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An Act of Parliament to end the scourge of bailiff’’s fee fraud - Your comments


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Guest Happy Contrails

I have been approached to prepare a draft bill to streamline civil enforcement fees and end the pandemic of fee irregularities, and propose it to the House of Lords.

 

Lord Ralph Lucas is a legislator and had been active in civil enforcement law, and is known to be sympathetic towards debtors who suffer hardship and unlawful action taken against them by bailiffs. Before I draft a bill, I invite constructive comments on the letter below, and suggestions from bailiffs and others working in civil enforcement as to a scale of charges they think is reasonable and fair.

 

The (Rt Hon. the) Lord Lucas

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

 

[DATE]

 

Dear Lord Lucas

 

Re: Bailiffs and fee regulations

 

I write to propose a change in the law that currently allows Enforcement Officers (or bailiffs) to interpret fee regulations allowing them to charge unlimited sums of money as fees and costs, and end the process of detailed assessment hearings.

 

There is compelling evidence it is the practice of bailiffs to:

 

  • Abuse fee regulations and charge high fees under the pretence it is reasonable costs without providing any supporting documentary evidence. An aggrieved person then needs to start a complex and little known appeals procedure, which is often concealed by bailiffs. The present system of detailed assessment hearings has proven to be expensive, ineffective and incomprehensible for persons aggrieved by high bailiff’s fees and offers little protection for vulnerable and low-income persons.

  • Charge fees in advance of work being done, which can result in debtors paying for work that is not done and this commits an offence under the 2006 Fraud Act (Baroness Scotland, House of Lords 20 April 2007). Unfortunately, police adopt a propensity to dismiss fee fraud a civil matter without making any enquiries. This encourages bailiffs to continue targeting the vulnerable and less-informed with unlawful fees.

  • Selecting assignments displaying a vehicle VRN having a high net value

  • Seized vehicles sold at a fraction of their true market value, often to associates of bailiffs working as motor traders who sell, or export vehicles to an end-user for gain for himself or another or at a non-statutory loss to the debtor.

This is a non-exhaustive list of legislation understood to be open to exploitation:

 

Schedule 3(5)(3) et-al in Regulation 13 of The High Court Enforcement Officers Regulations 2004 – the sums actually and reasonably paid

 

Regulation 45/46 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 - Reasonable costs and fees incurred

 

Schedule 1(3) of the Enforcement of Road Traffic Debts (Certificated Bailiffs) Regulations 1993 - the reasonable costs and charges for attending to levy

 

Regulation 3(c/d/f/h) et-al of the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provision) Regulations 1993 - the amount of the costs and fees reasonably incurred

 

Other legislation for consideration is the County Court Fees Order(Amended 1994) 1982, the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2007 and the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 and any rules allowing courts to independently set collection fees for which the debtor has a statutory liability to pay to the Enforcement Officer.

 

I request a bill is prepared, and laid before the Commons, which on Royal Assent could be named the Enforcement Officer’s Fees Act 2012 or similar to repeal the present bailiff fee structures and appeals process, and replace it with a fixed fee system payable on conclusion that is fair for bailiffs and affordable for debtors irrespective of the amount of work done or number of visits made. This will encourage bailiffs to complete all assignments fairly and equally.

 

A fee scale can be fixed, or set in stages according to the debt amount, for example, £50 for debts of £50-£100, £150 for debts £100-£500 and £250 for £500 and above. (Nil for debts less than £50, alternative enforcement can be selected). Amounts to include VAT and transaction fees, and option to revise them at the Finance Act. This ensures the value of any goods seized do correlate to the sum owed.

 

Consideration should also be made to protect debtors from under-selling seized goods and motor vehicles, and ensure vehicles attain a price according to established private-sale market prices with the balance refunded to the debtor.

 

Further sections may include:

 

a) A deterrent clause, a statutory fixed sum compensation for debtors when an enforcement officer increases, or attempts to increase, or adds a fee not prescribed

 

b) A clause to exclude Enforcement Officers from making a gain for himself or another from the sale of debtors goods or vehicle.

 

c) Repeal of Section 8 of the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 (Form 4 complaints) and replace it with Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970.

 

d) Repeal of Section 27 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and restore criminal liability for using violence or threatening violence against persons in their homes.

 

I look forward to a positive reply and to hear your initial thoughts on these proposals.

 

Yours Faithfully,

 

 

Edited by Happy Contrails
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Hi HC

 

What a buzz to see you are still avidly working to abolish the injustices of the system.

 

Reading from some of the past posts on cag (and from personal experience) it would seem the most questionable section of the High Court Enforcement Fee Scale is that headed under "miscellaneous" as this does not allow the debtor or the Courts to identify the specifics of the fees being charged. When these fees are questioned, the most common response is the reply "they are allowed and not subject to further explanation".

 

I wish you every success for the future,

 

WD

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Guest Happy Contrails

We havent been buzzing much lately due to the volcanic ash cloud, yesterday, I was finally allowed to into the UK with stranded pax - only to have my aircraft immediately commandeered for rescue missions.

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Guest Happy Contrails
the most questionable section of the High Court Enforcement Fee Scale is that headed under "miscellaneous" as this does not allow the debtor or the Courts to identify the specifics of the fees being charged. When these fees are questioned, the most common response is the reply "they are allowed and not subject to further explanation".

 

I think you are referring to Part 12 or Reg 13 of the HCEO regs 2004, but it says - For any matter not otherwise provided for, such sum as a Master, district judge or costs judge may allow upon application.

 

This means the HCEO will have already been to court (possibly without the defendant's knowledge) and applied for a costs order, are you suggesting HCEO's are pretending to hold a document pertaining to be a costs order against the defendant when no such document exists?

 

I would need some evidence an HCEO made the comment you state in your post because, if true, it is enough to start a criminal investigation.

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Good to see you back on Cag HC.

Thanks to you and nintendo and your templates, the police are still actively investigating sheerfarce in relation to fraud and I am preparing for my 3rd trip to the high court disputing fees.

I won on the 2 previous occasions but the figure was still incorrect and my fees were disallowed as I had no evidence to costs.

I have appealed my own victory and await a date of hearing.

 

I will study your post and come back to you if I can add any sensible comment

 

onlyme

ps There is a name shown at the bottom of your letter, and if unintentional should be removed

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Guest Happy Contrails

ohitsonlyme, can you PM me the crime number, I'd like to take a look.

 

wonkeydonkey, I think your point is valid, can you post or send me a capture of a sherforce letter making those comments. I think it should be presented in a motion to repeal Regulation 13 misc fees in the HCEO regs, it looks like it is being exploited to obtain a money transfer that would otherwise not take place, and afforded by an unwillingness on sherforce's part to properly explain them.

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Guest Happy Contrails

An interesting question and I will go with the consensus, its none.

For any of you who subscribe to lawindexpro.co.uk then Nash v Dickenson[1877] does affirm that position.

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Guest DebtWeary

I have an interesting quote for you, from an actual HCEO (ohitsonlyme is very familiar with this person!) when I repeatedly tried to get a straight answer from him regarding Rule 12, which clearly states that fees charged under this rule have to be applied for. I quote:

 

"It is our position that it is not a prerequisite for that application to be made before the fee is charged and that position has been accepted on numerous occasions by Masters of the Queens Bench Division".

 

So, this obviously gives them carte blanche to charge anything they feel like charging, apparently with the judiciary on their side. I have maintained all along that it is for the HCEO to justify their charges up front, which is why the rule is worded as it is, not for the debtor to have to challenge them afterwards, which is stupid.

 

Clearly, a flagrant breach of the rules!

 

DW

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Guest Happy Contrails

Do you have a letter stating that comment on HCEO notepaper? and if so can I have a copy?

 

Did the HCEO show you any compelling evidence that Masters of the Queens Bench Division commonly accept the fees charged. Two issues I have with this, one, there is no evidence to support the claim and could money, but I need some solid evidence to present to the House before a be intended to obtain a fee imposed under false pretences, and secondly, a decision of a Master of the Queens Bench Division is not a legal precedent and thus, cannot be followed.

 

I can see at minumum, an address is needed for Rule 13 misc fees in the HCEO regulations. It certainly appears HCEO's exploited it to obtain change in the law would even be considered.

 

I have an uphill battle because the cosultation paper will probably be aswered exclusively by the civil enforcement industry, and hard pressed debtors will not have a voice. This is because there is no trade association representing debtors and victims of bailiffs. I may even need to rely in this very fact as leverage and ask for more weight placed on the debtors perspective. Crucially, I need hard solid evidence, and letters and fee invoices from HCEO's are perfect.

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Guest DebtWeary

Hi Happy Contrails, the quote I mentioned came from a long series of emails I exchanged with this person, as I attempted to get him to explain and justify the fees I was charged. The emails have the company's logo on them plus other text that confirms who they are. I am happy to send all these to you, just let me know the best way to do so.

 

The situation with this company is still ongoing, in spite of the fact that I have paid the Judgement Debt, which went directly to the creditor, which rattled them as they clearly didn't know how to deal with it (I have information contained within their system notes which I obtained through a SAR.).

 

DW

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Guest Happy Contrails

Firstly, emails are not considered durable communication to be used in supporting evidence, and could be why bailiffs opt for emails rather than Royal Mail.

 

I am not well versed on the HCEO regs, and of the appeals process. I dont even know where the law says whom liability for fees and costs rests. I only know that instructing an HCEO to recover a debt does not form a contract between them and the debtor, the Judgement and writ only says the defendant must pay the judgement due and AFAIK does not contain, order for costs.

 

I have a mate of mine up north who has a lawfirm, (nothing to do with civil enforcement) and I will try to get clarification on who is liable.

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Guest DebtWeary

Thanks for that, the current dispute I am having has to do with the remaining costs which the HCEO claims I should still pay. I really do not see how it could be possible for them to enforce for their fees.

 

Sorry but what is AFAIK?

 

If I can find concrete legal evidence that says, one way or the other, who should pay the fees of an HCEO where the Judgement Debt has been paid direct to the creditor, then I could end this stalemate I have with them.

 

Any information on this would be very welcome!

 

Thanks,

 

DW

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Guest Happy Contrails

I think you need to speak to someone who knows the rules better than me. While I am fairly well connected in the legal profession, but I never get a good reception when I ask about civil enforcement, conduct and fee irregularity. On one occasion I was dissuaded from continuing my enquiries.

 

You case otherwise looks simple, if you disagree with an HCEO invoice then don’t pay it. If the disputed fees is a costs order, then consider applying to have it set aside.

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AFAIK

 

as far as I know

NEVER FORGET

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Help Our Hero's Website

 

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

 

HIGHWAY OF HEROES

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bear-garden/181826-last-tribute-our-lads.html

 

Like Cooking ? check the Halogen Cooker thread

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bear-garden/218990-cooking-halogen-cookers.html

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I have an uphill battle because the cosultation paper will probably be aswered exclusively by the civil enforcement industry, and hard pressed debtors will not have a voice. This is because there is no trade association representing debtors and victims of bailiffs. I may even need to rely in this very fact as leverage and ask for more weight placed on the debtors perspective. Crucially, I need hard solid evidence, and letters and fee invoices from HCEO's are perfect.

 

 

You are right with regard to being no Peoples Representation, such an Association would be nightmare to set up and run. CAB do their best but even they have difficulties as they rely so heavily on volunteers who can only have so much training.

 

There is probably more injustices highlighted within this Forum and I do find it infuriating that a Bailiff/HCEO has to be given a chance to put a wrong right. If we all went and knocked on a door demanding money to which we were not entitled to then we would soon appear in front of the Bench. The Police to have a role to play but hide behind the "civil" aspect even though some of these so called Enforcement Agents & their Companies are committing blatant fraud. I note from comments made in other threads some are trying to charge VAT where this is clearly not allowed.

 

It would probably do more good for the powers that be take the time to be able to read a lot of these postings and they would then get a feel for what actually happens. It appears on a daily basis that even the Council's believe everything a Bailiff or his Company tell them compounding the issue with saying certain fees are allowed when they most definitely are not.

 

My view is that a bailiff is entitled to make a mistake but a proven repitition should see him not only lose his licence but hauled in front of a Judge/Magistrate to feel the weight of the Law.

 

PT

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

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Guest Happy Contrails
If we all went and knocked on a door demanding money to which we were not entitled to then we would soon appear in front of the Bench. The Police to have a role to play but hide behind the "civil" aspect even though some of these so called Enforcement Agents & their Companies are committing blatant fraud.

 

Hmm interesting,,, Do you have access to a sample of cases?

 

If an HCEO overcharges with his fees to deliberately require the another party to appeal, then this is called Abuse of Process and the fee can be disregarded - David Harris v. The Society of Lloyd's [2008] EWHC 1433 (Comm) et-al.

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Guest Happy Contrails

My view is that a bailiff is entitled to make a mistake but a proven repitition should see him not only lose his licence but hauled in front of a Judge/Magistrate to feel the weight of the Law.

 

PT

 

The poor old bailiff says he gets lots of dud cases whose debtors simply cannot pay or gone away, so he makes up by clobbering 'live' debtors as much as he can get away with. Each time he wins an apppeal the fees mysteriously go up, repeat ad-finitum until we have bailiffs fees £50000 for a £600 debt and the live debtor must pay as much as he can afford for as long as he can while the bailiff adds more Rule 12 fees and hope the debtor doesnt notice.

 

Im gathering the bailiff and HCEO companies are keeping the high value cases exlusively for management & directors. This happens in many industries - Senior pilots in an airline (e.g Thomnsonfly) reserve cushy routes for themselves e.g. LGW>PUJ >dead-head on American carrier to Orlando + 3 nights hotel with the crew on full pay then >MCO>LGW and leaving the chav routes such as LGW>PMI>LGW>IBZ>LGW>BCN>LGW to newbies. Its the self employed bailiffs that struggle to make a reasonable income and under pressure to milk live cases for as much as they can. This may explain the high turnover in civil enforcement, it is revolting work.

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I think you are referring to Part 12 or Reg 13 of the HCEO regs 2004, but it says - For any matter not otherwise provided for, such sum as a Master, district judge or costs judge may allow upon application.

 

This means the HCEO will have already been to court (possibly without the defendant's knowledge) and applied for a costs order, are you suggesting HCEO's are pretending to hold a document pertaining to be a costs order against the defendant when no such document exists?

 

I would need some evidence an HCEO made the comment you state in your post because, if true, it is enough to start a criminal investigation.

 

Hi HC

 

I can provide you with a very detailed report made by the support team during the time the agent acting on behalf of the HCEO assigned to the writ was in attendance at my premises. From this you will be able to identify multiple charges for work that did not take place. I questioned these and I have to this day never been given explanation.

 

At the suggestion they could be seen to have commited fraud they not I raised an interpleader on the grounds it was contested the goods they had supposedly levied upon (no levy took place) belonged to me and not the debtor as named on the writ. At this hearing before the Master they gave undertaking to refund all monies BUT their main objective was to protect the HCEO from any further action.

 

After the hearing I wished to take matters further and press charges to the fact my staff had been threatened with violence and I had been appalled at the behaviour exhibted by that officer. I was informed I could only do this if I applied to have the Masters order set aside, which I believe would be at considerable cost.

 

I was awarded my personal and legal costs against the claimant named on the Interpleader as they failed to appear. It later transpired the claimant had not been advised by the HCEO or their company of the Interpleader that bares their name and they therefore had no knowledge of the order that states they are responsible to pay these costs.

 

WD

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I have nothing to add to this thread other than to note I appear to have entered a parrallel universe from which common decency appears to have long since departed...

Rae

Edited by RaeUK
Obviously, it's not CAG I refer to...
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Below is quoted from my Sherfarce thread

 

My appeal against my own victory has been refused by the high court on the following grounds and I need urgent help in order to go forward.

 

grounds for refusal as follow:

 

1/ tThe amount of the appeal is distressingly small by high court llitigation in net terms some £250 I apreciate Mr onlyme feels strongly but questions of proportinality do arise.

2/ costs are preeminantly a discretionary jursidiction in which an appeal court will be slow to interfere. Further the master is entitled to rely on his knowledgeand experience a strict requirement of evidnce is not always called for

3/I can see nothing in the grounds that the master awarded costs under heads or in amounts he was disentitled from awarding.

As to the intial visit it is also said that the regualtion prohibits a £120 fee for the visit but no argument or even discussion of regulation is produced to justify the assertion. The assesment of the judgement debtor costs was also one open to the master

 

 

 

I am disgusted that the appeal has been refused this is typical of the old boys network seeing that £250 is "distressingly small" and totally ignoring justice.

 

I am not dismayed and have 7 days to ask for an oral hearing for the decsion to be reconsiderred, which of course I am going to do

Any advice or input will be apreciated.

Onlyme

 

We are fighting the establishment and the courts are not interested in justice!!

A bit like having an expensive cure for early onset cancer and patient has to pay for the treatment even tho it has the cahnce to cure many!!!

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Guest Happy Contrails
I can provide you with a very detailed report made by the support team during the time the agent acting on behalf of the HCEO assigned to the writ was in attendance at my premises. From this you will be able to identify multiple charges for work that did not take place. I questioned these and I have to this day never been given explanation.

 

Has this been reported to police? and did police explain why the evidence not passed to the Public Prosecutor?

 

At this hearing before the Master they gave undertaking to refund all monies BUT their main objective was to protect the HCEO from any further action.

 

This is only protection from a civil action. There is nothing in law that protects against criminal liability except statutory protection for visiting diplomats and sovereign heads of state.

 

After the hearing I wished to take matters further and press charges to the fact my staff had been threatened with violence and I had been appalled at the behaviour exhibted by that officer.

 

Was this reported?

 

It could be that police have learned to tolerate threats of violence by enforcement officers. A stark contrast to established police tactics in dealing with threats of violence onboard a commercial aircraft. The moment I cut the engines, stairs approach and 10 or more officers board and scrum the passenger in his seat.

 

I was informed I could only do this if I applied to have the Masters order set aside, which I believe would be at considerable cost.

 

This is why I think there is a need for reform. There is no point having an appeals process when those needing it most cant afford it. With a simple fee structure covering all enforcement work, the small claims track can settle disputes quickly and cheaply.

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Guest Happy Contrails
I am not dismayed and have 7 days to ask for an oral hearing for the decsion to be reconsiderred, which of course I am going to do

Any advice or input will be apreciated.

Onlyme

 

We are fighting the establishment and the courts are not interested in justice!!

 

I'll be honest, I know very little about what makes the HCEO system tick, I cant really comment on your case.

 

Each time I speak to lawyers about this, many are personal friends and the subject is not well received. One chap, a QC, hinted in confidence there is an accepted tolerance of misfeasance against debtors, but there is no motivation to bring reform to fee regulations or take action with reported cases. This is not official, but the principle reasons held are:

 

1. Bringing reform to protect debtors from high fees would reduce income for enforcement officers and thus reduce their numbers and deter new applicants joining the profession.

 

2. Changing ACPO policy to crime complaints against enforcement officers may result in them receiving criminal record, and prevents them returning to the profession.

 

3. Tolerating officers charging high fees in live cases enables them to make good the shortfall in handling large numbers of nulla-bona and gone-away cases.

 

Point 3 could explain why Masters are accepting high fees in favour of the officer. I am proposing a reform bill to bring a fixed fee structure capable of resolving points 1 and 3 above, and have the small claims track arbitrate fee disputes according to a set of prescribed simple rules.

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I'll be honest, I know very little about what makes the HCEO system tick, I cant really comment on your case.

 

Each time I speak to lawyers about this, many are personal friends and the subject is not well received. One chap, a QC, hinted in confidence there is an accepted tolerance of misfeasance against debtors, but there is no motivation to bring reform to fee regulations or take action with reported cases. This is not official, but the principle reasons held are:

 

1. Bringing reform to protect debtors from high fees would reduce income for enforcement officers and thus reduce their numbers and deter new applicants joining the profession.

 

2. Changing ACPO policy to crime complaints against enforcement officers may result in them receiving criminal record, and prevents them returning to the profession.

 

3. Tolerating officers charging high fees in live cases enables them to make good the shortfall in handling large numbers of nulla-bona and gone-away cases.

 

Point 3 could explain why Masters are accepting high fees in favour of the officer. I am proposing a reform bill to bring a fixed fee structure capable of resolving points 1 and 3 above, and have the small claims track arbitrate fee disputes according to a set of prescribed simple rules.

 

 

 

To try to explain to simply, bailiffs have a unique position in that they (with little exception) are collectors of GOVERNMENT debts.

 

To try to put this into proportion, last year 3.3 million Liability Orders were issued for non payment of council tax, 1.7 million warrants of execution were passed to bailiffs for unpaid penalty charge notices and HMCS issued 900,000 Distress Warrants to the various enforcement companies under Contract to them for unpaid court fines. High Court Enforcement is very small.

 

With the severe state of the economy the various government agencies rely upon the income from bailiff companies and I have personally been in many meetings where it has been made clear that if there is to be "soft regulation" this could seriously impact on the collection rate by bailiffs.

 

During the course of my work I have also spoken with many people who have taken a case to court and have been shocked by the response from Judges who have been very critical of the debtor and stating that if they had paid the bill in the first place they would never have had a bailiff visit !!

 

Many Judges have also stated that a bailiff has a very hard job to do and that he has to be somewhat threatening to try to obtain payment!!

 

On your point of a fixed fee structure...this is exactly what the Ministry of Justice are proposing. Currently with HMCS court fines, there is a fixed two stage fee.

 

Stage one is to cover all administration PRIOR to a visit by a bailiff and the visit fee is a ONE OFF FEE to cover all visits. Apparently this works well.

 

2 years ago MOJ contracted with an independent company to consult with all bailiff and enforcement companies (to include High Court Enforcement) concerning a new fee structure.

 

This company spent a long time reviewing the accounts for each company to establish to actual costs of running their various businesses to include all costs and salaries. From this, the company have produced reports to the Ministry of Justice with recommendations on how a new fee scale should be applied.

 

There has been a pre consultation exercise on this and a formal consultation was due to be made at the end of January. It was at the pre consultation stage that MOJ were made aware that more work is needed and it is hoped that the Consultation will take place by the end of the year and that the new 2 stage fee scale will be introduced in April 2012.

 

MJ are also very much involved in ensuring that a new regulatory system is set up and once again this is to take effect from April 2012.

 

The SiA will NOT be the regulator.

 

It would appear that a two stage fee scale with the same fee for ALL types of enforcement is planned. However, there are HUGE problems with this in particular with local authorities and more work is needed.

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Guest Happy Contrails
To try to explain to simply, bailiffs have a unique position in that they (with little exception) are collectors of GOVERNMENT debts.

 

HCEO's do not collect government debts, a bailiff who is not a civil servant must hold a certificate before he can handle public money. Its HCEO's that feature well with complaints concerning high fees. Bailiffs fee irregularities for government debts are easily resolved becasue the authority is liable for its agents, and filing a claim in the small clams track clears the matter up quickly and cheaply. I propose the same for resolving HCEO fees because this method is well tested.

 

During the course of my work I have also spoken with many people who have taken a case to court and have been shocked by the response from Judges who have been very critical of the debtor and stating that if they had paid the bill in the first place they would never have had a bailiff visit !!

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I dont believe any Judge would be so naive.

 

Many debtors receiving a bailiff do so because civil servants have not calculated liability correctly, too quick to jump straight to enforcement, the debtor is unable to claim a benefit under his own means, he doesnt know liability exists, or he is not financially active, they are students, immigrants etc. The reasons are endless, its little to do with not wanting to pay. As someone working in debt counselling, I would have thought you would know that.

 

Many Judges have also stated that a bailiff has a very hard job to do and that he has to be somewhat threatening to try to obtain payment!!

 

You are right. Its a disgusting job facing all those empty houses, gone aways, mums with 10 kids, druggies and skint unemployed people, nobody is forcing bailiffs to be bailiffs.

 

On your point of a fixed fee structure...this is exactly what the Ministry of Justice are proposing. Currently with HMCS court fines, there is a fixed two stage fee.

 

It has been bandied around for a while but there is nothing in motion to set a transparent statutory fee structure for civil enforcement. I think you are referring to the consultation paper on civil enforcement training practice due for assent in 2012, this is nothing to do with fees, its all about setting guidelines on training practices for civil enforcement officers and administration procedure.

 

 

2 years ago MOJ contracted with an independent company to consult with all bailiff and enforcement companies (to include High Court Enforcement) concerning a new fee structure.

 

This company spent a long time reviewing the accounts for each company to establish to actual costs of running their various businesses to include all costs and salaries. From this, the company have produced reports to the Ministry of Justice with recommendations on how a new fee scale should be applied.

 

Only trade and local government associations contributed and little action was recommended that protected debtors from high fees. Debtors paying high fees were totally unrepresented in this consultation. I argued this did not attain sufficient input from the public to achieve any positive protection for debtors. Unfortunately my efforts fell on deaf ears, and I thought the CAB's input did not represent an accurate extent of the problem.

 

There has been a pre consultation exercise on this and a formal consultation was due to be made at the end of January. It was at the pre consultation stage that MOJ were made aware that more work is needed and it is hoped that the Consultation will take place by the end of the year and that the new 2 stage fee scale will be introduced in April 2012.

 

MJ are also very much involved in ensuring that a new regulatory system is set up and once again this is to take effect from April 2012.

 

The SiA will NOT be the regulator.

 

It sounds like you have been reading the Regulation for Enforcement Agents consultation paper,. The SIA said they did not want to be the regulator, but the government can still pass a statutory obligation on the SIA.

 

 

It would appear that a two stage fee scale with the same fee for ALL types of enforcement is planned. However, there are HUGE problems with this in particular with local authorities and more work is needed.

 

Do you have a copy?

 

I only discussed a staged fee proposal for civil enforcment at the House with a legislator last year but I never formally put it into motion. It was only recently I was contacted by another member of the House to relist it.

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