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debt-collection agency demand


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Hi. Wonder if you can help. My friend (and driver) has just received a demand for £345 from a debt-collection agency (Credit Resource Solutions). All it says is

"Debt Outstanding £345.

Your account BPM....(with her car registration number at the end.)

"We are instructed by BPM Ground Services Ltd in connection with your outstanding debt of £345.00. This debt relates to a parking ticket issued as follows: (her car details) Please call with your credit card details...If you fail to contact us to make arrangements to clear this debt, further action may be taken against you"

This is the first she was aware of any debt - no parking ticket having been issued ever. She has no account with BPM. On telephoning the agency she learned that two incidents occurred in a car park at Brent Cross South Shopping Centre (a private car park)about 12 and 11 months ago because she overstayed the apparent 3 hours limit. No details of another two occasions could be given unless she pays £25 for each incident.

The car park was taken over in the summer and now has clear signs, which I noticed immediately when I visited in July. Therefore on that occasion we only stayed within the limited time, which we would have done in December when we first apparently ignored the limit if we'd known.

I feel somewhat responsible, as I was a passenger both times. I am disabled and so usually get a friend to take me shopping. I'm always careful to put my blue badge on the windscreen and to check the parking rules in a car park, if I can get to them. I am sure that the signs were not easily apparent when these debts were incurred. On one occasion there were three of us in the car and none of us saw them. Possibly, because we used a disabled parking bay, which has a different sign about not parking without a valid blue badge, the signage was poor for those bays.

Unfortunately we cannot prove the signage was poor as since the car park has been taken over, signs are now prominent.

However, it seems to me wrong that a debt-collection agency can threaten my friend with 'further action', putting her in fear of court and possible inclusion on a debt register.

I have advised her that I don't think a court would think the debt agency had behaved reasonably, or that a 11-month interval between the breach of contract and demand for money (therefore enabling 3 more visits in ignorance of the terms of the car park) is reasonable, but she is frightened of legal action.

As I feel somewhat responsible, what do you advise?

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I advise you tell them you've never had anything from BPM and tell the DCA to refer it back to BPM.

 

Don't worry about the debt register or whatever, you can't go on there (if it exists?) unless:

They take you to court

You somehow fail to win (which won't happen because if you get taken to court you will come on here again, and also go to pepipoo.com and let us know, whereupon you will be bestowed with legal advice for everything you need to do)

You then do not pay the money as instructed by the court, only then can a CCJ be issued.

 

Don't worry! Remember, it would be up to THEM to prove their signs were correct when you parked, and even then, £345 IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER represents their losses for you having overstayed!!!

 

:)

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