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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have had a judgement made against me in the small claims

Customer Question

I have had a judgement made against me in the small claims court. There was confusion and niavity on my part because when I was served the papers I thought it was a mistake so contacted the claimant directly who suggested that they would stop any action and it could be sorted out. We communicated for 2 months without reaching agreement and when they stated that they would ask for judgement I thought that meant that at that time I would get new papers and respond accordingly. I then received notification of judgement against me because I had not responded to the original papers. I have applied for judgement to be set aside setting out my reasons and that I wish to enter a defence to the claim. My problem is that the claimant is now adding more fees to chase the debt and has given 7days to pay the full amount or they will apply for a charging order against my property. I have made it clear to them the action I am taking however they are insistent on pressing ahead. I am worried that this is all making things horrendously bad if I was to lose which doesn't seem very fair. Once I have had a fair hearing (or been told that I won't get one) I will pay as ordered by the court with no issues but by the time I reach that point the debt will have increased beyond my means and there could be terrible implications to my credit rating and home status.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I need to know if they are allowed to continue pursuing me for the money as I thought having made an application to set the judgement aside would prevent things getting even worse while we waited
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

If this is the Small Claims Court, they can add what costs they like on but they will not recover them! That is the essence of the Small Claims Court to discourage people from using solicitors and incurring costs.

In addition, if they do make an application to court for a charging order, they will be wasting their time as they will not get that either in view of the fact that there is an application pending to set the judgement aside.

You are absolutely correct in your assumption that the application to set the judgement aside puts things on hold until the application is heard.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you that is very helpful. The amount claimed was £1250. I assume this amount is covered by small claims court. If not is anything different?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
That is indeed Small Claims Court..

The Small Claims Court limit used to be £5000 but went up to £10,000 some time ago.

Costs are only awarded in the Small Claims Court if one of the parties has been completely unreasonable.

It is extremely rare for costs to be awarded and it has to be unreasonable conduct in the extreme.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry, just one more thing. By continuing to chase the money, including contacting my mortgage lender who I have had a letter from today about it, despite having been told that I have applied for the judgment to be put aside are they breaching anything legally?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
If this is in respect of unpaid ground rent or service charge, they are doing nothing wrong by contacting your lender and very often, the lender will pay the charges and added on to your mortgage.

Although court costs cannot be increased because of any delay and they cannot add solicitor's costs on usually, if this is rent or service charge, the management company can add late penalties and solicitors costs on if any lease or deeds provide that they can.

It is a provision in the lease, not in the court proceedings that allows that.

The provisions in the lease however are enforceable in court