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  • FIRST POST
    • holdorflod
    • By holdorflod 17th May 18, 2:30 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 2Thanks
    holdorflod
    Historic Court Fine Passed on to Marston Collection Agency
    • #1
    • 17th May 18, 2:30 PM
    Historic Court Fine Passed on to Marston Collection Agency 17th May 18 at 2:30 PM
    Hi, I've a historic court fine of £610 that I had been paying in installments to the HM Courts & Tribunals Service. I'd paid off £400 of it and whittled it down to £210 but then I missed some payments and the debt was passed on to Marston 'High Court Enforcement Officers'.

    I didn't know this had happened as I had moved address so the first letter I got from them was a week ago saying they've found my address and the figure for the 'Total Amount Outstanding' is £510 on the letter. This is £300 more than what I should owe since I've already paid £400. I called the court enforcement team and they confirmed the amount I paid and said they can't do anything because it's already been passed over.

    I'm going to call them but I was wondering if anyone has some advice to ensure I only have to pay the £210 I owe instead of the inflated £510 figure. In the letter they say an enforcement agent will turn up if I don't contact them by the 22nd.

    I'd normally not be too fussed about it but since this is related to a *Crown Court fine I'm thinking they might be a bit more serious.
    Last edited by holdorflod; 17-05-2018 at 3:31 PM.
Page 1
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 17th May 18, 3:14 PM
    • 1,916 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    Sncjw
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 3:14 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 3:14 PM
    Well because you missed payments then there!!!8217;s fees to pay. Also fees for transferring of the debt I would imagine.
  • National Debtline
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 3:20 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 3:20 PM
    Hi holdorflod


    You can't be fined in the high court, that only happens in the magistrates' court or crown court. Confusion arises because Marstons can work as bailiffs for the magistrates' court or the high court. In this case they are working as magistrates' court bailiffs because they are collecting a court fine for the historic court fine team.


    Unfortunately it sounds like the debt has increased due to the bailiff's fees. They can add a £75 compliance fee when the debt is passed to them, and a £235 enforcement fee on their first visit. I'm afraid it doesn't sound like you will have grounds to challenge these fees as the court is allowed to pass the fine on to bailiffs when you default on a payment plan. If you didn't inform the court of a change of address, paperwork relating to this will have been sent to your old address.


    These type of bailiffs do have the power to force entry into your property but in reality it rarely happens. You'll need to keep your doors locked and car hidden (if you have one). Next step is to get in touch with one of the free debt advice agencies for help on how to deal with the bailiffs.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • holdorflod
    • By holdorflod 17th May 18, 3:25 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    holdorflod
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 3:25 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 3:25 PM
    Thanks for the reply, sorry it was my mistake it was actually the Crown Court not the High Court.

    Sounds like I'll have to pay the full amount then! They've more than doubled the amount I owe. I'll give them a ring to arrange a payment plan since I'm not keen on having any baliffs around!
    Last edited by holdorflod; 17-05-2018 at 3:30 PM.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 17th May 18, 4:02 PM
    • 1,824 Posts
    • 64,925 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 4:02 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 4:02 PM
    According to National Debtline's post above there is a £235 added fee for the first visit.

    If no visit actually took place then I would complain with the intention of getting this fee removed.

    The other £75 fee will probably stand.
    • holdorflod
    • By holdorflod 17th May 18, 5:02 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    holdorflod
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 5:02 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 5:02 PM
    Cheers, I just rang them and they said an enforcement officer went to my previous address hence the extra fee. He didn't budge on that.

    I was previously paying £50 a month to the courts and tried to setup the same payment plan with them but he wasn't having any of it. Said the lowest their system could go is £170 a month for 3 months... so had to go with that or else he said the bailiffs would come around and I'd be charged another huge fee.

    Ah well, lesson learned... should have kept up that £50 a month to the courts and this wouldn't have happened.
    • Herbie21
    • By Herbie21 17th May 18, 11:08 PM
    • 526 Posts
    • 1,068 Thanks
    Herbie21
    • #7
    • 17th May 18, 11:08 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 18, 11:08 PM
    Cheers, I just rang them and they said an enforcement officer went to my previous address hence the extra fee. He didn't budge on that.

    I was previously paying £50 a month to the courts and tried to setup the same payment plan with them but he wasn't having any of it. Said the lowest their system could go is £170 a month for 3 months... so had to go with that or else he said the bailiffs would come around and I'd be charged another huge fee.

    Ah well, lesson learned... should have kept up that £50 a month to the courts and this wouldn't have happened.
    Originally posted by holdorflod
    A very informative and honest reply.

    Repayment proposals for magistrate court fines are not at all generous and this is because, the terms of the contracts between the enforcement companies and HMCTS stipulate a strict repayment period. This is because, court fines are a punishment for breaking the law.
  • National Debtline
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 2:23 PM
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 2:23 PM
    Hi again holdorflod


    In terms of further fees that can be added, the next stage is the sale fee of £110. But for the bailiff to add that they would have to remove your goods. If your doors are locked and car hidden (if you have one) it's very unlikely that the bailiff will remove your goods, and they are more likely to be using the threat of further fees as a scare tactic.


    If you can afford what the bailiff is asking for then it is best to pay it so you can clear the debt as quickly as possible. However if you can't afford the amount they have asked for I would encourage you to seek advice from one of the free debt advice agencies for further help.


    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • Oldwood
    • By Oldwood 19th May 18, 8:45 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Oldwood
    • #9
    • 19th May 18, 8:45 AM
    • #9
    • 19th May 18, 8:45 AM
    The bailiff cannot add the enforcement stage fee unless a notice of enforcement has been sent to your usual address and a visit to that address has been made.


    It doesn't matter whether it's all gone to your previous address - the bailiff knows this and is trying it on. The relevant legislation is the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 s8:

    8.—(1) Notice of enforcement must be given—

    (a) by post addressed to the debtor at the place, or one of the places, where the debtor usually lives or carries on a trade or business;


    Not sure why no-one has yet advised of this.
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