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DCBL (Direct Collections Bailiffs Ltd) enforcing debts without warrants...what to look out for.


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It is fair and accurate to state that an argument broke out. The 'debtor' called the police. Astonishingly, the police refused to attend stating that they were satisfied that DCBL had authority to attend his premises to enforce the debt.

 

A correction. Police did attend. They spoke separately with the enforcement agent and advised the debtor that the agent was legally entitled to be at the property and accordingly, that it would be wise to make payment. They stayed for only a short while. Complaints have now been made regarding these officers.

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Perhaps she could be extradited back to the UK to answer questions regarding due diligence and supervision of the DCBL minions if the FCA,and Justice Secretary grasp the seriousness of the DCBL shenanigans.

 

Thee FCA rules/guidelines say this :

 

CONC 7.11 Disclosures relating to “authority” or “status”

 

https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/CONC/7/11.html

 

CONC 7.11.1R01/04/2014

When contacting customers, a firm must not misrepresent its authority or its legal position with regards to the debt or debt recovery process.

 

[Note: paragraph 3.4 of DCG ]

 

CONC 7.11.2G01/04/2014

For example, a person misrepresents authority or the legal position if they claim to work on instructions from the courts as bailiffs or, in Scotland, sheriff officers or messengers-at-arms, or in Northern Ireland, to work on instructions from the Enforcement of Judgements Office when this is untrue.

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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As for making complaint. You can do so via ther Legal Ombudsman service through their website. Personally I would go to CAB. I would have thought they would be very interested in this given their current position regarding bailiff enforcment and there traditional role with the OFT/FCA and regulated activities under the CCA.

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 FCA rules/guidelines say this :

 

CONC 7.11 Disclosures relating to “authority” or “status”

 

https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/CONC/7/11.html

 

CONC 7.11.1R01/04/2014

When contacting customers, a firm must not misrepresent its authority or its legal position with regards to the debt or debt recovery process.

 

[Note: paragraph 3.4 of DCG ]

 

CONC 7.11.2G01/04/2014

For example, a person misrepresents authority or the legal position if they claim to work on instructions from the courts as bailiffs or, in Scotland, sheriff officers or messengers-at-arms, or in Northern Ireland, to work on instructions from the Enforcement of Judgements Office when this is untrue.

 

I was reviewing CONC 7 last evening and the following stood out ( and in particular points 6 and 7).

 

A firm must ensure that all persons visiting a customer's property on its behalf act at all times in accordance with the requirements of CONC 7 and do not:

 

(1) act in a threatening manner towards a customer;

 

(2) visit a customer at a time when they know or suspect that the customer is, or may be, particularly vulnerable;

 

(3) visit at an inappropriate location unless the customer has expressly consented to the visit;

 

(4) enter a customer's property without the customer's consent or an appropriate court order;

 

(5) refuse to leave a customer's property when it becomes apparent that the customer is unduly distressed or might not have the mental capacity to make an informed repayment decision or to engage in the debt recovery process;

 

(6)
refuse to leave a customer's property when reasonably asked to do so;

 

(7) visit or threaten to visit a customer without the customer's prior agreement
when a debt is deadlocked or reasonably queried or disputed
(see CONC 7.14 (Settlements, disputed and deadlocked debt).
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A correction. Police did attend. They spoke separately with the enforcement agent and advised the debtor that the agent was legally entitled to be at the property and accordingly, that it would be wise to make payment. They stayed for only a short while. Complaints have now been made regarding these officers.

 

It's easy to get it wrong - thanks for the correction. The part cited originally states the police, "were satisfied that DCBL had authority to attend his premises to enforce the debt." This would suggest strongly they misled the police over their authority, as there is a world of difference between enforcement and debt collection.

 

I was reviewing CONC 7 last evening and the following stood out ( and in particular points 6 and 7).

A firm must ensure that all persons visiting a customer's property on its behalf act at all times in accordance with the requirements of CONC 7 and do not:

 

 

(6)
refuse to leave a customer's property when reasonably asked to do so;

 

(7) visit or threaten to visit a customer without the customer's prior agreement
when a debt is deadlocked or reasonably queried or disputed
(see CONC 7.14 (Settlements, disputed and deadlocked debt).

 

These are both issues which are commonplace, everyday issues for anyone with even basic experience in the advice sector, so should come as no surprise. Both have been included in various debt collection guidelines for many years.

 

Re. complaining through the CAB, it would very much be the luck of the draw as to who you saw. The quality of advice and knowledge varies from one CAB to another, and within CABx, depending who you see. It is better to complain directly to the FOS. Any accompanying complaint can always be made separately. They are likely to expect you to have used the company's internal complaints procedure first however.

 

I'd be inclined to be looking for a potential criminal remedy - Fraud by misrepresentation is something you hear bandied about a lot, I'm not sure whether it's applicable here or not.

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CONC 7.11.2G01/04/2014

For example, a person misrepresents authority or the legal position if they claim to work on instructions from the courts as bailiffs or, in Scotland, sheriff officers or messengers-at-arms, or in Northern Ireland, to work on instructions from the Enforcement of Judgements Office when this is untrue.

 

I think that this is the most damning, breach of the guidence.

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 think that this is the most damning, breach of the guidence.

 

The problem is, this debt appears to have been enforced under the name of Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd. That companies website is here:

 

http://www.dcbltd.com

 

Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd hold a full Consumer Credit Licence (number 702566) which was granted on 17th March 2016.

 

There is a another separate company (Direct Collections Ltd). That companies website is here:

 

http://www.directcollections.co.uk

 

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, Direct Collections Ltd do not hold a Consumer Credit Licence !!!

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To be clear on this, the person that attended did so in the capacity of a 'debt collector' and NOT an Enforcement Agent.

 

As such he has no powers to seize and remove goods and no powers of entry. He is there to speak to the debtor and request payment that is all. He may advise the customer of the potential ramifications of not paying i.e. legal action.

 

I would suggest Bailiff Advice look at the requirements of the FCA when dealing with customers and door step visits here: https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/CONC/7/9.html

 

Debt collection visits

CONC 7.9.12R26/09/2014

Unless it is not practicable to do so, a firm must ensure that a person visiting a customer on its behalf:

 

(1) clearly explains to the customer the purpose and intended outcome of the proposed visit; and

[Note: paragraph 3.12 of DCG]

 

(2) gives the customer adequate notice of the date and likely time (at a reasonable time of day) of the visit.

[Note: paragraph 3.13g of DCG]

 

CONC 7.9.13G26/09/2014

Failure to explain the purpose and intended outcome of a proposed initial visit to the customer or to give adequate notice prior to a proposed initial visit to the customer may not contravene CONC 7.9.12 R, provided that the customer is happy to speak to the person pursuing recovery of the debt at that time. However, where, at the initial visit the customer indicates a preference to use the first visit to agree a more convenient time for a future visit, the person pursuing recovery of the debt should respect the customer's wishes. It is important that the customer is given reasonable time to prepare for a visit and should not be coerced or pressurised into immediate discussions or decisions.

 

[Note: paragraph 3.13g (box) of DCG]

 

CONC 7.9.14R01/04/2014

A firm must ensure that all persons visiting a customer's property on its behalf act at all times in accordance with the requirements of CONC 7 and do not:

 

(1) act in a threatening manner towards a customer;

(2) visit a customer at a time when they know or suspect that the customer is, or may be, particularly vulnerable;

(3) visit at an inappropriate location unless the customer has expressly consented to the visit;

(4) enter a customer's property without the customer's consent or an appropriate court order;

(5) refuse to leave a customer's property when it becomes apparent that the customer is unduly distressed or might not have the mental capacity to make an informed repayment decision or to engage in the debt recovery process;

(6) refuse to leave a customer's property when reasonably asked to do so;

(7) visit or threaten to visit a customer without the customer's prior agreement when a debt is deadlocked or reasonably queried or disputed (see CONC 7.14 (Settlements, disputed and deadlocked debt)).

[Note: paragraphs 3.12 and 3.13 of DCG]

 

CONC 7.9.15G01/04/2014

It would normally be inappropriate to visit a customer at the customer place of work or at a hospital where the customer is a patient.

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It should be remembered that this guideline relates to regulated activity. That is ancillary credit business as defined in the CCA 1974.

 

It does not sink the argument nor invalidate the complaint if the bailiff has a Licence issued by the FCA, but it is something which should be considered, because unless the complainant is having problems with a CCA issue the regulation will be ineffective(directly).

 

https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/finalised-guidance/consumer-credit-being-regulated-guide.pdf

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 have just dug out a response from when i raised this with the OFT some years ago it may help.

 

 

Tele No

(084) 5722 4499

 

Our ref

Epic/Enq/E/129771

Fax

(020) 7211 8877

 

Date

11 July 2012

Email

[email protected]

 

 

Dear

 

Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act)

 

Thank you for your email received on 5 July 2012 concerning your enquiries.

 

Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, if a business wishes to be involved in activities relating to consumer credit or hire, including debt collection and debt management, they must have a consumer credit licence. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has duty to enforce the Act, along with local authority Trading Standards Services (TSS).

 

 

You have asked us if licences would only cover the activities that were connected with pre judgment consumer debt , and that complaints regarding the enforcement of warrants / liability orders would not be considered by the oft.

 

Consumer credit debt - we regard the collection of consumer credit debt as a licensable activity regardless of whether a judgment has been obtained.

 

Non-consumer credit debt – actions taken by licensees when collecting consumer and non-consumer credit debt may be taken into account by the OFT when considering fitness to hold a licence.

 

Thank you and I Hope you find this helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Olushola Egbowon

 

Enquiries and Reporting Centre

 

Office of Fair Trading

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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Moved to discussion forum

 

We don't have the original person here

Only 'a report' of what might have happened

 

Do a charge back and then let it goto court if its really the important

We still don't even know 'what' the debt was all about

 

Dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 1 month later...
Given the seriousness of this thread, it really does need to get wide coverage. Accordingly, I would hope that the moderators allow it to remain on this section of the forum.

 

Sadly, this is not the first time that I have taken issue with documentation from DCBL. There is a long thread on here regarding this firm and their letters regarding private parking debts (more later). This firm are also behind the TV series....Can't Pay...We Will Take it Away.

 

Yesterday, I was contacted by a gentleman who had received a letter from DCBL the previous day. The letter was received by post and was on headed notepaper from DCBL and clearly stated at the top of the letter (beside the word DCBL) the words: Certificated Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers.

 

The letter referred to a 'debt' in excess of £10,000. Interest of 8% (since May 2016) had also been added.

 

The letter stated the following:

 

 

Unless we receive immediate proposals from you regarding the repayment of this debt, the recovery process will commence 7 days from the date of this letter.

We may also make arrangements for a representative to call upon you to open up lines of communication.

The person receiving the letter knew about the 'debt' and knew that it was heavily disputed. More importantly, he was adamant that court proceedings had not been undertaken against him and that a judgment had not been obtained.

 

Since starting this thread, I have received two almost identical enquiries (one this morning).

 

It is vitally important that anyone receiving a letter (or visit) from DCBL checks to see whether a judgment has been issued or not. In the case this morning, the enforcement agent arrived shortly after 8am and to all intents and purposes, resembled a bailiff. He did not give the impression that he was a Debt Collector.

 

As in the above case, the 'debt' is one that is very much disputed.

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Neither do any doorstep dca

If you don't ask or appear gullible they exploit the debtor

 

Most people wrongly think a doorstepping dca have the same powers as bailiffs

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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DCBL will imply bailiff powers even if calling as a DCA sadly, nothing will be done about them in all probability.

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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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