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  1. The following is an extract from a press article today. Westminster Council already have a similar system in place. If only other local authorities could follow this example. http://www.camdennewjournal.com/council-tax-exemptions THOUSANDS of people in Camden are set to be made exempt from paying council tax to save the Town Hall cash on chasing for money they do not have. Labour council chiefs are looking at a plan which would see around 11,500 of the borough's poorest residents no longer receive the bill from the Town Hall. The proposal will go out to a public consultation but could come into use next year. The people who will be covered by the scheme already have a discount of around 90 per cent on their council tax bill due to their circumstances, but would move to a status of paying none at all. Most are living on very low wages or entirely on benefits, and include families and disabled claimants. Conservative opposition councillors said the idea was borrowed from neighbouring Westminster, where the Tories are in power. In Camden, the loss of income would amount to around £1.4m a year, but the council estimates this will be offset by savings on bailiffs and court costs from no longer pursuing people and as the result of more money coming in from the recent increase in council tax. “There is not much point chasing people for £100 or so bill, after the discount they already have, with court orders bailiffs if they are never going to be able to pay." He added: “The rise in council tax will allow some room for redistribution. “In all, people get a good deal from the council with years of frozen council tax or below inflation rises.” “They should have listened to us earlier, as in Westminster they are already doing this. The trouble with Camden though is that council tax is far too high.”
  2. A motor vehicle has always been a most attractive item for a bailiff/enforcement agent to seize and in particular; because of its value and the fact that in many cases, the vehicle is located on the debtors driveway thereby easing the removal process. In 2014 significant changes were made to bailiff enforcement under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 but unfortunately with motor vehicles, the regulations may result in reduced protection for many people and in particular, business debtors. A short while ago I wrote a new STICKY for the forum entitled Bailiff enforcement: A Simple Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013. To ensure that the forum does not get clogged up with too many stickies I included with that STICKY a separate Guidance regarding bailiff enforcement and motor vehicle. Given the importance of this subject I thought that it may be useful to post a copy of the guidance (on motor vehicles) on the main forum as well (see copy in the next post). A link to the Guidance is here: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?453292-Bailiff-enforcement-A-Simple-Guide-to-the-Taking-Control-of-Goods-Regulations&p=4800997&viewfull=1#post4800997
  3. If I buy a recliner chair for a disabled friend who would be allowed VAT exemption and store it at mine for when they vist, could VAT exemption still be claimed..
  4. I hope someone can give me the advice I need. I have a broken arrangement with a bailiff and I received a second visit today. Obviously I did not answer the door and he put an Attendance Notice to Take Control of Goods through the letterbox. The debt is now for just under £1,100 and although my car is only worth about £200 I am concerned he will clamp it just for spite. If he does can he still return to attempt to get the rest, or does he have one attempt only? I am self employed and need the car to go to clients - does this make it exempt? How often do these guys normally leave between visits? Thanks for any advice. David
  5. In September 2013 I started writing on the forum about the procedure that debtors were expected to take in cases where a bailiff took control of a vehicle (or other goods) that either did not belong to to debtor or which the debtor considered (for one reason or another) to be 'exempt' from being taken. To avoid repeating myself a copy of the thread is below: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?418396-Third-Party-Goods-Interpleaders-and-the-serious-potential-to-damage-the-new-Bailiff-Reforms-on-6th-April During that period (mid to late 2013) I spent a considerable amount of time writing to many organisations (including finance companies etc) and in my correspondence to government departments, I urged them to consider implementing a procedure whereby debtors could avoid the costs (and considerable delay) of court action by the debtor making an initial 'informal' claim to the enforcement company. I was delighted to hear that my suggestion was implemented (with minor amendments) and the position from 6th April 2014 is that instead of a debtor (or third party) having to issue court proceedings a simple informal procedure MUST first be made to the enforcement company within 7 days. The procedures are outlined under section 85 of the Civil Procedure Rules and came into effect on 6th April 2014. If a debtor considers that a vehicle should not be clamped or removed as it is thought to be 'exempt' (maybe as it is subject to finance or 'necessary' for employment) ) then it is a simple matter of writing to the enforcement agent to outline the reason why the debtor considers that the vehicle is 'exempt' and to provide any supporting evidence. The enforcement agent must then serve the creditor (normally the local authority) with a copy of the claim and the local authority must decide within a specified number of days whether they 'admit' the claim. If they do, the vehicle is released. On a personal level I have prepared many of these 'claims' over the past 7 years and so far....not one has ever been rejected and the goods are released. As long as the supporting evidence and 'reasons' are clearly outlined there should be no problem at all in the goods (normally a vehicle) being released. It would seem that in the past couple of months debtors are (for one reason or another) bypassing this initial procedure and instead.....making an application to the county court for an injunction. Unfortunately debtors are quickly finding that this procedure is not only wrong but is very expensive and can lead to their car being held in storage etc for a long period of time.
  6. It is an important question, and one which needs resolving one way or the other. I should say at the onset that IMO the only definitive answer will have to be passed down in a court case, in the mean time I suspect the EA community will have their own interpretation others may differ. I suspect the problem is the result of yet more unintended consequences of the TCE, the definition of goods of the debtor includes interest in goods, the point that needs clarifying is, if goods on HP can ever bestow an interest before the last payment on the agreement. From my understanding of HP the hirer has no interest in goods until the transfer of title(which is the last payment) until this time the goods are on hire, and the property of the lender. So if the EA seeks to sell the vehicle he must have permission of the lender. It is well documented that a consumer credit agreement(or hp) cannot be terminated until a default notice is served and the hirer has time to remedy, and until this time the lender has no right in law to seize the vehicle. (after one third of the agreement price has been paid). However within most agreements is a clause which states that the vehicle must at all time remain in possession of the debtor/hirer, so when the vehicle is removed it could be said that the hirer was in breach, and after issuance of the default notice could re-possess the vehicle and allow the EA to sell. The matter of, if this would be worth the EAs time would depend on the amount of money which would be left after the car had been repossessed, sold and the agreement settled. The interesting point about this, is that neither A term of the agreement nor the TCE can not allow seizure. Once the car is in the EAs possession there may be an argument for sale but there is, as far as I can see, no argument for taking control. The car is after all third party goods at that point.
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