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Bailiff turned up unannounced over PCN

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Good morning

I’ve been woken by a bailiff this morning, advising me that I have an unpaid PCN dating back to February which has gone to court. He handed me a removal notice for my vehicle and showed me the initial PCN on his iPad, from my local council. I don’t dispute the PCN, it places me in an area where I know I was present at the time. 

However, this is the first I’ve heard of the matter, and suspect that the initial PCN went to my old address at around the same time that I changed my address with DVLA.

The bailiff (Equita) was able to find me this morning, so I’m struggling to understand why I haven’t received any correspondence from Equita relating to this debt until now and as a minimum, I understand that I should have received a notice of enforcement at least 7 days prior to what happened this morning. As per Paragraph 7 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (the 2007 Act) states: (1) An enforcement agent may not take control of goods unless the debtor has been given notice.

He’s given me 24 hours to pay the £408, otherwise my car will be removed. 

Can someone please advise what action I should take? 

Comments

  • Umkomaas
    Umkomaas Posts: 41,554 Forumite
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    We don't deal with council tickets here, but our colleagues over on PePiPoo do, so you could try asking there.  You will need to register, but please note that a Hotmail email address won't work for registration purposes. 


    However, as you are now in the thick of bailiff action, you will be best served in dealing with bailiffs/enforcement agents by making contact with 'Bailiff Advice Online'. Sheila, who provides this service, has an extremely good reputation for assisting people with bailiff issues. 

    Calls and the email enquiry service are free.

    Here's your link:


    Sheila also posts on MSE as @Herbie21

    HTH 
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .

    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,980 Forumite
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    And while you're doing that, it would be a good idea to move your car a good way away from your house - preferably locked in a garage somewhere.
  • Hannah3105
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    So to update those who have shown an interest and/or commented:

    I contacted the bailiff in writing and advised him that I knew my rights under the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations Act 2014, and specifically that I had not received a notice of enforcement under stage 1 (compliance stage) so therefore, deemed movement to stage 2 (enforcement) unreasonable.

    The bailiff called me, sounding sheepish at this point. 

    I suggested that I would consider paying the £75 which would have been the inevitable action had I received the enforcement notice, but I refused to pay the £235+7.5% on top (£408 total) because the bailiff had not followed the correct process. I argued that if he was able to locate me at my address this morning, then why wasn’t the initial enforcement notice sent to me at my address? I confirmed that I would make some calls and go back to him.

    The ever so helpful @Herbie21 confirmed that as per section 8.1 of the above act, all notices must be issued via post to the debtor, at the place where the debtor usually lives. 

    As I accept my error in delaying to update my V5 address with DVLA caused this issue in the first place, I didn’t want to contest this and therefore offered to pay the PCN + £75 compliance stage fee, totalling £173. Significantly less than the £408 I was asked to pay this morning!

    I thought he was just being nice by not clamping my car this morning, but seemingly he realised that the process had not been followed!


  • patient_dream
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    Apart from moving your car to a safe place and making sure no windows are open or doors unlocked .... have you ever found out if you are paying the correct band rates in council tax.

    There are checkers online, google it.

    Who knows, the council may owe you money
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 133,038 Forumite
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    edited 6 September 2021 at 7:20PM
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    So to update those who have shown an interest and/or commented:

    I contacted the bailiff in writing and advised him that I knew my rights under the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations Act 2014, and specifically that I had not received a notice of enforcement under stage 1 (compliance stage) so therefore, deemed movement to stage 2 (enforcement) unreasonable.

    The bailiff called me, sounding sheepish at this point. 

    I suggested that I would consider paying the £75 which would have been the inevitable action had I received the enforcement notice, but I refused to pay the £235+7.5% on top (£408 total) because the bailiff had not followed the correct process. I argued that if he was able to locate me at my address this morning, then why wasn’t the initial enforcement notice sent to me at my address? I confirmed that I would make some calls and go back to him.

    The ever so helpful @Herbie21 confirmed that as per section 8.1 of the above act, all notices must be issued via post to the debtor, at the place where the debtor usually lives. 

    As I accept my error in delaying to update my V5 address with DVLA caused this issue in the first place, I didn’t want to contest this and therefore offered to pay the PCN + £75 compliance stage fee, totalling £173. Significantly less than the £408 I was asked to pay this morning!

    I thought he was just being nice by not clamping my car this morning, but seemingly he realised that the process had not been followed!


    Sounds reasonable. Was it accepted?
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  • Hannah3105
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    It was accepted - I am £173 lighter, which is better than £408 and I don’t have this hanging over my head. 
  • Johnersh
    Johnersh Posts: 1,302 Forumite
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    Given the bailiffs actions were unlawful, you possibly could've got away with even less!

    Nevertheless pleased it's all sorted for you. A good demonstration of a bit of research and assertiveness going a long way... 
  • peter_the_piper
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    I'm just curious. If you changed the vehicle dvla details and not just the driving license ones how come the council pcn etc never got to you?  Its important to know why because there could be others in the pipeline or in the future.
    I'd rather be an Optimist and be proved wrong than a Pessimist and be proved right.
  • Jenni_D
    Jenni_D Posts: 5,115 Forumite
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    I'm just curious. If you changed the vehicle dvla details and not just the driving license ones how come the council pcn etc never got to you?  Its important to know why because there could be others in the pipeline or in the future.
    OP doesn't say which they changed with DVLA, unless I missed it? As it happens you have to do both separately as the DVLA doesn't do joined-up thinking.
    Jenni x
  • newsgroupmonkey_
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    Jenni_D said:
    I'm just curious. If you changed the vehicle dvla details and not just the driving license ones how come the council pcn etc never got to you?  Its important to know why because there could be others in the pipeline or in the future.
    OP doesn't say which they changed with DVLA, unless I missed it? As it happens you have to do both separately as the DVLA doesn't do joined-up thinking.

    Yup. There's actually more to this. The v5 clearly states in capital letters that it does not provide any proof of ownership.
    It shows "who is responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle"

    Which is why both PCNs and NIPs clearly ask who is responsible for paying the fine.
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