Hello everyone at the CAG forum, this is my first post here.
I'm hoping to get some advice with Marston / Collectica after a bailiff visit today.
I wasn't home but they left a hand delivered Final Notice.
Let me give some more information;
I have a Further Steps Notice from London Collection and Compliance Centre dated 18th November, amount owed £580.
I did not open and read this letter until yesterday.
Around two weeks ago I received a Notice of Enforcement Distress Warrant from Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service, it stated the debt was £580 but now £660.
I did open and read this letter,
I thought it was due to a recent CCJ from an unsecured Vanquis debt from over 3 years ago.
Based on this thought,
I believed this was just a normal scare tactic letter taken to the next level
(bearing in mind at this point in time I had not opened or read the Further Steps Notice letter) with the belief that this was from an unsecured debt
I also believed that if anything they would just send a standard bailiff to which I could just politely refuse to open to door and ask to leave, having no vehicle or property outside that they could take.
The due date of this Distress warrant was 16/02/2017, 14 days after the issue date.
Today (well yesterday now) 17th Feb,
I arrived home to find the bailiff Final Notice letter, with an added fee of £235.
At this point I decided to reread the last letter I received, the Distress Warrant.
This is where I started to worry and have doubts that this was actually the debt from Vanquis.
I had a look around and found some unopened letters,
one of them was the Further Steps Notice.
Upon reading this I soon realized it was unlikely that this was the Vanquis debt.
Reading about deductions from my salary
(I work myself so don't think they could apply this?),
but more worrying 'issuing a warrant for your arrest'
surely Vanquis can't get a warrant for my arrest issued due to unpaid debt with them?
This must have come from the Magistrate's court?
I got thinking,
(I'm not sure exactly when, but now I'm guessing around April or just after)
I received a council tax letter out of the blue saying I owed £200 or £300 for unpaid council tax.
I live at my Mums house,
and for over 15 years the council tax has be debited from her bank every month.
I mentioned to her that I received a council tax bill in my name and she said it has always been in her name there must be a mistake, she said she will talk to them about it.
She has always paid the council tax and never missed a payment, it comes out of her account automatically.
We both thought it was strange a letter arrived in my name, she was adamant it should still be in her name and they must have sent it in error.
Unfortunately she forgot to call them to speak about it,
I think due to the fact she was sure it was just an error and still in her name,
also a very close family member became very ill and sadly passed away late last year.
I also forgot about it and did not remind her at anytime about it.
Since receiving that letter I have never received another letter from the council or anyone regarding any council tax bills/debts.
After all this thinking I call her and ask if she ever spoke to the council about the letter in my name and she doesn't remember it, and says its in her name always has been.
I ask if she can check her bank statements to make sure because I can't figure out what this debt is for, it can only possibly be due to this. She calls me back and is unhappy, the council stopped taking payments from her around April last year.
Now I am pretty sure this must be due to unpaid council tax,
even though I haven't received any other letters,
I know that unpaid council tax can go through the Magistrate's court and a warrant for arrest issued if it came to it, also that these bailiffs could actually enter my home.
After doing some research online I have read of people receiving the same letters but due to DVLA fines where someone has used their name and DOB.
Now I am not sure if it is council tax or something worse?
In the morning I plan to call bailiff on the mobile phone number he left on the Final Notice and ask him who the debt is from and hopefully find out if it is due to council tax or something else.
Also no one will be home now until Tuesday or Wednesday and I will let the bailiff know this and that as soon I get back we can sort the issue out.
Does he have to tell me who the debt is from, and is there anyway he can come back and enter the house whilst no one is home?
Obviously we are going to call the council first thing Monday to sort out the council tax problem,
we have no problem paying the back taxes that we owe,
and have only realized tonight that they stopped taking payment last year.
If this is due to council tax,
is there anyway we could contest the added fines/payments?
Neither of us received any other letters regarding council tax since the one last year in my name,
no other arrears or court letters until the Further Steps Notice.
If it turns out it is due to DVLA or something else what would be my next steps?
I have not received any parking tickets or traffic offences other than a parking ticket on 10th October from Civil Enforcement LTD which I contested and they sent me a Confirmation of Cancellation letter confirming it had been cancelled.
If its council tax there is no issue paying,
I can afford to pay it but I would rather not pay the excess as I did not receive any other letters about it.
In this case should I try to contest first then pay the council or courts directly, or pay the bailiff inc the excess and try to contest after?
I am now worried the bailiff will not tell me who the creditor is but just try to get me to pay,
then I will have to wait until Monday to contact the council or courts to find out.
Thanks for reading and any advice anyone can give.