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Hello everyone. I

was just looking for a bit of advice on behalf of my partner.


Back in 2011 my partner received a court fine for £120.

She wasnt working at the time and was in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance.


She eventually received a letter from the DWP stating that the fine will be deducted from her benefits at the rate of £5 per week.


She thought that this would be the end of the matter and that the fine would be paid in due course. Wrong.


We had a Bailiff from a Well known Company come to the door last week demanding £420 including his fees

as the fine hadnt been paid and a Distress Warrant had been issued from Cambridge County Court.


He has said that he will be back in 7 days to collect payment in full and that if my partner does not pay then she could be imprisoned!

This was on Friday Afternoon.


I have told her to speak to the court and the DWP first thing tomorrow morning to try to assertain if any payments have been made by the DWP

and if so I reckon she should complain to the court and ask the question that if payments were being made why bring the case before a bailiff?


I was thinking of typing a letter to them and sending it first thing tomorrow also to let them know that we are disputing the outstanding balance

until we can confirm that payments were made.


Furthermore, we are in no position to afford the outstanding with the fees on top,

is there any way round paying the bailiffs fees?

or can we not make any sort of arrangement by way of writing to them?


The officer said that he would not accept anything other than full payment.


So just looking for some sort of advice really for the best as am unsure.


Any help would be really appreciated.


Thanks in advace :)

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Hi and welcome to CAG, First thing tomorrow get on to DWP to find out what happened to the AOB, Has your partner been dragged in for ATOS interrogations in the period 2011 - date? If so any break in benefit would cnncel the AOB. As to the threats of inprisonment, that is not a threat the bailiff is entitled to make, as that would be at the end of a long saga of wilful refusal to pay. Contact the court to ask what has hapenned with the AOB.


What is your partners situation now, is she working or still in receipt of a benefit, as in JSA after ATOS possibly called her in and found her fit, or she was signed off by the doctor as fit?


That information will halp other Caggers target best advice. Incidentally if the bailiff insists on full payment you could mention to the court that the bailiff is refusing reasonable offers of payment.

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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Hello Brassnecked. Thank you for the welcome and for your interest :) Yes, she stopped claiming ESA when she was living with her best friend, as she was fit to return to work. We then got together and set up home together, and I think she must have thought it would have been paid off the time she was on benenfits. As we hadnt heard anything for a while unfortunately my partner had forgotten about the fine and fast forward to now and here we have the situation. I spoke to the bailiff on the phone yesterday and he said that the ooutstanding amount was £120 pluss £300 for his fees. Which is why I want to double check to see if any payments have been made. My partner isnt working at present as she is at home looking after our 3 month old son. I currently work full time as a fabricator welder but have been signed off sick for the last 2 weeks. We also get tax credits.

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For anyone else reading this thread you need to be aware that the courts and government are very harsh indeed when it comes to collecting unpaid court fines.


For instance; if a debtor had not responded to a Further Steps Notice within the time outlined in the order because they had been on holiday the response from the court is that as they knew of the criminal fine then this should have been paid before paying for a holiday.


If the debtor had moved address and the Further Steps Notice had been sent to the previous address the response from the court is that the debtor knew that he or she had an unpaid court fine and therefore they should have contacted the court with a new address.


Where debtors have payment of fines deducted from benefits (at £5 per week) and where benefits had ceased the courts take the view that the debtor should advise the court and a new payment arrangement would be set up.


I am sorry if the above appears hard but I am merely outlining the usual position of the Magistrates Court.


However..it is not all bad news as I have noticed that your partner is not working as she is looking after your 12 week old son. She should therefore be deemed as 'vulnerable'. Most enforcement companies have a Welfare Departments where 'vulnerable' cases are dealt with and payment arrangements made.


Is your partner in receipt of benefits from her employer?


Which enforcement company is this?

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Hi Tom. Thank you for your interest and advice :) Yes you are right and no need to apologise for the harsh outlook, it is unfortunately true after all. Im just at a bit of a loss as what the best course of action would be as there is absolutely no way that we can raise the money in time. This has come at a time where i have been off work for 2 weeks due to a back injury also. My partner doesnt work. I do myself full time ad we claim child tax, working tax and child benefit for our 12 week old son and 2 teenage children from my previous relationship whom live with us also. The company in question is Marstons. I was thinking of writing to them enclosing a copy of our budget as well as trying to negotiate a payment plan. Would this be adviseable? and am i right to assume that this debt will skyrocket since the bailiff said he will be coming back? :( Thanks again for your help tom and brassnecked, i really appreciate this :-)

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Don't worry. Given that your wife only gave birth to your son 12 weeks ago she would be deemed 'vulnerable' and I am sure that Marston's (like most other companies) would refer this case to their Welfare Dept. I will advise you of your your next step later this evening.

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Hi all. Just an update on the situation really. My partner rang the courts who were very rude and unhelpful and refused point blank to have any dealings with it as it is now in the hands of Marston's. She rang national debt line and was told not to let them in when they come back unless they threaten to force entry. We don't have much household items and what we do own belongs to me so I have removed everything that I cannot prove as mine as a precaution in the hope that if the bailiff gets in there won't be enough to levy against and we have been told that if it goes back to court my partner can attend and go over our finances there and maybe even make a payment or arrangement at least. They also said that the bailiffs fees would come off as they woukd be unable to collect the debt. Is this true and does anyone have any last minute advice as they are due back anytime :(

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