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Has a Bailiff made me sign Walking Posession Order illegally?


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Hi. I'm new and very scared that I may have been tricked into signing a walking possession order by a Rundle and Co bailiff in respect of an old Council Tax debt.

 

The initial notice I got from the Bailiff saying he'd come to remove goods was delivered by the postman and not by him as he'd said in that notice. I immediately freaked out and rung the Bailiff immediately but all I got was his answering machine so left a message. He responded by saying that he was not interested in any instalment plans which left even more freaked out. I then rung the local council explaining that the Bailiff was uncooperative and they managed to intervene thankfully and I managed to agree to £150 per week which I can ill afford.

 

Next stage was for the Bailiff to come round and get me to sign something to take ownership of the debt. I refused to meet him at my house and instead met him in the car park of a nearby Pub. It was there whilst he was being all friendly that he got me to sign this Walking Possession order.

 

 

Is this above board? Please help !!!

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Hello and Welcome, Shytalk123.

 

Sorry, I'm not sure how to answer your question.

There's some info below I hope will help you.

 

In order for a walking possession order to be valid, a bailiff should have gained peaceful entry to the property and seized the goods. It is not enough for a bailiff to list items that they have seen through a window and push a walking possession order through the letterbox for you to sign and return. You should never sign a walking possession order in these circumstances. There is a daily charge for a walking possession order that you must pay, on top of the original debt you owe if they are sold. Remember that goods will be sold at public auction and typically will sell for about 10% of their original value. This means that if you owe £50, a bailiff will probably try to seize goods to the value of at least £500.

A bailiff must only seize goods that belong to the person who owes the money, although any goods in the house can be seized for distress or rent. In practice, many bailiffs will attempt to seize any goods of value at a house they visit - it will be up to the individual to prove ownership afterwards. If you have receipts showing someone else bought the goods then you should show the bailiff these.

 

Are there any goods that the bailiff cannot seize?

Bailiffs (except bailiffs acting on behalf of the magistrate's court - see below) cannot seize the following goods:

  • tools, goods, vehicles and other items of equipment necessary for use by you in your employment, business or vocation;
  • clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of you and your family

Bailiffs acting on behalf of the magistrates' court cannot seize the following goods:

  • clothing, beds and bedding tools of the trade
  • basic domestic needs of the family would normally include fridge, cookers, freezers, but may not include video recorders, second TV's, jewellery, washing machines, stereos or microwave cookers.

Can I hide goods?

It is not unlawful for you to remove goods from your house or hide them before a bailiff visits unless the bailiff is distraining for rent. Remember that a bailiff, having gained peaceful entry, can return at any time and if s/he believes that goods have been removed or hidden prior to their visit, this is likely to happen. For what to do if a bailiff visit is imminent - see below.

What if the bailiff does seize goods that do not belong to me?

If a bailiff seizes goods that are subject to a Hire Purchase agreement, seek advice urgently. Goods on HP do not belong to you until you make the final payment, but there may be circumstances in which they can be seized.

If goods have been seized wrongfully, then the owner of the goods can apply for them to be returned. You will need to get further advice about this.

 

Will I get advance notice of a bailiff visit and fees?

From 1 April 1998, local authorities must send you a letter giving 14 days notice of a proposed bailiff visit to collect council tax. County court bailiffs must issue a warning notice allowing 7 days for you to pay.

Do I have to pay the bailiff's fees?

The fees that bailiffs can charge for recovering money vary. There are fixed fees for bailiffs collecting council tax; for example, from 1 April 1998 fees for the first visit by a bailiff are £20 and £15 for a second visit, where no levy or seizure is made.

All bailiff fees (with the exception of magistrates' court bailiffs) can be looked at by the county court to see if they are reasonable or excessive. This is known as 'detailed assessment'. If you think that the bailiff's fees are excessive you should get further advice about this.

 

What should I do if a bailiff is about to visit my home?

Remember you do not have to let a bailiff into your house or flat. If you make sure that all doors and windows are locked, the bailiff will not be able to gain access to your home. If they cannot get in, they cannot lawfully seize goods. A bailiff may call a number of times to try and gain entry. Eventually they will return the warrant to the court or local authority if they are unable to gain entry, or you do not have enough goods to pay off the debt and fees.

Secondly, get the matter out of the hands of the bailiff and back to the county court, local authority or creditor. The next paragraph tells you how to do this.

If the debt is an unpaid county court judgment you can apply to the court to stop (''suspend'') the warrant and vary the instalments you were ordered to pay by the court. You can apply to do this on form N245, available from the court. The form asks for details of your income and outgoings with a few personal details such as whether you work. You will have to pay a fee at the court (currently £30), unless you are getting income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or tax credits*. You may have to show proof that you are receiving these benefits.

(*You must have a gross annual income of £14213 or less and receive both working tax credit AND child tax credit, or working tax credit with a 'disability element' or a 'severe disability element'. Your tax credit award notice will contain this information)

The fee can also be waived if you are on a low income and payment of the fee would involve undue financial hardship. Applications for a fee reduction or waiver are dealt with entirely on an individual basis according to circumstance and there are no precise guidelines about when a fee should or should not be reduced or waived. In either case you must complete Form Ex160 and send or take it to the court with the N245.

Some county courts may refuse to suspend a warrant of execution until a walking possession agreement has been signed. This goes against guidance issued by the Lord Chancellors Department and if it happens to you seek further advice.

If bailiffs are collecting unpaid council tax it is often difficult to negotiate instalment payments with the bailiff or the local authority until the warrant is returned or withdrawn from the bailiff. However, you should try to negotiate instalment payments with the local authority and encourage them to withdraw the warrant from the bailiff. It is important to make clear that although you are unwilling to let the bailiff in, you are willing to make instalment payments at a rate that you can afford

 

 

I will try to get you some help from someone more clued up on the subject.

 

Regards.

 

Scott.

 

 
 

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Thank you so much. I thought it was iffy at the time. I think if I let the council know this information, it may be enough to get them to take this case off the bailiff.

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Next stage was for the Bailiff to come round and get me to sign something to take ownership of the debt. I refused to meet him at my house and instead met him in the car park of a nearby Pub. It was there whilst he was being all friendly that he got me to sign this Walking Possession order.

 

 

Is this above board? Please help !!!

 

This WP is unlawful - you can make a complaint to the Court.

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Rang the Court today and they confirmed that this was probably an unlawful signing of the Walking Possession Order and advised me to inform the council of this. Before I phoned the council, I phoned Rundle and Co Bailiff's who were more than happy to nullify said order. My next move was then to phone the council to try and get them to take back the debt on the basis that I'm very fearful of dealing with people who are prepared to break the law to get results. I really thought that they would be more understanding when I gave them the facts. Instead though they treated me as if I was trying to pull some sort of [problem] on them and insisted in making their own enquiries to the one of the Director's of Rundle and Co AND the Bailiff in question. When I called them back and they said that they'd been advised that my info was incorrect, got all uppity and even said that the Bailiff would be happy to speak to anyone from the CAB as he reckons he acted lawfully. As do the idiots at the council. I phoned the court back and told them what the council said and thay have asked me to write to them outlining the details.

I'm well confused now.

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Hi, Shytalk123.

 

 

Use this form to complain about Baliffs.

Simply fill it in and send it into the County Court.......its there to be used and theres no charge !!

 

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/form4_0606.pdf

 

Regards.

 

Scott.

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Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

RIP: Rooster-UK - MARTIN3030 - cerberusalert

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Thanks again everyone. Fingers crossed.

 

What will complaining about the Bailiff ultimately achieve? Will the council then have to take the debt back? They say they won't because they are sitting on files that go back to 2002 and as long as I keep the arrangement with the Bailiff there won't be any problem. I'm puzzled by them thinking I've not paid anything since 2002 though as before I got my current job which I've had for 2 and a half years, I was unemployed with only the very odd little bit of work here and there and was mainly in receipt of housing benefit and council tax benefit. There have however been times when I was neither working or claiming housing/council tax benefit. Do you think they have possibly just assumed that when I wasn't claiming the benefit, I must've been working? Thanks again People, I don't know what I'd do without you.

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It might lead to the council taking the debt back but it's not a certain thing, complaining is still important though because it's an official record of the bailiffs wrongdoing. For all you know there could be other complaints against this bailiff and yours might be the straw that breaks the camels back.

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What will complaining about the Bailiff ultimately achieve?

 

It may not do you any good - but it could benefit anyone else that this particular bailiff comes into contact with in the future.

 

Every time they get away with it - encourages them to do it more !

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sent by recorded delivery on the 21st April a Subject Access Request, £10 cheque and a Request for Refund of Walking Possession Order. Got another letter this morning from Rundle's this morning saying they are coming on or before the 7th May to remove goods.

 

Letter goes as follows;

"The above debt remains outstanding despite previous applications for payment. I have arranged to call at your premises accompanied by a Certificated Bailiff on or before Wednesday 7th May to remove your goods for sale at public auction in order to discharge your debt. Whilst we are entitled to remove your goods in your absence, I would prefer that you were present so that we can personally agree the inventory of chattels seized and provide you with full details of the time, date and location of the auction of your property."

 

And another new update is that I've been laid off from work now too which I feel is a result of my performance not being up to scratch as a result of all this :(

 

Please help me :(:(:(

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Firstly, inform the court of this latest development. They "may" be able to offer advice, especially as they said it sounded illegal in the first place. Tell them they are saying they will visit you again, and what can you do about it.

 

Secondly, regardless of any dealings with the council, inform them that your circumstances have changed, and so you are requesting the necessary forms you will no doubt have to fill in.

 

As a protection to you, in case they turn up, is there anybody you can ask to be there with you, to act as a witness to the proceedings (and to keep an eye on them too!!). In fact, have as many people as you can get. It might scare them lol (would turn the tables at least for a while). If they kick up a stink, its tough.. its up to you who you invite into your home.

 

As for the more legal side of things, I'm sorry, I can't offer any advice, but there will be somebody who can.

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Hi Shytalk

 

Just to clarify to you what this is. A walking possession agreement means that the goods that have been seized now legally belong to the bailiff and can be removed at any time. However, s/he will allow them to remain in your home and you can continue to use them providing you keep your side of the agreement, e.g. you make agreed payments.

 

In order for a walking possession order to be valid, a bailiff should have gained peaceful entry to the property and seized the goods. It is not enough for a bailiff to list items that they have seen through a window and push a walking possession order through the letterbox for you to sign and return. You should never sign a walking possession order in these circumstances. There is a daily charge for a walking possession order that you must pay, on top of the original debt you owe if they are sold.

 

Remember that goods will be sold at public auction and typically will sell for about 10% of their original value. This means that if you owe £50, a bailiff will probably try to seize goods to the value of at least £500.

 

A bailiff must only seize goods that belong to the person who owes the money, although any goods in the house can be seized for distress or rent. In practice, many bailiffs will attempt to seize any goods of value at a house they visit - it will be up to the individual to prove ownership afterwards. If you have receipts showing someone else bought the goods then you should show the bailiff these.

 

Bailiffs, except bailiffs acting on behalf of the magistrate's court, cannot seize the following goods:

 

Tools, goods, vehicles and other items of equipment necessary for use by you in your employment, business, clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of you and your family.

 

Most private bailiffs will also belong to a trade association, all of whom have complaints and grievance procedures you can use. The main trade associations are the Certificated Bailiffs Association (CBA) and the Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies (ACEA).

 

CBA can be contacted by writing to:

c/o Ridgefield House

14 John Dalton Street

MANCHESTER

M2 6JR

0161 839 7225

 

ACEA can be contacted by writing to:

 

Chesham House

150 Regent Street

LONDON

W1R 5FA

 

0207 432 0366

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Sorry to criticise but the contact details for ACEA and the CBA are no longer valid.

 

CBA is not longer trading as that company. They are now ESA.

 

Regarding ACEA; they have moved from the London address a few ears ago. Their telephone number has of course changed as well.I cannot provide the new details until I am back on Tuesday.

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Sorry to criticise but the contact details for ACEA and the CBA are no longer valid.

 

CBA is not longer trading as that company. They are now ESA.

 

Regarding ACEA; they have moved from the London address a few ears ago. Their telephone number has of course changed as well.I cannot provide the new details until I am back on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

Enforcement Services Association

Park House, 10 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5HX

Tel: +44 (0)117 907 4771 Fax: +44 (0)117 915 4521

Email: [email protected]

 

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies

513 Bradford Road, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 8LL

Tel: +44 (0)1924 350 090 Fax: +44 (0)1924 474 441

Email: [email protected]

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Thanks for that. I had better inform The UK Insolvancy Helpline website about their errors.

Some useful links.

FAQ's

Making Posts

Letter Template Library

Bank Contact Details

AQ Guide to Completion

Court Fees

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A-Z Index

Mis-Claim Tutorial

Step By Step Instructions

 

Remember: The Ark was built by amateurs-The Titanic by professionals.

 

Please click my scales if you find my advice helpful !

 

If your claim is successful, please donate 5% so that it can continue to help others.

 

Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, please seek qualified professional legal Help.

 

WARNING TO ALL

Please be aware of acting on advice given by PM .Anyone can make mistakes and if advice is given on the main forum people can see it to correct it ,if given privately then no one can see it to correct it. Please also be aware of giving your personal details to strangers

 

HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY BY CREDITORS OR DCA's?

 

YOU CAN NOW COMPLAIN TO THE OFT ABOUT THEIR CONDUCT UNDER THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008.

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Hi Guys. I don't know what items they have listed as I do not have and wasn't given a copy of this agreement.

 

Another Update:

 

Received this morning from Rundle's a reply to my subject access request. It is a fabricated piece of garbage. On the day (15th March) that I signed the agreement (in a pub car park) the bailiff had turned up in an Audi estate not the van that it says on the letter from Rundle's. There is also no mention of the nullification of the WP order that the young lady at their office said she was actioning immediately. This was before I'd had the benefit of the great advice from all you guys and was silly and inexperienced enough to speak to people on the phone. Rundle's have also not acknowledged the other letter I sent with the S.A.R. which was a request for a refund of an Invalid Walking Possession Order fee.

 

I sent my Form 4 complaint of to the Court on Thursday though so hopefully we can start making some headway.

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Hello Shy

 

I hope I'm not trying to teach you to suck eggs as it were, but I lifted this straight from a consumer site about knowing your rights. It explains how they should go about it

 

If you went to a car-park, then they havent even seen the goods is one major point I'd say, but have a read anyway. I was looking to see if you are supposed to have a copy, but I didn't find anything, but if you have signed a piece of paper (albeit in a car park!!), then I'm wondering if they would argue that you know anyway, because you signed.

 

(sorry for the bold type... trying to "unbold" it isn't working)

 

What is a walking possession agreement?

A walking possession agreement means that the goods that have been seized now legally belong to the bailiff and can be removed at any time. However, s/he will allow them to remain in your home and you can continue to use them providing you keep your side of the agreement, e.g. you make agreed payments. In order for a walking possession order to be valid, a bailiff should have gained peaceful entry to the property and seized the goods. It is not enough for a bailiff to list items that they have seen through a window and push a walking possession order through the letterbox for you to sign and return. You should never sign a walking possession order in these circumstances. There is a daily charge for a walking possession order that you must pay, on top of the original debt you owe if they are sold. Remember that goods will be sold at public auction and typically will sell for about 10% of their original value. This means that if you owe £50, a bailiff will probably try to seize goods to the value of at least £500.

A bailiff must only seize goods that belong to the person who owes the money, although any goods in the house can be seized for distress or rent. In practice, many bailiffs will attempt to seize any goods of value at a house they visit - it will be up to the individual to prove ownership afterwards. If you have receipts showing someone else bought the goods then you should show the bailiff these.

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Excellent Update Folks.....:):):)

 

Phoned Council straight away this morning and told spoke to the Senior Revenues Manager. He told me that the Walking Possession Agreement was valid still as it related to a car on the highway...here's the kicker...I don't own a car and don't even drive:):):). I told the Council man that surely the Bailiff couldn't seize cars willy nilly just because they are parked outside my house...I live in a terrace on a road so cars outside could belong to any of the residents down my road as people park where they can get a space. He then said that he's put the account on hold with the Bailiffs in order that he can validate my benefit status etc.

 

So I then sent a letter to the Rundle's informing them of my new vulnerable status (Jobseekers Allowance) and asking that they transfer this back to the council in order that relevant forms can be filled out etc.

 

Here's what could possibly be the best bit...when I sent the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) asking what fees I'd been charged and what type of van they had hired and how much etc. They replied with a breakdown of charges including a charge for a Van at £90+vat. The arrogant Bailiff turned up to meet me on his own in his flashy Audi Estate (minus a van, don't where he was hiding it but it wasn't in the back of the Audi anyway:):):))

I think I've got em now. Didn't come to my house and there was no Van and in any case he would've needed a recovery truck to move a car and they are £120+vat.

 

So hopefully when the Form 4 I posted on 30th April is processed. I should have the b******s right where I want them.

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I should have the b******s right where I want them.

 

Make sure that anything that happens happens in the pub car park.. or the back of a van. :-D

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Hello again guys. The form 4 complaint is now at the stage of waiting for a response from the Bailiff's. I'm wondering though if it would be of any use to send in any further info to support my complaint.

 

My initial complaint to the court was based on the invalid WP agreement.

 

I then discovered in their response to the SAR they've included in their fees on the day the Bailiff met me in the pub carpark a van fee of £90. But he didn't come in a van. He came in what i presume was his company car. Should i send this info in or start another complaint about it instead?

 

What i don't want to be doing is showing my hand too early unless it's in my best interests to do so.

 

Thanks guys and gals. I feel like i'm finally getting somewhere.

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  • 9 months later...

please can any one give me advice ... i understand the rights as i have read the whole thread but im unclear on a few points ..

 

I have had a balifF come he walked into the pub i run and demanded payment i didnt sign anything i asked him to come back on monday as i had no money as i had just paid the rent on my pub .

 

i then rang him and asked him if he wud take 4 installments of £250 as that was all i cud afford at present . he was nasty and told me on monday he was coming back and wud unscrew the toilet seats if he had to

 

now my problem is obviously i will give him as much cash as i take this weekend ( i live in a village so it wont be a great deal and i still have beer bills and food to buy ) but have i the right to refuse him entry to the upstairs accomodation that i keep locked and he has never been into

 

he can argue he gained peaceful entry to the pub but i dont own anything in the pub its all owned by the proprietor of the property ....

 

im really lost i dont know what else to do the horrible man wont except my terms he even said he wud take my baby's toys as they wernt a neccesity

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He told me that the Walking Possession Agreement was valid still as it related to a car on the highway.

 

No, it isn't Statute of Marlborough 1267 they can't seize a car on the highway unless it's within the curtilage of your home, which extends approximately to the boundaries on either side and halfway across the road.

 

Which is why you park any vehicles on the road well away from where you live.

 

If you don't own the car then the Walking Possession isn't valid anyway because they can only seize the property of the debtor.

They are entitled to assume that goods on the debtors premises belong to the debtor but I don't think that applies to you.

 

You would need clarification from tomtubby.

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he can argue he gained peaceful entry to the pub but i dont own anything in the pub its all owned by the proprietor of the property ....

 

 

Then he's just spinning his wheels and achieved nothing.

 

If you don't live in the pub, and unless it's open 24 hours a day seven days a week that would be difficult, then he has only entered a public place.

That's not peaceful entry unless he's pursuing a commercial debt or NDR, and then that would be the proprietors problem.

 

 

im really lost i dont know what else to do the horrible man wont except my terms he even said he wud take my baby's toys as they wernt a neccesity

 

Your baby's toys are exempt items, and he can't touch them.

Anyway, he hasn't been into your residence has he?

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