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HCEO marstons Removal notice, help please


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Hi,

Please could someone help me as I am very unsure what to do with this.

 

The problem started when I was fined in August this year at court for defective tires on my car, I notified the judge that I am a student, looking for work and that I was already in quite a rather large amount of debt (approx £40,000) so she said she would try and be 'fair' in her judgement, which was £250. I could not pay this on the day and then in September all i could give was £40, due to my financial difficulties, which I did over the phone. The fines officer advised me that they would be calling back the following month to collect payment. They never called and I just left it at that for the time being, waiting for some further contact from them, which in hindsight probably wasn't the best thing to do.

 

Last Friday, I came home to find that a bailiff/high court enforcement officer from Marstons had been to visit and had left a removal notice. This was the first I had heard that they would be dealing with my case, even though the notice reads 'despite previous visits and notices, this matter has not been settled'. I was shocked to read that the amount now due stood at £485 which is more than double what I owed, and that these fees had been charged in such a short space of time, Marstons could only have had this for less than month.

 

I then tried to contact the number that had been written on the notice and informed the bailiff of my financial circumstances and that I would only be able to pay £100 today and would pay the rest within a month as I have now found employment. I also informed him that I dont actually own any of the things at the address as they are all my families and that I have no assets what so ever. He wasn't having any of it though and said I cant reduce the debt by even a penny and there is no way I can accept part payment so you're going to have to pay the full amount by tomorrow (today) or else I will be coming on either Friday (tomorrow) or on the coming Monday with a locksmith and a police officer to remove goods by force, and if your family cant prove with receipts that they own the goods then I can take them.

 

I then rang the court back and they were no help despite the fact that they already knew of my financial circumstances. they said that Marstons can charge what they want and the court cant do anything about it now that it's with them. I rang Marstons call centre to see if they could come to some sort of payment arrangement, but the person was very rude, dismissive and kept saying that I will need to speak to the bailiff dealing with my case. He eventually said there's nothing they can do apart from taking part payment and terminated the call.

 

I then began trying to get whatever money together that i could and rang the bailiff back today to offer just over half of the money due but he still said no chance and became rather aggressive and threatening, saying that he'll rearrange some of his appointments and come round right now and remove my families possessions if I really want to push him. He said there's no way he can reduce any of the fee's they've charged as they're set by the court and that this debt has been over a very long time, to which i replied that the court said the fees are all set by Marstons and that i only got the fine in August, which only angered him more and he said that he hasn't got his papers with him but it's definitely been longer than since August. I tried calming him down and eventually pleaded with him to give me a bit more time, but he said the most he can do is give me till teatime tomorrow to get the remaining amount together.

 

Can anyone please offer any advice? I feel it's very unfair that it's got to this stage so soon, especially after I had told the courts that I was in financial difficulties.I don't want him coming back round especially since I live with my family and my eldest brother has very young children, so is my only option to pay him the full amount, and if I do is there anyway I can appeal it afterwards?

 

Thank you all very much, I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

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Im wondering wether you could just pay the 250 to the court fines office then the bailiff would at least have to go to court and obtain a court order for their charges which would then become a civil matter in terms of the charges alone.That would be the way i would go with this.

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If you have defaulted on a court fine then the bailiffs will have rights. I'm very surprised that no payment arrangement was agreed at the time of the court hearing - usually they agree a reasonable sum to be repaid there and then. Did this happen?

 

Who owns the house you live in? If you are living with your parents get an affidavit drawn up stating that all possessions in the house are theirs, at least the bailiff shouldn't take them then.

 

Finally remember that bailiffs lie - as a good rule of thumb, if they open their mouth they're lying! They will threaten everything and put you under as much pressure as they can to pay. You could apply to the court to ask for installments to be reassessed due to you financial circumstances. This would get the bailiffs off your back and get the fine paid at a mutually agreeable rate.

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Thnk you for your replies, the court unfortunately have washed their hands of it and say they cant take any payments as this would 'undermine' the bailiffs :|

 

I live with my family, the house is owned by my father.

 

As for instalments being agreed, I told them I was unable to pay but looking to get a job within the next month so would be able to pay £100 if that was to happen, but it didn't unfortunately. How would I go about applying at the court to get the instalments reassessed if they won't talk to me about it? Any ideas? :???:

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The Court will say this but they can take the case back but prefer not to. However part of my understanding is that the only way they can definitely refuse is if a Committal Order has been made which in your case it has not, therefore they are wrong in their assumption. You will have a terrible job persuading them otherwise and would need to escalate this further up the food chain.

 

PT

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