I havent written many blogs recently, not because there isnt much to tell, actually its quite the opposite, but mainly because i havent had the time to sit in front of the PC and type up whats happened.
There is a lot going on, somethings i cannot really say much about for obvious reasons but there is a huge case on the horizons, one that will have as big impact as Harrison v Link Financial did all those years ago.
The issues in this case are that when the credit agreement was entered into, no documents that allowed the creditor to vary the terms or increase the interest rate were placed before the customer. We know this how? well fortunately we have all and i mean all the original documents.
So what potentially is the consequence for the creditor? Well they have imposed an exceptionally high interest rate, one which is compounded, and if they werent entitled to vary the terms then they have to repay ALL of the interest over the contractual amount in theory.
Ive also started looking at NRAM again, when i left my last practice i couldnt look at NRAM claims due to covenants in my contract, however that is no longer an issue. I had many successful cases before i left my last place and i am hopeful to be able to carry those successes on at my new place of work.
Consumer Credit cases are still very much ongoing, while limitation arguments have been hit a little due to the somewhat bizarre ruling of the Court of Appeal in PRA v Doyle, the Court did give some helpful guidance on the importance of a Default notice, its not some throwaway document, it is part of a debt purchasers cause of action, if they are seeking the full balance on a credit card and the claim is brought because of breach of contract then they have to plead a default notice and they have to have one. If they dont then as the Court said clearly, its an “unanswerable” strike out.
Surprisingly consumers dont appear to have picked up on this, but i have used Doyle to good effect.
Also i have had a successful appeal against a bizarre county Court decision. In effect the Judge ruled t hat the Claimant had complied with the CCA on a section 78 request despite being unable to read the documents that had been provided. Clearly regulation 2 Consumer Credit Cancellation Notices and Copies of Documents Regulations 1983 states the document must be easily legible, not partly legible or mostly legible, or i can read a little but not all of it. Suffice to say when we came on board the debt purchaser consented to our appeal and the customer went from having a CCJ, to being debt free save for the costs of the appeal which were limited.
There is another appeal ongoing at the minute which relates to s78 and when the duties apply under that provision, and what obligations should be placed on a consumer when raising s78 ie do they need to plead it, or can it just be mentioned in a statement etc.
The outcome of the appeal should be known in around August / September.
Also have a few section 75 cases on going which will be reported here when concluded.
Also have a number of Parking charge cases on going and also excess mileage charges cases when the agreements have been voluntary terminated and the creditor seeks to impose charges after termination. There is no binding authority on this point so it is often left open to abuse by the credit industry however there are some strong compelling arguments to say that these charges are not recoverable in certain circumstances. I did a phone in with BBC Radio here which provides more info on this. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09nqnxd