A man who was wrongly chased for parking fines by a debt recovery company instructed by Bolton Council has spoken of how the ordeal left him at breaking point.

The Great Lever resident, who will be referred to as Mr Hussain, was charged for four parking fines – which with additional costs came to almost £200 each.

He told The Bolton News that the registration numbers cited on the documents he received did not match his vehicle and says that he had not received any letters regarding the fines until an ‘enforcement’ letter arrived.

When bailiffs turned up the family parted with more than £400 fearing their goods would be seized.

The family allege they had tried contacting debt recovery firm Marston Holdings and Bolton Council but to no avail.

They claim they rang Marston Holdings but were told to discuss it with the council. The council said it was out of their hands and to speak to the company.

But after being contacted by The Bolton News, Marston Holdings has apologised and said it will refund the money.

Marston Holdings has said that they initially received conflicting data when trying to reach the named customer.

Mr Hussain's wife said: “It was the first time we had received a letter from the enforcement officers.

“We called the enforcement company who told us to speak to the council, and that they couldn’t discuss the case with us.

“Then, 10 days later, I was getting ready to go out with my five-year-old daughter when enforcement officers came to our house on Tuesday (June 1).

“They told us if we didn’t pay the fines, we will have to come and retrieve belongings from your house to pay for them.

“But the registration did not match my husband’s car. I was scared so ended up paying £423.”

She added: “I don’t know whether our address has got mixed up with someone else’s name because enforcement officers say they made a visit in February, but it wasn’t to us.

“Someone else has made the mistake, but we paid the price.”

The residents say that this had an impact on their half-term plans, where they were going to London to see family.

Mr Hussain's wife added: “The amount we paid was not a small amount, especially with everything going up nowadays.”

A spokesperson for Marston Holdings said: “Attempts to trace the named customer provided conflicting data.

“We sent multiple letters to the named customer at the address in question, and enforcement agents visited after we received no response.

“Having reviewed this case we are issuing a full refund along with an apology to Mr Hussain and his wife.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issues surrounding this case and welcome the response Marston’s are proposing which has resulted in an apology to Mr Hussain and his wife along with a full refund.”

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