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1970

Help needed with bailiffs fees and repeated visits

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Hi,

 

To keep it short, here are the facts:

 

There are 4 liability orders.

 

They enforced one and managed to get a signed walking posession order.

 

I have paid the following:

 

Debt £1323.76

 

Fee £24.50

Van fee £200.00

Another fee £62.00

Another fee £12.00

Another fee £24.50

 

Total paid £1622.26

 

This all resulted from one visit.

 

I do not understand how the fees are calculated. Based on owing £1323.00 and only having one visit from a bailiff, what should the fee's have been?

 

In addition to this, they only seemed concerned about collecting on the highest account. I managed to make an arrangement on the other 3 accounts.

 

However, based on the one visit, they have applied £24.50 to all three of the other accounts. So that adds £73.50 in additional charges. Can they do this based on 1 visit?

 

I also suspect they have increased the 3 accounts again as I called them last week and got a total balance over the phone which is higher than I expected. I wrote to the asking for a breakdown of charges and they simply replied stating the total owed and that if I did not pay by return they would pay a visit.

 

I wish to get these people off my back and have the account returned to the council but it seems impossible.

 

Cheers,

 

1970.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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Guest Happy Contrails

Bailiffs can only charge one set of fees regardless of how many liability orders he has. The only fee the bailiff is entitled to is £24 for his one visit. The law prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid council tax is the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and provides £24.00 for a first visit and £18.00 for a second visit if one is made. No other bailiff's fees can lawfully be charged if a bailiff has not moved your goods in a vehicle and you have not signed any document consenting to a levy or a walking possessions agreement (currently a flat rate of £10).

 

Phone the council, tell them their bailiff has been caught cheating with his fees and commits an offence under Section 2 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 and ask they take the council tax debt back into town hall administration. Remind the council they are liable for their bailiffs when they are caught defrauding a member of the public. If the council is uncooperative or vexatious then quickly contact the local government ombudsman.

 

Phone the bailiff on his mobile and tell him you are filing a Form 4 complaint against him for defrauding you with his fees. Ask him for the name of the court that issued his bailiffs certificate and quickly end the call. If the bailiff refuses to disclose it then phone the Ministry of Justice Public Register of Bailiffs on 020 3334 6355 and ask which court issued his certificate. Download the complaint form to make an official complaint against the bailiff http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/form4_0606.pdf and send the form to the certificating court enclosing supporting evidence such as the bailiffs document showing the bailiffs fees he is trying to charge and any amounts paid.

 

Send this to the council by post and by email to get the debt back to council administration

 

Council Tax (Enforcements) Department

Invincible Borough Council

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Postcode

 

[DATE]

 

BY POST AND BY EMAIL

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re: [YOUR NAME & ANY REF]: Visit by your bailiff on [DATE]

 

I have had an opportunity to seek advice and I write on the understanding that case law has ruled an authority is liable for its bailiffs.

 

On [DATE] I was visited by your bailiff collecting unpaid council tax. We were unable to reach an amicable resolve and the bailiff following an irregularity with his fees. He showed threatening behaviour and became defensive and vexatious in nature when he was challenged with the facts and made unrealistic demands of money which are way beyond my means.

 

The bailiff commits an offence 2006 Fraud Act. A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Section 1 of the 2006 Act contains the new general offence of fraud.

 

Section 1 means by which this offence can be committed is set out in Section 2, on fraud by false representation. This section applies where a person dishonestly makes a false representation and intends, by making the representation, to make a gain for himself or another, or cause a loss to another, or expose another to a risk of loss. It is also possible that, where a bailiff repeatedly charges for work that has not been done, this conduct will amount to fraudulent trading either under Section 9 of the 2006 Act or under the provisions on fraudulent trading in company legislation.

 

I take this opportunity to bring to your attention to Lord Lucas sitting at the House of Lords on 20 April 2007 when he asked HM Government whether it would be right for the police to claim that such an action is a civil and not a criminal matter. The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) replied with, inter-alia (quote) A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006(unquote).

 

I now ask the Council to:

 

a) Take the case back from the bailiff.

b) Accept my original offer to pay £[AMOUNT] a week to clear the arrears

c) Pay me a reasonable compensation for my inconvenience and for my efforts in seeking discovery of information and

d) Receiving an over-zealous bailiff acting for you making unrealistic demands of money and defrauding me with his fees.

 

If you fail to satisfactorily complete the above I will automatically escalate the complaint to the local government ombudsman in seven days from the date of this letter. Please treat this letter as Stage 1.

 

Due to my circumstances I am unable to pay the debt as demanded by the bailiffs and I will make payment of £[AMOUNT] each month for [NUMBER OF] monthly installments with a final installment of £[AMOUNT]. This may seem a long time but it's all I can afford and allows me to pay future liabilities without falling into arrears. I confirm I am not refusing to pay this debt.

 

This letter is delivered by Royal Mail and deem properly served on you by the ordinary course of post under Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978. It is now your responsibility and in your own interests this letter is handed to the relevant person within your organisation.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

[NAME]

Enc 1st payment.

 

You also have a right to report the bailiff to police under the 2006 Fraud Act for cheating with his fees.

 

The Chief Constable

Name of Police Authority

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Postcode

 

DATE

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re: Reporting a crime committed under the Fraud Act 2006

 

I enclose a document given to me by a man saying he is a bailiff firm [and made a threat of intending to force entry my property without a warrant to commit breaking and entering and take goods unless I pay him £AMOUNT]. His is charging me fees of £AMOUNT when legislation says the maximum fee is £AMOUNT.

 

I write to you understanding the bailiff commits an offence 2006 Fraud Act. A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Section 1 of the 2006 Act contains the new general offence of fraud.

 

Section 1 means by which this offence can be committed is set out in Section 2, on fraud by false representation. This section applies where a person dishonestly makes a false representation and intends, by making the representation, to make a gain for himself or another, or cause a loss to another, or expose another to a risk of loss. It is also possible that, where a bailiff repeatedly charges for work that has not been done, this conduct will amount to fraudulent trading either under Section 9 of the 2006 Act or under the provisions on fraudulent trading in company legislation.

 

I take this opportunity to bring to your attention to Lord Lucas sitting at the House of Lords on 20 April 2007 when he asked HM Government whether it would be right for the police to claim that such an action is a civil and not a criminal matter. The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) replied with, inter-alia (quote) A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006(unquote).

 

Please assign a crime reference number and I ask the police this crime is investigated professionally and objectively and I am happy to help you in your enquiries and stand as a prosecution witness at trial.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

YOUR NAME

Enc: copy of document

 

 

Now give the bailiff something to think about, send this by post and by email. It doesnt need a tenner.

 

The Omnipotent Bailiff Co, Plc

Their Address 1

Their Address 2

Their Address 3

Postcode

 

BY POST AND BY EMAIL

 

DATE

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

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

 

I write following visits by your bailiff however there appears to an irregularity with your fees and I am writing to ask you to provide me the following within seven (7) days:

 

1) The name of the court that issued the certificate for the bailiff in charge

 

2) Written confirmation of a) your fees, and b) the original debt

 

3) The name and address of the organisation that instructed you

 

4) a) Truthfully confirm in writing your fees are lawful and comply with legislation or b) refund me the unlawful fees plus reasonable compensation for being cheated by your certificated bailiff with his fees by midday the seventh day from the date of this letter.

 

A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Section 2 of the Act specifically describes a person dishonestly makes a false representation and intends, by making the representation, to make a gain for himself or another, or cause a loss to another, or expose another to a risk of loss therefore, if no satisfactory refund is made to me by 12.00 midday seven (7) days from the date of this letter I will automatically file a complaint to police under the 2006 Fraud Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. If you have charged VAT on unlawful fees then you may be reported for VAT fraud and your documents will be given in evidence. If your bailiff is certificated, a Form 4 will be filed.

 

This letter is delivered by Royal Mail and deem it good service upon you by the ordinary course of post under Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978. It now is your responsibility and in your best interests this letter is handed to the relevant person within your organisation.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

YOUR NAME

 

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Wow, this is amazing thank you. One question regarding this comment: No other bailiff's fees can lawfully be charged if a bailiff has not moved your goods in a vehicle and you have not signed any document consenting to a levy or a walking possessions agreement (currently a flat rate of £10).

On the day of the visit, we did sign a walking posession order but nothing was taken as we paid £300 by credit card and the rest a month later. As we signed can they charge the van fee etc?

 

1970.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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Also, what about charges connected with distress - ie the 4% on the first £400 and then 2.5% on the next £1500 etc.

 

Could this be what they charged me and did they have the right to do so?


It's going to be an interesting year...

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if a bailiff is collecting 4 liability orders on the same day they can only collect one set of fees

1 walking possession fee £12

then levy fee

 

2.—(1) In heads A and B of the Table to paragraph 1, "the relevant amount" with respect to a visit or a levy means—

  • (a) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) does not exceed £100, £12.50,

  • (b) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) exceeds that amount, 12½ per cent. on the first £100 of the sum due, 4 per cent. on the next £400, 2½ per cent. on the next £1,500, 1 per cent. on the next £8,000 and ¼ per cent. on any additional sum;

and the sum due at any time for these purposes means so much of the amount in respect of which the liability order concerned was made as is outstanding at the time.

they cannot charge a van fee on the same day of the walking possession agreement

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Guest Happy Contrails

we did sign a walking posession order but nothing was taken as we paid £300 by credit card and the rest a month later. As we signed can they charge the van fee etc?

 

No. There is no such thing as a van fee. Its bailiffs trying to charge you for work he has not done.

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Hi again,

 

I have found the walking posession agreement so that I can give you the figures exact:

 

Arrears due to authority £1323.76

Levy fee to scale schedule £62

Attending with a vehicle with a view to removing £200

Walking posession fee £12

Removal fee where no sale takes place £24.50

Amount paid by credit card -£400

Urgent arrears now due £1226.26

 

So there we have it. Interestingly, when they took the payment of £400 only £300 of it reach my account according to a recent statement I obtained from the bailiff.

 

I'm going to the council tomorrow to try and force them to have the account back.

 

I think a Form 4 is going to be my next move also.

 

1970.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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Guest Happy Contrails

Form 4 is the way to go and quote Cullighan vs. Marston.

 

Attending fee £200 are unlawful because Cullighan vs Marston Group 8CL51015 the court ruled that because the Bailiff produced no breakdown of his charges, he is unable to show that it is reasonable costs. He has already charged you £24 for attending which is the correct figure. Lord Lucas in the House of Lords also affirms that position when he questioned HM Government on the official position on bailiffs charging for word he has not done. Quote them on the Form 4.

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Just to add to the fun, I've also noticed the list of goods levied:

 

Microwave

Dining table

TV

Leather sofa and armchair

Washing machine

 

From what I can see, only the TV should be on the list.

 

1970


It's going to be an interesting year...

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Hi again,

 

I have found the walking posession agreement so that I can give you the figures exact:

 

Arrears due to authority £1323.76

Levy fee to scale schedule £62

Attending with a vehicle with a view to removing £200

Walking posession fee £12

Removal fee where no sale takes place £24.50

Amount paid by credit card -£400

Urgent arrears now due £1226.26

 

So there we have it. Interestingly, when they took the payment of £400 only £300 of it reach my account according to a recent statement I obtained from the bailiff.

 

I'm going to the council tomorrow to try and force them to have the account back.

 

I think a Form 4 is going to be my next move also.

 

1970.

The fees are WRONG.

 

The PURPOSE of the visit is to LEVY UPON GOODS...and NOT to remove them.!!

 

In the first place the bailiff can charge EITHER an visit fee of £24.50 (attending to levy where NO levy was made) or ALTERNATIVELY he can charge a LEVY FEE if he has managed to levy upon goods.

 

The van fee is WRONG as a Walking Possession Agreement was signed and this is therefore a CONTRACT between you and the bailiff to LEAVE the goods.

 

In addition, the law prescribes for 2 visits to be made to collect council tax. The first one at £24.50 and the second at £18. Therefore the bailiff SHOULD NOT be looking at REMOVING goods !!!

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The purpose of the visit is to levy upon goods WITH the intention of removing the goods (Attending to Remove). If the charge payer comes to an agreement with the bailiff then the walking possession is entered into. This states that for and inconsideration of not immediately removing goods the charge payer agrees to pay the debt plus the costs. The van fee has been applied legally because s/he is there with the intention of removing goods. If the debt had been settled before the bailiff arrives then no such action would be necessary.

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The purpose of the visit is to levy upon goods WITH the intention of removing the goods (Attending to Remove). If the charge payer comes to an agreement with the bailiff then the walking possession is entered into. This states that for and inconsideration of not immediately removing goods the charge payer agrees to pay the debt plus the costs. The van fee has been applied legally because s/he is there with the intention of removing goods. If the debt had been settled before the bailiff arrives then no such action would be necessary.

 

 

 

WRONG

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The fees are WRONG.

 

The PURPOSE of the visit is to LEVY UPON GOODS...and NOT to remove them.!!

 

In the first place the bailiff can charge EITHER an visit fee of £24.50 (attending to levy where NO levy was made) or ALTERNATIVELY he can charge a LEVY FEE if he has managed to levy upon goods.

 

The van fee is WRONG as a Walking Possession Agreement was signed and this is therefore a CONTRACT between you and the bailiff to LEAVE the goods.

 

In addition, the law prescribes for 2 visits to be made to collect council tax. The first one at £24.50 and the second at £18. Therefore the bailiff SHOULD NOT be looking at REMOVING goods !!!

 

CORRECT

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As the van fee was applied before the walking possession agreement was signed, the van fee is valid. Please bear in mind that the van fee is for an attendance to remove goods. Once the fee is in place, it will not be removed (in accordance with the law). Should the bailiff enter into an agreement with the charge payer AFTER he has attended the premises with an intention to remove goods (for example a vehicle), then no removal takes place, the fees are legally allowed (seizure to ascertain). If removal does take place, then FURTHER costs will be applied, taking into account extra costs incurred by the bailiff and the auctioneer.

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Hi CBW23,

 

I have information from the CAB that the van fee can only be applied after a walking possession agreement has been obtained.

 

In my case the fan fee was applied at the same time, on the same form.

 

The walking posession agreement states that if the payment was not made within 5 days then they would return to remove goods.

 

My understanding is that the first vists should cost £24.50. This includes the bailiff obtaining a walking posession order.

 

If the debtor does not pay and the bailiff has to return to enforce the walking posession order then he is allowed to bring a van and charge for the cost of bringing the van.

 

It would be handy to get a definate answer on this one.

 

If a bailiff visits 20 people a day which I believe is achievable then they can get away with charging 20 x £24.50 and 20 x £200 making a tidy £4490 for a days work. Multiply that on a monthly basis then you can see why these companies report very healthy profits at companies house.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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My understanding is that the first visits should cost £24.50. This includes the bailiff obtaining a walking possession order.

 

this is not correct if the bailiff obtains a walking possession then he can charge a walking possession fee flat rate £12 and a levy fee he cannot charge a visit fee on the same day

 

THE COUNCIL TAX (ADMINISTRATION AND

ENFORCEMENT) REGULATIONS 1992 (SI 1992/613 AS

AMENDED BY SI 1993/773, SI 1998/295, SI 2003/2211, SI 2006/3395 AND SI 2007/501

(SCHEDULE 5)

NOTICE OF

CHARGES CONNECTED WITH DISTRESS

1. The sum in respect of charges connected with the distress which may be aggregated under

regulation 45(2) shall be set out in the following Table-

(1)

Matters connected with distress

(2)

Charges

A For making a visit to premises with a view

to levying distress (where no levy is

made) –

i) where the visit is the first or only such

visit £24.50

ii) where the visit is the second such

 

visit:£18

  • B. For levying distress:

An amount (if any) which, when aggregated with charges under head A for any visits made with a view to levying distress in relation to an amount in respect of which the liability order concerned was made, is equal to the relevant amount calculated under paragraph 2(1) with respect to the levy

 

 

2.—(1) In heads A and B of the Table to paragraph 1, "the relevant amount" with respect to a visit or a levy means—

  • (a) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) does not exceed £100, £12.50,

  • (b) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) exceeds that amount, 12½ per cent. on the first £100 of the sum due, 4 per cent. on the next £400, 2½ per cent. on the next £1,500, 1 per cent. on the next £8,000 and ¼ per cent. on any additional sum;
  • (2) Where a charge has arisen under head B with respect to an amount, no further charge may be aggregated under heads A or B in respect of that amount.

and the sum due at any time for these purposes means so much of the amount in respect of which the liability order concerned was made as is outstanding at the time

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you also have an invalid levy the bailiff has listed goods that should not be on the levy

 

2) The following articles belonging to a debtor shall be exempt from distress if they are at the time of the distress in a dwellinghouse and are reasonably required for the use in the dwellinghouse of the person residing there or a member of the household-

a) beds or bedding;

b) household linen;

c) chairs or settees;

d) tables;

e) food;

f) lights or light fittings;

g) heating appliances;

h) curtains;

i) floor coverings;

j) furniture, equipment or utensils used for cooking storing or eating food;

k) refrigerators;

l) articles used for cleaning, mending, or pressing clothes;

m) articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse;

n) furniture used for storing-

(i) clothing, bedding or household linen;

(ii) articles used for cleaning the dwellinghouse; or

(iii) utensils used for cooking or eating food;

 

o) articles used for safety in the dwellinghouse or of household articles.

 

3) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations add to the list set out in subsection (2) above, or delete or vary any of the items contained in that list.

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Just to add to the fun, I've also noticed the list of goods levied:

 

Microwave

Dining table

TV

Leather sofa and armchair

Washing machine

 

From what I can see, only the TV should be on the list.

 

1970

They can levy a microwave unless you dont have a cooker. They cannot levy on any other white goods. they can levy on dining table and chairs. they cannot levy on childrens items, TV belongs to them dosnt it ;) thats if you had kids of course. They can levy on duplicate items also but thats a debatable subject

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Hi, Here's an update.

 

I had a letter in reply to my complaint to the bailiffs. Here are some comments from their letter which I could do with some help with:

 

 

Bailiff Letter:

Account Number xxxxxx

Fees breakdown

Debt owed £1323.76

Levy Fee £62.00

Walking Posession Fee £12.00

Attending to remove goods £200.00

No Sale Fee £24.50

Our bailiff attended on the 20th August 2008 with the view to removing goods, goods were levied upon and the above fees were correctly incurred.

You ascertain that the bailiff is unable to charge for attending to remove goods when he intended is not correct. We would refer you to schedule 5 number C which states:

"For one attendance with a vehicle with a view to the removal of goods (where following the levy, goods are not removed) Reasonable costs and fees incurred"

Our bailiff attended with the view to the removal of goods, levied upon goods and goods were not removed accordingly the criteria was met.

Our bailiff levied accordingly and the levy fee is due, the visit fees quoted in your correspondence apply only when the bailiff has not levied, clearly on this account the bailiff has levied and you have incurred a levy fee.

 

My initial complaint was that they cannot charge a van fee until after a walking posession order has been obtained. Im my case they have charged a van fee on the same day that they came to get the walking posession order signed. I also challenged whether there should be a Levy fee as well as a no sale fee. If they are correct then they will get away with charging £298.50 for a single visit.

 

I'm very keen to get a full understanding of the correct fees and how they should be charged.

 

I can also argue that £200 is unreasonable for a van fee but thats an easy one.

 

Any ideas?

 

1970.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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it works like this

A For making a visit to premises with a view

to levying distress (where no levy is

made) –

i) where the visit is the first or only such

visit £24.50

in other words they came to the house no one was at home and they left a letter to say the had been

 

where the visit is the second such visit:£18 they had to come back a second time and no one was home again left letter to say they had been

 

they then came and you were home you let them in they done a levy

charges for this

£12 walking possession fee

levy fee £62

no other fees can be charged on the same day as the levy fee and the walking possession fee

they cannot charge a van fee before or on the same day as the W P fee and levy fee

 

 

No Sale Fee £24.50

 

never herd of this fee

 

the charges as explained are the only fees you should have if you had a 1st and 2nd visit

ir the 1st and 2nd visit fee are on the same day or are on the same day as the W P fee and levy then they cant charge them either

 

hope you understand this if you don't just ask

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Excellent, the main point is the charging of the van fee on the same day as the wp and levy fee. my understanding is that the van fee only applies if the have to return once more to enforce the wp. it cant be charged on the same day they obtained the wp although the bailiff asserts they can.

 

I hope thats the case anyway.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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Excellent, the main point is the charging of the van fee on the same day as the wp and levy fee. my understanding is that the van fee only applies if the have to return once more to enforce the wp. it cant be charged on the same day they obtained the wp although the bailiff asserts they can.

 

I hope thats the case anyway.

 

you are correct

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Excellent, the main point is the charging of the van fee on the same day as the wp and levy fee. my understanding is that the van fee only applies if the have to return once more to enforce the wp. it cant be charged on the same day they obtained the wp although the bailiff asserts they can.

 

I hope thats the case anyway.

 

.

1970. I agree with post for the following reason:

 

 

 

According to the legislation, the PURPOSE of a visit is to "levy upon goods" and the bailiff can charge EITHER a fee of £24.50 for "attending to levy...where no levy is made" ie: where nobody was in or he can EITHER charge a "levy" fee is he does levy. He cannot of course charge BOTH fees.

 

By levying upon goods he will be obtaining a walking possession and this "Contract" states upon it that goods will NOT be removed for "AT LEAST 5 DAYS"

 

THEREFORE.....I suggest that you ask the bailiff company to explain their statement that:

 

"Our bailiff attended with the view to the removal of goods, levied upon goods and goods were not removed accordingly the criteria was met"

 

Taking the legislation into consideration if the bailiff DID attend "with a view to the removal of goods"....then he should NOT HAVE DONE SO because the statutory legislation as laid down by Parliament provides that he should have "attended with a view to levying upon goods"

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Thanks Tomtubby, I shall use this text in my letter.

 

This matter is a case of incorrect fees and also the bailiff taking payments and keeping the money themselves. I calculate that with the missing payments and the unlawful charges they owe me more than I owe them.

 

I have given them a further 7 days to correct the situation and then I will file a form 4 complaint.

 

Here's a question, my complaint is against 2 individual bailiffs and the firm itself.

 

Do I have to file 3 separate form 4's or can I include all three on one form?

 

1970.


It's going to be an interesting year...

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