Debt write offs are an unfortunate fact of life for local councils across the country, but one particular story has recently caught my attention. Kirklees council has reportedly decided to write off more than £8million of debt, including £3.9million worth of outstanding business rates. While I’m sure they had their reasons for doing so, this course of action should never be the first port of call.
Behaviour breeds behaviour
- 14 March 2013
I’m sure you were as shocked as I to hear about a recent court case involving the use of an unloaded shotgun to expel bailiffs from a chargepayer’s property in July last year - the bailiffs in question were described as “deceptive” by the judge, with the offending charge-payer handed a 6 month suspended sentence and 150 hours of community service.
This case highlights the important issue of the unacceptable use of violence against those working in the bailiff industry, and the type of challenges that bailiffs are forced to deal with on a regular basis. Violence is a very real threat to the work that we do, and there is absolutely no doubt that the use of a shotgun, unloaded or otherwise, is an outrageous threat, and one which bailiffs should not have to face.
Bailiffs: it’s no longer business as usual
- 06 February 2013
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already know that there is a strong appetite for reform in the bailiff industry, which makes my relief at reading the much awaited response to the Ministry of Justice consultation even greater.
Although it has taken a little bit longer than we had hoped, a new simplified fee structure will take effect towards the start of 2014 (barring intervention from meddlesome 3rd parties), and we can finally start working towards building a trustworthy and ethical image for the whole industry, in a way in which I am proud to say that Dukes Bailiffs has long championed.
Bailiff reform: the sooner the better
- 08 January 2013
After reading a recent article in The Telegraph into the so called “aggressive” nature of the UK’s bailiff industry, it seems clear that the introduction of the long awaited reforms is the only way for our profession to move forward and step beyond these often misguided accusations.
It is fair to say that the law governing bailiffs is out of date. As the article rightly states, there has been very little substantial change to the basic principles of the law of distress for many years, and this lack of progress has produced some of the problems that we now face.
A terrible tragedy, but it's wrong to shoot the messenger
- 26 November 2012
There’s no doubt that the current economic situation is having an incredibly damaging effect on households across the world, although the citizens of Spain have certainly felt a disproportionate amount of the pain.
Nothing demonstrates this more than the recent suicide of a woman in Spain, who sadly died after a Spanish bank’s decision to foreclose on her property.
This is obviously a tragic and complicated event with which we have the utmost sympathy, although it was difficult not to feel dismayed by the undue emphasis in the international press on the presence of bailiffs at the time of her death.