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I won't say who they are but they have done this to me and I have disputed the Bailiff's fees since no levy was performed, no wp order etc.

 

I believe that my dispute is with the private ltd company (bailiffs) and therefore a local authority should not be collecting their fees on their behalf.

 

The debt btw was and is council tax.

 

Anyone advise please?

 

calvi36

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No, more than that, levy on a car, which I have supplied documentary proof that the car was leased and not owned by me. Visit with van etc etc. The crux is this, I will argue it out with the bailiff company, who I am in dispute with over the charges and they can raise a civil action if they wish. The council should not be adding a private bailiff ltd company fees to my council tax bill. Am I making more sense?

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they cannot add them to the liability amount but any monies recovered will first pay off bailiff fees then the liability order whether paid direct to council or bailiff

 

The council have added them to the summary of liability Pink.

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Pink, I have never paid the bailiffs a penny. I have paid council online and never had a payment rejected. I have never entered into any correspondence with the Bailiff company. I refused to deal with the bailiffs and they never gained access to my home.I have not been sent an amended liability order, the bailiffs fees now show on CT statement under the summary of liability section.

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Even though you have never dealt with the Bailiff have they visited you, if so they may be entitled to their 1st & 2nd vist charges only - total £42-50 - what charges have they added to your account?

 

PT

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I suspect what may have happened is that your case has been transferred now from the Council to the Bailiffs and it is the Bailiff that has advised the Council of the totals now due, and in turn this is what they are giving you. Whether the fees are correct or not do not matter at this stage. If you have been able to prove and agree that the fees are incorrect/unlawful then at a future update the figures the Council have will also change.

 

To go further you need to ask the Council:

1. What the total on the original Liability Order was?

2. The date it was passed to the Bailiffs?

3. The amount currently outstanding and how it is broken down?

Sometimes the Council just work from a script and are not allowed to deviate, in which case you ask to speak to someone more senior, you can do this until you eventually get to the Chief Executive.

 

Furthermore, you need to contact the Bailiff company and ask:

1. For a statement of your account?

2. A screenshot of your account - this tells you when etc various charges have been added?

3. Any reasons why they think your levy should stand, and if so why they haven't already lifted the vehicle?

4. Look on here for the letter by Happy Contrails that asks them to truthfully admit their charges etc are true - and send it to them by both email and post.

 

PT

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Guest Happy Contrails

... and herewith the truth-test letter mentioned.

 

PT (and others) you can freely quote the text of the letter in your posts. I dont charge for my services.

 

The letter below asks the bailiff to pass a truth-test about his fees. Three things can happen, 1) The bailiff can try to convince you his fees comply with legislation – and you now have a written confession he intended to defraud you. 2) He can refund you – and this is mitigation the bailiff intended to defraud you. 3) No reply – you can proceed with litigation against bailiff and council. In any event, you have caught the bailiff with pants at half mast with this letter.

 

 

The Bailiff Company

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 itemised breakdown 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 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 arrestable 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.

 

Case law requires I recover unlawful bailiffs fees from your client that instructed you. If you fail to make the required refund within seven days I will automatically proceed by filing the claim at court.

 

This is a letter before action and is not a request to access any personal data about me in the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998. It 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

Copied to: The Mayor and Burgesses of [NAME OF COUNCIL]

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Thanks PT and Con,

 

I went with the advice here and held out. The council passed it to the bailiffs Jan this year. They never gained WP, they levied on a leased vehicle which I countered in writing (unsigned) providing an invoice that car was leased via fax. The bailiff company tried all the usual tricks but in the end they passed it back to the council as they knew that they would not gain peaceful entry to my home.

 

Now that the council have taken the debt back they have issued a council tax statement, in the section summary of liability the bailiffs cost is listed as £206.50. My argument is only against this amount, all others are correct and yes I am liable for them and I have never refused to pay, I couldn't pay. However now the council are threatening applying to court for a custodial sentence, I am quite prepared to face them on this as I have never refused to pay nor willfully neglected to pay and they will have a very difficult time proving either point.

 

My dispute is with the bailiff company's charges. They are a limited company, therefore it is a civil dispute between myself and them, the council should not be charging me for any bailiff costs. This line from Con's letter greatly interested me "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". By the council billing me for the bailiffs charges (disputed) then they could be implicated in any fraud allegation.

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Thanks PT and Con,

 

I went with the advice here and held out. The council passed it to the bailiffs Jan this year. They never gained WP, they levied on a leased vehicle which I countered in writing (unsigned) providing an invoice that car was leased via fax. The bailiff company tried all the usual tricks but in the end they passed it back to the council as they knew that they would not gain peaceful entry to my home.

 

Now that the council have taken the debt back they have issued a council tax statement, in the section summary of liability the bailiffs cost is listed as £206.50. My argument is only against this amount, all others are correct and yes I am liable for them and I have never refused to pay, I couldn't pay. However now the council are threatening applying to court for a custodial sentence, I am quite prepared to face them on this as I have never refused to pay nor willfully neglected to pay and they will have a very difficult time proving either point.

 

My dispute is with the bailiff company's charges. They are a limited company, therefore it is a civil dispute between myself and them, the council should not be charging me for any bailiff costs. This line from Con's letter greatly interested me "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". By the council billing me for the bailiffs charges (disputed) then they could be implicated in any fraud allegation.

 

It appears to me that the Council have issued your statement including ALL the Bailiff fees, as advised earlier do you have a statement from their Company of your account. Have they acknowledged that they had a possible incorrect levy - it appears to me that they are informing the Council of what you still owe them.

 

The Council can indeed apply for a Committal hearing and sorry to say may indeed win unless you can show you have or are taking steps to have some of these charges removed. I suspect from what you say this has been ongoing for sometime and the Council see you as wilfully refusing to pay.

 

I don't believe the Magistrates have the power or knowledge to dictate which charges are lawful or not and rely on yourself sorting this out. This maybe isn't what you wish to hear but can only strongly suggest you take this up with the Bailiff company soonest - in particular send them HC's "Truth" letter above by email and post.

 

Incidentally is the actual Bailiff who is dealing with this officially Certificated? Might be worth checking as another avenue of attack.

 

PT

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The battle lines have been drawn, they have not won. I am now fighting back, using the law to take them down.

 

FORMAL COMPLAINT

Dear Sirs,

I write in regard to your letter and council tax statement dated xx and I have to state that I am astounded by the contents of the council tax bill.

 

I completely dispute that I am liable to your council for the bailiff costs included in the summary of liability. I am in dispute with xxx Ltd regarding the charges that they have invoiced against me.

 

This is a civil matter between myself and a private limited company. There is absolutely no justification in including the disputed amount between myself and xxx Ltd as a liability contained within the council tax bill you have issued to me. If they wish to pursue me for part of the disputed charges then this is of course their prerogative. I have reason to doubt the legality of xxx Ltd charges having looked at the law in reference to exactly what fees a bailiff can charge in relation to collection of council tax arrears. xxx Ltd did not gain a walking possession agreement, they levied on a car which I proved was leased and not owned by myself this was therefore an incorrect levy and not chargeable. They charged for “reasonable costs” for attending my property with a view to removing goods and chattels, since they had no walking possession it was immaterial which type of vehicle they attended with. I refer you to Culligan -v- Marston Group Ltd et-al, no. 8CL51015.

 

Distress was not served:

 

The process of distress consists of three stages;

· the entry into the premises,

· the seizure of the goods

· the subsequent securing of the goods.

 

Your employee xxx is well aware of the dispute on these charges and yet has chosen to ignore my response that I am in dispute with xxx Ltd regarding the charges and continues to state the charges are due.

 

I will refer you to the following:

Under the Fraud Act 2006. Section 2 of the Act specifically states:

2 Fraud by false representation

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and

(b) intends, by making the representation—

(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or

(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

(2) A representation is false if—

(a) it is untrue or misleading, and

(b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

(3) “Representation” means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of—

(a) the person making the representation, or

(b) any other person.

(4) A representation may be express or implied.

(5) For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention).

3 Fraud by failing to disclose information

A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and

(b) intends, by failing to disclose the information—

(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or

(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

4 Fraud by abuse of position

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he—

(a) occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person,

(b) dishonestly abuses that position, and

© intends, by means of the abuse of that position—

(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or

(ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

(2) A person may be regarded as having abused his position even though his conduct consisted of an omission rather than an act.

Your council gained a liability order against me for outstanding council tax for which I fully accept liability. A liability order cannot be amended in any way unless a new liability order is obtained from the Magistrates Court. I have never been notified of any updated liability order being issued.

I now refuse to enter into any verbal conversation with Mrs xxxx due to her belligerent approach to the matter of Council Tax arrears. While I have attempted to find a resolution to this matter Mrs xxx continually attempts to escalate matters in stating, “We will apply to court for a custodial sentence since you refuse to pay your council tax”. I have never refused nor wilfully neglected to pay this tax, there is a massive difference between refusing to pay and being financially unable to pay. I explained to Mrs xxx that if the council chose to apply to court for a custodial sentence then I would defend it, she then stated “Yes, but it is going to cost you another £240 to see my face in court”. Once again you will see that instead of looking for a resolution Mrs xxx looks to escalate matters with threats of financial loss and my loss of liberty. Mrs xxx continually spoke over me as I tried to explain the situation and would not allow me to be heard, I ended up having to hang up the telephone as I refused to listen to the barrage being inflicted by your employee. Your own customer care standards have definitely not been met, you state on your Website:

We will:

·Be polite, and treat you with courtesy, fairness, honesty and respect. This did not happen at all. Your employee was using both express and implied threats regarding imprisonment and further financial loss.

·Make sure that services are accessible to everyone.

·Listen to you carefully and use Plain English when we speak or write to you. I was not listened to at all as I was not allowed to speak; I could hardly complete one sentence without being spoken over.

·Explain our decisions and the reasons for them.

·Respect confidentiality. This did not happen as Mrs xxx telephoned and explained why she was calling, in detail, stating she “had to resolve the outstanding arrears on my council tax bill”, she did not identify the person with whom she was speaking, and it was not me she was speaking with! This in itself is a clear breach of the data protection act.

My comments are in red font. If you use a voice recording facility then I suggest you go and listen to the call.

 

I will be making regular payments towards clearing the council tax arrears, the first one will be tomorrow 28th October when I am paid the working tax credit. This is all my family have to live on at the moment however I am aware that this tax is classed as a priority debt and must be paid.

 

I now formally request that you investigate the matters above.

 

Regards,

 

 

I will publish the outcome when it happens. Cook me a kipper I will be back in time for breakfast!

 

Addendum to complaint:

 

Dear Sirs,

 

It is my understanding that your employee Mrs xxx is a certificated bailiff employed by your authority. You will be aware that you are responsible for the actions performed by any council employee. I am adding this as an addendum to my outstanding complaint and I am giving you ample opportunity to address those issues.

 

Your employee is openly supporting excessive Bailiff charges, the charges are not as set out in statute and therefore illegal and fraudulent.

 

I put you on notice that I shall file a form 4 complaint against your employee should you fail to resolve matters during your investigation.

Edited by calvi36
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That's the letter I sent them Tomtubby, I have removed names etc. I have also stated that I will be making a form 4 complaint to the issuing court of bailiffs certificate. I have had more than enough of these crooks.

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  • 2 months later...

A quick update.

 

I received a letter from the council on 23rd Dec. They offered apologies for all issues that I raised. The Bailiffs fees have now been removed from the CT bill as they have no right to collect an alleged debt for another company. The Director of Finance has now asked for a suitable time to meet with me in person, I will arrange this on Monday. Looks like another small victory for a cagger!

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A quick update.

 

I received a letter from the council on 23rd Dec. They offered apologies for all issues that I raised. The Bailiffs fees have now been removed from the CT bill as they have no right to collect an alleged debt for another company. The Director of Finance has now asked for a suitable time to meet with me in person, I will arrange this on Monday. Looks like another small victory for a cagger!

 

And don't forget to mention all the hassle and stress you and your family have been put to over this. A token of Compo maybe?

 

PT

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And don't forget to mention all the hassle and stress you and your family have been put to over this. A token of Compo maybe?

 

PT

 

PT, you must be clairvoyant lmao. I have them bang to rights over data protection etc etc and they know it. Thanks for your input on this.

Edited by calvi36
typo
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It appears that there exists a very unfair relationship between us and some of our councils. If we are late in paying Council tax by a couple of weeks when electing to pay monthly, we run the risk of being clobbered for exorbitant court fees as well as being pursued by bailiffs and all their attendant scams.

Yet the Council can take almost two months just to reply to your letter.

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A quick update.

 

I received a letter from the council on 23rd Dec. They offered apologies for all issues that I raised. The Bailiffs fees have now been removed from the CT bill as they have no right to collect an alleged debt for another company. The Director of Finance has now asked for a suitable time to meet with me in person, I will arrange this on Monday. Looks like another small victory for a cagger!

 

An EXCELLENT result....although having to wait 2 months is not acceptable.

 

Plead do keep us posted on the outcome of your meeeting.

 

Once again...well done.

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TT, the reason it took 2 months is because I refused to accept their first response as they failed to address every issue in my complaint. I gave them another chance with the promise that if it was not dealt with fully then I would appeal to the Chief Exec and if still not satisfied then I would take it to LGO and ICO.

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Hi there

If they haven't gained access to your property the Council can add the cost of 2 Visits to your bill at the prescribed fees - It's about 40 Quid --.

 

Just pay these with your council bill -- I think including VAT plus court + all the "other bits and pieces" the total "extras" shouldn't come to more than 42.50 GBP.

 

However if you CAN get these removed-- great for you.

 

Whatever the Council say these are the ONLY FEES ALLOWED. VAN FEES etc are NOT ALLOWED if no admittance to property has been gained.

 

Whilst you could probably dispute the "Visits" bill if they never actually "visited" -- whether a hand written piece of paper pushed through a Letterbox counts as a "visit" I can't say -- there are better qualified people on this Forum who can deal with that issue.

 

What I would say is that if you've got the council to take back the debt -- pay it as it will be FAR FAR cheaper than having to cough up often several hundreds of pounds in "Fees" if the Bailiff's get it.

 

Why does Debt Collection in the UK have to be so BLANTANTLY unfair where the people who can LEAST AFFORD IT are usually threatened with HORRENDOUS and unjust "FEES" / "Collection Charges" and other nonsences like that.

 

You only have to look at some of the horror stories in the Debt collection section where the antics of some of the DCA's make even the most ruthless Bailiff seem positively benign compared to your average DCA.

 

Cheers

jimbo

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  • 1 month later...

Update:

 

I have now met with the Executive Director of Finance at my council, I also took along my local ward councillor and the area MP has also been updated at every stage, the MP is actually very interested in how I have been treated by the council.

 

The outcome of the meeting was the following:

 

Full apology from the council on six of the seven points I complained about.

Removal of bailiff fees from council tax bill.

All Bailiff fees and courts costs for liability order retracted.

 

I would like to thank you all especially TT and ploddertom for all your help.

Edited by calvi36
double typo
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