This is another shambolic thread where no-one seems to know what’s going on: MBNA/PRA problem. And what a problem it is!
This poor OP received a claim for just over £10,000 from PRA Group. While most particulars of claim are vague in the extreme and you hardly ever see any mention of the date when the account was opened, even for recent accounts taken out this side of the millennium, this one, unusually, gives the exact date of inception, nearly 25 years ago! If they know the date that well, it sounds like they probably have a copy of the agreement somewhere, as unlikely as it may sound for an account this old, otherwise how would they have worked out the date?
The claim was issued on Jan 25th and the OP has exactly 28 days to submit a defence. An extra five days are allowed by the court for service of the claim form. He is running out of time fast, and the facts haven’t even been established yet. The OP seems to think all previous communications from the debt purchasers were a scam! Sure there are scams around but not many people tell you to pay them £8,000 just like that. The whole thing is extremely confusing and there’s no-one there to untangle the web.
Was this account paid as the OP says? or was it another account? Was this MBNA or Bank of Scotland? There is a mention of asking PRA to agree to an extension on post 16 but on post 18 the OP says he’s just going to file a defence based on not having documents because they’ve had plenty of time to supply them. There’s also a mention of a SAR but no-one has told this poor sod that they have up to 40 days to respond and thus he should really, really try to get an extension agreed so he can get his SAR before his defence is due. Amethyst said they’d work on the defence a week ago and that was that.
As is customary, @nemesis gets tagged and he pops in and posts one of his pre-set stock boilerplate bits of text without bothering to read the thread. The question was as follows:
Notice how Nemesis posts his stock response without even reading the question. The OP clearly said he had sent the CPR request and it had been received, he wanted to know what to do next. Lord Nem even quotes his post, yet he still doesn’t bother to read it. If he’d read the first two words he’d have seen that the OP had already sent the CPR request!
The OP’s last post was made on Feb 22nd, five days ago, and has not been replied to. As it stands, he is days away from the deadline to submit a defence and there’s no defence, no confirmation of an agreement to an extension and we are none the wiser as to where this debt came from or whether it’s the same account the OP claims to have closed years ago. One would think that if that was the case, that would be a far superior defence than simply saying “they’ve not sent me any documents”.
As this is a claim over £10,000, it would be perfectly feasible for the OP to enforce his CPR request with an unless order. Because it is likely to be allocated to the fast-track, this is an option even after submitting a defence, however, as we all know, once a defence is submitted, permission is required to amend it should the SAR and CPR request unveil any useful information. The costs of amending a defence are born by the applicant, in this case the OP. No-one has mentioned a word about any of that.
Another thing that has not been mentioned once is the potential for costs if this goes to trial and the OP loses. Yes, trial is a long way away, probably not till next year and it may not reach that stage. However, it is ESSENTIAL that people be warned about the potential for costs when defending a claim that’s likely to go to fast-track. Costs are very seldom awarded in small claims but they are awarded as a matter of course in the fast-track. It is highly irresponsible not to mention this fact at all when it’s clear the case is not likely to be a small claim due to the amount.
Furthermore, being over £10,000 also opens up the possibility of looking to enter into a CFA with a solicitor if they think prospects are good. With costs awarded against the losing party, the legal fees would be paid by PRA, as long as they lose. It may or may not be an option in this case but we don’t know until we’ve tried it, so why not tell the OP that they would have that option? Preferably a few weeks ago, so they had the time to look around and potentially find a firm.