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Task Enforcement bailiff forced £413 out of my pensioner parents for a £60 bus lane PCN!!

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Very useful information provided on this forum and from what I can gather I, or more specifically in this case my mother, has been overcharged thanks to bully tactics from the Task Enforcement bailiffs.

 

I want to try and clarify some details that are specific to this situation so I can proceed in the best and most efficient manner.

 

I was sent a PCN by Lambeth council for entering a bus lane whilst on my motorcycle. At the time I was unaware of the different access rules for motorbikes in bus lanes and after trying to challenge it then realised I was in the wrong and the fine had risen from it's original £60 to £120.

 

Stupidly I didn't pay this off at the time and the next I heard of it was Task Enforcement sending me a notice to pay something in the region of £215. I got worried at the time partly because I didn't have that amount of money but spoke to a member of their staff over the phone and paid half the amount owed which was still a stretch at the time - bringing the owed amount to £107.50. Then, a month later, I paid an additional £27.50 bringing the owed amount to £80.

 

In this time I have been staying increasingly @ my girlfriends house and work schedule went a bit mental so I, again very stupidly forgot to pay off the final £80.

 

Day before yesterday bailiffs arrived at my parents house at 7.50am. My mother answered the door and immediately took the warrant off them but closed the front door - going into the kitchen to read it. My 70 year old father then comes to the door having heard the knock belatedly and opens the door. One of the bailiffs then puts his foot in the frame so it can't be closed again.

 

There was then an awkward few moments as my parents couldn't get in contact with me - my mum told them that I no longer lived at that address - they said that that was the registered address so my parents were liable. They argued for a long time and my mum told them that they could take my motorbike which she said was the only possessions belonging to me that were at that address and it was parked outside the front of the house. It is effectively scrap and not MOT'd.

 

They refused saying they wanted payment from my parents to the amount of £413.50. They showed the Warrant of Execution to my parents which showed the original debt decided by the court at £202.

 

When my parents queried the 413.50 figure they said it was for van hire costs and the cost of their labour. My father asked where the van was ... they said around the corner. It escalated - they threatened to call the police, called my mother an awful parent for raising a son that was so irresponsible. My mum wanted to call the police - imagining I suppose that they'd side with a 65 year old mother and 70 year old father but my father wanted to avoid that so gave in and decided to pay. My mother ended up paying for it - my dad didn't have the money - though my mum doesn't exactly have cash to spare.

 

She paid with a Visa Debit card for the full £413.50. They left a receipt for that amount but when my dad asked for a breakdown of the costs they refused to give that saying he had to contact the office. They also left a copy of the original Warrant of Execution. ( I have no memory of receiving anything from the court myself so I'm quite glad that they left this ... hopefully to their detriment).

 

So with the original £135 that I had paid to them as well as the £413.50 we have collectively paid a total of £548.50. I know I've been overcharged but I want to clarify the process I now undertake especially considering that they bullied my mum into paying the amount on my behalf. I would have thought that my parents aren't legally obliged to pay for my debts.

 

Like I said, I know I was stupid in allowing the situation to get like this but for the way they treated my parents and for overcharging me I want to make sure that I resolve the situation fully.

 

Thanks for your help.

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what!!

 

thats totally wrong

 

they are NOT responsible for your fine etc

 

get your mum to ring the card company NOW

 

and demand a chargeback as she paid under duress.

 

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/visa-debit-chargeback/

 

do not take NO for an answer!!

 

dx


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how many letters & how many visits have they made? Were the letters received via Royal Mail or hand delivered?


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That was the first visit they made. They've sent 3 letters in total the first asking for the £215 and then two subsequent after I made the two partial payments asking for the remaining amounts. All of the letters were sent by Royal Mail and the only additional documentation is the receipt for the money they took from my mum and the copy of the Warrant for Execution.

 

If I get my mum to cancel the payment I imagine the bailiffs will come around again - I would want to be prepared fully for this but also wouldn't want to harm my case in any way - should I put some correspondence in writing before doing this?

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no get it done now

 

a court would eat the bailiff for breakfast for this, prob lose his cert too

 

 

dx


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You will need to send off for a breakdown of the fees you have been charged. Here's an example of what to use, adapt at will & send initially by email followed by a copy in the post. Have you been able to check that the Bailiff was Certificated?

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456

 

Dear Sir

 

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

 

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

 

Ripped off customer"


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My workings out for your fees are as follows:

 

Original PCN = £130

+ 50% @ £65 = £195

+ Court Fee @ £7 = £202

 

Letter Fee from Bailiff = £11-20 +VAT @ 20% = £13-44

1st Visit @ 28% on first £200 = £56 + 5.5% on remainder = 73p, Total £56-73 + VAT @ 20% = £68-08

 

Total Owing = £202 + £13-44 + £68-08 = 283-52

 

Obviously a long way short of what has been paid.


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Great help ploddertom, thank you! Now as I understand it there are certain conditions within which I would not be liable to pay the 28% fees considering it was the first visit and they had not put a levy on any particular goods in writing. Have I misunderstood that completely?

 

Also, dx100uk, my mum called up Barclays to try and get a visa chargeback. I warned her that it would probably be contested by them because it isn't in their everyday procedure and to keep at it. She got quite upset whilst telling them about the particular circumstances as I understand and then said "the man on the phone was very nice but he said that because I had willingly offered them payment that they cannot instigate a chargeback process".

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WRONG!!

 

it was done under duress

 

i really do wish these banks would update their staff

 

thats disgusting

 

its not even HER DEBT!!

 

dx


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Revisit bank in the light of DX's last post and demand the chargeback, tell them she is reporting the bailiff to police for Fraud i.e Demanding money by undue influence/menaces, for a debt that is not hers, as an aside get her to tell the bank apparatchik that their failure to chargeback may implicate them in some way.


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Have just managed to speak with my mum for the first time. I now know a few more details.

 

As well as putting their foot in the door so my dad couldn't close it they seem to have tried to force their way past my mum. When it came to the time that they'd bullied my parents into paying they asked for my mum's card. Partly because at this point their was a lot of posturing and partly because she didn't trust them she said 'No, you enter the amount into the card machine and I'll put the card in and enter my pin'. There was arguing - one of the bailiffs held the machine out and my mum put her card in. From where he was holding it she couldn't see the screen, so she took it off him. In her panic she tells me she made an error when putting her pin in. The machine beeped. One of the bailiff's said 'IT'S DONE!'. My mum protested. He snatched the machine back - the money hadn't gone through but he thought it had. He went to walk away with my mum's card in the machine.

 

My mum grabbed it out of the machine - he now realised the transaction had failed and said 'right enough messing around, that's it!' and tried to barge past my parents. My mum stepped back suddenly and in doing so she's now hurt herself just under her buttock and is finding it hard to stand. It's probably a minor, short-term injury - she's going to the doctor tomorrow - but my mum does have heavy cirrhosis for which she takes immuno-suppresants in addition to having an underactive thyroid gland, so any situation like that is never good for her.

 

Luckily my dad stepped in and they stepped back, never getting past the door frame. It was then that THEY threatened to call the police and my dad - I think basically embarrassed at the situation - gave in and they eventually ended up paying.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Like I said my mum was unsuccessful when she spoke to the bank yesterday for the chargeback. I'm not working tomorrow so I'm going to be with her when she calls and help her in not allowing her to say no till she gets a chargeback request form .... that is the procedure, right???

 

I've seen on another thread that ploddertom posted this info - I can't post the link because of too few posts but it's a page called 'get debt paid' on consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?168-Bailiffs-and-High-Court-Enforcement-Officers

 

In it they say "1. Phone your bank or card issuer and ask for a chargeback form. DO NOT say anything else to your bank at this time, other than you want to dispute a transaction." Does anyone know what the 'DO NOT say anything' part is about?

 

as an aside get her to tell the bank apparatchik that their failure to chargeback may implicate them in some way.
Is this true? Or just useful leverage?

 

.........................................................

 

Also, in terms of talking to the police and other parties, I'm keen to do this all myself. Not only have I caused my parents enough hassle but I also don't want them to have to deal with bureaucrat after bureaucrat trying to fob them off. Obviously I can't speak to her bank but can I go to the police to try and get a crime reference number on her behalf??

 

 

My plan of action at the moment is

 

1) Chargeback for my mum from the bank

 

2) Sending off for a NON - Subject action request breakdown of expenses from the bailiff company

 

3) Contacting the police to start action under the fraud of my mother - both the claim that she was liable AND the overcharging of fees.

 

Questions

 

- Is there a particular order I should do this in AND should I wait for one thing to be complete in order to proceed with something else.

 

- When I speak to the police I know that they'll try and fob it off as a civil proceeding. How can I press otherwise and should I mention the 'foot in the door' and pushing past my parents. It will be their word against my parents even with my mum's doctor being able to corroborate that she has injured her leg.

 

Again, I really do appreciate all the useful help.

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The Bank should do the chargeback if it were made under duress and violence was used. Whoevers card was used should contact their bank and advise them they would like you do deal with it, handing over the phone. If the bailiff acted illegally which they did, as they did not gain peaceful entry, then the payment they obtained was fraudulent.

 

Yes start a complaint with the Police. Fraud and assualt by the bailiffs. The Police may be able to organise for your mothers injuries to be documented.

 

Start a complaint with Lambeth Council

 

Start a complaint with the bailiff company. There is a template to ask bailiff for breakdown details.

 

Start a complaint with the local MP

 

Start a complaint with local councillors.


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Template to bailiff re breakdown

 

To:

Acme bailifflink3.gif Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456

 

Dear Sir

 

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

 

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 certificatedlink3.gif at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject access requestlink3.gif 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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At a later date if necessary official complaint form 4, but as a last resort!


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Right. That all makes sense.

 

What is the issue with the form 4? I've seen on other threads when people have submitted it that people have then told them it was too early or it would cause problems.

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UPDATE -

 

Today I recontacted my mother's bank and contacted the police.

 

I spoke to an adviser @ barclays.

He consistently went through the process of putting me on hold and denying their ability to help because my mum willingly paid task enforcement.

Thanks to advice from here I didn't back down.

 

I stated that through misrepresentation and coercion they had forced my mother to pay under duress.

They still wouldn't comply because it wasn't something they could deal with.

It was only after I said that I was aware of a precedent other banks using the chargeback process in similar instances

- "are barclays the only bank that won't protect their customer".

 

Transferred me to a manager.

 

He was completely willing to do everything to sort it out and himself referred to the case as fraud.

 

At this time the police arrived to take statements.

I asked for his name and agreed that my mum would call back to get things underway.

 

Police arrived.

We detailed everything as I've explained it above.

I worry that because of the grey area surrounding all of the law with bailiffs and their ability to play the system that the police might choose not to pursue the case.

 

The policeman that we saw twice referred to the case as a civil one apart from the physical action against my mother.

Maybe I'm just overly cynical but I'm not sure how much help I'll get from them.

I will however pursue the matter until I know within all certainty that they are not criminally liable.

 

Looking at the fraud act

it seems to me that the bailiffs were guilty of misrepresentation with regards to the liability of my parents to pay the debt.

Equally in the manner that the conducted themselves I believe that under section 3 they abused their position in order to extort an illegal amount.

 

my mother called barclays back after the police left in order to finalise what we spoke about earlier.

It seemed there were no notes on the system from my previous call AND that they didn't know who the manager with the name I spoke to was.

 

What followed was an hour and a half phone call of me having to explain the circumstances all over AGAIN.

The person I was speaking who worked in debit card services said that the action didn't come under the banks definition of fraud. Lots of arguing.

 

He was trying to help

- he wanted to send out an overcharging form so they could process a chargeback saying that was all that was possible because the bailiffs used a chip and pin machine.

He said that's the procedure they use when someone looks at their account and sees they've been overcharged for a product.

 

I wasn't sure

- as I made clear my mum knew she was paying £413.

She was just forced into thinking that she had to at the time.

 

After a long and drawn out process he still seemed to think this was the best action.

 

The problem is I need to show some proof in an invoice form from them for the owed amount after legitimate fees for this process to be carried out as far as I can see.

Well I don't have that.

I will get the bailiffs breakdown from the non-SAR I sent out but that will be the overcharged amount.

 

Until today I was only concerned with regaining money that was wrongly take from my mother and rectifying the debt.

 

However, after encountering how un-policed this entire area of the law is which left my parents open to abuse from a pair of thugs,

I intend to bring forward every action in my power to ensure they feel every form of legal punishment.

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Some of these Bank offices can be huge and sometimes they have call centres in more than one place in the country, with calls being bounced around.

 

If you have the name of the Barclays manager you spoke to, then they should be able to find him in their internal telephone/staff directory.

 

Suggest that when you phone that you ask for a direct number or for your mum to be put through, so he can finish off what he agreed to do.

 

Barclays Managers will have a lot more discretion to deal with this, than most you speak to on the phone.

If they want to treat the item as fraudulent, even though chip/pin was used, they can do this.

 

In the circumstances

I hope that the Police do pursue, but I suspect that the bailiffs involved will give a totally different story if they are questionned.

 

The Police will come back saying that the bailiffs have denied the allegations and they are therefore treating it a a civil matter.

i.e it is one persons word against anothers, with no independent witnesses.

 

If this happens, then you will have to consider other ways to pursue the matter.


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The very best of luck, keep us updated, you will get brilliant advice on here

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Can I make a point here. If the Police fail to persue why not take out a private prosecution against the Bailiff yourself.

 

I had a problem with a Doorstep collector representing himself as a Bailiff (although he was a Bailiff but not acting as one as he did not have any paperwork and the account had certainly not gone though any courts). The police just said it was a civil matter and no action was to be taken. I took out a private prosecution (via my solicitor) and the Doorstep collector is no more and the company he worked for were severely censured by the courts, still awaiting FOS to come back though

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Can I make a point here. If the Police fail to persue why not take out a private prosecution against the Bailiff yourself.

 

I had a problem with a Doorstep collector representing himself as a Bailiff (although he was a Bailiff but not acting as one as he did not have any paperwork and the account had certainly not gone though any courts). The police just said it was a civil matter and no action was to be taken. I took out a private prosecution (via my solicitor) and the Doorstep collector is no more and the company he worked for were severely censured by the courts, still awaiting FOS to come back though

 

Depends on the risk and whether people can take this. e.g other sides costs. If you had lost, you would have had your costs and the other sides, which I assume would have been a fair amount.


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I understand that I could have been hit with costs but this was clear cut as after he left he posted some scrappy bits of paper through my letter box that gave him away.

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ScottLondon, would you be willing for this incident to be used in a documentary being planned exposing bailiff shenanigans, and the wrong headed approach by police to this criminal extortion of debt from third parties, ? If so contact me via Bankfodder (Site Team) if you wish


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Can I make a point here. If the Police fail to persue why not take out a private prosecution against the Bailiff yourself.

 

I had a problem with a Doorstep collector representing himself as a Bailiff (although he was a Bailiff but not acting as one as he did not have any paperwork and the account had certainly not gone though any courts). The police just said it was a civil matter and no action was to be taken. I took out a private prosecution (via my solicitor) and the Doorstep collector is no more and the company he worked for were severely censured by the courts, still awaiting FOS to come back though

 

Private prosecutions should ALWAYS be pursued with the assistance of a legal professional. If there is clear evidence of an Indictable Offence, then an Information can and should be laid before the magistrates with a view to a warrant being issued for the arrest of the offender. However, I would recommend that contact should be made with the CPS at the earliest opportunity as they may decide to pursue the matter in the Public Interest.

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Ok.

 

I hope you have all had an enjoyable last few days!

 

On to less joyous matters - As I expected the police have rejected the investigation saying that it must be pursued civilly. I have reveiced the documentation from Barclays which needs supporting evidence of an invoice in order to prove overcharging - this seems to be an avenue of reimbursement that wont hold up with my case so I intend to call Barclays in attempt to speak to the same manager I spoke to previously.

 

I have received a response from Task enforcement after sending a letter requesting a breakdown, bailiff details etc.

 

This is the info I got back

 

Expenses

 

Case Received - £202

Pre enforcement letter - £11.20

Bailiff 1st Visit - £28.00

Attendance - £130.00

Van - £120.00

 

With VAT added to all but the original warrant they total costs @ £549.04.

 

As I said before this was their first visit so I imagine they're stating that the 'attendance' is the labour fees for the two bailiffs. As well as speaking to Barclays, what do I do now with the Bailiff?

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