lloyds do seem to have made mistakes but you seem to have a less than adequate grasp on your finances in not spotting these things much earlier. If I asked a bank to cancel a credit card I would make certain I had a statement saying the balance was repaid. It is easy on online banking to see if accounts are still open so I cannot understand why you did not realise earlier.

    Court cases are expensive and given there appears to be fault on both sides I would try and resolve this outside of going to court.
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