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One year review of enforcement agent reforms

 

This year 1 post implementation review evaluates reforms introduced in April 2014 on how enforcement agents operate and the fees they charge.

 

READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/one-year-review-of-enforcement-agent-reforms


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Thank you for posting the above document.

 

Some interesting info has come out of it but there is still other points that have been missed.

 

For instance in regard to the 7 day notice of enforcement [4.4.2] a point was made that some people do not recall having received the Notice.

They do not appear to have heard that some companies are not sending out the Notices or are giving people less than the mandatory 7 clear days.

 

another point that wasn't raised was on the subject of a broken agreement.

It seems harsh that someone who has taken the time to call within the 7 day time period and made an agreement to pay and has paid for some time

-specially if their payment is only a day or two late, perhaps because of a bank holiday, that they should be punished by a £235 clump.

This seems totally inequitable and is often the result of the bailiff setting too high a repayment plan initially. And this is one reason that an Ombudsman is required.

 

For once a Judge has examined the whole situation and deciding a fairer punishment it should pull into line those companies that are calling on late payers within a day or two with a view to increasing their fees-not to assist the debt payer who may or may not be having further money problems.

 

Another advantage of a Bailiff Ombudsman would be that they could handle complaints in a fairer way about the way bailiffs deal with debtors. The present system cannot be right where a debtor with a genuine complaint should end up in Court facing a massive legal cost should the Judgement go against them.

 

I was pleased to see that they acknowledged that some Police are insufficiently aware of bailiff law that when called they can advise the debtor to let the bailiff in though there doesn't appear to be any recommendations nor advice on how the Police should react at people's homes. It may be often the case that the debtor has called the Police because of an over aggressive or zealous bailiff and then has been told to let the bailiff in further compounding the debtor's hurt.

Edited by dx100uk
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I am still reading through the review and will have a lot of comments to make later this morning.

 

I really do hope that such an important thread as this one will not be hidden from view in the 'discussion' area.

 

Another advantage of a Bailiff Ombudsman would be that they could handle complaints in a fairer way about the way bailiffs deal with debtors. The present system cannot be right where a debtor with a genuine complaint should end up in Court facing a massive legal cost should the Judgement go against them.

 

Can I just make an important point. Approx 2 months ago it was confirmed by the government that they will not fund an Independent Regulator.

 

I was surprised to read in the 'One Year Review' the reference to individuals having to take complaints about bailiffs to court. Although I have not properly read the review, there was no mention at all of the sterling work done by the Local Government Ombudsman and the way I which they have dealt with well over 1,000 complaints since the introduction of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations were introduced in April 2014.

 

I am pleased that the Ministry of Justice have made the position very clear about the inaccurate online 'myth' that paying the local authority or magistrate court direct means that bailiff fees can been avoided:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695833/one-year-review-bailiff-reform

 

4.7.3.

 

Direct payment of debt

 

One issue raised by enforcement agents is that debtors are sometimes erroneously advised (mainly by informal online sources) to pay their creditor directly after receiving notice that the enforcement process has begun, in an attempt to avoid the enforcement fees.

 

In this situation, the creditor is supposed to pay the compliance fee to the enforcement agent out of the debtor’s payment and the shortfall remains outstanding.

If the debt has reached the enforcement stage it becomes more complicated as the enforcement fee is paid pro rata from the amount paid off. This leads to an administrative burden on the Local Authority as they have to separate the fees and a portion of the debt still remains requiring enforcement.

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4.7.3.

 

Direct payment of debt

 

One issue raised by enforcement agents is that debtors are sometimes erroneously advised (mainly by informal online sources) to pay their creditor directly after receiving notice that the enforcement process has begun, in an attempt to avoid the enforcement fees.

 

In this situation, the creditor is supposed to pay the compliance fee to the enforcement agent out of the debtor’s payment and the shortfall remains outstanding.

 

If the debt has reached the enforcement stage it becomes more complicated as the enforcement fee is paid pro rata from the amount paid off. This leads to an administrative burden on the Local Authority as they have to separate the fees and a portion of the debt still remains requiring enforcement.

 

As some viewers will know, the subject of paying the creditor direct (in order to avoid paying bailiff fees) was the subject of a court claim last year. The debtor (Mr Bola) lost his claim and was ordered to pay £7,000 in costs. Given the importance of the subject, I started two separate threads regarding the case. The first thread was to provide an outline of the case with the second thread being for 'discussion' purposes.

 

Given the importance of the subject, that the threads have received in excess of 50,000 views !!

 

Following the judgment, the claimant did not pay the cost order (of £7,000). Instead, he made an application to appeal both the claim itself and the subsequent cost order. Last week His Honour John Hand QC dismissed both appeals.

 

PS: If one of the moderators would be kind enough to re-open the following thread for a few hours, I will post up a copy of the Order.

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?477808-Paying-the-creditor-direct-to-avoid-paying-bailiff-fees-has-landed-a-debtor-with-a-%A37-000-cost-order.

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Turning back to the 'One Year' review:

 

In 2015, I responded to the One Year review and provided supporting evidence and since that time, have also responded to various Consultations and stakeholder discussions.

 

In response to Question 9 (Have there been any other consequences of the reforms, positive or negative, not covered in the questions), I highlighted the following areas of concern.

 

High Court Enforcement fees

 

Third Party Claims (CPR 85)

 

Paying the local authority or court direct

 

Notice of Enforcement (period of notice).

 

Goods subject to Hire Purchase

 

Sale stage fee of £110

 

Storage fees

 

Recycling of warrants

 

Re-sealing of warrants

 

Controlled Goods Agreement (in relation to a motor vehicle)

 

Definition of 'Highway'.

 

I will provide further details of my response under each of the above headings later today but in relation to some of the areas; (for example: Vehicles subject to Hire Purchase, Definition of a Highway, Paying the Council (or Court) direct and Interpleader (Part 85) claims, clarification has been given by way of court decisions (that I have highlighted on this forum since 2014).

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Thread moved to Discussions forum.


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