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Bymdyblue
#310143 Hi Everyone, I’m new here and hope somebody can help me with this longstanding problem.
In 1995 approx I had a loan with HFC Bank and repaid faithfully until 1998 when I lost a main client ( self employed engineer) which resulted in me being unable to maintain the repayments. The debt was past to Howard Cohen Solicitors. I continued to pay a reduced amount but the charges being applied meant I wasn’t reducing the debt. They obtained a CCJ in 1998 for £7992.00 (The original loan was for £5000.00) and for several years I dealt with a company called C.L.Finance and Lewis Debt Recovery and paid as best I could. I think they are the same company as they both send me letters. They have recently sent me a statement saying I currently owe them £3476.00. Based on information I read on this site I sent C.L.Finance a letter requesting they send me a Subject Access Request and a copy of the original credit agreement. After numerous questions by phone asking me why I required this information they sent me a statement showing payments I have made including numerous charges for “warrant Costs” . The statement did not show any payments I made while the loan was with HFC or the charges and insurances that were applied to the account. They also stated that as they assigned the account in feb 1997 they no longer hold information from more than six years ago and did not supply a copy of the original credit agreement.
What can I do? CL Finance has recently sent me a statement of the debt, Lewis debt recovery has sent me a Red letter saying I have to pay the outstanding debt in full immediately. I have paid and lived with this debt for so long and paid far more than I ever borrowed. I am at my wits end. Any advice would be gratefully accepted!
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ByJaneClack
#310163 You say you have already got a county court judgment on this debt - what was the amount set on this as this is when it started running?

Also warrant costs should only be added if there had been a necessity (from creditor/agents viewpoint) of getting a warrant as payments had not been made on time.

For interest to still be added, if it is, then they would have had to have said they would ask for it in the original agreement and the county court claim form needed to have reiterated this. Do you have any of these documents? Have you moved house since the judgment was claimed and did they trace you or have you maintained regular payments.

The reason I ask all the questions is that once a judgment is obtained the debt is never statute barred and it can be chased for payment for ever. We need a little more information - or I do, as perhaps others are more aware of your particular situation than I am as they may have been through it.
Bymdyblue
#312943 Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your response. The judgement was obtained in1998 for approx £7992.00. I have reduced this over time to £3400.00. I was originally repaying at £150.00 a month but couldn’t continue at this rate because of health problems I have been long term unemployed and have been paying when I can at £40.00 per month. I think the warrant costs would have been applied when I was in difficulty making payments. The last one was in 2004 but there have been long gaps when I dont hear anything for a year or two. I do not think that there has been any interest charged to the account. I guess I’m wondering if I can revisit the original debt because it was a bank account and was made up of large interest and payment charges and PPI. before it defaulted. Or if their inability to provide a copy of the original credit agreement will enable me to have the debt written off.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
User avatar
ByJaneClack
#312953 It is unlikely that they will write the debt off - they have a judgment and they periodically try to enforce it. However, you have no money to give them anything other than a token payment and certainly if you are unemployed on benefits I am surprised you can even afford £40. You can take advantage of the law yourself and use an N245 which you can download from the internet or ask for a copy from your local county court and ask for the judgment to be varied to £1 per month.

The other thing that springs to mind was your mention of PPI - it may be worthwhile contacting Stake Your Claim - link at the top of this page - to see if they think it is worthwhile trying to claim mis-selling of your PPIas obviously it never paid out. They do charge a fee but only if you get money back so it is worth enquiring.
Bymdyblue
#315013 Thanks Sarah,
Guess I’m going to have to live with it for a while longer. Can you clarify the position regarding the original credit agreement? I applied for a subject access request and read on a similar site as this that if they are unable to provide a copy of the original credit agreement then the debt is not enforceable. Is this the case or does it not apply to my circumstance
Thanks in advance
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#315033 Hi mdyblue

Unfortunately the CCJ overrides any credit agreement and that defence can only be used at the time of the original CCJ case.

If a CCJ is issued and you had PRIOR to the case, requested the Credit Agreement, then you would have had grounds to go for set aside, if they had not produced it at the time of the CCJ.

However, in this case a long time as passed so it is extremely rare for the Courts to overturn a CCJ and go for set aside, and by rare, I ma meaning hens teeth rare!

But a thought though with regards the warrant costs. As Sarah has said these are added only when a warrant to enforce the CCJ by Bailiffs is applied for, it may pay to directly challenge them to prove that an actual application had been made each time a warrant cost had been added, and inform them that you will be checking each one! It may pay to infer that you have been advised that you may have a claim against hem if they fail to prove each cost (HINT)

Tim
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#315063 Oh and I forget to mention, if they applied for a forthwith judgement and were granted it then the whole amount is payable (you agree monthly payments) or there may have been an amount ordered payable per month, if so that cannot go up with out a court order.

If you dont have fixed payments, or find what you are paying is to high, then apply to the courts to vary the payments downwards, courts will allow you to get it reduced to £1 per month if your finances dictate it!

If your circumstances have changed and you can no longer reasonably afford the requested monthly payment, you can apply to vary the amount using form N245. Once completed with the revised offer of payment, you should send the N245 form to the Court. You will have to send a £40.00 fee with this form - if you receive benefits you should not have to pay but you will need to fill in a fee exemption form.

Tim
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