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Late payment of court fine resulting in distress warrant


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Hi all,

 

I'm new to this forum and could do with some advice off you guys if possible please. Here is the script,

 

On 30th July, I was found guilty of exceeding speed limit at Magistrates Court for which I received a total of £155.00 fine and 3 points.

Whilst in court I was told by the judge that I had to pay £15 per week and the first payment was due on 6th August. This was written on a HMCS info guide by the court clerk. I discussed the payment of my fine and I was told that the total fine had to be paid by 8th October. I was also informed that I could make one off payments if required and did not have to set up weekly payment plan.

 

On 24th August, I made an online payment of £50.00 and then on 16th September, I made an online payment of £30.00.

 

On 24th September, I received a letter from the courts indicating that a distress warrant had been issued against me and they returned my payment of £30.00 in a cheque!

 

I have now been informed that my fine had been referred to Marston Group Bailiffs on 13th September even though the final payment was not due till 8th October.

 

When I spoke to the courts they stated that I was ordered to pay £20 a week however this is not the case. Even if I did have to pay £20 a week that would mean the final payment would be due by 24th September so how can they refer to the fine to the debt collectors prior to this date!!??

 

I find that they are totally abused the fines process and have clearly sold the debt on in order to make a few quid!!

 

I have now had to pay an extra £75 on top of the fine. The debt collectors have done nothing to justify the £75 as they have not even had to come to my house.

 

 

Thats the story what do you guys think? Thanks very much for reading, Chris

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I appreciate your frustration, but it seems no matter which way you look at if you did not comply with the judge's payment order. You would need to pay on time every week to avoid escalation, not lump sums every 3 - 4 weeks.

 

They should have used their 'brains' to realize you were on target to meet the final deadline. Ability to use brain is NOT a requirement for employment at HMCS or most bailiff firms.

 

I'm not big on fines but £75 is not a big 'hit' from a bailiff, there is often a naught on the end!!!

 

I hope someone else can provide some help.

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Only a few days there was a report in the paper that said that something like £600m is outstanding in court fines and apparently only 20% of fines do get recovered. Astonishingly, even though people are ordered to pay by a Judge they fail to do so. In your case, the courts ordered £15 per week and this was written on the form that you received.

 

As far as the court are concerned, you defaulted on the agreement and this has led to Marston Group enforcing a Distress Warrant. Unfortunately, HMCS have agreed that this company can charge an admin fee of £75 BUT if you now fail to pay, they are permitted to charge a FURTHER fee of £200 for a visit.

 

On the papers that were given to you, is there any mention at all as to what will happen if you fail to pay and the additional fees that you could be liable for?

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HMCS have agreed that this company can charge an admin fee of £75 BUT if you now fail to pay, they are permitted to charge a FURTHER fee of £200 for a visit.

 

I see you have been giving this advice for a while now, however, I have looked at the contract, and re-looked at it again a few minutes ago. The figures you quote are, of course, correct, but there is nothing in the contract that says the fees are paid by the debtor or be reimbursed to the bailiff by the debtor. The contract parties are HMCS (A Government Agency) and the bailiff company (A Firm).

 

I am very concerned this advice could be resulting in serious financial losses to forum users who do not have a Costs Order made against them.

 

In fact, evidence to the contrary does exist, other forum users have successfully recovered bailiff fees they have already paid when they made a complaint to the Court.

Professional property investor and conveyancer

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