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Is this a Letter Before Action?

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  • Is this a Letter Before Action?

    I did make another post on this subject on 28 Dec 18 but received no response, probably due to the Christmas Holidays, so am trying again..all advice gratefully received.

    I have received this letter on 21 Dec 18. This is the first I have heard from this Solicitor on this matter. Previously a Debt Collection Company attempted to recover this Debt, which I disputed. The Debt Collection Agency ceased any further action when I produced significant evidence to support my position back in Jan 2018.

    Should I respond to this letter or wait to see if they have actually logged proceedings with Northampton County Court?
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  • #2
    I would say that that is a claim rather than a letter before claim

    You could write to them and point out that they haven't complied with the Pre Action Protocol

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you. Should I do this now or wait and see if they really have logged this with the Court, who I assume will then send papers.

      Comment


      • #4
        I should say that the court papers have no seal nor claim number at this stage.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've redacted the letter ( the post it notes were a tad transparent). They do say they enclose 'by way of service' which seems to be incorrect, they're more 'for your information' ... have you checked with the court if a claim has actually been issued yet?.

          You will, if it has been issued, receive the claim directly from the court and you needn't do anything until you do receive the actual claim from the court.
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          • #6
            The Civil Procedure Rules states that all court documents must be sealed (see CPR 2.6) which would include the claim form. It might be a copy of the claim form they have sent to court (as per the letter suggesting this) so that the court can formally seal the claim form and send it out to you.

            At the moment however, that would not be valid service of the claim form and if they tried to obtain a default judgment, then it would be an automatic set aside if you applied to set the default judgment aside.

            There's really only two possible outcomes here, either they've sent you a drafted claim form and particulars of claim but not actually sent the claim form to the court, intended as a threat in the hope you will just pay up (if this is the case then it is misleading and court have possible sanctions). Or it could be true that the claim form has been sent to court for issuing in which case as Amethyst says, wait to receive the formal documents.

            Also, as Ostell pointed out, if this is the only correspondence you've received from them then they could be non-compliant with the Pre-Action Protocols for debt claims and so you could apply for a stay of proceedings due to their total failure to comply, or you could write to them and point out all these issues (whilst asking for the claim number) and see what response they give you.

            Your not obliged however, to point out their mistakes so it's up to you.
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            Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you Rob and Amethyst. I may just wait a few days to see if there is any correspondence form the Court and also check with the Court to see if they have received this claim form.

              If they have not, is it prudent for me to challenge this solicitor should they try to issue proceedings in the future (for evidence of non-compliance with pre-action protocols), or should I merely ignore and take no action at this time, unless I receive formal papers from the court?

              Comment


              • #8
                Rob, Amethyst,

                I have drafted the attached letter by way of response. I am in two minds whether to send this or just wait to see if the Court will issue papers or not. I have sent the Court an email to ask, but response time is 5 days.

                Grateful for any advice on this letter? If proceedings are issued would this be useful to have on record? Or should I just wait out?
                Attached Files

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