Bailiff fees when paying the Council or Court direct.

Two of the most frequent enquiries that we receive at Bailiff Advice Online is whether or not bailiff fees can be avoided by paying the principal debt to the Council or the Magistrates Court online and whether an enforcement agent can continue enforcement for his ‘bailiff fees’. The following page answers both these questions:

How much are bailiff fees?

Bailiff fees are outlined under the Taking Control of Goods (Fess) Regulations 2014 and consist of the following:

Compliance Fee: £75

When an account is passed to the enforcement company by either the local authority or the magistrate court, a Compliance fee of £75 is added to the debt and becomes part of the amount due.

Enforcement Fee: £235

If full payment or a payment arrangement is not agreed during the ‘compliance stage’ (this is the date given on the Notice of Enforcement) the debt is passed to an individual bailiff/enforcement agent. When he makes a personal visit to the property,  the enforcement fee of £235 also becomes payable.

How is the ‘amount outstanding’ calculated?

The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 state very clearly that the ‘amount due’ includes the amount of the debt from the local authority or Magistrate Court and the enforcement agent fees incurred up to the time of payment.

Payments made will be split on a ‘pro rata’ basis.

It is very important to be aware that the statutory regulations state that when a payment is made, the Compliance fee of £75 should be deducted first, with the balance split on a ‘pro rata’ basis with approx 60% being allocated towards reducing the court fine and 40% towards reducing the remaining bailiff fees.

What will happen if I pay the Magistrates Court direct?

In every case, where a direct payment is made to a Magistrate Court after a warrant has been issued and passed to either Marston Holdings, Collectica Ltd, Swift or Excel Enforcement Ltd, the Magistrate Court will write to you to advise that they have passed the entire payment over to the relevant enforcement company so that they can deduct their Compliance fee of £75 and allocate the balance in line with the ‘pro rata’ regulations.

What will happen if I pay the local authority direct?

Most local authorities will pass the entire payment to the enforcement company while some others are known to deduct the compliance fee. Either way, the local authority will advise the enforcement company of the part payment so that their records can be amended to reflect the  part payment.

Can the bailiff continue enforcement to recover his fees?

As outlined above, once a warrant has been passed to the enforcement agency, bailiff fees become part of the overall debt and accordingly, if payment is made to the local authority or the Magistrates Court of just the principal debt (i.e; Liability Order or Court Fine) minus bailiff fees, then any payment made is merely a part payment and bailiff enforcement can legally continue to recover the balance. It really is that simple. There is nothing complicated about it.

Note from Bailiff Advice Online:

As outlined above, as soon as a Liability Order or Magistrate Court fine is passed to an enforcement company, a Compliance fee is added to the principal debt and becomes part of the ‘amount due’ under the warrant. If payment is then made to either the local authority or Magistrate Court of just the principal debt (minus bailiff fees), then that payment is merely a part payment and bailiff enforcement can legally continue to recover the balance.