My wife accepted money from the council to aid with a move to another property. She accepted the money and moved. We then bought a property and move in without informing the council of our change in circumstances. My wife was a tenant and also an employee of the council and she lost her job in a disaplinery hearing over this matter and the council sought the money back. I had no connection with this matter apart from agreeing to pay off the debt by direct debit.
When we sold our house which we jointly owned our solicitor was instructed to pay off the outstanding balance. I never owed the money, was never a tenant or an employee with council yet have recently found this CCJ associated to my name: case A7XZ7107
If you never had any knowledge or recollection of this debt and you never had any dealings with the council, then you have to apply to court to have it set aside.
Here is that you needed to apply to the court
The fee of £150 is payable to HMCTS.
The application is successful, the judgement will be set aside and we will be deferred future hearing to decide whether there is any merit in the council’s claim.
It could be that they have done this to enforce payment of the debt by direct debit which you say you agreed to. However you are liable debt if you had formally agreed to pay it with some agreement between you and the council and not simply because you were doing your wife a favour because it was more convenient to pay than her.
Can I clarify anything ?
Thank you response. There have been some developments today. I checked with trust online and found the CCJ in my name. I contacted the court and they directed me to the claimants solicitors, Judge & priestly acting on behalf of camden council. As I explained previously I had agreed to pay off my wife's debt and had a direct debit set up to J&P.
When we sold our house in Feb 2014 we had instructed our solicitor to pay the council large sums of money separate capital works bill which they did and I continued to pay off the other debt (my wife's debt) as arranged. It seems someone at the council mistook this payment as my wife's bill and instructed J&P to contact us in writing instructing us to cancel the direct debit because the debt was settled. We acted on that and believed we were now free of all council debt. We still have this letter which is clearly states this. We received this letter at our new address as our mail was redelivered months after the move.
At some point the council realised their error and with no incoming direct debits instructed J&P to retrieve the money still outstanding. J&P sent letters to our old house seeking the money and eventually I guess issued me with a summons to court (apparently in June 2014) which by this point with no onward chain I never received.
I've had no opportunity to respond, pay or defend. The council were aware that we didn't live there anymore as they were issued with a notice of sale from our solicitor.
I now realise we still owe the council money which is fine but it has risen from £4000 to £5885 and through no fault of our own. It's all down to errors and mismanagement from the council. I have acted in good faith keeping to the terms of the debt recovery contract I had with them. They've messed it up internally, told us to stop paying, realised something was wrong but instead of contacting our solicitor forwarding address they've instructed their solicitor to send us letters to a house we haven't lived at months resulting in this CCJ.
Is this CCJ legally binding seeing as I was never formally issued with the summons?
Having spoken to J&P today they admitted that the CCJ shouldn't be in my name and are contacting the court to have it removed (they said it was an error by the court) or put into my wife's name but I'm worried that because I agreed to pay I've become some kind of guarantor and this removal or change wont be easy.
Press the solicitors and keep pressing them. If this doesn’t get removed, make a complaint to the firm’s complaints partner although there actually need the councils instructions to do this because it’s the counsellor told him to go ahead with the action. Nonetheless, they should have checked that the debt was valid.
If you are being dilatory, you have the process to have the judgement set aside and although you owe the money, you have the judgement through no fault of your own. Thing of course is that the amount of money is in dispute because they have added disproportionate amount of charges whereas they are not entitled to add any charges are true because this is their fault.
With regard to the council’s actions make a formal complaint to the council and ask them to remedy this within the next seven days failing which you make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. On the eighth day, if it’s not been remedied and they’ve not instructed the solicitors to remove the judgement and the solicitors haven’t started work, you don’t think they have, make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.