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Rossendales boss Julie Green-Jones defends bailiff industry
A BAILIFF boss who earned a six figure salary last year has defended her profession and her company’s success.
Earlier this month Helmshore-based Rossendales featured in an ITV1 Exposure programme in which an under-cover reporter appeared to show examples of malpractice by a bailiff.
And a national newspaper said the firm’s managing director Julie Green-Jones received dividend payments, which combined with her annual income, have made her Britain’s first £1million bailiff.
The Sunday Times in a special investigation highlighted the high fees charged for collecting debts as low as 1p.
But Mrs Green-Jones, who owns the company, which has 190 office staff and 200 bailiffs, said a substantial proportion of her earnings were not from bailiff activity and all her staff shared more than £208,000 in bonuses last year.
And she said the company’s reported fees, such as £130 waiting fees and £130 van attendance from ‘enforcement bailiffs’, were statutory, prescribed amounts charged after months of non-payment.
She said: “We are a very successful company collecting more than £92million of debt on behalf of our clients.
“The revenue generated by bailiff activity now only represents a proportion of our business, as income from the private sector is derived from debt collection services, training, ancillary advice to small companies, as well as High Court enforcement.”
The 48-year-old, from Accrington, worked as a model before the break-up of a short-lived marriage, which left her as a single parent with no income.
Following in the footsteps of a friend who was one of the few female bailiffs in the country, she turned her hand to debt recovery in 1989.
After climbing through the ranks she said she took a “considerable risk” in buying out the firm in 2007.
Since then Rossendales’ local and central government work has grown by 55 per cent and its private sector jobs are up by 412 per cent.
Mrs Green-Jones said she believed bailiffs played an important role in society.
She said: “More than four million cases are issued to bailiffs every year, with a value in excess of a £1billion. That’s enough to pay the salaries of 30,000 newly-qualified NHS nurses and 20,000 new police recruits.
“Last year bailiffs collected more than £650million of unpaid taxes and fines, money which is critical for front line services. That is all money for the public purse.
“It’s not only what we collect, we also serve as a deterrent.
“People who pay council tax pay £35 more each year to subsidise those who don’t pay.
“Our services are free to local authorities, as debtors pay, not councils.”
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