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What is a court warrant and what do they do?

Discussion in 'Scotland/Alba' started by q_w_e_r_t_y, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. q_w_e_r_t_y

    q_w_e_r_t_y Well-Known Member

    About 6 months ago I recieved a bill from PowerGen for my old flat that I sold 3 years ago. I gave them a call to explain the situation and it turned out that yes the bill was up until the present, but it turned out that it was also for 2 months when I was still resident. I honestly cant remember now whether I got a final meter reading and if so if I paid it, but am prepared to take them at their word.

    They then said they would send out a bill for the 2 months. After about 10 frustrating phone calls to their call centre and no bill appearing, but demand letters for the entire amount instead. About 3 months ago I simply gave up (stupid I know, but I had a lot going on and it wasnt at the top of my priorities). I've now got a letter threatening court action to get a warrent, and notes that interest and expenses will be added.

    I'm loathe to start the whole powergen rigmarole again? Can I defend myself or is it just an automatic warrent. What ultimately can the court do if I don't comply after the warrent is served? I know that warrent sales were abolished a few years ago, but what has been put in their place?
     
  2. _angel_

    _angel_ urban myth



    No advice sorry - but if you post this in General you may get more help. All the best...
     
  3. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    The law is probably different in Scotland, but it can't be that different. Go to the court and tell them (with evidence) that you sold the flat three years ago, and that you've tried to sort it out with Powergen but they are not having any of it. I'm sure the court will throw it out.
     
  4. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    ...won't do you any harm to get advice from something like Citizens advice either. Definitely turn up at court though with your evidence if there is a hearing.
     
  5. q_w_e_r_t_y

    q_w_e_r_t_y Well-Known Member

    I dont think that this could really be disputed - it was a compulsory purchase by the council and the flat no longer exists.

    From the wording of the letter tho it sounds like this is an admin thing and there isnt a hearing - the court just gives them it on the basis that I havent paid the bill. I dont think that this can be right, but I really dont know.
     
  6. q_w_e_r_t_y

    q_w_e_r_t_y Well-Known Member


    I did think about General, but I figured that the law was probably different up here than in England and Wales, so it would be better here.

    Might try it if I can't get any answers, or if peops think that the law is the same.
     
  7. inflatable jesus

    inflatable jesus I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders

    I would agree that CAB might be your best bet, however it might also be worth one more stab at sorting it out with powergen or whomever they've sold the debt to.

    I have dealt with council debt which may be slightly different but I would imagine that the case (if pursued) would be booked into a (small claims) sherriff court with the intention of getting a decree for payment. If that was to happen then legally you would have to be served with notice by the sherriff officers (That may be what they're refering to when they mention a 'warrant'). At that point you would have the opportunity to turn up in court and defend your case. If the debt is not owed then you would probably have a good chance of getting it thrown out and costs charged to powergen.

    To answer your specific questions:

    If the court rules against you, then the debt would be passed to the sherriff officers for collection. They would add costs of around 10% and to recover the money, they have the power to place wage arrestments, bank account arrestments or....

    Attachments. They're not allowed into your house to seize your goods any more, but if you have a car parked outside or a fancy lawnmower in your shed then they can take that away and either demand the money in full in exchange for your car or mower's return or sell them for a fraction of their value and minus the sherriff officer's costs for doing so.

    Once again, I only dealt with council debts, so the rules could be different and none of that could actually apply, but if you'll permit me to venture an (extremely legally unqualified) opinion, I would say that the best thing to do is to sort this out before it gets to court. Most companies don't like taking court action if they think they can avoid it. It's worth bearing in mind that even if you do have right on your side, you would be taking unneccessary risks if you waited until it gets into court to argue your case.

    Good luck anyway though. :)
     
  8. hattie

    hattie quite quiet

    in my experience (which is minimal) when fuel companies are talking about warrants, they mean a warrant to disconnect your supply. i have no idea whether this can be relevant in your case as you don't live at the property anymore, i don't know if they can 'follow' you to your new address. however you cannot be disconnected for any amount which is 'genuinely in dispute'. sorry this isn't much actual help is it?!
    i suggest you ring energywatch 0845 9060708 as they can help consumers deal with problems of this kind. don't just wait and see what happens. good luck!
     
  9. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    The court don't know this though...you have to provide evidence.
     
  10. JWH

    JWH Fnord Fiesta XR3i

    1)

    The easiest way to get that proof would be by getting a printoff of the land register that shows when you sold it and who exactly owns the property now (i.e. not you) ... but the fact that the flat has been demolished might make this a bit more complicated. I'm sure that the information is still kept somewhere[/i[] though. It usually only costs a £10

    If you're in Glasgow or Edinburgh, you can drop into the centre and often they can print it off instantly. Otherwise, call them up, explain and get their advice. http://www.ros.gov.uk/citizen/searchform.htm

    2)

    Instead of / in addition to calling them, write to them as well. Keep paper copies of everything in a file. Send them all registered.
     

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