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OFT & Credit Licences for bailiffs - You couldn't make it up!


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In December 2012 I sent the OFT an email asking what CL a bailiff recovering council tax required. I had a look at their website and various downloads but it was very non-specific.

 

Here is the thread:

 

1. From: DH

Sent: 04 December 2012 11:38

To: Enquiries

Subject: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

Dear Sir/Madam,

If a bailiff is collecting domestic council tax arrears does it require a licence? If the bailiff enters into an agreement with either the council or the debtor to collect the debt over a series of instalments, again is a licence required?

Regards,

DH

 

 

2. From: Enquiries

To:

Cc: Enquiries

Sent: Friday, 7 December 2012, 15:40

Subject: RE: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

#yiv1740722341 p { margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; } Dear DH

 

Thank you for your email of 4 December 2012. Please find our response attached.

 

Yours sincerely

RH

OFT Enquiries and Reporting Centre

 

(This contained a letter as a PDF telling me they could not comment and to check their website)

3. From:

Sent: 07 December 2012 15:52

To: Enquiries

Subject: Re: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

Thanks R,

I checked those leaflets before I contacted you (The link in the PDF does not work by the way) The letter is not really very helpful to be honest. So can you give me a definitive answer please?

Can you let me know if a credit licence/s are required for a bailiff collecting domestic council tax arrears if the bailiff enters into an agreement with either the council or the debtor to collect the debt over a series of instalments is a licence required?

I am not a bailiff.

Thank you,

DH

4. From: Enquiries

Cc: Enquiries

Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012, 13:17

Subject: RE: Credit Licence required for a baliff

Dear DH

 

Thank you for your further email of 7 December 2012. Please find our response attached.

 

Yours sincerely

R H

OFT Enquiries and Reporting Centre

 

(This contained a very similar PDF letter as before telling me they could not comment and to check their website)

 

5. From:

Sent: 21 December 2012 14:34

To: Enquiries

Subject: Re: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

Dear R,

 

Thank you for your swift response. You will excuse me when I tell you that I am sensing deja vu! This is almost the same letter that you sent last time round, which, no offence intended, was of no use at all.

 

I have indeed viewed the pages you suggest before I contacted you on the 7th December. They were unfortunately too vague to be of use. If the OFT cannot advise on whether or not a business or individual needs a licence, nor provide specific advice or comment on individual credit licence requirements how does anyone know whether they should be licensed not?

 

Regards,

DH

 

6. Fri, 11 Jan 2013 at 16:41

11 Jan

 

 

RE: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

 

Dear DH

 

Thank you for your further email of 21 December 2012. Please find our response attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

RH

OFT Enquiries and Reporting Centre

 

 

(This contained yet another letter as a PDF telling me they could not comment, it depends what the bailiff is doing, which I told them on the 4/12/12, and to seek legal advice)

 

7. From: DH

Sent: 11 January 2013 17:42

To: Enquiries

Subject: Re: Credit Licence required for a bailiff

 

 

Thanks. That answers a question I didn't ask. But progress none the same. My original question was:

 

'Dear Sir/Madam,

 

If a bailiff is collecting domestic council tax arrears does it require a licence? If the bailiff enters into an agreement with either the council or the debtor to collect the debt over a series of instalments, again is a licence required?'.

 

The answer I really need from you is, if a bailiff enters into a contractual agreement with an individual to collect council tax arrears by instalments, is a Credit Licence required?

 

Surely the answer is either yes or no?

 

Fourth time lucky?

 

Regards,

DH

 

8. Ref: EPIC/ENQ/E/138592

 

Dear DH

 

Thank you for your further email of 11 January 2013 to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to your enquiry.

 

In reference to your further enquiry, we have liaised with the Credit Guidance team who have provided the following guidance.

 

The OFT can only provide general guidance on the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act and cannot give specific advice on individual matters. Nor can it comment on specific scenarios as outlined within your enquiry. Therefore, the OFT cannot provide you with the definitive yes or no answer you have requested as it may depend on how the instalments will be arranged, how many instalments there are, whether interest is charged and so on. As we have previously suggested, if you require guidance or advice in relation to your particular circumstances or a specific scenario, you may wish to seek independent legal advice.

 

I hope that this response clarifies our position in respect of your enquiry.

 

Yours sincerely

 

F A

Enquiries and Reporting Centre

Office of Fair Trading

 

.....So there you go, don't bother asking the OFT as they haven't got a clue. What a joke!

Edited by yellowcakeuf6
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Why am I not surprised,? answers on a postcard.

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I think the answer is NO, as if it were YES, then all bailiffs would have licences registered. Parliament would have passed legislation requiring a credit licence, if they wanted this to be the case. As I presume they have not been included in legislation for credit licences in regard to council tax collection, I am not sure why the OFT had a problem answering.

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I think the answer is NO, as if it were YES, then all bailiffs would have licences registered. Parliament would have passed legislation requiring a credit licence, if they wanted this to be the case. As I presume they have not been included in legislation for credit licences in regard to council tax collection, I am not sure why the OFT had a problem answering.

 

I think because they, the bailiffs, are required to hold licences to collect OTHER debt, outside bailiff enforcement as a regular DCA, and some councils require their agents to hold that licence.

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Bailiffs engaged in enforcing orders of a magistrates court or a county court are most certainly no involved in ''consumer credit'' activities,any ''arrangement to pay''

is not offering credit it is a method of recovering monies owed.

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The position "according to the bailiff industry" is that they DO NOT require a Consumer Credit Licence.

 

However, although this is the "claim" by the enforcement industry it does not explain WHY almost ALL bailiff companies have a Consumer Credit Licence!!!

 

If they do not require one.....why bother!!

 

Unless the position has changed recently, it would seem that Newlyn Plc allowed their Consumer Credit Licence to lapse nearly a year ago.

 

Confused.......I am..

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Many of them indulge themselves in ''normal'' debt collection activities which do require a a CCL, also holders of CCLs are allowed to continue to trade whilst a new app or renewal is being processed.

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That is what I thought, they need the licence for other debt collection activities outside bailffs and distress. The fact that as a DCA their letters carry Certificated Bailiffs in the title, isn't designed to confuse and mislead a debtor about their powers in a non distress collection now is it?

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''Hello I'm a Bailiff come to talk to you about your credit card account''. Misleading? Not in their eyes!!!!

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''Hello I'm a Bailiff come to talk to you about your credit card account''. Misleading? Not in their eyes!!!!

Exactly, but if debtor called the police, would the bailiff who was attending merely as a common door knocking debt collector in this instance, no warrant ot LO, commit fraud and convince plod he had a right of entry and do a bogus seizure, makes you wonder.

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I doubt it BN, the low cunning means they never actually mention, court or enforcement action.

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I doubt it BN, the low cunning means they never actually mention, court or enforcement action.

Just rely on the implied threat contained in their letterhead, lots of if may, possibly and court along with CCJ for non payment and consequential bailiff action in the letter content.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Just rely on the implied threat contained in their letterhead, lots of may, possibly and court along with CCJ and bailiff in the letter content.

 

Sounds like a ''business plan'':jaw:

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Sounds like a ''business plan'':jaw:

 

Robbem & Fleecem Ltd Certificacated Bailiffs

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Robbem & Fleecem Ltd Certificacated Bailiffs

 

I think we're in business!!!:madgrin:

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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