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Everything posted by impecunious

  1. Hi squashhead I used to pay the bailiffs by cheque each month regularly until I read posts on here. I've been paying Council direct for last four months using online system and quoting my reference for period of outstanding CT despite the Council regularly telling me to deal with the bailiffs and that they wouldn't accept my payments. (It's important to get the reference number right otherwise your payments might go to reducing your current year's CT liability.) I've heard nothing from the Council to say that my payments have not been accepted. I haven't negotiated a payment plan, I just pay them the £12.50/month that I believe is a reasonable and sustainable payment taking into account my financial situation. Although I still religiously park my vehicle away from my property, keep all doors/windows closed/locked and never answer the door to anyone I don't know, I'm much happier paying the Council than the weasels at Rosendales. At least now I've stopped getting the almost weekly letters from Rossies stating they were in the area and would visit me and seize my goods unless I paid in full, blah, blah, blah. (Despite not having a WPO.) Don't play ball with the bailiffs! Read as much as you can on here and be informed of your rights - empower yourself and then the whole process won't seem so daunting. Remember you're a CAN'T pay not a WON'T pay. Pay the Council a sum you can realistically afford (bearing in mind that it is a priority debt - and if you're not sure about categories of debt - contact The National Debtline - they're usually very good or just look at their website) and don't default. As long as you pay regularly each month, there is very little they can do. I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice on here. Take care. Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude!
  2. Firstly, try not to panic! An expert on these matters will no doubt be along shortly but first instincts are: The levy will be unlawful as the goods do not belong you. I believe you should try to obtain a signed declaration from your half-brother stating that the goods in question solely belong to him. The bailiffs can only charge for 2 visits so makes no odds how many they say they visit. As a single parent on benefits you should be classified as a "vulnerable person" and, as such, should request that the Council in question take back the debt from the bailiffs and you will only then be required to pay a minimum amount from your benefits. Just a thought! Were you sent any written notice from the Council that they were transferring debt to bailiffs for collection? Do you know the amount of the Liability Order, etc?? Check with Council to see if bailiffs have added unlawful charges to your account. Hope this helps until someone more experienced comes along. Impecunious! Believing in positive mental attitude!
  3. If you have been issued with a Liabiity Order for council tax arrears, you don't have to negotiate with Rossie's bailiffs - just start making payments to the council direct electronically - quoting your reference number, etc so that they don't set the repayments against your current year's CT bill. It is not unlawful NOT to deal with bailiffs. The National Debtline have a really good income and expenditure sheet to calculate your disposal income (if any) - and its reasonably generous - work out what repayment you can make to the council and stick to it. Just remember that CT is a priority bill. I currently only pay £12,50/month for an outstanding CT balance of some £1,200. So please don't give up hope. Don't forget to keep your windows shut and your doors locked, move your car well away from your home and remove everything from outside your property, eg. garden tables/chairs, etc. DON'T let Rossies intimidate you - they think they're rotties but, in reality, unless they can levy on something, they're just paper toothless tigers! I'm sure lots of other fellow CAGgers will give you great advice. Impecunious!
  4. Hi honeysuckle -- I'm not exactly sure what you mean. BUT, in my case, I didn't wait for the bailiffs to tell me what to pay each month (£12.50 pcm - the o/s Council Tax is over £1,200), I just told them what I could afford and promptly paid it to them each month for almost 8 months. Then, after reading lots of messages on here, I stopped paying the bailiffs each month and instead starting to pay the council directly through electronic transfer using reference number on correspondence. (I no longer live in the Council borough, so no risk of instalments being set against current year's council tax liability.) From what I understand, the Council have to accept your payment despite the fact that they keep saying to everyone "it's with the bailiffs - you have to talk to them". After I had paid 3 monthly instalments to the Council, I just e-mailed them to advise them what I was doing and I haven't heard anything from them since. I just return the bailiff letters unopened. The account has been with the bailiffs now for over a year, I've only had one visit and I've just ignored all their threats - it should go back to the Council very soon. There is light at the end of the tunnel ! If you can be more specific about the problems you're having, someone should be able to help. Just ignore the bailiff's calls! Do they call you on landline or mobile? Impecunious
  5. Hi Binded Firstly -- please, please DON'T let them overwhelm you - I know it's scary and worrying and humiliating, etc, etc. but, at the end of the day, it's just an entry on a balance sheet. Last October I felt exactly as you are now but taking the great advice offered on here and the support of fellow CAGgers, my whole attitude has changed and I have so much more confidence now. Once you're empowed with some basic information and knowledge about your rights etc when it comes to bailiff action, you'll be able to start taking control again and not let fear rule your life. Bailiffs will feed on that fear ,,,,,,,,,, I completely by-pass Rossendales and have been paying the council direct online for the last 3 months. I pay minimum monthly instalments of just £12.50 as I've calculated that to be a realistic and sustainable amount. Almost without exception, we are all "can't" pay - not "won't" pay - so, take some time to work out your income/expenditure (the National Debtline do a great expenditure sheet) and then start paying the Council direct - online payments (making sure the reference no. you quote on your payments is for the outstanding debt and not your current CT). For now, follow the advice given -- keep your doors and windows locked, store away all outdoor stuff in the garden etc and keep shed/garage locked, and park your car out of sight. You'll come to do this as routine - it won't be a chore after too long. And stop crying you can't afford all those tissues - and red noses and blotchy eyes are so not a good look!!! Take care Impecunious!! Believing in positive mental attitude
  6. Sorry to hear that you're being hauled in for an Interview under Caution. I went through a similar experience last year (although because I had informed the Council that they had overpaid my HB and CT, they still investigated but not under caution and the interview was not taped). Try not to worry - I know it's difficult. If you feel you need to take advice first before attending the interview, telephone them and tell them that you need some time to gather together evidence to support your claim and that you would like to re-arrange the meeting for some time next week. Try to take some control of the situation. Take a friend along with you for support if need be. Usually they don't invite you for an Interview under Caution unless they have evidence to support their claim. Try to provide as much "evidence" as possible and draw up a timeline with dates and events so that you don't get too muddled (very easy when you feel as if you're under pressure). Answer the questions as clearly and concisely as possible. If your now partner was living elsewhere - was he responsible for paying CT at another address? If he has a car, did DVLA have his old address/car insurance address/etc? He could swear a Statutory Declaration as to his address prior to moving in with you. Sorry, I'm not an expert but try not to panic. Impecunious Believing in Positive Mental Attitude
  7. I'm not 100% but think I've read somewhere on the forum that unless a WPO actually describes goods in detail -- i.e. brown leather clutch bag with silver clasp -- and not brown bag, etc. that the levy is unlawful. But I'm sure someone with lots more knowledge will elaborate! Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude
  8. Desprateforhelp! First piece of advice is the most difficult -- try NOT to worry too much -- honestly. You need to stay calm and take control. You'll get lots of very practical and useful advice from my fellow CAGgers. Despite any huffing and puffing from the Council they are obliged to take your payments even if they don't like it! Arrange to pay the council directly - online if you can - making sure that you use the correct reference number from your Council Tax bill so that it goes to reduce the year in question that is still outstanding. Then send them a repayment plan - you know best what you can realistically afford without defaulting but remember that CT is a priority bill and that it should be paid first - before non-priority outgoings. You can check with the National Debtline or similar if you're unsure what constitutes a priority bill. Inform the council that you believe you are classified as "vulnerable" - you'll find lots of stickies/messages confirming this and, as such, you want them to take the account back from Rossendales. Stress that you are a "can't pay" not a "won't pay". I was unable to repay an overpayment of council tax amounting to just over £1,000 from my local council last year and they applied for an attachment of earnings, I now only have to pay £5/month instead of the £25/month they originally demanded in addition to my regular monthly CT payments which are completely up to date. The AOE is also suspended, so the court can be very understanding/ considerate. As regards the walking possession order - the bailiffs often levy on exempt items -- can you tell us which particular items they listed? I believe that putting exempt items on the WPO effectively invalidates it and the fees they charged you. Also look at the fees they've charged you -- all too often they add imaginary and unlawful charges in order to boost their income. Also check that the bailiff is certified - I've just discovered that the bailiff assigned to my account from Rossendales isn't on the list of certified bailiffs. You'll find a recent sticky for this too. Knowledge is power! Bailiffs rely on fear to bully and intimidate you into handing over your money - when you can least afford it - they would love you to be totally ignorant of your rights. Much easier for them. Impecunious! Believing in positive mental attitude
  9. Thanks for the link to the list of Certified Bailiffs - looks like the Governing Bailiff and the Bailiff assigned to my case from Rossendales are both UNCERTIFIED!! Oh Happy Days!! You'd think they'd know better ........ Do you think Governing Bailiffs need to be certified or just certifiable! Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude!
  10. Eliza - sorry to hear about your problems with Rossendales. I can't help with all your queries but I'm sure someone with more experience will come along shortly and advise you. I'm currently dealing with Rossendales so have some idea of what you're going through. If you need the council's bank details, just contact them for a copy of the Council Tax bill for the year in question - that will also give you the correct reference number so that all payments you make in respect of arrears can be credited to the outstanding liability (otherwise I believe it will be deducted from your current year's CT bill). Don't tell them in advance that you're planning to pay them direct. After the first payment has been made, send them a copy of your incoming/outgoings and suggest a repayment plan that you can realistically sustain each month. Alternatively, if you do internet banking - you'll probably find their bank details listed under the "payments/transfers" section - that's how I pay the council direct and bypass Rossendale. I would suggest that you would come under the "vulnerable persons" category and being on benefits, there is only a limited amount that you would be expected to pay. As English is not your husband's first language, I would also suggest that also presents as being "vulnerable" - certainly disadvantaged when it comes to understanding the concept of bailiff powers, etc. I know it's easier said than done but take strength from all the great advice that people on here are able to offer. Knowledge is power and the more information/knowledge you can glean from others, the more control you will have in this situation. Please try not to worry - it's all just a process and, with the help and support of fellow CAGgers you'll survive it!! Keep in touch -- take care Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude
  11. Hi guys I work for a small national charity that funds grants to purchase specialised equipment for sick and disabled children and young people up to 25 yrs, lviing in the community, within the UK. This specialised equipment is not normally provided by the NHS or social services. The maximum grant is £1,000 but higher value items can be considered. We fund mobility equipment, communication aids, electric beds, car seats, specialised tricycles, hoists, etc. If you know any young person/family who would benefit, please pm me for more details. I will give you the contact number of the charity. If you feel you'd like to support the charity or participate in any of our fundraising challenges/events, please also pm me. Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude.
  12. Thanks for your response I've got no money --- it's more than likely the barrister will be there -- she'll be at the quantum hearing which has been scheduled just before the hearing to obtain information. She was even there for the application to set aside last year -- the judge reprimanded her charging such extortionate fees and reduced the bill by half and told her to "shut up". She's one barracuda bitch barrister! Oh well,I've just have to eat three shredded wheat before I go to weather the storm! Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude
  13. Thank you for your advice. The order to obtain information was actually posted through my letterbox in a sealed envelope -- it was the original order to pay the solicitor's fees last year that was sent to my old address. Sorry if there was any confusion. Yes, I have every intention of attending court - I absolutely welcome the opportunity to finally prove my "impecunious" state - and hope that the claimant's barrister will FINALLY realise that I don't have "a pot of hidden gold" set aside for a a rainy day to satisfy the judgement against me (in the personal injuries case - up to £60,000). When I prove I can't pay the £600+ outstanding for solicitors fees - they won't be too surprised when I say I can't satisfy a judgement for £60,000. "Never sue an impecunious defendant" sounds like great advice to me - I wonder why the solicitors haven't dropped the case. Hardly seems like justice! Especially when I don't have the financial resources to take on legal representation. It sucks being a litigant in person. Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude!
  14. I've been ordered to attend court next month to be "questioned" about my finances. Specifically in relation to the non-payment of a court order that was issued in November last year for solicitor's fees when my application to set-aside judgement was denied. I assume that the court order was sent to my previous address (which I left 3 yrs ago) as all the other papers from the court were also addressed to that house. On advice from the National Debtline, because I had not received the court order, I was not told not to treat this as an outstanding priority debt and literally to stop all payments. However, I sent the solicitors a letter in early December last year outlining a proposed payment plan of £5/wk - enclosed my first cheque and then sent another cheque for £10. To date I have received no acknowledgement of my letter from the solicitors although they have cashed all my cheques and no acceptance of my payment plan. I therefore stopped sending them monthly cheques. I just wondered whether anyone could offer some advice for when I attend the hearing. Many thanks. Impecunious Believing in positive mental attitude!
  15. Hi Honeysuckle I know it's difficult but please try to stay positive. From what I've read on here over the last few months you're going to get the best advice possible = you're really not on your own, even if it feels like it. Just a suggestion: have you tried using housing benefit calculator (found on most council websites) to see if you're entitled to benefit of any kind. If you ever just need someone to listen - message me! Impecunious! Keeping a positive mental attitude
  16. Thank you for your support Eliza!! Much appreciated. I hope you manage to keep head above water! The DCAs and the Bailiffs are really just a side-show - my main focus is on trying to mitigate the amount of damages in a personal injury claim against me - they're looking at £30,000-£50,000 plus legal costs. Hence my name on here "impecunious" -- modest income, no assets, no insurance cover. Dead in the water really - no hope of ever being able to satisfy any judgment against me but just hoping to survive the ordeal of going to court again. Thanks again!! Impecunious!
  17. This website has been a lifeline for me over the last few months. I've read avidly and learnt so much from other people's experiences and from the advice posted. I'm currently managing my "relationship" with Rossendales and have managed to survive this far without too many hiccups. Empowered by knowledge gained here, I've stood my ground, kept my doors and windows locked, parked my car miles away , have sent out the requisite standard letters (found on here) and, finally, have sent my first payment directly to the Council via online payment completely bypassing Rossendales. I'm sure Rossendales will discover this fact soon if, indeed, they haven't already. The computer-generated letters from Rossendales were becoming more and more "assertive" and despite my advising them in writing that hell would freeze over before they crossed my threshold and paying them what I thought was a "reasonable and sustainable" amount each month to cover outstanding Council Tax from 2006, they still insist on demanding "full payment" in contravention of the OFT guidelines. However, thanks to everyone here, I feel as if I'm back in control of the situation and can sleep nights. Bailiffs are indeed paperless, powerless tigers - but, unfortunately, like mosquitos they do need to be controlled cos they're pesky!! Thanks again!
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