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I have had letters, some hand delivered from debt collectors/bailiffs…

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I have had letters, some...
I have had letters, some hand delivered from debt collectors/bailiffs threatening to take possession of my car (value approx £1,600)for parking fines and a congestion charge I've not paid for.
Ostrich in the sand mentality and ignored them.
I'm pondering the option of going bankrupt, weighing the proc and cons.
I'd certainly be better off going bankrupt on paper, but I'd rather work around it if I can.

Q1) How safe is my car from the bailiffs as I'm self employed and the car is vital to my continuing to work?

Q2) If I sold the car and bought a small van (Handyman business sole trader) would that be any safer from the bailiffs, being a commercial vehicle?

Q3) Would going bankrupt quash the PCN Parking fines and Congestion Charge fees or would they still be liable post bankruptcy?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: UK Bankruptcy Law
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2/20/2012
Solicitor: Senior Partner, Solicitor replied 6 years ago
Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: UK Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,330
Experience: 30 years in commercial law
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Thank you for your questions. If you have bailiffs and debt collectors hand delivering letters to you then I am assuming that a Court judgement has been made against you for the outstanding fines and congestion charge and that they are trying to collect the money that you owe for the fines. The first thing that you should do, before considering bankruptcy etc is to get a copy of the court judgement against you to see exactly what you owe. You cannot pay the court but you can find out who you need to pay and then you can try to come to an arrangement with the people you owe to pay off the money in instalments based on what you can afford. I would strongly suggest that you go to your local free legal advice centre or Citizens Advice Bureau (your council can let you know where they are) and take the letters with you so that someone can go through them and help you to approach the people who have issued the fines to agree re-payment. As for your car or a commercial vehicle (questions 1+2) - bailiffs can remove either your car or your commercial vehicle from either your drive or the road. If the car or vehicle was leased then the bailiffs cannot take it - you may have to show them a copy of the leasing agreement to prove this. As for Question 3, bankruptcy should be avoided and should be seen as a last resort. It is a legal process and a trustee would be appointed by the court to see what assets you have and then they would be sold to clear as much of your debt as possible. A bankruptcy is a "final solution" in the sense that you could not be pursued for these debts once you have been discharged from bankruptcy but you must ask yourself whether, for parking and congestion charge fines, it is worth having your financial affairs made public (printed in the newspaper), you would lose your ability to have any control over your assets and you would find it incredibly hard to get credit in future.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thanks for your reply.

It's not just these debts, I have significant credit cards debts from 4 years ago, amassing to around 22K (much of that figure includes creditor charges and fees) which is why bankruptcy option is on the table.

I've recently done a credit search on myself and did not see any of any ccjs relating to parking fines.
There is one credit card related CCj from 4 weeks ago, the only ccj, which I'm in the process of asking for it to be set aside.

I have all the documentation relating to the parking fines, and they do include county court papers.
"Marston" is the name of the collection agency - High Court Enforcement officer and Bailiffs.

I needed to know if a van (versus a car) would be exempt from the bailiffs until time of bankruptcy. Certain rules state bailiffs are unable to remove work related items, such as tools.
I had hoped a commercial vehicle would be included in that list.
You have said that is not the case, sadly.

But parking fine fees would be quashed by bankruptcy then?
I assumed they would not be exempt by going bankrupt and that I'd still be liable. So that's some good news.

I have no assets other than my car and tools, I'm in rented accommodation for past 9 years and currently getting help with working tax credit to top up my wages.

My only concern is the car/van.
If they can legally take it then I'm unable to work. Full stop.
They would force the end of the road for me... my choices would be removed.

Solicitor: Senior Partner, Solicitor replied 6 years ago
thanks for the further questions.

The car or van would not be exempt from the bailiffs. The fact that some of your assets can be kept in bankruptcy does not prevent the bailiff from seizing them.

Sorry I misled you slightly because parking charges are not debts but fines and are not wiped out by bankruptcy. The only things wiped out by bankruptcy are what are know as provable debts which does not include fines and penalties.

If as appears to be the case you have very serious financial problems, I recommend you visit the local CAB with all your paper work as they have specialists who can help you restructure your debt and pay what you can and their services are free.



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