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    • If you are buying a used car – you need to read this survival guide.
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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

      The next day, 18/1/24 noticed amber engine warning light on dashboard , immediately phoned BMW aftercare team to ask for it to be investigated asap at nearest garage to me. After 15 mins on hold was told only their 5 service centres across the UK can deal with car issues with earliest date for inspection in March ! Said I’m not happy with that given what sales team advised or driving car. Told an amber warning light only advisory so to drive with caution and call back when light goes red.

      I’m not happy to do this, drive the car or with the after care experience (a sign of further stresses to come) so want a refund and to return the car asap.

      Please can you advise what I need to do today to get this done. 
       

      Many thanks 
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    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.

       

      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Hi,

 

New to the forum and wonder if you can help me. I am self-employed and have ran into arrears with the taxman. Unfortunately I have not had consistent work since May - including a six week dry spell - and as a result an officer from HMRC arrived last week and put a distraint on my vehicle (which is not used for business purposes).

 

Immediately afterwards, I contacted my former accountant and stumped up the cash for her to examine the total that HMRC were requesting. Two days later she advised me that the figure of £8,400 which they were claiming was massively inflated and in fact I was only £3,100 in arrears.

 

Yesterday I contacted HMRC and requested that they give me time to sell the vehicle myself - as it is valued at £6-7k and would easily enable me to pay the bill - or whether a payment plan could be agreed as I have contracted work for at least the next 5-6 weeks. They denied the request and re-iterated that the car will be seized this coming Tuesday if the debt is not paid in full.

 

Essentially, I have two questions: i) The distraint order that was levied against my motor-vehicle states that as a result of me owing £8,400 this order has been filed. Now this figure is grossly inaccurate, does this make the contract null and void? The inaccurate figure makes the whole premise of the order questionable doesn't it?

 

ii) What, if any, steps of action would you advise that I take next?

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To start the ball rolling you must send immediately a letter to the IR by recorded delivery advising them you have reason to believe the amount allegedly owed to be inncorrect and outline the events that give that reason ie: a copy of the accountants audit.

 

Within that letter make a sensible offer of payment by installments and to show good faith enclose first payment, make it very clear that you are making this proposal to allow them to carry out appraisal of the alleged amount owed and prevent a counterclaim being made by you.

 

Taking this action will give you time to sell the car privately or come up with a way to pay them in full.

 

 

wd

 

 

Do not even bother to try and ring them for a more chaotic system than that of the IR has yet to be invented.

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To start the ball rolling you must send immediately a letter to the IR by recorded delivery advising them you have reason to believe the amount allegedly owed to be inncorrect and outline the events that give that reason ie: a copy of the accountants audit.

 

Within that letter make a sensible offer of payment by installments and to show good faith enclose first payment, make it very clear that you are making this proposal to allow them to carry out appraisal of the alleged amount owed and prevent a counterclaim being made by you.

 

Taking this action will give you time to sell the car privately or come up with a way to pay them in full.

 

 

wd

 

 

Do not even bother to try and ring them for a more chaotic system than that of the IR has yet to be invented.

 

 

Ok, well i phoned my Local tax Office this afternoon and they acknowledged the revised amount - £3100. However, they refused to remove the distraint order. I offered them a repayment scheme whereby I could pay £500pm for 6mths. They refused as I couldn't offer them anything up front - I have no disposable funds until 15th August. They reiterated that the vehicle would be ceased on Tuesday 4th August. I really am running out of time and ideas.

 

Also, what of the distraint notice that was created as a result of them falsely accusing me of owing £8,500. That was never the case and they now acknowledge this. Wouldn't that now become invalid as the basis on which the notice was created was erroneous.

 

Surely in order to cease my vehicle, a new distraint notice with notification of the correct owed amount would have to be issued?

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You have a senario of I said..they said, get their admission in writing and your proposal as I gave in earlier post then you have a right to contest and seek redress if they take further action, this also gives you your reply to the question can they use the current distraint answer.... yes as you do owe them regardless, can they justify acting on that distraint after they have been notified in writing with the supporting evidence that you have a cause to appeal it answer is ...no.

You will have to fight them every inch of the way but follow the correct procedure and you at least cover your back and open up an avenue for arbitration.

 

wd

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Update: I sent the letter special delivery with a £600 cheque attached as you advised on Saturday, so I assume it would have arrived at the Tax Office Monday.

 

However, this morning someone arrived requesting to value my vehicle. My wife answered the door and informed them I was out.

 

So I deduce from this that either they have ignored my letter or they have refused my proposal. So what is the next step?

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So far you have done everything you can by writing to them, check the Post Office site and you will be able to track and trace your letter has been received by them. Print this off and a copy of the letter sent to them and if anyone calls again tell them the matter is subject of a dispute, then give them a copies of letter and PO receipt and suggest firmly but politely that they contact the Inland Revenue to confirm the position and meanwhile that they leave the premises until such time as you receive a reply.

 

WD

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Put in an urgent complaint to your local MP as well, mine was very helpful in making the HMRC see sense, in my case it was only a few hundred they said I owed when in fact they owed me but I got the threats of distraint orders too. Good luck with this, they are really awful to deal with, still took them six months to come up with my refund!:-x

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Firstly I want to thank both of you for aiding and guiding me through this process, such altruistic acts are very rare these days!

Another update unfortunately though - Today I recieved a letter from MST Auctioneers - I gather the people that have called on three occasions last week - stating 'FORMAL NOTICE - WE WILL SEIZE THE GOODS DISTRAINED UPON...UNLESS PAYMENT MET IN NEXT FIVE DAYS...we would remind you that the assets listed on the Walking Possession Agreement were signed over to HMRC and remain their property...'

 

First thing I noticed and query is that the letter has the amended amount of £3100 yet the distraint order/walking possession agreement that I signed states £8000. I still have recieved no response regarding the letter I sent containing the proposal.

 

yes as you do owe them regardless, can they justify acting on that distraint after they have been notified in writing with the supporting evidence that you have a cause to appeal it answer is ...no.

wd

 

Does this situation still remain the same, I assume they still cannot seize the car? Should I contact them again or sit tight?

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Next go straight to your local County Court and make application for "stay of execution" ( have asked PT to post a template for you) and when you fill the form in again send copies of everything you have sent to and received from the Tax Office. Make it very very clear the account is in dispute and you are making interim payments while waiting a response from the IR.

 

Then copy the application and everything you have sent to the Tax Office including the postal receipt and send it to MST.

 

WD

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Ok, just to clarify - the account is deemed to be 'in dispute' owing to the fact that the distratint order/walking possession agreement states an amount- £8400 -which was later proven to be incorrect and in spite of the fact that in subsequent letters and calls both HMRC and MST explicitly acknowledge the owed amount is £3100?

What are the chances that the court grants me a stay of execution and what does that afford me?

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I had looked at that link, didn't find it very helpful and they won't offer me pro-bono advice because I am self-employed, not claiming benefits and have worked in the last 2 weeks.

 

Specifically it does not answer the last question I posted.

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If you are already being pursued by an official from Debt Management and Banking, you should tell him that you believe that there has been a mistake and that you have contacted your tax office to sort things out. He may agree not to take further action until the tax office has had a chance to check the matter.

  • the HM Revenue and Customs officer should act within the law, and you need not fear the illegal behaviour that is sometimes reported of bailiffs who carry out a similar process for other debts,
  • the HM Revenue and Customs officer cannot force his way into your premises without a court order, and such orders are very unusual, and
  • in practice only a tiny number of visits to legally take possession of goods lead to sales at auction (about one visit in a thousand).

The HM Revenue and Customs officer will need to enter your home or business before the process of legally taking possession of goods can begin. By law, this must be peaceful entry. The HM Revenue and Customs officer may not make a forced entry without a court order, and these are very unusual. Denying the HM Revenue and Customs officer access does not of course end the matter; it is a wake up call however and will give you a bit of time to sort out your affairs. In particular any outstanding tax returns should be dealt with urgently.

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The car is owned outright...unfortunately. However, good news...or at least I think! I checked my bank balance today and the £600 cheque I sent HMRC was cashed yesterday.

Still I have heard, nothing from either the HMRC or MST, does this mean now that there is a binding contract?

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It might be to your advantage to write to them yet again email and hard copy to follow, HMRC are a law unto themselves but you are entitled to a reply. I suspect that as MST have not made further appearance they may well be waiting for instruction from HMRC as to if they should proceed with the distraint order. Keep that car tucked safely in a locked garage even if it means you have to hire or borrow another to go about your business it will not be safe anywhere else.

 

 

Ref Number...................

 

Dear Sir,

 

I write further to my letter of (date) and the interim payment made by cheque, encashed by HMRC on (date)

 

It can been seen the amounts given to enable a distraint notice be acted upon have been shown to be incorrect, you have acknowledged this to be the case but as yet have made no reply.

 

I wish to reiterate that I am not attempting to avoid the amount owed to HMRC and would ask of them, they recognise I have made offer of affordable and sustainable repayments to the sum of £££pcm and further ask they agree to this offer in order the debt be repaid at the earlist opportunity.

 

Yours etc

 

 

WD

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Update: I sent the advised letter and it arrived Thursday. I have received no response to it. However, this morning I had a very threatening phonecall from MST. I was out and my son answered they asked him why the 5 days had expired without the amount being paid, to which he said he knew nothing of the matter, they then asked him for my mobile number - which he refused to divulge.

They ended the conversation by saying that he shouldn't be so cagey. As now they will be forced to make a visit to the house and we will be charged.

 

The sheer audacity! The revenue has taken that cheque for £600 and cashed it! Now the debt lies at £2500 and these people are trying to enforce a distraint order for £8100!

 

These bullying tactics are reminiscent of racket chiefs! It is beginning to seem that I am powerless to stop it, they are payin gno attention to my letters that I sent the revenue, what can I do?

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Ok, two bully boys arrived at the property - again my son has dealt with them. They attempted to gain access to the property 'for the purpose of taking photographs.' He denied them access unless they had a warrant - they said they don't need a warrant - they can take the vehicle as they have a walking possession agreement - 'that has as much powers as a warrant.'

They revealed every little detail of my finances and debts to my son in the middle of the street. When my son enquired 'should you divulge this information to me, isn't it against the Data Protection Act?' They said 'No, it's fine.' My son then came back to contact me by phone and I told him not to allow them access, and inform them that I sent £600 to the Revenue. They said the Revenue had informed them that I had sent a letter to them but there was no mention of any money. Even though the bastards have cashed it!

After my son told them to go away, they told him 'they will be back this won't go away.'

My son said they became increasingly aggressive and seemed like they were trying to gain access by deception. Do I have any legal recourse for any of this? I really need to take action urgently, it seems.

Edited by song_mcbun
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Have sent you by PM details of the complaint procedure: you do have justification to take this route as they have ignored all your letters

 

Your son (how old is he?) is quite right, they must show a warrant and they have indeed broken the DPA by discussing your personal data with him.

 

What exactly is written on the WP order?

 

Make sure you head the letter of complaint Formal Complaint and send recorded.

 

Keep that car well hidden and if that means using Public Transport then so be it until this is sorted (they will follow you)

 

WD

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Son is 20. So regardless of whether they have the walking possession agreement, they cannot force access, can they?

 

Do you think I should still go down the 'stay of execution' route? I had held that off but was thinnking about going down to the County Court first thing in the morning, do you still have the template for this?

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Oh, and another thing. My car is in the garden, to access the garden you need to enter through locked gate. I realise they can climb the gate, but also it has a double drive and in order to get the 'distrained' car out you would need to move my works van or my wife's car - can they gain access to either in order to tow the distrained vehicle?

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As requested here is what the walking possession agreement contains:

 

Walking possession is where we take possession of distrained goods but you are left in physical possession of these goods at the place where they were seized.

 

Because you have allowed the distrained goods listed on the inventory dated 21/07/2010 to remain in my custody and therefore delaying the sale of goods, I hereby acknowledge and agree that:

 

i)The goods listed on the inventory are under distraint and are being held in walking possession

ii) Leaving the goods does not mean that you have abandoned the distraint action

iii) I will pay the walking possession fee

iv) you or your agent will be given access to the goods for the purpose of inspection or removal whule the distraint is in force

v) I will not allow the goods to come into possession of any other person

vi) I will not allow the goods to be removed from the premises except with your permission

vii) I will not inform any other person who tries to levy any other distraint or execution that you are already in possession of the goods. And I will let you know if this happens.

 

NB: This is the second page of the 'Distraint notice and inventory' - the first page contains details of the debt amount - which was the erroneous amount of £8283.04 - and confirmation that I own these goods.

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