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Discussions regarding the proposed Fee Scale CONSULTATION


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Edited by citizenB

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The following is a copy of the proposed fee scale as outlined in paragraph 126 of the Consultation paper.

 

The Consultation confirm that the most common complaints about bailiffs is the tees they charge and that the current costs regime is "complex" and the cost structures "lack clarity" and are "difficult to interpret".They also state that in "some instances" the fees do not provide adequate remuneration (for the bailiff company) and that this makes the current charging process "open to abuse".

 

To deal with these problems the government intends to invoke paragraph 62 of Schedule 12 of the TCE Act which they consider will provide"transparency, consistency and proportionality”

 

In reaching a proposed fee scale, the Ministry of Justice commissioned the services of an external consultant (Alexander Dehayen) who spent a considerable amount of time visiting enforcement companies and working with them to develop a sensible fee scale. The Consultation Paper provides a copy of the Mr Dehayen’s report.

 

One point that needs to be made here is that Mr Dehayen carried out this exercise during 2009 and furthermore, it is based on data from only a “small sample of firms” and for this reason; MOJ have confirmed in their Consultation that they are seeking further data during the consultation process to address this. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that during this consultation period, enforcement companies will no doubt be trying to convince the Ministry of Justice that the proposed fees (as outlined below) are outdated and need to be INCREASED!!!!

 

It is for this reason, that the views of the public are vitally important.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Proposedenforcementcosts-common.jpg

 

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Edited by tomtubby
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The Consultation Paper on the proposed reform of the bailiff industry consists of 203 pages !!!!

In the following Newsletter that I have written for Consumer Action Group I have provided an outline of the important parts of the Consultation:

 

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?857-Newsletter-March-2012-Special-Focus-Edition-MOJ

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Hi all

 

I have been on the wrong end of bailiffs for six years and a couple of points immediately spring to mind:

 

1. The assumption should be that the debtor is in financial stress. As such, and even though the bailiff industry is a business, it must not be organized in such a way as to be a cash cow as it is now. Bailiff firms should receive a reasonable return for carrying out the work and that is all. If they cannot or do not want to work within the fees limitation then don't do the work.

 

2. In the case of multiple warrants on a single visit the debtor should not be made to pay multiple times. This is just imposing additional hardship. For example if a bailiff has traveled forty miles and wants to charge a mileage fee charge it once, as he only came in one van.

 

3. I have seen attempts to charge a removal fee when no vehicle was ever hired. This is nothing less than fraud. It certainly never showed up and nothing was removed. Therefore it must be demonstrated that all third party costs have in fact been contracted for by production of the third party invoices and those services must be carried out or at least attend the property so that it can be seen that the cost was in fact incurred. This is a bit extreme but some of these bailiffs are criminal.

 

4. There should be a single central mediation body which a debtor can appeal to for a reasonable fee that will solely deal with matters of disputed bailiffs costs. If the decision is in the debtors favour the bailiff should pay the fee. However, if there was a statutory (simpler) laid down set of fees this ought not need to be referred to very often.

 

5. the whole thing is absolutely useless with out proper regulation with teeth.

 

These people don't want to be regulated and I can understand why, which is exactly why they must be.

 

6. I am not at all sure why there needs to be a link between the amount of the debt and the amount charged. In other words why can they charge a percentage of the debt. It costs them the same to collect £10 as it does to collect £1000. The fees should be linked to the cost of the work done to recover the debt, not the value of the debt.

 

7. Finally, for the moment, are we falling into the trap of discussing modifications to a poor system rather than trying to come up with a better twenty first century solution.

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Are we to assume that this fee scale will replace the current range of Fees Scales set out to recover different debts, such as Council tax or Traffic. If so I find the Enforcement Fee for non High Court warrants completely disproportionate to many of the debts that will be collected for unpaid PCNs. I also see there is nothing in place to stop the bailiffs making and charging for multiple visits, unless that is addressed separately in the Consultation document.

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Looking at the consultation document page 174 "Summary of Existing Fee Structure" I believe the table does not give a fair representation of the fees that can be charged under the current system. I'm refering to the Road Traffic column. If you look it claims no fees for the 1st, 2 nd or subsequent visits, and then allows a charge of 28% for Levying. This is incorrect because it does not take into consideration that 3 seperate Fees of 28% can be charged for each of the maximum of 3 visits to levy. The chart reads as though the maximum Fees recoverable are the £11.20 for the letter and then 28% of the debt, this is misleading!

 

Furthermore Table 3 Page 11. again under the Road Traffic column, we see the fee for the letter £11.20 but then we see a Fee of £47.70. Again this fee makes no sense it is not representative of 28% of the total debt which would be £111.20 at that point. Can someone confirm I am correct please. Should the Fee read £31.13?

 

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-bailiff-action/supporting_documents/enforcementfee%20structurereview.pdf

Edited by Puppysandwich
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1. I can see no mention in all this of rules or fees when bailiffs take possession of properties. Does this come under a different set of rules?

2. The fees strike me as inordinately high, especially for High Court cases. They certainly create an incentive to manipulate the system to justify multiple visits and other abuses.

3. Is there any good, logical reason why High Court cases should cost nearly four times those for county courts?

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  • 2 weeks later...

2. The fees strike me as inordinately high, especially for High Court cases. They certainly create an incentive to manipulate the system to justify multiple visits and other abuses.

 

3. Is there any good, logical reason why High Court cases should cost nearly four times those for county courts?

 

The proposed fee scale for debts enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer are simply CRAZY and I am at a loss to understand how the Ministry of Justice would have even CONSIDERED that the fees could be agreed by the public. The cost of removal and sale is proposed as being 5 times the costs of a bailiff company. Complete nonsense !!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The true scale of fees being charged by the various collection agencies appears to be grossly high. Let me use CAG's example of the parking fine. Fine cost £120. A visit paid by the collection agency £500.00. Someone is using the current rules and regulations to, on the face of it, extort money from people who can least afford it. The wolves operating in the enforcement sector need to be reined in and not just given a rule framework to operate within but carefully worded legislation so that the fees that are charged are fair and that are truly representative of the actual costs of sending an agent to someones address. Any fee charged in whatever sector of employment should be commensurate with the level and type of service provided. In the case of collection personnel the level of pay need not be more that the national minimum rate. Should they wish to receive a higher salary then perhaps a professional examination, nationally recognized, could be devised before such personnel begin to operate. This is only an opinion.

Just a little advice to those suffering from debt problems. The use of a telephone should be avoided when responding to debt collectors or their agents. They record what you say and may use information that you gave but did not mean to give against you at a later date. The chances are you will forget what you said to them whilst they can recall what you said putting you on the defensive. Only respond in writing. You will have the opportunity to keep a record of what you said in your letter for later referral and you will have had time to think of what you wanted to say in the first place. If they call you by all means don't be obstinate and do be polite.

All the best to you all

APW

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Hitbackhithard

 

Excellent point.

 

Most people on the forum are aware that I have a commercial business and from experienece, one of the biggest problems that I encounter are the way in which a debtor will arrange a payment plane BY MOBILE PHONE with a bailiff or company. There is NO proof of what was said or agreed. It is incredible the way in which the public no longer write a letter.

 

As I have always said IF an arrangment has to be made by this method ( over the phone) I suggest that a simple letter is sent to the company. Something simple like the following is all that is needed:

 

Dear Sir,

 

Reference number:

 

Following a conversation that I had with your agent Mr xxx today, I am writing to outline the payment proposal that was agreed between us.

 

The debt owing to the local authority is curently £475. A fee of £24.50 has been applied to my account by your bailiff making a total now due of £499.50. I have agreed to discharge this debt over a period of 5 months by way of monthly payments of £100 per month payable by the 15th of each month.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs Smith

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I have the opposite experience where as a businessman I have judgements in the Small Claims Court which are simply unenforceable. Often the debtor is self-employed and no attachment of earnings order may be obtained. Usually they are not homeowners so no charge may be made against their property. Bailiffs are the only option but the fees for a small debt are prohibitive and, in my experience, they rarely recover goods of sufficient value to cover their fee let alone the debt. So anything that relates part of the fee to the size of the debt makes sense to me.

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Coppersmith......you have made a very valid point .

 

As you have discovered yourself, even with the use of the courts, it is difficult to even recover the cost of the court fees let alone the debt. The main reason for this is very likely to be that the debtor HAS NO MONEY in which to clear the debt.

 

What never ceases to amaze me is the way in which small businesses fail to use a Means Enquiry as a way in which to either obtain payment or to obtain specific details of the debtors assets.

 

The main users of a Means Enquiry are firms of solicitors attempting to get payment of solicitors bills.

 

Once a judgment has been obtained, you would need to complete the relevant form and pay a court fee of £40. The application is normally served upon the debtor personally by way of a Process Server. The application fee and process server fee are added to the debt !!

 

Oral examination can be a very useful tool indeed in cases where a creditor has insufficient knowledge of the debtor's affairs to exercise an informed opinion as to the best other means of enforcement.

 

It involves the court ordering the debtor to go into the witness box and be questioned about his financial affairs by the creditor or the creditor's legal representative.

 

If the debtor is duly served with the order to present himself for oral examination, and fails to turn up without just cause, the ultimate sanction is committal to prison.

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The true scale of fees being charged by the various collection agencies appears to be grossly high. Let me use CAG's example of the parking fine. Fine cost £120. A visit paid by the collection agency £500.00. Someone is using the current rules and regulations to, on the face of it, extort money from people who can least afford it. The wolves operating in the enforcement sector need to be reined in and not just given a rule framework to operate within but carefully worded legislation so that the fees that are charged are fair and that are truly representative of the actual costs of sending an agent to someones address. Any fee charged in whatever sector of employment should be commensurate with the level and type of service provided. In the case of collection personnel the level of pay need not be more that the national minimum rate. Should they wish to receive a higher salary then perhaps a professional examination, nationally recognized, could be devised before such personnel begin to operate. This is only an opinion.

Just a little advice to those suffering from debt problems. The use of a telephone should be avoided when responding to debt collectors or their agents. They record what you say and may use information that you gave but did not mean to give against you at a later date. The chances are you will forget what you said to them whilst they can recall what you said putting you on the defensive. Only respond in writing. You will have the opportunity to keep a record of what you said in your letter for later referral and you will have had time to think of what you wanted to say in the first place. If they call you by all means don't be obstinate and do be polite.

All the best to you all

APW

 

I agree that it is not right to overcharge those unfortunate enough to not be able to pay these debts and these outrageously high fee's can only make there debts worse.

 

I am lucky that I have no debts now but have been in that position several years ago, when we were reduced to living of Beans on toast, and going without other necessities, it came close to breaking up our family, I would not wish that on anyone.

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If the fee scale is to work, then the local authorities (in the case of council tax and parking tickets) and the courts ( in respect of unpaid court fines) MUST ensure that the level of debts passed to bailiffs should not so little so as to make the fees wholly disproportinate. As an example, this morning I spoke with a debtor who had a balance of £10 from a court fine of £1,330 and the court issued a Distress Warrant which has been sent to the bailiff company and where fees of £310 have been applied.

 

This MUST NOT be allowed to happen.

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If the fee scale is to work, then the local authorities (in the case of council tax and parking tickets) and the courts ( in respect of unpaid court fines) MUST ensure that the level of debts passed to bailiffs should not so little so as to make the fees wholly disproportinate. As an example, this morning I spoke with a debtor who had a balance of £10 from a court fine of £1,330 and the court issued a Distress Warrant which has been sent to the bailiff company and where fees of £310 have been applied.

 

This MUST NOT be allowed to happen.

 

The problem is they will not listen to us and will continue doing just that.

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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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I think the proposed baliff fees are far too high. I also think their should be an upper limit in proportion to the debt eg under 1k the fee can't exceed the total debt and over 1k it can't exceed half the debt.

Ali x

Btw I am no expert just give notes based on what I have read on here and other forums/sites, plus my own experiences and investigations.

 

All ccj's now dropped off file, 2 yrs to go to clear file.

All old debts either settled or made unenforcable.

 

RBS MPP-Full offer at 8 wks from first complaint

RBS Overdraft loanguard-full offer at 8 wks from complaint

Citicard ppi-with FOS finally paid 8 months after offer through FOS!

Capital one x2- with FOS

Monument ppi-with FOS

aqua x2 ppi-partialled settled still pushing for the rest

Black horse ppi-offers made and accepted except for one early loan they say no info held-still pushing for payment

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