Please could someone help clear the fog in my mind about this problem. My husband rec'd a letter on Friday (letter dated 23/09/10) from Rossendales regarding a LO from Dec 2005 concerning £56x.xx council tax. We have no memory of this LO, nor do we have any knowledge of this debt, although we did live in the property concerned at the time. I called the council concerned (we now live in a different area of the country) and the person I spoke to said that she could see no money outstanding from this period for either of us (the Council Tax changed from my husbands name to mine whilst at the property as we separated for a while) and that she would send me a statement of our account for the whole period that we lived there - I have not rec'd this yet. I also said that I would scan the Rossendales letter and send it to her so that the council could contact them and tell them that there is no debt. I duly sent the email with the scan attached.
This morning I have rec'd an email from the council informing me that they will not discuss this with me as I am not named on the LO (perfectly understandable - the woman I spoke to Friday probably shouldn't have discussed it with me either!) but that if I know my husbands whereabouts to inform him that he needs to discuss repayment of the debt with Rossendales. He has no knowledge of this debt and I was told Friday that there was no money outstanding.
OK - the letter from Rossendales is entitled 'Information Preliminary to Distress' so I assume this is their 'we're coming in 14 days' notification.
1. I am going to get my husband to call the council concerned today to find out what is going on there. Aside from 'do we owe this money', what else does he need to say to them? If we do owe it, which I doubt as I'm sure I wouldn't forget nearly £600, how do we get the council to take it back or can they refuse to take it back?
2. Depending on the answer above, if the council refuse to take it, should I send the letter in post #1 of the 'Council Tax and Baliffs' sticky to Rossendales?
3. If these people turn up at my door, can they place a levy on things they can see? Could they peek over the garden fence and levy the childrens bikes for instance?
4. Please someone tell me the best course of action. I know my husband needs to talk to the council first, but I'd really like to know the answers to the various scenarios too so that I am prepared for action!
I'm currently bouncing between indignation and panic (and wonder that I could forget a debt like this - even though I'm sure I haven't! I really have absolutely no recognition of this at all, although I admit that our finances were shot at the time and it's possible but still unlikely.)
Further to the above, my husband has now spoken to the council who say we DO owe this money. They say they cannot refuse a payment, but they also cannot agree a payment plan with us, they can only accept full outstanding payment. We do not have this - please can I have some help sorting this out? As we cannot pay the full amount, does a payment plan HAVE to be set up with rossendales or can we pay a token amount using the councils online facility and write to them suggesting an appropriate amount to pay (as per the letter mentioned above).
How on earth did I forget this and what else have I forgotten? Panic is now setting in regarding everything I have read about rossendales.