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Hi, We have had a bailiff on our door step last night asking for money on a debt owed to our council for council tax. My other half has been paying them for the last 9 months with out fail but last mont was ill with her MS and forgot to make the call. The Debt collection agency sent a letter saying they wanted the remaining £450.00 paid ( from a original debt of £1600.00) or more action would occur. The agent last night handed us a notice with over £300 fees applied to the £450.00. Its my understanding they can apply the enforcement fee to debts over £1500 but due to them saying in writing we owed £450.00 can they still apply the 7.5% charge at the rate of over £1500.00? We have now spoken to the bailiff again and he now says if we pay the £450.00 today they will for go the additional fees?? i believe the fees have been applied illegally or they would not give up their right to them? The firm in question has quite a reputation for bad practice with debt collection charities whom i have contacted today for advise ( Equita) and i believe this tactic is not a legal one its just meant to scare us into paying more than we can afford in one go. Please help.
Many thanks for your reply, I understand about the charges and why they are applied. Its the point that having read on the Legal aids website
"Step Change" that the enforcement fee applied is for debts over £1500 at a rate of 7.5%. The debt here was £450.00. It just seems strange that a company like this would relinquish this fee if they knew they were legally entitled to it. Its not the first time this company has taken money from us they were not entitled to. They have served us before and the notice they were supposed to give of a visit arrived on the same day the bailiff arrived. In fact he was present when it was delivered. Also the first letter from them detailing the debt and amount owed only turned up a week after we were forced to pay them £400.00 more than was initially owed.
My Reference for information is http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/debt_w/debt_action_your_creditor_can_take_e/bailiffs_e/bailiffs__fees_and_charges_e/fees_bailiffs_can_charge_e.htm
This is the citizen advise page sorry not the step change website mentioned before.
Well thank you for your time, its just funny the bailiff is charging exactly what is advertised on the Citizen Advise web page??? It seems wrong that in the world we live in that they can nearly double the debt in one visit. We are both on low incomes and are eligible to claim for council tax assistance but choose not too as we are building a business to become self sufficient as quickly as we can. When presented with this it becomes nearly impossible. Can i just ask one more point of clarification? Can we pay the remainder of the debt directly to the council and not deal with this company?