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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was charged with a criminal matter. I applied for legal

Customer Question

I was charged with a criminal matter. I applied for legal aid. I had to pay a contribution towards my legal costs, because legal aid wouldn't cover the whole amount. I was then partially convicted.
Rossendales have now contacted me to say I need to pay a capital contribution order. I don't entirely know what this is for. Will Rossendales be able to tell me what it is for? i.e., is it a fine, is it for further defence costs?
Also I thought capital contribution orders are based on you having assets over £30000?
I own a property but I have a mortgage, and two other charges on the property. These borrowed sums amount to the value of the property. I know this because I considered trying to sell my property, but realised I couldn't do this because the sale price didn't cover the amounts I've borrowed against it.
Can I point this out to Rossendales to get them to rescind the capital contribution order?
The forms I filled in to apply for legal aid required me to provide proof of all of my financial information, which showed I have little to no equity. Could I ask Rossendales to reassess the contribution order or could I fill out another form to provide proof that I don't have equity over £30000?
Can someone advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
A capital contribution order is an assessment of your capital in excess of £30k such that you are liable for the costs of your trial and defence.
Payment needs to be made within 28 days of the order. Reasonable arrangements can be agreed with Rossendales.
If payment is not made interest will be charged at 6% – enforcement action may follow.
The enforcement options include things like a further charging order with 8% interest, visits to your home I"m afraid, third party debt orders, attachment of earnings order etc.
They will not take into account your other charges when assessing your equity which is probably the reason for the confusion.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I just want to clarify to make sure I understand.

I have a mortgage on the property and then two other secured loans against the property.

But Rossendales have only taken my first mortgage into account? Is that what you're saying?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, thats right.
They are assessing equity not the sum of the charges.
Jo C. and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I see. Not the news I wanted hear, but at least I understand why.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It doesn't mean that is the sum you have to pay.

It just means they have taken the view that you are worth pursuing for the costs sum because of this equity.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do you know of any way I could dispute having to pay the capital contribution order?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Its not that that you pay. Its the original costs order. That should have been announced in court.