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Saturday, 17 October 2015

MIL Collections fail in court

MIL Collections crashed and burned in their first recorded court hearing; MIL Collections Ltd v The 'bigdoubleyou', claim number B3QZ98K3.

They first appeared on the radar around May 2015, having apparently bought up a lot of parking related debt from some of the dodgier parking companies (clue, the fact that these 'debts' were not paid might mean they never existed).

Although MIL sent out letters purporting to have purchased the debt from another company, this may not have been entirely valid - the company stated did not exist at the time the parking charge was issued.



The letters were extremely aggressive, and in the same envelope was a letter before action stating legal action would commence if the matter was not resolved in 7 days. This is against practice directions.



The motorist replied, querying the legitimacy of the debt assignment.

MIL ignored this, and filed a court claim. The motorist filed a defence. MIL sent some more letters with backdated notices of assignment.



Although this is not valid, they apparently were still worthless anyway. They also contained errors which made it appeal the letters were really written by MIL and not the operator.

MIL then sent an offer of settlement, but this was at the same amount as the original claim and so not particularly appealing, considering the motorist thought they owed £0.


Here is the motorists report of the hearing, from Pepipoo



I recently went to the Civil Court in this claim, and despite what it said on their paperwork, I was greeted by the 'barrister' representing MIL.

I hadn't received any form of pack from MIL prior to the hearing, just a brief challenge of the main points I'd made in my defence, putting their breaches of all of the relevant legislation down to "minor errors" that shouldn't defer from the fact I owed a debt.

He then handed me a copy of the ParkingEye vs Beavis case review for my attention

So at that stage I was not particularly confident that I was going to win if I'm honest.

However....

We went into court, and the Judge just unleashed a raft of questions to their barrister that he simply couldn't answer.
MIL Collections sent a letter rather than attending. The letter had no supporting documents, it wasn't a statement of truth, and it carried no weight whatsoever. The letter even had the audacity to instruct the judge to adjourn if she wasn't happy with its format, at no cost to them it said, so that they may get any evidence she required.

The Judge tied the barrister up in knots, to the extent that I even began to feel sorry for him for a second!!

She concluded by using my defence statement, (which, as instructed here and in the Parking Pranksters guide, I had neatly typed out in numbered paragraphs, with the evidence behind a divider, all in a folder for ease) to show the barrister that this was what she had expected from his client, and that in my defence pack I'd denied the debt. As a result, she wanted evidence of the debt from the Claimant, MIL, however, they hadn't presented any, and so as a result, she could do nothing other than dismiss the case in its entirety, and that was the final decision.

I literally hadn't even spoken once up to that point, until the Judge asked me if it was okay for the case to be dismissed!

The motorist took along a list of costs, which were awarded by the judge.

The Prankster notes the advice given by MIL Collections:
Relying on a technical defence, mitigating circumstances or sending internet forum style letters without first seeking regulated legal advice could result in a court judgment being awarded with additional costs and potentially SIGNIFICANT DISRUPTION to your financial standing.
This doe not, on reflection, appear to have been very good advice.

The Prankster suggests MIL get Gladstones Solicitors to help them next time. Based on Gladstone's known record, they still probably won't win, but at least someone involved in parking will make a profit.


Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

20 comments:

  1. According to the MIL website they only work on a commission basis, no mention of buying debts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A useful screenshot to include in the evidence. Sounds like they don't even have right of audience if they haven't properly bought the debt. I seem to remember a reference to a toothbrush being made to a similar case...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wonder if they would be able to properly use PoFA to pursue the keeper anyway since they were not the PPC involved. The further it gets from the original "creditor" the less interest in it there is to those along the line

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here you go. Protection of Freedom Act you will notice paragraph 6 which states;
    6(1)The second condition is that the creditor (or a person acting for or on behalf of the creditor)—

    They are no longer acting on behalf of the creditor so can't invoke PoFA

    ReplyDelete
  5. There can never have been an assignment of a debt that doesn't exist. Not paying a speculative invoice is very different from defaulting on a credit agreement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but this is wrong, a chose in action is always just this - a dispute over who has to pay what - until a court of law decides to settle the matter.

      So a disputed payment (a defaulted payment) is just the same as a default under a credit agreement.

      Delete
  6. Where can we get a transcript of the case. Please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will only be a transcript if one of the parties to the case orders and pays for it. Depending on the length of the hearing, these can cost anywhere between £100 and £200, so generally not worth it for cases like this.

      Delete
    2. Everyone can order a transcript, you need to complete the relevant form and send it to one of the approved transcribers together with the claim number (mentioned in the article). As David mentioned, the costs for this may be up to a couple of hundred quid (depending on the length of the hearing)...

      Delete
  7. So MIL Collections became NIL Collections then??? :_)

    ReplyDelete
  8. They've just lost another one on Pepipoo.

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=98988

    This one was a no show, not even a hapless barrister turned up.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These vile people at MIL have done me for £150, I got 50% off the cost through mediation but wish I had let them take me to court now after reading the above. The mediation states from the court I have to pay £150 but MIL now say that they charge £2.00 for Visa debit payments - that's not in the court agreement! It's nothing short of legalised theft.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have just been sent a county court claim form for a parking fine sold to MIL collections from a company called premier parking logistics based in birmingham. The county court centre asigned is in Northampton. I am 68 years old and am at my wits end. Can anyone please advise me what to do next they are claiming £175 from me thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I received the came a few days ago. You DO have to respond as it is from the court and you have to do it within 14 days or you will have to pay the total amount. If you have proof that you are not guilty, then supply that or I imagine that if you don't have proof then you will be found guilty and have to pay the £175 good luck debbie

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These cases are easily defensible and MIL have not known to be able to win a properly defended case. If you ignored the court letters this will be hard to unwind. You will need to try and get the court hearing reheard.

      Delete
    2. Hello

      Thanks, I think my initial post was just a bit too open, that is why I deleted it.

      Delete
  12. I never even got a court hearing date and they are sending the bailiffs around now Iv been on the phone and the bloke just laughed down the phone and said not much you can do the bailiffs are going to be around and I even have the parking ticket that I paid for I appealed and they never got back they want £265 from me I don't know what to do can anyone help?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Contact me at prankster@parking-prankster.co.uk for help

    ReplyDelete
  14. I received a parking ticket. I had bought a ticket but it had blown on to the floor of the car. I send evidence that I had bought the ticket but they will not cancel it.

    ReplyDelete