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Ex husband threatened with baliffs at my address

(41 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Thu 14-Apr-16 15:25:48

We are in the (slow) process of divorcing. He still has the majority of post delivered here, including a new phone and tablet I had to collect from a neighbour the other day angry.

today a letter came and it was poorly sealed and I opened it. I know it was wrong, but now I'm glad I did. It is a letter from the court saying he owes £165 and needs to pay up otherwise goods/cars can be seized. I am worried and livid.

I phoned the number given but of course they can't discuss it and just advised me to return the letter 'not known at this address' and tell him to contact them. I am now so anxious. Will have to tell him I've opened his letter and then face him probably blaming me for his problems. He has had paid work pretty much consistently since moving out (sahd before that) and, though it's not well paid, he shouldn't have let this happen. He has obviously been burying his head in the sand about something (new phone, taking dc out to restaurants to eat multiple times a month - all he seems to do with them), 2 holidays in one year etc etc. I feel sure there will be a horrible scene tonight and at the end of it I will have no certainty that he will take the necessary steps to ensure my goods/car don't get taken - or will they be taken anyway???

He is the registered keeper of my car still, as it was the more convenient way to do it at the time, but I paid for it in full and he has never driven it- would they have a right to it?

My other fear is that it is a motoring fine for my car that has gone unpaid, but he would have had no reason not to let me know if I'd got a speeding fine, for example, and those come in big DVLA envelopes don't they, so I would have seen it?

I feel sick...

BarbarianMum Thu 14-Apr-16 15:30:41

A car's registered keeper is not the same thing as it's owner. Owner is person who paid for the car or was given it. However, in the case of a car used by a married couple, ownership of any property is usually classed as joint in law. Don't know how that applies to bailiffs though.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 14-Apr-16 15:32:24

I'd say you need to seek legal advice on protecting your property.

I'm in the US but here the car would be fair game for repossession as long as it's in the debtor's name if the car payments haven't been made.

I'm not familiar with bailiff repossession. Can they really come in and take an unrelated item to pay a debt? Like taking your TV to pay a parking ticket?

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 14-Apr-16 15:33:40

It sounds like he's also getting credit at your address. The phone and tablet together point to that. Therefore that's where the bailiffs will come. And unless you can prove that everything in your house belongs to you then they can take them. You letting him do this is enabling this.

thinkingmakesitso Thu 14-Apr-16 15:34:14

The car isn't related to the debt - I paid in full at the time, and we were already separated. I don't know, I have no experience about this.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 14-Apr-16 15:34:58

They can take anything that can be sold to cover the debt.

Arfarfanarf Thu 14-Apr-16 15:35:44

I think you need to get yourself completely disentangled from him as a priority.

get your credit reports because you may have things to sort out there.

Insist that he does not have things delivered to you ( you don't want anything that could be taken as evidence he lives there). He needs to redirect his mail or you need to write return to sender on it.

and get the car in your own name. do you mean he is the keeper or owner because they are different things as you know. Do you have evidence you own the car? And he shouldn't be the registered keeper if he isn't the one using the vehicle. I think you need to sort that one out pdq. Fines would go to the registered keeper. but the V5 does say that being the registered keeper is not proof of ownership of the vehicle.

jay55 Thu 14-Apr-16 15:36:46

Get the car signed over to you pronto.

thinkingmakesitso Thu 14-Apr-16 15:37:52

What constitutes 'belonging to me' though? Stuff he left when he moved out? None of it? Only stuff I bought since he left - nothing of value. FFs, perhaps I should phone my solicitor, but the divorce is 'on hold' at the moment while I get a copy of my marriage certificate, and. from experience, speaking to her will cost me about £200 - I might as well pay the fine for him.

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 14-Apr-16 15:38:54

I'm afraid that they can seize the car then it would be up to you to prove ownership of the car. A motoring fine would be a court bailiff who have far more rights than bailiffs working on behalf of a debt for anyone else. Do you know where the letter was sent from?

Get the car registered in your name as soon as possible.

HopIt Thu 14-Apr-16 15:40:05

You need to do two things
1. Make sure he's not on your council tax
2. Dig out your car invoice showing you as the purchaser.
It will also be helpful to put it in your name.

If you've both those things you should be OK as he's not living there and he's clearly not the keeper of the car.
Keep this paperwork by the door, don't let them in.

thinkingmakesitso Thu 14-Apr-16 15:42:06

The letter has come from the magistrates court. So it could be a motoring fine? But it is headed 'further steps' notice, so it's not the first he's heard of it and I can't imagine why he would withhold from me that I'd got done for speeding - I would have thought he would have enjoyed telling me that.

HereIAm20 Thu 14-Apr-16 15:46:11

Tell him also to get his post redirected immediately and that from now on you will be marking all post return to sender.

mummytime Thu 14-Apr-16 15:51:23

Change who is the registered keeper of your car, this will probably involve changing the insurance.
Make him notify people of his new address, tell him to get redirection set up if possible. Separate yourself from him, and then get credit checks carried out.
If he doesn't live at your address then bailiffs can't seize property from there (excepting the car if it appears to be his).

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Thu 14-Apr-16 15:55:06

I'd have the vehicle re-registered in my name asap if you can.

Are you in England? Rules are different between different countries, even within the UK, but I believe baliffs will need a court order to remove property if their demand for money unpaid is not met. So if you put 'return to sender' on every piece of mail, they will realise that raising a court order at your address is useless.

I agree you should get a credit check, he is using your address to obtain goods without paying and might be using your name and credit score too. do free credit checks.

And yes, you are not obliged to give him anything he sends to your house which he has obtained by deception.

Bogeyface Thu 14-Apr-16 16:02:03

They are very unlikely to take your car for £165 debt, it isnt in their interests to do that. They want cash and will only take goods if they absolutely have to. Goods at auction sell for a fraction of their true worth, so they have to take a shedload of stuff to cover debts and they dont want the hassle of doing that.

However, this may be the tip of the iceberg with regards debt so you do need to get the car into your name with the V5.

If you know his new address then send the bailliffs letter back to them with that info. They cant take your belongings, that would be illegal.

PigletJohn Thu 14-Apr-16 16:05:34

You need to "dissociate" yourself from him at the credit reference agencies, or it will affect your own rating. I have never had to do it and don't know what happens if you are not yet divorced.

However it seems to be fairly common. Have a look at

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK.

Also if he no longer lives with you, you can get the single-person discount on your council tax (contact the council) and you should have him taken off the electoral roll for your address (electoral officer at your local council offices

AdoraBell Thu 14-Apr-16 16:08:23

As others have said, get the car in your name ASAP.

then with everything that arrives addressed to him write - return to sender and put it back in the post, but make a note of it. So, date received, company if it it's written on the envelope, package or letter, returned to sender on X date.

Tell him you will not receive his post any longer so he needs to notify everyone of his new address.

grannygoat Thu 14-Apr-16 16:10:14

I am a little confused over thr fine. If he has never driven your car I don't see how he could have incurred it. You sure it's not proper to you?

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 14-Apr-16 16:12:08

If it came from the magistrates then you do need to take steps quickly. The bailiffs sent from the magistrates court can enter your property without permission. Because you tried to contact them they may have taken note but you need to disassociate yourself from him as quickly as possible. Make sure he is removed from your address for council tax purposes and I'd also advise checking the electoral roll to see if he still shows on there.

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 14-Apr-16 16:15:46

I am a little confused over the fine. If he has never driven your car I don't see how he could have incurred it. You sure it's not proper to you?

If it relates originally to a speeding offence and he has ignored it then the fine would be for failing to disclose details rather than speeding so yes it would be his fine as the registered keeper of the vehicle not the op. It is a different offence and not one that the op committed.

thinkingmakesitso Thu 14-Apr-16 16:15:50

He's not on council tax - I get the single person discount and pretty sure he's not on the electoral roll here as I have had polling cards just for me, and I'm sure he mentioned voting at his new address last year.

How else can I disassociate myself? Are you saying they could come in when I'm not here and take stuff?

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Thu 14-Apr-16 16:21:27

Check your credit report and see if he's used your address to obtain credit. Make sure he's not on it for your address and has no financial association to you on paper.
Make sure he's not on any bills at your house.
Get rid of joint bank accounts.
Change the car paperwork.

AdoraBell Thu 14-Apr-16 16:30:16

He could use your address for his own purposes. Currently he has credit, having the phone and tablet delivered there. He is trying to, or has avoided court by not giving them his address.

Many years ago I got rid of a boyfriend, no joint finances, no credit and pre the days of council tax. 6 months later the police turned up looking for him because he gave my address when he was arrested and then failed to appear at his court date. I had to demonstrate that he was no longer living with me.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 14-Apr-16 16:30:46

If he voted at his new address then he would be on the electoral register there and that would show on any credit check. The fact he's had those delivered to your address makes a lie of that if he got them on credit. And they can and will take your stuff if you can't conclusively prove that; a, you bought them personally and b, he doesn't live there. Which you can't do if you're accepting those things for him there and he's getting credit there.

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