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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good afternoon, Back in early 2012 I sold a car privately

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Good afternoon,
Back in early 2012 I sold a car privately to a lady. It turns out that the car a had a problem with a sensor inside the engine and didn't run correctly after about a week. The lady sent me a letter complaining about the problem, to which I replied there was nothing I could do due to the fact I used the funds to pay off my existing finance.
A few months went past and I moved away from the property. I received a letter from the old landlord in the August later that year that stated the case had gone to court and I was applied a CCJ for the value of £2100. Upon reading the case notes the lady had listed every minor potential fault with the vehicle and claimed for me to pay them. Not just the sensor problem.
I instantly called the HRCTRS, and was made aware that if I was to contest the judgement I was to send a N244 form back to them, of which I did. From there on I did not receive a response.
Admittedly to my mistake I did not chase up the case, and put it to the back of my mind-until now.
Last Thursday, 6th August. I received a letter posted under my door from The Sheriffs Department claiming I owe them approximately £3250 and it is payable immediately otherwise they would start taking and selling my possessions (writ of control). Obviously I was shocked and emailed them repeatedly over the next couple of days about how the charges had arisen. I also offered to pay the balance but the payment needs to be spread over the next couple of months to make it affordable.
I've received a letter back from them today (via email) explaining the charges (which I understand). They also stated that they sent me a notice of enforcement on 22nd of July and that I would need to pay the full amount by 1st August. I didn't receive that notice.
I have just emailed them back to say that I didn't receive that notice and asked them to confirm how they apparently notified me but I wanted to ask you what are my options?
A) Can the case be re-heard as I originally intended back in 2012 as I wasn't aware it happened?
B) Is there a way to slow these payments so I don't have to pay out the full amount at once?
C) Can the amount be lessened?
D) If I do pay this amount is there a way to claim something back?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you in England or Wales?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

I'm in England.

So, in short, there is a CCJ against you that you knew about and have not paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Correct yes.

Thank you.
On your specific points;
A) I'm afraid that you cannot realistically reopen it now. Had you not received the summons it would have been possible to get judgement set aside on that basis but there isn't much point in that now as there is evidence that you knew about it some time ago and didn't act and so it wouldn't be allowed and you would incur costs.
B) you can, and you should, apply to court to pay in instalments. It would be allowed as realistically as their best hope of getting money.
C) yes, you can apply for re-determination of the amounts although the fact you have left it so long will not be appreciated I'm afraid and there is really a basis that you mention here for paying a reduced sum.
If there is a CCJ for that amount and you have not paid it then there isn't a way to claim that back I'm afraid.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that Jo,

How do I apply to the court to pay in installments?

Also, can you please explain the re-determination option a little more please.



You can use the N244 forms.
Court forms keep changing but the generic form will get through most things. You just ask for a variation order to allow you to pay in instalments and make an offer to pay monthly at sum that you can afford. Usually they are looking for roughly £200 for every 10,000 owed every month.
The re-determination isn't really an option here. That is the people who dispute the amount that is owed and you don't really.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, understood and thanks.

As it is such a time ago, what is the procedure for applying and completing the N244. Can it be downloaded straight from online? Where do i get it from, is there a fee, does it need to be registered as an online application? Will the amount payable be the original court order or will it have to include the fees applyed by the collection company? Also, how should I go about notifying 'the sheriffs department' on my intended actions? I don't want them to start applying more charges and knocking on my door while this process is happening.

You will find the form here
It is actually N245.
I would always submit in person although I think the form does prompt online service.
Yes there is a cost.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Jo,

I've downloaded and completed the form. I'll take it down there in person.

Re the collection agency, should they be notified? And am I liable for the the full amount including they're changes or just the original judgement?

I would tell the bailiffs.
I would never acknowledge debt collectors but these people are bailiffs and they do have powers.
I'm afraid you are liable for their fees.
You can challenge bailiff fees and ask for a breakdown of the work that they have done. Bailiffs have been known to overcharge on occasions but you bear the risk that you will be liable for their costs if it doesn't work out.
I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.
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