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  1. Hello there, I have recently been away from my rented flat as I have been looking after a very ill family member. It was very stupid of me, but I never gave paying my council tax any thought. I have been out of a job for awhile, and have only just started to apply for benefits. When I returned to my property, I was greeted with a lovely notice of enforcement letter from Marstons Holdings, stating I had until the 10th April to pay. Well I did not get back to the property till the 12th. I have tried to contact Marstons directly, having no help whatsoever. I have contacted the council recovery team at Leeds City Council, and they have put my account on hold for 14 days. My question is does this stop the bailiffs from being able to attend my property for 14 days also? If not, has anyone else had dealings with Marstons, and how long did it take for them to attend your property after the due date on the notice of enforcement letter? Thank you for taking the time to read my dilemma. I look forward to reading your responses!
  2. Hi all, I have had a Notice of Enforcement from Bristow and Sutor claiming that I owe them something in the region of £65 + £75 compliance fee for a Council Tax Debt that I apparently have from an old property that I rented. I always paid by DD and only cancelled the DD after seeing that no payments had gone out for a while, therefore I believed that I was discharged of any responsibilities. Fast-forward a year and I receive a Notice of Enforcement dated 23/8/17 claiming the above figures and that this has been through the courts. How would you suggest that I proceed? If there is a genuine debt, I have no problem with paying it, however, as I had no court papers and no knowledge of this debt then I would really find it difficult to justify any fees. Many thanks.
  3. Can someone please tell me how the Council Tax Benefits are worked out when a person earns more than usual for 1 month ? It used to be the case where they had to wait 2 consecutive months before making any changes to the benefit award . Is this still the case or has it changed ? Also if a person works for a full month but doesn’t get paid until the 15th of the following month do they go by the ‘ full months ‘ wage when working this out or do they work it out between the 15th of one month to the 15th of the next ? My Son who is a “ non-dependant “ forwards his wage slips every month to the benefits . In April he happened to earn more than usual and in May his wage went back to normal . I have just had a CT bill to pay more from the 1st April to the 5th June . Yes that’s right June, even though his wages went back to normal in the May & his top line was even less in the June. In fact the first 5 days of June he was only at work 1 night the other 4 were nights off . I tried ringing them about it and the woman on the other end said that they worked it out between 15th to the 15th , even though they have his Monthly wage slips which start on the first day of the Month to the last day . This still doesn’t make sense because this extra payment starts on the 1st April and not 15th . When I questioned this she hung up on me !!! I can’t seem to get an explanation from anyone. I’ve tried emailing with facts and figures and still no response . They don’t even send an extra sheet of paper anymore with the main bill explaining the new amount or the reason why . It seems to be a case of like it or lump it . Any help appreciated , thanks.
  4. Dear forum, I've been recently receiving summary warrant letters (one of them has been handed-in in person) from Scott&Co sheriffs claiming I owe over £1300 in Council Tax. This is amount that would cover more than 12 months CT for the property I've been staying in for just 4 months! The truth is, I haven't paid (I'm the sole person responsible for CT) CT because I work too few hours and can't get any benefits as I'm non-UK (I don't even pay the rent right now due to lack of sensible income, got a very understanding LL). I've looked through posts on the forum but it's not very clear to me what course of action would be best: a/ Should I ask Scott&Co to prove I owe the debt of £1300 and if I do (which is not true, it's much smaller amount), what is the amount and have them explain what the summary warrant is and why did they issue one. After all, I haven't been summoned to the court? b/ Ask the City Council if they'd consider writing my current CT debt off? c/ Or, should I pursue, at the same time, a and b options? It would be great if someone could point me to the relevant templates - again, I have looked through the forum but couldn't locate the right templates apart from a template asking City Council to write off the debt. Thanks, K.
  5. Good afternoon, Hopefully someone can give me some guidance at what i can do to resolve a matter i have with JBW group. On the 25/03/14 i received a letter to my address that stated I owed £354 to the London Borough of Bromley for council tax. I contacted JBW via email and asked what and when this was related to, They responded giving me the address of the property and the time period which dates back to 2003. I advised JBW that i don't know anything about this debt and was not at the property at the time the outstanding amount it for.They replied with the following "Dear Mr James, It is down to yourself to provide evidence of this to the issuing authority if you claim that you are not liable as a liability order has been issued against you. Best regards, JBW Group." I do not have any information going back nearly 11 that shows i didn't live at that address at the time so I sent them the following "Dear Sir/Madam Ref: 2171642 You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself. I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to London Borough of Bromley. I am familiar with the ‘Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance’ which states that it is unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question. I would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. In not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods. Furthermore, ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment. I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you can provide evidence as to our liability for the debt in question. I await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise we will have no option but to make a complaint to the trading standards department and consider informing the OFT of your actions. We look forward to your reply. Yours faithfully Mr James" They have responded with "Dear Mr James, JBW have a liability order that has issued you as the liable party. If you wish to obtain a copy of this, please request this from London Borough of Bromley. JBW will not be ceasing enforcement as we have been instructed by London Borough of Bromley and work under the authority of a liability order. We again reiterate, if you claim you are not liable please provide evidence of this as the onus is on you to provide this. Best regards, JBW Group." If I cannot prove that I was not at the address at the time what do I do? I have no paperwork going back 11 years for anything. Any advice would be welcomed. Thank you David
  6. Moved from benefits into a job. Paid around £150 each month for both council tax for current year, and arrears. The council threatened to take me to court for unpaid council tax. I explained my payments covered the whole of the current month's installment, plus agreed arrears at an amount I'd agreed with them. Everything I had paid had been agreed between them and me. The council admitted their mistake and said that - as I thought - they'd just been taking my payment and paying it on this year's bill, meaning nothing was coming off the arrears, but my current year's council tax was paid way in front of the installments due. They admitted their mistake in writing, apologised and said it wouldn't happen again. Problems with Royal Mail meant a lot of my mail went astray, so when it turned up, it appeared I had been sent a Summons, sent to court and a Liability Order granted by the council for my Council tax - all without my knowledge. And even better, all for something I didn't owe. Yes. yet again, the council had been taking my payments, putting it all towards the current year's council tax installments and yet none of it had been taken off the arrears - their mistake again. I wrote to the council explaining what they had done. They replied in writing, apologising for sending me to court, acknowledging they had made a mistake and I shouldn't have been taken to court at all, and that they would not be charging me the court fee. Nice of them! So, what do I need to do next? Where do I complain to? Does the Liability Order I should never have been given, affect my credit rating? Not surprisingly, I am absolutely fuming and have no idea where to go next, what to do, where I stand. Tempted just to ring the local newspaper but want to stick to jumping through the right hoops for now.
  7. Today I received a visit from a Horrible woman from Ross and Roberts about outstanding council tax with Birmingham city council. I did have a payment arrangement set up with Ross and Roberts which I had been paying for the roughly the last 6 months but with receiving the current years water and council tax bills I missed Aprils payment. I was hoping to pay make two months payment later this month to catch up but they have sent out the bailiffs. My 6 month baby (Hasn't been well last couple of days) was sleeping when the agent came and starting banging on the door. I wasn't going to open the door but unfortunately she claimed she saw me through the letter box and she started shouting and banging louder and I was worried she would break the glass on the door. She shouted either I open the door or she would come in with the police and a Locksmith. I asked her if we could speak outside or in her van and that I know she can't force entry as she hasn't been inside my house before for this debt. She said she was willing to talk outside but insisted she had a right to gain entry with a Locksmith with the police in attendance. She then went and sat in her van we talked through the window. As I was willing to pay the two months installments I asked her how much was the minimum she was willing to accept to which she replied £500 and she telephoned someone for call for a removal van and told me I had 30 minutes to find a way to make a payment. otherwise she was going to add charges for the removal van. I told her let me call someone to see if I could raise the money but knowing I wouldn't be able to raise that much today I called payplan to clarify if she could gain access (Wasn't sure if the law had changed last year). When she realized who I was talking to she said I now only had 10/15 minutes to make payment and started to call (she claimed) the police and locksmith and shut the window on me. This shook me up but luckily I still had payplan on the phone who reassured me she couldn't get into the house and police wouldn't do anything unless their was a breach of peace. After 15 minutes the bailiff banged on the door and asked if I was "Going to pay" and I replied I can't she said I 5 minutes before the removal van arrived. As she walked off the drive she pointed to the neighbors car and asked if that was my car, I told it was the neighbors. She realised where I worked (I was wearing my uniform as I was getting ready to go to work) and checked the car for signs it may be mine. She then went to my other neighbors house and knocked on their door. I told she has no right to discuss my situation with them due to Data Protection Act but she told me to shut up and stepped into the neighbors house. While she was in There I left my wife and baby home and locked the door went to move my car (parked at end of road) to somewhere else in case the neighbors tell which is my car. On my way back home I phoned Ross and Roberts office and asked to complain about their agent but was told I had to complain in writing. I told them their agent was threatening to break in and was also discussing my case with other people and asked them to call her and tell her to stop but they claimed the couldn't. On returning home I informed the bailiff that I spoke to Ross and Roberts and event they said agent couldn't gain access without a warrant and that I had a right to see the warrant but she just laughed and the office would just have sent me back to her. Couple of minutes later she drove off. I was wondering if someone could advise if the bailiff had a right to talk to my neighbors as I believe I should have been protected by Data Protection Act. Also does anyone have the email address to who I could complain to, in order to get her to back off as I'm worried she may return and harass my wife and children when I'm not at home. I already had to phone in sick as I got late for work dealing with her. (I think I have seen email address of someone at Birmingham city council on the forum before but cant seem to find it today) Any sample letters/emails I could send would be greatly appreciated, as would any other advice. Don't know if it matters but I also can't see her name on Justice . Gov Thank you in advance.
  8. 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!
  9. I had a bad few years from 2011 onwards after getting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (which left me bed bound), and subsequently losing my job, having a child bereavement and all the anxiety and depression that came with all that. Prior to that I had a decent job and my OH and I had divided up the bills accordingly, with me paying Council Tax amongst other things. Unbeknownst to my OH, when the proverbials hit the fan, I just 'switched off' ignored my payment responsibilities (hiding bills etc ) until things got out of hand and the CT bill got passed first to Newlyn PLC. Long story short, I've applied for benefits (and after selling off some of my belongings) have managed to pay off an outstanding amount of over £1500 (directly to the Council) in the last year including £190 in court costs, with only £100 of the CT arrears remaining. However, Newlyn EA fees keep sky rocketing and according to their last letter (I have never been in contact with them), the debt is £470 and counting. The new legislation that came in April just complicates things further! Anyway, my social worker just rang the CT department and explained that under the circumstances, (being diagnosed with a chronic illness and mental health issues) that I should be considered a vunerable person or a vunerable household. However, the CT call centre operative, who conferred with CT Recovery dept has said that since the CT was in both mine and my OH's name, making him therefore jointly liable for the debt (even though he wasn't aware of it because I was hiding the letters) my specific circumstances made no difference and that there would be no circumstance in which the household would be considered vunerable. Meaning they would not consider calling the debt back. The conversation took all of 3 minutes and they were very closed to considering anything. They would not even pass my social worker onto the Recovery dept so she could speak directly to them. I guess I'm asking if their position is the correct one or whether there might be anything I can do? It was a massive blip caused by unforeseen health issues but it seems that any support or consideration is not forthcoming from the Council. Any views would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  10. Hello, Need some help here to know my rights. I recently received a letter from a Ross&Roberts company saying that I had to pay council tax of £280. Didn't give any other details about how the debt came about. I called the council and they said it was a debt due on a former property, since 2004. I asked if I could see how to set up a standing order with them, they said no; I had to talk to Ross&Roberts. What bothers me is that, after moving (2011) I did receive a council tax letter, informing me that the account was closed and a new account was opened at the new address. They never mentioned anything about the debt. Does anyone know any rights I have about the issue? They said this was a 14 days notice under which I should pay the full amount otherwise the 'Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 will be instigated' Any help will be appreciated. I certainly cannot pay the full amount right now.
  11. Hi i had Marstons banging on the door this morning at 8.30am saying they were removing my car. They put a clamp on it and said a removal van would be there in half an hour. They then left and came back 30 minutes later. Its for an old council tax bill of £217 for which they want to remove my vehicle which is worth around £2,500 retail or £1500 trade, is this not classed as excess!? He's been sat outside for two hours now and has told me he will charge me £60 per hour to wait for the tow truck. I haven't signed anything so from what i can gather, he cant charge me anything other than the legal bailiff fees? I cant afford to pay now, i have no money coming in unfortunately and am in receipt of housing and council tax benefit. My only other income right now is working tax and child credits. I have of course offered to make a payment arrangement which he of course rejected! I have phoned the council but they have refused to do anything and said i have to deal with the bailiff. On the removal letter it says they'll also charge me £15 per day for storage. This is insane for a £217 bill! Any help appreciated?
  12. For reference this issue is occurring in Scotland. I have council tax bills including 3 from 2006/2007/2008 which I didn't pay. They went to sheriffs officers, I moved house and they lost contact - recently contacted them in an attempt to settle up old debt. Paying these bills off now and have a payment plan setup with the sheriffs officers to do so. Bills have around £1,500 remaining from about £3,000 total. I received a letter earlier in the week telling me that the bills for these years had changed due to "Change in Tax Band". Turns out there was some work done to the property before I lived there, an extension that the council were not informed of which increased the size of the property. As my accounts for these years are still open and as the tax band has been changed for "the period of council tax existing" (they reckon these changes were done pre-1993) my bills have changed. Firstly - is this legal? Can they just up and change the bill on me 6 years later because of something I didn't even do? And when I have a payment plan in place to pay the actual bill already? Secondly - I assume if my balances had been settled in full already they wouldn't be able to touch me? My understanding of council tax accounts is that when they are paid the account is closed. I have emailed the council department to contest the new charges, will update you when I know more.
  13. A most interesting story appears on SCOOP today that is worthy of it's own thread. The story is from Dukes Bailiffs and concerns the rumours in the industry that many local authorities are looking at the financial advantage of moving council tax enforcement in house. The article certainly appears to show that enforcement companies are concerned at such a prospect. http://dukescouncil.co.uk/2014/08/27/council-enforcement-policy/ http://www.scoop.it/t/lacef-news
  14. I have a debt for council tax outstanding from last year for £750 and I have an arrangement with the bailiff to pay £150 per month. I have made the first three payments, but I will be a week late in making payment this month and the bailiff's office has told me to contact the bailiff directly. Are they normally ok with this or are they likely to attempt enforcement? Many thanks for any advice.
  15. Hi, I am really confused and worried about this situation - if anyone can have a read and let me know initital thoughts would be really great, I've been single since last year and been claiming council tax single person discount since we parted. I was working up until August last year and then went onto income support as have 2 very young children and found it too difficult to work/look after etc on my own. One baby 13 month,the other 2.5. The local council recently have been saying that they believe my expartner is still residing at my address, he is not, he has severe mental health issues and we went our serperate ways last year. He does however has lots of contact with the children which he visits mainly at my home (he is a little unstable to take them off on his own) I have explained this to the council but they say because his bank etc are still registered to this address, they have to assume he is still living here. This is my first confusion - how do they know who his bank is? They said they ran a credit check on him but I thought you had to get authorisation from the person whos the account holder to do this? They said they ran a credit check and found' lots of' accounts registered to this address. Bank, sky tv - that's it I think. NEXT - I get A letter from the DWP (department work and pensions) saying the need me to go over there for an interview. I must my take bank statements. In the interview they warn me that someone has 'made an allegation', has reported me. Not many people apart from close family and friends know that I am currently receiving benefits so I don't believe its anyone I know. It sounds to me like to council called up. NEXT - my ex who is currently on the local council housing register, loses his banding, so where as last week he was quite far up the list for getting a council property, he now is 'not eligible' at all. This is devastating for him as currently sofa sofing and was hoping to get sorted soon. The sad thing is the only places he can crash are people who drink and smoke a lot and being round that situation is just not good for him. I just dont understand whats going on but I feel as though they are talking to each other and rather than telling me the truth just cutting all the benefits and ex partners eligibility for housing. The thing is that my ex partner is not in a good placed, recently diagnosed with a mental disability he is struggling to cope, We are still friends and I support him as much as I can but there's only so much I can do. He desperately needs housing as it is impossible for him to live with anyone else. I feel really angry , I know they have people ripping them off and they need to make their checks that fair enough, but they know his situation and they know my situation,but they have stopped my single person discount - unnecessarily, and they have take my ex off the housing register which is unnecessary. It just all seems a little odd!?
  16. Hi I recently received two letters about one old council tax account and one old payday loan, both over 6 years old. I have tried to arrange to pay the council tax bill but the bailiff company wont accept installments and want the full balance. The amount owed is over £700, so I'm sorry but to land that on me after 6 years and expect me to pay in full is ridiculous. The payday loan, i have no recollection of taking out and the debt collection agency have added a ton of fees on so i have issue with paying it. Are either of these debts even enforceable given they're both over 6 years old? This is the first ive heard about both of them, but i have moved house a couple of times over the last few years. Thanks
  17. On 6th April the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 took effect and full details can be read in the various 'STICKY's at the top of this page. One very important "Sticky' relates to the 'transitional' position...which is where an enforcement company had commenced work to enforce the debt before 6th April (under the previous applicable fee scale) but where the debt remained unpaid when the new regulations took effect on 6th April.....and a new fee scale introduced. Although the new regulations have only been in force for 10 days it would appear that some enforcement companies (names being withheld for the present time) are making significant 'mistakes' in their calculation of fees when re-commencing enforcement. I will provide details shortly. In the meantime below is a copy of the 'STICKY' that I had written to outline the 'transitional' stage.
  18. to keep a long story short just looking for some advice. just looked at my payslip online, i have an attachment of earnings order they have taken £60 which isnt awfull i guess. however I wasnt notified that this was going to happen. I do have a debt with birstow and sutor for council tax which also has a ccj attached. I missed some payments because my partner lost his job which i did inform them of. they said my smaller payment was not acceptable the full payment was now due and they sent two large bailiffs round which was distressing.So im assuming the aoe is the council debt. my questions are -should they have informed me they were going to do this? -should the courts have sent me a form (some websites have said so) -were the bailliffs wrong to cancel the agreement when we had no means to pay?(we did pay a little bit) -should my employer have told me? thanks in advance and sorry if this is long/badly spelt.
  19. I had a bailiff letter back in November last year with regards to outstanding council tax. I sent an email to the company (Rossendales) and asked for a breakdown of their charges they added on to the debt - there were three different years to be collected. I offered to pay £100 per month to them, or I'll put the money aside to pay the council as and when they took the debt back. They refused to accept this amount. From what I could see, they have added three separate amounts on to the original debt, which I believe they cannot do. Now, I have a bailiff sitting outside my house with a van, saying he's going to remove my goods. He has not at any time entered my property, and won't either. What can I do about this? Any help appreciated Zeb
  20. Lived with a friend about 5 years ago. I was on council tax benefits, he wasn't. The council are now chasing me for £400 because they can't find my friend. I'm no longer in contact with him and don't know where he is. Because they don't know where I live, they had a liability order issued without my knowledge to my PARENTS address, even though I don't live with my parents and haven't since I was a teenager. My parents are now being threatened with bailiffs. I've explained to the council that I do not live at my parents property and they're simply forwarding mail to me. They say they'll make a note but then they keep sending letters to my parents home. I don't know whether to give them my address or if I'm even liable? I'm on ESA and DLA, need round the clock care and have to pay bedroom tax, I can't afford to pay a debt that belongs to someone else. Can the bailiffs do anything at my parents home even though I don't live there?
  21. Hi, about 3 weeks ago a bailiff came to our property to "recover" £50 owed to council tax, I didn't have it because I was made redundant in February and I am 29 weeks pregnant so have been pretty much unemployable, though I have tried. We managed to set up a payment plan which would be £20 every fortnight, paid on a payment card and he said I would receive one through the post then had to start doing it. I didn't receive any card and to be quite honest I pushed it to the back of my mind as I have been trying to get the things I needed for my baby, my partner is working but he doesn't earn a lot and it has been hard paying everything. He gets just over £200 a week and out of that £100 goes a side for rent, £25 for council tax, the rest goes on other bills (gas, electric & food) The payment card never came through and today I received a letter saying I had defaulted on the payment and there for it has been raised to £198.37, this has gone up because I have defaulted on payments and ignored a letter. I rang them up and explained I hadn't received a payment card yet and had a very rude women on the phone who told me I should have found an alternative method to pay them by and I have till Monday to put £40 in there bank card why I wait for a payment card to pay the rest off. She also said that because my partner is working we have to up our payments and I explained that we just cant afford any more than we are paying and she said "that's not our problem, lend it off somebody" She has given me 7 days to provide proof of benefit?? I am on no benefits and I tried explaining this to her, she said if I cant provide proof of benefits and I cant pay the full amount off within the 7 days then bailiffs will be attending my property and seizing goods, whether we are paying the £20 a fortnight or not, she also said if we don't pay it in full and bailiffs come out then our total will go up to just over £300, then they will add extra on for selling our goods?? All this off a debt of £50 from 2 years ago which im trying to pay off!!.. What are my rights as I really don't need this stress at the moment, im classed as high risk as it is and have been put on bed rest till the end of my pregnancy. im really scared! please advise!
  22. Hi, Long story short, I am on JSA and HB. I owed £75 in Council Tax arrears to Harringay last year. I made an offer of payment which was refused. I then got a letter of Court Summons which added £120. I have read on this forum many scare stories of Bailiffs turning up and adding telephone numbers in levy/visitation fees, etc. I contacted the Council by email twice now offering £3 a month (last time three weeks ago) Still no response. The government has decided that £72 JSA a week is the minimum I need to live on. So, if I refuse to pay these usary fees and charges and it ends up being an unfair £1000+ from an original fairly owed £75, how much can they take from my JSA or HB each week - baring in mind taking anything is admitting I don't have enough to live on and will be forced to steal? What is the endgame here, once the bailiffs have come and I still can't pay? Will I really go to prison, get a criminal record, have my life ruined, probably end up taking my own life - all for an original debt of £75? Thanks for any advice. I'm so angry right now.
  23. Hi All I have a debt from a previous address which is in dispute. The matter is now with the ombudsman. Today bailiffs visited me and when I looked out the window there was a clamp on my car. I spoke with the bailiff and explained that the car was a 'tool of the trade' and without it i could not work. Further my divorce solicitors wrote a letter confirming this and I provided them with a copy of my insurance that states business use. Albeit this was amended as I mistakenly thought I could travel to and from my place of work but apparently that is not the case with Axa. I asked the bailiff on two occasions for documents and he said he had them but did not provide me with anything. He said I would need to liaise with his office, Phoenix Commercial Collections, and send them a fax and left leaving the clamp on the car. I faxed them a letter and the insurance certificate and the solicitors letter at 4pm. When I spoke to them they said they could not deal with it until tomorrow and when I called the bailiff he said he would be towing the car tomorrow, unless I assume he is told not to by his office. I did browse around and there was mention that if he hasn't provided any document regarding the power to seize the car or the fact he has taken possession the car hasn't as such been seized and I could legally sell it to a friend or relative tonight for a nominal amount and provide evidence of a bank transfer, receipt and the V5 notice part and they could not touch it, is this correct? I would appreciate any advice anyone could please give as I am very worried as I am in Court all day tomorrow regarding my divorce.
  24. Hi, I hope someone can offer me some advice regarding the following: I am due to attend a tribunal hearing tomorrow to appeal against a decision to recover overpaid CTB. Although the council in question have admitted it was an "official error" on their part, they maintain that it was "reasonable" for me to have realised the error at the time. The error in question is that I was awarded 100% CTB when I should have been awarded 50% due to me sharing the property I live in with another tenant. I did not question the decision at the time as I had provided them with all the relevant information (on more than one occasion), and trusted that their calculations were correct based on what I had provided. I am also self-employed and consequently the benefit and WTC I receive fluctuates throughout the year, so when I received a letter telling me it had changed again I did not believe anything was amiss. Their argument seems to assume a detailed knowledge of how CTB is calculated that I could not possibly have unless I actually worked for the department! (although it seems this would still be no guarantee... ;-) Having taken some legal advice I have decided to continue with my appeal and am due in court tomorrow. The solicitor has advised me that the Tribunal will take an "inquisitorial" approach, requiring me to give my version of events which I have outlined above. I would like to ask if anyone has experience of these kind of Tribunals and what I can do to give myself the best possible chance of winning the case. Many Thanks in advance!
  25. I initially fell in arrears with my Council tax after they had failed to provide standing order forms. I went on to make a late payment, which was immediately followed by a summons letter. After receiving the summons letter I contacted the council and was advised not to attend court as I was on job seekers allowance and that they wouldn't arrange or set up any arrangement before the court date. They didn't mention that they would be pursuing the debt and obtain a liability order. Upon receiving the liability order following the court hearing which they advised me not to attend, I contacted the council again asking them why they had not made it clear to me that they were still pursuing legal actionand why I had been advised not to attend court. They responded by saying that attending court would not have made any difference. Just to get things moving the council was clearly in power despite my concerns and they went on to tell me that they were to set up payment deductions with DWP from my jobseekers allowance.I did have some income request forms that they had sent along the liability order and asked if I had to complete the form and they advised me to disregard the forms as they were to set up the payments themselves.After this I was very positive and convinced things were moving forward. The council went on to sent me another income request form again which I disregarded presuming that the payments would be automated. Shortly afterwards the council passed the debt to bailiffs. I contacted the council to ask them why they had passed the debt to bailiffs after they had advised me that the payments would be automated from DWP. They then at the time told me that they had received the back as I was no longer on jobseekers I did ask the council why they had not written or contacted me to let me know that the payment had not been successfully set up. They responded by saying that I should have responded to the income and expenditure which I had disregarded following the advise that the payments were to be automated.The council then told me that I should respond to all the letters irregardless without presumptions of what had previously happenned and that I should have reported changing in circumstances although I was still getting a weekly allowance and nowhere had they mentioned before that I had to report. (Furthermore I was still receiving a weekly allowance from the DWP and without any other income). I was distressed by the council was adamant and they admitted no wrong doing and advised that they would still be pursuing the debt with Bailiffs whom they advised to get in touch with. I got tired off it and a few weeks later the Bailiffs came demanding a payment of £514 for a debt of £289 and advising that they will be returning to seize vehicles or goods in the next few days. I got in touch with the council again and launched a formal complaint- over the phone but they were more dismissive, intimidating, exercising power and worse more not listening. Requested the complain to be upraised and contacted by someone from the recovery department who went on to hang on the phone down for me and ask me to deal with the bailiffs. I wrote a formal complaint to the council following this but received a reply that they had done nothing wrong and that I still had to deal with the bailiffs. I went on to make an online payment of the full balance to the Council directly and not bailiffs. Finally the bailiffs turned up demanding payment and clamped down a car which I do not own. I am the registered keeper. They asked for insurance document for proof and said this was more than adequate to prove that I was the registered keeper. I have a V5 document but the bailiffs told me that they would start charging for the time, so I made a payment. Had a child who was there and very distressed and didn't want to cause any further distress and inconvenience of taking her to school without a car. They had already put clamped it and worse more not being an owner of the car would have caused further conflict with the owner. I have now spend all the money I had with me and have nothing left over to survive. Any advice?
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