A Shallow Victory

Tell us how you beat the bailiffs.
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Mark1960
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#1 A Shallow Victory

Post by Mark1960 » 06 Oct 2014 22:39

Some will remember the appalling story that "rmani" posted here back in February. The situation appears to have been concluded. The whole case is such a mess, it would take pages to go through and explain it. In essence, it centres around multiple fees & levies on 9 separate accounts. Rmani had been stuck right where the bailiffs wanted her for 6 years, paying arrears but not paying the current years tax, thus incurring a LO for the following year.

Within a month of joining this board, the council had taken the debt back and rmani was allowed to continue her payments directly to the council. This was a result straight away as rmani was now free from bailiffs and out of the "viscous circle" as she quite rightly described it. Anything else was a bonus she said, which although it was the right attitude to have, this woman had been seriously shafted by these scumbags to the tune of over a grand.

Anyone who reads my posts will know that I'm no lover of councils & I don't trust them. That said, it became apparent that the recovery manager involved in this case was a decent woman, given the complexity of the case and the fact that I felt I could trust the recovery manager, I agreed to accompany rmani to a meeting at the council offices. This was at the end of May and it was then that we finally got a breakdown of fees from Rossendales. They had charged 9 x 1st visit fees (when it should have been 1) and then on a separate occasion, 9 x levy fees & 9 x WP fees. They agreed to refund 8 of these fees, which meant a refund of £412, leaving 1 legitimate levy & WP fee in place. Then the scumbags replaced the 8 credited fees with 8 x 2nd visit fees, bringing the refund down to £268. In addition, there was a single head H fee and a random £8.04 fee credited, making a total of £300.04 owed to rmani.

A single complaint to the LGO at this point would have guaranteed a minimum of 8 x 1st visit fees & 8 x 2nd visit fees also refunded (total £340) In addition there would have been the card transaction charges to be refunded. This would have been guaranteed without having to do anything more. In addition there were subsequent levy & van fees that were very debatable. The whole action from Rossendales over the 6 year period had been to stick 2 fingers up to the law and the council and just aim for maximum proit-The same goods were levied upon although they were already part of another levy, one levy saw a micro wave & a toaster levied upon for a £800+ debt. A "dining table" was levied upon which was actually a wooden chopping board on wheels. The whole thing was criminal.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, rmani stopped communicating with me. I don't know if this was because she had just got fed up with the fight or because she had been contacted by agents of Rossendales. What is certain is that she was owed £100's more in refunds. I believe that Rossendales paid her off with a sweetener of less than £200, meaning she was refunded just under £500 in total. Still a nice amount but less than half what was really owed to her. Rossendales final response is absolutely hilarious-I cannot post it as it is not addressed to me but an example of their stupidity (or perhaps arrogance) is their claim that they can charge a van fee in 2009 for an account that had a WP arrangement set up in 2010 (this means they collected on a default 12 months before the agreement was signed or any payments had begun). Their reason for this is because they had held the account since 2008. :lol: The LGO would have had a field day with this drivel.

To summarise, we got the bailiffs off the case very quickly which helped rmani and we also got her almost £500 refunded. It feels like a shallow victory because rmani only got back about half of what she should have. The original thread:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1576

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jasonDWB
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#2 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by jasonDWB » 06 Oct 2014 23:08

Well done Mark.

I think you should go round and find out why she stopped communicating. If a kickback was involved then a complaint to the SFO crime & corruption unit is needed because its evidence of concealment.
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Mark1960
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#3 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Mark1960 » 06 Oct 2014 23:30

She lives 2 hours up the road. At the end of the day, it was her choice, my role was purely to help when she wanted my help.

If someone has received a kickback over this, they are even worse than the scumbag who levied 9 times on the same goods.

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Amy
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#4 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Amy » 06 Oct 2014 23:33

Great work Mark, a victory is a victory all the same.

Mark1960
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#5 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Mark1960 » 07 Oct 2014 07:05

Don't get me wrong Amy-Getting rid of the bailiffs so quickly was a massive result & had a real positive impact for rmani. £500 is not to be sniffed at either & Rossendales will have felt this blow. I just don't like giving up, it is not in my nature. The whole system is in place to grind debtors down in the hope that they loose the will to continue. We'd done all the ground work, all that was left to do was ask 1 final time for the rest of the money back, after that, the door was open to contact the LGO.

outlawipcc
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#6 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by outlawipcc » 07 Oct 2014 08:24

Mark1960 wrote:.......Rossendales final response is absolutely hilarious-I cannot post it as it is not addressed to me but an example of their stupidity (or perhaps arrogance) is their claim that they can charge a van fee in 2009 for an account that had a WP arrangement set up in 2010 (this means they collected on a default 12 months before the agreement was signed or any payments had begun). Their reason for this is because they had held the account since 2008. :lol: The LGO would have had a field day with this drivel.....
Pity this wasn't unearthed (the issues regarding the old fees for attending were no goods were removed).

The document below – if known about at the time – would have cleared up much of the confusion as to when the fee could be lawfully applied.

It seems councils were negligent in defending their contractors.

Milton Keynes Code of practice – page 16.

For attending to remove goods when no goods are removed.

Notes:

This fee will only be charged provided that the vehicle used is sufficient to remove all the goods previously seized.


Reasonable fees and expenses incurred but not exceeding £75.00 for attending to remove household goods at domestic dwellings.

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Hithard
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#7 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Hithard » 07 Oct 2014 08:54

You didn't give up Mark you conceded to rmani's wishes where she feels that she is in a place that she is happy with and the crooks Rossendales have been stopped in their tracks.
It's been proved to a point that they acted fraudulently and unethically and hopefully it will be a shot across their bows that their behaviour won't be tolerated and that they will be challenged.
rmani's case will just be one of many though. It is beyond scandalous that local authorities employ corrupt companies like Rossendales to carry out council tax recovery.
Descendite ne illegitimi

Mark1960
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#8 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Mark1960 » 07 Oct 2014 17:22

Wise words Hithard and very well put.

I agree that Rossendales should be left in no doubt that their behaviour won't be tollerated. They may well send out puppets to discredit this board but if it is anything like they claim then how come they are £500 out of pocket today?

Mark1960
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#9 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by Mark1960 » 07 Oct 2014 17:41

outlawipcc wrote:
Mark1960 wrote:.......Rossendales final response is absolutely hilarious-I cannot post it as it is not addressed to me but an example of their stupidity (or perhaps arrogance) is their claim that they can charge a van fee in 2009 for an account that had a WP arrangement set up in 2010 (this means they collected on a default 12 months before the agreement was signed or any payments had begun). Their reason for this is because they had held the account since 2008. :lol: The LGO would have had a field day with this drivel.....
Pity this wasn't unearthed (the issues regarding the old fees for attending were no goods were removed).

The document below – if known about at the time – would have cleared up much of the confusion as to when the fee could be lawfully applied.

It seems councils were negligent in defending their contractors.

Milton Keynes Code of practice – page 16.

For attending to remove goods when no goods are removed.

Notes:

This fee will only be charged provided that the vehicle used is sufficient to remove all the goods previously seized.


Reasonable fees and expenses incurred but not exceeding £75.00 for attending to remove household goods at domestic dwellings.
Outlaw-that was just MK's stipulation, it was not legally binding on any other council. If memory serves me right, MK were on of the few who were strict about head h as well (from your foi's).

Did I not send you similar results as the example you show from my Head C FOI's?

The issue we have in this case (and there were other head c's) is that they accept the multiple levies were not valid yet still claim that they can still visit under head c, despite not having a valid levy in place. The law stated that they may only attend with a view to remove FOLLOWING the levy. The letter I have in my possession is from the Rossendales complaints team leader. Now she is either an idiot who doesn't know what she is talking about or she is ignoring legislation in order to deprive a single mother of a refund that she is rightfully owed.

To put this particular issue into perspective, rmani told me that after this fee was extracted from her, she had to go to her employer, who kindly advanced her holiday pay. It wasn't as if she was pissing it up the wall, she genuinely didn't have the cash flow to splash out on an illegal Head C fee.

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monkeynuts
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#10 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by monkeynuts » 07 Oct 2014 18:26

Having spoke to rmani on the day the bailiffs where in her house whilst this is far from a small victory. This was a lady who was absolutely petrified that the bailiff would be taking everything she had as they had used the normal threats and bully boy tactics they so regularly employ.

Stopping the bailiff is the main aim of the game. We know they are unethical and should they bleed their blood would more than likely be cold and the prey on the vulnerable. This for her is no longer the case.

We armed her with the law - which is what they are supposed to abide by..... and as my sig, says an awake populous is a bailiffs nightmare!

No doubt should she speak to others in the same situation she was in, she will reflect on your actions Mark and we can again help another turn the tide :D
An awake populous is a bailiffs worst nightmare!

outlawipcc
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#11 Re: A Shallow Victory

Post by outlawipcc » 07 Oct 2014 19:06

Mark1960 wrote: Did I not send you similar results as the example you show from my Head C FOI's?
Now you mention it I got a sense of déjà vu when first seeing the document the other day, but couldn't find it on record.

Though checking on evidence sent to Humberside Police, South Gloucestershire Council were similar except not specifying the van's capacity.

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