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Hi,

 

I have been away for a few days

when I came back yesterday, I noticed my car was gone.

 

I obviously freaked out and called Police who advised me to call TRACE,

I did it and there was no entry on their database about my car.

 

There was no letter, or phone call, email, SMS or anything to let me know that my car was taken by Marston.

Not a single notice.

For all I knew, my car was stolen.

 

I then called Police back, and they were able to find out that Marstons took my car.

I called them immediately and was told that it was due to a PCN issued last year by Kensington and Chelsea council.

 

I have no recollection of ever receiving a PCN there, but I have been to the Chelsea Hospital to support a friend who was 9 months pregnant and feeling contractions. The address and date matches, so it must have been that, there was no PCN on my windscreen, though.

 

I then told them that I have never received any letter from Marstons regarding this, neither before they took the car, nor after. Their reply was that they didn't need to do that because the Council have done it already, and they were given the warrant to control the vehicle, so they went ahead and did that. They said that the Council has sent me 4 letters asking for payment.

 

After speaking to Marstons, I decided to comb my old letters to see if I find any communication from the Council and I found only 1 letter. Sent in October last year, exactly 3 days after my younger brother died, so it must have gone unnoticed by me during that emotional storm.

 

I have sent an email to the Council saying the same thing I wrote above.

Got a reply saying they have forwarded it to the Parking team and they will reply in due course, whenever that is.

 

Marston is now preparing the car to be auctioned unless I pay over £600 to recover it.

 

Are they correct when they say they did not need to send me any notice?

It doesn't look right to me.

I want to pay the PCN, however, I cannot afford to pay what they are asking.

 

I guess the council can intervene but I am not counting on it.

There must be a way out of this?

 

Best regards.

Edited by dx100uk
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I'm sure someone else will be along shortly. The only thing I know for sure is that Marstons should have sent a Notice of Enforcement at least 7 days before attending. This is law.

 

If you didn't receive one then everything that followed is invalid.


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Am learning more and more about DCA's too :)

 

I have no legal experience and all advice given is based on the knowledge I've gained from this site.

 

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So you have moved since the PCN and the council couldnt be bothered to check DVLA?

 

Or you've not updated V5C either?

 

So everything went to an old address?


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I'm sure someone else will be along shortly. The only thing I know for sure is that Marstons should have sent a Notice of Enforcement at least 7 days before attending. This is law.

 

If you didn't receive one then everything that followed is invalid.

 

Thanks for your reply.

Exactly.

There was no communication at all from Marstons.

Hence why I panicked and called Police straight away thinking my car was stolen.

 

Had I received anything from Marstons, I would have guessed immediately that they could have taken it and called them first.

Edited by dx100uk
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So you have moved since the PCN and the council couldnt be bothered to check DVLA?

 

Or you've not updated V5C either?

 

So everything went to an old address?

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for your reply, I didn't move, it is still the same address as when the PCN was issued.

 

I found one of the 4 letters that they claimed to have sent, but as I explained, I have received it right during the chaos of my little brother's death last October, I must have completely missed, it was open so I have definitely seen it, but I have no recollection of this.

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Ok great news

 

Don't panic. Call the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) (Google it for the phone number)

 

Better to ring


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Hi,

 

Thanks for your reply, I didn't move, it is still the same address as when the PCN was issued.

 

I found one of the 4 letters that they claimed to have sent, but as I explained, I have received it right during the chaos of my little brother's death last October, I must have completely missed, it was open so I have definitely seen it, but I have no recollection of this.

 

You have ascertained from searching through old correspondence that you did receive one of the three (not four) statutory notices from K&C. The three notices would be a Notice to Owner, a Charge Certificate and finally, an Order for Recovery. The Notice of Enforcement should have come from Marston and given that you had received one of the notices from K&C, it is clear that the address details are correct. To have received one notice and not the other 3 (2 from K&C and one from Marston's), is exceptionally unusual and whilst technically you COULD submit an Out of Time witness statement you would I am afraid struggle to explain the reason WHY the additional notices had failed to be delivered.

 

The other stumbling block that you are going to face is this:

 

An OOT application will place all bailiff enforcement 'on hold'. If the application is received at the Traffic Enforcement Centre by 4pm on any weekday, the forms will be 'processed' that day and enforcement temporarily halted around mid morning the following morning. In your case, you would need to get the forms to TEC as early as possible tomorrow. You will need to know what the contravention related to (CCTV contravention of parking). Different forms apply depending on the contravention. You will also need the PCN numbers.

 

All bailiff enforcement will be halted for approx 4-6 weeks. I can assure you that your vehicle will NOT be returned back to you whilst the application is ongoing. It will remain in the enforcement companies storage facility.

 

If you are in a position to pay the debt (which I would strongly suggest you do), this will not affect your OOT. If the application is accepted (which frankly, I don't believe it will be), you will be entitled to a refund. There will be no need to take legal proceedings to recover the charges.

 

If your application is rejected, my fear is that you could be charged storage fees. I strongly believe that these fees should not be charged but many companies disagree.

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I should have mentioned something else as well.

 

If you are able to pay the debt to have the vehicle released, you will be charged 'storage fees' since the removal date. Be prepared that all vehicle pounds insist on payment being made in clear funds (usually cash or bank transfer). The reason for this is to stop individuals from collecting their vehicle and immediately contacting their bank to ask that the card payment be 'reversed'.

 

Any queries, please post back.

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@Bailiff Advice

 

Thanks for your very informative answer. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to pay the debt now, especially at this huge amount.

 

Do you think it's worth submitting and OOT?

 

Apart from that, Marston claimed to have sent a Notice of Enforcement on the 9th of July, which I really did not receive.

 

there was no notice on my mailbox that my car was taken, hence why I called the police, I had no idea that I have had this case with Marstons.

 

When I asked Marstons about it, they said that this the agent couldn't get through the communal doors.

 

This is not true because 2 of my neighbours told me that they saw HER (how else would I know that the agent was a woman?) banging on my door and shouting my name in the early hours of the morning.

So she did get in, just didn't bother to leave a note, this can't be right.

 

I feel that there was not enough effort in trying to contact me. I mean, if you're gonna take my car, at least have the decency of telling me, if there is a need to do it in secret, then they are no different than a common thief.

 

What do you think my next step should be apart from submitting an OOT? Or is that the way to go. It's sad that you mentioned this won't get my car back.

Edited by dx100uk
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@Bailiff Advice

 

Thanks for your very informative answer. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to pay the debt now, especially at this huge amount.

 

Do you think it's worth submitting an OOT?

 

Apart from that, Marston claimed to have sent a Notice of Enforcement on the 9th of July, which I really did not receive.

 

there was no notice on my mailbox that my car was taken, hence why I called the police, I had no idea that I have had this case with Marstons.

 

When I asked Marstons about it, they said that this the agent couldn't get through the communal doors.

 

This is not true because 2 of my neighbours told me that they saw HER (how else would I know that the agent was a woman?) banging on my door and shouting my name in the early hours of the morning. So she did get in, just didn't bother to leave a note, this can't be right.

 

What do you think my next step should be apart from submitting an OOT? Or is that the way to go. It's sad that you mentioned this won't get my car back.

 

I am so sorry for not responding sooner.

 

Regarding your comment that an OOT will not get your car back, I can only say that this is from my own experience.

 

I always try to be honest as to whether (in my opinion) an application would be accepted or rejected and in your case, given that there has not been any change of address, I would not expect the application to be accepted. If there had been a change of address, I would be more optimistic as the chances of success (assuming that a well drafted OOT application had been submitted) are very much higher.

 

I have only once come across a case where a local authority had authorised the release of a vehicle from the pound whilst awaiting the outcome of the application.

Edited by Andyorch
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Thanks for your honesty about my chances.

 

Those are some impressive numbers, it surely attests to your skills.

 

But what about the lack of communication from them? Doesn't it make the whole incident illegal and therefore invalid? If so, how to challenge this? is this what the OOT is for?

 

Someone else has said that if they didn't serve a written notice and an inventory, then they are in breach of the Courts and Enforcement Act, is that correct info?

Edited by Andyorch
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I should have mentioned something else as well.

 

If you are able to pay the debt to have the vehicle released, you will be charged 'storage fees' since the removal date. Be prepared that all vehicle pounds insist on payment being made in clear funds (usually cash or bank transfer). The reason for this is to stop individuals from collecting their vehicle and immediately contacting their bank to ask that the card payment be 'reversed'.

 

Any queries, please post back.

 

 

Can funds not be claimed back via your bank if you transfer to a wrong account or other reason ?


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Thanks for your honesty about my chances.

 

Those are some impressive numbers, it surely attests to your skills.

 

But what about the lack of communication from them? Doesn't it make the whole incident illegal and therefore invalid? If so, how to challenge this? is this what the OOT is for?

 

Someone else has said that if they didn't serve a written notice and an inventory, then they are in breach of the Courts and Enforcement Act, is that correct info?

 

Firstly, thank you for your kind words.

 

The lack of correspondence from the local authority does NOT make the 'whole incident invalid'. The LA must send all correspondence to the registered keepers address held at DVLA. That address would be the one provided by the keeper when registering his or her vehicle. It is the RK's responsibility to update DVLA when a change of address occurs. In relation to 'missing' notices, an OOT may only be filed in cases where either the Penalty Charge Notice or the Notice to Owner had not been received.

 

As I had explained earlier, there is nothing stopping you from filing an OOT but given that all documents had been sent to the correct address and you have not moved, I would not expect the application to be accepted.

 

On the point about somebody advising you that failure to provide a written notice (presumably a Notice of Enforcement) and Inventory would be in breach of the Courts and Enforcement Act, with the greatest of respect, it would be for the courts to make such a decision. You would face an uphill struggle as the enforcement company have stated that they sent the NoE on 9th July.

 

Coming back for one moment to the point about the difficulty with getting an OOT accepted when the address is correct etc. A short while ago, I assisted a motorist in a similar situation as you but we were able to provided evidence that postal items had not been delivered.

 

The motorist lived above a fast food (kebab) outlet. All mail items for the shop and bedsit above were delivered to the shop premises. The take away had closed down around a month before the CCTV contravention and there was only one mail box servicing both properties. The local authority (in that case, LB of Haringey) accepted the evidence provided and the OOT's were granted.

Edited by Andyorch
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Can funds not be claimed back via your bank if you transfer to a wrong account or other reason ?

 

No. Its one way. Unless there was coercion or fraud/illegal activity etc. Neither happened here


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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Thanks for all the replies, I have some updates:

 

Update 1: I have now paid £878 to get my car released using my credit card. Can I reclaim it? Maybe using chargeback? I am sure I have not received any letters from Marston.

 

Update 2: The Council has responded to my complaint, they sent their reply from a no-reply address and provided no address for response, I can't believe this is considered a proper way of communicating, they were very quick to dismiss my claims and provided no means for me to reply to their email.

 

Anyway, I am copying the email in full here, with my comments in red:

 

Thank you for your email in regards to this Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

The PCN was issued as the vehicle was parked in a residents’ parking place without clearly

displaying a valid resident permit.

 

A Notice to Owner was sent to you on 20/09/2017, (I never saw this) which gave you the opportunity to pay

the PCN or make a formal representation. The Notice to Owner has not been returned by

Royal Mail as undeliverable and no payment or representation was received.

The Council then sent a Charge Certificate on 26/10/2017,(As I mentioned in my first post here, I found this letter on my pile of old letters, however, it's possible that I missed it as my little brother had passed away just 5 days before this (21/10/2017) and I was dealing with all the emotional thunderstorm associated with death of a loved one: Mourning, Coroner, Funeral, Family, etc.) we had no response, and

therefore an Order for Recovery was sent on 11/05/2018(Never saw this one either).

As you did not respond or file a Witness Statement on the Order for Recovery, the Council

passed the case to Marston Group for collection.

Marston Group wrote to you on 09/07/2018,(Never got this. I didn't even know I had a case with Marston, otherwise I wouldn't have freaked out and called the Police, I would have called Marston straight away.) requesting payment for the PCN, they received no response.

 

Marston Group then posted a letter through the door of the registered keeper and the

vehicle was clamped and then removed. (BULLCRAP. There was NO LETTER through the door. I even confronted Marston about it, as I had no idea my car was removed EXACTLY BECAUSE THERE WAS NO LETTER! The operator then called the Agent on my behalf and asked about this, according to the operator, the agent said she couldn't give me a letter because she couldn't access the comunal area, so she didn't put a letter through the mailbox. Further to this, my neighbours from both sides told me that she did get to my door and was banging on it like crazy, calling me in the early hours of the morning, waking them up. So she did get to the comunal area after all. I know my neighbours are telling the truth because they told me the Agent was female. I wouldn't have known this detail otherwise.)

 

Therefore, you have had numerous pieces of correspondence but have not responded to

any of them.

The Council cannot help you any further in this matter.

 

Any comments on this?

 

Again, I appreciate all the help.

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Do not issue a chargeback. You will land yourself in a whole host of trouble if you do.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Update 1: I have now paid £878 to get my car released using my credit card. Can I reclaim it? Maybe using chargeback? I am sure I have not received any letters from Marston.

 

Update 2: The Council has responded to my complaint, they sent their reply from a no-reply address and provided no address for response, I can't believe this is considered a proper way of communicating, they were very quick to dismiss my claims and provided no means for me to reply to their email.red:

 

Any comments on this?

As I had advised a while ago, if you had not received the Penalty Charge Notice, there is a legal procedure to remedy this which is called an Out of Time witness statement. I also provided to you my personal opinion on whether or not it would be accepted (my view was that it would be rejected). Given the recent reply from the local authority, it is clear that my opinion is correct. By the way....it is the local authority and not the Traffic Enforcement Centre that decide whether on OOT is to be accepted or not.

 

Given the local authorities reply, it is clear as day that any attempt by you to issue legal proceedings would FAIL.

 

For one reason or another, many people do not receive the initial penalty charge notice and in your case, with your personal circumstances concerning the loss of your younger brother, it is understandable that events from that time are sketchy.

 

HOWEVER.....and this is important to take on board.....if a motorist did not receive the initial notice, he is given an opportunity to remedy this by submitting the witness statement attached to the Order for Recovery (which the council state was sent to you in May 2018). If the WS had of been submitted at this stage, a fresh Penalty Charge Notice would have been issued.

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I have now paid £878 to get my car released using my credit card. Can I reclaim it? Maybe using chargeback? I am sure I have not received any letters from Marston.

 

It is such a shame that you had not paid sooner when the debt was around £600. Storage fees have obviously been applied.

 

I am very surprised indeed that Marston (or the vehicle pound) allowed payment to be made by credit card. This is exceptionally unusual. Please ignore any information that you may have read online about 'chargebacks'. If a payment is 'reversed' (which is difficult), it is treated exactly the same as if you had paid by cheque and the cheque had 'bounced'. The warrant is still valid and the enforcement company would not hesitate to remove the car immediately and it will only be released back to you with payment in CASH only.

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As I had advised a while ago, if you had not received the Penalty Charge Notice, there is a legal procedure to remedy this which is called an Out of Time witness statement. I also provided to you my personal opinion on whether or not it would be accepted (my view was that it would be rejected). Given the recent reply from the local authority, it is clear that my opinion is correct. By the way....it is the local authority and not the Traffic Enforcement Centre that decide whether on OOT is to be accepted or not.

 

Given the local authorities reply, it is clear as day that any attempt by you to issue legal proceedings would FAIL.

 

For one reason or another, many people do not receive the initial penalty charge notice and in your case, with your personal circumstances concerning the loss of your younger brother, it is understandable that events from that time are sketchy.

 

HOWEVER.....and this is important to take on board.....if a motorist did not receive the initial notice, he is given an opportunity to remedy this by submitting the witness statement attached to the Order for Recovery (which the council state was sent to you in May 2018). If the WS had of been submitted at this stage, a fresh Penalty Charge Notice would have been issued.

 

Thank you. So, in other words, anything I try is likely to fail, right?

 

What about the lack of notice that my car was removed? There is nothing to be done about this? Even the agent admitted that she did not leave a notice to me. This doesn't look like the correct procedure to me.

 

Also, how often do they 'forget' to send the notice of enforcement? I am sure I did not receive it. How can I get them to provide proof that they have sent it?

 

It is just a shame that everything seems rigged for you to lose. That's how I feel right now. I did something wrong first by parking illegally, then ignoring (even if unwillingly) the notices they claimed to have sent, and I paid for that mistake.

 

But if they do something wrong, nothing happens. Even if there is a way to make them pay, it is so difficult that most people just give up, I know I will probably swallow this and let it go. Put it down to experience.

 

The fact that I spoke to the council and explained my stressful situation, including about my brother's death, and they had little sympathy, quickly dismissing me. I understand that they could not do anything about it, but I expected a little more empathy.

 

It is frustrating, they are taking people's stuff, you know? Even if they do really own this money, this is not casual stuff. You have to be aware that you are taking something that the debtor has worked hard to acquire. Not only the car is worth several times more than the debt, there's also the personal value: it is MINE! I worked hard to have it. If they are coming to take it from me, at least do it the proper way and treat me with respect. But no, the agent noticed I wasn't home and as she could probably see the number of letters uncollected from the mailbox (none of which were theirs, by the way), she realised that I was away for a few days and was likely not to come back in a while. Instead of being sympathetic and leaving a notice, no, she just took my car, knowing that I would take a while to find out and by then the debt would have risen considerably. This is disgusting.

 

I did not provide a WS and paid the price. They might not have given me a Notice of Enforcement and definitely did not give me any notice after taking my car, no inventory of stuff taken, etc. But guess who's the only one who gets penalised for their mistake??

 

Not Marston...

 

Anyway, I am sorry for the rant, I guess I needed to get it off my chest. I will just swallow this cost, take a few months to recover from it, but that's fine, life goes on.

 

Thank you for your help! I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me.

Edited by MadTitan

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It is such a shame that you had not paid sooner when the debt was around £600. Storage fees have obviously been applied.

 

I am very surprised indeed that Marston (or the vehicle pound) allowed payment to be made by credit card. This is exceptionally unusual. Please ignore any information that you may have read online about 'chargebacks'. If a payment is 'reversed' (which is difficult), it is treated exactly the same as if you had paid by cheque and the cheque had 'bounced'. The warrant is still valid and the enforcement company would not hesitate to remove the car immediately and it will only be released back to you with payment in CASH only.

 

Thank you for the advice, I won't do it.

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Anyway, I am sorry for the rant, I guess I needed to get it off my chest. I will just swallow this cost, take a few months to recover from it, but that's fine, life goes on.

 

Thank you for your help! I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me.

 

You contacted me on the day that your vehicle was taken and I explained then that as you had received the Charge Certificate, it was evident that the address was correct so you would effectively be 'pushing' water uphill by making any legal claim and given the recent reply from the council, you can see that they would challenge any such claim.

 

As unhappy as your are (and understandably so), I would like to say a big thank you for returning to the forum to update us.

Edited by Andyorch
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Alright, thank you I will just accept the loss and call it experience.

 

Thanks for all your help!

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somebody had mentioned that bank transfer is one way. This is not true from my experience.

 

I had somebody working for me paid wages via bacs. Then asked to borrow money and transferred by bacs. Then went rogue.

Phoned bank who did reclaim some of the money. (said that 2nd payment was in error)

 

So there are some instances that they can get involved with bacs payments.

 

I appreciate it would not have worked in your case but perhaps if you had made 2 payments say of £400 each, and 2nd payment was wrong payment..

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