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Hi all, new poster here.

 

We had a couple of people turn up at to the door today and they told my girlfriend she had to pay them £500 on the spot or there would be a locksmith in 20 minutes with some bailiffs to seize our goods. I was in the house at the time on the treadmill so never heard any of this going on, they sit in the car for about 20 mins and my partner explains to me what they said. They just sat in the car for 20 mins waiting and knocked again asking if we had the money. I am guessing they were putting an act on cos when they asked if we could get the money together the fella was on the phone saying to whoever was on the end ' can you suspend it for 7 days, please do it as a favour to me please' then gives me this talk about how they have to add charges on and how fines are there to stop people ignoring debts.

 

 

Now here is the issue I have, they turned up at our house which is rented in my name, I HAVE a TV license, this debt is for my partner at an address she lived at approximately 3 years ago, before we lived together, he told me they can take stuff belonging to her and I need receipts to prove stuff is mine. We have had no letters regarding this whatsoever, I would have dealt with it if they have.

 

My partner did attend court about a year ago and was told to pay £5 a week, but after a couple of payments she never got around to setting up the direct debit.

 

I understand she has to pay money and have no problem with it, but to pay £500 on the spot for a £125 fine is surely not right, do I have any leg to stand on with regards to the debt being in her name at a previous address. She is also 8 months pregnant and we have 3 children and one is disabled. He is coming back next Thursday for payment and apparently everything has to go through him cos he is the bailiff, which translates to me as he has added a few extra charges so he gets to pocket it.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Marston Group have a contract with HMCS to enforce these debts and the contract allows for them to charge a fee of £75 for sending a letter and if the debt remains unpaid that a visit fee of £200 is charged.

 

The bailiff CAN force entry but this is MOST unlikely to ever happen. In fact, in answer to a Parliamentary question the government confirmed that there had been 9 cases of forced entry in the past 3 years. Although this is a large number it needs to be remembered that there were approx 900,000 Distress Warrants issued EACH YEAR !!!

 

Coming back to the issue. Your partner is 8 months pregnant and you have a disabled child. CLEARLY your circumstances are classes as "vulnerable" according to the National Standards for Enforcement Agents and for this reason the debt should be returned back to the court.

 

You need to ENSURE that you WRITE to Marston right now to outline your partners circumstances.

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I asked for a copy of the contract in June this year under S10 of FOI, the £75 fee is deducted from the amount the debtor has been fined. There nothing in the contract that says the fees are charged in addition to the fine. Breaking can only be done with permission/warrant signed by a magistrate, unlikely they will get one.

 

Get an incident number from police and make a CAD record a threat to enter with a locksmith (keep copy of document) has been made without a warrant, This is contrary to s.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and s.25 of the Theft Act 1968.

 

There is an official advisory on bailiffs and vulnerable households: http://www.dca.gov.uk/enforcement/agents02.htm#part10


Professional property investor and conveyancer

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