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Hi all,

 

I'm afraid it's another case of Bailiff blues....:-(

 

 

I have recently fallen foul of the Bailiffs for non payment of business rates on my little office.

 

My girlfriend and i took the space 4 yrs ago and though for most of that time there has been a suspension of rates due to the rateable value (below 2600) there was a portion that we are liable for in the first year that we took the space. We were a bit naive in thinking we wouldn't be asked for it as the Building is a big rambling victorian rabbit warren of a factory building.

 

Just before Christmas we received a summons to magistrates and then a liability order was given, we were a bit tight as we're creatives and often have to fund our projects before we receive payment so we weren't able to make any payments. Yesterday I called the council to pay the arrears I was told the acc had been passed on to chandlers bailiffs Bromley. I spoke with chandlers who referred me to them they in turn put me onto our Bailiff.

 

I called mr. bailiff and I was informed that on top of the original debt i now owed an additional £340 this was for attending with a van with the intention of removal of goods.:jaw:

 

Am I right in thinking that the only charge that they can make in my absence is £24.50 for a first visit? From reading around on this life saver of a site it also seems that charges can only be made for a van if goods of worth are removed as part of a levy, and that they have to first ascertain whether or not there is anything of worth to seize?

 

Also am i correct in the assumption that i would have needed to be informed of the impending visit in advance in writing?

 

I decided to go back to the council today and pay the arrears in full which they happily took, though I'm not exactly sure what to do next.

 

-Should i call the Bailiff and offer to pay the 1st visit fee and ask for a breakdown of costs or should that be a conversation initially with Chandlers?

 

-If the Bailiff refuses to take my money what then should i send a cheque to Chandlers recorded delivery?

 

-Do i go back to the council?

 

as there is no debt can they chase me for the fees?

 

I would really appreciate any help on this as i'm a bit unsure of what i'm doing, and i don't want to give them any ammo, I would really like to ring the bailiff should i be recording the conversation if so do i need to inform him?

 

Many thanks!

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If its anything like my fun with them then the fees are rubbish. if they have only called while you were out then yes, first visit fee and thats all so far.

as far as i can remember they can not levy for there fees alone so should just send stroppy letters and that should be it.

Get a breakdown of there fees as i think you will find they will have a sudden admin error (there good at those) and knock it down to first visit fee only..

 

Theres a template letter on here that you can send them to get a breakdown of there fees. think its at the top on the stickys..

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Here it is. Just add your details and post it to them recorded and see what they come up with.

 

 

 

To:

 

 

Ref: Account No:

 

Dear Sir

 

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

 

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

 

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Thanks for that! I'm thinking i'll call the main office tomorrow offer to pay the first visit (record the call) if they turn me down then can i pay the 24.50 to the council? Just figured as long as i pay the 1st visit fee then there's no case for a 2nd visit, what do you think?

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I would just send them the letter. i tried talking to there office idiots on the phone and got me nowhere at all.

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yes they weren't given the job based on intellect...

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have you actually had visit from a bailiff

did he leave you any paper work (a notice of seizure)

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I recieved 'notice of attendance' (in red capitals) through the letter box, this stated the time and date of the visit and a threat to return the later the same day remove goods 'in your absence as the law directs'.

 

I've sent my letter asking for a breakdown of charges, is it a good idea to try and pay the 24.50 to the bailiff office, I'm reluctant to give my card details to them as i'd be worried that they might go for the full £340 charge. Could i pay it to the council direct?

 

Also i was wondering if i should contact the bailiff to let them know the debt is paid just in case the council haven't.

Edited by bankonthis

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can you pay the £24.50 today

If you have the council tax ref number you can pay on-line or go to the council and pay it do this ASAP (clear funds)

did you confirm the bailiff is certificated to chandlers

 

 

If you go to the council(after you pay) ask them to confirm what fees have been charged by chandlers/the bailiff (the council should be able to tell you this as they have access to your chandlers account) if they tell you a levy fee has been charged ask what goods have been levied and on what date and the name of the bailiff

 

personally i would not leave the council without this info if they tell you they don't have access to there system tell them to lift the phone and do the job they are paid for

 

Don't let them fob you off with nothing to do with us because its in the hands of chandlers

 

everything is done on behalf of the authority legislation is quite clear on this

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/regulation/45/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.

 

once you pay it come back and we will tell you what to say to the bailiff when you phone him (recording the call you do not have to inform him the call is being recorded)

 

unfortunately bailiffs fees are paid first therefore the council will/may pay the bailiff the £340

Edited by hallowitch

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I received 'notice of attendance' (in red capitals) through the letter box, this stated the time and date of the visit and a threat to return the later the same day remove goods 'in your absence as the law directs'.

 

I've sent my letter asking for a breakdown of charges, is it a good idea to try and pay the 24.50 to the bailiff office, I'm reluctant to give my card details to them as i'd be worried that they might go for the full £340 charge. Could i pay it to the council direct?

 

Also i was wondering if i should contact the bailiff to let them know the debt is paid just in case the council haven't.

 

forgot to ask did this notice of attendance have the the amount outstanding to the council £xxx

the amount for the visit £xxx

Enforcement agents will on each and every occasion when a visit is made to a debtor's property which incurs a fee for the debtor, leave a notice detailing the fees charged to date, including the one for that visit, and the fees which will be incurred if further action becomes necessary.

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Thanks Hallowich, I have already paid the council for the rates, there was no levy though as far as i can see and the Bailiff didn't claim to have levied goods, i will call them to make sure of this, the online payments don't work so i'll call an pay on the phone now.

 

in response to the notice of attendance detail there was just an amount for everything with no detail and no detail on future fees for a revisit.

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I've just called the council they have refused the payment of 24.50 saying my account is up to date and i need to go back to the bailiffs. what do i do next?

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Also the woman i spoke to told me that under no circumstances would she help me with my query regarding the levy order, which she claims they levied goods to the value of £65 the new amount is £395 though still no paperwork has been delivered. It feels as though this is starting to get out of hand, could really do with some advice on how to nip this in the bud...

 

I have managed to pay the 1st visit fee of 24.50 online.

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I've just called the council they have refused the payment of 24.50 saying my account is up to date and i need to go back to the bailiffs. what do i do next?

 

I do hope you recorded that call

 

Phone them back tell them you want to pay the £24.50 bailiffs fees when they refuse to take payment ask the person you are speaking to to confirm there name and in what position they are employed with xxx council (when they ask you why or refuse) ask to speak to someone in NDR recovery (again if they refuse)

 

 

Inform then that under Regulation 45 of the The Council tax (administration and enforcement) regulations it states

(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.

 

then ask if they are still refusing your payment (if they say yes ) say thanks for your time as a business all call are recorded i will now make a formal complaint to the head of revenues and the CEO regarding your refusal to comply with legislation

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I've just looked at the charges and they seem to have charged 395 on the first visit 330 in charges and 65 as a levy but i don't know what they've levied yet and i'm really reluctant to speak to the bailiff.

 

don't they need to levy first before bringing a van and extra man? do i need to pay this and what does this 65 charge mean is it a fee for levying then shouldn't they have left a list of levied goods? this is stressing me a bit.

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sorry i didn't see this my browser didn't update I've paid it online, already.

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I've just looked at the charges and they seem to have charged 395 on the first visit 330 in charges and 65 as a levy but i don't know what they've levied yet and I'm really reluctant to speak to the bailiff.

 

don't they need to levy first before bringing a van and extra man? do i need to pay this and what does this 65 charge mean is it a fee for levying then shouldn't they have left a list of levied goods? this is stressing me a bit.

 

OK give us the dates and amount of each charge and the reason for the charge as its written ( is this from chandlers )

 

don't worry we know its stressful most of us have been there by the time we are finished you will be able to speak to the bailiff quite confidently and be able to give him a few sleepless nights

 

did you confirm he is certificated to chandlers

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?210956-On-line-search-to-check-if-a-Bailiff-is-Certificated.....

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Thanks for your help,

I have checked the bailiff register and he is registered.

 

the first visit was monday 17th they put the notice of attendance through the letterbox this stated that i owe 1877.28 for magistrates LO for non payment of CT/NDR

they've got the maths wrong 1877.28-395(levy and attending to remove goods) = 1482.28 though my debt to the council is 1481.28

 

there was no break down of the levy of goods or notice that a levy had been made in any form.

there is also no breakdown of costs, of any sort, in written form i found this out when i spoke to the council today.

 

they refused to help me find out what goods had been levied told me they were busy and i would have to write in this would take 3-4 weeks as they have a backlog.

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just lost my post Grrrr going to do it in word then copy and paste on to here

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Right Bailiffs are governed by the distress for rent rules 1988

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/2050/contents/made

This is where there certificate comes from it also under these regulations you make a complaint to the court that issued there certificate (form 4)

Appendix (1) is the fees they can charge under (the fees have increased) regulation 45 (b) SCHEDULE 5 CHARGES CONNECTED WITH DISTRESS of the council tax administration and enforcement regulations 1992 (Amended) 2006 and THE COUNCIL TAX AND NON-DOMESTIC RATING (AMENDMENT) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2006

http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/docs/Enforcement_Agent_Charges.pdf

Appendix (2 ) FORMS have a look at form 7 this is the form they must use when levying distress the forms have changed over the years however they are still similar Form 8 has now been add to the bottom of the form 7

A bailiff’s first visit is to levy distress not to remove goods until the bailiff as established there are enough goods to cover the debt and fees and a levy is made on the goods there can be no Van/attendance fee

) SCHEDULE 5 CHARGES CONNECTED WITH DISTRESS

A for making a visit to premises with a view to levying distress (where no levy is made) - (i) where the visit is the first or only such visit): £24.50

B (ii) where the visit is the second such visit: £18.50

C For one attendance with a vehicle with a view to the removal of goods Reasonable costs and fees incurred. (Where, following the levy, goods are not removed)

When a bailiff levy’s distress under the above regulations ( council tax administration and enforcement) he must leave a notice of seizure (form 7 ) at the time of the levy this is a legal requirement

 

Regulation 45

(5) The person levying distress on behalf of an authority shall carry with him the written authorisation of the authority, which he shall show to the debtor if so requested; and he shall hand to the debtor or leave at the premises where the distress is levied a copy of this regulation and Schedule 5 and a memorandum setting out the appropriate amount, and shall hand to the debtor a copy of any close or walking possession agreement entered into.

 

You may also want to familiarise yourself with National standards for enforcement agents January 2012 (they are no law but all local authority’s and Bailiff firms have agreed to abide by them)

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/enforcement-officers/national-standards-enforcement-agents.pdf

 

When you phone the bailiff he is not going to be a happy bunny when you tell him you have paid the council direct

 

 

Professionalism and conduct of the enforcement agent

Enforcement agents must act within the law at all times, including all defined legislation and observe all health and safety requirements in carrying out enforcement. They must maintain strict client confidentiality and comply with Data Protection legislation and, where appropriate the Freedom of Information Act.

Enforcement agents must not be deceitful by misrepresenting their powers, qualifications, capacities, experience or abilities, including, but not restricted to;

Falsely implying or stating that action can or will, be taken when legally it cannot be taken

Falsely implying or stating that a particular course of action will ensue before it is possible to know whether such action would be permissible

Falsely implying or stating that action has been taken when it has not

Enforcement agents must not act in a threatening manner when visiting the debtor by making gestures or taking actions which could reasonably be construed as suggesting harm or risk of harm to debtors.

Enforcement agents should always produce relevant identification to the debtor, such as a badge or ID card, together with any written authorisation to act on behalf of the creditor (in appropriate debt types).

Enforcement agents, for the purpose of distress or execution shall, without the use of unlawful force, gain access to the goods. The enforcement agent will produce an inventory of the goods seized and leave it with the debtor, or at the premises, with any other documents that are required by regulations or statute.

Enforcement agents must carry out their duties in a professional, calm and dignified manner. They must dress and speak appropriately and act with discretion and fairness.

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So i've called the bailiff and recorded the conversation, he told me he'd levied on some bikes chained up outside my space one silver and one black, neither were mine, this is a communal space and there are many people with bikes. He know that i had paid the council and said he was waiting to hear from them, it sounds like he knows the game is up but he is still denying that he failed to leave me a notice of seizure (seizure in absence)

 

I guess i should call back the council?

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Did you pay the first visit fee direct to the bailiffs or to the council?

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Phone the bailiff and tell him you have been in touch with council and you have been told he has charged a levy fee of £65 and a van attendance fee ask him what goods he has levied ask him why he didn't leave a notice of seizure ask him to confirm the the date the van/attendance fee was charged tell him you have paid the outstanding liability order plus legitimate fees of £24.50 (he is not going to be happy)

 

Then tell him you are fully versed in the currant legislation and he not carried out his duties properly ask him to confirm that he was was certificated at xxx court as you feel that his fitness to hold a certificate could now be brought before the court

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Hi yes i paid to the council, i thought it would be better than the bailiffs.

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