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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14747
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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L am 43 years of age, I have three young adults and, I

Customer Question

Hi,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: my name is***** l am 43 years of age, I have three young adults and, I recently had my gas and elecrity supply from shell energy limited, I set up a direct debit which they take monthly, I never missed a payment but release on one payment they have to increase the amount, so I call them to explain to me why the said to me I overused my tariff in the previse months
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: they send me to credit collector than I explain to them and now they have sent me to court.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Northampton county court
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: my problem is il never missed a payment and now I'm paying for gas and electricity so I don't know what to do.
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

I recommend you make a complaint to Shell Energy - and then ask the Ombudsman to help once you have the energy company's final response. The complaint to Shell can be made here: https://www.shellenergy.co.uk/services/how-we-handle-complaints and once you have the final response, the Ombudsman can be reached here:

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/energy-complaint.html

In the meantime the more pressing issue is they have started court proceedings....

If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help.

You should not ignore the court papers as if you do, the claimant will apply for judgment in default meaning they win and you would not be allowed to defend the claim.

A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

If the claim has no merit then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived.

You should first invite the claimant to voluntarily discontinue their claim within 7 days if it gets to this point - tell them if they don't then you will apply to strike out and seek your costs if you are forced to do so. If you have no response or they reply and refuse then you could apply to strike out.

The application costs £255 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the court fee. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record.

If you lost and if you were unable to pay the full sum owed at that point you can also ask the court to pay by instalments (a simple form is sent in, form N245, and a fee of £50 unless you qualify for a fee exemption so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you would qualify). If the CCJ was not paid in full though bear in mind the credit record would contain the CCJ details for up to 6 years. After that it comes off the credit registers.
I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim