Category Archives: FYI

Simplifying the Law

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The Law Society Gazette has recently reported that the Legal Services Board (LSB) is advising the legal sector to take a note from others to remove barriers for consumers confronted with legal problems.

The law has traditionally been difficult to navigate due to unnecessarily complex wording.  LSB have found that as a result, many individuals who have a consumer law issue do not seek the appropriate advice to resolve them.  Parallels were drawn to the finance, healthcare and utilities sectors which have taken great strides in improving the accessibility of their services to consumers.

In particular, three non-financial barriers to legal access were identified: inaccessible language, lack of trust and failure to serve the specific needs of vulnerable customers.

This report is particularly relevant to the Islington Law Centre where we specifically cater our services to individuals who have various barriers to legal advice (both financial and non-financial).  Our client group can be largely classified as vulnerable and our caseworkers and solicitors work tirelessly to ensure that their voices are heard.

Our Evening Advice Clinic provides free consumer law advice to individuals in the Islington area with the help of our pro bono partners.

If you think you may have a consumer law issue, please do get in contact for an appointment either via telephone, 020 7288 7633 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm); or by email, eveningadvice@islingtonlaw.org.uk.

Old Street Area Housing Office is Moving!

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As of 26 October 2015, the Old Street Area Housing Office will be moving to 245 St. John St, London, EC1V 4NB (also home to the Finsbury Library).

That means from the end of October, outreach sessions via our Independent Advice Project (IAP) will be effected.  If you are scheduled to have a welfare benefits appointment or a housing appointment through IAP at the Old Street Area Housing Office on or after 26 October 2015, remember to check your route!

Please see this flyer for more information: Old Street Area Housing Move.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call our Reception & Referral Team at 020 7288 7630 during normal operating hours.

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.

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