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Debt collector chasing me for a HMTC fine I know nothing about

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  • Debt collector chasing me for a HMTC fine I know nothing about

    Hi,

    I've received a letter in the mail from Jacobs, they want 800 for a fine I was convicted of in June?!?!

    I have absolutely no idea what this is about, have received no mail, and the letter was delivered by hand from an enforcement agent apparently.

    I've made contact to ask for details, credit agreement etc, and their response was essentially contact the court, and pay us by this date of 250 per month. Obviously this is a ludicrous offer, and they have offered no assistance outside of we took control of this on this date, these are the methods of payment.

    Does anyone know where I start to investigate this?

    Thanks
    Tags: None

  • #2
    You refer to it as a "fine" for something you were "convicted" of but then go on to talk about credit agreements. Fines/convictions can only result from from you being prosecuted for a criminal offence in the magistrates court. Court action for debts, breach of credit agreements, are civil claims, not criminal offences, and you can't be 'fined' or 'convicted' for debt.

    Have Jacobs told you which court was involved and a court reference number? If so call the court office and quote the reference number and ask what it is all about. Ask them to email you a copy of the judgement if it is a civil court case.

    If Jacobs haven't told you this call them and ask for the court details and reference number. Even they should be able to work out that telling you to contact the court but not telling you which court is not going to resolve anything.
    Last edited by PallasAthena; 17th October 2023, 11:20:AM.
    All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi there,

      Thanks for the response.

      So I used 'fine' because thats the term Jacobs used, and when I emailed and asked for the credit agreement, details or even reference, they responded by telling me 'the court' sold them the debt, and I should contact them. They provided me with no details whatsoever, except the usual pay by this date.

      When I called they were unable to provide any details, and just kept telling me they could set up a payment plan of hundreds per month. They also wouldn't provide me a breakdown of any of their costs that were on top.

      The only reference to a fine they made, was for a vehicle. I have 4 vehicles, and no idea what happened, although I have had a parking ticket and a speeding fine in recent months due to road speed limit changes, but these were both dealt with promptly, and later than any July issue.

      I'm baffled as to how a company would think anyone would just accept an 800 debt without any idea to what it pertains!

      I've emailed again to ask for details to ensure I have evidence of them continually ignoring my requests.

      Is there any other way I can investigate further?

      Comment


      • #4
        The courts service HMCTS do use debt collectors - aka 'enforcement agents' - to collect unpaid fines imposed by magistrates courts etc and for unpaid local authority parking tickets and Jacobs are one of the companies who do this work. However I've never heard of HMCTS actually selling the unpaid fine to Jacobs, although who knows, maybe our cash-strapped public services have come up with a wheeze like that! When acting as court enforcement agents in this way their powers are greater than those of a debt collector trying to collect a private debt. Because they are acting for the court their powers are like those of a bailiff. And, unlike private debts, ultimately courts have the power to order the arrest of people who don't pay fines.

        Nevertheless you are correct that they have a duty to tell you what the debt is for. Failing to give you details of the court or what the fine is for is unacceptable.

        I wouldn't pay either without knowing what it was for. So don't ignore them (because of their bailiff-like powers) but put in writing that you are happy to discuss this with them but you have no idea what it is about and aren't aware of any unpaid fines that you owe and they haven't given you the court details despite your repeated requests for it.

        According to their website the court details should be on letters they have sent you [my bold]:



        Warrants of Control Magistrates Court Fines

        What is the fine for I do not know what it is about?


        A Warrant has been issued following non-payment of a fine that was imposed on you by the criminal courts. Details of the court that issued the fine, the court reference and hearing date(s) are detailed on all of the letters Jacobs have sent to you.

        If you believe that this Warrant has been issued incorrectly and you do not owe the debt outstanding you must contact the Magistrates court directly to discuss this. Please note that we will continue to enforce the Warrant until such time the court withdraws the Warrant or payment in full is made.






        If they haven't done this, and if they do not provide the details, the next thing I'd do is make a formal comlaint to them:




        How can I make a complaint about Jacobs?

        We are committed to getting things right and any complaints received are treated very seriously.

        If you would like to lodge a formal complaint you can do so by email to
        complaint@jacobsenforcement.com or by post to Jacobs 6 Europa Boulevard, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 4PE.

        All complaints will be acknowledged within 2 days and a full response will be issued within 10 working days. Our response will also be shared with the client as we are acting on their behalf.

        If you wish to see full details please refer to our
        Complaints Handling Policy.
        Last edited by PallasAthena; 19th October 2023, 11:11:AM.
        All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.

        Comment


        • #5
          Debts to the court remain on file and are enforced. We have a non-payment of fines court (that is a thrilling morning!)

          Comment

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