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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have received a letter before claim from 2017. I hAce not

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I have received a letter before claim from 2017. I hAce not recieved any previous correspondence and therefore unaware of this fine. They have put £60 onto the initial £100 fine and say it is too late too appeal , I can not talk to anyone and emails from VCS debt dept are unhelpful.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: North wales
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Emailed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just that I have only recieved the one letter no previous letters have been recieved. And they will not help me to come to an agreement as I feel the fine is unlawful

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

They have to sent a letter of claim before they issue court proceedings. They should have written to you before it got to this stage though - if you received nothing from them then you should reply and dispute the extra charge. I do not know if you also dispute the fine itself (presume it is a parking fine) but if so, include why you do not owe the fine.

If they reject what you say, they will issue a small claim for the £160 (court fee is £25 on top of this). The court will send you a response pack to fill out to say why you dispute the claim. It is easy to fill out - just ensure you do this quickly and post it back to the court as soon as you can. As if you delay the claimant can ask the court for judgment in default of a defence. You will get your chance to fill out a defence - but in the meantime ensure you reply to the letter of claim you have just received. The courts expect the parties to engage and try to avoid litigation if possible. You can also come back to this site for ongoing help if you need to. Either myself or another expert will be happy to assist.

I hope this helps? If I have answered the question would you kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
They have said I have to pay before 1/7/20 which is tomorrow otherwise they will commence proceedings.

Fine, just reply and dispute the claim. You can send the reply by email. It will take a long time for the claim to be processed given Covid.

I hope this helps? If you can reply “yes”, or when you have the chance would you mind giving me a positive rating for the answer (the site will then credit me for my time). There should be a rating system at the top of the screen. Any other queries please let me know.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Thank you. I will leave 5 stars.
What should I say in my email as I’ve told them numerous times that I am not happy too pay and they said they will therefore take it further. I’m scared they will send debt collectors over if I do not pay.

Debt collectors are not bailiffs and have no powers. You can simply tell them you dispute the claim and turn them away.

You should say you dispute the claim - that it was incumbent on them to write to you with details of the charge, and you received no letters. You dispute the charges (and say why you dispute them). Invite them to drop the case and not issue a small claim. But if they do, tell them you will defend it

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
does this mean I may have to go to court ? Thank you

I doubt it for the size of the claim. Most likely the county court would deal with it on paper. Most cases never get to the stage where you have to attend a hearing. But for this sum it's highly unlikely

Is this OK and is there anything else I can help with?

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
That is fine. Thank you for your help.
One last question , if they send Bayliffs what do I say??

They won't send bailiffs - they need a court judgment to do that, assuming you lose. They only do this if the CCJ (county court judgment) is unpaid after 14 days.

If they send a debt collector (just someone with a clipboard asking if you would kindly pay the £160) - tell them you dispute the claim and shut the door. That assumes you open the door to them - no need in my view. Even county court bailiffs have no powers of entry.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Thank you. I will now leave 5*. Thank you.

Much obliged - thanks and have a nice evening

JimLawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Sorry one last question, will I incur further charges with this??

No, follow up questions are fine