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Hi-I'm considering trying to reclaim some or all of my bailiff charges over unpaid (late) council tax.

 

Can anyone please point me to any legislation or regulations that determine valid levies please?

 

I'm confused as to why any walking possession agreement inside a house requires a signature yet it seems that levied goods outside the house are OK if not signed (ie a car or items from a shed/outbuilding) Who decides if a levy requires a signature or not?

 

I'm pretty confident that I can claim my Head H fee back after reading the thread on here.

 

I also have a removal of goods fee of £240 which seems a bit steep.

 

All money has been paid,no goods were removed and no debt is outstanding but as the dust is settling,I feel as though I've been mugged.

 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated

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Did you check to see how much you owed at the time as confirmed by the Council? You need to speak to someone at the Council and ask the following questions:

1 - how many Liability Orders they have against you

2 - the dates they were obtained

3 - the addresses they were for

4 - the period of time each covers

5 - how much each one was for

6 - how much is still outstanding

7 - the dates they were passed on for enforcement

8 - the dates & amounts of any payments

 

Did you ever send off for a breakdown of the fees you were charged? Here's an example of what to send and do it initially by email followed by a letter in the post.

 

"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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Thanks for that.

 

I'm pretty sure the council tax side of things are right as it only involves 1 situation.I will write off to the bailiffs though as it will be helpful to have it in writing.

 

I'm not sure if I'll get anywhere but if the walking possession isn't signed,I'm hoping the levy will be incorrect,making all the other charges wrong as well.

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Thanks for that.

 

I'm pretty sure the council tax side of things are right as it only involves 1 situation.I will write off to the bailiffs though as it will be helpful to have it in writing.

 

I'm not sure if I'll get anywhere but if the walking possession isn't signed,I'm hoping the levy will be incorrect,making all the other charges wrong as well.

 

A Notice of Seizure must be left with you at the time any goods are seized - doesn't matter whether within your home or outside - it should also detail the fees that have been incurred and should be signed & dated by the Bailiff. These days a Notice of Seizure usually incorporates a Walking Possession Agreement leaving the goods in your control following whatever agreement you have reached over payment. If signed by yourself then this allows the Bailiff to charge an extra fee + a small daily ongoing payment. However it may be that the goods seized may be exempt from seizure for some reason, they may have little value or it may be the Bailiff has simply abandoned the goods.

 

If for some reason the Levy can be challenged and the fees removed then all other associated fees must also be removed and if applicable replaced by a 1st or 2nd Visit Fee instead.


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Mark,

 

Can you provide details for the amount of the Liability Order and details of the fees that have been charged by the bailiff.

 

Which bailif company was this?

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How signed for the walking levy? also did that person have permission to sign the levy if not then it is invalid, the person who was being pursued by the bailiff must of signed the walking agreement if not this case may help you

  • The walking-possession agreement was signed by a person without the debtor's knowledge or permission

Edited by mikeymack2002

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Sorry-My post was misleading.The levy was on a car.The WP was unsigned.The only case law I've been able to discover is where a bailiff with an unsigned WP returned to the levied items 9 times within a very short period in order to maintain the levy.I had 1 letter & a visit a month later.

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Can you list down the exact fees that you have been charged.

 

Also, if you are considering legal action have you taken into consideration the detailed assessment judgment in the case of Anthony Culligan v Marston Group?

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I am considering legal action/LGO (undecided at present which way to go).Having just googled the case you refer to,I don't think it is relevant unless I'm missing the point.

 

My understanding is that for the levy to valid,it must be completed correctly ie seizure followed by impounding.A clamp may be considered a form of impounding but this did not happen in my case.There was no walking or close possession.John Kruse has written that if it is not possible to find or persuade the debtor to sign a WP,it may still be possible to impound the goods by oral agreement (which again didn't happen in my case) but charges could not be made for such an arrangement.He adds "if no agreement is made at all,the bailiff can leave notice on the premises that seizure has occurred and this will impound the goods for a very brief period"

 

My debt was just over £300.My fees were:

Levy:£34.00

Removal of Goods: £240

Head H:£24.50

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Was it you that signed the walking possession notice?

Edited by mikeymack2002

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I am very confused by what you are saying.

 

At first you appeared to indicate that the debt was for council and now it is for a parking ticket.

 

And yet....you have stated that the bailiff has "apparently" charged a "Head H" fee. The Ombudsman made it clear to a "Head H" fee should NOT be charged. I have never before come across a "Head H" fee being charged by a bailiff enforcing a warrant for an unpaid PCN.

 

Also ( from a great deal of experience, I have never before come across a case with an unpaid PCN where the starting debt was "just over £300".

 

Something isn't right here.

 

Which local authority issued the PCN and which firm of bailiffs enforced the warrant?

Which local authority

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It is for council tax-It has never been for a parking ticket,not sure why you think that it was?

 

NO walking possession was signed

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Just to clarify TT,the case you referred to seemed to centre around the issue of clamping and whether charges can be made at the "removal of goods stage".

 

My case is for council tax.I do not have an issue with clamping,although the threat of clamping when the bailiffs returned prompted me to pay both the council tax arrears & the fees I mentioned above.I have since discovered that it is debateable whether cars can legaly be clamped for council tax issues.

 

I repeat-I am not sure that the case you mention is relevant to me unless I am missing something

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To help us out can you post up any documents that the bailiff has left with you and put it up in PDF format, deleting all personal details first, use paint to edit and then convert to pdf, and then post up this way we can see if you can reclaim.

 

Also do not start a complaint till we have all the facts, as recent cases have cost people lots of money they do not have or try to take on a bailiff in court


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set your default scan page size to A4 less than 300DPI [150 will do]

scan the required letters/agreements/sheets - as a picture[jpg] file

don't forget you can use a mobile phone or a digital camera too!!

'

BUT......

ENSURE: remove all pers info inc. barcodes etc using paint program

but leave all monetary figures and dates.

*********************************************************

{DO NOT USE A BIRO OR PEN OR USE SEE THRU TAPE OR LABELS]

try www.pdfescape.com TO BLANK STUFF,

*************************************************************

or

DO IT IN MSPAINT.EXE or any photo editing program

goto one of the many free online pdf converter websites ...

http://freejpgtopdf.com/

..

if you have multiple scans/pics

put them in a word doc FIRST and convert that to PDF

or use www.pdfmerge.com

 

convert existing PC files to PDF [office has an installable print to PDF option]

..

 

it would be better to upload a multipage pdf if

you have many images too rather than many single pdfs

.

or if you have PDF as an installed printer drive use that

or use word and save as pdf

try and logically name your file so people know what it is.

though dont use full bank names or CAG in the title

i'e Default notice dd-mm-yyyy TSB

.

open a new msg box here

hit go advanced below the msg box

hit manage attachments below that box

hit the add files button on the top right

hit select files, navigate to your file on your pc

hit upload files

.

dx


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I don't have a scanner.I have an inventory & a notice of seizure & WP (unsigned)

 

I have not instigated a complaint as yet as I've been asking the bailiffs for clarification on their fees.

 

I am confident the Head H is refundable.

 

I am questioning the £240 removal fee which seems steep

 

but more importantly I want to question the validity of the levy fee.

 

As I understand it part of the process involves impounding

How can a car be impounded with no walking or close possession?

 

If the levy fee is invalid,

the process must start again

so all fees thereafter in this case must surely be invalid?

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have you not got a mobile phone with a camera or a digital camera?

 

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

 

mark not sure where you are getting your info from...let us review..

 

you say:

I had 1 letter & a visit a month later

My fees were:

Levy:£34.00

Removal of Goods: £240

Head H:£24.50

 

if this is true

 

then you have only had ONE PHYSICAL VISIT

unless the first letter was hand delivered?

 

if you have only had one visit they:

 

cannot charge an attendance fee [removal of goods fee] & a levy fee on the same visit

they cannot also charge head H fee either.

 

now, lets assume the letter was hand delivered & they levied at the same time

 

then they can charge the levy fee [as levied on 1st visit]

and second visit

a 'charge' IF they had a removal truck [not a van] to take the prev levied upon car

as long as it WAS listed?

they cannot charge the head H AND removal fee on 2nd visit

 

don't know nothing regarding impounding/close possession not sure what that is? or where you've red about that stuff....

 

dx


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I read about the procedure of levies in a book by John Kruse entitled "Law of Siezure of Goods".He also makes the procedure quite clear in the book that is advertised on this site.

 

I'm not sure if everyones a little tipsy on here on Saturday nights but please allow me to clarify:

 

I did NOT say I only had one visit

-I said I only had one visit after the levy was made (when I was charged the removal of goods fee).

 

The importance of this point is that in order to maintain the validity of an unsigned levy

,it is my understanding that the bailiffs must either make a close possession (leaving a "possession man guarding the levied goods)

or must quickly follow through with a return visit/s.

It also appears to be the case that unsigned WP's are not chargeable.

 

Now if I am interpreting the situation correctly,I see a case for arguing the removal fee (it was a small van & not a truck) on the grounds that the levy was failed/invalid.

 

Regardless of what I am thinking,

 

you appear to be suggesting that I can argue the removal fee on the grounds that it was a van & not a truck.

 

Thankyou for this info.

 

Does anyone know of any case law to back this info up?

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....Now if I am interpreting the situation correctly,I see a case for arguing the removal fee (it was a small van & not a truck) on the grounds that the levy was failed/invalid.Regardless of what I am thinking,you appear to be suggesting that I can argue the removal fee on the grounds that it was a van & not a truck.Thankyou for this info.Does anyone know of any case law to back this info up?

 

I don't know whether there's case law for this or even if the LGO has any reports condemning this action, but how about making your own case to argue it?

 

You could start by looking at the definition of header C of schedule 5 of SI 1992/613, which states:

"
© For one attendance with a vehicle with a view to the removal of goods (where, following the levy, goods are not removed):

 

Reasonable costs and fees incurred.

It is reasonable to assume that if the bailiff has already levied a vehicle, he knows that his Noddy car he uses for regular transport is not capable of removing the levied goods in this example.

 

It would simply be dishonest to charge this extortionate fee if the bailiff knew full well that he had no intention (view) to removing goods. This would obviously be the case if the transport he arrived in was anything other than a tow-truck.

 

Apart from the dishonesty, it could also be argued on the grounds of reasonableness, especially if this vehicle was used on the same day to impose fees for multiple visits to other debtors.

Edited by outlawla

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OK, now I understand what you are saying.

 

Firstly, is you are considering whether to take legal action or the LGO you need to be aware that if you take legal proceedings ( which will costs you) then you cannot then go to the LGO. However the LGO is free and if you do not get an order in your favour then you can at least go to court.

 

I am very worried indeed at the time that it takes to get a complaint resolved via the LGO. there is one person I know whose case has been with the LGO since last Feb and although the lady has had the Ombudsman's initial findings ( in her favour) in January the final order has not been completed. We have 4 others cases that have been with the LGO for at LEAST 6 months ( and one of them is now 9 months).

 

There is a common problem with reading such books as John Kruse's and this is that some people then become ( in their mind) lawyers. In the same way that some people may complete and Airfix mobile and believe that this makes them a pilot.

 

I know that a few months ago JK made a complaint to the LGO ( on behalf of a client who had visited the bureau) about this subject ( I think) and the LGO issued a Local Settlement notice about the failing of this one particular LA. I have an email from John with a copy of the order and will read it through again when I go to the office on Monday.

 

At which stage was the £240 fee charged. Was this at the visit to levy or at a subsequent visit?

 

PS: £240 is excessive in the extreme !!!

 

PS: Forget "close possession".....this almost NEVER happens.

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A unsigned walking possession is not valid/ineffective as per case law


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A unsigned walking possession is not valid/ineffective as per case law

 

A Notice of Seizure (Form 7) is just a document listing the goods seized, a Walking Possession Agreement (Form 8) entitles the Bailiff to charge an extra fee and a small daily charge. An unsigned WPA does not invalidate a lawfully taken levy,


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4 off-topic posts removed.

 

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Thankyou to everyone who has taken the time to post advice to me-It is very much appreciated.

 

I shall be attempting to get back some,if not all of the fees I was charged and will be sure to keep the board posted with any developments.

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OK, now I understand what you are saying.

 

Firstly, is you are considering whether to take legal action or the LGO you need to be aware that if you take legal proceedings ( which will costs you) then you cannot then go to the LGO. However the LGO is free and if you do not get an order in your favour then you can at least go to court.

 

I am very worried indeed at the time that it takes to get a complaint resolved via the LGO. there is one person I know whose case has been with the LGO since last Feb and although the lady has had the Ombudsman's initial findings ( in her favour) in January the final order has not been completed. We have 4 others cases that have been with the LGO for at LEAST 6 months ( and one of them is now 9 months).

 

There is a common problem with reading such books as John Kruse's and this is that some people then become ( in their mind) lawyers. In the same way that some people may complete and Airfix mobile and believe that this makes them a pilot.

 

I know that a few months ago JK made a complaint to the LGO ( on behalf of a client who had visited the bureau) about this subject ( I think) and the LGO issued a Local Settlement notice about the failing of this one particular LA. I have an email from John with a copy of the order and will read it through again when I go to the office on Monday.

 

At which stage was the £240 fee charged. Was this at the visit to levy or at a subsequent visit?

 

PS: £240 is excessive in the extreme !!!

 

PS: Forget "close possession".....this almost NEVER happens.

 

TT-Having re-read this post,I am keen to discover where JK obtained the info from regarding levies,invalid levies and also when levies may not be charged for.I presume I cannot go before a judge and simply say "the levy was invalid because JK said so".I am confident from posts by Owtlawla that I can beat the van & head H fees as there is something in writing to back my claim up.The levy fee seems such a grey area though-This is suprising given the importance of this action.If there is anything within the email/copy of the order that may be connected to the levy,it would be very much appreciated if you could share that.

 

Thanks

 

Mark

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