Author Topic: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors  (Read 3413 times)

naeemsyed

  • *
  • Posts: 4
Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« on: Mar 02, 2012, 11:17:19 AM »
Hello All
 
I took out an Alliance and Leicester Credit Card in 13/08/1996 which I could not repay; hence a default action was taken against me and repayment was setup for £5.00 per month in 16/07/1999. The Debt was then passed to a Debt Collection Company and I continued paying the £5.00 per month.
 
In Jan 2011 Fenton Cooper (Debt Collection Company) ask me to increase the repayment, on which I said I could not so they agreed to continue accepting my repayment at £5.00 per month (I have a letter from Fenton Cooper confirming acceptance of £5.00 per month).
 
A few months back my debt was taken over by ARROW GLOBAL LIMITED who called me in Jan 2012 and said that as this debt (£2252.00) has gone on far too long, they will only accept £5.00 per month if I agree to a ‘Voluntary Mortgage over my property’. I refused but instead offered that I could arrange to pay £450 as full and final settlement of my account. But they rejected my offer and said they were going to proceed towards litigation against me.
 
Last week I received a CLAIM FORM from ELS & COLE SOLICITORS claiming the full amount of £2252. They also added the £75.00 (Court Fee) + £80.00 (Solicitors Cost) which has brought the total to £2407.
 
The debt has now unnecessary been increased by these added court fees by £155.00
 
I have been searching around trying to get more information. I spoke to one Legal Advise helpline. The advisor suggested that though I have received a Claim Form from their solicitor, there is no harm in writing to them and accepting their ‘Voluntary Mortgage over my Property’ and also offering to make an increased repayment of £10.00 per month if they withdraw their Claim.
 
1. I have never defaulted since the default repayments started with the debt collection company.
2. What should I do?
3. Can I not offer any defence to their aggressive and harassing gesture.
4. I am also concerned about this ‘Voluntary Mortgage over my Property’ and what it pertains?
 
I have till Thursday 22 Feb 2012 as the last day to post the Claim Form back
 
Thanks

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #1 on: Mar 02, 2012, 11:47:11 AM »
Hi there naeemsyed
 
Do not voluntarily accept any agreement which secures this debt against your property. You do not have to do this and will never have to unless forced to do so by the court (with what is known as a charging order). However if you act properly this should not happen.
 
I assume that the document you have received is a petition for a county court judgement (CCJ). You need to complete the admission form correctly and send it back to the solicitors within the time period detailing your income, expenses commitments and what you can afford to pay monthly towards this debt. If you do this and the figures you use are reasonable, a CCJ requiring you to pay the amount you can afford should be issued by the court. Then as long as you continue to pay this as agreed, your creditor can take no further legal action against you.
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

naeemsyed

  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #2 on: Mar 02, 2012, 01:37:13 PM »
Hi James
 
Thanks for your advice.  A few weeks back I checked my Credit File with Experian and its nearly clean, another few months and the existing default mark on the file will be removed as its coming to the end of 6 years.
 
But once I send this existing Admissions Form back to ELS & COLE SOLICITORS, they are going to pass it to the County Court for Judgement and again a new default will be entered on my Credit File for another 6 years.
 
Is there any way I can save myself from this?

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #3 on: Mar 02, 2012, 03:58:27 PM »
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do naeemsyed (save paying the debt in full of course).
 
If you do not fill in the form, the court will grant the CCJ anyway. From that point the CCJ will show on your credit file for another 6 years. The only way you can prevent this is by paying the debt in full before the judgement is issued I'm afraid. If you cannot afford to do this then the best policy is not to ignor it but fill it in and return it. Then at least you will be able to affect the decision on how much you are required to pay each month.
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

naeemsyed

  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #4 on: Mar 02, 2012, 05:16:44 PM »
In Jan 2011, Fenton Cooper agreed to the £5.00 per month repayment (I have a letter from FENTON COOPER confirming acceptance of £5.00 per month).

Can I not argue that they are backing out of the agreement now in Jan 2012, which is only because that I did not accept their offer ‘Voluntary Mortgage over my Property’

naeemsyed

  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2012, 05:21:28 PM »
I wanted to add "on the basis of Estoppel". I read this from some website

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #6 on: Mar 02, 2012, 05:49:42 PM »
As far as I am aware it is the right of the creditor to enforce the collection of their debt by applying for a county court judgement at any time not withstanding any informal payment agreement that you may have made. I think you will have very little chance of successfully arguing that a court should not issue the judgement. Ultimately it seems that Fenton Cooper are no longer acting as the collection agent for the creditor. Their new agent therefore can negotiate new terms. At the end of the day this is the disadvantage of the informal debt management agreement which is what  you had with Fenton Cooper. It can be renegotiated by the creditor or their appointed agent at any time.
 
At the end of the day if a CCJ is granted this could be better for you as as long as you stick to it. As a formal court order the creditor can then not attempt to change it. This is why it is important that you make sure the CCJ is ordered for a payment amount that is reasonable and that you can afford.
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

Simon Wyllie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 20
Re: Received Claim Form from ELS & Cole Solicitors
« Reply #7 on: Mar 06, 2012, 02:27:23 PM »
Hello naeemsyed.
I'm not legally trained, and it would be sensible for you to take legal advice on this matter, but I do have some practical experience to share with you.
A number of people we have worked with have attended court for the charging order hearings. They've made representations to the judge that a charging order is not necessary because they are already doing their best to repay the debt, and they've also argued that allowing a charging order to be placed on a property is potentially unfair on their other creditors that aren't getting the same security.
Will it work? Maybe, there aren't any guarantees though. However, you might decide that it's worthwhile to attend yourself even if you conclude that you cannot or will not instruct legal representation for any hearings.