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I would change the " I require this information in the next 14 days " to something like " I now require this information as a matter of urgency, preferably by return of post".

 

I would also send a copy of that to the Council with a separate letter outlining that as the Council are vicariously liable for the actions of their contractor - Phoenix Commercial Collections - then any failure to respond within the next 7 days will result in complaint being made to the Local Government Ombudsman. Send to Council CEO marking both letter and envelope as Formal Complaint. You will need to outline what has happened to date.

 

PT


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Well, I just had an encounter and a discussion with the bailiff in question.

 

the main fees are to do with a £10 broken arrangement fee (from when she missed the payment in September),

 

an attendance fee of £120 (he turned up in a small van today and claimed that justified said charge, which I told him I was disputing),

 

if we sorted it there and then they wouldn't charge a walking possession fee and another fee which i can't remember for certain,

think it was a visit fee or something similar (£32, £12 respectively)

if she wanted to reinstate a payment plan (to which I pointed out he can't actually do that unless he gains peaceful entry to the properly,

which he agreed with).

 

He also said there were 2 previous visits by a bailiff (non-existant, no paperwork through the door, no sign of a visit) on 23rd and 29th of March.

 

He said he could give me a breakdown, but it'd just be the same as the above scribbled on a sheet,

to which I said fair enough, we'll get it from the office.

 

He then said he's going to drop this particular case and defer it back to the head office,

and they should be somewhat more co-operative then than when it's out with a bailiff.

 

To give him a little credit, he didn't seem aggressive or pushy, although he did seem to backtrack

and seem a bit less sure of his footing when I pointed out the lack of legality behind his charges.

 

So far, so good really, he won't be returning, and now the onus is on Phoenix to come back with the requested breakdown.

I'm guessing most of the above charges aren't actually valid.

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broken arrangement fee - what crap!

attendance fee [spoof van fee] - crap also.

 

he cant charge a WP fee if he has not been in the property!

 

no wonder he backed down.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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He backed off because he had been sussed out, and if he continued his iffy fees would have caused him a problem when the Formal complaINT HIT THE COUNCIL.


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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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next time video him on your phone

he'll soon go away

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hello all.

 

I'm the friend of Microchip that has been having the bailiff problems.

 

I would just like to thank each and every one of you for your time and advice.

 

It has been invaluable and very much appreciated.

 

I'd got myself into such a twist over this and always thought that bailiffs had the power to do whatever they liked.

I suppose most just panic and don't question things...just pay to get them off their backs.

 

Now I see they will try it on at every chance and when stood up to they back down rather quickly.

I suppose they just don't expect people to have done their homework by seeking advice from people such as yourselves.

 

Even though it's not quite over yet I feel much less in knots and see light at the end of the tunnel.

 

No it's not a huge initial debt...but when you see how thick and fast the charges get banged on...it's a bit frightening.

 

Thankyou again.

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First off well done!

Councils cannot refuse payments from you no matter how small. If they do then get a complaint out to the CEO of the council. You can also pay online using the account number that that year of council tax that is owed.

If no levy was done. then the most you would owe is for two visits which is £42.50.

Have you been back to the council and repeated what the bailiff told you. He certainly knows that he is up the creak without a paddle.

Its common practice that when bailiffs get an order for collection, they add all the charges first, regardless of whether they have carried out the work. They cannot do this and many when queried this will either swear blind they have carried out the work or will as in your case, send the debt back to the office to deal with.

 

Definitely Keep up informed :)

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Yes keep a record of everything they have given you and a transcript of any phone calls you have had with them. And pay the council regularly at a rate you can afford without danger of defaulting again

 

All in all good result, please keep us informed.

 

BN

Edited by brassnecked

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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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Well, Phoenix still haven't come back with a breakdown, just a letter saying that the arrangements have been broken and attempts to deal with it have been ignored or non-fruitful, and a demand for the balance (of £109.50, the same that the council claimed was remaining on the account/liability order) within 7 days. Is it worth paying this to get the thing cleared, or should we be pushing for the full breakdown and refunds of the card fees? I've just started to put together a formal complaint to send to the council executive and the local councillor, but could do with a bit of clarification as to whether it's worth getting this paid off and out of the way now.

 

I'll get a scan of the letter later when I get hold of it, so there's a copy up to view.

 

Edit: Apparently they're asking for £119.50, not £109.50 - at a guess their £10 "broken arrangement fee". After looking over the initial charges / payments made to the council, the initial £24.50 + £18 visit fees were immediately taken out before the council received anything, so no getting any of that back, so it looks like the only thing they've slapped on now is their £10 "broken arrangement fee", which upon further reading isn't allowed.

 

The 4x 50p in card fees, plus another 50p for the final settlement - I can't tell if they're allowed or not, as there seems to be conflicting information reading up on here. But that £10 is definitely getting disputed.

Edited by Microchip

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They cannot charge for a 'broken payment plan' fee. Its not stated in sch 5. Anything NOT stated in the sch 5 they cannot charge. I would ask them where it states that they can charge this.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/schedule/5/made

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I would strongly suggest that somebody gets in touch with the council to advise them that THEIR AGENTS is attempting to apply a broken arrangement fee AND an "attending to remove " fee to the account when a PRIOR VALID LEVY HAS NOT BEEN MADE ON GOODS.

 

A bailiff is NOT permitted to charge an ATR fee UNLESS a PRIOR levy has been made on goods.

 

The local authority needs to have a SERIOUS complaint made against them as they will know that they are WHOLLY responsible for the fees and levy of THEIR AGENTS.

 

The LO was for £267

 

The MAXIMUM fees applicable are £42.50 for 2 visits

 

You have paid £200

 

Balance now due £109.50

 

PS: I get SO ANGRY at these bailiff companies. They KNOW what the permitted fee scale is.......

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I would strongly suggest that somebody gets in touch with the council to advise them that THEIR AGENTS is attempting to apply a broken arrangement fee AND an "attending to remove " fee to the account when a PRIOR VALID LEVY HAS NOT BEEN MADE ON GOODS.

 

A bailiff is NOT permitted to charge an ATR fee UNLESS a PRIOR levy has been made on goods.

 

 

The local authority needs to have a SERIOUS complaint made against them as they will know that they are WHOLLY responsible for the fees and levy of THEIR AGENTS.

 

The LO was for £267

 

The MAXIMUM fees applicable are £42.50 for 2 visits

 

You have paid £200

 

Balance now due £109.50

 

PS: I get SO ANGRY at these bailiff companies. They KNOW what the permitted fee scale is.......

 

It is quite simple, they do it and they get away with it because the councils let them, it is difficult to believe that even councils are just so inefficient that they do not know what THEIR bailiffs are allowed to charge and don't know that they are charging illegally. It happens EVERY time not just now and again with a rogue bailiff. It does make you wonder why the councils are happy for this happen and being so obstructive with anyone who challenges it, you would think that they would know they are risking their own reputations and jobs by letting this happen but they seem to be very secure in allowing this to happen, this is what needs a thorough investigation.

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Sadly, you are correct.

 

Many local authorities are seriously failing to protect the public and merely advising the debtor that it is nothing to do with them and that all enquiries must be made to the bailiff.

WRONG.

 

The Local Authority are WHOLLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR AGENTS.

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When you tell them that, they totally ignore you. Far too many council lay blame elsewhere when things go tits up.

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For the record, I've attached the letter (phoenix5.pdf) that Phoenix sent out. Next stop: formal complaint to the local councillor, council and Phoenix, I think. Will upload it for review once it's written.

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your complaint should be headed Formal Complaint and sent to the Chief Executive of the local authority include copy's of all correspondence she has received from Phoenix

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What I find the most incredulous thing really is not the illegal bailiff charges applied to my debt of £109.50 (as this is expected) but the fact that the council on two seperate occasions when I went into their office refused to accept the payment of said amount unless I paid (in full) the bogus fees the bailiffs were charging at the same time.

The woman we spoke to (It was the same woman both times) didn't grasp anything of the situation and clearly didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Just kept telling me that *I* didn't understand.

 

Another thing...isn't it funny that when asked for a written breakdown of charges from the bailiff...the next correspondence I get is a letter with all the charges knocked off. (Except for the suspect extra tenner for what we believe to be for a broken agreement) Still don't have that breakdown either even though they've been asked for one three times now. Once by email and twice by letter.

 

I think threatening with the ombudsman is definately on the cards here. Thoughts?

 

While i'm here many thanks to you all for your help on this matter and for Microchip fighting my corner.

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Get a complaint off to the CEO of the council before you complain to the LGO.

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Hi I am sorry I cant help,

but I myself have had a bullie (as you call them, I would call them something else, to rude to publish) come to my home today,

giving my daughter an envelope,

 

The letter states he will return in 24 hours for full payment or take my goods.

 

I have called there so called office, and the young girl who told me my payment was not due until 27th November,

and asked me who the bailiff was,

once i gave her his name, she left me hanging on for ages,

she came back to me saying she had spoken to the bailiff in question and he said he only came round to remind me that I had to pay by 27th....

.. what a load of bull,

 

i READ the letter to her, and she said I had to write in to complain.

 

1 hour later i had a call from her, to say that the bailiff had been reported and would be going before a panel

and apologised for the inconvience.

 

His name is Mr Bradstreet and the company is in Bradshaw street which I find amusing.

 

The councils should look into this kind of bulling It makes me sick to the stomach

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You really need to take out the name of the bailiff, however you got a good result in getting the bailiff told off, ok only a slap on the wrist but that ismore than most companies do. Well done for holding your ground :)

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you sure they were bailiff & not spoofing DCA's?

 

what is the debt for

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Do to minor PC issues, I've only just got the letter composed for the council. Feedback requested before I send it! I think I've got everything in it that's required, hopefully I've got the wording right too.

 

Edit: Wording isn't quite right, new version to follow.

Edited by Microchip

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Sorry about that, fixed up some of the wording. Hopefully this one will be suitable to send up!

 

Edit: Updated the document, see below.

Edited by Microchip

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i went through almost exactly the same scenario as your friend even to the point of a formal complaint to the CEO of the council, even then first time round all the council done was pass my complaint to the bailiff firm...It took a second follow up letter titled unsatisfactory handling of complaint before the case was seriously looked at and dealt with, with them owing me the over charges :)

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The same stories over and over again, isn't it about time that someone took a proper look at all this?

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