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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have recently received a County Court Claim for a debt that

Resolved Question:

I have recently received a County Court Claim for a debt that I dispute, which is subject to an FOS investigation as yet not concluded, and i have received an offer of redress from the claimant which is greater than the claimed debt. To my mind this proves my point about the disputed debt but will this argument stand up at a county court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can help with this.

tdlawyer :

Was the offer made "without prejudice" do you know?

Customer:

I have copy of the letter from First Direct and I can't see that anywhere

tdlawyer :

Okay. Do you think the offer was made as a genuine attempt to settle the action?

tdlawyer :

It doesn't sound like it if it was for more than the claim made?

Customer:

the crux of the complaint is that PPI premiums were deducted from my current account without my consent, those premiums over a total of 14 years on occasions placed my account beyond agree lending limits and thus, charges were incurred. I don't believe that the offer of redress reflects the full extent of the charges levied whic is what the Ombudsman is reviewing. In the intervening period I have been sent this CC claim, as it states in the letter a gesture of goodwill. i.e flippant and not conclusive. Equally, the offer is now 2 years old and further statutory interest is due, so both the debt and te redress are wrong. hope that makes sense

tdlawyer :

Okay. I expect technically, you would not be entitled to use the letter as it's without prejudice, being a genuine attempt to settle the dispute. However, if you refer to it in correspondence, see whether they take issue, and if not, you may be able to argue privilege is waived, entitling you to use the letter for a different purpose.

Customer:

To reiterate the letter does not state Without Prejudice.

tdlawyer :

They dont have to - so long as it's a geneuine attempt to resolve matters, it will have that status anyway.

Customer:

I am happy to reach a negotiated settlement, I have offered this all along, I am simply awaiting the FOS Ombudsman verdict, which it clearly states on the bottom of the offer letter as an option if i am dissatisfied with the offer. So how can it be genuine offer, BTW this was the forth offer of redress. The first of which didn't even amount to 6 years worth of premiums let alone statutory interest or reduction in charges. So whilst I see that this final letter is a more serious attempt at resolution it still doesn't reflect the full facts and offers me a independent adjudication if I,m not satisfied. I simply exercised that right.

tdlawyer :

Even if you used it, it remains to be seen what they do about it. Mostly, all they can do is persuade a court it's not to be considered. Here, if you used it for the ombudsman, I don't see how they can force him not to consider it, since he is not bound by rules of evidence like in a court.

tdlawyer :

Technically, though, you're not supposed to use it for other purposes, but equally, I do wonder what they can realistically do.

Customer:

so in summary, your advice would be to contest on the basis that whilst the letter can be considered without prejudice, I argue that the privilege should be waived as the matter is still under consideration of the Ombudsman and once that review is concluded I will be able to make an objective decision as to the merit of the offer of redress?

tdlawyer :

Kind of, the point really is that you send it to the ombudsman and just ask him to consider it. They will say it's an offer without admission of blame etc .... but then you ask the ombudsman to draw his own conclusion.

Customer:

In order to not fall foul of the County Court process, do I ask for the case to be set aside pending the FOS findings? If the CC chooses to ignore my argument I am faced with settling the disputed debt, getting a CCJ all the whilst still not in receipt of the redress.

tdlawyer :

You can do - you can say that there is a risk of irreconcilable decisions, which is in nobody's interest. You could ask the CC to stay the claim until the ombudsman's decision is out - if the CC claim relies on the same issues being determined.

Customer:

Any other option or this my best chance.

tdlawyer :

To be fair, I think this is your best course.

Customer:

I will include the previous low ball offers of redress as evidence of inconsistency and rigor. As hopefully this will help to indicate that the claimant hasn't been serious to date so why should they be considered so now.

Customer:

Thank you.

tdlawyer :

You're more than welcome. Is there anything else I can help with?

Customer:

£2345 I'm owed by FirstDirect. Know any good bailiffs?

Customer:

Thanks for your help. Fee on the way

tdlawyer :

Thank you! And good bailiffs, I only ever suggest the Court bailiffs and/or High Court Enforcement officers!

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