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  • FIRST POST
    • Aesop
    • By Aesop 6th Dec 17, 8:12 AM
    • 23,541Posts
    • 153,675Thanks
    Aesop
    Stop council and creditors sending bailiffs to vulnerable persons
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:12 AM
    Stop council and creditors sending bailiffs to vulnerable persons 6th Dec 17 at 8:12 AM
    Hi all

    Please consider signing and verifying by email this petition.

    You have to be a UK citizen and after signing the petition, they will send an email, so please use genuine details. You click through the link and verify you signed the petition.

    What is the petition about?

    We are trying to get the government to change the law so councils and debt collectors can no longer send bailiffs to vulnerable households.

    What are vulnerable household?

    Single parents, the very sick/ill persons, children usually present in the home when bailiffs come Knocking and walking into your home via unlocked doors, ie under 16 years of age, the elderly, the mentally ill.

    What is our aim?

    We want the council and debtors to stop using bailiffs with their extortionate fees which must be paid first before the debt starts getting paid. Stop sending bailiffs to vulnerable households who are struggling to pay their debts.

    Instead offer these vulnerable household advice on how they can claim for help with their debt and manage to pay the debt back in affordable amounts.

    How not to get into the situation where they are deciding between food and paying the council tax bill, etc.

    If you have ever had a bailiff knock on your door, or know someone who has, you know how terrifying it is. You are already struggling and there is someone braying on your door demanding more money that you cannot afford.

    There is help out there but people aren't educated to the help available or steps they can take when stuck.


    So please consider signing this petition.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/204022
    Last edited by Aesop; Yesterday at 12:54 AM. Reason: Amending spelling and grammar due to typing on phone and upsetting the masses.
    Make £10 a day December 2017 £19.18
    November 2017 £253.84
    September 2017 £81.68
    .
    August 2017 £390.47
Page 1
    • gettinnerdy
    • By gettinnerdy 6th Dec 17, 11:32 PM
    • 25 Posts
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    gettinnerdy
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:32 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:32 PM
    I make love in just my socks and baseball cap.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 7th Dec 17, 8:15 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    NeilCr
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:15 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:15 AM
    That’s not true at all about the CAB.

    We have debt advisors and we do not just tell people to pay the bailiffs.

    I have some sympathy for your petition but would not sign anything with such incorrect information around it.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 07-12-2017 at 9:42 AM.
    • Enterprise 1701C
    • By Enterprise 1701C 7th Dec 17, 9:47 AM
    • 18,311 Posts
    • 199,527 Thanks
    Enterprise 1701C
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:47 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:47 AM
    What checks would there be to make sure there are "vulnerable people" at home? Would every house that states that have to be visited to check, or would you just be able to state that someone at the address was seriously ill/disabled etc?

    Don't get me wrong, I do not agree with bailiffs, but it just seems to be a get out of jail free card to people that want to run up debts and not pay them.
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
    • macman
    • By macman 7th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    • 41,418 Posts
    • 17,040 Thanks
    macman
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:26 AM
    Why do you assume that every single parent, or every home with children, or with adults of pensionable age, is 'vulnerable'? Going by your logic, the only properties that bailiffs would be able to attend would be those occupied by adult singles or couples, of working age and childless, with no physical or mental ailments.
    No responsible bailiff would ever enter a property where the only occupants were children under 16. And very few councils resort to bailiffs when they have the option of attachment of earnings orders and third party benefit deductions, which are far more efficient means of collection.
    Last edited by macman; 07-12-2017 at 10:36 AM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • NCC-1707
    • By NCC-1707 7th Dec 17, 1:29 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    NCC-1707
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 1:29 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 1:29 PM
    The people owed money can often be the victims and less 'well off' than those who owe money. I'm unemployed and owed 2k by someone who has a lucrative business. By you logic they shouldn't pay?


    BTW...what does this mean?:-

    'There is help out there but people are. It educated to the help available or steps they can take when strut'
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 7th Dec 17, 4:08 PM
    • 2,550 Posts
    • 6,220 Thanks
    ska lover
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:08 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:08 PM
    The bailiffs and courts are not the first port of call though are they - these are last resorts after several attempts to reclaim money over a period of time, have been made


    I don't agree with bailiffs, but there has to be some recompense for genuine people to claim back money they are owed - and by the time it has got to bailiffs, they have already had notice of the issue, letters coming through etc


    I had bailiffs at my door once for a council tax debt, when I was a single parent about 20 years back - do you know the effect it had? it made me pull my socks up and sort out my finances. Never again, the shame and embarrassment. No I didn't feel vulnerable. I knew the day was coming.. as awful as it was that day, it did do me a favor long term
    Last edited by ska lover; 07-12-2017 at 4:11 PM.
    Blah blah blah.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 7th Dec 17, 4:18 PM
    • 7,588 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:18 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:18 PM
    Not surprisingly, when the bailiffs turn up and threaten to seize goods many defaulters suddenly find they have money to pay their debts after all.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 7th Dec 17, 4:22 PM
    • 2,550 Posts
    • 6,220 Thanks
    ska lover
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:22 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 4:22 PM
    Not surprisingly, when the bailiffs turn up and threaten to seize goods many defaulters suddenly find they have money to pay their debts after all.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    I don't think its a case of having the money (for most) though Owain, more like a series of panicked, humiliating phone calls to relatives
    Blah blah blah.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 7th Dec 17, 9:50 PM
    • 7,588 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    I don't think its a case of having the money (for most) though Owain, more like a series of panicked, humiliating phone calls to relatives
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Comes to the same thing: they could have paid their debts, but didn't and hoped their problems would go away at other people's expense.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 7th Dec 17, 10:06 PM
    • 1,054 Posts
    • 2,624 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    The bailiffs and courts are not the first port of call though are they - these are last resorts after several attempts to reclaim money over a period of time, have been made
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Trouble is, they often lack common sense and compassion,. While I'm going back quite a few years, I owed Guildford council council tax due to being unable to work for a number of months due to illness.

    I got a job and made them an offer where the arrears would be paid off over 2 years and I still had enough money to pay the current council tax and all my other bills.

    That wasn't good enough for them, and they applied for an attachment of earnings that meant I simply didn't have enough to live on.

    End result, bearing in mind I was just getting over a big illness, the stress they put on me by doing that (and the fact that my new employers were now also aware) after a week I left my job.

    This was the ONLY way I could keep my head above water.

    My GP signed me off with depression, they took about 5 years to finally get their money back instead of over the two years I originally offered them.

    Well done them.
    Formerly Tribulation:

    "It seemed to me that any civilisation that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilisation in which I could live and stay sane." ...Wonko the Sane
    • Iwanttobefree
    • By Iwanttobefree 7th Dec 17, 10:18 PM
    • 1,054 Posts
    • 2,624 Thanks
    Iwanttobefree
    Comes to the same thing: they could have paid their debts, but didn't and hoped their problems would go away at other people's expense.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    Sometimes the lack of empathy from fellow humans, still amazes me.

    Of course it's not the same thing.

    Someone is struggling to pay their bills for whatever reason (and while there's always those who abuse the system, many haven't got the latest gadgets or big TVs etc).

    And usually someone in this situation will find 90% of companies they owe money to, to be very considerate of their current situation.

    But there's always one or two whose decisions wreck all hope they have, and the council are one of the worst for this.

    For example, someone offers their creditors a repayment plan, but the council demands put those plans in compete jeopardy. Now rather than them being able to pay off their creditors a small amount each month, the councils actions means they cant afford to pay their creditors anything, hence debt collectors and then bailiffs come in.

    Most of these people who find themselves in these sorts of debts, find these situations almost suicidal (and sadly far too many do kill themselves over their debts)

    The idea that they could have paid their debts but didn't is simply completely wrong.

    if my son or daughter phoned me up and said they were in debt (when perfectly well, just overspending), I would give them advice on how to get out of it, how to set up a debt management plan, how to reign in their spending etc etc etc.

    I would not offer them the money to clear their debts because if I did, it wouldn't be long before they were back ion the same situation (that said, if I could afford it, once they had been on the DMP for a year or so, and shown they had reigned in their spending, I would clear their debts).

    On the other hand, if they phoned me up in tears, saying there's bailiffs at their door and unless they pay £500 now, their furniture or whatever is being removed, I would pay it in an instance, even though I would be going into more debt myself by doing so.

    Likewise, I'm on a debt management plan due to long term illness, and while it will take about 25 years at my current rate to pay off, I wouldn't dream of asking the few very good friends of mine for financial help. But I would do so if the bailiffs were at the door and I know they would help.

    Completely different situations.
    Last edited by Iwanttobefree; 07-12-2017 at 10:20 PM.
    Formerly Tribulation:

    "It seemed to me that any civilisation that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilisation in which I could live and stay sane." ...Wonko the Sane
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 8th Dec 17, 2:25 AM
    • 7,905 Posts
    • 8,013 Thanks
    pogofish
    Thatís not true at all about the CAB.

    We have debt advisors and we do not just tell people to pay the bailiffs.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Then why has the competence of CAB debt "advice" been found wanting time and time again on here alone..? The Parking Forum for example, where we very often see people arriving in desperation after CAB have badly advised them and simply told them to pay-up.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Dec 17, 6:08 AM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Then why has the competence of CAB debt "advice" been found wanting time and time again on here alone..? The Parking Forum for example, where we very often see people arriving in desperation after CAB have badly advised them and simply told them to pay-up.
    Originally posted by pogofish
    A number of reasons I think

    I suspect that you have to differentiate between dedicated debt advisers and debt advice given by generalist volunteers. At our branch we are totally overwhelmed and it is not possible for the debt adviser to see everyone with debts. Advice should be given by reference to information sources.

    As I say we are incredibly busy and volunteers have to give information on various subjects often under time pressure (an initial interview is likely to be no more than ten minutes) The parking board here, which I don’t look at much to be honest, appears to have some posters who have gained a lot of knowledge over the years and have the time to keep coming back to posters who have further queries etc. CAB cannot run like that

    Unbelievably, some clients actually don’t give us all the relevant facts!. You can only advise you on what you are told. They slant the story. And what they say on here that they were told by CAB may well be a misunderstanding or whatever.
    We don’t normally tell clients to do something,. We give them the information they need and their choices and then, it is up to them to decide the course of action. I’ve had clients who have paid a parkng ticket because they just want it out of the way.

    I’ve seen things on here where posters say CAB said that and I know it’s not so. Interestingly the OP here has amended their post to take out any reference to CAB

    And some (a lot) of the advice on here on the boards I look at is plain wrong, too (there are some excellent posters btw but people often don’t like the advice they do give because it’s not what they want to here). Personally, I stay away from offering detailed advice on anything on a forum.

    And you don’t get people coming on to forums much to say how well they’ve been helped. At our branch, anyway, we don’t see that many clients with parking issues. They should be advised using the public site. This is what it has to say on parking.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/parking-tickets/

    I’m not a debt specialist so I can’t say how they would advise if the case was referred to them and taken deeper. Each case is going to be individual anyway

    And, it’s worth saying that folks can have a comeback against the CAB for incorrect advice. They know where we are and who they saw. There is no comeback against an anonymous poster on a forum who gives them incorrect advice

    Look. I don’t doubt that some people come away from CAB with perhaps the wrong way forward. Equally, an awful lot of folk get the help and support they require which, given the increasing number of clients and the fact that many branches are mainly staffed by volunteers, is pretty damn good. In our area we are pretty much the only advice centre (no Shelter for example) and have to deal with all sorts of people with a huge diversity of issues and problems. We have a few paid staff (Including a debt adviser) ) but we aren’t going to have the specialist knowledge in certain areas (I’d say parking is a good example of that) that certain individuals can gain through their job, their interest in the subject etc

    Blimey. I got a bit carried away there!
    Last edited by NeilCr; 08-12-2017 at 6:24 AM.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Dec 17, 8:13 AM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 5,787 Thanks
    CIS
    I have dealt with enforcement agents on more occasions than most (10 years dealing almost constantly with council tax recovery).

    There are certainly cases where a council will use an enforcement agent before considering other options - some are worse than others at this - but many will only use an enforcement agent after considering other actions first. The morals of the different forms of action are up for debate but legally there is no barrier to them obtaining the liability order and passing it to an enforcement agent ten minutes later. Ultimately it is a form of taxation and the law treats it as such.

    Vulnerability is one of those subjective issues and this is why most attempts to derive a meaningful definition have failed. What is it ? - Is a person in a wheelchair who is working and earning £50k per year but just doesn't pay vulnerable in respect of council tax ?. Probably not, but make that a person in a wheelchair on ESA and the answer may well be yes.

    In respect to CAB, Welfare Rights etc there is a mixed bag - some 'specialist' advisors have been worse them useless and some generalists have been excellent. It's like every job, some are good and some are bad.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 8th Dec 17, 10:00 AM
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    pogofish
    A number of reasons I think

    I suspect that you have to differentiate between dedicated debt advisers and debt advice given by generalist volunteers. At our branch we are totally overwhelmed and it is not possible for the debt adviser to see everyone with debts. Advice should be given by reference to information sources.

    As I say we are incredibly busy and volunteers have to give information on various subjects often under time pressure (an initial interview is likely to be no more than ten minutes) The parking board here, which I donít look at much to be honest, appears to have some posters who have gained a lot of knowledge over the years and have the time to keep coming back to posters who have further queries etc. CAB cannot run like that

    Unbelievably, some clients actually donít give us all the relevant facts!. You can only advise you on what you are told. They slant the story. And what they say on here that they were told by CAB may well be a misunderstanding or whatever.
    We donít normally tell clients to do something,. We give them the information they need and their choices and then, it is up to them to decide the course of action. Iíve had clients who have paid a parkng ticket because they just want it out of the way.

    Iíve seen things on here where posters say CAB said that and I know itís not so. Interestingly the OP here has amended their post to take out any reference to CAB

    And some (a lot) of the advice on here on the boards I look at is plain wrong, too (there are some excellent posters btw but people often donít like the advice they do give because itís not what they want to here). Personally, I stay away from offering detailed advice on anything on a forum.

    And you donít get people coming on to forums much to say how well theyíve been helped. At our branch, anyway, we donít see that many clients with parking issues. They should be advised using the public site. This is what it has to say on parking.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/parking-tickets/

    Iím not a debt specialist so I canít say how they would advise if the case was referred to them and taken deeper. Each case is going to be individual anyway

    And, itís worth saying that folks can have a comeback against the CAB for incorrect advice. They know where we are and who they saw. There is no comeback against an anonymous poster on a forum who gives them incorrect advice

    Look. I donít doubt that some people come away from CAB with perhaps the wrong way forward. Equally, an awful lot of folk get the help and support they require which, given the increasing number of clients and the fact that many branches are mainly staffed by volunteers, is pretty damn good. In our area we are pretty much the only advice centre (no Shelter for example) and have to deal with all sorts of people with a huge diversity of issues and problems. We have a few paid staff (Including a debt adviser) ) but we arenít going to have the specialist knowledge in certain areas (Iíd say parking is a good example of that) that certain individuals can gain through their job, their interest in the subject etc

    Blimey. I got a bit carried away there!
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Not only in branches, we saw it time and time again on the professionally staffed forum they ran here for a couple of years. Woefully incompetent advice, on a regular basis and they would rather have the threads deleted than actually take some proper advice and make use of it.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th Dec 17, 6:48 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Not only in branches, we saw it time and time again on the professionally staffed forum they ran here for a couple of years. Woefully incompetent advice, on a regular basis and they would rather have the threads deleted than actually take some proper advice and make use of it.
    Originally posted by pogofish
    I don’t think this sort of forum lends itself well to the way CAB work. Personally, I wouldn’t have agreed to it

    It’s a very different thing giving face to face advice when you are facing the pressure of a crowded waiting room and you have a very difficult, very upset client sat in front of you

    People on forums like this have the luxury of time to consider their replies, look things up on Google, ask their friends. And, yet, time after time they get it wrong... and there is no comeback on them
    Last edited by NeilCr; 08-12-2017 at 7:22 PM.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 9th Dec 17, 12:03 AM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 11,990 Thanks
    sourcrates
    One thing people need to realise is that a bayliff does not have automatic right of entry to your home.

    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.

    If you don't let a bailiff in or agree to pay them, they could take things from outside your home, for example your car.

    But for any other debt, including council tax, if you keep the doors locked and refuse to deal with them, they will go away.

    There is no reason why you should be forced to pay a bailiff there and then, always deal with them in writing only, make a written agreement to repay the debt, and stick to it, don’t go looking for approval from the bailiff, the fees will be payable yes, but at a rate you can afford, if only people exercised their rights correctly instead of opening the door to them.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • slopemaster
    • By slopemaster 9th Dec 17, 7:31 PM
    • 1,425 Posts
    • 729 Thanks
    slopemaster
    You do know what a debtor is - and a creditor?
    (See thread title)
    • Aesop
    • By Aesop 10th Dec 17, 12:53 AM
    • 23,541 Posts
    • 153,675 Thanks
    Aesop
    You do know what a debtor is - and a creditor?
    (See thread title)
    Originally posted by slopemaster
    Yes good point. Will amend.
    Hope this means some of you have signed.....
    Make £10 a day December 2017 £19.18
    November 2017 £253.84
    September 2017 £81.68
    .
    August 2017 £390.47
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