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Need help - Bailiffs and Council Tax Arrears
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# 41
liltdiddylilt
Old 03-11-2012, 7:46 PM
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Hi

I really feel for you. I was in a very similar situation to this. I thought my council tax was on DD but it turned out it had not set up properly & because of this, didn't ever open the letters from the council as I assumed they were the same as the gas & electric, just statements. It was only when I had a letter from a bailiff that I went back through my neatly filed envelopes & realised I had been taken to court & had £160 charged for that privilege. I couldn't even begin to pay the £1200 they were requesting, so contacted the council in complete and utter panic. I didn't even bother engaging the bailiffs.

The council accepted a payment plan from me and THEY ARE ABLE to take the case back from the bailiffs. You need to contact them again & if they do not do anything on the phone, you need it escalating, and do not accept no for an answer. Go into the council in person if you can, as that is what I did.

In the meantime, lock all doors and windows, make sure if you have a back gate or anything, it is locked, and tell your wife not to answer the door under any circumstances. If it is someone she knows, they can call in advance! She is under no obligation to answer the door. It may cause her some distress to have them repeatedly banging on the door and shouting, but they will go away. Better that, than having them barge through the door next time.

Also make sure that if she has to go out, or goes for a walk with your son etc, then she makes sure everything is locked up tight. They could be watching and waiting.

They sound like rogues to me. Maybe call the local police station (not 999, search for the landline number of your local) and ask to speak to someone about harassment from these people. Hopefully they can help or give advice, and at least acknowledge the complaint! Let them know of the wrongful charges and that you cannot find the mans license issued under this company.

Most of all, good luck & try not to worry. The council want their money back at the end of the day, not to cause you trouble. Keep paying!

Lily
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# 42
hallowitch
Old 03-11-2012, 8:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashmir86 View Post
Hi everyone,

I really need some help. So here's the deal. The lady I stayed with in London received a letter from the bailiffs regarding some outstanding council tax worth 460 quid.
After trying to remember what this what relating to as this dates back to 2010(!!!!!) I realised that is with reference to a flat I used to live in. We were 4 tenants with our names on the council tax bill but we all moved out at different times. I believe that the last flat mate did not take our names of the council tax bill or didn't notify them that we are moving out. We paid all our bill until we moved out. Problem is that obviously our names were on it. All tenants now live abroad. I'm a German citizen and currently residing in the US. But I have contact to the lady in the flat who got the letter. She called the bailiffs and informed them that I visited her but do not live there anymore.
Now they told her that they would have come in and inspect the flat which I quite frankly don't think they have the authority to just walk into a flat just because I had mail sent to that flat.

She is freaking out as am I. I'm worried that this will have legal implications and that my visa for the us will be jeopardised. Please help me.

I only have an email confirming that I rented out a different property from 2 months after I moved out but we never bothered to change the names for the council tax bill and I have absolutely no documents anymore on me. I threw everything out.

Please help me! I have no idea what to do
your visa will be OK so no worries there

the lady who had the bailiffs visit should not let the bailiffs into her home under any circumstances legally bailiff must gain peaceful entry through an unlocked door (they can walk in ) or an open window

She must send an e-mail to the revenues department of the local authority chasing the debt informing then that a bailiff attended her property on (date) to enforce a liability order against a Miss/Mrs xxxx who does not now live at the property and has no personal goods at her address ask then to recall the the debt and remove her address from the account
for peace of mind she can go to a solicitor and get a statutory declaration done laying claim to all property in her home (costs £5/10) a copy should be sent to the local authority and bailiff firm by recorded delivery letter


If 4 people lived at the property not related to each other and each had a separate tenancy agreement then th House should have been classed as an HMO (house of multiple occupancy) this would make the landlord responsible for council tax not the tenants



STATUTORY DECLARATION

I/We____________________________ ______________
address___________________________________________ ______
__________________________________________________ _____
make the following declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959:



All items contained within the property at the above address and within it's boundaries, are owned by Mr XXX XXXX (& Mrs XXX XXXX) . There are no items within the property or it's boundaries belonging to any other person.

I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

Signed:

Declared at___________________on__________________of 20___
Before me,

<Signature of person before whom the declaration is made>

Full Name___________________________Qualification______ ______
Address___________________________________________ _______
of person before whom the declaration is made (in printed letters)


I am not an expert I am self taught i have no legal training any information I post is based on my own personal experience and information gained from other web sites


If you are in any doubt please seek legal/expert advice help

Last edited by hallowitch; 03-11-2012 at 8:55 PM.
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# 43
AgainstHurt119
Old 09-12-2012, 9:13 PM
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Hey there.

I just wanted to say thank you ever so much in particularly to Hallowitch for all the advice and also to Distillerdude for being brave in enough to ask for help here in the first place.

About a month ago I had a letter under my door from Phoenix Collections asking for £576.90. I figured it was for unpaid Business Rates, I live in a live/work studio so we pay Business Rates not Council Tax, which turned out to be the case.

I was quite shocked and after speaking to some friends decided to go to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Tottenham the next day.

When I got there and got in to see an advisor I was basically told that there was nothing they or I could do and that I'd just have to pay up. I asked them If I had any rights to pay in installments and the advisor told me it was all up to the bailiff in question.

They also told me the Bailiff had no right to take my bed, clothes, or things I use to eat with.

Anyway so when I got back I called the Bailiff and asked if I could pay in installments and he gave me a straight no and told me I had to pay everything and that he'd give me till friday to raise the funds, this was on a wednesday.

So, Friday comes and I don't have any money so basically end up calling my Mum to ask to borrow the money, 576.90 to pay the Bailiff.

During our conversation, which was a hard one to have as she's helped me out a lot and this was yet another case of me not having money and having got myself in a sticky situation, we decided to google the name of Paul Holmes from Phoenix Collections and then as if by magic, this thread came up, full of detailed legal information as to how to deal with, not only bailiffs, but this specific bailiff from this specific collections agency.

I started out by doing basically what Hallowitch said.

First off I actually downloaded a trial for some software to record conversations on skype and used skype to make all my calls.

So firstly I called the council and spoke to the guy there.

He confirmed that the debt they had handed over to Phoenix was for £391.90, he also told me that I could write and request a Service Level Agreement but he didn't imagine I had the rights to it. He definitely seemed to side with the Bailiffs, he told me they can charge what they want when I asked him about this extra £185. I told him that there was a law stipulating how much A bailiff could legally charge for a first visit and he told me there was no such law.

The when I quoted him Regulation 45 (b) schedule 5 of The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (Amended 2006) He told me that this was only for Council Tax and not for Business Rates, which stumped me at first but turned out to not matter anyway.

So we then paid the council direct the 390.91 pounds.

On the friday I was due to pay The Bailiff I had a text from Paul Holmes's number saying I needed to call and make a payment as agreed.

I called him up and he already knew that I'd payed the council their fee and when I quoted Regulation 45 (b) schedule 5 of The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (Amended 2006) telling him I only owed him 24.50 he told me he was at a funeral and that he had to go.

He called me up the next day and told me that the only outstanding charge was 24.50.

He told me it could only be paid by debit or credit card over the phone.

I went on Phoenix Collections website and there was the option for online payment but it wouldn't let us pay online as a message came up saying that we had to call the Bailiff and speak directly to him.

On the Monday I called him up and said I'd like to make the payment of 24.50 and could he give the details of an account I could make an online transfer to, at which point he told me to forget it and just wait for the Bailiffs to make a second visit because he's already told me I had to pay by card, and he also told me I'd 'gotten away' with not paying the debt in full.

I hung up and called him back recording the call and told him the call was being recorded and asked if he could confirm on the record that I'd just offered to pay the outstanding fee and that he'd refused my payment. He backtracked and told me that I could pay online and that I'd have to call Phoenix direct.

A few days later my Mum called Phoenix and made the payment of 24.50

Days later Paul Holmes called me and said they hadn't received any payment, and gave me bank account details and a reference number to make a payment but obviously when I spoke to my Mum she told me she'd made the payment and so they were obviously trying to just get more money from us.

I didn't hear from him again.

And that's my story.

Basically this thread was such a help and saved us £185, I'm definitely going to write a letter to my council and make a formal complaint, I'm going to write to my MP as well, it's totally criminal what these Bailiffs do and it makes me sick that the councils, supposedly representative of the people end up protecting the corporations preying on vulnerable members of society.

Anyway, once again thank you so much, I hope more people find this thread and can use it to help them like I did.

I also found this place as well which is really good.

h t t p:// w w w.dealingwithbailiffs. co. uk/

Anyway thanks ever so much and keep up the good work Hallowitch x x x
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# 44
lutondave
Old 10-03-2013, 10:12 AM
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hi will try to keep short .i arrived home today and found a seizure notice from the bailiffs for council tax 1st i knew about this . phoned council and in fact im in credit with them as i pay using a card at the shop the amount the bailiffs want is
first visit 24.50
levy 38.00
enforcement fee 120
nothing about council tax fee owing they put a seizure notice on paperwork regarding car on the drive. so im thinking of going to the council tommorow and see what advice they can and should give me.but any help members could give would be very helpful .
could the council stop the action ?
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# 45
ValHaller
Old 10-03-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutondave View Post
hi will try to keep short .i arrived home today and found a seizure notice from the bailiffs for council tax 1st i knew about this . phoned council and in fact im in credit with them as i pay using a card at the shop the amount the bailiffs want is
first visit 24.50
levy 38.00
enforcement fee 120
nothing about council tax fee owing they put a seizure notice on paperwork regarding car on the drive. so im thinking of going to the council tommorow and see what advice they can and should give me.but any help members could give would be very helpful .
could the council stop the action ?
Restarted on new thread. Responses here: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....php?t=4489023
You might as well ask the Wizard of Oz to give you a big number as pay a Credit Referencing Agency for a so-called 'credit-score'

Last edited by ValHaller; 10-03-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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# 46
brianraymond
Old 24-11-2013, 2:51 PM
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Default equita council tax threat

this is my first post so i kinda dont know what i,m really doing but i need advice asap , i missed a payment to equita for twenty pounds last month i rang them up to try to make 2 payments , last months and this months i was told because it had gone to ballifs they would not talk to me i had to phone the ballif . i did that and was told i had to pay the full amount to him , the amount before phoning him was 205.80 , the ballif told me i had to pay 388.62 which i found rarther harsh , i explained that i had lost my job august 2012 and had been on jsa ever since but it seemed to make no difference to him , i have a seven year old son who i have half the week but get nothing for him , i struggle for food for us both half the time and cannot afford to pay the thing in full , what can i do ? any help please i have to phone the ballif back asap as he gave me a week .
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# 47
hallowitch
Old 24-11-2013, 3:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianraymond View Post
this is my first post so i kinda dont know what i,m really doing but i need advice asap , i missed a payment to equita for twenty pounds last month i rang them up to try to make 2 payments , last months and this months i was told because it had gone to ballifs they would not talk to me i had to phone the ballif . i did that and was told i had to pay the full amount to him , the amount before phoning him was 205.80 , the ballif told me i had to pay 388.62 which i found rarther harsh , i explained that i had lost my job august 2012 and had been on jsa ever since but it seemed to make no difference to him , i have a seven year old son who i have half the week but get nothing for him , i struggle for food for us both half the time and cannot afford to pay the thing in full , what can i do ? any help please i have to phone the ballif back asap as he gave me a week .

has a bailiff been in your home to levy goods or has he a levy on a vehicle if you have one
I am not an expert I am self taught i have no legal training any information I post is based on my own personal experience and information gained from other web sites


If you are in any doubt please seek legal/expert advice help
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# 48
brianraymond
Old 25-11-2013, 10:31 AM
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no as far as I know they haven't even been to the house yet , I,ve just had a removal of goods letter through the door . and I have started parking my car on another estate.

Last edited by brianraymond; 25-11-2013 at 2:40 PM.
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# 49
a young pensioner
Old 29-05-2014, 1:22 AM
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I jointly own a house with my husband, which we bought a few years ago for my daughter, & granddaughter, to live in as her husband had left them. (we are not rich, just used our life savings!)
They vacated the house in Aug 2013 & we decided to let the house.I rang the council to ask if I owed any money & was told my first payment of council tax was due 1st Oct 2013. (Due to my inexperience I misunderstood & didn't realise at the time it was for Aug & Sep).
I set up a direct debit to start on 1st Oct 2013. Then we were notified that our agent had found a tenant, who was moving in on 3rd Oct.

Because I thought my obligation started on the 1st Oct. I rang the council to ask advice & they said they would ring back, but didn't. So I cancelled the direct debit & rang the council to tell them it wasn't worth having a direct debit it for 2 days.( I would have thought they would have realised then I didn't understand & would have advised me about being in arrears)
Then, when the tenant moved out last week, having surrendered the property to the agents ( as he had defaulted on his contract) My husband & I went into the house & found a Notification of removal action in my name dated 29 April2014.
I called in at the council to explain I had had not received any reminder letters etc as they had been addressed to the house we let to the tenant, who had obviously destroyed them. They said ring the debt company, Phoenix, which I did & they redirected me to the council. Then after I had spoken to the council I rang Phoenix back & paid off the original arrears of council tax but not the extra charges.
I feel I had been unfairly treated, it was a genuine mistake. The council knew the house wasn't my home address, they have my phone number & I feel they could have easily found my home address, as could Phoenix before issuing a summons.

I have never been in debt in all my 65 years! Not even a speeding or parking ticket & am annoyed that the council didn't try to contact me other than sending letters to an address I don't live at.
Am I right not paying the extra charges (£277)?
I have sent an email disputing the charges to the council, explaining the circumstances but had a rather terse reply saying the debt is still with the debt company. I have googled & don't think I can dispute the court judgement.
The council are sticking to their guns & say I have to pay the extra charges. I feel both the council plus Phoenix could have done more to find me. What is my next move please,! Many thanks. Ann
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# 50
dancingfairy
Old 29-05-2014, 8:10 AM
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Unfortunately the system is rather blunt and can't really deal with individual cases. It is very hard to seperate the genuine cases where there has been an error from the rest.

O.k so you were the liable person and do need to pay the council tax for Aug/Sep and a few days in Oct (which you have now done).
Was the liability order correct? This depends on whether you had notified the council you were no longer going to be living in the property and had provided them with an alternative address. If you can prove this then you could possibly overturn the liability order on the grounds that it was incorrectly notified to you but you would first have to lodge a complaint with the council and prove that you did indeed give them your new address. If you wish to complain to the council then I would write to the head of council tax or head of revenues and make sure you clearly mark it complaint (so it is dealt with as such). I'm not exactly sure how you would then overturn the liability order but I think it must be possible.
(Just to note a liability order would have been granted in the magistrates court and has no effect on your credit rating).
Now on to whether the fees were justified..
If you accept that the council was correct in pursuing a liability order (or don't wish to contest it) then the fees would be as follows:
1) the cost of obtaining a liability order (approx £80-£90)
2) up to 2 visits where the bailiff has not levied on your items - I think this is up to £42.50.
3) I am not sure but I don't think the bailliff can charge a levy fee or removal fees as even if they did gain entry you weren't the liable person at the time on an ongoing basis (ie you'd moved out and had a tenant).


(Note this is assuming you were under the old system as now you can be charged a lot more).
If you do not wish to contest the liability order I suggest you write to the bailiff and ask for a breakdown of charges and post back and someone can let you know if they think they are fair. I do think you will end up paying some (note not all) charges and writing it off as an expensive lesson.

df
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How much can I save in 2012 challenge
75/1200

Last edited by dancingfairy; 29-05-2014 at 8:28 AM.
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# 51
Herbie21
Old 01-06-2014, 8:42 AM
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The bailiff is entitled to his charges. However, he needs to provide a breakdown. Clearly, given the amount he has very likely 'levied upon goods'. In this respect I would hazard a guess that the 'goods' in question was most likely to be a motor vehicle parked outside or nearby the property. As the car would not have been yours the 'levy' fee would need to be removed and also any further "attending to remove" fees.

You would still however be liable to pay the fee of £24.50 and possibly £18.00 as well (depending on whether a 2nd visit had been made).

The council have provided you with the WRONG advice.

The local authority are wholly responsible for the 'levy, fees and charges' applied by THEIR AGENTS !!!
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# 52
sam-rob
Old 12-06-2014, 2:30 PM
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today i have had pheonix commercial collections at my door.
the collections officer would only give his surname as he said i dont want to be on first name terms with you. i quoted the regulations seen above over the phone and he told me the law had changed and said he can charge what he liked. i have spoken to my local council and they said they would be happy for me to pay the original debt of £498.76 however pheonix are trying to charge me a £75 compliance fee plus a charge of £235 for there visit.

mr keeling told me to look up the new regulations
Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007


any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
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# 53
sam-rob
Old 12-06-2014, 2:41 PM
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mr keeling from pheonix kindly text this link to my phone.


1. What you can do when a bailiff visits

A bailiff may visit your home if you donít pay your debts - eg a Council Tax bill, parking fine, court fine, county court or family court judgment.
This will happen if you ignore letters saying that bailiffs will be used.
Bailiffs must normally give you at least 7 daysí notice of their first visit.

You can stop bailiffs from visiting by paying the money you owe. Talk to the person or business you owe money to as soon as possible to get advice on how to pay your debt.
Bailiffs are also known as Ďenforcement agentsí.
Dealing with bailiffs

In most cases, you donít have to open your front door to a bailiff or let them in.
Bailiffs are not usually allowed to force their way into your home - eg by pushing past you, or putting their foot in the door.

However, if you donít let them in or agree to pay them:
  • they could take things from outside your home - eg your car
  • you could end up owing even more money
If you do let them in, but donít pay them, they may take some of your belongings. They could sell the items to pay the debt and cover their fees.
Bailiffs are allowed to force their way into your home to collect unpaid criminal fines, Income Tax or Stamp Duty, but only as a last resort.


Bailiffs canít:
  • enter your home if only children or vulnerable people are present
  • enter your home between 9pm and 6am
  • enter your home through anything except the door
What to ask a bailiff


Before you pay a bailiff, or let them in to take your things, ask to see:
  • proof of their identity - eg a badge or ID card
  • a detailed breakdown of their charges
Paying a bailiff

You can pay the bailiff on the doorstep - you donít have to invite them into your home.
Make sure you get a receipt to prove youíve paid.
If you canít pay all the money right away, speak to the bailiff about how you could pay the money back.
Offer to pay what you can realistically afford in weekly or monthly payments.
The bailiff doesnít have to accept your offer.
Help or advice


You can get free help or advice on dealing with bailiffs from:
What bailiffs can and canít take

If you let a bailiff into your home, they may take some of your belongings to sell.
Bailiffs can take luxury items - eg a TV or games console.

They canít take:
  • things you need - eg your clothes, cooker, fridge, furniture or work tools
  • someone elseís belongings - eg your partnerís computer
Youíll have to prove that someone elseís goods donít belong to you.
What bailiffs can charge


Bailiff fees are fixed. In most cases, if you owe less than £1,500 the fees are:
  • £75 when your case is sent to the bailiff
  • £235 if you ignore a letter from bailiffs and they have to visit you
  • £110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction
Youíll still have to pay the bailiff for any action they take against you - like storing your goods or using a locksmith.
If you owe more than £1,500 youíll also have to pay a percentage of your debt as an additional fee each time bailiffs visit your home.

You can challenge bailiffs if you think theyíve charged you:
  • the wrong fee
  • for something they havenít done
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# 54
Tixy
Old 12-06-2014, 3:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam-rob View Post
today i have had pheonix commercial collections at my door.
the collections officer would only give his surname as he said i dont want to be on first name terms with you. i quoted the regulations seen above over the phone and he told me the law had changed and said he can charge what he liked. i have spoken to my local council and they said they would be happy for me to pay the original debt of £498.76 however pheonix are trying to charge me a £75 compliance fee plus a charge of £235 for there visit.

mr keeling told me to look up the new regulations
Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007


any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
That is correct the law changed with effect from 6 April this yearand whilst he cannot charge whatever he likes they can now charge more than they used to be able. The £75 can be charged as soon as they are instructed by the council. However they may not be able to make the second charge.

This national debtline factsheet may be useful to you
https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/...y/Default.aspx
The bailiff should have given you his identification (with full name) if you asked for it.
Did the bailiff firm give you 7 days notice that they would be making a visit (excluding sundays)?
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# 55
sam-rob
Old 13-06-2014, 11:09 PM
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hi tixy

thanks for your reply.
i did not see any id nor did i have any notice.

i spoke to the local council and they had a record of letters sent and a previous vist which i had no idea of.

i will check out the link now.

many thanks
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# 56
sam-rob
Old 13-06-2014, 11:44 PM
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paul keeling registered with Rossendales ltd

the agency he is collecting for is pheonix.

dose this mean that he is acting unlawfully,if so what can i do.
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# 57
antonic
Old 14-06-2014, 6:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tixy View Post
That is correct the law changed with effect from 6 April this yearand whilst he cannot charge whatever he likes they can now charge more than they used to be able. The £75 can be charged as soon as they are instructed by the council. However they may not be able to make the second charge.

This national debtline factsheet may be useful to you
https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/...y/Default.aspx
The bailiff should have given you his identification (with full name) if you asked for it.
Did the bailiff firm give you 7 days notice that they would be making a visit (excluding sundays)?
Tixy,

I think the leaflet is a little bit inaccurate , with reference to the following points :

1) The £75 fee for the issue of the Notice of Enforcement *should* only be issued once sufficient assets have been issued *NOT* for being instructed to collect the debt.

2) If a Notice of Enforcement IS issued, if the debt is over £1500 then a further fee of 7.5% will be charged.

3) If the debt remains unpaid at this point, then a further fee of £110 PLUS a further fee of 7.5% will be charged at the removal stage.

You are right to say that all the statutory fees are set by the Ministry of Justice, but the bailiff can charge what they want.

Also the Bailiff can now call on a Sunday (if they want) provided the 7 days have expired since the issue of the Notice of Enforcement.and can call between the hours of 6am to 9pm.
LBM Sept 2005 spoke to Payplan - brilliant !
Dec 2005 debt £21.959.64 + HBOS Int £1769.32
June 2013 debt £0.00
DF status confirmed by email 10/07/13
DFW Long Hauler 297
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