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Hello,

 

a couple of days ago I had two HCEOs barge into our home around 7am demanding money or they would be removing goods.

Not having experienced anything like this before I just panicked and paid whatever they said.

 

I've just found this forum and have been reading the posts here.

From some of these earlier posts, it appears that this firm of HCEOs are well known for charging all the fees in one go which they did to me as well.

 

Does anyone here have any advice or suggestions as to the strength of my case?

 

This is what happened:-

 

First off, I was aware of the debt and do not dispute that I owe it.

It's not council tax or anything but a private individual that I owe the money to, I've been attempting to agree a repayment schedule with them but they declined my offers and the next thing I know the HCEOs turn up.

 

I have just made a subject access request to see exactly what data they have on me.

 

From reading the section on vulnerability I believe that I have a strong case to be described as vulnerable (I don't want to go into details as it may identify me).

 

They never sent a Notice of Enforcement.

 

When they turned up they initially demanded an amount of money that, now I have had time to read up on this, I now realise included both the Stage1 and Stage 2 enforcement fees.

 

I tried to pay this via credit card a couple of times but that was blocked (I later got a phone call from my cc company as they thought it was a possible fraud).

 

I then told them that I could contact a family member and they could get cash out of the bank when it opened.

They agreed to this but said that the fee had just gone up.

I now understand that this extra fee was the Stage Sale fee.

 

Eventually they got their money and left.

While they were in my home they just looked around the place and said that there was nothing really of value

(at that time I wasn't aware that certain goods were exempt and I thought they were going to take all my furniture).

 

I would welcome some advice on this and I also have a couple of questions.

 

My two extra questions are,

firstly,

what exactly does "taking control" actually involve?

At no time did they try to secure any of my property,

they did not write anything down,

they simply started walking around the home opening all the cupboards etc.

 

Secondly, I read on another thread here:-

 

The bailiff is also required to keep a record of the time that the notice was sent (posted).

 

With the exception of just a couple of smaller companies, all others use the same mailing firm and their software provides the time that notices are sent.

 

Is this something that will show up as part of my Subject Access Request?

Edited by tonyton

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why did you let them in?

there is no right of entry?

 

did they barge passed you?


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did they barge passed you?

 

No, I went to get my glasses to read the documents and when I stepped away from the door they just walked in

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opps 1st big mistake..

why say they barged passed you then?


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opps 1st big mistake..

why say they barged passed you then?

 

I'm a bit confused? I didn't say that. I said "they barged in"

 

Yes, I know now that I should have shut the door and locked it while I went to get my glasses, but as soon as I turned my back they simply walked into the house - that's what I meant by barging in.

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How much was your initial CCJ for and when was it granted?

How much did you end up paying them?

The good thing about paying in full is that you are not in danger from the knock at the door and can take your time collating all the info you may require.

 

If submitting a SAR then make sure you request in particular:

a - the fees that have been charged, the time they were charged for and for what reason

b - a copy of any Body Worn Video including audio

Edited by dx100uk
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How much was your initial CCJ for and when was it granted? How much did you end up paying them?

 

It's from four months ago. I don't really want to be specific about the amounts but it was slightly under £2k and the total fees came to about the same amount.

 

 

The good thing about paying in full is that you are not in danger from the knock at the door and can take your time collating all the info you may require.

 

If submitting a SAR then make sure you request in particular:

a - the fees that have been charged, the time they were charged for and for what reason

b - a copy of any Body Worn Video including audio

 

Yes, it's a small comfort.

 

I've requested details of the fees and camera footage, but I didn't ask for a break down of the times that they were charged.

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Hello,

 

This is what happened:-

 

First off, I was aware of the debt and do not dispute that I owe it.

It's not council tax or anything but a private individual that I owe the money to, I've been attempting to agree a repayment schedule with them but they declined my offers and the next thing I know the HCEOs turn up.

 

From reading the section on vulnerability I believe that I have a strong case to be described as vulnerable (I don't want to go into details as it may identify me).

 

They never sent a Notice of Enforcement.

 

If this is the company that I think it is, I cannot tell you how many times I hear the exact same comment about the lack of a Notice of Enforcement. If it is the same company, a recent High Court judgment ruled that the absence of the Notice of Enforcement was down the the fact that the company had FAILED to send the notice. Nothing can be more serious. I will copy the relevant extract from the Judgment later this afternoon.

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Were you left any documents?

 

They left two pieces of paper showing the two different amounts of money they wanted (as I mentioned above) and a receipt showing the total amount that I had paid in cash

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pieces of paper?

no document numbers or titles on them?


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

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I will copy the relevant extract from the Judgment later this afternoon.

 

Thank you very much for that. Is the judgment available on bailii?

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pieces of paper?

no document numbers or tittles on them?

 

OK, I've just got them.

 

One says "Action Taken" and there is a tick box for "entered premises" with a time of 7am

 

The next says "Notice after entry or taking control of goods (on a highway) and inventory of goods taken into control" which shows the enforcement fees for stage 1 and stage 2 added together as one fee. There is no time on this.

 

The next says "Notice that goods have been removed for storage or sale". It then goes on to say "This is to tell you that I have removed the goods listed at the back of the notice to secure storage or for sale" but there is nothing listed on the back. This also adds the Sale Stage fee and is timed at 7:15am

 

Then there is "Payment Receipt" for the amount paid in cash.

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At any time during the visit, was an inventory of goods listed down?

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If no inventory, how can they add the Sales Fee? Is this DCBL by any chance with the supervising HCEO in absentia?


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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At any time during the visit, was an inventory of goods listed down?

 

No, nothing at all. and as I say, when I looked at the forms in more detail they entered the premises at 7:00am and by 7:15am they were charging the Sales Fee after my credit card payment had been blocked.

 

 

 

Is this DCBL by any chance with the supervising HCEO in absentia?

 

I don't like to names names in case it identifies me in any way but, as the old saying goes, if it looks like a duck ...

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No, nothing at all. and as I say, when I looked at the forms in more detail they entered the premises at 7:00am and by 7:15am they were charging the Sales Fee after my credit card payment had been blocked

 

There can be no possibility that you could in any way be liable to be charged ALL fees at the same visit. The agent himself even went as far as to confirm that you do not appear to have sufficient goods to remove. This is clear enough evidence that the 'Sale Stage' fee should never have been applied.

 

This madness regarding the fees charged for enforcing these judgments and more importantly; the manner in which this particular company 'front load' their fees and esclate to 'sale stage' at the drop of a hat NEEDS TO STOP. If it doesn't then all other companies enforcing High Court judgments are going to be tarred with the same brush.

Edited by Andyorch
Edited

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If this is the company that I think it is, I cannot tell you how many times I hear the exact same comment about the lack of a Notice of Enforcement. If it is the same company, a recent High Court judgment ruled that the absence of the Notice of Enforcement was down the the fact that the company had FAILED to send the notice. Nothing can be more serious. I will copy the relevant extract from the Judgment later this afternoon.

 

Lets see it.

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Hello,

 

As you asked, I have outlined my experience on that link that you sent me for the Ministry of Justice. I'm happy to do my bit to help.

 

As to next steps, I'll wait until I get the reply to my SAR back. But can anyone give me advice on the next steps? Is it through the County Court or do I need to go to the High Court?

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If this is the company that I think it is, I cannot tell you how many times I hear the exact same comment about the lack of a Notice of Enforcement. If it is the same company, a recent High Court judgment ruled that the absence of the Notice of Enforcement was down the the fact that the company had FAILED to send the notice. Nothing can be more serious. I will copy the relevant extract from the Judgment later this afternoon.

 

The following is an extract from the above mentioned High Court judgment:

 

It is alleged that DCBL exceeded their enforcement powers by unlawfully seizing first a van and then a powerboat. Proper procedures were, it is said, not followed in respect of either seizure and, in the case of the powerboat, it is said that the boat did not even belong to the judgment debtor. It is said that these wrongful acts were compounded by the presence of a TV crew from a company called Brinkworth Films Limited, filming for the series "Can't Pay? We'll take it away".

 

On behalf of the claimants, I heard evidence from Mr S and his wife, from the third claimant, Mr H who, with the fourth claimant, Mr Davis, claims to be a co-owner of the boat. I heard from Mr W who was present when the van was seized, and I read a witness statement from Ms H who worked on the reception desk of the boat park from which the boat was seized. For the second and third defendants I heard from Ms M, who is an in-house solicitor in the employment of DCBL.

 

Remarkably, there was no evidence from the enforcement agents who carried out the seizures. Nor was there any evidence from the manager directly in charge of these agents, who I understand to have been Mr W

 

The facts

 

I will first set out the facts as they are agreed or as I find them to be. The fact-finding exercise begins with the notice of enforcement. DCBL use a software package called “Ethos” or “My Ethos”. As I understand it, this system generates the documents necessary to progress debt recovery and allows a record to be made of the steps taken, (though the complete record in this case has never been disclosed).

 

On 17 May 2017, a Notice of Enforcement addressed to xxxxx at its business address was generated. Ms M's evidence was that it was sent by first-class post. But there is no documentary evidence at all to support that. Ms Miah did not personally post the notice. Although Ethos is capable of generating reports, no report attesting to postage was produced. The evidence that it was posted was based on Ms M's understanding of how the system worked in normal practice.

 

The paucity of evidence was very surprising given that the giving of notice is, by paragraph 7 of Schedule 12 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, a prerequisite to taking control of goods and that paragraph stipulates that the enforcement agent must keep a record of the date and time when the notice is given.

 

Both Mr and Mrs S'd denied ever seeing this Notice of Enforcement and there are two reasons why I find that it was never sent.

 

The first I have already alluded to. The means to demonstrate the sending of the Notice of Enforcement lay within DCBL's power and it was indeed absolutely incumbent upon them to prove this matter. But they failed to do so. I would add that their numerous further failings in the observance of proper and lawful procedures, which I will presently come to, do not inspire me with confidence that the Notice of Enforcement was sent.

 

Second, Mr S scrupulously produced every document that they received from DCBL and their solicitor, Mr J, visited their business premises in order to satisfy himself that he had been given everything relevant.

 

If I can say this without impertinence or disrespect, the Slocombes struck me as unsophisticated and artless people who would neither have suppressed the document nor seen any advantage to themselves in doing so.

 

Given Mr S's somewhat unwise and unreasonable stance in relation to the judgment debt, it is perfectly possible that, if the Notice had arrived, he would have ignored it. But that does not demonstrate that it did arrive.

 

On the balance of probabilities, I find that it did not arrive and that is because it was never sent.

Edited by Bailiff Advice

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Thank you for taking the time to bring it.

 

Do you have the original claim number? or the citation?

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Interestingly looks like Ethos is a free accounting package http://www.ethosaccounting.com/


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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A case of a step to far by DCBL.

 

I think they were getting far to blaze about the Notice of Enforcement issue, nice to see them get bit on the bum.

 

The law said that the first part of successful "delivery" process was for the creditor/bailiff to show that the notice "was sent "on the balance of probabilities.

 

The second part, for the debtor to show the notice was not received to be able to challenge.

 

Future litigants should take heart. In that the judge may ask the creditor to justify his claim in future claims.


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