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Newlyns CTAX : Excessive charges **WON £146 FEES RETURNED**


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Hello,

I would really appreciate any advice with this issue.

 

i paid my council tax late,

but paid the whole years amount in one sum.

 

Unknown to me,

Barnet council had already passed on this debt to Newlyns Bailiffs.

Newlyns NEVER sent any correspondence.

The council tax was paid in September.

 

The first inkling that I had about Newlyns was on the 16/10/10,

when a letter was left on a table in the foyer of my flats stating that a bailiff had attended.

 

My husband called them,

and questioned why,

if a bailiff had attended,

was the letter left in the foyer,

and not posted through my front door?

 

Also,

why had he not knocked on our door to collect this alleged debt?

There was also the issue of why we had not received any notification prior to this visit?

 

Also, Newlyns said this was the third visit in two months,

but if this was the case,

why had the bailiff not left a notice each time,

as he is supposed to?

 

he spoke to the manager,

who looked into this,

and,

in recognition of these issues,

reduced the debt from £193 to £24.50.

 

My husband, rather stupidly, refused to pay a penny.

 

Today (26/10/10)

I received a call from a bailiff saying he was fifteen minutes away from my home,

and if i wanted to stop further costs incurring I had to pay £170.

 

After much wrangling with Newlyns I paid it.

I was told this amount is for their admin costs etc,

even though they have NEVER sent me any correspondence,

and the fact that their bailiffs ever attended my property more than once is highly questionable due to the fact that they did not leave any notices.

 

It would appear that ,

in the space of ten days,

their fees have risen from £24.50 to £170.

 

Is this right?

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Hi lock

 

Heres some info:-

 

How much bailiffs are allowed to charge, and for what, depends on the type of debt they are collecting.

When the bailiffs come round they should give you a copy of their scale of charges. If they don't, ask for one.

You should definitely also ask in writing for a breakdown of what the bailiffs are charging you. You can use this to check that you are not being overcharged.

If you think you have been overcharged, or are unsure if the charges are correct, get help from an adviser. You have a number of options for challenging fees, including asking a judge to decide if the fees are fair and correct.

Council Tax

 

Bailiffs collecting Council Tax are not allowed to charge you for letters, but they can charge for 2 visits (£24.50 for the first, and £18.00 for the second). They can't charge you for any more than two visits (unless you owe Council tax for more than one year, then they can charge you for two visits per year). If they take your stuff, they can also make a 'levy charge' for their time and effort. The amount depends on the size of your debt: the more you owe, the higher the charge. The rules are complicated - but as a rough guide, if you owe less than £100 its £24.50, if you owe £500 its £40.50, if you owe £2000 it's £78.

They can also charge £12 for making a Walking Possession Agreement and, if you have not kept to the agreement, they can charge you for hiring a van to take your belongings away. This must be in line with normal van hire rates. Bailiffs cannot bring a van to your home and try to charge you for it before they get a 'walking possession agreement' - although many dodgy bailiffs will try this.

They can also charge ' reasonable costs' for selling your stuff.

If they have taken your stuff away, but don't sell it (because you have since paid up) they can charge you either £24.50 or up to 5% of the total they were collecting, whichever is the largest. If you have not paid the debt and costs off in the full (whether by a lump sum payment or by instalments) they cannot charge you this fee - although this is also something dodgy firms will try.

Be suspicious of anything not mentioned here - in particular anything called an 'enforcement' fee. If they do charge you more, get help from an advice centre.

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Hello, I would really appreciate any advice with this issue. i paid my council tax late, but paid the whole years amount in one sum. Unknown to me, Barnet council had already passed on this debt to Newlyns Bailiffs. Newlyns NEVER sent any correspondence.

 

Any enforcement action is unlawful.

 

The law says the council must send you a "final notice" by post to your current before making an application to a magistrate for a Liability order against you. As there is compelling evidence the council failed to do this, you can ask the council to roll the case back to pre-liability order stage and cease enforcement action immediately.

 

The law is Section 33(3) and 34(1) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/regulation/33/made

 

Contact the council and ask them to comply with Regulation 33(3) and 34(1), but if they are unwillijng to do so, then you have a right to ask the Local Government Ombudsman to intervene. You can even ask for compensation, the award of this type of non-compliance by a council is typically about £100 per instance. Awards can be more if you have already received a bailiff or paid a sum of money to one.

 

The council tax was paid in September.

 

The council owes you an explanation.

 

The first inkling that I had about Newlyns was on the 16/10/10, when a letter was left on a table in the foyer of my flats stating that a bailiff had attended. My husband called them, and questioned why, if a bailiff had attended, was the letter left in the foyer, and not posted through my front door? Also, why had he not knocked on our door to collect this alleged debt? There was also the issue of why we had not received any notification prior to this visit? Also, Newlyns said this was the third visit in two months, but if this was the case, why had the bailiff not left a notice each time, as he is supposed to? he spoke to the manager, who looked into this, and, in recognition of these issues, reduced the debt from £193 to £24.50. My husband, rather stupidly, refused to pay a penny.

 

Thats because £24.50 is the statutory bailiffs fee for collecting unpiad council tax. You dont owe it because a) the there is no tax payable/liablity is discharged, and b) the council failed to comply with regulation 33/34.

 

Today (26/10/10) I received a call from a bailiff saying he was fifteen minutes away from my home, and if i wanted to stop further costs incurring I had to pay £170. After much wrangling with Newlyns I paid it. I was told this amount is for their admin costs etc,

 

The law does not provide for bailiffs to charge you any of these. You will now need to reclaim it from the council. I wouldnt attempt to get it back from the bailiffs. They have commited a criminal offence under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 by making false representation that you owe money you dont. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/2 and you have a right to make a complaint to police. They might tell you its a civil matter so you can show them the a House of Lords directive confirming that bailiff crime of not a civil matter. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/70420w0001.htm see under Crime Fraud. Dont expect Police to get too excited about your complaint but that should keep the bailiffs busy for a while. If you can direct your complaint to a specific detective at the the Economic Crimes Unit.

 

I was told this amount is for their admin costs etc, even though they have NEVER sent me any correspondence, and the fact that their bailiffs ever attended my property more than once is highly questionable due to the fact that they did not leave any notices. It would appear that , in the space of ten days, their fees have risen from £24.50 to £170.

Is this right?

 

No its not. Contact the council and get your money back, remember the bailiffs are the council responsibility and is liable for them. If the council palms you off with contact the bailiffs then speak to the Local Government Ombudsman and ask him to intervene and put in a claim for compensation for being defrauded by their bailiffs.

Professional property investor and conveyancer

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Hello.

Thank you all for your generous time and help.

 

I have just spoken to Barnet Council,

who said they sent a reminder on the 03/05/10.

 

According to them they are not legally required to send me a final notice because they sent me this reminder.

they passed my case on to the bailiffs on the 20/09/10,

without informing me.

 

My husband called them on the 28/09/10 to ask what the outstanding balance was.

They told him it was £1000,

but never said they had passed it over to bailiffs.

 

On the 04/10/10 payment was made by cheque.

 

During this time, until 16/10/10,

my husband and i were never notified that this was with the bailiffs.

 

Barnet Council are insisting they do not legally have to send me a final notice as they sent a reminder,

and they do not legally have to notify me they have instructed bailiff action.

 

Similarly,

Newlyns Bailiffs insist they did not have any legal need to notify me of my debt with them

- which is apparently for costs incurred even though my council tax was paid in full to Barnet Council two weeks after they had been instructed to recover them.

 

In effect they charged me £170 for what?

- no letters,

and one definitee bailiff visit (even though he did not knock on my door) out of a very suspicious three.

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You dont have any legal obligation to discuss council tax with a bailiff. The law says you have an obligation to discharge your liability to the authority. You post indicated you have already done so, you should keep the receipt in a safe place.

 

I am puzzled on what grounds the the council is excluding themselves from liability under Regulation 33 and 34. You might want to seek advice from the Local Government Ombudsman and find out. If you can, It would be helpful for many of us here, if you could post the reason here on this forum.

 

It is true a bailiff doesnt need to give you any notice a case has been passed to them. The obligation rests with the council: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/part/VI/made

 

For completeness, you should now write to the council and ask they comply with Reg 33/34 and ask that if they are unable or unwilling to comply, to clearly mark the top of the reasons letter with the words FINAL RESOLUTION. You can then ask the LGO to intervene.

 

I woulnt get too bothered about those fees the bailiff is on about, the law sets how much bailiffs can lawfully charge, and in any event, no money is due from you. Just make sure your property is secure until this matter is resolved. If you open the door to unexpected callers, then make sure you keep the chain on. Inform the bailiff the liability is paid and ask he quietly leaves the property.

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I am puzzled on what grounds the the council is excluding themselves from liability under Regulation 33 and 34. You might want to seek advice from the Local Government Ombudsman and find out. If you can, It would be helpful for many of us here, if you could post the reason here on this forum.

 

Liability orders: preliminary steps

33........

(3) A final notice need not be served on a person who has been served under regulation 23(1) with a reminder notice in respect of the amount concerned.

 

 

May that be their interpretation, as they have already submitted previous reminders. If true then the system stinks.

 

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The OP has made no mention a Regulation 23 notice has been served, and evidently, the circumstances would not require one because the liability has already been discharged, therefore making a requirement on the council to issue a Reg 33 Final Notice before applying for a liablity order enabling the taxpayer to contest it with the council before the order is made.

 

The council tax was paid in September. The first inkling that I had about Newlyns was on the 16/10/10, when a letter was left on a table in the foyer of my flats stating that a bailiff had attended.

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You dont have any legal obligation to discuss council tax with a bailiff. The law says you have an obligation to discharge your liability to the authority. You post indicated you have already done so, you should keep the receipt in a safe place.

 

Sorry Fork It but this info is not right.

 

For council tax collection the local authority rely upon the little know statutory regulations provided under the: Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996

 

From memory, I think the relevant part is section 42.

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Sorry Fork It but this info is not right.

 

For council tax collection the local authority rely upon the little know statutory regulations provided under the: Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996

 

From memory, I think the relevant part is section 42.

 

The Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996 doesn't apply in this case because the liability is discharged.

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The OP has made no mention a Regulation 23 notice has been served, and evidently, the circumstances would not require one because the liability has already been discharged, therefore making a requirement on the council to issue a Reg 33 Final Notice before applying for a liablity order enabling the taxpayer to contest it with the council before the order is made.

 

See Post 5

 

PT

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Would be keen to assist with this if you are up for taking it all the way. Regardless of any notices sent or not sent Barnet have behaved badly and its VERY likely you will get all bailiffs fees paid back. This would also be another classic "Test Case" for what I am trying to prove and pave the way for others. Let me know if you are up for it.

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Unfortunately,

£170.00 has been paid to the bailiff as we were told we would incur further charges for another visit.

Payment was made over the phone to Newlyn.

 

Strangely,

on the 16th of October when we found the first correspondence from the bailiff on our communal table,

we had been in the whole morning & there was never a knock on the door from a bailiff.

 

Can a bailiff charge for dropping off a letter?

Surely he should have mailed it.

Should a bailiff knock on your front door as proof of visiting the property?

P.S. Thank you for all your responses thus far.

 

It's a generous offer, one I would be foolish to refuse.

hugely grateful.

 

Kind regards

Locksmith1

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Would be keen to assist with this if you are up for taking it all the way. Regardless of any notices sent or not sent Barnet have behaved badly and its VERY likely you will get all bailiffs fees paid back. This would also be another classic "Test Case" for what I am trying to prove and pave the way for others. Let me know if you are up for it.

 

Have to spoken with the Local Government Association? this is where town hall chiefs hold their think-tanks

 

Unfortunately, £170.00 has been paid to the bailiff as we were told we would incur further charges for another visit. Payment was made over the phone to Newlyn.

 

The visit fee is £24.50, you can reclaim the difference either by making a complaint to the council. You can then either, escalate to the LGO, or you can file a Form N1 at your local county court.

 

Particulars:

 

I received a bailiff acting for the defendant collecting unpaid council tax. The bailiff charged me £170 bailiffs visitation fees which I understand is not complaint to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 which prescribes a fee of £24.50 The claimant claims i) the sum of £145.50 ii) Interest under Section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from the date the money became due at the daily rate of 0.00022%, iii) Reasonable costs the court thinks fit for Discovery of Information and preparing this case for court, v) costs allowed by the court costs at the prescribed rate.

 

If you paid by credit card then contact your bank and apply for a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

 

This is sometimes called chargeback.

 

If you are certain the bailiff did not give reasonable opportunity to pay e.g. did not knock the door or just left a document in a opublic place, then reclaim the full £170, and let the court decide whether or not the bailiffs visit was genuine.

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Hi, its the typical bailiff TRY YOUR LUCK [problem] and this has been going on far to long......

It's not far that they can state an amount which is obviously incorrect and based on lie's and if your lucky enough to challenge it and they back down they will only return again and try the same con again.....

I would suggest anyone who has has bad experience's with bailiffs to set up a FORM on here and we without going into to much detail just ad the company name at type of problem we have found with them...

The majority of firms will lie about

Visits which never happend....

Van hire costs which are illegally over priced

Make out they have more power's then they really do..

Be aggressive and rude ..

Pass the buck when a challenge is made........

It would only take one person to sue a bailiff firm before the s""t would really hit the fan for these companies.......

If they over charged you with the first fee's then you have a right to expect them to cancel any other fee's visits they attempted following the first mistake...

Only promblem is they never ask for they money and show you a personal break down of costs and this is where they back track if you manage to get it in writing first...

I suggest keep all previous paperwork and costs, although at first they agreed to lower the costs this does not take away the FACT that somewhere prior to your questioning the charges there was a fraudulent claim by them....

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Why SAR the bailiff?

 

They dont hold any personal information about debtors and asking for their fees is pointless because they only give a load of verbiage about "costs" and "miscellaenous" charges. The law sets the fees.

 

If an aggreved person doesnt want a bailiff or his company processing his personal data, then he can issue a Section 10 request addressed to the bailiffs registered data controller. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/section/10

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Barnet Council have asked for £10.00 for the SAR. Is this right?

 

They are one of the few that do charge obviously but it is correct. Here's a sample of a letter to send when you ask, amend it how you see fit - remember to enclose your payment, I would recommend a PO and either hand it in yourself or if posted use Signed For.

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Council Co

Council House

 

Date

 

Dear Sir

Data Protection Act 1998

Subject Access Request

 

Dear Sir

 

 

Please supply a complete list of ALL the data held and used by you that relate to Mr XXXX. It is also to include third party information held with all other agencies.

 

Additionally where there has been an event in the account(s) history during the period accounts have been placed with you that have required any manual intervention by any member of your staff or any other person I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have been caused or resulted from that manual intervention.

 

I would like to bring to your attention data can be held in written information, e-mails, electronic documents, photographs, CCTV images, telephone conversations and include any recorded or written opinions about me/us and any recorded or written intentions and action taken regarding me/us.

 

I/We would like this information to be sent to my/our home address as listed above. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

To satisfy payment to supply this information I/we enclose a fee of £10 this payment must not be used for any other purpose.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

A Peeved Debtor"

 

PT

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Barnet Council have asked for £10.00 for the SAR. Is this right?

 

Hang on a sec, what information do you want the council to know? if you want a copy of your council tax account or a parking ticket case then this doesnt need a £10 fee.

 

The £10 fee is payable to a private company that is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and has appointed Data Controller with the ICO. The £10 is for providing personal information about the person making the request. As council tax and parking is not defined as 'personal data' in Section 1 of the Act and thus, there is no need to make a Subject Access Request under Section 7 .

 

In any event, a council is classed as a Local Authority and is not obliged to be registered under the Act.

 

You only need to write to the council and ask why they want you to pay them the money. Neither regulations enable an authority to charge any fee for disclosure of grounds giving rise to a statutory debt.

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