Top 8 bailiff companies and their 2011/2012 turnover £

1. Marston Group, £25,825,106
2. Equita £20,170,932
3. Rossendales £16,220,391
4. JBW Group £12,843,424
5. Newlyn Plc £10,188,820
6. Collectica £9,191,435
7. Ross & Roberts £6,526,975
8. Rundles £5,027,920
Source:

List of bailiff companies and common complaints made against them

This list is not an exhaustive list of bailiff companies, but the following receive the most complaints and is based on client case statistics and templates sold.

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Bristow & Sutor

Area worked

Local taxation
Parking enforcement

Modus Operandi

Fees and disbursements fraud
Charging fees for levying on goods without making a levy
Doormat levies
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
Bailiffs on the doorstep use peacock terms and weasel words with debtors
Deliberately giving debtors wrong and misleading legal advice exposing them to the risk of unlawful loss

 

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Chandlers

Area worked

Local taxation
Parking enforcement

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Small but aggressive, known to use violence
Targeting debtors cars, vehicle-taking without a levy - TWOCing
Rude and use of bad language on the doorstep
Enforcing invalid levies and expired warrants
Wear uniforms that mimic police uniforms
Clamping
Doorstep canvasses town halls for business without being on the tenderlist

 

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Collectica

Area worked

Court fines

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud (charging for non attendance)
Concealing content of debtor's complaint emails
Threatening debtors with a locksmith
Repeatedly commits offences under section 78(5) of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980
Bailiffs wear police-like uniforms
Attrition correspondence
Sending demands with "7 days to pay" that are undated
Bailiffs put cards through the door claiming you are "intentionally avoiding him" and he will get a locksmith
Bailiffs and staff use peacock terms with debtors
Showing forged warrants to court fine defaulters
Claim to have an arrest warrant when they do not
Doctoring court paperwork (Section 76 Distress Warrants) by adding a list of fees not ordered by the sentencing court
Thuggish behaviour and use of bad language on the doorstep
Tells debtors they will turn up with the police
Concedes to refunding unlawful fees provided you sign a "confidentiality agreement"
Backdating letters and other correspondence sent to debtors
Enforces payment of unpaid fines against defaulters relatives
Using "bailiffs" letterheads for debt collection business

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Confero

Area worked

Local Taxation
Parking enforcement

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
Threatening to take goods without a valid levy
Thuggish behaviour on the doorstep
Bailiffs wear own clothes and drives a jalopy
Clamping
CEO good at lip service and essay writing often with confusing grammatical and typographical errors
Canvasses town halls for new business
Bailiffs are often not mathematically numerate
Operates in South London and SE area

 

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Equita

Area worked

Local taxation
TV Licence inspection

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Employing people, especially school leavers as bailiffs or "porters" without having a bailiff's certificate
Sticking a final notice in the debtor's letterbox then running away - "hit & run"
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
Recruits bailiffs from Jobcentre Plus and other welfare-to-work-schemes without a CRB check and without a certificate
Works under parent company Capita operating contracted out local taxation administration
Uses the threshold maneuver
Bailiff was caught urinating against debtors garden wall
Bailiffs have thug-like tendencies
Backdating letters and other correspondence sent to debtors

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Excel Civil Enforcement

Area worked

Court fines
Local taxation

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Thuggish behaviour, swearing, threatening violence towards disabled people etc
Threatening debtors with a locksmith
DVLA information abuse
Recruits bailiffs from Jobcentre Plus
Subject of an anti-violence campaign
They call the police (Court fines cases)
Quarrelsome
Operates mostly in Wales
Enforces payment fees without a valid warrant of control
CEO is noted for writing angry letters
Lie to police officers about the authenticity of a warrant

 

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HCE Group, Sherforce, The Sheriffs Office, Marston HCEO DCBL

Area worked

County Court judgments

Modus Operandi

Businesses are small and some are operated from low cost office space
Wear police-like uniforms
Charge as much fees as they think they could get away with and defend it retrospectively
Interference with goods and vehicles without a valid levy or not belonging to the debtor
Very big on disbursement fraud
HCEOs call police and do a masonic handshake with the police officer on arrival
Doormat levies
Uses legalistic terminology when corresponding with debtors having no legal training
Explosive reaction when a creditor gets court proceedings
Inventive fee schedules
Attending addresses not on the original judgment or writ
Conceals evidence of the writ
Strong appetite for B2B debts
Small market place for the number of HCEO's
Employs attrition correspondence on debtors complaining about fees
Indiscriminate Clamping
Enforcing limited liability business debts at directors private residences
Uses the word "locksmith" without a having valid levy over the debtor's goods

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Jacobs

Area worked

Local taxation
Looking for new business in parking enforcement

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Indiscriminate Clamping
Targets vehicles
Bailiffs and staff employ heavy use of peacock terms with debtors
Small player but big on direct approach to civil servants at town halls

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JBW Group

Area worked

Traffic debts

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud - inventive fee schedules
Vigilantism - crawling neighbourhoods in ANPR vans looking for vehicles with unpaid tickets
Going after debtor's cars
Used to be known for indiscriminate clamping
Keen to aquire an HMCTS Enforcement Servcices contract, and sued the MOJ when were unsuccessful
TWOCing (taking vehicles in debtor's absence)
Uses weasel words and legalistic terminology in correspondence with debtors
The CEO has a flair for publicity
Calls debtors "customers"
Targets motor vehicles - clamp first, knock the door later
Management often hold lavish soirees for its clients/potential clients/ town hall civil servants
Loitering and repeatedly sending nuisance text messages
Uses attrition correspondence in it's complaints procedure to wear down complainant debtors
Seeking central government enforcement contracts but finding these hard to penetate
Bailiffs tend to be over-zealous
Dabbled with Child Support Agency through the acquisition of another company
Likes media attention
Backdating letters and other correspondence sent to debtors
Uses the threshold maneuver
Highly litigious, even took a prospective client to court
Has aspirations to be the "Mr. Big" of civil enforcement

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Marston Group Marston Holdings

Area worked

Traffic debts
Court fines
Child Support Agency
Known to dabble in the field of common debt collecting presenting themselves as bailiffs

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud and targets vehicles
Chief suspect in playing a role in the downfall of Rossendales in a TV expose so it could aquire it cheaply
Penny pinching

Bailiffs trained to lay on the - Sir, sir, sir, sir,, sir. sir...let me speak! routine
Commits offences under section 78(5) of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980
Controls almost two thirds of the civil enforcement market
Employs workers to crawl internet forums
Using or threatening violence against debtors
Vigilantism - crawling neighbourhoods in ANPR vans clamping cars
Wear police-like uniforms
Has a sham "welfare department"
Gets debtors to sign a Marston own fee invoice or receipt upon payment of the debt
Objects being filmed or having their telephone calls recorded
Obliquitous in their correspondence with debtors seeking redress
TWOCing (taking vehicles in debtor's absence)
Tries resolving disputes by chronicalling the history of the debt
Sending demands with "7 days to pay" that are undated
Sending forged warrants in the post to court fine defaulters
Bailiffs and staff employ heavy use of peacock terms with debtors
Uses forged warrants. Staff give false names.
Shut down as Drakes group after BBC Whistleblower program October 2006
Does not send statutory Notices of Enforcment
Illiteracy and innumeracy prevalent among it's bailiffs
Bailiffs claim to have an arrest warrant when they do not
Swearing and use of C-word, including at debtors neighbours and family
Thuggish behaviour and use of bad language on the doorstep

Taking advantage of vulnerable households

Reports debtors vedhicles to the police as "stolen"
Bailiffs put cards through the door falsely claiming you are "intentionally avoiding him" and he will get a locksmith
Bailiffs are mostly self-employed commission only. £90 for a court fine.
A manager caught driving a seized debtor's car (Porsche 911) for his own private use
Bailiffs call police on 999 when something becomes unstuck with a debtor
"customer care" department operators highly trained in lip service and can be argumentative
Bodycam footage is corrupt or camera battery was flat.
Backdating letters and other correspondence sent to debtors
Recruits bailiffs from dole offices and government welfare-to-work schemes
Quotes expressions such as "DVCV Act 2004", "locksmith" and "arrest" on final notice documents
Threatens debtors with a locksmith
Threatens debtors with breaking entry then says contact "the samaritans"
Current "Mr. Big" of civil enforcement, always found on parking enforcement tenderlists


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Newlyn Plc

Area worked

Parking
Local taxation

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud, charging multiple £235 on simumtaenous PCNs and says "its a mistake"
Vigilantism - crawling neighbourhoods with a white ANPR van
Indiscriminate Clamping
Penny pinching
Targets vehicles
Quarrelsome
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
Telling debtors they owe more than the court has ordered then says it was a mistake
Bailiffs can be rude and argumentative
Obliquitous in their correspondence with debtors seeking redress
Its "vexatious and frivolous" and "scurrilous"
Targets vulnerable persons

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Phoenix Collections

Area worked

Local taxation
Traffic debts

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
Small player

 

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Ross & Roberts

Area worked (under Capita)

Local taxation

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Thuggish behaviour and bad language on the doorstep
Tracing debtors to new addresses without re-sending the final notice letter
Targeting vulnerable households
Enforces Invalid levies and uses doormat levies

 

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Rossendales

Area worked

Predominantly Local taxation
Occasionally parking enforcement
Had little success with Child Support Agency and Capital Contribution Orders

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Charging fees for levying on goods without making a levy
Attending properties not on council documentation without sending statutory notices
CEO with sex appeal mingles with photographers and senior civil servants at social functions to garner new business
Likes having all the badges
Requires council tax debtors to complete a "financial information form" saying its a legal requirement
Heavy use of expressions such as "police" "arrest" "prison" and "locksmith"
Has toyed with High Court Enforcement and Community Legal Services (Legal Aid) debts
Inventive company policies
Backdating letters and other correspondence sent to debtors
Doormat levies
Bailiffs are often caught defrauding debtors with bogus fees
Former CEO often lampooned by the media for a lavish lifestyle
Employs the use of attrition correspondence in it's complaints procedure
Loves media attention
Bailiffs and staff employ heavy use of peacock terms with debtors
Hit & run using an un-certificated bailiff - even when the debtor is at home
The former CEO always found an excuse


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Rundles

Area worked

Local taxation
Parking enforcement

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud
Small & aggressive
Easily accepts long term repayments, but money will go missing and never reach the council
Targeting debtors cars, vehicle-taking without a levy - TWOCing
Rude and use of bad language on the doorstep
Enforcing invalid levies
Clamping
Loitering

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Swift

Area worked

Court fines
Local taxation

Modus Operandi

Fee fraud (court fines)
Charging fees and disbursements for levying on goods without making a levy (local taxation)
Operates mostly in Wales
Bailiffs put cards through the door falsely claiming you are "intentionally avoiding him" and he will get a locksmith

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TASK Enforcement

Area worked

Transport for London
DVLA vans (as NSL)
Traffic debts

Modus Operandi

Indiscriminate clamping
Fee fraud - multiple £235 fees on simultaenous execution "it's a mistake".
Obstreporous and surly bailiffs
Crawling neighbourhoods in ANPR vans with "DVLA" markings on them
TWOCing and targets vehicles
Doesn't like being filmed
Works under parent company NSL
Dabbled with collecting unpaid parking fines on private land (NCP)

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Whyte & Co

Area worked


Traffic debts

Modus Operandi

Indiscriminate clamping
Targets vehicles
Doesn't like being filmed
Takes disabled persons vehicles.