Please excuse another post about this subject but i fear ive read so much about it ive confused myself in were im likely to stand,
firstly the vehicle in question was a van i sold earlier this year,id sent off a sorn as the vehicle needed tidying before it could reach a decent re-sale value
Inter-credit have been hassling me for £80 in the form of a templated letter some weeks ago,the day i recieved the first letter i called them to speak to a lady who was typical of such places and in her words "were see you in court" i ofcoarse welcomed the chance to defend my position and awaited further details ..
the friday just gone i recieved a 72 hours notice to pay or face legal action ? huh i thought that was the outcome of my first phonecall with them.... anyway
ive contacted them again and repeated my request for dates etc and the chance to defend myself.. here lies my problem/s
although i can proove without doubt the vehicle was kept on private property i havent kept a proof of sending nor did i recieve and reciept for the sorn or anything refuring to the sale of the vehicle from them
im out of my depth when it comes to such matters and the van was only purchased to move items from our old address (not business use)
ive read these and other forums on this subject but dont know what i should be doing or indeed accepting the court date if there intentions are forcing this fine on us by simply saying they havent recieved it..
please help and accept my appologies if this has been debated to death
Don't worry just yet..... I'm one step ahead of you. I had the 72 hour letter, then a week later (today) I received a letter from their solicitor saying that I have seven days to settle the eighty pounds or I'm going to court.
I wouldn't deal with the debt collector if I were you they couldnt care less, I'm currently trying to get through to the DVLA to convince them they made a mistake. To be honest I don't think they give a **** and are hoping I'll just pay.
DVLA are supposed to send acknowledgement of SORN declaration within 4 weeks of you making the declaration. If you have not received one in that time, you are supposed to contact their customer help line.
What happened to the registration document (V5)? You should have handed the blue section to the new keeper and sent the rest to DVLA. This should have been signed by both you and the new owner. Did you do this?
PS - don't phone inter-credit any more. Don't accept their calls. Get all the facts together first and then deal with DVLA. They are so top heavy, they regularly admit to mistakes.
Yes, sorry - I was thinking on the last time we bought a vehicle when the original owner gave us the bit to be sent to DVLA. We forgot and he got hasseling letters until we sent it in.
Well that was risky of him for obvious reasons. It is in his interest to notify the DVLA that the car is no longer his, whereas, as the buyer, you might just "forget" to tell them and then clock up loads of parking fines which he will be getting taken to court for!
Absolutely agree. Like most things, mitigating circumstances. The guy was in a hurry to go and catch a plane, the vehicle was bought for my son who had just moved and we couldn't remember his address, the vehicle had two days tax left on it and we were going to submit a SORN on it. All in all a bit of a bugger's muddle but sorted in the end.
Been away for a while and forgot to chase this up,ive recieved a letter today which reminded me to continue my research..
The letter arrived this morning from trust recoveries,saving final notice,this letter must be treated as a formal notice of legal action.
i want to reply in anger but need to bite my virtual tonge as it were as im likely to make the situation worse ..
They,ve told me for sometime it needed to goto court and i agreed and said i looked forward to defending my position,that was about 5 threats ago,are we ever going to court or are they trying to intimidate us ?
I want to reply a letter to them saying we'll be asking for our cost's for this too but who would be charge for such cost's ?dvla,intercredit,trust recoveries,?
Whats upsetting me the most is we follwed the usual motions about this vehicle and done no wrong,my partners disabled and is loosing sleep from this,im being stubbon as ive done all the right things..
please point me towards a letter template or something i can reply to them explaing we look forward to defending ourselfs..
Lastly sorry for no replying earlier,wifes been in hospital and ive been staying local to her for visitation purposes..
Im not sure how to check the v5 status but this vehicle was sold about a year ago and at the time we sent off the main log book to dvla the day after it was paid for and collected,
The sorn there hassling us for was for the same vehicle and was sent about 3/4 weeks prior to the sale,and since the tax expired was sat on our drive off the public highway
Ive to date recieved about 5 letters from intercredit,3 times i rang them as soon as i recieved the letters telling them we done all the required things for this vehicle and they should return this bac to dvla for investigation,ofcourse they didnt and proceeded to send the template letters of pay £80 to avoid further action
i called dvla and asked for setails of the sale and the what i failed to do to get this fine in the first place,they told me they didnt have the details now and i should contact intercredit"getting dizzy by now"
After another call to intercredit they told me my case has now been forwarded to there legal henchmen"Trust recoveries"
This is the first letter we've had from this new company and in short heres what theyve said....
We are today instructed by our holding company,Intercredit International Ltd,to commence legal proceedings against you on the behave of the Dvla,
All statutory court cost and solicitors fees will be included in the claim
This letter must be treated as a formal notification that legal action willbe taken against you without further notice
the legal proceedings can only be withdrawn upon reciept of full payment
I would like to reply but fear im going to make the situation worse,we feel were in the rediculas situation of even though we done everything thats required were still end up paying this and maybe more for doing as were instructed
I want the fight but my poor wife is worried Sick and ive already had to hide all letters before she pays it without my knowledge,God im frustrated
Hi 2LF. I'll start this with the standard disclaimer that this is not legal advice. As such, it's completely worthless but may give you some ideas.
I'm currently being chased by DVLA for a Late Licencing Penalty in respect of a car that I gave away in Dec 2007 to someone who wanted to use it for spares. The vehicle was SORN and on private land at the time and he contacted me using a note I'd left in the windscreen so I have no record of his details. At the time I sent the V5, correctly completed and signed by both of us, to DVLA in Swansea and forgot all about it.
In about August I received notification of the LLP as the SORN had expired in May and not been renewed. I wrote to them explaining the situation and asking them to cancel the LLP.
They replied that they had now updated their records so that the vehicle was no longer registered in my name but I was still liable for the LLP as I was the registered keeper at the time it was raised.
I wasn't in the mood to play ping-pong with letters over it so my second letter was as follows:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I acknowledge receipt of your automatically generated letter dated 17th October 2008 in respect of the alleged penalty charge outstanding on this vehicle and refer you to my letter dated 4th September 2008 to Mrs P Wolley of your Continuous Registration Centre (copy attached).
As I stated in that letter, the vehicle was transferred to a new owner in December of 2007 and I duly notified DVLA by returning the V5 document. At that point, my duty under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 to notify a change of keeper was discharged and so the provisions of Regulation 22 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations, under which the disputed Penalty Charge arise, cannot apply.
I am neither responsible, nor liable, for any failure by the DVLA to update their records in accordance with the information I supplied to them when disposing of the vehicle. I fully understand that the DVLA have a responsibility to maintain the Continuous Registration records for millions of vehicles and appreciate that these penalty charges are a valuable tool to that end. However, unless they can clearly demonstrate that I failed to submit the change of keeper details - which is impossible because I did submit them - the charge is not enforceable. I therefore urge you to cancel the charge forthwith and look forward to your confirmation of this.
If you choose instead to test your position in Court, I trust that you will arrange for the case to be heard in my locality and provide me with sufficient notice to prepare my defence.
This has resulted in the following from them:
Thank you for your recent letter.
I can only acknowledge your correspondence as no new issues have been raised. The Department's position remains as in our previous letter of 19/08/08
I have, at your request, forwarded the case for prosecution. The office / court dealing with your case will contact you in due course.
To stop this post becoming too long I'll continue in a second with my thoughts......
Reading the last line of their reply, it seems unlikely that they intend this to go to Court. The suggestion of "prosecution" would only apply if they were intending to bring a criminal charge - such as Using or keeping an ulicenced vehicle as created by Section 29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA 1994) Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c. 22)
Note, however, that this offence is specified as follows:
(1) If a person uses, or keeps, on a public road a vehicle (not being an exempt vehicle) which is unlicensed he is guilty of an offence.
Being a criminal offence, it's up to them to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the car has been used (or kept) on the road. They can't do that, so the word 2prosecution" is there as a frightener.
Similarly, the "office / court dealing" suggests that they will be forwarding it to a collection agency rather than initiating court proceedings - despite my clear denial of liability. If they do this then it's effectively harrassment because they are demanding money which I deny that I owe, without any attempt to establish liability.
On this point, there is an interesting comment from the Secretary of State for Transport in the Daily Hansard Written Answers for 17th Sep 2008
Many offenders do not pay first time on receipt of the LLP or the reminder letter. Initially, the Agency used the Civil Court procedure to deal with non payment but this process gave poor results and costs were high.
The Agency had to have an effective and efficient mechanism for pursuing the offenders who did not pay their LLP's. Therefore, in June 2006 to August 2007, the Agency carried out a trial using debt collection agents to pursue the payment. The use of debt collectors was found to be far more efficient and effective and in February 2008, the Agency commenced external debt collection activity by passing CR cases for the period of June 2007 to its three appointed debt collection agencies.
In other words, for whatever reason, Civil Court action using due process was failing to collect the readies so they turned to external intimidation instead. If they do that in my case, then the first (and only) reply to the Debt Collectors will be a denial of liability for the debt and an assertion that any further communication from them without liability being established will be considered harrassment
I'm currently waiting for a reply to a Freedom of Information request that they explain what form the "poor results" from civil courts took - was it failure to collect the money after liability was established or was it that they were having difficulty getting the Courts to find liability in the first place?
With regard to liability, the penalty is payable by the Registered Keeper. Under the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licencing) Regulations 2002 (as amended by SI 2003/2154), on a sale or transfer to a private individual the registered keeper has a duty to:
(2) The registered keeper of the vehicle—
(a) if the registration document issued in respect of the vehicle is in his possession, shall deliver to the new keeper that part of the document marked as the part which is to be given to the new keeper; and
(b) shall forthwith deliver to the Secretary of State on the remainder of the registration document, or otherwise in writing, the following information—
(i) the name and address of the new keeper;
(ii) the date on which the vehicle was sold or transferred to the new keeper;
(iii) a declaration signed by the registered keeper that the details given in accordance with paragraph (i) are correct to the best of his knowledge and that the details given in accordance with paragraph (ii) are correct; and
(iv) a declaration signed by the new keeper that the details given in accordance with paragraphs (i) and (ii) are correct.
Having carried out this obligation, it is up to the Secretary of State to:
(5) On receiving notification of a change in keeper in accordance with paragraphs (2), (3) or (4), the Secretary of State shall, subject to regulation 15—
(a) record the change in the register, and
(b) issue to the new registered keeper a new registration document.]
You meet your obligation by sending the completed V5, or a letter containing the same information, to the DVLA as the Secretary of State's agent. Clearly, it would be absurd to require all owners to turn up at the Secretary of State's house and deliver the notification in person!
Note that there is no legal requirement for the Secretary of State (or his agent) to confirm receipt, so the presence (or absence) of such a receipt has no legal meaning.
The reliance on a 3rd party (e.g. the Royal Mail or a Motor Trader) for the delivery of such notification is not accepted at Court as a valid reason for the non-receipt of notification by the Agency and, therefore, the responsibility for notification remains with the registered keeper.
In other words, they do not consider simply posting the information to discharge your duty under the Act.
However, when challenged about case law supporting this position, in another FOI request:
Whilst there is no specific case law to answer your request, the reliance of a 3rd party (in this case Royal Mail) for the delivery of a SORN declaration has never been accepted by court as a valid reason for the non-receipt of notification by the Agency. To assist our customers to
fulfil their responsibilities in this regard, guidance notes are provided on both the dualpurpose licence renewal form/SORN declaration (V11) and the separate V890 SORN application form. These make clear that, whilst DVLA will issue an acknowledgement to confirm receipt of the declaration, if this is not received within 4 weeks the sender should contact DVLA. It is accepted, therefore, that the responsibility for notification remains with the registered keeper.
Note that the fact that reliance on a third party has "never been accepted by Court" may simply mean that it's never actually been tested!
In the case of the V5 document, the wording relating to receipt and contacting the DVLA if it doesn't arrive is:
DVLA will issue an acknowledgement letter after 4 weeks to confirm you are no longer the registered keeper. If the acknowledgement letter is not received please contact DVLA [on]0870 240 0010
This does not meet their FOI claim of "making it clear that...." for a number of reasons:
1) they state they will send the letter "after 4 weeks". This might be 29 days, or it might be 3 years later!
2) They give no indication of how long you should wait before contacting them - simply "if it is not received". In my case, I haven't received the letter but I may just be being very patient with them, knowing how busy they are!
3) The wording "please contact DVLA", especially in conjunction with a premium rate telephone number from which they will profit, is in no way an indication of a legal requirement for you to do so. There is no legal requirement established in either Statute or, by their FOI admission, Case Law. It is simply a request for youu to give them money if they don't write to you!
Finally, with regard to their assertion that reliance on a Third Party is not enough to discharge your obligation. They accept there is no Case law but there is Statute Law that touches on this.
Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
Now, the obligation you, as a keeper, have is to "deliver" the document which falls into the category of "give, send or any other expression". The fact that the DVLA (acting for the Secretary of State) provide a postal address, and no alternative, for delivery of the notice implies that service by post is required for the documents. In which case, S7 states, clearly and unambiguously, that
...unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document...
Note that there is no requirement, in establishing that service is effected, to use any specified postal service such as recorded delivery, nor even to obtain a proof of posting. A simple sworn statement (or statement in Court) that you posted them should, therefore, be sufficient to establish that you have served, or delivered, the doculmenbts to the satisfaction of the Law.
Finally, I repeat my earlier caution that this is not legal advice, but merely my opinion. Also, if anyone can pick any gaping holes in the above, I'd be grateful if they do so before I find myself in front of the Bench
No probs, 2lf. AFAIK this line hasn't been tested in Court, but it's been discussed at some length on the OU Law Student forums and the general consensus is that the nub of the matter is the Interpretation Act stating that documents correctly posted are deemed served unless the other party can prove the contrary. Given that they lose a lot of stuff in their own system, there's no way they can prove that.
Neither they nor, in fact, the Courts, have any power to disregard Statute law so it simply isn't open to them to claim you have to do anything more than the relevent Statures require (ie: post the form). Almost certainly, they would rely on S7 of the Interpretation Act if you claimed to have received a penalty "too late" to pay the reduced rate, and they can't have it both ways no matter how much they'd like to
As an aside, it's been pointed out by some members of the OU that the wording:
the reliance of a 3rd party (in this case Royal Mail) for the delivery of a SORN declaration has never been accepted by court as a valid reason for the non-receipt of notification by the Agency.
which is used by them to suggest that posting the documents isn't enough, could easily be read the other way:
"We've previously asked the courts to say that using a third party doesn't mean we've received it but they've always ruled that using normal post is not grounds for us to claim that"
If the facts are what they appear to say then they could have worded it much more clearly something like:
"The courts have never accepted that relying on a third party discharges your obligation to notify us until you've received our receipt"
Using ambiguous, convoluted, wording like this is often a sign of trying to give the opposite impression to what the facts support without actually lying
Well, as expected, I haven't received a summons from DVLA yet to prove liability for this. Instead, this morning, I've received a "Pre Litigation Notice" from Moorcroft Debt Recovery's Pre-Court Division (their red lettering )for the money. It seems that if I don't pay them I may be faced with:
* prosecution and a minimum £1000 fine
* my vehicle may be clamped (remember, it's not "my vehicle" any more!)
* my vehicle may be impounded and destroyed (as above)
On 15th November 2008 I wrote to you notifying you that I deny liability for the Late Licensing Penalty you allege I owe for the vehicle stated above because I had notified you in december 2007 that I was no longer the registered keeper.
I believe I was clear on the fact that I would not consider paying the alleged penalty unless you could prove liability in court. You acknowledged receipt of that letter on 22nd December 2008 and appeared to confirm that the matter was being forwarded for court action.
However, this morning I received a demand for the alleged penalty from Moorcroft Debt Recovery Limited who claim you have instructed them to attempt recovery of my alleged debt. I draw your attention to the fact that this is an alleged debt and remains so until found in court.
I must now require you to recall the matter from Moorcroft Debt Recovery until such time as you can prove liability. To assist you, their reference is XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Until and unless the debt is proved I shall consider any further attempts by you, or your agents, to coerce payment from me as behaviour constituting harassment as defined in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and will reserve my right to make complaint under that Act.
And for Morons Debt Recovery (or I may just let them sweat):
Dear Mr Martin,
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 2nd January 2009 regarding a Late Licensing Penalty that DVLA allege me to owe.
This penalty is in dispute as I was not the registered keeper at the time it was issued. I previously wrote to DVLA on 15th November 2008 explaining this and requiring them to prove liability in court. They have not yet done so.
Because of this, you must now return the matter to DVLA immediately for them to establish liability. Until and unless liability is established in court, any further correspondence from you, apart from acknowledgement of this letter and the actions specified, will not be answered but will be filed as evidence of harassment as defined in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.