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Struggling with N244 Statement

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  • Struggling with N244 Statement


    I am trying to challenge a CCJ for overpayment of salary. The error occured when I left my job in early 2017.
    Having provided written notice and received my final wages, a few months later I received an invoice for the entire sum (from the day after my resignation was accepted).
    When I questioned this with Payroll they claimed my resignation had not been sent to HR by one of my managers (I left the role due to malpractice and bullying, but regret that I didn't raise it beyond my supervisor).

    I contacted Payroll several times in 2017, who said they would investigate. But I just continued to receive automated invoices, and a letter admitting an error had been made, but that I was legally obliged to pay back all of my final wages. I sought advice from CAB and was advised to ignore it pending further action from them.

    After 2 years without contact (and no change of address), I got a poorly written letter from a credit agency, but as it was incomplete (reply forms were missing) and from a third party, I ignored it. At that time (Christmas 2019) I was struggling to cope with some extremely distressing and challenging circumstances- and these are the main reasons I am only able to deal with things now.

    I received the court papers in February 2020, and completed the acknowledgement online, stating I wished to defend all of the claim. But a few days later I received the CCJ anyway, stating I hadn't made contact or acknowledged the case (perhaps I was too late?). I again sought help to try to deal with it, from CAB and various support agencies, as I have a diagnosed learning difficulty and was considered a vulnerable person needing help with administrative tasks. However, then Covid-19 restrictions prevented home visits and the services were unable to help me further.

    In January this year, I received an Enforcement Notice, and since then two bailiff visits to my home. I booked more appointments with CAB to seek help in completing the N244, and had to wait a few weeks to speak to someone, but it was very disappointing, and I'm still struggling to complete the form as I don't know how to structure the statement properly and I'm afraid I won't articulate things the best way.
    I guess the crucial points to express are why I feel I have a defence (ie I believe I was entitled to paid Notice), and why there has been such a delay in challenging this?

    Can anyone give me an example statement of a similar situation or help me to structure what I've written?

    Thank you in advance
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  • #2

    Every application to set aside a default judgment rests in their facts of the case so no one application is going to be the same. However, the formatting of the witness statement and defence are the same, you just need to apply the facts in a written form and explain why you believe the default judgment should be set aside and/or why you have a reasonable prospect of successfully defending the claim.

    As a starting point, I would suggest you read my guide on setting aside a default judgment, that should familiarise yourself with the criteria that needs to be met and possible starting points on how to approach this. Because you are already several months post-judgment, you will likely need to explain the reason for the delay as the courts expect people to make prompt applications.


    Then, why don't you start drafting something for your witness statement on the background leading up to the claim and eventually the default judgment, post it up here and we can comment on it and put it in a proper format.

    As for your defence, a few questions for you to think about.

    1. Do you accept that all of the wages paid to you is owed to your employer? If not, how much do you think you are liable for?
    2. Since being paid, what did you spend your wages on?
    3. Do you have evidence of contacting payroll in 2017?
    4. Any other reasons why you think you don't owe the money or part of it?
    If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
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    • #3
      Hello @Rob,

      Thank you for your reply. I have read your guide and several others a few times before and it is helpful.

      I have already written the witness statement in my own words, but I'm not sure if it is the correct tone and format. I can't post it publicly unfortunately.

      To answer your questions:

      1. I don't believe the wages are owed to my employer. Their original claim was that I had failed to provide notice and a letter of resignation, which isn't true. I believe that all of the wages paid to me were correct to cover the notice period at the time as per my contract (4 weeks).

      The Claimant admitted there had been a mistake in processing my resignation (as I provided the emailed acknowledgment of resignation from my supervisor), but instead of investigating it as agreed, Payroll did not ammend the invoice or their justification, and continued to pursue the entire amount on grounds of "unjust enrichment", albeit admitting they had made a mistake, but still failing to take into account my entitlement to be paid notice/accrued holiday pay. Had they contacted me with a correct calculation of my pay I would have been able to pay it immediately, but I didn't hear anything else after August 2017 until Dec 2019.

      2. All of my wages at the time went towards childcare (for preschooler) and our mortgage.

      3. My contact with Payroll was by phone unfortunately and I doubt I still have the records of the calls.

      4. I'm not sure? I'm not sure what laws are applicable- employment laws? Because of all that has happened since my partner died, my financial situation is particularly desperate and I have a young family to care for, so I would be unable to contribute much, if anything until this improves...but I understand that probably isn't a defence.

      Thank you


      • #4
        ...I'd gratefully PM my statement to someone who can help?

        Would I need to apply to stay the execution as well?

        After reading other threads, I don't think the bailiffs followed procedure either.
        For instance, one showed me personal messages on their phone from other vulnerable 'clients' who were suicidal, claiming he could 'help people with mental health problems' and bargaining to keep the visit a secret and say I wasn't home. He had turned his camera off as he said I 'wasn't threatening and had a lovely smile', but it's recorded on my doorbell cam. I told him I found the messages inappropriate.

        The other asked me to send my evidence to his personal phone, and then to a private email address...
        is that normal practice?

        Should I mention any of this in my statement, or report it elsewhere?

        Regarding the CCJ- is it worth trying to contact my previous employer again, and/or make them aware of the problems I had while employed there which caused me to resign and appears to have led to this mistake?

        ...or have I missed something and do you think I am not entitled to challenge the debt?

        Sorry...I'm pretty anxious and confused about it all.


        • #5
          Hi...thought i'd post an update in the hope someone can reply!

          I sent the N244 several months ago, initially to Northampton, who returned it to me to be sent to my local court. Once received by the local court it was returned again with the request that I sent three copies so that each party has one. I did this the same day, and my cheque for the fee was cashed a few days later.

          The N244 asked for a Stay of Writ and response within 28 days or the case to be dropped.

          The 'deadline' has long since passed, and as I haven't received any responses from the court or claimant, I supposed that was the end of it.

          Today I have received a letter from Court Enforcement Services, saying I have 'failed to resolve the matter' of the High Court Writ of Control issued against me by the same claimant.

          They were provided with proof of bereavement on visiting my property before I completed the N244, and I had heard nothing from them since then.

          Is this a miscommunication between the claimant/court and the bailiffs...or am I incorrect to assume the N244 was successful and the Writ no longer applies?

          Can anyone advise how should I deal with this please?

          Thank you


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