New bailiff fee schedule

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Avenger
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#1 New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 18 Mar 2014 14:00

Under new proposals coming into force this April, people who don't pay their council tax will face fees of at least £235 – more than double what they are now – if bailiffs are used to recover the debt.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Council-t ... z2wK3PvHNO

Does anyone have a view as to what the implications are of this? Will this see an end to fee fraud? Have the whole rules changed or is this just a fee bump?

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jasonDWB
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#2 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 18 Mar 2014 16:06

The fee regulations for council tax have not been repealed. For that to happen an Act of Parliament needs to make the Repeal.

The new fee schedule only applies to Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery as it says at he top of the document. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014 ... ction/made

It is not known why someone thinks it applies to council tax arrears.
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#3 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Hithard » 18 Mar 2014 16:36

I won't be surprised if the bailiffs do.
Descendite ne illegitimi

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#4 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 18 Mar 2014 16:58

No big deal we can just reclaim it all.
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#5 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 21 Mar 2014 08:47

Well that is VERY interesting! How come the media have it so spectacularly wrong then? Are there ANY changes to the Council Tax enforcement laws then?

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#6 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 21 Mar 2014 11:14

As far as I can see, the fee regulations for council tax, traffic debts and HCEO remain intact. The Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 has a list of repeals under schedule 13 but none of the above are included.

That might be because the CRAR fee regulations do state they are for the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery which doesn't have a separate fee schedule outside the distress for rent rules which is suited for domestic rent recovery.
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#7 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 26 Mar 2014 09:30

Bradford council seems to think the changes to charges apply to CT...

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/n ... t_to_rise/

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#8 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 26 Mar 2014 09:55

We don't yet know what legislation repeals council tax enforcement charges. Without this we cannot update DWB. Until then fee recovery is done according to regulations.

The majority of council tax defaulters don't have that kind of money anyway. It becomes a bad debt because a liability order only provides for the enforcement of council tax sum made out on the order. Nothing in the regulations provide for levying distress for fees unless an order under section 92(8) of the Courts Act 2003 is obtained.

The earliest known documentation we know about that advises the CRAR regulations apply to council tax and traffic debts is a CIVEA newsletter sent to its members and stakeholders. It is silent on what legislation provides for the repeal of existing fee regulations and does not give the source of the advice.
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#9 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by outlawipcc » 26 Mar 2014 18:01

Avenger wrote:Bradford council seems to think the changes to charges apply to CT...

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/n ... t_to_rise/
The following from the article says it all:
The Council is reducing initial court costs for non-payment of Council Tax from £85 to £40, and from £100 to £50 for non-payment of business rates.


Local authorities are a law unto themselves as is evident with the way they abuse the judicial system with the level of costs. They clearly see them as a fine (punishment) which they may control as they like, independently from the court. They seem oblivious to the fact that they may only claim certain expenditure of bringing the case which is often only the cost of issuing a summons.

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#10 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 26 Mar 2014 18:21

There is evidence CIVEA is saying council tax and traffic debt enforcement is to adopt the fee regulations for Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, do you have any knowledge of the source legislation repealing existing fee regs?
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#11 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 15:34

"Under new Government regulations, enforcement agents will charge a debtor £75 on receiving a court order from the council to chase owed tax. They will then try to contact the person to either get payment in full or set up a payment arrangement. If they are unsuccessful and agents have to visit the debtor they will incur a further £235"

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local_n ... x_dodgers/


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#13 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 01 Apr 2014 16:19

From April 06 the law that sets statutory bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid council tax is Table 1 of Schedule 1 of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 brought into force on April 06 2014 by Section 3 of Schedule 1 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014.

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.

In the long term it's not expected these fees will benefit private enforcement companies as councils are keen to bring the work back in house apart from the difficult stuck cases and gone aways.

I think the net gain is reduction in the number of companies exploiting the vulnerable and less informed to further their business agendas.
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#14 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 16:36

"or the process of making the levy has been started" That sounds ambiguous. So in effect, they are reducing the LO costs but piling it on the other side with an automatic further fine of £75?

Are you sure this does not change the fee schedule?

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#15 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 16:38

Would this be in addition to the £42.50 for visits?

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#16 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 01 Apr 2014 16:44

The £75 is a statutory fee. There is no longer the £42.50 fee. The £75/£235 will most probably in the long term be retained by the council as it will be doing the work and sending the statutory notices. For he most part councils want to retain the £235 fee as well and collect what can be collected in a few visits. The stuck cases and those who have moved away (or PCN vehicle is registered elsewhere) will given out to private companies to chase ans they get the £235 on successful cases.

Officially bailiffs are understood to be successful in recovering money or goods in only 37.3% of cases passed for enforcement according to assumptions made on page 161 of a government document and for business rates, it is 62.4%

Those figure will be much lower now the councils have creamed off the easy work.

Source: http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/fr ... review.pdf
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#17 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 16:47

So basically councils see it as another revenue stream, targeting the poorest - and they'd rather pocket the cash than give it to their private goons. Seems consistent. So I need a new game plan this year.

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#18 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 01 Apr 2014 17:07

We also might have to change DWB policy because the LGA might be allowing councils to apply discretion of charging the £235 fee for the most vulnerable households but I have to make case to waiver the fee when enforcement action is not compliant with regulations.

Given the numbers involved we don't have the manpower to do this manually but we developed and tested out our online fact finders last year and the server was able to cope with peaked demands. They were also very popular with the public. So we will be automating the compliance checks online. The commercial fee recovery companies prefer to fact-find compliance online as well because it delivers the report and resolution advisory instantly but I do know they dress the resolution advisory report in their own company livery, a bit cheeky but the reports and templates are computer generated and are not copyrighted (yet).
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#19 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 17:25

I'm not sure you weren't right in your first assessment.

"From April 06 the law that sets statutory bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid council tax is Table 1 of Schedule 1 of the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 brought into force on April 06 2014 by Section 3 of Schedule 1 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Consequential, Transitional and Saving Provision) Order 2014."

How does this supersede Council Tax Enforcement Regulations?

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#20 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 17:41

The figures seem to come from this, but I see no mention of CT.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014 ... 001_en.pdf

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#21 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 17:51

(2)“Rent” does not include any sum in respect of rates, council tax, services, repairs, maintenance, insurance or other ancillary matters (whether or not called “rent” in the lease).

The only reference to it in the act...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/15/section/76

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#22 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 01 Apr 2014 18:36

I went by this http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014 ... edule/made in section 3

Section 5 is traffic debts and magistrates court fine enforcement does not not have any fee schedule assigned. See Section 1
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#23 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 01 Apr 2014 19:22

Thanks. Will have a proper read.


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#25 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Mark1960 » 03 Apr 2014 17:45

I think you should change your username to "The Artful DODGER" :D

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#26 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by Avenger » 03 Apr 2014 19:34

:D Quite!

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#27 Re: New bailiff fee schedule

Post by jasonDWB » 03 Apr 2014 21:09

It looks like the only dodge we can come up with the new fees is doing it on non-compliance with enforcement regulations and the fact-finders resolution advisory is doing it all using sworn statement of truth. No room for rebuke.

It's not known if the courts will allow any degree of non compliance. They are not supposed to because that is why it's law but.... We do have a judge - an inexperienced one - being investigated by the JCIO on suspicion of perverting court rules to expose a debtor to an unlawful loss to make a gain for a solicitor. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.
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