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Can a bailiff come after you for his fees if the original debt has been paid?


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Hi everyone, I used to post here a lot under the ID "Debt_Weary" but I haven't been able to access the site under that ID for some time, so I thought I'd re-register!

 

Anyway, as far as I know, unless the law has changed in their favour, I think the answer to my question is definitely "NO"!

 

I have been in debt to my local council for years re Council Tax but this year, for the first time in donkey years, I was finally in a position to pay off everything I owed them.

 

I have had numerous contacts throughout from Equita Bailiffs as I have been almost permanently under a Liability Order taken out by the Council, but have always paid the council direct because these Equita people have always been totally unreasonable in terms of how much they expected you to pay.

 

I finally paid off the council in late Septemeber.

 

Today, I received 2 standard letters from Equita, of the usual threatening variety, saying they will levy on my goods etc. etc. so I rang them up and was told that, since the case had been with them when I paid off the Council Tax direct, then they were now coming after me for their fees! I disagreed with them saying I didn't think they could do that, but they insisted they could!

 

Could someone please clarify this situation for me? I would be most grateful.

 

Thanks.

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i would say yes they can come after you for there legitimate fees

 

The regulations state

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

 

Distress

 

45.—(1) Where a liability order has been made, the authority which applied for the order may levy the appropriate amount by distress and sale of the goods of the debtor against whom the order was made.

(2) The appropriate amount for the purposes of paragraph (1) is the aggregate of—

(a)an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

(b)a sum determined in accordance with Schedule 5 in respect of charges connected with the distress.

(3) If, before any goods are seized, the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount and the levy shall not be proceeded with.

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From the quote you gave it would seem to be the case that they can at least try and collect fees. To the best of my recollection, I believe I had one hand delivered notice, which I gather counts as a visit, around £20 fee, but I was also of the belief that they could not charge for letters sent, which is what they claimed.

 

I cannot understand why they would bother trying to collect such a piddling amount unless they are in dire financial straits. More likely they have just not been told by the Council that I have paid the Council Tax.

 

BTW, I never have phoned them in the past, I was just incensed that they had the gall to write to me this time!

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From the quote you gave it would seem to be the case that they can at least try and collect fees. To the best of my recollection, I believe I had one hand delivered notice, which I gather counts as a visit, around £20 fee, but I was also of the belief that they could not charge for letters sent, which is what they claimed.

 

I cannot understand why they would bother trying to collect such a piddling amount unless they are in dire financial straits. More likely they have just not been told by the Council that I have paid the Council Tax.

 

BTW, I never have phoned them in the past, I was just incensed that they had the gall to write to me this time!

 

 

they cant charge for letters sent through the post they can only charge a visit fee for attending to levy(where no levy is made) £24.50 1st visit and £18 2nd visit

 

you should ask them for a breakdown of fees to see exactly what they think you owe them and why

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So very pleased to hear you have managed to get yourself in the position of only having to challenge Equita over their fees, well done.

here's the template for the breakdown...when you get a reply at least you know where to come to validate it:)

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme bailifflink3.gif Co

bailifflink3.gif 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 certificatedlink3.gif at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject access requestlink3.gif 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"

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Hi WD, many thanks for that, I hope you are doing ok.

 

I have drafted a letter to Equita which, in the first instance is asking them to explain what they think they are trying to collect! Their letters only talk about Council Tax, nothing about any fees. I want to have it in writing if they are definitely trying to collect fees. Then I will take issue with these - if they ever come back to me that is!

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The definitive answer to the original question is yes bailiffs can continue to enforce the debt to collect their fees even if you pay directly to the council.

Equita do not emply bailiffs to do 1st and 2nd visits, choosing to send letters out from their head office instead, putting the £24.50/£18 on automatically. This of course is illegal and therefore if no bailiff came to your house you dont owe equita a penny . Might be worth writing to your council telling them what equita are doing and getting away with regarding fees of 1st/2nd visits. What amazes me is that more and more people know its going on and yet they still continue to do it anyway. Surely they must have to go through their procedure when tendering for work with new councils, obviously the councils aren't picking up on this then (or are and turn the other cheek)

None of the beliefs held by "Freemen on the land" have ever been supported by any judgments or verdicts in any criminal or civil court cases.

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Thanks Joseph, I have emailed the Council, pointing out that, as far as I can tell, the regulations state that they should have included bailiff fees in the LO amount, and asking them if they have,in fact, both included the fees in the total as well as paid the fees from the money I transferred direct to them.

 

I suspect that they have done neither in which case they will have some explaining to do! Either way, I might just mention that I might be inclined to contact our local paper. They are always VERY interested in any stories that make our Council look bad because they hate them, so I am sure they might shift them.

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