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LegalNinja
LegalNinja, Solicitor
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My partner has just received a 'collectica' threatening

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Hello. My partner has just received a 'collectica' threatening letter, stating the client as HMCTS London SE&C. This came to her parents' address and says a warrant of control has been made. This is the first letter she has received regarding any fine or charge etc at any stage and she is understandably very concerned about it. Could you possibly advise me the best way to track down what this actually relates to? Thanks!
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: By us or by them? We've tried to ring collectica but they're pretty elusive. The letter was only found this morning
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that's all thanks. Is there any charge or anything for this service?

Hello,

At the top of the letter should have a Court reference number. Correct?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi,No there isn't a court reference number. There is a reference number from Collectica and a 'client reference' number under thh mention of HMCTS London SE&C, which is 19192224O

HMCTS is the Courts and Tribunal service so this is likely a court fine which has not been paid. Whilst prompt payment is important in these cases, I suggest you contact the National Enforcement Service contact centre on 0300(###) ###-####to first find out what this fine relates to.

The issue with delaying payment is that the fine can be passed on to the bailiff team who can come to your property and take away possessions to satisfy the fine. As such it is usually best to pay the fine in good time to avoid the trouble of dealing with bailiffs and potentially having your possessions taken away. But as a first step contact the number above first thing this morning to see what the fine relates to and make a decision on how best to deal with it.

Does that clarify for now?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks - ok we'll try calling the number you suggested to clarify exactly what the fine relates to. Many thanks

It's a pleasure.

I would be grateful for a 5 star rating at the top of your screen for my time. It is important to leave a rating as is how Experts are are credited for their time.

All the best.

-LN

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks. Can I actually just also ask - it may be that this is an old minor infringement for my partner's vehicle. We've been out of the country for the last year and had moved house, which is why I presume she hadn't received any correspondance.Am I right in thinking that if a Warrant of Control has been granted to the collection service, that a CCJ would have to have preceded this? If so, just from a credit perspective, is there any way to rescind this in the case when you had no knowledge of any of the proceedings? Would a statutory declaration or similar be appropriate?Many thanks

I'd be happy to help. As I have answered your initial query, I would be grateful for a rating first. Don't worry the chat will not close and we can continue as usual.

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You would be correct to assume this. You can make an application to Court to have the CCJ set aside. The Court will take into account a number of factors including the promptness of the application since you became aware. This is not a specific requirement but promptness carries a great deal of weight. You will need to complete the following application and submit this to Court with the appropriate fee:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n244-application-notice

It will be likely that a Hearing will be set for the matter to be heard by a Judge. Both parties will be given the opportunity to attend and make their case. The Court have the power to set aside the Judge if it appears that there is a real prospect of your partner defending the claim or there is some other good reason as to why the judgement should be set aside.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks - that's very helpful. I think the problem may have been that my partner had registered her vehicle to our old address and not changed this when we worked abroad for a year. Hence the letters would have come to the old address without being forwarded on. She only became aware of this this morning when she received the first letter to her parents' address. Would a change of address/working for charity outside the country count as appropriate grounds to set aside a CCJ in retrospect if the fine had also been paid do you think?Also I presume in this circumstance it's probably just better to pay the Bailiff fees etc rather than having it drag on. Do you know if the collection fees are recoverable in retrospect, again if you can demonstrate you have had no knowledge of the proceedings?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
also when making an application to 'the court', does this have to be the initial court which handed down the CCJ or can it be to you current local court? Sorry for all the questions and thanks so much for your answers

You're welcome. Not having the correct address will unlikely not excuse the fine but may be sufficient to apply for the CCJ to be set aside. You should contact the Court to confirm the date of the CCJ (if one was issued) . I understand the point and it would be at the Court's discretion. It would take a hard nosed Judge to refuse such an application from my experience.

If the fine is nominal, it may be best to try and arrange some kind of payment deal with the debt collectors.

When making the application, it should be to the Court where the CCJ was made.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Great - thank you. Some more information has come to light having rung the national enforcement agency as you suggested - turns out the alleged offence was for a random nissan van which my partner has never had any dealing with at all but which was allegedly registered to her. I think this is actually likely an overall mistaken identity/identity theft case (I've had 2 of these myself related to random vehicles on the other side of london!). The Enforcement Centre have taken her details and apparently passed them to Bristol court (where we currently live) to arrange a time she can assert no knowledge or involvement with this case.In light of this (that the initial fine doesn't seem to have been anything to do with my partner), would you advise we do anything else in the near future to stop the Bailiff process or to ensure that it is being stopped etc?Many thanks
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also do you know of the best way to find out which court handed down the CCJ and when?

I would recommend that you speak with the Court first to confirm the CCJ. Then make an application to Court as soon as possible as the Court will take into account a number of factors including the promptness of the application since you became aware. The Court will be able to confirm on the telephone the date of the CCJ.