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Received a civil money claim - please help!

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  • Received a civil money claim - please help!

    Hello,

    I receive today, 27/05/2020 a civil money claim regarding a car that I sold on Facebook Marketplace in February 2020. (private sale)
    I have attached the letter and a few other things I thought might be relevant.


    Timeline of what happened:

    25.02.2020 - On the day of the purchase three gentleman turned up to view the car, they all inspected it and one of them also test drove it giving it the green light and confirmed that the car works and drives well. During the viewing I mentioned the timing chain will need replacing soon. Following this, we both singed an AA private car sale contract, exchanged the v5 and after he transferred the money they left driving the car.

    26.02.2020 - I received a text message from the buyer asking me for £150 towards the repair of the timing chain (see message attached). I replied politely saying that I already knocked money off the original asking price for this issue so I will not be refunding the additional £150 asked.

    07/03/2020 - I received a phone call from the buyer asking me to take the car back and give him a full refund because the car has been in an accident, it doesn't have the original engine, has multiple electrical faults and the airbags removed. I reply saying that I will not take the car back nor offer a refund because I was not aware of any of these problems. I owned the car for nearly 9 months and I never had a problem with it. I used the car to commute to work and would not do so if I was aware of these problems, especially the lack of airbags. I also mentioned that if I probably knew about these things I wouldn't invite them inside my house so they would know my address and I definitely wouldn't be such a genuine guy by mentioning the timing chain even though they never been asked about it.

    06/05/2020 - I receive a complaint letter saying that I miss-described the goods by saying that "The car has covered 48k miles from new when in fact upon inspection we have discovered the car doesn't have the original engine therefore your description of low mileage from new is incorrect". I replied to this by saying that I have found a HPI check that I have done on the day before I bought the car and the HPI check came back all clear without mentioning any of the stated problems.

    27/05/2020 - I received a civil money claim that I have also attached in this thread.

    In the civil money claim the buyer attached a version of his timeline of what happened, however there are many inconsistencies and untrue events in there.
    For example:

    Page 1 26/02/2020: The buyer mentioned he took the car to a garage and said the garage advised the timing chain was okay however the alternator was not charging the battery. In the text message I received on 26/02/2020 (see message attached) from the buyer he is asking for £150 towards repairing the timing chain.

    Page 2 07/03/2020: - The buyer claims I advised him to sell the car on and that I deleted my Facebook account.

    Page 3 07/04/2020 - The buyer said I originally claimed that I purchased the car from a garage where it had been brought in as a part exchange and then on 07/03/2020 via the phone call he claims I said I bought it from a friend. I originally said I bought the car from a guy in Manchester via Facebook marketplace and that the seller told me he got the car as part exchange when he sold a different car. I never mentioned I bought the car from a dealer or a garage.

    On page 3 in the Evidence section the buyer is claiming that he sent two initial letters that I refused to take receipt off, however on page 3 16/04/2020 he is saying "Our correspondence had been addressed to the property next door".

    In the claim on page 4 there is also a statement of truth that the buyer signed. It clearly states that he believes that the facts stated in this claim for are true, which they are not.

    On contacting multiple solicitors I have been told that it would cost me more their representation then repaying for the car so they advised me to represent myself. I have never done anything like this before so I decided to post on here to see if there is anyone that can give me advice in this situation.

    English is not my first language so I hope this makes sense. I am more than happy to provide more details if needed. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Page 2 page 1 page 3
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Could you post up the COMPLETE claim form (removing only identifying details)
    I suspect what you have posted are the PoC, although it reads more like a witness statement than a claim.

    One real area of concern is the allegation that your advert states the vehicle has not been in an accident whereas it appears to have been written off by an insurance company.
    Can you clarify that point please?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by des8 View Post
      Could you post up the COMPLETE claim form (removing only identifying details)
      I suspect what you have posted are the PoC, although it reads more like a witness statement than a claim.

      One real area of concern is the allegation that your advert states the vehicle has not been in an accident whereas it appears to have been written off by an insurance company.
      Can you clarify that point please?
      This is all I received by post. I never stated in the advert that the vehicle has been in an accident. The claimant states that I did mention this in a message via Facebook messenger.
      The claimant states that the car was a category U salvage bought through car auction Copart. Shouldn't this be stated on the HPI check I have done prior buying the car?

      Comment


      • #4
        Do you still have a record of the advert, because that would prove that the claimant is trying to wing it in some parts of his claim. Credibility goes a long way and the fact that the he can't get his facts straight isn't likely to go down very well fr him if it ends up at trial before a judge.

        Not sure what Des thinks but I can't see what the relevance is between the car having a new engine and it having been driven 48,000 miles in terms of mis-description. Either the car has been driven that number of miles or it hasn't and if you reasonably believed that by the odometer I can't see how there's been a mis-description. It doesn't automatically follow that because the engine has been replaced or is not new, means that the stated mileage on the advert is incorrect.

        The car could have been in an accident meaning that a full engine replacement was more cost-effective than partial repair, or the previous owner before you could have been negligent in maintaining the car resulting in engine failure, or even a mechanic carrying out repairs could have contributed to the engine needing to be replaced. I just can't see there's a sufficient link between the engine being replaced and the mileage not being correct. That's going to be up to the claimant to prove that and will probably need some kind of expert evidence to that effect.

        At first glance, sounds like the claimant is trying it on here and hoping that because he's issued a claim, you might be thinking to pay up. Of course you can do that but if you believe you've not mis-described the advert then it's a case of buyer beware and tough luck, even more so if there were 3 of them and it was test driven.
        If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        LEGAL DISCLAIMER
        Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply Rob.
          In regards to the engine I was also thinking how is this relevant to the mileage. I am not at the stage where I have to reply with a defence, however I have absolutely no clue how to write it.
          I was thinking of something like this:

          I disagree with the claim because of the following reasons:
          1. I have described the car to the best of my knowledge based on the HPI check I have done prior purchasing the car and the information I received from the seller (via messenger)
          2. I wasn’t aware the car was in an accident and again, the HPI check and the messages from the seller confirm this
          3. I never advised I bought the car from a dealer. I only advised that the previous owner got the car as a part exchange.

          Could you have a look and let me know what you think? (see attached photo)
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Something here isn't adding up.

            The car was originally purchased in June 2019 with a new MOT.

            Sold on 7 months later and new purchaser discovers vehicle was previously damaged (extent unknown)
            Plus vehicle has replacement engine, missing airbag (why not spotted in earlier MOT) and lots of tell tale warning lamps missing.

            Now if I was the new purchaser and discovered these faults I would be p****d off, as the vehicle appears to have been poorly repaired and an engine with unknown mileage inserted. (hence never buy a vehicle without having it properly examined!)

            None of that is of any use to the latest purchaser as it is a case of buyer beware.

            However OP is alleged to have sent a text message saying the vehicle had not been in an accident.
            Was this message actually sent?
            Does buyer still have a copy of it?
            If it was sent, when?

            If OP sent that message prior to purchase the buyer could have a claim for misrepresentation (albeit innocent)

            Will get back later regarding your defence if R0b doesn't get there first

            Comment


            • #7
              Unfortunately I haven't got the messages.
              It is likely I did send a text message saying the car had not been in an accident. Wouldn't the HPI and messages from the person who I bought the car from confirm this?
              If it also helps, I purchased the car together with my brother in law who can also confirm or even write a witness statement.
              In the evidence section of the claim the buyer is mentioning a message via messenger that was sent advising the car had never been in an accident. This was probably before they purchased the car

              Comment


              • #8
                des8 I have also been advised to add the following:

                "I would also put it's passed two mot tests before coming into your possession. If these were done at different test centres point that out too."

                and

                "I would add the V5c shows no record of it being written off. The buyer had an opportunity to inspect and test the car and it's associated documents, which they did. You negotiated a price that the buyer was happy with based upon their inspection and testing of the vehicle. Point out you are not in the motor trade and have no connection with the motor trade so do not have specialist knowledge of vehicles."

                Pleaase let me know what you think

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why don't you post up a draft of what you want to insert in the box as your defence. You will need to deal with the allegations which are poor to say the least but if you don't deny any part you will be deemed to have accepted and are liable.

                  Once we see your draft reply, we can consider any feedback on improvements.
                  If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                  LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                  Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the reply Rob.
                    I find it difficult to reply to his allegations. They don't make much sense, however I was thinking to write something like this:

                    Each and every allegation in the Claimants statement is denied unless specifically admitted in this Defence.
                    1. I am not in the motor trade and have I have no connection with the motor trade or any specialist knowledge of vehicles. The car has been described to the best of my knowledge based on the HPI check, it's MOT history, the v5c and the information I received from the person I bought the car from (via Facebook messenger).

                    2. I advised the claimant to the best of my knowledge based on the HPI check and the v5c. Both of these documents doesn't mention the car being in an accident. My advise was also based on the fact that the previous owner also confirmed the car has never been in an accident (via Facebook messenger)

                    3. It is denied that I advised I purchased the car from a dealer. My only advise was that the previous owner acquired the car as a part exchange

                    Please let me know what you think or if you would like to add/change anything.

                    Thanks in advance

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about the timeline and the evidence, are you not disputing any of that? Think your response is a little short and like I said above, if you don't deny something then you will be deemed to have accepted it.

                      I'm not going to re-write your defence for you as that will just take too long but I suggest you go through the timeline and the evidence and put your arguments forward where you think there is a discrepancy. You can very simply say for each section, something like, "I do not accept the Claimant's timeline of events, in particular: ...." and for the evidence, you could say "The Claimant's evidence is disputed with regards to the following..."

                      Also, I would personally caution against using the phrase to the best of your knowledge. This is a court of law and not morals or opinions, so the court will look at the law and consider whether you've breached it. If I were you, I would strip out any opinions and keep it strictly to facts and evidence. For example, you could say:

                      "It is denied that the car was mis-described as suggested by the Claimant. The mileage of the vehicle as described on the advert was taken directly from the odometer. I fail to see the causal link between the engine having been replaced (as suggested by the Claimant) and the vehicle haven been driven 48,000 miles as recorded on the odometer, which is a factually correct. Furthermore, I had no knowledge that the vehicle's engine had been replaced but in any event, it does not follow that because the vehicle's engine (in the eyes of the Claimant) may have been replaced, that the vehicle did not accrue the mileage as described. This is because accrued vehicle mileage relates to how far the car has been driven in its lifetime and not specifically tied to the engine, since the engine could have been replaced for various reasons. In any event, I have checked the vehicle's MOT history through https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/ which confirms that the mileage recorded on the last MOT check was XX,XXX miles. Accordingly, the Claimant is required to prove by way of expert evidence that the vehicle has not been driven 48,000 miles as described."

                      If you use the link above, you will be able to see the history of the vehicle and find out when the mileage was last recorded on the MOT and that should back up your defence.

                      Ideally you need to deal pick out every point you dispute and deal with it separate paragraphs. However, if you just want to use those 3 paragraphs as your defence that's fine, it's your dispute so you put in however much effort you'd like and I'll work with what you've drafted.

                      If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                      LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                      Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Rob, take a look at the image I attached.

                        "Briefly explain why you disagree with the claim

                        If you fail to dispute any part of the claim the court may assume you admit it.

                        You should also say if you accept any parts of the claim.

                        Don’t give us a detailed timeline - we’ll ask for that separately."

                        I thought I have to reply only to the claim which is also attached in the photo. The claimant is making three points in his claim.
                        1. That I misdescribed the car,
                        2. That I advised it was not in an accident
                        3. That I initially advised the car was bought from a dealer.

                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          R0b I followed your advice and put more effort in my defence. Please have a look and let me know what you think. Many thanks in advance

                          Each and every allegation in the Claimants statement of case is denied unless specifically admitted in this Defence.
                          1. It is denied that the car was miss-described as suggested by the Claimant. The mileage of the vehicle as described on the advert was taken directly from the odometer. In any event, I have checked the vehicle's MOT history through https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/ which confirms that the mileage recorded on the last MOT check was 42,704 miles. On top of this, the HPI check that I done prior purchasing the car states no mileage issues. I fail to see the causal link between the engine having been replaced (as suggested by the Claimant) and the vehicle haven been driven 48,000 miles as recorded on the odometer, which is a factually correct. Furthermore, I had no knowledge that the vehicle's engine had been replaced but in any event, it does not follow that because the vehicle's engine (in the eyes of the Claimant) may have been replaced, that the vehicle did not accrue the mileage as described. This is because accrued vehicle mileage relates to how far the car has been driven in its lifetime and not specifically tied to the engine, since the engine could have been replaced for various reasons. Accordingly, the Claimant is required to prove by way of expert evidence that the vehicle has not been driven 48,000 miles as described.
                          1. I had no knowledge that the vehicle has been in an accident. I have carried out a HPI check prior purchasing the vehicle through https://totalcarcheck.co.uk/ which confirms that the vehicle has never been involved in an accident. Additionally I have been advised by the person I purchased the vehicle from, that it was never involved in an accident.(via Facebook messenger
                          1. It is denied I advised that I purchased the vehicle from a dealer as a part ex. My advice to the claimant was that the car was purchased from someone on Facebook Marketplace and that the previous owner obtained the vehicle as an exchange with another car.
                          I do not accept the Claimant’s timeline of events, in particular:
                          1. 26.02 – 7.3.2020: It is admitted that I advised the claimant that the timing chain may need tightening or replacing. I cannot comment on what their mechanic and auto electrician may have advised. I have no connection with the motor trade and don’t possess any specialist knowledge of vehicles. I would also like to bring to the court's attention that the Claimant is disingenuous because on the date he sent me a text message requesting £150 refund towards repairing the timing chain and yet in the claim clearly it was not an issue
                          1. 7th March: It is denied that I advised the claimant he should sell the car on. It is also denied I advised that I purchased the car from a friend. I am also denying that my profile on Facebook was removed.
                          1. 17th March: It is denied that I refused the letter. The claimant is clearly mentioning that the correspondence had been addressed to the property next door.
                          1. 7th May 2020: I confirm that I received the claimant’s letter. As mentioned I replied straight away advising that I did not receive the first letter and I attached the HPI and receipt of purchase. It is denied I advised that I bought the car as part exchange. The car from someone on Facebook Marketplace the previous owner obtained the vehicle as an exchange with another car. It is also denied that I advised on 7th March it was purchased from a friend.
                          The Claimant’s evidence is disputed with regards to the following:
                          1. It is denied that the letter send 17th March was refused by me. The claimant is clearly stating that the he had sent the letter to the property next door.
                          1. The Copart advert for Lot (33801297) states the sale date Tue. Aug 08, 2017. Prior being in my possession the vehicle had passed an MOT and a HPI check without any problems or advisories recorded.
                          1. It is denied I advised that I purchased the vehicle from a dealer as a part ex. My advice to the claimant was that the car was purchased from someone on Facebook Marketplace and that the previous owner obtained the vehicle as an exchange with another car. It is also denied I advised the car was purchased from a friend.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I will have a look tomorrow, it's a bit late for me to think.

                            What's the deadline to file a response?
                            If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
                            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                            LEGAL DISCLAIMER
                            Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              R0b deadline is 14th June

                              Comment

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