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Marston's Distress Warrant - Uncertificated bailiff **Taken back by Court**


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Hi there,

 

Just looking for some advice of where we may be able to go with this.

 

A bailiff from Marston Group, Mr Harvey, called at my house on Saturday in regards to having the car untaxed on 3 occassions, 2 in 2011 and once 2010. He said he had a distress warrant. the list of what he showed had 5 incidents on there, 2 of which seemed to be duplicated as the same date was shown. They want £1500.0 from us.

 

Now to be honest, when the incidents occured I was in a bit of a state and was hiding debt letters from my partner. I can't remember what came through and what I hid. I have not been hiding anything since June last year when everything came to a head with our mortgage. So it is likely I hid letters in regard to this. W have not had a letter from Marston's to date, though they say they sent one at the beginning of November 2012.

 

We did not let the bailiff in the house, and he didn't ask to come in, we took the bit of paper he gave us and as we'd changed cars over that period we needed to find out what it was in relation to. We said we'd call him today. He went away.

 

Today we have been in touch with the court, and looks like it was us and we owe this money. The court advised that the distress warrant would have expired on 20/03/2013 and he showed up on the 23/03/2013...the court advised that now they have made contact this would give the bailiff 3 extra months to deal with it.

 

After this i went on to check to see if he was certificated, there are some Mr Harvey's on the register, but none showing at being employed by the Marston Group. When i phoned Marston's they advised his number and that that "looked old" and they did not recognise the name Harvey. So my partner phoned Mr Harvey himself and he got a bit cagey and with nervous laughter stated he was no longer dealing with it as his certification had "ran out this morning".

 

We are currently trying to get hold of the courts to see if they can take the debt back and we deal with the courts, hopefully arrange some sort of payment plan with them, and maybe get the bailiff fines taken off.

 

Just kind of wondering if there is anything that we can do about the fact that this guy seems to not be certificated. I was advised that there is a grace period of 6 months for a bailiff to be able to act whilst getting his certification, but with this Mr harvey's dodgy reaction if there is something else we can do, maybe find out how long he's been employed by Marston etc.

 

We can't afford to pay the debt in one go and will cll upon the mercy of the courts with a budget sheet. we aren't in any sort of vulnerable position so we won't have that on our side. We are quite happy to accept the debt and a reasonable amount of time to pay.

 

Thanks in advance for any help given.

 

Claire

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I think in this situation, you will have to sort it with magistrates and come to an arrangement to pay the fines over a period of time. See if you can speak to the courts enforcement/fines officer and also if necessary whether you can have meeting with magistrates to set up a repayment plan. Take with you, details of your income and expenditure.

 

As the bailiff was uncertified, this visit does not count. They have to be properly certified to carry out the courts work. Perhaps mention this to the courts enforcement manager when you speak to them. It is then up to the court whether they wish to chase this up with Marstons.

We could do with some help from you.

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ok, thank you.

 

so if this visit does not count, what about the fact that the distress warrant ran out before he came. does it have any effect on how we can deal with this, maybe getting more time if they need to go back to court? what about the 6 months grace period?

 

i have also been advised that we should get a statutory declaration (as we didn't receive a summons) under section 142 of the magistrates court act that we would have been fined in absence and no means of payment taken into account. this would then set the case back to the beginning and we may be able to get a lesser fine.

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ok, thank you.

 

so if this visit does not count, what about the fact that the distress warrant ran out before he came. does it have any effect on how we can deal with this, maybe getting more time if they need to go back to court? what about the 6 months grace period?

 

i have also been advised that we should get a statutory declaration (as we didn't receive a summons) under section 142 of the magistrates court act that we would have been fined in absence and no means of payment taken into account. this would then set the case back to the beginning and we may be able to get a lesser fine.

 

Distress warrants do not expire as such, until the fines have been paid.

 

You need to resolve this with the magistrates court, by doing what you need to do. By the sounds of it, doing the statutory declaration about not receiving the summons is the way forward and then you can deal with it from scratch. Whether the fine will be any different is doubtful, but at least you can arrange to pay in instalments.

We could do with some help from you.

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thanks a lot for getting back unclebulgaria (fan of the wombles myself!!)

 

i shall see what the courts have to say...just don't want the bailiffs coming back, i hear under these circumstances they have a right to force entry and i've got 3 kids under 5 :(

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thanks a lot for getting back unclebulgaria (fan of the wombles myself!!)

 

i shall see what the courts have to say...just don't want the bailiffs coming back, i hear under these circumstances they have a right to force entry and i've got 3 kids under 5 :(

 

Yes they can force entry, but only if the court gives the go ahead. That is why you need to resolve this with the court, so the bailiffs are no longer involved.

We could do with some help from you.

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Whether the offence is correct or not is sightly irrelevant. What is important is whether or not a summons had been received and a "plea entered" and Means Enquiry Form completed.

 

A summons provides the opportunity to "enter a plea".....(guilty or not gulty)

 

If guilty, there is no need to attend court and instead, the Magistrates will impose a fine in your absence and will take into consideration the information on the Means Form.

 

A Statutory Declaration is the correct procedure and if the court agree, they will advise you of the date to attend court and in most cases...will advise the relevant enforcement company to cease enforcement.

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"the court advised that now they have made contact this would give the bailiff 3 extra months to deal with it." Beg pardon ? Uncertificated bailiff acting on what on its face is an expired warrant - I am offended by such offences. Apparently the court has no shame at all.

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we phoned the court, we have to go to the actual court to sign the statutory declaration, they've put a hold on the case for 28 days for us to do so. they phoned the bailiffs to advise.

 

signing that will set things right from the beginning again, where we will go to court with our budget sheet and, hopefully, set up a payment plan, and a bit of extra luck a lesser fine.

 

so that's that sorted. thank you for all the advise.

 

with regards to the bailiff, mr harvey...he phoned my partner, all jolly and rather nice...said "oh you done the right thing going back to the courts, worked out well for you, well done, you'll never see me again now!"...

 

we've reported him to the email address that we were advised and the lcc.

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