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Hello all :)

 

I had the joy of a Marston Bailiffe on my doorstep last week, and I just need a little advice please.

I'll give you a brief outline of events so far to bring you up to speed. I will keep it as short as I can!

 

*Magistrates court appearance last November for failure to send my daughter to school. ( a trumped up charge with no real basis but due to the power of the local LEA I was unable to fight it) I plead guilty and state I do not beleive I am guilty and my reasons for not fighting it.

 

*I hear nothing, and I mean nothing until April this year, no letter no fine zip. Then I get a letter stating I owe £485 fine for said offence.

 

* I then get a Marston letter saying they want money, usual thing call office blah blah blah.

Incidentally I finally recieved a letter in May stating they wouldn't accept my guilty plea as it was entered for convenience sake rather than admission of guilt, but the offence still stands.

 

* I wrote to Marston 4 weeks ago offering to pay £15 by direct debit or standing order. I hear nothing back.

 

The a Marston bailliffe turns up at my house at 8am last Weds with van ready to sieze goods, I explain I have written to Marston offering to pay £15 a month but he says thats not enough and thats problably why they have sent him. The total is now £757!! Basically I got so flustered and panicked I ended up paying £350 ( the money I had saved for a family hols) on my debit card to him, and had to agree to pay the difference of £407 by July 22nd! Now there really is no way I can afford to pay that.

 

My questions are thus:

 

* Do I have to pay all that extra just for their charges?? Original fine of £485 and now it £757!

 

*Can I make a payment schedule offer to Marston to pay of XX amount per month, and do I have a chance of them accepting it or can I offer that and sit tight?

I am a single parent of 3 kids and I am studying full time for a degree, so I do count as being in the 'skint' category :)

 

Any advice or help will be much appreciated!! Thankyou!

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If you are in receipt of benefits the fine can be deducted at source from your benefits at a rate of around £5 per week.

 

The bailiff can charge a letter fee of £50 togther with a visit fee of £175.

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If you are in receipt of benefits the fine can be deducted at source from your benefits at a rate of around £5 per week.

 

The bailiff can charge a letter fee of £50 togther with a visit fee of £175.

 

 

Thanks :) To clarify I am not on benefits like income support ( athough I may have to claim them briefly over the Summer period between terms if I cannot find a job) so I can't have the fine paid out at a small amount.

 

Do I still have to pay their hefty fees or can I legally refuse to pay them) ( the fees)

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you could go to the court and ask why you never received anything from the court before the bailiff turned up

 

could be worth a try

 

 

Thanks, yeah I did think about that. I am not sure what difference it would make, but I am still surprised that they can fine me and not tell me they havent accepted my guity plea for months!!!I pointed that out to the bailiffe who just grunted that they wouldn't speak to me as its now in the hands of them ( Marston) I already have an ongoing complaint proceedings with the LEA as it is for bringing me to court.

 

I have had a quick mooch about on the forum to see what my position is with Marston and payment terms, but its all a bit confusing as it depends on the type of fine and bailiffe etc. I have noticed with things like council tax you can offer a set a amount to pay and if they don't accept it you can sit tight as they cannot force entry, but I know that with a criminal/court fine its different. I am assuming any payment plan I offer will be at Marston's discretion if they want to accept it?

I will ask them for screeshot of their fees they have lumped on me, I know I can do that according to my rights, although I am still not sure if i can contest any but its a starting point.

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The bailiff can charge a letter fee of £50 togther with a visit fee of £175.

 

If the debt is over £400, Marstons charge the Admin fee at 20% of the outstanding fine making the fees and outstanding balance correct.

 

[url=http://www.marstongroup.co.uk/hmcs_fees.aspx][/url]http://www.marstongroup.co.uk/hmcs_fees.aspx

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If, as you say is correct in relation to not knowing about this until the bailiff attended, it may be worth making an application to have judgment set aside and also ask for a stay of execution - this will put a temporary stop on execution etc. Also you may wish for an examination of fees - outlined severla times on this forum

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Thanks for replies Ostrich and Man in South,

 

I have already typed the part of my letter to them asking for the statment of fees that has been appplied to my account and told them they have 14 days to respond with it.

I had no knowledge of any fine levied until I had a letter from Marston. I then wrote to Marston offering to pay by installments and had nothing back. The next contact I has was the bailiffe on my doorstep, and he said they had most likely sent him because what I offered to pay in installments was too little.

I had to pay almost halfof the debt off when he called, and agree to pay the rest £400 by 22nd July. I cannot afford that, so I want to be able to pay it off by installments, especially given that I wrote to them before offering and recieved no reply.

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I would see what response you have to the letter first - I believe that as long as it is acceptable they should agree. If you have further problems/charges refer back to the claimant and tell them about the charges and ask if you can pay direct. This happens all of the times and cuts the bailiffs out of the money making machine.

Good luck

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I would see what response you have to the letter first - I believe that as long as it is acceptable they should agree. If you have further problems/charges refer back to the claimant and tell them about the charges and ask if you can pay direct. This happens all of the times and cuts the bailiffs out of the money making machine.

Good luck

 

Thank you! Yes I wil, I may even quibble paying the visit fee as if they had responded to my letter, they wouldnt have had to send anyone! Im not sure how far it will get me but its worth a go.I will post anything I get in the way of response or action up on here in case it helps others.

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If, as you say is correct in relation to not knowing about this until the bailiff attended, it may be worth making an application to have judgment set aside and also ask for a stay of execution - this will put a temporary stop on execution etc. Also you may wish for an examination of fees - outlined severla times on this forum

 

But if it's a magistrate's (i.e. not county court) fine, how can it be set aside and execution stayed?

 

What and where are the court forms for this?

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This is magistrate. More serious than civil claim, bailiffs have more power. Doubt you can apply to SJA. I'd pay and dispute it afterwards. They should accept your offer. If a van turns up, just don't let them in. Ask for a breakdown of fees.

".....till Debt do us part...." :cool:

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Sorry - didn't realise it was a Magistrates Court fine, and I am pretty sure that you cannot make application to set aside. However, to perhaps cut the bailiff out it may be a good idea to present yourself at the issuing court. They may deal with you and the warrant would be withdrawn, and may stop the costs issue?

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If you did not receive notification of this fine then you may wish to follow the same advise that I provided on another thread yesterday. Details below:

 

 

You do NOT need to go to the Court, you can instead fax a Statutory Declaration to them.

 

A valid Statutory Declaration will cancel the fine and it will then be for DVLA to consider whether to re-issue proceedings against you.

 

The bailiff fees are also cancelled.

 

The Magistrates Court must advise the bailiff company on receipt of a Statutory Declaration.

 

The following is a Template Statutory Declaration that you will need to "cut and paste" and adapt to suit your particular case.

 

Please remember that you have just 21 days from the date that you became aware of the fine to file a Statutory Declaration.

 

 

 

 

 

I:

Ms Smith of: 1, The Street, Anytown, Anywhere. Post Code.

 

DO SOLEMNLY AND SINCERELY DECLARE THAT:

 

I had no prior knowledge of any correspondence from xxxx Magistrates Court following an offence on (enter date) for (enter offence ie; exceeding the speed limit).

 

From information provided to me today by the xxxx Magistrates Court I am informed that a hearing for this matter was held in my absence where I was fined (enter amount) with costs of (enter amount) and that (ie; my licence was endorsed with three points).The reference number for this case is: (enter case number)

 

THAT: Notification of this fine first came to my attention on (enter date) when I received a letter/bailiff visit from Martson Group Ltd/Philips Ltd.

 

This letter stated that xxxx Magistrates Court had issued a Distress Warrant against me on (enter date) and that the bailiff/company required a sum of (enter amount) within 3 days failing which he would return with a locksmith.

 

Note: If appropriate you could include something along the following lines as well:

 

I would like to advise the Court that I am suffering from (enter health problems if any). In addition, I am receiving medication for ie; (severe depression etc) and have been under the care of a counsellor.

 

My financial position is that I am in arrears with my mortgage and I am in discussions with my electricity and gas provider as I am currently facing disconnection. I also have arrears with credit cards and loans of approx:

 

 

I make this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

 

 

DECLARED AT:

 

 

SIGNED:

 

DATE:

 

Before me:

 

 

Solicitor/Commissioner for Oaths:

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