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Successful Consumer Credit Case

Our Consumer Credit Team are pleased to report another successful outcome on behalf of one of our clients.

Paul Tilley, our leading consumer credit expert, has successfully overturned a County Court judgment against our client on appeal. Our client had taken advice initially in this matter elsewhere. The advice given to our client was to obtain a copy of the judgment transcript but, crucially, our client was unaware of the timeframe for filing his Appeal Notice as set down in Civil Procedure Rule 52.12(2)(b) which specifies that the Appeal Notice must be filed no later than 21 days from the date of the decision of the lower Court which the Appellant wishes to appeal.

Fortunately however, our client contacted us promptly and instructed Paul to act on his behalf. Our client’s instructions were received just inside of the 21 day window and therefore this allowed for an application to be lodged at the Court to extend the time for filing the Appeal Notice. Our client was not therefore required to try to lodge an application to appeal out of time. This application was successful and allowed Paul to obtain the judgment transcript so that Paul could assess all of the documentation which was presented to the Judge at Trial by both parties, could assess the legal arguments presented by each party to the Judge and, crucially, could assess the Judge’s judgment and ascertain whether the Judge made any errors.

It quickly became clear from the review of the papers that the documentation clearly did not support the Judge’s conclusions. The Judge found that s.78(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 had been complied with and that the agreement was enforceable. However, it was quite clear that the credit agreement provided could not be said to comply with s.78(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 as there were no terms and conditions whatsoever included in the agreement and therefore it was either the case that s.78(1) Consumer Credit Act 1974 had not been complied with or, in the alternative, if the document presented by the Claimant was a true copy of the original agreement then the original agreement did not contain any of the prescribed information required by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and was therefore irredeemably unenforceable as a result.

The position was very much heads our client wins, tails the opponents lose as either way the judgment should not have been entered.

Paul prepared all of the necessary documentation on the client’s behalf and drafted the Appellant’s Notice, Grounds of Appeal and Skeleton Argument on behalf of our client. The application for permission to appeal was referred to a Circuit Judge and the Judge concluded that it was appropriate for the question of permission to appeal to be determined at an Application Hearing.

We obtained permission to appeal at the Hearing with the Judge noting that there was a real prospect of success on the arguments put forward in our client’s Grounds of Appeal and therefore it was right that permission should be granted.

After permission to appeal was granted by the Court, the parties agreed by consent to dispose of the appeal pursuant to the provisions of CPR rule 52, Practice Direction 52, paragraph 6.4 which does allow the Court in certain circumstances, where there is a justifiable reason to do so, to allow an appeal by consent.

This case highlights the importance of obtaining legal advice promptly. Had our client delayed, the outcome could have been very different and our client may not have been successful on this appeal. For more information about this case, please contact Paul Tilley on 01273 327272 / paultilley@howlettclarke.co.uk.

 

 

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