Amending A Claim
Do I Need to Amend My Claim
Recently, some banks are increasingly defending claims primarily on the basis that the claim is; "not adequately particularised, 'embarrasing', too vague" etc, etc.
You will usually get this defence if you have filed on Moneyclaim online, regardless of whether or not you sent a schedule of charges. This is clearly a scare tactic and in most cases should be ignored and no action to amend your claims particulars is necessary.
However, If you did'nt use the correct MCOL template from the library which states the statutory and common law basis of the claim, you will probably need an amendment, depending on exactly what you used as your particulars. To amend your claim you will need to submit an application on form N244. See the section below for a guide to applying for an amendment
If you did use the proper template, including in it your account number, then your claim is adequately particularised.
Amending A Claim
The Civil Procedure Rules require that your POC's contain a concise statement of the basis of your claim in law and fact. This should include reference to the common law and relevant statutes on which the claim relies - ie the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, the Unfair Contracts (Terms) Act 1977 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. It should also include your account number. The CAG template satisfies this criteria.
Here is an example of a POC template that would almost certainly not be regarded as adequate in the eyes of the court -
The claiment claims the repayment of unlawful bank charges for the period **/**/** to **/**/** amounting to £*** for direct debit, standing order, over draft interest and over draft excess fees. The claiment also claims interest on this amount under section 69 of the County Courts Claim Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from **/**/** to **/**/** of £*** and also interest at the same rate upto the date of judgement or earlier payment at the rate of 8%. The claiment also claims the court fee of £***.
If you used inadequate POC's such as the above and then the Bank defends on the basis that the claim is "too vague", they certainly have a valid case and what would probably then happen is that the court will order you to elaberate by providing further information.
However, the court does have the power, if it see's fit, to strike out your claim without warning. This is unlikely and has'nt happened yet as far as I'm aware, but to be safe its probably advisable to amend your claim upon receipt of the defence.
If you did'nt use the CAG template and have decided what you did use was inadequate and needs amending, you need to make an application for the amendment on a form N244 - You can download the form from here This will cost you a non-refundable fee of £35.
A Guide for Completion of Form N244
Submitting Your Application to the Court
Attach your spreadsheet and take 3 copies to the court, along with 3 copies of the completed N244 + the £35 fee. Tell the court staff what has happened, apologise for their inconveniance, and ask that your current particulars of claim are disregarded and replaced by the new ones. It will have to go before a judge to ok the amendment, and you could possibily get called for an application hearing which is nothing to worry about.
Also, if you are at the AQ stage, complete your AQ and take that to the court at the same time - see here Allocation Questionnaire
The Court will then amend the details, re-seal the claim and return it to you and it is your responsibility to re-serve it on the Defendant. Ensure that you keep a copy of the sealed N1 for yourself too. Once you have served the claim you should send the Court a completed certificate of service, here along with a copy of the N1 so the court knows when the bank need to respond.