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blfuk1

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  1. A couple of points. The enforcement agency are only obliged [legally] to send one Notice - the Notice of Enforcement giving you 7 clear days [most simply set it as 14 calendar days which more than covers the requirement]. In cases where a creditor places the case on hold pending the outcome of a late witness statement (appeal), it would be good practice, where it is rejected, for the agency to send a letter/text/e-mail advising they are resuming, but not a legal requirement (and perhaps too costly when thousands of cases are dealt with?). The onus would be on the debtor, knowing their challenge has failed, to resolve matters with the agent. The warrant itself does not have a 12 month lifespan, it's the process which is time barred. The agent must take control of goods within 12 months of issuing the Notice of Enforcement or 12 months from when any [compliance stage] arrangement is defaulted on. If a default happens after 6 months, for example, the 'life' of the warrant would then be 18 months. Finally, the agent/agency must 'give' notice but there is nothing which prevents them continuing to enforce where the debtor claims not to have [or really didn't] receive Notice.
  2. On receipt of the warrant they add £75 compliance stage fee. Before taking control of goods they must give Notice of enforcement to you at relevant premises- which is either a place where you usually live or where you carry on a trade or business. The £235 (minimum) enforcement stage fee can only be triggered by attendance at relevant premises. So you only need pay the fine plus £75. Don’t try not to pay the £75 as this became part of the sum due on the warrant the moment they received it regardless of them sending Notice to the wrong address. it’s not clear whether they subsequently sent you a Notice to your current address but if they really haven’t sent the prescribed notice (not a chase up letter) then they can’t take control of goods or charge the enforcement stage fee
  3. There are no restrictions on the day of the week only the hours. Goods may be seized 365 days a year.
  4. The requirement that the NoE must be "given" does not mean it must be 'handed’ to the debtor. The Regulation makes no reference to it having to be ‘received’ in order for the procedure to have been followed. Under Section 7 of The Interpretation Act 1978, service of the NoE is deemed to have been effected by “addressing, pre-paying and posting it.” It also makes it clear that the word 'give' is also construed as 'post'. S7: "Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post." According to the Royal Mail, 1st class post should be delivered the next working day and 2nd class, within 2-3 working days. Saturdays are said to be working days as far as Royal Mail is concerned. The 7 clear days, therefore, begins the day after it is expected to be delivered (“in the ordinary course of post”) – because the clear days cannot include the day the period starts or ends. If I post a NoE today (Thursday 26th) by 2nd class post it will be deemed to have been ‘given’ on either Saturday 27th or at the latest by Monday 1st March. Taking the latter as the day the period starts, then the 7 clear days will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, Enforcement can then commence on Wednesday 9th March. Using the best practice 14 day period the letter would have stated that if payment is not made by 2359 hours on 12th March we will attend on or after the 13th March – 4 days after the actual 7 clear day period. Even when, during Easter, there are two bank holidays on Friday and Monday, the 14 day rule will provide the necessary days (without any computer having to work out when bank holidays occur) and two days’ grace. Finally, as noted by others, the vast majority of us agreed to provide 14 days’ notice from the date the NoE is posted in order to cover Sundays and any Bank Holidays that might be within any given period. This makes it easier for us and is fairer on the debtor whose mail is not delivered as speedily as it perhaps should be. NB. The reason Sundays and Bank Holidays are not included in the ‘clear days’ despite the fact that enforcement can take place on a Sunday or Bank Holiday is that post is not delivered on these days.
  5. It's not in the new regulations. Section 66 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 preserves the current rules and regulations of the relevant debt recovery action where, before 6th April 2014, goods have been distrained or executed against, or made subject to a walking possession agreement. This means that if goods have been levied for council tax, business rates, parking penalties or a magistrates' courts fine before 6th April, then the new regulations will not come into force in respect of those cases - regardless of whether a walking possession agreement is in force or not. For magistrates' courts fines, of course, there is no such thing as walking possession. So if, for example, you default on an arrangement made under a walking possession agreement for council tax in May, the bailiff may attend and remove or attempt to remove goods and charge the fees he would charge today. The new regs are simply not applicable on these cases. The removal fee would be what it is now, "reasonable costs" and probably a lot more than the future £110.00.
  6. Just following up on the above post - looking at another case on here titled, "Newlyn clamped car in supermarket car park" the debtor says that she was asked to pay £1,300 in respect of two PCNs. That's £650 per case. Assuming the originating debt was £137 the fees for each case (at that point) were £413 including VAT or around £344 ex VAT. Under the new regs, the fee at that point would be £385.00 for both (two compliance fees of £75 and one enforcement fee (control taken at same time) of £235. Expressed another way it would be £441 less (assuming there will be no VAT for debtors to pay in the new world). Even if VAT was payable on parking penalties, the fees would still be £364 less.
  7. I knew Lord Denning and he felt it was archaic in its then form. We have spent so many years trying to modernise it and perhaps we may achieve that now 32 years later. Lord Denning sat in judgment of a great many cases where a debt that was due remained unpaid and while he felt the system of distress and execution was archaic, neither he nor anyone else could think of an alternative to ensure debts due are debts paid. At the end of the day, bailiffs only get issued warrants where opportunities to pay earlier are not taken. While I accept that a small percentage of the 3 million plus debts we deal with involve individuals who we should not be dealing with, most of us in the industry have taken steps to identify such people and return their cases to the creditor. That was not the case 30 years ago so we are making progress. When you can think of an alternative to ensure debts are paid let me know - and let the other 58 civilised countries that also use bailiffs know too! I have used advice on CAG to deal with a particular airline and when they would not pay, I threatened them with enforcement proceedings and the seizure of goods - then and only then did they pay up the nearly £3k they owed me. Without that threat they would have simply added my CCJ to the hundreds of others which are listed as unpaid against them. If I could have contacted the hundreds of the judgment creditors who from the size of debts were just badly treated passengers, I would have made a mint because the airline only pays when faced with the disruption of distress.
  8. Brassnecked - I'm not arguing against the fact that financial difficulty will still be financial difficulty, just that the new fee scale (as far as I can see) won't increase the problem but actually help to cushion it. The problems you highlight are not to do with bailiffs as we don't set council tax rates or have anything to do with benefits or rent levels. By the way, bailiffs didn't start in the 12th century. The first records of bailiffs and bailiff 'laws' goes back to the 6th century and suggestions are that they were around long before that, probably around 1,000 BC.
  9. I've never taken a washing machine and any bailiff that has must have been desperate. And yes, under TCoG Regs 2013 4(b)(ii), washing machines will be exempt from seizure. As far as the new fee scale being even more unaffordable I would argue that in the vast majority of cases, debtors will pay less provided they comply with the first stage. If an arrangement is agreed on receipt of the letter then the debtor will pay £75 of fees. Even if this is not possible, the fee at the doorstep will be £310. I imagine that compares more favourably that some existing situations with visit fees, levy fees, Head H fees, walking possession fees, attending to remove fees and so on. It is not uncommon on council tax for debtors to be paying in excess of £400 in fees after one visit. On road traffic cases, I see considerably higher sums being charged because of the 'reasonable costs' issues which can be several hundred pounds. I'm not saying all bailiffs have been applying every fee imaginable but I really think that overall, the fee situation will be better for debtors rather than worse. In addition we have still to hear on VAT which parking debtors currently pay on top of the fees. I believe this will disappear and be the same for all debt types whereby the creditor pays - if not, then parking debtors would have to pay £90 at compliance rather than £75 - which I'm sure won't be allowed to happen as this is all about harmonising rules and fees across the piste.
  10. As noted earlier, the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 have set out the occasions when this can be done after 6 April 2014: Re-entry may occur if on the initial entry there were no or insufficient goods to pay the sum outstanding - re-entry can then be undertaken if (a) further goods become available and (b) where taking control of certain goods on a previous occasion may have been problematic because the goods were in use.
  11. We all know that bailiff law has been complex and confusing which is why all parties have worked to modernise it. John Kruse does say in several publications that a second levy is not permissible USUALLY but always cites the exceptions. I have laid those out earlier and also set out the exception[al] cases referred to by him. In another of his publications (from 2012) 'Sources of Bailiff Law' he clearly states (on page 129) for example: Despite what has just been said, and as has already been suggested, in certain situations a second levy may be permissible and lawful: After a replvy or where one party dies If there is a genuine mistake about the valuation of the goods, or if the value of the item is uncertain and the bailiff wishes to avoid an excessive levy, as a result of which he acts with "tenderness and moderation" towards the debtor by taking a number of small inventories If insufficient goods were found on the premises at the time of first levy If the bailiff agrees to withdraw or postpone the levy at the behest of the debtor. There is ample evidence to show that second levies can and do take place although I would admit they are not that common as most bailiffs will ensure sufficient goods first time round! While I take no offence that you might not believe me, surely John Kruse is a credible source?
  12. Ancient case law if often misquoted by some parties and in this instance, I rely on the assertion of John Kruse as to the relevance of both quoted cases. As you may know, John Kruse is a well known champion of debtors' rights and undoubtedly one of the most learned people regarding bailiff law. In his publication 'Distress & execution' he cites these cases under the heading, "However second distress is permissible where...." I quoted only two cases but there are several others including Lee v Cooke (1857)27 LJ Exch 337 where a second levy was justified where the debtor's violent obstruction prevented completion of the first. Hutchins v Chambers was referred to in Quinlan v Mayor & Burgess of LB of Hammersmith & Fulham [1989] at the Court of Appeal where, essentially, Quinlan had frustrated the first levy by claiming goods were exempt. For fine detail on Hutchins and Rawlence you will have to look elsewhere or ask Mr Kruse.
  13. Case law will become redundant on 6th April but no doubt new case law will emerge and I imagine similar arguments from old case law will arise to create such rulings. The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 provides re-entry to seize goods under similar conditions to the old rules. 24(2)(a) and (b). Re-entry may occur if on the initial entry there were no or insufficient goods to pay the sum outstanding - re-entry can then be undertaken if (a) further goods become available and (b) where taking control of certain goods on a previous occasion may have been problematic because the goods were in use on the previous occasion.
  14. For clarity there is nothing in the Magistrates' Courts Act, Rules or CPR that forbids a second levy to recover the sum due on a warrant. While there are limited reasons for other debt types, there is no prohibition on subsequent levies to clear a fine and costs. For example, if several goods from the original levy were later proved to be exempt, then it is reasonable to levy further if the remaining goods were insufficient to cover the sums due. In council tax cases (currently as least), there are two reasons which enable a second levy to be undertaken: 1. If an error was reasonably made in estimating the value of goods seized on the first occasion, and 2. where completion of the first levy was frustrated by the actions of the debtor. For rent (which is linked to parking penalties), there is a further reason (on top of the two c tax ones) which is: 3. where there are insufficient goods at the property on the first occasion but other goods are later brought into the property. There are other [case law] opportunities to re-levy including: 1. Circumstances at auction - In Rawlence & Squarey v Spicer [1935] demonstrators (linked to the debtor) made threats, harassed bidders and made ridiculous offers. 2. The bailiff acted out of moderation or tenderness (Hutchins v Chambers [1758]. Make an orderly queue to submit sarcastic comments on the last one...... Anyway, a second levy on a magistrates' fine is not prohibited.
  15. The fees applied for this type of debt involve a single fee for administration (at the letter stage) and a single fee for attending. They have already attended and so the only other fee they would be able to charge would be for an actual removal. There is no fee for a levy per se, and as it is a criminal fine, they can force entry if you refuse to let them in - they don't need to have gained a prior peaceable entry. The magistrates have no authority to recall the warrant from the bailiffs unless there has been an error in the hearing/sentence.
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