Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

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throwaway105924
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#1 Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by throwaway105924 » 23 Nov 2017 20:46

I have a somewhat unusual but not unique name. I was doing internet shopping for Black Friday today, got called downstairs by the wife to find a polite but unsmiling black dressed fellow at the door, who claimed that money was due, proffering a writ with my name on it, and stated he was here to take goods to that value (several k) now, as in Right Now, now.

Ah, some mistake, thought I, so asked him in for tea while the misunderstanding was cleared up.

[Now, I did think in retrospect that asking a bailiff in for tea is not bright. But after we were on better terms, much to my surprise he said that once the door is open, goods can be seized, regardless of subsequent requests to leave. ]

He gave me a photocopy of "Writ of Control" and said it was for a debt from half a decade back but would give no further details. Name on it was mine, address was different. He said that didn't matter.

We called his company's office. Gave reference number, asked for details of the supposed debt (while collection agent says "Yes, people do always *say* that they don't owe money" "I will have to start seizing goods" and similar ominous things).

His company, a collection agency, stonewalled, taking position that they did not need to give any details of the debt, or contact details for their solicitor client (either phone or name) and that they only cared to collect the money under instruction i.e. told us nothing we already knew from the collection agent at that point.

I took position that debt was not mine and unknown to me, as was the enforcement address, so please go away.

Agent flat out refused, restated he would seize goods, and sought to induce payment by saying money would be held for 14 days if disputed and potentially refunded. Mutual trust was lacking at this point, and I declined.

I asked why he was here, as the enforcement address was different. He said that did not matter as the client had given my address as well. Would not show me documents to that effect (in retrospect I feel I should have pressed this point).

My wife meanwhile managed to Google the name of their Solicitor client (found there was only one Solicitor with that name, fortunately) and also (by luck and charm) managed to wangle her way through to a Partner who recognised the case.

Me: "It's not me." <said at slightly greater length> He: "Have you ever been to <exotic foreign destination>? " Me: "Er, No." He: "What colour is the skin on your hand?" Me "Which hand?" (I was thinking, tattoo?) He: "Either hand will do" (twinkle in voice at this point) Me: "<colour other than one of defendant, who he had met>" He: "It's not you". Then apology, it was regrettable mistake etc.

I followed up on original intent and gave the collection agent tea and biscuits. He said this was the very first time in half a decade working, that a claim of mistaken identity, was in fact mistaken identity (i.e. that everybody lies). We shook hands and parted company on good terms.

I appreciate he was just doing his job and with a calm professional manner. Must be a difficult job. To say the least.

But, I am left thoroughly disconcerted. But for the sheer luck, close to the end of the working day, of getting the original solicitor who dealt with the debt 5 years ago on the phone, I would have been facing .... what? All my computers and TV being taken away? Writing a cheque for more money than I had in the bank? I did not discuss payment options as it was not me who owed it. Neither the agent, or his company's contact, or their client were unprofessional or unpleasant, but it was all quite alarming. I suspect that 'unpleasant' may have been just around the corner, but for sheer luck.

One more thing: Agent claimed I would have been written to at my address. I wasn't.

Bonus: I have now learned that there is a show on channel 5 called "Can't Pay? - We'll Take It Away"

Oddly enough I have some questions:
QUESTION 1: Is it true that once the door is opened, that's it, they can come in, don't have to leave, can take stuff?
QUESTION 2: If true, is it still true where the enforcement address on the writ is different (as it was in this case)? Or was he, so to speak, trying it on and should have left when I asked?
QUESTION 3: Once told that identity is mistaken, that debt not mine, and address is not the address of enforcement (which he knew), can a collection company still give no further information and just insist on the debt?
QUESTION 4: I work in an industry where employers do checks for CCJs etc. What is the chance that these crossed wires find their way into the system? I'm really not inclined to leave it to chance that they won't. So what to do to ensure this does not happen?
QUESTION 5: What should I have done differently this time? Other than have a different name. Just as well I don't have a deep tan.

TL:DR : Collection agent just came to my door today with my name on a 'Writ of Control' and asking for several thousand pounds. Different 'Address of enforcement' on the Writ. Me: surprise. Him: Would not go away when asked, or give details. By luck I traced plaintiff's client and confirmed it was mistaken identity. Collection Agent went away.

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Schedule 12
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#2 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by Schedule 12 » 23 Nov 2017 22:34

throwaway105924 wrote:
23 Nov 2017 20:46

Oddly enough I have some questions:
QUESTION 1: Is it true that once the door is opened, that's it, they can come in, don't have to leave, can take stuff?
Yes.

QUESTION 2: If true, is it still true where the enforcement address on the writ is different
That is evidence you have not been given a statutory notice. Produce it in evidence because it proves the enforcement is non-compliant with paragraph 7.1 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

(as it was in this case)? Or was he, so to speak, trying it on and should have left when I asked?

No, but if he took control of goods or took money under the enforcement power then it could be invalid and you have a claim against the bailiff company under Paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the TCEA 2007.


QUESTION 3: Once told that identity is mistaken, that debt not mine, and address is not the address of enforcement (which he knew), can a collection company still give no further information and just insist on the debt?
No. Its an all out fail. Bailiffs cannot doctor the debtors name on a writ once the name of the debtor has been stated. There is a 'slip rule' but that only applied to typos or a spelling mistake in a persons name, but NOT the address. A wrong address is a 100% fail because notice has not been given.



QUESTION 4: I work in an industry where employers do checks for CCJs etc. What is the chance that these crossed wires find their way into the system? I'm really not inclined to leave it to chance that they won't. So what to do to ensure this does not happen?
Search Trust Online and so a search for yourself and see if there is a CCJ. If there is then make a record of the CLAIM NUMBER. You will need this later.



QUESTION 5: What should I have done differently this time? Other than have a different name. Just as well I don't have a deep tan.
"if in doubt, keep them out". DCBL bailiffs have a MO of rummaging women's underwear drawers and secretly taking photographs of financial documents unrelated to the enforcement power in hand. They have been known to nick jewellery from the master bedroom and a mobile phone from a porch. Bailiffs do this because they know the police will say its a civil matter. This attitude gives bailiffs carte-blanche to commit crime with impunity.




TL:DR : Collection agent just came to my door today with my name on a 'Writ of Control' and asking for several thousand pounds. Different 'Address of enforcement' on the Writ. Me: surprise. Him: Would not go away when asked, or give details. By luck I traced plaintiff's client and confirmed it was mistaken identity. Collection Agent went away.
If you paid money, then if the writ is genuinely yours then apply for a stay of execution on the writ.

Here is how: http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/St ... r-HCEO.htm

If it's is not yours then do a recovery of all money taken and £500 for unauthorised entry and £50 a minute thereafter.
Its claimed in the small claims track. Here is how. http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/Co ... edure.html

You bring the action against Claire Sandbrook who is named as the Officer on the writ. She has emigrated to America and does not defend claims. She cannot be a High Court Enforcement Officer with a CCJ, and DCBL cannot trade without Claire Sandbrook because nobody else will lend their name to them for transferring up a judgment to the High Court. DCBL will have to settle, so claim everything.
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throwaway105924
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#3 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by throwaway105924 » 23 Nov 2017 23:58

@Schedule 12 - thank you very much for your responses. They have clarified a lot. I have learned so much this evening!

I paid no money, and it was agreed by all that it was mistaken identity (partner at the claimant sols spoke to the enforcement officer).

Your intuitive powers are strong ... indeed Claire Sandbrook is named on the writ.

I have no loss at this point other than of some peace of mind: where one man claiming payment has taken it upon themselves to appear, another might. After all I have a Slightly Unusual Name and must be who they are after, it seems, regardless of what I say or where I live.

So, thank you for the link to http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/ and mention of Trust Online.

I am only really concerned that bad data does not become falsely associated with me - further than it already has.

I am currently minded to only pursue their company if they obfuscate or fail to document to me, their correction of their records and confirmation of their error.

Thanks again.

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#4 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by Schedule 12 » 24 Nov 2017 11:39

I would not enter into dialogue with a bailiff company. Or keep it minimal and record it on your phone. If a judgment exists then get it set aside without further ado.
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throwaway105924
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#5 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by throwaway105924 » 24 Nov 2017 23:11

Yes, I used https://voipcallrecording.com/MP3_Skype_Recorder

Also Trust Online - nothing there about me, as expected.

It's all been quite educational. But not in a good way, more "I wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then" way.

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Schedule 12
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#6 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by Schedule 12 » 24 Nov 2017 23:27

If your phone is an Android phone, then this app records calls easily and can file the recordings automatically to your client workflow folder on your cloud server.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... e&hl=en_GB

There is also a hack with Android that secretly stops bailiff companies recording you.

You need two Android phones running 7.0 or newer. Using the 1st handset, call the 2nd handset. Once connected, call the bailiff company from the 2nd handset into a three-way call, then mute the 1st handset. For some reason, the bailiff company can still hear you but your voice is muted on their recording. It only plays back their voice.

I discovered it by accident when doing three-way teleconferencing calls with clients and bailiff companies. Some bailiff companies have since banned teleconferenced calls, but there they cannot tell they are being teleconferenced with a muted handset until the call has ended and they playback the recording.

If you want to record the call then the app must be running on the 1st handset, otherwise, the 2nd handset will only record you, and the bailiff company is muted.

This procedure won't defeat a mechanical tape recorder by the earpiece. Only calls over a DSL or VOIP.
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throwaway105924
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#7 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by throwaway105924 » 28 Nov 2017 11:36

The solicitors who factored out the debt acknowledge I am not their man. I have that on recording, thank you for the tip.

DBCL however seem to be in denial that they made a mistake i.e. sent an agent to the wrong person (me) at the wrong address (not on the writ).

Naturally, all processes are subject to human error. Also, human beings are intrinsically reluctant to admit to being wrong.

But once proof is available, any company with professional standards or procedures should be able to correct themselves, and however grudgingly, formally admit their error and how they came to make it.

An apology at this point would be a pure bonus. I will let you know what happens next.

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#8 Re: Mistaken Identity - Unusual Name - still pursued

Post by Schedule 12 » 29 Nov 2017 12:38

I've never known DCBL to apologise for anything. If you have suffered a loss as a result of their action, then you can sue, but it has to be an equitable loss (an actual financial loss) you are claiming.

Such a loss would be, for example, your expenses in removing a judgment resulting from the wrong action by another or paying a higher rate of interest on a loan than you would have otherwise paid if the information about you was not mishandled.
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