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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a despite with a car finance company local to me. I

Customer Question

Hi, I have a despite with a car finance company local to me. I had car finance which I repaid in September 2014 in cash when I sold the car. I received an email immediately from the person releasing the finance from the car and my obligation. They continued to take payments which I only realised when the person who bought the car came to me 3 weeks ago to say it still had finance on it. My issue is I settled in cash with the email received clearing the car as a receipt. Secondly the company has now been purchased so the staff who dealt with me have left so no one is aware of the settlement apart from the email I received. They have now instructed there solicitor who asked me to send a statement of truth. I am worried it's going to get very legal. Do I have a leg to stand on? Also I think they violated the data protection act because the new owner of the car called them and they gave personal info such as contact and address details, also payment history and other details. Can I claim?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How did you arrange the payment of cash to settle this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for coming back to me. I received cash for the purchase of the car car and then went to the finance office immediately with the cash to clear it. I handed it to my account manager and then she emailed acknowledging the finance was cleared from the car however it wasn't a detailed receipt. They are saying they didn't receive this and the lady doesn't work there anymore. I have done a statement of truth saying I paid it to her.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, the fact of the matter is that you have settled this debt and legally should not owe them any more money. There could be various reasons as to why this was not acknowledged – it could be due to an admin error, it could be due to dishonesty on the part of those who took the cash, etc. So the position now is that it is them who actually owe you money because you settled the loan and they then continued taking money from you so you have been paying them more than is necessary under the agreement. However, at the same time they think that you still owe them money as you did not finish paying the (as far as they know). So each of you could consider initiating a claim. If you have an email confirming the receipt of the balance then that should be relevant evidence which you can use to your advantage if needed. Also the manager who took the money may no longer be there but she could potentially be traced (e.g. via Facebook or LinkedIn) and asked to confirm matters. In terms of data protection, they should not have disclosed this information and they have likely acted in breach but that does not give you right to claim. You can report them to the Information Commissioners Office for the breach but you cannot make a claim unless you have suffered losses because of this, which you have not. So the only thing you can claim for is the money you seemingly overpaid. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to take should you decide to pursue them for that money, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thanks for coming back to me. That is certainly my position that I am maintaining. They are trying to track the previous account manager so hopefully they will and she will confirm. My worry is that there is no record within the company so then it is her word against mine. The only confirmation I have is the email I received From her immediately after payment acknowledging the car is now free from finance so can be sold. I took this as a receipt. I think depending on what happens I will report them to the ICO as them releasing my info meant I had 3 men turn up on my doorstep on a Sunday to claim I still had finance on the car. Fortunately I had the email which said it had been cleared so they left amicably. It was still distressing. I appreciate your help so far.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The email is still good evidence so it should definitely come in handy, especially if it is just your word against theirs. Can I just check - are you interested in knowing how to pursue them or what happens if they pursues you through court for this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please. It will help so I can prepare either route. Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
What is the amount under dispute?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The amount that was paid to them was £8000. The amount that was over paid is £3000.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK should you wish to pursue them then whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. The same would apply if they were to pursue you. As each amount is less than £10k this matter will go to the small claims court which is designed for smaller disputes and unrepresented parties so it is more informal that your traditional court. Another thing is that each party pays their own legal costs whether they in or lose.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben that is very helpful. Can I come back to you as this progresses if I need to?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
of course, just start your question with my name and it will get to me, thanks

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