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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6464
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I have received a county court claim form, is it too late

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hi, i have received a county court claim form, is it too late to seek an out of court settlement
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. What is the claim in respect of and were you sent a letter before action offering you the chance to settle before you received the claim form?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the claim is in respect of school fees for my daughter between 2003-2006 for a sum of £10000 + £5000 interest
i wasn't sent any letters prior to the court order which found its way to me even tho it was wrongly addressed
Is it a claim form you have received or judgement in default?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
a claim
Ok do you admit you owe the money but just want to see if they will accept less by way of settlement or do you dispute the claim?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
theresd a couple of point i want clarifying, my last payment according to the creditors was 2/2/10, when does it become statute barred, and what are the implications
i havent been provided with any statements to confirm that i owe that amount
can an out of court settlement be arranged
why do i have to pay interest if there was no formal agreement
Ok thanks, ***** ***** with me while I prepare a full response. You will receive an email when it is ready.
In terms of limitation, the relevant date is 6 years after the last time the debt was acknowledge so it would seem that they have snuck the claim in just 'in time'. You should have been sent a letter before action allowing you to settle the claim, I suspect this was not done due to the limitation issue. They may well be prepared to settle if you call them and make an offer. With regards ***** ***** the law says that 8% may be charged to commercial debts after 30 days. This need not be itemised on an invoice but often is. Is there anything i can clarify for you? If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would kindly take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i have asked the company for a statement of accounts. they have emailed the claimants for these details but have not received a response. are they obliged to provide this prior to going to court.
Yes they must do so as you are required by law to provide you with the evidence in advance of the hearing. If they do not then you can ask the court to make an order to disclose the information.
Hello is there anything further you would like to know Mike?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
where do i stand in the abence of a signed agreement, the reason i ask i that we were allowed to accrue this debt over a period of 3-4 years, we removed our daughter from the school in Dec 2010, no agreement was made for the outstanding amount.
under the limitations period, many of these invoices are well over 6 years
The problem is that there is an acknowledgement of the 'debt' that they are claiming by virtue of the fact that you paid an amount in 2010. It doesn't matter that the invoices pre-date the final payment and fall outside of the limitation period, the court look at the last date at which the debt was acknowledged in any way (including by way of payment). You could try to run an argument that each invoice should be treated differently but I do not think that will hold merit in the courts. Please let me know if you have any further queries.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
does the claimant have the authority to stop court action i were to approach them personally
Yes they can withdraw the claim at any time.
If you have anything further you would like to know please do ask, otherwise I would be very grateful if you would kindly take the time to rate my answer before leaving the site thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
if i asked for a full and final settlement figure from the solicitors will it prejudice the outcome of the claim
Not if you mark any correspondence as 'without prejudice'. They won't then be able to refer to it in court, if it does that far.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
should i first send the statute barred letter shown below:....You have contacted me/us regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself/ourselves.I/we would point out that under the Limitation Act 1980 Section 5:“An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.”I/we would point out that in their Consumer Credit sourcebook, the Financial Conduct Authority states the following rules:"...a firm must not attempt to recover a statute barred debt in England, Wales or Northern Ireland if the lender or owner has not been in contact with the customer during the limitation period." 7.15.4
"A firm must not continue to demand payment from a customer after the customer has stated that he will not be paying the debt because it is statute barred." 7.15.8The last payment or acknowledgement of this debt was made over six years ago and no further acknowledgement or payment has been made since that time. Unless you can provide evidence of payment or written contact from me/us in the relevant period under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, I/we suggest that you are no longer able to take any court action against me/us to recover the alleged amount claimed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
marked 'without prejudice'
I am sorry for the slight delay I was called away on something. Yes you can send that letter. Please note that you must also send off the acknowledgement of service form to the court to give yourself some time. Otherwise you might find that you receive a judgement in default.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i have already completed the online acknowledgement of service
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
does that give me 28 days from the date of issue?
Good that protection your position in the first instance, if you get nowhere with settlement you will need to lodge a defence within 28 day of receipt of the claim form.Please take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise paid for the time I have spent working on your question. I will then be happy to answer your follow on questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
of course i will rate your action.
i was told by the solicitors that i couldn't stop the court action now even if i made an offer.. was that wrong of them
It is wrong in the sense that if they accept an offer to settle they can withdraw a claim. A hearing will not take place if a claim is withdrawn by the other party. If they do not accept an offer then the hearing will go ahead.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
would your advice be to send the statute letter first before asking for a settlement offer
To be honest I don't think they will accept the statute letter. I would say that this will form your defence but you are prepared to settle for 'x amount' on the basis that they will withdraw the claim.
Hello is there anything further you would like to know?
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