Consumer Problems/ Financial Lender Disputes
It is a fact of modern life that many people are facing debt problems and difficulties. Credit is all too freely available and can quickly spiral out of control.
Problems arise when you are unable to meet the monthly credit payments. Your payments may be in arrears or creditors may be threatening court action. Difficulties in repaying debt can arise from a number of different reasons. Income may be reduced because of redundancy, bereavement or a career change. It may simply be that you have taken on too much credit.
Whatever the reason, the pressure of being in debt can be stifling. It can sometimes make you feel that you do not have control – and help is needed.
The personal insolvency and bankruptcy solicitors at Trinity Law can help you. We offer impartial and confidential advice to enable you to manage and reduce your debts. We will listen to your problems and offer you a solution that will allow you to get your finances back under control.
For example, if you are in work and you have debts of over £10,000 it is important to know there are other options available. We will make you aware of your options and advise and guide you on the best possible solution. These may cover
Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)
Financial Crisis Management
Have you received a Default Notices?
You may be sent a default notice by a creditor if you have failed to meet your obligations to them according to your credit agreement. This is a formal letter that should not be ignored — it is usually sent out when you have ‘defaulted’ on your account and have built up arrears on what you owe.
The notice has to be sent out legally to notify you of your default — this is one of the many legal steps that a creditor can use when you are not paying them back as you should. And, although this is just a letter it can have a big impact on you and your finances. Most default notices will list the following information:
Creditor and debtor details
Details about the original credit agreement
Details of your default on this agreement
Early settlement figures (if applicable)
Anything that you can do to sort out your default
Details on what your creditor may do next if you do not make good the situation
For example, this notice may be the precursor to formal legal action that the creditor is telling you that they will take. They have to do this legally. Your notice will usually give you 7 days to do what your creditor is asking to make things good. If you comply with this then no further action will be taken.
If you don’t then your creditor could well take court action against you. You may, for example, be sent a claim form which means that your creditor has approached the County Court to get a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you. If you owe the creditor more than £750 then they have the right to try and have you declared bankrupt as an alternative.
It is wise to try and avoid this getting to court or further legal action. Bear in mind that your creditor simply wants their money back here. If you cannot repay it in full or as specified in your default notice then you may be able to get them to agree to a different repayment solution instead. So, do try to open lines of communication with them.
Another drawback to the default notice scenario is the fact that it will automatically be entered on to your credit record held by the credit reference agencies. It can stay there for around six years if it isn’t dealt with. This can cause you a lot of problems down the line with your future dealings with all kinds of companies.
If you later try, for example, to take out a new credit product such as a loan, mortgage or credit card then the lender will be able to see that you had a default notice issued against you. This shows them that you have had financial problems in the past. It will therefore make it much harder for you to get the credit products you need as they may well turn down your applications.
Assigned Consumer Debts: We are becoming depressingly familiar with debts dismissed on the balance sheets as ‘toxic’ but pursued by the Assignees of Creditors in the Courts with reconstructions of documents they have lost or maybe never had in the first place, based on (often) multiple assignments the terms of which are never disclosed. We can advise on what Assignee companies can and cannot do.
One of our Cases:
Brandon v American Express  EWCA Civ 1187. On instructions we obtained permission to bring a second appeal and persuaded the Court of Appeal that time taken for posting should be allowed for when considering the date of service of a default notice and that the period specified between service of a default notice and the ‘remedy by’ date of 14 days was neither discretionary, nor was failure to provide it de minimis if payment had not been effected within the period concerned. Further an attempt by AMEX to change its case between the first hearing and the first appeal without amendment should not have been permitted and the issues ought not to have been determined summarily either at first instance or on the first appeal.
What to do if you are served with a statutory demand
You should never ignore a statutory demand. If the debt is for £750 or more, it could lead to you being made bankrupt or your company being wound up by the court.
To avoid this, you must comply with the statutory demand within 21 days. You can either settle the debt or secure it by reaching an agreement for payment. However, if you dispute it and believe that you have good reason to, you should take action to stop the creditor presenting a bankruptcy or winding-up petition.
Before you take any action, you should consider taking legal advice.
Disagreeing with a statutory demand
If you are an individual, you have 18 days from when the statutory demand is served on you, or from the date of the first advertisement, to apply to the court for the statutory demand to be set aside – dismissed or cancelled. If you live abroad, then the time limit for setting aside the demand is 22 days.