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Can I claim the charges made by a bailiff

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Hi,

 

Some time ago - about 18 months I had a small council tax bill for around £200 passed to a bailiff after the council would not accept my reasonable offer.

 

They then sent someone out while I was not there and charged me for the privilege of leaving a card.

 

I then wrote to them updating my income and expenditure and again offering a reasonable offer.

 

They ignored this and sent out another bailiff again whilst I was not there and again put the charges up again.

 

Again I wrote to them and again it was ignored, they then apparantly sent another bailiff with intent to levy goods so then incured more charges.

 

I wrote to the council and CCed the bailiff company in stating that I had wrote to them on numerous occasions and that I had not had a response and it was my only belief that they were intentionally trying to inflate the debt.

 

I then got an immediate reply from the bailiff accepting my offer of £20 a month. This I paid for a few months and then one month I incurred bank charges which stopped the Standing Order being sent. I realised a few days later and sent the payment but it was too late and they had already sent out a bailiff and vehicle (apparantly)

 

I wrote again to the council and the debt got passed back to the council. They then accepted my offer and I cleared it up with them, however the payments I had already made went directly to the bailiff company and my debt was not reduced.

 

My question is, can I claim the charges back from the bailiff as unfair penalties?

 

Tom

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The answer is yes. A bailiff can charge £22.50 for the first visit and £16 for the second visit. If he does not gain entry, then he cannot charge any more than that. You need to send a SAR to the bailiff company.

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send a sar out to the bailiff company and then wait and watch.


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I will try that then, can they turn up with a vehicle and charge for it without speaking to me or previously gaining access?

 

Tom

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A bailiff can only charge if he is levying. if only letters etc then no. Send the sar off and postbhere what they have sent you.


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the correct fees are:

 

£22.50 for the first visit

£16.50 for the second

 

providing the bailiff doesn't/didn't gain entry then they cannot add any further charges.

 

you can writing to the bailiff's firm and ask for a written breakdown of charges, at the same time enquire to which bailiff association they are member of, you can always write a letter of complaint to them if you cannot get a happy resolution from the bailiffs themselves.

 

here are the two bailiff association addresses:

 

The Secretary

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies

Kensington House

33 Imperial Square

Cheltenham

Gloucestershire

GL50 1QZ

Tel: 01242 241456

Website: www.acea.org.uk

 

The Secretary

Enforcement Services Association (ESA) (formerly The Certificated Bailiffs Association)

Park House

10 Park Street

Bristol

BS1 5HX

Tel: 0117 907 4771

Website: www.ensas.org.uk

 

to answer your question, yes you should be able to claim those charges back. complain about the bailiffs also to your local authority.

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Guest MizzPiggy

I can't help but smile at the recommendation of the two companies you have suggested.

 

Both of these, are Associations for Complaints against a Bailiff Company, yes, however, both of these organisations are paid memberships by Bailiff Companies.

 

If you read for example, one website, it clearly says write to the Bailiff Company first, if that fails, write to them with copies of correspondence and that you can then use their panel for a decision, you give up all rights to prosecute through court.

 

I find this strange, as is the panel made up of the public, or is the independent panel bailiffs or bailiff company directors? Curious, as it was this issue that our service began!

 

Both organisations, might have members, however not independent panel advisors that are the public! Curious for anyone to be able to answer this for me that might be a Bailiff around.

 

So while they are recognised Complaint bodies, that certainly are NOT what I would say, impartial. I fail to see, how you can have an independent complaints policy of any sort, when your Company is funded by members of those that did the damage at the start.

 

Opinions on this, would be interesting.

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If you read for example, one website, it clearly says write to the Bailiff Company first, if that fails, write to them with copies of correspondence and that you can then use their panel for a decision, you give up all rights to prosecute through court.

 

I don't know any aspect of life where you "give up your rights to prosecute through the courts"

 

What the website actually says is :

 

Complaints cannot be reconsidered (by this company) where :

 

The complainant has already begun court proceedings... the court must decide whether or not there is a valid claim"

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Guest MizzPiggy

Laughing...

 

Maybe the industry is changing as the page downloaded from the website two days ago, seems to have 2 lines missing.

 

Pleased that the ACEA might be looking at changes after all. A fairer system for the public is all we were after.

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Guest MizzPiggy

The option of putting your complaint to them in person will be considered.

If the Panel upholds your complaint they can recommend that the company concerned:

remits, refunds or reduces fees you have been charged; or

pays compensation based upon their strict assessment of the actual financial loss you have suffered;

or both; and/or

make any other recommendation that it feels appropriate.

You will be informed in writing about the Panel’s findings. Their decision is final.

 

If the Panel recommends that you be paid compensation then, before it can be paid, you will be asked to confirm, in writing, that you accept the amount suggested in full and final settlement of your complaint. It will be for the company concerned to take any action recommended by the Panel, including the payment of compensation.

 

This is what is on the site under the complaints procedure to which I believe is misleading that is all. The fact that on the site being a member is worded as below, is that I would wonder about who to take a complaint to? Only placing it up for debate as what the organisations see as reasonable fees and loss and charges to the public, is a little different than the way we do!

 

This sites membership page states......to the Bailiff Industry

 

What does the future hold?

We are about to experience unprecedented changes in the enforcement business. So it is vital not only to keep abreast with developments but to influence them to our advantage. The most important example is our liaison with the Government over the Enforcement Review and the White Paper ‘Effective Enforcement’. We shall continue to work with the Government and the newly formed Security Industry Authority on the development of new regulation and licensing proposals for the enforcement industry.

 

So claiming back fees overcharged when they solidly hold their members views and willing to develop the industry to influence it to their advantage? would take how many months and is how Independent?

 

Only after a good debate on how best to get fees back that are overcharged and unfair.

 

 

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You will be informed in writing about the Panel’s findings. Their decision is final.

 

If the Panel recommends that you be paid compensation then, before it can be paid, you will be asked to confirm, in writing, that you accept the amount suggested in full and final settlement of your complaint.

 

To accept an offer "in full and final settlement" will close the matter - whether its is debt, divorce or anything else. Therefore, if a decision is unacceptable to a claimiant, then he/she would be advised not to accept it. That doesn't mean that the matter cannot be pursued through a court.

 

It is this precise legal wording by companies that makes cases beyond the authority of a court, if decisions are signed and agreed. Once documents are signed, the decision is final. These words are essential when trying to close accounts with DCAs, etc. Courts, solicitors, etc. use them as well. As I understand it... common knowledge within the legal profession.

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Guest MizzPiggy

You left out the first part of what was said:

The option of putting your complaint to them in person will be considered.

If the Panel upholds your complaint they can recommend that the company concerned:

remits, refunds or reduces fees you have been charged; or

pays compensation based upon their strict assessment of the actual financial loss you have suffered;

or both; and/or

make any other recommendation that it feels appropriate.

You will be informed in writing about the Panel’s findings. Their decision is final.

 

Strict assessment and actual financial loss - where a court would look at no strict assessment but on whole damage.

 

For example, a car is taken wrongly. Lets say paperwork from the Bailiff and or Company is incorrect. Write in first to the Bailiff Company. You do so to be told their complaints procedure is 28 days. You get back information, your not happy. You then complain to this organisation and you wait a further 28 days. You then may have to take it to panel. Further delays. Before you know it, 4 months without your car. You win. You want fees back that you have paid and the loss of what would be loss and damages for fares paid for travel while no vehicle plus loss assessed on what would be loss for the inconvenience and the trouble taken for time off work to deal with the matter etc, so are the public made aware of their options?

 

Misleading is also that on this site, it advises the public:

 

I have been told that I cannot complain about an issue with a bailiff that took place a few months ago. Why is this?

03-08-2006

If a matter has been finalised with a bailiff, that is to say the full outstanding debt and charges have been paid, there is a requirement for the bailiff company to destroy much of the information held on the matter in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If a complaint is made some time after such a ‘finalisation’ then it becomes impossible to access relevant information on the matter and proper investigation of the complaint is impossible.

 

Wrong! You can. Most Companies work by computer systems, so we encourage people that if they have overpaid with charges, to immediately apply under Section 7 of the data act for their information.

 

 

We have two cases where people have gone this road.The said Company supplied the information 2 years after!Uncertificated Bailiff then and wasnt picked up!

 

I just find it an interesting debate. I fail to see how something is Independent, when in fact it clearly states its members are the priority. My debate for fees is..................what is reasonable and what is actually charged are not the same.

 

Fairer would be, that on all websites advising the public, the full information is given not just that that suits the industry and for people to be aware of other options and the price list of visits etc put up.

 

We know the Industry does not like our existence and have proof that they have made it impossible at best to survive to tell people the truth, as we "don't have the Indsustry's interest at heart". Damn right we don't.

 

We have the publics and encourage responsability not fear in knowing their rights to question this Industry and know all their options, not just the ones they are told again, by the industry.

 

It is not that people don't want to pay, there is clearly an innafordability to pay. That needs to be taken into consideration and the fees charged need to be itemised and justified clearer. Where is a price list on any of the sites for Bailiff Fess????????would this not end the questions?That with a claim form on Bailiff Company websites for fees unjustified.

 

Why such a secret little industry?Everywhere else it is law to state fees and refund policies and on what grounds.

 

When this happens and the public is correctly informed, then we will be gladly out of job as these Organisations you have recommended will be seen to be fairer in their opinions and advice.

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I think the original q. was "Can I reclaim charges made by a bailiff ?"

 

As stated, the answer is "Yes", but no-one should be pushed/tricked into signing "in full and final settlement" over an issue, unless that person is completely satisified with the outcome of that claim.

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Perhaps you need a seperate thread Watchdog...

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Guest MizzPiggy

No think I made my point.

 

To have people search for options. Not take just what is told to them.

 

Hopefully the person who posted the first thread will know there are not just two agencies to be referred to and to highlight once again, if fees were published by bailiffs, questions would not be asked of how to claim them back if fairly charged or system better understood.

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PERSONALLY PRIORITY ONE NEEDS A SEPARATE THREAD. if a bailiff can trick you into paying them money then why should we try and be aqbove the law to try and recover ? screw reporting or complaining. just a standard sar and that followed by court is the easisest way of doing it. No need to go to anybody.


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How is trying to recover amounts that have been obtained by trickery (or deception) being above the law ?

 

My point was simply that .... if a person does contact one of these 2 companies, he/she should not agree to "full and final settlement" of anything unless he/she is satisfied that all is in order. Watchdog seemed to think that they could override the court system and the the thread seemed to be slowly going off the point originally posted.

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Watchdog is right you can override the court system if you know what you are doing. there is always a way around everything be it up or down.


CLICK HERE FOR A LOOK AT ALL OF MY FILES: http://s134.photobucket.com/albums/q82/bailiffchaser/

do not forget to click on my scale if i am giving you the right advice or advice is making sense click my scales otherwise others think i am not helping you.

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Here is some info from the Credit services association of which many DCAS and Baliffs are members.

Back in July I wrote to these and asked whether complaints were dealt with firmly and fairly.

They referred me to these notes below.

 

1. All Transactions

Each member shall act responsibly and with integrity in the day-to-day conduct of its business.

For example:

I. Provide adequate training for members of its staff, bringing to their attention the principles of this Code and requiring them to carry out their duties in accordance with it. Also, ensure continuous and appropriate training of staff in respect of current legislation and best practice.

II. Follow where appropriate any requests conveyed to members by the Board of the Association or the enforcement authorities.

III. Follow where appropriate any guidance notes issued by the Board of the Association.

2. General Conduct

a) Use plain English in all communications.

b) Show on all letters, postcards and forms the full business address, telephone number (and email address, where used).

c) In all contacts by staff or agents, ensure that the member’s identity is clearly disclosed.

d) Ensure by continuously examining debt collection procedures, and those of any third parties employed, that they conform to the highest ethical standards.

e) All members have a duty to ensure that their agents, sub-contractors and subsidiaries comply with the Association’s Code and Guidelines.

f) Comply with all reasonable requests by debtors, clients or their appointed representatives for information concerning their agreements and accounts.

g) All members shall ensure the Association’s Code is available on their own website where they have one. They shall further ensure that a copy of the Code is supplied promptly to any debtor on request.

3. Legislation & Guidelines

a) Each member shall conduct its business lawfully, comply with all relevant UK legislation, regulation and judicial decisions and trade fairly and responsibly.

b) Each member shall also comply with Debt Collection Guidance as published by the Office of Fair Trading from time to time.

4. Debt Collection & Default Guidelines

The following list of guidelines is intended as an indication of the procedures to be adopted by members. It is not intended as an exhaustive directive to members.

Moreover, the effectiveness of collection techniques and procedures depends on the circumstances applying at the time collection is attempted and so cannot be regulated in an absolute manner.

Nevertheless, the Association expects compliance with the guidelines and any member not so complying will have to give a justifiable reason for non-compliance in the event of a complaint being received by the Association.

In attempting to carry out collection in default of payment, members of the Association should:

a) Not use oppressive or intrusive collection procedures.

b) Not bring unreasonable pressure to bear on the debtor in default of payment.

c) Not act in a manner in public intended to embarrass the debtor.

d) Be circumspect and discreet when attempting to contact the debtor by telephone, SMS, email or by personal visit, with due regard to the Data Protection Act and OFT Guidance.

e) Ensure that all attempted contacts with debtors are made at reasonable times and at reasonable intervals.

f) Unless instructed otherwise, accept all reasonable offers by debtors to pay by instalments, provided acceptable evidence of non-ability to pay is given.

g) Not use improper* means to obtain the telephone number and address of a debtor and treat all information supplied as private and confidential unless specific authorisation has been given by the debtor to disclose information to third parties. (*Improper in this connection would refer to actions in breach of relevant legislation or in breach of the Association’s code.)

h) In respect of 4g above, have specific regard to Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

i) Not pressurise debtors to sell property or to raise funds by further borrowing.

j) Not falsely imply by written or verbal means that criminal proceedings will be brought, nor that civil action has or will be instituted where members are unable to do so due to legal restrictions (e.g. bankruptcy under £750, statute barred). Nor falsely imply that a judgment or decree/document of debt (Scotland) has been obtained against the debtor.

k) Ensure that collectors who use pseudonyms can be identified within the members organisation.

l) Take all possible steps to verify that the person being pursued, is in fact, the debtor.

m) Have due regard and deal sensitively with individuals where evidence has been given, or is apparent, that the individual is incapacitated by mental or physical disability.

n) When dealing with fee charging debt advisory services, follow the Office of Fair Trading Guidelines on debt management.

o) Offer maximum co-operation with the debtor’s nominated or chosen Third Party.

p) Encourage debtors in financial difficulties to inform members of their difficulties and then respond sympathetically and positively on the evidence provided.

q) Take into consideration before determining whether to enforce repayment, all information supplied in relation to the reason for non payment, which may include The Common Financial Statement, or the debtor’s future ability to repay. If the debtor has disclosed multiple debt problems, inform them of the availability of advisory services. Where available, provide in all relevant correspondence the name or designation of a specially trained member of staff who may be contacted regarding financial difficulties.

r) Where a debt or the sum owed is disputed, as soon as is practicable, supply information to the debtor in support of the claim. Where no information has been supplied by the creditor, obtain the required support, or failing that cease collection action.

5. Confidentiality

Members must keep in strict confidence any information supplied by the debtors or their chosen third party, except where disclosure is authorised by the debtor or others permitted or required by law.

6. Conduct Regarding Clients

Each member shall:

a) Ensure fairness and transparency of contracts made with clients.

b) Inform their clients of the true rates of charges for services rendered.

c) Safeguard the security of collected monies.

d) Account and remit to their clients at least once a month, or as otherwise agreed, all monies collected.

e) Ensure that by prior arrangement clients are able to visit their premises for the purpose of auditing and checking their accounts.

f) Conduct its business under a name, title or style which will not confuse or mislead clients, creditors, debtors or members of the public, or which will not imply any association with other organisations or persons, which do not exist.

g) Not approach, induce or persuade staff in the employment of a client to join the Member’s organisation, although nothing in this clause will prohibit the engagement by a member of such an employee where a bona fide application is made.

7. Complaints

a) Each member shall have in place adequate processes to deal with debtors or client complaints, this must contain the following minimum procedure:

I. The Management level at which complaints are handled.

II. The time frame in which complaints are handled.

III. The remedy, if the complainant is not satisfied.

IV. Complainants must be advised that one of the remedies is referral of the complaint to the Association where appropriate.

b) Members shall deal with complaints speedily, responsively, in a user friendly fashion and at an appropriate management level.

c) Member’s complaints procedures must be made available to the complainant or his/her advisor on request.

d) If a complaint is made to the Association in relation to dealings with a member of the Association, the Association will deal with the complaint in accordance with the published complaints procedure.

8. The Association

a) Each member shall provide the Board, on request, references and proof of financial solvency.

I. Members who are not required to file annual returns or accounts must provide the Association annually with a Certificate of Solvency based on their last available audited accounts and signed by their Auditor.

II. Notwithstanding the above, each member shall have their accounts audited by a firm of qualified accountants.

b) The Association shall monitor the compliance of members with the Code and shall each year publish a report of the number and types of complaints received.

c) Any instance of non-compliance shall be drawn to the attention of the member concerned. In the event of continued noncompliance or of a serious breach, the Disciplinary Committee will take such action as it deems appropriate, including a warning or recommendation of expulsion of the member concerned from membership. In the event of expulsion the Association will send a report to the Office of Fair Trading.

d) Membership of the Association entitles the member to display an approved trade association symbol thereby indicating their adherence to this Code of Practice.

e) Each member must inform the Association of all trading names in use.

f) Each member must notify the Association of any matters, which might adversely affect the reputation of the industry or of the Association.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Martin I can tell you that beyond doubt the above is all window dressing. How many DCA's have they expelled because of their sometimes extensive illegal conduct....None, not one.

 

As watchdog has stated they exist only to mollify the authorites & the gullible public into thinking they are regulating themselves.............they aren't.

 

Best tip to the original poster......send S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) followed by demand for payment within 14days followed by 7 day LBA. Then issue proceedings.

 

If you can afford it you may also like to make repeated (At least 7 per day) phones calls demanding to speak to someone (by name if poss) & demanding your money on pain of legal proceedings.

 

Got an idea! If someone is being harassed by these cretins they could let us know who & why & we could start telephoning THEM demanding payment on behalf of the member. If nothing else & enough of us take part it will tie their phones up so they can't do it to others.

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Thanks for all the replies, most have actually gone above my head! but in essence I get the starting point of sending the SAR. I have sent 10 last week to my creditors already so am not new to them and understand the DPA quite well.

These baliffs (MA Julious in Nottingham I think) were extremely difficult and threatened with comital to prision I was not going to argue with them at the time, yet after they passed it so easily back to the council after they screwed me for £100+, of which not a penny went to the debt they were collecting anoyed me at the time and no looking back I realised I should have looked at my position and should really have looked at what was happening but oh well, I'll see what I can do now.

 

I hate local councils, they have been the worst of all creditors, because they are classed as priority creditors and can apply for commital to prision makes it even more difficult to make them understand and negotiate.

 

I was left paying for a business office and residential flat above for two years as I was the one who signed the tenancy agreement on behalf of the business I had, but sold over to the other directors when I went to work on another business. I was still apparantly still liable as I had signed it personally.

I tried fighting it as much as possible but just gave up, can not afford the legal fees of seeing a solicitor so am no left paying 2 different liability orders monthly plus a hugh Attachement of Earnings order!

Oh well, one thing I have learnt after leaving school, try and be entrepreneurial and the only people you can't rely on for support is Chesterfield Borough Council, they will try and take everything you have got!

 

I will send to SAR and see what I get back and let you all know!

 

Tom

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The council can only apply to the courts after a Distress Warrant has been granted to have you imprisoned for a continued REFUSAL to pay not because your finding it difficult which would clearly not be the case if you are making some attempt at regular payments

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Ah ok that sound different to what they made out. They made out that I must pay them on their terms else they will either collect goods or instruct the council to order commital proceedings.

Following advice I started to send my payments to the bailiff company on my terms using recorded delivery. It was then I think it got passed back to the council.

 

I will see what I can dig up.

 

Tom

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Watchdog is right you can override the court system if you know what you are doing. there is always a way around everything be it up or down.

 

Please don't leave this statement in mid-air Bailiffchaser. Yes, we all know that bailiff companies can modify the law (or think they can) to their own advantage.

 

However, if there is a way around a "full and final settlement", then please share it on here.... because, if this particular legal statement is useless after all and the court system can still be challenged in spite of it being quoted in any final agreement, then it spells trouble for all of us who have used it to settle with creditors in the hope of getting our lives back.

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Just a quick question are you a bailiff ?


CLICK HERE FOR A LOOK AT ALL OF MY FILES: http://s134.photobucket.com/albums/q82/bailiffchaser/

do not forget to click on my scale if i am giving you the right advice or advice is making sense click my scales otherwise others think i am not helping you.

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