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Cabot claim a CCJ in place - Call their bluff?

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  • Cabot claim a CCJ in place - Call their bluff?

    New here, but after a curious development I thought it best to seek advice ASAP. Some back-story first just to help you see how I got to where I am now, and why I'm seeking your assistance.

    In the mid 2000s I ran up a significant amount of unsecured debt - partly whilst married, but more when that fell apart, leading me to go somewhat "off the rails" and essentially become addicted to gambling.

    After about a year there was simply nothing left - job gone, credit all maxed. Out of ideas and on the verge of a breakdown, I basically ran away from it all. I stayed with my parents for approximately a year during which I found work, somewhere to live (through a friend, so no credit checks) and started to rebuild a Zero-Credit Life with just a basic bank account and cash, pre-payment or utility card-based payment systems for all my regular outgoings. Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be. I stuck to that religiously until late summer 2020, knowing that by then (in my mind, at least) I should even be safe from any potential shortfall on the mortgage at my long-escaped former home. I was on the Closed Register of the Electoral Roll and that was my only probably "footprint" with the credit reference agencies, which I avoided any access to. I've also never gambled since!

    Briefly in 2008/9 contact-attempt letters arrived at my parents' home, and they did also receive the occasional phone enquiry, all of which they fended off. These stopped after a while, and after moving into my new rented place, barely a sniff or snuffle of the debthounds at all.

    So, all good, then after what I saw as the Watershed after 12 years, I decided I could start living a slightly more normal and convenient life. I started paying some of the bills (council tax, water) by direct debit, and applied for a broadband service. All went through without issue. I also decided to brave the credit reference system again, to find Transunion, Experian and Equifax all rated me Good or better, with no faults or searches from the previous 6 years.

    Shortly after, the letters started to arrive. Some of them even said "You're not legally obliged to pay this, but if you would like to...". They've caused me no issue whatsoever, although I should get around to sending them SBs to close them down and save them some wasted postage.

    However, Cabot have been a bit different.They've sent a few letters inviting me to contact them to arrange a payment plan, then hit me yesterday with this:



    "XXXX XXXX your account will be placed with our solicitors

    A County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been obtained on this account, which we have enforced with a Charging Order. We attempted in the past to speak to you, but you have failed to get in contact to repay.

    In order for us to manage your account appropriately we are returning your account to our solicitors Mortimer Clarke Solicitors. This will allow our solicitors to agree with you an appropriate payment arrangement to repay the outstanding balance, and once paid in full remove the Charging Order.

    Mortimer Clarke Solicitors will be in contact with you in the next 14 days to review your situation and arrange the most suitable solution for you based on your circumstances.

    Yours sincerely

    XXX XXXX
    UK Litigation Director"



    I immediately paid for registry searches against my name on my current and previous addresses, so no active CCJ accurately attached in the last 6 years. I also note they have given NO details of the court, the case number or date of the alleged CCJ. I have had No Contact and made No Payment(s) with Cabot or any other creditor or debt collector at any time, or received any court papers. The item in question is an unsecured loan, probably taken out mid/late 2007, last payment made routinely circa Feb/March 2008 with an original value just under 20k, almost all outstanding.

    So, the bit(s) I need advice with:

    DO I assume there is an old CCJ prior to the last 6 years against the debt as they claim? If so, I assume I will have to attempt a Set Aside?
    COULD THEY be bluffing to get me to contact them? If so, what action to take?
    SHOULD I send them a Statute Bar letter as a first point of order before anything else arrives?
    OR SHOULD I risk waiting until contacted re: the alleged CCJ and Charging Order?

    I'm at your mercy, and appreciate any guidance. They picked a great time of year, huh?

    Thanks in advance

    Grin

    p.s. I did try to attach a photo of the letter text, but for some reason it wouldn't permit it.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Grinfish

    Have you checked Land Registry for the Charging Order against the house?
    There should be a Record of the CCJ, even if it's dropped off your Credit File.
    They are prohibited from saying that a CCJ exists if one does not exist, they can get into trouble for doing that.

    a) DO I assume there is an old CCJ prior to the last 6 years against the debt as they claim? If so, I assume I will have to attempt a Set Aside?

    You need to find it, otherwise you are chasing shadows.

    b) COULD THEY be bluffing to get me to contact them? If so, what action to take?

    As above.

    c) SHOULD I send them a Statute Bar letter as a first point of order before anything else arrives?

    If there is a CCJ, the debt can't be Statute Barred.

    d) OR SHOULD I risk waiting until contacted re: the alleged CCJ and Charging Order?

    You need to pro active, send them a SAR, they have 30 days to provide all the data on the account. Make sure you get Proof of Postage.

    des8 MIKE770 Can you please take a look and advise, many thanks.

    Comment


    • #3


      Have you checked Land Registry for the Charging Order against the house?
      No, as I assumed that would only be relevant to the mortgage, not this unsecured loan? I'm not sure what type of search to do for that.

      There should be a Record of the CCJ, even if it's dropped off your Credit File.
      Yeah I figured, just didn't know where to look past the TrustOnline search

      They are prohibited from saying that a CCJ exists if one does not exist, they can get into trouble for doing that.
      I wasn't sure on that, thanks!


      You need to find it, otherwise you are chasing shadows.
      Agreed. Would they have to give me the relevant information if they get as far as the Charging Order?

      You need to pro active, send them a SAR, they have 30 days to provide all the data on the account. Make sure you get Proof of Postage.
      I shall get on that ASAP


      Thinking further ahead - if I do discover a CCJ prior to the 6 year window, will I still be able to push for a Set Aside as I was previously unaware of it?



      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, I just had a look at what a Charging Order is - it is a court order to force sale of a property, yes?

        I no longer own a home, I'm a privately-renting tenant. I have no land or house in my ownership. I don't see how a Charging Order helps them.

        Also, One more question: Why did they not mention a CCJ being active in earlier letters regarding the outstanding unsecured loan debt? I'm confused as to how it wouldn't be important to mention it.

        Comment


        • #5
          No not necessarily. Means if a sale takes place the debt needs to be paid out of proceeds

          Comment


          • #6
            Get dsar of to the. Get prof of posting keep copy on file top right click on subject Access request and fill out. No charge for that they have 30 days to respond

            Comment


            • #7
              Final question at this point: Is it absolutely essential to include my phone number on the SAR? Could I substitute an email address? The idea of multiple missed calls whilst at work and nuisance of having to deal with them at inconvenient times is a concern.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Grinfish View Post
                Final question at this point: Is it absolutely essential to include my phone number on the SAR? Could I substitute an email address? The idea of multiple missed calls whilst at work and nuisance of having to deal with them at inconvenient times is a concern.
                Email is fine, easier to 'block' if they get noisy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would wait to hear from their solicitors Mortimer Clarke

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by des8 View Post
                    I would wait to hear from their solicitors Mortimer Clarke
                    I'm considering this - whilst also getting an SAR ready because naturally I need to know everything I can (without compromising my starting position) before deciding what further actions to take.

                    As their letter was dated 24th Nov and I didn't get it until the 29th, I'm already halfway through the 14 days so that makes some sense. I'm thinking perhaps they're trying to get me to "bite" before they apply to the court to re-enforce the old CCJ. As they're office-buddies, I'd guess it won't take too long - unless my following concern is a motive.

                    I am concerned that because they mentioned an old CCJ on the account, would that be considered legally as the point I become Aware of it even though they cited no supporting court reference numbers or dates? That could affect Promptness in an application to set aside?

                    Another concern if I did apply to set aside and was successful, unless I can find a fault in the original claim such as a failure in procedure I'd probably end up lacking a defence and thus back at square one but minus a paddle...

                    Much as I lost sleep over this on the night after the letter, I've come to terms with the inevitability that Something has to happen in the near future to resolve this, and it is likely to cost me to some level. I'm just hoping to avoid the worst outcome - spending 12+ years rebuilding myself just to lose the small gains of relative financial stability and self-esteem I gained from those efforts, due to the earlier period (in hindsight) of diminished responsibility and plain lack of common sense. I feel like I served my sentence once, and this is the punishment for a breach of parole by daring to set up a couple of direct debits.

                    Any further viewpoints and advice are most welcome, and I'm also happy to answer any questions I can about anything I didn't provide in my OP.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If there is a CCJ in place they might not be able to enforce it.
                      If over 6 years old they will need court permission and to get that there are a number of hurdles.

                      If /when MC write, then start questioning them about when, where and what that CCJ is about

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by des8 View Post
                        If there is a CCJ in place they might not be able to enforce it.
                        If over 6 years old they will need court permission and to get that there are a number of hurdles.

                        If /when MC write, then start questioning them about when, where and what that CCJ is about
                        Yeah, my thoughts today agree. I'm assuming they'll balance the potential maximum gain against the effort and costs required to pursue further.

                        I assume when enquiring about the CCJ, any communication beyond an SAR should be headed Without Prejudice or include a statement to that effect?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          'A County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been obtained on this account, which we have enforced with a Charging Order. We attempted in the past to speak to you, but you have failed to get in contact to repay.'

                          If the above isn't true make formal complaints to the creditor and their solicitors, then when you receive a final response, if you still aren't happy, then lodge complaints with the FOS and Legal Ombudsman.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Grinfish View Post

                            Yeah, my thoughts today agree. I'm assuming they'll balance the potential maximum gain against the effort and costs required to pursue further.

                            I assume when enquiring about the CCJ, any communication beyond an SAR should be headed Without Prejudice or include a statement to that effect?
                            "without prejudice" statements only apply to efforts to settle a dispute. It is allowed to encourage parties to be open without fear of their communications being used in court against them if they form part of a genuine attempt to settle the dispute,

                            So not necessary to use the wording if seeking information about their claim; just you don't admit to the debt

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just a quick update:

                              My SAR is ready to go on Saturday morning - due to working hours and currently lacking a printer (to be corrected this weekend) that's the first opportunity I have to get to the post office with a physical copy. I'm anticipating it will arrive with them probably around the same time MC's contact letter will be made in my direction (now they haven't had the luxury of a phone-in from me in the first instance). Once some Information starts flowing I'll keep you all in the loop, and we'll see how the joys of seasonal post delays impact on things.

                              Thanks for everything so far, and will keep checking back to see if anyone wants to add their insights or suggestions in the interim

                              Comment

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