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Byofreevesclan
#468033 Hi, new to forums so Im not sure im posting this in the right place, feel free to move if needed.

Hi I am enquiring about a letter to levy distress letter addressed to myself that my mother received. I have not lived at the address for over 6 years and am currently in between permanent residency.
The letter was for a court fine of the amount 1500 pounds which i received in 2012, now at the time I was going through some personal issues and was diagnosed with severe depression so after some initial payments I buried my head in the sand and hoped the debt would just disappear ( I know.....stupid).
I was wondering what course of action I could take to make sure they do not attend the house.

Some information=
letter is from marston group.
not lived in house for 6years ,plus not on electoral register.
no permanent residency, mail is sent to mothers house.
no possessions in her house belonging to me.
I have called and emailed telling them the situation, the agent on the phone was rude and offensive before putting the phone down on me,
I offered a realistic payment plan due to not being in a high paid job and current situation.
My mum knows not to speak to the bailiff if they turn up and to tell them that I have not lived there for years.

I feel embarrassed asking for help like this but my heads spinning from worry that they will try to trick their way into my mothers house. I dont want my problems at her doorstep.

any help would be greatly appreciated

thank you so much

can provide more information if needed
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#468043 Hi

OK first and most important question.

You have said this is for a court fine, can you confirm if it is for a actual fine (Magistrate Courts, etc) or for a CCJ for a debt you had (unpaid credit card, etc)?

The advice we can give will totally depend on the answer to this, as the re are very different rules covering both types

Tim
Byofreevesclan
#468063 Hi Tim

it was a magistrates fine

cheers
User avatar
ByTalbotWoods
#468073 Unfortunately this is a very serious matter, firstly Court Fines do not become statute barred, and now the nasty part, with the courts permission (Distress Warrant) the bailiffs can force entry into your or your mothers house to cease goods.

At this stage it sounds as if they are threatening to obtain a Distress Warrant rather notifying that they HAVE obtained one, but if they have then they may be about to utilise it against your Mothers address!!

Court fine are classed as recoverable government debts, these are never sold on; Marston's are one of the government appointed Bailiff Companies that are appointed to collect Court Fines.

First thing your Mother MUST do is obtain a Statutory Declaration from a Solicitors, and she must provide this to the courts and to the Bailiffs, telling them that she does not know where you live. However, as she is in contact with you, then this may be a little more complex than you or she may like.

It is possible that when (and unfortunately it will be a when and not an if) they track you down, the first you may know of it is the bailiffs forcing their way into you home, or the Police arresting you to attend the court for non-payment of the fine

Magistrates’ Court fines must be treated as a priority debt. This is because you could be sent to prison if you default on repayments.

If you cannot pay, you MUST contact the Fines Office of the Court to arrange for a Means Enquiry Hearing. In this, you simply complete an Income and Expenditure sheet in order that the Magistrates can agree an affordable repayment level. It is critical that you are able to sustain this payment in the long term. Obviously it is in your interest to arrange this hearing as soon as possible.

So please contact the Fines office sooner than later, if you ignore this now then I suspect things could go wrong for you, and possibly your mothers.

And before you go into meltdown reading this, if you are in receipt of certain benefits, you can apply to have the fine paid directly from these at the rate of £5.00 per week, and if you are earning they will take into account your Income and Expenditure, and I have seen these set as low as £5 a week for those earning as well.

The other aspect of this is that Bailiff fees are fixed. In most cases, if you owe less than £1,500 the fees are:

£75 when your case is sent to the bailiff
£235 if you ignore a letter from bailiffs and they have to visit you
£110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction

You’ll still have to pay the bailiff for any action they take against you - like storing your goods or using a locksmith.

If you owe more than £1,500 you’ll also have to pay a percentage of your debt as an additional fee each time bailiffs visit your home.

So please contact the Fines office sooner than later

Tim
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