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Hassle and harassment as CTAX Bailiffs chase wrong people for money

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Nicole Newman, a mother-of-one from Tottenham, north London, was recently forced to prove her identity to a bailiff after a court order named her property as the address of a council tax absconder.

 

Letters started arriving three months after she bought her house, until one day she received an already-opened letter which stated that the following week an enforcement agent would be coming “for the purpose of taking control of goods and transporting such controlled goods to a place of sale”. A previous occupant with a very different name owed more than £7,000 in council tax at another address, which was given on the enforcement notice.

 

Newman contacted the local council, which told her she had to call the enforcement agent directly. “I spoke to the bailiff, who was really horrible and aggressive,” Newman says. “I was reluctant to give my details to them, but I felt they would come and break down the door if I didn’t prove who I was.”

 

Industry guidelines state that debt collection agencies must take reasonable steps to ensure that the person traced is in fact the customer, but their data can be inaccurate, meaning the new occupant has no choice but to prove their identity to stop the debt collectors wrongfully pursuing them.

 

The code of practice of UK debt collection trade body the Credit Services Association (CSA) says members should “take prompt steps to correct data, both internally and with the credit reference agencies, where it is aware that the data is out of date or inaccurate”, and must also take reasonable steps to ensure the person traced is in fact the customer.

 

 

Sean Feast, spokesman for the CSA, says no agency wants to pursue a debt from a party who is not the rightful debtor. “They have been given the address details by the original creditor and are pursuing that debt in good faith based on this information,” he says. But he adds that it is not practical to trace every single contact. “Cases of mistaken identity will occur, but members do all they can to keep these to a minimum.”

 

Obviously they are not doing all they can to keep these to a minimum. This is happening far too often.


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

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Who should I contact to stop receiving debt collection letters?

First, contact whoever is sending the letters and ask to be taken off their records. You may have to do this several times if there are several debts. If the letters or calls persist you have several routes of complaint. If it is a debt collection agency that belongs to the Credit Services Association (you can check on its website), you can raise a formal complaint with the CSA. Or alternatively you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, which oversees companies’ compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. As such it can investigate complaints relating to any misuse of your personal data.

 

If the debt collection has moved on to a civil enforcement officer (or court bailiff) then contact the Civil Enforcement Association. But if it is a debt collection in relation to a credit agreement such as hire purchase, payday lending or credit cards, you need to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

 

The main problem with contacting the company sending the letters in the first place is that they either think you are telling lies or refuse to speak to you because "you are not the debtor" ?


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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They will obfuscate and continue enforcement despite all the evidence as DATA PROTECTION prevents them from "dealing" with the Third Party. Nice little earner if they clear out an innocents house, as third party will have to probably take legal action of their own against the bailiffs and the fees to do so are going up.

 

This seems to be a growing problem as people move around and downsize due to Bedroom Tax.


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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