Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook

A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.


Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide

An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder
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    Wethers82 Novitiate

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    Default Council Tax and Debt

    Hi all,

    I'm having a bit of a stress and hoped you guys could help me.

    Since the start of April 2010 I have been unemployed. Usually finding work has been easy for me as I have the relevant experience in my industry, but due to the effect of the recession and the lack of work, I have found very few jobs available and the suitable jobs I do find have a large volume of applicants just as experienced as me.

    I claimed Jobseekers Allowance and waited the typical three weeks to get my first payment. 6 weeks later I found a interim/contract job in the same industry I required, which would pay me 50% less than my usual expected salary, however I really wanted to get back into work so I applied and was successful.

    As soon as I started my wife was made redundant as the company she worked for entered administration. She applied for her redundancy and recieved it many weeks later, but recieved a smaller amount than she hoped for. She applied for jobseekers and we had to live off my small wage of £220 p/w and what she had left of her redundancy once she had paid her bills.

    As if things couldn't get worse, my work contract came to an end and now we find ourselves out of work. We both have a few potential jons in the pipeline but nothing is moving quite as fast as we hoped for.

    We've cut down on our bills and are only paying what we can afford. For the council tax, I spoke to an advisor in payments (before my wife was made redundant) who told me that we'd be lucky to get housing benefits whilst my wife was in work. Now she's out of work she's applied for the housing benefit form, which took over three weeks to recieve. Meanwhile I've been paying a minimum of £10 per month, which is all I can afford.

    Today I recieved a letter from the council with a courts summons for the 15th July, requesting I pay the full £1161.25 plus Court Costs of £70. In total £1,231.25. They want me to pay this before 15th July.
    I've read the rest of the letter, in regards to being on benefits and they state you cannot discuss your request for housing benefits with the courts, well what else am I supposed to say?

    I feel really infuriated. We are normal people who have worked all our lives and have suddenly hit a sticky patch and are now going through hell. This additional £70 they are attempting to add is disgraceful.

    It seems that when you are in financial hardship, none of these companies want to know.

    Any suggestions to help me out of this troublesome situation would be much welcome.

  2. #2
    Royalties Account Holder Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff Authoritative Conniff's Avatar

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    Cagger since : Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Council Tax and Debt

    Sorry about all your problems, they always seem to come at the same time.

    What they say is correct I'm afraid. As things stand, the council can't enforce payment, so they have to prove that you are liable for it. The only way to do this is to get a liability order which is a straight yes you do or no you don't decision.

    The judge can't take into consideration any of the circumstances of why you are in arrears. Once the liability order has been granted, then the council have powers to collect via various methods including bailiffs, attachement of earnings or even bankruptcyicon.

    You can make an arrangement with the council after the liability order has been granted to pay by instalments and it would be better for you if you went in and spoke to them face to face instead of by phone or letter.

    A liability order is not a county courticon judgement which is why your don't have the opportunity to say why your are in arrears, and is not recorded on any credit reference agency files or with the courts.

    There is no point in going to court to defend a liability order unless you can show that you don't in fact owe any tax or are not liable for it.

Reclaim the Right Ltd. - reg.05783665 in the UK reg. office:- 923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE
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