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The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 released today.


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I have just received an email from the Ministry of Justice to confirm that the long awaited Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2014 have been laid in Parliament this morning.

 

This is the second set of Regulations which will underpin the Government's package of reforms to bailiff laws. The first set of Regulations, The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 sets out the procedure that enforcement agents must follow when taking control of goods and were laid in Parliament on 30th July last year.

 

The third and final set of Regulations will follow shortly and will focus on the requirements an individual must meet before they are granted a certificate to work as an enforcement agent.

 

All three sets of Regulations will be implemented on the 6th April 2014.

 

The link to the news Regulations can be read here:

 

 

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1/made

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Thanks TT

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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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Given the importance of this subject the Moderators made this thread into a "Sticky". However, there have been some "second thoughts" because people may have questions that they want to ask or comments that they want to raise. A new Sticky will be made in a few days which will include a lot more detail about the new regulations.

 

Naturally given the subject matter I have had so many queries since yesterday and one query that is being repeated many times is whether The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 is applicable only to commercial rent arrears.

 

The correct position is that the new Regulations apply to ALL Schedule 12 debt streams. To clarify, the Taking Control of Goods (fees) 2014 fees apply to the following:

 

Enforcement of council tax arrears.

 

Enforcement of National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR)

 

Enforcement of an unpaid local authority issued road traffic debt (PCN)

 

Child Support Agency arrears.

 

Enforcement of High Court writs

 

Enforcement of Distress Warrant for unpaid criminal offences (Magistrates Court)

 

The ONLY non state debt that the fee scale applies to is for commercial rent arrears and this is the reason why the fee scale has highlighted the words: Commercial Rent Arrears.

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At present the fees that can be charged to enforce unpaid road traffic debts are covered under the Enforcement of Road Traffic Debts Order 1993 (as amended in 2003) and with council tax arrears, the fees are outlined in Schedule 5 (Charges connected with Distress) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended).

 

Both fees scales will be repealed at the same time as the Taking Control of Good (Fees) Regulations 2014 is introduced on 6th April 2014.

 

Amendments will also be made to other regulations before 6th April 2014 to cover other debt streams ( Child Support Agency debt and Magistrate Court fines).

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The new fee scale is silent on the matter of whether VAT is to be charged to the debtor. I have been very 'vocal' on this point in the past few months.

 

The application of VAT is not a matter that the Ministry of Justice can address as this is not their area of remit. I understand that HMRC will be releasing Guidance on this matter before the fee scale is implemented on 6th April.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was there and left with a lot of unanswered questions.

 

As usual the MoJ have left everything until the last minute and quite how the new regulations will work in practice is anybody's guess. Ridiculous.

 

They don't even know if VAT will be applied to the fees with just 48 working days to go. In my opinion all Bailiff fees should be zero rated for VAT.

 

I can bet you they won't be although there is some suggestion that it might be for some debt streams. If what you owe falls into the other debt stream then expect to add another 20% onto the figures released for the government coffers.

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The enforcement companies are furious about the confusion surround VAT as they will have to make substantial changes to software etc at very short notice if vat is to become charged.

 

The new regs are quickly becoming known as the "swiss cheese regs" because of the number of holes in it!!

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Quite frankly it is disgusting that the MoJ has left so much so late. There is no excuse other than sheer incompetence.

 

Harsh words but identical to comments that I am hearing from elsewhere.

 

There is mad panic about ANPR and this again is where it is very difficult to advise debtors as it is becoming clear that MOJ will be forced to make last minute changes.

 

Another 'error' that the draughtsmen had failed to notice was that at present where a Liability Order had been granted the council tax regs provided that councils are under a LEGAL OBLIGATION to send a 14 day letter to the debtor. Under the new regs the duty to send a 14 day "warning letter" will disappear and instead, the BAILIFF COMPANY will send a 7 day letter.

 

NO DAMNED WAY !!!!

 

This 'little gem' was only noticed when reading through the list of statutes that will be amended or repealed. Nasty.

 

Another email on its way to Ministry of Justice.......

 

This is all far too late......

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Another 'error' that the draughtsmen had failed to notice was that at present where a Liability Order had been granted the council tax regs provided that councils are under a LEGAL OBLIGATION to send a 14 day letter to the debtor. Under the new regs the duty to send a 14 day "warning letter" will disappear and instead, the BAILIFF COMPANY will send a 7 day letter.

 

NO DAMNED WAY !!!!

 

This 'little gem' was only noticed when reading through the list of statutes that will be amended or repealed. Nasty.

 

Another email on its way to Ministry of Justice.......

 

This is all far too late......

 

So if that little "gem" comes in the first someone will know is when the bailiff letter arrives and they only have 7 days to sort it at that point. very nasty. Wonder if that one was one of Capita's suggestions?

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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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The local authorities will NOT want this clause removed ( the requirement for the LA's to send a "14 day" letter) because on average, approx 30% of debtors pay on receipt of the letter.

 

Just because it is no longer a requirement, I am sure some Councils will still adopt the approach of issuing 14 Day Letters as they can get payment/income details etc at that stage.

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Section 12 is interesting. Do I read it correctly that if bailiffs do not give vulnerable people time to ask for assistance and advice before taking their money,that they will have to refund their fees?

 

Good question.

 

It is going to be very interesting indeed how "vulnerable" groups will be dealt with.

 

The Guidance notes to the fee scale states as follows:

 

The enforcement agent is required to give such a debtor an adequate opportunity to obtain assistance and advice prior to removal of the goods. The enforcement stage fee (or fees) is not recoverable unless such an opportunity has been given.

 

The problem is that at present, the vast majority of debtors FAIL to write to either the council or local authority to advise them of their "vulnerability" and to provide evidence. I have little confidence that this position will change.

 

Debtors MUST ensure that they write (or better still email) the council or bailiff company. It is so important.

 

PS: Even if 'vulnerability' were to be accepted, the debtor would still be liable for the initial stage fee of £75.

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A valid question here.

 

 

Is the following quote from the above asking this question "Ensuring a notice period of seven days is given to the debtor before bailiffs take control of the debtor’s goods". Is this 7 calendar days or 7 working days not the 7 bailiff working days?

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Please forgive me if I am being thick, I'm sure I am, but what is schedule 12 debts? I was reading that this is notthing to do with council tax but its looking more like it is. This is so confusing and I'm really sorry to trouble you and for being stupid but i would genuinely like to understand this.

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Please forgive me if I am being thick, I'm sure I am, but what is schedule 12 debts? I was reading that this is notthing to do with council tax but its looking more like it is. This is so confusing and I'm really sorry to trouble you and for being stupid but i would genuinely like to understand this.

 

This is not a silly question but relevant as not everyone knows the answer, so a good question to ask.

 

 

MM

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"Ensuring a notice period of seven days is given to the debtor before bailiffs take control of the debtor’s goods". Is this 7 calendar days or 7 working days not the 7 bailiff working days?

 

 

Mikeymack2002.

 

According to CIVEA (which may or may not be right) the period of seven days must be CLEAR days. I am therefore as confused as you are !!!

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Please forgive me if I am being thick, I'm sure I am, but what is schedule 12 debts? I was reading that this is notthing to do with council tax but its looking more like it is. This is so confusing and I'm really sorry to trouble you and for being stupid but i would genuinely like to understand this.

.

 

An excellent question and one that in fact I answered in my post number 3 by stating as follows:

 

"I have had so many queries since yesterday and one query that is being repeated many times is whether The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 is applicable only to commercial rent arrears.

 

The correct position is that the new Regulations apply to ALL Schedule 12 debt streams. To clarify, the Taking Control of Goods (fees) 2014 fees apply to the following:

Enforcement of council tax arrears.

 

Enforcement of National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR)

 

Enforcement of an unpaid local authority issued road traffic debts

 

Child Support Agency arrears.

 

Enforcement of High Court writs

 

Enforcement of Warrants for unpaid criminal offences (Magistrates Court)

 

With the exception of High Court writs, the ONLY other non state debt that the fee scale applies to is for commercial rent arrears and this is the reason why the fee scale has highlighted the words: Commercial Rent Arrears"

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I was reading that this is notthing to do with council tax but its looking more like it is.

 

 

Since responding to your query I have once again emptied my private message box and it is now clear where you had read this misleading information. Why I am not surprised !!!

 

I will respond in detail in a few moments.

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Before responding to Afrodite's question (about whether the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 applies to council tax debts) it may be of interest to note the following:

 

Last night I was writing a report on the ‘landmark’ Canadian judgment from Justice Rook in the matter of Mead v Mead (which dealt with various ‘movements’ such Freeman on the Land and all other such worldwide ‘movements (Lawful Rebellion..tpug etc)etc, etc )

 

Justice Rook referred to such ‘movements’ as having ‘gurus’ who ‘peddles their ideas to people”. This is (you might have guessed) usually for a fee. He stated that the gurus focus on people who are at crunch points in their lives, such as those facing financial difficulty. Interestingly, Justice Rooke commented that such ‘gurus’:

 

“seek to find the proverbial “Gotcha!” exceptions or loopholes that they can spring to defeat government or court authority”

 

Further and most significant, was this comment from Justice Rook:

 

“If these ‘gurus’ believe what they teach is true, then they should not encourage others to be the ones to execute these concepts in the court and instead that:

 

“these ‘gurus’ should present their own cases in court ( in order to test whether their ‘theory’ is correct).

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Having now read my many messages it would seem that the confusion about the new fee scale ( and whether it is relevant to council tax (or other debts) appears to come from the owner of one particular website who posted the following 'advice' yesterday:

 

"It seems the CAG forum members intend to apply the fee schedule prescribed for commercial rent arrears recovery to council tax enforcement.

 

"Schedule 13 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 provides a list of repeals, 156 of them in all. none of them are related to council tax, court fines, high court enforcement or traffic debts"

 

and that:

 

"Fortunately I won't be joining that one, but I will enjoy reclaiming them all for clients if the bailiff companies want to believe that they read on there"

 

This is a very amateurish and clumsy statement indeed and one that demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the regulations by the website owner.

 

"Schedule 13 provides a list of repeals, 156 of them"none of them are related to council tax"

 

This "Gotcha!" statement is untrue.

 

The truth of the matter is that Schedule 13 does NOT provide a list of 156 repeals. Instead, Schedule 13 provides a long list of amendments to legislation. One such amendment relating to council tax which the website owner failed to read is the following:

 

 

Section 14 of the The Local Government Finance Act 1992 (which is amended as follows)

 

In section 14 (administration, penalties and enforcement), after subsection (3) insert—

 

“Where a liability order has been made against a person under regulations under Schedule 4, the billing authority concerned may use the procedure in Schedule 12 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (taking control of goods) to recover the amount in respect of which the order was made, to the extent that it remains unpaid.”

 

PS: In regards to the websites statement that:

 

"I will enjoy reclaiming them all for clients". Justice Rook's following statement spring to mind:

 

“If these ‘gurus’ believe what they teach is true, then they should not encourage others to be the ones to execute these concepts in the court and instead that:

 

“the ‘gurus’ and or should present their own cases in court ( in order to test whether their ‘theory’ is correct)

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Mikeymack2002.

 

According to CIVEA (which may or may not be right) the period of seven days must be CLEAR days. I am therefore as confused as you are !!!

 

 

TT u have personal mail lol I beleive this new legislation will cause even more heartache and the issues that come with it...

Also just a thought what happens after the bailiff has nothing to levy on because the debtor has no money or cgattles? Basically I believe this is just the begining of a much bigger picture. .

 

what with the new welfare reform act socail housing act plus many more all of this is aimed at the most vulnerable people in the land ....

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and leave a note to let me know, thank you.

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