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Hi, i wonder if anyone can offer me some advice please? Last Tuesday I came home to find a letter from Rossendales with regard to my Council Tax debt, stating that if i paid £150 initially, i could pay by instalments, etc. I rang the bailiff and explained that I was willing to give him a cheque that day for the £150 and arrange to pay by instalments but that I didn't wan him to enter my house that day as my two children (aged 10 and 14) would be at home, one of them is autistic and i didn't want them tobe present when he visited. I suggested he come the next day or on Saturday to give me an opportunity to arrange for my mum to look after them. However, he insisted that he could not come any other day as he would not be in the area. Reluctantly, I agreed, as he said it would only take 5 minutes and asked me to prepare a list of 7 items from the house, saying i should put down my settee, television, dvd player, etc, to which i agreed.

 

He came later that evening and said that he hadn't realised (??) that there were actually two cases (i owe app. £300 for council tax for 2007/2008 and app. £700 for 2009/2010), therefore he would have to fill in 2 sets of paperwork. He wrote down the 7 items on my list on one form and then asked for more items for the second form. He wrote, among st other things, my table and chairs and microwave.

 

I was absolutely terrified and ashamed and did not want my children to hear anything as they were in the other room so i just signed all the paperwork and gave him a cheque for £150.

 

I have since looked at the paperwork in detail and was horrified to discover that he made two separate sets of charges (2 x first visit, 2 x second visit, 2 x levy fee and 2 x walking possession) even though he did not have to make separate visits to deal with both cases, both for Council Tax, which he claims he thought was one case and so did i to be honest. Is this lawful???

 

Also, having read some posts on this forum, would i be correct in thinking that he should not have levied my settee, table and chairs, microwave, coffee table, etc as these are items which we need to sit on, etc??

i don't know what to do next. Should i send Rossendales a subject access request letter regarding the double fees? If so, what happens next?? Or should i phone them?

 

Can anyone with some experience or legal knowledge please advise me? Thank you.

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First off he CANNOT charge you two sets of fees, he can only charge you one visit.

He also cannot charge you for a visit fee and a levy fee its either one or the other.

Please dont feel ashamed.. can I ask if you are on any benefits or on a low income?

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Hi and thanks very much to hallowitch for the advice! Just to give you an update...

 

I rang Erewash Borough Council today and spoke to their Recovery Team Leader. I put the 3 points to him as suggested by hallowitch (below) and his response was as follows:

Apparently, I should have been charged only one lot of fees and he is going to take this up with Rossendales!!! He said that someone else had complained to him about the same thing this morning!

Re: points 1 and 2, he said that he will look into the current regulations, speak to Rossendales and get back to me.

So... thank you very much for the advice and I will keep you updated. I was expecting a phonecall back this afternoon from the Council but as they didn't ring, i will phone and speak to the same bloke tomorrow morning.

 

 

1) the bailiff should have sent this debt back to the council as you have a child thats falls under The national standards for enforcement agents vulnerably person situation

2) i presume that the settee ,chairs are the the only seating you have in your home they should not be subject to a levy they are exempt goods(can you list all the goods on both Levy's )

3) you have been over charged with your fees a bailiff cant charge multiple fees when enforcing more than 1 liability order

 

please start your own thread and we will all help you with this Bailiffs and Sheriff Officers click on this link it will take you to a new page near bottom on left you will see new thread

forumbox_top_left.gifforumbox_top_tile.gifforumbox_top_right.gifforumbox_left_tile.gifSubject Access Request A Subject Access Request is a demand which you can make to any organisation to disclose any personal information which they hold on you. The right to disclosure of data is provided by the Data Protection Act.

There is no time limit. The organisation is obliged to reveal everything they have about you - which you ask for - as far back as you ask for.

There are very few exceptions. It does not matter whether the data is held on microfiche, in an archive, on tape, in a cardex system, in sound recordings or in screen notes.

Some companies are saying that they do not have to disclose where it would be difficult to do so - "disproportionate effort".

This is untrue. Disproportionate effort refers to something else under the Act.

If you are seeking bank charges information then you should ask for "all data held on you" and you should make it clear that you want everything as far back as it goes.

Your bank may try to kid you that they only have 6 years of data.

Do not be put off by excuses. Do not accept being fobbed off. It is not in your bank's interest to make full disclosure to you. This means that it is in your interests to get it.

If you have not started gathering your bank charges information yet, then you should start now.

There will soon be a big rush once the OFT test case has been settled.

Get all of your bank account informtion as far back as possible. At least as far back as 1995.

If your bank says that they don't keep data as far back as this, don't accept it. Be persistent. They've got what you need in some form or other.

forumbox_right_tile.gifforumbox_bottom_left.gifforumbox_bottom_tile.gifforumbox_bottom_right.gif

__________________

i hate bailiffs would love to put a hex on them all

 

i am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination

any advice given is from my own personal experience and what Ive leaned on this site

 

and if you are happy with my advice you might like to tip my scales

Last edited by hallowitch; Yesterday at 22:51.

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Re: points 1 and 2, he said that he will look into the current regulations, speak to Rossendales and get back to me

point 1)

If need be point out this to him when he phones

Department for constitutional affairs

National Standards for Enforcement Agents

MAY 202

 

Vulnerable situations

  • Enforcement agents/agencies and creditors must recognise that they each have a role in ensuring that the vulnerable and socially excluded are protected and that the recovery process includes procedures agreed between the agent/agency and creditor about how such situations should be dealt with. The appropriate use of discretion is essential in every case and no amount of guidance could cover every situation, therefore the agent has a duty to contact the creditor and report the circumstances in situations where there is potential cause for concern. If necessary, the enforcement agent will advise the creditor iffurther action is appropriate. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
  • Enforcement agents must withdraw from domestic premises if the only person present is, or appears to be, under the age of 18; they can ask when the debtor will be home - if appropriate.
  • Enforcement agents must withdraw without making enquiries if the only persons present are children who appear to be under the age of 12.
  • Wherever possible, enforcement agents should have arrangements in place for rapidly accessing translation services when these are needed, and provide on request information in large print or in Braille for debtors with impaired sight.
  • Those who might be potentially vulnerable include:
    • the elderly;
    • people with a disability;
    • the seriously ill;
    • the recently bereaved;
    • single parent families;
    • pregnant women;
    • unemployed people; and,
    • those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.

Edited by hallowitch
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Department for constitutional affairs

National Standards for Enforcement Agents

MAY 202

point 2

 

 

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.

We consider that under 1(b) and 1(d) the preferable aggregate value might be £1500.

 

you may also want to send him a copy of this after rossendales tell him there levy is lawfull

 

Irregular Distress (Levy) by Bailiffs

With thanks to Tomtubby

[edit]MRS AMBROSE v NOTTINHGAM CITY COUNCIL

This is another well known legal cases that has been relied upon many times when either issuing proceedings, or one that can be referred to when writing a letter of complaint. This case concerns a lady by the name of Mrs Ambrose who claimed that a levy (distress) was irregular as bailiffs had removed goods from the home that were necessary for “providing the basic domestic needs of the family”

Background:

Mrs Ambrose and her husband had an unpaid Council Tax bill for £851.00 owing to Nottingham City Council. In September 2003, Rossendale’s Bailiffs attended at their home to levy distress on goods. Rossendale’s had entered the property, where they identified items that were listed on a Walking Possession. Next to those items listed, the bailiff wrote the words: “and all other goods on the premises unless exempt or specially exempt by statute.” The bailiff had not looked around the house; he had merely entered one room and was therefore unable to see which items were “exempt”

Regulation 45 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 lists the following items as being exempt from seizure:

"Such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary for use personally in employment, business or vocation"

"Such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying basic domestic needs of the person and family".

As the Council Tax remained unpaid, the bailiff returned with a van to seize furniture that included a sofa, footstool and two dining chairs.

District Judge Cooper agreed that the seizure was irregular as the bailiff had removed furniture that was necessary for “satisfying the basic domestic needs of Mrs Ambrose and her family” This was because, amongst other items removed, the bailiffs had removed 2 dining chairs. They left behind the table and the remaining two chairs. As the family consisted of Mrs & Mrs Ambrose and one child, the bailiffs should have left seating for 3 people, not two.

Nottingham City Council had argued that there could not be any irregularity as Mrs Ambrose had signed the Walking Possession. This was rejected by Judge Cooper who agreed that Mrs Ambrose was faced with the prospect of having her goods removed unless she signed the Walking Possession.

As important as the above is, the Judge also agreed that the wording on the Walking Possession was deficient in that the reference to “all other goods on the premises unless exempt” did not specify what those other goods were, and which ones were exempt. The Judge agreed that the levy was also irregular for this reason.

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Thanks again Hallowitch! I will phone the Council tomorrow morning and report back. I did go on Rossendale's website to check my account this evening and they haven't removed the second lot of fees yet so I will query this as the bloke at the Council said he would contact them today.

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I totally forgot!! I was asked previously what was on the Bailiff's inventories, which was as follows:

 

First (as per the list he asked me to prepare):

1 x tv

1 x dvd player

1 x beige 3 seater settee

1 x ipod docking system

1 x Apple ipod

1 x PC monitor

1 x PC tower

 

Second (when he 'realised' there were 2 debts):

1 x colour tv

1 x dining table (round)

1 x microwave

1 x coffee table

1 x bookcase

1 x DVD collections

 

Also, the fees etc he charged were as follows:

 

£24.50 first visit fee

£18.00 second visit fee

£39.00 levy fee

£12.00 walking posession

 

and...

 

£24.50 first visit fee

£18.00 second visit fee

£49.00 levy fee

£12.00 walking posession

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I totally forgot!! I was asked previously what was on the Bailiff's inventories, which was as follows:

 

First (as per the list he asked me to prepare):

1 x tv

1 x dvd player

1 x beige 3 seater settee

1 x ipod docking system

1 x Apple ipod

1 x PC monitor

1 x PC tower

 

Second (when he 'realised' there were 2 debts):

1 x colour tv

1 x dining table (round)

1 x microwave

1 x coffee table

1 x bookcase

1 x DVD collections

 

Also, the fees etc he charged were as follows:

 

£24.50 first visit fee

£18.00 second visit fee

£39.00 levy fee

£12.00 walking posession

 

and...

 

£24.50 first visit fee

£18.00 second visit fee

£49.00 levy fee

£12.00 walking posession

 

It seems from your first post that the bailiff only made one visit to your home. If that is the case, he can only charge for one visit, i.e. £24.50.

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