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The following statement was released a few days ago by the Government.

 

This is in response to a Daily Mail campaign earlier this year regarding individuals who have found themselves unable to get a mortgage or credit because of the existence of a judgment against them that they were unaware of (usually because all correspondence had been sent to a previous address).

 

Depending on the outcome, this consultation could have far reaching consequences for bailiff enforcement.

 

Currently, in relation to council tax arrears, a local authority are permitted to issue a summons to the 'last known' address. In relation to an unpaid penalty charge notice, correspondence must be addressed to the address held by DVLA at the time of the contravention.

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The following is a copy of the statement from the Ministry of Justice:

 

 

 

The government has today (23 December 2016) announced a crackdown on unresolved debts which can damage people’s credit ratings without them knowing. The action comes after concerns were raised that companies were issuing claims to consumers using incorrect addresses.

 

Ministers say that is unacceptable and will consult on ways to protect people from having their credit ratings affected despite being unaware of the claims made against them. They will also examine to what extent unscrupulous debt agencies have contributed to the problem.

 

The consultation will consider how the current system can be improved and reinforced to ensure that companies take all reasonable steps before they are able to apply to a court for a claim.

 

The consultation will look at ways to:

 

better protect consumers who are sent mail to inaccurate addresses

 

verify addresses again before a claim is sent

 

protect people’s credit scores from being damaged if they resolve outstanding debts quickly

 

consider how modern communication could notify people of outstanding debts

 

assess the role of parking companies and examine how drivers are informed of fines

 

Announcing the measures, Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald said:

 

It cannot be right that people who are unaware of debts can see their lives and finances ruined by county court judgments.

 

In the digital age, we must ensure companies pursuing unpaid debts make every reasonable effort to contact individuals, rather than simply relying on a letter to an old address.

 

Companies will always be allowed appropriate means of redress when they are owed money and people should always take reasonable steps to protect themselves.

 

“This consultation will make sure the right balance is struck in allowing companies to pursue debts, but while guaranteeing the appropriate level of protection to those who unwittingly owe money.

 

Round table events with consumer groups and advice organisations to gauge early views will take place in the new year before the consultation goes live.

 

The Ministry of Justice will also launch a new public advice campaign early in the new year to help protect people unaware of their debts and
remind them of the importance of informing companies of a change of address.

 

It will provide simple, clear guidance for consumers on how to communicate accurate address information, find out about outstanding claims and how to challenge erroneous claims.

 

And the Department for Communities and Local Government will be taking further steps in due course to tackle poor practice by private parking companies.

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A number of cases have become public knowledge where private parking companies in particular use the DVLA records obtained sometimes years previously to the court claim to issue a summons knowing very well that it is going to an outdated address to gain a default judgement and then go about collection activity at the known new address. The defendant then has to pay £255 to get this judgement set aside when the original amount supposedly owed may be as little as £1

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Wonder how the likes of Arrows, Lowells et.al will react to this as default at previous address is one of their primary MOs? Might cause complaints and outrage to MOJ during the consultation from Capita and their tame bailiffs Equita and Ross 'n Robbers when it impinges on collecting outstanding Council Tax from someone who has moved, assuming it will prevent them gaining the LO at old address after occupant moved on.


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

 

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

 

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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Wonder how the likes of Arrows, Lowells et.al will react to this as default at previous address is one of their primary MOs? Might cause complaints and outrage to MOJ during the consultation from Capita and their tame bailiffs Equita and Ross 'n Robbers when it impinges on collecting outstanding Council Tax from someone who has moved, assuming it will prevent them gaining the LO at old address after occupant moved on.

 

This forthcoming consultation has been initiated the the recent campaign led by the Daily Mail. I am quite convinced that the government do not realise that their own agencies are the worst offenders for issuing claims against previous addresses.

 

In the case of a council tax arrears, approx 3.6 million liability orders are issued each year and legislation merely provides that a summons can be issued to the 'last know address'.

 

In the case of an unpaid penalty charge notice, (of which there are millions), the statutory NtO (and all subsequent notices including a warrant) must be sent to the address that the vehicle had been registered to on that date of the initial contravention.

 

The subject of wrong addresses (in particular in relation to penalty charge notices) is a subject that I have been passionate about for many years. Almost certainly I intend to take part in the forthcoming consultation.

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Where change is desperately needed is in relation to remedies if documentation has been sent to a previous address etc.

 

For instance, the Ministry of Justice really need to re-consider the fees that are currently charged for N244 applications. In the case of an N244 Application to set aside a judgment that a debtor had not known about, the fee is £255.

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Where change is desperately needed is in relation to remedies if documentation has been sent to a previous address etc.

 

For instance, the Ministry of Justice really need to re-consider the fees that are currently charged for N244 applications. In the case of an N244 Application to set aside a judgment that a debtor had not known about, the fee is £255.

 

If it can be proved that say Lowell, or a council knowingly used an old address to gain the CCJ or LO, then they should be made to refund the Set Aside fee imho. In some cases I have seen, the alleged debtor told the council they had moved, gave a forwarding address, and even until the housing stock was transferred out had moved from one council house to another, and in some cases HB CTB was in payment, so there were no actionable arrears, the claims had transferred with the tenant.

 

The N244 is too expensive, even someone in work on a good salary would need to use a credit card to pay, and someone on minimum wage has no chance (unless their low income allows remission of fee) It should be no more than £50 .


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 OTHER

 

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

 

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

 

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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