If you receive a Claim Form from the court you NEED to take action. Do NOT ignore court papers – even if you do not believe you owe the money or have never heard of the claimant.
You must take certain steps within 14 days of receiving the form or the court may issue a ‘judgment by default’ which will appear on the register of judgments and on your credit file for six years. This will enable the claimant to bring enforcement action against you, such as sending a bailiff or obtaining a charge over your home.
The First Steps to take are
- Acknowledge the Claim
- Write to Claimant to obtain a copy of the Credit Agreement
- Write to Claimant’s Solicitors to obtain more information about the claim
If you received a court claim we would recommend you start a new thread on the forum with the following information;
Received a claim? Yes/No:
Have you Acknowledged the Claim?:
Total Amount Claimed : ( approximately please do NOT use EXACT figure given on the claim form, round up to next £100 or £1000)
Original Debt (eg. Credit card/Loan/Overdraft) :
Particulars of Claim: ( Please type out in full excluding names/account numbers/exact amounts ):
Is the debt Statute Barred (have you had any contact with the creditor or claimant over the last 6 years?):
List any letters you have sent (eg: CCA/ CPR ):
Any Other Information or Background Details:
Other users of the forum, many experienced in dealing with these kind of claims will then offer support and guidance through the rest of the process. Have a rant, ask questions, discuss tactics … even just use the thread as a diary to keep track of the case …. whatever you like, we’re here for you.
Visit the Forum
CONSUMER CREDIT COURT CLAIMS
Many claims will be for Consumer Credit Debt. These are generally issued through the ‘County Court Business Centre’ and are rather lacking in detail and information.
They are often claims for debts purchased from the original creditor by debt collection agencies. Quite often the debts are a number of years old and may well have been forgotten by the Defendant. However this does not mean they won’t be able to obtain a Judgment and you should prepare to negotiate settlement if the Claimant does provide evidence of the debt.
Therefore we recommend you send some letters requesting more information to the Claimant.
2: Send a CCA REQUEST to the CLAIMANT (see here)
This applies to all credit cards / loans / hire purchase / store cards type debt. It doesn’t apply to Mobile Phones / Utilities or Overdrafts. For most Debt claims the Claimant must supply a copy of the agreement or they are unable to enforce the agreement through the court. This is a formal legal letter and the response may form a major part of your defence.
3: Send a CPR REQUEST to the CLAIMANT’S SOLICITORS (see here)
This applies to everything unless they happen to have supplied you with a bunch of paperwork to back up their claim. You can include a copy of your CCA request with this letter for information.If you are unsure of any of those steps then please make a new thread on the forum (you must be registered to do this)
NB: If you have sent off these letters do not just wait for replies, some times the claimant doesn’t respond – you must put in a Defence (or Admission) with 28 days of receiving the claim – please ask on the forum and people there will help guide you through the next steps.
It is likely that any debts incurred after 2007 will end up with all the documentation being provided and being enforceable. Therefore you should use the time while awaiting responses going through your Income & Expenditure and considering any possiblity of making a full and final settlement. It can take a number of months to reach the stage of a hearing date and exchange of witness statements and normally you would be able to settle or come to an arrangement to pay before the court hearing, once documents have been provided, although this isn’t guaranteed.
Visit the Forum – County Court Claims
Consumer Credit Claims
Acknowledge a Claim
Check Your Dates
CCA Request Letter
CPR 31.14 Request Letter
Subject Access Request Letter
Set Aside Application
We now feature a number of specialist consumer credit debt solicitors on our sister site, JustBeagle.com – If your case is over £10,000 or particularly complex it may be worth a chat with a solicitor, often they will be able to help on a fixed fee or CFA (no win, no fee) basis.