Around 2 weeks ago we attended a trial in a small claims case, the matter involved Aktiv Kapital AS Zug Branch which had transferred title of the debt to the PRA Group (UK) Ltd.
The client was quite prepared to settle the matter, indeed offers were put forward which the PRA groups lawyers rejected. The clients defence needed amending, so we pointed out that settlement would surely be a better option than going to Court, indeed the parties had a duty to avoid Court where possible.
The Claimant was seeking sums which simply weren’t payable, interest which it wasn’t entitled to due to the statutory prohibition where debts relate to the Consumer Credit Act 1974 etc. Plus we had identified numerous errors which the Claimant would have to put right first before they would be entitled to succeed on their claim in any event, and of course to put those errors right they would have to spend considerable amounts on lawyers fees etc.
Bizarrely the Claimants solicitors stated words to the effect that because their client was funded by a CFA or equivalent then they weren’t in effect concerned about settling. What a stupid thing to put in writing!!!
So, the amended Defence was put into play, we drafted it ourselves to keep costs to a minimum, and we took the clients witness statement and lodged it with the Court.
The Claimants evidence was awful, it exhibited grossly illegible documents in fact it brought back to me the BBC interview i gave in 2011 about this exact issue which is still live today. My BBC interview can be found here
So the matter went to trial, we highlighted to the Claimant on numerous occasions that section 78 had not been complied with so they couldnt win. The Court of Appeal made this expressly clear in Kotecha v Phoenix Recoveries. What was also evident from the documents, was that they were entirely incomplete, they were missing terms which i was able to identify from my many years of experience in dealing with MBNA credit agreements.
At the trial, the claim was dismissed and the clear message to those debt purchasers is dont be stupid, when someone offers to pay, take it, or get your ass kicked in court and embarrassed in public.
I wish to convey many thanks to Mr Thomas Brennan who is a barrister that has worked with me on a number of successful cases and provided the advocacy on this matter for the client.