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thebeyond

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  1. if you still want more options & overview recommended is national debtline website plenty of factsheets download as pdf including all the formalities of sheriff officers & attachment Wasn't it widely reported quite recently that seizure for auction re council tax was banned in scotland? [like private vehicle clampers] national debtline, if you ring 'em or email, will have ALL the relevants
  2. "....would it be worth making an affordable but regular payment direct to Ross & Roberts via...." just a personal opinion, but no, absolutely not "why talk to the monkey [about peanuts] when you can talk to the organ grinder?" there is nothing to gain by dealing with the bay leaves but plenty of potential for loss given the vulnerable status marked by benefits type, this case ought be taken back by the council immediately & considered for a vulnerability waiver ANY failure on the part of pompeii council to do this is grounds for a service complaint to the council lastly, echoing previous comments, despatch letters using royal mail recorded delivery [& keep a proper diary of your interactions - when each letter arrived etc] further good reference on bay leaves & all sorts available as factsheet pdf downloads from national debtline website
  3. please excuse brevity of reply [limited time to spend online] still dealing with the bayleaves? there's a standard bit of advice offered by a regular cagger fork-it which may be found on Brumgal's thread [page2 of threads at time of writing - would cut & paste it but I'm too junior to post links] to get a council's local tax services office to call off their bayleaves [compelling evidence....14 day notice....regulations] another option is firing into the council's complaints process [see their website for how] As you did not receive notice prior to the hearing which ordered the liability you have grounds for a service complaint as this is not a level of service consistent with the council's statutory aspirational obligations. Complaints is typically multistage this 1st complaint they would dismiss ["the documents were sent to your "usual" address & so court would consider them appropriately served"] BUT this is all just to get the case pulled back from the bayleaves so the 1st is sent Royal Mail Recorded Delivery & you use the track'n'trace facility on the royal mail website to find out When the council received it after they dismiss your 1st stage complaint you have about 4 weeks to make a second stage complaint BETWEEN THEM RECEIVING YOUR 1st STAGE COMPLAINT, and your deadline for your second stage complaint they ought not communicate with you at all [because the complaints process assumes priority] any such communication effectively deprives your of your statutory right to [about 4 weeks] time to prepare a considered response to their 1st stage dismissal your second stage complaint is a fine time to complain about this deprivation and anything else you can shoehorn in, INCLUDING proposals to pay the council their bill in installments to suit you with no more truck with bayleaves ["why talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ grinder?"] good luck - do check out the other threads [modesty forbids but mine is here somewhere] & good studies!
  4. [brassneck? like the wedding present song? great on 45rpm -pass the strobes!] yeah, thanks for your contribution, though cynically, perhaps not a fish to fry hereabouts although the present incumbents do not share their political quorate, or necessarily their "political capitol investment" policy, with the brainiacs who dreamt up this abortion hopefully, these companies weak link may turn out to be their data structures data protect/FOI? No! If these companies are using PRIVILEGED information from one division, to inform their annual KPIs [key performance indicators....yawn] &/or the recontract bids for another then that might be yer actual insider trading criminal companies using the "rock the boat gently" tactic of avoiding implication of fraud [same intent, note] by messing customers & suppliers around so they can claim to teechur that "they started it" that'd be a yankee kinda n-ronny practice, no? [ie maybe a yank software, bought off-the-shelf by these "public service provision" companies, without really challenging the prevailing [un-]wisdom that they'd "port" adequately to our judicial code, with the companies basically under the thumb of the then-incumbents - except they never did like sucking up to yanks - o...umm...actually] be terrible if the real profiteers ran into RICO predicates, got their whole game declared a criminal enterprise, & had to hand back the keys to the place in malibu AND the place in west palm beach
  5. just quick note to concur with ting&dx Bay-leaves? - "why talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ grinder" Yeah, local taxation services offices tend to be lightly undereducated "computer says no" operations but get 'em to sign for a royal mail recorded delivery letter, and because anyone can find out WHEN they DID receive it [using the track & trace no. & the royal mail website] & you have effectively the crown as witness to the receipt, any of their subsequent whacky "rock the boat gently" tactics can seem pretty lame when you hit the council's [maybe 2nd stage of multistage] complaint process
  6. This opinion is that Council tax liability orders (CTLOs) are INHERENTLY & FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED [see below] but that these flaws must have been anticipated during the preparation of the legislation and a few ameliorations applied, knowing that in fullness of time evidence might accumulate suggesting that EITHER those flaws would manifest OR [against all reasonable expectations] CTLOs would work out fine in practice as instruments of ultimate sanction for local tax. argument summary - Failings in practice Policy flaws naturally might be expected to lead to untoward consequences in practice, & almost a decade of such practice testing the model HAS NOT PROVIDED ANY LACK of untoward consequence, results which have been anecdotally sampled, repeatedly, in this subforum :- Courts do [and politicians ought] be aware that amongst our population many individuals run into a phase of their lives classable as "disparate" [so, less well-organised, a bit chaotic, things slip, "itinerant" if you will even][classic causes bereavement, health crisis, job loss, retirement, release from armed services, breakdown of long-term relationship, leaving care system etc etc]. These folk are temporarily disadvantaged by vulnerability - in 2 years or 5 they will be fine; good neighbours, virtuous citizens, blameless bourgeouisie once more. They are not necessarily truly suitable candidates for £100s or £1000s of court-ordered personal liability -(in the traditional pre-CTLO sense)- because of vulnerability. Of the CTLOs determined in absentia without notice of hearing ACTUALLY received by such individuals, in the practice of CTLOs since inception, what estimate might be made of how many might not have been determined to be liabilities, had the court got to hear representation from both parties [council & individual]? It is not unfair or unreasonable to judge local taxation service offices by the standard of the service they offer the 10% of households of the "bottom of the food chain". fundamental flaw Council tax policy, of which ultimate sanction is a "sub-policy", is founded in the notion of promoting accountability of local government to its local electorate, but because the CTLO is a power prescribed onto it, local governments exercise of it is to act as a functionary only, doing the bidding of their higher authority, and each instance of the exercise of the power effectively steepens the power gradient between national and local government, as the risks from the "inherent" flaw (see below) only increment with each case. [a more "power-gradient-neutral" option, suggested only for illustrative purposes, could be remitting all ultimate sanction" cases to the inland revenue, for disposal at their discretion - although a council would still be only a "functionary", it would not carry the same risk [of being hoist by their own liability order]] All mainstream political movements hereabouts understand the realpolitik that without determined vigilant effort [& investment of "political capital"], power tends to flow from subordinate to higher authority, and as such continuously promote decentralisation. Because the ultimate sanction sub-policy pulls in the opposite direction to the broad intention of the council tax "umbrella" policy, CTLOs are anti-(local)-democratic. inherent flaw This is inherited from characteristics of liability law, as developed over centuries of common law; some novices may find liability's potential for "reversal" and "snowballing" superficially counter-intuitive - those with more familiarity will be conversant with the concepts. The potential for reversal and snowballing constitutes a risk in pursuing liability actions, and each instance of a local authority being granted a CTLO increments the probability that some local authority will have to be bailed out by national government, having found themselves on the wrong end of a significant reversed and snowballed case or group of cases. This increase in probability is the basis of the steepening of power gradient, noted above. Because some CTLOs will be obtained in absentia without notice of hearing ACTUALLY received, the more usual risk-reward-consideration-profile of liability action is skewed, undermining the reward for higher risk. Liability law is not a good fit for local taxation ultimate sanction; CTLOs, as the relative innovation compared to established common law, ought now to be scrapped. Contortions made to facilitate the marriage, including exempting CTLOs from the conventional fixed term liability did not, ultimately, improve the fit enough to make CTLOs a suitable tool for the job. inappropriate incentive swap Common law inherently (and wisely) disincentivises litigation, as well as being litigated against (the wisdom is to prevent nuisance and other malicious suits, and encourage dispute resolution by more cost-effective methods when appropriate). However, since CTLO is a matter of prescriptive legislation, this disincentive is effectively removed. One incentive which does exist, however, is to "dispose of" as many of the "lowest rent" debts as possible - a larger debt counts as a sweeter asset to hold, and a smaller one carries a lower "snowball" risk, starting as a smaller snowball. This incentive swap, then, provides mechanistic impetus to disproportionately penalise poorer households. Summary This argument suggests that the last 10 years have not shown CTLOs to be a [surprisingly] appropriate instrument of local tax ultimate sanction. The evidence of the practice of CTLOs, when understood in context of the clash of principles involved [ie the urge to dispense "social justice" v the need for determined decentralisation] is enough, now, to warrant their decommission - no fanfare necessary no tears shed
  7. Hi - assuming that neither of you heard anything from the local taxation services PRIOR to their application for a council tax liability order [CTLO] there is standard advice that a frequent cagger fork-it repeats [bit I can't cos I'm still too junior to include the link - but you can browse these threads & find it compelling evidence....regulation sections etc] now the above means will not necessarily retract the CTLO, but may well suspend enforcement action, pending a mutually agreeable installment plan to which I'll just add that.... bailifs? "Why talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ grinder?" - deal with the local taxation services, for preference, there is nothing to gain from talking to bailiffs, plenty of potential for loss full details of bailiff relations requirements can be pdf downloaded as factsheets from national debtline website oft recommended amongst these threads is online payment facilities - personally I prefer to conduct all negotiations with Royal Mail Recorded Delivery [the track & trace prevents them from claiming to never have got the letter] you are urged to keep a full diary of events; recent experiences suggest that the council's [usually multistage] complaints process [[the first stage is "in-house" at the local taxations services office, so they might dismiss a first service complaint - but actual councils do like as much detail as you can provide about shortfalls from the service levels of both their necessary & aspirational statutory obligations, that their local taxation services office dishes out - so keep complaining and give the council as much tactical option as possible for them to bring their agents to heel] is not unresponsive if approached appropriately [examples of correspondence will be found scattered through my postings on other threads] because of the 1999 the CTLO is indeed statutorily exempt from the standard 6 year liability limit [for now - depending on how huge their claim is [100s or 1000s] it might be worth you considering kicking to the long grass [ie 100s just settle - 1000s offer a repayment rate so slow as to be virtually insulting - that is the long grass option] in case council tax ultimate sanction gets reviewed in light of 10 years actual dire performance of CTLOs in the ongoing local government bill]
  8. [trying to be brief] interesting xls document however, this opinion is that council tax liability orders [CTLO] number is some whacky multi-order cumulative [those 20-30% numbers might require some 24hr drive-through court with a number of octopoid magistrates rubber-stamping like crazy] columns 22/23, linked to eligible households & net collectable tax would seem to deliver a route to an "order of magnitude", "fuzzy logic" esque idea of the kind of numbers your FOI request seems after headline figure - about 90% council tax is fuss free specific figures Bham 07/8 94%ish [300,000 households], [bailiff seizure events 22] [control group sunderlan+rotheram+wirral+harrow+hammersmith 07/8 , 96%ish, c.500,000 households, bailif seizure events 23] so....? well, no more than 4% bham [6% control group] LIKELY to be from CTLOs then it'd be a crazy old local authority who let the number of CTLOs in a year exceed massively the bailiff seizures for that year [ie context is 22] [they are RIGHTLY cautious, & this would be a reasonable approach to not store up TOO MUCH mess they will have to sort out in the following years] trying to answer your question maybe rarely less than 2 CTLOs, rarely more than 15 per quarter of bham [300,000 households] your agenda is then [read between lines] that the scheme is NOT COST EFFECTIVE [which of course it IS NOT] say, a busy old time one year prompts a 2% increment in bham CT take by means of CT liability orders is that about £10 grand [3% of control group £27grand] [check these -working from memory,here] if you could lose one staff member from bham local taxation services by ditching CTLOs wholesale, then that's the UNECONOMICALITY argument made, isn't it? FIO request is fine tactic; obvious strategy is to aim at informing the local government bill, currently under deliberation someplace; the first policy batch is about "presumption of competence" & local gov tax seems a perfectly valid policy area for their consideration, and about a decade of CTLOs seems not unreasonable a moment to review & reform if necessary[ha!] this opinion that CTLOs are INHERENTLY & FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED [& intend to explain in detail in own thread in a few days] [wrong root & branch; naturally uneconomic, & poor in most ways, as a natural consequence of this flawedness] argument summary - the policy flaws naturally might be expected to lead to untoward consequences in practice, & almost a decade of such practice testing the model HAS NOT PROVIDED ANY LACK of untoward consequence results which have been anecdotally sampled, repeatedly, in this subforum courts do [& politicians ought] be aware that amongst our population many individuals run into a phase of their lives classable as "disparate" [so, less well-organised, a bit chaotic, things slip, "itinerant" if you will even][classic causes bereavement, jobloss, retirement, release from armed services, breakdown of long-term relationship, leaving care system etc etc] these folk are temporarily disadvantaged by vulnerability in 2 years or 5 they'll be fine; good neighbours, virtuous citizens, blameless bourgeouisie once more they are not necessarily truly suitable candidates for £100s or £1000s of court-ordered personal liability (in the traditional pre-CTLO sense)- because of vulnerability - of the CTLOs determined in absentia without notice of hearing ACTUALLY received by such individuals, in the practice of CTLOs since inception, what estimate might be made of how many might not have been determined to be liabilities, had the court got to hear representation from both parties [council & individual]? [do bear in mind that actual pathological liars in the clinical sense are MASSIVELY rare; estimate 0.0001 -0.001% population might be TOO HIGH - & affluent ones even rarer] will leave it here, pending conclusion essay on thebeyond thread [WON!?cautiously, it seems not unlikely] except it is not unfair or unreasonable to judge local taxation service offices by the standard of the service they offer the 10% of households of the "bottom of the food chain" -that they have "compliance test"ed their software for the benefit of the "happy majority" is not enough - it must be "destruction test"ed [to avoid inappropriate misery to the downtrodden marginalised minority]too! [by now their former software testers might be busy maximising the lethality of the new nhs IT system, y'know?]
  9. 2nd stage complaint broadly accepted by head of service their opinion to not proceed overjoyed? cautiously so shocked?yes happy? don't make me laugh still plenty of potential for undeserved distress for disadvantaged/vulnerable folks so plenty of detail to follow -will post within a week
  10. visit national debtline website download & digest bailiff factsheets -will tell you exactly what they can & cannot do could also ring them, if you want - daresay they will help [in my amateur opinion, £20 sounds very fair - however do they know you are on benefits, yet? [you can use an expression such as " this household presently only enjoys a minimal benefit level income" to leave you some ambiguity elbow room] if they do know you're on benefits, what they will want is £8 per week, more or less- my amateur advice -pay them nothing until you secure their agreement & negotiate monthly figure upwards only VERY slowly eg next offer £21.45 per month - maybe squeeze in a "this household is always keen to service outstanding obligations" - ambiguous about whether you have other debts, you see? might give them pause, in case, if they squeeze you too hard, you'll go bankrupt be prepared to waste MONTHS negotiating a monthly figure & INSIST on them sending you receipts acknowledging each payment [i advise paying postally, & conducting negotiations by royal mail recorded delivery - keeping your paper trail straight & "ducks in a row", as potential supporting evidence, for the [extremely unlikely & best avoided] event that you have to explain your actions to, say, a court] -good luck
  11. that is the question I was trying to answer when I wrote that it would be difficult to dispute I am not saying that it is fair Magistrate's courts liability orders for council tax were introduced in 2002 [i think] Many of the threads in this forum are about instances like yours and mine where no advance notice of the magistrate's hearing is received -the magistrate is bound by the council tax liability order rules and will have had to see enough evidence to persuade them that you ARE a suitable candidate for them to determine you to be "liable" and order the liability if you [or I, or the other thread-authors] HAD received the 14 day notice we might then have made a representation at the hearing [eg a reasonable offer, or more information] and the liability might have not been ordered [what evidence was considered? hard to say, they are, reasonably enough, evasive about their information collection - but ANY information you give to ANY council, say, when filling in an application for housing, detailing previous addresses, is one possible source - that you sign "to the best of your recollection", and the court takes this as gospel, without you present to explain more detail, might not be fair - I do not consider it fair, but that is just my [amateur] opinion - the magistrate's opinion is the one that counts, and "fairness" is not their primary business, their rules are; fairness is judged by the people, in the parliamentary elections to hire or fire the law-makers] the council tax service [still at Croydon?] MIGHT listen to your pleas, but please do not hold your breath - they have a magistrate's liability order & making mincemeat out of people's lives this way is something they do, week in, week out the council complaints process is multistage, however, typically the 3rd complaint, assuming you are not happy/satisfied by the responses to the 1st 2, is to actual council employees, independent of the local taxation services company - but still that liability order is likely to be very persuasive [additionally it is Southwark council, & I can only scream "eeeeek!" one night, between the old kent rd & the river I saw a fox running, followed by a dog, followed by a bicycle! no joke, illegal urban fox hunting - no-one in the council knew? what do you think? - an area best avoided by anyone with the option, I suggest] At any point you can try referring the matter to the local government ombudsman [will not reflect badly on you], who are based at Coventry - they will log the complaint, give you a case number, but are unlikely to go further until you have exhausted the council's own multistage complaints process I hope this information helps - sorry to not have better news summarising - the magistrate saw enough, and did what the rules dictate my [amateur] advice is to get a plan stop the bailiff nonsense make a careful diary of what happens, do your research, & play for time [there is a local government bill going through parliament now, and it is POSSIBLE, that this might resolve matters in our favour] [of course, if you are rich, you could just hire a lawyer, and do us all a favour, by testing this [in my amateur opinion] DREADFUL set of laws in a court, magistrate's & higher] do research "vulnerability" - in certain circumstances even just being unemployed can count as being vulnerable, and the council CAN [i don't say they will] waive the debt, and release the ordered liability, say, on grounds of hardship p.s. in a council's multistage complaints process, your, say, 2nd complaint, is based on not being satisfied with the response to the 1st, but need not be ONLY a repetition of the 1st complaint - more & better grounds might reveal themselves to you as the process unfolds - for example, if bailiffs send you a letter AFTER the council have received your complaint, then you can include this as an "aggravating factor" in subsequent appeals to complaints process stages
  12. nothing to gain by signing anything for bailiffs or having anything to do with them -plenty to lose by signing the bad news is disputing a magistrate's liability order for council tax [is designed to be &] may be difficult however you might swiftly get the order recalled by the council from the bailiffs as follows did you get a letter warning you the liability order hearing was about to happen? [known as a 14 day notice] If not you do have grounds for a service complaint to the local taxation services "This service user did not receive the 14 day notice. While accepting the local taxation services may have met their minimum statutory obligation in this regard, that this service user in this instance did not receive such advance notice, nor had any opportunity to reach settlement at that stage, represents a shortfall from the standards of the council's aspirational statutory obligations, inasmuch as they would prefer to provide service users with such advance notice prior to litigation. Kindly ensure further enforcement activity is suspended pending resolution of this complaint, which would be facilitated by recalling the debt from enforcement." send Royal Mail recorded delivery - keep the track n trace number then if [when!] you get another bailiffs threat - try to laugh - not easy I know - you have grounds for the next complaint stage this is basically a "kick to the long grass" - the complaints process is multistage & gives you breathing space to discover your options [very many] & get a plan without being under imminent threat check out the national debtline website, download all the factsheets you want lots of facts, lots of options - your best hope to clear it may be some kind of vulnerability waiver - got vulnerability? [citizens advice bureau can give details - or just a few threads down is a cag response with good stuff] Q. Date of the liability order? [me being nosy] although it is a factor - do check out my thread if you have the time if, after considering your options, you decide to settle, my advice is to negotiate tough start offer at £5 per month, & only get haggled upwards a little [one of the private companies involved is capita, they collect tv licence, & the installment plan for tvl is £12 per month so they're geared for such a low repayment rate] pay by post, after the council agree to provide receipts, by post, to acknowledge each installment [see my own thread for how this works out] my advice is based on an ongoing dispute - I hit a council with a stage 1 complaint - they recalled the debt from bailiffs good luck
  13. Also agree with hallowitch - nothing to gain by signing anything for a bailiff, or having anything to do with them -plenty to lose by signing Not sure from your 1st post - did you get a letter warning you the liability order hearing was about to happen? [known as a 14 day notice] If not you do have grounds for a service complaint to the local taxation services "This service user did not receive the 14 day notice. While accepting the local taxation services may have met their minimum statutory obligation in this regard, that this service user in this instance did not receive such advance notice, nor had any opportunity to reach settlement at that stage, represents a shortfall from the standards of the council's aspirational statutory obligations, inasmuch as they would prefer to provide service users with such advance notice prior to litigation. Kindly ensure further enforcement activity is suspended pending resolution of this complaint, which would be facilitated by recalling the debt from enforcement." send Royal Mail recorded delivery - keep the track n trace number then if you get another bailiff threat - try to laugh - not easy I know - you have grounds for the next complaint stage this is basically a "kick to the long grass" - the complaints process is multistage & gives you breathing space to discover your options [very many] & get a plan [which doesn't involve paying any more than the liability order specifies] without being under imminent threat You don't dispute the occupation? Good, check out the national debtline website, download all the factsheets you want Q. Date of the liability order? [me being nosy] although it is a factor - do check out my thread if you have the time my advice is based on an ongoing dispute - I hit a council with a stage 1 complaint - they recalled the debt from....Equita Good luck, good hunting [get some sleep!]
  14. not posting the full letter [stage 2 complaint] just the tasty bits "skirting renunciation" renunciation is one of the means by which a liability can be released - in contrast to plain unequivocal release, a "wall of renunciation" need not have any individual "brick" - an individual act or statement, be unambiguous "renunciation" does need 1. objective evincement of the intention to terminate 2. subjective conviction by the recipient that the termination is clear and absolute "skirting" as in skirting the edge of a frozen pond - until foot plunges into cold water, "renunciation" has not happened this is a dubious & toxic tactic in the private sector - one might skirt renunciation to prompt another party to terminate, in order to later claim that termination to be premature, and launch proceedings on this basis it's only a putative explanation for my experience, so any alternatives would be considered dubious & toxic in private sector - a virtual civil "entrapment" in the public sector, I think did they know? not necessarily - probably not too far from the truth to characterise these programs as akin to an off-the-shelf franchise purchase [think call-centre "script"] - & if designed in the states, where prejudice-light bankrupcy is the norm - that just about bags the squonk renunciation? sk shipping vs petroexport 2009 [maybe some helpful cagger'll post the link - i can't cos i'm too junior a poster -apparently]
  15. How weird Not unusual in case of shortfall of national insurance contributions [say a spell abroad, or a gap of some months in neither PAYE employment nor benefits] for the hmrc to simply write and inform, making it clear it is in no way a final demand -basically "you may want to sort this out before you hit 65 or your state pension will be reduced". £200 = about 8 or 9 months....ring any bells? HMRC, would seem a reasonable 1st port of call to ask what gives
  16. assuming you're in england see national debtline website look in that 1st drop down menu for plenty of solid data [national debtline do separate sections for scotland, n.ireland] not a big fan of liability orders for council tax off top of head, it would help, bizarrely, if they had another debt - if the council tax bill straddles 2 council tax years THIS COUNTS as 2 debts Then they're not unlikely to qualify to repay using an administration order [or perhaps a "debt arrangement scheme"..or is that only north o' the border? I can't recall but will look it up, during this week & post to you if it's relevant] see national debtline website which might mean no charges, bailiff or otherwise Poll tax? do you mean real old-time polltax, or are you sarcastically referring to council tax? There is a statute which exempts council tax liabilities from the standard english 6 year liability limit, but never heard of one about poll tax [in scotland such a polltax action could well happen as the liability limit in 30 years!] Of course, it is worth examining the case to see if there is a viable service complaint which could be flung at the council [are they vulnerable by way of infirmity, young family, would be due another kind of waiver....see CAB website ] good luck, & there will be a posting in the next couple of days on my own thread on my own latest adventures exposing, arguably, evidence not entirely unsuggestive of practices in the local taxation services sector which, while dubious, may be acceptable of the private sector but quite probably will prove entirely unacceptable of the public sector IMPORTANT - if they [decide to] hurry and settle, say, paying the bailiffs [in an administration order the monies go via an intermediary - you must take care with bailiffs & vitally DON'T SIGN ANYTHING A BAILIFF TRIES TO GET YOU TO SIGN ! you will have your plan of action soon enough for them] it is strongly recommended that you demand receipts - and, of course, don't be cheap but use plenty of royal mail recorded delivery, & keep those track n trace numbers Incidentally, if the 1st heard of a liability order is when it already exists, then you didn't receive the statutory 14 day notice they have to send [ha!] before the hearing - this is grounds itself for a service complaint to the council - although a pretty lame one, it will get the ball rolling, and you can demand they stop the bailiffs enforcement program while the complaint continues so, such a service complaint would be that "while it is recognised that the council may have met their statutory obligation concerning the 14 day notice before a liability order hearing, they only did so minimally, and as in this instance the service user did not receive this 14 day notice, there is a shortfall between the standard of service received by the service user, and the standard of service the council would prefer to provide, as aspired to by the council's statutory obligations" or something - this buys maybe 4 weeks breathing space to build a proper 2nd stage complaint, if you have one [hint, you may have one]
  17. good show! good luck! my own recent experience is that 1 more bailiffs letter came to me dated 3 days after the council received the step1 complaint [remember royal mail recorded delivery] - no more since -just a heads up, not a cause for panic if you gotta go to step2 more bailiffmail really deserves its own separate, but linked, service sub-complaint [& might boost any ultimate payout]
  18. update - wish it were a surprise that Southampton Local taxation services rejected the first complaint now [whew] got about 3 weeks to get step2 letter together [the first was a bit hurried] thinking multiple service complaint -14 day notice not received prior to L.O. - bailiffs sent 2nd letter 3 days after council received 1st complaint step [bless you royal mail recorded delivery] classing both as "falling short of the standards of the council's aspirational statutory obligations" plus of course the main issue that the liability was discharged - assessing that is the only way that the letter in question may be read as unequivocal ; their line on how to stretch to read it is that "the receipts [for payments to service the liability order] had to stop because they were no longer viewing me as a target to be potentially "held to be liable" for CT subsequent to the date of the liability order So my read is of an actual liability, their claim is of some possible potential liability, [which possibility of course is now dismissed] Step2 complaint wants to suggest, i guess, that either [eg mistakenly] discharging or equivocally not discharging ought to weirdly add up to a definitive discharge, as equivocal language "falls short of the standards of a councils necessary statutory obligations"; serious stuff, as a state agency's use of legally precise language is an essential to prevent state abusing the individual [say by flim flamming pseudo legalise in flimsy post hoc rationalisations] Any comments much appreciated will try to post letter here for comment before sending [royal mail recorded delivery....aww you guessed] also considering roping in national debtline re cross-border enforcement
  19. So this letter I'm not sending yet -if the complaint is rejected 1st phase & I decide to pursue my dispute AND I'm still getting beastly bailiff letters THEN I may consider sending it to the bailiffs WITH ADDRESS ONLY skipping my name & definitely unsigned [not meaning to serve the bailifs, only to close them into a dance-of-death, kinda, with local taxation services - drawing a line under any "its their fault""no its theirs" nonsense of their part/s[?] - just a value bet - for the poker fans out there] [beware - this contains a long complex sentence - don't have a brain-melt - if a court could understand it what chance that "professionals" using court processes NOT understanding it might be actual negligence?] ... deep breaths, here goes.... This letter is not, and ought not be read as, concession or implication of any liability whatsoever on the part of the sender. Re: liability order to which you refer concerning council tax for {REDACTED HERE}Your attention is drawn to the following quoted correspondence from Southampton city council local taxation services, dated prior to your involvement; "Unfortunately, I am unable to issue any further payment slips as your liability for the council tax in Southampton has ceased." This appears to plainly and unequivocally discharge the liability ordered by the magistrate. If you have been, or may have been, improperly involved, and/or deprived of prompt disclosure, pertinent to change to the involvement, with reasoning, it is arguable whether or not this falls far enough below the standards of Southampton city council's statutory obligation so as to constitute corporate negligence on their part, but currently your approaches are neither welcome nor helpful, so you are hereby requested to fairly and reasonably stop your relevant procedures without fail, pending a final dispute resolution outcome of current and ongoing Southampton city council complaints processes, and disclose this, or return the case to the council and disclose this, or disclose why you do neither.
  20. The council service enjoyed ought not be unreasonably diminished for special circumstances, such as particular vulnerability. {{whoops -apologies -my bad replace former with latter }}
  21. here's the kinda complaints letter you might try - tailor it a little to fit your case & run it by citizens advice bureau, if you want -they might err on the side of not getting your hopes up, but might ok it Of course, either just to the relevant local taxation services office, or a copy to Local Government Ombudsman too, with courtesy trimmings One letter or two, such correspondence ought to be sent Royal Mail Recorded Delivery [& keep the track n trace numbers] Square brackets from now on is my commentary & ought to be removed during tailoring the template to your case...good luck .... .... It is understood that the Local Taxation Services office complied with the minimal 14 day notice requirement, but combined with the 9 year delay, the notification received [date], failed to convey the seriousness of the notice, when received by someone vulnerable by way of a pre-existing chronic [?chronic/acute/long-term.... - whatever diagnosis you've got -as vague as possible- or -back one concept -"vulnerable by way of...."something else, of course] condition. The council service enjoyed ought not be unreasonable diminished for special circumstances, such as particular vulnerability. It would seem a minimal few bureaucratic tasks may achieve a significant compensation to redress the underservice suffered by this vulnerable user, back towards the standards enjoyed by the less vulnerable. Please initiate an appropriate complaint procedure, if possible starting by either recalling the case from the bailiffs or diclosing to them immediately of this special circumstances complaint and requesting them to immediately cease related actions in the interim pending final resolution to complaints processes and diclose to this service user promptly which, or why neither, is done. For the resolution of this complaint, help is needed to arrange hardship waiver [ of course any waiver grounds you can crowbar your case into], or other means to discharge the liability.
  22. once there is a liability order, my own recent experience suggests Local Taxation Services [not unusually private subcontractors] & their bailiff chums tend to take a literal - the function of this document as it pertains to us- approach, with little regard to any real-world implications while the 6year limit may not statutorily apply to council tax, my own experience suggests that they do not want to test this in a court [see my own thread] the final notice -well, they would say that, wouldn't they if you can hold back from dealing the bailiffs for a while do engage the council's complaints process - not unusually multi-stage but because, say, the first 2 stages of complaint will be in house ie within the local taxation services office it is possible no actual council employee will know of your plight [or what their local taxation services drones are up to in their name] my advice is to indulge in a little premature complaint to the ombudsman in coventry simultaneously so, get your complaint letter together [flag a main issue of complaint + a couple of aggravating factors] send recorded delivery to council tax bods, then next day send copy with note that council complaint has been engaged, you're awaiting a reply, but its not overdue yet to the local government ombudsman in coventry, again recorded delivery the ombie will write back telling you that you're premature, outline a bunch of options for the future, and forward a copy of your complaint to the council, but hopefully to the council's own employees, in corporate complaints whatever - not just to the private company running the council tax milking shed I'll post a letter in my own thread sometime next couple of days which might help with the bailiffs yes it'd be nice to dispute it but better for you to have no further truck with bailiffs, right? if you can get it back from the bailiffs to the council &/or have to settle then insist on making any payments by post, and insist on receiving a receipt by post in response to each installment or them telling you why you cannot [get receipts by post] that was the rigmarole that seemed to trigger my six year limit [receipt books for handwritten receipts are pretty thoroughly audited, I guess]
  23. Hi & can anyone help 07-2006 Southampton City Council informed me of a liability order from Southampton magistrates granted 11-04 re 13 months council tax - from 2003-4 I hadn't stayed 13 months, but arranged to pay £12 per month from 2007 to late last year my payments flowed by post, with Southampton Local Taxation services sending me a receipt ~[later payment slips] in response to each installment then the payment slips stopped, late last year, [about half the principle paid off] I paraphrase "Oi" says I "make with the receipts" in case it was a mistake or whatever So then Southampton Local Taxation Services write back saying the payment slips cannot be sent.... because.... "your liability for council tax in Southampton has ceased." [6 years ish after magistrates liability order established][& is the only liability known of] doesn't this letter plainly & unequivocally discharge the liability? Complaint has started with the Southampton local taxation services office but Equita are sending mean letters, threatening property seizure, etc [household has now & has only had minimum benefit level income since 2004] Another complication is I'm now in Scotland So, will a company of sheriff's officers write to me separately before they force entry? What would really be appreciated is any reason-set for why the noted phrase "your liability for council tax in Southampton has ceased." might NOT be a discharge of the liability [am I misapprehending liability law?] Any advice would be much appreciated
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