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IMPORTANT...If you need to make a Complaint to the Local Authority then read here.....

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It must be remembered that a bailiff enforcing a debt for council tax, National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) or an unpaid parking ticket is working as a agent/contractor for the local authority.

 

In this, the local authority cannot simply abdicate responsibility for the actions of their agent/contractor as ultimately, it is the responsibility of the local authority to ensure that a levy is carried out in a lawful manner and that the fees charged by their agents are in accordance with statutory regulations.

 

Following a discussion with the Local Government Ombudsman's Office (LGO) they have advised that if you have a Compliant for the Council about their bailiff's then you MUST do the following:

 

.

 

You must ENSURE that you mark your letter to the local authority as a : FORMAL COMPLAINT.

 

Your letter should be addressed to the CHIEF EXECUTIVE and should be COPIED to the COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT ( this will ensure that it is registered as a formal complaint).

 

It must be understood that under the 1974 Local Government Act the Local Government Ombudsman only has jurisdication to investigate a complaint if the matter had first been brought to the attention of the local authority and that they had been given the opportunity to respond.

 

If you are unsatisfied with your response from the local authority then you can take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman but they will want to see that you have gone through the councils COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE first and that you have allowed the local authority a maximum period of 12 weeks to respond.

 

The Local Government Ombudsman's office will need to satisy themselves that you have made it CLEAR to the Local Authority that you are making a FORMAL COMPLAINT.

 

.

Edited by tomtubby

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Thanks TT..I have been writing seperately to the recovery dept of my local council and the bailiff company....and have followed all up with a letter to the chief executive yesterday.....you are absolutely correct...the paper trail has to be spot on

 

Have included my letter..not trying to hijack...moan at council at end is light relief....that bit is very 'Laurel & Hardy'

 

 

The Chief Executive

xxxxxxx Borough Council

Town Hall xxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acc. no. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

Dear Sir,

 

 

Formal Complaint against xxxxxx Commercial and their Bailiffs/agents

 

 

The recovery department of xxxxxx Borough Council has a full file of correspondence/paperwork which you need to look at. A summary of the correspondence which has flowed ( albeit mostly one way ) between myself and xxxxxxx Commercial since the incident itself.

 

 

15/04/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxxx Commercial asking them why when I threatened to take my own life if anybody tried to take my parent's things, that they didn't take any notice ( I was hospitalised for depression in August 2005 and sectioned in June 2006, finally being discharged form the care of the hospital in November 2008 at my own request ). I also asked why I was given only 10 days to find £773.

 

 

17/04/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxx Commercial asking them why an old Mercedes was put on the form, when the bailiff had been informed it had already been sold on ebay to help pay off the debt, and why my own car was put on the form, when I was self-employed and needed it for work.

 

 

18/04/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxxxx Commercial again asking them why I was charged what they called an attendance fee of £165. Legally they can only charge a Walking Possession and a levy fee, the attendance fee is for removal and can only be charged on a subsequent visit and is completely bogus. I also pointed out they had broken the Specification for private Enforcement Provision, specifically section 6.31.

 

 

24/04/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxxxx Commercial to express my anger at the fact I had received a letter from them saying I owed them £33 odd and they would be coming to seize goods. I immediately went to xxxxxx Borough Council's offices and found out there was no debt. I had had no contact with Phoenix Commercial and the debt had been paid off the first week of January, so was very suspicious of the fact that the demand coincided with my complaint. This caused me considerable distress, there has never been any apology.

 

 

1/5/09

 

 

I repeated my questions to xxxxxxxx Commercial, up to this point I had received one one line reply. None of my questions had been answered.

 

 

28/05/09

 

 

I sent xxxxxxx Commercial a Subject Access Request and again repeated my questions.

 

 

18/07/09

 

 

I requested the details for the two bailiffs who visited my property, and requested the information within two weeks, as I intend to issue a form 4 against both of them.

 

 

 

 

24/07/08

 

 

I sent xxxxxxxx Commercial a letter refuting their claim they had complied with the Subject Access Request, which they claimed they had responded to on the 12th July, informed then they had failed to comply with the Subject Access Request and stating that if the information requested was not forthcoming within one week I would take legal action for damages arising from their non-compliance

 

 

28/07/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxxxxx Commercial stating that they had 7 days to reimburse the 'enforcement' fee of £165 as it was fraudulent, it has no legal basis, and was charged for 'services' which never took place, as their agent carried out a levy, the basis of which is that goods are not removed, or I would be going to the police and reporting it as fraud. A removal/enforcement/attendance fee is a bogus term, it refers to the costs of removing goods, which did not happen.

 

 

30/07/09

 

 

I wrote to xxxxxxx Commercial stating that I had finally received a response to my Subject Access Request which was totally inadequate, after the expiry date, and had the wrong address on it, which means someone near Cromer in Norfolk has my details. There was no breakdown of this 'enforcement' fee, no screenshot of my account. The letter was for the most part a disclaimer to avoid giving me this information and to disguise fraud. I was told if I wanted specific documents I would have to apply through the courts. I stated that I would be taking legal action against them for damages as a result of their non-compliance and would be reporting them to the Information Commissioner.

 

 

I have included copies of correspondence. I have been dealing with this with the Recovery Department of xxxxxxx Borough Council for some time and have not had any worthwhile response from yourselves. You pursued me for this debt when I was on incapacity benefit and was being treated once a week at the xxxxxxxxx hospital. You had an attachment of earnings on my ex partner but still pursued me when I was single again in July 2008. You ignored the threats I made to my own welfare out of desperation to you, both in writing and verbally when I came to your offices, despite being fully aware of my medical history from past contact. as I was unable to deal with both sets of arrears at the same time. You denied that you could take the debt back from the bailiffs when you can. I requested copies of your policy document dealing with vulnerable people who fall into arrears, and the code of practice that you issue to bailiffs two weeks ago, I have received nothing. I have sent xxxxxxx Borough Council a Subject Access Request which I am awaiting. I will use the information and the evidence therein to form a complaint to the Local Government Onbudsman

 

 

As regards xxxxxxx Commercial, they broke the Specification for Private Enforcement when pursuing me when I was on incapacity benefit and still being treated. They, like xxxxx Borough Council, were aware of my medical history. They ignored the threats I made to my own welfare, in writing, on the phone to one of their employees when at your offices, and to the bailiff who came to my property. This is also in contravention of OFT guidelines. The enforcement/attendance fee is completely bogus, and is fraud. It is only applicable in a visit subsequent to a levy to remove goods if the debt is not paid. I have been charged for both accounts on one visit. This was reduced to £8.75 very recently on or around 24th April as a result of my initial complaint. I have made a complaint to the Information Commissioner, other complaints will be made to the Ministry of Justice, and the OFT. In addiction, if the enforcement fee is not refunded I will report the bailiff and xxxxxxxx Commercial for fraud.

 

 

I would remind you you are responsible for the Actions of xxxxxxxx Commercial and their agents.

 

 

Issue 2

 

 

In January I received a demand for unpaid council tax 2008-9. This came as a surprise as when I attended you offices in December I was told that I was in the clear...and was very relieved..so could now turn my attention to the arrears for the previous year ( see above ). There followed me sending you eight letters and emails giving full details of payments, with no response from yourselves other than to send me a court summons for the 27th March. I duly attended, with all my paperwork. I was told I did not need to attend, as although the debt was valid, it was simply a case of a different account number being issued. You had written to me saying I had not informed you that I had returned to work, yet I had written to you in November telling you so. This could have been passed onto me in a five minute phonecall. You did write to me saying I didn't have to attend, but the letter was dated the 26th, the day before the hearing, not a lot of use. In addition, the lady I spoke to at the court said the letter contained information about my lost income, as I had been booked for that day, and had to cancel, being self – employed means if I do not work I do not get paid. The letter contained nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been requesting that I be reimbursed ever since but have heard nothing. To add insult to injury you had written to my MP three days previous to the letter you wrote to me saying that I did not have to attend the hearing, and that I had until April 15th to come to an arrangement. This last point was sadly lacking in the letter you wrote to me. When I wrote to xxxxxx Borough Council with my Subject Access Request I gave you 40 days notice of action, if my lost wages are not reimbursed then I will seek legal redress...

 

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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It must be remembered that a bailiff enforcing a debt for council tax, National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) or an unpaid parking ticket is working as a agent for the local authority.

 

In this, the local authority cannot simply abdicate responsibility for the actions of their contractor as ultimately, it is the responsibility of the local authority to ensure that a levy is carried out in a lawful manner and that the fees charged by their agents are in accordance with statutory regulations.

 

Following a discussion with the Local Government Ombudsman's Office (LGO) they have advised that if you have a Compliant for the Council about their bailiff's then you MUST do the following:

 

.

 

You must ENSURE that you mark your letter to the local authority: FORMAL COMPLAINT.

 

Your letter should be addressed to the CHIEF EXECUTIVE and should be COPIED to the COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT ( this will ensure that it is registered as a formal complaint).

 

If you are unsatisfied with your response from the local authority then you can take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman but they will want to see that you have gone through the councils COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE first and that you have allowed the local authority a maximum period of 12 weeks to respond.

 

The Local Government Ombudsman's office will need to satisy themselves that you have made it CLEAR to the Local Authority that you are making a FORMAL COMPLAINT.

 

.

 

Maybe this should be 'stickied'?

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Maybe this should be 'stickied'?

 

 

I agree !!

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how do you find the address of the complaints department.

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