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Right where to start ...

 

Me and my partner have 2 council tax arrears debts that have gone to Equita. One for £979 and the other £190. We have never had a card thru the door to say a baliff has visited, nothing, just a few letter thru the post. When I rang up Equita to make arrangements to clear these debts I was shocked to find they had added a fair bit of "administration" costs on :

 

The £979 had rose to 1189.94, but even worse the £190 bill had shot up to £370.

 

We have offered to clear all the debts at the end of the month (getting a loan to pay them off) but the Debt Collector (**** **********) refuses to accept this and wants everything settled by 7 days.

 

What can I do, I have tried speaking to the local council who say I must deal with the bailiffs ?

 

Cheers

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The bailiffs can only charge for two visits 1st visit £24.00 if no levy has been made and £18.50 for the second visit, I would write and ask for a break down of their charges as what they are trying to charge is wrong and they are fully aware of this. Do Not let them in. Do not pay them via debit or credit card as they have a habit of taking monies that have not been authorised. Write and make an offer, this shows that you are willing to pay. dont listen to threats of arrest or that they will send in the police or that they will come round with a locksmith.. they cannot do this and if they do they will be breaking the law, unless you have already let them in peacefully. I hope this helps.. Im sure some one will come along shortly with more info for you that may help further

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Thanks for the advice, no we have never let them into the property, only spoke with the bailiff on the phone, whose first words to my partner after her telling them we couldnt pay within 7 days were "well if you have a car, we'll be taking that first".

 

When I spoke to the baliff today, he made up a tale of me coming to an aggrement of paying £370 today and that the "enforcement team" was on the way. When I told him that that was a load of rubbish and that I had recorded his call, the story changed to "well I have stopped the team coming, lets not argue over a couple of days".

 

Then he demanded all monies to be paid by cash at the doorstep, to which I told him only a madman would do that, his reply, well 99% of my business is cash, its how I work.

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Personally I would put your car some where safe for the time being until you have made some sort of agreement with them, because they will come and get it and add charges and its likely you will not see it again. If he refuses the offer of an agreement then tell him you will put the money aside until such time the debt gets passed back to the council or he agrees to accept it or an agreeable arrangement that you can afford to pay.

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:( Tried speaking to someone further up at the council, same story, tho he did agree to query the costs and process with Equita. Also after reading thru these forums I contacted the HMCS to see if the baliff was certified, and his license expired 12/09/07. Waiting to hear back on wether the license was granted for another 2 years, (court date was 25/7/07)
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well if he isnt certified then he cannot collect on this debt make sure you inform the council that this bailiff is uncertified thats if he is of course, the council may just take back this debt and the charges will be less

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Going to send as letter for the breakdown of costs now looking like this,

 

Dear Sir / Madam

Please supply me complete breakdown of their fees and charges as allowed under Section 7 the Data Protection Act., relating to our debt, ref : xxxxxxxx.

We consider the charges unreasonable considering no one has visited our property, only send mail letters (not chargeable for council tax), only charges for two visits (1st visit £24.00 and £18.50 for the second visit) could have been applied, for a total of :

£979 + £42.50 = £1021.50 (not £1189.94)

£190 + £42.50 = £232.50 (not £370.00)

So the combined total is £1254.00, not the total of £1559.94 as your agent reports.

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Going to send as letter for the breakdown of costs now looking like this,

Im sure I am right in saying this but where there is more than one debt to be collected they can only charge once on both charges. so basically they have to combine the debt so minus £42.50

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Im sure I am right in saying this but where there is more than one debt to be collected they can only charge once on both charges. so basically they have to combine the debt so minus £42.50

 

 

OooooOOOoo even better, I would rather just deal with the council themselves, but if I do have to pay the baliffs the cash, then they will certainly not be getting an extra £348.44 in there pockets, and certainkly not in cash.

 

Seeing as the baliff is refusing a card payment or a personal cheque, I suppose the only way to go is a bankers cheque for the right amount.

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OK sorry to keep on bothering you lot, but when I spoke to the bailiff this morning he insisted that he cannot take debit card payments or any sort of credit card, and wanted straight cash (bankers cheque when i said no chance), I take it this is a ploy to gain access to the house, as I have just rang Equita's local office (cheers to the girl in the council :) ) giving them no details, simply asking if they have the facility for card payments and found out they can :mad:

 

 

Grrrr how do this corrupt lot get away with the way the do business :confused:

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Thanks for the confirmation Tom, was just typing out as you replied :) And yes a complaint will be getting made, I already have the name and number of the Financial Director of the local council (Sefton MBC) and will be sending all the details his way asap.

 

Alster

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bah his certificate was granted 26th July for its 2 year extention :(

dont be so down hearted alster as this is sometimes a good thing as certified bailiffs are meant to know the regulations more so than an uncertified and they get into far more trouble for the no no's. I would be inclined not to pay by card as they have a habit of re-using it with out your permission. But that just my own opinion

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luckily I have just been sent out a new debit card by my bank, and my old one expires in 10 days :)

 

So I think I will pay a part payment to see how things go, and then argue the fee's point with them.

 

Alster

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