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marston Group Bailiff. HMRC Fine...what rights do i have?


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Hello there, i have never used a forum like this before(so i do apologise if i do something wrong). I just really need some advice.

 

From the beginning, I was borrowing a car to travel to distant relatives and so insured the car for the day. I got stopped and it turned out the insurance was invalid as it was a bogus company.I then got a fine from Hampshire County courts, which i made an arrangement to pay at £70 per month.

 

I lost my job and fell behind with my payments (though i always kept in touch with the court).They passed the debt on to Marston Group with certified bailiffs and enforcement agents.As soon as i found work again (still remained in contact with marston) I called them on the 16/01/2012 and they said i neded to make a down payment before they would accept monthly payments. I did not have the funds at all, living is so expensive, and i struggled to balance as it was.

 

I borrowed the amount of £150 (the amount they asked for) from my employer and paid it straight into thier account on the 20/01/2012. She said they would only hold the account for four weeks and she had no control if it gets passed to the bailiff (even after making a down payment)This was a relief because i could at least then pay the agrred £50 per month.

 

Theyve known from the start that i get paid monthly on the 28th of every month. as soon as i got paid on the 28th of february i made an online payment of £50. I couldnt afford to pay £50 on the 28th of january as i had to pay the £150 back to my employer. I just had absolutely nothing left for the month.

 

This morning (13/03/2012) i recieved a bailiffs final notice that they would be back to seize my goods. i have nothing (aprt from a tv) of value, i dont even have a wardrobe! I called marstones and she said there was nothing she could do. she said it was because i didnt call them after making the down payment. I must have mis-understood.

 

Im not avoiding payment as ive already paid a down payment and a monthly payment. The bailiff has added on now £215 for the visit (though no one actually called my door) marstones said i would have to make another down payment now and then give me 4 weeks to clear the entire balance of £760. there is no way i have this, i just feel frustrated as i made the down payment before so i could pay in installments.what rights do i have.

 

I am really trying to sort it properly and need to know what i can do. I have not avoided payment - and they are so rude on the phone. I have made payments they asked for.has anyone had any dealings with them before. I called them and they are so intmidating it has me in tears.hopefully someone can offer some advice.

 

Will the bailiff accept an offer of re-payment manthly?

 

Michelle

Edited by honeybee13
Putting in some paragraphs for ease of reading.
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Phone the county court that the fine was issued by and see if they can help. They may be able to agree to revised payments or another way of paying (attachment to earnings ?)

 

To my knowledge the bailiffs can charge about £25 for their first visit and then about £18 for a second visit. If they levy on items in your house and then you don't pay, they can charge the relevant charge for removal. The county court will know the level of charges that Marstons are allowed to charge. YOU SHOULD NOT LET THEM INTO YOUR HOUSE IF THEY VISIT. If you let them in, they may ask you to sign a 'walk in' possession order, allowing them into your house whenever they want.

 

This is the Citizens Advice info on bailiffs. Link here

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Hello Michelle

 

Sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations with Marston.

 

First of all, we should make it clear that in theory, Marston bailiffs can force entry to your property to recover an outsanding magistrate court fine; HOWEVER, this is a power only to be used where they can show it is reasonable to do so. It is extremely rare - if not unheard of - for this to happen to any of the thousands of people we advise each month.

 

We would advise you to sit down and carefully work out your income and expenditure (a Statement of Affairs or SOA as the regulars on here call it), use this to determine affordable instalments and then start paying this to Marston with immediate effect. Send this in the post if you are having no joy getting them to accept a payment over the phone; the bailiffs should not refuse any payments you are trying to make.

 

You should ensure that you do not end up paying over the odds. Marstons can add set amounts for certain actions (£215 for an attendance is one of them) but they should not overcharge or add trumped-up fees. The schedule of fees they are allowed to charge can actually be found on their own website:

 

http://www.marstongroup.co.uk/customer-contact-centre/our-fees.html

 

If you are in total deadlock with the bailiffs, it may be worth contacting the court directly as you may be able to attend a forthcoming means enquiry hearing. Have a look at our fact sheet on magistrate court fines:

 

http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/factsheet.php?page=13_magistrates_court_fines

For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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Hi again Michelle

 

We've just noticed unclebulgaria's post - you referred to Hampshire county courts in your post, but if this debt is a fine for driving without valid insurance, rest assured it will be a magistrate court fine, NOT a county court judgment, and the advice we give above will still apply.

For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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i do apologise it was the magistrates court. If i contact the bailiff direct... i can offer him monthly repayment that i can stick to. I have sticked to the one marston actually set out but its because i didnt call themto tell tem i made the down payment.can the bailiff refuse my offer of monthly repayment?

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The bailiff's job is ultimately to recover the debt owed. Refusing offers of payment is a tactic designed to scare you into finding more money from somewhere - take no notice of this. Attempt to pay the amount offered by whatever means are available, but ensure you get receipts or can track such payments, and be careful about giving card details as they may try to swipe extra amounts without your prior consent. Ideally a cheque in the post to the bailiff's office is best as it is secure, the bailiff can't alter the amount offered, and you have the stub to prove your willingness to pay.

For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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I have NO money at the moment until i get paid on the 28th. Im sorry for all the questions.If i could offer him that i will pay £150 on the 28th then £50 a month. is this reeasonable?i just need them to know that i am willing to pay. Which i am - ive already made payments.Im getting so scared about calling them and him forcing into my home

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Yes I did think it would be magistrates, as the county court would never get involved.

 

If you can't pay anything until 28th March and Marstons won't accept, then I would suggest that you contact the Magistrates court.

We could do with some help from you.

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Focus on paying what you have offered and not on whether the bailiff accepts this - you could follow all the advice given here to the letter and the bailiff will probably still tell you that you are not paying enough. If the bailiff refuses to cash a cheque, put the amount you've offered to one side and save it up. As long as you can show you are willing to pay, sooner or later the deadlock will be broken one way or the other:

 

either the bailiff will start to accept your payments,

 

or

 

the bailiff will return the debt to the court, in which case fine - just contact the court, pay the money you've save dup in the meantime and make arangements to start paying them directly. Further hearings are unlikely unless absolutely necessary e.g. if you are refusing to pay anything.

For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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Hello, just to say that I got in touch with the bailiff direct offering payment of £150 on the 28th when I get paid followed by £50 every month after. He point blank refused and said the entire amount has to be paid In full by Friday 16th otherwise my goods will be removed. Even after sticking to what Marstons have asked. I explained everything to the bailiff. Where do I stand now? What else can I do? Thanks for all the advice

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Hi again

 

We are not surprised by the bailiff's response - this is not to say you could have done anything more.

 

We recommend that you send a letter to the bailiffs reiterating the terms of your offer, enclosing a post-dated cheque for the first instalment. Keep a copy of any letter(s) you send. This is crucial as it will show that you have done all in your power to negotiate and that your difficulties are a case of "can't pay" rather than "won't pay".

 

As already stated above, the bailiff can only use their powers to force entry where they can prove this is reasonable. This will be harder for them to prove once you can show written evidence of your attempts to negotiate with them.

 

In theory, the bailiff can force entry to your property on the 16th. In practice, however, once they have received a copy of your letter and are aware that any belongings you do personally own are of very little value, the chances are that they will not see the point of forcing entry.

 

If this is rented property and there are items that belong to your landlord, it would be useful to keep a copy of the inventory handy should you need to prove that specific items do not belong to you.

For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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Phone the county court that the fine was issued by and see if they can help. They may be able to agree to revised payments or another way of paying (attachment to earnings ?)

 

To my knowledge the bailiffs can charge about £25 for their first visit and then about £18 for a second visit. If they levy on items in your house and then you don't pay, they can charge the relevant charge for removal. The county court will know the level of charges that Marstons are allowed to charge. YOU SHOULD NOT LET THEM INTO YOUR HOUSE IF THEY VISIT. If you let them in, they may ask you to sign a 'walk in' possession order, allowing them into your house whenever they want.

 

This is the Citizens Advice info on bailiffs. Link here

 

This is the charges for council tax

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This is the charges for council tax

 

Thanks.

 

Is there a list of the various charges for different types of bailiff/HCEO action ?

 

When you search online for the various charges, it can be quite confusing. Seems that they are variable.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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