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Firstly great site and hi to everyone and sorry for the long post.

 

My problems started about 2 months ago when we received a visit from Equita and the bailiff demanded £400 in cash within 24 hours or he would be back to remove goods. The debt is a council tax debt which my partner had before we got together. Luckily my partner did not let him in the house, mainly because he was very rude and aggressive.

 

I phoned the bailiff and asked for a breakdown of the debt and he could not tell us! I emailed the council and Equita offices and received confirmation back that the debt was £185 + 24.50 for first visit charge.

 

I immediately wrote a letter to the council and Equita and demanded an explaination of why he could ask for £400 but no-one would give me a reasonable answer! I complained again about his conduct and requested the debt was returned to the council and offered a payment arrangement.

 

After many phone calls to the council, including the Head of Revenue services, they agreed to take the debt back and we've started to make payments......

 

Monday this week I receive another letter from Equita so I called the bailiff and explained the debt was not being handled by them and to leave us alone. This morning I had another hand delivered letter telling me he would be back tomorrow to remove goods if we dont pay in full. The bailiff wrote "including car" on letter saying he was taking that too. I phoned him again today and told him he does not have the authority to collect the debt and he told me in an agressive way he would be there tomorrow as previously stated. Also, stated the car was registered to me and he said tough.

 

What rights do I have tomorrow, can I call the police and report him for harassment if he turns up? The council keep apologising for his actions but he wont go away!

 

Any advice would be much appreciated, I'm getting married in two weeks and could do without this stress!

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Speak to the council again, and make a formal complaint to them about their chosen bailiffs, and state that if they do not call them off and they do turn up and remove the car, you will sue the council for damages.

 

If he does turn up then yes, I would call the Police as there is likely to be a breach of the peace if this knuckle head is that aggressive.

 

You need to make a formal complaint about this outfit to themselves firstly, which won't be upheld;

Debtor Advice

 

And one of these;

Complaining about bailiffs

 

How to complain about a bailiff - Dealing with bailiffs - Consumer and money problems - Advicenow guides - Advicenow

 

 

 

IF THE BAILIFFS HAVE NOT BEEN INTO YOUR HOME BEFORE TO COLLECT THIS DEBT, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO COME IN. THEY CANNOT BREAK IN. YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO LET THEM IN.

* DON'T open the door to them as they may try to push past you. If they get inside, they have a right to enter again and may break in to take your goods.

* DON'T leave windows open or doors unlocked - bailiffs can legally get in through these. Bailiffs CANNOT get the police to help them break in.

* BEWARE! Some bailiffs may leave you a phone number, and arrange to come round to 'have a chat'. Don't let them in, even if they say it's only to use the toilet or make a phone call.

* Bailiffs MAY try to break into sheds, garages, greenhouses etc., even though this is illegal. KEEP VALUABLES SAFE! They may be able to take cars, motor-bikes and other vehicles parked near your home.

* Politely but firmly refuse to let the bailiffs in. Offer what you can afford to pay. If the bailiffs accept your offer, ask them to return to their car, and go out and pay them. Make sure you get a receipt.

DON'T SIGN ANYTHING! If the bailiff leaves papers for you to sign and return, you do not have to do this. You don't have to sign agreements posted through your door either.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I've already formally complained to Equita and as you said they fully backed the actions of their bailiff even though he tried to extort additional money from us. They said he was forceful and professional and in no way dishonest!!

 

I then complained to the council and HMCS regarding his conduct. Thanks for the links I will try them too. i'm not dropping this until something is done.

 

I've contacted the council again and requested a fax from them today to state that Equita have no right to collect the debt so will be ready for him tomorrow with the Police on speed dial. I may call the police today and ask them for their advice.

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Wow, first time on this site and I see someone having a similar problem to me with exactly the same company.

 

I failed to pay a parking fine last year - my mistake, I thought I had done so, although was at a time when I was waist-deep in debt and just sorting my finances out.

 

I got a letter from Equita in April telling me I needed to pay £168.14. I called them and arranged to make 3 payments. I made the first two, but again an oversight meant I failed to make the final payment. My fault again, no problem. This week I got a letter hand-delivered from a bailiff from Equita. On the letter it said that I need to discuss this within 24 hours or he would seize my vehicle, which would cost £140.

 

At first I e-mailed Equita, apologising for my oversight and offering to settle in full next Friday when I get paid. Having heard nothing back by the evening, I rang them up. They said to speak to the bailiff, but he would have no problem doing this. I phoned him, but he didn't answer, so I left a message for him explaining the situation.

 

He phoned back this morning, saying that the amount outstanding was not £68.14, but in fact some way over £400. Not including the £140 should he seize the vehicle, nor the £50 per day while it sat at auction.

 

I phoned Equita back, but they were most unsympathetic.

 

Now, in none of the correspondence I have received from Equita does it explain their bailiff charges - nor is there any mention of this arbitrary figure on the letter I received the other day. The only mention of additional charges was the £140 for seizing the vehicle. Looking elsewhere it suggests that bailiff fees should be no more than 20% of debt for the first £100.

 

Am I therefore in a position to dispute the charges, given these were not published? Should I, like the previous poster, refer this to the Council? Bearing in mind the clock is ticking for my car being seized, I need to act very quickly!

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You should write a Formal complaint to the Chief executive of you council

This ensures that your complaint will be dealt with by a council employee

Most council don't administrate there own council tax they employ agency's so chances are its an employee of the agency you are speaking to one of the agency that some councils use is Capita who own Equita bailiffs

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Wow, first time on this site and I see someone having a similar problem to me with exactly the same company.

 

I failed to pay a parking fine last year - my mistake, I thought I had done so, although was at a time when I was waist-deep in debt and just sorting my finances out.

 

I got a letter from Equita in April telling me I needed to pay £168.14. I called them and arranged to make 3 payments. I made the first two, but again an oversight meant I failed to make the final payment. My fault again, no problem. This week I got a letter hand-delivered from a bailiff from Equita. On the letter it said that I need to discuss this within 24 hours or he would seize my vehicle, which would cost £140.

 

At first I e-mailed Equita, apologising for my oversight and offering to settle in full next Friday when I get paid. Having heard nothing back by the evening, I rang them up. They said to speak to the bailiff, but he would have no problem doing this. I phoned him, but he didn't answer, so I left a message for him explaining the situation.

 

He phoned back this morning, saying that the amount outstanding was not £68.14, but in fact some way over £400. Not including the £140 should he seize the vehicle, nor the £50 per day while it sat at auction.

 

I phoned Equita back, but they were most unsympathetic.

 

Now, in none of the correspondence I have received from Equita does it explain their bailiff charges - nor is there any mention of this arbitrary figure on the letter I received the other day. The only mention of additional charges was the £140 for seizing the vehicle. Looking elsewhere it suggests that bailiff fees should be no more than 20% of debt for the first £100.

 

Am I therefore in a position to dispute the charges, given these were not published? Should I, like the previous poster, refer this to the Council? Bearing in mind the clock is ticking for my car being seized, I need to act very quickly!

 

 

 

Welcome to CAG could you please use this link to start your own thread

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=168

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Moved to Bailiffs Forum.

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

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The council have confirmed again this morning that the debt has been withdrawn from Equita and I have a copy of my payment arrangement so I have politely text the bailiff and informed him of the above and that any further letters or visits from Equita will be viewed as harassment and I will be contacting the police to press charges.

 

Hopefully this will be the end of it :)

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