Two years ago I was living with my sister and we were both full time students so were exempt from paying council tax. The council were apparently able to verify my sisters student status no problem but not mine - but they didn't bother to tell me...
I moved out of the house and my sister stayed on, she started receiving letters from a debt collection agency acting for the council so I phoned the council and told them I had been a student. They sent me a form which I got stamped by my university and sent back to them but my sister continued to receive letters and I believe she may have had baliffs come to the house and leave a letter but she wasn't in at the time or didn't answer. I phoned the council again and they sent me another form which I got stamped again and sent back to them. Then I received a demand from the debt collectors (at my new address which I had never given them) for £190 which I believed was for the month or two after graduating uni and before moving out the house when I was liable for council tax so I paid it thinking that would be the end of the matter.
Last week I received another letter stating I owed £1200. I couldn't understand what this was for and gave it to my parents to have a look at hoping they could decipher it. Today I was horrified when my mum told me she has paid the full amount as she was worried about me being in debt with the council. When she phoned the debt collectors they said the £1200 is "made up of penalty charges". When she phoned the council they said it was nothing to do with them any more.
So basically I believe my mum has paid £1200 on my behalf for charges on a debt I did not owe in the first place and only went this far because the council did not communicate with me and then either did not process my information or pass it onto the debt collectors correctly. I understand the debt collectors are allowed to charge for each visit they make but how on earth have they worked it out at £1200?!
I'm thinking the best course of action is a S.A.R to the debt collectors but should I also be sending one to the council? Or should I just CC all letters to the council?
Thanks for any advice.