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Southern water

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  • Southern water

    Hi all
    I received a court claim from southern water for £6038 plus court costs, It was from 2008 to June 2018 long story. Anyway I have followed advice on here completed all forms including the defence and now have part of it £2408.17 written off as statute barred. I have just received the directions questionnaire which Iím about to complete. On receiving the summons I contacted southern water to see if this could be sorted direct with them as Shulmans LLP was acting on behalf of them The answer was no, although it did take them 3 weeks to reply and they gave me £25 credit due to the delay. I then received a letter direct from southern water litigation team stating after getting a copy of my defence they acknowledge part of the sum claimed is statute barred and if I would like to discuss the debt further to contact the lady direct...... even tho I was told I could only deal with shulmans. I did contact her... in writing of course to see if we could agree a way forward and come to some agreement to clear the balance monthly payments she told me no the only way to do this was to acknowledge the remaining debt and get a CCJ is this right??? Iím confused the directions questionnaire that I received is also from her not shulmans.
    i also asked for a current bill from June 18 to present so I could set up direct debit. Today I received a bill but am even more confused.. She said in writing the debt was now £3629.84 as she had taken off the £2408.17the court summons stated £6206.39 before fees. Today I received a bill stating I have £4307.92 subject to court action.... Plus they have added the past 7 months on to this even tho I asked to set up a direct debit..... not sure where to go from here as am totally confused.sorry for long message..
    Tags: None

  • #2
    First get that Directions Questionnaire back - agree to Mediation and hopefully by the time it comes to an appointment you'll have more details and info to be in a position to actually properly negotiate.

    Some help with the DQ here although it's pretty self explanatory really - Directions Questionnaire

    So somehow you didn't pay the water bills for 10 years. You now have a claim for 6 years worth of them as there are 4 years that are statute barred.

    Shulman's may not be acting for the water company any more - if not they should inform the court and you should receive a change of solicitor notice - until then keep formal contact going to the solicitors ( cc it to the litigation team but keep sending things ( including a copy of the DQ ) to Shulmans until formally notified otherwise )

    Now it does sound like you agreed with the £3629.84 figure - which was the court claim amount less the statute barred element of their claim. What was your defence originally ? Just that some of it was statute barred ? or was there a bigger dispute ( to go 10 years without paying the water bill kind of says big dispute lol ) - and I can't imagine that dispute has vanished because 4 years of the bills have become statute barred ? ( I realise you say its a long story - if you're convinced you are liable to pay it then it's just a matter of negotiating how to do it )

    You can try to negotiate to pay that by installments directly with them under what's called a 'Tomlin Order' ( see https://legalbeagles.info/forums/for...-credit-claims for a bit of info on those ) - so basically the claim remains in the system but is put on hold and no judgment requested unless you default on the agreed payments. It gives them some security that you will make the payments ( if you don't they can ask for judgment and go for enforcement action ) - and you can pay off the debt at a reasonable rate without having the CCJ against your record. They don't HAVE to accept to do it that way but if you draft a consent order and pay the £100 lodging fee there isn't really a reason they shouldn't accept it.

    The bill you received today is that the £3629 plus the court fees etc then plus this years ( 17-18 ) bill ? Then you can start fresh from April for the 18-19 bill ? The 17-18 bill isn't part of the court proceedings so sounds like it's just a statement of your account saying exactly what is outstanding overall, so you want to deal with the court claim amount through mediation/negotiation etc, and deal with the current years bill through the normal ways ( you'd have to make up the 7 months before you can set up the DD for the remaining months I think with the water ).

    Originally posted by added a bit
    i also asked for a current bill from June 18 to present so I could set up direct debit.
    ahhh yes that'll be why that's as it is, it's the total outstanding, whereas you just want the current years billing - give the normal customer contact centre a call and ask for a copy of this years bill only so you can sort out payment. All previous bills are being sorted separately.
    “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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    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for speedy response. We moved properties in 2008 and asked for direct debit to be set up, to cut a long story short this didnít happen, I was then diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and it was one of those things that never got sorted. I received no bills from them until the summons came through. They said they sent someone around to try and support us in sorting it out and sent us a payment card.... this never happened. So that was part of the defence and 1 visit in 10 years I stated there was irresponsibility on both sides.
      with regards to shulmans the name and address on the directions questionnaire states a lady from southern water and southern water address. Who do I send a copy of our completed questionnaire to outhern water or shulmans??
      As for the bill i got todayitís got a balance for £6038.31 water charges
      28th June 18 - 03 Jan 2019 £366.63
      credit £25.00
      Transfer £6038.31
      Amount to pay £4649.55 which includes the 2018 -19. Iíll of £366.63
      At bottom it states £4307.92 subject to court action which has the 366.63 amount removed. Have no idea where the £4307 amount comes from and they are unhelpful. Now have different amounts...
      However the summons said £6206.39 plus £510 court costs.
      Southern water letter that was sent from litigation states reduced debt by £2408.47 ~
      and states Balance left £3629.84. Together that makes £6038.31 which in itself is different by £168.08 to the figure on the summons.
      So basically I have a figure of 6206.39 plus 550 on court summons
      Letter from Southern water litigation stating I owe £3629.84 up until the end of may 18
      And a bill from Southern Water stating £4307.92 is subject to court action
      hope im making sense

      Comment


      • #4
        Re the DQ - send a copy to Shulmans as the solicitors on record, but also do a copy to the southern water lady for her reference.

        Sounds like Southern Water have a few issues with their Maths and Common Sense. Is there statutory interest included on the claim ? That would have had to be recalculated if they removed the first 4 years worth which might account for the discrepancy ( but they really need to breakdown those figures - maybe something you can ask them to do before mediation takes place ) You need to know where you stand before you can start negotiations on settlement - not just working on figures plucked out of the air. Presumably you aren't metered and are on water rates so can find out exactly what each years bill should have been and can work it out yourself?

        Was there nothing before the summons at all ? They should have been in contact to sort out a payment plan, sent annual bills etc.

        Have you spoken with OfWat at all about making a complaint ? It's crazy for them to be able to just leave it for 10 years then whacking in a court claim without any attempt to discuss with you.
        “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

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

        Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

        Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi we had one visit I believe but that was back in 2010 no one came since and we didnít get any bills that was why I think they were quick to knock of over £2000. When I emailed the lady from southern water in response to her letter she informed me the only way forward was to acknowledge the debt, she even attached the admissions court form for me to complete, get a CCJ and then they will look at monthly payments, surely if Iím eager to sort it, I contacted them the day I receive the court letter, mediation can help... and as they canít agree a figure what amount am I admitting too. Will write today and ask for a breakdown I will let you know the response
          Thank you sooo much Iím trying to avoid CCJ

          Comment


          • #6
            One thing to be aware of if they do go to Court and get a CCJ. SW do enforcement pretty quickly and for a sum this size will transfer up to the High Court for enforcement. The fees will then start to add up quite astronomically. If it does get this far then I would suggest you make an arrangement to get a payment plan in place which may then prevent them going ahead with enforcement providing you stick to any payment arrangement.

            Make any payments are arranged via the Court and not direct with SW.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi just an u-date on southern water, it has now all been sorted, we did a Tomlin order they wrote off half the debt and I am now paying rest in instalmentsthanks fo r your help.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all I thought the southern water stuff was all sorted... however the judge vacated the hearing... due a non party being identified in the schedule to the Tomlin order as recipient of payments. He states if the order is to be approved, UK search Limited must explicitly be identified as receiving payments for the claimants.
                A second letter from court stated the proceedings are stayed pending an amended Tomlin.
                Southern water told me to contact UK search to sort out the £40 per month I was to pay... after at least 10 calls with the promise of someone calling me back I still have not received any calls.
                i contacted Courts and was told that the judge wanted further info on UK search as he wasnít happy about who they were
                On the 5th ApriI contacted SW as in the draft original Tomlin I was to pay £40 a month on 10th of each month Southern Water said not to worry a new order would be done but that I could pay the 1st 40 to them direct, which I did.
                Due to being concerned about UK search I asked if future payments could be made to SW, was told no they donít have facility to do this, even tho they took my first £40.. I wrote to court to ask if they could change it to pay SW direct...
                Today I received an email from SW saying I had to pay UK search, even tho they donít have my details or any updated info if not I will have to pay the full outstanding balance or get a CCJ... to this date a new Tomlin has not be drawn up... is there anything I can do as they have already accepted the £40 direct to them for my first instalment ..... confused
                Last edited by Lambretta; 12th June 2019, 12:40:PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you a copy of the Tomlin order and schedule ? Did the judge refuse the order due to the U.K. search inclusion issue ? Have you drafted a new order and asked SW to sign it ?
                  “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

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

                  Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                  If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                  Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a copy of the original order but the judge didnít agree as the court informed me he was questioning why UK Search was mentioned as the order was southern water name and ourselves... he wanted to know more about UK search...the judge has stayed it as we are all waiting for Southern water to do a new one... the schedule was to pay £40 on 10th of each month starting in May, but it still wasnít sorted so the woman in Southern waters litigation team told me just to pay her over the phone which I did.... this is why Iím confused she says they canít take payment yet she did on 10th may

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a copy of the original order but the judge didnít agree as the court informed me he was questioning why UK Search was mentioned as the order was southern water name and ourselves... he wanted to know more about UK search...the judge has stayed it as we are all waiting for Southern water to do a new one... the schedule was to pay £40 on 10th of each month starting in May, but it still wasnít sorted so the woman in Southern waters litigation team told me just to pay her over the phone which I did.... this is why Iím confused she says they canít take payment yet she did on 10th may

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Amethyst View Post
                        Have you a copy of the Tomlin order and schedule ? Did the judge refuse the order due to the U.K. search inclusion issue ? Have you drafted a new order and asked SW to sign it ?
                        have a copy of the original order but the judge didnít agree as the court informed me he was questioning why UK Search was mentioned as the order was southern water name and ourselves... he wanted to know more about UK search...the judge has stayed it as we are all waiting for Southern water to do a new one... the schedule was to pay £40 on 10th of each month starting in May, but it still wasnít sorted so the woman in Southern waters litigation team told me just to pay her over the phone which I did.... this is why Iím confused she says they canít take payment yet she did on 10th may

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Up date I have also now sent further 3 emails with no response asking about an update I was due to pay on 10th June but still no Tomlin... I phoned and am now being told my emails were overlooked but I need to pay UK search.... they donít have any details Iím so confused help

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do we know who U.K. search are ?
                            These ? http://www.uksearchlimited.com/

                            They don't own the debt - just acting as collection agents - so they aren't a party to the claim and should not be part of the Tomlin order. Southern May have made some arrangement with U.K. Search but that's up to them and nothing to do with you or the claim.

                            Ok let's do a letter to them ( hard copy by post )... give me a bit and I'll do a draft for a starting point

                            actually first ..... did the judge send out an order detailing the stay - and do you have a copy ( can you type the wording out )(and the consent order that was refused too pls )
                            “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

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

                            Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                            If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                            Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                            Comment

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