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Another from Scoop regarding bailiffs getting busier.


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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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I have the SCOOP page bookmarked and read it daily. They source their links from Google searches and a lot of the of the articles over the past month concern the extraordinary increase in the number of cases of Liability Orders that local authorities have referred to bailiffs in the council tax year (2014/15). Almost all the responses are in reply to Freedom of Information requests from the Money Advice Trust.

 

There is no escaping the fact that the figures are very worrying indeed but as I have mentioned on a previous thread a short while ago I wonder just how accurate the figures are given that the tax year under discussion is 2014/5 and this was the very same time as the new bailiff regulations came into effect.

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/lacef-news

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Yes BA we must look closely at the accuracy or otherwise of the figures, I feel that they will increase as councils try to increase their revenue in the face of cuts. Council tax is an elephant in the room when discussing so called "Affordable Homes" a new build one bed Affordablestarter will often have a far higher Council Tax banding com-pared to an older three bed semi.

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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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Please don't forget sometimes the stories listed are actually older than posted, I saw one recently that was from 2013, (original press clipping) then the date changed to 2015 strange.

 

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/lacef-news

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Yes BA we must look closely at the accuracy or otherwise of the figures,

 

My concern with the accuracy was that all the Freedom of Information requests (around 350 in total) sought figures for the number of cases passed to bailiffs during the council tax year of 2014/15. The new bailiff regulations came into effect on 6th April 2014 and it was known that a lot of councils held back from passing new cases to bailiffs in the lead up to the regulations.

 

Also, during the same period, councils were also faced with the fact that the new regulations REMOVED the obligation on the councils having to by law send a '14 day' letter to the debtor advising that a Liability Order had been issued and that unless paid within 14 days, would be passed to a bailiff. The effect of this was as soon as the Liability Order was granted, the case could be issued to bailiffs almost immediately. This in itself must have led to a significant increase in cases going to bailiffs.

 

Lastly, there is the little matter of 're-cycling' of cases and there is no doubt in my mind that local authorities have been recycling Liability Orders in large numbers during this period (2014/15).

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Lastly, there is the little matter of 're-cycling' of cases and there is no doubt in my mind that local authorities have been recycling Liability Orders in large numbers during this period (2014/15).

 

How does this work then, BA ?

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I have serious concerns regarding the roll out of Universal Credit and once properly implemented could lead to an increase in people being unable to pay their council tax debts.

 

This article from Scoop is worth reading:

 

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2015/09/next-phase-universal-credit-rollout-begins

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Yes UC promises to get people in big trouble with council tax and rent, the bailiffs will be chasing homeless families evicted due to UC delays, for council tax and rent arrears to a B & B or Hostel in all probability.

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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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What is going to be worrying is those that are not yet on the scheme and old claimants still not having a change of circumstances, then getting put on to UC. Many LA's are struggling, then again many more are now rewriting the tenancy agreements as well. Some tenancy groups are not following correct procedure again like last years fiasco. 37 errors found on my LA's new agreement, but many were rectified when pointed out.

 

 

Those claimants that have arrears already may/will face arrears letters quickly but the workaround tools are out already to assist those in this position. This could also see many LA's cleaning house so to speak when those with significant arrears to get them out when they fall even further in to debt. Lets hope we don't see a higher than normal rise in possessions in the near future!!

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