I realise reading through this that people have experience of dealing withtRossendales and I was wondering if there's anyone who can offer me any advice - as I have phoned CAB but they can't offer me an appointment for another week and can't guarantee that I can be seen at the drop in in time.
Basically there was a problem with my claim for council tax benefit (single parent on income support) which I stupidly didn't know about until I got a letter from the council when it went through, saying that I still owed £285 which was under 'recovery action'. I've never dealt with anything like this before, so I phoned them and asked how they would like me to pay it. They told me that it was with Rossendales and that I would need to call them. I couldn't at that time as my daughter (nearly 2) fell over and banged her head which resulted in a trip to the dr's... anyway.. the next day just as I'd gotten her to go for a nap, the doorbell rings. My daughter starts screaming as it made her jump, and in trying to comfort her and find the key, by the time I get to the door he has gone and posteda letter the door, saying he had come with the intention of seizing goods, it was a template letter, saying I owed £306 plus costs. From reading this that sounds about right for the amount including costs, not plus costs?. Can I argue the charge though for a second visit as I shouted through the window 'just coming' and he knew I was there (I had no idea who he was at the time).
I did some research on my rights (probably a good job I didn't get to the door the first time!), and in all honesty, what I found about them scared the *** out of me. I eventually got the courage 2days later to phone their offices and offer a payment of £20 next week, and then £80 a month thereafter. They refused to accept an offer and told me I had to ring the bailiff in charge. I did this straight away before I chickened out and left it, and ended up having to leave a message on his phone. I left a message with the offer... this morning he turned up at the door, I recognized straight away who it was, and told my daughter to go play outside with her dad who had come to see her. I asked him if he got my message to which he replied no. So I made the offer again, and he explained to me that he'd not come to take anything today but that he needed to come in make a list of my things. I said to him, very politely and calmly, 'Im sorry but I don't want to let you in', to which he told me he couldn't accept my offer for payment unless I let him in.
I told him if he was refusing my payment then I would go straight to the council and offer it to them, and got the reply that they would just refer me back to him. Is that right? To me it is a very reasonable offer as I just don't want some of the nightmare situations I've read about when other people have been dealing with this. I refused to let him in when he asked the second time, and he told me it was with the courts and I had five days till he came back, gave me some paper work and walked away. What do I have five days for, does he think I will let him in in 5 days time? lol. Although in the paperwork he gave me a WPO form?! Which I'm not touching... some giros to pay, and a form to fill out if I want to pay by installments.
Should I fill the forms out apart from that one I'm not touching? There is also one for income/expenditure. Do they really need my NI number and DOB? They also want a copy of my rent agreement? I'm actually scared of what to do when he comes back. He has never set foot in the flat so I know he can't break in or anything like that, and if I have it my way, he never will. Should I even answer the door? If I do I think the safety catch will stay on. There's nothing here thats worth anything anyway. Most of it is borrowed from my mum/gran, on hire purchase, or is childrens items (cot, toys etc) even the washing machine is broken and the cooker belongs to the housing association I rent from so there really isn't much apart from the pc which is very old anyway.
I'm still appealing against the councils decision for not backdating the claim for the council tax benefit anyway and I made him aware that the amount is in dispute with the council.
Any advice would be really appreciated.