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 alexkbj Novitiate

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    Default Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Hello everyone - received a letter on red paper today from Excel Enforcement Ltd - 'certificated bailiffs and sheriffs officers'.

    It's for outstanding council tax, I did have an arrangement to pay with Ross & Roberts but missed last months payment and so it appears to have been sold on to these guys - 'operation crackdown' seems a bit OTT to me. So, they've told me to find 810 in cash by Friday 6AM when they'll be coming to get it. It suggest on the letter that I could be arrested and put into police custody? Should I be overtly concerned? I'm going to struggle to find near 1K before Friday thats for sure.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    This is Scottish CT Alex ??

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    Basic Account Holder alexkbj Novitiate

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Hi Conniff - no, I'm in Wales and its Welsh CT


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    The arrest threat is just that, as the council would have to go down quite a long road before that, as in wilfull non payment over a long period. You are a can't pay rather than a won't pay, so arrest is not imminent imho. the debt if it is council tax always belongs to the council, and which council is this? And what is "operation crackdown"?

    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 alexkbj Novitiate

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Here's an explanation of operation crackdown:

    "Operation Crackdown is the second campaign of its kind in Wales and will focus on a specific, undisclosed area in South Wales.
    Lyn Harding, enforcement director for the courts service, said: “Outstanding fines are at a pretty high level. The purpose of the operation is to make sure the fines are collected, so that people have confidence in the magistrates’ courts who imposed them.”
    Where necessary, those who refuse to co-operate will be arrested and appear in a fines court at a time specially set asideicon to deal with defendants targeted by the operation"

    Should I call them up and tell them that if they do come on Friday, I wont have 810 in cash.


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Council Tax isn't a Criminal matter, and a liability order or missing a payment to a skanky bailiff doesn't entitle them to arrest you, or put a council tax liability in the hands of HMCS enforcement it remains with the council at all times and Ross 'n Robbers are only AGENTS of the council they can never own the debt. You could call them if you can record the call and ask them why council tax is being collected as if it was a magistrates fine as a liability order isn't a criminal conviction.?

    Something not right here. have you any outstanding fines?

    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 alexkbj Novitiate

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Hi Brassnecked - no, no outstanding fines. I've uploaded a copy of the letter, its at tinyurl dot com forward slash letterfrombailiff (the forum wont allow any links yet, as I need another few posts)


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Quote Originally Posted by alexkbj View Post
    Hi Brassnecked - no, no outstanding fines. I've uploaded a copy of the letter, its at tinyurl dot com forward slash letterfrombailiff (the forum wont allow any links yet, as I need another few posts)
    I have seen the letter and will post the link for you here, so other Caggers can go there more easily:

    http://i.imgur.com/1EeKX.jpg

    I cannot see why you have this letter as Council Tax is NOT criminal, and the police would only be there to keep the peace, not assist a bailiff to take you into custody, to await the first available sitting of magistrates, even though the threat is just that as it says they MAY not Will arrest.

    I think tomtubby may be interested in this one I will PM her asking her to take a look

    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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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Pm sent to tomtubby. How much is the liability order for.

    You need to ask the council
    How much the liability order is for
    How many there are
    When obtained
    when passed to bailiffs
    How much is owedon them now, as you have been paying the bailiff so need to know what they have passed over and what has gone in fees.

    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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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Thanks everyone for all your help here, its really appreciated.

    The amount is 810.00 - 'brassnecked' has kindly posted a copy of the letter link in this thread.

    In the brief conversation I had with Excel over the phone, they told me the debt 'had been sold to them' by R&Roberts.


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    I think ( and hope) that there has been some confusion here. Lyn Harding is from HMCTS and is the Senior Contracts Manager dealing with MAGISTRATE COURT FINE ENFORCEMENT in Wales. He is not connected with the local authority.

    Are you certain that the debt that you have with Excel relates to arrers of council tax and that you do not have an outstanding court FINE as well?

    If this debt does relate to arrears of council tax it is "possible" that the adminicon department at Excel may have used the wrong templateicon letter as the one that you have exhibited is almost certainly in relation to the enforcement of an unpaid COURT FINE.

    If you can post back that would be helpful.

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    and if you can pay, do it by your internet banking site directly to the council

    never ever pay a bailff

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    I wonder if there have been some wires crossed, as if indeed this is in respect of council tax, it is a serious error imho, and potentially unlawful surely, as how could Ross 'n robbers sell a council tax debt to Excel as they are merely agents of the council, they don't "own" the debt, this remains with the council.

    Formal complaint to the council addressed to head of Revenues, CEO, elected leader, councillor and MP also copied to Excel, and ross 'n robbers if this is the case, as the letter in no way should apply to the enforcement and collection of Council Tax arrears.

    I have to go to a meeting now, but will look in later, other Caggers should have some helpful tips, above all alexkbj, try not to worry you have come to the right place to help you sort this.

    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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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Thanks again all. I do have a sinking feeling this may have gone to court, then passed to R&R, I defaulted with them (just the one month, Feb) and its now with Excel. I will check my paperwork in an hour. If that IS the case, what is the best recourse if it is infact a magistrates court fine. When R&R visited (I know, I shouldnt have let them in) they did an inventory of my apartment, I did explain that all but the TV were the property of the landlord and not myself. They told me it made no difference and that the goods would be taken regardless, and the landlord would be contacted to verify the goods were infact his, and he could then recover them. Is that true? Apologies for going slightly off topic.


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    I would be very surprised indeed if this letter is anything at all to do with council tax.

    It may be possible that a court FINE has been registered against you. Have you ever received a summons to attend court?


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Bailiffs can't arrest you. I suspect that even if this is about council tax (which it could be) the threat is primarily to scare you at this stage.

    It says a warrant MAY be issued, and yes if you don't pay council tax that MAY eventually happen, so strictly speaking it is true, but if things had got to that stage you'd be hearing from the police, not the bailiffs.


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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    If this letter is in connection with an outstanding court fine, then the debtor can indeed be arrested and this would be done with the assistance of a police officer.

    In order to get fines paid, "Operation Crackdowns" are run in selected areas of the country at various times of the year and these operations are carried out in conjunction with the bailiff providers and police. These operations run for approx a month in each area and court time is set asideicon so that those arrested for failing to pay a court fine can be immediately put before the Magistrates. I am sorry to say but some debtors are sent to prison if the court are satisfied that the debtor has "wilfully refused to pay" a court imposed FINE.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Thanks everyone. Ok, this has shown that the debt is for CT and its the real deal, following going to court, then R&R now to Excel.

    What should I do in respect of Friday, if I call them I do need to explain that if they arrive here, I wont have 810 in cash available so its a wasted trip. Would this mean they'd return with the police? I just need more time to resolve this, I can get the funds together but I'd need at least a fortnight as opposed to 4 days.

    I accept I should have kept to the 150 p/m agreement, and I had been doing so, one month default and R&R write to me stating the agreement wont be reinstated and then I get this 'operation crackdown' letter. I have 150, I would prefer to get back to the arrangement but I suppose this wont be possible now.

    Anxious.


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder alexkbj Novitiate

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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    This also adds some weight and this was same period last year, March being the month of CT public flogging it seems:

    Cardiff fine dodgers warned of new crackdown

    Cardiff magistrates have hailed a clampdown on court fine dodgers a "huge success" and say they will run it again.

    They say about 150,000 of unpaid fines, fees and compensation has been reclaimed since 1 March as part of a targeted operation.

    Magistrates, court staff, bailiffs and the police joined forces to issue 828 arrest warrants.

    Offenders who had failed to pay were jailed or forced to pay up.

    Viv Edwards, deputy chair of the bench at Cardiff Magistrates' Court, said: "People with outstanding fines who ignore the orders of the court will continue to be targeted and will be arrested and brought back to court to ensure that outstanding fines are paid.

    "The message from 'Operation Crackdown' is clear; fines will be enforced robustly and those who do not pay can expect to suffer the consequences, which can involve the loss of property and the loss of liberty.

    "Fines imposed by the court are due on the day they are imposed and any time to pay granted by the court is a concession and not a right."

    More than 29m worth of fines are outstanding in Wales, with a third owed by people in south Wales.

    HM Courts Service (HMCS) organised a similar operation in February 2010 in which 9,425 warrants were executed and 1.02m collected across England and Wales.



  20. #20
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    Default Re: Excel Civil Enforcement - I fear this is the real deal :-/

    Liability Orders do indeed go through the Magistrates Court but the "Operation Crackdown" is NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with unpaid council tax.

    Instead, they are to enforce unpaid COURT FINES.....which are completely different !!!

    A court FINE would normally be for something like the following: Using a TV without a licence, failing to advice DVLA of change of ownership, driving a car without insurance or MOT or for speeding.

    Have you spoken to Excel today and have they confirmed to you that the letter was an error and that the ONLY debt that you have with them relates to a Liability Order for unpaid council tax?



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