Ill be blogging about each case in a little more detail shortly, but today we beat the PRA group on limitation despite BMW v Hart, we then had Lowells struck out because they had left a claim on hold for over 2 years so we applied successfully under CPR 3 to strike, and then the icing on the cake was an offer to discontinue from Hoist.
The PRA group case was the most interesting, it was a Multi Track claim for over £25k plus interest and costs claimed under a MBNA card. The last payment was well over 6 years before the Claim was issued, yet the Claimant sought to argue that the fact that MBNA served a default notice just within the 6 year limitation period was enough to defeat limitation arguments. Of course, they relied on the good old BMW v Hart, however that case clearly isnt an open authority that allows a creditor to place a case on hold for say 20 years, serve a default notice under s87 Consumer Credit Act and then crack on with a claim within a further 6 year period. Plainly there is nothing in the CCA that prevents limitation and clearly if parliament intended such application it would have prescribed it in the act.
Any way, the matter had come before the Court for trial, back in November, and the Court determined that there was not enough time to hear the case. The matter was adjourned and we were invited to apply on notice for a preliminary issue to be heard. We duly obliged and the application was heard today.
We had two points, limitation and woefully inadequate and unenforceable credit agreement. We didnt get to argue about the agreement as the Judge ruled that limitation had expired, the fact that the Claimants barrister tried to argue that limitation could be ignored and the Claimant could have a 20 year delay before proceeding seemed to sink their case. So claim struck out, costs on account and the remaining costs were detailed assessment. Happy days
Then on to Lowells, well where to start, so the Claim was issued in around 2013, disclosure of documents mentioned in the Claim form took ages, when they finally did provide the docs a Defence was filed running to some 16 pages taking issues with the Claimants hopeless case.
Then, the Claimant let the Claim get stayed again and crucially didnt even reply to the Court when it asked them to indicate how they wanted to proceed.
We wrote to the Claimant over and over and over, in fact the application to strike out had some 30 pages of exhibits, and the Claimant simply prevaricated and messed around. We wrote in January 2016 telling the Claimant we would be striking out the Claim and they finally wrote back firmly telling us that they would be proceeding…………… a year later we decided enough was enough and applied.
The Claimant finally responded to the application on Friday, and tried to agree a consent order disposing of the application, however when the matter came before the District Judge today it was too late, the Judge had already made their mind up and refused the consent order instead taking the view the Claimants conduct and the embarrassing witness statement of the Claimants lawyer, to quote the judge, was so serious that the only appropriate order was to strike out as a fair trial was no longer possible due to delay and documents being lost, and because the Claimant had ignored the Courts letter thus letting the Claim get stayed.
So claim dismissed, costs ordered, and no appeal was requested either.
And as for Hoist, well just look back over my blog to see how they fare………………….