Costs, anyone?

Legal costs

PRA claim formThis 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?

A tangled web

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.

Enter Lord Nem to the rescue

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:

Meggle Question

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!

Nem Answer

No reply

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.

What about costs?

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.

LB Compare, anyone?

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.

Isn’t that what LB Compare is all about?

15 Comments

  1. Flaming Parrot says:

    Re-posting my comment from the other thread as I see it’s equally relevant to this one:

    I’ve just seen that the OP has submitted a defence “denying the allegation”, whatever that means. He has not posted it up so we can see what he actually said but it would appear that a lot of useful arguments may have been left out. Also you have to be careful when writing legal documents, not to contradict yourself. For example, if you deny having had the card and then go on to say you’ve not made in payments in six years and thus it’s SBd, you’d be contradicting yourself.

    Thanks to Beagle efficiency and a few of us being banned, the OP has missed out on a few tricks
    – He could have asked them to agree to an extension of 28 days to give him time to get his SAR.
    – He could have enforced his CPR request for documents mentioned in the particulars of claim, before submitting a defence he may have to amend. Sometimes inability to comply with an unless order can nip a claim in the bud.
    – He could have shopped around for legal representation on a conditional fee basis.

  2. revenge says:

    That is a shame FP that the best posters for this type of claim are not able to help anymore due to being banned for these type of posters who are now going to end up getting into a complete financial mess. Why do they bother to have a free legal forum if they cannot give the best advice possible.

    • Flaming Parrot says:

      When I was there I would have posted up all that to start with and would also have asked the OP a number of questions to get to the bottom of what looks like a very confusing situation as well as asking them to post up their defence before submitting it. None of that was done in this case.

      It is very sad to see people at risk of not just a CCJ, but also a costs order, just because the Powers That Be decided they didn’t like the company I kept and always took Nemesis’ side, even when it was glaringly obvious who was at fault. At some point, there were quite a few arguments on threads and I fully agree that it’s not what stressed out OPs need when they’re dealing with a claim. What they didn’t see, is that those arguments only started after Nemesis joined and was extended the red carpet from the start, and all that power went right up to his head.

      He worked very hard to push me out until he got his way and I got banned, all for what? He’s still posting the same nonsense as last year and he is like a stuck record. But the ultimate decision was made by Sharon, Nemesis doesn’t own the joint, he just thinks he does.

  3. Jon says:

    Well I see Nemesis is still at his old games
    The poor OP had been ignored for a week , someone them commented and Nem suddenly reappears, repeats what has already been said as if it was his own idea but completely misses the point because he has failed to read what the OP has written.

    Only one person seems to have mentioned costs but how do you do it without worrying the pants off them

    • Legaleaglet says:

      It’s quite obvious those Beagles ARE reading the posts on here, there had been no replies to that thread in five days, then, as soon as this post comes up here, there are five posts almost in a row! It sounds like too much of a coincidence that suddenly someone also mentions costs, but not until after the subject was posted on here. Looks like were are doing LB favour by steering them in the right direction. They can come and read here where they’ve gone wrong and what they should have been saying instead, then go and post it up on there.

      Once more, Nemesis is WRONG. Nothing new there. PRA will NOT have to come up with any subsequent MBNA agreement. If the card was originally a Bank of Scotland card which got sold to MBNA, there wouldn’t have been a new agreement with MBNA. MBNA bought the A&L and Abby cards in 2001/02 just like Opus bought the Citi ones and Barclays bought the Egg cards, etc. None of those purchases involved the signing of a new agreement. To fully comply with s.78 they would have to produce MBNA T&Cs but that would be to satisfy the requirement of terms as varied rather than terms from inception.

      • Flaming Parrot says:

        I had a credit card with the Alliance and Leicester which got sold to MBNA. In 2002, I received a letter saying the account would be managed by MBNA but there was never a new agreement with MBNA. Earlier today, I was talking to someone who had an Abby card which MBNA bought in 2001, there was no agreement with MBNA either, so no, there wouldn’t be an agreement with MBNA at all. No idea where Nemesis gets his info from, if he’s been “helping” people with their debts for 40 years, or even 40 months, he should at least know that.

  4. Jon says:

    I have noticed that Nemesis is back to his old ways of wanting to be the last post on the thread as well as not reading the threads before jumping in with both feet.
    Having said that I have noticed that when corrected he runs off and sulks

    I really worry about this particular case, not because I think PRA have a good case but because it is fast track and costs are involved. If the pleadings go along the line of they have only sent me the BOS contract and not the MBNA one the poor sod will probably get stuffed although I would think that an account that old will probably be UE anyway but that needs pleading
    Nem wouldn’t know a UE agreement if it slapped him round the face singing ‘ I’m unenforceable because I am incorrectly executed- I have the wrong address on’

    If by chance they bring up a decent recon and the OP goes in to defend because they haven’t got the original as he will be told to do, without some proper advice he may get a Frosty reception -Frost…get it?

    • Flaming Parrot says:

      Indeed it is a worrying situation, especially since we don’t know what defence the OP submitted to start with. The one he’d posted earlier was clearly inadequate and there was nothing else posted until he said he’d submitted it. There are people out there who know a lot about PRA and what they’ve been up to, and I could have pointed this OP in the right direction if I hadn’t been banned and if they didn’t put personalities and politics above the posters’ best interests, despite saying otherwise.

      Maybe Nemesis has seen what’s being said about him here (The Truth, Nothing But The Truth) and feels under pressure to prove himself by making himself look like the mainstay of LB.

  5. Legaleaglet says:

    True to form, once his failings and mistakes have been exposed by another poster, Lord Nem has been conspicuous for his absence on this thread, ever since it was pointed out that there was a danger of costs against the OP and that he’d not only missed that rather crucial bit, he’d also failed to read the thread before posting up one of his stock replies, as is customary.

    The key problem with him is his inability to admit his mistakes. Perhaps that’s why he fits in so well with the LB Management.

  6. Legaleaglet says:

    It looks like we are doing some good and one of the regulars on those threads has read our posts here, because they are now mentioning costs, even if they are not elaborating.

    Sadly the regular poster in question is not Nemesis. Here he is saying that the claimants may want to keep it in the small claims track despite being over the threshold: http://legalbeagles.info/forums/showthread.php?78204-Claim-form-received-from-County-Court-Business-Centre&p=629501#post629501

    It’s true that some claims can be allocated to the next track because the amount claimed is just one of the criteria, albeit the most important, however, I just fail to see his logic here. Nor where he says that the CPR 31.14 request will shed light on their intentions. How so? It’s a request for documents. They either have them or don’t. It’s a safe bet to assume that they probably won’t have them at the moment but they may be able to get hold of them later on.

    Something rather odd happens on post #7. The OP thanks Nemesis for the link! One thing you won’t see him do is post links, even here he still does the usual and refers to the forum library, wherever that may be. The link was posted by NWHC and the OP quoted their post, together with the link, on post #5.

    Maybe Nemesis possesses some magic cyberpower of illusion, the same he obviously has over the LB Management.

  7. Legaleaglet says:

    Looks like the Beagles are reading our posts because now they have added the following snippet at the top of the page:

    We now feature a number of specialist consumer credit debt solicitors on our sister site, lbcompare.co.uk- If your case is over £10,000 or particularly complex it may be worth a chat with a solicitor, often they will be able to help on a fixed fee or CFA (no win, no fee) basis.

  8. BillK says:

    Oh, I’m sure they are reading our posts, LE. In fact I think they should all be awarded the O.B.E. for taking maximum advantage of “Other Buggers’ Efforts.” After all, they relied on our input for years and clearly no longer have any idea where they are going these days.

    Meanwhile – for you tubes who can only understand the language of You-Tube:-

    http://www.nullrefer.com/?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5XX9LX2es4

  9. Interested Party says:

    Looks like the Beagles are reading our posts because now they have added the following snippet at the top of the page.

    Isn’t it nice to think that even after all this time we have been away from LB that they still cannot think for themselves and are still relying on the ‘old crew’ for ideas.

  10. BillK says:

    Yeah – I suppose it is – in a creepy kind of way !

  11. Interested Party says:

    Stalking

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