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October 13th 2009 I signed a agreement with the bailiff to pay a fixed amount every month. There were 3 names on the debt as i lived with friends at the property, but only 2 of us paid each month because we were out of contact with the other friend so we just decided to pay it ourselves (the girl who pays the debt with me is girl 2 and the girl we don't speak to anymore is girl 3 in the story)

1st of October this month i paid my share of the payment agreement but when my friend (girl 2) rang up it was saying the reference number was wrong so she phoned the Ross and Roberts office and a women at Ross and Roberts told my friend that the debt had been paid, she immediately rang me and told me i was really unsure about this cause i knew what the consequences would be if the payment wasn't made and we still owed money.....So she then rang them back and asked again if they were sure it had been paid so we could have piece of mind and she reasured us it had been paid!!!

BUT as i suspected on the 19th of October i got a phone call saying we had defaulted on the payment and they were outside my property wanting a payment else they were taking my goods :-( as you can imagine i was in a mess i was trying to explain to him what had happened but all he kept saying was he didn't care what the women had send to me we still have debt left on the account!

I asked him why the lady in the Ross and Roberts office said that the debt was paid and he basically accused my friend (girl 2) of lying, I rang my friend (girl 2) and she asked for the bailiffs number and rang him to ask him about it, when she did this however he told her that her name wasn't even on the debt that's why the lady had told her it was paid because this debt was for me and the other girl we lived with (girl 3)!!

 

I WAS IN SHOCK, there hadn't been a time in the past 5 years that me and girl 2 had not lived together and i had never had a council tax bill or ever lived on my own with girl 3....................i had to pay the bailiff £200 to get rid of him and he put on loads of extra charges for being outside my property so what was a little debt is now large again because of this!!

 

The next day i was so upset and couldn't get the thought out of my head, i went and found all the original paperwork and the case he is referring to (same reference number on the new letter and the original document from 13th October 2009) has got my name, girl 3 and GIRL 2 on!!!!

This is there mistake basically they are punishing me for there mistake as if they never told my friend her name wasn't on it when she rang the Ross and Roberts she would have got the new reference and she would have paid her share and this whole situation would have been avoided!!!!! Why does it have all 3 of our names on the original paperwork but only mine and girl 3 on Ross and Roberts system?????

 

Has anyone else had a similar experiences or have any advice on how i can take this matter further?? I have all the original paper work to prove it!!!

 

Thanks to anyone who can help!!

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Hi polly

 

Welcome to CAG

 

The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.

 

Thread moved to the correct forum.

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was this a house of multiple occupancy the 3 of you shared

how many liability orders are there

what was the outstanding balance of the liability orders

did the bailiff levy goods in 2009

what goods did he levy

how much have you paid to date

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Yes, me and girl 2 lived in the property for the full year and girl 3 lived there for a couple months.

Whats a liability order???

It was over £2000 i think but before all this happened it got down to £350 now its up to £700 because of this!!

He took a note of levy in my property in 2009,

He listed it as poor levy as i lived on my own in a furnished flat and had hardly anything to my name.

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Yes, me and girl 2 lived in the property for the full year and girl 3 lived there for a couple months.

Whats a liability order???

It was over £2000 i think but before all this happened it got down to £350 now its up to £700 because of this!!

He took a note of levy in my property in 2009,

He listed it as poor levy as i lived on my own in a furnished flat and had hardly anything to my name.

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Hi Polly welcome to cag

 

A liability order is the magistrates rubber stamp to say you have been found owe xxxx amount to XXX Council.

 

You must ring the Council....with pen and paper at the ready if you cannot record the call.

 

Ask:

 

How many liability orders have been made to the account?

When was the LO granted?

What period/s do they cover?

How much was each order for?

How much has been paid?

How much is outstanding ?

What date the order/s were passed to the bailff?

 

Hallow asked if you could list the items the bailiff levied on in 2009 and how much have you paid the bailiff to-date

 

All the questions are very important and once you have that info come back to cag and we can see if you are due an early Xmas present?

Do not at this stage have any communication with the bailiff.

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Update!!!!

 

We only have one liability order all the others are clear!! And that was granted feb 2009, the order was for £638 (excluding any bailiff charges) and the outstanding balance is now £406.61 (£650 with bailiffs tho)

 

the lady from the council is sending me all the info i need so if u need anything else i should have it in a few days :)

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I have just found the original docs stating when the bailiff first came to us we had 3 files adding up to £1,141.59. This was on the 13-10-09.

 

levy goods

1-black tv

1-silver dvd player

1-microwave

30-dvds

1-mobile phone

1-freeview box

1-dyson hoover!!

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Thats a good start polly, did you ask how many LO's there were in total as I think you might have been overcharged across the board.

How many bailiff visits have you had over the periods in question?

Can you scan and post all the paperwork you have? if you would prefer not to post the info on open forum then please feel free to send me PM

 

levylink3.gif goods

1-black tv worthless unless top of the range

1-silver dvd player worthless unless top of the range

1-microwave exempt unless there is another oven as a means to cook

30-dvds worthless unless collectors items

1-mobile phone wothless unless top of the range

1-freeview box worthless

1-dyson hoover!! exempt

 

This levy is not worth the paper it is written on, for the bailiff to remove the irems listed and sell at auction, they must be of enough value to cover the removal costs, storage fees, auction charges, bailiff fees, and a reasonable proportion of the debt. On what you now owe the goods levied on would need to be to the the value of £4,000 what you owed originally across all LO's you would have to x by 10 and that would give you a rough guide what the value to goods you would had to have owned to have made any levy valid.

 

You will need to contact the Council again and ask them to look at the bailiff account and tell you the date and amount of each payment made by you. Also ask if they can tell you what charges have been applied across all orders and what is still showing to be owed to the bailiff. You want the dates all these charges were applied.

 

There is no quick fix to sorting out what you have been charged as opposed to what you should have been charged, bailiffs .....well what can I say?

 

WD

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May I suggest you send off for breakdown of the fees you have been charged. Remember to enter each account number or otherwise send 3 separate ones. here's an example of what you can use, adapt it as you see fit and send initially by email backed up by a copy in the post.

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456

 

Dear Sir

 

With reference to the above account, Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges.

 

This includes:

a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were Certificated at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide this information.

 

I require this information within 14 days.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Ripped off customer"

 

I have more than a suspicion it will turn out you have been charged multiple fees for each LO.

 

PT

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

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As far as i can see there have been 4 LO's and i remember at least 4 bailiffs coming to the property since 2009!!

 

I moved in my first property April 2007 until July 2008 then we were in our 2nd property July 2008 until May 2009!!

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Ok folks poster has sent me the paperwork by PM and I can tell you there are multiple charges for a single visit and other charges not allowed in statute.

 

thanks for the Template PT that was my next move and I have explained to the poster we need to get them to make admission to these charges in writing....and thereby hang themselves.

 

You can email them the letter polly and make sure you also send ia copy by signed for Royal Mail, its the waiting game that gets to you but hopefully you will find it all worthwhile :-):-):-)

 

WD

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As far as i can see there have been 4 LO's and i remember at least 4 bailiffs coming to the property since 2009!!

 

I moved in my first property April 2007 until July 2008 then we were in our 2nd property July 2008 until May 2009!!

 

 

just because you have had 4 different bailiffs doesn't mean they have 4 liability orders

 

as I'm sure you know council tax is due from April till March per tax year

April 2007 till March 08 (full tax year)

April 08 /March 09

when a local authority takes you to court for outstanding council tax the liability order is granted for the amount outstanding for the remainder of the liable year because you moved out in June 08 make sure you are not being charged for the period after you moved from that address

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the council are sending me all the paperwork they have from 2007 so i will see then if they have me down as living there when i want!!

 

no its just a coincidence that the numbers are both 4 lol, i really think its 4

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Another case where "multiple fees" are being charged......NOT PERMITTED..

 

It is VERY likely that you are due a significant refund.

 

You will need to remind your local authority of the following Local Settlement Report from the LOCAL GOVERNMENT Ombudsman. This is very recent and involves Rossendale Council and their bailiffs Equita Ltd.

 

 

 

.

.

.

Local Government Ombudsman’sReport:

 

 

Local Authority: Rossendale Borough Council

 

 

Bailiff Company: Equita Ltd

 

 

Date: 15th December 2010

 

 

Approximately 25% of complaints to the Local Government Ombudsmanare resolved though a “local settlement”. This is where an “agreement” is reached between the LGO and the relevant Local Authority and nearly always, is on the basis that the local authority agrees to the recommendation of the Ombudsmanby agreeing to change the practice that had been the subject of the complaint to the LGO.

 

Although Local Settlements made by the LGO are not legally binding, it is important to be aware that according to the LGO, 99% of all “local settlements” are complied with in full.

 

 

For the above reason, “Local settlements” do not result in a public report or a formal finding of maladministration. Accordingly, a copy will not be made available on the LGO website.

 

On 15th December 2010 the LGO provided their final written report regarding a complaint made to them concerning Rossendale Borough Council and their agent; Equita Ltd. This particular complaint resulted in a “local settlement” and as mentioned above, a public report is not published.

 

 

I have a copy of the full report and permission from the complainant (Mr H) to provide the following details. Please note that the underlining is not from the LGO report.

 

 

The Complaint by Mr H concerns the following:

 

 

· Charging “multiple” fees to Mr H’s account for enforcing two Liability Orders

· Charging for visits that Mr H disputes ever took place

· Levying upon a vehicle that did not belong to Mr H and failing to provide a Notice of Seizure.

 

Paragraph 21 of the Ombudsman’s report states:

 

 

· “I am also concerned that there are fees charged to both of Mr H’s accounts in relation to one visit on 2nd July 2009. Although there were two Liability Orders in place, I do not consider it reasonable to charge twice for one physical visit”

 

Paragraph 23 states:

 

 

Thirdly, I am concerned that the bailiffs levied on a vehicle parked in the street which did not belong to Mr H. The bailiffs are required to leave an inventory of the goods seized with the customer at the time of the levy and the Council confirmed that the bailiffs will check the ownership of a vehicle with the DVLA before seizing it.

 

 

Legally, bailiffs can distrain on goods in a public place (in this case a vehicle parked in the street) if they have reasonable cause to believe that the goods belong to the debtor and are not needed for the debtor's work.

 

 

I do not consider the fact that a vehicle is parked in the street outside someone's home to be sufficient evidence of the bailiff to have reasonable cause to believe the vehicle is owed by the occupier of the house. It is recognised that there is some onus on the customer to advise the bailiffs if the vehicle listed on the inventory does not belong to them. However there is also some onus on the bailiffs to take reasonable steps to check the vehicle's ownership.

 

 

Paragraph 24:

 

 

I have consulted the Ombudsman and it is her view that although contacting the DVLA would be the most effective way to check ownership of the vehicle, she would accept other documented or supporting evidence such as the bailiff having witnessed the customer using the vehicle regularly

 

 

 

Paragraph 25:

 

 

There is no evidence to show that letters were left with Mr H on 4th and 12th June 2008 and so I consider that Mr H should not have been charged for these visits.

 

 

Paragraph 26:

 

To remedy this injustice it is recommended that the bailiff’s charges of these dates are removed from Mr H's account.

 

 

Paragraph 27:

 

 

I have additional concerns about the way this case was handled by the bailiffs. There is no evidence that an inventory was left with Mr H when the levy was made on a vehicle. In addition, the vehicle levied against was not his and the notes recorded by the bailiff are insufficient to show when visits were actually made what information was left with the customer.

 

 

Paragraph 29:

 

 

In addition, although the bailiff may have two liability orders, I consider it unreasonable that two charges were made in relation to one visit, as happened on 2 July 2008.

 

 

It is recommended that the council ensures that such double charging does not happen in future.

 

 

Paragraph 30:

 

 

The vehicle levied on does not belong to Mr H and he was not required to pay the costs associated with the levy visit.

 

 

Paragraph 34:

 

 

I remain of the view that bailiffs should make reasonable enquiries to establish the ownership of a vehicle before levying against it.

 

 

The person receiving the levy must accept some responsibility for advising the council or bailiff if the vehicle levied upon does not belong to them.

 

 

Paragraph 42:

 

 

The council has stated that a levy form was supplied. The Council has never produced a copy of the levy inventory.

 

 

The Council's complaint response to Mr H advised that the bailiff has not retained a copy of the levy form. Surely this document is essential if the bailiff were ever to proceed to seizing a vehicle? Mr H was not aware of what had been levied against until he received the Council's response to his complaint which commented on a levy having taken place, in relation to the silver Audi. At this point he was able to advise the Council we did not own such a car. I therefore remain of the view that there is no evidence of the levy inventory was left at the property.

 

Paragraph 53:

 

 

In addition, although the bailiff may have two liability orders, I consider it unreasonable that two charges were made in relation to one visit, as happened on 2nd July 2008.

 

It is recommended that the council ensures that such double charging does not happen in future.

 

 

Paragraph 54:

 

The council has accepted the recommendations and has agreed to apologise to Mr H for any procedural errors the bailiffs have made. I consider this a satisfactory way to resolve this complaint and so I have discontinued the investigation and closed the complaint.

 

XXXX

 

Investigator, on behalf of the Ombudsman

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I have just received a copy of the LO from the council and no shock to me it has ALL 3 OF OUR NAMES ON!!! I know it wud, im gonna ask coucil for all original paper work!! thanks for ur help keep it coming :) xx

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I know very little (nothing ) about this but i was under the impression if 3 people not related lived in the same house all with separate tenancy agreements this would classed as a house of multiple occupancy making the landlord responsible for the council tax

 

it may be worth your wile posting this question in the commercial and residential sub forum

 

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=65

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Just a quick update for the forum....all the info has been placed on spread sheets and everything is collated, a letter has been sent to R&R with the evidence that suggests the cagger has been "overcharged" to the sum of £800+ ....copy to be sent to Council.

 

This is a case of a bailiff recognising an opportunity to illegally extract money from unsuspecting tenants and the reply to this letter, which clearly shows the irregularities, should be interesting?

 

WD

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im trying to phone to pay my £50 as usual but when i put in my reference number it says 'for levy enquires u must call our office' what does this mean?? after it has said this it hangs up the phone??? anyone know what this means?? x

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They have stopped your account payments....obviously they do not like your letter asking for your money back.......no doubt they will say you have defaulted and make yet another visit with yet more charges....of course you will tell any such visitor to go and play on the motorway , after you have filmed and recorded the converstion OUTSIDE your home, won't you?..........pay the Council online and let them know why......WD

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