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Hello, Today someone from Marston Holdings came to our property for someone who no longer lives in the UK. He was a family friend of ours and used our address without our permission nor knowledge. They are after a Magistrate Court fine. My mother answered the door. Mother doesn’t speak English so she woke up my brother up who was unaware what was going on and shut the door on the person telling him that he doesn’t leave here. A removal notice was left behind saying that they are now going to take our stuff from us. I called the number from the removal notice and spoke to the person who authorised the entire thing and after explaining to them what happened and he said he can’t doing nothing but prepare for our stuff to be taken. His giving us 72 hours from Monday to prepare... He was rude and unfriendly and wasn't trying to reason to with me. He said that because my brother shut the door on him and didn’t provide ID’s, he nows has ‘enough evidence’ that the person does live here. Now we are going to lose all of our stuff because a) someone used our address without our permission and knowledge and b) my brother shut the door on the bailiffs telling him that he wasn't living in the property. We don’t have receipts for most of the items. What can I do? We do not know where this guy lives and we do not have any contact details... We are a family of 6 and this will cause a lot of stress. This is the first time we are dealing with bailiffs.
For at least the past 6 years on this forum there have been posts from debtors questioning whether bailiffs enforcing Magistrate Court FINES may charge fees when enforcing a Distress Warrant. I have written extensively in the past on this subject outlining the legal basis for the charging of fees and in fact, I also posted a copy of a Formal response from the Ministry of Justice where they too outlined the legal basis for a bailiff charging fees. On 6th April the enforcement of unpaid Magistrate Court FINES now forms part of the new bailiff regulations and is included under the "Schedule 12 Procedure' outlined in the Tribunal Courts & Enforcement Act 2007. For those interested; the relevant amendment was introduced under Schedule 13 of the TCE Act 2007. The enforcement of Magistrate Court fines is now enforced in the same way as that of an unpaid PCN or liability order and attracts the same fee (Compliance fee of £75 and Enforcement fee of £235).
A couple of weeks ago I started a STICKY about the enforcement of unpaid Magistrate Court FINES and the changes that have been made under the new bailiff regulations introduced on 6th April. In brief, prior to the new regulations on 6th April the enforcement of court FINES was outlined under section 76.1 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980. A significant change was that on 6th April section 76.1 was amended by Section 46 of Schedule 13 of the Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Most importantly, the new section 46 confirms that the "amount outstanding" includes the amount to which the warrant had been issued and the enforcement agents fees as outlined in the new regulations (£75 Compliance Fee and £235 Enforcement Fee). The warrant of control (previously known as a warrant of distress) will not be satisfied unless the 'amount outstanding' (which includes fees as outlined above) is paid. Under the new regulations it provides that from any 'part payment' made (either to the court, paid on-line, or paid to the enforcement company or agent) the 'Compliance fee of £75 must first be deducted and the balance split on a 'pro rata' basis. An example of how the payments are 'split' is shown below. Unfortunately two months after the new regulations took effect, some internet sites are continuing to wronlgy advise debtors to pay the amount only of the court fine in CASH into a 'drop box' (ATM type machine) located in the court foyer and that 'apparently' this will avoid the debtor paying enforcement agent (bailiff) fees. This information is incorrect given that the new regulations specifically provide that all proceeds (including money) must be 'split' on a pro rata' basis. This means that the warrant will only be satisfied when the 'amount outstading' (which includes enforcement agent fees) is paid in full