Bailiffs: Get The Bailiff to Pay Off Your Debt

From Consumer Wiki


(100% legal - England & Wales only)

In recent years there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of bailiffs operating in Britain, mostly due to the governments War on Motorists and tax-farming of motorised transport. Bailiffs take advantage of the public being uninformed of the statutory fees bailiffs can charge, and thus, get away with systematically and routinely overcharging debtors en-masse. Overcharging is theft, so if you’ve been defrauded (or about to be defrauded) by a bailiff in the last six years then you can do something about it.

Two things need to have happened when you paid a bailiff:

1. Did a bailiff overcharge you for:

  • a) Attendances he didn’t make
  • b) Letters he didn’t send
  • c) Walking possession fee with an invalid levy
  • d) A fee that isn’t prescribed – such as a credit card fee, waiting time or a van fee

Check your receipt against the prescribed fee schedules. Section 10 of the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 says :

No person shall be entitled to charge, or recover from, a tenant any fees, charges or expenses for levying a distress, or for doing any act or thing in relation thereto, other than those authorised by the tables in Appendix 1 to these Rules

2. Did you pay the bailiff using a credit or debit card?

If yes and yes then you have been defrauded by the bailiff and you can have your debt paid off at the bailiff’s expense – legally!

This only works on bailiffs collecting an artificial debt, such as parking tickets, council tax, wheel-clamping, c-charge, DVLA, child support agency, speed camera, TFL, and court fines in the last six years, or as directed by Section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980, This doesn’t work on consumer debts or private debt.

What You Need to Do

1. Phone your bank or card issuer and ask for a chargeback form. Don’t say anything to your bank at this time.

2. Wait until the bailiff has paid the money onto the instructing creditor and the case is closed.

3. Get a crime number, go to a police station and report that you have been defrauded by a bailiff under Section 15A(1) of the Theft Act 1968 (for offences before January 2007) or Section 2(1)(b)(i) and Section 4(1)(c)(i) of the Fraud Act 2006. Take evidence including the bailiff’s receipt, printout of the relevant fee schedule and the law including Section 10 of the Distress for Rent Rules 1988. If the police fob you off with the - it’s a civil matter – excuse or say insufficient evidence or it doesn’t fit the criteria to be considered for criminal prosecution, then get the name of the officer and file a complaint of misfeasance with the IPCC.

4. On the chargeback form, enter the reason.

The merchant applied undue pressure on me to obtain this money transfer for himself or another and defrauded me the consumer in fees that are not prescribed in law and committed an offence under Section 15A(1) of the Theft Act 196, Section 2(1)(b)(i) and Section 4(1)(c)(i) of the Fraud Act 2006 and the police have given a crime number of XXXXXXX and the merchant declined several opportunities to reach an amicable resolve in this matter.

Especially with debit cards, you must show the merchant bailiff has defrauded you. Overcharged fees are easy because they are prescribed in law and charging a non-prescribed fee - including a card fee is fraud. Enclose a copy of the bailiff’s receipt and the prescribed fee schedule.

Don’t bother issuing the bailiff with a Subject Access Request for a breakdown of fees. Send a simple letter asking for a breakdown and keep their excuse letter to show the bailiff was awkward. The bank can get this information for free if they want to check. Under a chargeback the burden of proof is with the bailiff who has to prove he actually posted letters and made visits giving rise to fees.

The Bailiff must be certificated, check HMCS Bailiff Register 0207 210 0516 and ask for the name and address of his certificating court. If his certificate has expired then make it known on the chargeback form.

The Bailiff or his firm and anyone trading in debt recovery must have a Category E consumer Credit License pursuant to Section 21(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 otherwise they are committing an offence under Section 39(1) of the Act. Check the Consumer Credit Licensing Public Register on 0207 211 8608 and press 1 to search register, if they are not licensed then make it known on the chargeback form.

The Bailiff pays a chargeback fee of around £10 and can appeal against your chargeback within 42 days but he’ll have no grounds, you were defrauded.

Once you have your money back, file a complaint here Bailiffs: Make a Complaint About a Certified Bailiff at court against the bailiff, quote the crime number if you have one and enclose all supporting documents.

Et voila!

1. The debt is history!

2. It didn’t cost you a bean!

3. The bailiff probably gets a criminal record

4. The bailiff is probably no longer a bailiff

5. And it’s 100% legal!

Possible repercussions:

1. The bailiff might try and re-charge your card following a chargeback, but the bank’s fraud-detection system may automatically suspend their online terminal.

2. The bailiff could start a civil claim against you; it’s unlikely to work because you recovered the money under an Act of Parliament and these cannot be rebuked by a county court.

3. If this involves a large debt such as child support agency then the bailiff may ask the creditor for his money back and the creditor could reactivate the debt. You have 6 years to find something wrong with the bailiff’s fees and execute chargeback, so wait until the case is probably deleted off the bailiff’s records making an appeal more difficult.

With thanks to 10010001