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Please bare with me as this is a long transcript.

 

I owe my council £378.29, but I couldn't make any payment as I recently lost my job.

My local council referred the case to the Equita who sent me a "Notice of enforcement" stating that I need to pay 453.29 (Incl. compliance stage fee £75) before 20/02/2017 or contact them to arrange a payment plan else the case will be passed onto bailiffs.

 

I called them on 16/02/2017 and told them that I could pay the money by the end of this month as I recently got a job and so will be paid at the end of this month. I thought we had an agreement as the agent gave me her direct phone number.

 

When I called the agent on 27/02/2017 to make the payment as agreed, she said the case had been passed to a bailiff agent as I'm too late.

 

She put me through to the bailiff agent without letting me explain to her.

The bailiff agent stated that he had not received the case yet so asked me to call him in the evening and gave me his number.

 

I called him in the evening, and he stated that he still has not received the case but told me that he would call me tomorrow.

I did not get any call from him on 28/02/2017.

 

I called him on 01/03/2017, and he said the case has been assigned to him but busy to talk so he would call me back later, but I did not get any call.

 

I sent him a text on 02/03/2017 asking him to call me when he is ready to talk but no response.

 

On Monday 06/03/2017 he appeared at my house and demanded me to pay.

I told him that I called him many times to resolve this issue over the phone to prevent paying the additional "Enforcement stage" fee of £235, but he did not let me speak and demanded the payment else he will take away the goods. I had no other choice but to pay £688.29.

 

I called him today 08/03/2017 to understand why he did not call me back when I was offering to pay the money.

 

He was implying that he did not receive any call from me, but the case is resolved.

I also asked why he did not notify me by a call or a letter that he will be visiting my house but did not give me a straight answer.

 

I had recorded all the calls I made to him including when he said that he had not received the case yet and will call me back to implying that he did not receive my calls.

 

Can I make a formal complaint and request a refund of the fees added by the Equita? Please advice.

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He doesn't have to send a letter that he is coming you got the NOF that's it


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This sounds a classic case of them abusing their power by engineering a visit whereby they can then claim the additional £235 fee, which for them is better than the original Compliance Fee of £75. In my view you have made it plain you wished to pay in full but they have made many excuses not to do this making you pay additional fees.

 

As it is Equita I would suspect your Council may be run by Capita - they also own Equita. So a normal complaint to them will either go unanswered or will say they had done nothing wrong. Therefore I would use a 2 pronged attack by making a Formal Complaint to the Council CEO over what has happened with a copy going to your local Councillor(s) - I would contact them initially by phone over this.


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@ploddertom, many Thanks for your prompt response.

 

I will do what you have asked me and will update you on the progress.

 

He doesn't have to send a letter that he is coming you got the NOF that's it

 

But that should not stop him from resolving the issue over the phone.

 

I got in touch with him even before he was assigned the case to him.

 

I made many calls to resolve the issue.

 

Clearly, his intention was to visit me in person.

 

Is this a right thing to do?

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If he does visit do not let him in, and hide any car for now,

he cannot force entry,

 

and to let him in to Take Control of Goods would be a bad idea,

as he will find a way to engineer a default so he can call and add the £110 Sales Fee.

 

Equita are good at that.


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@ploddertom, many Thanks for your prompt response.

 

I will do what you have asked me and will update you on the progress.

 

But that should not stop him from resolving the issue over the phone.

 

I got in touch with him even before he was assigned the case to him.

 

I made many calls to resolve the issue.

 

Clearly, his intention was to visit me in person.

 

Is this a right thing to do?

 

 

equita/capita pulling a fast one as PT says.

 

 

you've a very detailed timeline which should be forwarded to the councils CEO...

 

 

they need to be aware of these stunts their employees are pulling to gander more fees


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Equita were notorious pre 2014 for trying to add all manner of fees even before they visited a debtor, and there is nothing to indicate they have changed one iota in trying to get round the 2014 changes. What is telling is that Equita are owned by Capita, the same Capita in the doo doo for their TV licensing goons and naughty dodgy prosecutions.


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Totally agree with you BN

 

I was unfortunate to have an Equita bailiff turn up on me, well my wife

But I had the last laugh when he did not get paid his fees,

If his had not tried to spoof me out of extra fee's I may well have paid him,

it was thanks to CAG I had the knowledge to know he was trying it on

Anything to do with Capita tends to be somewhat sceptical

Edited by Andyorch
behave - dx typo andyorch

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Please bare with me as this is a long transcript.

 

I owe my council £378.29, but I couldn't make any payment as I recently lost my job.

My local council referred the case to the Equita who sent me a "Notice of enforcement" stating that I need to pay 453.29 (Incl. compliance stage fee £75) before 20/02/2017 or contact them to arrange a payment plan else the case will be passed onto bailiffs.

 

I called them on 16/02/2017 and told them that I could pay the money by the end of this month as I recently got a job and so will be paid at the end of this month. I thought we had an agreement as the agent gave me her direct phone number.

 

When I called the agent on 27/02/2017 to make the payment as agreed, she said the case had been passed to a bailiff agent as I'm too late.

 

She put me through to the bailiff agent without letting me explain to her.

The bailiff agent stated that he had not received the case yet so asked me to call him in the evening and gave me his number.

 

I called him in the evening, and he stated that he still has not received the case but told me that he would call me tomorrow.

I did not get any call from him on 28/02/2017.

 

I called him on 01/03/2017, and he said the case has been assigned to him but busy to talk so he would call me back later, but I did not get any call.

 

I sent him a text on 02/03/2017 asking him to call me when he is ready to talk but no response.

 

On Monday 06/03/2017 he appeared at my house and demanded me to pay.

I told him that I called him many times to resolve this issue over the phone to prevent paying the additional "Enforcement stage" fee of £235, but he did not let me speak and demanded the payment else he will take away the goods. I had no other choice but to pay £688.29.

 

I called him today 08/03/2017 to understand why he did not call me back when I was offering to pay the money.

 

He was implying that he did not receive any call from me, but the case is resolved.

I also asked why he did not notify me by a call or a letter that he will be visiting my house but did not give me a straight answer.

 

I had recorded all the calls I made to him including when he said that he had not received the case yet and will call me back to implying that he did not receive my calls.

 

Can I make a formal complaint and request a refund of the fees added by the Equita? Please advice.

 

I wholly support the comments already made that this particular case should be subjected to a formal complaint. What the bailiff did was actually very serious indeed and clearly intended to ensure that an 'enforcement' fee could be added.

 

The bailiff regulations were completely overhauled 3 years ago (April 2014) and the position now is that the £235 enforcement fee may only be charged at the time of the actual visit. It cannot and must not be charged when an account is passed to the enforcement company.

 

It's a shame that you were not aware of this as you could have made an online payment to Equita (minus there £235 enforcement fee) as soon as you received notification from the bailiff that he had not as yet received the case.

 

For the avoidance of doubt.....the enforcement fee may only be charged when he makes a physical visit and not before.

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Is there any evidence that Equita are using the same MO with others? It is indeed serious as diplomaticguru did their level best to pay, but the bailiff is only intertested in fees, they definitely engineered a visit to garner the Enforcement Fee in the face of all attempts to pay and I'm surprised that he didn't try it on with the Sales fee as well. a Formal complaint to Council CEO Elected Leader and Equita. Wonder like PT if this is a Capita infested council?

 

It is good that you recorded the phone calls, save them as audio files with transcripts to use with a Formal Complaint, this bailiff might be a very unhappy bunny shortly.


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@Bailiff Advice and @brassnecked, thank you for the reply.

 

@Bailiff Advice, it's a shame that I was not aware of that else I would have paid online.

 

@brassnecked, Yes I have recorded the phone calls.

 

Recorded the fellowing:

 

1) Stating that he has not received the case yet and will call me back.(audio file)

2) I've been assigned the call but busy to talk. He stated he will call back. (audio file)

3) A Text asking him to call me when he is ready to talk. (text message)

4) Implying that he did not receive any calls from me (this is post visiting my house). (audio)

 

I made all of these contacts. He never contacted me.

Edited by diplomaticguru

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If he had not received the case, then he should have told you to make payment online. It really is that simple.

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disgusting.........


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disgusting.........

That'll be the Equita and Capita. A thoroughly nasty organisation which as a group is in trouble. I think that what happened here is not an isolated incident, as Equita have form for adding all fees pre 2014 before a visit, so no reason to believe they have altered their basic methods, just adjusted them around the 2014 changes.


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@Bailiff Advice and @brassnecked, thank you for the reply.

 

@Bailiff Advice, it's a shame that I was not aware of that else I would have paid online.

 

@brassnecked, Yes I have recorded the phone calls.

 

Recorded the fellowing:

 

1) Stating that he has not received the case yet and will call me back.(audio file)

2) I've been assigned the call but busy to talk. He stated he will call back. (audio file)

3) A Text asking him to call me when he is ready to talk. (text message)

4) Implying that he did not receive any calls from me (this is post visiting my house). (audio)

 

I made all of these contacts. He never contacted me.

 

I am pleased that you have retained so much evidence, no only of wrong doing by the bailiffs.....but of your desire to pay the debt in full without the need of incurring an enforcement fee of £235.

 

The behaviour of the enforcement company and the individual bailiff is of serious concern and cases such as yours really do need to be brought to the attention of the Ministry of Justice . If this type of behaviour s allowed to continue unchallenged, then I fear that we will see many more cases such as yours before very long.

 

PS: I have sent a message to one of the moderators to ask that they make contact with you off the forum.

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Another point that I think is important to point out concerns the purpose of the enforcement visit.

 

As per the wording of the regulations, the purpose of the visit would be to 'take control of goods' to secure payment. In your particular case, it was plainly obvious that you had the funds to pay the debt in full and accordingly, there should have been no reason whatsoever (other than to ensure that a fee of £235 can be charged) for an 'enforcement visit.

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Forward details of Complaint to MOJ then. This cannot be an isolated case as this is Equita after all.


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Did we not see some recent complaints about Equita where the EA was delivering the NoE at the same time he was making his Enforcement Visit. This to me proves that Equita are not fit for purpose and their "licence" to trade should be removed until such time they can demonstrate that all employees - not just EAs - have received adequate training to perform within the Regulations. If nothing else then I would hope CIVEA are aware of what is going on.


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