Firstly a very happy new year to everyone.
We are now 16 days into the new year and what a start its been. We’ve had our favourites MKDP cocking things up in their usual fashion, we’ve had the PRA group in Court trying to enforce an MBNA credit agreement, and we’ve had all manner of other issues. Its been a good start overall though, apart from one small headache.
Anyway, MKDP first, so the stage was set for trial of this case, well actually it wasn’t because they ballsed up the bundle for trial, anyway so were ready to go, counsels briefed, cost schedules prepared etc, and then out of the blue a letter lands asking us to agree to no order as to costs????? further exploration revealed that they had discontinued their claim and then asked us to agree no order as to costs!!!! Silly Billy’s.
Clearly they hadn’t read the CPR on discontinuance and costs.
The answer however was “hell no” you’ve caused the costs you’re paying the costs!!
So that’s MKDPs foolishness out of the way, now on to the PRA Group UK limited. Now this company raised the bar last week with some comments which were relayed back to me, im not going to deal with that here but suffice to say a professional conduct complaint may well be winging its way to the person concerned.
So, what happened with those lovely darlings? well it goes like this, there was a case where MBNA allegedly sold an account to Varde, who allegedly sold the account to Aktiv Kapital AS Zug Branch, who allegedly sold the account to to the PRA Group UK limited.
Akitv Kapital couldn’t recover their money so they sued. During the Claim they sold the debt so the Claimant became substituted.
Straight forward? haha not in a million years. You see the Claimant made all kind of spurious applications, many without notice even, they were put on notice that they needed to prove the assignment right from the start. They were put on notice that the credit agreement was improperly executed as it was an online agreement with the “Click this link for the full terms” or words to that effect, and as a result we say that doesn’t comply with the Consumer Credit Act. We put them on notice our client had made a s78 CCA request and that had not been complied with. I could keep going but there’s really no need, why? well heres why.
So, the main issues we had was that approaching the trial we had no less than 6 attempts at complying with s78(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974. We had two documents which PRA said were “the current agreement” and one had 27.3 as the interest rate and one had 29.5 er DURRRRRR that’s not the same!!!!!
We also had other issues with the documents but its not worth mentioning them. So they had not complied with s78(1) CCA that was for sure.
The second issue we had was their case was shambolic, they didn’t seem to know when they brought the agreement, it was truly embarrassing reading their counsels skeleton as they skeleton didn’t reflect the documents, there was allegations of the assignment taking place 2 years before the sale agreement was even created, there were allegations of the assignments all taking place on the same day. It was truly a poor showing.
To make matters worst, despite the Courts orders, they never produced the complete assignment, just 4 pages of it, and those were so heavily redacted it was worthless.
Again we instructed Mr Thomas Brennan, this guy is truly great, i cannot thank him enough for the work he put in on this case, and he deserves a special mention. Tom and I went through the case with a fine toothcomb, we found fault after fault, the witness evidence wasn’t even from the Claimant, but an outside agent, the witness evidence didn’t align with their counsels skeleton, their solicitors evidence raised more questions than it answered etc.
Now this case had been to trial on 3 previous occasions, all of which were adjourned, many as a result of the Claimants applications either directly or indirectly.
Finally we came before HHJ Clarke (Excuse the misspelling if there’s no “E” on the end.)
HHJ Clarke is a good judge, a fair judge, a methodical judge, she didn’t grant us any special treatment but she dealt with the case comprehensively. The Claimants failed to climb the first hurdle, there was simply no evidence that they owned the debt, and with such contradictions on the papers, the evidence, the skeleton, its easy to see why the judge dismissed the Claim.
The Claim was deemed hopeless from the outset. I wont go into all of the points here but suffice to say HHJ Clarke gave indemnity costs against the opponents.
So a good result for the client who had suffered a considerable amount of stress having to deal with the case.
Oh and while im on the PRA group , you may like to read this too. http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_consent-order-portfolio-recovery-associates-llc.pdf
Thanks to Joanna Connolly for bring these two links to my attention.
So ill say happy new year to all my followers, and a not so happy one for the PRA