Bailiffs, Exempt and Protected Goods (and vehicles).

 

Regulation 4 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 sets out what goods are exempt goods for the purpose of civil enforcement. It states;

 

 

4.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to regulation 5, the following goods of the debtor are exempt goods—

(a)items or equipment (for example, tools, books, telephones, computer equipment and vehicles) which are necessary for use personally by the debtor in the debtor’s employment, business, trade, profession, study or education, except that in any case the aggregate value of the items or equipment to which this exemption is applied shall not exceed £1,350;

(b)such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment, items and provisions as are reasonably required to satisfy the basic domestic needs of the debtor and every member of the debtor’s household, including (but not restricted to)—

(i)a cooker or microwave;

(ii)a refrigerator;

(iii)a washing machine;

(iv)a dining table large enough, and sufficient dining chairs, to seat the debtor and every member of the debtor’s household;

(v)beds and bedding sufficient for the debtor and every member of the debtor’s household;

(vi)one landline telephone, or if there is no landline telephone at the premises, a mobile or internet telephone which may be used by the debtor or a member of the debtor’s household;

(vii)any item or equipment reasonably required for—

(aa)the medical care of the debtor or any member of the debtor’s household;

(bb)safety in the dwelling-house; or

(cc)the security of the dwelling-house (for example, an alarm system) or security in the dwelling-house;

(viii)sufficient lamps or stoves, or other appliance designed to provide lighting or heating facilities, to satisfy the basic heating and lighting needs of the debtor’s household; and

(ix)any item or equipment reasonably required for the care of—

(aa)a person under the age of 18;

(bb)a disabled person; or

(cc)an older person;

(c)assistance dogs (including guide dogs, hearing dogs and dogs for disabled persons), sheep dogs, guard dogs or domestic pets;

(d)a vehicle on which a valid disabled person’s badge is displayed because it is used for, or in relation to which there are reasonable grounds for believing that it is used for, the carriage of a disabled person;

(e)a vehicle (whether in public ownership or not) which is being used for, or in relation to which there are reasonable grounds for believing that it is used for, police, fire or ambulance purposes; and

(f)a vehicle displaying a valid British Medical Association badge or other health emergency badge because it is being used for, or in relation to which there are reasonable grounds for believing that it is used for, health emergency purposes.

 

 

If your vehicle or goods fit into any of the above, you make an interpleader claim.

You make an sworn statement of truth to prove the goods are exempt, and this needs to be sworn before a solicitor or a commissioner of oaths (fee, usually about £5). Make plenty of copies; one is sent to the court with your claim, one to the defendant and one is your file copy. Remember to add the cost of the sworn statement of truth to your claim as "disbursements".

Make a sworn statement proving the goods are exempt.

 

 

 

If your vehicle or goods cannot be returned to you then you can recover the replacement cost of them, or the cost of new goods if equivalent like-for-like goods are not available.

You can also claim for the unlawful deprivation of the vehicle of goods as well.

 

 

 

Warning! - The "£1350 scam"

If your vehicle has been seized, bailiffs may try the so-called £1350-scam.

It gets its name from regulation 4(1)(a) of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 which states;

 

items or equipment (for example, tools, books, telephones, computer equipment and vehicles) which are necessary for use personally by the debtor in the debtor’s employment, business, trade, profession, study or education, except that in any case the aggregate value of the items or equipment to which this exemption is applied shall not exceed £1,350;

 

Sounds cuckoo, but it actually says an "aggregate value" of exempt goods of £1350 to be retained by the debtor. You have an allowance of £1350 of exempt goods and the bailiff can take the remainder.

If the debtor is a company, the allowance does not apply.

Bailiffs interpret regulation 4(1)(a) into a belief they can seize an exempt vehicle because it is worth more than £1350.

If the bailiff takes a vehicle worth more than £1350 without leaving other exempt goods of an aggregate sum of £1350 with the debtor, then enforcement fails because its non-compliant with regulation 4(1)(a)

 

 

You can use the following legislation to remove the £1350 ceiling. The ceiling does not apply to the following debt types. You must include these when you make an interpleader claim.

 

Council tax arrears: Regulation 5 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1993 states;

5. In regulation 45, after paragraph (1), there is inserted the following paragraph—

“(1A) Without prejudice to paragraph (8) below, no person making a distress shall seize any goods of the debtor of the following descriptions—

(a)such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary to the debtor for use personally by him in his employment, business or vocation;

(b)such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of the debtor and his family.”.

 

High Court Writs: Paragraphs 9(2) and 9(3) of Schedule 7 of the Courts Act 2003 states;

9(1)This paragraph applies where an enforcement officer or other person who is under a duty to execute the writ is executing it.
(2)The officer may, by virtue of the writ, seize—

(a)any goods of the execution debtor that are not exempt goods, and

(b)any money, banknotes, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds, specialties or securities for money belonging to the execution debtor.

(3)“Exempt goods” means—

(a)such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary to the execution debtor for use personally by him in his employment, business or vocation;

(b)such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of the execution debtor and his family.