This was ruled in Watford County Court last Friday as the judge ruled that they did not owe this money and therefore I was pursuing money I was not owed and as such under 27.14.2g “behaved unreasonably” and awarded costs against me of £1,996. The £800 fees have built up over 2.5 years trying to enforce debt recovery.
The judge could not find any reference to bailiffs fees and ruled they were not owed by the defendant!!!
I have put the whole case notes below.
As this has been a somewhat protracted case spanning more than two years now I have set the events out in a chronological order in an attempt to clarify matters. All these events unless otherwise stated refer to the original case 1QZ37301 heard in Lambeth County Court on 18/5/2012 before judge Pearce.
Please note OfQ is to be read as Order for Questioning.
I applied for a credit card that offered £100.00 cash back as an incentive to take the card. Much to my surprise the card was refused and I was informed it was due to my credit report from Equifax.
I ordered a copy of my credit report and saw I had two defaults showing that were not correct and I had written proof to show this was not the case.
On contacting Equifax by phone to correct this, I was informed they would only consider correcting my report if I took an annual membership with Equifax at an approximate cost of £140.00
At this point I informed them that their trading practices are tantamount to blackmail and I would sue for the losses I incurred if they would not reconsider correcting my report without a fee.
24/11/11 I filed a claim against Equifax Credit File Advice Centre as the only name and address declared on their website. No response was received by the courts, nor to the demand for payment due to default.
6/1/12 I applied for a warrant of Execution. (Document 1)
31/1/12 The bailiffs visited the head office in London (Document 2)
10/2/12 The defendant applied to have the judgement set aside.
18/5/12 Hearing at Lambeth court before judge Pearce
The defendant despite lodging the appeal failed to attend.
The defence alleged I was suing the wrong entity.
This Company is on of the same as the company that sent out the false credit report, the same company I spoke to on the phone and the same company I have been dealing with ever since. They use the trading name of Equifax Credit File Advice Centre and the address in Bradford and is indeed the only name and address disclosed on their website.
Judge Pearce agreed and stated the following: (Document CCJ)
Point 1. “The Defendant’s application dated 23 January 2012 is dismissed as entirely without merit”
Point 3. “The judgement is varied for the purposes of registration enforcement as appropriate to refer to Equifax Ltd Credit File Advice Centre”
(I am not sure why the defendant is continuing in this vein as this was ruled on then).
21/5/12 I sent an email and a letter requesting funds to be paid within the next 14 days. (Document FH)
June 12 I spoke with Ms Fiona Harte. I asked when I might expect to see payment but she replied, I quote “we won’t be paying”. I informed Ms Harte that would leave me no choice but to reappoint the bailiffs.
24/7/12 I attempted to get my original Order of Execution reinstated but without any results. (Document RRW)
1/8/12 I applied for an Order for Questioning for Mr Khimasia CFO.
19/9/12 Form returned as it had a section reserving the right to claim interest.
26/9/12 Returned form with lines manually crossed out and signed. Cover letter (Document 11)
8/10/12 Form returned as the court ordered I could not add costs. (Document 12).
9/10/12 I returned form without costs. Cover letter (Document 13)
12/2/13 Went to the Equifax office atXXXXXto serve warrant. Waited four hours and was told Mr Khimasia would not be in that day.
13/2/13 Visited office again. After two hours and a lot of persuasion I was able to serve the warrant on Mr Khimasia.
(Document 20) Affidavit (Document AFF) witnessed at Lambeth CC.
In this period I did have several phone conversations with Mr Hyland where I reiterated that there were additional costs to those showing on the OfQ, but were not allowed to be added to the OfQ.
20/3/13 OfQ. Mr Khimasia did not attend but I believe a member of Equifax staff did attend.
4/4/13 Received a letter dated 3/4/12 containing a letter dated 27/2/12 and a cheque for £272.00 which the defence has already pointed out, I did not receive prior to this date. (In defence document pack)
The defendant seems to be in denial that they have a CCJ against themselves and this is some sort of goodwill payment on their part. I quote form the defendant’s letter of 27/2/13. “Please now find enclosed a cheque for £272.00 in full and final settlement of your claim. This is in no way an admission of liability and is merely an attempt to resolve the issue and to prevent either party incurring unnecessary costs”
This was again reiterated in the request for the case to be struck out 29/10/13.
Upon receipt of the cheque on the 4/4/13 I immediately rang Equifax to inform them of the shortfall, specifically it did not include the bailiffs costs I had previously informed them of.
Despite my previous letter of 21/5/12 and many phone calls to explain that there were extra costs for bailiffs fees and indeed the bailiff’s had attended their office previously the defendant refused to believe there were any extra costs and only chose to believe the figure on the OfQ. I am somewhat baffled that they gave such great credence to the figure on the OfQ but seemed to pay little heed to the order to attend.
I left more than ten messages over the following two weeks but with no response.
22/4/13 I requested a second Warrant of Execution as shown in the enclosed email exchange with Mr Spalding (Area bailiff manager) (Document SP1)
Cheque for £100.00 cashed 25/6/13
3/6/13 Equifax requested a copy of the judgement from Central County Court claiming they had not received the original more than one year after the judgement.
5/6/13 Was informed Warrant of Execution was not effective (Document SP2 & SP3)
Made many phone calls and sent emails to use any leverage I had to urge Equifax to pay the CCJ and stated my next and only course of action available to me. No replies to emails received.
(Documents Email1, Email2, Email3)
14/6/13 Applied for a second OfQ for Mr Khimasia and paid additional fee for bailiffs to serve the OfQ. Cheque for £150.00 cashed 25/6/13
26/9/13 Filed new claim 3QZ31047 in an attempt to have costs incurred added to the judgement to enable me to appoint sheriff’s.
25/10/13 Received cheque for 40p from Equifax (In defence’s document pack)
25/10/13 Received defence from Equifax for 3QZ31047
31/10/13 Received copy of request to have case 3QZ31047 struck out. Form N244
6/1/14 Signed affidavit and returned as per instructions, see (Document AFI)
16/1/14 Mr Khimasia due in court for questioning.
10/2/14 Lambeth County Court. Case 3QZ31047 was struck out as filing a new claim is not a valid avenue for collecting an outstanding CCJ and is an ‘abuse of processes’. Defence filed for costs of £2092.00, judge awarded £1,000.00 to the defendant. Note: If the defence had sited the piece of legislation which they knew of from the beginning this would not have needed to go to hearing and certainly not needed counsel. Further please note I was unaware I was not in the small claims track. (Document SCT)
28/2/14 Received a copy of N244 filed by Equifax on 8/11/13. Request for claim to be struck out and costs totalling £1309.00. Hearing set for 14/3/2014 at Watford County Court.
3/3/2014 I filed an N244 requesting an adjournment as I saw this request for the first time four days earlier and had not prepared for the hearing. Additionally I applied for the case to be moved back to Lambeth where the two cases in question were previously heard.
5/3/2014 I sent a cheque for £1,000.00 being full payment of 3QZ31047 in the allocated 28 days. I also returned cheques to Equifax for £242.00 expired 13/8/2013 and 40p dated 22/10/2012. Proof of posting (Document PP1)
6/3/2014 Received update of previous N244 and updated costs now totalling £3,835.25.
13/3/2014 Sent request for Ms Bridgman to agree to vacate hearing.
I do note I have been accused of “abuse of process” in the current N244 application. I have done nothing more than try to apply the law and its procedures. I did make a badly informed decision to try and put all the costs and judgement amount in to a new claim. This mistake has cost me £1,000.00 which has been paid in full on time. Judge Worthington also clearly stated in his summing up that this in no way negates the original case 1QZ37301.
Conversely it strikes me Equifax have done all in their power to thwart the law at every turn. This includes not appearing in court after they made an appeal, not attending when ordered to do so, using technicalities to distance themselves from the claim and to ward off the court bailiffs but worst of all have plain refused to pay the CCJ made against them.
Despite winning my case twice now it has cost me a total of £590.00 in court fees alone. I spent a further £1070.00 on my ill founded case attempting to enforce this judgement.