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Advice required ref: High Court Enforement Officers


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My first posting so here goes,

 

today i received a call from a high court enforcement officer, looking to seize 1 or 2 cars that they believed i owned in order to secure a now total debt of around £5.5k.

 

How i came to be in debt in the first place? i'll explain in brief.

 

approx 18 months ago, i arranged for a local garage to carry out works on a car that i had recently imported into the uk. I have a provisional quotation for them for the works to be carried out, total costs around £1100.00, works to take approx 2 weeks. Great i thought!

 

Much time and chasing later, approx 9 months later, i am told the car is ready and that the total bill is now £4k. I was gobsmacked, but rather than have a row, i thought the best thing to do would be to pay the bill by cheque, collect the car, and then cancel the cheque the following day, and follow that up with a letter explaining why the cheque had been cancelled but also enclosing a cheque payment for the original provisional quotation amount.

 

This of course was the wrong thing to do, i have since learnt!

 

In due course legal paperwork was sent and ignored by me. I have never have been very good with paperwork, my failing of course, but then judgment was made for the full amount £4k plus costs etc.

 

Finally i received a summons to attend my local court to access my income and expenditure, a proposal was then put forward to the claimant that i could afford to pay £100.00 per month. (bearing in mind that i already owe the CSA over 30K and have agreed with them to pay £100.00 a month this seemed reasonable. That was a few months ago, and i have heard nothing since until today. The high court enforcement officer called believing that i still owned the car/s and was looking to secure the car/s against the debt, which now stands at aound £5.5k. The break down being approx. £4k original judgement, £25.00 interest, £100.00 costs, and £1200.00 charges of the authorised high court enforcement officer.

 

I explaind to him that the car/s was sold prior to judgment being made so it seems that i am off the hook for now. But surely he'll be back?

 

Can they then come into my house?

Can they take the car anyway? (i am looking after the car/s on behalf of the owner)

Can they take my van? (which i use for my work, i am self employed)

Can the claimant refuse my offer of payment?

How can i turn this situation around so that i end up paying the proposal amount of £100.00 per month?

 

(The original fact that i have been overcharged in the first instance cannot be resolved until the judgment is settled, i have been advised, is this correct?)

 

I live at home with my partner of 5 years and have 2 small children, the last thing i want is her or my 2 wee boys being upset by some gorilla.

 

I am a fair and reasonable man, but i own nothing to the value of £5.5k, apart from my van which i bought for my work use after the original judgment was made...Can anybody please help me?

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Hi FG

Welcome to cag:)

 

ive asked for your thread to be moved to the bailiff forum.You will get help there:)

 

 

 

 

A-Z Index

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW NOT TO CLAIM...Click here!

 

HOW TO...DUMMIES GUIDE TO CAG...Read here

 

.please remember that any advice i give is purely my own experience or opinion thankyou

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Welcome to the site.

High Court enforcement officers have considerably more powers than a County Court Bailiff its a pity that you have let things go this far.

Theres more reading that should answer many of your questions here.;

 

 

http://www.hceoa.org.uk/

Edited by MARTIN3030

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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the premises to be entered

My first posting so here goes,

 

today i received a call from a high court enforcement officer, looking to seize 1 or 2 cars that they believed i owned in order to secure a now total debt of around £5.5k.

...Can anybody please help me?

 

 

Hi Family Guy,

 

A quick quote from Police Guidelines for POLICE and BAILIFFS alike

 

s 8.5 Reasonable force may be used to gain entry in these circumstances only: sub para c; The Officer is a High Court Enforcement Officer and the premise to be entered with force are separate non-domestic premises, which are not connected to the living accomodation, e.g. workshop or barn. Or, the premises are a third party's house where goods have been taken to avoid seizure by a bailiff. A demand for entry should always be made first.

 

lt seems to me, that this is exactly what is going to happen here. You are not married and live in your girlfriend's (partner's) home. The High Court Enforcement Officer knows, thinks and/or believes that you have tucked away goods in these premises in order to avoid seizure, hence, he has got the right to force entry. l do not know, however, if he needs a particular warrant, but, l do think they do. Knowing how these guys operate, l'm sure they have obtained all and everything they need to force entry. The High Court Enfocement Officers are a completely different breed from s.c. certified bailiffs and should be treated accordingly. They are High Court appointed officials and are there to do a job, disgusting and harrowing at times, but, a proper job never the less. My advice is to talk to them. Make sure they have all the proper and required paper work, including a warrant and if they insist let them in. Make sure that all and everything belongs to your partner and that nothing but nothing belongs to you.

 

Brother, you let this one go to far and as it concerns business it's a completely different ballgame. You do not have any money and thereby cannot pay, but, this got to be verified in one way or another and if you have nothing left of your business transactions, be it goods or money, you have to evidence that. What are you living on right now? How do you pay your bills? how do you feed yourself? lmportant questions that will eventually be asked and you better have an answere, believe you me.

 

In the end, you have to sort this one out and the best way to start is to talk to the High Court Enforcement Officers and lay it all out to them. These people are not impossible and will surely talk to you and explain what can be done to sort your situation out.

Best of Luck.

GR

Edited by gustavius rex
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Welcome to the site.

High Court enforcement officers have considerably more powers than a County Court Bailiff its a pity that you have let things go this far.

Theres more reading that should answer many of your questions here.;

 

 

High Court Enforcement Officer’s Association

 

Many thanks for your help, yes i have let things go to far, but i thought by making an offer of £100.00 per month that at least would be sufficient until i had raised more funds. When i heard nothing after my proposal, i'd assumed they'd let the claim go, I had no idea that they were taking the claim to the high court. The claimant apparently has a mailicous nature, so this would be a natural route for him to go, it's cost me an extra grand to pay for the high court officer fees, i couldn't pay the amount in the first instance, so i can't pay the increased amount now. Is there anyway in which the claimant will agree to payment by instalment?

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the premises to be entered

 

 

Hi Family Guy,

 

A quick quote from Police Guidelines for POLICE and BAILIFFS alike

 

s 8.5 Reasonable force may be used to gain entry in these circumstances only: sub para c; The Officer is a High Court Enforcement Officer and the premise to be entered with force are separate non-domestic premises, which are not connected to the living accomodation, e.g. workshop or barn. Or, the premises are a third party's house where goods have been taken to avoid seizure by a bailiff. A demand for entry should always be made first.

 

lt seems to me, that this is exactly what is going to happen here. You are not married and live in your girlfriend's (partner's) home. The High Court Enforcement Officer knows, thinks and/or believes that you have tucked away goods in these premises in order to avoid seizure, hence, he has got the right to force entry. l do not know, however, if he needs a particular warrant, but, l do think they do. Knowing how these guys operate, l'm sure they have obtained all and everything they need to force entry. The High Court Enfocement Officers are a completely different breed from s.c. certified bailiffs and should be treated accordingly. They are High Court appointed officials and are there to do a job, disgusting and harrowing at times, but, a proper job never the less. My advice is to talk to them. Make sure they have all the proper and required paper work, including a warrant and if they insist let them in. Make sure that all and everything belongs to your partner and that nothing but nothing belongs to you.

 

Brother, you let this one go to far and as it concerns business it's a completely different ballgame. You do not have any money and thereby cannot pay, but, this got to be verified in one way or another and if you have nothing left of your business transactions, be it goods or money, you have to evidence that. What are you living on right now? How do you pay your bills? how do you feed yourself? lmportant questions that will eventually be asked and you better have an answere, believe you me.

 

In the end, you have to sort this one out and the best way to start is to talk to the High Court Enforcement Officers and lay it all out to them. These people are not impossible and will surely talk to you and explain what can be done to sort your situation out.

Best of Luck.

GR

Many thanks for your advice, i live a basic existence, to be fair the officer sounds reasonable and i know he has a job to do, it worries me that he can visit my house (shared with my partner) when i'm not there. I have already carried out an income vs expenditure questionaire, and at the present i am just keeping my head above water, hence my proposal of £100.00 per month. Which it appears have been refused by the claimant, no advice of refusal was sent to me....the next i heard was when the court officer spoke to me yesterday!

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Hi,

 

l need to know if you work; are you permanently employed, self employed or on jsa? Have you got any property, vehicle, except your van you need to earn an income and are you officially a residet at your girlfriend place?

GR

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Hi,

 

l need to know if you work; are you permanently employed, self employed or on jsa? Have you got any property, vehicle, except your van you need to earn an income and are you officially a residet at your girlfriend place?

GR

Hi GR,

I am self employed. Work is intermitent at present. I have property, which the csa have charges on, and i have one property which there is no charge on, a small shop which is now empty due to the previous tennants doing a runner. My mortgage on that is around £250 per month. I sold all my vehicles (on paper) prior to the judgement being made, "sold" in as much as i am looking after them at seperate storage on behalf of the new owners. My van is the only vehicle i own at present. I reside with my partner at the house, we have a joint mortgage and we have 2 small boys together, but also have another child each from previous relationships that sometimes stay with us. I realise that i may perhaps "own a lot" but i still do not have the money to pay £5.5k in the one hit, i have no chance of getting a loan and would rather pay £100.00 per month for cash flow reasons, today i have received my tax bill for july and at present i can just about pay it...around £2.5k.

I also spoke again to the high court enforcement officer today, who when i asked said he was not interested in taking cars that he was not certain belonged to me. I confirmed again that i did not own the cars. He also said he was not able to enter my prpoerty unless i invited him in. So no cups of tea for hime then. It's looking better today than yesterday, but i really would like to get the ball rolling with making my monthly payments buit if the claimant refuses what can i do?

Many thanks, for your help. family guy

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Get some idea of what their fees are for, I have had an HCEO trying to charge me for all sorts of things they haven't actually done like walking possesions and valuations of goods. Send a subject Access Request letter for this info, there are plenty of threads on how to do this.

It is most likely you don't owe them anywhere near as much as they are trying to charge. If you can pay the original amount and court fees off they are then chasing their own tails.

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Hi GR,

I am self employed. Work is intermitent at present. I have property, which the csa have charges on, and i have one property which there is no charge on, a small shop which is now empty due to the previous tennants doing a runner. My mortgage on that is around £250 per month. I sold all my vehicles (on paper) prior to the judgement being made, "sold" in as much as i am looking after them at seperate storage on behalf of the new owners. My van is the only vehicle i own at present. I reside with my partner at the house, we have a joint mortgage and we have 2 small boys together, but also have another child each from previous relationships that sometimes stay with us. I realise that i may perhaps "own a lot" but i still do not have the money to pay £5.5k in the one hit, i have no chance of getting a loan and would rather pay £100.00 per month for cash flow reasons, today i have received my tax bill for july and at present i can just about pay it...around £2.5k.

 

 

 

So, you are in a very bad situation, as so many of us are as well. Now, if the HCEO told you that he did not have the right to enter, then the situation looks a little better. Try to deal with this guy and make him understand exacly what you'r situation is. As self employed they cannot go in and deduct from your salary, that's the good news. Re. your properties, that's another issue. Let's hope they do not find out or they will put a charge and possibly force a sale on it (them). l have a similar problem, where l've been taken to court and it concerns a lot lot of money. l've had solicitors and even a barrister involved, but, as the law is l stand to lose. All i can say is that your best option lies in an agreement with the claimant directly. Write him and try to reason with the person. Explain that if he is not prepared to enter in to a realistic agreement with you, then, he may end up without a penny as you will file for bankrupcy. Ensure you fiance' has a charge of more than the equity (MAKE IT DOUBLE), and then go to a solicitor and make an agreement that your fiance' paid for her house and you are only on as a guarantor.

GR

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Hi GR,

I am self employed. Work is intermitent at present. I have property, which the csa have charges on, and i have one property which there is no charge on, a small shop which is now empty due to the previous tennants doing a runner. My mortgage on that is around £250 per month. I sold all my vehicles (on paper) prior to the judgement being made, "sold" in as much as i am looking after them at seperate storage on behalf of the new owners. My van is the only vehicle i own at present. I reside with my partner at the house, we have a joint mortgage and we have 2 small boys together, but also have another child each from previous relationships that sometimes stay with us. I realise that i may perhaps "own a lot" but i still do not have the money to pay £5.5k in the one hit, i have no chance of getting a loan and would rather pay £100.00 per month for cash flow reasons, today i have received my tax bill for july and at present i can just about pay it...around £2.5k.

 

 

 

So, you are in a very bad situation, as so many of us are as well. Now, if the HCEO told you that he did not have the right to enter, then the situation looks a little better. Try to deal with this guy and make him understand exacly what you'r situation is. As self employed they cannot go in and deduct from your salary, that's the good news. Re. your properties, that's another issue. Let's hope they do not find out or they will put a charge and possibly force a sale on it (them). l have a similar problem, where l've been taken to court and it concerns a lot lot of money. l've had solicitors and even a barrister involved, but, as the law is l stand to lose. All i can say is that your best option lies in an agreement with the claimant directly. Write him and try to reason with the person. Explain that if he is not prepared to enter in to a realistic agreement with you, then, he may end up without a penny as you will file for bankrupcy. Ensure you fiance' has a charge of more than the equity (MAKE IT DOUBLE), and then go to a solicitor and make an agreement that your fiance' paid for her house and you are only on as a guarantor.

GR

good advice GR, I've been to see my solicitor today and she is writing to the HCEO, which in turn will mean that the claimant will learn (again) of my circustances. The proposal of payment of £100.00 per month is being made yet again, plus an intital first installment of £600.00. (this being now 6 months since the original proposal was put forward, i've put the money to one side for this) I hope then that they will accept this, because if they don't accept then, i will have no option but to file for bankruptcy and they are then only likely to receive maybe 10p to the £1.00, apparantly the properties that i own thast hae chrages on them are unlikely to be sold in order to recover this debt. But the as i have have alredy stated the claiment is being very malicous, and will probably take it all the way for some self peverted satisfaction in the knowledge that he has mademe bankrupt. I like to think that i have covered all bases, but you never know, it's a funny old game the legal system, one day you think it's all against you, the next it's on your side. I'll keep you posted in any case. This site is a saviour to people like me. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PEOPLE.

p.s. Turns out that technically the bailiff can take my van, although because it is deemed as tools of my trade, they are unlikely to do so.

Tomorrow, (as they say) is another day. FG

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Get some idea of what their fees are for, I have had an HCEO trying to charge me for all sorts of things they haven't actually done like walking possesions and valuations of goods. Send a subject Access Request letter for this info, there are plenty of threads on how to do this.

It is most likely you don't owe them anywhere near as much as they are trying to charge. If you can pay the original amount and court fees off they are then chasing their own tails.

 

TJ, again good advice i will be sure to mention this to my soli, and in turn she will include this request in her leter to the HCEO. Many thanks again.

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Hi FG,

 

Please, be cautios. The legal system in this country, particularily the civil law, is not construed to protect a defendant. ln the cases l've been involved the claimant has always had the law and the judge on his side, despite, very dodgy claims. When the law was written, it was construed so as to protect the chinless classes, who were the money lenders, landlords, employers and so on and guarantee that the punters would pay up and not leave the claimant out of pocket. The law has not evolved with time and it is therefore almost impossible to defend yourself unless the claimant have committed a criminal or obvious illegal act. Have a look around in consumer forum and you will find heart breaking stories and beside the good people here, no-one but no-one gives a damn. As our honourable politicos have their eyes glued to their expense accounts, directorships and future employment as ''consultants'' to companies like our banks; Marston and the likes; 1:st crdit and the likes etc. they are and will not ever be interested in changing the law to really protect the weaker against the usurper (which is and has always been the reason for the instituon of law in most civilized countries). Besides that, any proposed changes would be most vigereously opposed by one or more lordship for hire. Hence, you must use all and every mean available to defend your rights and do whatever is required to protect yourself and your family.

GR

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Guest Happy Contrails

Family Guy, Your solicitor will most likely go for a detailed assessment hearing. The fees are not reasonable and you will need to ask for your solicitors costs. This letter has always worked very well with certificated bailiffs and gets results but I have not seen it used it on an HCEO, it would be interesting to see what comes.

 

HCEO

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Postcode

 

DATE

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re: [YOUR NAME + REF]: Your fees.

 

I write following a visit by your bailiff however there appears to an irregularity with his fees and I ask you to provide the following in writing within fourteen (14) days:

 

2) The amount of i) bailiffs fees, and ii) the original debt

 

3) Truthfully confirm in writing your fees comply with legislation

 

If you appear to be unable or unwilling to provide the above, I will automatically commence proceedings on the basis your fees are fraudulent and may involve a criminal investigation under the Fraud Act 2006.

 

This letter is delivered by Royal Mail and a certificate of posting has been obtained. It is your responsibility this letter is handed to the relevant person in your organisation.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

YOUR NAME

 

 

Be sure to check the type of debt, look at the paperwork and find out whether this is a CCJ or a high court writ, HCEO's often try to charge bailiffs fees for collecting an unpaid CCJ on the pretence the debt is a high court writ.

 

The law prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting county court judgements is County Court Fees Order(Amended 1994) 1982. It provides bailiffs fees of £45 and reasonable costs if the bailiff has transported your goods in a van.

 

The law prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting a high court writ is in Schedule 3 of Regulation 13 of The High Court Enforcement Officers Regulations 2004, it provides:

 

Where the sum due is £100 or less 5%

Above £100 2.5%

Mileage Charges 29.2p per mile Max £50

Seizure of goods £2 per site

Signed Walking possession fee £3.25 a day

Transporting goods in a van and storage of goods - Reasonable costs

Valuation of goods - Reasonable costs

 

Looking at the numbers you are quoting, it woukld appear the HCEO is a common fraudster. There presently is no statutory requiremrnt for a firm to check the criminal history of anyone trading as a HCEO.

 

There is a substantial criminal element to the HCEO's fees and you can ask police to investigate it under Section 2 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006. They might fob you off saying the crime is a civil matter so remind them of the above legislation and they could be making a factual error in their interpretation of the law. To deliberately misconstrue a point of criminal law as a civil matter to enable a crime to proceed is offence in its own right - Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1967.

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