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Found 10 results

  1. Strictly, speaking this is not a subject that would normally feature on the 'bailiff discussion' section of the forum. However, with the subject matter regularly featuring on the popular TV series; Can't Pay We'll Take it Away' it may well assist some viewers. Anyone watching the TV series would have seen the many instances of a tenant is being evicted. Routinely, the tenants had been advised by their local authorities that in order to gain assistance with emergency housing, that they must remain in the property until the actual eviction. It would seem that this practice must stop. The following is taken from a recent article from the Sheriffs Office: Housing minister, Brandon Lewis has told all local authorities to stop routinely advising tenants to stay put until the enforcement agent arrives before they can be accepted as homeless. Mr Lewis has written to all the chief executives of local councils saying that households should not be put in this position, and clarifying the guidance about homelessness. In his letter he says, “Authorities should not routinely be advising tenants to stay until the bailiffs arrive; there is no barrier to them assisting the tenant before this. By doing this, local authorities miss a valuable opportunity to prevent homelessness.” Mr Lewis writes that the statutory Homelessness Code of Guidance, which local authorities are required by law to have regard to, is clear on this matter and contains guidance on how they should treat homelessness applications where a tenant has received a valid S21 notice. This is what Mr Lewis’s letter highlights about what the guidance states: -Housing authorities should not, in every case, insist upon a court order for possession and that no local authority should adopt a blanket policy in this respect. -If the landlord intends to seek possession and there would be no defence to an application for a possession order, then it is unlikely that it would be reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the accommodation. -Unless a local authority has very good reason to depart from the statutory guidance, then they should not be placing households in this position.
  2. Well now you know why your Local Library or Swimming pool is closing down ! No money for social care - because staff are being paid to prevent whistleblowing or criticism of bosses. Local Authorities are apparently requiring staff who are taking early retirement/redundancy or leaving after a dispute, to sign a gagging order (compromise agreement). It would appear that the person leaving receives more money if they do this.
  3. Here on the discussion section of the forum there have been various threads that have touched upon the matter of 'in house' bailiff enforcement. For those unfamiliar with this term....this is where local authorities are setting up their own 'in house' bailiff operations. The decision to do so is mainly a financial one spurred on by the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 which provides that enforcement companies may charge a 'Compliance fee' of £75 when sending a statutory Notice of Enforcement to the debtor. If payment (or a payment proposal) is not made within the 'compliance stage, an enforcement agent may make a personal visit. An enforcement fee of £235 is chargeable. To assist with discussions on this subject, it may help to read the view of 'in house' bailiff enforcement from the perspective of the enforcement industry (who are naturally opposed to local authorities taking bailiff enforcement 'in house'). The following is a word copy of an article that featured in a trade magazine a few months ago.
  4. LACEF News is an excellent online "news" website ( link below) which has been set up by the founder of LACEF (the Local Authority Civil Enforcement Forum). Anyone with an interest in local authorities, council tax, benefits (including Universal Credit etc), bailiffs etc will find a daily visit to LACEF News of interest. There are even news articles about important legal cases. New articles appear throughout the day. LACEF News is certainly a page worth bookmarking. PS: To read full news articles (as opposed to a short extract) you will need to complete the short ‘sign up’ form. https://flipboard.com/@barrieminney/...news-vvnps43sy
  5. I am very interested indeed to read this story today on SCOOP concerning Burnley Council who are sending demand notices for alleged council tax dating back to 1997. The article states that with minimum details to back up their claims, home owners, including landlords, are being sent claim notices for the first time and expected to trawl through past records over many years to identify if these claims are still valid. I think that this could be a bigger problem because yesterday, I spoke with a gentleman who has received correspondence at his current address from a bailiff company (no names at present) for a Liability Order that was ISSUED 20 years ago (1995). The debtor moved from the marital home that same year and his ex wife continued to live in the house for 3 years until they divorced in 1998. Yesterday was the first time that he was made aware that a LO had been issued. What is more worrying is that the day before (Wednesday) I spoke with a lady with a similar problem regarding a Liability Order from 1996 (19 years ago). This one being with a different local authority. With both of the above cases, they have received letters from bailiff companies. Interestingly, both letters are not Notice of Enforcements but do state that non payment will lead to a further letter being sent with a fee of £75 being applied and that recovery will be by way of the procedures outlined in Schedule 12 of TCE 2007. http://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/letters/home-owners-receive-council-tax-demand-from-1997-1-7160003
  6. The new bailiff regulations came into effect on 6th April and bailiff fees are strictly controlled and comprise of a Compliance Fee of £75 which is charged when the debt is passed by the creditor. If payment is not made or a payment agreement entered into during the ‘compliance stage’ a bailiff may attend the debtors premises and an Enforcement Fee of £235 is chargeable. Significantly, the new regulations provide that from any payment made (whether to the bailiff, the magistrate court or the local authority) the Compliance Fee of £75 is deducted first with the balance being split on a ‘pro rata’ basis between the debt to the creditor and bailiff fees. This novel approach means that unless the amount due (including bailiff fees) is paid in full, bailiff enforcement may continue and it is this point alone that has caused extreme difficulty to some ‘debt avoidance’ websites with associations to the Freeman on the Land (FmoTL) movement and 9 months after the regulations came into effect it is astonishing that debtors are continuing to be advised by such websites to avoid paying bailiff fees by paying the amount of the Liability Order or court fine only (minus bailiff fees). Despite the regulations clearly outlining how payments are to be calculated, in May/June an individual made numerous Freedom of Information requests to Local Authorities seeking clarification as to how they deal with direct payments made to them after accounts have been passed to bailiffs. Since that time many more FOI requests have been made on the same subject and the up to date position is that approx a quarter of all local authorities have received requests on the same subject. What has been the outcome of these Freedom of Information request? Typically, in the very early stages (May and June) most responses made clear that the local authorities had very little idea as to how the new regulations would work in practice but, since August/September the vast majority of responses confirm that they apportion the payment as outlined in the legislation and that they advise the bailiff company accordingly (or credit the bailiff company) with the payment. PS: It is likely that there are far more FOI requests than outlined here. I have only referred to those that are available to view publicly on the FOI website: What do They Know.
  7. For the full story : - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23099564
  8. LOCAL authorities are being suspended, and in some cases permanently barred, from accessing the information held on vehicles and drivers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), because of constant abuses of the system and flagrant mis-use of data, in complete contradiction to DVLA’s own rules and those of the Data Protection Act. ON 14th May at the Local Authority Civil Enforcement Forum (LACEF)annual conference in Leicester Mr Mike Butler; DVLA Data Sharing Manager gave a speech about the local authorities and their request to DVLA for keeper records. Mr Butler stated the following: “More than 150 councils have been barred at some stage because they have breached motorists’ privacy.We have been warning councils over unlawful spying using anti-terror legislation.” He reiterated the basic rules for local authorities: They can only access DVLA data if it is linked to the offence (usually parking). There must be hard evidence – not a suspicion of wrong-doing. Local authorities must already have the registration number of the vehicle – they cannot ‘fish’ the DVLA records. Local authorities must have a proper audit trail in place. Correct storage and retention of data is important. Mr Butler explained: “With enquiries from local authorities, we experience some serious and some more commonly occurring issues.” These include: Unable to evidence validity of enquiry Incomplete or no audit trail Gathering information for intelligence purposes Personal data retained from erroneous enquiries Altering date of event to obtain keeper details Unauthorised enquiries made through intermediary Absence of a data retention policy Making enquiries without reasonable cause to information Files containing personal data not adequately secured.
  9. LOCAL authorities are being suspended, and in some cases permanently barred, from accessing the information held on vehicles and drivers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), because of constant abuses of the system and flagrant mis-use of data, in complete contradiction to DVLA’s own rules and those of the Data Protection Act. ON 14th May at the Local Authority Civil Enforcement Forum (LACEF)annual conference in Leicester Mr Mike Butler; DVLA Data Sharing Manager gave a speech about the local authorities and their request to DVLA for keeper records. Mr Butler stated the following: “More than 150 councils have been barred at some stage because they have breached motorists’ privacy.We have been warning councils over unlawful spying using anti-terror legislation.” He reiterated the basic rules for local authorities: They can only access DVLA data if it is linked to the offence (usually parking). There must be hard evidence – not a suspicion of wrong-doing. Local authorities must already have the registration number of the vehicle – they cannot ‘fish’ the DVLA records. Local authorities must have a proper audit trail in place. Correct storage and retention of data is important. Mr Butler explained: “With enquiries from local authorities, we experience some serious and some more commonly occurring issues.” These include: Unable to evidence validity of enquiry Incomplete or no audit trail Gathering information for intelligence purposes Personal data retained from erroneous enquiries Altering date of event to obtain keeper details Unauthorised enquiries made through intermediary Absence of a data retention policy Making enquiries without reasonable cause to information Files containing personal data not adequately secured.
  10. Hi Is there any known legal regulation that states that once a debt has been passed on to a collection agency you no longer have a right to pay the creditor direct? I have seen many collection and enforcement agencies state you no longer hold the right to make payment direct but where is this legally set in stone and can the Local Authority/Creditor state any reasonable grounds for refusing to accept the payment if you make it direct to them? Thanks
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