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Found 17 results

  1. This is yet another important decision from the Local Government Ombudsman and one that once again makes clear that if a debtor who is subject to bailiff enforcement considers that he may be 'vulnerable', he must be prepared to provide evidence and outline how his 'vulnerability' affects his ability to deal with the debt. In brief, Mr B's complaint was as follows: Mr B incurred 5 penalty charge notices. He believes that there is a law from the year 1600 that means that he can’t be fined and so can park anywhere. He and his wife both have Blue Badges and he considered that
  2. Devon County County (16 017 119) Decision date: 17th August 2017. Published on the LGO website: 17th November 2017 Vulnerability and bailiff enforcement is a subject that is of great importance and sadly, it is a subject that is very much misunderstood. The LGO have made a number of decisions regarding the 'definition' of vulnerability and the following case is another one where the LGO confirm that a 'vulnerable' debtor must provide evidence to demonstrate how their vulnerability affects their ability to deal with the debt. PS: The following is a shortened copy of the de
  3. The following is a copy of a very recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman. This particular decision is a vitally important one as it refers to the correct procedure that should be followed if an individual has had his goods taken to settle another person's debt. In almost all cases, the goods in question would be a motor vehicle. PS: As the decision is very lengthly, I have split it into two separate posts. London Borough of Ealing (15 016 609) Summary: The Council’s enforcement agents were not at fault when they seized Mr X’s car to recover an outstandi
  4. When the Taking Control of Goods regulations came into effect in 2014, they not only provided a much clearer and fixed fee scale, they also introduced a fairer system whereby, in order to keep bailiff fees to the barest minimum, (of just £75) the debtor is given the opportunity of avoiding a personal bailiff visit (and an enforcement fee of £235 being applied) by paying the debt (including the Compliance Fee of £75) by the date outlined on the Notice of Enforcement....or alternatively, by agreeing a payment arrangement with the enforcement company. Most payment arrangements are for a short per
  5. The following LGO decision (which was only released this week) is a vitally important one as it deals with a number of misconceptions and inaccurate advice regarding bailiff enforcement. For instance, this decision addresses the following misconceptions:
  6. This is another recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman. This particular case addresses the common subject of single parents and whether or not they may be considered 'vulnerable' for the purposes of bailiff enforcement. There have been a couple of Ombudsman's decisions regarding 'vulnerability' and as in this particular case, the LGO confirm that it is for the debtor to provide evidence as to how their 'vulnerability' affects their ability to pay or deal with the debt. LGO Decision: North Hertfordshire District Council Miss X complains the Council has use
  7. The Local Government Ombudsman's office has just released the following decision. Re: London Borough of Haringey. The complaint 1. The complainant, who I shall call Ms A, complains the Council allowed her to make payment towards an outstanding Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) although it had passed the matter to its enforcement agents (bailiffs), incurring additional costs. What I found 4 The Council issued Ms A a PCN for a parking contravention on 29 September 2015. Ms A did not pay or make formal representations against the PCN so the Council pursued th
  8. The following is another very recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman on the subject of vulnerability. Once again, the LGO confirm that evidence needs to be provided if a person considers that they may be 'vulnerable'. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council PS: The following is a short version of the decision. A link to read the full report is at the end of this post. The complaint Mr X complains that the Council has unreasonably taken Council tax enforcement action against him despite his vulnerability. What I found The law says people must p
  9. Unfortunately, many people consider that because, they have problems with mental health that a local authority should not pursue them for road traffic debts or refer cases to bailiffs. The following recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman is therefore of importance: PS: The following is a short version of the LGO's decision. Please refer to the link at the end of the post to read more. London Borough of Hounslow. The complaint Mr A complains the Council harassed him and discriminated against him by using bailiffs to collect a debt relating to two u
  10. A very popular enquiry that appears on the forum concerns bailiff enforcement for arrears of council tax in relation to a previous property and where notification of the arrears is only known when a bailiff visits the individuals new address. In the first instance, the vast majority of people pay their yearly council tax by direct debit. When a person moves from an address, there are usual steps that will be undertaken by the homeowner. Taking a reading of the gas or electricity meters is one such obvious step. Another obvious step should be to inform the local authority of the moving o
  11. There has been much debate on the forum regarding the important subject of 'vulnerability' when a debt (usually council tax arrears) is being enforced by a bailiff. Many posters have different opinions as to whether or not, when vulnerability is identified, the account should be returned to the local authority and bailiff fees removed, or managed by the enforcement companies in house Welfare Dept etc etc. Whilst opinions will no doubt vary on this very important subject, it may be of interest to know what the Local Government Ombudsman's view is of this subject. If a debtor
  12. I mentioned yesterday on the forum that since the new regulations came into effect in April 2014, the Local Government Ombudsman has dealt with 304 enquiries relating to a council tax complaint that involved bailiff enforcement, and 418 enquiries relating to a penalty charge notice (including congestion charging) that involved bailiff enforcement. The following decision has just been released and again, another local authority has agreed to refund bailiff fees an Out of Time witness statement has been accepted at the Traffic Enforcement Centre. The following is an extract of the deci
  13. All Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) decisions appear on the LGO website six months after the date of the decision. Personal information about the complainant is naturally removed but the name of the relevant local authority is made public. For this discussion thread I have only selected important decisions that concern council tax enforcement where a liability order had been obtained and passed to an enforcement company. Although the following decision relates to events prior to the new regulations taking effect (April 2014) it is nonetheless a very important one to refer to. The
  14. Approx two years ago the Local Government Ombudsman changed the way in which they record decisions. Previously, when a final decision was made, copies would be sent to the relevant local authority and the complainant. The significance of the change was that all decisions are now made public on the LGO website three months after the decision. There have been quite a few recent decisions made to the Local Government Ombudsman concerning successful Out of Time witness statements to the Traffic Enforcement Centre and the position regarding 'bailiff fees'. Up until this decision, most
  15. Yesterday the Local Government Ombudsman issued a public report against London Borough of Redbridge in relation to a complaint. A link to the full report can be found at the bottom of this post. The basis of the complaint is that in May 2011 the complainant received a PCN after the Council’s CCTV saw her committing an offence. She moved home the day after the contravention. LB of Redbridge applied to DVLA a few days later and naturally DVLA provided her previous address. As a result, she did not receive any of the notices. A warrant of execution was authorised and passed to
  16. . . . Yesterday the Local Government Ombudsman issued a public report against London Borough of Redbridge in relation to a complaint. A link to the full report can be found at the bottom of this post. The basis of the complaint is that in May 2011 the complainant received a pcn after the Council’s CCTV saw her committing an offence. She moved home the day after the contravention. LB of Redbridge applied to DVLA a few days later and naturally DVLA provided her previous address. As a result, she did not receive any of the notices. A warrant of execution was authorised
  17. Today, the Local Government Ombudsman released a very important FOCUS REPORT which outlines their concern at the increase in complaints concerning bailiffs. The FOCUS REPORT is very detailed and many people on the forums will be able to identify the type of complaints that they have with bailiffs with the examples that are outlined in the report. The report makes it very clear indeed that local authorities need to ensure that they take responsibility for their bailiffs’ actions and that any complaints are handled appropriately, including considering complaints themselves when neces
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