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Found 96 results

  1. Hi, TL;DR version of events: I received a SJPN. I believe I technically am guilty of the charge, but had ignorantly committed the offence out of sheer financial desperation, having had no money and just started a new job. I'm desperate to avoid a criminal conviction. I contacted TfL's IAP to apologise, explained my circumstances, and I provided proof for everything possible and asked to settle this out of court, and that I'm happy to pay the necessary fine. Today they finally responded - with a very generic response to say they wish to proceed with the case... However, the Revenue Control Inspector's statement is factually incorrect, has the date incorrect. The date provided is a date on which I can prove I had a valid ticket. Do I stand a chance at fighting this as 'Not guilty' in court, on the basis that their evidence is incorrect? Complete story: On Thursday 26th July 2018 - I was caught using my mum's 60+ freedom pass by a Revenue Control Inspector on my way to work. I had just started a new job 10 days before, on the 16th July. I had used the card between 18th-26th July (until I was caught) for my commute to and from work. I could not afford a monthly travel card at the time I had been caught as I had been unemployed for past 8 months; maxed out two credit cards, and had been borrowing money from my family to afford rent and food already. I only intended on using the freedom pass until I received my first partial paycheque at the end of the month. I'm not denying - it was a stupid idea, and I obviously hugely regret having used a card I had no right to use. I'm not typically a dishonest person, and this was my first and only offence. 5 months later, just after christmas, I received a Single Justice Procedure Notice, charging me for not having a valid ticket in a compulsory ticket area; 'Contrary to Byelaw 17(1) of the Transport for London Railway Byelaws made under paragraph 26, schedule 11 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999.' Understanding I was guilty of the offence, despite it having been committed out of sheer desperation. I'm also desperate to try and avoid a criminal conviction as I’m currently unemployed, and in search of a job again, and wish to avoid anything that might damage my chances of re-employment. So I emailed TfL's IAP email address, explaining my financial circumstances, expressing that this was my first and only offence, apologising and pleading for any way for this matter to be settled without landing me a criminal record for it would really damage my chances of getting employed again- supplying bank statements, credit card statements, providing anything and everything to support the facts I had stated. ... Today, I finally received a totally generic sounding email response from one of the prosecutors at the IAP department: “On the 27th July 2018 you were approached at ***** ***** station after using a pass to enter that activated the monitors. You produced a 60+ Oyster card that you admitted belonged to your mother. These passes are not transferable and therefore was not valid for you to use…” “…Transport for London intend to continue with the matter listed against you and I would advise you to complete the paperwork and return within the required timescales” I noticed that in their email response they have the date of the incident incorrect, (She said 27th July 2018 instead of 26th July 2018. On the 26th I was caught and cautioned, on the 27th, I actually paid for my fare and can prove it) Furthermore, the Revenue Control Inspector's statement says the incident happened on the 27th instead of the 26th. It's only on the second page of the SJPN under the "Statement of facts" that they have the date correctly stated as the 26th July. Do I stand any chance in fighting this case as 'not guilty' in court, on the basis that the statement given by the Revenue Control Inspector is factually incorrect, and if they were to pull CCTV from the 27th - they'd find that I'd actually used a valid ticket on that date? Any help or suggestions would be massively appreciated. I have 5 days to respond to the SJPN letter Many thanks!
  2. I have received tribunal's Notice of preliminary hearing case management and Notice of a claim - Notice of hearing with a case management orders. However, I haven't received CT3 copy . Is that ordinary ? When I should see it?
  3. Home Secretary statement on the use of DNA evidence in immigration applications READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretary-statement-on-the-use-of-dna-evidence-in-immigration-applications
  4. I am currently in dispute with a builder over a patio - there have been several attempts to remedy the situation over the past 12 months the patio has been re-laid but there are still significant issues. Last time the builder was on site I unfortunately swore about the situation not directed at the builder. The builder became very aggressive and intimidating - shouting and swearing at me. I asked him to leave the house and he continued. Fortunately, at this point my wife came home with my daughters and she could hear the builder shouting from outside the house. I managed to get the builder into the front garden where he continued to shout and swear at me in front of my wife and 5 and 3 year old daughters. My wife asked him to stop multiple times. We got the children in the house and then he eventually left after a final tirade. In the evening the contractor sent a text to my wife rather than me acknowledging his behaviour had been inappropriate. He is offering to carry out further remedial work but we are obviously reluctant to have him back on site after this situation - he is a big guy. Where do we stand legally if we don't feel comfortable having him back on site?
  5. Good afternoon, I would like some advice on what to do once a speeding ticket has been paid but then a driver may have evidence that could get the ticket quashed. I have found out recently that our group fleet office has been submitting driver details for speeding tickets, bypassing my company process, and for which subsequently the drivers have been receiving the notices and paying the fines. Some of the tickets I have found out were for the stated offence of 'exceeding the speed limit for a goods vehicle' and for which the drivers have already paid the fines but I know we could have contested these as the vehicles are not goods vehicles, although the drivers apparently did not know any better and paid up. We have the vehicle V5s and photographic evidence of the vehicle interiors clearly showing the vehicles not to be goods vehicles, to whom could we approach to have the fines and points quashed, would it start with the NIP issuer? Thank you very much
  6. Home Secretary launches Windrush compensation scheme call for evidence READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-launches-windrush-compensation-scheme-call-for-evidence
  7. I got myself into a spot of bother with the cops. Easy done it seems. Long story. I'm not here to discuss that. I didn't do anything wrong. Idiots calling the cops over nothing resulting in me getting arrested. Anyway, I've had the first hearing and the next hearing is on Monday. My legal aid has not gone though yet. I haven't heard from my appointed solicitor as promised many times, either by phone or to arrange to meet. I expected a call at least today. Nothing! So as far as I am aware they have still not been presented with witness statements and evidence from the prosecution. And in any case I know nothing about the details of the prosecution's case and there is now exactly zero working days until the hearing. Apart from the fact I am considering going with another solicitor recommended by a friend and not WSA... ... where does my case stand with regards to this? Three charges. I'm looking at potentially resisting arrest and verbal abuse to the police as a worst case scenario. As I understand it it's good practise to have the accused, or their lawyer presented with the evidence 14 days prior to the intermediate hearing, or else how can I be expected to reconsider my plea? Anyone know of any nice little loop holes in the legal system I can throw at the judge on Monday and walk out the building for the last time, and extend my middle finger up to the whole thing? p.s. Scotland
  8. Submit your evidence to assist Carillion investigation READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/submit-your-evidence-to-assist-carillion-investigation
  9. Hi If a case has been issued using part 8, but a court rules part 8 is not suitable and that it should go onto part 7. The party has paid a fee on Part 8 that is substantially lower then it would be on a part 7 claim (4.5% of the amount claimed as its a large amount) Should the court be asked that the claimant pay the correct fee. ( An order has been produced which makes no mention of the fee) Is it worth bringing it to the courts attention, ? Any suggestions welcome
  10. This is yet another important decision from the Local Government Ombudsman and one that once again makes clear that if a debtor who is subject to bailiff enforcement considers that he may be 'vulnerable', he must be prepared to provide evidence and outline how his 'vulnerability' affects his ability to deal with the debt. In brief, Mr B's complaint was as follows: Mr B incurred 5 penalty charge notices. He believes that there is a law from the year 1600 that means that he can’t be fined and so can park anywhere. He and his wife both have Blue Badges and he considered that being granted a Blue Badge means that he has meet the criteria for ‘vulnerability’. Mr B told the Council he was a vulnerable person. However, he had not explained why he considers he is vulnerable. He was of the opinion that it is the Council’s job to prove he is not. Mr B complained a business centre issued the warrants rather than a court and so were invalid. Mr B complains that the bailiffs did not have the correct warrants. The Council has said the court sends the warrants electronically and so there are no paper copies. PS: A copy of the decision can be read in the following post.
  11. Sent my appeal off with some brief details of why i was appealing , Had a Letter from DWP confirming that they received my appeal, and about how much ESA i will get until it's heard, But so far over 1mth since requesting the full written statement of the Atos wca Form IB /ESA85, But so far i have not been sent it, The person that i recently spoke with from DWP ,Confirmed that they could see that i had previously requested it, but could not understand why i had not yet received it, What can be done to force them to supply this info,(assuming it actually exists) ?
  12. Devon County County (16 017 119) Decision date: 17th August 2017. Published on the LGO website: 17th November 2017 Vulnerability and bailiff enforcement is a subject that is of great importance and sadly, it is a subject that is very much misunderstood. The LGO have made a number of decisions regarding the 'definition' of vulnerability and the following case is another one where the LGO confirm that a 'vulnerable' debtor must provide evidence to demonstrate how their vulnerability affects their ability to deal with the debt. PS: The following is a shortened copy of the decision. A full copy can be accessed from the link at the foot of the post. Background: (9) Mr B has received 5 penalty charge notices (PCN) for parking offences since 2014. A parking enforcement officer placed two on the car and Mr B received three through the post. On the telephone, Mr B told me that he did not take account of parking laws as he believes there is a law from the year 1600 that means he can’t be fined and so can park anywhere. (16) The Council has said that Mr B first used the words’ vulnerable’ about his wife and him both having Blue Badges on 3 December 2015. (17) The Council said it advised Mr B on 5 July to contact the bailiffs for them to consider his ‘vulnerability’ and for him to provide them with whatever evidence they need to confirm his status as vulnerable. The Council advised Mr B that if the bailiff did deem his to be a vulnerable household the Council would withdraw the warrant and cease activity. (18) The Council said Mr B did not supply the bailiffs with supporting evidence. It has said the blue badge issued to Mr B, shows they have met the criteria of limited mobility to have a blue badge issued but may not necessarily be vulnerable. (19) The Council says that Mr B thinks that his vulnerability means that he is exempt from paying these fines. The Council says it disagrees with Mr B’s interpretation. It considers he is still liable to pay these fines, but any vulnerability means the Council has to consider extra discretion over how these fines are paid, e.g. deferring payment periods, accepting lower instalments until debts paid. (20) The Council has asked Mr B to provide supporting written evidence of his ‘vulnerability’ for it to find out if there are other conditions from which he suffers that may fit his interpretation of vulnerability, e.g. Mental health, depression, post- traumatic stress, at risk of self-harm, inability to understand and engage with the process. The Council says that if Mr B does meet any of these criteria, then it may withdraw the warrants and close the cases. Mr B has not provided supporting evidence. Analysis from the Local Government Ombudsman: (23) Mr B complained a business centre issued the warrants rather than a court and so were invalid. The TEC is the court appointed by the Secretary of State and the Department of Transport to deal with registration of debts arising from penalty charge notices. I can find no fault on this point. (24) Mr B complains the bailiffs did not have the correct warrants. The Council has said the court sends the warrants electronically and so there are no paper copies. For completeness, I will ask the Council to send me its electronic records showing the warrants but I can see no evidence of fault on this point. (25) Mr B believes that under the Taking Control of Goods National Standards 2010, (updated 2015) as soon as he told the bailiff company finds out he is vulnerable (with no explanation) they have to withdraw. He believes that he does not need to provide details of his details of his vulnerability; it is then the Council’s job to prove he isn’t. (26) The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013, part 2, regulation 10 set out the circumstances in which an enforcement agent may not take control of goods. It says an enforcement agent may not take control of goods of a debtor where a child or vulnerable person is the only person present. The legislation does not give any further guidance about how a vulnerable person is defined. (27) Mr B told the Council he was a vulnerable person. However, he has not explained why he considers he is vulnerable. He considers that it is the Council’s job to prove he is not. (28) It cannot be right that a person can say they are vulnerable and all outstanding debts are written off without them giving further information. If this was the case, then there would be no way for the Council to enforce any debt collection as anybody could claim vulnerability without evidence. I do consider it reasonable for Mr B to explain why he considers himself to be vulnerable. (29) In any case, a vulnerable person still has to pay the fines, but any vulnerability means the Council has to consider extra discretion over how the debtor pays the fines, e.g. deferring payment periods or accepting lower instalments. It should also allow the vulnerable person time to get help and advice. (30) I have found no fault in the Council’s actions. The Council gave Mr B the opportunity to appeal the PCN’s and to appeal to the court. No further recovery action has been taken once he told the bailiffs and Council he is vulnerable. However, I do consider it reasonable for him to give details of his vulnerability if he wants the Council to consider removing the warrants. http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/transport-and-highways/parking-and-other-penalties/16-017-119
  13. I made a complaint to the NHS against my dentist about the quality of his work concerning my crown. My crown fell out and I have it put back by my dentist but it remained in place only two days. The NHS replied to me asking me to fill a consent form and it told me that it will send my complaint to the dental practice and that I will receive a reply within 40 working days. I would like to know what to do so that the NHS examine my teeth and my crown to prove that the work of my dentist was no good. Evidence is needed otherwise the dental practice could simply deny the accusation. The issue is that if we wait 40 working days to examine my teeth and my crown the evidence on my teeth and my crown can disappear for example if my dentist did not put properly the glue on my teeth and my crown or put too much glue or too little. Moreover I will have to remain 40 working days without having my crown put back
  14. Hi My friend is a carer for her husband who has early onset dementia they are both 62 he is on income based ESA and she also has health problems including several strokes, angina attacks and has difficulty getting out as she has fainting fits. Last week she had to attend a compliance meeting, it seems that her husband has a works pension and a building society account which she was not aware of ( he left her for another woman and only came back to her when he started becoming ill so there are parts of his life she didn't share), she has had no letters addressed to him from either the BS or the pension company and obviously she cant ask him about it, the DWP asked her about the date the pension started amounts etc, accused her of withholding evidence and have given her 3 weeks to get that evidence She contacted both the BS the DWP say the account is held and her husbands old company, the BS refused to give her any details about the account but are writing to her husband and her husbands old employer have refused point blank to even discuss it with her, both are citing the data protection act as she does not have power of attorney she can apply to the courts to get access she said protection order but I am not sure what that means but in any case it would take longer than the 3 weeks the DWP has set. I have advised her that if her husbands old employer wont write to her that she writes to them confirming the telephone call and confirming they have refused to release the details to her due to the DPA, send it signed for a get proof of signature then at least she can prove to the DWP that she cant get the information they require. What I don't her to be is 'piggy in the middle' where the DWP say get information and BS and husbands company say 'you cant have it' and she is left floundering surely the DWP themselves can get this information anyway without the DPA so the only evidence she needs to supply is that she didn't know about the pension which could be tricky as they don't have to believe her and that she has derived no income from the pension which would be clear once BS statements are provided and there has been no movement of funds, obviously there would still be the question about capital which may have resulted in an overpayment, she is going to CAB but any help would be greatly appreciated Thank you
  15. hi all after some advice please i got a nip through and as you are all aware you go onto the internet now to view evidence ? i was on my bike and they have got me doing 40 in a 30 but they have no photographic evidence of my number plate to cut a long story short after numerous letters backwards and forwards to them they are asking for photographs of all sides of my bike also if i do send them they want to examine the photos then they say they will stop my vehicle when im out on it ? am i right to refuse these as there is only 2 photos from the front and according to the police the camera technician writes the registration down on a log sheet so how would they know if it wasn't a cloned bike etc etc
  16. nowlo everyone, I was hoping you'd be able to give me some advice on my current situation. I really want to keep on top of things. Total debt as follows: EDF Electric £200.04 Southern Water £57.22 Veolia Water £52.86 Priority Debt Total £310.12 Natwest Loan £2,505.78 Natwest Credit Card £1,686.25 Natwest Overdraft £500.00 Vanquis Credit Card £2,181.18 Orange Mobile £69.86 Orange Broadband £23.87 Creditor Debt Total £6,966.94 Total Debt £7,277.06 In July I was made redundant, along with everyone where I worked. previous to this I'd struggled with illness since summer the previous year, and had varying periods of time off work. Within this time I fell behind on repayments. I tried to speak to my creditors at this time, but they were having none of it. I contacted them again upon becoming redundant. I was behind on utilities, and used the little redundancy money I received (£600 goodwill payment) to bring them up to date. I still have £200 left on electric, but all the rest are sorted. I contacted CCCS for advice. After this I called my creditors to come to some arrangement while I'm looking for new employment. One creditor is Natwest, for my credit card, or shall I say Triton debt management. At the time I was awaiting confirmation of JSA, housing benefit etc and had no income. They accepted a monthly £1 token payment. End of last month they constantly kept calling me, I answered to shut them up. They told me the first agreement wasn't valid as I had no income and therefore it shouldn't of been made. Said the person that called me was 'new' (like that's MY problem) . I was forced into doing an income/expenditure there and then. Somehow they figured I could afford £7.99 a month . I couldn't, but felt really forced. I agreed. Since then I did a proper inc/exp for myself, and down to bear minimums for outgoings I'm still -£8.99 minus a month. I wrote a letter, which I sent recorded with an enclosed copy of my inc/exp saying I cannot afford the repayment agreed, and as of 5th Sept I will be making a £1 token payment, via postal order for the next 3 months (on 5th of every month), when I will review my financial situation (and could freeze interest). I also did the same for my other creditor, Vanquis, or rather Impact collections. Swhat I'd like to know is, was this right thing to do? What are the chances of them freezing my interest? Vanquis had my debit card details on file and tried to apply for the £10 I agreed previously from my bank. It bounced, as I had no funds . They would have received my letter a long time before that payment was applied for. I'm worried they can keep applying for this amount. How can I stop them? What rights do I now have? Can they take me to court? I'm using my PPI for the Natwest loan. So that's covered. Any help appreciated. Further to what I mentioned above... I have struggled for years with health problems, but especially since 2007. I've fought back repeatedly. My job before last I lost because of my health, I tried so very hard to keep it, but in the end they let me go. It was heartbreaking. Thus, in this period I got into arrears with my creditors. It took me a whole year (this was during the recession) of applying for hundreds of jobs to finally get a new one. I got my repayments to creditors back on track and things were going fairly well. Then mid-last year my health once again worsened. I can't even explain the absolute hell I had to go through with GPs/NHS just to get referred for treatment. I sat through work in agony day after day, through tears sometimes. Then to make matters worse, I slipped on ice walking home from work a week before Christmas last year. My then partner fell on top of me . I tore just about every ligament in and around my knee area. Once again I had to fight for treatment, admins 'lost' my appointments and all sorts of total rubbish. Now my leg gives way constantly, as there is nothing holding it together. I'm on a waiting list for surgery, it's almost a year come this December since I had the accident. This has left me battling the existing illness(es) plus a cruddy knee that constantly gives out and hurts. Subsequently I started to miss a lot of work, and got further into debt. Then in June the company I worked for felt the strain of the competition in the industry they were in, and decided to effectively 'can' the business, making myself and all the other 3 employees redundant (including my partner, whom I worked with). At the same time my partner of two years left me (in fact I found out he'd cheated on me). I did my crying, then dusted myself off and 'got on with it'... now around to present day. I've applied for countless jobs. Had eight interviews, three with same company, two with another. The feedback is always positive, they like me, but I'm never quite what they want/need. Then there's the ever head-banging responses to applications of 'over-qualified' or 'under-qualified'. I'm stuck in some weird limbo! I've got to the point where I have to take stock of my whole life and think what I need to do realistically. I have the following debt: EDF Electric £200.04 Southern Water £57.22 Veolia Water £52.86 Natwest Loan £2,505.78 Natwest Credit Card £1,686.25 Natwest Overdraft £500.00 Vanquis Credit Card £2,181.18 Orange Mobile £69.86 Orange Broadband £23.87 Total Debt £7,277.06 I have set-up token payments to creditors and payment arrangements with priority debts. I'm in receipt of JSA, housing/council tax benefit. I've been selling anything not nailed down and looking for any ways to make extra cash. My minimum outgoings for living are £830. This doesn't include travel, hairdressing or entertainment. This is the bear bones living costs. I've tried to cut down on everything possible. My groceries/household stuff is down to £90 a month (and trying to reduce further) . I've swapped electric/gas to lower cost dual fuel with another company. The only area that I could possibly cut in the future is my mobile/broadband . I have a deal with Orange for broadband (£10), line rental/inclusive anytime calls (£23) and £23 for my mobile. I'm contracted for my phone until at lest next April, so I can't get out of paying until then. I've tried to find somewhere cheaper to live (£450pcm at present), but being on the 'DSS' with a dog, regardless of gleaming references, I've had repeated nos. Plus, I have no deposit. So no saving to be made on housing. I'd have to get a job at minimum £17k annual to cover my bear living expenses, with little to nothing left for creditors with no prospect of that changing for what could be years, because of my health, if at all. It's quite apparent that finding work is no walk in the park right now either, so I'm going to have to take what I can get, no matter for how little. All I'd have to offer is a couple pounds to each creditor, while they refuse to stop adding interest, which is largely the reason my debt has escalated to such a high amount. The debt will increase, my credit score will get worse, I'll be getting more stressed, with no sign of being able to pay off my debt... after much thought I'm seriously wondering whether I should consider a DRO (Debt Relief Order) . It's hard for me to come to that conclusion, because I believe it's my responsibility to pay back what I owe. However, I can't see how I will be able to pay it back, my credit is already effected, and will continue to be even if I make token payments, right? given all the aforementioned would a DRO be best? What's the pros and cons? I'&d be so grateful for others thoughts. Hello, are you still there? Ha-ha! I'm so sorry this was so long. I'm just so worried. I've tried so hard to keep on top of things, it's heartbreaking to reach this point. I'm awake at 3 a.m. worrying for goodness sake!
  17. Howdy, I have a situation that I would really appreciate some input on. Recently Lowell contacted me for a debt I thought i had paid off in 2008. It was as credit card that I took out as a student. I had no previous contact from lowell until earlier this year. I received three letters demanding a sum of money and ignored them. I then received a pre court letter. When i contacted them they said the only way to prevent a cci was to set up a token payment plan in the meantime and they would provide me with proof of the debt. They told me to disregard the court letter. I agreed and set up the plan. The evidence i asked for didn't appear and i cancelled my direct debit before any payments were taken and then called them to ask whats going on and they said they were still waiting to hear back from the original debtor. A couple of weeks went by and then i received a letter from the court saying that a CCJ has been made. I have now received a letter from Lowell saying that they do not have any copies of original agreement etc and the debtor doesn't have them either. What can I do in this situation? I understand that once a ccj has been made there is not much one can do as even though its an unenforceable debt it has already been enforced but can they really demand the money without any evidence I still owe it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  18. Hi, I am hoping someone with a bit of legal knowledge can help me. I have issued a court claim for money owed to our company. We atre due in court a week today and the court ordered that we serve our evidence to each other and the court not later than 14 days before the hearing. We duly submitted ours at the beginning of last week by recorded delivery, however, we have only received the defendants evidence today, 7 days late. Is there a process or an application I can make to ask the court to disallow his evidence on the basis of it being late?
  19. Hi, I have a disciplinary meeting coming up for not abiding to a particular policy. However I have witnessed many people (in the presence of managers etc) do the same. There has been no meetings to say they will be cracking down etc Basically my employer and I had a disagreement over one thing, suddenly I'm being investigated for a couple of things, and straight to a disciplinary for others. So I wondered if I can ask for my disciplinary meeting how many other staff have been disciplined for the same reasons? Would that be appropriate? It does feel like they are looking for things to have a go at me with.
  20. Hi all We have received two PCN's from a Euro Car Park - members of BPA demanding payment of £100 each for both mine and my husband's cars. The date issued is 17/12/2016. I cannot recall the full details of the incident so I am relying on their evidence to advise me - however it looks to be very lacking in detail with simply an images of my number plate twice with text underneath it alleging the time of entry and exit. Now this does not seem sufficient to me but you tell me.... Is there advise on the best route of action to take as this is the first letter from them i want to deal with the matter asap but do not want to pay. is there a thread on here that i might've missed that talks about what to do Many thanks Tam
  21. Hi all, Looking for some advice regarding a parking charge received in an NCP car park for having an expired ticket. I park there every weekday for work, I pay for 2 hours as I'm in the office usually for about an hour before heading out again, but on this day I was delayed leaving and returned 20 minutes after it had expired to find one of their lovely bogus charges. I received the ticket stuck to my windscreen, with the time of year and seemingly countless work and personal life issues I didn't get round to writing an appeal. The Notice to Keeper arrived in due course and I haven't responded to that either, most recently I received a Keeper Liability Notice stating that it is now too late to appeal and they will pass the matter to a debt collection agency who may take me to court if I don't pay up. Now I'm not worried about their scare tactics, but I've reached the point where I have room in my brain's limited attention span to deal with this What would be the best course of action at this point? I understand that I was at fault but they're asking for £100 which is ludicrous, and I know they cannot charge more than the amount of lost revenue for the car park owner. Should I write to them offering payment equivalent to 1 hour's parking to cover the lost revenue? Thanks in advance, Nick
  22. The following is another very recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman on the subject of vulnerability. Once again, the LGO confirm that evidence needs to be provided if a person considers that they may be 'vulnerable'. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council PS: The following is a short version of the decision. A link to read the full report is at the end of this post. The complaint Mr X complains that the Council has unreasonably taken Council tax enforcement action against him despite his vulnerability. What I found The law says people must pay their council tax before the installment date stated on the bill. If people pay late on more than two occasions they lose the right to pay by installments. The Council can then demand that they pay the full amount which is due for the rest of the year. If they do not pay the Council can serve a summons and ask the magistrates for a liability order. A liability order is an order confirming the person must pay the council tax and costs. Further costs are incurred when magistrates grant a liability order. If someone does not pay the council tax, and the costs, the Council can ask enforcement agents to collect the debt. Enforcement agents charge fees which must also be paid. Mr X has council tax arrears from 2013/14 and 2014/15. The Council has provided evidence of Mr X’s non payment of Council tax and the courts upheld the summonses when they issued the Liability Orders. Mr X did not make any arrangements to pay his council tax arrears. In November 2014 Mr X told the Council he was a vulnerable person. The Council asked him to provide evidence and held his account for a month to give him time to provide the evidence. Mr X did not provide evidence of his vulnerability and the Council sent his account to enforcement agents (bailiffs) for collection. Councils can use enforcement agents to enforce Council tax debts. Mr X says they should not be used as he is vulnerable person. The enforcement agents wrote to Mr X in November 2014 asking for medical evidence of his vulnerability signed by his GP or a medical professional. They did not receive any medical evidence from Mr X. In September 2015 Mr X sent the Council a copy of a letter from his local mental health team inviting him to an appointment as evidence of his vulnerable status. In October the enforcement agents wrote to Mr X detailing the amounts he had to pay to clear his council tax arrears. Mr X provided the council tax department with a copy of a letter to the Housing Office on 25 January 2016 about his mental health. The Council told the enforcement agents who arranged for its welfare team to deal with him as they are experienced in dealing with vulnerable people. The enforcement agents returned Mr X’s accounts to the Council as they could not contact him. The Council contacted Mr X numerous times about the arrears on this council tax accounts. The law allows councils to instruct enforcement agents once the court has issued a liability order. The law also says that the court costs and fees charged by the enforcement agents must be paid. Although Mr X says he is a vulnerable person, he did not provide evidence of this to the Council until January 2016. Without evidence to support Mr X’s contention that enforcement agents should not be used, there is no evidence of fault in the Council’s decision to utilise them. Final decision There is no evidence the Council has been unreasonable in its decision to take enforcement action against Mr X for council tax arrears. http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits-and-tax/council-tax/16-001-201
  23. I have a current packaged bank account complaint and can confirm the FOS's poor practises. Important info in my case was drip fed to the FOS from the bank without my disclosure. The FOS caseworker would ring me sometimes 5 days later than agreed. The caseworker would then ambush me on the phone about information I knew nothing about, hardly good advocacy at any level. The They could not even read a bank statement correctly which led to sleepless nights because the FOS caseworker attributed a 11k withdrawal to the wrong company making me believe fraud had occurred, that is until many weeks later once I got sight of the bank statements I requested from the FSO and realised the FSO caseworker's school boy error. Even when I demanded the case be dealt with by another caseworker due to incompetence this was ignored and a decision railroaded. Now I have a legitimate claim for harassment against the caseworker for refusing to hand the case over and for continuing to ring me trying to harass me with questions about information not prior disclosed to me. I held a senior management post at The Home Office for over 23 years so I am used to dealing with casework and policy matters at all levels. I believe I am well qualified therefore to categorically state what a complete mess and state of denial the FOS is in. Until MP's experience this poor level of service I seriously doubt things will change for the better.
  24. I took out a Unsecured Personal Loan with Halifax online in December 2011. I was NEVER asked questions like, can you afford the payments, are you employed/unemployed, and I certainly was not asked about my income. This have got so bad I am currently on an IVA - Halifax increased the IVA from 5 years to 6 years forcing me to pay for longer. I am now wondering if bankruptcy is the best option. Do I have a claim that Halifax lent to me irresponsibly without going through my finances first?
  25. In March 2015 I was taken to the local magistrates court for certain council tax bills (briefly, I told the local council where I was living and they refused to update their records [the house was subject to a compulsory purchase order and the council wanted to pretend that the house was unoccupied] until I took them to a tribunal. They then updated their records and billed me for 5 years of council tax). The magistrate refused to grant a liability order for this old disputed council tax. I have paid recent council tax bills and I have a considerable amount of proof that I have done this (I even wrote on cheques what I was paying - where appropriate the cheques state it was full and final payment for the relevant year). The council has reallocated recent payments against the old disputed council tax and, after several adjournments, obtained liability orders for £5k of more recent, undisputed council tax bills in January 2016. I have stated that I have now paid these bills once and I have sent evidence of this to the council and their bailiffs. When I get a response it is that their records show a balance outstanding which they would like paid. The bailiffs are now "preparing papers" for an enforcement visit. I wont let them in but I am worried that they might take my car which I park on the street. This is a saga that, together with the compulsory purchase order, has dragged on for a decade. I would love to put it all behind me and get on with my life. I've done a Local Government Ombudsman Complaint and written to my MP & local Councillor without making progress. Any thoughts would be welcome.
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