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Debt collectors letter after original fine was sent to an old address
LAC
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17
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Hi everyone,

I've been issued with a letter from a debt collection agency relating to a charge of using my phone whilst driving, offence was in September 2018.

All original documentation from the courts was sent to an old address, one which I had left in the summer of 2017. My licence had been updated and showed my new address at the time of the offence.

My log book will never have shown my old address (where the original correspondence was sent) so I'm unsure how it was sent to the wrong place.

I'm being asked to pay £645 for an original fine of £225. It's at the stage where the debt collection agency can visit my address as of tomorrow, and if they do even more charges will be added.

Is there any way of contacting the fine issuing department of the police or anything else I can do?

I have no issue with paying the original fine amount, but paying so much more is hard to stomach.
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post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17
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Jlc
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:25
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QUOTE (LAC @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17) *
...or anything else I can do?

Upon discovering a conviction you can perform a Statutory Declaration to remove it. Contacting the convicting court is usually best - you have a limited time (21 days) to do this without issue.

I presume you weren't stopped at the time and everything was done via post? They only source keeper information (From the V5) as they do not know who was driving.

If so, it's possible the V5 was in the process of being updated when they queried it.

Are you sure it's a conviction for mobile phone usage as opposed to a failing to furnish driver details? Do you have the endorsement code? (Look it up on DVLA)

QUOTE (LAC @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17) *
It's at the stage where the debt collection agency can visit my address as of tomorrow

You need to know whether they are bailiffs and with what authority. Without more information I suggest you do not answer the door and ensure your car is not around.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:23


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:27
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What address would have been showing on your V5?
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BaggieBoy
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:50
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If you never named yourself (because you never received a s.172 notice) then it's highly likely the fine (and associated points) for for failing to name the driver, i.e. an MS90. Check your drivers record with the DVLA to confirm.

It's possible that after the SD is performed and it reverts back to the court stage the original offence may be included. In which case you may be able to offer to plead guilty to the original offence if they drop the failing to name offence.
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LAC
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:56
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:25) *
QUOTE (LAC @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17) *
...or anything else I can do?

Upon discovering a conviction you can perform a Statutory Declaration to remove it. Contacting the convicting court is usually best - you have a limited time (21 days) to do this without issue.

I presume you weren't stopped at the time and everything was done via post? They only source keeper information (From the V5) as they do not know who was driving.

If so, it's possible the V5 was in the process of being updated when they queried it.

Are you sure it's a conviction for mobile phone usage as opposed to a failing to furnish driver details? Do you have the endorsement code? (Look it up on DVLA)

QUOTE (LAC @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:17) *
It's at the stage where the debt collection agency can visit my address as of tomorrow

You need to know whether they are bailiffs and with what authority. Without more information I suggest you do not answer the door and ensure your car is not around.


I was stopped at the time, and I was in a work van so is the V5 of my personal car irrelevant anyway? Definitely use of a mobile phone.

So even with it being at the stage of the debt being passed on to a debt collection agency there is still a chance of performing the Statutory Declaration to remove it like you said?

QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:27) *
What address would have been showing on your V5?


I believe it would have been my current address (I moved to a new address for 2 years and then moved back to the address I was at before), but as mentioned above as I was driving a work van anyway, not my personal vehicle.
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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 15:59
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Being passed to Bailiffs is irrelevant to your right to correct any miscarriage of justice.


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666
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 16:38
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As you were stopped at the time, the police would normally use the address provided by you and/or shown on your licence. They would have no reason to research alternatives. Are you 100% sure that address was up to date?
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Jlc
post Wed, 6 Nov 2019 - 17:37
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Indeed, they will only use the address given to them at the stop.

The SD removes the conviction but the prosecution commences. If you were offered a fixed penalty you may be able to argue for a fixed penalty equivalent sentence. (6 points £200)


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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LAC
post Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 10:23
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Ok after thinking about it all last night I think I've finally got to the bottom of it... but unfortunately it just makes it even more complicated.

Bear with me, I'll try not to make it too confusing.


So back in 2015 I lived at address A and my driving licence showed address A on it. I then moved in to address B in the summer of 2015 and proceeded to lose my wallet a few months after moving in, I took the opportunity to get a new driving licence with address B on it. My lost wallet was then found and returned to address A as they checked the licence that was in it.

Now at some point in 2016 I had my wallet stolen, I was absolutely skint at the time so instead of getting a new licence I just used the old one from the returned wallet (wrong address), I didn't see much of an issue with this at the time because I only ever used the licence to prove my age, the address was irrelevant.

Then in the summer of 2017 I moved back to my original address (address A). My licence card then showed the correct address but obviously on the database my address would still be address B. I was then pulled over for this incident in autumn 2018, handed over my licence, the officer took my card and asked if I was still at address A and I confirmed that I was.

It was only in Spring this year that I remembered my licence was old when I went to rent a van for work and when they tried to do a DVLA licence check it came back saying some details were wrong, after a while it then twigged about the address situation, I asked them to try the postcode from address B and it worked. I then applied for a new licence to change to address A which I hold now.


Now I suppose it comes down to the methodology of how the officer logs the address, does he manual input it from the licence or does he tick a box to say the address on the database is correct?

Hopefully that makes relative sense...
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The Rookie
post Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 10:54
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All interesting but ultimately completely irrelevant as it doesn't provide any sort of a defence to the charge.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
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LAC
post Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 10:58
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 10:54) *
All interesting but ultimately completely irrelevant as it doesn't provide any sort of a defence to the charge.


I'm not trying to fight the charge. I'm happy to pay the original £225 fine, but I don't want to pay the £645 charged by the debt collectors because all the original correspondence was sent to an address I was no longer living at.
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Jlc
post Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 11:06
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Performing the SD and removing the conviction and then pleading guilty to the offence will give you a chance to reduce the cost. (Sounds like you do not contest the allegation)

You can ask for the court to consider a fixed penalty equivalent sentence (and no costs order) if you were offered one (sent to old address). However, whilst these are reasons unconnected with the offence itself the bench may not be too accommodating as you appear to have contributed to the failure.

But even if sentenced normally it should be lower than the amount you are being pursued for right now.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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LAC
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 11:50
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 11:06) *
Performing the SD and removing the conviction and then pleading guilty to the offence will give you a chance to reduce the cost. (Sounds like you do not contest the allegation)

You can ask for the court to consider a fixed penalty equivalent sentence (and no costs order) if you were offered one (sent to old address). However, whilst these are reasons unconnected with the offence itself the bench may not be too accommodating as you appear to have contributed to the failure.

But even if sentenced normally it should be lower than the amount you are being pursued for right now.


Thanks, I've rang the court to make the statutory declaration, they will be ringing me back to discuss it either later today or Monday morning.
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LAC
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 14:28
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 7 Nov 2019 - 11:06) *
Performing the SD and removing the conviction and then pleading guilty to the offence will give you a chance to reduce the cost. (Sounds like you do not contest the allegation)

You can ask for the court to consider a fixed penalty equivalent sentence (and no costs order) if you were offered one (sent to old address). However, whilst these are reasons unconnected with the offence itself the bench may not be too accommodating as you appear to have contributed to the failure.

But even if sentenced normally it should be lower than the amount you are being pursued for right now.


I've completed the statutory declaration and have a court date at the end of January.

What does this mean with regard to the debt collection agency, are they now not allowed to chase for the money?
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southpaw82
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 15:04
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Court date for what?


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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LAC
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 15:22
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I believe to hear my case as to whether my claim of not receiving any correspondence about the fine can be upheld, and then to deal with the offence.
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southpaw82
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 15:48
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QUOTE (LAC @ Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 15:22) *
I believe to hear my case as to whether my claim of not receiving any correspondence about the fine can be upheld, and then to deal with the offence.

That answer presents some confusion. Have you performed the SD or not? Have you sworn that you had no knowledge of the prosecution and had that accepted by the court? The first part of your statement leads me to some doubt about that.


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 17:06
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It sounds like this is making an appointment to perform the SD.

The problem is that bailiffs can still take enforcement action until it’s made.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 10-0 PPC's
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NewJudge
post Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 17:16
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Indeed. It would be most unusual to ring the court in the morning and be told to attend that same day to come and swear the SD.

At the other end of the scale it seems a mighty long time - almost three months - to get an appointment for an SD. Some more clarification needed.

So, LAC, between your two posts today at 11:50 ("I've rang the court to make the statutory declaration, they will be ringing me back to discuss it either later today or Monday morning") and 2:30 ("I've completed the statutory declaration and have a court date at the end of January"), did you actually attend court and swear your SD before the Magistrates?

This post has been edited by NewJudge: Fri, 8 Nov 2019 - 17:18
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LAC
post Wed, 13 Nov 2019 - 13:12
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Ah well in that case my court date will be to perform the statutory declaration if you indeed need to attend court to officially do it.

With regard to it being a fair amount of time away she did stress it was an extremely busy time...


So in short, the collection agency can still pursue the debt until I've officially made the SD?
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