Asking a court to return your vehicle.

This is called an Interpleader claim

 

DO NOT attempt to sell or transfer your vehicle to avoid it being controlled by bailiffs.

 

This should not be attempted without legal representation. Contact me to see if you have a winnable claim, and your solicitors fees are all recoverable from the bailiff company.

If you are legally competent and want to go DIY, then dive right in!

 

If your claim is NOT a winnable one, recommend Pay and Reclaim and using the Small Claims track to recover your damages. That protects you from the legal costs of the other side if your claim is unsuccessful.

 

Interpleader Claim applies if your vehicle (or goods) have been taken into control or removed by bailiffs in connection with either:

A debt that is not yours, or

The vehicle (or goods) are exempt goods , or

The debt is yours, but the vehicle is owned by your Ltd company.

 

Note: This is NOT a claim for damages. You claim these afterwards using this procedure.

It doesn't matter if the vehicle has already been sold. The court can still order its return.

Make an interpleader claim in 5 easy steps.

 

1. Collate documentary evidence. These are called "exhibits", these include:

Bill of sale

Bank statements proving purchase..

Commencement of insurance

Advertisement of sale

Receipt for tax on the vehicle

The V5.

If possible, a brief statement from the seller or the debtor

 

Caution, Courts don't like buyers and sellers knowing each other other than for the transaction of the vehicle

 

If the vehicle is used in your employment,

A letter, or contract from your employer

Evidence of trade, for example, its used as a taxi or a driving school

 

 

Remember: Evidence at this stage is CRUCIAL. You CANNOT add further evidence later.

 

 

Warning: Bailiff companies like to see "insurance" documents and a V5, but these are not evidence of ownership by itself. If you are pleading exempt goods on the grounds they are used for work, it is NOT a legal requirement to have "business insurance". For the sake of protecting you from the bailiff company frustrating your claim, try to include an insurance policy.

 

2. Make a sworn witness statement, which includes the following: (templates below).

How much the bailiff is recovering (if known)

Description of the vehicle

The grounds of your claim of ownership, or why it is exempt goods

Name and address of the creditor or council

Name of the bailiff company

Copies of supporting evidence to assist the court determine your claim

Always include the following paragraph:

I give notice to the creditor and to the enforcement agent that I intend to seek a direction from the court that the required payment under CPR 85.5(6) is a proportion of the value of the goods because it is disproportionate to the value of the debt, and requiring me to make over a higher sum will, by itself, cause the application to fail and this may be exploited by the other party in an effort to exclude themselves from liability for wrongful taking of goods knowing they do not belong to the debtor and/or to avail their solicitor with a sum of money from the applicant as costs resulting from the failed application.

 

 

If you can. Have the SELLER or DEBTOR to make a sworn statement proving he sold the vehicle to you in good faith. Impress on them there is no penalty for selling a vehicle with unpaid traffic debts.

 

 

3. Complete a court Form N244, (Court fee £255, or complete a Form EX160a ) but DO NOT file this at court yet.

In BLOCK CAPS. Enter your name as the 'Claimants name' and the council (or creditor) as the 'Defendant's name' at the top right of the form. Then enter today's date.

Part 1. Enter your name, or your company name if you are a firm.

Part 2. Tick 'Claimant'

Part 3, Enter. Interpleader Claim under Part 85 of the Civil Procedure Rules using the grounds of the attached witness statement and exhibits.

Part 4, draft order Attached - Tick NO.

Part 5. - Tick - Without a hearing

Part 6 - Enter 0 Hours, 30 Minutes, and tick NO

Part 7 - Leave blank

Part 8 - Enter "District Judge". If the debt is a high Court writ, enter "Master".

Part 9. Enter the name of the council (or creditor) and the name of the bailiff company.

Part 9a. Give their addresses. Use the bailiff company registered address, not a PO Box address. Find it here:

Part 10. Tick the attached witness statement and evidence in the box below.

In the box below. Give a numbered list, each on a new line, the documentary evidence to help the court determine your claim.

Get the Form N244 and your statement sworn before a local solicitor, Fee usually about £5. Make copies and keep the original to be filed at court later.

 

 

 

 

4. Send by post AND by email, to the creditor (or council) and the bailiff company the following:

Copy of the completed and sworn in Form N244

Copy of the sworn Witness Statement

Copies of the documentary evidence, the "exhibits", in support of your claim

 

And keep the originals for court use.

 

The bailiff company now has three days to decide the outcome of your claim. The creditor has seven days to return your vehicle.

Meanwhile, no further enforcement steps can be taken, such as selling the vehicle.

If the creditor accepts your claim then your vehicle will be returned. DO NOT SIGN any documents when your vehicle is delivered or collected.

The bailiff company might be trying to get you to unwittingly sign a disclaimer preventing you bringing legal action for damages, and using the vehicle as a lien to get you to sign a document you would ordinarily not otherwise sign.

On day three, after giving the above documents, telephone the bailiff company recording the call.

Ask they return the vehicle. You can have me do it with you and I can capture the conversation in an MP3 recording.

If the bailiff company refuses to return the vehicle, then file the application at court as per step 5 below.

The creditor can now recover damages from the bailiff company if the court subsequently allows your interpleader claim.

You can give the telephone recording to the creditor in evidence.

If the bailiff demands that you to collect your vehicle, the cost of this can be added to your claim.

If there is any damage to it, you must IMMEDIATELTY notify the creditor or council by email WITHOUT DELAY.

Any delay will destroy your claim because the bailiff company will day the damage was caused while you were driving it home after leaving the compound.

Once your vehicle has been assessed for damage and any work is done to make it safe to drive, you can start your claim the damages and for your losses.

Here is the procedure.

 

 

 

A word of caution: - Beneficial Interest

This is a bailiffs defence. It has failed on several occasions because a hirer does not attract beneficial interest unless the hirer buys the car.

 

 

When the bailiff company rejects your claim:

An interpleader claim is governed by Part 85 of the Civil Procedure Rules. Part 85.12(1) says the court can award the legal costs of a party against another carte-blanche. That means, if your claim is unsuccessful, you could be ordered to pay the solicitors fees of the defendant, even if those fees are exaggerated. Always ask the court the fees to be "taxed".

You can protect yourself from risk by leaving the interpleader claim at this stage, and, instead, make a claim in the small claims track instead. The rules of court protect claimants recovering a sum under £10,000, regardless whether your claim is successful or not. A court can still order the return of a vehicle nonetheless in the small clams track.

This is why bailiff companies prefer you to interplead your claim rather than bring a claim in the small claims track under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. Bailiff companies will always object (sometimes very angrily!) to you bringing a small claim.It is because they will have to pay their solicitors fees regardless the outcome of your claim.

If the vehicle is not owned by the debtor, then the owner must make the claim to recover the replacement cost of the vehicle, damages for its unlawful deprivation of use, along with expenses in connection with putting it on the road.

When you are happy to continue the interpleader claim, then file all the above documents at court, with the appropriate court fee, or, if you are on a low income, complete a court Form EX160a to claim court fee remission.

The court venue is always your home court local to you.

 

 

The court can list the case for a hearing, make an order without a hearing to return the vehicle (allow the claim), or dismiss the claim and order the disposal of the vehicle.

When the court has allowed your claim, you can start your claim for damages using this procedure.

Example sworn witness statements:

Debt type: PCN, Council Tax or Non Domestic Rates

Vehicle is not the debtors

 

Vehicle is exempt because it is used in a persons employment

 

 

 

 

Warning:

Practice Direction 85.5(6) states:

(6) The claimant to controlled goods must make the required payments on issue of the application in accordance with paragraph 60(4)(a) of Schedule 12, unless such claimant seeks a direction from the court that the required payment be a proportion of the value of the goods, in which case they must seek such a direction immediately after issue of the application, on notice to the creditor and to the enforcement agent.

 

The law says a claimant to goods must lodge a sum with the court the value of the goods claimed, unless they ask the court a lesser sum should be made. Many solicitors representing bailiff companies push for the whole value of the goods to be lodged knowing the interpleader claim fails because the claimant probably does not have that money.

It is not known why Parliament introduced this rule, but its abused by bailiff companies in this way to escape liability for unlawful interference with goods.

 

If you receive a letter from "Feltons Law" or contacted by a solicitor called Peter Felton-Gerber, contact me straight away. He uses a unorthodox tactics including ad-hominem attacks because he knows his defence has no basis. He will search your background on the internet. Do a SAR on Google.co.uk to see whether he has searched you. The result can be given in evidence proving ad-hominem.