Predatory companies like Gladstones Solicitors, BW Legal, Wright Hassall, MIL Collections and SCS issue claims without doing any due diligence which means that the vast majority of cases have no validity - in ParkingEye v Beavis it was revealed ParkingEye cancel 65% of charges on appeal, and POPLA cancel a further 45%. This means that something over 80% of all parking charges are issued invalidly. This number is increasing - in 2012 ParkingEye cancelled only 55% of charges on appeal.
The roboclaim industry specialises in churning out these claims and adding on spurious extra charges in the full knowledge that although most of the claims have no basis, a large number of people will either be frightened into paying up, or will fail to get the claim papers and so end up with a CCJ without knowing about it. If claims are defended they deliberately ignore practice directions and conduct themselves in a shameful manner knowing that judges in the small claims court rarely issue sanctions. This cynical exploitation of the legal system should not continue.
Today the Government announced it was taking steps to end this predatory situation.
The press release,entitled 'New measures to protect consumers from debt claims' is available here.
Parking companies have been especially singled out:
assess the role of parking companies and examine how drivers are informed of fines
And the Department for Communities and Local Government will be taking further steps in due course to tackle poor practice by private parking companies.
Consultation will start in the new year:
Round table events with consumer groups and advice organisations to gauge early views will take place in the new year before the consultation goes live.No doubt the many people with ParkingEye CCJs who have already reported these to casehub will be keeping a keen eye on the situation.
The Parking Prankster