A timely response

7 weeks

This is an example of the sad state of Legal Beagles these days: Court Claim – Arrow Global.

This poor OP posted up on the 28th of December saying they had received a claim. He posted twice, about a claim for £13,000. Not exactly a small amount, yet his two posts were completely ignored for a whole seven weeks!!! OK, so it was the Season and all that but, come the New Year, he didn’t receive any replies in the whole of January, or even the first half of February. You know the song: “This happened once before, when I came to your door, no reply!

No reply

The first response from Amethyst came on February 15th, exactly seven weeks after he posted. He said he was planning to do his defence online on Dec 30th and any advice would be appreciated. He also asked whether the fact that the claim was over £10,000 should make any difference. You know what they said? NOTHING! Absolutely nothing! No-one popped round to say: “please post up your draft defence so we can take a look”. In fairness to Amethyst, she does try, she’s always around, but there’s just one Amethyst. The site has 70,000 members. Clearly there is a need for a bigger team. Even if not everyone is able to deal with a defendant facing court action, at the very least, they could flag up these posts for someone to respond. Trouble is, there’s hardly anyone left.

Not a small claim

While the amount claimed would not affect the material facts used in his defence, it does have an effect in various aspects of the case. For a start, the claimant could not skirt around their duties to fulfil a request under Part 31 of the Civil Procedure Rules as they routinely do with small claims. At the very least, the poster should have been informed of the potential to get an extension agreed with the claimant. They should also have been told about the possibility of enforcing that request using an unless order. Inability to comply with the order could well force an early end to proceedings.

Embarrassed defence and embarrassing situation

As it stands, the OP has submitted a defence without having the full facts or any documents. The defence has not been posted up but it can be safe to assume they would have just submitted an “embarrassed defence” saying they haven’t got the documents from the claimant. This would leave them wide open if the claimant supplies the documents. Placing an account on hold after proceedings have been issued means nothing.

Furthermore, being over the small claims threshold, the case will be allocated to the fast-track. That means they are at risk of costs if they lose. It also means the poor sod could have at least looked into getting legal representation through a CFA. Has anyone mentioned that? No. Of course they haven’t, no-one has even  been on the thread, other than Amethyst, who is clearly overwhelmed by the amount of posts she has to respond to. That means she cannot give every thread the attention it deserves. That wouldn’t be the case if there were other people on board.  Oh and where’s their Nemesis when they need him? Hibernating? Probably for the best!

51 Comments

  1. Legaleaglet says:

    This OP was told on another forum that LB would help with their claim, they were wrong: http://www.nullrefer.com/?http://legalbeagles.info/forums/showthread.php?77985-Help-with-a-Lowell-court-claim-please

    Nearly 12 hours later, not a single reply.

  2. revenge says:

    OMG Kati responded almost 12 hours later and has called for Sit Nem and Shazza. Let us hope the poor poster get’s some decent advice. Wonder who the other forum was?

  3. BillK says:

    Just the one ?

    You’re slacking, Kate. Must do better…

  4. Legaleaglet says:

    Another post gets missed: dispute on ccj/credit card debt

    Where was Lord Nemesis who can’t wait to get there first?

  5. BillK says:

    That’s Nem’s chosen field of conflict, too – is he suffering from shell-shock perhaps ?
    Of course, it would have helped if the OP had actually signed what is a very nice and fully-comprehensive CCA request – but the next thing to check would be if the PO has been cashed.
    I’m also not sure that a handwritten signature is actually required for a CCA request to be valid, anyway – but I’m sure Nem will know.

    When he falls back in.

    • Legaleaglet says:

      A handwritten signature is not a legal requirement for a valid CCA request and, over the years, thousands of requests have been sent without one. However, there are some creditors which will argue about it. Depending on your circumstances, you can either turn that to your advantage or give in and sign. If you are buying time before SBd, then a little letter tennis arguing about it can go a long way, however, if they’ve taken you to court and you want to use ss.77/79 in your defence, you’d better do as they ask so they haven’t got any arguments to justify non-compliance.

      Signature lifting is more of an urban myth perpetrated by a number of forums and, in post-Carey times, almost irrelevant, since a recon without any signature is a valid response and they all know it, why would they bother lifting your signature.

  6. Legaleaglet says:

    The wording of the CCA request is a little odd, however, it should still be regarded as a request under s.78 of the CCA, even when the creditor need not comply with everything else, such as to remove CRA data.

    Trouble is, we don’t know what they submitted in their defence, if it was just “no response to CCA request” it can get a little tricky. If the creditor did not respond at all arguing about the lack of signature, then they’ll probably be OK.

    Today is the deadline given by Arrow to fill in the N9A admission form, one can only hope that, despite the complete lack of answers from the Beagles, they’ve not done so, as that would still leave them with a CCJ, something not everyone seems to know.

  7. Jon says:

    LE what are you on about are you nem in disguise talking about urban Myths

    As for signature i have sent over two dozen CCA requests and all but two were responded to without a bit of letter tennis . Only RBS refused saying that they needed a signature but they caved in when i sent a certain letter saying they had been writing to me at the same address since I took the cards out

    Personally, because i am almost as stubborn as a Yorkshire man in Lancashire I would fight them all the way but as you say , when a claim has been made you need to be pragmatic

     

    I know that sending a CCA request can and does stop some claims in their tracks , I can’t believe that in 2012 i had a LBA and sent a CCA request off, not realising that it was a LBA. Since then I have had the default removed and no further action

     

    I do wonder how many claims or LBAs certain people have had

  8. Legaleaglet says:

    Nem in disguise? It would be impossible for him to write proper sentences and to read before posting, so his attempts at disguising himself would be doomed to failure.

    When you get a LBA ideally you should send both a CCA request and a LBA response letter where you make reference to the CCA request but also request other documents such as the NoA and the DN where relevant. A well-worded LBA response can stop a solicitor on their tracks even when no CCA request is involved, for example, for a mobile contract. If they were to issue a claim, they’d still need a copy of your contract and the NoA as well as a statement of account, so they’d rather move on to the next one, the one who ignores them.

    A well-worded LBA response is not something Lord Nem will ever be able to manage, since it would quote legislation, it would be like asking a monkey to type a letter for you.

    Cabot have been very quiet ever since they received a CCA request over a month ago, they acknowledged receipt and then just went quiet. By the time they come back to life, it’ll be too late, last payment was Dec 2009 so even a reluctant Nem-like judge would have to concede it’s statute barred. :)

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