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Am posting this as a warning to anyone with a speeding offence

 

Have had a dreadful day - my partner was driving the van which is registered to me and he was caught speeding in Manchester (we dont live there) on the way to a job he was doing. We filled the form in which came addressed to me with his details etc. He then received another form which he filled in and returned. Last year November he received a summons which he wrongly thought was for the speeding offence as he did not read it properly and he pleaded guilty unbeknowns to him and me to failing to produce evidence? bit confusing as everything was addressed to him so surely he had? Sent it off and he was fined £625 for doing a couple of miles over the speed limit so I called the mag court dealing with it and was told to send a letter asking for it to be reheard this was in Feb this year. Had no more contact until about a week ago, when a bailiffs letter comes through, spoke to Court (who said to resubmit letter which I did) and then Bailiff who said they would put it on hold until the court spoke to them. Well this lunchtime two turned up for my partner who is at work, they said they were going to seize good unless I paid them £900. I spoke to the court who said they would be opening post tomorrow and as I sent it on Friday they would not be able to deal with it til then,they asked the bailiffs to wait a day but not a chance they would not budge. The long and short of it is I have had to borrow the money and pay it as they were going to take my things, nothing to do with partner like sewing machines and my laptop and the dryer which I paid for. They said I was not like other **** they usually deal with, well obviously I am a different kind of **** then. They were bullies and came in through the front door which was open their manner was overbearing and confrontational until I paid then they changed they were "helpful and understanding" I have never been so scared in my life - they would not listen to the Courts both Tameside and G Manchester Magistrates just had an agenda they were working to. I am still going ahead with the appeal, and have faxed the info over just to be sure that he gets another date. Truly it feels to me like the motorist is penalized every which way if you ever have to deal with something like this then please make sure you send everything recorded delivery I did not so have no redress there. Seems like everything to do with motoring these days is weighed in favour of revenue collection. The Bailiffs have said if the court find in favour then we will get the money back

 

I feel sorry for anyone else that has the misfortune to have to deal with these people the speeding fine system seems fraught with probs if you are not the driver of the vehicle, too much paperwork, even the court think this. Too many opportunity to make errors or be too slow responding apparently.

 

apologies for going on but needed to vent a bit, by the way my daughter was there too and they showed no compassion for a young girls distress at the thought of them removing her xmas presents and birthday presents (laptop and digital camera) and her little sewing machine.

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The sentencing guidelines issued to Magistrates for speeding offences do not carry a fine of anything remotely like £625 for a couple of miles over the speed limit. Even a no-insurance and dangerous driving doesnt reach £625 let alone £900. It would be a Band A fine which is about 50% of weekly income.

 

Phone the court and ask what the actual fine is. The numbers the bailiff is asking for dont look right.

 

There is a thread on this forum which suggests the bailiffs cannot recover from you any more than you are fined and a link to the HMRC website confirms this position. http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex345.pdf on Page 3.

 

The above information is disputed on this forum on the basis the HMRC website is not accurate, and a clause (as yet unseen) exists in a contract between HMRC and bailiffs enabling bailiffs to charge a debtor for fees without having applied for an Order for Costs beforehand under the Courts Act.

 

There is also very compelling evidence supporting the HMRC official advice is indeed accurate. Others have successfully recovered overpayments from bailiffs when challenged.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bailiffs-sheriff-officers/229873-help-philips.html#post2547500

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bailiffs-sheriff-officers/254610-n244-county-court-action-2.html


Professional property investor and conveyancer

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This sounds appalling.

 

You might like to ring the "HMCS Complaint Handling and Enquiries Team", 0845 4568770.

 

They should be able to put you through to the office of the "Regional Contract Manager with responsibility for Private Contracted Enforcement Services", who should be able to take action, and also to tell you whether you have grounds to make a formal complaint, and how to do so.

 

Quite apart from

(a) directly ignoring the courts' instructions, and

(b) the general rude and brutish manner in which these bailiffs conducted themselves,

specifically there is an issue that

© the way they behaved in front of your little girl and threatened her things is completely unacceptable.

 

Their terms of contract make absolutely clear to them that they expressly forbidden to levy on anything that is for the sole and exclusive use of a child.

 

These people need a firm dressing down, and from the HMCS side they are the Regional Contract Manager's responsibility.

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On the subject of fees, on top of the £625 owed to the court, they will be claiming a £75 admin/letter/trace fee, and £200 for a successful execution.

 

These are standard fees.

 

They are not entirely uncontroversial. Unusually for bailiff fees, they are fixed by a contract that has been made between HMCS and the appointed bailiff company in each region, rather than a statutory instrument made by Parliament. The legal question therefore arises, how does that bind you (not a party to the contract) to have to pay these fees.

 

Rule 54 of the Magistrates' Courts Rules 1981 states that the bailifflink3.gif may deduct and retain the proper costs and charges of executing a warrant from the proceeds of an eventual sale of goods distrained. The is incorporated in the Criminal Procedures Rules 2010 as rule 52.7(12), with Rule 52.7(14) covering the case where the debtor pays up before this.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/uksi_20100060_en_39#pt52

 

But there seems to be no identification of what makes a cost and charge "proper". It is also debated as to whether there was anything in the primary legislation (the Magistrates' Court Act 1980) to authorise the making of such a rule. The government (Lords Hansard, 2 April 2009) says implicitly yes, other commentators are not convinced. (See also the previous two questions, which relate to rule 52.7(13). The government responses appear to detail the amount billed to the debtors in line with the contract, not necessarily the same thing as the "costs and charges incurred" ?)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/90402w0002.htm

 

However, all of this is pretty much for the birds. To challenge the whole underlying legal foundation of these fees you'd (I believe) have to go to the Administrative Court, and (I think) that would require deep pockets for court costs and lawyer's fees, or legal aid.

 

 

About the £625 underlying fine, I don't know.

 

It's perhaps worth pointing out, that if the bailiffs had gone away, so that the Court to find out what the full story was about the underlying fine, and if, once the Court got back to you, you had then voluntarily agreed to pay it, without being forced to by a bailiff there standing in your front room, then the bailiff company would have lost their £200 fee, and the actual individuals would have lost their percentage of it.

 

So that may explain why they weren't particularly keen to go away without making a levy, even when the court asked them to.

Edited by JH101

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Hi Thanks to you all

 

I have rung to get some info about complaining about these people, I think I knew at the back of my mind that they were there to get the money and do not care about the rights and wrongs of anything. My daughter said she heard one of them say on the phone to the office that they were going to get them to cough up so clearly that was their only intention.

 

The fine is for witholding evidence from the police (very dramatic) but even the Court advisor does not understand that charge because all the papers have been addressed to my partner not me and I was the registered keeper of the vehicle and when he got the ticket and it came to me we let them know he was the driver!!! He just did not read the summons properly and pleaded guilty to the charge of witholding evidence thinking it was for speeding. This is were the complications have occurred. Hopefully he will get his day in Court and we will get the £ back less the £60 speeding fine. He was very upset that this happened as he was at work and could not get home only talk to us on the phone. I have read others stories and my heart goes out to others that have to deal with these bullies. I am a healthy clued up person who is not easily scared but they made me feel ill last night.

 

Thanks for all your advise and we will be sure to follow it through to the bitter end. Somebody has to take these companies in hand surely.

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Did the HMCS people say anything useful when you talked to them?

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Hi

 

Initially to complain to Marstons directly about the behaviour of the bailiffs that visited and he gave me a couple of phone numbers ( association of civil enforcement agency 01924 350090 and for a particular bailiff 0203 3346355). I did not really think from reading all these different threads that there is much point in complaining to Marstons as they seem to be indifferent to peoples problems and feelings. But if I have to do that first before going down the other route then I will but am not expecting any sort of grovelling apology.

 

The guy on the phone was helpful but get the feeling that they must hear this many times a day. I did not realise tho that the bailiffs were on commission! that is scandalous as surely it makes them behave the way they do employ all these underhand tactics. Interesting that they could not of taken the storage for the clothes am I right there. He wrote down on his list when he went into our bedroom an ikea chest of drawers that my older daughter gave me, it cost £15 when it was new and is probably worth about 50p now. But if I read the list of what they can and cant take correctly then its exempt. I know its all beside the point as it got paid and its up to partner to go to court now and get it back.

 

How can these awful things happen to people who are just trying to get by and live their lives. In my experience most people just pay their bills and if they cant its not deliberate just because times are hard for them.

 

This website is a godsend as you dont feel so alone but its depressing that its so commonplace...

 

Think I need to stop reading for today as I am getting so mad!!! I feel like writing letters to newspapers and stuff just not me at all

 

Thanks everyone for your help my family and me really appreciate it.:)

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On the subject of fees, on top of the £625 owed to the court, they will be claiming a £75 admin/letter/trace fee, and £200 for a successful execution.

 

These are standard fees.

 

They are not entirely uncontroversial. Unusually for bailiff fees, they are fixed by a contract that has been made between HMCS and the appointed bailiff company in each region, rather than a statutory instrument made by Parliament. The legal question therefore arises, how does that bind you (not a party to the contract) to have to pay these fees.

 

Rule 54 of the Magistrates' Courts Rules 1981 states that the bailifflink3.gif may deduct and retain the proper costs and charges of executing a warrant from the proceeds of an eventual sale of goods distrained. The is incorporated in the Criminal Procedures Rules 2010 as rule 52.7(12), with Rule 52.7(14) covering the case where the debtor pays up before this.

The Criminal Procedure Rules 2010 No. 60 (L. 2)

 

But there seems to be no identification of what makes a cost and charge "proper". It is also debated as to whether there was anything in the primary legislation (the Magistrates' Court Act 1980) to authorise the making of such a rule. The government (Lords Hansard, 2 April 2009) says implicitly yes, other commentators are not convinced. (See also the previous two questions, which relate to rule 52.7(13). The government responses appear to detail the amount billed to the debtors in line with the contract, not necessarily the same thing as the "costs and charges incurred" ?)

Lords Hansard text for 2 Apr 200902 Apr 2009 (pt 0002)

 

However, all of this is pretty much for the birds. To challenge the whole underlying legal foundation of these fees you'd (I believe) have to go to the Administrative Court, and (I think) that would require deep pockets for court costs and lawyer's fees, or legal aid.

 

 

About the £625 underlying fine, I don't know.

 

It's perhaps worth pointing out, that if the bailiffs had gone away, so that the Court to find out what the full story was about the underlying fine, and if, once the Court got back to you, you had then voluntarily agreed to pay it, without being forced to by a bailiff there standing in your front room, then the bailiff company would have lost their £200 fee, and the actual individuals would have lost their percentage of it.

 

So that may explain why they weren't particularly keen to go away without making a levy, even when the court asked them to.

 

 

Excellent answer JH !!!

 

As you have said, the liability to pay bailiff fees is NOT a statutory right but a contractual one between the bailiff company and Marston Group/Philips/Swift and Excel Enforcement.

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Hi, Just a quick update - my partner got a date for court which is next Monday its in Tameside which is quite a way away but he is going to have his say. His friend is a solicitor and he is looking into this from a legal point. Will update after this and let you all know what happens thanks again for your help.

 

As another thing my daughter has just had £97.00 taken by a company called Cornwall Collections via a debit card transaction its being investigated by Nat West fraud but dont know if anyone else has ever had this happen. She does not know anything aboutthis company and there is not much on the internet.

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If your daughter has not authorised this transaction then the company who have taken it will be in deep dodo.

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As another thing my daughter has just had £97.00 taken by a company called Cornwall Collections via a debit card transaction its being investigated by Nat West fraud but dont know if anyone else has ever had this happen. She does not know anything aboutthis company and there is not much on the internet.

 

Could well be the Loan Centre.net

 

PT


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I have just read up on a few details of this company, Has your daughter at any point filled out an application for a loan? even if she didnt take a loan out,

It looks like a subscription that this company take out as soon as you fill out the online forms.

The loan company is apparently from Harrogate

Their email is info@loan-centre.net

Cannot find an address yet, but from what I am reading there seems to be a bit of a to do with the company with banks reporting them for online fraud.

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Hi

 

Re daughters thing, apparently she enquired about a loan to pay the bubble payment at the end of her ex and hers car loan, but they could not find her one and that was back in March and the payment taken out last week, I think Nat West are on the case now

 

An update about the court thing, today my partner went to Tameside Magistrates Court and they quashed the conviction for failing to provide driver identity and fined him £75 for speeding and 3 pts on license. However looks like getting the money we paid to bailiff back is going to be a long process. Greater Manchester Magistrates Court who take over enforcement of fines for Grtr Mcr are saying they have not received the funds from Marstons its been 2 weeks so surely that is bad on their part. They said that the funds will have to go bck to them and then we will have to wait for a cheque run and then it will only be the £625 for the fine, the bailiffs fees will have to be paid back by them. The bailiffs who attended lied then an said the court would refund the £900. Its a part success but more hassle now to get the money back to pay back my friends mum. I am very fed up as we do not have the £ to spare to pay her back a the moment and hoped it would be a simple refund process - they are so pro active getting the cash of the "debtor" not so good giving it back when its reversed. Thanks all of you for your advise and hope that some of this helps others who may be unfortunate enough to find themselves in this position.

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