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
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    Default Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Hi everyone,

    Im looking for a bit of advice regarding equita and birmingham city council.

    I broke my leg and ankle in may, 2 operations later....

    I owe birmingham city council 345.22. This was passed onto equita bailiffs. The first letter I received from equita, dated 8/11/2011... stated I owe 387.22 to birmingham city council. 42.50 was adding on just for sending out this letter.

    The second letter dated 15/11/2011 had a big removal notice across the middle of it.

    Yesterday 22/11/2011 - There was a hand deliver letter, from the "local area bailiff" with his contact details. When I rang him, the total owing had some how gone up to 582.

    I had been away from my property the beginning of november, I have just got back to see all these 3 letters.

    I've been on the phone to the council all morning and they are basically shrugging their shoulders. I dont want to pay the bailiffs because I'm not paying these ridiculous fees. I've asked the council to deal direct with them but they basically say its out of their hands.

    Even though on their website, it clearly states, the maximum bailiffs can charge is 24.90 for the first visit and 18 for the second visit. (LINK: birmingham.gov.uk/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpag ename=SystemAdmin%2FCFPag eLayout&cid=1223092602862 &packedargs=website%3D4&p agename=BCC%2FCommon%2FWr apper%2FCFWrapper&renderm ode=live] ).

    I asking for your help on what to do next, because its basically illegal what they are doing.

    The bailiff did say he would give me until the 5th of december (what happens after this)?

    Sorry for such a long post

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    The first thing you need to know is that BCC outsourced their back office adminicon to a Company called Capita - therefore when you ring you don't actually speak to the Council. On top of that Capita also own 2 Bailiff Companies one of which happens to be Equita - I assume you see where this is going so won't explain any further.

    The Bailiff cannot charge for posting letters to you - were the first 2 sent by Royal Mail? As you have found out he can charge for visits (a maximum of 2 only) where he fails to make a levy. It would appear from what you say he is also attempting to charge an enforcement or similar fee - certainly not allowed if he does not have a valid levy.

    Send off for a breakdown of their fees to date, adapt this as you see fit and send initially by email followed by a copy in the post:
    "From:
    My Name
    My Address

    To:
    Acme Bailiff Co
    Bailiff House

    Ref: Account No: 123456

    Dear Sir

    With reference to the above account, Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges.

    This includes:
    a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.
    b - the reason for the fee.
    c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.
    d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were Certificated at.
    e - the date of the Certification.

    This is not a Subject access requesticon under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of 10. You are obliged to provide this information.

    I require this information within 14 days.

    Yours faithfully

    Ripped off customer"

    You could of course contact your local Councillor(s) and advise them that their Contractors are attempting to claim for work not done. In the meantime you could ignore the Bailiff and pay the Council direct by online banking, Council website or automated phone. You will have to allow for lawful Bailiff fees however.

    Whatever happens do not allow him access to your home.

    PT

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Hi, thanks so much for the quick response.

    The first 2 letters did come via royal mail.

    The 3 was hand delivered. I wont be letting them into my property. I have no car they can take. All my windows will remain shut.

    What do you mean by levy? is that when they take something or access the property?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    a levy is when they seize a car or you let them in and they list your goods on a walking posession


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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Regardless of what your new best mate may tell there is actually no law that says you have to speak to or deal with a Bailiff - although I believe there is a perfectly good Anglo Saxon saying you can utter. Providing you do not allow him access to your home or prevent him seizing goods outside then he is absolutely powerless and can do nothing. Mind he wouldn't be the first to seize a car outside and claim he thinks it is yours but that can be dealt with if it happens. Have good read of some of the other threads to get a flavour of some of the tricks they try.

    PT

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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Thanks for the amazing help! Ive emailed the Chief Executive of Birmingham city council. To my surprise he has replied 2 hours later.

    "I write to acknowledge your email of earlier today concerning the above.

    I am investigating the issues you have raised and will return to you as soon as I can. "

    Lets see what he says. The bailiff gave me till the 5th dec, do i just ignore them now?


    Thanks once again guys.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Just been on the phone to BCC. What a joke they are, they are basically saying they cant help me. Because the debt is now with equita. They also say that they have received my complaint, and it is being looked into, but the issue is still with equita.

    Im willing to pay the lawful charges, but the ridiculous bailiff charges? NO CHANCE.

    I have a good mind to contact birmingham mail.

    Where do I do from here?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    I'm in a similar boat to you mate...im kind of stuck atm


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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Yesterday 22/11/2011 - There was a hand deliver letter, from the "local area bailiff" with his contact details. When I rang him, the total owing had some how gone up to 582.

    phone the bailiff record the call and ask him to confirm the total amount outstanding fees charged the reason for each fee charged and the date of each fee charged

    before you phone him make sure you have checked he is certificated to Equita
    www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/CertificatedBailiffs

    when you get that post back


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    I've just done a search. I searched for the bailiff name first. Nothing.

    I then searched for equita, sorted through all the pages and the bailiff name doesnt appear there! infact, theres only a few from birmingham!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Sorry, double post


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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    i you cant find him on the register you need to phone the Ministry of Justice Public Register of bailiffs on 020 3334 6355 and ask


    when he was certificated
    at what court
    on what date
    to what employer if any


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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Quote Originally Posted by TopB View Post
    Just been on the phone to BCC. What a joke they are, they are basically saying they cant help me. Because the debt is now with equita. They also say that they have received my complaint, and it is being looked into, but the issue is still with equita.

    Im willing to pay the lawful charges, but the ridiculous bailiff charges? NO CHANCE.

    I have a good mind to contact birmingham mail.

    Where do I do from here?
    As I said previously 9 times out of 10 you are speaking to an employee of Capita who own Equita. You will need to ask to speak to the Head of Revenues. Mind I suspect the only language he may know is Bailiff. Instead involve your local Counciloor(s) if they refuse or are reluctant then next step is Leader of the Council and his oppsite number.

    PT

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    Ive asked to speak to head of revenues and they said this is not possible. Well I just had an interesting calls with the bailiff.

    I asked him to break down the charges and he said that there was an enforcement charge added on. When I questioned him about being a certified bailiff, he basically hung up.

    I've already emailed the BCC chief executive. How would I find the leader of the council and his opposite number.


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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    The matter of Birmingham Council and the use of Equita Ltd has long been to subject of complaints on here. Birmingham Council use CAPITA LTD as a "back office" provider and strangely, it would appear that at each council that use CAPITA LTD their "preferred" bailiff provider is always EITHER Equita Ltd or Ross & Roberts.

    CAPITA LTD own BOTH companies!!!

    The concern with Equita has been surrounding the charging of an "enforcement fee" to an account at the very first visit when the statutory regulations provide ONLY that a charge of 24.50 can be applied for "attending to levy" (where no levy was made.

    The statutory regulations DO NOT provide for an "enforcement fee" and in reality, this is really an "attending to remove fee". HOWEVER, the regulations as laid down by Parliament provide that in order to charge an "attending to levy" fee, there MUST first be a valid levy made on goods.

    If a "valid levy" had been made, then once again, there is a legal obligation that the goods levied upon MUST be listed on a Notice of Seizure of Goods & Inventory.

    Due to the extreme seriousness of charging this "enforcement fee" I will shortly be putting together a NEWSLETTER for Consumer Action Group on this subject and providing advice on who the debtor should do.

    One suggestion is that letters should be sent to the Chief Execution and also to all COUNCILLORS. The local authority are wholly responsible for the fees charged by THEIR AGENTS.

    PS: Currently, in the background I know of 7 similar complaints that have been made to the District Auditor of various local authorities !!!!!!!


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    The matter of Birmingham Council and the use of Equita Ltd has long been to subject of complaints on here. Birmingham Council use CAPITA LTD as a "back office" provider and strangely, it would appear that at each council that use CAPITA LTD their "preferred" bailiff provider is always EITHER Equita Ltd or Ross & Roberts.

    CAPITA LTD own BOTH companies!!!

    The concern with Equita has been surrounding the charging of an "enforcement fee" to an account at the very first visit when the statutory regulations provide ONLY that a charge of 24.50 can be applied for "attending to levy" (where no levy was made.

    The statutory regulations DO NOT provide for an "enforcement fee" and in reality, this is really an "attending to remove fee". HOWEVER, the regulations as laid down by Parliament provide that in order to charge an "attending to levy" fee, there MUST first be a valid levy made on goods.

    If a "valid levy" had been made, then once again, there is a legal obligation that the goods levied upon MUST be listed on a Notice of Seizure of Goods & Inventory.

    Due to the extreme seriousness of charging this "enforcement fee" I will shortly be putting together a NEWSLETTER for Consumer Action Group on this subject and providing advice on who the debtor should do.

    One suggestion is that letters should be sent to the Chief Execution and also to all COUNCILLORS. The local authority are wholly responsible for the fees charged by THEIR AGENTS.

    PS: Currently, in the background I know of 7 similar complaints that have been made to the District Auditor of various local authorities !!!!!!!


  18. #18
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    Default

    tomtubby, any help in the meanwhile would be great. I seem to be getting nO where.

    I spoke with BCC, who sent me to equita who sends me to the bailiff, who thinks he's right to add these charges. I also checked him out and it looks as if he isn't certified.

    I've emailed local councilors and email the chief executive's office. They say they are looking into it and hope to get back to me by end of today.

    There isn't much that needs looking into. I've even referred them to their own website (Birmingham.gov.uk) on there it states the 24.50 first visit 18 second visit.

    I'm not even worried by these people now and if you're in the same boat as me, don't worry just keep payment Birmingham city council. Don't pay these thieves a penny.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Birmingham City Council and Equita Bailiffs

    will be waiting with interesticon for that newsletter tomtubby. In my neck of the woods it is Excel that the council use, but Jacobs seem to be appearing also



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