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Lowell -Energy supplier claim.

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  • Lowell -Energy supplier claim.

    Hi all,

    and thank you for accepting me.

    I have recently received a county court claim from Lowell portfolio regarding an energy bill from a house I moved out of nearly 6 years ago.

    I think the energy company named in the claim was my supplier at the time (I no longer have the paperwork) but the amount claimed (nearly £1000) seems extremely high.

    I had some financial difficulties at the time due to illness and unemployment but I don't think I ever had an energy bill of that size.

    I have acknowledged the claim online and stated I will be defending the claim.

    The particulars of the claim are:

    1) The Defendant enterered into a supply and service agreement with (Energy Supplier) under account reference xxxxxxxx("the agreement")

    2) The agreement later ended but a liability remained outstanding for payment.

    3) The agreement was later assigned to the claiment on dd/mm/2018 and notice given to the Defendant.

    4) Despite repeated requests for payment the sum of (approx)£900 remains due and outstanding.
    And the Claimant claims
    a) The said sum of (approx)£900
    b) Interest pursuant to s69 County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% per annum from the date of assignment to the date of issue (approx) £100
    c) Costs

    As this was not a credit agreement I'm not sure what my next step should be. (who I should send letters to or what I should say) Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi & welcome to LB

    3) The agreement was later assigned to the claiment on dd/mm/2018 and notice given to the Defendant.
    The original creditor (energy co) has sold this (as a 'non-performing' debt) to Lowell for a small percentage of the alleged outstanding debt.
    Lowell are the new owners.

    This is only my opinion - "Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

    You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
    Cohen, Herb

    There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
    gets his brain a-going.
    Phelps, C. C.

    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
    The last words of John Sedgwick


    • #3
      Hi CharityNJW,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I thought that mght be the case, even so I'm pretty sure I didn't have arrears on that scale, my children were young at the time and I would have been concerned about having my supply cut off.

      Despite the financial problems I had I always tried to make rent and energy bills a priority.

      I've been with a different supplier since I moved house 6 years ago and I haven't missed a single payment.

      Should I send Lowell's solicitors a CPR 31.14 askning for copies of the agreement and the assignment?

      Also sholud I ask for details of the relavent bills as I no longer have any paperwork?

      Thanks for helping.


      • #4
        Hi All,

        I have drafted a CPR 31.14 letter to send to Lowell's solicitors based on templates I found here.
        I would be most grateful for any feedback before I send it.

        My Name
        My Address


        Lowell Portfolio Ltd.
        Lowell's Address

        Dear Sirs,

        Claim Number: XXXXXXX

        Request for documents mentioned in a statement of case under CPR 31.14

        On 01/05/2019 I received a County Court claim from yourselves of which I have acknowledged receipt indicating my intention to defend in full.

        To enable me to file my defence and/or counterclaim, I require inspection of documents you mention in your statement of case ahead of filing my defence before the deadline.

        1. The Agreement
        2. A detailed breakdown of the alleged liability remaining outstanding for payment
        3. Notice of Assignment

        In accordance with CPR 31.15(c) I undertake to be responsible for your reasonable copying costs incurred in complying with this CPR 31.14 request.

        You should note that this claim has not yet been allocated to a specific track and the provisions of CPR 27(2) are of no effect. Had your claim not been issued through CCBC the Claimant would have been obliged to attach copies of the documentation upon which it relies to the Particulars of Claim.

        I, as Defendant, am entitled to see the documents on which the Claimant relies and which you must produce at trial. Disclosure at this stage will enable me to fully plead my case and further the Overriding Objective.

        You should ensure compliance with your CPR 31 duties and ensure that the document(s) I have requested are copied to and received by me within 7 days of receiving this letter.

        If you require more time in which to comply with this request you must tell me in writing and confirm your agreement to an extension of the time allowed for me to file my defence as allowed under CPR 15.5 so I may notify the court.

        I look forward to hearing from you.

        Yours sincerely

        My Name

        Thanks for taking the time to read this.



        • #5
          1. The Agreement
          If it were me I'd also be asking for all terms & conditions relevant to the agreement as well.
          Other than that, imho good to go.

          This is only my opinion - "Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

          You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
          Cohen, Herb

          There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
          gets his brain a-going.
          Phelps, C. C.

          "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
          The last words of John Sedgwick


          • #6
            Hi CharityNJW,

            Thank you so much for the advice, i'll add a request for all the terms and conditions and get it posted.



            • #7
              Hi all,

              Today I recieved a reply from Lowell Solicitors, it stated:

              We can confirm we have received your Acknowledgement of Service. Please ensure you respond to the claim as you deem approprate within the timescales set out by the court.

              The account relates to a service agreement and not a credit agreement; it is not governed by the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Therefore, there is no statutory requirement to complete and sign any such 'agreement' in order to obtain an account of this nature.

              Please find enclosed a copy of the statement and notice of assignment for your reference.

              The enclosed documents were:

              1. A copy of an estimated electricity and gas bill dated 3 months after I had moved out of the property.

              (I'm pretty sure the meters were read on the day I moved out at the same time the landlord was inspecting the property, but unfortunately I no longer have the paperwork.)

              2. A copy of a letter from Lowell Financial stating

              We are writing to inform you that [Energy Supplier] sold your account to Lowell Portfolio Ltd on day/month/2018. As outlined in your Terms and Conditions, [Energy Supplier] has the right to pass the debt to a third party.

              I would really appreciate any advice as to how I should proceed now as I believe time is running out before I need to file my defence.

              Thank you for taking the time to read this.



              • #8
                Hi All,

                I've been trying to dig out the paperwork for this without much success.
                However I have discovered the county court claim is dated exactly 6 years after I moved out of the address in question.

                1. Would this mean it is statute barred?
                2. Should I put this in my defence?
                3. Do I need evidence for this or would it be up to Lowell to prove otherwise.

                Any guidence would be really appreciated.

                Thank you.


                • #9
                  Hi All,

                  As the deadline for me is very close, I propose to put this as my defence.

                  I would be grateful for any comments as I'm getting a little worried about this now.

                  Thanks for taking the time to read this.

                  1.The Defendant received the claim [Claim Number] from the Northampton County Court on 2 May 2019

                  2.Each and every allegation in the Claimants statement of case is denied unless specifically admitted in this Defence.

                  3.This claim appears to be for an energy supply agreement.

                  4.The Claimants statement of case fails to give adequate information to enable me to properly assess my position with regards the claim.

                  5.The Claimantís Particulars of Claim fail to state when the agreement was entered into.

                  6.The Defendant contends the alleged debt is statute barred by virtue of Section 5 of the Limitations Act 1980 in that no payment or acknowledgment has been made for over 6 years.

                  7.The Claimants statement of case states that the account was assigned from [Original Creditor] to [Claimant] on 24 May 2018.

                  8.On the 8th May 2019 The Defendant sent a request for inspection of documents mentioned in the claimantís statement of case under Civil Procedure Rule 31.14 to Lowell Solicitors Ltd. I requested the Claimant provide copies of the The Agreement,
                  A detailed breakdown of the alleged liability remaining outstanding for payment, Notice of Assignment and All terms & conditions relevant to the agreement.

                  9.Lowell Solicitors Ltd has not sent all of these documents to the Defendant.

                  10.Under Civil Procedure Rule 16.5 (4) Where the claim includes a money claim, a defendant shall be taken to require that any allegation relating to the amount of money claimed be proved unless he expressly admits the allegation. Therefore, it is expected that the Claimant be required to prove the allegation that the money is owed as claimed.

                  11.The Defendant respectfully requests the court orders the Claimants to provide the necessary documentation in order for The Defendant to fully plead his case else the Claim should stand struck out.

                  17.In the event that the relevant documents are received from the Claimant, the Defendant will then be in a position to amend his defence, and would ask that the Claimants bear the costs of the amendment.

                  18.It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief as claimed or at all.

                  Statement of Truth

                  The Defendant believes that the facts stated in this Defence are true.


                  • #10
                    Hi All,

                    Defence submitted.

                    Any idea what happens next?



                    • #11
                      Hi. Have you actually received the actual readings and not estimated readings? With regards to this debt. Did you submit a subject access request for all documents relating to the debt. If not, I would ask on the day for proof of readings, and if not presented, ask for an adjournment until they can produce such documents.


                      • #12
                        Hi Setmefree3,

                        Thanks for the advice.

                        I don't recall ever getting a bill with the actual readings.

                        It was a privately rented house, but organised through the local authority as temprorary homeless accomodation.

                        I have a recollection of readings being taken when I moved out, with the landlord and the council housing officer present, but it was a long time ago and I can't be sure.

                        Unfortunately I can't find any paperwork regarding the energy supply. It's likely that it's been recycled as I was unaware that there might be a problem.



                        • #13
                          any update after defense


                          • #14
                            Hi Bash0077,

                            No news so far, I guess I just have to wait and see what happens.



                            • #15
                              Hi All,

                              I've now received a Directions questionaire (small claims track)

                              I'm not sure if I should agree to mediation as I believe the claim is statute barred.

                              I don't really like the idea of letting Lowells know my phone number as have anxiety issues.

                              Any advice would be much appreciated.



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