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MSE News: 'Bailiffs harassed me over somebody else's £1,200 parking fine'

"A bemused Londoner suffered harassment for months and was threatened with having goods seized from his home over £1,200 of somebody else's parking fines..."
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Bailiffs harassed me over somebody else's £1,200 parking fine

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  • I have had dealings with this company before. Some years ago I came home from work to find one of their Bailiffs had posted a demand notice through my letterbox. It related to an unpaid electricty bill for the previous owner. Said notice claimed they had been trying to contact (previous occupant) for months, but this was the first I had heard of this. I contacted JBW the next day, explaining when we bought the property and this was the first I had heard of this. I further explained that the previous occupant had moved to New Zealand, and passed on their address there. I suspect that the reason I had not heard about this before, is that the previous occupant had Mail Redirection. I passed this info to JBW and also faxed them proof of ownership of the house (copy of letter from Estate Agent).
  • you do have to stand up to these companies - we were harrassed several times a day for several weeks by debt collectors over a debt that was nothing to do with us - i was terrified they'd send bailiffs round when i was alone with the kids. i eventually lost my temper with them and ranted at them (i'm not proud of this but i had been pushed to the limit and was scared) and they never contacted us again. they obviously decided i wasn't vulnerable enough and so not worth their while pursuing.
  • Kite2010Kite2010 Forumite
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    I hope he sues the council for harassment and gets a good pay-out.

    Maybe in the thousands
  • ashleyriotashleyriot Forumite
    89 Posts
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    Kite2010 wrote: »
    I hope he sues the council for harassment and gets a good pay-out.

    Maybe in the thousands

    I was thinking the same - this sort of behaviour is entirely unacceptable and demonstrate complete unaccountability by companies and councils.
  • you do have to stand up to these companies - we were harrassed several times a day for several weeks by debt collectors over a debt that was nothing to do with us - i was terrified they'd send bailiffs round when i was alone with the kids. i eventually lost my temper with them and ranted at them (i'm not proud of this but i had been pushed to the limit and was scared) and they never contacted us again. they obviously decided i wasn't vulnerable enough and so not worth their while pursuing.

    Bailiffs are sent by the court, not debt collectors, if people learnt the law they would realise quite how much protection they have, and how little powers debt collectors have
  • madmuppet5madmuppet5 Forumite
    5.6K Posts
    Guest101 wrote: »
    Bailiffs are sent by the court, not debt collectors, if people learnt the law they would realise quite how much protection they have, and how little powers debt collectors have
    This is true. There is plenty of info on MSE about debt collectors :beer:
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  • I am currently undergoing a similar issue with council tax bailiffs and 'enforcement agencies' acting on behalf of Islington Council. My partner and I took ownership of our property in Dec 2012 - it was a repossession and we have been receiving a steady stream of threatening letters and bailiffs from various companies at the door at 6 in the morning ever since - all in pursuit of the former tenants. I have complained several times to the council about this and every time they say their records will be updated. We have a council tax certificate and are registered voters - they know we live here so why won't they leave us alone?! We're at our wits end and if we had the time/money to sue them for harassment we would certainly consider it. Any advice welcome!
  • Suing for harassment damages can be done online using Money Claim Online (for a small cost, maybe £40+ which you can add to your claim along with interest at 8%).

    You'd have to follow the pre-Court 'Practice Direction' and send the perpetrators a Letter Before Claim to warn them off first and tell them that their continued contact is harassment. Cite the case of 'Ferguson v British Gas' (Google it and read about it so you understand why it is relevant).

    And either Google the Small Claims process & do it all online or pick up a leaflet about Small Claims, and a Claim Form at your local County Court...or see if you can get a friendly clerk there to explain to you what you have to do.
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  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    mcjol wrote: »
    I am currently undergoing a similar issue with council tax bailiffs and 'enforcement agencies' acting on behalf of Islington Council. My partner and I took ownership of our property in Dec 2012 - it was a repossession and we have been receiving a steady stream of threatening letters and bailiffs from various companies at the door at 6 in the morning ever since - all in pursuit of the former tenants. I have complained several times to the council about this and every time they say their records will be updated. We have a council tax certificate and are registered voters - they know we live here so why won't they leave us alone?! We're at our wits end and if we had the time/money to sue them for harassment we would certainly consider it. Any advice welcome!

    Just politely tell them to go forth and multiply if you have to.
    http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?p=1746063

    In my practical experience all visits and letters from these unproductive people tend to die out after about 2 years. As you are self evidently not the same persons as the previous "fraudsters" who lived at your address, don't let them get to you.
    Treat them as a "joke", just like some idiot trying to tell you that an African prince needs the use of your bank account.

    Almost nobody has a right of entry to your home.
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  • belbo_baginsbelbo_bagins Forumite
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    Have been having similar issues at my property. I'm renting a new-ish flat, built less than 10 years ago. The landlord bought from new, and has known every tenant to have lived at the address.

    In the past 2 years I've had 3x bailiff letters, all for people that have never lived at this address. Each one for a different person, and for different reasons. Amounts have varied, from ~£250 to ~£10k. In one case the bailiff visited the property when I was out (I had been returning post to sender until I saw I hand delivered letter, then realised something was wrong).

    Thankfully I've managed to get in touch with each and prove that the person does not live here. Thankfully this hasn't been overly problematic.

    Strange, and annoyingly wasted quite a bit of my time.
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