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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a CCJ with Anglian water a few years ago. I have been

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I have a CCJ with Anglian water a few years ago. I have been paying a direct debit which I assumed was paying for current charges and the CCJ, but hasnt. I have heard nothing from Anglian water in over a year. I now have a letter from a company called Marston Group, they have a high court writ for the unpaid debt. I agreed to pay £60 a month and I have had the direct debit confirmation but they said I need to allow an enforcement officer into my home to value my goods to prove I cannot afford to pay more. I an terrified. I have a car and have been told they can just take it whether I let them in or not. can they just take my car? even though I have an agreed payment plan? and do I have to let him in?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Do you have a variation order on the CCJ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't think so, I haven't heard of it.

Are you maintaining the agreement?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I only received a letter on tuesday, I phoned Marston Group that afternoon and the first payment is due to come out of my account on 1st March. On the phone the lady said ' the details have been processed and your payments will start but an enforcement officer will contact you to arrange a visit and you must let him in to prove you cannot afford to pay the more' since then I have been told by other people they will take my car even though I have a payment arrangement in place


how much do you owe?

How much are you paying?

When was the CCJ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok... The CCJ was made November 2010 originally for £1,388. On my current bill the balance is £767. Now the bailiffs are saying it is over £1,000 (still waiting for them to tell me how much exactly). I agreed to pay £60 per month until the debt is paid



Why has it been reduced from £1388?

Have you been paying?

If so, is that at £60?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I was paying it, Anglian water changed my direct debit in January 2013 as I had a water metre fitted to reduce water costs but didn't tell me the CCJ was no longer being paid. This is the first I knew about it, I have had no calls, emails, letter from them otherwise I would have set up a new payment plan with them. Its really terrifying me, when all they needed to do was tell me, now im up all night worrying someone is going to come and take my belongings. My car is my only asset


The short answer is that you are right to be concerned. There is an outstanding CCJ and bailiffs can enforce upon it. They cannot break in. They can only enter through open doors and windows without causing damage. They won't do that anyway. Their interest will be your car.

That said, you can deal with that fairly easily by parking it in a locked garage or many streets away.

The difficulty will be that if bailiffs do attend then they will add their charges to the bill.

If the CCJ had been more recent then I would have suggested seeking a variation order allowing you to pay in instalments but its probably not worth it now. I suppose you could try.

In terms of whether the bailiffs will enforce though, its probably 50-50. Bailiffs always have far more debts on their books than they can enforce against. They go after people who they think are good for the money and are not paying. If you keep paying at a reasonable rate and have a good payment record then generally speaking bailiffs will leave you alone and pursue people who are not.

To be wholly honest, to guarantee that you will be left alone you need to pay more than £60 a month. You would completely drop off their radar if you were paying £200 a month for a debt of this sum. If you can't afford that or anything close to that then the important thing is to keep paying promptly in the hope that they will have other things to enforce. In fairness, there are many people who are not paying at all.

An agreed payment plan does not mean bailiffs cannot act though.

You don't have to let them in but they are not likely to try to pursue against goods inside your house anyway.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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