GETTING MCOL RIGHT
If you have a choice, it is always preferable to file using N1 at your local court. The two main disadvantages with MCOL are that your Particulars of Claim are limited to just 1080 characters with a maximum of 24 lines and you cannot attach the schedule of charges to your claim.
Both these drawbacks can create problems later on. The banks use these limitations of MCOL to assert, with some justification, that the claim has not been fully particularised.
Therefore I would strongly advise you to file at your local court. It will be transferred here eventually anyway.
OFT TEST CASE:
Following the announcement by the OFT, as from August 13th, all bank charge claims filed at MCOL are being automatically stayed. Therefore it is advisable only to file a claim using N1 at your local court
You can download N1 here:
and POC's for the N1 here:
There are now new comprehensive Particulars of Claim written by a QC specifically for the following banks:
Abbey, A&L, Barclays, Co-op, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire
If you are on benefits, you may be eligible for exemption from court fees. You can only apply for this at your local court using form Ex160.
Claiming via MCOL
If you register at MCOL you can fill in the claim forms in advance (all fairly straightforward).
At any time you can save what you've done. Each time you complete a page, it is automatically saved and there is a ‘Save’ button on each page. You can then ask about anything you're unsure of on your thread.
When you log on again, you can delete or amend anything if necessary and carry on. Your claim isn't filed until you hit the final 'Submit' button and pay the court fee. Any part filled claim form is saved for 28 days.
This means that you can prepare the claim for filing several days in advance, taking your time to make sure you get it right.
First read the Money Claim On-line guide here:
This is where you start your claim:
1.On the Home Page click on ‘I am a new claimant’. On subsequent visits click on ‘I am an existing claimant’
2. On the next two pages are information and instructions, including how to save and print out a copy of your claim, which you should read carefully. Don’t be tempted to skip these.
3.Fill in the ‘Log In Registration Details’. Before you do anything else, make a note of these. You will need your Customer ID and Password to log on in future.
4. Optional Registration Details: All these are, well, optional.
5. Registration Confirmation of your Customer ID.
6. Log on with your Customer ID and Password. (You did note these, didn’t you?)
7. Claim Menu: Click on ‘ Start a New Claim’. On subsequent visits click on ‘Continue with an existing claim’
(1) Claim Notes: Again read these carefully
(2) Claim Description: Enter any title you like for your claim e.g. ‘NatWest Penalty Charges’
(3) Claimant Details: Your name and address
(4) Defendant Details: The bank’s name and address of their registered office. You may be asked to confirm the post code by clicking on ‘Look Up’ and confirming their address
(5) Claim Details: Type in your Particulars of Claim. See here: MCOL Particulars of Claim
Click No to Human Rights and Yes to claiming interest.
If you have already included the s69 paragraph in your POC’s, you can ignore the pop-up. Otherwise enter this now and fill in the first and last dates of your charges and the s69 8% interest total.
If you have difficulty fitting the POC’s in, try taking out any spaces, punctuation and carriage returns. Do not be tempted to remove any wording.
If all else fails, file using N1.
Amount claimed: Enter the total of your claim, charges and interest. Press ‘Calculate’ for the correct court fee.
Finally fill in the Statement of Truth
Now save your claim. Your claim is ready to submit but first go back and double check everything. For instance make sure you have entered yourself as Claimant and the bank as Defendant. Ensure that your a/c no, dates and figures are correct. Then proof read the entire claim for typos.
(6) The next pages are payment details. You can either pay by Mastercard/Visa credit card or Solo/Switch/Visa Delta debit card. Visa Electron is not accepted
Cancelling A Claim
If you pressed submit in error and your claim has gone through, you can stop it by contacting MCOL by fax or email before 10am the next woorking day.
You must quote your claim number, name and address, who your refund should be made payable to, and the reason why. Your claim will be withdrawn and a refund sent out by payable order.
Where MCOL receive notification too late, the claim will be issued and the fee cannot be refunded
After You Have Issued Your Claim
Your POC's state that you will be supplying a schedule of charges, but MCOL does not allow you to attach it to your claim at the time of filing. So, once you have filed your claim, you need to send 2 copies of your schedule of charges, clearly marked with your claim no. + a brief covering letter asking for them to be filed with your claim to:
Wait until you receive the Notice of Acknowledgement (not the Notice of Issue) from the court and then send a copy to the bank’s solicitors, since they are the ones who will now be dealing with your claim. Their name and address will be on page 2.
MCOL Customer Help Desk
The Customer Help Desk can be contacted for support between 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday on: Tel : 0845-601 5935 Fax : 0845-601 5889
If you prefer to write your query instead, please contact:
Money Claim Online
Northampton County Court
21-27 St. Katharine's Street
or e-mail to customerservice.mcol@hmco urts-service.gsi.gov.uk
Finally PM a Mod with details of your claim for the Litigation in Progress forum:
Your name v Bank Name
Claim number: XXXXXX
Court: MCOLor XXXX County Court
Total Claim: £XXXXX
MCOL Claim Timetable:
Once you file your claim, you will see this:
Status: Requested Your claim has been submitted to the court for final validation before being issued.
Then, usually a day later, it reverts to this:
Status: Issued Your claim request has been accepted. The Defendant has 14 days from the date they are served with the claim, to reply. The court will send you a “Notice of Issue”. The deemed date of service will be on the Notice of Issue sent to you by the court.
The court allows five days for the claim to be deemed served, even if the bank acknowledges before the five days are over. If the bank does not reply within the 14 days after the claim was deemed served, you can enter judgment by default.
Status: Acknowledged If the bank acknowledges at any time within those 14 days, they now have 28 days from the date of service of the claim form to file a defence. The court will send you a “Notice that Acknowledgement of Service has been filed”. If the bank don’t defend, you can enter judgment by default after the 28 days are up. If that date falls on a weekend, the court allows one or two extra days for them to respond. You will know if you are too early, as the system will simply not allow you to enter any judgment before the time is up.
Status: Defence If the bank defends before the 28 days are up, you cannot enter judgment or do anything else online anymore. The court will send you a “Notice of Defence”.
If the bank is just biding time before they send you a cheque (and have told you so in a letter already), you might be sent a “Notice of Defence that Amount Claimed Has Been Paid”. You have to tick the box whether you wish to proceed with the claim or not. Wait until you have the money in your account, then send the form back. You are given a month to do so.
If the bank defends with the purpose to go to court, you will be sent an Allocation Questionnaire which you have to fill in and send back to the court. A court date will then be set which you are required to attend. The bank will either settle with you in any way before the court date, or they will not turn up on the day and you will win by default.
All timescales are calendar days, should the due date fall on a weekend/ bank holiday, they have until the next working day.
***31st MARCH: NEW AQ PROCEDURE BY MCOL***
MCOL have started to issue Orders dispensing with the AQ. See here:
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EVEN IF THE AQ IS DISPENSED WITH, THE AQ FEE OF £100 (IF CLAIM OVER £1500) IS STILL PAYABLE (AND RECLAIMABLE FROM THE BANK). The fee is payable within 14 days after the despatch of the notice of allocation to track (County Courts Fees Order 1999 Schedule 1).