Author Topic: VCS Bristol Airport - Missed failed appeal email - £170 demand for payment  (Read 729 times)

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b789

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Elms will withdraw once the claim is filed. The letter they sent is simply a debt collection threat.

Nosy Parker

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Agreed. But as Elms Legal have put themselves forward as solicitors to VCS and will be named as such on the claim form if proceedings are started, the reply should be addressed to them. VCS usually removes Elms Legal after the claim form has been served, from which point service of documents should be made to VCS
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b789

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Email it to both. It is just obfuscation by VCS to try and distract the defendant. Ultimately the OP will be dealing with just VCS.

paulswhitt

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Thanks all, appreciate your input.

Letter is sent


paulswhitt

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Hi,

This is the email response from ELMS Legal?

In response to you first question, the £70 debt recovery fee does not have any VAT added or included.

Secondly, the principal debt is for a breach of the terms and conditions displayed on site at Bristol airport, to which is states ‘no stopping’. As the vehicle was stopped for an unreasonable amount of time, a charge was issued.

If you have any other queries please let us know.

b789

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You should query why the debt recovery fee excludes the portion representing VAT. The lack of transparency is not acceptable and raises serious questions about the integrity and compliance with HMRC regulations of the debt collector. You should demand clarification on why the breakdown of the debt recovery fee fails to include the VAT component. This would appear to be an attempt to deceive you and HMRC.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2024, 12:56:09 pm by b789 »
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slapdash

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The service of debt collection is vatable in the normal way. However the VAT is for the account of the creditor. It is them who receive the service.


paulswhitt

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Well folks, it looks like VCS are seeing this one through. I now have my Notice of Proposed Allocation to the Small Claims track.

It seems like I have no choice but to fill this form out and expect to be heading to court to defend this case.

Couple of questions

Mediation (offered in form) - is this a route to go?
Suitability for determination without a hearing. Do I consider the case to be suitable for determination without a hearing? Yes or No

Any advice on preparing for court and getting my defence in order would be very welcome

Thanks as always
« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 07:11:47 am by paulswhitt »

DWMB2

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Can you show us exactly what you have received?

Unless I'm being dozy, it seems like we have missed a stage here. There's generally a Claim Form before the one asking about mediation etc.

b789

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What exactly did you put in your defence? You’ve gone from LoC to N180 DQ.

It’s too late “get your defence in order”. You submitted your defence when you responded to the N1SDT form and we have no idea what you put in that.

You definitely don’t want mediation and you don’t want a hearing on papers.

paulswhitt

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Apologies, here is the defence

https://imgur.com/a/8N9FWP7

b789

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Why didn’t you come here for advice on what to put in and how to file your defence? That is a poorly executed defence and has left out a multitude of other arguments.

It is better than nothing. If it ever reaches a hearing before a judge, what will your answer be if the judge asks you directly “were you the driver”?

In your “defence”, you state that the alleged debt is disputed and will be vigorously “defended”. Can you see an anomaly here? Stating that you will “vigorously defend” and then not actually “defend” anything is just plain going to show the claimant than you have no real understanding of what you have put in your defence.

Unfortunately, with the defence you have submitted, it is more likely than not going to go all the way to a hearing. I’ll come back when I see what your answer is to the above.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2024, 12:39:35 pm by b789 »

paulswhitt

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I was thinking the hearing would be where I make my full defence. This is the same defence I have used throughout the process so far.

I wasn't the driver so my answer would be 'no'.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2024, 12:38:31 pm by paulswhitt »

b789

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You can only expand on your defence when you submit your witness statement. You cannot add any new evidence in your witness statement.

If you’d waited and shown us your defence before you rushed in and submitted it, we would have provided you a Template that stretches to around 40 paragraphs. It would have been submitted as a PDF attachment to an email to the CNBC, not sent by post.

A defence is supposed to be written in the third person. Some judges may hold that against you although it is to be expected where a litigant in person with no experience has submitted it. It shows the claimant that you are unsure about your defence. Hopefully, if you follow advice here and don’t rush in and do anything else without consulting us here, there is a chance of salvaging this.

b789

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I was thinking the hearing would be where I make my full defence. This is the same defence I have used throughout the process so far.

I wasn't the driver so my answer would be 'no'.

Hypothetically, what if the judge then asked you “in that case, who was driving?”.

Then as long as you are aware that perjury is a criminal offence you have nothing to worry about. If you, the keeper, were not driving, then your defence will stand and the burden of proof is on VCS to evidence otherwise. They cannot simply assume or infer that you were the driver. They have no other evidence they can use.

Without reading back, has this already been allocated to a court local to you? If so, which court? Some circuits are better than others in the judge bingo game. However, as you were not the driver, you cannot be liable and the judge should dismiss the claim. You should also be aware that you can claim some limited costs such as transport and parking plus up to £95 for loss of earnings on the day of the hearing. If you can persuade the judge that the claimant has acted unreasonably by vexatiously pursuing the claim when they knew they had no right to peruse you as the keeper and no evidence to prove you were the driver, a judge can award costs in ecxcess of the small claims limits.