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Iv'e had a visit from a debt collector from Marstons at 6.30 this morning claiming I owed an outstanding fine to the court for no insurance on a car, (the car in question was parked on my drive with tax, with a blown head gasket and a SORN had been sent to the DVLA as advised by my insurance company). The debt collector claimed the court hadn't received the £330 and asked how and when I paid, I said a couple of months ago online, he then miraculously found the paperwork in front of him confirming this, he then tried a different angle and said it was paid late and I know owed Marstons £320 and he was recording this conversation, I then told him to go away as he was trespassing, he then put a letter through my door:

I ATTENDED YOUR ADDRESS TODAY AT 6.40 TO ARRANGE PAYMENT UNDER THE TERMS OF A WARRANT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE ABOVE CLIENT. (Cambridge Court) DESPITE PREVIOUS VISITS (This was the first) AND NOTICES THIS MATTER HAS NOT BEEN SETTLED, AND I THEREFORE URGE YOU TO CONTACT ME ON THE NUMBER BELOW IMMEDIATELY.

It then goes on to say £320 is due and if not paid immediately another call to take goods.

Any ideas how to deal with this?

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What did you do about the DVLA court hearing re no Insurance ? Did you try to defend on the basis you had done the SORN, the car was off the road etc ? Perhaps you can look into this legally to see if you can appeal this fine.

 

Did you pay the fine, before receiving a further steps notice from the court to say that bailiffs would be used if you did not pay ? If so, you should make a declaration to the court that you settled the fine to the court before any further steps notice was received and therefore they need to withdraw instructions to bailiffs. If you don't do this, the bailiff can use the live warrant to continue collection for their fees. The court is the solution to this. The bailiff will continue until they are told not to by the court.

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Good morning unclebulgaria67

I couldn't attend the court as I had lost my job at the time (Nov) and didn't have the funds to travel across to the other side of the county. I paid the fine after further steps notice as I wasn't back in work till Feb and paid the fine as soon as I had my first wage which left me with approx £20, I am on a low income in a "flexible hours" job.

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Good morning unclebulgaria67

I couldn't attend the court as I had lost my job at the time (Nov) and didn't have the funds to travel across to the other side of the county. I paid the fine after further steps notice as I wasn't back in work till Feb and paid the fine as soon as I had my first wage which left me with approx £20, I am on a low income in a "flexible hours" job.

 

You could have got it transfered to your nearest Magistrates. A lesson for the future. You could have tried to defend submitting any evidence you had about notifying DVLA of SORN.

 

Another lesson is to contact the court as soon as you get the notice of fine to say that you don't have the money to pay it. You could have had an assessment done by your local Magistrates and they would have asked you to pay £x per week or deduction from benefits.

 

Because you did not pay the court fine before the further steps notice, the bailiff has a live warrant they can use to collect their fees. Can you post up details of what fees the bailiff is asking for. Is there a breakdown of the fees ?

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There is no breakdown of fees on the actual letter, only "fee schedule from 6th April" - admin £75/enforcement stage £235/removal £110 printed on the back.

 

I will ask someone to look at your thread. You may be able to get the fees down.

We could do with some help from you.

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If this is legal, why did he initially deny the court had been paid the fine even though he had the paperwork with him and seemed to be testing me for proof and then alter it to Marston's fees?

 

I think a case could be made that only the £75 admin fee should be due, as Marstons should have checked their paperwork before they made the visit. As the fine was settled months ago after the further steps notice, Marstons should have written to you to say that they notice you had settled the fine after they had already been instructed. They should have asked you to pay the £75 admin fee due to them with x amount of time and if this was paid, no further amounts would be due.

 

Did Marstons write to you asking for £75 ? If not I would suggest that if you can afford to pay the £75, that you send payment to Marstons for this amount, with a complaint letter attached about the Marstons enforcement visit, which was not necessary. Send a copy to the Magistrates court for the attention of the the Enforcement Manager.

 

Wait for someone to confirm whether they agree with this course of action, before you send any letters.

We could do with some help from you.

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Uncle bulgaria.

 

Your above posts are excellent !!! There is very little that I can add.

 

What is important is to find out precisely WHEN the payment was made to the court. For instance was it made within the 10 day limit as shown on the Further Steps Notice or was it paid a long time afterwards. If paid a few days late you need to ask the court what date they issued a Distress Warrant.

 

Unfortunately this query has once again highlighted the importance of contacting the creditor if you cannot afford to pay the debt in full (or cannot afford to travel to the court).

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There is no breakdown of fees on the actual letter, only "fee schedule from 6th April" - admin £75/enforcement stage £235/removal £110 printed on the back.

 

I would argue this is not Compliant as legislation dictates what must be given/sent. There should be no room for complacency.

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