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Hi all,

This morning my girlfriend received a letter from Rossendale debt collectors demanding payment for £303.00 which they claim is for unpaid council tax on a property which my girlfriend was a tennant in for a month in 2004. The letter is addressed to both my girlfriend and another person who was her co tenant at the time. Although this is the first letter she has received from Rossenadlaes, they are claiming that it is a final demand and that bailiffs will be calling to seize property if she doesn't pay within seven days.

 

A couple of questions:

 

1. Are Rossendales in their rights to pursue my girfriend for the debt even though the council tax was registered in her co tenants name? (we think she may have given Rossendales my girlfriend's parent's address in an attempt to avoid payment).

 

2. If the bailiffs do turn up, can they seize property? (the address they have written to belongs to my girlfriends parents)

 

3. We are emigrating to the US in two weeks time should should we just choose to ignore Rossendales?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated - thanks:-)

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Guest grizzleguts

The question of is she liable, if she was on the electoral roll, then she would be liable, unless she has a copy of the Tennancy agreement stateting that the Council tax was the Landlords responsibility.

Question 2, No they cannot turn up and just take things, you do not have to let them in, they have to gain entry peacfully (unless you have let them in before), they can if nobodies in, gain entry through an open window or unlocked door. Seeing as the property is the parents, as long as your OH is not on the electoral roll for that address, they have no rights to levy goods from that property, as none of the belongings are your OH, as everything inside belongs to a person who is not liable for the outstanding arrears.

Question 3, you will probably not have 2 weeks before they call, if you get the owner of the house to answer the door, tell then to tell the bailiff "they do not live here, I do not know where they are, I am not liable for the debt, leave me alone". then get then to close the door.

If you go to the USA, and come back, the council can still chase your OH for the oustanding Council tax, the 6 years according to the limitations act 1980 does not apply to Council tax or Income tax or VAT.

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plus remember rossens are only a DCA! they have no legal powers.

treat them like you would a telesales Co.

 

they cant send bailiffs round, they aren't bailiffs!!!

 

it would be best if you went tothe council concerned direct with relavent docs, £303 seems a wee bit steep to me, i bet the DCA have added a bit on.

 

dx100uk

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Rossendales do employ bailiffs, however as previously stated they need a court order to act. They also need to be licensed to act as a bailiff and can't seize goods that are not your girlfriends.

 

I would agree with grizzleguts and dx100uk that you should at least make an attempt to sort it out with the council (I wouldn't bother with Rossendales) before you move to the US.

 

Have they identified the period in question that they are billing for? As co tenant they may be trying to argue that both tenants are equally liable. If you have any documents such as a utility bill which shows she was living at another address this would be helpful.

HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY BY CREDITORS OR DCA's?

 

BEWARE OF CLAIMS MANAGEMENT COMPANIES OFFERING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS.

 

 

Please note opinions given by rory32 are offered informally as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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1. Are Rossendales in their rights to pursue my girfriend for the debt even though the council tax was registered in her co tenants name? (we think she may have given Rossendales my girlfriend's parent's address in an attempt to avoid payment).

 

Rossendales are perfectly entitled to enforce the debt as they would be acting on a Liability Order granted to the council.

 

2. If the bailiffs do turn up, can they seize property? (the address they have written to belongs to my girlfriends parents)

 

They can only seize propoerty belonging to your g/f. However, my concern here is for here parents. I can ASSURE you that there are sadly MANY bailiffs who will tell parents that they have a warrant that enables them to attend with a locksmith to break into the premises as the warrant is against the property not the person. This is of course WRONG, but nonetheless it happens often. Trust me as we have quite a few cases such as this in our office.

It is not fair to put this threat in their way.

 

3. We are emigrating to the US in two weeks time should should we just choose to ignore Rossendales?

 

Rossendales WILL visit the home, make no mistake about that.

I would write an immediate letter to the council to ask for an explanation and ask that they inform the bailiffs that this is disputed.

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Thanks for everyones advice :)

 

We are going to write to the council for an explanation and breakdown of the disputed debt and in the mean time inform Rossendales that the debt is in dispute.

 

Thanks again

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Rossendales do employ bailiffs, however as previously stated they need a court order to act. They also need to be licensed to act as a bailiff and can't seize goods that are not your girlfriend.

 

You may find the short video useful and interesting -

 

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