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  1. Hi, I received a letter from Philips 3 weeks ago saying I hadnt paid my magistrates fine of 277 pound. I knew I hadnt paid the installments for a while so called them to pay it. I spoke to a guy on the phone and said I wanted to pay in full and he quickly put me on hold. 2 mins later he came back and told me its now 277 + 85 admin fee!! I told him the letter said its 277 and thats what im paying. I then said not too worry and i'll just pay it online. I done just that then phoned the philips number 3 times over quoting my reference to be told by their computer that the account is settled. I have suddenly received another letter today demanding 85 again. After a heated conversation they have told me if I dont pay it they will instruct the bailiffs to come in. The guy said that the 85 is added on immediately, I said why wasnt that on the initial letter then and he didnt really have an answer. Who can i speak to? Im so worried. Thanks all and GL
  2. I hope that some people can give me some advise here as I was given 2 working days to pay my council tax but the letter didn't even arrive until after the 2 days were up. Here is the letter I am sending to the magistrates court, I've put this here as it explains what has happened and saves me typing it all out again, if you have any questions for me please ask (note I have put my address and the summons number on the letter but havn't put that here)I'm hoping someone can give me advise on the letter and advise on a defence. Dear Sir/Madam, I have today received a court summons for the 15th August 2012, I am writing to request an adjournment of the case until either the 13th or 14th September 2012. I recently moved to Sussex for work and cannot make the 400 miles round trip in 1 day , nor can I get the day off work at such short notice, however I am supposed to be in Bradford on the 13th/14th September 2012 so could attend then. If you can not accept an adjournment please allow me to submit my defence in writing.In March 2012 I informed Bradford Council that I was moving address and that I would no longer be responsible for the council tax on [Address]. I informed the council of my forwarding address, my telephone number and my email address. Having heard nothing from the council I presumed that my bill was settled. On the 26th July 2012 Bradford Council sent me a reminder bill via second class post that I still owed them £56.07. On the 30th July 2012 (2 working days after I was sent my bill) I was issued with a court summons, as this was sent via first class post it was received on the 1st August – the same date I received my bill. I called Bradford Council on the 2nd August to ask why I was sent a court summons only 2 working days after I was sent a bill – I was informed that they had previously sent bills to my old address in Bradford and an address in Crawley that I have never lived at. They confirmed that all this mail had been sent back to them as “Addressee Gone Away”, thus they knew that I had not received any of these letters. My defence is as follows: 1) The Direct Debit for this account is still active on my bank account, thus Bradford Council could have taken payment any time they wish – they simply neglected to do so. 2) Bradford Council knew that I was not at any of the address that they were sending mail to yet refused to use either my contact email or telephone number (both of which I have confirmed they have on file and are correct) to contact me for an upto date correspondence address. 3) When Bradford Council finally did send me a final bill I was given 2 working days to pay, and as the bill was sent second class post I did not receive this within the 2 working days. As Bradford Councils own rules state that I should be allowed 14 days to pay then they have broken their own rules in this regard. I accept that I must pay the bill of £56.07, but as the court charge is down to the processes of Bradford Council (unable to call/email me for an address and sending letters to addresses they know I do not reside at) I do not feel that it is fair to charge me for the fee, particularly as they only gave me 2 working days to pay up after they finally got my correct address. Yours Sincerlyxxxx xxxx
  3. Benefit fraud - do i need a lawyer? I have to go to court at the beginning of february charghed with benefit fraud. In the IUC I admitted there has been an overpayment of £16,000 income support and said I would pay it back. I have already put in place direct debits to pay it all back... My mitigating circustances are that I have been deeply in depression and on long term heavy medications (11 years) and I just did not give a damn about what happened to my life, i was living with rats, never washing myself or cleaning my home, etc... for a period of 3 years. I have not used this overpayment for anything or to buy anything or lead a glamorous lifestyle at all. I was just too ill/irrespsonisble to tell them to stop paying me... I will not be getting legal aid - because of an inheritance - (not much but above the limit) so I wonder if it is worth hiring a lawyer for me to just plead guilty and say the above to the court in mitigation as I was asked £4,000 by one lawyer. If I had to hire a lawyer should I hire him to take up the whole case or just to come to court with me? I'd be grateful for any suggestions, especially if they were ASAP.
  4. Hi, I am new to this forum and have been reading through some previous threads so hoping you can offer me some advice.. I recently (Saturday 7th Aug) received a distress warrant from Philips recovery agents..When I opened it I was obviously shocked as I had no idea what it was for or about.. I called Philips to enquire about it and the only information they could provide me with was that it dated back to an unpaid Magistrates Fine instructed by HMCS NW London dating back to November 2008. I called the HMCS on Monday (09th August) as I was still puzzled by this and as I previously mentioned had not received any prior communication about the matter until now. I spoke with a very helpful Area Enforcement Officer and he explained to me that it was for a bus fine dating back to May 08 that was unpaid and then went to court on November 2008. I asked him why I had only received the Distress Warrant now and nothing previous. He explained that all previous communication had been sent to an address (in which I no longer live, nor have lived in for over 2 years) they had now since traced me and thus sent the Distress Warrant to my current address. He put the Distress Warrant on hold temporarily to allow me to sort it out. I am now trying to determine what my next course of action should be. I have been advised to go to court to make a Statutory Declaration..stating that I was unaware of the court summons dating back to Nov 2008. Is this advisable? What will making the stat dec do for me? I really want to get this sorted out but I am also concerned that an original £20 bus fine is now a £200 matter of which I knew nothing about up until Saturday!! (I do remember the offence, the inspector told me that the fine "may or may not be issued" so I thought nothing more of it) Whats more - I provided the correct identity details/address but I happened to move from that address shortly after.. Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks!
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