Jump to content


Bailiff charging unlawful fees and acting in extortionate manner


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 1866 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I would really appreciate some advice.

 

 

My business partner and I run a small business, and cashflow is very delicate.

Some time ago we got in some money trouble and an invoice was sold to a debt recovery company.

 

 

We managed to pay it off (or so we thought), but unfortunately my business partner is a bit scatternbrained with numbers, and paid the incorrect amount.

The total outstanding debt was £5,723.96.

My business partner sent them a transfer of £5,700, accidentally leaving off the £23.96.

 

My business partner had some fees he wanted to dispute

- The debt recovery company then sent a follow up email saying all prior fees are legitimate, and that

"I have checked your account and can see we are still awaiting a payment of £23.96. I am assured this will be paid in due course, and this case can then be closed.".

My business partner forgot to respond to the email (stupid, I know), and

 

 

three weeks later (yesterday) they send a hired thug to our place of business, while customers were there, demanding the £23.96 plus a £1111.87 enforcement charge. He said that unless we paid that to him on the spot, he would confiscate goods that he valued to the sum of £8000.

 

The £5,723.96 sum had a high court writ, which comes with a cap on fees of this nature that can be charged, as illustrated by the table below:

 

The bailiff claimed to be able to charge for both stage two and three whether or not he actually had to carry out stage three.

I pointed out that I was perfectly willing to pay the debt and the enforcement fee on the spot,

which meant that he did not have the right to charge a "sale" enforcement fee,

 

 

but he refused to drop it, saying I either pay exactly what he is demanding, or he starts ripping equipment out of the walls there and then. I had no choice but to pay the entire sum, and did so.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that this is illegal and extortion, and in fact the bailiff himself used the very word "extortionate" when explaining the situation he was putting us in.

 

My question to you is

which regulatory body can I bring this to the attention of,

are there any court cases setting a precedent in these situations,

and are there guidelines that prevent bailiffs from charging huge bills for debts as low as £23?

 

 

Even the £495 bill is entirely unfair, and clearly taking advantage of an admin error made by a small business.

The law was not written to allow them to do this, and it puts our business at risk.

 

 

Any advice on putting this right would be massively appreciated.

 

Thanks a lot.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.53.57.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thread moved to Bailiff Forum.

 

Regards

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group The National Consumer Service

 

If you want advice on your Topic please PM me a link to your thread

Link to post
Share on other sites

Furthermore, reading over the email in which my business partner disputed the fees, they had already charged an enforcement fee of £1,251.11, when at that stage they had only carried out the compliance (£75) and the first enforcement stage (£190). So again, they are charging illegally high amounts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we leave the fees to one side for a moment and address the background.

 

Before the visit you should have received a Notice of Enforcement from the relevant enforcement company.

 

What was the date of this letter?

 

What date was given on the letter for payment to be made?

 

What date was payment made:

 

Who was the payment made to (the enforcement company or creditor?)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking for the letter for those two dates you've asked for. As for who the payment was made to and when, it was split as follows:

 

21/09/2016

Bailiffs

£2700

 

30/08/2016

Bailiffs

£3004

 

22/07/2016

Original Creditor

£1500

 

04/04/2016

Original Creditor

£3000

 

15/03/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

17/02/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

01/02/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

16/12/2015

Original Creditor

£3000

 

05/11/2015

Original Creditor

£2419.2

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding the figures you quote above as that comes to over £16k. On top of what Bailiff Advice has asked for do you have records which show any Court hearings where you were ordered to pay this sum?

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The original invoice was for £15,153.00. The original creditor sold the debt before we managed to pay it all off, and so the bailiffs then added their (seemingly undue) fees on top. I know the high court writ number, however it was my business partner who dealt with this, and as the situation got worse he hid it from me. I imagine with the writ number I could find the records, however I don't think it's wise to post that number here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The original invoice was for £15,153.00. The original creditor sold the debt before we managed to pay it all off, and so the bailiffs then added their (seemingly undue) fees on top. I know the high court writ number, however it was my business partner who dealt with this, and as the situation got worse he hid it from me. I imagine with the writ number I could find the records, however I don't think it's wise to post that number here.

 

Thanks for that it now starts to make sense - certainly no need to post what you don't want to.

 

You say the the original creditor sold the debt on - do you know how much was outstanding at this point?

Is it the debt collector who took to court - if so when?

Did you enter a defence or was it Judgment by Default & if so how much for?

When was the Writ obtained?

 

Sorry for the questions but a clearer picture makes it a bit easier to deal with.

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The original invoice was for £15,153.00. The original creditor sold the debt before we managed to pay it all off, and so the bailiffs then added their (seemingly undue) fees on top. I know the high court writ number, however it was my business partner who dealt with this, and as the situation got worse he hid it from me. I imagine with the writ number I could find the records, however I don't think it's wise to post that number here.

 

Please do NOT post any writ numbers or personal information.

 

What we were trying to ascertain was when payment was made in relation to the Notice of Enforcement from the enforcement agency. It would seem from your above post that the writ was for £5,723. Do you know the following:

 

What date the writ was passed to the enforcement company?

 

The date of the Notice of Enforcement.

 

Precise date that payment was made...and to who.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your help, everyone.

 

The date of the notice was 09/08/2016, and the date given for us to have paid the funds or arranged a repayment agreement was 19/08/2016 by 4pm. The letter was not received by my colleague until 25/08/2016. It appears that because we did not respond, they added fees for enforcement stage 2 and 3 despite not enacting enforcement stage 2 and 3 (as we responded to them before any visits, let alone confiscation or sale).

 

The amount owed by us at the time of the Enforcement Notice was £4445.96, and the Bailiffs had added compliance stage fees of £90 and interest of £9.73.

 

We're looking for a letter predating this letting us know a court hearing was going to happen, but we can't find one and believe the Notice of Enforcement to be the first we'd been notified of a hearing. The precise dates of payment are above, pasting again below:

 

21/09/2016

Bailiffs

£2700

 

30/08/2016

Bailiffs

£3004

 

22/07/2016

Original Creditor

£1500

 

04/04/2016

Original Creditor

£3000

 

15/03/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

17/02/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

01/02/2016

Original Creditor

£1000

 

16/12/2015

Original Creditor

£3000

 

05/11/2015

Original Creditor

£2419.2

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless I would consider the NoE as being non-compliant even if it was sent 1st Class. I would also suggest that if this is so then all the other fees are also well dodgy and should be removed. If you want to find out about the Court documentation then if you have a copy of the Writ it should tell you what Court it was sent from before it was endorsed, it should also tell you what the CCJ number is. Another way is to go to Registry Trust and see what they have - small fee applies. Then it would be a case of ringing the Court and ask for dates & most importantly what address inc postcode everything was sent to.

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The charging of all the fees all at once is pure greed on the agents behalf who will likely get about a third of the fees for himself, and should definetly be bought to the attention of the managing director of the firm.

None of the beliefs held by "Freemen on the land" have ever been supported by any judgments or verdicts in any criminal or civil court cases.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your help, everyone.

 

The date of the notice was 09/08/2016, and the date given for us to have paid the funds or arranged a repayment agreement was 19/08/2016 by 4pm. The letter was not received by my colleague until 25/08/2016. It appears that because we did not respond, they added fees for enforcement stage 2 and 3 despite not enacting enforcement stage 2 and 3 (as we responded to them before any visits, let alone confiscation or sale).

 

The amount owed by us at the time of the Enforcement Notice was £4445.96, and the Bailiffs had added compliance stage fees of £90 and interest of £9.73.

 

 

 

21/09/2016

Bailiffs

£2700

 

30/08/2016

Bailiffs

£3004

 

I do apologise but I am still slightly confused here.

 

The Notice of Enforcement was dated 19th August with full payment having to be made by 19th August. For whatever reason, the notice failed to get to your colleagues attention until 25th August (6 days after the deadline for payment).

 

A few days later (on 30th August) a payment of £3004 was paid to the bailiffs. Three week later (on the 21st September) a further payment was made to the bailiffs of £2,700.

 

These two payments left a small balance outstanding of £23.00 and yesterday, officers attended and in doing so, charged fees of approx £1,000.

 

As the deadline for payment ended on 19th August, it would be usual for a personal visit to take place within a day or two of this deadline. A part payment (of £3004) was not made until the end of August (30th August). Can you please let us know the date that a visit took place?

 

A further three weeks passed before a second payment (of £2,700) was paid. Did a second visit take place?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does sound like a visit was made after noe which would have incurred fees. Fees would have been £190+vat and more importantly 7.5% of the debt owed above £1000. So potentially 7.5% of £14000 odd.

If you made an arrangement then, it should have stayed on stage one.

The moment you default you incur stage two which is £594. When they attend again, the would have been attending for their previously incurred fees and the remaining debt and likely sale stage as they had attended again to remove goods.

This does sound about right, but if I have misunderstood what you have said, please let me know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does sound like a visit was made after noe which would have incurred fees. Fees would have been £190+vat and more importantly 7.5% of the debt owed above £1000. So potentially 7.5% of £14000 odd.

 

If you made an arrangement then, it should have stayed on stage one.

 

The moment you default you incur stage two which is £594. When they attend again, the would have been attending for their previously incurred fees and the remaining debt and likely sale stage as they had attended again to remove goods.

 

 

I have to say...these are my thoughts as well.

 

Because of the personal liability aspect, the enforcement agent is under a DUTY to try to take control of goods on behalf of the creditor. In fact, proceedings can be instigated against him by the creditor if he delays this step and goods disappear.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It does sound like a visit was made after noe which would have incurred fees. Fees would have been £190+vat and more importantly 7.5% of the debt owed above £1000. So potentially 7.5% of £14000 odd.

 

If you made an arrangement then, it should have stayed on stage one.

 

The moment you default you incur stage two which is £594. When they attend again, the would have been attending for their previously incurred fees and the remaining debt and likely sale stage as they had attended again to remove goods.

 

There is so much misunderstanding on the internet about the enforcement of judgments transferred to the High Court. By way of example, at the weekend there was a query on one of the awful "Beat the Banks" social media sites.

 

In short, an enforcement agent gained entry into a property to enforce a debt of just under £1,000. It would seem that the property was a 3 storey town house in a very nice area. The debtor had recently lost his job and offered to make payment over 3 months. The enforcement agent wrote down goods on a Controlled Goods Agreement. Posters advising him on social media were urging him not to sign the document. He chose to take their advise. Accordingly, enforcement escalated to Stage two and finally, 'Sale Stage' as well. It was only when a tow truck was called that the debtor's mother made payment.

 

Taking 'advise' from inexperienced individuals led to this debtor incurring additional fees of well over £800.

 

If a debtor is willing to enter into a Controlled Goods Agreement, then fees should stay at Stage One only.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted the following information on the forum on frequent occasions.

 

The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 outlines the fees that an enforcement agent can charge, and at what stage in the procedure such a charge may be applied. Whenever a statutory instrument is introduced, an Explanatory Memorandum will be released at the same time. This document is of vital importance. It is only a short document but it's aim is to outline in simple terms the purpose of the legislation. A link to the Explanatory Memorandum is below. The relevant section regarding fees for enforcing High Court debts is Item 7.3 which states as follows:

 

While the fee structure applies across debt streams, there are two separate fee levels – one for High Court Enforcement and one for non-High Court Enforcement, with the High Court level containing higher fees.

 

This reflects the findings in the 2009 independent report that High Court Enforcement has a higher cost base
due to the personal responsibility of a High Court Enforcement Officer (who has writs addressed directly to them)
and the fact that they enforce higher value debts.

 

The personal liability of the HighCourt Enforcement Officer has also necessitated the need for High Court enforcement to have
first and second enforcement stages
with the associated fees.

 

The fee structure for High Court cases also
introduces an incentive to enter into, and adhere to, an affordable controlled goods agreement.

 

Unless a debtor pays in full at the compliance stage, the enforcement agent is obliged to visit the debtor in
every
High Court case in order to take control of goods, thereby triggering
the first enforcement stage.

 

If the enforcement agent is then unable to enter into a controlled goods agreement (and has to take control of goods in another manner) or a debtor defaults on a controlled goods agreement, the enforcement agent will be under an obligation to remove goods and therefore the second enforcement stage fee will also apply.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1/pdfs/uksiem_20140001_en.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I would really appreciate some advice.

 

 

My business partner and I run a small business, and cashflow is very delicate.

Some time ago we got in some money trouble and an invoice was sold to a debt recovery company.

 

 

We managed to pay it off (or so we thought), but unfortunately my business partner is a bit scatternbrained with numbers, and paid the incorrect amount.

The total outstanding debt was

 

 

Your question was can you get the costs assessed and the answer is yes you can.

Edited by slick132
separated quote and reply
Link to post
Share on other sites

There was definitely no visit before Monday's appearance, so Monday should only count as stage 2, unless I'm wrong? Furthermore, the debt when it reached the hands of the enforcers was £4445, so that's the % they would be dipping into.

 

The 19th of August date was for payment or arrangement of payment agreement. As soon as he saw it, my business partner phoned to make a payment arrangement and the end of September was agreed. My business partner then made those payments, unfortunately lacking the £23, but disputed the fees. The agent wrote back saying the fees stood, so my partner asked to arrange a phone call to talk it through, which they did not respond to.

 

So my understanding is that the most they can charge in fees is for one stage two visit, which was triggered for the outstanding amount of a measly £23.

 

Am I right?

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

What you need to do is to contact the enforcement company (NOT by phone...but by email) and ask them to provide a full and detailed breakdown of the fees charged and the DATES that the fees were applied.

 

It really is unusual for a visit not to be made within a day or so of the date given on the Notice of Enforcement. This is the reason why you need to have details in writing from the enforcement company.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The % fee should only be based on the sum to be recovered. If the debt was largely paid off at a debt collection stage then this should be on the remaining sums due.

 

This smacks of one of the many 'franchise' firms that have popped up over recent years with a back office with little knowledge and an enforcement agent that charges aggressively. '

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This smacks of one of the many 'franchise' firms that have popped up over recent years with a back office with little knowledge and an enforcement agent that charges aggressively. '

 

My personal opinion, is that one High Court enforcement company are responsible for giving the industry a bad name. There is no point in naming the company as it is featured on this forum very frequently.

 

In the past week or so, I have received two enquiries about this company and in both cases, as soon as the officer attended (and without even gaining entry into the premises) the enforcement agent demanded the Stage One, Stage Two and Sale stage fees!!! Fortunately, in one case, a film crew were present. A complaint is being copied to the production company (and others as well).

 

I discussed one of these cases with AW when I recently met with him. The High Court Enforcement Officers Association really does need to address this problem as the industry is going to be further tainted by this 'bad apple'.

 

PS: Sorry for the rant....

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote=Bailiff Advice;4959204

 

]My personal opinion, is that one High Court enforcement company are responsible for giving the industry a bad name. There is no point in naming the company as it is featured on this forum very frequently. I agree with this.

 

In the past week or so, I have received two enquiries about this company and in both cases, as soon as the officer attended (and without even gaining entry into the premises) the enforcement agent demanded the Stage One, Stage Two and Sale stage fees!!! Fortunately, in one case, a film crew were present. A complaint is being copied to the production company (and others as well). As far as the TV people are concerned it makes for a better "story" than one which does not quite have the same pressure.

I discussed one of these cases with AW when I recently met with him. The High Court Enforcement Officers Association really does need to address this problem as the industry is going to be further tainted by this 'bad apple'. No doubt they will say - again - that the offending company are not members. That may be so but the person fronting them is and they can take action against them but doubt they will want to rock the boat. Needs to be brought to the attention of the LCD.

 

PS: Sorry for the rant....

 

I still say in this instance the NoE was non compliant as per post 11, and if so then everything afterwards is irrelevant.

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I would really appreciate some advice.

 

 

My business partner and I run a small business, and cashflow is very delicate.

Some time ago we got in some money trouble and an invoice was sold to a debt recovery company.

 

 

We managed to pay it off (or so we thought), but unfortunately my business partner is a bit scatternbrained with numbers, and paid the incorrect amount.

The total outstanding debt was £5,723.96.

My business partner sent them a transfer of £5,700, accidentally leaving off the £23.96.

 

My business partner had some fees he wanted to dispute

- The debt recovery company then sent a follow up email saying all prior fees are legitimate, and that

"I have checked your account and can see we are still awaiting a payment of £23.96. I am assured this will be paid in due course, and this case can then be closed.".

My business partner forgot to respond to the email (stupid, I know), and

 

 

three weeks later (yesterday) they send a hired thug to our place of business, while customers were there, demanding the £23.96 plus a £1111.87 enforcement charge. He said that unless we paid that to him on the spot, he would confiscate goods that he valued to the sum of £8000.

 

The £5,723.96 sum had a high court writ, which comes with a cap on fees of this nature that can be charged, as illustrated by the table below:

 

The bailiff claimed to be able to charge for both stage two and three whether or not he actually had to carry out stage three.

I pointed out that I was perfectly willing to pay the debt and the enforcement fee on the spot,

which meant that he did not have the right to charge a "sale" enforcement fee,

 

 

but he refused to drop it, saying I either pay exactly what he is demanding, or he starts ripping equipment out of the walls there and then. I had no choice but to pay the entire sum, and did so.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that this is illegal and extortion, and in fact the bailiff himself used the very word "extortionate" when explaining the situation he was putting us in.

 

My question to you is

which regulatory body can I bring this to the attention of,

are there any court cases setting a precedent in these situations,

and are there guidelines that prevent bailiffs from charging huge bills for debts as low as £23?

 

 

Even the £495 bill is entirely unfair, and clearly taking advantage of an admin error made by a small business.

The law was not written to allow them to do this, and it puts our business at risk.

 

 

Any advice on putting this right would be massively appreciated.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

 

You can apply to High Court using form N244 (for its type) to request a financial breakdown of costs, if contacting the principal creditor (main), agent (Bailiff company/ staff: Enforcement Agent) brings you no positive outcome. You could also make an application to transfer the matter to your local County Court.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...