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Debt recovery first letter received - advice please
helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 07:20
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Hi, new to the forum and hoping someone might be able to give me some advice/guidance.

I’ve checked on the stickies and FAQs and can’t find anything that is 100% relevant to my situation.

I received a debt collection letter from Trace, acting on behalf of Parking Control Management (UK) Ltd. There was hardly any information in the letter but the main gist was that I owed PCM £160 and, as I had not responded to any previous correspondence, Trace were now pursuing this debt. I immediately phoned Trace as I had no idea where the parking infraction had occurred etc. as this was the first correspondence I had received.

Trace advised that PCM had sent me 2 letters, and they told me where the infraction had occurred and the times. I advised that I had not received the 2 letters from Trace but that I knew that my husband had parked in Whittle Square etc and I would therefore be willing to pay the initial £60 fine. Trace told me to email them this information and they would review and possibly allow me to pay the initial £60 fine. I emailed Trace the same day.

7 weeks after my email to Trace they replied and said they did not accept my explanation that I had not received the letters, and that I still owed the £160 and had 7 days to pay.

I haven’t paid the £160 and have since received a Letter before Claim from Gladstones on 4th October. I have submitted an appeal on their website and have received no response. I have also submitted an appeal on the IPC website which has been closed (despite PCM not responding adequately to my queries).

My question is – what should I do? Should I just give up and pay the £160? Or should I let Gladstones take it to court? PCM have admitted that they do not have proof of posting, they can only prove that they print the letters, but that they assume I have received them both.

I have plenty of further correspondence/information that I can post to this thread if anyone is able to assist?

Thanks

Helen
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post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 07:20
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ostell
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 08:28
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Your situation is nothing new, though having been in contact with them and offering to pay complicates matters.

You write to Gladstones, denying any correspondence received and now out of time for keeper liability. You demand all documentation that they intend to rely on in court, especially the notices they allege to have sent to you. You expect them within 7 days as they must have the documents in their possession in order to perform due diligence before issuing the claim.

You also send a SAR to PCM to get all the details they hold about you. This may not get to you before you have to handle the claim but it will be there before any court hearing. Here's a SAR template

Under POFA they can only claim the amount of the PCN from the keeper, the original £100.
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Redivi
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 08:46
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Never contact debt collectors and certainly not by phone
Never reveal the identity of the driver

In this case, however, that could work to your advantage

It doesn't matter whether or not PCM sent the letters and their fate
A claim against you under POFA must fail because technically PCM knows the identity of the driver

Notice to Agent (Trace) = Notice to Principal
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 09:45
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Thanks, both, for your responses.

Redivi, please could you explain what this means?

A claim against you under POFA must fail because technically PCM knows the identity of the driver

Notice to Agent (Trace) = Notice to Principal


What do I need to do in this instance?

Thanks

Helen
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 10:15
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Under POFA you can only claim agsint teh Keeper if the name and address of the driver are not known *before* court cliam is started against he keeper

By telling the principals gaent, under trite law this counts as notifying the principal
Was the name and address given? Simple yes or no
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 10:26
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No.

This post has been edited by helencooke01: Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 14:43
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Redivi
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 10:27
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You reply to Gladstones that you were not the driver and their client has failed to meet the conditions of POFA to recover payment from you as the keeper
No need to tell them why
They will assume it concerns the non-delivery of the parking notice

Tell them as well that, even if they had met the conditions, the additional charges are none of your concern
See also Ostell's instruction about requesting information

You've told Trace that your husband was the driver
That's no different from telling PCM directly

A parking company can only recover payment from the registered keeper if it doesn't know who was driving
It's not your problem if Trace didn't pass on the message and PCM didn't check for your reply before passing the account to Gladstones

Gladstones won't know any of this because it never sees any paperwork from a client before it issues a claim unless the defendant's requested it

You can then include in your defence that, even if the parking notice had been delivered, any right to recover payment from you ended when you contacted Trace
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 11:50
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Thanks for this, really appreciated.

I'll draft a letter to Gladstones this evening and post it on here for checking if that's okay.

Thanks

Helen
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 11:51
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Redivi - except the name AND address wasnt given, it seems, so that liabilty hasnt been discharged.
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ostell
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 11:57
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The driver has been identified in post #6 Please edit. You told just a yes or no answer.
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 12:34
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Sorry I'm not sure what you're asking?

I told Trace that my husband was driving, but not his name or address.

You want me to edit post #6 so it just says no?
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ostell
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 12:55
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QUOTE (helencooke01 @ Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 12:34) *
Sorry I'm not sure what you're asking?

I told Trace that my husband was driving, but not his name or address.

You want me to edit post #6 so it just says no?


Correct. To make it easier to get rid of the charges it's vital not to let them know who was driving. This forces them to jump through the hoops of POFA to claim keeper liability.
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Redivi
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 13:04
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Redivi - except the name AND address wasnt given, it seems, so that liabilty hasnt been discharged.
Looks like a case of crossed posts

In that case stick with the line that POFA failed because of non-delivery
It doesn't change the issue that, even if the PCN was delivered, you're not responsible for additional costs

This post has been edited by Redivi: Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 14:59
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 14:46
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Okay, thanks - so are you saying I should continue with my current course of action which is to say that, due to non-delivery of the PCNs, I am not prepared to pay any more than the initial £60 fine?

Below is the letter I sent to Gladstones following receipt of their Letter before Claim. I also uploaded it onto their appeals website. Not sure if this helps - do I need to send anything else or just leave as it stands?

Thanks

__________________________

16th October, 2018

Client Reference XXXXX

Debt reference number XXXXX

First communication received concerning a parking charge from Trace Debt Recovery dated 24/07/18 demanding £160. The Demand states their client Parking Control Management UK Ltd , has written previously requesting payment for parking charges.

I rang Trace, as I was unaware of any parking infringement, and was told that 2 letters had been sent on 14th May and 21st June respectively. I said no letters had been received and that nothing had been left on the windscreen.

Date of infringement was 09 May,18 and I was told the place was Whittle Square, Gloucester.

Although the date of the parking violation was on the Trace paperwork it does not show where.

I am not disputing this charge as the car was parked there on that date and according to Trace for 9 minutes.

On the 26th July I emailed Trace stating once again that no letters had been received and no parking ticket.

I stated that I would pay the £60 parking fine if told how to go about this.

I emailed Trace again on the 03rd August because I had not had a reply to my email, which I resent, saying I would be unable to make a payment within the time they had specified if they did not give me the information necessary to pay the £60.

I received another email from Trace on the 21st September (eight weeks from their last communication) acknowledging my email of 26th July, and to summarise: letters were sent out by their client by UK mail and would only assume the letters would arrive in the correct manner.

Address details on the logbook for this car are correct.

Received an email from Trace on 25th September, again acknowledging my previous email, and told case had been referred back to their client due to court action commencing.

I have now received a letter before claim from Gladstone Solicitors threatening court action.

I have not once been given the opportunity to pay a parking charge although as soon as I knew of the charge I got in touch and tried to do so. Nobody can pay for something of which they are unaware.

The Citizens Advice Bureau, after seeing all the correspondence, advised approaching the International Parking Community and going through the Independent Appeal Service. Parking Control Management UK Limited are members of this body and are meant to follow professional procedures/standards. . I have checked the Code of Practice on the IPC website and do not believe PCM, as members, are following it. They took more than 28 days to respond to my appeal email and they have not given me any recourse to lodge an independent appeal via the IAS.

To date I have not received any paperwork from Parking Control Management UK Limited.

Copies of this letter and all correspondence relating to will be sent by registered post (signed for) to the following.

Gladstone Solicitors

Parking Control Management UK Ltd

Trace Debt Recovery UK Ltd.

I.P.C.
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Redivi
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 15:09
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Below is the letter I sent to Gladstones following receipt of their Letter before Claim. I also uploaded it onto their appeals website.
Not sure if this helps - do I need to send anything else or just leave as it stands?


You didn't say that you'd already replied to the Letter Before Claim

Just tell them that, further to your previous reply, you were not the driver

DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ELSE

You've already told Gladstones that :

1 The car was there
2 Their client is owed the payment
3 You would have paid it if you had known

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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 15:43
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Sorry I thought I did where I said I appealed to Gladstones following receipt of their Letter before Claim.

Would this suffice?

Further to my previous correspondence I am writing to clarify that, at the time of the alleged incident, I was not the driver of the vehicle.

Thanks
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 16:24
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You don't appeal a lba. It's a formal process and not any form of appeal
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Redivi
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 17:38
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Yes

You're not asking for the parking notice to be cancelled
You're telling them why you don't owe the payment
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helencooke01
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 18:30
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Sorry, it's not an 'appeal' on the Gladstone's website, it's an 'enquiry'.

Redivi - thanks, I've now sent that text onto Gladstones. If they contact me to ask who was driving what should I tell them?

Is it also still worth me completing a SAR and sending it to PCM?

Thanks

Helen
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SchoolRunMum
post Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 18:54
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QUOTE
If they contact me to ask who was driving what should I tell them?

Name the driver (with address) only if the driver will be better at presenting a case in court than you would.

With PCM and Gladstones, this will get a claim before Christmas and we see 99% of people win but you need to be the right person, and right now (briefly, before the claim is filed) your family has a choice as to who fights the case. So decide now and stick with you, or give th e drivers name and address and insist that you have 'transferred any liability under the POFA'.

You are probably slightly best placed, as you are the keeper and were not driving, and no PCN was ever received but they will have posted/served one to the address the DVLA gave them. So they could argue they did serve a NTK and you should have updated your address with the DVLA. I would go with whoever is the most confident and can take the day off needed in the Spring.

All good life experience! No CCJ, no huge costs even if lost - and most are won - but who can afford to take time off for a hearing in 2019 and who is best at research & presenting a case confidently, who will not take any crap from Gladstones etc., in the Witness statement and at the hearing?


QUOTE
You've already told Gladstones that :

1 The car was there
2 Their client is owed the payment
3 You would have paid it if you had known


ARRRGHHH, don't do things like that! OMG stop looking to pay £60 for a scam.

This post has been edited by SchoolRunMum: Thu, 8 Nov 2018 - 18:55
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