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Hello - First time user & Bailiff Problems with Meagher and Equita


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Hi all

Ive read all the really helpful and interesting advice you have all given each other with regard to baillif problems and I hope you will be able to advise me also.

My first problem is with Meagher PLC. The email I have constructed is copied below, please can anyone suggest improvements, advice, suggestions etc before I blast it out to meagher, LBWF and the others listed?

 

Thanks in advance ....

 

Here goes :

 

===================

 

Dear Sirs

 

I write today to ask for an explanation for the charges levied to me regarding the PCN below, and to request a refund against the unreasonable level of fees charged by the Bailiff against a Local Authority debt of £125.

 

This debt was registered with Meagher, whom I received a letter from on 14th March 2007, demanding payment of £138.16 within 7 days. On the 23rd March 2007 I wrote the email attached below. I have received no response to date. Then on 5th April 2007, at 6.00am I was awoken by knocking on my door by a Bailiff, I will refer to him as Mr M. He had a colleague or friend with him. I noticed my car, parked opposite, had been clamped by them before they knocked on my door. This was illegal under the licensing regulations of the SIA, as although Mr M is a licensed member, his licence does not allow him to carry out work as a baillif for Meagher PLC. They demanded payment, for the outstanding debt. I explained to them I had attempted to pay the debt on 23rd March, as described below in my email, however had received no response to date. This is an obvious policy on behalf of Meagher PLC to ignore its debtors attempts at debt satisfaction, just so they are able to provide reason to increase their own costs, as has occurred in this case.

 

I was so shocked at the amount being requested and to minimize any disruption to my sleeping disabled wife and children, I quietly paid the outstanding requested sum of £589.64. Upon asking for a breakdown of costs I was told the reason for the fees was ‘court costs’. The Bailiff obviously lied to me about the make up of the costs. It was only after they left and I had taken advise from a number of relevant individuals including my solicitor, that I realized that this fee being charged was excessive and illegal. I then phoned Meagher this evening in an attempt to clarify what these costs were. The person who answered the phone, John, was not willing to give me any information, other than a breakdown of costs which I have listed below ( which by the way, don’t add up anyway):

 

29th March - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

29th March - Visit Fee - £44.81

2nd April - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

2nd April - Visit Fee - £57.36

5th April - Attendance and Van Fee - £176.25

5th April - Visit Fee - £67.29

----------------------------

Total - £485.43

VAT - £84.94

Original Debt - £125.00

 

The amount I paid, upon request by Mr M was - £589.64

Because these figures do not add up, I fully expect to be chased by Meagher’s bailiffs for further monies in the future. I write to pre-empt that occurrence.

 

Interestingly, I have realized by speaking to representatives of Meagher and Equita (another debt collection company regularly used by Local Authorities, and with an equally questionable record of conduct) that no phone calls of Debtors are ever recorded by the Debt Collection companies. This is obviously because :

  • They wish to keep no record of the manner is which they treat debtors.
  • As there is no proof of conversation this allows them to misled, lie and make up stories and allegations of phantom visits, in order to increase their charges that they then demand from the debtors.
  • It allows staff to speak to Debtors in a demeaning aggressive and abusive manner with no means of recourse.

None of the figures listed above make any sense to me, not least because the visits on the 29th March and 2nd April as alleged, never occurred. The reason I know this is because my disabled wife (Registered as Disabled with DWP and LB Redbridge, if you wish to check) was at home with my 2 year old son and can confirm that no Bailiff called. There is a bell and a knocker on the door and at no time was a visit made, because our front room window, where my wife spends her time with my son, overlooks the front door. No letter, postcard or any other type of correspondence was left at my house. Therefore I must conclude that these are all the questionable and phantom tactics used as described in other recorded accounts (Alex Henney, Simon Aldridge, Duncan McGowan, Austin Mitchell MP ) of unsavoury behaviour and allegations made by bailiffs.

I did not hesitate in paying the outstanding amount requested : £589.64. However I have since learned that these figures are incorrect, and that in actual fact, because I only received 1 letter and 1 visit to collect the debt in person, the charges should be :

Original Debt as registered - £125.00

Letter Fee - £ 11.20

VAT on Letter Fee - £1.96

Visit Fee - £44.81

 

Please remember that a Van Fee is not applicable in this circumstance, because :

1. The debt relates to a unpaid PCN for which an immobilization device is required in the first instance.

2. No Goods were levied at any time and in actual fact the Bailiff had no authority, warrant or other legal document to allow him entry to my home ( unless of course he wished to remove the flagstones from my driveway )

 

The below is an extract from a document by Alex Henney, General Secretary London Motorists Action Group (www.lmag.org.uk), which I believe is relevant to these circumstances.

 

“ We do not believe this is an isolated case of bailiffs creating phantom visits to inflate their charges.

We have a similar complaint against the London Borough of [Deleted] for maladministration based on Equita charging a fee of £750 to collect a debt of £310. The fee is based on alleged multiple visits with letters left that were not found in the hall, and a charge of £222 + VAT for an alleged vehicle in attendance to collect goods, although the bailiffs came to collect money and did not have a warrant to enter to collect goods. LMAG has requested the Office of Fair Trading to revoke [deleted]’s credit licence. Two other directors and the solicitor of a third have had experience with bailiffs claiming fees disproportionate to the debt.

The implications of the case are that:-

  • The Department of Constitutional Affairs should make “The National Standards for Enforcement Agents” into a statutory code.
  • London councils and Transport for London (TfL) should stop issuing warrants of execution to certificated bailiffs like confetti – in 2004-05 they issued 875,000
  • When a council or TfL uses certificated bailiffs, it should ensure that the bailiffs act in accordance with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents
  • London councils and TfL should review the charges bailiffs have levied to check how many other cases there have been of fabricated charges and ensure that people are compensated
  • The statutory guidance for parking enforcement which the Department of Transport is preparing should require councils to issue warrants of execution sparingly and only as a last resort”

I require a full refund of my monies, less the amount of £182.97 as detailed above. This is a fair and equitable resolution to a sorry set of circumstances.

 

I have copied this email / letter to all interested parties :

Consumer Action Group

London Borough of WalthamForest Chief Executives Office

London Motorists Acton Group

Austin Mitchell MP

Consumer Credit Licensing Enforcement Section, Office of Fair Trading

Local Government Ombudsman

National Standards for Enforcement Agents

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies

OFT

Security Industry Authority

I look forward to hearing from you by return email or letter

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From:

Sent: 23 March 2007 09:08

To: '[email protected]'

Subject: Ref. 780239, PCN WF7533986A

 

I am writing regarding the letter received from you regarding an outstanding debt registered against me by London Borough of Waltham Forest. I have received the letter by post this morning, 23rd March 2007, and the letter is dated 14th March 2007. The letter states 7 days to pay, and this time has already expired.

 

I phoned your number to pay by telephone, and the lady who answered was rude and abusive, and when I stated I wanted to pay by American Express card, her reply was ‘well we don’t take American Express, there’s nothing I can do.’ She the put the phone down on me abruptly.

 

Unfortunately, the only way I can pay is by cheque. Please let me know who I should make the cheque payable to and which address I should use.

 

Thank You

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What a very eloquently put together letter, ChessMaster. Best of luck and let us know how they reply (aka try to wriggle out of it!) :)

"Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of something.

 

They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

 

Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States.

Change the US for the U K... do you think he meant CAG?! :wink:

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Hi all

Ive read all the really helpful and interesting advice you have all given each other with regard to baillif problems and I hope you will be able to advise me also.

My first problem is with Meagher PLC. The email I have constructed is copied below, please can anyone suggest improvements, advice, suggestions etc before I blast it out to meagher, LBWF and the others listed?

 

Thanks in advance ....

 

Here goes :

 

===================

 

Dear Sirs

 

I write today to ask for an explanation for the charges levied to me regarding the PCN below, and to request a refund against the unreasonable level of fees charged by the Bailiff against a Local Authority debt of £125.

 

This debt was registered with Meagher, whom I received a letter from on 14th March 2007, demanding payment of £138.16 within 7 days. On the 23rd March 2007 I wrote the email attached below. I have received no response to date. Then on 5th April 2007, at 6.00am I was awoken by knocking on my door by a Bailiff, named edited He had a colleague or friend with him. I noticed my car, parked opposite, had been clamped by them before they knocked on my door. This was illegal under the licensing regulations of the SIA, of which edited is not a licensed member. They demanded payment, for the outstanding debt. I explained to them I had attempted to pay the debt on 23rd March, as described below in my email, however had received no response to date. This is an obvious policy on behalf of Meagher PLC to ignore its debtors attempts at debt satisfaction, just so they are able to provide reason to increase their own costs, as has occurred in this case.

 

I was so shocked at the amount being requested and to minimize any disruption to my sleeping disabled wife and children, I quietly paid the outstanding requested sum of £589.64. Upon asking for a breakdown of costs I was told the reason for the fees was ‘court costs’. The Bailiff obviously lied to me about the make up of the costs. It was only after they left and I had taken advise from a number of relevant individuals including my solicitor, that I realized that this fee being charged was excessive and illegal. I then phoned Meagher this evening in an attempt to clarify what these costs were. The person who answered the phone, John, was not willing to give me any information, other than a breakdown of costs which I have listed below ( which by the way, don’t add up anyway):

 

29th March - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

29th March - Visit Fee - £44.81

2nd April - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

2nd April - Visit Fee - £57.36

5th April - Attendance and Van Fee - £176.25

5th April - Visit Fee - £67.29

----------------------------

Total - £485.43

VAT - £84.94

Original Debt - £125.00

 

The amount I paid, upon request by edited was - £589.64

Because these figures do not add up, I fully expect to be chased by Meagher’s bailiffs for further monies in the future. I write to pre-empt that occurrence.

 

Interestingly, I have realized by speaking to representatives of Meagher and Equita (another debt collection company regularly used by Local Authorities, and with an equally questionable record or conduct) that no phone calls of Debtors are ever recorded by the Debt Collection companies. This is obviously because :

  • They wish to keep no record of the manner is which they treat debtors.
  • As there is no proof of conversation this allows them to misled, lie and make up stories and allegations of phantom visits, in order to increase their charges that they then demand from the debtors.
  • It allows staff to speak to Debtors in a demeaning aggressive and abusive manner with no means of recourse.

None of the figures listed above make any sense to me, not least because the visits on the 29th March and 2nd April as alleged, never occurred. The reason I know this is because my disabled wife (Registered as Disabled with DWP and LB Redbridge, if you wish to check) was at home with my 2 year old son and can confirm that no Bailiff called. There is a bell and a knocker on the door and at no time was a visit made, because our front room window, where my wife spends her time with my son, overlooks the front door. No letter, postcard or any other type of correspondence was left at my house. Therefore I must conclude that these are all the questionable and phantom tactics used as described in other recorded accounts (Alex Henney, Simon Aldridge, Duncan McGowan, Austin Mitchell MP ) of unsavoury behaviour and allegations made by bailiffs

I did not hesitate in paying the outstanding amount requested : £589.64. However I have since learned that these figures are incorrect, and that in actual fact, because I only received 1 letter and 1 visit to collect the debt in person, the charges should be :

Original Debt as registered - £125.00

Letter Fee - £ 11.20

VAT on Letter Fee - £1.96

Visit Fee - £44.81

 

Please remember that a Van Fee is not applicable in this circumstance, because :

1. The debt relates to a unpaid PCN for which an immobilization device is required in the first instance.

2. No Goods were levied at any time and in actual fact the Bailiff had no authority, warrant or other legal document to allow him entry to my home ( unless of course he wished to remove the flagstones from my driveway )

 

The below is an extract from a document by Alex Henney, General Secretary London Motorists Action Group (www.lmag.org.uk), which I believe is relevant to these circumstances.

 

“ We do not believe this is an isolated case of bailiffs creating phantom visits to inflate their charges.

We have a similar complaint against the London Borough of Camden for maladministration based on Equita charging a fee of £750 to collect a debt of £310. The fee is based on alleged multiple visits with letters left that were not found in the hall, and a charge of £222 + VAT for an alleged vehicle in attendance to collect goods, although the bailiffs came to collect money and did not have a warrant to enter to collect goods. LMAG has requested the Office of Fair Trading to revoke Equita’s credit licence. Two other directors and the solicitor of a third have had experience with bailiffs claiming fees disproportionate to the debt.

The implications of the case are that:-

  • The Department of Constitutional Affairs should make “The National Standards for Enforcement Agents” into a statutory code.
  • London councils and Transport for London (TfL) should stop issuing warrants of execution to certificated bailiffs like confetti – in 2004-05 they issued 875,000
  • When a council or TfL uses certificated bailiffs, it should ensure that the bailiffs act in accordance with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents
  • London councils and TfL should review the charges bailiffs have levied to check how many other cases there have been of fabricated charges and ensure that people are compensated
  • The statutory guidance for parking enforcement which the Department of Transport is preparing should require councils to issue warrants of execution sparingly and only as a last resort”

I require a full refund of my monies, less the amount of £182.97 as detailed above. This is a fair and equitable resolution to a sorry set of circumstances.

 

I have copied this email / letter to all interested parties :

Consumer Action Group

London Borough of WalthamForest Chief Executives Office

London Motorists Acton Group

Austin Mitchell MP

Consumer Credit Licensing Enforcement Section, Office of Fair Trading

Local Government Ombudsman

National Standards for Enforcement Agents

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies

OFT

Security Industry Authority

I look forward to hearing from you by return email or letter

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From:

Sent: 23 March 2007 09:08

To: '[email protected]'

Subject: Ref. 780239, PCN WF7533986A

 

I am writing regarding the letter received from you regarding an outstanding debt registered against me by London Borough of Waltham Forest. I have received the letter by post this morning, 23rd March 2007, and the letter is dated 14th March 2007. The letter states 7 days to pay, and this time has already expired.

 

I phoned your number to pay by telephone, and the lady who answered was rude and abusive, and when I stated I wanted to pay by American Express card, her reply was ‘well we don’t take American Express, there’s nothing I can do.’ She the put the phone down on me abruptly.

 

Unfortunately, the only way I can pay is by cheque. Please let me know who I should make the cheque payable to and which address I should use.

 

Thank You

 

I would like to say it is beyond belief but you only have to read some of the accounts on here to know that this kind of behaviour is rife.

Nice to see someone not taking it lying down. More power to you and pleas keep us informed of developments

 

Kind regards

 

Peter

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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If you get no joy, there's always the small claims courts - you can add on your "reasonable fees" as part of your claim then ;)

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Hi all

 

29th March - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

29th March - Visit Fee - £44.81

2nd April - Attendance and Van Fee - £105.75

2nd April - Visit Fee - £57.36

5th April - Attendance and Van Fee - £176.25

5th April - Visit Fee - £67.29

----------------------------

Total - £485.43

VAT - £84.94

Original Debt - £125.00

 

 

Thank You

 

Are you sure of the attendance and Van Fee are correct as these seem very low charges. The fee you mention on the 2nd April is very similar to another bailiff company but only for the attendance, it is the same amount for the van fee.

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Hi all

I dont know how accurate or legal these figures are, just that they are what I was quoted by the call centre person who ansered the phone.

 

I have since placed a call to the MD of Meagher, a polite man, who even said he would look into my case when i gave him brief verbal details and call me back, which he then did and I nearly fell off my chair. Said I would email him what i posted before on here, he said to send it through and he would look at it and come back to me, and even kept apologising for this filthy business !!!

I dont know whether to laugh or cry!!!

Has anyone else dealt with the MD of Meagher?

 

thanks

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Sorry another question ....

and does anyone know if there is a standard 'visit fee' charge for the first visit after the first letter sent (for which the £11.20 + VAT has already been charged) - on a parking fine ticket?

tahnks

Chessmaster

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Guest ChloeJane

Hi,

 

Statutory charges are found here. this is the original but gives an overview.

 

 

This link is the updated charges here where they had a small increase in 2003.

 

This is for parking fines.

 

Other charges are often not only ficticious but vary and according to some bailiff companies, charges are based on area so if you live in a nice area, watch out, you may be paying more!

 

Hope this helps. Happy to send link to proof of variation in charges and how they are very questionable! There can be a £200 variation!

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  • 6 months later...
Did you not think of paying the ticket, before it was passed for bailiff action?

 

There may be a very valid reason for not having paid the ticket that ChessMaster does not wish to reveal. This site is for helping people who have difficulties without judging their reasons for doing (or not doing) something in the past. Please refrain from using this tone in future.

  • Haha 1

BEFORE starting your claim read through the FAQ's and if there's something you aren't sure of then ask.

If you win, donate to this site

Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions, some formed by personal experience and some from research. If in doubt seek qualified legal advice.

 

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Did you not think of paying the ticket, before it was passed for bailiff action?

 

Did you actually read the original post? At the bottom he clearly states:

 

I am writing regarding the letter received from you regarding an outstanding debt registered against me by London Borough of Waltham Forest. I have received the letter by post this morning, 23rd March 2007, and the letter is dated 14th March 2007. The letter states 7 days to pay, and this time has already expired.

 

I phoned your number to pay by telephone, and the lady who answered was rude and abusive, and when I stated I wanted to pay by American Express card, her reply was ‘well we don’t take American Express, there’s nothing I can do.’ She the put the phone down on me abruptly.

 

Unfortunately, the only way I can pay is by cheque. Please let me know who I should make the cheque payable to and which address I should use.

 

Thank You

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Hmmmm TOBY M sounds like a PRIVATE BAILIFF, i have spoken to before.

 

Thank you MODS, for settleing that silly comments.

 

Oobviuosly TM has preconcieved ideas and is very assumtious.

** Credentials **

 

10 Years Finance Fraud Investigator

 

5 Year High Court Sheriffs

 

2 Years Tip Staff Royal Courts

 

Currently : HMCS Enforcement Officer

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I am not a bailiff!!!!! Prior to getting a letter from a bailiff firm the council would have sent many letters. The court would have sent letters during the warrant process.

 

Should have paid by cheque and not opened your door that day. Also get a chain or latch on your door so that you do not have a repeat of the last ticket.

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Should have paid by cheque

 

By making this statement you are assuming that he/she can pay by cheque. This is a luxury that not everyone has

BEFORE starting your claim read through the FAQ's and if there's something you aren't sure of then ask.

If you win, donate to this site

Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions, some formed by personal experience and some from research. If in doubt seek qualified legal advice.

 

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Originally Posted by ChessMaster

I am writing regarding the letter received from you regarding an outstanding debt registered against me by London Borough of Waltham Forest. I have received the letter by post this morning, 23rd March 2007, and the letter is dated 14th March 2007. The letter states 7 days to pay, and this time has already expired.

 

I phoned your number to pay by telephone, and the lady who answered was rude and abusive, and when I stated I wanted to pay by American Express card, her reply was ‘well we don’t take American Express, there’s nothing I can do.’ She the put the phone down on me abruptly.

 

Unfortunately, the only way I can pay is by cheque. Please let me know who I should make the cheque payable to and which address I should use.

 

Thank You

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I would not normally answer this type of query as the last posting was over 6 months ago so I haven't a clue why Toby M would want to start th thread again but anyway he must have his own reasons.

 

However, when pursuing the collection of outstanding parking tickets do not for one minute think that putting a chain on your door is going to help as MOST bailiffs are instead clamping the car on the driveway.

 

Anyhow it's probably bestter to start a new thread instead of going over this case again.

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  • 1 year later...
Originally Posted by ChessMaster

I am writing regarding the letter received from you regarding an outstanding debt registered against me by London Borough of Waltham Forest. I have received the letter by post this morning, 23rd March 2007, and the letter is dated 14th March 2007. The letter states 7 days to pay, and this time has already expired.

 

I phoned your number to pay by telephone, and the lady who answered was rude and abusive, and when I stated I wanted to pay by American Express card, her reply was ‘well we don’t take American Express, there’s nothing I can do.’ She the put the phone down on me abruptly.

 

Unfortunately, the only way I can pay is by cheque. Please let me know who I should make the cheque payable to and which address I should use.

 

Thank You

 

I agree with TM.

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