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Hello all

 

I've read a lot of conflicting information about HCEO charges, some of it seeming debatable.

 

I had a CCJ for £1228 plus costs (total due £1440.61) for an unpaid electricity bill. This went to the High Court for Enforcement and I was visted by an agent/bailiff from HCE Ltd. I was not in at the time, I live in a third floor flat and I did not sign any form of paperwork. I have not been visited subsequently. I did know about the CCJ and although I returned paperwork to offer payment arrangement, I heard nothing until the warrant from the bailif.

 

After writing to them with an income/expenditure and stating that I was prepared to go through the Court for a stay of execution etc, a payment arrangement has been accepted (without going to Court). I also requested details of their charges as the amount due had risen by over £600 with no breakdown of costs.

 

I have had details of their costs. I don't want to do any long convoluted challenge but is anybody able to help me identify if all of these costs are permissible if there was no access to my home, nothing was removed, no vehicle to levy.

 

HCE Fees

£ 49.27 Poundage

£ 2.40 Seizure Fee

£ 4.80 Enquiry Fee

£ 60.00 Mileage

£ 92.54 Valuation Fee

£ 21.00 Daily possession fee

£ 210.00 Administration Fee

£ 132.80 Financial Management Fee

£ 50.00 Arrangement Fee

£ 622..81 Total due to Fees to date of writing

 

(wording and layout taken from their letter to me, including extra decimal point. Maybe they'll charge me for that too).

 

I know at one stage the maximum mileage was £50, is this still true? If they did not have sight of inside of my house never mind removed goods, how have they determined a valuation fee or a seizure fee or a possession fee.

 

I understand that a lot of the fees may seem excessive but I just have to accept it. I don't want to risk Court action which will potentially result in even higher costs to me. I have bad depression and anxiety and the issue of Court just makes me feel super nervous and and would like to (finally) deal with the debt with minimum fuss. I am now paying £250 to clear the debt, but if I can legitimately have some of the costs removed, that would be a help.

 

Can anybody help?

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As you live in a 3rd Floor Flat I would have been tempted to just ignore them. Providing they cannot gain access to your home or otherwise make a levy on goods outside - a car perhaps - then in reality there is not a lot they can do.

 

The Fees you have been charged to my mind are wrong. Take the mileage for instance that is a maximum of £50 @ 29.2 per mile which if memory serves me right is some 180+ miles, there is of course VAT added which is why it comes to £60. If you wish to progress then you should think of submitting a Subject Access Request to them which should reveal a list of dates and the charges they applied.


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There are fees on there that would be better in your pocket than theirs, you will require a full breakdown of those fees before you can contest them and as PT suggests the best way to get insight to what they have charged and what they can legally charge is to send them that SAR. When you get the reply come back on here and caggers will be able to look it over and suggest what needs to be challenged.

 

They are not just going to roll over and say oops we have overcharged you by £300 (thats at an estimate on what figures you have given) so if your happy to let them have that without a fight ...so be it.

 

WD

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Thanks. I will make a SAR as I want evidence it was more the suggestions in other places that I should challenge via court and run risk of further legal cost. If I can put together suitable letters to do it without increasing the debt even further I will. I do want to pay and I was very suspicious of some of the fees anyway.

 

Will draft a letter to them tomorrow requesting breakdown. And I assume they will want £10 for that as well. Thankfully they can't try adding any further fees to this.

 

Oh and if I was to make payment directly to the creditor what would happen then? Can the creditor refuse payment from me? My concern is that HCE may deduct their "fees" from the repayments first or not pass monies onto the creditor and the debt won't be marked as satisfied.

Edited by lastmonkey

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Oh and if I was to make payment directly to the creditor what would happen then? Can the creditor refuse payment from me? My concern is that HCE may deduct their "fees" from the repayments first or not pass monies onto the creditor and the debt won't be marked as satisfied.

 

You Creditor will likely refuse payment direct as they would then become responsible for the HCEO fees. You are correct about how the payments are allocated as the HCEO will take a cut from every payment made - typical split may be 60/40, which means it can take an eternity to pay off. Get your SAR sent off first - don't forget the £10 payment - here's an example of a SAR if you wish to use it but adapt for yourself - note the sentence in bold.

 

 

Bailiff House

 

Date

 

Dear Sir

Data Protection Act 1998

Subject Access Request

 

Dear Sir

 

 

Please supply a complete list of ALL the data held and used by you that relate to Mr XXXX. It is also to include third party information held with all other agencies.

 

Additionally where there has been an event in the account(s) history during the period accounts have been placed with you that have required any manual intervention by any member of your staff or any other person I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have been caused or resulted from that manual intervention.

 

I would like to bring to your attention data can be held in written information, e-mails, electronic documents, photographs, CCTV images, telephone conversations and include any recorded or written opinions about me/us and any recorded or written intentions and action taken regarding me/us.

 

I/We would like this information to be sent to my/our home address as listed above. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

To satisfy payment to supply this information I/we enclose a fee of £10 this payment must not be used for any other purpose.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

A Peeved Debtor"


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Hello all

 

I've read a lot of conflicting information about HCEO charges, some of it seeming debatable.

 

I had a CCJ for £1228 plus costs (total due £1440.61) for an unpaid electricity bill. This went to the High Court for Enforcement and I was visted by an agent/bailiff from HCE Ltd. I was not in at the time, I live in a third floor flat and I did not sign any form of paperwork. I have not been visited subsequently. I did know about the CCJ and although I returned paperwork to offer payment arrangement, I heard nothing until the warrant from the bailif.

 

After writing to them with an income/expenditure and stating that I was prepared to go through the Court for a stay of execution etc, a payment arrangement has been accepted (without going to Court). I also requested details of their charges as the amount due had risen by over £600 with no breakdown of costs.

 

I have had details of their costs. I don't want to do any long convoluted challenge but is anybody able to help me identify if all of these costs are permissible if there was no access to my home, nothing was removed, no vehicle to levy.

 

HCE Fees

£ 49.27 Poundage OK

£ 2.40 Seizure Fee OK

£ 4.80 Enquiry Fee OK

£ 60.00 Mileage Challenge

£ 92.54 Valuation Fee What did they value?....challenge

£ 21.00 Daily possession fee On what? challenge

£ 210.00 Administration Fee probably OK

£ 132.80 Financial Management Fee same fee as above?..challenge

£ 50.00 Arrangement Fee same fee covered by the admin fee?..challenge

£ 622..81 Total due to Fees to date of writing

 

(wording and layout taken from their letter to me, including extra decimal point. Maybe they'll charge me for that too).

 

I know at one stage the maximum mileage was £50, is this still true? If they did not have sight of inside of my house never mind removed goods, how have they determined a valuation fee or a seizure fee or a possession fee.

 

I understand that a lot of the fees may seem excessive but I just have to accept it. I don't want to risk Court action which will potentially result in even higher costs to me. I have bad depression and anxiety and the issue of Court just makes me feel super nervous and and would like to (finally) deal with the debt with minimum fuss. I am now paying £250 to clear the debt, but if I can legitimately have some of the costs removed, that would be a help.

 

Can anybody help?

 

If you are receiving help with your depression from your GP/Health Professional or receiving benefits you may be classed as vunerable...also if you stay the writ it will allow you the opportunity to get the Court to agree you can pay the Claimant direct as opposed to the HCEO:madgrin:

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Thank you again. My last post was a bit unclear as I was typing on phone keypad and very tired. I do want to challenge the fees, but not run the risk of me ending up even worse off or owing more, which I understand can happen in a specific situation.! No harm in trying to challenge or hold them to account though. Once this matter is resolved I plan on contacting my MP regarding these sorts of situations.I work full time and receive no benefits, however my mental health has been impacted by this. I did state that I have a long history of mental illness in my previous letter to them in mid-November. The effect of the stress and me having to chase them and the solicitors (Wllmott Clarke) was a contributing factor in my GP signing me off sick for two weeks. I have written and printed off my Subject Access Request letter today and will need to go and get a postal order as I don't have a cheque book so should be away in the post tomorrow morning. Once I hear back from them, I'll update this thread and hope you can give further advice.

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Clarke Willmott...not the brightest buttons and very aggressive, I know of someone who has made a report to SRA about their tactics of jumping in with all guns blazing before getting their facts right...I'm not sure where that particular matter sits at the moment as the last I heard there is also consideration to litigation in the pipeline.

 

HCE...best course of action is to wait for the SAR to come back....were you aware the electricity supplier had entered a claim...did you get the claim pack and respond to it?

 

WD

Edited by wonkeydonkey

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It would be sensible to approach HCE Group in the first instance if you dispute any of the fees they have charged.

 

If you are unhappy with their response the correct procedure is to apply for an assessment of those fees, usually at the High Court. Others on here have done so before, some have been successful and some not so.

 

Either way, I'm sure you will get plenty of advice from ploddertom et al.

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Hello again

 

Following my last post I sent off the DSAR and my £10 postal order on 24 January. Frustratingly I seem to have lost my PO stub. However I have not yet had any acknowledgement of my request or confirmation if I need to provide proof of identity to them. I plan on chasing it up tomorrow over the phone.

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If you have sent off for a SAR then they have 40 days in which to comply - at present you are roughly half way there, better to wait a bit longer I think.


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