Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


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

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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.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Pammij Novitiate



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    Default Current council tax problem

    Hi
    i have a question hope you can help.

    I have 3 months council tax arrears for current year (£300) - Its gone to bailiffs now and council dont want to know.

    Im paying out 127 a month to bailffs - they said that i owe the whole year upto april 2011!

    Im due to move house beginning of oct as my lease on this one expires.

    Can anyone tell me what happens please - will i end up paying this ones for whole year and my new one?

    I did offer to pay the council the £300 i owe but they said i cant pay it now and i have to keep paying the 127 a month till next year!


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammij View Post
    Hi
    i have a question hope you can help.

    I have 3 months council tax arrears for current year (£300) - Its gone to bailiffs now and council dont want to know.

    Im paying out 127 a month to bailffs - they said that i owe the whole year upto april 2011!

    Im due to move house beginning of oct as my lease on this one expires.

    Can anyone tell me what happens please - will i end up paying this ones for whole year and my new one?

    I did offer to pay the council the £300 i owe but they said i cant pay it now and i have to keep paying the 127 a month till next year!
    Unfortunately the Liability Order the Council have will be for the balance of the current year up until 31 March2011 and it is this figure the Bailiffs will be enforcing on. When you move you will then be able to apply for a rebate if you have paid by then.

    A way forward on this is to contact your local Councillor and appraise them of the situation.

    How have you arranged to pay the £127 to the Bailiffs? Have they been in your house or otherwise seized/levied any goods?

    PT


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder Pammij Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Hi
    No the bailiffs havent been round, i called them before they did!

    I have had to pay the £127 today, as its due 1st of every month. They gave me 4 days to get money together.
    Then charged me £3.40 because i didnt have time to set up on standing order and had to pay on my debit card!!!

    When i move - ie october, i will have made 3 payments, which as council tax will be accumilating at a monthly rate for those 3 months, i guess i wont have paid enough to cover the arrears.

    So will the bailiffs just want whats left of the balance on this place or will they add my new house council tax onto it?

    thanks


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    The full amount for the year only becomes payable on paper. The council has full discreation on collection and you should have asked for a payment plan.

    Have you had the biliffs fees in writing? you are entitled to this and if you don't get one then they are likely to up the fee beyond what the regulations say they can charge for collection.

    Work out on what date the paying of £127 will bring an end to this years (2010/2011) liability, you mustn't pay over the odds.

    Also be aware that your bill next year wont include any arrears, if there are any, from this year, but payments made after April 2011 will firstly be for the arrears and then that years council tax. This is done purely to allow them to get another liability order against you so they can again add on the rip-off supposed court fee.

    It would seem they have followed in Gordon Browns footsteps (or on his orders) and found a way of upping council tax by stealth.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Pammij Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    I did ask for a payment plan, the council refused. I rang 3 times and pretty much begged them, but they said there was nothing they could do - its at the bailiffs and that was that.
    Iv had no paperwork from the bailiffs, i asked them yesterday (when i made payment and they said they had sent it on 27 july! but to date i havent received any)
    I dont know how much im paying - no one has told me, but original payments was £100 month, before it was sent to bailiffs.

    I questioned the council on the phone, as i know someone in same position - had current year passed to bailiffs and is moving house in aug......The council have taken hers back from bailiffs!!

    I mentioned this on phone to council, they said that they dont take accounts back from the bailiffs anymore, this must have been an oversight on their part, but they still wouldnt take mine back! Shes paying £120 month and her house banding is higher than mine (im in band b and shes in d).

    I cant understand it all


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    I'll put it in plain language in case the council comes on here and has a read - the council are liars - they can take it back just can't be bothered all they are interested in is 'give us your money' but I have to pay for my xx funeralicon - I don't care dump them out the back and give us the money.

    Councils really are ********s and don't give a damn about anyone even if it means life or death. To prove that point, they are going more and more to the bankruptcyicon court, they would rather chuck you out on the street than give you time to pay.

    Sorry - rant over.

    Send them a Subject access requesticon (£10), they don't like them as it involves them in some work. They have to send you everything they have on you within 12 days.


  7. #7
    Royalties Account Holder ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom Authoritative ploddertom's Avatar



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Make them do some work for a change. Ring the Council in the morning and ask:
    1 - how much the Liability Order is for
    2 - how much is still outstanding
    3 - what period of time it covers
    4 - when it was passed to the Bailiffs.

    The responses you have had from the Council are typical, unfortunately you mainly get to speak only with those at the bottom of the tree - they have a script to follow, those further up the trough can make life easier but usually prefer to bury their heads in the sand. A lot of Councils now outsource their administration work - one such Company that take this on are called Equita and it just so happens they own a Bailiff Company called Equita - therefore sometimes you are not talking to the Council.

    Is there anything in your circumstances that may be worth listening to - benefits or illness for example, for yourself or anyone in the household.

    Next thing is to ask the Bailffs for a breakdown of the charges they have applied. Here's a letter - use and adapt as you see fit - send by email and follow up with a copy in the post using RM Signed For:

    "From:
    My Name
    My Address

    To:
    Acme Bailiff Co
    Bailiff House

    Ref: Account No: 123456

    Dear Sir

    With reference to the above account. Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges applied.

    This includes:
    a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.
    b - the reason for the fee.
    c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.
    d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were Certificated at.
    e - the date of the Certification.

    This is not a Subject access requesticon under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide this information.

    I require this information within 14 days.

    Yours faithfully

    Ripped off customer"

    You could also involve your local Councillor(s) - details usually on Council website or ask by phone. You can also pay the Council direct using their online facility or automated phone - guaranteed to upset the Bailiff if you do this but you do have to be mindful of what fees you may be due to pay as the Council are obliged to pay the Bailiffs fees first.

    PT


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder Nobnob Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Once the liability order was issued the whole year became payable immediately. The council should have made you aware that you were in arrears before just sending an account to the bailiffs, at which stage you would have been able to make an arrangement to pay them back, did you get anything from them? Definitely send them the letters that ploddertom laid out. Once the account has been referred to bailiffs the debt is 'theirs' meaning all payments have to go to them which, I presume, is why the council said there was nothing they could do when you asked for a payment plan. As for taking it back from the bailiffs, I'm not sure on that I'm afraid.

    I think the council can close accounts down up to 8 weeks in advance (this will be why they can't just work out how much you owe now). If you're moving in October give them a ring/write in mid-August and they can close the account down and issue you with a closing amount. You'll only have to pay the balance for the period you were liable at that address, so don't worry about having to pay the whole year because you won't have to.

    If, after the account is closed, it turns out you have overpaidicon then you can have that refunded or transferred to your new account. If you still owe money then it will stay owing on that account, it won't affect your new account at all.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post

    Send them a Subject access requesticon (£10), they don't like them as it involves them in some work. They have to send you everything they have on you within 12 days.
    Wouldn't they have 40 days from the date of receipt of the SAR to get all their records out to the person requesting them?


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Pammij Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    When the council tax became due in april i was just about to start a new job (may 5th).
    I didnt get my first pay until end of may (because im paid monthly). Then my company put me on emergency tax br1 (even though i filled in p46).

    Then in june i had a letter from council saying that if i dont pay what i owe for current year they will take action by the way of liabiltiy. I rang the council and explained everything to the lady.
    She said i had lost the right to installments and i have to wait until i have a liability order from the courts before they would be able to help me.

    Then at beginning of june i sent off my p45 to my company.
    At the end of june they had still emergency taxed me despite me sending in paperwork.
    Then in july i recieved paperwork for liability order with some court costs added.
    It was just over a week when i rang the council and they said it had gone to bailiffs and they would be contacting me and to wait for letter.
    This came about a week later.
    This is when i rang the council.

    The first guy i spoke to was rude, he said it was basically my own fault (which yes it is, but there are ways of telling people). He said that its in hands of bailiffs and i have to deal with them.

    So i rang bristow and suitor bailiffs. The lady on the phone went through some questions, do i have car? can i pay the full amount? etc.
    Then she asked if i want a payment plan.
    I explained that i was on a low income and have rent to pay and she said i have to pay £268 month!
    I nearly fell on the floor!!
    She wouldnt listen so i rang back the council.

    The next council guy i spoke to was a bit better than the first and said he understood, but he couldnt do anything and i must pay what the bailiffs asked for.

    So i rang off and rang them back yet again!
    This time i spoke to a different guy, he still was adement that there was nothing that could be done.
    I started begging and he went and got a supervisor.
    She came on the phone and asked what my earning was, employer details, paye number etc.
    She said she would talk to the bailiffs and try and get me a lower payment of £127 month, but they could not take it back as they do not do that anymore!
    I explained that i would not be staying in this house very long as lease expires oct and i would be moving nearer work, school etc. I also explained that i am currently living with someone whom i dont want to be living with and that he dont work (hes on the council tax jointly) and that i will be leaving him when i move house.

    So she went and rang me back 5 mins later. She said she had spoke to bailiffs and lowest payments i could have was £127 first month, £126 thereafter.
    I was told i had to pay first install by 1st aug (4 days notice) and if i miss a payment the bailiffs would attend. She said they also have my work details and they will do an attachemnt of earnings is necessary.
    She also told me that its an offence not to pay council tax and that i could be put in prison.

    Thats when i mentioned that i know someone who was in similar postition, fell behind with council tax (exactly same months i owe), only difference was that she was living in a higher tax band than me. I explained that she also earns more than me and is due to move house in aug this year and that the same council took hers back from the bailiffs and made arrangement for her to pay £70 first month and £120 thereafter!

    The lady from council said, she dont know what happened and it should never have been taken back, as they dont do that anymore. She told me it would be looked into and whoever authorised it, would be addressed!

    That was it!
    They are very very unhelpful. I was just worried in case i had to pay all of this council tax at £126 a month right to april next year and then when i moved also pay whatever council tax i have for the new house.


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Pammij Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Forgot to mention my council tax bill for the year was £850 - (85 a month), i get £7 month council tax benefit. My arrears when i phoned them was £340.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Somebody Told Me View Post
    Wouldn't they have 40 days from the date of receipt of the SARicon to get all their records out to the person requesting them?
    Yup, it's 40 days.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Somebody Told Me View Post
    Wouldn't they have 40 days from the date of receipt of the SARicon to get all their records out to the person requesting them?
    Quote Originally Posted by sequenci View Post
    Yup, it's 40 days.
    Yes 40 in total, but if they want things to remain as they are then they have 12 days or everything has to be put on hold.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Right gotcha. Wouldn't it be advisable to mention the status of things when sending the SARicon as it's unlikely that their Data Protection Controller will be aware of the background behind the request?

    Or would it be advisible to request that action be suspended while further legal advice was being sought?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    Yes 40 in total, but if they want things to remain as they are then they have 12 days or everything has to be put on hold.
    I'm a little confused, please excuse me. Where does the 12 days come from within the Data Protection Act?

    :?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    It is 12 + 30. If after 12 days you haven't received it, whatever you are enquiring about is put into dispute and if still not received after a further 30 days they commit an offence

    This isn't an equiry under DPA, this is a Subject access requesticon for which they can only charge a maximum of £10. A DPA request can cost a lot more depending on the amount of work they have to do to collect the data.


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative Somebody Told Me Informative



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    I thought that a SARicon was a request for all data held by an organisation on a data subject.

    If my understanding is correct I don't see the difference between this and a DPA request. Could you explain this further? Thanks


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder Nobnob Novitiate



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Pammij - you definitely don't have to pay the balance for this account for the whole year, you will just pay for the period you were liable (Apr to start of Oct) which I estimated to be approx £425. Contact them as soon as you can to get that account closed down and your new one set up, then you will have the exact amount to pay.

    It does seem to have been referred to the bailiffs pretty quickly. Bailiffs are used if there is no response to a liability order, but there doesn't seem to be much time inbetween them issuing the liability order and referring it to the bailiffs so perhaps query that if you write in.


  19. #19
    Royalties Account Holder sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci Authoritative sequenci's Avatar



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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    It is 12 + 30. If after 12 days you haven't received it, whatever you are enquiring about is put into dispute and if still not received after a further 30 days they commit an offence

    This isn't an equiry under DPA, this is a Subject access requesticon for which they can only charge a maximum of £10. A DPA request can cost a lot more depending on the amount of work they have to do to collect the data.
    I've got it now.

    The whole 12 days + 30 days thing is to do with those who wish to make a request for information under Sections 77-79 of the consumer crediticon Act 1974. For the record, the 30 days criminal offence issue no longer exists.

    A Subject Access Request IS a request under the Data Protection Act (Section 7 in fact) and most certainly is 40 days.

    More info here:

    Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29) - Statute Law Database

    and here:

    Personal Information - Privacy Rights and Personal Rights - ICO

    Hope this makes sense!

    Best wishes,

    Seq.


  20. #20
    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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    Default Re: Current council tax problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Somebody Told Me View Post
    I thought that a SARicon was a request for all data held by an organisation on a data subject.

    If my understanding is correct I don't see the difference between this and a DPA request. Could you explain this further? Thanks
    The difference is that under DPA, you ask for a particular thing and that is what you get. Under SAR, you are asking for the data on a subject ie person and they have to send you 'all' they have on that subject.



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