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Hi All,

 

Late last year I received a fine for having no insurance on my vehicle. I was unaware that my insurance provider had cancelled my policy due to me not providing them with some information. Anyway a long story short, I received a fine from the courts and i sent a means form off to them to allow them t calculate what I can afford to pay.

 

I have received no acknowledgment of my means form and when I chased it up they said it has gone to the Marston Group bailiffs and I would have to talk with them. I rang the bailiffs and they said that a letter has been sent out to me and that £85 has been added onto the fine.

 

I now understand from the courts that there is nothing that I can do and that all I can do is negotiate with Marston Group however they will not negotiate. They have said that the only payment plan I can agree with them is £150 upfront then £100 per week - which I cant any where near afford.

 

The total fine is now £800...I would like to know what I can do because the fees are going to just rack up...its says on my letter that if I don't pay within 7 days another £215 will be added on and they are ging to take my stuff.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll move your thread to the bailiffs forum, where I expect the guys will be able to help you, and leave you a redirect here. I've edited your thread title a bit in case it causes problems, hope you understand the need for this.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Have you checked with the Court to see what address they have been writing to? It does seem strange that you have had nothing back from them as there should have been at least 2 to 3 letters. Have you moved at all since the offence was committed?


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Yes I received the court letters, they just didn't receive my means form. When I discussed this with them they said it is not their job to chase the means form in, they just pass it to the bailiffs if it is not received quick enough.

 

I posted the means form to them on the 15th December 2012 and the only letters I have received since is the bailiff letter from Marstons

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Did you receive notification of the size of the fine?

Did you receive a Further Steps Notice - a legal requirement - before being contacted by the Bailiff?

 

It does appear to be disconcerting that this has been passed on so quickly and think that HMCTS have messed up.


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I spoke to them about this, they said that a further steps form was sent out but I received nothing. I put it down to the Christmas post but mail often goes missing in my block.

 

Whatever the reasons, I appear to have nobody to negotiate with as Marstons simply to not care. I am currently out of work and my means form clearly stated that I could afford £10 per week however Marstons want £150 up front and £100 a week. I simply cannot afford this so I want to know what I can do to stop the charges going up and also prevent them from taking my things.

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I would be tempted to visit the Court in person & seek out the Court Manager and/or Fines officer, explain what has happened and ask to submit to a Means Test Hearing. One of the reasons for this is because the magistrates not knowing your circumstances have probably charged you the maximum.

 

As far as Marstons are concerned they are just legalised bullies. There is nothing that says you have to deal with or speak to them. The most important thing is NOT to allow them entry to your home regardless of anything they may tell you. Yes, Magistrates Court Fines are for criminal offences and there is an implied threat of them being able to force entry to seize & remove goods but they also forget to tell you that to do this they need an Order allowing them to do it - very rarely given, it is for the more hardened & persistent offender who collects fines like bottles of milk. The Warrant the Bailiff has is only valid for 180 days and if you refuse to answer the door or make any arrangements with him all he can do is return it back to the Court. You will then be summonsed to explain why you have not paid and will get a chance to have this all heard again.


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Thank you very much for the advice it is very much appreciated!I will go to the courts tomorrow.

 

One other thing though, my car is on my drive and it says on the back of their letter that they will add another £200 if they have to take my vehicle and they will charge a further £20 per day as a storage fee.

 

Can they take my vehicle if they see it in my space?

 

FYI - the vehicle owned by my partner but I am insured to drive it. Can they take the vehicle because it is the vehicle I committed the offence in or would the vehicle need to be in my name for them to do this?

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They may only seize the goods of the debtor. If the vehicle is owned by your OH then he must be ready to provide the details of it, remember the V5 on shows who the Registered Keeper is. If he does not have a receipt then for now I would move it well away until such time he can provide a Statutory Declaration for it.

 

There is an agreement between Marstons & HMCTS that allows them to charge £85 as an admin fee for taking on your case, should a Bailiff then attend your address then they can add another £215 to the bill. However if as said previously you have nothing to do with him and it gets returned then the Bailiff fees also disappear.


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Thank you ever so much for your advice ploddertom, you have been a great help!!!

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I know you may have a difficult time trying to get to the right people at the Court but don't be fobbed off by those on the front desk. Let us know how you get on as there is usually someone around who may be able to offer help or advice.


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I certainly will, thanks again!

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You would be safer hiding your partners car a few streets away for the time being, to stop them turning up and just taking it, it does happen, despite not being yours.


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I have just spoken to the courts and they have now said I need to put my issues in writing.

 

Marstons however are apparently adding money onto my bill on Monday so it appears that I am snookered.

 

The courts have said however that I have to negotiate with Marston's from now on, is there anything that I can legally send to Marston's in writing that will help me?

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I have just spoken to the courts and they have now said I need to put my issues in writing.

 

Marstons however are apparently adding money onto my bill on Monday so it appears that I am snookered.

 

The courts have said however that I have to negotiate with Marston's from now on, is there anything that I can legally send to Marston's in writing that will help me?

 

All you can do is maintain a siege mentality. never leave the doors unlocked, dont keep windows open if they can open wide enough for an adult to access, see if you can get some written proof of the car not being yours - your partner could even do a Statutory Decleration claiming ownership of it, and all the goods in the home, that costs £5-£10 at a local solicitors, or possibly for free at the local court.

 

A Stat Dec by your partner would mean the Bailiff would have even less options, as even if he managed to get a peaceful entry into the home, he would be unable to levy anything, since the SD would claim everything is your partners. Generally, no magistrate or judge can "undo" an SD, and afaik there is no legal mechanism to challenge one.


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Ah OK I will go down that route then, thank you for your help!

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At the end of the day if all else fails and you get nowhere trying to plead your case for a further hearing to set payments....keep the bailiff out at all costs and deny him any opportunity to gain a levy.. then eventually he will have to return the unpaid fine back to the court, at this point you will be summoned to appear and explain why you have not paid....yes, that very same reason you have been trying to give them all this time but have encountered obstruction every step of the way....ridiculous isn't it?

 

WD

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