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Dear all,

 

I owed a total of £1,923.06 to Camden council:

£ 969.43 (council tax for period 29/09/08 to 31/03/09)

£ 953.63 (council tax for period 01/04/09 to 28/09/09)

 

I was totally unaware of this debt until I was contacted and visited by a bailiff from Rundle&Co who had taken on my debt.

The first visit occured in the first weeks of February. I was away from home and was left a message to contact him.

The second visit occured in the last week of February. The bailiff visited me and started bullying me into paying the debt immediately etc. I agreed to pay to the debt by direct bank order.

 

Anyway, I ended up paying a total of £2,440.06:

£ 1,168.13 (council tax for period 29/09/08 to 31/03/09) on 17 February 2011

£ 1,271.93 (council tax for period 01/04/09 to 28/09/09) on 28 February 2011

 

meaning that I paid £517 extra in unspecified bailiff fees.

 

Recently, I requested a breakdown of the fees paid and they replied:

 

Council tax debt for period 29/09/08 to 31/03/09:

Debt : £1,054.43

Visit fee 1 : £24.50

Visit fee 2 : £18.00

Levy fee : £55.00

Attendance/Van : £120.00

Total : £1271.93

 

Council tax debt for period 01/04/09 to 28/09/09:

Debt : £953.63

Visit fee 1 : £24.50

Visit fee 2 : £18.00

Levy fee : £52.00

Attendance/Van : £120.00

Total: £1168.13

 

I understand that the levy fee relates to making a list of my property. This never occured.

In addition, I am not sure what the van fee relates to but I am sure it is a fraud charge.

Also, why is the debt in the first case increased by £85.00?? Is this a standard bailiff practice to also increase the amount of debt?

In addition, is it OK for them to charge twice for the same visit? (The bailiff's visit was related to two separate debt collection cases).

My question is this. What is the best route to take in challenging these charges/fees and getting my money back?

since seeing this breakdown of fees and reading several other threads on this forum I understand that this over/fraud charging is a standard practice by bailiffs and I have no intention of allowing this!

 

 

thank you very much for your help!

Much appreciated

 

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Ring the Council and ask them:

1- how many Liability Orders there were

2 - How much each one was for

3 - When each one was obtained

4 - when each one was passed on for enforcement.

 

On the breakdown of fees you have does it list any dates? If so is the date each time a fee was listed different?

If they are dealing with more than 1 account at a time they are not allowed to charge you multiple fees.

 

PT


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Thank you very much for the replies.

 

ploddertom,

the breakdown including dates:

 

Council tax debt for period 29/09/08 to 31/03/09:

(25/1/11) Debt : £1,054.43 (25/1/11)

(2/2/11) Visit fee 1 : £24.50

(3/2/11) Visit fee 2 : £18.00

(15/2/11) Levy fee : £55.00

(23/2/11) Attendance/Van : £120.00

Total : £1271.93

 

Council tax debt for period 01/04/09 to 28/09/09:

(25/1/11) Debt : £953.63

(2/2/11) Visit fee 1 : £24.50

(3/2/11) Visit fee 2 : £18.00

(15/2/11) Levy fee : £52.00

(15/2/11) Attendance/Van : £120.00

Total: £1168.13

 

As you can see visits relating to the two collection orders happended on the same day. Do you think they can charge for both of them separately, making me pay for each visit twice?

 

thanks

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What you need are the COUNCIL details as posted by PT not what the bailiff thinks its ok to charge. They cannot charge two sets of fees for attending on the same visit.

 

Did he actually levy on your goods and if so what paperwork was left with you regarding the goods levied?

 

WD

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My take on your fees are as follows:

 

Take both debts and add them together - I assume the initial figures are those given by the Council £1054-43 + £953-63 = £2008-06

1st Visit Fee - £24-50

2nd Visit Fee - £18-00

Were you at home when both these visits occurred

 

The Levy - what does your Notice of Seizure say, in particular what goods do they say they have seized & did you let them in your home on the day in question.

Levy Fee - approx £77-00

Attendance/Van Fee - unable to comment on size of fee charged but more importantly were you in when they called?

 

Fees to date excluding Van Fee I make to be approx £120 in total. However I suspect the levy fee may just be plucked out of thin air and until you can find out more about and the goods the have allegedly seized you may only owe them the 2 Visit Fees = £42-50.

 

PT


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Thank you all for the replies. I very much appreciate all the replies I have received!

 

I have sent a complaint letter to the bailiffs and they have replied to me.

Let me make clear that there was only one visiti on 15/02/2011 that I am aware of since I was in the house and answered the door. I talked with the bailiff and agreed to pay the first debt in full right there and then through debit card. I also agreed to pay the second debt some time in the next week. He called me on 25/02/2011 and I again gave him my debit card details and paid the second debt in full.

In that single bailiff visit, the bailiff did not enter my house, did not make a list of any belongings (no car/any belongings at the front of the house) and did not levy/take anything with him.

I wrote a letter of complaint stating that I had been fraudulently charged with various fees and requested a return of £407.50 (all fees excluding one fee visit of £24.50).

 

 

Today I received Rundle & Co's response:

=====================================================================

Case #2 (Council tax debt for period 01/04/09 to 28/09/09):

I can confirm that we received instructions from our client (a London Borough) on 25 January 2011 advising you of our ivolvement and requesting that you contact us to arrange payment. As we received no response to this letter our Bailiff attended your property on the 2nd and 3rd February 2011. Our Bailiff was unable to make contact so a notice of attendance was left at each visit. As no contact had been made with us to resolve this matter your file was passed to our enforcement Bailiff Mr... who attended your property on the 15th February 2011. Our Bailiff levied on your goods in order to secure the debt for our Client. A levy fee and an attendance fee were applied to your account for this visit.

In view of the above information we are satisfied that the fees charged are in line with current regulations and with the actions taken by our Bailiff. I can confirm you made a payment of £1168.13 on the 15th February 2011 which was for the full amount outstanding.

 

Case #1 (Council tax debt for period 29/09/08 to 31/03/09)

I can confirm that we received instructions from our Client (a London Borough) on the 25th January 2011 to enforce upon a Liability Order granted to them by the courts in relation to unpaid Council Tax. This was passed to us with a balance outstanding of 1054.43. We sent a letter to you on the 26th January 2011 advising you of our involvement and requesting that you contact us to arrange payment. As we received no response from this letter our Bailiff attended your property on the 2nd and 3rd February 2011. Our Bailiff was unable to make contact so a notice of attendance was left at each visit.

As no contact had been made with us to resolve this matter your file was passed to our enforcement Bailiff Mr... who attended your property on the 15th February 2011. Our Bailiff levied on your goods in order to secure the debt for our Client. A levy fee was applied to your account for this visit.

In view of the above information we are satisfied that the fees charged are in line with current regulations and with the actions taken by our Bailiff. I can confirm that you made a payment of 1271.93 to our Bailiff on the 25th February 2011 which was for the full amount outstanding.

 

I must advise you that the fees charged for the first and second visits are statutory fees and are chargeable per Liability Order as set out in current legislation.

 

A levy fee is applied to each account however the attendance fee was only initially applied to one account but as it was necessary for our Bailiff to re attend a further attendance fee was then applied to the other account.

 

An attendance fee is added to the account when our Bailiff attends to remove goods if necessary. The fee is not applied on the basis of attending with a van but the Bailiff will have made all of the relevant arrangements to faciliate a removal if required.

 

We are satisfied that all correct procedures have been followed and the fees charged reflect the action taken by our Bailiff. We do not therefore feel any refund is appropriate.

 

Rundle & Co.

========================================================================

 

You see that they claim it is OK to charge for two visits on both accounts even though only one visit ever occured. In addition they claim it is OK to charge double van/attendance fees and double levy fees even though nothing was ever levied/removed and I paid my debt as soon as I was asked to.

 

This has been very distressing and I would very much appreciate if you could advise on the best course of action.

I am really fed up with these guys.

 

I appreciate all the help!

Regards,

ik303

Edited by ik303

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You have 6 years to claim back the wrongly imposed fees, and your primary target is the council who are wholly liable for any misdeeds of their agents Rundle & Co.

 

Others will be along to point you in the right direction soon.


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Complaint to the council all the way ….they got themselves in to this mess so it’s up to then to get themselves out of it as BN says “the council is responsible for their contractors/ bailiff’s” No Doubt About It

The law is very clear

1st visit £24.50 2nd visit £18.00 (the legislation doesn’t say per levy) so unless he made 4 visits that would be 2 per liability order on separate days its £42.50

Many council codes of practices also state something along the lines.........when more than one Liability Order is held for a debtor, the bailiff will attend the property for all liability orders at the same time, with only one set of costs being made. ‘First’ and ‘second call’ visits must be made on different days.

Regarding multiple levy fees my interpretation of the legislation is they shouldn’t / cannot charged the way i see it i have written below

Reg 45 distress Head B

The wording of the regulations refers to “the lesser of The amount of the costs reasonably incurred and” “The relevant amount calculated under paragraph 2(1) with respect to the levy” paragraph 2(1) is providing a formula for the calculation of large fees Head B does not state each liability order is to be levied separately it states Where the sum due at the time of the levy, suggests aggregated liability orders as the most expensive council tax in England & Wales been well under £4,000 pounds , provision is given in 2(1) to calculate fees of over £8.000 again suggests aggregated liability orders

Make any sence ???

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As many people on here know, I have a commercial business advising the public with regards to a bailiff visit.

 

Firstly, the statutory regulations covering the collection of council tax do NOT permit a bailiff company to charge a fee for sending a letter and for this reason, I rarely if EVER come across a case where a bailiff would send a letter. Request a true copy of the ORIGINAL.

 

Next point, if goods have been levied upon it is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that a Notice of Seizure/or Walking Possession is provided as evidence. Two levies were "apparently made". Without the legally required Notice of Seizure it would be difficult for the bailiff company to charge for a levy.

 

Given the claim that a letter was sent and a levy made for EACH account, I would strongly suggest that you conctact the LOCAL AUTHORITY and ask them to contact THEIR AGENT to send you a copy of the SCREEN SHOT of your account.

 

The local authority are wholly responsible for the levy and fees charged by THEIR agents and therefore, they MUST provide this information.

 

The Screen Shot is an electronic record of your account and this will have to state precisly when the letter was send and what goods (if any) were levied upon.

 

On the "multiple charges".....SORRY but the local authority and bailiff company are WRONG.

 

Hopefully, I should get a new STICKY posted tomorrow with details of Local Government Ombudsman's reports. This will FINALLY put to rest all bailiff companies myths that they can charge "multiple charges" for enforcing more than one Liability Order at the same time.

 

In the morning, I would strongly suggest that you call the council and ask them for CONFIRMATION of precisly what THEIR AGENT levied upon !!!!

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ik303 it may be a good idea to check out TT's sticky when it goes up as there will be some great pointers in there how to word a complaint, I would be wary in case they try to cobble up a retrospective levy on some ficticious item and date it around the time they called, One bailiff firm attempted this with a phantom mountain bike that no one seemed to know about or actually saw on or around the debtors premises the thread is on here somewhere.


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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