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    • Thanks for the advice and pointers much appreciated, letter will come from daughter in law but I would type it her up and print it off for her.   The officer told her he could not guarantee it would not happen again like you say I am astounded the Police have time to be stopping a driver who has proved 5 times now that she is legal to be on the road none of it makes sense.
    • We requested evidence for the PCNs and have received this. Where do we go from here?  BW_Legal_Evidence-compressed.pdf
    • Definitely move the cars ASAP, the bailiff will come back and clamp them, don't wait bailiffs can now call on Sundays and most Bank Holidays.
    • What should you do? Totally ignore them. Next time you are there take photographs of Athena's notice at the entrance to the car park plus the position of the others as well as any difference between the T&Cs of their signs. Also a picture of their payment meter as the T&Cs there are often different from the signs. Check with the local council to see if Athena have permission to erect signs and ANPR cameras under the Town & Country [Advertisements] Regulations -they are often online these days. Also ignore any future correspondence from them and their unregulated debt collectors and do not be afraid of ever escalating fees most of which have no basis in Law. The time to come back to us is if they send you a letter of claim where a snotty letter to them may discourage them.Also read other threads on here to get an idea of the numties you are dealing with. One amoeba has more intelligence than all the car parking rogues together. It is still worthwhile contacting Lidl even without your receipt and especially where you have a record of regular visits to them.
    • First, I'm a bit surprised that your local police force has the manpower and time to waste chasing up a complaint from a member of the public that a motability car's paperwork may not be in order, bearing in mind that most forces can't be bothered to follow up reported burglaries, if stories in the popular press are to be believed.  But if that's what the police officer has told you, that's what he's told you.   If you want to follow up his suggestion to make a complaint, check your local force's website for how to do so.  Or (bearing in mind the history of problems that you've had before) write straight to the Chief Constable (website again).   Simply say you want to make a complaint about the number of times your daughter (or whoever) has been stopped by the police for no apparent reason.  Give a list of when and where this has happened and what the outcome was (presumably that the police took no further action).  I would also add that in the latest incident the police officer actually suggested making a complaint about the number of stops.  Not only do you (or your daughter or son or whoever it is) find this police action to be extremely distressing, but you also consider it a waste of scarce police resources.   Ask for an explanation as to why this keeps happening and ask for an assurance that the police will stop doing it.   You may also want to add (see what others advise about this) that the police officer in the latest incident also told you that they had received a call from someone saying that the car's paper work "might not be in order".  Say that you are concerned that whoever made this false allegation is wasting police time.  (You may want to think carefully about this as it may not improve your daughter's relationship with her neighbour!  If the allegation came from the neighbour.)   Those are my initial thoughts but it's a bit late to be thinking clearly.  See what others suggest rather than just relying on my suggestions.   [The letter really needs to come from your daughter (or whichever family member keeps being stopped) and not you, unless you can make it perfectly clear in the letter who it is that is being stopped etc. and that you are complaining on their behalf.  Is that clear?]
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Local authorities and 'in house' bailiff operations. A discussion thread.

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Here on the discussion section of the forum there have been various threads that have touched upon the matter of 'in house' bailiff enforcement. For those unfamiliar with this term....this is where local authorities are setting up their own 'in house' bailiff operations.

 

The decision to do so is mainly a financial one spurred on by the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 which provides that enforcement companies may charge a 'Compliance fee' of £75 when sending a statutory Notice of Enforcement to the debtor. If payment (or a payment proposal) is not made within the 'compliance stage, an enforcement agent may make a personal visit. An enforcement fee of £235 is chargeable.

 

To assist with discussions on this subject, it may help to read the view of 'in house' bailiff enforcement from the perspective of the enforcement industry (who are naturally opposed to local authorities taking bailiff enforcement 'in house'). The following is a word copy of an article that featured in a trade magazine a few months ago.

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"Since the implementation of the tribunals Courts & Enforcement Act earlier this year, there has been much discussion of the merits of in-house enforcement operations, with a number of authorities expressing their intention to take the services in house, justified on the grounds that this allows the Authority to deal more flexibly with debtors and provide greater protection to the vulnerable.

 

The surplus of income, or in private sector terms profit, that is now perceived to be available under the new tCE fee structure also features prominently in the reports that I have read.

 

Turning firstly to the profit issue, the fees for enforcement were formulated following detailed analysis of the costs of providing a private sector enforcement service and included a target profit margin. The costs of providing an in-house operation were not tested during the Ministry of Justice’s analysis and as many of the costs are already incurred by a creditor elsewhere in its billing and collection operation, it is legitimate to ask whether a local authority creditor should be seeking to adopt a fee schedule formulated for the private sector.

 

An examination of the activities that were identified as necessary during the compliance stage illustrates that these are not additional cost activities for a creditor. For example:

 

• Receiving instructions and creating case files. The creditor already has a case file on its core system.

• Confirming debtor’s details. The creditor should have completed this task prior to undertaking recovery action.

• Producing status reports and probability scoring. It is reasonable to expect that the creditor had completed this task prior to initiating recovery action.

• Issuing of notices. The public sector creditor will as a matter of good practice issue notices prior to enforcement action, therefore notice processing costs are covered by the core process.

• Payment Processing. These activities are core activities already undertaken by the creditor.

• Managing Payment Plans. This activity is a core creditor function and accordingly the associated costs are incurred prior to enforcement.

• Liaising with the creditor. The creditor will not have to liaise with itself.

• Receiving correspondence and dealing with complaints. These activities are already conducted pre-enforcement.

• Returns Administration. There would be no return process for a creditor enforcing its own cases.

 

There is therefore a strong argument that a public sector creditor has no additional costs to recoup at the compliance stage, as such costs are already provided for in their normal operating budget and accordingly
it creates a profit margin for the public sector in excess of that intended for the private sector, which must constitute an unintended consequence. This is something that i am sure the Ministry of Justice will examine in their 12 month review.

 

Furthermore, as the trigger for charging the compliance fee is the receipt of the instruction to use the tCE procedure, how are in-house operations going to satisfy this requirement if they are part of the creditor organisation? if they are not properly separated the criteria to raise a fee is not satisfied and accordingly the compliance fee is not chargeable.

 

A further issue which i think needs to be addressed is the potential conflict of interest that exists with respect to in- house operations. Will there be sufficient independent review and oversight of an in-house team and how can stakeholders be given assurance that the decision to move to enforcement is based on an appropriate objective escalation decision rather than the commercial considerations of the additional fee income.

 

There is a risk that creditors with an in- house operation may be pressured to fast track cases to enforcement in order to generate additional revenue, revenue over and above the summons cost that will have been added to a liability order, without the creditor necessarily incurring any additional costs or undertaking any additional work.

 

I know that this situation is being closely monitored by the advice sector and i am sure that April 2015 will produce a flood of freedom of information requests seeking details of issued liability order numbers, to establish if those creditors with newly established in-house operations progress a higher proportion of overdue accounts to enforcement.

 

Is there any substance to the suggestion that an in-house operation provides greater protection to the vulnerable?

 

Private enforcement companies are subject to rigorous controls and are accountable to clients; have invested in specialist vulnerability training, for all staff; have designed and implemented multiple stage compliance processes, supported by contact centres with multi-faceted contact strategies to identify vulnerability early in the process.

 

How many of the proposed new in-house operations can demonstrate a similar level of investment, or have the specialist sector skills to provide an effective enforcement service?

 

There are many excellent, experienced in- house operations, such as those at Bradford and Brighton; the question is whether the new entrants will have the knowledge and experience gained within the existing services through many years of practical experience. What safeguards are in place to ensure that the public are not at risk due to any potential knowledge gap within these new service providers?

 

I wonder whether there are any contingencies in place to address the possible income shortfall that will occur if the new teams can’t match the collection performance of the private sector. If revenue collections drops, as experience of similar initiatives suggest - whose budget will be reduced or which services will be cut as a result?

 

I have heard that some in-house operations only issue the notice of enforcement prior to making an enforcement visit, whereas most private sector Enforcement Agencies issue a number of reminders and make outbound calls; utilise sMs messaging; utilise diallers for contact campaigns; email and other contact strategies to facilitate contact prior to escalation. If it is correct that in-house teams will only issue a single noE, then this is surely evidence of reduced flexibility, rather than greater flexibility?

 

The private sector has invested significant sums in sophisticated strategies to support debtors through the compliance process in recognition that many of our customers lead chaotic lives and as a consequence will not keep to an arrangement without constant prompts, review and support. I would hope that the new in-house operations will be able to demonstrate similar levels of support.

 

In terms of comparative performance analysis, the fact that almost without exception the proposed in house teams state that they intend to send out of area and “difficult” cases to the private sector, means that there will clearly not be a level playing field in terms of fees and complaint volumes.

 

If compliance cases are “syphoned off”, Enforcement and Sale stage fees will need to increase significantly.

 

If the in-house operations attempt compliance on all cases, regardless of location or perceived difficulty, then the private sector is only going to be dealing with those cases that require escalation and accordingly will have a far higher proportion of cases at the enforcement stage – will this be presented by some, as evidence of the private sector being more aggressive? this impression would clearly be incorrect, but we all know the maxim about statistics!

 

I have written previously that i believe that if an in-house operation undertakes compliance on cases when they have no intention to undertake the full process that they would be vulnerable to a criminal fraud charge, a risk i would not want to take if i was a director of finance.

 

If the private sector is only to be instructed on cases where an in-house operation has been unsuccessful or did not want to deal with a case due to perceived difficulty, then private sector companies are necessarily going to be subject to higher complaint volumes – another fact that might be used selectively to “bash” the private sector.

 

The potential for distortion of the market for enforcement services presented by an increase in in-house operations may prove to be one of MoJs “unintended consequences”, as the current fee structure was designed using the data and enforcement profile that existed pre TCE, if that profile changes, then the fee model will need to be reviewed and if compliance cases are “syphoned off”, then the Enforcement and sale stage fees will need to increase significantly.

 

In common with all members of the Enforcement Profession, i welcome competition and am confident that if judged on equal terms we will be able to provide a more efficient, cost effective and flexible service than that provided by the new entrants. My concern however is that creditor subsidised operations enjoy a financial advantage and that only a partial view of performance will be presented and accordingly there will not be a level playing field".

 

http://www.phoenixcommercial.co.uk/docs/news/2014/InHouseEnforcementLevelPlayingField.pdf

Edited by Andyorch
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BA can you please add a link to the word copy for the readers of this thread thanks?

 

Secondly is the above post your words or that of another, just a question that's all due to the last paragraph?


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That article from a trade magazine smacks too much of self interest. While I profess to know little of the enforcement industry, the article does come across as scaremongering. If the same article was prepared by an independant analyst, I would be more reasonable in my opinions.

 

I feel in house bailiffs are a much better option as an LA cannot abdicate its responsibilities to the external EAs. If they did make a 'surplus' (profit) that money should be re invested in helping people with their council tax and not to fund other services.


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In common with all members of the Enforcement Profession, i welcome competition

 

 

No you don't, why do companies, of any type, say this. You would like to be the sole operator and make bigger profits.

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That article from a trade magazine smacks too much of self interest. While I profess to know little of the enforcement industry, the article does come across as scaremongering. If the same article was prepared by an independant analyst, I would be more reasonable in my opinions.

 

I feel in house bailiffs are a much better option as an LA cannot abdicate its responsibilities to the external EAs. If they did make a 'surplus' (profit) that money should be re invested in helping people with their council tax and not to fund other services.

 

I am yet to be encouraged that in house enforcement works. We need to bear in mind that the largest 'in house' operations are those relating to local authorities that outsource their revenues department to Capita. In turn, Capita have their own 'in house' bailiff operators.....Equita and Ross & Roberts.

 

Another 'in house' operations that is fraught with problems is 'One Source' which is run by London Borough of Newham. They are allowing their new 'in house' bailiff team to charge 'storage fees' of £50 per day !!! I have yet to see such a high figure anywhere.

 

Also, yesterday afternoon I was assisting a debtor who had filed an Out of Time witness statement with the Traffic Enforcement Centre on 6th December. All enforcement is now on hold....but not according to the One Source bailiff!! He clamped the debtors car yesterday...charged an enforcement fee of £235 and a removal fee of £110 and tried to tell the debtor that an Out of Time application does not stop enforcement. He is wrong of course. Thankfully the clamp was removed at 6pm last night.

 

In another enquiry that I received over the weekend regarding One Source, the debtor had been charged a Compliance fee of £75, an Enforcement fee of £235 and a further charge of £40 described as 'Misc Fee'. There is no such fee in the statutory fee scale.

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Secondly is the above post your words or that of another, just a question that's all due to the last paragraph?

 

The answer to your question can be found in my opening post where I said the following:

 

"To assist with discussions on this subject, it may help to read the view of 'in house' bailiff enforcement from the perspective of the enforcement industry (who are naturally opposed to local authorities taking bailiff enforcement 'in house'). The following is a word copy of an article that featured in a trade magazine a few months ago"

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The article repeats what I said previously on the other threads.

 

 

Personally I do not believe that any of these in house activities have any legal foundation in terms of the TCE.

You can look at any aspect of the fees regulations or the act itself and the incompatibility is obvious.


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Section 45 of the Council tax enforcment regulations now says that enforcment is carried out by the schedule twelve procedure , it does not say by the authority

So does this meant that the council consider that their own fees scale is applicable when bailiff are in house..

 

If so it wouldbe case of back to square one, where every every enforcment stream has it own arrangements.. (this would also bee unlawful; by the way.)


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The answer to your question can be found in my opening post where I said the following:

 

"To assist with discussions on this subject, it may help to read the view of 'in house' bailiff enforcement from the perspective of the enforcement industry (who are naturally opposed to local authorities taking bailiff enforcement 'in house'). The following is a word copy of an article that featured in a trade magazine a few months ago"

 

 

So this is the article by Paul Gaddy then? read from here http://www.phoenixcommercial.co.uk/docs/news/2014/InHouseEnforcementLevelPlayingField.pdf


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From that article there was this nugget of information Quoted as

 

 

" Greater protection to the vulnerable? Is there any substance to the suggestion that an in-house operation provides greater protection to the vulnerable?" What are your personal thoughts on this statement?" (already covered on a different thread also)

The regs provide for this anyway whether in house or OUT house (no pun intended)


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Re post 9 there is only one way of enforcing Council Tax by taking peoples' goods and selling them (or threatening to do so) and that is using the Schedule 12 procedure. That must be done by an enforcement agent and the enforcement agent can be self employed, employed by an enforcement agency or other organisation that has agreed to supply such services to the council or the council can get one or more of their staff qualified as an enforcement agent. The definition of enforcement agent is in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2017 section 63(2) and it does not specify how they are paid or who employs them. There is no scale of fees for such work other than that included in the TCoG (Fees) Regulations 2014 that councils could use if their employees are the enforcement agents. The only fee they can charge other than the TCoG fees for non high court work is the fee for the summons/liability order and that specifically does not include any work done after the issue of the liability order as the Reverend Nicholson case has discussed. The old Schedule 5 covering fees for distress for council tax was removed by section 3(j) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014 which said that from 6th April 2014 "omit Schedule 5 (Charges connected with distress.)

 

 

Re post 8 I can't see what you mean by incompatibility. HM Revenues and Customs always did all their own levying of distress and now TCoG themselves with the Schedule 12 procedure and supporting secondary legislation written to allow them to continue doing so. The inclusion of TCoG (Fees) Regulation 13(5) clearly points out that the MoJ have considered a close relationship between the creditor and the enforcement agent to the extent they can be the same legal person. You can't get much closer than that.

 

 

Re post 11 there should not be a difference in the treatment of vulnerable debtors as there is an obligation under the National Standards to refer potentially vulnerable debtors to the creditor (the council in this case) and the creditor should decide what to do. Obviously an unscrupulous EA might not refer them but it is often the case that council staff appear more hard hearted than the private EAs. Also the discussion started by the councillor for Poole appears to have shown the council escalate significantly more liability orders to the compliance stage than they used to do when they used external bailiffs as they then were.

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Who exactly are these amazing Companies that have invested so much in identifying and dealing with vulnerable debtors, and this "generous support" to Debtors? Cause there doesn't seem to be a single whiff of them round these parts.

 

I also find it funny that they are screaming Council operations will be Bent, by describing exactly what is happening where Capita and Equita, private companies like themselves are involved.

 

I can see how a County Council won't have any experience in dealing with Vulnerable people etc, afterall, its not like they have a Social Services Department, is it? Ooh, hang on! And of course County Councils are complete and utter strangers to dealing with and supporting people who lead chaotic lives, and it's not like they have got a special department that has years of dealing with debtors for council tax arrears... Ooh, hang on!


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Re post 9 there is only one way of enforcing Council Tax by taking peoples' goods and selling them (or threatening to do so) and that is using the Schedule 12 procedure.

 

Yes my point exactly.

 

"That must be done by an enforcement agent and the enforcement agent can be self employed, employed by an enforcement agency or other organisation that has agreed to supply such services to the council or the council can get one or more of their staff qualified as an enforcement agent. "

Is there authority for this ?

 

"The definition of enforcement agent is in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2017 section 63(2) and it does not specify how they are paid or who employs them."

 

I think the purpose of the act and the regulations states that.

 

"There is no scale of fees for such work other than that included in the TCoG (Fees) Regulations 2014 that councils could use if their employees are the enforcement agents. The only fee they can charge other than the TCoG fees for non high court work is the fee for the summons/liability order and that specifically does not include any work done after the issue of the liability order as the Reverend Nicholson case has discussed. "

 

Yes indeed, but after the enforcment power is commenced, however the enforcment will no longer be a sepperte operation, and the amount outstanding will now payable to the authority.

 

The authority will be creating a profit for itself, this is fundamentally different to the AE, profit (a commercial operation) creating a profit. The authority is directly responsible to the public, as the good Rev showed.

 

"The old Schedule 5 covering fees for distress for council tax was removed by section 3(j) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014 which said that from 6th April 2014 "omit Schedule 5 (Charges connected with distress.)

 

 

Yes I know, as said earlier, schedule 5 is omitted from section 45 and replaced by schedule 12 . The point of this observation was that this action removed the obligation for the debtor to pay the authority and imposed it on the EA.

I do not agree that the schedule does not state to whom enforcement fees are paid, the schedule surely does little else.

It is full of references to the amount outstanding(including fees) being paid to the agent. section 62 also classifies the EA as an individual, you may be able to classify the authority as a legal person but it is a stretch to refer to them as an individual.

 

There is also he issue of the power being authorised by the warrant or order , how can this sensibly be achieved when such and order is applied to the body issuing it. If nothing else this betrays the intention of the act.

If the agent is soley responsible for the enforcment under the TCE he must surely have responsibility for the apportionment of proceeds, there is no provision in the act to suggest that this duty should be passed back to the creditor.

 

It is quite clear that the EA should be paid in proportion to the way he collect the debts, there is no incentive to perform otherwise..

 

"Re post 8 I can't see what you mean by incompatibility. HM Revenues and Customs always did all their own levying of distress and now TCoG themselves with the Schedule 12 procedure and supporting secondary legislation written to allow them to continue doing so. The inclusion of TCoG (Fees) Regulation 13(5) clearly points out that the MoJ have considered a close relationship between the creditor and the enforcement agent to the extent they can be the same legal person. You can't get much closer than that."

 

 

HM R have procedures wich are detailed within the schedule, this is no such ones in relation to council tax enforcment.

Section 13. 5 as far as i can see only says that in case of the creditor and EA being the same legal person the apportionment is done another way, it says nothing about the authority in a council tax situation, or does it say the anyone other than the EA should perform this function.

Also it states that fees will come off the amount outstanding first, the question is: if this is the case why separate the charges for the EA payment? It is is not being given to the EA, they as I understand it are to be salaried.

 

In any case this clearly is not what is intended in the reams of explanatory information produced .

 

"Re post 11 there should not be a difference in the treatment of vulnerable debtors as there is an obligation under the National Standards to refer potentially vulnerable debtors to the creditor (the council in this case) and the creditor should decide what to do. Obviously an unscrupulous EA might not refer them but it is often the case that council staff appear more hard hearted than the private EAs. Also the discussion started by the councillor for Poole appears to have shown the council escalate significantly more liability orders to the compliance stage than they used to do when they used external bailiffs as they then were."

 

[i think the inference is that the creditor will have a closer relationship with the enforcment and therefore be more aware of, and approachable by the debtor.[/i]

 

Please see above.

One of the major problems is the authorities incentive to pass enforcment to EAs.

The situation regarding external bailiffs s that the council has no vested interest in passing accounts to bailiffs, there is nothing in it for them.

The fees are generated and retained by the Bailiff.

This again was one of the intentions of the TCE.

 

If bailiffs are in house, they have a great deal to gain from engaging their own bailiff, as any fees collected will go in their coffers.


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Please see above.

One of the major problems is the authorities incentive to pass enforcment to EAs.

The situation regarding external bailiffs s that the council has no vested interest in passing accounts to bailiffs, there is nothing in it for them.

The fees are generated and retained by the Bailiff.

This again was one of the intentions of the TCE.

 

If bailiffs are in house, they have a great deal to gain from engaging their own bailiff, as any fees collected will go in their coffers.

And create a lucrative revenue scheme, collecting council tax and parking charge notices, on tickets issued in stupid parking schemes

 

Wonder if the in house EA's could use ANPR to look foir debtor's motors for Council Tax and PCN like JBW?


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I also find it funny that they are screaming Council operations will be Bent, by describing exactly what is happening where Capita and Equita, private companies like themselves are involved.

 

I can see how a County Council won't have any experience in dealing with Vulnerable people etc, afterall, its not like they have a Social Services Department, is it? Ooh, hang on! And of course County Councils are complete and utter strangers to dealing with and supporting people who lead chaotic lives, and it's not like they have got a special department that has years of dealing with debtors for council tax arrears... Ooh, hang on!

Exactly Caled Capita PLC have too many fingers in too many pies for the public good. Hopefully FOI will be extended to include these parasites.


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Blimey DB, that’s a lot of stuff. I’ve put my newer comments in bold and red after each of your points.

wAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==Originally Posted by E Munch x3L96Cw8WqYtfU4BhtFAzDInhEbSmou4VUM1hmt6UBNXwkptkxpPMHMyuYMjAsGTiBWAGJzILbHg22AWAsANjsHUwGKnk0AAAAASUVORK5CYII=

Re post 9 there is only one way of enforcing Council Tax by taking peoples' goods and selling them (or threatening to do so) and that is using the Schedule 12 procedure.

 

Yes my point exactly.

 

"That must be done by an enforcement agent and the enforcement agent can be self employed, employed by an enforcement agency or other organisation that has agreed to supply such services to the council or the council can get one or more of their staff qualified as an enforcement agent. "

 

Is there authority for this ? So long as they can comply with the Certification regs and the CPR 84.7 there is no stipulation that council employees are not eligible. In fact on the new form EAC1 introduced in the 70th Update – Practice Directive Amendments there is a question 4d which says “Are you employed as an agent in any other type of organisation (eg Local Authority)”

 

"The definition of enforcement agent is in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2017 section 63(2) and it does not specify how they are paid or who employs them."

 

I think the purpose of the act and the regulations states that. I don’t understand what you mean. Unless I’ve misunderstood, the basic process is the same for all debt types there are just some minor differences like the existence or not of a writ or warrant, the powers of forced entry for certain debt types, the times goods become bound and that certain people (like Constables, HMRC & Court staff) do not need a certificate to act as an enforcement agent.

 

"There is no scale of fees for such work other than that included in the TCoG (Fees) Regulations 2014 that councils could use if their employees are the enforcement agents. The only fee they can charge other than the TCoG fees for non high court work is the fee for the summons/liability order and that specifically does not include any work done after the issue of the liability order as the Reverend Nicholson case has discussed. "

 

Yes indeed, but after the enforcment power is commenced, however the enforcment will no longer be a sepperte operation, and the amount outstanding will now payable to the authority. I don’t see why that is a problem. The outstanding amount consists of two elements but it does not mean the two elements cannot go to the local authority if it is due to both of them. As I've said elsewhere they presumably need to get their enforcement agent to contract to pass the fees onto them.

 

The authority will be creating a profit for itself, this is fundamentally different to the AE, profit (a commercial operation) creating a profit. The authority is directly responsible to the public, as the good Rev showed. Are you saying you believe it is illegal for a council to make a profit? If so I think you are wrong but happy to be shown that I’m incorrect– see the document at this link. I've not read it all but clearly the LGA think the councils can and perhaps should be trying to make some money from trading - http://www.local.gov.uk/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=f8aaa25f-81d6-45c9-aa84-535793384085&groupId=10180

 

"The old Schedule 5 covering fees for distress for council tax was removed by section 3(j) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014 which said that from 6th April 2014 "omit Schedule 5 (Charges connected with distress.)

 

 

Yes I know, as said earlier, schedule 5 is omitted from section 45 and replaced by schedule 12 . The point of this observation was that this action removed the obligation for the debtor to pay the authority and imposed it on the EA.

I do not agree that the schedule does not state to whom enforcement fees are paid, the schedule surely does little else.

It is full of references to the amount outstanding(including fees) being paid to the agent. section 62 also classifies the EA as an individual, you may be able to classify the authority as a legal person but it is a stretch to refer to them as an individual. The individual is the employee that holds a certificate. The council employer would presumably need a contract of employment to say the EA passes it on to their employing council, or they could take their salary and keep the fees!

 

There is also he issue of the power being authorised by the warrant or order , how can this sensibly be achieved when such and order is applied to the body issuing it. If nothing else this betrays the intention of the act. TCE Act section 62(1) says that “Schedule 12 applies where an enactment, writ or warrant confers the power to us the procedure in that Schedule. “ There is no writ or warrant for Council Tax and the enactment that gives the power to use the Schedule 12 procedure is Local Government Finance Act 1992 which had a new section 14(4) inserted but Schedule 13 to create the power.

If the agent is soley responsible for the enforcment under the TCE he must surely have responsibility for the apportionment of proceeds, there is no provision in the act to suggest that this duty should be passed back to the creditor. I’m sure the private enforcement agencies would be pleased if you would put that argument to Poole Borough Council , Brighton etc! Barrie Minnie at Brighton might be the person to answer that for you.

It is quite clear that the EA should be paid in proportion to the way he collect the debts, there is no incentive to perform otherwise..

 

"Re post 8 I can't see what you mean by incompatibility. HM Revenues and Customs always did all their own levying of distress and now TCoG themselves with the Schedule 12 procedure and supporting secondary legislation written to allow them to continue doing so. The inclusion of TCoG (Fees) Regulation 13(5) clearly points out that the MoJ have considered a close relationship between the creditor and the enforcement agent to the extent they can be the same legal person. You can't get much closer than that."

 

 

HM R have procedures wich are detailed within the schedule, this is no such ones in relation to council tax enforcment. If you look again I think you’ll find that the basic process is the same for all debt types with just some minor differences like the existence or not of a writ or warrant, the powers of forced entry for certain debt types, the times goods become bound and that certain people (like Constables, HMRC & Court staff) do not need a certificate to act as an enforcement agent.

 

Section 13. 5 as far as i can see only says that in case of the creditor and EA being the same legal person the apportionment is done another way, it says nothing about the authority in a council tax situation, or does it say the anyone other than the EA should perform this function.

Also it states that fees will come off the amount outstanding first, the question is: if this is the case why separate the charges for the EA payment? It is is not being given to the EA, they as I understand it are to be salaried. See above.

 

In any case this clearly is not what is intended in the reams of explanatory information produced .

Explanatory information is not law but even so I’d be interested to see which part of it you think says that a council cannot employ its own enforcement agents. Poole and Brighton Coucnils might be even more interested.

"Re post 11 there should not be a difference in the treatment of vulnerable debtors as there is an obligation under the National Standards to refer potentially vulnerable debtors to the creditor (the council in this case) and the creditor should decide what to do. Obviously an unscrupulous EA might not refer them but it is often the case that council staff appear more hard hearted than the private EAs. Also the discussion started by the councillor for Poole appears to have shown the council escalate significantly more liability orders to the compliance stage than they used to do when they used external bailiffs as they then were."

 

[i think the inference is that the creditor will have a closer relationship with the enforcment and therefore be more aware of, and approachable by the debtor.[/font]

Please see above.

One of the major problems is the authorities incentive to pass enforcment to EAs.

The situation regarding external bailiffs s that the council has no vested interest in passing accounts to bailiffs, there is nothing in it for them.

The fees are generated and retained by the Bailiff.

This again was one of the intentions of the TCE.

 

If bailiffs are in house, they have a great deal to gain from engaging their own bailiff, as any fees collected will go in their coffers. Yes that is how this started with the council for Poole doubling the cases going to compliance when they went in house for enforcement. Caledfwlch seems to think, however, that there are benefits to in house enforcement that may make it worth this risk.

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Is there authority for this ?

"So long as they can comply with the Certification regs and the CPR 84.7 there is no stipulation that council employees are not eligible. In fact on the new form EAC1 introduced in the 70th Update – Practice Directive Amendments there is a question 4d which says “Are you employed as an agent in any other type of organisation (eg Local Authority)”!

 

Come on Mr M. That is like saying that there is no stipulation that elephants cant fly, therefore they can. The act would have to ;list everything which was not appropriate.

 

 

The authority will be creating a profit for itself, this is fundamentally different to the AEs, profit (a commercial operation) creating a profit. The authority is directly responsible to the public, as the good Rev showed. Are you saying you believe it is illegal for a council to make a profit? If so I think you are wrong but happy to be shown that I’m incorrect– see the document at this link. I've not read it all but clearly the LGA think the councils can and perhaps should be trying to make some money from trading - http://www.local.gov.uk/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=f8aaa25f-81d6-45c9-aa84-535793384085&groupId=1018 0

 

NO I am saying that they have to be accountable for any enforcment related profit, when the profit is provided by people in debt.


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I don’t see why that is a problem. The outstanding amount consists of two elements but it does not mean the two elements cannot go to the local authority if it is due to both of them. As I've said elsewhere they presumably need to get their enforcement agent to contract to pass the fees onto them

 

I suppose the basic problem is that this is not the way the fees regs work. There was a long discussion within the the consultation about the way fees were awarded and how they should reflect the individuao functions of the various enforcement procedures. None regarded the fees and Amount due being paid to the authority, I think we have confirmed that in another issue. The Authority is not the EA the EA is an individual. This is not the same as procedures pre 14.. As said the fees re due to the EA not the authority.


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

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The council employer would presumably need a contract of employment to say the EA passes it on to their employing council, or they could take their salary and keep the fees!

 

Where is this action authorised witi the TCE ?

 

I’m sure the private enforcement agencies would be pleased if you would put that argument to Poole Borough Council , Brighton etc!Barrie Minnie at Brighton might be the person to answer that for you.

 

I have a FOI on its way. I can see this arrangement where a self employed or firm of EAs are operating within the confines of the authority. But not in its direct employ. ie paying salary. the act does not permit it.


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No it isnt and nor is a question on a EAC2 questionnaire. The requirements are maintained continually through the act.

 

There is no writ or warrant for Council Tax and the enactment that gives the power to use the Schedule 12 procedure is Local Government Finance Act 1992 which had a new section 14(4) inserted but Schedule 13 to create the power.

 

In council tax enforcement, the same as any other enforcment stream the power is conferred by section 62 of the act. This is triggered by an enactment(the LGFA via the regulations)

 

Section 45 relates to which fee scale is used. as you know the fee scale is not always utilised alongside the procedure.


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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 that is how this started with the council for Poole doubling the cases going to compliance when they went in house for enforcement. Caledfwlch seems to think, however, that there are benefits to in house enforcement that may make it worth this risk.

 

No i cant agree with that and as said I do not think that this was the intent of the new legislation in any case.


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

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Phew :)


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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The individual is the employee that holds a certificate. The council employer would presumably need a contract of employment to say the EA passes it on to their employing council, or they could take their salary and keep the fees!

 

As the following confirms, the EA will be an employee of the council (in this case, London Borough of Newham (and Havering) and their in house operation; One Source):

 

http://www.jobsgopublic.com/jobs/revenues-bailiff-officers-lbn00355-2

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I hate it when I see 'Performance Related Commission'

 

Money talks and although they would be an employee, the basic salary is quite low for the area so commission will be a factor in how they do the job and the possibility of bad practice.

 

Just because a bailiff is certified does not mean they are well behaved and IMO they will try to get away with anything that improves the monthly wages.


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