Bailiff must clean up his act

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A MARCH debt collection company has been ordered to pay back nearly £15,000 to firms across the country as well as the £5,000 cost of a council investigation.

Nigel Marsh, director of March-based Armitage Credit Control Ltd, narrowly avoided legal action by Cambridgeshire County Council when he appeared before Peterborough magistrates following an investigation by trading standards.

Mr Marsh agreed to sign an Enterprise Act undertaking regarding his future conduct in relation to his debt collection business when he appeared before the court.

Marsh also agreed to pay back £14,620 to six businesses and meet the Council’s investigation costs of £5,000.

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards launched an investigation after it received complaints from businesses across the country that had employed Armitage Credit Control to collect commercial debts. The debts were collected but then not passed on to the clients.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Head of Supporting Business and Communities, Leon Livermore, said: “This was a particularly tricky investigation as we had to obtain statements not only from those people who had lost money but also the individuals and companies that owed the debts and paid Armitage Credit Control.

“Nigel Marsh had to agree to sign the undertaking before a judge in open court. This is a fantastic result, especially in terms of getting the money back for the people who had lost out and the outcome is a tribute to the work of Cambridgeshire Trading Standards to support and protect the small businesses that otherwise would have had to write off significant amounts of money because of the activities of Armitage Credit Control Ltd.”