Update on the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims (PAP)
Joint statement by the Credit Services Association (CSA) and the Civil Court Users Association (CCUA)
Further to yesterday’s update, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC) meeting was held this morning. The meeting was attended by Leigh Berkley and Rob Thompson as industry representatives, and by the Master of the Rolls.
The outcome was as follows:
- The Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) is likely to be implemented next year
- There will be no requirement for the original agreement to be sent at the Letter Before Action (LBA) stage
- There will be a requirement that creditors make it clear in the LBA itself that the customer has the right to ask for documentation, including the original agreement, although it was accepted that this should not be so prominent as to encourage spurious requests
- It was agreed that the new Standard Financial Statement will be used as part of the protocol
- We requested a sufficient implementation period for the necessary systems and process changes to be made by creditors
- The Committee was mindful of the future impact of the Online Court, and it is hoped that PAP will inform the approach to the introduction of the Online Court
- The Committee also considered whether this PAP was called for at all, as unusually there has not been an agreed position among stakeholders. On balance, it was decided that it would prove helpful.
- The PAP will now be redrafted and sent back to the sub-committee before the Master of the Rolls decides whether and when it will be implemented.
Both Leigh and Rob had ample opportunity to contribute to the discussions, which both felt were balanced and constructive. We considered that the arguments were understood and fully considered.
Due to the confidentiality of the sub-committee, we are still unable to disclose the full details of the latest draft. There will undoubtedly be some provisions with which creditors or the debt advice sector may not fully agree, however we think we have arrived at the best compromise possible in all the circumstances, and a much better solution for all parties than the original draft PAP.
We will update you as soon as further details of the finalised PAP and the implementation period are agreed.
Leigh Berkley (CSA) and Robert Thompson (CCUA)