Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

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Schedule 12
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Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by Schedule 12 » 31 Mar 2014 09:39

This morning Parliament is unable to confirm the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery fee regulations apply to council tax and traffic debt enforcement.

I have now approached Parliament again to decide either way whether the CRAR regulations should apply and officially confirm it's intention.

This is the first official sign somebody may have been disingenuous with their interpretation of the CRAR fee regulations. It was first discovered during the making of a TV documentary program about bailiffs soon to be aired and it was an eagle-eyed lawyer working as a consultant for the show that discovered the potential blunder.
I am a paralegal working for solicitors bringing proceedings against bailiffs for non-compliant enforcement action.

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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by Schedule 12 » 31 Mar 2014 22:04

Following a solicitors consultation today and much to my disappointment the new fee regulations do apply to council tax and PCNs. They do not apply to magistrates court fines.

They apply to HCEOs but if the debtor gets the writ set aside or doesn't pay the fees the creditor is liable for them. If the creditor is a private individual the HCEO has a legal requirement to disclose this fact before instructing them to start work.

Source legislation. Section 3 & 4 of Schedule 1 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014. Brings into effect table 1 of the Schedule of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1/schedule/made

It prescribes a fixed fee of £75. If distress has been executed (taking and selling your goods) or the process of making the levy has been started, there is a further fixed fee of £235.00.

It's not all bad news, the fees do not apply if the bailiff or council has not complied with enforcement procedures, so this could be a winner for the commission paid fee reclaimers using the online enforcement compliance check. http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/TCGRpage.html (this is still alpha version, beta will be ready next week followed by the final version).

Acknowledgements to Mark1960 for your input.
I am a paralegal working for solicitors bringing proceedings against bailiffs for non-compliant enforcement action.

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outlawipcc
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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by outlawipcc » 01 Apr 2014 08:35

The current fees and charges under schedule 5 of the council tax regs belong the billing authority which they the bailiff contractor is allowed to retain normally if all the debt + fees are collected in full. This will presumably conditioned under the service level agreement (if one exists) between the authority and bailiff firm. Will this be the case with the new scheme, i.e., the £75 and £235 fixed fees?

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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by Schedule 12 » 01 Apr 2014 09:03

We haven't done a FOI for a council service agreement yet as it appears they have not been implemented. I did follow a lead with the local government association because that is usually where outsourcing contracts are created and shared with local councils but they were unable to show a final draft. I am keen to see if the service agreement is compatible with the TCGRs.

We are introducing new procedures on DWB especially the schedule 12 of the TCE Act 2007 and we have a whole new range of templates and sworn statements that come into force on April 06.

I am being hammered by the commercial fee reclaimers to fix the enforcement compliance checklists because they want to do fee recovery on non-compliance with regulations instead of exaggerated costs in relation to distress or intending to execute distress when no distress has been executed.

It seems lawyers don't like being the first in and insist I speak to another lawyer first. It took Mark1960 to break that one. I just couldn't rely on CIVEA because it's former self has been wrong before in its legal advice to debtors.
I am a paralegal working for solicitors bringing proceedings against bailiffs for non-compliant enforcement action.

Author: dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk

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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by Schedule 12 » 01 Apr 2014 09:52

Outlawipcc, just an update, I've just come off the phone with a London council and confidante, she is bringing council tax enforcement inhouse because the new fee regime is more favourable for employed bailiffs and she commented other councils are following suit. She quietly hinted this is parliamentary intention to reduce the work done by private enforcement companies.

This is why Parliament increased the fees. It enables councils to bring enforcement back inhouse. It was otherwise untenable under the current £24.50/£18 scheme and 28% for traffic debts.

She still wants to contract out difficult cases and gone-always to private companies leaving the easy cushy work inhouse and the council (the taxpayer) retains the fee. This also applies to traffic debt enforcement whose vehicles are registered locally but long distance ones will go to private companies for enforcement.

The councils want to handle all the statutory notice work before passing it to an enforcement contractor. It's not known if the council are doing that so they get the £75 fee.

This could well lead to the implosion of the use of bailiff companies in England and Wales.

I'll rattle more cages and get you more as soon as I have it. Too late for the Panorama program it's now in post production but it does finally explain their avid interest for information about one particular bailiff company who is big on PCNs and high fees.
I am a paralegal working for solicitors bringing proceedings against bailiffs for non-compliant enforcement action.

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outlawipcc
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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by outlawipcc » 01 Apr 2014 16:50

If council's bailiff contractors do in fact become Xcontractors "en masse" then the implication that there's money in it for councils probably means there's scope for legal challenge on similar grounds to the Barnet case where the High Court ruled against that London Borough profiting from parking. If householders default at the increasing rate they have since benefit reforms and taking into account the new extortionate rates of enforcement, then it's hard to see how Councils could not profit.

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Re: Parliament is unable to confirm CRAR applies

Post by Schedule 12 » 01 Apr 2014 17:20

It's not been tested if councils can make a profit from the enforcement of council tax and PCNs. That is not what council tax and PCNs are about.

I've never had a problem with councils making money provided it's not used for the wrong things in life such as jollies prostitutes lavish living and Caribbean conferences. If it goes towards public services then it gets my support provided the vulnerable and less informed are not targeted and a strong degree of protection for them is in place.

I don't agree with the car nicking racket some bailiff companies operate and seeing clients cars being taken and discovering them elsewhere in the country and abroad compelled me to step in and blow the lid on it. On many occasions bailiff companies even lied about how much they sold the car for when the new keepers were contacted and showed the sales receipt. Parliament and the police (it's a civil matter) were unwilling to intervene and this was blatant fraud on a massive scale so I put the evidence for grabs to the media.
I am a paralegal working for solicitors bringing proceedings against bailiffs for non-compliant enforcement action.

Author: dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk

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