Two good results this week for the Consumer Team at Howlett Clarke, firstly 1st Credit were silly enough to go head to head with me and Tom Brennan, and as a result, lost in spectacular form, and also they faced my colleague Chris Chapman in another matter. The result was the same although they saw sense and discontinued that case before the inevitable happened.
In the case i dealt with, it involved a Halifax credit card account, which had been allegedly assigned to 1st Credit. There was no Default notice apart from a template, which in itself was plainly unhelpful to the Claim as it dated apparently three years before the default actually occured (Whoops) and also the dates on the notice meant that it at best only allowed 13 days assuming it was delivered on the day it was dated for the debtor to remedy the breach. Thus their best evidence sunk their case before it even touched the water.
They also provided illegible documents under s78(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974, but we didnt need to go that far, the Court was happy to dismiss the claim purely on the Default notice.
It is of course interesting to note that the Claimant tried to argue that there had been some kind of “contractual termination” ala Brandon v Amex, however what was quite telling of that argument was the fact that it was not
- Mentioned in the Claimants evidence
- Subject to any correspondence between the parties
Accordingly the Judge refused to allow the volte face by the Claimant and refused to allow them to depart from their pleadings.
The only down side of this case was the Court did not allow costs as it was a small claim and the Court did not feel that the Claimants conduct was so unreasonable to trigger CPR 27.14(2)(g)
However, we were able to make the case affordable, and are now looking at progressing fixed fees for small claims cases to make litigation and representation accessible to those even with small claims cases.