A couple have found themselves living in a Botesdale old people’s home after an invoice from a carpark overseer turned their lives into a “nightmare”.
Jeremy Mullis, 56, said his world had been turned upside down after receiving the invoice from ParkingEye after visiting friends in Liverpool in 2015.
We ended up homeless, giving up our pet labrador and living in a tent. It’s been a nightmareJeremy Mullis
He said: “We punched our registration number into the machine and bought a ticket.
“The next thing I knew, I looked at my credit file about a year later and my credit score had plummeted.
“Looking into it, I discovered I had a high court judgement for £197 from ParkingEye.”
Mr Mullis and his wife Kay were living in rented accommodation, but were evicted when their landlord decided to move back into the property.
Mr Mullis said: “We went to the council and went on the list for social housing as our credit score precluded us from the private rental sector.
“We ended up homeless, giving up our pet labrador and living in a tent. It’s been a nightmare.
“Because of the pressure on social housing is so huge, and we were getting more and more desperate, we took social housing accommodation in an old people’s home in Botesdale.
“We are grateful to have a home, but the average age here is 80.”
He added: “If you’re in position where you haven’t got a lot of money or knowledge to be able to defend yourself against these invoices, you’re stuffed.”
A ParkingEye spokesman said it did all it could to attain their most up-to-date address information.
“It is a motorist’s responsibility to keep their V5C registration certificate updated with the DVLA. Unfortunately, Mr Mullis did not do this which meant we were unable to contact him.”
ParkingEye uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
“We sent several letters to the address provided by the DVLA and, after receiving no reply, we referred the case to a credit reference agency to confirm we had the up-to-date address, and sent further letters to the address provided,” added the spokesman. “After being contacted by Mr Mullis, we explained how to apply to set aside the county court judgment.
“The legal enforcement of parking charges is always a final resort and we actively encourage people who receive a parking charge to contact us and to appeal if they consider that there are extenuating circumstances.”