All posts by Islington Law Centre

ILC Debt Win – Limitation Act

By | FYI, ILC Casework | No Comments

ILC’s Debt Unit secured a win for one of its clients who was being pestered by a creditor for a credit card bill she (nor the creditor) had acted on since 2007.  Our client had been dealing with some personal issues and has been managing depression and severe anxiety.  She received a judgment against her for over £1,000 for this debt and came to the Law Centre in October 2014 for assistance.

The Debt Unit applied to have the judgment set aside and entered in a defence via the Limitation Act 1980.  The Limitation Act imposes time limits on claimants to enter in a claim against another party, and for our client, the creditor had 6 years to make a claim against her for this money.  The creditor’s solicitors attempted to circumvent the Limitation Act by presenting screenshots as evidence that our client had paid towards the debt in 2010 (and therefore, the time limit of 6 years would run from 2010).  We submitted evidence of our client’s bank statements and drafted a strong defence that the claim should be struck.

Our client was apprehensive about attending court and was anxious for the hearing.  Thankfully because of the hard work our Debt Unit put towards the defence, the creditor dropped the claim recognising that they are barred from pursuing our client in court for this debt.  This was a wonderful result for our client and helped to ease her stress and anxiety!

Limitation Act 1980

Many creditors will attempt to pursue individuals for old debts.  If you have not made a payment towards a debt in over 6 years, and the creditor has not corresponded with you regarding the debt in 6 years, they may be ‘statute barred‘ from pursuing you in court.

However, you must note that the debt does not simply go away.  Rather, a debt being statute barred means that certain types of actions (including court proceedings) are not available to the creditor anymore.  They may continue to write to you and demand payment, but a court judgment cannot be made against you for this amount.

For more information, please see the National Debtline’s Fact Sheet.

Temple Legal Centre Offering Free Family Advice

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At the Islington Law Centre we receive numerous inquiries regarding family law matters.  Unfortunately due to legal aid cuts, we are unable to provide advice in family law disputes.

Fortunately, Temple Legal Centre offers free initial 30 minute consultation appointments for family law issues to low-income individuals living in London.

If you would like an appointment with TLC, please telephone or email them briefly stating the issue(s), whether you have any court hearing dates booked and an outline of your current income/savings.  An appointment can then be made with an advisor at one of TLC’s legal surgeries running Mondays 6pm to 8pm.

Where: 10 Kings Bench Walk, Temple, London, EC4Y 7EB
(TLC is located near the Tudor Street entrance to the Temple – it is a short walk from Blackfriars, Temple and City Thameslink stations).

Email: tlc@10kbw.co.uk | Telephone: 07887 776 099

 

Legal Aid Expansion in Ontario, Canada

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It has been no secret that the state of legal aid in the United Kingdom is in jeopardy and has been since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.  The scope of legal aid decreased dramatically and there remained only a few areas of law individuals could access free legal help.

With legal aid’s current state and an uncertain future at home, it is a breath of fresh air when we hear news of legal aid expanding in parts of the world!  At the beginning of June, Legal Aid Ontario (‘LAO’) announced plans to expand its services to low-income residents – the most significant expansion in almost 25 years.

LAO plans to address the growing needs of vulnerable groups over-represented in courts, including First Nations, victims of domestic violence and individuals suffering from mental illness.  They plan on introducing new services, including coverage for first-time offenders in criminal cases and assistance in complex family matters.

The Ontario government has been a keen supporter of LAO, committing $154 million CAD (approximately £79.1 million) over the next 4 years to this expansion.  They further demonstrated their support of legal aid last year when they increased the qualifying income threshold making legal aid more accessible.

It is incredibly encouraging to see our neighbours across the pond championing legal aid and addressing the needs of normally silent groups.  We can only hope that our new government takes a cue from our Commonwealth partners.

For more information, please see Legal Aid Ontario.

For general enquiries or to make an appointment: Call 020 7288 7630