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I am in the process of disputing some blatantly illegal charges added by this bunch of lying scumbags where they have not only added more than 1st and 2nd visit fees without obtaining a WPO but they have then denied that they ever added these fees and claimed that they were merely "a projection of fees which may be incurred in the event of further enforcement action".

 

Has anyone else had any experiences with these jokers as I am bringing to the attention of my local council what they are up to. Please PM me or reply to this with your G&C horror stories...

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All I could find was this on the internet. The original poster seems to have a

strong case against them, but it is probably best to ignore most of the comments from the rest of the posts on the thread.

 

I have just recently won my case against Drakes and it did help with the Judge that their bailiff had been "creative" with his additinal costs.

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Here's the letter I've just sent to my local council:

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I today received a letter from Goodwillie & Corcoran (dated 25 July 2007) and have attached my response to them. As you will see, they are clearly trying to back-track and conceal the fact that they (or the bailiff acting on their behalf) has acted in a clearly illegal and fraudulent manner.

 

 

As they are acting on behalf of Rushmoor Borough Council, I feel that I ought to bring this fact to your attention as a matter of urgency as I am certain that this is their standard operating practice rather than a one-off incident. In fact, this type of behaviour appears to be common to many bailiff companies – consumer rights organisations such as the Consumer Action Group (www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk) have many documented examples of bailiffs illegal behaviour.

 

 

In light of the new proposed legislation granting these bailiffs the right to break into a property and remove goods and the fact that they appear to be unable to act within the law as it currently stands, I feel that Rushmoor Borough Council need to closely examine the current behaviour of the bailiffs acting on their behalf.

 

 

I would be very interested to know how many cases you have forwarded to Goodwillie & Corcoran which they have then gone on to add fraudulent charges to which have then been paid by Rushmoor residents who were unaware that these charges were not lawful and I hope that you will be contacting Goodwillie & Corcoran with a view to ensuring that they repay all fraudulently obtained charges back to all residents.

 

 

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this matter as I am considering filing a Freedom of Information request to obtain this information from yourselves.

 

 

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, I can be contacted on xxxxxxxx.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Has anyone any experience of obtaining information under a FOIA request?

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Have noticed your remarks about seeking PM responses.

 

A word of caution......Herbie, who was providing bailiff advice on here since last year is now unable to post on the forum without moderation and has been banned from giving or receiving private messages becasue she offered to search the bailiff register to see if a particualar bailiff was certificated by way of PM. She was told that all information should be shared not conducted by private message.

 

 

FOI requests are simple...but can take 40 days. There should be no fee but you need to be specific in what you require.

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tom - comments noted - the reason I mentioned PM is that I'm sure there are people here who never post but do read these threads.

 

Anyway, posted the letter to the solicitors by recorded delivery this afternoon and posted the letter to the council through their letterbox by hand on my way home from work... Will wait to hear what they have to say about it all and if I've heard nothing by mid next week from the council I will lodge FOIA request. Possible questions to ask as follows:

 

1. In each of the last 6 years, how many residents were taken to court for non-payment of council tax

 

2. For the cases in question 1, how many were referred to bailiffs and to which bailiffs were they referred?

 

3. How many of the cases referred to bailiffs were paid through the bailiff and in those cases, how many times did the bailiffs add more than a 1st or 2nd visit fee

 

4. In how many of the cases where the bailiff charged more than a 1st and 2nd visit fee did the bailiff successfully obtain a levy (walking possession order)

 

This is really just a brain dump for now - I know the council have direct access to G&C's systems. Anyone with suggestions for other (or better) questions...

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Here's the bailiff letter:

 

Dear alexteh,

 

Re Council Tax Arrears

 

I am in receipt of your letter of the July 19th which has been forwarded to me from the manager at our Eastleigh Office. I understand from her that the letter you refer to dated the 19th June was unfortunately, never received.

 

I enclose a schedule of charges for you to peruse and which, will bring you up to date with current legislation.

 

To assist you in understanding how our charges have been applied, I will detail the history of this matter and the sequence of our Enforcement Procedures.

 

On the 21st March, we received instructions to commence recovery action against you.

 

Our Levy Bailiff, Mr X called at your address on the Monday 2nd April at 10:25am and reported no reply. However, Rushmoor Borough Council confirmed that a direct payment from you was received on 11th April, which reduced your liability by £xxx. A letter confirming the new balance was sent to you on the 23rd May but was never acknowledged. At this stage only a first visit fee of £22.50 had been incurred (First and Second Visit Fees were increased in April 2007)

 

On June 19th at 7:25am when Mr YYYY called, a Second Visit Fee was added.

 

According to the Bailiffs report, an 'Intention to Levy' had been left at your address containing a projection of fees which may be incurred in the event of further Enforcement Procedures being instigated. . The form used is one of duel purpose and is completed by the Bailiff accordingly. To the left hand side of the form there is a 'Walking Possession Agreement' which once signed, is binding on both parties. The form you received was one such intention and upon reading it correctly could never be interpreted as being 'passed off' as a bona fide Levy and Walking Possession Agreement.

 

Again, you made payments directly to the Council following our Bailiff Visits and on the 10th and 18th July we received notification of two payments each in the sum of £xx.xx, which have now cleared your Account.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mrs X. Xxxxx

Company Liaison Manager

As you'll see from my reply there are several things which are wrong in this letter...
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Well the bailiff signed for their letter this morning so no need to keep it quiet now so here it is... Their letter to which this is a reply had both me and my wife in stitches - particularly the part about the fact that the charges over and above the 1st and 2nd visit fees were merely a "orojection" of fees which could be charged to us if we didn't settle immediately. I'll post the contents of their letter when I get a moment (no scanner here..)

 

Dear Mrs X

 

 

I write with reference to your letter dated 25 July 2007 which I received today and would like to take up a couple of points fom this letter as I believe you must either be misinformed by the bailiffs acting on your behalf or you are deliberately misstating the truth.

 

 

Firstly, while I may have misquoted the acceptable rate of the 1st and 2nd visit fees, the concept is still the same. I reiterate my comments from my first and second letters to you (I have enclosed a copy of the first as you claim not to have received it) that leaving threatening letters claiming that I owed over £150 in bailiff fees alone is not only incorrect but is blatantly illegal and fraudulent to boot.

 

 

I do not for one second believe that this was intended only to show a “projection of fees which may be incurred in the event of further Enforcement Procedures being instigated” as you laughably now claim. In fact, I would still like to see a full breakdown of what constituted all charges that were added to my account in excess of the 1st and 2nd visit fees.

 

 

This brings us on to the actions of your bailiff, Mr XXX and what you are now claiming is an “intention to levy” but was clearly labelled a “walking possession” order/agreement on the document posted through our door. If, as you claim, this was a dual-purpose document and was only left as an intention to levy then can you explain why Mr XXX filled in the Walking Possession section stating “all electronic goods” and further left a note to the effect that we should sign it and return it to your office – a blatant breach of the law.

 

 

While all of this illegal and/or fraudulent behaviour by yourselves and your agents is shocking, it is actually completely unsurprising. Having done some extensive research, it is apparent that these actions are actually typical of your organisation and I would like to take this opportunity to ensure that your employers, in this case, Rushmoor Borough Council on whose behalf you are acting in this case, are fully aware that by employing you they are condoning your behaviour.

 

 

I would therefore like to complain in the strongest possible terms about not only of your company’s behaviour to date but of your misdirection and clouding of the legitimate issues I have raised in my previous letters.

I will therefore also be lodging a formal complaint with Rushmoor Borough Council regarding your conduct to date and, unless I receive an unequivocal apology from both yourselves and Mr XXX within 14 days, I will also be lodging a formal “complaint against a certificated bailiff” with Southampton County Court against Mr XXX (the bailiff).

 

 

I look forward to hearing your response,

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

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Well Saturday's post brought a letter from the local council in response - bearing in mind that they only received the letter on Friday - and they are now looking into it to ensure that the bailiffs are behaving properly. As I have documentary evidence that they are not I'm not certain what will happen. The council say they will get back to me in a couple of days as this is a serious matter.

 

A "walking possession order" with the note "please sign and return" plus a hand-delivered (and handwritten) letter from the bailiff outlining almost £200 worth of charges...

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When you get the apology,report the Bailiff to the court immediately anyway - especially since you will then have written acceptance (his apology) that he acted outside of the rules. ;)

 

An apology does not punish him/teach him to do his job lawfully, Loosing his certificate would.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Well I just put together a very interesting package of documents for the local newspaper and am waiting to hear back from them tomorrow (well today now). I think I'll also lodge that formal complaint with the court this week too.

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Just found out that G&C are a member of the Enforcement Services Association so I've complained to them too. Hopefully one of these complaints will have some sort of result.

 

Not this one ! - all this "regulatory bodies" set-up by the bailiff associations are basically there to find them not guilty of anything !

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Yeah I know that, you know that but I'm going through the process mostly so I can show the council how their agents have been behaving. Besides, this is the next step in the complaints procedure and it gives me more ammunition in my complaint to both the council and the court. I'd very much like to see how the bailiff association can justify the written evidence I have of the bailiff trying to charge me for things he had no right to charge for.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well back from vacation now and back into the swing of it. Received a letter from the bailiff while I was away denying they'd done anything wrong with respect to the WPO and completely ignoring the fact that they had fraudulently added charges to my account.

 

I replied copying the council pointing this out and will be lodging a FOIA request with the council next week to try to find out how many other people have had fraudulent bailiff charges added.

 

I also got a response from the ESA (bailiff trade organisation) basically saying that I needed to go through G&C's internal complaints process first.

 

Will see what happens from there...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Life has been hectic the last few weeks so I've not done too much with this.

 

I will be sending photocopies of the Bailiffs hand-written letters to them tomorrow as they have requested. I've also today lodged a FOIA request with the council.

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Well lots of updates this week. I've written once more to the council and to the bailiff about my complaints and I've also FOIA'd the council.

 

Bailiff letter:

With regard to the serious matter of your fraudulent overcharging, the documents enclosed which were left by Mr X on 19 June and 17 July clearly show that the charges which you recently claimed were a “projection of fees which may be incurred in the event of further Enforcement Procedures being instigated” were nothing of the sort and that Mr Leader had full intention of attempting to collect these charges.

 

 

In fact, the handwritten note on the 17 July letter where Mr X has written “We will attend with contractor + locksmith Fri with a view to enforce order + remove goods” clearly shows that he was attempting either to intimidate me into paying his fraudulent charges or to blatantly break the law and levy on goods which he had no possession agreement for.

 

Furthermore, the discrepancy between the amounts allegedly owed between these two dates (£240.41 and £260.50) - a difference of £20.09 has never been adequately explained explained

FOIA Request to the Council:

I request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000):

· Copies of all contracts between Rushmoor Borough Council and any bailiff companies employed or used by Rushmoor Borough Council from 2002 until present.

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2007.

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2002.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2003.

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2004.

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2005.

 

· The number of Court Orders obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in 2006.

 

· The number of Court Orders handed to bailiffs in pursuance of unpaid Council Tax in all the years 2002 until present (each year to be recorded separately).

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2007.

 

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2002.

 

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2003.

 

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2004.

 

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2005.

 

 

· The individual amounts owed for each Court Order obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council for non-payment of Council Tax in 2006.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2007.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2002.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2003.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2004.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2005.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2006.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2007 in which Rushmoor

Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2002 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2003 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2004 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2005 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2006 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2007 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2002 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2003 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2004 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2005 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· The number of complaints received about bailiffs employed/used by Rushmoor Borough Council to obtain payment of Council Tax under a Court Order in 2006 in which Rushmoor Borough Council investigated and found the complaint partially or wholly justified.

 

 

· Copies of all training manuals, documents, newssheets, or other instructional material used to train and update knowledge of Rushmoor Borough Council Officers in the Revenues and Council Tax departments with regard to the following:

a) The duties of a bailiff

b) The powers of a bailiff

c) Bailiff law

d) Procedure on handling complaints against a bailiff

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2007.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2002.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2003.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2004.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2005.

 

 

· The number of Court Orders for Council Tax obtained by Rushmoor Borough Council that have been issued to a bailiff that have been ‘taken back’ by Rushmoor Borough Council at the request of Rushmoor Borough Council in 2006.

 

 

I understand that under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) you have 40 days in which to supply the requested information. Should any information be ‘lost’, for example contracts between Rushmoor Borough Council and any/all bailiff companies employed by Rushmoor District Council , then may I suggest that the Council immediately obtains copies from the other party/ies involved.

Please acknowledge receipt of this request in writing by return of post.

 

Yours sincerely,

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Alex

 

As we have done so many Freedom of Information request concerning bailiff contratcs etc, from experience I woud be very surprised indeed if the councilresponded in full to your request.

 

New rules were introduced not so long ago to restrict the amount of info requested before charging a fee.

 

In order for them to reject the request as it is too long, I would strongly advice that you select only the info that you REALLY do need.

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Phase 1 is a fishing trip to see what information the council will give up. Phase 2 will look for more specific information if I don't get what I need. There are plenty of people I know locally who can lodge further FOIA requests for more specific information if that becomes necessary.

 

What I am trying to do is twofold: Firstly I want to get the council to realise that their bailiff company is blatently breaking the law by defrauding vulnerable people and secondly I want to get the council to force the bailiff to refund ALL of the illegal charges they have claimed from EVERYONE in the borough - preferably EVER but for the last 6 years at least.

 

I've got some interest from the local press - particularly if I can provide enough evidence this practice is widespread and am willing to go as far as need be. If I have to pay for a FOIA request along the way then so be it - for every penny I have to pay, I want Goodwillie and Corcoran to have to pay 1000-fold or more!

 

These bailiff companies need to realise that they are not above the law and if I can get enough evidence then I will consider legal action on behalf of everyone who's ever been defrauded.

 

Once I have the relavent documentation etc. the next step will be to make a formal complaint to the police of fraud / obtaining money with menaces or deception / whatever is appropriate

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Hi I have just found your post after doing a search information about Goodwillie & Corcoran and would like to say you are certainly not alone in these ridiculous charges that these bailiffs have added to your account. I myself have just this week been handed a letter telling me i have extortionate charges to pay of over £170 after receiving 3 letters and 1 visit over the space of 12 days. I am expecting him back out this week to enforce removal (not that he will be getting in the door). I don't want to go into all the details on this board but will PM you the exact dates and charges. But will say the helpful (lol) information i was given by the council when i queried the charges with them was that they can charge what they like. and would like to point out this is not the first time I have dealt with them as i got into arrears a couple of years ago and had to deal with all the same thing but mistakenly did not keep all the information on payments and charges i had paid but would say out of around 600 pounds i had paid the bailiffs before i got wise i discovered, when it was sent back to the council and i was taken to court again the council had only received around 100 of it to be taken off my debt.and now the only reason i am still in debt is while paying off the arrears last years bill went into arrears which the council took to court to get a liability Order and now of course this years is in arrears and has been to court for liability order because i am still trying to catch up.

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Amy,

 

There is loads of information about on reclaiming bailiff charges - several people have done so successfully. Don't worry if you don't have all the paperwork still - send them a S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) with a £10 cheque and they will have to send you everything they have on record about you which should include all the payments you've made. You should be able to get back all the money they've scammed from you and maybe that'll help you get back in step with the council (or pay for some stuff for xmas or whatever)

 

Oh, and as for the council - may be worth sending them a letter enclosing the relevant section of the relevant Council Tax legislation related to bailiff charges.

 

Good luck!

 

AlexTEH

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As I have said many times before, almost everyone believes that they have been overcharged....and most times they are right.

 

It is SIMPLE to get a refund of any overcharges and a claim can be made using money claim online. However you have to be able to identify WHERE there has been any overcharging.

 

For example: "The bailiff has charged me £110 for a visit to my home on 1st October. Accordingly to The Council Tax Administration & Enforcement (as amended) Act the first visit fee should be £24.50"

 

As there are different fees for the collection of different debts (council tax, parking tickets, child support agency) BEFORE taking any action you MUST send a Subject Access Request. This can then be used as evidence .

 

So first things first.

 

1, Subject Access Request.

 

2. Compare the charges to the statutory fee scale.

 

3. Once identified, a letter BEFORE action to the bailiff company.

 

4. If no response. Money Claim Online.

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