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Hi some advice really

 

we had a visit from Equita at 7 am before xmas regarding a council tax debt in my husbands name.

I stupidly let them in as yes we owed the money and i had had previous letters but thought i had time to deal with it.

I thought when i let them in we could make a payment and they could do a controlled goods agreement and we pay over couple of months.

 

They came in aggressively and said right we want payment in full

-  we said no we can't we can pay half thats all we have..

they said no we won't be doing that we will be taking goods so go make a phone call..

 

they started unplugging tv on wall ,

they called to see where tow truck was.

 

i said car is in my name

they said well prove it..

i said i can no problem once i find things out but will take time

they said they were about to take things and to get the money sorted,

we had to call my mum who's sick and we paid.

 

I was so mad.

I called the council they said they were surprised that they wouldn't offer a controlled goods agreement as they had asked them to collect the money over 6 months.

I made a formal complaint to Equita,

they called me back and i asked if the call was recorded

- he said no so i asked him to call back on a line that was so he didnt call till next day.

I asked if bailiffs had their cameras on and surprise suprise both cameras were flat on the first job of the day!!  

 

i will copy and paste my complaint to them below....

 

I got a response today off them.

. they said they did nothing wrong and i was awkward.

Also it said as they saw a range rover on drive ( mine from parents though my cash they gave me ) they don't have to offer controlled goods .

I also didn't see a warrant though think he said he had one on his phone??

i bet it wasn't signed??

 

I need to know where to go now.

I know there is CIVEA but i want to take this further but no idea on rights

 

I am writing to make a formal complaint about the conduct of the visit we had before 7 this morning. 


We let Mr ...Burley and Mr …. in as we were not going to be awkward and wanted to make a payment.

We offered £800 and some when my husband gets paid as he is self employed .

This was met with a flat NO ...

I asked if they could make a controlled goods agreement they said No it had to be paid in full today.

 

I said we were stuck we couldn’t pay and they within 5 minutes of being there were calling their vehicle recovery to take car and work van.

Firstly the car is in my name and bought by me which we can prove , but we were being pushed time wise and not being given any time to think or act .

 

Secondly when taking goods you cannot take things needed to live and other people’s belongings which the work van contains.
We were told to borrow the money or there would be more chargers on and things were being taken right now.


We borrowed money within 5 minutes from my Father who has leukaemia .

We were harassed .

We have now no money at all for food , gas and electric .

We have two children under age of 16 and we are classed as vulnerable adults

- this we didn’t get chance to tell them as they were so bullish.


I wasn’t informed that they were recording and I would hope that they did record the visit as baliffs are asked to and your company expect this as i was advised on the call to yourselves and also the written legislation.


I then after their visit called Doncaster council who confirmed that they ask for the debt to be paid in 6 months so a payment plan and controlled goods agreement should have been set... they advised me to your complaints department as my first port of call.


I am formally requesting an SAR.

I wish to have all phone calls and I request the footage from their visit which will back up what I am saying.


I am requesting that £880 be paid back and a refund of the days visit cost of £235
I request that under the SAR you send a breakdown of costs added also.


On the removal notice the boxes are ticked saying you will come back another evening or day to take goods

- not that you must remove goods today. I was not shown any court order as it wasn’t available I was told .


This was the first visit from Equita baliffs and I believe as do Doncaster council was handled incorrectly .

I will SAR them also .


Please contact me on the number given on our phone call .

. I spoke to a manager who said they will call back.


I will make a formal complaint by letter also detailing how I will proceed with doctors letters and other supporting evidence and will take this matter to court for the conduct of this visit today and the errors made by the bailiffs in not following the correct protocol.

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Take it up with your local councillor, it sounds like something they could sort out fairly quickly. Their Mobile number and email should be available on Google.

 

The Bailiffs, The council Tax Call Centre staff etc. will just waste your time.


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It’s kind of an embarrassing thing to bring up with a councillor ??

can i not take them to small claims court and their governing body CIVEA

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Waste of time,

I am not making this up, I am speaking from experience.

Lots of experience !

Contact your local councillor


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What can they do ?

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Everything. They have absolute power to call the Bailiffs off.


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The case is closed now in their eyes it’s the conduct and the baliffs doing things wrong I have an issue with 

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The Councillor will by pass the complaints department, and the Bailiffs on your behalf, quite possibly get you your money back and the Bailiffs of your back.

 

All this could be achieved with an email and a phone call rather than a long drawn out, probably doomed to fail complaint.


We could do with some help from you.

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cant really see what you can complain about in all honesty..sorry

so, they pulled a few stunts and you fell for it all.

 

it's not as if you aren't exactly new to bailiff issues either and didn't already know not to let them in...but you did...

then you fell for the ole fake removal van guff too..when again you already knew they couldn't do that.

 

as for small claims (pointless) or any complaint..what do you expect back?

 

 

 

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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I didn’t fall for these things but I didn’t know how much exactly they were able to do .. when you have them here and they are being aggressive then what do I risk them taking my car?? Just because I am pretty sure they can’t ??

its their conduct I have a problem with, lack of cameras , they wouldn’t do a controlled goods agreement etc 

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You will not get any redress from the Bailiffs, 

 

You have a 50% chance of getting the whole thing resolved with 1 email to your councillor, I am trying to understand why you won't go down that route. Whilst feelings of embarrassment are understandable, objectively they make no sense. Especially when your family does not have money to eat.


We could do with some help from you.

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On 08/01/2020 at 21:01, morgan8080 said:

They came in aggressively and said right we want payment in full

They started unplugging tv on wall , they called to see where tow truck was.

I said car is in my name

 

Also, it said as they saw a range rover on drive ( mine from parents though my cash they gave me ) they don't have to offer controlled goods .

I also didn't see a warrant though think he said he had one on his phone??

i bet it wasn't signed??

 

I need to know where to go now.

I know there is CIVEA but i want to take this further but no idea on rights

 

Secondly when taking goods you cannot take things needed to live and other people’s belongings which the work van contains.

 

We borrowed money within 5 minutes from my Father who has leukaemia .

We were harassed .

We have now no money at all for food , gas and electric .

 

We have two children under age of 16 and we are classed as vulnerable adults

- this we didn’t get chance to tell them as they were so bullish.


I wasn’t informed that they were recording and I would hope that they did record the visit as baliffs are asked to and your company expect this as i was advised on the call to yourselves and also the written legislation.


I then after their visit called Doncaster council who confirmed that they ask for the debt to be paid in 6 months so a payment plan and controlled goods agreement should have been set... they advised me to your complaints department as my first port of call.

 

I will make a formal complaint by letter also detailing how I will proceed with doctors letters and other supporting evidence and will take this matter to court for the conduct of this visit today and the errors made by the bailiffs in not following the correct protocol.

 

I have copied some important comments from your post. 

 

It would appear that the amount that the bailiff had been requesting was approx £1,600 and that at the time of the visit, you were able to offer half the sum (of £800). 

 

Most importantly, you have stated that you had been aware that the council had passed the debt to Equita and that you had received previous letters from them but that you thought that you 'had time to deal with it'.  I will address this point first:

 

The initial notice that your husband would have received would have been called a Notice of Enforcement and outlined on this notice would have been the precise date AND TIME when either full payment OR A PAYMENT ARRANGEMENT must be set up. At this point, Equita would have been able to (and this is agreed by the council), set up a payment arrangement over a period of up to 6 months (which, is an unusual and extremely generous period of time).

 

Clearly, you failed to approach Equita within the legal timeframe outlined on the Notice of Enforcement. Without a payment arrangement being in place, the bailiffs were under a legal obligation to make personal visit to the property. Most importantly, the visit is NOT in order to make a 'payment arrangement'. The purpose of the visit is to 'take control of goods' or accept full payment. 

 

You appear to be under the impression that the bailiff should have made a Controlled Goods Agreement once allowed into the property. This is not the case at all. In fact, such agreements are not at all common.

 

As the debt had been around £1,600 and given auction values (which are approx 10% of the actual amount of the item), the bailiff would have needed to list items of around £10,000 (or more).

 

Secondly, with the debt being in your husband's sole name, the  bailiff would be tasked with attempting to establish which items are solely owned by him and which are joint. The choice on whether or not to enter into a Controlled Goods Agreement  is with the bailiff himself at the time of the visit. 

 

You have also mentioned 'vulnerability'. Once again, this should have been brought to Equita's attention long ago (on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement). Furthermore, vulnerability would only apply to the debtor (your husband) and not other family members. He would need to provide some documentary evidence. You have mentioned that he is self employed so any 'vulnerability' would have been difficult to establish.

 

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How I could have proved these things such as vulnerability and the things in my name was impossible as they were taking things off the wall and not giving us chance to 

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proving vulnerability is needed well before the stage you have allowed another CTAX debt to escalate too.

if you hadn't of let them in, this and who owns what would, have ever been an issue.

 

why do you keep getting CTAX issues, ??

you need to be dropping things like mobile phones and digital tv contracts and other non priority expenditure down and properly budgeting to avoid such issues...CTAX comes second to mortgage/rent in priority.

 

 

 

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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We have been paying a year behind for about 6 years so never had chance to get in front 

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you've had plenty of time to get in front...6yrs!!

 

deal with your finances properly ...priority debts come FIRST.

 

just look at whats been spent on say monthly mobiles phone contracts/bills in the last 6yrs, ..those could of paid this off 10 times over years ago

 

and check you are all receiving the correct benefits too.


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, morgan8080 said:

How I could have proved these things such as vulnerability and the things in my name was impossible as they were taking things off the wall and not giving us chance to 

 

The problem here is that as the debt is in your husbands sole name, then any 'vulnerability' would need to apply to him and NOT to you. So many people use Google searches when faced with a bailiff visit and sadly, it appears that you have taken what you may have read on the internet as the gospel truth. It would be for your husband (as the debtor) to outline HIS vulnerability, and to explain HOW it affects HIM in DEALING with a bailiff visit. 

 

Secondly, you have mentioned about the bailiff failing to show you the 'warrant'. As this is a Liability Order, then there would not in fact be a 'paper' warrant. However, if a warrant had been issued, it would NOT be addressed to you. It would be addressed to THE BAILIFF and would permit HIM to enforce the debt. Another problem with google searches, it that you were wrongly of the opinion that a warrant would need to be signed. Any such requirement, was revoked by law many years ago.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bailiff Advice

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I have been posting on CAG for over 12 years and in each post, I try to provide advice not only to the person posting, but to anyone else that may have a similar enquiry and view the thread via Google searches. For this reason, please do not take my criticism personally.

 

As I have outlined in my earlier post, if your husband had addressed this debt on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement, he would have been able to enter into a payment arrangement spread over a period of 6 month. Given your financial circumstances, this would have greatly assisted your family and most importantly, would have meant that you would not have had to also incur the 'enforcement fee' of £235. That additional fee would have been avoided. 

 

Lastly, I have posted many times that it is usually the 'threat' of goods being removed that usually leads to full payment being made. This is precisely what has happened in your case. 

 

If you still believe that you have grounds for complaint, then the correct route is for your complaint to be made to the local authority. If you are unhappy with their response.....then you may indeed request that CIVEA review the matter. 

 

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What about their cameras not being on?

 

what about council asking for it to be paid over 6 months 

 

what about not giving me chance to prove what was in my name before taking things?

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11 minutes ago, morgan8080 said:

What about their cameras not being on?

 

what about council asking for it to be paid over 6 months 

 

what about not giving me chance to prove what was in my name before taking things?

 

Camera footage can be very problematic and the Information Commissioners Office have issued guidance on this subject. Most importantly, any request for camera footage would need to be made by the debtor...and that would be your husband. If the footage included you...then that should be removed. If children are present, then the bailiff must ensure that any filming not include them. 

 

Did the council specifically state to the bailiff at the time of the visit that they would be happy to accept repayment of your account over a period of 6 months. It would be usual for councils to specify a period of time for repayments in their contracts between the council and bailiff company. Could this be what the council were referring to?

 

The bailiff did not 'actually' take control of any items and neither did he list any items on a Controlled Goods Agreement. Instead, he unplugged a TV (which is a very common threat I's afraid). 

 

I am presuming that he indicated to you that he would take the Range Rover. If you had provided evidence that the vehicle was in your name, then I would be very surprised if he would have taken the vehicle into control.  

 

Edited by Bailiff Advice

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We were told after that both their cameras were flat !

 

i didn’t get chance to provide evidence they were being pushy and bullying and how can you at 7 in morning know quite what your rights are and risk the money xtra fee of them taking it . To prove it was mine would have taken time to find everything out as they said no to log book 

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On 08/01/2020 at 22:23, London1971 said:

The Councillor will by pass the complaints department, and the Bailiffs on your behalf, quite possibly get you your money back and the Bailiffs of your back.

 

All this could be achieved with an email and a phone call rather than a long drawn out, probably doomed to fail complaint.

 

Tried this yet?

 

 


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 OTHERS

 

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

 

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No but I will

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bailiff Advice said:

Did the council specifically state to the bailiff at the time of the visit that they would be happy to accept repayment of your account over a period of 6 months? It would be usual for councils to specify a period of time for repayments in their contracts between the council and bailiff company. Could this be what the council were referring to?

 

 

 

Could you respond to the above. 

 

Also, what was the reason why both you and your husband wanted to see camera footage? 

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Council said on the day after I called them to complain about visit that they were suprised they didn’t offer controlled goods agreement as they had stated to baliff firm that payment was to be collected by 6 months

 

we wanted the footage to back up what we were saying about their conduct and what we weren’t happy with . 

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