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Seminole

Bailiff Charges

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Anyone who has ever had the "pleasure" of dealing with bailiffs will know that they can sometimes be quite "imaginative" in deciding what costs they want to recover from you.

 

I'm talking here about private bailiffs and not county court bailiffs who operate directly under the authority of the court.

 

Private bailiffs are used to, for example, collect council tax arrears. There is a prescribed scale rate for these charges but anecdotally I believe that this is often ignored. People being terrorised by these bailiffs will often just pay up to get rid of them. In other instances where there is no scale rate, the bailiffs just seem to charge what they like.

 

I'm wondering if there is any legal basis to these charges? Can there ever be a contract between bailiff and victim and if there is no statutory authority or it is exceeded, can the victim get their money back?

 

I detest these sorts of bailiffs. They prey on people who are, at least at the time, pretty vulnerable and I would like to find a way of fighting back.

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(From National Debtline:)

 

BAILIFFS CHARGES

You may be able to complain about bailiffs charges. The amounts they are allowed to charge for council tax and poll tax are set out. You are entitled to make a written request for a full breakdown of the fees the bailiffs have added on to your debt. If you feel you have been charged too much you can complain in writing to the council and the bailiffs. You may be able to ask the county court to look at the charges.

 

You can find out what is 'reasonable' by making enquiries on a local basis. For example, if you have been charged £80 for attendance with a van, and local enquires indicate you could hire a van for a morning for £40 this is clearly unreasonable, especially as it is likely that bailiffs will be visiting several properties at once, and many companies own their own vans.

 

In the first instance, complain to the bailiffs themselves. You can tell them you know their charges are excessive and that you will be taking further action if the charges are not reduced to the levels shown in the schedule.

 

You can then complain to the council as the bailiffs are acting as agents of the council. There have been recent cases that have been taken back in front of the magistrates' court over these issues, with the result that the councils have been forbidden to take any further recovery action, or in other words, the debt has been written off. So it IS worth complaining.

 

You can apply to the county court for the costs to be checked. An application for a detailed assessment of the charges needs to be made within three months of receiving the bailiff's bill. They will decide if the charges are excessive or not. There is a fee to pay to the court for this application. If the court decides not reduce the bill at least 20% you can be liable for the bailiffs firm's court costs. You need legal advice first. Phone us for advice.

 

Some private firms of bailiffs belong to The Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies or The Enforcement Services Association. You can complain to a trade association as well as the council. Both trade associations follow a set complaints procedure.

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Seminole,

 

I have a growing list of 'new projects' for the Mods and Admin to consider when the Bank Action Group has been fully successful.

 

Shall I add this to the list? I think it is a very good observation on your part esp. given your current position.

 

LOULA

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Seminole,

 

I have a growing list of 'new projects' for the Mods and Admin to consider when the Bank Action Group has been fully successful.

 

Shall I add this to the list? I think it is a very good observation on your part esp. given your current position.

 

LOULA

 

:D At this moment I think bailiffs may just be the greatest people in the world!

 

I think it would be a good thing to have a look at this at some point/

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I've posted elsewgere about my problems with bailiffs, not least the fact that they send you a letter saying "pay up or we'll take your goods" etc.

 

What the are supposed to do is send you an itemised statement or list of their charges, but I've had dozens of letters and not one has itemised or even explained the costs, so as far as I'm concerned they are in breach of contract (or of the rules at least) and the literature they sent me isn't worth the paper it's written on.

 

A seperate section wouyld be a good idea, because they really are a law unto themselves, or at least they think they are.


I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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This topic was closed on 09 March 2019.

If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support there.

If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened.

- Consumer Action Group

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 5017 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you
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