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Hi, I have a question regarding Marstons Bailiffs, I am acting on behalf of my daughter here. Marstons have pushed a red letter saying final notice and that they will be bringing a locksmith and gave her 24 hours to raise £685 or they will enter and take belongings. I myself rang the bailiff and offered no payment plan at all and that he will come to collect the following day.

 

The following day I rang the magistrates court at South Tyneside and found out that the fines were for 1. Non payment of metro fines. 2. Non payment of TV Licence.

 

For the metro fines we are willing to pay that but have not had the chance too as he wont take payments. As for the TV licence my daughter has had no letters or anything stating she had to go to court or to enter a plea. She has had nothing at all.

 

I then asked about the signed declaration on the phone regarding the TV licence and asked if we could swear we havent recieved any mail so we could act upon this.

 

She told me that you cannot do this no more as the law has changed.

 

So she then replied that even if the TV licence was delayed and given the chance to defend herself, the Metro fines would still stand and the bailiffs would still come. She then gave us 7 days to sort this statement out with North Tyneside Magistrates. I have sent that magistrates an email regarding that we would like to do this and what to do next.

 

The problem is now we have til Wed 3rd Feb 2016 til the bailiffs may come back as the 7 days were up. We are in a position now that time is running out and we dont know how to go about the declaration regarding the tv licence.

 

For the metro fines we have the money and are willing to pay, but the tv licence we are asking to be given more time to pay as we have had no warning. I was wondering do I go to courts and see the fines officer, phone the bailiff (Which is no good as it's like getting blood out of a stone). I have offerd the bailiff £500 to cover the fines even though I dont know the full amount of just the metro fines alone without the tv licence and he outright refused and have saved the text message with this conversation just incase. I have also emailed Marstons themselves pleading that i require more time and set up a payment plan but no response.

 

I am just wondering if I could ask for some advice on perhaps any next steps to take regarding paying the metro fines off and getting this sworn statement for the tv licence or my current rights if I have any regarding the bailiffs entering.

 

I have the final notice if required to look at.

 

I thank you for looking and I hope someone could aid us in this matter and please ask any questions that are required.

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I very much doubt the bailiffs are collecting both fines together they will probably be dealt with separately

 

There is indeed forced entry for court fines

Sounds like letters been ignored until now

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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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It is likely that you will not get a response from either the court or from Marston Group given that you are not the person named on the warrant.

 

A statutory declaration is possible but firstly you will need to establish the reason why your daughter did not know about the court fine.

 

Regrettably, I have been receiving quite a few enquiries recently where the magistrates refused to allow a statutory declaration. Unfortunately, many people consider that if they had not received a summons that this is sufficient grounds in which to submit a Statutory Declaration and that if accepted, the fine will be cancelled and with it...bailiff fees. In fact, a statutory declaration may only be accepted in cases where the individual had not known of the court fine. In such cases, the individual has just 21 days from the date of finding out about the fine to approach the court for an appointment.

 

Did your daughter receive any of the following documents:

 

The summons

 

A Notice of Fine /Collection Order from the court outlining the amount of the fine imposed

 

A Further Steps Notice (this is the final document from the court advising that a warrant would be issued if payment is not received)

 

A Notice of Enforcement from Marston Group.

 

As your daughter has two court fines, Marston Group would have had to issue two Notices of Enforcement. One for each fine.

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I very much doubt the bailiffs are collecting both fines together they will probably be dealt with separately

 

There is indeed forced entry for court fines

Sounds like letters been ignored until now

 

When the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 came into effect in April 2014, the regulations imposed a condition that the enforcement agent should enforce all debts that they have on their computer systems at the same time. In such cases, only one enforcement fee of £235 can be applied.

 

This clause was specifically included in the regulations in order to avoid 'multiple charges' being charged.

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Thank you for taking the time in looking at this.

 

Regarding the list to what she has received she has NOT had any of them apart from the final notice I mentioned. The metro fines have been off more than 3 years ago but these she does owe the money. The reason nothing has been received by my daughter is that she has only really had a flat of her own for the past 10 month, and these metro fines were sent way before this probably to 'care of' addresses where she has been stopping.

 

But as regarding the tv licence they say they were as far back as 2012 but considering that she has only had a flat of her own for the past 10 month then this puzzles me.

 

I must say my daughter is in the wrong for these metro fines and we will gladly pay but the tv licence we are unsure about.

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In regards to approach the court, would that mean by means of going there in person and speaking with the fines officer?

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Also to enquire about the fines themselves can the courts explain exactly what debts they are and the amounts or will only the bailiff be able to tell you?

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Thank you for your response.

 

Just to confirm, did you daughter receive all of the notices from the court about the Metro fine?

 

Do you have any idea how much each fine was?

 

How much are Marston's asking for?

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Thank you for replying.

 

Just to confirm, did you daughter receive all of the notices from the court about the Metro fine? - She recalls one but honestly does not remember, hence why this is on her and why we aren't really disputing this one.

 

Do you have any idea how much each fine was? - Just text the bailiff that question and he will tell me tomorrow, he also says that it is put on hold for a couple of more days due to a 7 day extension to put the stat dec in.

 

How much are Marston's asking for? - £685.00.

 

To be honest I have the money on Wednesday morning in full if required as my daughter has a baby and I don't want her hassled by these bailiffs when she is by herself with her baby. It was just if we can get the TV licence sorted out it might be a little chunk off the total balance. Is it worth paying the balance with these and then appealing after just to get them off our back.

 

Also if I were to pay the balance can I pay them at my house and not my daughters as I will be paying it.

 

Do I just give the bailiff the money and request a receipt or would you suggest another way?

 

Thank you once again

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Thank you for responding. If it's ok with you, I will respond in detail early in the morning

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Many thanks I appreciate your help and time you have given.

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How much are Marston's asking for? - £685.00.

 

To be honest I have the money on Wednesday morning in full if required as my daughter has a baby and I don't want her hassled by these bailiffs when she is by herself with her baby. It was just if we can get the TV licence sorted out it might be a little chunk off the total balance. Is it worth paying the balance with these and then appealing after just to get them off our back.

 

 

If you read back on any of my replies on the forum you will see that I am a real stickler for getting 'background information' before advising what steps should be taken etc.

 

In this respect, I am concerned about the amount that Marston Group are asking for. Can you confirm that this is the amount that the enforcement agent wanted when the visit was made and that the amount (£685) is in respect of BOTH fines.

 

The reason why I am concerned is that there a two fines and accordingly, Marston Group would be required by law to send TWO Notices of Enforcement. Both letters carry a Compliance fee of £75. As enforcement agents should enforce both debts at the time time, only ONE enforcement fee of £235 can be applied. Therefore, at the time of the visit, bailiff fees alone accounted for £385. This would mean that BOTH fines only total £300 between them. Given that the debts are for a Metro fine AND a TV Licence fine, it would be usual for the fines to be for a lot more money.

 

I would suggest that you try to speak with the court this morning on behalf of your daughter. They may speak with you, in particular, if you state that you are willing to assist your daughter with payment. What you need to find out is whether there have been any payments made against either fine. If so, your daughter would not be able to submit a Statutory Declaration.

 

If it is the case that your daughter genuinely did not know anything about the court fines for the TV licence offence until the visit by the enforcement officer, then she can request a Statutory Declaration hearing.

 

Whilst the regulations do permit a statutory declaration to be submitted by post, it is the case that all courts require the defendant to attend the Magistrates Court in person for the actual hearing. This is because, the rules regarding statutory declarations changed last year and the position now, is that when the person attends court (for the Statutory Declaration), the Magistrate must ask your daughter at the same hearing whether she wishes to plead guilty or not guilty (to the offence). If your daughter pleads guilty.....then she will be asked to complete a Means Form (MC100) and a new fine will be set, taking her income etc into consideration. If she pleads not guilty then the case will be set down for a trial and a date will be given to her on that same day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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A further point that you may want to consider. As you mentioned above, your daughter accepts that the Metro fine is correct.

 

If it is the case that the TV Licence fine is only for approx £150 (and please do let us know more when you have called the court) then personally, it may be better for your daughter not to consider a Statutory Declaration.

 

It is very unusual indeed to come across a TV Licence fine below £100 and given that Marston Group are only charging ONE enforcement fee of £235, you and your daughter may consider that the stress of attending the hearing is not going to be worthwhile if it only achieves a £50 reduction.

 

Please do post back when you have more information from the court.

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I would like to thank you in looking into this matter for me, I do appreciate it and I am currently in the process of phoning the court. I will let you know what is happening very shortly, but I think I will just ending up paying it and get it over and done with.

 

One thing before i go, should I pay the money direct to the bailiff or go the court and just get a receipt off one of them ?

 

Thank you very much.

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I would like to thank you in looking into this matter for me, I do appreciate it and I am currently in the process of phoning the court. I will let you know what is happening very shortly, but I think I will just ending up paying it and get it over and done with.

 

One thing before i go, should I pay the money direct to the bailiff or go the court and just get a receipt off one of them ?

 

If you do make payment to the court, the payment will simply be forward by the court to Marston Group so that they can apportion the payment in line with the regulations (Compliance fee deducted at source with the bailiff being apportioned on a pro rata basis).

 

Because of the many queries on this same subject, I wrote the following 'sticky' for the forum:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?453047-Bailiff-enforcement-Setting-up-a-payment-arrangement-and-whether-you-can-pay-the-court-or-the-council-direct

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Well, I have rang the courts and got some interesting details.

 

1. We have found out that the TV Licence has been coming off her benefits when we presumed this was just an outstanding loan from the DWP so really she has been classed as knowing about the debt and has made payment towards it therefore the SD would have been a no go anyway.

2. They say the debt passed onto Marstons was in total of £350 so presume the rest is for fees etc.

3. My daughter had her benefits stopped in September last year due to the DWP thought she had a partner living with her. In December after a long fight she won her case and got her money backdated and her benefits re-instated. Found out the reason the bailiffs have been involved is that she was paying this direct from her benefit when she was claiming (We though it was a loan of some sort from DWP paying back). So when this stopped it triggered no payments and hence bailiffs. I suppose we could bring this into consideration by stating that the DWP stopped her benefit and it was out of her control, but also found out the DWP were in the wrong and not her, but we wont as we want this paid regardless as we dont want the fuss of it now.

4. Been on phone to bailiff and confirmed that I will be paying on Wed moning in full and I can make a payment to himself at my house or do it online through Marstons.

 

 

Just clicked on,

 

685 Total debt asked for = 375 Original debt from courts + 235 Agent to take control of goods + 75 Enforcement notice.

Edited by pnewby060

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This is one problem with AOB, if DWP sanction someone or mistakenly terminate a claim, the first thing a debtor knows about it is when the bailiff sends a letter adding £75, or worse knocks on adding the £75 and 235, by the bailiffco neglecting to send the Compliance letter first.


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Well, I have rang the courts and got some interesting details.

 

We have found out that the TV Licence has been coming off her benefits when we presumed this was just an outstanding loan from the DWP so really she has been classed as knowing about the debt and has made payment towards it therefore the SD would have been a no go anyway.

 

I am so sorry that you have had to spend so much time getting this resolved.

 

As I said earlier, it is so important to get as much background information before considering a statutory declaration. In this case, your daughter could well have come in for some very severe criticism from the Magistrates.

 

Marston Group should have charged your daughter two compliance fees of £75 each (one for each court fine). If they have only charged one fee...that is their loss and your daughter's gain.

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I would like to thank everyone who has helped me and give me advice on this site. This service and generosity of the people who run it are outstanding and we both thank you for all your help.

 

As far Bailiff Advice you have been a true guide for me through this process and thank you so much.

 

I will keep you updated about how I will be making payment on Wednesday 3rd Feb and hopefully will not be posting saying I have been ripped off in some way :-)

 

Thank you.

 

I have made a small donation for these services as a way to show my thanks.

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Thank you for the kind words. They are very much appreciated.

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