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Bailiff Advice

Bailiff enforcement: Setting up a payment arrangement and whether you can pay the court or the council direct

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The bailiff regulations (that came into force on 6th April 2014) provide a simplified fee scale that is the same for arrears of council tax, non domestic rates, local authority issued penalty charge notices and Magistrate court fines.

 

 

How much are the bailiff fees?

 

Compliance Fee: £75

This fee is added to the debt as soon as the account is passed to the enforcement company by either the local authority or the magistrate court and will appear on the Notice of Enforcement. The
‘amount oustanding’
will therefore include the Compliance fee of £75.

Enforcement Fee: £235 (plus 7.5% on amounts exceeding £1,500)

If full payment or a payment arrangement is not agreed during the ‘compliance stage’ the debt is passed to an individual bailiff/enforcement agent. When he makes a personal visit to the property, an ‘enforcement fee’ of £235 also becomes payable.

How is the ‘amount outstanding’ calculated?

 

The new regulations state clearly that the ‘amount outstanding’ includes the amount of the debt from the local authority or the Magistrate Court and the enforcement agent fees (and costs) calculated up until the dtae of payment.

 

 

Making a payment arrangement.

 

After the debt has been passed to the enforcement agency, a Notice of Enforcement will be sent and the ‘amount oustanding’ will include the Compliance fee of £75. The letter (NoE) must state a date and time by which payment (or a payment arrangement) can be set up. This is referred to as the ‘compliance stage’. All companies should be willing to accept a sensible payment arrangement during the ‘compliance stage’ and in most cases; will accept a payment plan over a period of 3 months and in some cases, 6 months. It is worthwhile providing a simple Income & Expenditure with the payment proposal. Due to the strict time frame, payment proposals should be set up either over the phone or by email to the enforcement company.

 

It is at the 'compliance stage' that any 'vulnerable' circumstances should be brought to the attention of the enforcement company and evidence provided.

 

 

Payments made will be split on a ‘pro rata’ basis.

 

As outlined above, once the debt has been passed to an enforcement agent, the ‘amount outstanding’ includes bailiff fees. Of significance is the fact that the regulations state that when a payment is made, it must be split on a ‘pro rata’ basis with the Compliance fee of £75 being deducted first, and the balance split between the debt to the either the local authority or the Magistrate Court (in respect of court fines) and the remaining bailiff fees.

 

 

Making payment direct to the council or the Magistrate Court.

 

As outlined above, once the debt has been passed to the enforcement agency, the ‘amount outstanding’ includes bailiff fees. Following a Notice of Enforcement or a personal visit, some debtors may decide to pay the council or the magistrate court direct in the belief that in doing so, they can avoid paying bailiff fees.

 

In the very early days of the regulations (April 2014) this method of trying to avoid bailiff fees may have worked but now, very rarely (if ever) succeeds. Generally, the local authority will immediately advise the enforcement company that a payment has been received by them, and the enforcement agency will allocate that payment in line with the following example:

 

 

Example of how payments are allocated:

Liability Order/Magistrates Court fine issued for:
£525.

 

Notice of Enforcement sent and with Compliance fee of £75 added, the ‘amount outstanding’ increases to:
£600

 

If full payment or a payment arrangement is not set up during the ‘compliance stage’ the account is referred to the enforcement agent/bailiff for a personal visit to the property. An Enforcement Fee of £235 is added and the ‘amount outstanding’ increases to:
£835

 

Payment is made direct to the local authority/magistrates court of
£525
(being the amount of the Liability Order /or court fine).

 

The Compliance stage fee of
£75
is deducted at source and the balance of
£450
is split on a ‘pro rata’ basis with approximately 70% being allocated towards reducing the debt to the creditor (ie: the local authority or magistrates court) and the remaining 30% allocated towards reducing the bailiff fees.

Can the bailiff take enforcement action to recover 'his fees'?

 

As outlined above, once a warrant has been passed to the enforcement agency, bailiff fees becomes legally due and the ‘amount outstanding’ includes bailiff fees.

 

The enforcement regulations have made it a statutory requirement that all payments should be split on a ‘pro rata’ basis. Accordingly, unless the ‘amount outstanding’ (which includes bailiff fees) is paid in full, the warrant has only been part satisfied and enforcement action can legally continue.

 

It needs to be made clear that paying the local authority or the magistrate court direct does not mean that the warrant has been satisfied. All that it means, is that a part payment has been made against the amount outstanding. It is as simple as that.

 

 

Note:

 

It is important to be aware that with magistrate court fines, if payment is made to the Magistrate Court (either in person or online) after a warrant of control has been issued, all courts now forward the entire payment to the relevant enforcement company so that the enforcement company (and not the court) can deduct their fees in accordance with the ‘pro rata’ provisions as outlined above and allocate the balance towards the court fine.

 

Setting up a payment arrangement and whether you can pay the court or the council direct -------.pdf

 

Before Printing the PDF TIP

 

If you DO NOT wish to print Page 1 (Cover Page) of the PDF, please ensure to do the following:

 

Ensure you go to your Printer Settings and set it to 'Print from Page 2' (this way Page 1 (Cover Page) should not print out).

 

Note: This will save you Ink & Paper

Edited by stu007
PDF Added

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To further understand the reason why payments are to be allocated on a 'pro rata' basis it may help to read section 8.3 of the following document which is the Explanatory Memorandum supporting the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014.

 

This Explanatory Memorandum has been prepared by the Ministry of Justice and laid before Parliament. It is therefore a statutory document and legally binding.

 

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1/pdfs/uksiem_20140001_en.pdf

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1573 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you
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