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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Do you have to pay PNC. Debt recovery firm say they will take

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Do you have to pay PNC. Debt recovery firm say they will take me to small claims court
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is there any reason you think you don't ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jo,
I looked up on Internet and contributors said no.
They said a contract was entered but that the "charge" must reflect the "costs". As this as a free car park the owners had no losses.
I straddled the White line. But at time of parking I just parked between two cars.
I asked about going to " independent" arbitration but received no answer from them. They now say I am both outside the limit and that it does not apply in N.Ireland.
I wouldn't take much notice of what is on the internet.
Is this a private land fine?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, this is a private land fine. They say it is not a fine - but a charge. The charge is £100. Now 60 added for passing to debt recovery agency. Total now £160.
Has there to be connection between cost and charge?
They do not offer independent arbitration in N.Ireland.
No, its not that simple.
Have you admitted being the driver?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Whatever they say on the point, the position is this.
This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.
A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.
This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute arising from an alleged agreement whereby you agree to park for a fee. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract. That is what is in dispute.
The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.
If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that. They might get fixed solicitor's costs of £50.
In relation to representing their loss, its a bit more complicated than that. Generally speaking a claim for breach of contract should represent the sum of the loss. However, if the amount was advertised at the scene then they could argue that its an amount due under the contract rather than to represent the loss incurred. That would depend on adequate signing.
Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.
They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.
Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer a small amount for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
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