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Earlier today I completed the last STICKY on the very important subject of vulnerability.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?456344-Bailiff-enforcement-All-about-Vulnerability(1-Viewing)-nbsp

 

If any regular posters have any comments that they would like to raise about the thread they would be most welcome. A copy of the thread can be read in the following post.

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If a person is considered vulnerable, the enforcement regulations provide some protection from bailiff action. However, such protection is only possible if the bailiff/enforcement company are aware of the vulnerability at the earliest possible stage.

 

Vulnerability for ‘enforcement’ purposes is very difficult to define and being disabled does not necessarily mean that a person will be excluded from bailiff enforcement. For example; some people may be constantly vulnerable (due to permanent lack of mental capacity or very severe disability etc), but others only temporarily vulnerable (for example, through suffering mental illness for a short period of time, recently bereaved, pregnancy, unemployment etc). Each case is unique and will be looked at individually by the enforcement company or bailiff.

 

By and large, when it comes to bailiff enforcement, vulnerability is usually reserved for extreme cases. An example could be where the individual is unable to manage his or her own affairs etc or where the medical condition of the vulnerable person could worsen if a bailiff were to visit.

 

The Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014

 

Although the National Standards are not legally binding, they are nonetheless a very helpful tool for the enforcement industry and creditors. On the difficult subject of vulnerability, the National Standards provide that the following groups might be considered vulnerable:

 

The elderly

People with a disability

The seriously ill

The recently bereaved

Single parent families

Pregnant women

Unemployed people

Those who have difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English

Motor vehicles and vulnerability

 

The statutory regulations provide that a vehicle that is used for transportation needs of a disabled person will be exempt from being taken into control as long as it is displaying a valid blue disability badge.

 

Bailiff fees and vulnerability

 

Further protection for vulnerable debtors is provided under Regulation 12 of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 and states that if the enforcement agent visits the property and identifies the person owing the debt as being vulnerable, that he should not remove goods. Instead, he must give the debtor a chance to seek advice from a debt advice agency/charity etc. If he fails to do so, the enforcement fee of £235 is not recoverable.

 

Do I have to provide any evidence that I may be vulnerable?

 

Usually evidence is required. In the first instance, it is vitally important to contact the enforcement agency at the earliest opportunity (on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement) as this could avoid the need for a personal visit being made. Initial contact should be made by telephone and a brief outline of your personal circumstances should be given to the operator who will usually advise what documentary evidence they require. Very often a letter from a doctor or specialist is required or a copy of a letter from the DWP confirming an award of Disability Living Allowance/ PIP/Carers Allowance etc.

 

Bailiff enforcement and vulnerable households.

 

Unfortunately, there are a number of internet sites that encourage people to send a letter to the enforcement agent to claim that they are from a vulnerable household in the mistaken belief that the enforcement agent will return the debt back to the council or court. These letters are mass produced and accordingly, have become popular on many of the Freeman on the Land/debt avoidance websites. Given the serious misrepresentation of the regulations in the letter, it is hardly surprising that the majority of enforcement companies do not take the letter seriously.

 

If there is serious disability in the family (for instance, where the parent or partner is the registered carer for a son, daughter or spouse) whilst this does not exclude the bailiff from taking enforcement action against the debtor, it is nonetheless vitally important to bring such instances to the attention of the enforcement agency at the earliest possible stage as it may affect the approach made by the enforcement agent and possibly lead to the debt being managed in-house by the enforcement company’s Welfare Department as opposed to it being passed to an individual enforcement agent.

 

Will my debt be returned to the council/court?

 

Only in exceptional cases. This is because, since the regulations were overhauled in April 2014, most enforcement companies now have in-house Welfare Departments and what usually happens, is that once vulnerability has been identified, an affordable payment arrangement is set up and the account managed in-house by the trained Welfare Team.

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Excellent BA.


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You forgot to add that if the EA does in fact find a vulnerable person then they should notify the client.

 

Although the 'welfare team' may have been trained it is appropriate for them to seek advice from the client.

 

Most advice sites including the .gov state the word affordable repayment. This the EA' still ignore.

 

Then you state make contact at the earliest opportunity, but we all know from experience the normal reply is 'it's out of our control you have to speak to the EA' so the cycle starts again.

 

The creditors should be prepared to take the case back but rarely do...

 

Finally carers may not have any authority to deal with the debtor's finances. Then you could see issues of capacity and other issues like it.

 

But this has been done to death over the last 18 months anyway.... Being trained is vastly different from being experienced. Basically nothing will really change will it?


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As a side note you said

Do I have to provide any evidence that I may be vulnerable?

 

Though this is helpful the EA has no legal right to demand this private and sensitive information do they? Client yes EA no. They would/may not understand the complexities of a serious medical condition. Like I said above trained but not experienced nor qualified.

 

Also if the debt was for CT then the LA would already have this information.


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Can't pay we'll take it away season 3 episode 8 says it all. Enforcement Agents will continue with enforcement regardless.. so being vulnerable means nothing to them just fees and collecting the debt....

 

Nothing more nothing less. Just stating what is known that's all....


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You forgot to add that if the EA does in fact find a vulnerable person then they should notify the client.

 

The Guidance is aimed at advising debtors what they should (as opposed to advising the enforcement agent)

 

Although the 'welfare team' may have been trained it is appropriate for them to seek advice from the client.

 

Again, the Guidance is aimed at providing advice to the debtor. The enforcement company will be responsible for advising the Welfare Dept of their responsibility.

 

 

Most advice sites including the .gov state the word affordable repayment. This the EA' still ignore.

 

The enforcement companies have to be guided by the Contracts with each local authority client regarding 'affordable repayments'.

 

 

Then you state make contact at the earliest opportunity, but we all know from experience the normal reply is 'it's out of our control you have to speak to the EA' so the cycle starts again.

 

I specifically stated that the 'earliest opportunity' should be on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement.

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Excellent post BA.


DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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Can't pay we'll take it away season 3 episode 8 says it all. Enforcement Agents will continue with enforcement regardless.. so being vulnerable means nothing to them just fees and collecting the debt....

 

Nothing more nothing less. Just stating what is known that's all....

 

I would be interested to know exactly what you think the vulnerability requirements set out in the TCE are actually for, what it is that they are supposed to do and what way they should effect the enforcment process. Just curios.


DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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What would really be interesting is YOUR professional opinion, as you seem to have so much experience and so on. I just make observations. It is a discussion board is it not?

 

 

As far as I am concerned the guidance is not legally binding therefore do NOT have to be followed.


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As far as post #7 goes how is this an excellent post the note again are for guidance purposes only. As stated numerous times. This is why the words may and could are used...


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At post #7 final sentence you stated I specifically stated that the 'earliest opportunity' should be on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement,

This is not the earliest opportunity this comes before this stage. The LA does not have to use a LO at all again as discussed on other threads there are other options and EA's should be used as a last resort not one of the 1st. Even the Courts have the power to make a different order but chose not too, they can even reduce the debt or wipe it out too. But hey no point discussing replies already covered and done to death....

 

 

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At post #7 final sentence you stated I specifically stated that the 'earliest opportunity' should be on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement,

This is not the earliest opportunity this comes before this stage. The LA does not have to use a LO at all again as discussed on other threads there are other options and EA's should be used as a last resort not one of the 1st. Even the Courts have the power to make a different order but chose not too, they can even reduce the debt or wipe it out too. But hey no point discussing replies already covered and done to death....

 

 

Now unsubscribed

 

Bit rude MM. This thread is about bailiff action you know not LA action.

 

Just my expert opinion LOL.


DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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Yes MM, this is about, as db has rightly pointed out, Bailiff enforcement and NOT local authority actions regarding vulnerability. Judging by some of your other posts this evening, you are just put for an evenings troll.

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Now unsubscribed

 

 

 

Given some of the rubbish spouted recently probably. You seem very antagonistic towards others and would do us all a favour by butting out.

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As a side note you said

 

Do I have to provide any evidence that I may be vulnerable?

 

Though this is helpful the EA has no legal right to demand this private and sensitive information do they?

 

In the first instance, on this thread.....on all STICKYs that I have drafted, and all of my posts I constantly urge debtors to deal with the debt at the earliest possible stage (on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement). Not only does this avoid the need for a personal visit to take place but it also avoided the debt increasing to include the enforcement fee of £235.

 

Secondly, turning to your complaint that an enforcement agent has no legal right to demand private and sensitive information that may support the belief that the debtor is 'vulnerable'. When the enforcement regulations were overhauled in 2014, major changes were also introduced regarding bailiff certification and it is now a requirement that all bailiffs applying for a certificate must provide evidence that they have completed a training package focusing on vulnerable issues.

 

The Explanatory Memorandum supporting the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014 states under paragraph 3.2 the following:

 

 

These training courses have been developed by, amongst others, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Money Advice Trust in consultation with the Civil Enforcement Association to support applicants for certificates. These packages include training focusing on how enforcement agents should deal with individuals who may be vulnerable. They offer an in depth face-to-face course where trainees can practice different strategies for dealing with vulnerable individuals when recovering debt. The packages will also be preceded by an introductory e-learning course which focuses on raising awareness of mental health.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/421/pdfs/uksiem_20140421_en.pdf

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There is a bit of Irony in "Those who have difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English" needing to make contact ASAP to advise of their Vulnerability under the linguistic issues - not comprehending English in any form means they likely wont know what an EA is, or that one is coming until an EA is knocking at the door.

 

I would have thought though, that in the case of Council Tax Arrears, the Council would already be aware of the linguistic issues, potentially, from dealing with them for Housing Benefit, or if they have had contact with Social Services and so on, and thus could at the very least ensure paperwork is sent through with a Translation, or contact with a Translator made. The same not only applies to Magistrates Court's where a Fine has been issued, providing it was not in the absence of the Defendant, but they would absolutely know, since they will have needed to arrange a Translator for the Hearing.

 

Mind, as for Parking/Speeding/Other Road Safety Issues, if they cannot comprehend English, then surely they are not safe to even be on the Road, since they can't read and understand road signs. The same way that any for example non French speaking Brit who goes driving in France should be banned from doing so unless they have learned the French for the main road safety signs etc.


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Well I recently got a letter from a Dutch company that I didn't understand. I went and found a translator and that was that. The same day i received it, I understood it.

Now why cant others do this.

Why cant they have done it when sent original demand letter.

Why cant they have done it when sent sols letters.

Why can't they have done it when sent court docs.

 

Or should we be forced to hold their hand and guide them through every process?

 

What? Are you serious? Signs are the same the world over. Its only kph and mph that changes. The town names are in a different language, but the road sign are the same. The size is similar. The graphics are very similar. Your comment is a load of tosh.

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Well I recently got a letter from a Dutch company that I didn't understand. I went and found a translator and that was that. The same day i received it, I understood it.

Now why cant others do this.

Why cant they have done it when sent original demand letter.

Why cant they have done it when sent sols letters.

Why can't they have done it when sent court docs.

 

Or should we be forced to hold their hand and guide them through every process?

 

What? Are you serious? Signs are the same the world over. Its only kph and mph that changes. The town names are in a different language, but the road sign are the same. The size is similar. The graphics are very similar. Your comment is a load of tosh.

 

I assume you are fully mobile so I will try to respond accordingly.

 

Why can't others do this?

Not everyone has access to translating services. I would assume that if a person is in debt, they may not have the funds available to buy a PC, scanner, internet.

 

Why can't they have done it when sent original demand?

I speak from personal experience. Years ago, I had an emotional breakdown and I ignored everything and everyone. Burying ones head in the sand is a common practice, The same applies for the other two points you raised.

 

At the moment I am helping a friend who has had threats of LOs and court action for overpaid HB. The reason. Dyslexia! She just couldn't work out what the council wanted so ignored it until a direct threat came. Then she asked for help.

 

My local council are very slow to respond to letters and her situation has been ongoing (with my help) since August.

 

Would she be classed as vulnerable? Single parent, working way over the normal hours just to keep the wolf from the door, a daughter with mental health issues. All of which the council have been made aware of recently AND in the past. What have the council done. Nothing!

 

I suggest she IS vulnerable.

 

These are the reasons I disagree with you.


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There is a bit of Irony in "Those who have difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English" needing to make contact ASAP to advise of their Vulnerability under the linguistic issues - not comprehending English in any form means they likely wont know what an EA is, or that one is coming until an EA is knocking at the door.

 

I had the misfortune to read a 'question' on another forum last night which centred on a mother who cannot understand english and who had received a bailiff visit for an unpaid congestion charge ticket from Transport for London.

 

The 'question', like many on the said forum, may not be real. In this case (as in most others) the question was well written (which most real questions aren't....I should know, I receive many real questions each day!!). More suspiciously, this particular 'question' had supposedly been written by the debtors 16 year old daughter. Payment was eventually made to the certificated bailiff as the daughter borrowed money to make payment.

 

The forum have instructed the daughter to file complaints with Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police AND the Magistrates Court and even drafted the witness statement for her !!!

 

The advice given to this 16 year old (whose mother cannot understand the english language) simply beggars belief. And yet....nobody asked the daughter whether her mother had received from Transport for London, the Notice to Owner, the Charge Certificate or the Order for Recovery. Nobody asked whether she had received a Notice of Enforcement from the bailiff company.

 

Whilst I can appreciate that the mother has difficulty understanding the english language and MAY well be considered vulnerable, it begs the question about what happens in such households about all other frequent correspondence such as the yearly council tax bill, electricity bill, gas bill, DVLA reminders, TV licence reminders etc.

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What forum was that BA?


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What forum was that BA?

 

As a frequent poster on here you will know very well that links or names of other forums are not posted.

 

Two days ago when I started this thread I would not have anticipated that this thread and the identical STICKY would receive almost 1,000 views. Proof if any is needed that this thread (like many others) is important.

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Just realised where you are talking about I forgot sorry I guess its not wednesday


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Just realised where you are talking about I forgot sorry I guess its not wednesday

 

No problems MM. The subject of a person maybe being classed as 'vulnerable' if they cannot understand or speak english is a very interesting one and if anyone has any views on this I would be interested.

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Only that as far as enforcment is concerned, the inability to speak or be understood only places a duty on the EA to provide adequate means of communication are in place, it is not a means of halting the enforcment.


DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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