Should a parking fine show on my credit report?

Dear James,

I used a garage loan-car back in January and the delivery driver of the car incurred two parking fines and blamed me.  The first I knew about it was when I got a threatening letter from the debt collecting agency in October threatening to take me to court for not paying the fines, having had no previous contact from anyone this was completely out of the blue.  The garage has since gone out of business.  Instead of allowing me to dispute the fines the debt collecting agency have 'written off' the debt, but scuppered my credit rating in the process as they've left it there as a bad debt on my record.  What can I do about this?  These parking fines were not mine and I certainly am not happy about my previously good credit rating being dragged down by these people.  I hope you can help!

Andrea, Torquay

Dear Andrea,

Parking fines do not show on credit reports unless they go to court. They do not meet the criteria for credit account data, so shouldn't result in a defaulted account even if passed to a debt collection firm that uses the credit reference agencies. If the parking fine is pursued through the civil courts and a judgment is made, this could then appear on your credit report and may affect your score.

If a judgment is showing on your credit report then you should have been correctly served with an appropriate notice. If this didn’t happen then there may be grounds for an appeal. To do this you’ll need to contact the issuing court quoting the case number, both of which will be on your credit report. The court will then review possible options with you, which may include paying the debt to show as satisfied, or applying to have the judgment cancelled and the case to be reheard. If the latter option is available and you file a defence then even if the judgment is re-entered it shouldn’t show on your credit report.

If the judgment must remain on your credit report then you may want to consider adding a Notice of Correction. A Notice of Correction is a short (200 words max) explanatory note you can add to an entry on your credit report to explain the background to that information. Anyone searching your report in the future will see the Notice of Correction, and they must take account of it when you apply for credit.

James
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