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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My niece embarked on a mobile phone contract with Orange

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Hi, My niece embarked on a mobile phone contract with Orange when she was only 13 years old. This of course was done online. After discovering she had accumulated a £350 bill, her parents contacted Orange to dispute it. Orange requested the child's birth certificate as proof of age which was promptly sent. A few months went by and another request for the outstanding balance was received and again Orange was contacted who again requested the birth certificate. This was again sent.
Approximately 4 years later she was contacted by a debt recovery company demanding the money (at this point they were updated with my nieces new address). The same information was given to them. A year passed an my niece was given (by way of her old address) a CCJ. At no point did she receive the option to contend the CCJ.
I have contacted the law firm who are now chasing the debt and informed them of all of the above and their answer is "well unfortunately is now a court issue"
Please can someone advise me of the letters/steps I now need to take
kind regards
Matt
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if your niece is now over 18 years of age please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua and thank you for your response. Yes she is now over 18, they seemed to wait for her to turn 18 before re-commencing contact

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. May I ask when she found out about the CCJ and roughly when the CCJ was given?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She found out about the CCJ approx 2 weeks ago but i believe it was granted by the Court about a month prior. I can t be exact on that as she is not with me at the moment

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the above. Based upon what you say she will wish to consider making an application to set aside the default judgement on the grounds that she did not receive papers because she no longer lived at that address and on the grounds that she has a reasonable chance of defending the claim on the basis that she was under 18 at the time of the credit agreement and a child cannot legally incur credit charges.Default judgements like this are relatively straightforward to set aside but it is important to move quickly to do so. The first step is to get a copy of the judgement if she doesn't already have it so she knows the details of the claim against her (so far as she doesn't already know them) and exactly what it was for. She can contact the Northampton Bulk Court Centre to obtain details of where the judgment was made and obtain a copy of it. They can be contacted by the following link. From what you say you may already have this or at least know enough to know the above details already:https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/courts/northampton-crown-court-county-court-and-family-courtFrom there she will need to consider making an application to set the default judgement aside using form N244. She will need to give a statement explaining the position briefly and ask the court to set aside the default judgement on the basis that she did not receive papers because they were sent to the wrong address address and that she has a reasonable prospect of a defence briefly setting out what that is - as above. She will need to explain any delay in making the application though there is no real delay as things stand. She will have to pay £155 fee with her application but can seek to claim this in her defence of the claim.http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSCourtFinder/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=484She does not need to prove in her application that she is not liable for the debt or submit a full defence, but merely that she did not receive papers and has a reasonable prospect of defending the claim. Assuming the application is successful and courts are usually very willing to allow default judgements to be set aside the claimant will be back to square one, the entry on her credit file will be removed and the claimant will have to have a hearing to establish her liability where she will have the opportunity to fully defend her position in court. The Small Claims Court is not a daunting place as most claims are heard in the judges office and they are used to dealing with the public. In addition her defence is very straightforward and should consist of little more than showing her birth certificate to show that no credit agreement could legally exist at the time.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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