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Hi BA, thanks for the reply.

 

Our email was read and responded to in some detail. B&S broke down each paragraph and responded fully. They have given my friend until the 7th to accept their proposed payment plan of £750 per month before taking what they say will be further action against her.

 

Coughdrop, it is a difficult one. Trying to balance holding off and waiting for it to be passed back against possible enforcement fees on the three remaining accounts currently without any is a hard decision to make.

 

I am really sorry I have completely misunderstood your earlier posts.

 

I assumed from your earlier posts that the amended 'template letter' was sent to B & S over the bank holiday weekend and that B & S had not as yet responded to that particular letter. I now realise that they have done so. I would not want you to post their reply on the open forum so I will approach a moderator for permission to contact you.

 

You seem very concerned about the possibility of enforcement fees being added to the remaining accounts. Can I please reassure you that will not happen. It is precisely for debtors such as your friend, that the government introduced a clause into the regulations permitting 'multiple' fees from being added to accounts. What must happen is that the enforcement company may add a Compliance Fee of £75 to EACH account but they must enforce each account at the same time and may only charge ONE enforcement fee of £235.

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You seem very concerned about the possibility of enforcement fees being added to the remaining accounts. Can I please reassure you that this will not happen.

 

It is precisely for debtors such as your friend, that the government introduced a clause into the regulations permitting 'multiple' fees from being added to accounts. What must happen is that the enforcement company may add a Compliance Fee of £75 to EACH account but they must enforce each account at the same time and may only charge ONE enforcement fee of £235.

 

I do apologise, I have made an error in my above post.

 

What I meant to say was that the regulation provide that an enforcement agent is not permitted to charge 'multiple enforcement fees' when enforcing more than one debt.

 

Before visiting a debtor, the enforcement companies computer records should be checked to ascertain whether there are any other accounts for the same debtor. If so, they should all be enforced together and only one enforcement fee (of £235) may be applied.

 

Sorry for any confusion.

 

PS: For any viewers reading this, the forum rules provide that posts may only be edited within a strict time frame of 10 minutes.

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Most say I am a little shocked by this. making a payment is not paying fees, it is paying an amount off the sum owed.

 

There is a residual prejudice amongst some on here against bailiffs, a hangover from the old system. This can lead to the proposition that bailiff fees should not be paid and no matter what is best for the debtor. It is about trying to get one over.

 

what is important here is to get the repayment arrangement sorted at an acceptable level, fees are very much a secondary consideration.

 

Again the best course of action is to accept the arrangement if it is affordable and as said whoever it comes from.

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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Hi BA, thanks for the reply.

 

Our email was read and responded to in some detail. B&S broke down each paragraph and responded fully. They have given my friend until the 7th to accept their proposed payment plan of £750 per month before taking what they say will be further action against her.

 

Coughdrop, it is a difficult one. Trying to balance holding off and waiting for it to be passed back against possible enforcement fees on the three remaining accounts currently without any is a hard decision to make.

 

This is a case in point. This offer is unacceptable , obviously, so they should be advised and the authority should be advised of their intransigence. This may result in the debt being withdrawn. This has nothing to do with fees it is about the unacceptability of the offer and in particular the suggested level of repayment.

 

I am guessing tht this offer is probably in line with instructions from the authority, so it will need special consideration.

 

Again if the case does go back it is likely you will be expected to pay compliance fees in any case

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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Posts like this and the treatment meted out by LA's & Enforcement Co's makes my blood boil. If the Bailiffs already know that the debtor is on Benefits then when does £750pm become both acheivable & sensible.

 

As for the LA I would suspect the call was routed to one of Civicas call centres and has never got near the Council themselves. Writing to the Council results in the inevitable delays. Better option in my mind is to recruit the services of the local Councillor(s) and ask they intervene as it does appear the debtor should be classed as potentially vulnerable - best initial contact is via phone. If reluctant or rfused help then make a song & dance about it to the Leader of the Council & their elected opposite number.

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I just wonder of the authority have advised their baiif to collect outstanding debts within a certain period, and being unable to recognise an exceptional circumstance the have applied the same rule to this account.

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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I just wonder of the authority have advised their baiif to collect outstanding debts within a certain period, and being unable to recognise an exceptional circumstance the have applied the same rule to this account.

 

It's called joined up thinking that obviously doesn't work. Possibly common sense should not be used when Bolsover Council, Bristow & Sutor + Civica are all mentioned in the same sentence. You can nearly guarantee the contract B&S have only allows short term collection rates, they won't have advised their EA as they will all know 3 months maximum & no allowance for "specials".

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Most say I am a little shocked by this. making a payment is not paying fees, it is paying an amount off the sum owed.

 

The first £75 paid will go solely towards bailiff fees, then further payments will be split pro rata.

 

There is a residual prejudice amongst some on here against bailiffs, a hangover from the old system. This can lead to the proposition that bailiff fees should not be paid and no matter what is best for the debtor. It is about trying to get one over.

 

I thought we had stopped the petty jibes.

 

 

I assure the OP there is no residual prejudice here, indeed I've said three times already under the right circumstances I'd be happy to pay the fees, despite them (in their existing form) amounting to 25% of the total debt for Council Tax.

 

what is important here is to get the repayment arrangement sorted at an acceptable level, fees are very much a secondary consideration.

 

£535 in existing fees is not a secondary consideration, as stated it's 25% of the debt. It is utter madness these should be paid. The council should recall this debt and fees should be removed.

 

BA is right that no further fees can be added unless they were stupid enough to take further action by taking control of the vehicle or similar.

 

 

Posts like this and the treatment meted out by LA's & Enforcement Co's makes my blood boil. If the Bailiffs already know that the debtor is on Benefits then when does £750pm become both acheivable & sensible.

 

As for the LA I would suspect the call was routed to one of Civicas call centres and has never got near the Council themselves. Writing to the Council results in the inevitable delays. Better option in my mind is to recruit the services of the local Councillor(s) and ask they intervene as it does appear the debtor should be classed as potentially vulnerable - best initial contact is via phone. If reluctant or rfused help then make a song & dance about it to the Leader of the Council & their elected opposite number.

 

I agree PT. It is truly ridiculouos the OP's friend should find themselves in this predicament. Given the level of debt, the level of financial hardship, the vulnerabilities and the ratio of income to debt, it is wholly correct for the council to recall this and fees be removed. It is very easy to suggest just settling for the first thing which comes along, but rushing into it anything is not the best thing to do - hence myself, and then BA suggesting you did not make today's payment as it would have gone towards fees.

 

I am out much of today with a medical appointment of my own, but will look in when / if I can. I'm sure all are trying their best for you, but my belief is the council should recall this and all fees should be dropped.

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I am really sorry I have completely misunderstood your earlier posts.

 

I assumed from your earlier posts that the amended 'template letter' was sent to B & S over the bank holiday weekend and that B & S had not as yet responded to that particular letter. I now realise that they have done so. I would not want you to post their reply on the open forum so I will approach a moderator for permission to contact you.

 

You seem very concerned about the possibility of enforcement fees being added to the remaining accounts. Can I please reassure you that will not happen. It is precisely for debtors such as your friend, that the government introduced a clause into the regulations permitting 'multiple' fees from being added to accounts. What must happen is that the enforcement company may add a Compliance Fee of £75 to EACH account but they must enforce each account at the same time and may only charge ONE enforcement fee of £235.

 

Thank you very much BA, you have removed a weight from our shoulders so to speak. It was the fear of them adding another £235 to the remaining 3 accounts that we were most concerned about and had no idea they wasn't allowed to do this. Hearing this is fantastic news and we can all relax a little now.

 

Also, you have no need to apologise, maybe with all the stress and sense of urgency I just wasn't describing what had happened clearly enough and wasn't getting the important points across.

 

I'd very much welcome any assistance that you feel you could offer, As I have previously admitted I am completely out of my depth with this one.

 

Ploddertom, there really isn't any joined up thinking here. B&S are telling us that the can't discuss the ins and outs of the account as that's down to the council and the council are telling us that they can't discuss the account nay more as it is with the bailiff and that we have to direct all questions back to B&S.

 

It's just one big merry-go-round of incompetence!

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Contact your councillor as ploddertom suggests, where Busted & Stupor get the idea that &750 per month is affordable to someone on ESA must be due to council stipulating short period recovery, and their intransigence and refusal to address the financial situation the debtor is in. If they did call and gain entry what could they take? They would need control of £20,000 worth of goods at least to sell to clear this debt. If the debtor has squat would be nulla bona anyway.

Surely council should use possibilityof AOB in this case?

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Ploddertom, there really isn't any joined up thinking here. B&S are telling us that the can't discuss the ins and outs of the account as that's down to the council and the council are telling us that they can't discuss the account nay more as it is with the bailiff and that we have to direct all questions back to B&S.

 

It's just one big merry-go-round of incompetence! - couldn't agree more

 

All the more reason to engage with the Councillor(s) - your friend may need to speak or write a note giving you permission to speak on their behalf. If they have been suffering from mental issues do they receive any treatment or.counselling & if so it would be worth approaching their "person" to see if they will also speak up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a letter I am sending to B&S. I don't necessarily recommend anyone else doing this but I don't care any more. I am not frightened of these reptiles. I am making payments to The Council and have had my offers of payment not refused, but ignored.

 

THIS MATTER IS IN DISPUTE

 

Bristow & Sutor

Bartfleet Road

Washford

REDDITCH

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Re: Council Tax Arrears (Reference Number etc included)

 

Please would you explain why you are sending threatening letters and trying to intimidate me into paying ridiculous, dreamt-up charges allegedly relating to the matter of my Council Tax arrears when I am dealing with The Council direct?

 

I am a lodger at this address and none of the property in it belongs to me. Any further 'visits' from your people will be viewed most unfavorably and they will not be allowed in and instructed to leave. If they do not comply the Police will be called.

 

I do not expect to hear from you again

 

It is my fullest intention to clear any legitimate debt owed by me to The Council and I am retaining copies of this letter and any I send to The Council as evidence in the event of any further harassment

 

 

 

Yours faithfully

etc.....

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Perhaps it will work. Perhaps it won't. It worked last time. They gave up and sent the case back to The Council who i then paid amicably. Anyway, the account is officially in dispute. I've also written to The Council who, actually, have always been very understanding in the past.

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Are you paying anything to the authority at the moment ?

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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If monies have been paid already, as Dodgeball is asking, the first £75 will go to the EA, then the remainder split roughly 60:40 between the council and the enforcement company. Ignoring is fine if no monies at all are paid to anyone, doors are kept locked and you ensure that no external property (usually a vehicle) can be taken under control, thus denying the bailiffs access or ability to do anything other than visit for nothing. Eventually the warrant will be returned to the council, at which stage they have a range of options open to them, including, of course, negotiating a repayment settlement directly with yourself, which is what you want.

 

If you intend doing this, I would suggest you write to the council to inform them you are prepared to pay the debt, but only once it has been returned, at which stage you will owe no enforcement fees at all.

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Any further news on this from yesterday? I was unable to post much from mid-morning onwards I'm afraid.

 

I'm really sorry for the delay in responding, I've only just seen this question when I logged on this morning.

 

I sent the details of this case to a friend of a friend who is a journalist. She sent B&S a very lengthy and detailed email asking a lot of questions and basically tore them apart for their behaviour. She told them she'd be doing a story about this and within 2 days of her sending her email, my friend has today received a letter from B&S informing her that they will now be passing the account back to the council as they have no intention of dealing with the media.

 

A great result for her :)

 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread with their advice and kind words. You've all been extremely helpful and we cannot thank you enough.

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I'm really sorry for the delay in responding, I've only just seen this question when I logged on this morning.

 

I sent the details of this case to a friend of a friend who is a journalist. She sent B&S a very lengthy and detailed email asking a lot of questions and basically tore them apart for their behaviour. She told them she'd be doing a story about this and within 2 days of her sending her email, my friend has today received a letter from B&S informing her that they will now be passing the account back to the council as they have no intention of dealing with the media.

 

A great result for her :)

 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread with their advice and kind words. You've all been extremely helpful and we cannot thank you enough.

 

It will be an even better result if the paper continues with it's plans to publish the story ??

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She said she plans to and I'll link to it here (if that is allowed) when it is published :)

 

A link would be wonderful, that is just the sort of success story we and the people at large should know about :)

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Completely agree. I did mention that we had received a lot of support and advice from CAG so hopefully that might steer a few more people in need to this place.

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EXCELLENT RESULT! :-D:-D:-D

 

Even better, you have now avoided the bailiff's fees entirely, as I stated you would if it was passed back. A great result indeed.

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