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 Nurselayer Novitiate

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    Default Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Hi all, I have just recieved two letters from Philips stating Notice of Distress Warrant too. They allege that they are in receipt of a Distress warrant for non-payment of a Magistrates' Fine and they have been instructed by South East London. Both letters have the same Philips Reference Number, but both are for different amounts (370.00 and 445.00). Neither letter has any date on it.

    As far as I am aware I have no Magistrates' fines. I have only ever once had a fine and that was back in about 2000 and was paid off in full. It was so long ago that I really doubt that I have any evidence that it was paid in full. I have had absolutely no correspondance before recieving these letters about any fines or Distress Warrent. What do I do next?

    Should I contact Philips? I'm wary of doing this as I really don't want them to have my telephone number and the calls cost 5 pence per minute! How do I get the details of any Distress Warrant? Can I then make a Statutory Declaration at any court?

    How long have I got before a bailiff will break into my property? Can I prevent them from doing this?


    Please help.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ps. Having just checked Her Majesty's Courts Services Website there doesn't even seem to be a court called South East London! How do I know where this warrant was issued from?

    Nurselayer v Natwest - Settled in Full
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    "How long have I got before a bailiff will break into my property?"

    Somewhere between a long way off and never. No need to worry if you are in communication with the court / bailiff. Ignore his threats to the contrary. I believe the lattest figures were approx 30 forced entries per year for 1.5 Billion in outstanding fines.

    Do not waste your time talking to them on the phone. They will subsequently deny anything that is said in your favor, and make things up like you offered an amount by a certain date etc...

    Recorded delivery and e-mail only.


    BTW - They can't call on Sundays so relax.

    I'm not confident re. fines enforcement, but i believe you are on the right track with the stat. dec. route. Someone who knows better will be along.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    Hi all, I have just recieved two letters from Philips stating Notice of Distress Warrant too. They allege that they are in receipt of a Distress warrant for non-payment of a Magistrates' Fine and they have been instructed by South East London. Both letters have the same Philips Reference Number, but both are for different amounts (370.00 and 445.00). Neither letter has any date on it.

    As far as I am aware I have no Magistrates' fines. I have only ever once had a fine and that was back in about 2000 and was paid off in full. It was so long ago that I really doubt that I have any evidence that it was paid in full. I have had absolutely no correspondance before recieving these letters about any fines or Distress Warrent. What do I do next?

    Should I contact Philips? I'm wary of doing this as I really don't want them to have my telephone number and the calls cost 5 pence per minute! How do I get the details of any Distress Warrant? Can I then make a Statutory Declaration at any court?

    How long have I got before a bailiff will break into my property? Can I prevent them from doing this?


    Please help.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ps. Having just checked Her Majesty's Courts Services Website there doesn't even seem to be a court called South East London! How do I know where this warrant was issued from?
    These letters are of serious concern and I am aware that there have recently been complaints made to the Office of Fair Trading. It cannot be right for a company representing HMCS to be allowed to send UNDATED letters with little of no information to identify the supposed debt. Also, there is NO such court as South East. I do have a contact number for the relevant office and can post if here late tomorrow/Monday morning. Please send me a pm if I forget.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder moufflon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Hi Tomhubby,

    just read your reply (above) to a similar post to mine.

    My undated and uninformative threat letters refer to 'North West London'

    Would you have any idea who I should be phoning on Monday morning?

    Thanks for your suggestions!


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder fork-it Novitiate fork-it Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    Hi all, I have just recieved two letters from Philips stating Notice of Distress Warrant too. They allege that they are in receipt of a Distress warrant for non-payment of a Magistrates' Fine and they have been instructed by South East London. Both letters have the same Philips Reference Number, but both are for different amounts (370.00 and 445.00). Neither letter has any date on it.
    That suggests they are not genuine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    As far as I am aware I have no Magistrates' fines. I have only ever once had a fine and that was back in about 2000 and was paid off in full. It was so long ago that I really doubt that I have any evidence that it was paid in full. I have had absolutely no correspondance before recieving these letters about any fines or Distress Warrent. What do I do next?
    Phone the original court from 2000 and ask if they can shed light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    Should I contact Philips?
    In a word - NO, never TELEPHONE A BAILIFF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    I'm wary of doing this as I really don't want them to have my telephone number and the calls cost 5 pence per minute! How do I get the details of any Distress Warrant? Can I then make a Statutory Declaration at any court?
    If you can locate the originating court.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    How long have I got before a bailiff will break into my property? Can I prevent them from doing this?
    Wont happen, and magistrates rarely give permission anyway. Khazanchi & Anor v Faircharm Investments Ltd & Ors [1998] EWCA Civ 471 : On 17 March 1998 Lord Justice Morritt in the High Court ruled that bailiffs having a Walking Possessions Agreement cannot remove anything whilst the debtor is absent unless it is pre-arranged by appointment and with an Order signed by a Judge. The Judge also said in his conclusion,


    However it should be noted that in cases such as these there may be a sanction pursuant to Section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act l971. In other cases the provisions of Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act may apply also.
    Source: http://vlex.co.uk/vid/ur-judge-cox-52584219




    Quote Originally Posted by Nurselayer View Post
    Please help.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Ps. Having just checked Her Majesty's Courts Services Website there doesn't even seem to be a court called South East London! How do I know where this warrant was issued from?
    No such court. the document might be falsified - see Section 40(1)(c) of the Administration of Justuce Act 1970.


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    Basic Account Holder Nurselayer Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Ok, have tried to get the details of this without contacting the Bailiffs but the courts are saying that they can't help me and that I have to contact the bailiffs to get any information regarding this. All help would be much appreciated as I really don't want to contact the bailiffs by telephone.

    Thanks

    Nurselayer v Natwest - Settled in Full
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    Basic Account Holder moufflon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Hi,

    I'm in a very similar boat to you. Here's where I'm at:

    Called Enforcement Office for North West London which is at Uxbridge magistrates court

    Not sure which area you're under but locating the enforcement office should be easy. They liaise between court and bailiff

    They have given me a 21 day reprieve from the bailiffs.

    Now I've got enough time to chase the original court for details - however, I had the phone ringing for 3 hours yesterday and they didn't pick up.

    I've written my request for info in a letter which will go special delivery tomorrow.
    I got a fax number for the court listing office from the enforcement office so I'll also fax it tomorrow.

    I will ask to make a Stat Dec and go to court to sort it out.

    Spoken to three solicitors - first one said just pay it and be done with it (obviously 600 is peanuts to him)
    Another said you'll probably still be held responsible so don't bother.
    The last said get a stat dec and go to court or try negotiating for a reduction with bailiffs on basis that if they don't reduce it you'll get a stat dec.

    All good fun.....


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder moufflon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    oh forgot to say -

    sent a prove it letter to bailiffs yesterday


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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by moufflon View Post
    oh forgot to say -

    sent a prove it letter to bailiffs yesterday
    Others will know more but that may well ensure they revisit and attempt a levy whether they have the right "J Smith" or not imho, so batten down the hatches in case, and do not answer the door to them if they do, and move any car in use away from the property.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Vee365 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Thought it was best to offer this advice to everyone concerned as my husband has also been through exactly the same thing:

    1. Contact your local magistrate office, and go and make a statutory declaration (it's free!!!). Be very nice to whoever you speak to. They are usually sympathetic and can give you a little more information about what the fine is for. In our case, it wasn't right at all.

    2. Send a letter of complaint to the named person below:

    Vicky Savage Philips Collection Services (Bailiffs)
    Faverdale industrial estate
    Darlington Co Durham
    DL3 0PH

    3. Make copies of documents the statutory declaration & complaint letter in 2 above, as well as the letter s received from the bailiffs and send it to the Central Accounting Office of the court in question, along with a letter explaining the situation.
    4. You can search on google for the name of the court by typing in south west london magistrate court, or north east london magistrate court etc.
    Hope this helps?
    PS: I REALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS COMPANY ARE STILL IN OPERATION, GIVEN THAT THEIR PROCESSES ARE 'DODGY'


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by moufflon View Post
    Hi,

    I'm in a very similar boat to you. Here's where I'm at:

    Called Enforcement Office for North West London which is at Uxbridge magistrates court

    Not sure which area you're under but locating the enforcement office should be easy. They liaise between court and bailiff

    They have given me a 21 day reprieve from the bailiffs.

    Now I've got enough time to chase the original court for details - however, I had the phone ringing for 3 hours yesterday and they didn't pick up.

    I've written my request for info in a letter which will go special delivery tomorrow.
    I got a fax number for the court listing office from the enforcement office so I'll also fax it tomorrow.

    I will ask to make a Stat Dec and go to court to sort it out.

    Spoken to three solicitors - first one said just pay it and be done with it (obviously 600 is peanuts to him)
    Another said you'll probably still be held responsible so don't bother.
    The last said get a stat dec and go to court or try negotiating for a reduction with bailiffs on basis that if they don't reduce it you'll get a stat dec.

    All good fun.....
    Hi,

    I also have two distress warrants from Phillips regards non-payment of a fine from North West Courts (Uxbridge), both for the same matter, both of them not dated..!!

    The mad thing here is that I was paying this fine at 5 per week with one of those 'allpay' payment cards, I admit my payments were a little erratic, though I was 5 in advance where I contacted the Central Accounting Office. What a joke that is nearly one and a half days of trying to contact them, in the end I phoned around to different departments and got another number.!

    I got though to someone and informed the person that the fine was being paid and that it was currently in advance, though they informed me that there was this 24 hour default payment system in force and that a distress warrant had been issued due to my arrange payments being in default..!

    This was the first time I had heard of this new rule, as I had recently finished paying another fine exactly the same way using the 'allpay' card and my payments were erratic, though the whole fine was paid off on time without any distress warrant issued. So I feel annoyed that this has happened as it seams like another little deceptive trick to catch you out in getting you to paying more money..!!

    I have unfortunately contacted the Bailiff's as the person at the Central Accounting Office told me to do so and have begrudgingly agreed to pay a stated amount (non-negotiable) in monthly instalments..!

    I saw else where that these distress warrants run out in 180 day and get returned to the courts, which goes back to the original fine amount without the Bailiff's charges on top, is that true..? If it is, could I go back on my word as I never excepted there terms and refuse to pay them and wait for it to go back to the courts..!!

    I live in a flat with a security door down stairs and my car is parked on private land, which as I understand they can't touch, the worst that they can do is a clamping order so if they do clamp it I can go out and cut it off..!!

    Any advise on this would be grateful..

    Thanks..

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    How were you able to contact the Central Accounting Office? Do you have details?


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder besidetheseaside Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Hi, I have just joined this site as I wanted to share our experience with Philips the Bailiffs. My other half started getting letters from these bailiffs in May which had no date and no details on them only it was on behalf of HMCS North East London and the amount was for 293.19 and it threatened enforcement action. I tried to look up Philips on the net and there was a lot of bad write ups from other people saying there were sent letters out of the blue and they had no idea what it was for. I even rang a debt agency who told us to ignore it as it sounded like a [problem]. We then got a letter dated 26th May which said it was a distress warrant and that a warrant for arrest could be issued, we actually got sent 2 of these in the same week, which by the way were send to our old address. I started to panic incase these were actually real bailiffs and could arrest him, my other half still couldnt think of anything had owed. I rang tried to find out which courts were in the North East London area as I didnt where we lived at the time came under this area, I found out it did and tried to find a phone number to contact someone about this fine I rang and rang and constantly got cut off or transfered over and over to recorded messages. We then rang Philips, who when we got through wanted to take a payment off us before we even found out what it was all about! They just said it was from ' 5 YEARS AGO' and it was for an untaxed car and had no other information, we didnt pay them anything or give any information about us either just said we know nothing of this , they told us to contact the court and gave no telephone number and were very unhelpful. In the end I found an email address on one of the court websites which was for enquires and I sent and email with out enquiry, we got a response the next day and were told that if we knew nothing of this fine and its the first we heard of it then we needed to go to our local magistrates court and swear on oathe and then they can stop the bailiff action she also gave me a phone number to contact the court, which I got through on straight away. The guy was really helpful and sympathetic and booked us in straight away for 9.30am monday morning and said take ID and the bailiffs letters with you. We got a telephone callicon in the meantime from our old local magistrates court saying she had found an outstanding fine from an old address regarding a car fine but that was over 5 years ago and there was nothing else. We turned up for court my other half walked in and came back out in about 5 minutes. The court clerk looked at the details said they have nothing on their systems and it was so long ago and could not possibly prove this, he asked my other half whether he had taxed the vehicle in question and of course he said yes. The clerk was very helpful and said he was recommending the judge throw this out of court and photographed the bailiffs letter and said they would inform them. We walked away happy with the outcome but my other half lost a days wages. Sorry if this is a long reply but I just hope this helps you or someone else in this situation who are getting these horrible bailiff letters.

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    Basic Account Holder mortyarty Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Now I've got enough time to chase the original court for details - however, I had the phone ringing for 3 hours yesterday and they didn't pick up
    We phoned this court repeatedly over a number of weeks and were only answered twice by a poor guy in the holding cells who said he gets many calls a day chasing details of the type mentioned here, and then finally got through to someone who was fairly helpfull, but couldn't give us any details over the phone - so I would suggest that everyone writes directly to the court


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder besidetheseaside Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    why dont you try what we did , email the enquires department for the court area in question, you should find this if you google it. I got a response straight away with 2 telephone numbers for 2 courts one for my old area and one for new area I got through to a guy who probably works in the back office as I got answered straight away, it was not probably the actual court itself I didnt ask as I was so releived to actual be able to speak to someone, but he did all the investigations for me to find out about the fine and contacted the court where then fine had originated and got them to fax all the details over to the court which I wanted use which was nearer to me. He booked me a appointment to swear an oath that this was the first time we had heard about this fine , was in and out the court very quick and they just threw it out as it was 6 yearsicon ago. I dont know where these bailifffs are dragging all this old stuff up from, but they are just sending out threatening letters on the hope that some people pay up, when as in our case they really dont need to.


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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Beside the seaside: Could you pm me the email address as I am having the same problem for the same court area, and no luck getting through on the phone. Thanks! (sorry I couldn't pm as my post count wasn't high enough)

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  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder besidetheseaside Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    hi I will try and email the address for enquiries to you, I am new to this site too, they also gave me 3 phone numbers for courts Southend , Havering and Medway, you will need to book into your nearest court to give a statutory declaration and whichever court issued your fine will have to send the paperwork to that court if its not the same area. Do you want me to send any of the court numbers above if not just email that address explain your situation and ask for your area court telephone number. Good Luck


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Thanks for the information (sorry it still won't let me PM as my post count is not enough yet), I have managed to make contact through that email. If you wouldn't mind also sending me the phone numbers you were sent that would be very helpful. Thank you so much.


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder besidetheseaside Novitiate

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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Hi I have emailed you the 3 court telephone numbers I have ok , good luck


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Philips Bailiffs - Notice of Distress Warrant - Please Help

    Quote Originally Posted by besidetheseaside View Post
    Hi I have emailed you the 3 court telephone numbers I have ok , good luck
    Thank you so much, have finally managed to make contact and am making some progress with this thing. Everyone, I recommend you follow besidetheseaside's advice in this thread.



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