Over the past year, I have gotten to know many entrepreneurs, but one that definitely stands out is Michael Green, Founder of CaseHub, a crowdsourcing class-action online startup that aims to help people who cannot afford to hire a legal team for various injustices in the UK. I have previously written about CaseHub in June of last year.
When I first spoke to Michael last summer, I had the immediate impression that I was in the presence of an eccentric future icon and visionary who had the exact combination of stubbornness, tenacity, and scrappy persistence to do exactly what he set out to do. There are entrepreneurs who are the typical salesmen types, the kind of people who tell investors exactly what they want to hear, fabricate some sort of unsubstantiated future revenue projections in a tidy excel sheet and discuss the overall market valuation, and then there are the entrepreneurs who you just have a gut feeling are going to disrupt the entire sector and everything is going to radically change in the next decade due to their actions, and the latter is Michael Green.
Recently, Michael launched a 15 minute documentary in regards to one of the developing class-action cases at CaseHub against the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK.
In Dirty Little Secret, Michael outlines how the DVLA has been selling people's data to private parking agencies, in which the latter uses the information to target unsuspecting victims into lawsuits that they never become aware of, which in turn, can ruin their credit.
This is something that doesn't happen in the U.S., as lawsuits cannot be filed without the intended recipient having proof of receiving that information through a service of process, in which the recipient is hand-delivered his or her legal documents. However, in the UK, no such protection exists to ensure that people receive their legal documents. The problem with the DVLA is that they have also been selling people's old addresses to private agencies, in which the intended recipients never receive their legal documents in the post telling them of an impending lawsuit against them. This is obviously a gap in protection (what Americans refer to as a legal loophole) that many private parking agencies have been exploiting via the Driver and Vehicles and Licensing Agency in the UK.
CaseHub in its description of this lawsuit against DVLA:
Many drivers are discovering that they have a CCJ (County Court Judgment) against their name, but no idea why. When they access their credit report, they discover they lost a court case they have heard nothing about, concerning a parking ticket they were never informed of.
This happens because the parking firm who sued the driver had the wrong address. Either the DVLA gave them an old registered keeper record, or the parking firm was too slow to act on the information and sues several years after they got information from DVLA (and did not check to see if the address was still correct).
Subject to sufficient group interest, CaseHub will run a class action to get people whose credit rating has been wrecked through hidden parking charges compensation.
Michael tells me that if CaseHub "can turn into a community-driven regulator that runs itself, I would be very happy."
Thus far, the average citizen in the UK has not been able to pursue his or her cases due to the costs involved with hiring a solicitor. CaseHub aims to protect those people against predatory practices by public and private agencies.