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Hi

 

I knew that our coucnil had obtained a liability order but have been trying to pay something each month since then to try and clear the balance of our council tax (around 1200) Today a baliff turned up on my doorstep, I didn't let him in and he seemed friendly enough but I said my husband was out, so he said he would pop back later but would need £100 today.

 

He duly returned this afternoon and I answered the door again, he didn't attempt to come in and I certainly didn't let him, so we talked in the front garden. Neither visit did he show me any id, on the second visit I said that I actually had sent a letter to the council with a payment plan and means test form but hadn't heard anything back as yet. He asked how much that was for and I said that I didn't have the details to hand. So he said that it didn't matter and I just needed to sign a green form which he had filled in. I said I wouldn't sign it and he said, "Well it doesn't matter anyway, if you don't pay up in full by Friday we will take your car"

 

I explained that I am self employed and use my car all day long for work (which I do, I am out on the road at least half a day at least 5 days a week if not more) he just shrugged and said it wasn't his problem and he would see me Friday!

 

So I know have a Notice of Distree and Inventory issued by Chandlers, the only item listed on it is my car and he has put on this form 'customer refused to sign'

 

Help!

 

I didn't give him any money, even though he had asked for £100 earlier in the day he only asked for the full balance the second time. We have always paid our full council tax up until this past few months and have every intention of paying the council every single penny we owe, we aren't shirkers just fallen on tough times. I have applied for a couple of jobs so if I get one that will improve our finances but obviously I need a bit more time. Can they take my car on Friday? I can raise £200 now and could take that in to the council offices first thing monday and was planning on also completing the letter on the sticky on this forum having worked out a payment plan.

The new c/t year is about to start and I don't want to get further behind so I thought if I said I would pay the £160 a month from April 2008 that is due plus a bit of the arrears every month until clear then we are getting no further behind and promise to pay every last penny back.

 

Any thoughts?

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Hi, not really my speciality, but if you have a good look around the site, there is some very good advice available, also have a look at the letter templates, and send the DCA (debt collection agency) the letter telling them not to call at your address.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Just noticed that on the form they shoved at me earlier, they mention the amount outstanding, then a statutory fee of 24.50 which I take it is a visit fee? Then a levy fee. What is this Levy fee? Can they charge it at this stage when this is the first I have hear of them?

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He is a bailiff - he can attend at your property - it's not the same as having a debt collection agent visit so the letter mentioned by Bazooka Boo is not worth bothering with. He has levied on your car, so yes - the levy fee is valid.

 

I do not agree that with you when you say "He has levied on your car, so yes - the levy is valid". My understanding is that a levy is not valued unless the victim signs the Walking Possession Order, which is this case he has, sensibly, refused to do!

 

Comments anyone?

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Hiya,

 

I'm no expert and am also having a bailiff problem at the moment but, can you not leave the car somewhere else on Friday? At a friend's or something? Thet can't take what they can't see right?

 

Or perhaps that's just my logic:rolleyes:

 

Good luck anyhow, these bailiffs really are awful aren't they? and also a tad uneducated, I think they must be the ones who just couldn't quite advance to the Police Force (but thank goodness) or Security/Bouncer level:lol:

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Right, I've managed to get a response from the council, they are making the baliff hold off for three weeks while they look into my case, I've sent them a payment and a means test form again along with what I think is a reasonable payment plan. Do they ever accept these payment plan proposals?

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE:

 

Council say they didn't receive my forms so I went down to the council offices, re filled them in and paid the first installment there and then by cheque (they won't accept cash) on Friday. today the ballif turned back up an said "the case was on hold for only three weeks and that was up at the beginning of April (er...actually it was up on Friday) and so we are back to collect payment" I said I was now dealing with the council on this, he completely ignored what I said and then said he would be back at the crack of dawn tomorrow to seize my goods. So I phoned the council and explained, the woman was most off hand there but said that they were having problems scanning all their forms in at present so it was probably within that pile! Well if they are kind enough to send the balliff back out, should they not have made damn sure first that they hadn't got my letter and cheque?

 

Also this letter now includes a bigger charge and says, "We will re attend tomorrow and may remove goods which can be done in your absence" blah blah blah.

 

So I said to the council lady that I had taken legal advice and could she confirm that what the bailiff said in his letter was legal? She asked if I had signed a WP order, I said no, so she said they wouldn't legally have been allowed in. Therefore I said how could they be threatening that then and was told, "Well you'll need to take it up with the bailffs then"

 

How very helpful that is. So at this point, I have paid the first installment AND provided the letters they asked for, including the letter from this site suggesting a pay plan, have heard nothing from the council because they haven't got the right equipment to scan in my forms and everyone seems to think it is acceptable for the bailiffs to threaten me with things that are illegal.

 

Any ideas what to do next?

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Sorry this is a P.S...

 

In the letter I printed off on here, I made it clear that I want to start paying this years bill so that we don't fall further behind. I said this to the lady today and she said any money coming in will be offset agains the arrears. Is this right? surely that then means we seem to be in arrears for this year as well?

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Sorry this is a P.S...

 

In the letter I printed off on here, I made it clear that I want to start paying this years bill so that we don't fall further behind. I said this to the lady today and she said any money coming in will be offset agains the arrears. Is this right? surely that then means we seem to be in arrears for this year as well?

 

No. The council has absolutley no right unilaterally to offset all payments against arrears. You should tell them this and insist that this year's payments are kept separate from arrears. Tell them that if they refuse to do so you will complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

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FURTHER UPDATE:

 

This goes from bad to worse, I contacted the council today having heard nothing since sending in my forms. The lady said they will agree to my payment plan but that it has to stay with the bailiffs, as long as I pay my installments they will review it in 6 months. BUT when I mentioned that the fee had gone up hugely she said it was correct. I said that they are only allowed to charge me £24.50ish and £18ish but that suddenly there is a charge of £220 on there too! She said that was right but if I wanted to challenge or complain I would need to write in but that this was correct. I said how can it be when I have only be visited twice. She said this was because I hadn't made a payment arrangegement with them and I pointed out that I had been trying to make an arrangement with the council direct and in fact my proposal was with them at the time of the bailiffs second visit. (my feeling is I am being penalised by a second bailiffs visit because the form was already with the council but in their words, "We haven't actually indexed it onto our system yet")

 

So now they say I owe all these extra fees, is this right?

 

Also when I said that they had threatened to take my car yet I hadn't signed anything, the council lady said, "That is correct, they don't have to have anything signed or have been into your house to take possesion of the car" Is this right? That is not how this seemed to me by reading this site.

 

So I know think I have a right to complain about the bailiffs, do I have a leg to stand on?

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Half (AT LEAST !) of the people who work for Councils don't know what they are talking about. They have even less understanding of bailiff law that the bailiffs themselves do !

 

You have only had 2 visits - and therefor only owe 2 "visit" fees (as you have stated. They have tried to add other charges which are illegal.

 

If they persist challenge them in Court (with a Form 4 complaint) - and they will back down immediately.

 

ALWAYS deal with people - bailiffs and Council - ONLY in writing (so you have some evidence of the ridiculous things they say).

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Don't carry on being distressed in this way by their bullying.

Ring your local councillor immediately, they will intervene on your behalf, read my story, councillors can work magic. Good luck, the more people that get their councillors behind them the better chance of having this bullying stopped.

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That was the vaguely amusing thing, she waffled on getting herself in a pickle and then said, "where have you heard this information from, have you spoken to someone who actually knows about your legal rights?" I said that I had spoken to a legal helpline and she just said again, "Well just put it in writing if you think you have to, but the charges stand"

 

She said something about them sending me a letter early in March which I certainly haven't received either, but surely if they had a letter wouldn't have cost me £220?

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I've just spoken to someone very helpful on one of the legal advice lines and he mentioned the following:

 

Administration of Justice Act 1970

"Section 40 of the act provides that a person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:

  1. harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;
  2. falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;
  3. falsely represent themselves to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;
  4. utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.

Paragraph (1) above does not apply to anything done by a person which is reasonable (and otherwise legal) for the purpose of:

  • of securing the discharge of an obligation due, or believed by him to be due, to himself or to persons for whom he acts, or protecting himself or them from future loss; or
  • of the enforcement of any liability by legal process.

It is also provided that a person may be guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) above if he concerts with others in the taking of such action as is described in that paragraph, notwithstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment"

 

So on that basis, when I said to the bailiff that this matter was being dealt with by the council at present, surely he should not have then threatened to return at 6am the following day to take away my car?

 

The adviser also said I should write in my letter to the council the following:

 

1) That I am willing to deal with the council and organise a payment plan acceptable to both sides but that I would be unwilling to deal with a bailiff because he had been threatening and unresonable.

 

2) That by taking away my car they would actually be depriving me of the tools to do my job therefore preventing me from being able to earn money to keep to the payment arrangement agreed to.

 

The adviser also said he feels that I would have a right to complain about them threatening to return at 6am as this is generally considered outside the reasonable hours of visitation (usually 8am-8pm).

 

He also mentioned the County Court Act of 1984.

 

Both quoted text such as "Unable to lead a debtor using false or misleading information in an attempt to obtain payment" also "Harrassment of a debtor with demand for payments which in respect of the frequency, the manner, occasion of making any such demands, any threats of publicity by which any such demand is accompanied are calculated to subject him, his family or household to distress or humiliation"

 

Do these make sense or help anyone out there?

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