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Hi there,

 

Don't know if anyone can help. I had a really distressing situation today and wondered if anyone could shed any light as to what the bailiffs can/can't do and if he behaved correctly.

 

Bailiff called, I answered the door to "I have a warrant in my possession and i have come to collect goods from your home to the amount owed." I had remembered I owed a parking fine and was really angry with myself for not sorting it out. The bailiff then demanded I pay him £412. I was astounded! I asked him how I owed £412. He read off of a felt tipped sheet. I asked for a piece of paper with the breakdown of the charges, he refused. I then said I was closing the door to make a phone call to a solicitor for advice. He put his foot on the frame of the door and told me I wasn't allowed to that. I told him he wasn't coming into my property. He said that he had a warrant and could. My refusal was a 'breach of the peace' and he could phone the police to help him. I told him to call the police then.

 

He made a phone call, giving my address (I guess to the police or someone else).

 

I told him I was willing to pay in instalments. He refused. I mentioned that he had never visited my premises before for this so how were the charges broken down? He then said "Actually it's £311.00 you owe." I can take the full amount now or take your goods, I have a warrant. He then told me that if the police were called, I would be taken away and that my home would be empty for him to take what he pleased.

 

He by now had two feet on my door frame. I asked him if could move back onto my porch. He refused. I told him that his manner was intimidating (I'm a single parent and was on my own), could he please move his feet out of my door frame. He refused. I made a telephone call to a solicitor (by now I was in tears and very distressed). The bailiff said that I would be charged £90 for him to wait while I called the solicitor. I told the solicitor that a bailiff with a warrant was at my door. She told me that as I had opened the door to him that he was at liberty to enter.

 

I ignored what was said by the solicitor and didn't share this information with the bailiff. I asked him again to remove his feet from my door frame, he refused.

 

I asked again for a piece of paper with a breakdown of costs. He refused.

 

In the end, the police didn't arrive and he has given me 7 days to find £311. He said he could just take stuff from my house. He handed me a piece of paper "NOTICE OF SEIZURE OF GOODS AND INVENTORY". On this is the initial amount owed for the fine £112 and £199 bailiff charges.

 

There is no explanation of the charges. This is the first time he has ever visited my address. I have signed nothing. He is coming back in 7 days to demand £311. I have looked on here and have not had any WALKING POSSESSION ORDER or done or levy of distress or anything.

 

He is acting lawfully? Is is behaviour acceptable? Is he telling the truth?

 

I'm in pieces over this!

 

Many thanks : )

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Sounds just about the right side of lawful for him to get away with it. Heavy handed, intimidating etc, but not so much so that he can't continue to execute the warrant.

 

What has happened since you got the original PCN on your car? Have you received documents from the council who issued it?

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Hi,

 

Yes, I received a couple of letters from the council concerned. It was very remiss of me and I should have acted sooner. I wondered about contacting the council directly and settling with them?

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Difficult. No you can't pay the council - they won't accept payment now. If you've received the relevent paperwork on the case, there's no legal route you can go down. There is one long-shot process but you'd technically be committing perjury if you pursued it, and in any case it is likely to be refused.

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Does he not need a Walking Possession Order or Levy Distress on my goods?

 

Isn't £199 charge for a first visit steep? I can't see anything that relates to that sort of charge for a first visit.

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He only needs the warrant, and alas because you opened the door, he can enter and levy. Had you known, you could have refused him entry, but that's no help to you now. Moreover, now he's been in once, he can force entry subsequently if you are not there... although you obviously need to sort it out before it gets that far.

 

Whatever he said on the day, you are entitled to a breakdown of charges from his company. Try and get one as soon as you can and you can go through it and see what the charge is for. You can try and discuss payment arrangements with them - it's a really difficult situation for you. If only you could put the clock back...

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I did refuse him entry. He pushed himself across my threshold and I asked him to move out as it was against my wishes and will.

 

I actually stated to him that I was refusing him entry and he went against that. He was a very big man and I'm only 5ft 3 and I didn't want to push him out incase I faced an assault charge.

 

I have signed nothing. There is no proof he entered, no witnesses (equally so, no one to say he didn't).

 

Every time I asked him to move back he smirked and said "no. I'm comfortable here."

 

I cannot believe this is acceptable practice. Also, how can he take goods just like that without having a Walking Possession Order?

 

I'm so confused, angry and quite frankly, really scared of the man!

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It sucks, but the way it works legally is, if you open the door and he gets his foot in - with or without your consent - he's been deemed to have been given access. The alternative is to refuse to open the door at all - but of course it's too late by the time you find out who he is.

 

I do understand how frightening this must have been. You can complain about his behaviour, but that won't affect the debt itself. He said and did some dodgy things, but as you say, no witnesses and nothing horrendous by bailiff standards. It's as well that you didn't lay hands on him - you could well have been arrested for assault.

 

Can I suggest you post a thread on the bailiff section of this site? There is bound to me more expertise there and someone might be able to help, although I'm not optimistic.

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Difficult. No you can't pay the council - they won't accept payment now. If you've received the relevent paperwork on the case, there's no legal route you can go down. There is one long-shot process but you'd technically be committing perjury if you pursued it, and in any case it is likely to be refused.

 

I had a similar problem last year, bailiff turned up demanding payment, threatened to clamp car etc, I logged on to the council website, entered the pcn number and paid the fine. I did have a call from the council regarding the payment, but like they said, they'd received payment and any other charges outstanding would be due to the bailiff and down to them to chase payment. Incidently, have heard nothing from the bailiff since.

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I had a similar problem last year, bailiff turned up demanding payment, threatened to clamp car etc, I logged on to the council website, entered the pcn number and paid the fine. I did have a call from the council regarding the payment, but like they said, they'd received payment and any other charges outstanding would be due to the bailiff and down to them to chase payment. Incidently, have heard nothing from the bailiff since.

 

Well you still owe the bailiff and they could come after you at any point. You haven't resolved the situation, although the fact that so much time has gone by suggests they might have dropped the case. You've been lucky - I wouldn't advise others to do what you did, as your case is unusual.

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I read the advice on paying the fine directly to council and I telephoned National Debtline and consulted a solicitor.

 

Technically, if the council accepted my payment, then I had no fine outstanding. So I went on-line and the council website accepted my payment and I printed off a receipt.

 

I have also written to the Bailiff company explaining that I have paid the fine to the council, they have accepted my payment and therefore I have no fine outstanding. I requested a breakdown of their costs, which I believe I am legally entitled to.

 

Yes, the bailiff can chase me for their costs, but the Notice of Seizure is no longer valid as I have paid the amount to the authority that was chasing me for the amount.

 

I have been advised that the bailiff cannot use any powers in relation to this warrant any longer as the warrant is now invalid due to my payment. They can (and probably will) pursue me for their costs and if they can adequately justify them, then I shall pay them but I am not willing to accept a hand-written amount with no explanation as to how they arrived at that figure.

 

It is suspected that they have charged for a van for removal, but this was only their first visit so apparently, cannot do that.

 

I have not slept since he called last week. Every sound in the house at night frightens me to death. Living on my own with children and the threat of someone telling you they "are at liberty to enter your property when they so choose", is very sinister and genuinely scary.

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Hello Annie.

 

You seem to have made good progress on some of your problem. I feel for you about how threatening it must be. Did you ever post on the specialist Bailiff forum here? They may know a bit more about that aspect than the guys here. The guys here rate tomtubby if she's about.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I hope you didn't pay for the solicitor. It sounds like there's about £300 being demanded - a week's lack of sleep and all the associated stress is bad enough for £300, but please don't be paying people for their advice on top of the debt - and, I have to say (and I am not a legally qualified person) the advice you were given is not correct.

 

When the charge goes to the bailiff, there is nothing then owing to the council. Everything is owed to the bailiff. If a solicitor told you that the council accepting payment at that stage means they can no longer execute the warrant, they don't know what they are talking about.

 

Did you post this on the bailiff forum of this site? That's where I would go for advice (and it's free!).

 

You are entitled to a breakdown of charges - they must give this to you if you ask. When you get it, let us know what is says.

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