Almost 5,500 cases a day passed to bailiffs
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Apr 7 09:13:27 BST 2011
btw - ONLY fines which have been sanctioned by a
magistrate's court are legally enforcable
so many of these council and bailiff's actions
rely on alleged debtors ignorance of the law or
lack of access to a lawyer/legal advice
Councils call bailiffs in 2m times
(UKPA) Wed 6th April 2011
Bailiffs are called in to collect unpaid council
taxes and parking fines in more than two million
cases a year across the country and more than
100,000 in Newham, campaigners have said.
Almost 5,500 cases a day are passed to debt
recovery agencies by local councils in England,
Scotland and Wales, a report showed.
Newham Council called in debt collectors in
131,542 cases, according to statistics.
The figures, released to the civil liberties
campaign group Big Brother Watch under the
Freedom of Information Act, come after concerns
that bailiffs harass or intimidate those who owe
money, charge excessive fees and threaten debtors with imprisonment.
Daniel Hamilton, director of Big Brother Watch,
said: "The coalition Government must act now to
end the culture of bully-boy debt collection
which has taken hold in town halls across the country.
"Sending in bailiffs to recover debts should
always be the absolute last resort. The fact
local councils have passed more than six million
cases to bailiffs for matters as trivial as the
late payment of council taxes and parking fines is truly shocking."
Overall, the 320 local authorities who responded
to the survey passed 4,527,917 cases to
third-party debt recovery agencies for the
non-payment of council tax, and 1,411,086 cases
for the non-payment of fines for parking
infringements, between 2007/08 and 2009/10.
Local Government and Housing Minister Grant
Shapps said: "The coalition Government will rein
in the aggressive use of bailiffs, and defend
people's rights and liberties against home
invasion. In addition, we will not be introducing
the last Government's plans to allow bailiffs to
force entry into homes to collect civil debts."
A Newham Council spokesman said: "We recognise
that sometimes people may have difficulty paying
their council tax, which is why we offer help
when they contact us, such as agreeing payments
within their means. Residents are contacted on
numerous occasions before starting legal proceedings.
"Bailiffs are only ever used as a last resort and
once an order has been obtained from the
magistrates' court. Bailiffs are required to act
within the law and anyone who feels they have
acted improperly should contact the bailiff or
the council to raise their concerns."
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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