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    • we need the exact particulars of claim, not what you have put please.  
    • Thank you everyone for your quick responses I just wish I posted here in the first place    I probably shouldn't have filled in the claim form however on the letter it said I had limited time to do so and because I was dealing with CST law trying to come to an agreement with paying off the debt I didn't think it would get to this point and now I have probably made my situation worst. Of course, I would have posted here first before sending it off had I not been in communication with CST to set up an agreement.    I sent the letter back to the court as some point in early August, the issue date on the claim form is 28th July and the most recent letter I have received 'Notice of fast track' is dated 18th November    If I am honest I can't fully remember what I wrote word for word in my defence, it would have been along the lines of why I left, my reasons and the fact I returned to my old career in an office plus taking a pay cut to do so. There wasn't much room to write a long winded defence so I kept it relativity short.   The above document Andy has posted is the exact document I am now looking at very confused in what exactly I put where    I just want to re-iterate I never agreed with this money I owe due to the training bond but it has gone on for so long at this point I'm happy to set up a payment plan if the balance can get reduced or a small one off payment upfront and this is exactly what I was trying to do prior to receiving the most recent letter    I have had zero communication from CST law, Centrica advised me to deal with them directly and I was waiting for a response from CST with the offer we had put across to Centrica - I chased it multiple times the following weeks and they kept telling me they haven't had a response and when they do we'll contact you which they still have not   Ideally I would rather not give them any money however I feel like I am out of options at what I probably should have done years ago is attempt to get it reduced and set up a payment plan    Please let me know if I have missed any critical info out    Thanks again for everyones help    What is the claim for – the reason they have issued the claim? I left a British Gas apprenticeship within the first 12 months of starting and went back to my old career in an office , my reasons for leaving were down to the completely differant job role which I realised quikcly was not for me and it was impacting my mental health massively. The claim is for a training bond which was in a contract I signed based on a sliding scale Year 1 - £9,000 year 2 £6,000 year 3 £3,000     What is the total value of the claim? £13433    Have you received prior notice of a claim being issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of the PAPDC (Pre Action Protocol) ? Yes   Have you changed your address since the time at which the debt referred to in the claim was allegedly incurred? No  Is the claim for - a Bank Account (Overdraft) or credit card or loan or catalogue or mobile phone account? Training bond due to leaving an apprenticeship before 3 years    When did you enter into the original agreement before or after April 2007 ? After   Do you recall how you entered into the agreement...On line /In branch/By post ? They have sent me a virtually signed document with the contract   Is the debt showing on your credit reference files (Experian/Equifax /Etc...) ? No   Has the claim been issued by the original creditor or was the account assigned and it is the Debt purchaser who has issued the claim. Centrica are claimant, CST law are dealing and the court   Were you aware the account had been assigned – did you receive a Notice of Assignment? I believe so yes   Did you receive a Default Notice from the original creditor? I have had multiple letters like everyone else who has been on the forum over the years regarding this matter   Have you been receiving statutory notices headed “Notice of Sums in Arrears”  or " Notice of Arrears "– at least once a year ? I am unsure, but when I left I had contested the original claim as I was dealing directly with Centrica’s collection team and they never got back to me after the final email I had sent and didn’t hear anything until years down the line   Why did you cease payments? N/A   What was the date of your last payment? N/A   Was there a dispute with the original creditor that remains unresolved? Correct I oringinally contested what was owed back in 2017 and gave my reasons for leaving and I assumed the matter was closed   Did you communicate any financial problems to the original creditor and make any attempt to enter into a debt management plan? No  
    • OK thanks again Andy.   And understood 👍😉
    • Thank you for this. The first thing to be say is that this means that you are winning. It is pretty well unheard of in my experience for the bank to give way and finally return the money. The fact that they have done this under the threat of a judgement for breach of statutory duty indicates even more that they are worried about their position. Nowhere have they indicated that they have complied with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Act and informed the National crime agency. I don't believe they have and this is a very serious breach of statutory duty. Not only that it is a very serious breach of the FCA BCOBS regulations in that they are required to treat you fairly. Treating you fairly in this case means that they must comply with the rest of their statutory duties. It appears that they really haven't done this at all and that they have acted in an arbitrary way in disregard of the law and that they are hoping to get away with it. I find myself wondering how many other hundreds of people have been treated in exactly the same way – and you are probably the first ever to have stood up to them and to get them worried. I think I've already indicated that a press contact of mine in the Sunday Times would be very interested in this story. He has already run stories about the very poor standards applied by banks when deciding that their customers are involved in some fraudulent behaviour. The first thing to say about the letter which you have received is that they are trying to apply conditions to releasing your own money. It's your money and there should be no conditions and my suggestion is that you object to this. Secondly, not only are they threatening to continue to withhold your own money – but also they are saying that if they release it to you you will simply have the net figure without any kind of interest or compensation. It's clear that while they have had your money, they have invested it and earn money on it. They have probably been lending it out at between 16% and 20% and although the usual rate of interest is 8%, it seems to me that justice can only be served by repaying you your money plus the commercial rate of interest – at a compound rate. Normally the 8% is calculated at simple. Thirdly, they are not offering to pay you any compensation and clearly they are hoping to get away with it without any kind of sanction or not even a slap on the wrist.   Fourthly, they had the nerve to impose a seven day deadline. Don't worry about their deadline. It's a load of huff and puff. This is all part of their bluff game designed to intimidate you. At the end of seven days – what? Are they then going to insist on going to court?   If they really believe that they had done everything correctly and that the money was fraudulent, then they would not offer it to you back under any circumstances. It would be illegal for them to do so. You can be certain that these people do not want to go to court. In fact they probably wish they had never started.   Finally, they want the matter to be kept confidential – and I can't say I blame them. I would be ashamed if people knew that I had treated somebody else in this way and I'm sure they are worried about reputational damage. I'm also sure that there are extremely worried about what will happen if you get a judgement against them for breach of statutory duty. It will have to be reported to the FCA. It will have to be reported to the NCA. And of course it should be reported to the newspapers because people need to know what is going on. If you want, you can simply accept their proposal – get your money back, given confidentiality – and that's the end of the matter. However, you have no idea how this will impact on your record in the future. I imagine that they will bar you from ever opening an account with them again. – But at least you will have your money and you can get on with your life. However, if you want you can stand your ground and make it clear to them that you are going to be mucked around and treated like this and that you are prepared to go to court if they won't make a proper offer. I understand that you need to pay a court fee of about £350 in the next seven days. I expect that the bank is making this offer now hoping to dissuade you from spending any more money and hoping that you will back down. If you have the money to proceed then I would suggest very strongly that it will be a very serious sign of strength that you tell the bank that you're not interested in that you are paying the fee for the next stage of the court process. If the bank knows that you've called their bluff on this and that you have been prepared to invest further money in moving this legal action forward, then they will start to reflect and I can perfectly well imagine that they will make you another more interesting offer – once again on conditions of confidentiality. Without seeing any further offer, I'm already suggesting that you will probably be best off turning it down. In any event, I would remind you going back several months that I already predicted that the bank would make you confidential offer – and that has happened. I'm not saying that I'm always going to be right here – but I think that now basically the bank have pretty well admitted that they need to pay you your money, there is no chance of you losing it. You will get your money and it really is just a question of how much else you will get in addition. If you'd like to continue then let me know and I will suggest a draft response to them.
    • The cost of living in Britain over a person's lifetime is over £1.5m, new findings have claimed as the nation feels the squeeze amid soaring energy costs and dismal interest rates on cash savings.View the full article
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hi all im new here and looking for a bit of advice with bristow and sutor bailiffs.


the story so far is


a few years ago i got into some trouble with council tax and got chased by the bailiffs for it.

I ended up getting threatened so much by them on the door and on the phone that i asked my mum to help me pay off the bailiffs

and i would give her the money monthly, which she was kind enough to do.


Im now in trouble again as i was made redundant last year and had my third child all in a matter of a few weeks

so my head was all over the place as you can imagine,

i had to wait ages for my redundancy to come though and by the time it did the council had already sent the debt to the bailiffs.


I have had a few visits off of them but each time i have just plainly told them they are not coming in,


i have rang the council who has put a hold on bailiff action untill this friday 21/09/12

telling me i must come to an arrangement with the bailiff by then or action will continue.


My problem with this is i feel my househol d falls into the vulnerable category

as my daughter who is one suffers from acute asthma and reflex anoxic seizures

and is a very poorly girl most of the time.


The council are aware of this as i have told them of the acute asthma but she has only just been diagnosed with the seizures,

I was hoping to get the council to take the debt back and arrange something with them

as the bailffs want way more than i can afford as im unable to work because of my daughters conditions

and the amount of meds she needs on a daily basis.


Should i ring the bailiffs or not ?


i was going to record the conversation to show the council the type of people they have working for them

as every time in the past i have phoned they have threatened me and told me to pay the full amount or nearly 500 a month .


any advice is very much appreciated.

thank you for you time

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welcome to CAG..


your household is clearly vunerable.


it should NOT be with the bailiffs.

neither should anything be added to the debt.

do not speak to the bailiff at all.


write a formal complaint to the council CEO and your MP..



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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Hi dx thank you for replying,


how would i go about making a complaint to my local mp ? and would this really make a difference as



everytime i have spoken to the council they make it sound like its not their problem any more

and i should just deal with the bailiff which is really stressing me out and my heart drops everytime the door knocks even though i know their on hold at present.



Im not sure how well the enforcement regulations are adhered to so im not certain the vulnerability situation will work.



any help much appreciated.

x kw

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Hello there, in accordance with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents the bailiffs would need to treat the situation with a greater degree of sensitivity. In relation to vulnerable situations the guidance states the following:


Vulnerable situations

Enforcement agents/agencies and creditors must recognise that they each have a role in ensuring that the vulnerable and socially excluded are protected and that the recovery process includes procedures agreed between the agent/agency and creditor about how such situations should be dealt with. The appropriate use of discretion is essential in every case and no amount of guidance could cover every situation, therefore the agent has a duty to contact the creditor and report the circumstances in situations where there is evidence of a potential cause for concern. If necessary, the enforcement agent will advise the creditor if further action is appropriate. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

Enforcement agents must withdraw from domestic premises if the only person present is, or appears to be, under the age of 18; they can ask when the debtor will be home - if appropriate.

Enforcement agents must withdraw without making enquiries if the only persons present are children who appear to be under the age of 12.

Wherever possible, enforcement agents should have arrangements in place for rapidly accessing translation services when these are needed, and provide on request information in large print or in Braille for debtors with impaired sight.

Those who might be potentially vulnerable include:

the elderly;

people with a disability;

the seriously ill;

the recently bereaved;

single parent families;

pregnant women;

unemployed people; and,

those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.


You should certainly write to the local authority to see if they will take the debt back, if they refuse to do so then the best way to communicate with the bailiff would ALWAYS be in writing. It's vital that you never let the bailiff in to the property and keep doors and windows locked and secure. If you have any assets which are kept outside - such as a car - you should ensure that these are well hidden a good few minutes walk away.


The bailiffs can legitimately add their visit fees of £42.50 (this covers two visits) to the debt. It's important to note that if a reasonable arrangement cannot be made with the bailiff, and so long as they cannot gain entry, the debt should eventually be passed back to the council; so often it could be a waiting game. From the information provided it doesn't seem like there would be grounds for a formal complaint unless it can be proven that both the bailiff and council haven't taken your vulnerable status into consideration. Bailiffs do not have to withdraw just because a household may be classed as vulnerable but they should ensure that their behaviour is in adherence to the rules.


Whats really important to keep in the front of your mind is that so long as the bailiff doesn't gain peaceful entry to the property they only have two options:

1) They can ask for the money

2) They can pass the debt back to the local authority


If you manage to get a reasonable repayment arrangement sorted with the bailiff ensure that you request a breakdown of their fees and charges to ensure that you may no more than the £42.50 that they can legitimately add to the debt. If the bailiff refuses an offer of payment ensure that you keep the money you wanted to offer to one side so that you can pay it to the local authority once the debt has been passed back.


We've a useful fact sheet that goes in to further information about bailiffs and council tax, you can read it here:




Best wishes,



For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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Hi all,


just thought i would let you all know,



i spoke to the council again regarding my situation and how unreasonable the bailiffs were being

and ended up threatening complaining to the local mp and



got a phone call straight away to help me sort out a reasonable amount which i can afford each month.



they also told the bailiffs not to turn up at my address as we are vulnerable

and to ring them first should i fail to make the payments,

which of course i wont as its the amount i could afford,



thank you for your advice it was very useful .


thanks all x

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I hope that does not happen as my partners car is on the drive after work till morning

and as this is our only means to get my daughter to hospital when required

i could do with out having it towed ! fingers crossed they got the message x


thanks again what a weight off my mind

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Excellent, as per PT watch out for a I didn't know, you still owe us fees random exploratory visit. If they do turn up film them with a mobile phone and get thet Formal Complaint in, for calling after the account has been removed from them.

We could do with some help from you.



Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group


If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread


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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thanks i will do that,

my sisters camcorder is fully charged and waiting by my door.



I also have proof of ownership on the camera just in case they fancy levying on it as it will be the only thing they see.


i would happily complain about this company and the way they conduct themselves on behalf of the council.





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That's a great result!


Best wishes.



For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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  • 2 years later...

Hi all, I've posted on here before and found you to be very helpful and I'm at my whits end again with this. Any help and advice much appreciated.


Here goes

I've been paying the bailiff £87 a month since 2012 and they suddenly wanted more, 349 a week more!

I cant afford that and would not pay it either way but



I logged on to the bristow account online which states they have 4 active accounts, amounts as follows :-


1-£16.41 08/03/11

2-£928.19 02/07/10

3-£991.54 04/06/13

4-£917.18 29/07/13


I rang the council as a bailiff attended yesterday and had to speak through the door as I have a disabled daughter

and she would get frightened by these guys, and



council said I have 3 liabilities which are :-


£1007.10 08/07/11

£916.54 24/06/13

£540.18 29/09/13


I'm completely confused

so have a meeting with the council tomorrow to explain all this to me

but wondered what your thoughts were or anything I could use to get the council to take it back ?


Many thanks



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When you attend you meeting tomorrow please take any letters with you stating that there is a disabled person within the property

and ask the LA to have the account returned to them and to make arrangements to pay the debt off a different way.


You should also let the EA's office know that there is a disabled person within the home as well, again send proof.


Also can you confirm whether or not you are working or in receipt of benefits?



Like DLA for your daughter..

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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Hi, thanks for the reply.


My daughter does DLA for her condition,

I was receiving carers allowance to look after her but I'm working nights now so we have no childcare costs.


The council are aware of my daughters condition,

and the bailiff has been informed as well so apparently they will approach with caution !



What ever that is, he was not happy about being left talking through the door,

I was home alone with three kids and the dog growling at the door so he posted the standard red letter.


Not sure how helpful they will be but will have to see I guess .


Thanks again

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Sort of,

they have a levy on my father in laws car,

which they have had proof of ownership

and the car was on hire purchase at the time also so it's invalid

which they know but it seems there not too fast to take the invalid fees off.


They are really starting to get on my nerves.



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Yes, all are pre April 14,


can they still come out and charge for the new fee schedule on liabilies older than April 14 ?


That's something I have seen no information on.


They have never been in my home or managed to levy on anything I own and never will.


Just starting to wonder if a complaint of the fees would fall on deaf ears at the council though.


Been paying this so long that all this again is so annoying.



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If the council do not help you

I would be involving the local MP and local councillors

You are a vulnerable household and bailiff action must stop

If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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old and new threads merged for history



there should be no fees being added surely ?



clearly a vulnerable household.



I always thought this could not be with bailiffs back in the old days as this was the case?



not sure on the new rules mind.



still don't think they can pass it on again

I'm sure the bailiffs should not be involved at all?




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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I would personally not worry too much about the discrepancies in the amounts the councils have on their records and the figures that Bristow & Sutor have given because it is for the council to calculate and they must do so.


The main problem (as far as I can see) appears to be a 'levy' upon your father in law's car. When was this levy put in place? Have the council been made aware of this levy? If so, then they should arrange for any fees associated with this to be removed. It is possible that 'attending to remove' fees have also been added under the old regulations but as I have stated above, this is for the council to look into.


Do you have a car yourself and if so, how much roughly is it valued at?

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Hi, thanks for the reply.


I'm learning to drive for my daughters sake and have a old Car on the drive roughly worth £200 I paid £100 for it, it's a great little car but worth peanuts, it was there the other day and they wasn't bothered as it's clearly not going to cover the costs so at least they didn't try to add charges for it.


Going to the council this afternoon so I will update to what outcome I get. I have health issues at the moment as well and this is all adding extra stress which is not needed so I will inform them of this as well, just hope I get an understanding person.



Edited by kbarwill
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yesterday I saw the council and she couldn't do anything as its a different team I need to see so waiting for a meeting with them.



However I did ring to ask about the bailiff fees and they said they are as follows:-

Two compliance fees of £75 each

And an enforcement fee of £302


Do these seem right as I they only came out Monday and no letter prior to the visit

and the letter they left had no fees on or the amount owed just a big standard pay now demand.



all debts are pre April 14 so I'm very confused and just want to pay this now but not the wrong fees if I can fight them.



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if the enforcement/LO was before 6th april last year



and from earlier you say:



council said I have 3 liabilities which are :-


£1007.10 08/07/11

£916.54 24/06/13

£540.18 29/09/13


I cant see now how they can charge the enforcement letter fees listed?

or am I missing something?



read this




as was posted above




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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As far as what you owe & what you may have been charged appear to be at adds with each other and leads me to suggest you go back to basics to find out.


Here's a list of questions to ask the Council:

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


Turning to the Enforcement Co a letter similar to below should be sent - initially by email is best [email protected] - followed by a copy in the post.


My Name

My Address



Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House


Ref: Account No: 123456


Dear Sir


With reference to the above account(s), Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges.


This includes:

a - the time & date of any Enforcement Agent/Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of the Enforcement Agent(s)/Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Enforcement Agent(s)/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"

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running




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