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New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

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  • New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    This post is not intended to be critical of any of the superb helpers on this site who spend their valuable time providing advice to debtors.

    Over the past few weeks I have noticed that many vulnerable debtors are advised to make complaints to their MP's, local Councillor, HMCTS Area Enforcement Managers (for court fines) or Local Government Ombudsman. With respect, in most cases, neither of these options is the right one.

    Fortunately, one of the 'good points' of the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 is the PROTECTION that is now given to "vulnerable" debtors (more on this in a moment).

    As most people on here will now know, the fee scale is much clearer in that debtors will be charged a 'Compliance Fee' of 75 and this is charged to the account when the local authority transfer the case to the enforcement agent. If the debtor has more than one Liability Order/court fine/or parking charge notice a fee of 75 is payable for EACH debt.

    The debtor is given "7 clear days" in which to make payment OR to contact the enforcement company to agree a payment proposal (a STICKY that I have written explains more on how the number of days is to be calculated). The 'period' of repayment depends entirely upon the agreement that the local authority has with their enforcement agent but 3-6 months (max) appears to be a 'common' timeframe.

    If the debtor fails to pay the debt as shown on the Notice of Enforcement or to 'engage' with the enforcement company then the case will be referred to an enforcement agent for the purpose of 'Taking Control of Goods" (previously levying upon goods). This visit will incur an "Enforcement Fee" of 235. An excellent inclusion in the new regulations is that where there is more than one Liability Order/court fine/parking charge notice etc the enforcement agent cannot charge 'multiple fees'

    Vulnerable debtors:

    At the time of the visit if evidence of 'vulnerability' is given to the enforcement agent then he is supposed to 'rewind' the account back to the Compliance Stage and the 'Enforcement fee' of 235 should be removed.

    If the debtor was not present at the time of the visit it is vitally important that they write to the enforcement company straight away to outline their 'vulnerability' and to provide 'evidence'. If the enforcement company are satisfied that 'vulnerability' has been demonstrated then the position is that the 'Enforcement fee' of 235 is removed and the case 'rewound' to the Compliance Stage.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the 'Compliance Fee' of 75 will not be removed.
    Tags: None

  • Amethyst
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    ... ignore for now just seemed most relevant place for the minute xx

    ''People in vulnerable situations

    4.8 The National Standards for Enforcement Agents gives examples of potentially
    vulnerable situations. The reality is that judgements need to be made on a case by
    case basis.

    4.9 There should be clear, agreed protocols in place between Local Authorities and their
    bailiffs governing the approach that should be taken in vulnerable situations and the
    kinds of cases which should be raised with, or referred back to, local authorities for
    further consideration when encountered.

    4.10 This might mean agreed indicators of vulnerable circumstances and ensuring there is
    a clear and efficient mechanism to refer cases back to the Local Authority where
    bailiff action is not the most appropriate route.''

    Taking Control of Goods: National Standards
    April 2014

    42.
    Enforcement agents should be trained to recognise vulnerable debtors, to alert creditors where they have identified such debtors and when to withdraw from such a situation.

    Vulnerable situations
    70.
    Enforcement agents/agencies and creditors must recognise that they each have a role in ensuring that the vulnerable and socially excluded are protected and that the recovery process includes procedures agreed between the agent/agency and creditor about how such situations should be dealt with. The appropriate use of discretion is essential in every case and no amount of guidance could cover every situation. Therefore the agent has a duty to contact the creditor and report the circumstances in situations where there is evidence of a potential cause for concern.
    71.
    If necessary, the enforcement agent will advise the creditor if further action is appropriate. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
    72.
    Enforcement agents must withdraw from domestic premises if the only person present is, or appears to be, under the age of 16 or is deemed to be vulnerable by the enforcement agent; they can ask when the debtor will be home - if appropriate.
    73.
    Enforcement agents must withdraw without making enquiries if the only persons present are children who appear to be under the age of 12.
    74.
    A debtor may be considered vulnerable if, for reasons of age, health or disability they are unable to safeguard their personal welfare or the personal welfare of other members of the household.
    75.
    The enforcement agent must be sure that the debtor or the person to whom they are entering into a controlled goods agreement understands the agreement and the consequences if the agreement is not complied with.
    76.
    Enforcement agents should be aware that vulnerability may not be immediately obvious.
    77.
    Some groups who might be vulnerable are listed below. However, this list is not exhaustive. Care should be taken to assess each situation on a case by case basis.

    the elderly;

    people with a disability;

    the seriously ill;

    the recently bereaved;

    single parent families;

    pregnant women;

    unemployed people; and,

    those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.
    78.
    Wherever possible, enforcement agents should have arrangements in place for rapidly accessing interpretation services (including British Sign Language), when these are needed, and provide on request information in large print or in Braille for debtors with impaired sight



    CWAC -

    4.6 The Enforcement Agent must be mindful of vulnerable groups when collecting debt and if in any doubt must seek advice from the Councils supervising officer. The Enforcement Agent will always make a record on the account of the debtor’s (and family) personal circumstances especially where there are apparent disability, mental illness or impairment issues. The following provides an indication of such groups but is not exhaustive. Any advice provided must be noted by the Enforcement Agent.

    • any person aged 70 or over and infirm.
    • recent family bereavement (case to be reviewed in 2 to 3 months)
    • Where a debtor is considered to have a mental disability/a severe state of confusion or sensory disability such as being deaf or blind.
    • If debtor or partner in final weeks of pregnancy.
    • Communication difficulties, any case where English is not spoken or read and an interpreter would be useful.
    • Severe financial difficulties where total household income is equal to or below Income Support/ Jobseeker’s Allowance.
    • Any exceptional circumstances which would make recovery action undesirable.
    Last edited by Amethyst; 5th July 2014, 19:44:PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by Johnboy007 View Post
    Thanks for the reply....
    Your comments were really amusing...:bounce:
    Newlyn actually put it in writing Quote: It is therefore our intention to file a criminal damage claim against you.
    They are a bloody joke........
    The amounts claimed vary each time they send a letter.
    12/06/2014 it was 512.00
    17/06/2014 it was 766.00
    01/07/2014 it was 622.00

    Just who does their accounts?
    Carol Vorderman
    And what evidence do they have of Criminal Damage? What evidence do they have that the person they are alleging committed the said alleged damage (if any) actually committed the alleged damage? By the sound of it, bugger all.

    Far from being amusing, what Newlyns are doing is, actually, very serious. It has the potential to backfire on them and the creditor, whoever that may be, in a way they, probably, will not have anticipated or foreseen.

    And, no, Carol Vooderman does not do their accounts; rumour has it that it is the ghosts of the Brothers Grimm.

    Leave a comment:


  • bizzybob
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Screwlyn are seriously out of control, and in need of a tolchock from plod.

    Leave a comment:


  • Johnboy007
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by bluebottle View Post
    Making a report of a crime to the police, knowing it is false, is a criminal offence (Wasteful Employment of Police). However, if the police act upon the false report, then this can escalate the matter into the sphere of Indictable Offences, namely, Perverting the Course of Justice. Wasteful Employment of Police is a summary offence.

    Regardless of whoever makes a false report, such reports waste a lot of time, resources and money and divert police officers away from dealing with genuine crimes.
    Thanks for the reply....
    Your comments were really amusing...:bounce:
    Newlyn actually put it in writing Quote: It is therefore our intention to file a criminal damage claim against you.
    They are a bloody joke........
    The amounts claimed vary each time they send a letter.
    12/06/2014 it was 512.00
    17/06/2014 it was 766.00
    01/07/2014 it was 622.00

    Just who does their accounts?
    Carol Vorderman

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by Wombats View Post
    ......... like DCA's fabricating solictors' firms! Oops.
    I came across a residential lettings agency impersonating a firm of solicitors some years go. They weren't too happy when the local constabulary paid them a visit and started asking them awkward questions about their business activities.

    Leave a comment:


  • bizzybob
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    There are some discussions on use of vulnerability on this thread

    http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...ommenced/page1

    which may be better on here

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by bluebottle View Post

    Regardless of whoever makes a false report, such reports waste a lot of time, resources and money and divert police officers away from dealing with genuine crimes.
    ......... like DCA's fabricating solictors' firms! Oops.

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by Johnboy007 View Post
    I am dealing with Newlyn PLC Enforcement on a case that, quite frankly, if it wasn't true, would make a good book.
    Newlyn have claimed that my daughter's car was clamped and the clamp was subsequently removed by force. And what evidence do they have to substantiate this allegation?
    They said that they were going to issue criminal proceedings against her. msl:
    Despite several emails and a registered signed for letter to Newlyn CEO, no evidence what so ever, has been given to her. If they had any evidence, they would be required to disclose it. If they won't, it would tend to indicate they haven't got any.
    A notice of enforcement agent visit to your premises letter, shoved through her letterbox, has the name MR Jay Oharro, and shows the amount of 766.00 claimed.
    This is definitely an overcharge, by over 144.00 and I must ask the question........
    If my daughter had given him 766.00, what would the bailiff had done with the excess money? Spend it on beer?
    As the car definitely wasn't clamped, no enforcement has been achieved by Newlyn PLC.
    So the charges need to be reduced back to the Compliance Stage.
    Can we sue for damages over the false allegation, which amounts to a libelous statement. Not unless this Mr Jay Oharro or Newlyns are stupid enough to make allegations to the police.
    Maybe someone here can put me on the right path.
    Try finding Mr Jay Oharro on the registered Bailiff list... You will not find him.
    Jay is not his registered name.
    Was his visit lawful? No way...
    Johnaw:
    Making a report of a crime to the police, knowing it is false, is a criminal offence (Wasteful Employment of Police). However, if the police act upon the false report, then this can escalate the matter into the sphere of Indictable Offences, namely, Perverting the Course of Justice. Wasteful Employment of Police is a summary offence.

    Regardless of whoever makes a false report, such reports waste a lot of time, resources and money and divert police officers away from dealing with genuine crimes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Johnboy007
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    I am dealing with Newlyn PLC Enforcement on a case that, quite frankly, if it wasn't true, would make a good book.
    Newlyn have claimed that my daughter's car was clamped and the clamp was subsequently removed by force.
    They said that they were going to issue criminal proceedings against her.
    Despite several emails and a registered signed for letter to Newlyn CEO, no evidence what so ever, has been given to her.
    A notice of enforcement agent visit to your premises letter, shoved through her letterbox, has the name MR Jay Oharro, and shows the amount of 766.00 claimed.
    This is definitely an overcharge, by over 144.00 and I must ask the question........
    If my daughter had given him 766.00, what would the bailiff had done with the excess money?
    As the car definitely wasn't clamped, no enforcement has been achieved by Newlyn PLC.
    So the charges need to be reduced back to the Compliance Stage.
    Can we sue for damages over the false allegation, which amounts to a libelous statement.
    Maybe someone here can put me on the right path.
    Try finding Mr Jay Oharro on the registered Bailiff list... You will not find him.
    Jay is not his registered name.
    Was his visit lawful? No way...
    Johnaw:

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Look at the thread "Without Further Notice", Wombats. I thought Capita was bad for mistakes, but it looks as if Greater Manchester Accounts and Enforcement Unit is vying with them for the title of "Cock-Up Kings".

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    There is one involving Greater Manchester Accounts & Enforcement Unit who have issued an FSN when the case was withdrawn by CPS and the OP has an email from HMCTS confirming this. Talk about a cock-up. I'll see if I can locate the thread.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by russelldash View Post
    is that right Wombats I prefer to get to the point The bailiff's have no right of first time entry full stop so its a con law As far as common law concerned or people talking crap about big words of section part 5 of bullshit section 5 of the persons act
    Very eloquent. In answer to your question, yes, it is right. The FMOTL approach will only lead one way, and it is not a discussion I'm prepared to get involved in, there's plenty of sites where people who wish to follow that approach can go. :beagle:

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by bluebottle View Post
    Only this evening, I have responded to a thread where it is glaringly obvious that a Further Steps Notice has been issued in error.
    I've missed that one, which was it? Sorry to go off topic for one post.

    Leave a comment:


  • bluebottle
    replied
    Re: New bailiff regulations and the position regarding "vulnerability"

    Originally posted by Wombats View Post
    That is undoubtedly true BB, but the 'sometimes' to which you refer are very rare. Even then it is important to approach higher authorities with a comprehensive knowledge of the debtors position and prior actions. I think Amethyst has summed it up extremely well in saying the priority is to deal with the immediate issue in the best and fastest way possible, then address other issues once the immediate stress has been relieved.

    The stickies covering the introduction of The Taking Control of Goods Regulations stated in March that we would usually be advising people to engage with the enforcement companies at the earliest possible opportunity - that statement remains as true now as it was when written three months ago.
    Whilst that may be true, Wombats, there are EAs who clearly seem to be under the impression they can carry on as they were before 6 April 2014. Collectica is one of the worst offenders. The behaviour displayed in the thread I believe Milo is hinting at is something they did last year and it took the intervention of an HMCTS Area Enforcement Team to stop a seriously-ill person and partner on JSA from being bullied into paying money Collectica knew they could not afford. Notwithstanding that Collectica lied to HMCTS the couple had agreed to the figure Collectica demanded. Only this evening, I have responded to a thread where it is glaringly obvious that a Further Steps Notice has been issued in error.

    If a case is straightforward, then I agree with you 100%, Wombats, but if there are inconsistencies, errors and/or abuse of the legal process, the alleged debtor has a legal right to defend themselves against those inconsistencies, errors and abuses, not meekly hand over money they may not even owe to a hired thug who is a hangover from the 12th Century and has no place in 21st Century Great Britain.

    Leave a comment:

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