Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Bailiff-problems Novitiate

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    Default Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Hi,

    I wonder if someone could tell me if the charges Bristow & Sutor have applied to my council tax arrears are fair. The account looks as follows:

    Arrears amount - 886.64
    First visit - 22.50
    Second visit - 18.00
    Levy - 49.00
    Redemption fee - 24.50
    Van fee - 180.00
    Van fee - 230.00
    Walking Possession Order - 12.00

    The first van fee, the levy fee and the redemption fee was all added on the same day a few months ago. The bailiffs had no Walking Possession Order and had not gained access to the property but saw our car on the drive and apparently levied on that so they charged us a levy fee. However, can they really charge 180 pounds in a van fee when they didnt take the van and there was no Walking Possession Order? My neighbour also said that they didnt even come in a van, but in a car instead so surely the van charge isnt fair. Are they also allowed to charge a redemption fee as I thought this was when they took the vehicle but didnt sell it as the arrears were paid up before the sale took place??

    Also, are they then allowed to charge for a second van fee on the same vehicle and at a higher amount? Again, they charged us this amount but didnt remove the vehicle....although we had to pay half of what we owed to prevent them taking the vehicle, and they insisted on doing a Walking Possession, otherwise they were taking the car. Is this fair?

    I also have one final question....Basically, when the bailiff last visited us, he said he needed to do the Walking Possession Order to prevent him taking the car and to allow us to set up an arrangement to pay off the other half of the arrears. So, we allowed him into our house, he added on the 12 pounds for doing the WPO and made a list of everything in our house, including the car. He then said (and wrote on the WPO he left) that he was giving us 10 days to set up this payment arrangement to pay off the remaining arrears.....we couldnt do it there and then as I have become a student this year and need the council to apply my discount to work out how much we still owe). He told me to send my exemption certificates to the council so they could apply the discount, and then contact them within the 10 days to arrangement the payments. So, I contacted them today and was told that all payment arrangements should be made with B&S. I then contacted B&S and was told that they want the full amount by the end of the 10 days (this Friday) and not just to set up an arrangement in that time. I explained that the bailiff told us otherwise, but she said tough basically and said her manager would tell me the same thing. I then rang the council back and they also didnt seem interested that the bailiff had lied to us and tricked me into signing the WPO (thinking that I could then pay in installments) when he wanted the full amount within 10 days all along. The council said that they would have a look at their charges and see if they were fair (but I'm guessing they will be cos how do you measure fair?) and they MAY be able to liase with the bailiffs to help...but only a MAYBE as apparently the bailiffs dont have to listen.

    So, I'm still taking it that come Saturday, the bailiff could turn up at any time and remove everything. I feel sick because he conned me into borrowing the money he wanted from family and told me that paying for the WPO would allow me time to pay the rest - and now he's going to take everything just before christmas. I'm also due to be away from home next week and I'm worried sick that they will break in and leave my door wide open all week. I also have no money to repair any damage to doors etc and have a young baby, so what am I mean't to do just before christmas? I tried ringing the bailiff directly to question him but he said he didnt remember and to ring him at 9pm when he would have my details with him to speak to me. I rang him at 8.30, 9.00 and 9.30 and his phone was switched off...so I'm now thinking he's going to try and ignore me until Friday and just come and get everything. He even had the cheek to say to me when he came to do the WPO that he trusted me to pay the rest off and give me the chance to do this, so I must trust him to come in my house and do the WPO. Now I've stuck to my half of the bargain and he's shafted me...yet B&S and the council dont seem to think he's done anything wrong. I'm so worried as if they take my car and computer which was on the WPO, I cant get to uni or continue studying without it. It's also coming up to Christmas and this is the last thing I wanted.

    I feel so stupid for signing the WPO but couldn't risk him taking my car as I needed it for uni as I travel 70 miles a day. He even got me to pay the lump sum by card as he said he would charge me 200 pounds to come back and collect it, but then added on 4% for paying by card. Surely this isnt fair as I know you can be charged for card payments but only credit card usually, and this was a debit card - and 4%??? If I could have paid it in cash or by cheque, I could have put that extra money towards paying more off my arrears. However, the council seemed to think this was fine when I asked them earlier...although I just dont think they care to be honest!!

    I'm sorry that this message is so long, but as I'm short on time to act, I thought I better give you all the details I can first time. Hopefully someone can offer me some advice as B&S and the council aren't helping much at all and I'm really at a loss as to who to contact. Even the websites online dont have much info on this sort of thing, and most of the info on bailiff charges is out-of-date!

    Thank you so much in advance - any advice at all would be gratefully received! x

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    The figures are hopelessly wrong.

    The redemption fee has been the subject of legal action a few years ago and therefore as I am surprised that this is being charged y this particular company.

    This is yet another example as to why we should not allow bailiffs into our homes and a walking possession to be signed.

    Could you please send me by PM the name of the actual bailiff that attended when the walking possesion was agreed. I can check his name against the database of certitifcate bailiffs.

    please only send this information by private message only.

    I can then advise further.

    Could also let me know preferably by PM also what items he has included on the Walking Possession.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder Bailiff-problems Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    I have tried ringing the bailiff again this morning, and he answered and said hello (hurrah I thought), then he must have realised it was my voice and tried to pretend there was some interference on the line and hung up. I then rang him back straight away and it just kept ringing. I have tried 4 times since and he is ignoring me as it just keeps ringing until it hits the voicemail. He knows my number so I have been withholding it to call him, but I think he realises that the withheld number is mine. I guess he is just allowing all calls to go to voicemail to avoid me and will call back anyone else that leaves him a message!

    I just cannot believe these people are so ignorant. He obviously knew he was mis-informing me about the WPO and setting up a payment plan, and now he knows he is wrong, he has told me to call him so he can ignore me. I'm just worried it will get to Saturday and he will ignore me til then so they can come and get my things. I'm seriously thinking of not going away this weekend as I cant allow him to come and break my door down as it will be left like that til I get home for all and sundry to come in. But were meant to be visiting a poorly family member and I dont know how many more times we will get to see him. I just cant believe this is happening, and at such a terrible time with me going away and christmas coming up.

    Anyway, thanks for any advice!! I will update you if anything else happens or if I hear anything.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Simply telephone the company and say that a notice was hleft at your home but you cant work out the name of the bailiff.

    They will tell you immediately.

    Please then PM me.


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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Re letter.

    I have sent you a pm.


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder BigJay83 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Bristow and Sutor are a badly managed and cold debt collections company, me and my partner have had no end of trouble with them, we only owed them 350pounds and they were threatening to take over 5000pounds worth of goods for auctionicon to recover the amount, we were disgusted and i contacted my local mp, who instigated some sort of low key investigation, he found that this company have had 412 cases brought against them for wrongful use of power and misguidance etc..
    Be careful when dealing with them.
    We get the amount paid off in the end with help from a family member, but i did not allow the bailiffs in again, after my partner made the mistake of letting them in to inventory our possesions.
    Thanks for your time,.
    Jay


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder gearjamma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    I have been paying Bristow & sutor 13p.m since march 09 by direct debiticon for council tax arrears,without missing any payments.In march 2010 i asked them for a balance of the debt,their reply was that the arrangement had been cancelled in august 09 due to the fact that i had not supplied them with proof of benefits after 4 mths of the arrangement being set up,i was not notified of this fact.I requested a copy of the letter stating this fact but was told that no further discussion will be entered into and that the bailiffs had been instructed to attend my home.I had a hand delivered letter from the bailiff stating that he had attended my home with a view to remove my property because of non payment of council tax.I HAD NOT HAD A BAILIFF CALL PREVIOUSLY.I called the bailiff,explaining that i had not missed any payments,not interested,he insisted that he could reinstate the arrangement only if he came to my home and filled in a repayment form after putting a levy on my goods,i told him to get stuffed.Ithen asked Bristow & sutor if ALL my payment(15)had been forwarded to the council,they replied that ALL payments made to them(15)HAD been passed on to the council,so where is the non payment,i asked the council if they had been receiving regular monthly payments toward the debt they replied that they had .I have been charged 18 for the letter,i also told them to take me to court as i have not missed any payments.B & S are sending bailiffs to collect a debt that they are already collecting.Please tell me i'm not dreaming,and that they haven't a leg to stand on..


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder gearjamma Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    sorry about your probs.firstly a bailiff CANNOT levy ANY goods without showing you the court warrent and if asked for his registration card to show he is registered at the court that issued the warrent,also it is illegal for them to co-erse you into borrowing money, or threatening you with prison or any other form of threat ,if this happens call the police because they are overstepping the mark.If you deny them entry they will pass the debt back to the council as un collectable,then the court will decide on your willingness and financial ability to pay and make an order accordingly.OR you could apply to the council to take back the debt(which they can do )and make payment arrangements with them direct..


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gearjamma View Post
    I have been paying Bristow & sutor 13p.m since march 09 by direct debiticon for council tax arrears,without missing any payments.In march 2010 i asked them for a balance of the debt,their reply was that the arrangement had been cancelled in august 09 due to the fact that i had not supplied them with proof of benefits after 4 mths of the arrangement being set up,i was not notified of this fact.I requested a copy of the letter stating this fact but was told that no further discussion will be entered into and that the bailiffs had been instructed to attend my home.I had a hand delivered letter from the bailiff stating that he had attended my home with a view to remove my property because of non payment of council tax.I HAD NOT HAD A BAILIFF CALL PREVIOUSLY.I called the bailiff,explaining that i had not missed any payments,not interested,he insisted that he could reinstate the arrangement only if he came to my home and filled in a repayment form after putting a levy on my goods,i told him to get stuffed.Ithen asked Bristow & sutor if ALL my payment(15)had been forwarded to the council,they replied that ALL payments made to them(15)HAD been passed on to the council,so where is the non payment,i asked the council if they had been receiving regular monthly payments toward the debt they replied that they had .I have been charged 18 for the letter,i also told them to take me to court as i have not missed any payments.B & S are sending bailiffs to collect a debt that they are already collecting.Please tell me i'm not dreaming,and that they haven't a leg to stand on..
    Can you PLEASE post this question on a new threadicon. Otherwise, it will be necessary to start reading through a post that was started in 2007!!!


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder shellie_eeyore Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    hi there Tom Tubby i have been trying to find out how to PM you with a question as you seem to know about bristow and suitor but cant so i thought id try putting it on here with a hope you will reply sorry for hijacking another post!! my problem is
    I have just had to pay 275 to bristow and suitor bailiffs but want to know if i can put in a compliant agains them.
    I owed from last years council tax and was due to make the last payment on 27th march of 125 i am a full time student and the debt in in my husbands name. The payment hadnt been made due to easter and husband not getting paid untill 2nd march but i hadnt contacted them which i know was wrong but i am a midwifery student in placement on nights at presesnt, Bristow arrived at my house at half past 4 today while i was asleep and the bailiff spoke to my 11 year old son and gave him a removal team letter! my son had told him i was upstairs, i rang the bailiff when i got up at half past five and explained and he said he was coming back at nine that night as my husband would be there by then and that he had charged me 150 for this visit, i have tried ringing there office which was closed and tried ringing citizens advice also closed. he said if i didnt pay it there and then he would be back at nine and we would have to pay another 150 so i paid him the full amount. Please can you tell me are they in there rights to charge 150 for a visit i like many people were fooled into letting them in at the beginning and they did a levey they then asked for increadible high payments of 150 a month even though i sent them a financial statement showing we had 49 spare at end of each month i even sent a copy to council who were not at all interested and as good as said they were happy with how bristow and suitor were dealing with it and they would not get involved! I asked why he had spoken to an 11 year old, who is now upset he answered the door! he said because he would have been more upset had he just walked away after opening the door, he simply asked if my husband lived there and if i was in never asked to speak to me he said it was reasonable behaviour to hand the form to my son!! can i complain about this who do i do it to and how! We really cant afford to have paid that amount and now will have to miss part of mortage as we live on exactly what comes into house!
    I have only asked you as you seem to be great where bristow and suitor are comcerned! thanks you so much in advance


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Ledburyrfc Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Hi Tom

    I'm having a real battle with Bristow and Sutor over what is considered a "Reasonable" cost for attendance with a van. They have told me that there was a charge of 130 plus the hourly rate of 100 per hour for the bailiff...Any advice?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ledburyrfc View Post
    Hi Tom

    I'm having a real battle with Bristow and Sutor over what is considered a "Reasonable" cost for attendance with a van. They have told me that there was a charge of 130 plus the hourly rate of 100 per hour for the bailiff...Any advice?
    welcome

    can you please start your own thread use this link

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ewthread&f=168


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    Basic Account Holder Poppy Lars Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    We too are having problems with Bristow & Sutor, yesterday a "bailiff" called at our home (uninvited) and when he realised we would not speak to him, he attempted to enter our home, but was told to sling his hook. He refused to show his certification or any proof apart from his ID badge. According to Office of Fair Trading, Bristow & Sutor are only debt collectorsicon and do not work for the court, at least not the one in question of our alleged Council Tax arrears. After doing a search of Certified Bailiffs Register it appears that the "bailiff" in question is certified, but only to Worcester Combined Court and not our local court, does this make a difference? Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks!!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy Lars View Post
    We too are having problems with Bristow & Sutor, yesterday a "bailiff" called at our home (uninvited) and when he realised we would not speak to him, he attempted to enter our home, but was told to sling his hook. He refused to show his certification or any proof apart from his ID badge. According to Office of Fair Trading, Bristow & Sutor are only debt collectorsicon and do not work for the court, at least not the one in question of our alleged Council Tax arrears. After doing a search of Certified Bailiffs Register it appears that the "bailiff" in question is certified, but only to Worcester Combined Court and not our local court, does this make a difference? Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks!!
    Hi Poppy, as this is a very old thread it may be better to post up on your own new one. You can use the one I have started for you here:

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ewthread&f=168

    We can then target the advice to your exact situation. You do not have to let the bailiff in, in fact no law forces you to deal with them, deny them a levy and they are powerless. Keep doors and windows locked, and hide any cars a good way away. Bristow and Sutor do operate as bailiffs also,

    The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!
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    Basic Account Holder Poppy Lars Novitiate

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    Default Re: Problems with Bristow & Sutor bailiffs!!!

    Thanks for this brassnecked



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