No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Quashing Orders. Stopping Enforcement. Applying for more time to pay. Disputing a liability.
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reggy1971
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#1 No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by reggy1971 » 12 Dec 2014 14:12

I received a final notice letter through door from an agent this was the first I heard of marstons having taken on my csa debt.
I did not receive any prior notice from marston that they wanted payment.
I have payed the debt and £75 admin fee but they say the additional £333 is payable because it moved to enforcement stage they say they posted compliance letter though I did not receive it. I have written to them at stage 1 of the complaints procedure and they say basically tough its not there fault that I did not get the letter and it is still owed, what can I do to avoid having to pay this exorbitant additional fee?

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jasonDWB
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#2 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by jasonDWB » 12 Dec 2014 14:25

I'll need to look at the legislation to see if the statutory fee schedule has been applied to the recovery of child maintenance. Ive been told it has but to be honest, I like to see the statute book before I comment further, but for the moment, I will assume it has been implemented.

You dot need to prove the agent has not attended your address, which the law introduces the £235 fee (Not sure where you got the £333 from)] is regulation 5(1)(b) of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014. If the bailiff asserts he attended your address then he must make a sworn statement as the test of proof the attendance took place and when. If the bailiff refuses to take the test then you do not have to pay the attendance fee.

If you are absolutely certain they bailiff has not attended, then you make a sworn affidavit proving this, and the CSA should withdraw enforcement action, and if they fail to follow regulations, you can have the Parliamentary Ombudsman intervene.
The £75 compliance stage fee is owed because regulation 5(1)(a) of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 says:
the compliance stage, which comprises all activities relating to enforcement from the receipt by the enforcement agent of instructions to use that procedure in relation to a sum to be recovered up to but not including the commencement of the enforcement stage;


It means the fees (if otherwise complaint) is validated on the date the bailiff is instructed. That is not the date the bailiff company is instructed. An enforcement agent is defined under section 63(2) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 to be

An individual may act as an enforcement agent only if he acts under a certificate under section 64;

 

However, regulations do not enable a bailiff to take control of goods to recover fees without having a warrant of control. Section 62(2) of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 says:

The power conferred by a writ or warrant of control to recover a sum of money, and any power conferred by a writ or warrant of possession or delivery to take control of goods and sell them to recover a sum of money, is exercisable only by using that procedure.

Put simply:

You owe the £75 or any other fees incurred,, but the bailiff cannot take control of goods to recover them. Its a civil debt just like any other debt.

Regulation 4(3) of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 says:

The enforcement agent may recover under this regulation the whole fee provided in the Schedule for a stage where the amount outstanding is paid after the commencement, but before the completion, of that stage.

 

That proves the bailiff is unable to charge a further enforcement stage fee if he tries recovering an existing compliance stage by attending.

Also, guideline 31 of the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014 says:

Enforcement agents must not seek to enforce the recovery of fees where an enforcement power has ceased to be exercisable.

Here is more about bailiffs and the CSA
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reggy1971
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#3 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by reggy1971 » 12 Dec 2014 15:12

Thank you for response.
I should clarify a few points.
The agent called at my property while I was out and posted a final notice letter with the total debt plus £75 admin fee plus £333 (235+7.5%) enforcement fee.
I was aware of the debt but not Marston involvement, I received no notice of there intent (compliance stage?) .
I had no quibble about paying the debt and have done so.
I have challenged the fact I received no seven day notice letter straight to enforcement stage. They say they sent the letter standard mail.
Is it right that if the letter did not get to me thus giving me time to agree a payment plan, that they can still enforce payment of fee, can they do this as part of original liability order or would they need a new order?

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jasonDWB
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#4 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by jasonDWB » 12 Dec 2014 15:30

The % only applies to debts over £1500 being recovered.
The law says you must be 'GIVEN' a statutory notice of enforcement at least seven clear days excluding public holidays and Sundays before a bailiff starts enforcement.

The law is Regulation 6 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 and Paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The allowed methods giving the notice are prescribed in Regulation 8 (1)(e).

This is what a Notice of Enforcement actually looks like.

If the notice was not given to you at least seven clear days excluding Sundays and public holidays then all enforcement action that follows is not compliant with enforcement regulations. You can start the formal complaints procedures as shown here

Ask the bailiff company for a tracking number for the Notice of enforcement. If they cannot produce one then use Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 by making a sworn declaration you have not been given the notice. Here is a template Statutory Declaration. It also revokes all the statutory fees the bailiff has charged you. Once you have sworn it in before a solicitor, give copies by email to the council, the bailiff company and by text message to the bailiff's mobile. You can get the council CEO's email address here. Ask the council to cease and disist from continiuing non-compliant enforcement action. If you get fobbed off, speak to the Ombudsman.
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reggy1971
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#5 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by reggy1971 » 12 Dec 2014 16:08

The debt was over the £1500 threshold hence the £333.

The 'GIVEN' is the main point for me, they say they sent it I say that I didn't receive it. Wouldn't they have to prove I received the letter.
I shall write to them quoting the legislation.
Thank you for advice.

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Pote Snitkin
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#6 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by Pote Snitkin » 12 Dec 2014 16:11

I thought the % was for any part of the debt exceeding £1500. By my calculations, that makes the original debt roughly £2800. Is that correct reggy?
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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jasonDWB
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#7 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by jasonDWB » 12 Dec 2014 16:35

The law says 'given'. Saying the notice was posted is not sufficient proof it has been given to you.
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reggy1971
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#8 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by reggy1971 » 12 Dec 2014 16:41

You're good £2800.73

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Pote Snitkin
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#9 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by Pote Snitkin » 12 Dec 2014 18:16

jasonDWB wrote:The law says 'given'. Saying the notice was posted is not sufficient proof it has been given to you.
It's not proof, but it is a prescribed method, section 8 of the TCG Regs 2013. I personally think it's argument that only a stat dec can cover.
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. - Benjamin Franklin

On 22/2/17, Peterbard said "taking control of goods and selling them does not actually mean taking control of goods and selling them." Discuss.

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jasonDWB
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#10 Re: No letter of enforcement, can they still add fees?

Post by jasonDWB » 12 Dec 2014 19:01

And herewith that stat dec. Template.
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