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Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Tiggy on Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:14 pm

@joedalton wrote:Hi Tiggy: You wrote: ""You can go for an Unless Order at any point, they cost £255 (free if on benefits or low income) and you will have to attend a hearing to argue your case. However, you need to know, if your application is rejected you may be held liable for the cost of the claimant defending the application and the Court usually does issue a General Directions order for the claimant to produce specific evidential documents.""

Please excuse my ignorance but who is the claimant here, me or them?  
You would always be the Defendant.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:02 am

Hi Tiggy,
you wrote: ""I did apply for a Stay once when Cohens ignored a Pre Action Conduct letter, the Court agreed to apply the Stay until the Claimant complied IN FULL to my pre action conduct letter". Eventually they discontinued the claim, however, in hindsight I might have been better applying for an Unless Order or Summary Judgment and to have got the claim dismissed.""
Can I please ask what this claim was for and the approximate value?

I have just got my head around the basics of a Stay Order and an Unless Order, but what is a Summary Judgement?

Are Unless Orders and Summary Judgements permanent solutions or can they be reversed? (like the stay orders)
- Which one of these is more effective?
- Is there a cost to a Summary Judgement?
- I found a form N244 online for the Unless Order, is this the correct one?
- Most importantly will I need legal representation in court for either or both of these?

At what stage do we start Unless Orders or Summary Judgements? Is it after the 40 day deadline has expired? Or do we have to first wait for the claimants to take us to court? Is it worth taking the bull by the horns and just going for it?

Sorry to bombard you with all these questions but I desperately need to learn.

Thanks again in advance to you all, especially Tiggy.


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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Tiggy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:29 pm

The claim was for over £20k, it was for a loan I'd defaulted on when my business went down during the financial collapse.

All County Court proceedings are governed by the CPR's ( Civil Procedure Rules ) and an application for Summary Judgment is made under CPR 24.  It's basically, asking the Court to dismiss the claimants case as they have no chance of winning it.  

As with all 'With Notice' applications, it costs £255, it's VERY effective BUT is a pig of a procedure to follow (get part of the procedure wrong and they'll dismiss the application and you lose the fee).  Also, Judges aren't keen, they prefer Unless Orders.

When a case is dismissed by either an Unless Order, Summary Judgement or the claimant loses then that's it as far as the claimant is concerned as it's then subject to Res Judicata - already decided upon.  This doesn't stop another party buying the debt and starting proceedings BUT I've never heard of it happening, after all who would want to buy it and it doesn't apply to a claim which has been discontinued by the claimant.

All applications, no matter what they are for are made using Form N244.

If you can afford representation then certainly use it, but most Solicitors won't take on a case under £10k (small claims) as costs aren't awarded and if you lose could end up in debt to the Solicitors as well as the Claimant.

You can only make an application to Court for a dismissal (unless you're going for an Injunction) once proceedings have started.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:09 pm

Gosh Tiggy, something new again - I did some basic research on "injunctions", it looks pretty serious and something I suspect I would have to do with a solicitor involved.

Going back to timescales, I need clarifications please.  
In the scenario where the 40 day deadline for the "pre-action conduct" letter has just expired:
a) I cannot apply for an Unless Order until they start court proceedings - is this correct? Yes or no?
b) I cannot apply for an Summary Judgement Order until they start court proceedings - is this correct? Yes or no?
If the answer to both is yes then it means that I am at the mercy of the solicitors as they can take their sweet time and leave me hanging on for the letter to arrive in the post, am I correct?

Therefore the only thing I can do is to ask for an injunction, which I can do once the 40 day deadline has passed and before they start court proceedings.  Is this correct? Yes or no?

Surely once proceedings have started, the timescale is so short that all I would be able to do is to submit a defence.  At what point in time would I be able to apply for an Unless Order or Summary Judgement?

Thanks again, your time and advice is much appreciated.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Theatchet on Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:31 am

@joedalton wrote:Great news Theatchet, I am really pleased for you.  Can I ask what the original debt was for and roughly how much?

Another question, how many days did you have between the time they said they were taking you to court, and the date of the hearing?

Thanks.

I’m asumming you will have hoist tied up with the three letters and estoppel. How long was it before Howard Cohen’s got involved? Was your debt a small claim.

Here’s what you are dealing with. I didn’t receive a single piece of documentation at any point, from anybody,
and you’ve got a solicitor who are prepared to blatantly lie to further intimidate you. Also, nobody at their office is willing to sign and take liability for the claims.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Tiggy on Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:56 am

@joedalton wrote:Gosh Tiggy, something new again - I did some basic research on "injunctions", it looks pretty serious and something I suspect I would have to do with a solicitor involved.

Going back to timescales, I need clarifications please.  
In the scenario where the 40 day deadline for the "pre-action conduct" letter has just expired:
a) I cannot apply for an Unless Order until they start court proceedings - is this correct? Yes or no?
b) I cannot apply for an Summary Judgement Order until they start court proceedings - is this correct? Yes or no?
If the answer to both is yes then it means that I am at the mercy of the solicitors as they can take their sweet time and leave me hanging on for the letter to arrive in the post, am I correct?

Therefore the only thing I can do is to ask for an injunction, which I can do once the 40 day deadline has passed and before they start court proceedings.  Is this correct? Yes or no?

Surely once proceedings have started, the timescale is so short that all I would be able to do is to submit a defence.  At what point in time would I be able to apply for an Unless Order or Summary Judgement?

Thanks again, your time and advice is much appreciated.

I wouldn't even contemplate an Injuction, way too tricky, you have to go through the High Court and again would only last as long as 'the default remained', so if the produce the paperwork an injunction can be overturned. Also, if you get any part of bringing Court action wrong, you're fully liable for their costs in defending.

You cannot apply for either an Unless Order or Summary Judgment until AFTER proceedings have commenced.

It takes approximately 12 months for proceedings in the County Court to reach a final hearing, you can make applications at any point upto the final hearing.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:15 pm

Thanks Tiggy,  I didn't realise that it could take around 12 months to reach a final hearing.  Does this mean that there are, or could be, multiple interim hearings leading up to the final hearing?

I guess my confusion stems from many of the other posts which I read.  I was under the impression that once I get the solicitor's letter stating that they are taking me to court (sorry I don't know the correct terminology for this), it is only a matter of days/weeks before I have to file a defence - judging by the other posts, this seems to be a very important and urgent thing to do and one is not given much time to do it.  I was also under the impression that once the defence was filed, the next step was the actual court case.

Please clarify.  

Once again, thank you for all your guidance.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:17 pm

Thanks Theatchet, it was for just under 12k. Rob way got the full treatment and a couple of months later HC got involved.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Tiggy on Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:44 pm

@joedalton wrote:Thanks Tiggy,  I didn't realise that it could take around 12 months to reach a final hearing.  Does this mean that there are, or could be, multiple interim hearings leading up to the final hearing?

I guess my confusion stems from many of the other posts which I read.  I was under the impression that once I get the solicitor's letter stating that they are taking me to court (sorry I don't know the correct terminology for this), it is only a matter of days/weeks before I have to file a defence - judging by the other posts, this seems to be a very important and urgent thing to do and one is not given much time to do it.  I was also under the impression that once the defence was filed, the next step was the actual court case.

Please clarify.  

Once again, thank you for all your guidance.

A claim is issued through the County Court Business Centre based in Northampton.  You have 14 days to acknowledge service and 28 days (plus 5 service days) from the issue date to submit a defence.  

If you don't either acknowledge service or submit a defence on time, they will issue a Judgement by Default - you're then in the game of attempting to apply for a set aside which is a right, royal pain in the backside !!

Once they've received your defence the claimant has 28 days in which to decide whether to proceed - if they don't the claim is automatically stayed, if they do you are then sent an Allocation Questionnaire to decide which Court Track to allocate the claim to (ie either Small Claims - under £10k, Fast Track £10k - £25k or multi track over £25k).  You also get the chance to nominate which Court you want the claim transferring to (ie your nearest local court). Also, at this point you can opt to mediate and if the claim is above £10k you get to indicate what directions you'd like the Court to issue.

Once they receive the AQ the CCBC will transfer the claim to your nominated court, to this point takes about 3 months.

When your local court receives the claim a Judge will review it (this can take 6 weeks+) and issue Directions and set a hearing date, which is usually 3-6 months later.  

Then 14 days before the hearing you have to submit your Witness Statement in support of your defence.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:22 pm

Thanks Tiggy, all this is incredibly useful information, really appreciate it.  As I am not able to apply for an Unless Order or Summary Judgement Order until HC decide to start proceedings, is there anything I can do to strengthen my case if it does eventually go to court?  

For example in the scenario where both the 12 day and 40 day deadlines have expired with no communications whatsoever from either Hoist or HC.  Should I be writing a strongly worded letter to one or to both of them asking for the info again etc etc or will I be better off just playing the waiting game?  

It bugs me that even though the 12 and 40 day deadlines are in place, they can wilfully ignore them at their convenience and proceed as if nothing matters.

Once again, all your help is and has been much appreciated.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Tiggy on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:19 pm

@joedalton wrote:Thanks Tiggy, all this is incredibly useful information, really appreciate it.  As I am not able to apply for an Unless Order or Summary Judgement Order until HC decide to start proceedings, is there anything I can do to strengthen my case if it does eventually go to court?  

For example in the scenario where both the 12 day and 40 day deadlines have expired with no communications whatsoever from either Hoist or HC.  Should I be writing a strongly worded letter to one or to both of them asking for the info again etc etc or will I be better off just playing the waiting game?  

It bugs me that even though the 12 and 40 day deadlines are in place, they can wilfully ignore them at their convenience and proceed as if nothing matters.

Once again, all your help is and has been much appreciated.

You can write further if you wish, but basically, you are one of 100000's of cases they will be dealing with, in my experience they will ignore everything you send and plough on regardless.  

There is a new Pre Action Conduct for debts they have to go though, you might want to familiarise yourself with that to highlight any deficiencies in what they do, as Cohens are notoriously lax in adhering to Court protocols and Judges can come down hard if their protocols / procedures rules are ignored.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by Ausk on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:37 am

@Waffle wrote:Dont ignore.

Write them a letter explaining you have already conditionally accepted to pay providing they can provide the following documents, then list the documents you have requested already.

Then say, as stated above I am more than wiling to settle any matter providing you supply the following document.

This bits very important because they have a duty to provide these documents if you request them.

Follow up with........

I hereby request disclosure of the true copy of the original documents of title Birch v Treasury Solicitor (1951), Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd (2003), redacted if necessary Webster v Ridgeway (2009).


Let us know how you get on.


For your piece of mind if they take you to court and you have already conditionally accepted the 'debt' and requested validation they are not in a good position. They will be deemed as wasting the courts resources....

Hi Waffle, If im right, the documents listed at [b] are court judgements which the debtor would submit to the court as part of their own defence. Why would the claiment obtain these court judgements and send them to us? I would expect they would simply tell us to get lost and get them ourselves.

What have i missed here?

thanks


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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by joedalton on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:46 am

Thanks again Tiggy.  Yes I assumed that HC would ignore any of my letters but I was wondering if that fact that I had written again (and been ignored) would give me a stronger case if it does go to court? If yes, possible suggestions as to the wording would be very helpful.

re: the new Pre Action Conduct Protocol, I have already done some work on this thanks to daveiron.  http://goodf.forumotion.com/t1222-pre-action-protcol-for-debt-claims

I guess now I need to prepare in advance to submit a defence.  Never having been in this situation do you have any tips or suggestions as to what wording to use, or have some sort of template to follow please?  To recap, a) Hoist purchased the debt, b) got Rob Way involved - they got the 3 letters and then c) HC got involved.  The amount is over 10k.

Much appreciated as always.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by jss64 on Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:00 pm

Hi Guys
Read this thread with great interest.
Just received this letter today from BW Legal.
Thinking about using the pre action letter.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Attachments
BW1.pdf You don't have permission to download attachments.(386 Kb) Downloaded 14 times
BW2.pdf You don't have permission to download attachments.(391 Kb) Downloaded 10 times

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by tattyboggle on Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:01 pm

If I may interject into this thread, and thank everyone for the time in replying, it is relevant as joedalton starts by:
‘I went through the 3 letter copyright process (plus estopple) with Rob Way earlier this year and all went quiet for 6 months. They were the first DCA and I was expecting another DCA to take over but today I received the attached letter from HC solicitors.’

The 3 letter process was followed and an estopple sent, why is this not enough of a defense in itself?
Why can we not respond by stating the other side was given reasonable time to comply with the requests and they didn’t? Or send solicitors a copy of the 3 letters and estopple sent at the beginning of the process as evidence?

Is the requested information in the 3 letter process a legal requirement on the other side or not?

They just seem to ignore the letters, estoppel and start legal proceedings.

I’m really not clear on the purpose of the 3 letters if they are simply ignored by the other side and that fact is never used in any defence. Why not just go straight in with a pre action letter as posted previously?

Always appreciated.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by daveiron on Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi jss,

I would start with the new Acting as Agents notices

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by jss64 on Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:44 pm

Hi Daveiron
Thanks
I'm not familiar with those Acting as Agent Notices.
Where would I find them?

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

Post by jss64 on Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:49 pm

I've just found them.
This lot I am dealing with PRAC Financial have "purchased" the debt.
Have sent off a s.78 request yesterday.

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Re: Please help – Just received my first ever solicitor’s letter

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