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HCEO? trying to clamp/take my car for old tenants debt!!


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Hi all, not sure if this is the right sub-forum, so mods please move as appropriate.

 

Just over a year ago I moved to the country, renting a very little house.

 

As is usual, I received mail for several previous tenants, some of whom had moved several years ago.

These were all returned to sender.

 

After a while, I started googling some of the return addresses - yep, debt collection agencies.

 

Subsequent letters were returned with a "the addressee has moved, further returned mail will incur a £10 admin fee".

Ignored, but was only half serious anyway.

 

I had a visit from a DCA, whom when I informed him I was not the individual he sought became a little irate

and demanded I prove I am who I stated I am.

My reply was to the effect 'would you like to talk to my Alsatians?" and he left.

 

Two weeks ago the dogs were barking (normal when someone approaches the house),

I looked out,

a van had pulled up behind my cars and a bloke was getting a wheel clamp out.

When asked what he was doing, he essentially replied he was clamping my cars as security against a debt, and they would be taken and sold.

 

I owe NO money to anyone. Not credit cards, loans, utilities, council tax, NO-ONE.

 

So I let the dog outs...

which had the desired effect that he dropped the clamp and got back into van.

 

Through his window, he refused to tell me whom the debt was for,

what it was for,

nor had any paperwork (that he would show me) regarding a warrant of execution/distress.

 

Apparently as I was not the debtor I couldn't see it..

. yeah, if he knew I was not the debtor, why try to clamp the cars?

 

After returning his clamp to him (via the window...) he left...

after I argued that if he didn't move I'd call the Police as he was obstructing access to the highway.

 

I'm concerned that 'they' - whomever 'they' are - may try this again.

 

I am absent for half the week, and moving the other two cars 'somewhere' else really isn't an option (one is SORN for the winter anyway)

as this really is the country - 4 neighbours within a one mile radius.

 

What can I do to determine whom the DCA is/are?

 

Does a DCA - or a bailiff/HCEO - with a warrant of execution against an address,

have the right to remove my goods even though I am not the debtor

- he told me that he could do that and I would have to take the original debtor to court to recover my losses.

 

The Police haven't arrived - he swore black and blue he'd be calling them due to the dogs being 'set on him'

- as far as I'm concerned he wasn't invited, was asked to leave,

and if I want to let the dogs out on my [rented] property I will...

 

Any advice how I can resolve this?

 

Can one issue a 'John Doe' injunction against unknown parties to stop harrassment?

 

Can they take my cars?

 

Worst case, could they use a locksmith to enter in my absence on a warrant with an address,

regardless of the name?

What can I do if they DID remove property?

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If he is trying to clamp cars, then he can ONLY be a HCEO or the Police, although I believe DVLA are still able to clamp untaxed/uninsured cars.

 

IMO I would go to the Police and inform them that a stranger who has failed to identify himself is attempting to clamp your vehicle.

Let them deal with it.

 

Have you read any of these letters to find out who it might be and what all the palava is about?

 

I have lived at my address for over 6 years and I still get random letters from clowns pursuing the previous tenant, no amount of ringing them up or returning their puerile missives in the post has any affect, I read the letters, file them away and if some clown wishes to grace me with his presence I hand them all back.

 

What can I do if they DID remove property?
Sue them.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Debt collector talking out of the wrong end of his alimentary canal and I bet he knows it.

 

If you get any more such visits get the registration number of their vehicle and call the police right away.

 

If the police do nothing you can warn them that you take out an injunction against the person who owns the vehicle

and you will be awarded costs of serving that injunction as well.

 

If they are employed directly by a company you will get to know about it as they will squeal it is all unfair

and if it is an individual then they will not want to lose their livlihood or go to jail so will desist

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P.S. Yes as Eric says above, if possible film/photograph the clown, that will definitely put the wind up em.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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so this is a HCEO Bailiff on a distress warrant for an old tenant?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Shame you did not take the registration number. You could have provided this to the Police and reported this as an attempted theft.

 

If they come back, get the Police involved.

 

I wonder whether it is the landlord you are renting the house from, who is responsible for the debt ? It may be a good idea to speak to the landlord to advise them of what happened, to see if they say anything.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks for replies :)

 

Well that's the point that worries me; IF they have, or obtain, a warrant of execution, even though I am not the debtor can they execute it and remove my goods?

 

I don't know which company the individual was from (to answer Bazooka's comment - it wasn't the Police unless they have taken to ditching uniforms and driving unmarked hatchbacks and bedford vans). My vehicles are all taxed and insured, except for one which is SORN over winter. I'm quite sure there is no finance owing on them - as none was ever taken to buy them!

 

My only direct experience with a bailiff was 20 years ago, in the Forces, when we had moved back from Germany. Previous occupant of the MQ (Forces housing) had ignored a parking ticket and then a summons, thinking being posted abroad they would never catch him. A certificated bailiff visited the MQ with a warrant, but was quite happy to leave without taking anything when he found we were not the debtor. He explained - and I have no idea if this is true - that some of his colleagues in the industry would be less 'scrupulous' and would not hesitate to enforce given they had a warrant to remove goods from an address...

 

I'm not 'panicking worried', just concerned whether it is legally possible for the situation to arise whereby my[/i]goods can be taken as a result of someone else's debt? Is this situation possible, and if so, what legal measures are available to me to prevent this? I have no idea whether a warrant even exists; I'm not troubled by the lack of one... I'll fight my own battle in court if my dogs were to bite someone on 'my' land who shouldn't have been there, or if I remove an individual by force and they raise a complaint. I am concerned if I do something such as remove a clamp when a warrant does exist - do I have a legal leg to stand on!

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It won't be a HCEO as they would identify themselves unless it is one of "for rent" type. Can't really see it being a Bailiff either for the same reasons. Wonder if it some type of Repo collector.

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If it were to be a Warrant of Execution from the Court then that would fall to the County Court Bailiff and this is not their MO as they are quite affable. The only other WoE would be for an unpaid parking ticket.

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Folks, for the avoidance of doubt, and to narrow the replies (I am thankful for them, honestly, but I don't want people to waste their time on areas that are irrelevant):

 

The vehicles are mine, there was no finance involved. One bought from a BMW dealer on debit card, the other two paid cash to private buyers after an HPI check was done (clean). This is not a repossesson issue. I have no parking ticket fines (never had a parking ticket). I pay my council tax, utility bills etc by direct debit (simply because I get cashback from Satans-derr). Credit card is paid in every month via direct debit.

 

Why ask here and not a solicitor? In my experience, most solicitors are 'not great' outside their area of expertise, and the folks on here tend to know the law better - probably as most solicitors do not want anything to do with debt issues. The last solicitors I used - one for a car accident and one for child access - were, imho, as useful as tits on tarzan.

 

regards opening mail, that's a little tricky as although it might reveal whom, isn't it an offence to open mail addressed to someone else... The only mail I opened was inadvertent, from Satans Bank, who helpfully brand there envelopes... the letter thanked a previous occupant for informing them of their change of address - and still sent mail to the old one. Only opened as I use the same bank...

 

The underlying question is, is it possible for a warrant to be executed against the goods of an unconnected party who happens to live at that address?

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No a warrant cannot be executed against someone who is not the debtor, perhaps the DCA has got a default against the previous occupant and a HCEO is convinced you are them, he should not refuse to identify himself though. If he comes back call the police to say there is a theft in progress.

We could do with some help from you.

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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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Cheers Brassnecked. I've got some IP security cameras I've been meaning to put up, and a NAS to connect them to... with a bit of bad luck they will be installed prior to any return visit, and there will be a video of "unwelcome intruder vs German Shepherds" to post :-) I'm absolutely not fussed about taking the 'appropriate' action when I know I have a leg to stand on (at least, in terms that any warrant cannot be executed against an unconnected party).

 

Which makes me wonder why some DCAs (generic term) DO clamp vehicles belonging to other people? Does an unconnected third party have any legal recourse, such as claim for damages, tort, implied defamation of character? You might get the impression I'm annoyed. You might even speculate that I want to be bullish - I couldn't possibly comment :)

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Clamping has been outlawed, so the only people who can carry out this form of daylight robbery is the old bill or HCEO's.....

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I'm pretty sure it isn't plod - why would they drive an old van? And why would an either a police officer or HCEO refuse to talk to someone... anyway, I look forward to a return visit - unless it happens when I'm not there. Then I just sue for damage caused to a not very cheap 8-series :) Especially if they try to tow it!

 

Anyway, thanks all. Put my mind at rest regarding 'enforcement' against someone who has no connection to the debt/debtor.

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Your quite right, it certainly doesn't sound like plod or any HCEO, be very nice to find out exactly which clown outfit is still going around attempting to steal property? Guarantee they would be out of business within the week! Stripped of any licence they hold.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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In answer to a question asked earlier, it is not illegal to open post that is addressed to someone else. It is only illegal if you did something dodgy with the information contained in the post. So go ahead and open post addressed to the previous tenant and write a letter to whoever is writing to your address.

We could do with some help from you.

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Do you have a reference for that, uncleB? The reason I ask is that back in 2001 the company I worked with had a connection with RM, working very closely with their systems. Long story short, in an effort to better understand the customer, we underwent a significant amount working alongside them, including their induction process (odd, but there you go), and I'm sure that I remember that opening mail was a criminal offence - not a civil offence, but criminal, and punishable with a custodial sentence. (No idea why we underwent that given we were providing their network system... but there again, I had to be trackway trained, as my department also provided network services to the Rail operators. Go figure!)

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Do you have a reference for that, uncleB? The reason I ask is that back in 2001 the company I worked with had a connection with RM, working very closely with their systems. Long story short, in an effort to better understand the customer, we underwent a significant amount working alongside them, including their induction process (odd, but there you go), and I'm sure that I remember that opening mail was a criminal offence - not a civil offence, but criminal, and punishable with a custodial sentence. (No idea why we underwent that given we were providing their network system... but there again, I had to be trackway trained, as my department also provided network services to the Rail operators. Go figure!)

 

This gets raised fairly often.

 

Postal Services Act 2000: 127. Section 84(1) provides for it to be an offence if persons intentionally delay or open postal packets without reasonable excuse. It amalgamates the content of offences previously included in the Post Office Act 1953.

128. Subsection (3) makes it an offence for a person, intending to act to a person's detriment and without reasonable excuse, to open a postal packet which he knows or suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

If you read all of this law, it is actually commonsense. If you are employed by Royal Mail or anything to do with delivery of mail to people, you commit an offence if you open the mail. But if you are a householder who received mail addressed to someone else, you do not commit any offence if you do nothing to the detriment of the addressee and have reasonable excuse.

We could do with some help from you.

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Cheers CB. In essence then, opening the mail to establish exactly who the sender is (which differ from the return address which could be a bulk mailer) is probably reasonable cause; especially after 12months+ of returning mail 'to sender' to no avail, plus the incident with the attempted clamping. Not that any given debt company sending mail establishes a definite link to the individual attempting clamping, of course.

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Cheers CB. In essence then, opening the mail to establish exactly who the sender is (which differ from the return address which could be a bulk mailer) is probably reasonable cause; especially after 12months+ of returning mail 'to sender' to no avail, plus the incident with the attempted clamping. Not that any given debt company sending mail establishes a definite link to the individual attempting clamping, of course.

 

Exactly so.

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We could do with some help from you.

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