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Everything posted by Nobnob

  1. Council tax doesn't just pay for your bins. In fact, your local authority doesn't even get all the money; some goes to the local police force, and some goes to the other local councils.
  2. Why would I do that? I don't know anything about other courts. They go to court every month, regardless of how many cases they have. At least that's how it works in my area.
  3. Some councils do deal with their own council tax - my local one does, in fact. lawandorder: have you provided them with proof of your name change?
  4. They do need to have a liability order before they can make an official arrangement but there is nothing stopping you from starting to pay it now before the LO is issued. If it's not paid off by the date they've asked then a LO will still be issued but the amount you owe will be less.
  5. The council are correct. Your relative and his flatmate might have a joint tenancy but the flatmate is exempt because he is a student therefore he doesn't have a liability at that property whilst he is a student, so your relative is liable for the whole council tax bill. From http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/LifeAtUniversityOrCollege/DG_071488: "Who is responsible for paying the bill? While households can decide among themselves who contributes what, the law sets out who is actually responsible for paying the bill. Members of a household are divided into categories - owner-occupier, tenant and so on - and for most households the person responsible is the one who appears nearest the top of the list which you can find in ‘Council Tax - who pays and how much’. If there are two or more household members who fall into the same category, they’re usually jointly responsible for paying the whole bill. But the rules are different if you’re considered a full-time student or not ‘counted’ because you’re in education or training. In these circumstances, you can only be held responsible if you - and only you - are in a category that’s higher up the list than all other members of your household (for example, you’re an owner-occupier and everyone else is a tenant)."
  6. Because the CT is due for each financial year, they could have only offered you two instalments anyway because there was only Feb and Mar left of this current financial year when you got the letter. But, I don't really understand why they couldn't have at least given you those two instalments - better than nothing, KWIM? They may not have given you instalments but there is nothing to stop you from starting to pay it now, even if it isn't the whole amount - a bit here and there will help reduce that balance. Have you had any reminders from them yet? If not then you'll get one, maybe two, reminders, and a final notice before a summons is issued - at most that gives you about 3 months before the summons so you do have some time before it gets to the liability order stage. Depending on your income this might be enough time to get it all paid off. Most importantly, make sure you keep up with next year's payments when they become due because you don't want to get behind with 10/11's payments AND 11/12's payments because that will result in more liability orders and more costs. Also, if you're on a low income have you considered applying for Housing and Council Tax Benefit? Might be worth a shot, despite the situation being more complicated because you're both self-employed.
  7. Have they told you why they want this information? It could be that they are asking because of the possibility that she was registered for council tax prior to moving in with you and they want to make sure any accounts are closed down, or that they want to link her to previous accounts. It might be the case that you have to tell them the truth, but firstly find out why. You might be able to get away with telling them that she lived outside of their area, or that she lived at an address where she wasn't liable.
  8. When you were issued with the summons you presumably had court costs added to your account as is standard, but from your post it doesn't appear as though you paid those; you just paid the two late instalments. If this is the case then that would be why your account still went to court - because the costs were still owing. I'm going off of the assumption that the summons was correctly issued, which it sounds as though it was because they obviously hadn't received payment when they issued it. You may have paid it the day before but it's likely that they wouldn't actually get that money for 2-3 working days and they would go off of the date they received the payment, not the date you sent it.
  9. I don't know if it's the estate or you who needs to pay. You asked if money needs to be paid - the answer to that is 'yes'. By whom I don't know.
  10. I presume you had a Class C exemption put on from the date it became unoccupied and unfurnished which has now expired? AFAIK yes they can insist you pay because that exemption has now ended and unless you fulfill requirements for any other exemptions the full charge applies.
  11. I don't know the rules on this so this might not be applicable, but if you were all renting your rooms seperately rather than the whole property jointly then the property is classed a HMO - house of multiple occupation - and as such the landlord is 100% responsible for the council tax, not the tenants. It may be worth enquiring about this because if this is the case then there might be a chance that you wouldn't be liable for this bill.
  12. No harm in asking them if you can directly pay it. It probably helps that you asked for the AoE. IIRC it's confidential that you have an AoE, if that's what you're worried about?
  13. Yes they should have picked this up. I'm not how it works in other councils, but at mine when an exemption is put on an end date is entered and a new bill issued on that date with the exemption removed. They will probably ask for the balance all at once but they should accept a payment plan and as long as it that is kept to she -shouldn't- have any big problems, however she needs to be aware that this will be a large amount of money to pay. The council cannot turn payments away as that doesn't help their case in the slightest. I'm not sure how quickly a liability order would be issued because I don't know whether this debt would just be added to the account and a LO issued when it hasn't been paid in a couple of months, or if it will go straight to LO because your friend should have contacted them about it. I strongly doubt she will go to prison. Prison is a last resort for people who refuse to pay; I don't think that's the situation here.
  14. 1 April might be the due date but the amount is applicable for the duration of the financial year and is worked out daily - it's not a one-off fee due in April. So, for example, if you live in a property for 3 months you are only actually liable for the charge for those 3 months and not the whole 12. I don't know how bankruptcy works with regards to writing off amounts so can't advise on that but the CT definitely covers the whole year.
  15. So, you moved out in February 2010 and the house was reposessed in September 2010. Do the council want the council tax for Feb-Sept 2010, or for Feb 2010-March 2011? I take it that when the house was reposessed it then officially becomes the bank's property and you are not the owner of it anymore?
  16. This is a similar situation to my council. Payment cards replaced payment books so people can still pay for free at shops and the Post Office but they "can't" pay at the council offices anymore because the cash office closed over six years ago. I say "can't" because people aren't supposed to but they still do and the ridiculous thing about making the decision to close it is that the council have to accept the payments because if that person's account then ends up in arrears the council have no leg to stand on. Unsurprisingly the decision to close it was made by higher ups who have no idea how that dept works and who are absolutely kidding themselves if they think that all their customers will pay by DD! If some of these higher ups won't even pay by DD how do they expect to convince the public to do it?! It would reduce work but not by a lot.
  17. You normally have about ten days from each instalment due date to make the payments before reminders are issued. You should have gotten a reminder notice for each late payment and a final notice before getting the summons so if you've not got that then you should query it with the council. Don't worry about bailiffs, they are used quite far down the recovery process and as long as you cooperate then the council will have no reason to use them. You have two options: 1- Pay the whole amount on the summons before the court date to avoid a liability order. However, you've said you can't afford this. 2- Let the debt go to court. All this means is that the council obtain a liability order which gives them additional recovery powers and consequently you don't have to attend. Once a liability order is in place you will be able to make a payment arrangement with them to pay the debt off. You can continue to make payments without an arrangement in place because they certainly won't turn them away. You will have two lots of costs added to your account - one for the summons and one for the court date. This arrangement will be slightly different to the previous one in that it's extra important to make sure payments are paid on the due date. Failure to do that means the council have the right to take the debt further and there's no reason for it to get that far. Try not to worry about it, it's not really a huge deal as this liability order won't affect your credit rating and as long as you comply and stick to your payment arrangement then they have no reason to involve bailiffs. All that talk on the summons is just designed to scare people into paying up.
  18. I agree. There's already a horrible cycle with more spending cuts equalling more job losses, hence more people on benefits, yet the govt want to reduce the amount paid out in benefit! - how's that going to work then!? And agreed on your point about voting - this will be my answer when I get nagged next election for not voting!
  19. Glad you got this resolved and I hope you don't have to come back (obviously meant in a good way!)
  20. A friend of mine recieved a "court summons" today for council tax unpaid from LAST MONTH! More information would be helpful here, such as when previous payments have been made, have any been late, have any previous reminders been received etc. The CT recovery system is based on late payments throughout the entire year, not per instalment. For example, if your friend paid late in April, June, October, and December then the council are right in issuing a summons. If she has only missed/been late in paying just December's CT then they are wrong in issuing this summons. It is my understanding that a reminder (usually two) and a final notice have to be issued before a summons can be applied. That's it, last bloody month and they#re saying over the phone that charges of one kind or another will apply even if the whole bill was paid off right now. Saying it will goto court anyway now and costs will incur etc. Court costs are applied, and are payable, for the issue of a summons. If the whole balance is not paid then it will go to court which incurs further costs, but if it's all paid before the court date it obviously won't go to court because there is no debt. Now excuse me but this seems afwul! She lives in a different council area to me and my council would never do this! Send out summons after one frickin month! It does sound odd I admit, but it depends on whether any other payments have been late within this financial year (April 2010 to March 2011). Firstly, how valid is this bullshyt of them sending out their own summons letters? I'm not sure what you mean here: are you asking if the council are allowed to issue summons themselves? If so, yes they are. I don't know of any organisation which deals with the CT accounts but not the summons. Secondly, theoretically, as the bill stands until the end of the tax year we all have to pay our council tax bill by March or April, some people pay in 3 or 4 big installements, some pay all off in one, most people like my friend who is a single parent with a part time job, pay monthly. So what right do they have to now charge the ENTIRE bill instead of just requesting that one month missed as arrears or whatever? CT is due at the beginning of every financial year and that entire balance is owed to the council on 1 April. However, most people cannot pay their bill in one go so the council give the right to pay by instalments. If the instalment plan is defaulted on then the council do have the right to chase the liable party/parties for the whole balance, because it is technically owed on 1 April. AFAIK they only can remove instalments if a summons has been issued. If the bill was paid off right now and it goes to court surely she can't be charged costs?????????? She is liable for paying the costs that were issued for the summons even if the bill is paid up before the court date. The only way she would not have to pay that amount is if the summons was incorrectly issued.
  21. I realise it's been months but I had forgotten about this thread - oops! I got a copy of my credit report and there was nothing about SEG on there at all which is all good and well. I'm just leaving it at that. I'm not responsible for the utitlities where I live now and will probably be a while before I am.
  22. Well, as I said, I don't know if that would make any difference. It could do, but I personally don't know if it would I'm afraid, hopefully someone else can answer that part better than I can. There are many aspects of CT which are unfair.
  23. Ok, if it was just unoccupied but still furnished then they should have reduced it by 10%, if it was both unoccupied and unfurnished then it would be exempt for 6 months meaning you pay nothing for that period. Did either of you ever live alone in the property? If you did then you were entitled to a 25% reduction for that period. Do you both still own the property? Or did you both own it until it was sold - neither of you bought the other out? Sorry that I can't answer all your questions, I hope it helps a bit nonetheless.
  24. Hi. The answer is yes, you - and only you - would be liable for the full balance of council tax at that property. If you are the only non-student in a house of students then you would get a 25% single occupancy discount because the other students are disregarded. You don't become exempt because you're unemployed; you would need to submit a housing and council tax benefit claim in order to get any further reduction. HB and CTB are means-tested so the amount you would be awarded depends on what money you have coming in and going out, and any savings - in light of this there is no guarantee that your unemployed status would give you full CTB. It will take a couple of weeks for your claim to be assessed and you are liable for the full amount (in your case the full balance minus 25%) of CT in the meantime. Anything you end up overpaying can be refunded.
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