I hope someone out there can help me as I am very very confused! Briefly, A representation about a PCN was made to Stratford Council on the 23rd of December 2013 and no response was received. I was unaware of the severity of the situation until on the 1st of August 2014 I received correspondence dated 21st of July 2014, from Equita which I subsequently opened regarding the PCN due to Stratford Council, stating that enforcement action would be taken unless the amount of £157 was paid. I immediately telephoned Equita and explained that this correspondence was my first sight of the outstanding PCN from Equita. I notified the gentleman that the vehicle in question is a company vehicle and is currently on a finance agreement and therefore cannot be levied upon and that a representation to Stratford Council had already been made.
I then returned home at 3.00pm on Wednesday 6th August 2014 and noticed a white van parked at the rear of the Mews where I live. I parked directly next to the vehicle and noticed a gentleman inside the vehicle. I unloaded the contents of my car, entered the house and approximately 5 minutes later, walked round to the front of the Mews to collect my black bin, noticing the white van was no longer parked in the Mews. I then left my property shortly after this to walk my dog and noticed the white van was now parked at the front of the Mews with the gentleman seated inside.
Upon returning to my property some 45 minutes later, I found a handwritten note from Equita with no envelope, had been pushed through the door stating Baliff, Mr S Parker had called to execute a Distress Warrant, giving me 24 hours to contact him to avoid further action. Also pushed through the door was a note stating my vehicle had been clamped because I had not paid the sum of £392. I must stress that at no time have I received a breakdown of the charges due to Equita other than the letter dated 21st of July 2014 received on the 1st of August 2014 with the amount of £157. I then telephoned Equita, having been unable to reach Mr Parker.
Equita refused to discuss the matter with me despite the fact that I had stressed the Distress Warrant had been delivered at the same time as the clamping had taken place and no chance to pay the debt or discuss this had been given. I also explained that at no time did Mr Parker attempt to talk to me in person while I was unloading my car and had indeed waited until I had left the vicinity to return and clamp my car. My neighbour witnessed the white van pulling into the back of the Mews after I had left the vicinity and is willing to provide a written witness statement to support this.
I also stated that in addition the vehicle has a significantly higher value than the original debt and stressed to Equita that as a single parent living in a rural location, there is no public transport and I needed to collect my daughter from a holiday club. I also explained that the vehicle is absolutely essential for my work since there is no alternative public transport I could use instead and that the car is not owned by me since it is subject to a finance agreement taken out with BMW Finance. Again they refused to discuss the matter or provide me with a breakdown of the charges.
Mr Parker them returned to my house and caused considerable embarrassment to me by literally hammering on my front door and shouting through the letterbox. He had also parked his white van directly in front of the entrance to the Mews so my neighbours were unable to enter or exit.
I had absolutely no choice other than to pay him the £392 he was demanding (via my debit card to his offices so I had a record of the transaction) and he removed the clamp.
I then filed an out of time TE7and TE9 and have just heard back from the TEC that the order for recovery of the unpaid penalty charge has been revoked and the charge certificate has been cancelled.
Speaking to the council, they have said I have no rights to ask Equita for a refund of their baliff fees of £310 - is that right? Does a cancellation of the charge and the recovery not also revoke the baliff action and subsequent fees?