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Advice to debtors about Liability Orders. This is IMPORTANT!!!!


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[EDIT]. within the past few months I have been seriously concerned at the amount of charges that have been made by some bailiff companies when enforcing an unpaid Liability Order in respect of arrears of council tax.

 

Astonishingly, in almost every case that I come across, the debtor has no idea at all of the amount of the Liability Order that has been passed to the bailiff company by the council and when questioned, the response to my question is always the same: "

 

"The bailiff has said that I owe £xxxx" or that

 

"It says on the letter that I have received from the bailiff that I owe £xxx"

 

It is vitally important that everyone starts making enquiries by calling the local authority and asking for confirmation of the amount of the Liability Order. Without knowing this, debtors will not know whether they have been overcharged by bailiffs.

 

To illustrate the importance of this I will give you 2 examples from enquiries today.

 

Case One

 

A single mother who is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and on a very limited income had a Liability Order in 2002 which was sent to a bailiff company. Because she had to agree to such high repayments with the bailiff this led to her falling into arrears with her current council tax and a Liability Order was issued against her the following year....and every year since then !!!

 

She has been paying regular monthly payments to the same bailiff company for years and has asked many times for a breakdown of charges without any success. Finally, with my assistance she was able to obtain confirmation from the local authority for the amounts of the Liability Orders passed to the bailiff company and it has been established that she has been charged bailiff fees of £2,510.

 

The bailiff company confirmed that because of her disability, they have visited her just ONCE in 2005 and that they "levied" upon a car outside of her home. This debtor has a vehicle that is provided by Motability and therefore, a levy would not be valid!! For 5 years they have been relying upon this "levy" and have applied levy fees and attending to remove fees to all her accounts since 2005. The bailiff was demanding a further sum of £400 and it is clear that the correct fees over the years should have been no more approx £50. Clearly she is due a large refund!!

 

Case Two

 

A couple had two Liability Orders against them and received a bailiff visit. The bailiff levied upon a TV and Sofa. A payment arrangement was set up for £150 per month. So far they have paid approx £1,200. They were two days late in making their agreed monthly payment and a bailiff attended their property today and demanded the balance of £890 in cash. Once again, I asked them to confirm the amounts of the liability orders and they did not have any idea at all and therefore, as suggested they contacted the local authority who were able to confirm the amounts of the liability orders, but most importantly to confirm also that the amount outstanding against one liability order was £214 and against the other, just £75. The bailiff was trying to claim that they owed another £600!!

 

Thankfully the council straightaway agreed to put both accounts on hold while they investigate the fees.

 

Over 3 million Liability Orders were issued to bailiffs by councils last year and with the severe effects of the recession it is so important that debtors start making enquiries about the Liabilty Order.

 

Finally, it needs to be noted that if a bailiff visits a property to collect council tax, he can charge just £24.50 for "attending to levy (where no levy was made". This is where for instance, a note was left by the bailiff when a person was not at home.

 

A bailiff CANNOT charge an "enforcement fee" unless he has previously levied upon goods.

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Why why why are the councils allowing bailiffs to charge fees, why are they allowing these bailiffs to treat people like this. I hope these people get every penny back that is owed and the lady in the first case deserves more than just her money back and an apology, she should be compensated.

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I honestly believe most councils are unaware of such actions. The more justifiable complaints that go in the better, as the councils may realize just how rotten the bailiff system is.

 

the answer I got when I explained about what fees etc they charge was "They can't do that, they are not allowed to".

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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They are aware of allright, but if they do something about it and start charging bailiffs under the Fraud Act, there would be no bailiffs left, and nobody would pay their council tax and parking tickets.

Professional property investor and conveyancer

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Not necessarily free.

 

Some councils do pay bailiffs companies to reciver fines and tax, and it all depends on the tenders they get. Its mainly rural councils that pay the most because they receive fewer tenders, but the big ticket councils a-la Tower Hamlets, Westminster get a free meal ticket, because its all high profit stuff, and who knows? an all expenses paid christmas bash for the civil servants at the town hall thrown in to boot. Parking has always been more lucrative than council tax, thats why the newbie bailiff companies end up with the naff contracts in some outback district, and the big boys get westminster parking and all that.

Professional property investor and conveyancer

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Not necessarily free.

 

Some councils do pay bailiffs companies to reciver fines and tax, and it all depends on the tenders they get. Its mainly rural councils that pay the most because they receive fewer tenders, but the big ticket councils a-la Tower Hamlets, Westminster get a free meal ticket, because its all high profit stuff, and who knows? an all expenses paid christmas bash for the civil servants at the town hall thrown in to boot. Parking has always been more lucrative than council tax, thats why the newbie bailiff companies end up with the naff contracts in some outback district, and the big boys get westminster parking and all that.

 

Even worse, there is a increasingly number of councils who insist in their contracts that their relevant bailiff companies PAY THEM a percentage of the bailiff fees that they recover !!!

 

In other words, some councils are making a PROFIT from their very own taxpayers if they receive a bailiff visit!!!

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Even worse, there is a increasingly number of councils who insist in their contracts that their relevant bailiff companies PAY THEM a percentage of the bailiff fees that they recover !!!

 

I assume you have some evidence of that.

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Incomes of enforcement agencies are limited to set fees fixed by legislation and so operating legitimately severely restricts their earning potential, this most likely explains their unlawful strategies which are used to maximise earnings and are recognisable among all private bailiff firms working for councils.

 

Literature concerning council’s collection and recovery procedures show that BVPI’s, NIS’s or whatever corporate health indicators the coalition government plans to supersede them, are the cause of the draconian way councils penalise council tax payers. The way in which they are brought to heel is characterised by threats, subsequent fines and use of their crooked bailiff firms, complemented by obstructive arrogance of council staff when attempting to resolve issues.

 

Government pressure put on councils by way of these closely scrutinised performance indicators ensure that collection performance continues to improve, consequently the council is driven to desperate and reckless use of these penalties and opportunist bailiff firms. Given that these performance indicators are also put in place to ensure councils compete with one another for the best scores, recovery department bosses within councils have become inhumane target obsessed fanatics with no regard for the financial burden imposed on residents in attaining favourable statistics.

 

Their obsession with targets has led to what could be described as “artificial performance” since more focus is put on presenting the preferred figures, where residents are the pawns in the council’s pursuit to ensure high collection rates.

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Incomes of enforcement agencies are limited to set fees fixed by legislation and so operating legitimately severely restricts their earning potential, this most likely explains their unlawful strategies which are used to maximise earnings and are recognisable among all private bailiff firms working for councils.

 

Literature concerning council’s collection and recovery procedures show that BVPI’s, NIS’s or whatever corporate health indicators the coalition government plans to supersede them, are the cause of the draconian way councils penalise council tax payers. The way in which they are brought to heel is characterised by threats, subsequent fines and use of their crooked bailiff firms, complemented by obstructive arrogance of council staff when attempting to resolve issues.

 

Government pressure put on councils by way of these closely scrutinised performance indicators ensure that collection performance continues to improve, consequently the council is driven to desperate and reckless use of these penalties and opportunist bailiff firms. Given that these performance indicators are also put in place to ensure councils compete with one another for the best scores, recovery department bosses within councils have become inhumane target obsessed fanatics with no regard for the financial burden imposed on residents in attaining favourable statistics.

 

Their obsession with targets has led to what could be described as “artificial performance” since more focus is put on presenting the preferred figures, where residents are the pawns in the council’s pursuit to ensure high collection rates.

 

I cant add anything to your response . Excellent.

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[EDIT]. I have been seriously concerned at the amount of charges that have been made by some bailiff companies when enforcing an unpaid Liability Order in respect of arrears of council tax.

 

Astonishingly, in almost every case that I come across, the debtor has no idea at all of the amount of the Liability Order that has been passed to the bailiff company by the council and when questioned, the response to my question is always the same: "

 

"The bailiff has said that I owe £xxxx" or that

 

"It says on the letter that I have received from the bailiff that I owe £xxx"

 

It is vitally important that everyone starts making enquiries by calling the local authority and asking for confirmation of the amount of the Liability Order. Without knowing this, debtors will not know whether they have been overcharged by bailiffs.

 

To illustrate the importance of this I will give you 2 examples from enquiries today.

 

Case One

 

A single mother who is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and on a very limited income had a Liability Order in 2002 which was sent to a bailiff company. Because she had to agree to such high repayments with the bailiff this led to her falling into arrears with her current council tax and a Liability Order was issued against her the following year....and every year since then !!!

 

She has been paying regular monthly payments to the same bailiff company for years and has asked many times for a breakdown of charges without any success. Finally, with my assistance she was able to obtain confirmation from the local authority for the amounts of the Liability Orders passed to the bailiff company and it has been established that she has been charged bailiff fees of £2,510.

 

The bailiff company confirmed that because of her disability, they have visited her just ONCE in 2005 and that they "levied" upon a car outside of her home. This debtor has a vehicle that is provided by Motability and therefore, a levy would not be valid!! For 5 years they have been relying upon this "levy" and have applied levy fees and attending to remove fees to all her accounts since 2005. The bailiff was demanding a further sum of £400 and it is clear that the correct fees over the years should have been no more approx £50. Clearly she is due a large refund!!

 

Case Two

 

A couple had two Liability Orders against them and received a bailiff visit. The bailiff levied upon a TV and Sofa. A payment arrangement was set up for £150 per month. So far they have paid approx £1,200. They were two days late in making their agreed monthly payment and a bailiff attended their property today and demanded the balance of £890 in cash. Once again, I asked them to confirm the amounts of the liability orders and they did not have any idea at all and therefore, as suggested they contacted the local authority who were able to confirm the amounts of the liability orders, but most importantly to confirm also that the amount outstanding against one liability order was £214 and against the other, just £75. The bailiff was trying to claim that they owed another £600!!

 

Thankfully the council straightaway agreed to put both accounts on hold while they investigate the fees.

 

Over 3 million Liability Orders were issued to bailiffs by councils last year and with the severe effects of the recession it is so important that debtors start making enquiries about the Liabilty Order.

 

Finally, it needs to be noted that if a bailiff visits a property to collect council tax, he can charge just £24.50 for "attending to levy (where no levy was made". This is where for instance, a note was left by the bailiff when a person was not at home.

 

A bailiff CANNOT charge an "enforcement fee" unless he has previously levied upon goods.

 

As this is now the most common complaint that we receive, I am taking the opportunity to once again remind everyone to ensure that they obtain CONFIRMATION from the local authority of the amount of the Liability Order that was passed by them to the bailiff.

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