Tony Hetherington is chief investigator for the Financial Mail on Sunday. He battles the reader’s corner, uncovers the reality behind closed doors, and wins victories for those forgotten pockets. Below you can find tips on how to contact him.
Ms. BI writes: I was in a very minor car accident in 2021 and my insurer Privilege Insurance said they wanted it.
In mid 2022 I received an email from lawyers acting on behalf of the opposing driver stating that Privilege had not paid and that I had been charged.
Privilege informed me that it was a mistake and they could record it so I didn’t have to contact lawyers or worry about what happened next, which was a county court judgment against me for £3,177.
Privilege even paid me £750 as an apology, but now they say their own lawyers have failed to overturn the CCJ.
Shunt: But the reader eventually got the court document
Tony Hetherington replies: It is One of the factors that advises not to consider the opposing manager’s lawyers. This would have allowed Privilege and its personal legal professionals to deal with the accident and any claims.
But it’s quite another to advise you to disregard the district court’s ruling, a mandated ruling that the opposing driver’s lawyers would have requested.
In addition to being a legally enforceable debt, CCJs are a public document and remain there for years, affecting your credit history and arguably preventing you from getting a bank card or mortgage.
The advice you received from Privilege was shockingly dangerous. Privilege itself recognizes this. It informed that the opposite driver’s declaration is settled so that you don’t do anything. It now says it was a “significant mistake”. It even admits that the opposing driver’s lawyers warned Privilege about the lawsuit, but Privilege did not alert his personal lawyers. Well known: “Our lack of urgency and review is completely unacceptable.”
So where does that leave you? When you are 60 years old, you have not had a CCJ until now. Well, once it started taking the matter seriously, Privilege managed to keep CCJ hidden from the public eye. It stayed in effect, but it didn’t affect your credit.
That’s great news. The much less great news is that Privilege has been fighting to get the CCJ deleted entirely, forcing the court record to overturn it. Privilege lawyers tried to get the opposing public gathering to fit the common strategy on the court record, but the various drivers’ lawyers simply didn’t respond – presumably thinking their work was done.
This left Privilege ready to return to the hearing for his personal. Two months earlier, it admitted that “this could take a very long time as the request has to go to court and there is no guarantee that the judgment will be overturned as it is at our discretion”.
This was in fact inadequate and I am pleased to report that after further efforts Privilege has now persuaded the opposing counsel to submit their consent so that the court record may overturn the decision. Privilege has filed the necessary documents in the court record and is awaiting the selection decision.
If you don’t hear soon that the court record has wiped the slate clean, let me know. It might also be time for Privilege to reconsider whether £750 is enough to cover the injury.
Why was my £25,000 mortgage loan delayed?
KN writes: In October 2019, I invested £25,000 in three-year mortgage notes issued by Urban Village Cap 1 Limited.
My notes expired in October and I requested a refund of the £25,000. I have sent three emails with no response.
I was known as the company’s head of enterprise improvement, Mr. Jakovic, but he didn’t answer. Can you help me get a refund?
High Fee: Urban Village Group is an actual property improvement company
Tony Hetherington replies: You’ve invested in the offshoot of Urban Village Group, a property improvement company based primarily in Sutton Coldfield, and also your income is eight pc of curiosity every year without any downside.
Your mortgage letter was signed by the group’s chief monetary officer, Peter Steer, so I asked him about his firm’s inability to repay you. He immediately informed me, “We have taken immediate steps to resolve the issue and are happy to report that it has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved.”
You are now £25,000 short, yet Steer refused to say why you were not reimbursed last October or why his firm did not respond to your emails and phone calls. He described it as a “mistake” that is seemingly apparent, but would not make for a brilliant rationalization.
VAT thriller… at my place
Ms. MA writes: I am sending you a copy of a letter from HM Revenue & Customs which was sent to my home but addressed to Mr Grzegoz Platt regarding VAT.
In 2013 I received an analogue letter confirming his VAT registration and HMRC knowing that Mr Platt does not live here.
HMRC apologized in 2013 and confirmed that the error had been corrected, but it appears that this person continues to take advantage of our transaction.
Not identified in this transaction: Ms MA obtained a letter from HM Revenue & Customs which was sent to her home but addressed to Mr Grzegorz Platt regarding VAT.
Tony Hetherington replies: I have checked the local information, for example, because the electoral roll may be back, and there was no sign of the mysterious Mr. Platt in your dealings with or anywhere near it.
I additionally checked the amount of VAT and found that it is nevertheless energetic and nevertheless recorded in your property transaction. I requested the Tax and Customs Administration staff to conduct an analysis.
They informed me, “We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the customer who received the wrong mail. We’ve corrected our information to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
I left it for a while and just checked the tax primary overtime and now it shows up as an incorrect amount in the tax information.
If you believe you have been the victim of financial fraud, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY or email. (email protected). Due to the large variety of questions, private solutions will not be provided. Send only copies of authentic documents, which unfortunately cannot be returned.