Have Bailiffs Ever Come To Your House?

@Janey1966 (24127)
Carlisle, England
February 21, 2012 4:42pm CST
I know this will be a sensitive issue for many so I shall try to tread carefully. This discussion came about because John told me that he received a letter last week from the Inland Revenue (I was at Mum's) and in that letter he was told that bailiffs were due to come round to the house because of non-payment of the Working Tax Credits he owed, some £500 or so. The letter worked in spooking him and he's ended up paying (by Direct Debit) £40-odd a month for a year or so until it's paid off. The cheeky member of staff he rang said, "Can't you pay me £100 now?" to which John replied, "No, I don't have £100 and all my money goes on bills, which is why I couldn't pay this one." The member of staff also tried to tell him that direct debits weren't allowed but John soon put him right as he had a similar arrangement with them a couple of years ago. Frightening isn't it? The power exerted by some in order to get "their money back." Part of me is relieved this is finally being resolved but another part of me is a tad annoyed that it should take a threatening letter for John to take action. His sister doesn't help by saying things like, "I take no notice of the Inland Revenue..the letters go in the bin." Oh well, it's done now..so, over to you..have you ever been threatened by bailiffs? What did you do?
1 person likes this
7 responses
• China
22 Feb 12
As to the working tax credit,I remember you have mentioned it before in a discussion ,and that it was already resolved.The guy had the nerve to say "can't you pay me £ 100 now?".They actually gained private ends in a public cause .It is not too much to say they backmailed you.
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
23 Feb 12
Fortunately, John talked his way out of paying the £100 but I reckon some would be frightened into doing so. I can't understand why they resort to such tactics, especially when John told the person he will pay up but only by monthly direct debit, which is exactly what he's ended up doing. Why wasn't that suggested in the first place to avoid all the upset? Beats me!
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• China
23 Feb 12
If you can inform against them.I beg your pardon,I don't see the point of the word "John talked his way out of paying...".I am not sure if it means John had it out with bailiffs,so that he avoid paying it.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
22 Feb 12
Firstly I find HMRC's letters extremely offensive. They got stroppy with me over family credits after I stopped being eligible, hadn't received them for two years and the amount they wanted refunding was £0.00!!! Yet they still sent me the vilest letters. I wrote to complain and simply received a standard response that told me nothing other than I should count myself fortunate that they had decided that I didn't owe them anything after all!!!! Years ago I shared a house with some friends. The landlord hadn't paid his rates and the court sent the bailiffs round. We stored all our stuff in a neighbours garage in case they confused our belongings with the landlord's. The bailiff was a pleasant man, in his 50s, and very apologetic. As there was some cheap and old furniture he couldn't take much. In fact I think that he took a broken TV and the lawnmower!! The landlord must have paid up because we heard nothing more about it.
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
23 Feb 12
A nice bailiff, now that's a rarity! As for HMRC, I hate them I really do. I'm surprised John hasn't had a nervous breakdown dealing with them, especially when he's willing to pay (albeit monthly) and they still have a go at him by wanting £100 there and then. I don't know how they sleep at night. I couldn't work somewhere like that. It was bad enough in the Benefits office in Blackpool. Stuck it for a week and was fortunate enough to go back to the job I was doing before. All this at HMRC when many rich people find loopholes to avoid paying tax altogether (which I know is seperate from Working Tax Credits) but you know what I mean.
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
23 Feb 12
It's because the big guys avoid so much tax that they go after the small people. If John was rich he'd have an accountant deal with it all for him. Instead they have him searching his pockets for small change! Now if you want to see a wealthy person just look under "accountant" in the Yellow Pages!!
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29 Mar 12
Not recently, but several times in the past when I've fallen behind on my Council Tax payments. These people are absolute scum, preying on those who are already struggling - when the council hands over a case to the bailiffs, they demand payment in full, plus they charge you a fee for each visit, so the amount outstanding starts to escalate. The last time they threatened to sieze my car - I had to borrow money off my sister to pay them, and I still haven't paid her back. They're no better than licensed protection racketeers. There's really no choice but to pay them in full, no matter what you've got to do to get the money. One important thing to remember about bailiffs - no matter how nice or sympathetic they pretend to be at first, never let them into your house. If they've been on your premises one time, they are legally allowed access to your house anytime they want thereafter - same as vampires. It was a power given to them by the last Labour government I think, and the current lot haven't repealed that. So never let a bailiff into your house, and if they come round make sure all your doors and windows are shut - if you want to talk to them, talk over the phone, or out of an upper story window so they can't get in.
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
30 Mar 12
You are right, they are scum. No bailiffs here though as my husband is good at paying bills off..although what would happen if he lost his job, something I do think of sometimes as it's happened before.
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Feb 12
First you're not allowed on public transport, now you have bailiffs coming over? Who am I associating with here?
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@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
23 Feb 12
Haha! Very good Dawn..turning into a hooligan I am lol.
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@pumpkinjam (5774)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 12
I have had lots of letters threatening bailiffs. Whether I take notice or not will depend on who the letter has come from. Most of them are from "debts" which I don't remember having and the letters are from debt collection companies so they actually have no authority to send bailiffs. They use that threat to get people to pay. However, I had problems with paying Council Tax a while ago. Basically, we didn't have enough money coming in to pay it. Not only that but, as far as I knew, I'd paid what we owed anyway. But, apparently, the Council don't have to abide by the law and can take money off people whether they owe it or not. So, anyway, eventually, after trying to explain that I could not pay the full amount for which I had been asked, I was told that I had to pay in full or I could pay in instalments but then I'd be charged an upfront fee for the privilege. Of course, I couldn't do that. Eventually (when we had moved house and forgotten all about the whole business) we had bailiffs call round. We told them that we had not proof that this was even owed but they weren't interested. They were, however, much more helpful than the council because they set up a direct debit to pay the amount owed with no extra charges. I even asked them why the council couldn't have done that! That situation was sorted and wasn't too bad and the money is all paid off. But I had another situation more recently which occurred because of a parking charge. That was down to another local council. I hadn't done anything wrong. I asked for proof that I had. Of course, they didn't provide that. After a while, being ignored and having threats about bailiffs, etc. I told that council that I would pay the original charge. They told me it was too late to do that because they had already passed it to the bailiffs! I dealt with two different bailiffs on the 'phone. Neither of them seemed to be able to understand a word I said to them. Nor did either of them seem to be aware of the laws regarding the rights of bailiffs. Of course, the problem with that sort of thing is that bailiffs actually do seem to be above the law. The first bailiff never turned up even when I offered to pay him The second bailiff asked for 6 times more than the original charge when he finally turned up. He was really rude and threatening and tried to call me stupid because I hadn't paid the charge in the first place (the fact that I never owed it and had actually attempted to pay it didn't matter). He clamped my car even though I needed it for work (I had checked the laws on this stuff and the bailiff still contradicted me as if I was an idiot who had read something on the internet). So, anyway, for the sake of a £50 charge which I had offered to pay, I was, basically, bullied into paying over £300. If it hadn't have involved my car, I don't think it would have been so bad (I don't have much else worth taking!). I know you don't have to let a bailiff inside the house but, obviously, a car can't be kept inside and I don't have a garage or anything. I do get frustrated that people like that just seem to be able to frighten people into paying things whether they owe them or not. I even called the police about the bailiff but, even though he was breaking the law, all that I was told was that "if he's a bailiff then I must owe something". And, I was also told - by the person answering the call to the police - to get the bailiff to come to the 'phone so they could verify who he was! As if that's going to help. I could verify who he was. I'd already checked that he was certified! What kind of an idiot would let someone who was threatening them into their house?!! My kids were in the house at the time but bailiffs don't consider these things when they are verbally abusing people in the street. Sorry for the rant. I am very tempted to name the bailiff and his company here but I don't think that's appropriate. So, anyway, I know it's not nice to have them about but at least your fella did actually owe what he'd been asked for!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
30 Mar 12
Wow, that's some tale you've told me there my friend and I totally sympathise. I don't know how anybody could choose to become a bailiff as a job. It's got to be on a par with the Inland Revenue, do you know what I mean? When the (then) Poll Tax started I flatly refused to pay it and it was about £400 if memory serves, from the early 90s. Anyway, I was summoned to court, didn't turn up for that, forgot about it but my pay started dwindling from the Council. Turns out that a monthly payment was coming out for the Poll Tax debt BECAUSE I worked for the Council and it was easy for them to deduct the money at source. I was mortified but I couldn't do anything about it. Since then, of course, the Council Tax that has replaced it is waaay more than the Poll Tax. How ironic!
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 12
I think the fact that a bailiff can earn literally hundreds of pounds (possibly thousands) for just turning up might be a good incentive. It's like being a gangster but legal! I also had money taken straight off me by the council before. I was claiming benefits at the time so they took it straight out. I think that's a bit stupid because they're saying you need this minimum amount of money because it's supposed to be the lowest amount a person needs to live on but they still take some of it off you!
@laura1991 (178)
21 Feb 12
yes. i had an contract with orange for my phone. it was for £20 a month and when i took out the contract they told me that if i went over the £20 a month, they would let me know before taking the money out of my account. however, there were about 6 different occassions when they took more than the £20 out of my account and as a result, i went over drawn. bacause i went overdrawn i was charged by my bank each time. i decided to cancel my direct debit with orange while i still owed them money. i refused to pay it because of the amount of money they cost me from my bank. the long and short of it is, the bill kept going up bacuse i wasnt paying it and they eventually sent someone round to collect the money. i did agree to pay back bits at a time. the bloke would text me and ask if he could call round the next day to collect some money but he would be threatening about it. so i told him thath would not get any money from me if he spoke to me like that again and he apologised!
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
22 Feb 12
I don't own a mobile phone anymore but I wouldn't go with Orange if I did. You're quite right complaining about the threatening behaviour. No need for it is there my friend?
• United States
21 Feb 12
Over here baliffs are in courtrooms. I don't think they go out.. but the Sheriff's deputy comes to people's houses to deliver a summons to court. I hope to avoid all of that by paying what I can... sometimes I have to play musical chairs with my bills and stagger them... some i only send $5 a month to because my money is so limited. Yes, it is frightening. Mine are medical bills and so far no one has sued me.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
22 Feb 12
It's horrible when you have to juggle your finances like that and I do sympathise. John does this all the time but at least he's gone monthly direct debit with his fuel bills. Up until recently he would wait for the quarterly bill to come through the door and it would ALWAYS shock him. Now he pays the same each month so doesn't worry about it so much..just everything else! His Dad was thinking about part-exchanging his car (which is a lot newer than hubby's) and I said, "Why couldn't he give it to you and just buy a newer one?" and John just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Yes, it would be nice wouldn't it seeing as our car is falling to bits."