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Hi,

This is my first time on here, and I have to say I am completly freaking out.

I got ill nearly 2 years ago and didn't really kno wmuch how everything worked and being on benefits and losing my jobs lets say did not help. I went and applied for benefits and it got lost somewhere and nothing went through and I ended up owing my local council nearly £800.

I moved and they sent me a letter to my new residence in another borough telling me that I needed to pay up. I was still on benefits and frankly barely making it. I filled in the form they requested, etc... I got a letter saying they will deduct x amount from my benefits cheque every month and the rest sent to a Bailiff!! I wasnt even given the chance to make a payment agreement directly with me.

 

They asked the bailiff company (Chandlers Limited) to recover £250 and I got billed for £299. They of course wanted the money straight away in full but all I have is my £60 odd a week.

After calling them begging and pleading, they forced me to agree to a £99 payment a month for 3 months.

I managed I still have no idea how to make 2 of those £99 payments, but the last one I couldn't. I have no money for gas, showers and food are luxuries I cant even afford, I try to pay small bits of bills here and lets not forget my all time favorite bankcharges of £38 by NatWest.

 

Now I get a letter saying that I owe them £163.56 and I frankly dont have that kind of cash lying around, and I cant afford to live with no food again for a month. And they want to pay me a nice visit. What can I do?

 

Pls help as I am at my wits end!

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why did the council send £250 to bailiffs when they are deducting money from your benefits

have the bailiffs ever actually been to your house

do you have it in writing that the bailiff has add £111.56

did they tell you why they added this

don't worry the bailiff cant just add charges to suit himself

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why did the council send £250 to bailiffs when they are deducting money from your benefits

have the bailiffs ever actually been to your house

do you have it in writing that the bailiff has add £111.56

did they tell you why they added this

don't worry the bailiff cant just add charges to suit himself

 

When I called them about it they said it was because they could only deduct a certain amount from my DWP benefits. They send £253.18 to the Bailiff to recover and kept £551 to deduct by small amounts.

 

From what I could find from my paperwork mess, is a letter from Chandlers saying I have a balance with them of £295.68 that was all. ok I just found a letter saying I owed £253.18 they added a Statutory fee of £24.50 and then it jumped for £295.68 no idea why!

 

If Bailiff have come to my house then I have no idea! I am home all day but I live above a restaurant on the second floor with a back entrance and no working door bells. So they can frankly come daily, I wouldn't know.

 

And now I only had to figure out a way to pay the final £99 and they slap me with a letter saying my balance is £163.56 without telling me why.

That letter says it's a Magistrate's Liability order for unpaid council tax.

Now I am not very knowledgeable about the law, but if that went to a court of some sort, should't I have had my say in it? No judge in his right mind would do this given the fact that I showed willingness to pay and I did to my own detriment and given my circumstances.

 

Oh and there is a huge NB in red saying there will be more costs when they return!

Edited by CuylerJade
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i think they are trying charge you a late payment fee and they cannot charge you for this

 

the council got the liability order when they took you to court for the whole amount

i don't understand how the council can split the liability order (question for tomtubby but i would say they cant)and i would question how the bailiffs are collecting on a liability order that the council are already collecting through your benefits

 

you have charged for 2 visits

council sent £253.18 do you know the date the council sent this to the bailiffs

 

bailiffs letter £295.68 what date did you get this letter

there are charges of £42.50 this is 2 visit charges they cant charge for letters sent buy post so if you had a visit they would have left you a hand delivered letter

do you deal with bailiff direct mobile phone number /name (don't post it on

here ) or the office

don't worry about there will be more cost when he returns the only way he can ad more charges is if you allow him into your home and you are NOT going to do that you do not have to allow the bailiff in

DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO HIM speak to him through the window

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i think they are trying charge you a late payment fee and they cannot charge you for this

 

the council got the liability order when they took you to court for the whole amount

i don't understand how the council can split the liability order (question for tomtubby but i would say they cant)and i would question how the bailiffs are collecting on a liability order that the council are already collecting through your benefits

 

you have charged for 2 visits

council sent £253.18 do you know the date the council sent this to the bailiffs

 

bailiffs letter £295.68 what date did you get this letter

there are charges of £42.50 this is 2 visit charges they cant charge for letters sent buy post so if you had a visit they would have left you a hand delivered letter

do you deal with bailiff direct mobile phone number /name (don't post it on

here ) or the office

don't worry about there will be more cost when he returns the only way he can ad more charges is if you allow him into your home and you are NOT going to do that you do not have to allow the bailiff in

DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO HIM speak to him through the window

 

Alrighty, I got the letter from the council on 04 Feb 2009 telling me of the arrangement. My letter that I found from Chandlers is dated the 12/02/09 with the £24.50 extra charge.

 

The Next one from 24/02/09 stating £295.68.

 

Then I paid the 2x£98.56

 

After that I had no contact from them, until this last note with the £163.56 dated from monday.

I just checked the envelope it didn't have any stamps on, which means it was dropped through the door.

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right you need to send some letters or e-mails or both

 

you need to write to the council telling them that you believe there are unlawful charges on your account you need to ask them for a screenshot of your account with the bailiffs as you want to go and see a solicitor regarding these bailiffs charges ask them to confirm that they are using bailiffs and an attachment to benefits for the same liability order and that they can legally do this

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Hi Cuylerjade,

 

You need to start from the beginning. Did the arrears start after you stopped working and applied for benefits? Were you living on your own or are there other people in your household that are would be liable to pay? Have you received anything directly from the courts regarding liability orders? Are you claiming Council Tax benefit now? Have you got more than 1 liability order outstanding?

 

If you are still ill then you aren't going to be able to handle this on your own. Call you local CAB and if you can't get there ask that they send someone out to you.

 

If you were/ are receiving benefits then the decision for an attachment lies with the DSS to grant what you can afford and the council can't ask for more by using other enforcement methods at the same time for the same debt.

 

Depending on where you live the amount the council can deduct varies and so do the benefits they can include but it's roughly between £2.80 and £3.25 per week.

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You could still get the benefit back dated if the council have failed to act when you became ill .... Cases like this make my blood boil. Just don't let the bailiffs in and don't talk to them until you can get further advice.

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Cuylerjade - here is a useful site with template letters and which explains all the things that bailiffs are allowed to charge. I had a visit from a bailiff yesterday over a disputed pcn, I paid to get rid of him but when I checked all the charges were unlawful and I can get them back.

 

Good luck!

 

Clamping Down on Bailiff Crime

 

Miss T xx

This e-book is what got me started http://www.freedomfiles.org/mary-book.pdf

 

This short film opened my eyes

http://www.flixya.com/video/1164060/Money_As_Debt_-_Forex

 

In truth we can find peace and in unity we can cause change

http://www.tpuc.org/

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  • 2 months later...

Well yesterday at 8:45pm I had the fright of my life when I head the Bailiffs knock at my door.

They barged in on me threatening to have a locksmith come in and force entry. They were absolute bullies.

I told them that I was not going to let them in, they threatened that they would come back the next day and force it anyways.

They came to take possession of everything and said that on top of the now £200 I suddenly owed them I would have to pay a removal fee for the items.

I asked what the fee would be and I got yelled at.

 

I had written to these people to let them know that after almost 2 years of being out of work, I was finally starting work on the 1st of sept and would be happy to pay them when I got my first paycheck. Which is not so unreasonable.

He kept ignoring me and yelling that I broke my agreement. I tried explainign to him that I had no choice that paying £99 out of my JSA was too much and I ended up ill when I barely ate for 2 months. I showed him proof that I was on benefit and that I was not lying to him.

He refused to listen and kept yelling and threatening me. He did not force entry as I was guarding the door... but frankly that was brutality!

My downstairs neighbour who is friend and also knew what I have been going thru stopped them and told them he would pay. They took his payment, and I was completely humiliated. I mean he saved my life but, there has to be a way to stop this. this behaviour cannot have been legal.

I have checked a website and that is what it said:

Can a bailiff force his/her way into my house?
Most bailiffs do not have the right to force their way into your home to seize your goods. The only exception is that bailiffs from the Collector of Taxes (Inland Revenue) can get a warrant to force entry, but this is very rare.

All other bailiffs have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they cannot use force to enter your home, for example, by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter your property through an open door or window (front and back) and can climb over fences and gates, but cannot break them down. See also ''If a bailiff does gain peaceful entry to my house, what will they do?''

You do not have to let a bailiff into your house. A bailiff cannot force their way past you if you answer the door. If all your doors and windows are securely closed they will not be able to gain peaceful entry to your house unless you let them in.

Bailiffs are well aware of their limited powers and may use a variety of different means to gain entry peaceably. They may attempt to walk in as soon as a door is opened. They may ask if they can use your telephone to check if an arrangement is satisfactory with their office. They may simply ask you if you would prefer to discuss matters inside. You do not have to go along with any of these methods.

Can I be arrested or imprisoned for not letting a bailiff into my house?
No. If a bailiff is accompanied by the police, they are only there to prevent a breach of the peace. You cannot be arrested for refusing to allow a bailiff into your home.

You cannot be imprisoned for not paying your debts. However, non-payment of council tax, child maintenance or magistrates court fines can lead to imprisonment if you 'wilfully refuse' to pay. This means that the magistrates must be satisfied that you have the money but choose not to pay. You should be required to attend a magistrates court means enquiry hearing before this is decided. This gives you the chance to explain why you have not paid.

 

Is there a way to do something about this? Is there a way to complain?

I would appreciate the help.

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i would get on the phone now to the council and tell them exactly what just happened how your neighbour had to intervene and pay this for you

and tell them you are going to be making an official complaint in writing in the next few days

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This is just awful, yet again the bailiff has gone over the top with charges and excessive force.

OK you now need to send a letter of complaint to the bailiff office out lining everything, send a copy of it to the council in question.I would also get the bailiffs name and see if he is certified. If he is not then he and his company are in huge trouble.

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i would get on the phone now to the council and tell them exactly what just happened how your neighbour had to intervene and pay this for you

and tell them you are going to be making an official complaint in writing in the next few days

 

Does the council really care? Complaining to the same people that did that what would it do? When I called the bailiff office the woman on the phone was very rude and unpleasant as well.

All I hear is that I broke the agreement!!! No matter that I couldnt live with the little I get from Benefits.

The infuriating thing, is that it is not that I dont want to pay, its that I really couldnt. Do I have to chose between my health and them?

Why was waiting a few more weeks such a big deal. I just got the job, I start Sept 1st and I would have paid them on payday. What is so unreasonable about that?

 

I still blame the Southwark council, they had to need to send my payment collection to the bailiff when I gave them my financial information the moment they asked. They knew I was on benefit and they knew what would happen.

If they had agreed to take a smaller payment directly from me each month, all of this would have been avoided and I certainly would not have lost over £150 worth of silly Bailiff charges for nothing. Considering that I am on benefit and already barely surviving with what little I get.

 

The government knows how all of the population is struggling thanks to the economic crisis... but instead of truly helping we are drowning more.

Imagine that my original payment due was £253 and now I have forked out nearly £400.

 

I am disgusted. There has to be a specific circle in hell for these people!

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Does the council really care? Complaining to the same people that did that what would it do? When I called the bailiff office the woman on the phone was very rude and unpleasant as well.

 

No i don't suppose the council care thats not the point

 

the point is apart from the fact that what happened today is shocking

 

crapstone made a valid point in her posts you should have not had this debt in the first place

and then theres the fact that you already had an attachment on your J S A the government sets the amount because you have to be left with so much to live on the council should not have sent it to the bailiffs

 

and then there is the bailiffs fees his charges are wrong this needs to be challenged

 

this it not about whether the council care on not this is about YOU

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I have been sick about this all day and I do appreciate your support and advice.

I will get on it in the morning and let the council know exactly.

I have tried everything with them as yes indeed this debt should have never happened but they are not taking responsability for anything.

Now I need to find a way to pay back my neighbour the £200 he paid on my behalf.

It is really in times like these that finding good people like that gives me hope still for humanity as a race.

It is exhausting to feel like Don Quichote always fighting the same battle for nothing.

 

I wish there was something more drastic that could be done. if we were in the US I would sue them!

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The council would be responsible for the training of their employee who passed the rest of your debt to a bailiff, they are NOT supposed to do this. Once you are on benefits you receive an allowance towards your council tax and a reduction so it seems they have given you an allowance but not the reduction...

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they seem not to show their bailiff proceedures which dosnt surprise me.

I think what you need to do is contact their complaints department out lining everything, let them know if they do not investigate this matter then you will take it up with the local council omdudsman

Southwark Council | Complaints

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See the link in my previous post - you can put in an official complaint to the court where the bailiff is certificated - they do take this seriously.

 

And you can complain about the council here:

 

Local Government Ombudsman • Home

 

A word of advice - if you do end up paying a bailiff do it on a credit or debit card and then you can do a charge back.

This e-book is what got me started http://www.freedomfiles.org/mary-book.pdf

 

This short film opened my eyes

http://www.flixya.com/video/1164060/Money_As_Debt_-_Forex

 

In truth we can find peace and in unity we can cause change

http://www.tpuc.org/

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HI Hallowitch

 

You say the bailiff has charged for two visits (this may be true) but when i first recieved a letter from Equita about unpaid council tax they tried to charge me £42.50 for the pleasure of it. I think they are just trying it on with charging for a letter like they did with me.

 

I might be wrong but these bailiff firms try to drain every penny out of you one way or another

Andy...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bailiffs cant charge for letters sent through the post they can only charge for visits

£24.50 1st visit fee £18 2nd visit fee

when the bailiffs visits your home he is supposed to leave a letter saying he has been

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