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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Received a court claim ?

    What should I do when I receive a court claim form?


    Do not ignore it - act quickly.

    You have only a limited time in which to reply to the claim. You must acknowledge the claim to the court within 14 days of service (the date you received the form).

    If you do nothing, it could result in judgment being entered against you without further notice, on the claimants terms.

    The claim should arrive by post and should be on a stamped court form called an N1.

    The claim form will look similar to this




    Do you recognise the Claimant ?


    Do you have a debt with the Claimant ?

    Does your knowledge of the debt correspond with the details on the claim form (amount, account numbers, etc)



    We recommend you make a post in the ' received a court claim ' forum detailing the particulars of claim and the date of service of the form and any other information that you feel is relevant.


    If you don't recognise the claimant or there are poor particulars of claim with no supporting information then you can ask for more information. Post on the 'received a court claim ' forum with as much information as possible.


    A ‘Response Pack’ will be sent with the claim form or with the particulars of claim (if they were served separately). It contains all the forms you will need to reply to the claim.

    You have a number of choices:

    • pay the amount claimed;

    • admit all or part of the claim or liability for the claim, and ask the claimant for time to pay, or offer to settle the claim in some other way;

    • dispute (‘defend’) the claim;

    • dispute the claim and offer to sort the matter out without going to a court hearing.

    If the claim is for a fixed amount of money (a ‘specified amount’), the response pack will contain:

    • Form N9 (acknowledgment of service);
    • Form N9A (admission form); and
    • Form N9B (defence form).

    You can find copies of these forms here


    If the claim is not for a fixed amount of money (an ‘unspecified amount’), you will receive a Form N9, Form N9C (admission form) and Form N9D (defence form)

    Before you complete any of the forms you should read the notes for defendant attached to the claim form. Sometimes the claimants ask you to return the forms directly to them - it is important you send the forms to the court - if you want to respond to the claimant then take a photocopy of the forms and send the copies to them for their information - but ALWAYS REPLY DIRECTLY TO THE COURT - either by post or through the MoneyClaimOnline service.

    ACKNOWLEDGING A CLAIM

    You need to ACKNOWLEDGE the claim within 14 days of service, otherwise the claimant may get Judgment by Default. (see below)

    First check the section of the claim form headed ‘Particulars of Claim’.

    If the words ‘particulars of claim to follow’ are written in this section, you should not reply until you receive them (this should be within 14 days of receiving the claim form).

    If the ‘particulars of claim’ section is completed or indicates that the particulars of claim are attached, you must reply within 14 days of the date you received it (the ‘date of service’). You can do this online at Welcome - HMCS Money Claim Online or by post. Remember to post your reply at least 2 days before the end of the 14 day period if you are sending it by post.


    To acknowledge the claim online at the Money Claim Online Service you are required to register for an account with the UK Government Gateway.

    1: Visit Welcome - HMCS Money Claim Online

    2: Click '' I am a Defendant ''

    3: On the right hand side you need to LOG IN using your Claim Number off the N1 form, and the password which is also shown on the N1 form.

    4: Click on ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE

    5: Select Acknowledge with intent to defend in full / admission

    What will happen if I do nothing?

    Judgment may be entered against you. This means that you will be ordered to pay the amount of the claim (or an amount to be decided by the court) and costs. The court will send you a copy of the order saying how much you owe.

    If judgment is entered against you, your name and address may be entered on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. The credit industry (for example, banks and building societies) use information on the Register to establish people’s credit worthiness. If your name is on the list it could lead to you being refused credit.


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    I admit I owe the debt and want to make an offer to pay

    In order to claim against you in the County Court for a debt regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (most credit cards and unsecured loans are regulated) the claimant must have followed certain protocols and procedures.





    • Notified you in writing of their intention to file a claim at the court - standard 'reasonable time' is 14 days.
    • Given you opportunity to make payment prior to filing at court
    • Supplied documentary evidence of the debt
    • Issued you with a default notice





    If the amount that is being claimed appears higher than you think it should be then the claimant may have added 'collection' or other charges to the account. It may be possible to defend these and have them removed from the claim.

    If there is no supporting documentation provided with the claim form, and in most cases there is not, then we always recommend sending a PART 31.14 Request for Information to the Claimant after acknowledging the claim.

    If you admit that you owe the money, but cannot afford to pay it all at once, you can ask for time to pay. This may, if the claimant agrees, avoid getting a judgment registered against you.

    Fill in Form N9A. Give all the details about your income and expenses it asks for and say how you would like to pay. You will find it useful to complete a full Financial Statement and use the figures from that for the response, this will help ensure you do not offer more than you can afford. Information on this can be found Legal Beagles .

    Take or send Form N9A to the court and to the claimant at the address shown on the claim form for payments or documents. Keep a copy for yourself.

    If the claimant accepts your offer to pay by instalments you must:

    • keep up instalment payments. If not, your goods may be taken away and sold, or a court order may be made affecting your income or property

    • let the court know if you are having trouble keeping up the payments; for example, if you lose your job. You can make an application to redetermine the installment amounts if your circumstances do change.

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    I admit I owe SOME of the debt

    If you agree that you do owe some money, but less than is being claimed, this is called ‘making a part admission’.

    Fill in Form N9A and Form N9B, saying how much you do owe and why you consider you do not owe any more than that.

    Send both forms to the court within 14 days of service of the claimant’s particulars of claim and 28 days if you filed an acknowledgment of service.

    You can either pay the amount you agree that you owe to the claimant immediately, or you can ask for time to pay either by instalments or at some future date.

    Copies of the forms will be sent to the claimant asking whether your part admission is accepted in full and final settlement of the claim or whether it is not and the claim should proceed as defended.

    The claimant must reply to you and the court within 14 days of receiving your part admission.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I want to defend the claim

    You may want to defend the claim if you do not recognise the debt or have already paid the debt.

    Whether the claim is for a specified or an unspecified amount, you may either:

    • complete the Form N9 (acknowledgment of service); or

    • complete the Form N9B (if the claim is for a specified amount) or Form N9D (if the claim is for an unspecified amount).

    Whichever form you complete, you must make sure that it is taken or sent to the court (called ‘filing’) no later than 14 days from the date the particulars of claim were served on you. If you do not, the claimant can ask the court to enter judgment, that is, make an order that you pay the amount claimed, or that you are liable to pay an amount to be decided by the court.

    When you complete the defence form, be sure that you follow all the instructions on it. This is important, especially if the claim is for an unspecified amount.

    For example, if you do not answer all the points raised (‘allegations’) in the particulars of claim, it will be assumed that you admit them. For this reason we usually begin writing a defence with the sentence 'Save as specifically admitted in this Defence, the Defendant denies each and every allegation set out in the particulars of claim'.


    If you do not agree you owe a debt because you feel the claimant owes you money then you need to enter a COUNTERCLAIM alongside your Defence and Admission. Please post on the forum for advice.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why would I file an acknowledgment of service rather than a defence form?

    Filing the acknowledgment of service allows you more time in which to seek advice and complete your defence. If you file an acknowledgment of service within 14 days of service of the particulars of claim, this extends the time for filing a defence to 28 days from service of the particulars of claim.
    If you defend the claim, it may be transferred to your local court, i.e. the one nearest to where you live or carry on business, if different from the court shown at the top of the claim form.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    What if my defence is that I have already paid the amount claimed?

    You should still fill in the defence form N9B and send it to the court. A copy will be sent to the claimant who will be asked to let you and the court know whether:

    • it is agreed that the money has been paid and the matter will not be taken further; or

    • if it is not accepted that the money has been paid, that the claim should continue as a defended claim.

    The claimant must respond within 28 days of receiving the court’s notice of your defence.

    If you paid the money after the date of issue (shown on the claim form), the claimant may still claim for the court fee and any amount of solicitor’s costs, shown on the claim form. You should send the money direct to the claimant.

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    The claimant owes me money - what can I do?

    If you are owed money by the claimant and want to claim this, you can do so by using the defence form. This is called ‘making a counterclaim’. Complete the appropriate section of the form and send or take it to the court. You may have to pay a fee for making the counterclaim. You can find details of these fees on the Her Majesty's Courts Service - Home
    website.

    If you do not pay the fee or make a successful application for exemption or remission of the fee, your counterclaim will automatically be ‘struck out’ which means that you could not proceed with it. Leaflet EX160A explains more about making an application for exemption or remission of a fee.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Will I need to go to court?

    If you defend the claim, or if you and the claimant cannot agree about paying the instalments, you may have to go to court. But even at this stage, there is still opportunity for you and the claimant to agree a settlement.

    Before issuing the claim against you, the claimant should have actively considered other ways of settling the dispute. It may be that this was tried and was unsuccessful. However, if no attempt was made, it may not be too late for you to suggest to the claimant that you would be willing to resolve the issue without going to court. If you would like to do this, you should contact the claimant or the claimant’s solicitor without delay.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How will the claim be dealt with in court?

    Most claims for £10,000 or less are dealt with in what is called the ‘small claims track’. However, if your claim is for less than £10,000 but includes a claim for personal injury, or for housing disrepair to residential premises and damages arising from the disrepair, your case will not be dealt with in (‘allocated to’) the small claims track unless the amounts claimed in respect of personal injury, disrepair and damages are each no more than £1,000. The leaflet EX307 The small claims track explains more about the allocation of claims to the small claims track and how they are handled.

    Claims of more than £10,000 are generally dealt with differently in either the ‘fast track’ or the ‘multi-track’. Leaflets are available which explain about these two tracks.


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    What happens if I do not pay?

    If the court sends you an order to pay, but you do not, the claimant can ask the court to take steps to make you pay (this is called ‘enforcing the judgment’). For example, court bailiffs (who are court officials) might remove items belonging to you, or the claimant might ask the court to order your employer to take money from your earnings, they may also apply for a charge on your home.


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    Should I see a solicitor?

    Most people who have claims made against them for a fixed sum of money do not use solicitors. Also, if you defend the claim and it is allocated to the small claims track, hearings are designed to be less formal and you may take someone to the court hearing to speak on your behalf. This person is called a ‘lay representative’ and may be a spouse, relative, friend or an advice worker.

    If the claim is for more than £10,000 or includes a claim for personal injury, it is probably advisable to seek the advice of a solicitor. You can find solicitors or law centres who can help you on our sister site - LBcompare -
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    Last edited by Amethyst; 4th March 2016 at 20:54:PM. Reason: updating
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Received a court claim ?

    Hello

    August 2011 I was approached by Ernest & Wilson to selling my business under no sales no fee basis. For pass 2 years I haven't heard much from them other than regular statement says how much advertising and general statement indicate fee cost from advertising for our reference. In April I received letter demand for late payment so I rang them and found out what happen, apparently they cancel my contract without any advance warning. I told them to send me detail or email me as post often loss in the post then I'll respond in writing with suitable arrangement but I've not heard anything until today received court claim demanding for full advertising fee + interest £4696.
    I did some reading through legal beagles forum relate to ERNEST WILSON threads, then digging out the paperwork that found my copy of contract is not same as original one that they sent copy to CMCC with my signature, the original contract Page 1 of 4 which is first piece of paper with hand written detail of valuation and detail of business selling then follows by business T&C pages, but my copy is missing that first page it just start from page 1 of 4 is Business T&C no information about my business. Does this mean I've a case to defend that my contract is not valid similar to NFOPP http://www.nfopp.co.uk/media/221848/...co_limited.pdf that prosecute them back in 2012? What advice I should do next?

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