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Hi there everyone, I am in real dire need of some help and advice.

 

Last month we had a visit from Rossendales Bailiffs regarding unpaid council tax of £202 from last year,

he said if we let him in we could arrange a payment plan with him,

so we let him in (God how I regret that now),

 

He sat there chatting away, writing things down,

we said we could make a payment of £25 a month (due to me being on employment support allowance, severe depression and anexiety, and unemployed.)

He told us to pay it online, or by the paying in slips provided and asked to sign a form

(he didnt tell us what this was, we signed it under the assumption that it was the agreement.

(Now I know it was a walking possestion order) until we heard otherwise.

 

We made a payment online in June, which I printed off, but in July when we tried to pay the account online again, we were unable to do so, as it said it had been passed to the final collection bailiff and to contact him.

 

We did so advising hime that we had an arrangement to pay,

he said there was no arangement set up on the account,

and he was coming to take the goods and there was nothing we could do about it,

I rang Rossendales immediately and told them the situation, and was advised I could make a complaint to them regarding what we had been told.

 

I sent this on Friday via special delivery with offer of payment £25 per month as well as an income and outgoings form,

last night at 8:55pm I got a call from the final collector bailiff telling me they have spoke to the first bailiff and he denies setting up an arrangement and that he will be coming to take my goods and can break into the house to recover them as we had signed the walking possetion order.

 

I am now at my wits end, I didn't sleep at all last night with worry, I tried ringing the council this morning and all they said was that the bailiff had 2 options recover the goods or send it back to them, but there is nothing they can do, they did say I can make payments to them and they would advise the Rossendales that the payments had been made.

 

Please can someone advise me of where I stand,

can the bailiff break into my house ?

I now feel there is no hope, and feel worse than I have ever done.

 

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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I sympathise with your plight and what appears to be the Bailiffs using very misleading tactics. With help from here we may be able to put you back on the straight & narrow. I must stress this is not an overnight solution and may involve lots of letter writing to different bodies. With perseverance you can succeed but first I wonder if you can answer some questions.

 

Is the figure you owe the figure that has been given to you from the Bailiffs or Council? As they conned you into a Walking Possession can you list what goods they have allegedly seized? Have they also left you any paperwork listing their charges to date?

 

 

Garethm1976 said:

I am now at my wits end, I didn't sleep at all last night with worry, I tried ringing the council this morning and all they said was that the bailiff had 2 options recover the goods or send it back to them,

Because of your circumstances you should possibly be classed as vulnerable and the Council should be taking this back automatically. Are the Council aware of the benefits you receive? It may be that an Attachment may be made to your Benefits and have it deducted at source - others know more about this than I do.

but there is nothing they can do,

typical response from the Council

they did say I can make payments to them and they would advise the Rossendales that the payments had been made.

Please can someone advise me of where I stand, can the bailiff break into my house ?

In theory yes but he does have to get an order from the Court and he also has to advise you when he is going to it - think he has to give 7 days notice.

I now feel there is no hope, and feel worse than I have ever done.

 

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

In the meantime I suggest you contact your local Councillor ASAP and ask they take your case up. In my opinion this can be done up to 9pm in the evening.

 

 

Garethm1976 said:

I rangRossendales imediately and told them the situation, and was advised I could make a complaint to them regarding what we had been told.

I sent this on Friday via special delivery with offer of payment £25 per month as well as an income and outgoings form, last night at 8:55pm I got a call from the final collector bailiff telling me they have spoke to the first bailiff and he denies setting up an arrangement and that he will be coming to take my goods and can break into the house to recover them as we had signed the walking possetion order.

 

You can guarantee that the Company will find no fault with what happened. If you need to communicate with them in future only do so in writing unless of course you can record your phone calls.

 

I would also be inclined to write to the Council outlining what has happened - if you do this address your complaint to the Chief Executive and mark both letter and envelope as Formal Complaint.

 

PT


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Hi there, thanks for getting back to me PlodderTom, the figure I quoted of £202 is the figure I owe the council, the figure with the bailiffs is now at £409.

The goods they have seized are an LG 42" LCD TV, 2 laptops, and our 2 leather sofas. They have not left me a list of any charges as yet as far as I am aware.

 

I told the council that I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety, and they just didnt seem to bother at all, what I am wondering if I leave a note on the door for the "van bailiff" stating that I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression and I am unemployed, stating the national standards for enforcement agents may 2002, for vunerable people, will they then pass it back to the council without taking the goods.

 

Also if I manage to get the £202 together and pay that direct to the council, where does this leave me with the bailiffs then ?

How would I go about contacting my local councellor and really would they be able to help as I am just one person?

 

Thank you again and I am sorry if things are not spelt correctly or seem a jumble I am really struggling to think type and read.

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Hi there, thanks for getting back to me PlodderTom, the figure I quoted of £202 is the figure I owe the council, the figure with the bailiffs is now at £409.

The goods they have seized are an LG 42" LCD TV, 2 laptops, and our 2 leather sofas. They have not left me a list of any charges as yet as far as I am aware.

 

Excluding the sofas they have listed how many other chairs/seating do you have and how many in the household?

 

I told the council that I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety, and they just didnt seem to bother at all,

typical

what I am wondering if I leave a note on the door for the "van bailiff" stating that I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression and I am unemployed, stating the national standards for enforcement agents may 2002, for vunerable people, will they then pass it back to the council without taking the goods.

Doubt it

 

Also if I manage to get the £202 together and pay that direct to the council, where does this leave me with the bailiffs then ?

The Council are obliged to pay the Bailiff his fees out of any payments received, that would then leave you still owing an amount for Council Tax which they can still enforce against

How would I go about contacting my local councellor and really would they be able to help as I am just one person?

Try the Council website or ring them and ask, it doesn't matter whether you are 1 person or a family with 100's. If you have any hassle then you then move on to the Leader of the Council.

 

Thank you again and I am sorry if things are not spelt correctly or seem a jumble I am really struggling to think type and read.

Perfectly understandable and there is no need to apologise, the majority of us have all been in your shoes and having learned by our mistakes offer advice to others.

 

PT


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Hi PT again, Ok I managed to get together the £202 together and I paid the council direct after a lot of fussing about, I spoke to the recovery department and got told that as its with the bailiffs I would still have to pay their charges which is just under £200 for visiting my property 3 times then a van collection fee, walking possetion fee and a waiting period WTF ??? they have used a standard form and ticked a box and written the ammount on it and they are only 4 mile away.

Anyhow we have 6 dining chairs which the bailiffs are unaware of, as he only sat in our living room.

I am now looking into getting in touch with my local councellor but no idea where to start about writing a letter, also I am now totally skint apart from 40p :( so getting stamps will be difficult.

 

Thank you again for all your help.

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Hi PT again, Ok I managed to get together the £202 together and I paid the council direct after a lot of fussing about, I spoke to the recovery department and got told that as its with the bailiffs I would still have to pay their charges which is just under £200 for visiting my property 3 times then a van collection fee, walking possetion fee and a waiting period WTF ??? they have used a standard form and ticked a box and written the ammount on it and they are only 4 mile away.

Anyhow we have 6 dining chairs which the bailiffs are unaware of, as he only sat in our living room.

Shame there wasn't less chairs

I am now looking into getting in touch with my local councellor but no idea where to start about writing a letter, also I am now totally skint apart from 40p :( so getting stamps will be difficult.

 

Thank you again for all your help.

 

Question: It appears that the Council may be one that doesn't pay the bailiff up front. You need confirmation of how much you now owe. To do this ring the Council tomorrow morning and ask:

1 - how much the Liability Order was for

2 - how much is still outstanding

If the answer is £0 then you could actually tell the Bailiff to take a hike as he he is not allowed to enforce just for his fees alone - this then becomes a civil matter to which he could issue proceedings in the County Court.

 

The reason I say delay until tomorrow is that you have to give the Council time to update their records. In the meantime you can of course ask the Bailiffs for a Breakdown of their fees - they should actually have left you with a copy when they issued the seizure notice - check on the back. There is no such fee as a waiting Fee and if they have charged this you should ask where in the Regulations it says they are allowed it.

 

Use this as an example of a letter asking for a Breakdown of Fees - email it to them followed by a copy in the post preferably sent by Signed For:

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456

 

Dear Sir

 

With reference to the above account. Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges including Computer Screenshot.

 

This includes:

a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were Certificated at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide this information.

 

I require this information within 14 days.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Ripped off customer"

 

PT


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Hi PT,

Well according to the council now, I owe them nothing from last years CT, which the walking possestion order was for.

The recovery person I spoke to at the council did state that she will check my account tomorrow but as far as she could tell what I owed the council was £0 and she would contact the bailiffs tomorrow.

At least now I can try and get some sleep without the bailiffs smashing down my door and reclaiming the goods, as that was what I was now worried about.

I am now going to send a letter to Rossendales requesting the list of fees, thank you again for all your help, and thank you for helping me feel more at ease.

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Have a read of this:

 

Department for Constitutional Affairs - Enforcement - National Standards for Enforcement Agents

 

Particularly the paragraph headed:

Information and confidentiality

 

 

bullet points 7 & 8

 

Also paragraph headed:

 

Vulnerable situations

 

 

PT


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I've been looking at the 'National Standards for Enforcement Agents'.

 

From what I gather these are just guidelines not law. Certificated bailiffs were apparently sent copies of this but I don't think anything written therein is actual legislation and many of them know and ignore it.

 

 

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That is true but if you read closer you will find that nearly all Enforcement Companies have agreed to abide them, have a read of the Code of Practice/Conduct for the HCOEA, ACEA etc. You will also find most Councils insist/encourage their appointed Bailiffs to observe them.

 

The fact that most seem to ignore is well known and the majority of Councils at grass roots only speak Bailiff. It does give the person who has the debt the moral high ground and perseverance usually pays off and they all eventually accept.

 

PT


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Moral high ground and perseverance do appear to be our biggest allies. Moral high ground above your average bailiff is not difficult to attain.

 

I will look into the Code of Practice/Conduct for the HCOEA, and ACE, but I feel that most Councils will rather loosely insist that their appointed Bailiffs observe them and then say "we can't deal with you , it's with the bailiffs, deal with them!" however they behave.

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Hi everyone,

 

Well just an update I paid the council £200 on wednesday, today Friday 16/07/2010 we had a phone call from the Van Collector stating to ring him back and that he will be coming to collect the goods.

I rang the council and they say as the debt has now been settled with them, there are still the "bailiffs" fees to pay and that they can still enforce the walking possestion agreement for their fees which are still outstanding, where do I now stand now?

 

We have just contacted the Van collector and we told him that we had paid £200 to council he said he can still come in as there were still £200 of outstanding debt to them (their fees) we stated as the we had cleared the councils debt there fees would be a civil matter, he said no as he now has a warrant he can come in and recover them we also stated that I am a vunerable person and he stated that he will be here at 2.30 this afternoon to collect goods, as the coucil tax needs to be paid, again we stated that I was a vunerable person unemployed, suffering from anxiety and depression and he said that the ciuncil tax still needs to be paid and he will be here at 2.30 and hung up.

 

Please can someone help I am at my wits end and cannot cope anymore.

Edited by Garethm1976
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if he does come, dont let him in whatever he says or threatens. he has to get permission from the court to break in plus give you seven days written notice with a time and date. just telephoning you to tell you he is coming isnt good enough.

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Forcing re-entry

The law upon the rights of bailiffs to force re-entry to premises in order to remove

goods previously seized has recently been clarified. In Khazanchi v Faircharm

Investments; McLeod v Butterwick [1998] 2 All ER 901 the Court of Appeal held that

bailiffs may only force re-entry where they are being deliberately excluded from

premises. It will thus be necessary in most cases for the bailiff to notify the debtor in

advance of the date and time of the visit in order to remove. If the debtor is then

absent from home, or refuses entry, force may be employed.

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So as such he has notified us in advance that he is coming (he advised us at 12.27 today that he was coming at 2.30 today) He will then be able to force entry? Also what is classed as forcable entry.

 

Update I have now spilled my guts out to my mum and dad, and they have told me that they will pay them the outstanding monies owed £200, is this a really good idea? I don't think so after reading what you have advised me.

I just don't want anymore hassle, I just feel like I am breaking down, I just don't want to be here anymore.

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I would pay the £200 bailiff fees then any unlawful fees can be contested without the worry of the bailiffs removing goods

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Rossendale's is a member of the ESA and they have signed up to abide by their codes of practice

ESA | Member Directory

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Right another update, we have been advised their fees are £210.07 we only have £200, he said if we pay £200 we still owe £10.07 and will incur more van charges to claim this money owing, is this correct ??? I mean for £10.07 ffs the bailiff just don't want to help us at all.

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do you know the breakdown of these charges?

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If you dont have a breakdown request one before you part with any money

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Right another update, we have been advised their fees are £210.07 we only have £200, he said if we pay £200 we still owe £10.07 and will incur more van charges to claim this money owing, is this correct ??? I mean for £10.07 ffs the bailiff just don't want to help us at all.

 

 

no its not correct a bailiff can only charge 1 van fee to justify a second van fee goods would have to be removed

 

1st visit fee £24.50

2nd visit fee £18

walking possession fee £12

levy fee £29

van fee £110(could be more but i think this amount is more than reasonable )

total ball if fees £193.50 thats how much i work it out to be against a liability order of £202 (was the liability order £202)

 

you paid £25 on-line in June has this been deducted from the bailiff fees or council tax

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I would question the levy fee and the van fee due to the levy being a little irregular, shall we say.

If the council are stating that you owe the council nil, then they cannot come and take your property for their (bailiff) fee's. I would offer to pay them their visit fee's of 42.50 and ask them to justify their levy methods and van fee stating that they have not levied enough for the outstanding debt.

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I thought that once the council tax debt is paid they can not use the liability order to push on there charges

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What date is the van fee (£110) supposed to be for?

 

I thought it couldn't be for the date the chap tricked his way into your house and tried to levy you, per Culligan v Simkin and Marston's; and because his attendance on that date is already paid for by the levy fee.

 

Have they been back in person to your property since then? (Or have they claimed to have been back?) Because, if they haven't, on what date is it that they are claiming to have attended to remove?

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...From what I gather these are just guidelines not law. Certificated bailiffs were apparently sent copies of this but I don't think anything written therein is actual legislation and many of them know and ignore it.

 

Actually, they're supposed to supply copies on request to those who want them... ;)

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