Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify is this your mortgage that you owe arrears upon or a debt entirely separate to your mortgage please?
I see thank you. Do you know the approximate amount owing?
Thanks. Finally is the baliff involved a county court bailiff to your knowledge or a High Court Enforcement Officer?
Thank you. OK in that case have you asked for a break down as to the bailiffs charges? What they can charge is regulated by statute and these charges (as is quite usual for HCEOs) appears on the face of it to be excessive.
Thanks. There are two components to this. Removing the bailiffs and then as an optional extra if you wish, you challenging the bailiffs charges.As regards XXXXX XXXXX bailiffs, this is straghtforward if the creditor also wishes to do this. Either they or you need to apply to the court using form N244 to suspend the warrant on terms you agree between you - i.e. “I am requesting that the execution be stayed on condition that the judgment debt be paid by instalments of £... per....”. If you are applying then you need to make it clear that the application is made by consent (i.e. with the consent of the creditor) and they will need to supply a signed letter confirming the consent to the application. As above alternatively they can make the application themselves which would be better from your point of you as it is less for you to do.
This is the form that is required:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf
As regards XXXXX XXXXX have paid the bailiffs to date you can require the bailiffs to supply you with a breakdown of the your account in respect of the amounts you have paid to date. You can also ask them to supply a complete detailed breakdown of their charges to date. They must supply you with the same by law.
There are prescribed fees that the HCEO are allowed to charge by virtue of regulation which can be found here and can be checked against the breakdown they provide. The regulations can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/400/schedule/3/made
Anything that you find to be over and above what is allowed by the regulations will be costs claimed by the officer and in order to claim such costs he must show actual loss to himself in collecting the same. This is things like petrol to visit you and so on. You can put him to strict proof in respect of any such additional costs he claims over and above the above regulations. It is not unusual for such companies to massively inflate the charges the are actually allowed to charge relying on people just agreeing to pay them because challenging them is not entirely straightforward though is perfect possible if you are prepared to do so.
If you are not satisfied with the costs following the breakdown and request for specific proof of any loss they claim as above then your next step is to make a formal complaint to the company setting out your reasons and putting them to strict further proof in respect of costs they are claiming over and above the above regulations which you not accept are reasonable. If you remain unsatisifed with their response then normally you can make a complaint to the High Court Enforcement Officers Association which can independently determine your complaint and give their decision. You have to first complain to the company before you can do so.
If you are not satisfied with the associations response then you can ask a court to decide the amount of costs that are fair for the bailiff. You can consider advising them that you reserve your right to request a costs assessment by the court and that on the basis that they have failed to comply with your above reasonable requests to date will seek costs against them for the application.
It is not unusual for HCEO to settle shortly before a court determination to avoid a decision and costs against them but some will negotiate more readily just on the threat of an application.
If you decide to issue an application you can do so using this form: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n252-eng.pdf
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
A pleasure. Good luck with it all. ps on these facts the creditor is highlhy unlikely to be able to force you to sell your house.
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