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Bailiff came 3 weeks before court date


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I recently had a letter from Caerphilly borough council informing me that I was summoned to appear at Caerphilly magistrates on 3rd December regarding unpaid council tax for period 07/08, total amount due £72.

 

Yesterday a bailiff from B&S Bailiff services turned up at the house with a letter saying

TAKE NOTICE

 

We are in possession of a magistrates liability order for collection of £700 etc etc.

 

I told the bailiff that I couldn't afford to pay that as we are currently under an attachment of earnings for the 05/06 period and the council were taking the maximum they were allowed direct from our wages leaving us struggling to pay other bills , not that he was interested but he said to call the council to sort it out but would be back soon unless the council tell him otherwise.

 

It's obvious given the different figures there's a mix up somewhere ( the bailiffs figure is nearer the true amount due ) but what concerns me most is the fact that I am not due in court until 3rd December yet they are already chasing this debt and this obviously takes away my chance to appear at court and plead my case regarding an acceptable amount I can afford to pay, also I think I've read that the council should give me XX days notice before sending a bailiff to collect a debt.

 

Can anyone advise me what I should do next?

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The same as the summons , 07/08.

 

Also noticed something on the bailiffs letter, if my memory is right then the writing is identical to another bailiff that came here previously, will try and find his letter but I suspect the letters may have been written and signed by a certificated bailiff but delivered by someone else.

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My guess is that the council have sent your 05/06 £700 debt to the bailiff company despite the attachment order and have mixed up the dates. If this is the case, then you need to get your council to withdraw the bailiffs.

 

The bailiff cannot possibly pursue you for the £72 that has not gone to court yet as no judgement has been made. You will still get your chance to plead.

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I would ask the council to detail in writing all outstanding council tax owed, showing the year and any charges.

 

Also point out the attachments of earnings and perhaps send in a payslip as evidence that this is being paid. (I have experience of the council not acknowleding receipt of an attachment of earnings due to the a mix up with account numbers and therefore having a bailiff visit!)

 

I am sure someone with more knowledge will be along to help you soon.

 

Best of luck.

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Imskintoo

 

Could you please send me by private message ONLY the name of the bailiff that has attended or written the letter so that I can check our database to ensure that he is certificated.

 

Can advise further after this.

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Thanks for the help all :)

 

Tom , the letter has been signed but I am unable to decipher his signature.

I just called him and he will only give his forename as he's worried about people tracking him down as he claims he lives locally, will I have to wait until he returns then get the info from his ID or can I ask his office for his name ?

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As said they cannot persue you for a charge which has not gone to court yet. Call the council. Ask them to break down the charges by period they are for, method of collection and payments rec'd to date.

 

Once they have done this, if it doesnt sound right, ask for a hold on your account while you locate your payment records as you feel you have paid more than they say. Or alternatively that you are suffering severe hardship due to the action and would like a means test. Either way it will gain you a week or two grace and the chance to have the charges fully explained to you.

 

Anything else your not sure on just ask.

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