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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11377
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My question is concerning civil litigation and is specific

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Hi, my question is concerning civil litigation and is specific to setting aside a County Court Judgement.The circumstances are as follows.I recently discovered a County Court Judgement on my credit file dating back to 3 years ago which was sent to and concerning a previous address. The claimant is a property management company which is responsible for maintenance of the garden areas surrounding the property which is leasehold. I am still the legal owner of the property and I was therefore liable for the debt which is now paid off and up to date. I applied to the Court to set aside the CCJ and paid a fee of £255 on the basis that I was not aware of the CCJ as it was sent to my previous address. There is a court hearing scheduled for 11th April. The solicitors for the property management company have written to me and stated that 'having considered the contents of your application, our client maintains that at the date of the issue of the claim and judgement, they were not aware of an alternative address for you. Accordingly our client is not aware of any lawful reason as to why your application would be successful and is bound to fail. Notwithstanding the above our client has regards ***** ***** fact that the arrears are paid off, our client consents to set aside the judgement and avoid the need for the Court hearing but they do require you to pay its costs of £340 inclusive of VAT and Court fee for filing the order within 7 days.'I have responded to the solicitors and asked for a breakdown of their costs and informed them that I have already paid a court fee directly to the Court. They have not responded and it has been 7 days now. It seems like a lot of money to me just for signing a document which I cannot really afford to pay. I also dispute their statement that their client did not have the correct address for me but this cannot be proved.My question is what would happen if I did not pay the £340 that they are demanding to consent to set aside the CCJ. Would I be liable for any further costs if the solicitors had to attend the court hearing? I would appreciate a legal opinion on the matter.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hello Buachaill. Thanks for your message.

1. Dear Nicole, the bot***** *****ne is that you won't win your application to set aside the County Court judgment whereby you were served at the address to which the leasehold property relates because there is a clause in every property management agreement allowing service on the address to which the property management fees relate. So, the bot***** *****ne is that if the property management company opposes your application to set aside the County Court Judgment, they will win. Not you. So, if they are willing to go along with you setting aside the CCJ, on the payment of GBP 340, you should simply pay the money and get what you are seeking as it will improve your credit file. I know it might seem like a lot of money. However, that is how the position stands.

2. Furthermore, if you don't pay the GBP 340 and the property management company win their case in court, you will be liable for your own costs and theirs as they will get their costs of defending your application. So, you will end up paying anyway. The legal fees for defending an application to set aside a CCJ will be more than GBP 340. So, you should simply pay now and avoid a bigger bill later.

3. I appreciate this is not what you wanted to hear. However, this is the reality of the litigation you are engaged in. The property management company will have met this situation before and will know the legal position. This is why they have simply ignored your argument that there be a reduction in the GBP 340 fees.

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