So the government reviewed the industry, and introduced a slate of clear rules and regulations which make the process much clearer, fairer and, ultimately less open to abuse.
This stage is seven ‘clear days’. It starts when you receive a written warning (a Notice of Enforcement) informing you that the agency intends to visit you with a view to taking control of goods. If you fail to agree an alternative payment arrangement at this stage, action will progress to the next stage.
If you don’t pay the debt (or agree a payment plan) in the Compliance stage, and Enforcement Agent will visit your property with a view to remove goods, or to place them under control ahead of removal at a later date. Crucially however, if the agency is enforcing more than one Liability Order or Warrant of Control against you, they can only charge this fee once.
FEE: £235 (plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500.00).
This fee is charged when the Enforcement Agent physically removes the controlled goods and makes preparations for their sale. They can also charge you for associated costs at this stage – e.g. storage or locksmith’s fees.
FEE: £110 (plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that exceeds £1,500.00).
“I would like to say I found the service to not only excellent but the helpfulness and speed it was done at was fantastic. I was also delighted with the manner in which I was kept updated with the situation and in general I couldn’t be happier with the help I received.” Garry Cowan
Whereas previously Enforcement Agencies might often have been vague or inconsistent with the information they provide ahead of visiting you or seizing goods – unclear fees, undated letters, that sort of thing – now there is no room for confusion.
The regulations now stipulate what notifications enforcement agents must use. These notifications, and what they must detail, are as follows:
Yes. The Compliance stage is seven ‘clear days’. It starts when you receive a written warning (a Notice of Enforcement) informing you that the agency intends to visit you with a view to taking control of goods. Payment of the debt, or agreeing a payment plan at this stage will prevent further action being taken.
Yes. Regulation 12 ensures that where vulnerable debtors might have been unable to seek the relevant advice in the early stages of the process, the onus is on the bailiff to refer them for advice upon visiting them. Should a bailiff fail to give a vulnerable debtor the chance to seek advice prior to removing goods, the enforcement fee would then be deem unrecoverable.
“You assured me of my legal rights. It gave me the confidence and wherewithal to stand up to the overwhelming pressure of being scared about a knock on the door. At last, I knew how to handle the situation.” Lance
No. Under the new regulations bailiffs are obliged to leave a variety of items that are exempt from seizure. Detailed information on what is and isn’t exempt from seizure can be found here.
Even more confusingly, different rules and fees are applied to different kinds of debts and fines. The rules do however strive to correlate different stages of enforcement action to the newly defined three stages of Compliance, Enforcement and Sale, and apply fees accordingly.
Where you have any fees relating to action carried out prior to 6th April 2014 we would recommend that you contact us to discuss whether the fees you are being asked to pay are correct.
Our advice can help you formulate a reasonable budget and repayment plan and put you on the front foot in your response to any debt collection organisations.
And always remember that bailiffs simply want to collect the debt, and if you offer a clear and agreeable path to achieving this, they will be keen to work with you and will be just as keen as you to avoid escalating the situation.
We are more than happy to help you ensure that you receive the advice and planning guidance you need. To discuss your situation, call us now on 0300 302 1806 anytime between 8am – 8pm, Monday – Friday
Refresh Debt Services Ltd t/a Council Tax Advisors
Address : Milltown House, Milltown Industrial Estate, Warrenpoint, Co. Down, BT34 3FN