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"Most People who are in arrears" are NOT suffering financial hardship. Over 60% of people in arrears on a bailiffs database do not want to pay, but have the means.

 

You may fundamentaly disagree with local authorities using bailiffs, but how do you propose that these debts be collected. I understand that the original amount quoted to you was incorrect, however you do still owe something.

 

There are millions of pounds of unpaid council tax and I fail to see how this would be collected, especially from "repeat offenders" who simply choose not to pay it every year, without the use of bailiffs.

 

You state you have made no offer of payment so far and you are not going to make an offer until you know what you are paying??? How are you going to know what you are paying if you don't make an offer?

 

If the bailiff has completed a notice of distress on your vehicle then this is enforceable. He does not need a walking possession agreement to remove it. However, if you speak to him and arrange a payment plan, this will not be necessary.

 

There is no need to fear bailiffs, their job is to collect or arrange payment, they very rarely remove goods, as this is costly to them and most of the time the items removed do not cover the debt.

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"Most People who are in arrears" are NOT suffering financial hardship. Over 60% of people in arrears on a bailiffs database do not want to pay, but have the means.

 

There is no doubt that some people have the means but won't pay, but perhaps you would be so kind as to reveal your source for your statistics?

 

You may fundamentaly disagree with local authorities using bailiffs, but how do you propose that these debts be collected. I understand that the original amount quoted to you was incorrect, however you do still owe something.

 

No-one disagrees with bailiffs being used, its the way in which the bailiffs operate that people find objectionable and their failure to act lawfully.

 

There are millions of pounds of unpaid council tax and I fail to see how this would be collected, especially from "repeat offenders" who simply choose not to pay it every year, without the use of bailiffs.

 

Indeed, but the issues are the way in which bailiffs are carrying out their business.

 

You state you have made no offer of payment so far and you are not going to make an offer until you know what you are paying??? How are you going to know what you are paying if you don't make an offer?

 

It is reasonable for the OP to have the correct figures available before they make an offer, especially given the propensity for some bailiffs to dramtically inflate their fees in these circumstances.

 

If the bailiff has completed a notice of distress on your vehicle then this is enforceable. He does not need a walking possession agreement to remove it. However, if you speak to him and arrange a payment plan, this will not be necessary.

 

Your source for this info please?

 

There is no need to fear bailiffs, their job is to collect or arrange payment, they very rarely remove goods, as this is costly to them and most of the time the items removed do not cover the debt.

 

There would be no need to fear bailiffs if they acted professionally and lawfully but sadly the many posts on this forum are clear proof that this is often not the case. Bailiffs need to get their house in order. Until such time, people will fear them because of the way in which they conduct themselves and the threats and harassment tactics that they use in order to get the money, often from people who are in difficulties financially, not to mention the way they try and inflate their fees.

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EstebanVeao - I think there is every reason to fear bailiffs - evidence is clear from this forum that there are many that act in an underhand manner. I am also fearful of bailiffs given the fact that they could enter my home through an open window when I have two young children. I believe this would frighten them - don't you?

 

I think that it is very niaive to assume that people do not want to pay, of course they want to pay but financial hardship is a reality to many people in this country.

 

I have every right to ask for receipts for payments I have made bearing in mind the council had missed over £800 and sent a bailiff to collect this!!! I have every right to have a breakdown of what I owe. Then, and only then, can I be confident that payments made are being allocated appropriately.

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There is no doubt that some people have the means but won't pay, but perhaps you would be so kind as to reveal your source for your statistics?

 

 

Having worked in the industry for over 12 years you would be less likely to come accross a genuine case where someone has fallen on hard times. Most people visited or contacted are quite comfortable and go out of their way to avoid paying their debts by any means possible. They telephone or write in with sob stories about being unemployed and destitue, yet when you visit the premises you find they are working full time on over £30k per annum driving an audi with a 42inch plasma tv in every room. Most people do not know how to prioritise. I have taken countless numbers of telephone calls from people who say they cannot afford to pay anything at the moment as they are currently paying off their catalogue purchases and they owe money to Sky TV. What is more important, not having SKY or losing your TV altogether to a bailiff?

Sites like this one are filled with people looking for a way out of paying debts to bailiffs, when the simple fact is if they had taken control of their debts on the 3rd, 4th or even 5th reminder, they could have avoided being sent to the bailiffs altogether.

 

 

No-one disagrees with bailiffs being used, its the way in which the bailiffs operate that people find objectionable and their failure to act lawfully.

 

There are few numbers of these. Thats like saying every postman will steal some of your mail.

 

Indeed, but the issues are the way in which bailiffs are carrying out their business.

 

There is a fine line here. Bailiffs by their very nature are employed to retrieve monies or remove goods to the value of the debt. No-one is going to like having a bailiff at their property, but they are an essential tool for recouping unpaid monies. They will always be seen as unfair and heartless by the very nature of what they do, but there is no nice way of asking people for money or removing their goods.

 

It is reasonable for the OP to have the correct figures available before they make an offer, especially given the propensity for some bailiffs to dramtically inflate their fees in these circumstances.

 

Agreed, you should check what fees have been charged by a bailiff with the local authority. A bailiffs fees are agreed at the start of a new contract with the council, so the council will be able to tell you what the bailiff can charge for each visit.

 

Your source for this info please?

 

The laws of distress for local taxation and rent.

 

 

There would be no need to fear bailiffs if they acted professionally and lawfully but sadly the many posts on this forum are clear proof that this is often not the case. Bailiffs need to get their house in order. Until such time, people will fear them because of the way in which they conduct themselves and the threats and harassment tactics that they use in order to get the money, often from people who are in difficulties financially, not to mention the way they try and inflate their fees.

 

The many posts on this forum probably equate to less than 1% of the 4 million people visited by bailiffs every year. So therefore not all bailiffs are unprofessional theiving thugs.

 

The words intimidation and harrasment are used far to easily on sites like this. If a bailiff threatens to seize goods under a court order, is that harassment, intimidation, or a fair warning of the inevitable next step in the legal process. I understand that debtors may "feel" harrased or intimidated, but that does not mean that the bailiff has done anything wrong.

 

You cannot condemn an entire profession because of the actions of a few bad employees.

 

I think this site is of a great help to people who want to know their rights, but I do not think it should be a place for people to try and find a way out of their responsibilities by looking for loopholes or ways to complain.

 

We all have debt at some point in our lives, no-one is perfect, but this site should be about better money management and knowing your rights.

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EstebanVeao - I think there is every reason to fear bailiffs - evidence is clear from this forum that there are many that act in an underhand manner. I am also fearful of bailiffs given the fact that they could enter my home through an open window when I have two young children. I believe this would frighten them - don't you?

 

I think that it is very niaive to assume that people do not want to pay, of course they want to pay but financial hardship is a reality to many people in this country.

 

I have every right to ask for receipts for payments I have made bearing in mind the council had missed over £800 and sent a bailiff to collect this!!! I have every right to have a breakdown of what I owe. Then, and only then, can I be confident that payments made are being allocated appropriately.

 

 

Zigster, I think it is you that is niaive. I deal with many people every day who do not want to pay. I know they don't want to pay because they tell me so. Our organisation takes over 2000 calls a day and you would not believe the number of people who ring up just to call you names, tell you to f#*& off and that we will never get a penny out of them etc etc.

 

Although the law states a bailiff can legally enter your property through a window, it is unlikely that they would do so. This practice is frowned upon by local authorities and causes very bad publicity. A bailiff would much rather speak to you than enter your property while you are not there.

 

I agree that you should get a breakdown of what you owe and then make a payment plan with the bailiff.

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Zigster, I think it is you that is niaive. I deal with many people every day who do not want to pay. I know they don't want to pay because they tell me so. Our organisation takes over 2000 calls a day and you would not believe the number of people who ring up just to call you names, tell you to f#*& off and that we will never get a penny out of them etc etc.

 

Although the law states a bailiff can legally enter your property through a window, it is unlikely that they would do so. This practice is frowned upon by local authorities and causes very bad publicity. A bailiff would much rather speak to you than enter your property while you are not there.

 

I agree that you should get a breakdown of what you owe and then make a payment plan with the bailiff.

 

I am on here as an individual with a genuine course for complaint. I do not have any plasma screen tvs or sky or an audi and do not use foul language to communicate. It is a shame you have a low opinion of people but I guess bailiffs wouldn't be in the profession (surely this can't be a profession??) if they cared for people and their worries.

 

I do wonder if entering through a window is so frowned upon, then why is it legal?

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Having worked in the industry for over 12 years you would be less likely to come accross a genuine case where someone has fallen on hard times. Most people visited or contacted are quite comfortable and go out of their way to avoid paying their debts by any means possible. They telephone or write in with sob stories about being unemployed and destitue, yet when you visit the premises you find they are working full time on over £30k per annum driving an audi with a 42inch plasma tv in every room. Most people do not know how to prioritise. I have taken countless numbers of telephone calls from people who say they cannot afford to pay anything at the moment as they are currently paying off their catalogue purchases and they owe money to Sky TV. What is more important, not having SKY or losing your TV altogether to a bailiff?

 

Sites like this one are filled with people looking for a way out of paying debts to bailiffs, when the simple fact is if they had taken control of their debts on the 3rd, 4th or even 5th reminder, they could have avoided being sent to the bailiffs altogether.

 

As expected, just your personal experience and not backed up with facts and statistics. You obviously haven't read many of the posts in this section because if you had you would see that the vast majority of cases people have complained about bailiffs acting illegally, harassing people and putting the fear of God into them with lies about what they can do. This site frowns upon those who try to abdicate their responsibilities by not paying lawful debts, but we will help those who have had genuine issues with thuggish bailiffs who act as if they are outside the law.

 

There are few numbers of these. Thats like saying every postman will steal some of your mail.

 

Now where did I say all bailiffs? Face facts, the reputation of bailiffs is appalling and it's not helped by the way the industry fails to deal with the very real issues arising out of their actions.

 

There is a fine line here. Bailiffs by their very nature are employed to retrieve monies or remove goods to the value of the debt. No-one is going to like having a bailiff at their property, but they are an essential tool for recouping unpaid monies. They will always be seen as unfair and heartless by the very nature of what they do, but there is no nice way of asking people for money or removing their goods.

 

No, I agree, but there is a proper way for them to do it, and that is to act lawfully and not lie to people about what they can do and to charge outrageous fees on top of the debt they are trying to collect. When the industry acts properly and lawfully there will be a lot less need for this section in the forum, but as long as they carry on the way they do then people will complain about it and have every right to do so.

 

I'm not condoning those who can pay but refuse, but when you read of people with genuine hardship being harassed and lied to by people who are supposed to act professionally and lawfully it does tend to make me angry.

 

The laws of distress for local taxation and rent.

 

Which laws would they be? Acts and sections would be most helpful please?

 

The many posts on this forum probably equate to less than 1% of the 4 million people visited by bailiffs every year. So therefore not all bailiffs are unprofessional theiving thugs.

 

No, but it seems many are and the fact that there are bailiffs out there should be a matter of shame for the industry. But the industry is condoning them and doing nothing, which is a disgraceful.

 

 

The words intimidation and harrasment are used far to easily on sites like this. If a bailiff threatens to seize goods under a court order, is that harassment, intimidation, or a fair warning of the inevitable next step in the legal process. I understand that debtors may "feel" harrased or intimidated, but that does not mean that the bailiff has done anything wrong.

 

How often do they have a court order to actually seize goods? And its the way they communicate that is the issue at hand. And if a debtor feels harassed, they may not have been but I would suggest that many bailiffs are not acting as they should do.

 

You cannot condemn an entire profession because of the actions of a few bad employees.

 

Evidence suggests it is more than just a few.

 

I think this site is of a great help to people who want to know their rights, but I do not think it should be a place for people to try and find a way out of their responsibilities by looking for loopholes or ways to complain.

 

It is frowned upon if people are trying to abdicate their responsibilities, but looking for ways to complain about unlawful or unethical actions is perfectly acceptable.

 

We all have debt at some point in our lives, no-one is perfect, but this site should be about better money management and knowing your rights.

 

It is, and it is also about advising people how to deal with the unscrupulous out there................which does include bailiffs.

 

 

 

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Out of the hundreds and i really mean hundreds of people where I have either read their story or spoken to only one story was about a 'good' bailiff who was doing his job correctly. You give figures of 4 million people get visited by a bailiff, how many of those are criminal fines its mainly those who refuse to pay and abuse the system. people here come here not to avoid paying but are asking for help how to pay, these people are destitute, because of one reason or another, they dont need added charges placed on a debt that they cannot already pay, charges that mostly are illegal given out by bailiff out ton earn a fast buck. What about mistakes that bailiff and the LA make, innocent people get abusive phone calls from bailiffs, assaulted on their doorsteps, threats with prison if they dont pay, threats of calling the police if you dont let them in, scaremongering old, disabled and young children, break all the rules just to get money to line their pockets. ITS NOT JUST A FEW ROGUE BAILIFFS THAT DO THIS!!!!!! (edited)... Tell me whats the turn over of bailiffs employed and why do so many hop from one company of debt collectors to another???

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The many posts on this forum probably equate to less than 1% of the 4 million people visited by bailiffs every year. So therefore not all bailiffs are unprofessional theiving thugs.

 

Perhaps you can explain HOW bailiffs managed to make 4 MILLION visits - when the Government actually confirm that around HALF of all bailiffs are uncertificated and therefor acting illegally?

 

On 17th April this year, HARRIET HARMAN MP issued the following statement:

 

The regulatory impact assessment for the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Bill published on 30 January 2007 estimates that there are 1,200 uncertificated bailiffs.

 

As at 30 March 2007 the Register of Certificated Bailiffs maintained by HMCS currently lists 1,482 certificated bailiffs. There should be no bailiffs doing work requiring certification who do not hold a current certificate.

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Zigster, I think it is you that is niaive. I deal with many people every day who do not want to pay. I know they don't want to pay because they tell me so. Our organisation takes over 2000 calls a day and you would not believe the number of people who ring up just to call you names, tell you to f#*& off and that we will never get a penny out of them etc etc.

 

Sorry to be pedantic but why would people ring up to call me names?

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By my quick calculations, 1500 certified bailiffs making 4 million visits a year equals 10 visits a day (busy people!!) which say it was just council tax and £20 a visit means Bailiffs should be living in mansions and driving rolls royces!!! even with their always being people who cant/wont pay each of these bailiffs must be earning £500 + a week!!!

 

But being the suspicious type, how many of those 4 million visits are real?

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By my quick calculations, 1500 certified bailiffs making 4 million visits a year equals 10 visits a day (busy people!!) which say it was just council tax and £20 a visit means Bailiffs should be living in mansions and driving rolls royces!!! even with their always being people who cant/wont pay each of these bailiffs must be earning £500 + a week!!!

 

But being the suspicious type, how many of those 4 million visits are real?

 

 

Bailiffs or Collection agents can complete upto 40 or 50 visits per day. Most of these visits will result in no-one being home. Just because a bailiff may charge £20 for that visit, does not mean he is going to get paid £20. If no-one is home or the occupant has moved, that money is not recouped. You cannot assume that just because 4 million debts are issued that 4 million debts are collected. There are cases where the debtor may be deceased, moved without trace, refuses to pay or the case has been issued in error by the authority.

 

In addition there are many debts that bailiff companies collect that do not require certification.

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A bailiff DOES NOT need to have a signed walking possession to remove goods.

 

If he has visited your property and you have refused access he can legally remove your vehicle whether you sign a WP or not. Once an item has been listed on a Notice of Distress it has become the property of the crown.

 

Debtors have the right to refuse to sign a walking possession, but this does not mean a bailiff cannot remove the goods he has itemised.

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50 visits a day = 6 visits per hour, assuming a 8 hour working day. That means a visit every 10 minutes. Obviously this is achievable if there is no one in at every premises attended, but if there are persons home I would have grave difficulty in accepting that a bailiff will complete their business within 10 minutes. There is also the issue of travelling time to throw into the equation.

 

I think you can see why the previous poster saw the figure as ludicrous.

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50 visits a day = 6 visits per hour, assuming a 8 hour working day. That means a visit every 10 minutes. Obviously this is achievable if there is no one in at every premises attended, but if there are persons home I would have grave difficulty in accepting that a bailiff will complete their business within 10 minutes. There is also the issue of travelling time to throw into the equation.

 

I think you can see why the previous poster saw the figure as ludicrous.

 

Even if the bailiff started at 6am (earliest that he can call) and worked continuously finishing at 9pm (latest that he can call) it's still 3.3 visits an hour (one every 18 minutes !!) ... which allows virtually no time whatsoever for travelling, traffic delays, meals, toilet breaks etc etc.

 

In order to achieve this he would also be starting out earlier that 6am (to be at the first address at 6am) and then travelling home after 9pm (a 17 hour working day???).

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Guest Herbie

Sorry I have missed this thread. It is good sometimes to hear the view from the other side but I have to disagree with a lot of your statements.

 

From our research last year there were 4 million Liability Orders issued. The average vale for CouncilTax is £610 and for Business Rates £2,962.

 

What must not be missed here is the fact that a LO costs approx: £6. The local authority charge approx: £85 on to your bill and for business rates £175. Common sense alone will show that this is certainly a way of bringing extra revenue into the councils. ( I best most of you did not realise this )

 

The majority of people not paying their council tax CANNOT afford it.

 

You say that people have 42" plasma's TV's in every room. With respect that is utter nonsense. A rare occasions yes, but please do not tar each debtor with the same brush.

 

Having an expensive car on the driveway is NO indication that they have money. Unless you see the finance agreements, bank statements, credit card statements you will only know half the story.

 

Sadly bailiffs have received bad press. It was our company that discovered just how few bailiffs there are, and thankfully the government confirmed that nearly half are working without certificatation. To my mind there is NO EXCUSE FOR NOT BEING CERTIFICATED. Some will say it is financial. RUBBISH.

 

There are many professions that require certificates, and I am sure the majority do not flout the law in the same way bailiffs do.

 

Many bailiffs are treating debtors as "cash cows" to boost their income. Although this is the governemnets fault for introducing a low statutory fee scales this in no way can excuse the bailiffs for the extraordinary fees that many charge because the debtor is unaware of their rights.

 

If bailiff actions are all lawful, then please tell me WHY nearly half of all bailifs are uncertificated and also WHY you cannot provide a proper itemised receipt when visiting the debtor. Royal Mail, DHL and even my milk delivery company provide a itemised receipt printing electronically by hand held machines.

 

Last, your comment that many bailiffs do not need certificates. This applies to just a very small section of the industry.

 

For the collection of unpaid fines in the Magistrates Court bailiffs MUST be certificated. This is a contractual obligation.

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Even if the bailiff started at 6am (earliest that he can call) and worked continuously finishing at 9pm (latest that he can call) it's still 3.3 visits an hour (one every 18 minutes !!) ... which allows virtually no time whatsoever for travelling, traffic delays, meals, toilet breaks etc etc.

 

In order to achieve this he would also be starting out earlier that 6am (to be at the first address at 6am) and then travelling home after 9pm (a 17 hour working day???).

 

 

Please do not take this literally. I did not state that EVERY bailiff achieves 50 calls EVERY day. There are days where he may only complete 10, or 15 or 20 visits. But as I stated, more often than not, there is usually no one home between 9am and 5pm.

 

We work in areas where there are a number of debts on every street, therefore it is quite achievable to do 3 or 4 calls within a few minutes and still allow time for travel, meals and toilet breaks.

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As Herbie has just pointed out, the 4 Million figure refers to laibility orders ONLY - the total number of debts (from all sources) is far in excess of this !

 

This means that the number of potential "clients" per bailiff is far higher than previous figures have stated.

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If you go into the nitty gritty of enforcement, some of the cases issued to a bailff, you can enforce 24hrs a day. It is only a recommendation that it is 6am till 9pm. Some councils may allow you to work after or before these times depending on the situation.

 

Also a walking possession is only an agreement for the bailiff not to remove your goods.

 

Also if someone is working in an area which is pretty small, you can achieve 40 to 50 calls a day. You could have 15 cases down one road.

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If you go into the nitty gritty of enforcement, some of the cases issued to a bailff, you can enforce 24hrs a day. It is only a recommendation that it is 6am till 9pm. Some councils may allow you to work after or before these times depending on the situation.

 

As I've said many many times before - if anyone opens their door to a complete stranger(s) outside these hours they must be insane !

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