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Hello.

 

I am the sole Director of a small Company. I have been on holiday to the West Country, for one week. Today, is my first day back.

 

This morning a bailliff from NSL turned up, although his Company paperwork said 'Task Enforcement Ltd', demanding £799.34. I was a bit, taken back. I asked what for and he gave me a warrant for £202.00. When I queried the difference, he kept suggesting that I could not read.

 

It later transpired that the difference was his costs which he had not given me an account of. The original fine was for a yellow box junction, which I had contested. I did recieve a letter back, saying that they had found against me, and that my next option was to pay or go to court. I had planned to go to court to fight the yellow box fine, as it would have been a 'de minimis' infringement at best. With the pressure and time constraints of running a small business, I opted to pay the fine, although it did sit on my desk for a while. I was on holiday for 8 days and today is my fist day back at work.

 

The bailiff was extremely curt and rude, especially as my business is customer facing and I had customers in an out, while he was here. I telephoned my bookeeper, who told me that while I was away that he had paid, a fine, but could not be sure which one. I told the bailiff to come back tomorrow and talk to my bookkeeper. He was not interested, he just wanted the money now. I asked for his ID which he was reticent to give. His badge gave a telephone number to call to check his ID. I called the number at 11:37 and it was an answerphone (they actually called back at 14:05, half an hour after the bailiff had left). I left a message, saying that I wanted to check a Bailiffs, I.D. Eventually the bailiff wrote out a, Notice of Seizure of Goods & Inventory. To which he started to add items and costs.

 

The costs amounted to:

Debt/Penalty Charge Notice £202.00

Letter £11.20

Levy Fee £56.73 + £59.85

Attendance to Remove Goods/Vehicle £175.00

Aborted Removal £195.00

VAT on Enforcement Costs £99.56

A grand total of £799.34

 

He showed this to me and I told him that I am not agreeing to it. At this point, he had not completed an inventory. I told him that the desks, computers and printer in the office, we not mine, but were leased. At this point, I had to leave the office for a 30 minute appointment. Told you, small office, there was no one else that could do it. I told him to return tomorrow, when the book keeper was in. He said no, he was removing everything from the office now.

 

Whilst, I was out, the staff called me to say that he had started to unplug their computer's and was pilling them in the middle of the office. He was pestering the staff to pay his money. She staff told me that he had said he would wait in the office until 1pm. Eventually, one of the female members of staff, was so panicked that he was unplugging her computer, that she paid him the £799.34 from her own card.

 

When I returned to the office, I noticed that he had completed the inventory, to include a large printer in the office, which is leased, as well as a cheap Dell Computor and a cheap binding machine. Also, he had riffled through my desk and drawers and appears to have opened some of my mail. Of which part was a new log book for one of the cars. The registration No of which he scribbled in the top corner of the Warrant of Exectution.

 

Is anyone able to give me any advise or tell me what to do? I have been well and truly ripped off here and I do not want to let matters rest.

Whilst on the subject, I have come across John Galt of bailiff-mediation.com. Has anyone ever used John and can they confirm that he is reputable? I have read other posts, but they seem to link back to a dead link.

 

Thank you.

Edited by MBeaumont
omission

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ouch!!

rough deal, im not to sure of the applicable breakdown but i dont think he can levy and remove on the same day and charge for both

 

some other people will be along soon with more info than i know off hand

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I am sure that a moderator will move this thread to the Bailiff forum. It will fall under many expert eyes once there.

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Thread moved to bailiffs forum.


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Has he listed the dates for when the fees were charged?


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Which local authority does this PCN relate to ?

 

Many bailiff companies read posts on this forum. If so....yet again another "aborted van fee" !!!!

 

WHAT IS GOING ON.........

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Systemic abuse and illegality ?

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Systemic abuse and illegality ?

 

"Aborted Removal £195.00" no no no, why does no one in the MOJ, or authority clamp down on this sort of abuse? Ah yes, as the Council is a Statutory Body, and must always be seen as squeaky clean even when like Anglesey, it is as bent as a nine bob note. and the bailiffs are after Statutory debt, as in PCN or council Tax, a blind eye is turned to shenanigans by the collectors, so the council gets the money.


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@ Tomtubby. It doesn't actually say, aborted Van Fee, it says: Aborted Removal £195.00. It relates to Lewisham Council, SE London.

 

Anyone know what I should do next. I have read that I should issue a section 7 notice on the agency, or should I go to John Galt?

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It is a shame that you had not pursued the appeal to the local authority but this is now in the past and hopefully, you will know better next time.

 

The fees are worrying.

 

Firstly, the statutory fees allow for a 1st visit to be calculated at 28% of the amount of the PCN at £202. This would be approx £56.56. To calculate the 2nd visit, you would need to add £202 and £56.56 and again apply 28%. I calculate that the 2nd visit fee should therefore be around £72.40.

 

If a bailiff were to charge an "attending to remove" fee then firstly, the intention MUST BE REAL. In other words, by charging £175, the bailiff SHOULD be arriving "tooled up" to remove the goods. It is very worrying if a bailiff were to charge an ATR fee without 1st knowing whether there are any goods belonging to the debtor that can be removed!!!

 

It is for this reason that it should be expected that the bailiff had FIRST levied upon goods.

 

Lets assume that the bailiff has previously levied upon goods....payment has not been forthcoming as agreed then the bailiff can attend with the intention of removing the goods and he may then charge an "attending to remove" fee ( which the regulations clearly state must be REASONABLE.

 

In this particular case the bailiff is charging £175 for "attending to remove". I am at a loss to understand how it is possible for Task Enforcement to then attempt to charge an "aborted removal fee" of £195 !!

 

By charging £175 the bailiff must attend ready to remove items and it goes without saying that the type of vehicle that he would need to bring with him must be suitably equipped for this purpose.

 

Lastly, if a bailiff is attempting to charge a fee for an "aborted removal" then you are legally entitled to write to NSL ( who own TASK Enforcement) or the instructing local authority and to request a copy of an invoice from the relevant removal company addressed to Task Enforcement as evidence that a removal contractor had been booked......and details of when the contractor was cancelled. Naturally, Task Enforcement would need to provide supporting evidence that they had paid the contractor !!!

 

I am not sure what you mean by a Section 7 Notice on the agency ???

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@ploddertom

 

The Warramt is dated as authorised on the 16/10/2012 and given to the enforment officer on the 19/10/2012.

The contravnetion was on the 15/06/2012.

 

The Bailiff attended on the 08/11/2012.

 

Hope this helps? With thanks.

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OH and I had read that I needed to issue a 'section 7 notice'? A freedom of information request to TASK Enforcement, for all information relating to me/my company on file? Is this the best thing to do?

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What you are after is a SubjectAccess Request and it would only be for personal information. It would cost £10 and they would have 40 days in which to reply. Personally I wouldn't bother as they will have very little on you. Better is to send off for a breakdown of the fees they have charged - I assume what you have is what the Bailiff gave you.

 

Take note of all the info & advice that Tomtubby gives you, she is the real expert here and her advice will be spot on.


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Thanks tomtubby. Is that what I should do next? Write to NSL and ask for a breakdown of the costs?

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Which local authority does this PCN relate to ?

 

Many bailiff companies read posts on this forum. If so....yet again another "aborted van fee" !!!!

 

WHAT IS GOING ON.........

 

Actually, Just realised it is TFL.

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Are you sure this relates to a TfL PCN and not a Lewisham one?

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Firstly, the statutory fees allow for a 1st visit to be calculated at 28% of the amount of the PCN at £202. This would be approx £56.56. To calculate the 2nd visit, you would need to add £202 and £56.56 and again apply 28%. I calculate that the 2nd visit fee should therefore be around £72.40.

 

Im sorry tomtubby but that is not right.

 

The regulations say the fee is 28% of the "sum demanded and due for levying disteess"

 

As no levy was made on MBeaumont's goods on the bailiffs first visit because MBeaumont was on holiday, the bailiff cannot charge the fee on that first visit.

 

Your other mistake is saying the bailiff can charge a fee on his second visit for recovering the fee fir his first visit plus the PCN itself because the bailiff did make a levy on his 1st visit.

 

The bailiff is unable charge a fee on his second visit for levying distress because he did not make one.

 

It seems you are under the illusion bailiffs can charge nested fees for up to three visits without making a levy, but I cannot see anything in the regulations that provides for fees for sums when no levy is made and for a nested fee-charging regime.

 

 

The regulations provide for 28% of the sum demanded for levying distress in up to three visits.

 

I may be wrong so I am open to sources of up to date regulations that provides for nested fees regimes and charging 28% on sums for levies not made.

Edited by TB Law

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So there you go TT................... despite all those years of dealing with these matters on a commercial basis and that extremely high proven success rate you have obtained ....neddy here has opened his book, read what he clearly doesn't understand and spouted forth...'mother' and 'sucking eggs' springs to mind?

 

WD

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If a debtor wishes to challenge bailiff fees for PCN enforcement there is a legal route by way of detailed assessment. This will allow a cost judge to examanie the statutory fee scale and case law to establish the correct fees that should be charged. Personaly, I would not suggest that anyone should pay the fee for such an application an instead, rely upon an excellent Detailed Assessment that was issued a couple of years ago in the case of Anthony Culligan v Marston Group. There can be NO doubt at all of the correctness of District Judge Avents judgment.

 

Furthermore, the judgment confirms that a bailiff CANNOT charge a fee for clamping a vehicle.

If anyone requires a copy of the full judgment please pm with an email address and I will send a copy sent on Monday.

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The Culligan case is about clamping and MBeaumont's post says nothing about being clamped so the Culligan is not relevant to this thread.

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The Culligan case is about clamping and MBeaumont's post says nothing about being clamped so the Culligan is not relevant to this thread.

If one uses Legal reasoning one can see that Culligan can still be used in argument about the reasonableness, and lawfulness of other fees though, specifically these:

 

Attendance to Remove Goods/Vehicle £175.00

Aborted Removal £195.00

Neither of which should apply on that visit What on earth is an Aborted Removal that costs £195.00? Did he come with a 17 tonne pantechnicon to clear the premises on the off chance?

Or more likely a little Berlingo, for which he cannot charge as it is his regular transport,

Edited by brassnecked

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An old post by tomtubby

In the Central London county courtlink3.gif - Case No 8CL51015 - Anthony Culligan (Claimant) v 1. Jason Simkin & 2. Marstons (Defendants). Before District Judge Advent 9th & 24th September 2008

 

Mr Culligan challenged the bailiffslink3.gif fees & charges imposed by Mr Simkin and Marstons when levying distress and seeking to remove Mr Culigans car for non-payment of a Penalty Charge Notice issued by the London Borough of Camden.

 

The Judgment goes a long way to clarify exactly what a Bailiff can charge for levying distress. bailiffslink3.gif have always sought to charge for fixing an immobilisation device by clamping a vehicle, and an attendance to remove. These charges in Anthony Culligan's case were £200 (£100 for the clamp and £100 for attendance to remove). The bailiffslink3.gif have argued that the Fee Regulations permit them to make a charge for levying distress (that is 28% on the first £200 demanded, and for removing goods, or attending to remove goods where no goods are removed, reasonable costs and charges). Bailiffs have claimed that the costs of putting on a clamp, etc. are costs to be included in attending to remove where no goods are removed, if payment is made before the vehicle concerned is removed.

 

 

 

 

DJ Avent, after considering Case Law and Statute, has found that the purpose of putting on a clamp is to "impound" the vehicle and is not part of the costs of removal. This is because:-

 

1. The Bailiff's obligation is to secure the vehicle, and the simplest and easiest way to do this is to "immobilise" it so it cannot be driven away. This is effectively the equal of impounding the goods.

 

2. The Fee Regulations provide for a distinction between the levying of distress and removal of goods. There is a gap between the two stages. The purpose of this "gap" is to allow the debtor to make payment of what is due after the first stage.

 

DJ Avent says at paragraph 50 of his Judgment:-

 

"Accordingly, in my judgment the bailiff should not and, as a matter of law cannot take any steps to remove goods until he has given the debtor a reasonable opportunity to pay what is due at the time of seizure. This being so I cannot see that Form 7 can or should include any costs of removal. Mr. Simkin included on the Form 7 he produced for Mr. Culligan the sum of £100 in respect of the immobilisation device. If, as the Defendants now argue, that was part of the removal expenses, it should never have been included in Form 7".

 

The District Judge went on to find that the application of the clamp falls within the act of levying distress and does not form part of the removal process, whatever the Bailiff's Contract with Camden says.

 

The Bailiff also charged Anthony Culligan £100 for the " reasonable costs " of removing the vehicle (although the vehicle was never actually removed) in that a tow truck was called and actually arrived at Anthony Culligan's home. Because the Bailiff produced no evidence as to how the charge had been arrived at he was unable to show that it was reasonable.

 

The District Judge in his conclusion says:

 

"I am also conscious that my findings in this case ... may have wider consequences and may cause problems for bailiffs because they will not be able to charge for immobilising a vehicle as a separate charge but must include it within the cost of levying distress. To do otherwise would, in my judgment, be unlawful... I would also add that if the Defendant or either of them in the light of this judgment now continued to apply such charges in the manner in which they have done up to now and, specifically, charge fees of £100 for applying an immobilisation device then that would amount to conduct which may well then found a legitimate complaint because in my judgment it would be unlawful....".

 

What this means in effect is that Bailiffs who continue to make unlawful charges may be guilty of misconduct and have their Certificates removed.

 

You should know however that Marstons obtained permission to appeal from the District Judge. His reasons for granting the permission were :

 

"The bailiff was following the practice in force for 15 years. No one has challenged the right to charge for wheelclamping before.

My decision that they cannot do so (at least to the extent that they have charged until now) not only affects the London Borough of Camden but also every Borough with de-criminalised parking.

 

Accordingly, it has significant local and possible National implications and that is a compelling reason why an appeal should be heard"

 

 

Bailiffs chose not to pursue appeal of detailed assesment decision The baillif company having been granted leave to appeal the decsion have decided not to pursue the application

 

The Judge had specified in granting permission to appeal "The bailiff was following the practice in force for 15 years. No one has challenged the right to charge for wheelclamping before.

 

My decision that they cannot do so (at least to the extent that they have charged until now) not only affects the London Borough of Camden but also every Borough with de-criminalised parking.

 

Accordingly, it has significant local and possible National implications and that is a compelling reason why an appeal should be heard"

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Well done hallow...I think this shows the clamping aspect was but a part of the overall Judgment to the detailed assessment, it is always advisable to read the whole of the judgment and find understanding to it, before jumping to conclusion, don't you think?wink.gifwink.gif

 

WD

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