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Hi guys.

 

The other night I had the misfortune to have bailiffs from Marston's attend my property.

 

 

I was asleep on the sofa

my partner went outside to see what the noise was as we live on a partly industrial site and we have locked gates to the shared access.

 

 

My partner came in frantic and woke me up to tell me that men who identified themselves as Law Enforcement Officers were here to see me..

 

 

I went out to greet them and instructed my partner to lock the door behind me.

Stupidly neither of us had the good sense to video any of this because if we did then the following events may not have happened.

 

 

I asked them what their business was

they said they were there to exercise a warrant for unpaid fines.

 

 

I replied that this was fine and I offered myself for arrest as they had led us to believe that they were Court Bailiffs and not Private Bailiffs.

 

 

Whilst I was talking to them,

one of them said they had the power to force entry yet never showed me any warrant..

.whilst I was being distracted by one Bailiff

the other opened my rear gate and the next thing I hear is my partner screaming that the other Bailiff is forcing the French Doors open.

 

 

Anyone that knows French doors will know that unless you have very thick bolts top and bottom that they are fairly easy for a 14 stone thug to push open regardless of how good your Chubb lock is on the handle assembly.

 

 

Unfortunately I just have 2 little bolt locks at the bottom of the doors and they are only attached by half inch screws.

 

I immediately rang 999 and asked for Police to report a case of breaking and entering..

.but once I told the operator that they were Bailiffs she said there was nothing they could do???

 

 

is that the case?

All you need to burgle a house is a uniform and a bundle of lies.

 

 

Now that they are both in the house they start just going through our things saying that they would be taking everything unless they received full payment of £700.

 

 

To try and settle with them I offered them either of 2 cars,

a 1 ounce gold chain

or my Rolex watch left to me by my Grandfather..

 

 

.and they refused each of them and instead began to dismantle my computer and the 7 year old plasma TV I use as a monitor for it.

 

My partner and I at this stage were terrified as the Police had turned their back on us,

the Bailiffs didn't really seem to want to take goods..

.more like create a sense of fear, disruption and panic in our house.

 

 

I told them I would happily surrender what I owned.

..gold chain, Rolex watch and 2 cars

but as it was my partner's rented (furnished) house and not a joint tenancy nearly everything else belonged to either my landlord or my partner and I offered receipts to prove.

 

 

They then said that they would be taking everything anyway and we could use the receipts that I had just offered to show them to claim what they had taken by applying to the Court.

 

 

Then we get to the what they really want.

.I said I had just given up my job through illness before Christmas and we simply didn't have that kind of money but I could get £300.

 

 

They said "You must know someone who will lend it to you" and my partner then rang her Mum who paid it on her Credit Card.

 

Now what this fine related to was a car I sold over a year ago to a car dismantler who was supposed to have applied for a new logbook informing the DVLA he was the new keeper but clearly he didn't.

 

 

Now because the vehicle was neither SORN nor taxed apparently the DVLA can now 'do' you for no insurance.

 

 

Now here is my guilt...I foolishly ignored their letters thinking that eventually the DVLA would be updated eventually.

 

 

I then exacerbated things by ignoring the Court letters too.

In my defence I suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues not to mention physical ongoing Pancreatic problems so I know it's bad but I do bury my head in the sand and hope everything will all go away. Not the actions of a perfectly mentally sound individual.

 

Now what I have done so far to try and remedy the situation is send the DVLA a copy of the bill of sale for the car..

.and naturally they say it's not their problem now.

..so my next step is to deal with the Court.

 

 

I also reported it this morning to the Police as a crime and let me tell you that is no easy task as the operator this time said she would pass it along to their crime team who would get back to me within a few days....no crime number or reference of any kind.

 

I fully intend to help my partner's mother instigate a chargeback on her Credit Card although it seems to be ill advised on this site.

 

 

..as this payment was obtained solely under duress.

Any advice or imput would be gratefully received. Thanks so much in advance

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Was any damage caused your French windows?

 

Do you know if they were using body worn video cameras?


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Yes....damage to the paltry 4 inch sliding door bolts...these are the type;

http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/project_images/bolt/straight-door-bolt.jpg

 

Since posting earlier I have had a call back from a DS from my local Police who initially was adamant that no crime had been committed but after me pointing her to the .gov.uk website explaining what rights bailiffs have she eventually came round to the idea that there had perhaps been a crime committed and said the next call I will get from them is with a crime ref. number.

 

I didn't notice if they were wearing body cameras...was totally s****ing myself to be honest

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Well I think it would be more helpful to post pictures of the damage then an of a new item. Maybe you could do that.

 

Also, I think it would be a very good idea to SAR the police to get a copy of the phone call which you initially made. I think that this is extremely important and I would be interested to listen to it myself.

 

Did they leave any kind of documentation with you? When did you next expect to hear from the police? I would be grateful if you would contact me by email on our admin email address with your contact details.

 

Thank you


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Hi guys.

 

Now what this fine related to was a car I sold over a year ago to a car dismantler who was supposed to have applied for a new logbook informing the DVLA he was the new keeper but clearly he didn't. Now because the vehicle was neither SORN nor taxed apparently the DVLA can now 'do' you for no insurance. Now here is my guilt...I foolishly ignored their letters thinking that eventually the DVLA would be updated eventually. I then exacerbated things by ignoring the Court letters too.

 

In my defence I suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues not to mention physical ongoing Pancreatic problems so I know it's bad but I do bury my head in the sand and hope everything will all go away. Not the actions of a perfectly mentally sound individual.

 

Until I read this part of your question I was going to suggest that you apply to the court to get a Statutory Declaration. Unfortunately, ignoring the letters from the court will prohibit a stat dec.

 

Courts really are becoming rather tough about applications for Statutory Declaration and only this morning, I received an enquiry after Magistrates refused to accept a Stat Dec at Leicester Magistrates earlier today. This is the second such enquiry in less that a week.

 

I am sorry to hear of the problem that you came across today. Unfortunately, with magistrate court fines the enforcement agent is permitted to used forced entry. He does not need a separate warrant either. I have posted a copy of the HMCTS Forced Entry Protocol on the forum somewhere. I will find it and post a copy up for you.

 

PS: The warrant is addressed to the enforcement officer and sadly, there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the position of showing the warrant to the fine defaulter. You can apply to the company for a copy but the enforcement agent himself is not under an obligation to give you a copy.

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I will gladly pay the fine as the mistake is mine for not doing something about it sooner

but it was my understanding that the only way a bailiff can force entry is by way of a locksmith or other peaceful means of entry.

 

 

My issue is the panic and fear created by being broken into and hearing the screams of my terrified girlfriend attempting to prevent a 14 plus stone thug forcing open the doors

 

 

she was trying to prevent him from forcing open....something I couldn't do as I was being distracted by the other individual around the other side of the property.

 

 

I will be instigating the chargeback purely to recoup the bailiff fees and the remainder I will pay as a fine to the Magistrates Court in question

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I will gladly pay the fine as the mistake is mine for not doing something about it sooner but it was my understanding that the only way a bailiff can force entry is by way of a locksmith or other peaceful means of entry.

 

I will be instigating the chargeback purely to recoup the bailiff fees and the remainder I will pay as a fine to the Magistrates Court in question

 

 

Before getting to the very late stage of a personal visit, you should have received a Notice of Enforcement from Marston Group advising you that they have received a warrant of control. Most importantly, that letter would have invited you to make a payment proposal and that would have meant that a bailiff visit would not need to be made....and the debt increasing by £235 (enforcement fee).

 

You should have also received a Further Steps Notice from the court warning that a warrant would be issued.

 

I will have a look out for the HMCTS Forced Entry guidance.

 

Please be aware that it would not be for you to make a chargebeack request. Such a request must be made by the person who made payment. If accepted, the warrant becomes live again.

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The trouble is living on an industrial site and having a shared mailbox means there are tons of brown envelopes arriving everyday.

..so I don't always get my mail on time and sometimes not at all.

 

 

Had they put a Parking Ticket type sticker on my front door then I would've rang them because I would've at least known how serious the matter was.

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you cant do a chargeback on a credit card

its a section 75 request.

 

 

not being funny

but I cant see the bailiffs actually did anything wrong sadly.

 

 

I would guess all the various letters went to another address

as you hadn't informed anyone you had recently moved from the address the car was registered at?


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"not being funny

but I cant see the bailiffs actually did anything wrong sadly."

 

Reasonable force is allowed but still must be through peaceful means surely? A locksmith is quite peaceful as he probably won't need to break anything to get in.

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With council tax debts and unpaid penalty charge notices, a bailiff is only permitted to gain 'peaceful entry'. This can be via an unlocked door. A bailiff is no longer permitted to climb through an open window.

 

With unpaid court fines...the position is altogether different in that the warrant permits forced entry. This will usually be by using a locksmith to force a lock. Thankfully, that particular use of force was not necessary as your french doors were much easier to open. It would seem that only very limited force was used.

 

Having received many enquiries over the years of bailiffs forcing entry by way of a locksmith, I can assure you that it would be a very distressing time for members of the public. I am pleased that you did not have to incur such an unpleasant incident.

 

It may assist you to know that one proviso when using force to gain entry is that the court will expect that force is only used in cases where the enforcement agent is satisfied that the debtor is inside the property and refusing to make payment.

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I was outside the house and in no way refusing to make payment but was trying to negotiate with them when one snuck off round the corner and broke in.

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The trouble is living on an industrial site and having a shared mailbox means there are tons of brown envelopes arriving everyday.

..so I don't always get my mail on time and sometimes not at all.

 

 

Had they put a Parking Ticket type sticker on my front door then I would've rang them because I would've at least known how serious the matter was.

 

I am sure that you are probably kicking yourself right now for ignoring the letters from the court. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

 

I note your comment that the letter would have been better being stuck on the front door but I can assure you that if bailiffs did this as a matter or routine, there would be outrage from debtors on the basis that such a notice causes embarrassment.

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I was outside the house and in no way refusing to make payment but was trying to negotiate with them when one snuck off round the corner and broke in.

 

The problem that you have here is that once the warrant has got to such a late stage that a personal visit is necessary, the bailiff's role is to either obtain full payment or alternatively, to 'take control of goods' (hence the name of the regulations). Accordingly, unless you were offering full payment....the enforcement agent can use the warrant to gain entry and search for items that can be 'taken into control'.

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The problem that you have here is that once the warrant has got to such a late stage that a personal visit is necessary, the bailiff's role is to either obtain full payment or alternatively, to 'take control of goods' (hence the name of the regulations). Accordingly, unless you were offering full payment....the enforcement agent can use the warrant to gain entry and search for items that can be 'taken into control'.

 

I am puzzled then as to why they were more keen to take a 7 year old plasma TV rather than a 1 ounce gold chain, a Rolex watch or 2 cars.

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I am puzzled then as to why they were more keen to take a 7 year old plasma TV rather than a 1 ounce gold chain, a Rolex watch or 2 cars.

 

How much were both vehicles worth?

 

Did they both belong to you?

 

Was there any finance outstanding against either of the vehicles?

 

The enforcement agent has the choice as to what goods he would wish to 'take into control'. For instance, he may not be willing to take either the watch or gold chain as he may have considered that an interpleader claim could be made after seizure from somebody else claiming that they (and not you) are the rightful owner. There could also be the additional difficulty with valuation at the time of seizure.

 

Just because a TV was moved and computer unplugged does not in itself mean that the enforcement agent would not have also seized both vehicles and the watch and chain.

 

As an owner of a Rolex watch myself, (50th birthday present) I would say that you were fortunate that the enforcement agent was not willing to take the watch. You would have been bitterly disappointed with the auction value (possibly as low as 10% of its true value).

 

 

PS: Was an Inventory made of goods?

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How much were both vehicles worth?

 

Did they both belong to you?

 

Was there any finance outstanding against either of the vehicles?

 

The enforcement agent has the choice as to what goods he would wish to 'take into control'. For instance, he may not be willing to take either the watch or gold chain as he may have considered that an interpleader claim could be made after seizure from somebody else claiming that they (and not you) are the rightful owner. There could also be the additional difficulty with valuation at the time of seizure.

 

Just because a TV was moved and computer unplugged does not in itself mean that the enforcement agent would not have also seized both vehicles and the watch and chain.

 

As an owner of a Rolex watch myself, (50th birthday present) I would say that you were fortunate that the enforcement agent was not willing to take the watch. You would have been bitterly disappointed with the auction value (possibly as low as 10% of its true value).

 

 

PS: Was an Inventory made of goods?

 

No inventory made of goods...with regards to interpleader claim, the Enforcement Agent wasn't concerned about taking other things that didn't belong to me despite me being able to show receipts to prove who owned what....he stated that I could use them receipts to claim the items back from the Court??? How could I do that if he is taking them to auction? I could already prove what I owned and didn't own and that was what I offered him....I told him that anything else he removed would be theft as it didn't belong as was borne out by the receipts he didn't want to see. He refused the 2 cars as they only take 2008 vehicles onwards...unless it's a classic or a collector's vehicle.

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No inventory made of goods...with regards to interpleader claim, the Enforcement Agent wasn't concerned about taking other things that didn't belong to me despite me being able to show receipts to prove who owned what....he stated that I could use them receipts to claim the items back from the Court??? How could I do that if he is taking them to auction? I could already prove what I owned and didn't own and that was what I offered him....I told him that anything else he removed would be theft as it didn't belong as was borne out by the receipts he didn't want to see. He refused the 2 cars as they only take 2008 vehicles onwards...unless it's a classic or a collector's vehicle.

 

The interpleader procedure was introduced in 2014 and allows anyone (including a third party) the opportunity to object if goods have been taken into control by a bailiff when they should not have been. The procedure is outlined under Part 85 of the Civil Procedure Rules and is a very simple procedure.

 

For instance, if the bailiff had taken goods that belonged to your partner or flatmate (as an example) then that person would issue a Part 85 Claim and would exhibit receipts proving ownership. As long as the evidence stacked up, their goods would be released and made available for collection. Goods cannot be auctioned whilst a Part 85 (Interpleader claim) is being considered.

 

One very important point is that removed goods sell for only a fraction of their high street value and it is true that vehicles that are pre 2008 are probably not worth taking (with of course some exceptions).

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I am so shocked at the advice given here. The OP didn't even owe anything (according to their story). They have been complaint and even offered themselves up for arrest. They are suffering from PTSD and should not have to go through this. Marstons obviously overstepped the mark, and this is the best advice on offer, you're an idiot and sniggering at how old the Rolex is? Grandfather could have left it quite recently.


Why aren't we revolting?

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I suggest you read the 3 posts above yours more carefully as you have completely misunderstood the content, context and tone.

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Unfortunately as it stands the bailiffs in all probability did nothing wrong given that it was a criminal fine. They would have if they had listed and removed all the household contents including exempt items.

Edited by Andyorch
Quotation removed

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Hi BA

just to pick up on a comment you made to the op.

The OP said he tried to offer his gold chain Rolex watch and 2 cars for payment.

I am sure this would have been enough to cover the amount owed.

If the Op is correct then their was no need to force entry.

This would have been to intimidate the Op for cash or bank payment.

 

With regards to the comment about a section 85 you stated about the gold, what is the difference in previous threads regards to cars, yet you condone the EA for doing so, stating Third party can do the section 85,

no difference.

 

This is not a personal attack but have put down by other members for querying the same question.

but now with the gold have turned full circle.

 

With regards to the Warrant I am still of the opinion the original should be shown to the creditor or a paper copy of be sent,

then here can be no arguments over the warrant. ( I mean a proper warrant not one made up by the EA company. Saves a lot of problems if this was the case!!!

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Hi BA

just to pick up on a comment you made to the op.

The OP said he tried to offer his gold chain Rolex watch and 2 cars for payment.

I am sure this would have been enough to cover the amount owed.

If the Op is correct then their was no need to force entry.

This would have been to intimidate the Op for cash or bank payment.

 

With regards to the comment about a section 85 you stated about the gold, what is the difference in previous threads regards to cars, yet you condone the EA for doing so, stating Third party can do the section 85,

no difference.

 

This is not a personal attack but have put down by other members for querying the same question.

but now with the gold have turned full circle.

 

With regards to the Warrant I am still of the opinion the original should be shown to the creditor or a paper copy of be sent,

then here can be no arguments over the warrant. ( I mean a proper warrant not one made up by the EA company. Saves a lot of problems if this was the case!!!

Surprised they didn't clamp the cars just for the hell of it OP got off lightly there but as far as auction value is concerned, 10% of value at distress sale auction is about right, so a £10K rolex would be lucky to fetch a grand, but I agree with your sentiment Leakie, the bailiff is there to give the debtor hell and force a payment end of, I still think they are not appropriate in the 21st Century.


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Off topic and unhelpful posts removed.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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I agree to a certain extent BN

but there is still a need for the people who know how to play thew system as a limited company. running up debts and closing down,

happened to me a few times , this is why I am in the position In am in now.

but overall agree out dated in the 21st century, it is called control over the peasants.

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