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Hi everyone i've received some excellent advice before on here and hoping for a bit more advice.

I have an arrangement with the magistrates court over unpaid motoring fines which i pay £5 a week based on my circumstances, i missed 2 payments last month when my partner had gallbladder surgery in hospital and i had to look after her and the kids so it just slipped my mind. I received a further steps notice from the courts and went and paid 3 weeks straight away bringing my up to date (i didnt call the enforcement office). My partner had a few complications and had to go back to hospital and i missed 2 payments again (big mistake) which i caught up once again. I have now received a letter from the enforcement office saying they have accepted my payment but have now passed my account to excel civil enforcement. I also got a letter the same day from excel saying i now owe the full amount (£652) plus enforcement costs (£85) within 7 days. I obviously cannot pay- the court knows this hence me paying £5 per week, so i am wondering is there any way i can get this transferred back to the courts due to my partners ill health or will i just have to wait for the bailliff to come knocking? I think the enforcement office have been harsh considering i am not actually in arrears. Any advice would be great thanks.

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Unfortunatly the regulations only provide for the court to send ONE Further Steps Notice which is complete nonsens but there agin...I don't make the rules.

 

Are there still vulnerability issues with your wife?

 

Do you work or are you in receipt of benefits?

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Hi thanks for the quick reply, no my partner seems to be over the worst of it now, after the surgery she was bed ridden for a week so i could'nt really leave the house and the fines just slipped my mind. I am self employed but have been struggling for a while now, i have tried to reason with the enforcement office in Port Talbot but it was a complete waste of time, they just keep telling me to deal with excel. It's so frustrating as i am not actually in arrears now and the only reason i missed £10 worth of payments was my partners health issues. I'm off to my local court tomorrow to see if the fines people there can do anything, i've not yet called excel as i know i won't get anywhere with them.

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I should note that i am in the process of setting up a limited company with a friend but we don't see ourselves actually taking home any money until the new year so i don't see excel holding off until then.

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Go and speak to the fines officer at court and say you want to appeal against the issue of the Distress Warrant on the grounds you are not in arrears, and ask that you are means tested for your current financial circumstances.

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Thanks i'll go in the morning and hopefully get my case back in the hands of the courts so i can carry on paying. I'll keep you posted once i know more.

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Regarding Excel and the distress warrant, there is'nt much in our house of any value and anything we do own belongs to my partner including the car, although she would struggle to prove this due to no longer having receipts. Could she file a statutory declaration to prove ownership of the goods? I have seen a form N245 mentioned on another thread would this work for us?

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Whats in your house and who owns it is not relevant because you are not intending to allow a bailiff into the house to make a levy.

 

A statutory declation of ownership of chattels by the lawful owner is only needed if a bailiff has already levied on the goods for someone elses debt.

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Does a bailiff collecting unpaid fines need to make a levy? I was under the impression they had the power to force entry and take goods if i refused them entry, of course i wouldnt refuse entry if my partner had something in writing declaring that all goods belong to her.

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As this relates to a Magistrates Court FINE the is no provision that allows you to file an N245

 

Unfortunately, with an unpaid court FINE there is the right to force entry and it is not a simple matter at all to refuse entry to the bailiff.

 

If the court are unwilling to assist you I would suggest that you ask for the name and contact details of the Contract Manager with responsibility for dealing with serious complaints.

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They dont HAVE to make a levy but they only have a power to force open a door if they make an application to the magistrates court. That is only a last resort of enforcement for persistent non-payers.

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Ok thanks for the replies, i was looking to speed up the process of having my case sent back to the courts if the bailiff sees i have nothing of real value rather than spend the next 6 months worrying when theres a knock at the door. I guess all my hopes rest on the court office tomorrow, i'll let you know if i get anywhere with them.

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Ok quick update went to the court today and the usher told me there will be a fines officer there on thursday and that i should ask him to be put before the court again to explain my case, hopefully this will get it out of the hands of Excel if he's right.

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If i can't get anywhere at the courts, rather than the bailiff breaking in and taking the few things of value and still having hundreds of pounds to pay, if i no longer lived with my partner would the bailiff then have to leave her alone? That is my only concern right now, i don't want her and our 2 small children to have the distress of bailiffs bashing down the door and taking the few things that she owns.

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Unless you are a persisitent offender or have allowed them in previously then I doubt very much they will be allowed to make a forced entry. Do you know how old the Warrant is? If you continue to deny them entry or prevent a levy on other goods externally then eventually the Warrant has to be returned to the Court. You will then be summonsed to explain why you have not paid but if you put your weekly/fortnightly/monthly payment to one side you could then provide as proof of your intentions.


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Hi i received the court letter yesterday stating a distress warrant had been issued, it was issued on 5th November- i caught up my £10 arrears on 6th November. The original agreement to pay £5 a week was made in february and i have paid every week without fail up until a few weeks back when my partner went in to hospital. In february the magistrate mentioned a 23 day prison sentence if i didnt stick to the arrangement so i would have expected to be summoned back to court rather than have a distress warrant issued.

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Just to add the same magistrate who mentioned the prison sentence also suggested i "go without food" to pay off my fines, thats the kind of people we're dealing with!

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Are you serious

go with out food

What the H### is this country come too.

 

Leakie

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That magistrate needs hauling up in court himself for breaches of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, for cruel and inhuman treatment suggesting someone should starve to pay Mammon.


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Ok i went to the court today and thankfully, after a lot of talking, the court has agreed to cancel the distress warrant and allow me to carry on paying £5 a week. At first the fines officer insisted that neither she nor the magistrates had the power to cancel the warrant and that i would have to deal with Excel. I told her that the magistrate previously told me i would face a custodial sentence if i didnt stick to the payment arrangement and after speaking to the clerk in the court they agreed that the warrant shouldnt have been issued. Just shows that you shouldnt just accept the first thing they say and if you keep pushing you can get the right result. I hope this is helpful to anyone else in a similar situation.

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Pleased to hear you got a result. Obviously you have got the message as if you muck it up you know what is coming.


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Just to add the same magistrate who mentioned the prison sentence also suggested i "go without food" to pay off my fines, thats the kind of people we're dealing with!

 

Is this bodily orifice at the lowermost point of the human alimentary cancel living on the same planet as the rest of us. Was it a District Judge who came out with this or a JP? If it was a JP, I can understand. A lot of legal professionals and police officers want to see JPs abolished. If it was a District Judge, you can make a formal complaint about their conduct to JACO (Judicial Appointments & Conduct Ombudsman). Go to http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/jaco/how-to-make-a-complaint.

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Ok i went to the court today and thankfully, after a lot of talking, the court has agreed to cancel the distress warrant and allow me to carry on paying £5 a week. At first the fines officer insisted that neither she nor the magistrates had the power to cancel the warrant and that i would have to deal with Excel. I told her that the magistrate previously told me i would face a custodial sentence if i didnt stick to the payment arrangement and after speaking to the clerk in the court they agreed that the warrant shouldnt have been issued. Just shows that you shouldnt just accept the first thing they say and if you keep pushing you can get the right result. I hope this is helpful to anyone else in a similar situation.

 

Well done, Andy. The sad fact is, HMCTS is broken and it is not the fault of those who work for it. It is the fault of politicians who think that public services can be run like a business or should be run by the private sector, who will covertly and corruptly influence policy. Hence the current furore about privatisation of the police service. You stand testimony to the fact that standing up to the crap some Crown Servants come out with does produce results.

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I have to say from my experience the people at the enforcement office in Port Talbot are an absolute joke. They are far too trigger happy when it comes to passing your account to the bailiff and despite both them and the courts insisting that distress warrants cannot be recalled this clearly is not true. It really annoyed me that they wasted time and money pursuing me for what they believed to be £10 - £15 arrears! Nearly as much as the fact private bailiff companies can get away with charging huge fees for simply posting a letter or knocking on your door- why is this allowed to happen??

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As many people on the forum are aware, I have a commercial business advising the public with regards to bailiff enquiries and I am most interested to read that your fine had been through Port Talbot. We have received quite a few similar complaints about this court ???

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