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bailiffs and council please help


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Hi everyone, I have received a visit from the council bailiff for unpaid council tax arrears of £744, which the bailiff has increased to £935. Anyway he visited Chritsmas week while I was out, I phoned him and he said I must pay £200 per month starting January. I said I could not afford £200 but he would not accept any less, he said if he didn't receive £200 by 21st January he would enter my property and remove goods with police presence.

I have read all this forum and followed all the advice, printing off template letters and sending them to the bailiff and council. No reply as yet.

 

I have also phoned the council after reading this statement on the forum you do not legally have to pay the baliffs a penny and the council DO have to take any payments you want to pay them. The council have told me that they WILL NOT accept any payment and any such made will be returned, they DO NOT accept any payments once it has gone to the bailiffs and they expect the bailiffs to collect money or goods, also the bailiff can use his discretion on the amount he wishes me to pay and the amount he wishes to charge for visits etc, and they want the bill paying before April if possible but before June at the latest, which is the information they have passed to the bailiff. I have asked them under what circumstances they can take back the account and they said they will never do this. The bailiff may return the account to them if he cannot collect and then they will immediately file for Committal to Prison.

 

Please help I am so confused now. I have done a means test and I have £35 a month excess (money not being used on bills) My husband has had his working week reduced to 3 days but we are £18 over the amount required for council tax rebate.

 

I have today received mail from Birchalls saying I WILL CALL AT YOUR PREMISES WITHIN THE NEXT 10 DAYS ACCOMPANIED BYT HOUSE CLEARANCE CONTRACTORS. I WILL REMOVE GOODS WITH POLICE ATTENDANCE IF NECESSARY, IF YOU WISH TO BE THERE PLEASE PHONE MY OFFICE. I have also received a reply to my letter to them but this is from Rundle & Co, asking me for a more detailled income and expenditure so they can consider my offer of payment. They have listed their charges as follows:

1st Dec 1st visit £24.50

2nd Dec 2nd Visit (the following day) £18.00

11th Dec Levy fee £47.00

11th Dec Attendance/van £100

 

Now the first I knew of the bailiff existance was on 11th december when I arrived home to find post from them saying they had called and to phone, which I did to make an arrangement an amount of which we could not agree

I am not sure I believe they attended at all as on Saturday my husband took a letter from the post man which stated hand delivered and contained info that they had called with a van that particular day and we were out.

 

Please advise.

kaz

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Hi there here is a link to a fact sheet regarding bailiffs and council tax.

 

National Debtline England & Wales | Debt Advice | Factsheet 02 Bailiffs And Council Tax

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]If you think my post was helpful, please feel free to click my scales

 

 

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.

 

:D

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Hi pinkmini welcome to CAG:) Sorry to hear of this. I don't know the answers but someone will be along soon who can help. This will bump your thread to the top so we can get some answers for you:)

<<<If I have helped please tickle the scales;-)<<<

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Have a good read of that factsheet what Jo posted and try and ring them if you can- they are really helpful:) (Nat. Debtline- not council or bailiffs!)

<<<If I have helped please tickle the scales;-)<<<

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Just read the factsheet and debtline says make payments to the council even if they refuse your offer, I just phoned council and they said debtline doesn't know what it is talking about as each council has different rules and ours will not accept any payments and return any made online once the bailiff is involved. Going to phone debtline now and ask for their advice.

 

Everyone seems to be giving me different advice, not you guys, the council and debt people and I am worrying like mad here. I know it's our fault we are in debt but that doesn't make it any easier.

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I keep reading that bailiffs charge just under £30 for 1st visit and under £20 for second visit. Birchalls have been to my house once nobody was in so nothing was signed, they left a business card saying 'Phone me' which I did, council have informed me that my bill is £744 and Birchalls have charged £191 pounds for 1 visit and they can charge what they like, I explained I had a charges breakdown from the council on what the bailiffs can charge and she said it was only their guide and the bailiffs don't have to follow it.

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Listen it's not your fault you're in debt- it's circumstances so stop beating yourself up about it:) They can't charge what they like at all there are guidelines to what they can charge. Someone more knowledgeable (than me!) should be along soon:)

<<<If I have helped please tickle the scales;-)<<<

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Hi Pinkmini, To ease your mind itis laidout in council tax legislation the fees that can be charged. £24.50 for a first visit and £18 for a second (this is for England, I believe it is £22 & £16 in Wales). They cannot charge for anyother visit (or letters) unless they make a levy (walking possession agreement) although a lot levy on vehicles parked outside the house whether you own them or not.

 

The general advice is to park vehicles well away from the house and preferably sell them (for a small amount) to someone you trust. Don't forget to change ownership at the DVLC and change insurance into the owner's name. Do not open your doors or windows to them as if they gain access they then have the legal right of access at a later date. Read the stickies at the top of the bailiff's page.

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I have read all this forum and followed all the advice, printing off template letters and sending them to the bailiff and council. No reply as yet.

 

Why don't you post them up here, minus the identifiable stuff and lets see why they aren't responding.

 

I have also phoned the council after reading this statement on the forum you do not legally have to pay the baliffs a penny and the council DO have to take any payments you want to pay them. The council have told me that they WILL NOT accept any payment and any such made will be returned, they DO NOT accept any payments once it has gone to the bailiffs and they expect the bailiffs to collect money or goods

 

Well first of all, stop speaking to them, and only write/email them.

 

Second, the statement made on the forum was correct and so was the first part of the statement made by the council.........confused? Don't be.

 

The council have a contract with the bailiffs, so if you openly offer them money they are supposed to refuse it. Which makes their statement true in that particular circumstance.

But if they are paid online or directly through the bank, and already have it, they will not refund it to you, how could they? It's council money.

 

the bailiff can use his discretion on the amount he wishes me to pay

 

That's absolutely true, note "wishes", well we all have those don't we!:) why should bailiffs be any different - doesn't mean they'll come true though.

 

 

the bailiff can use his discretion on....................... the amount he wishes to charge for visits etc

 

Here we are straying into Alice in Wonderland, a dreamlike fantasy in which bailiffs can charge what they like and make up the laws as they go along!

Sadly for the bailiffs the law provides what they can charge - and that's it.

If you are ever in any doubt refer to The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

which in 2006 was amended to The Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rating (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2006

 

I have asked them under what circumstances they can take back the account and they said they will never do this

 

More fantasy, see the guidelines for bailiffs usually published by most councils - just google it if you're not convinced.

Basically if you fall into one of the vulnerable categories then the bailiffs should hand the account back to the council.

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The bailiff may return the account to them if he cannot collect and then they will immediately file for Committal to Prison

 

The bailiff will usually try to collect a few times and then will return the account, that's true.

 

As for filing for Committal to Prison - Do you realise that there are people who for political reasons are desperate to get INTO jail for non-payment of council tax!

 

To have so much as a dogs chance of going to jail, you first have to REFUSE to pay, which you haven't.

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Thanks guys, I will wait until I hear more from the bailiff, I have asked for a breakdown of his charges.

I think he may have made a levy from outside as my daughters caravan is stored on my front, it's in her name and she has proof and it has a wheelclamp and hitchlock so I'm not too worried about him taking it as I can proove it's not mine, although he has not told me either in writing or on the phone that he has made a note of the caravan.

Will update you when I hear more.

Thanks to everyone.

Kaz

P.S. Chris600uk, I couldn't spot your scales sorry but to everyone, CHRIS IS REALLY HELPFUL.

XXXXXXXXXX

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Morning all,

 

Just a quick update for you as I am not sure where to go with this.

Not heard anything from the bailiff or council regarding the letters I posted, however, on Satudary my husband took the post from out postie personally and there was a letter posted second class from the bailiff.

This letter says HAND DELIVERED and it says they called today to remove goods and will return in 48 hours with a van and the police.

Now obviously this is total claptrap, my husband phoned the bailiffs and the person on the phone said OH JUST IGNORE IT, it shouldnt have been sent, he would not answer how this letter stating hand delivery informing of a vist was sent through normal post.

The question is what do I do with this letter, can I complain, especially if they refuse my offer of a payment plan which I set out in the letter I sent last week.

 

Regards kaz

P.S> got to go out will be back after lunch. xx

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If they have not been in your place before they can NOT enter and you don't have to let them in, So keep all windows and doors locked and if you have to speak to them do it through a upstairs window ir your letter box.

 

Do youself a repayment plan And send to the council with a payment if possible, then Just keep paying the council direct I can assure you they won't refuse payment.

 

Then write to the bailiffs and tel them its not against the law for you not to pay them and they will not be given peacful entry to your home.

 

Please don't call them as they will try and tell you your wrong!! tell them you know your rights and will be acting on them

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New installment and I need your advice please.

 

I have today received mail from Birchalls saying I WILL CALL AT YOUR PREMISES WITHIN THE NEXT 10 DAYS ACCOMPANIED BY HOUSE CLEARANCE CONTRACTORS. I WILL REMOVE GOODS WITH POLICE ATTENDANCE IF NECESSARY, IF YOU WISH TO BE THERE PLEASE PHONE MY OFFICE. I have also received a reply to my letter to them but this is from Rundle & Co, asking me for a more detailed income and expenditure so they can consider my offer of payment. They have listed their charges as follows:

1st Dec 1st visit £24.50

2nd Dec 2nd Visit (the following day) £18.00

11th Dec Levy fee £47.00

11th Dec Attendance/van £100

 

Now the first I knew of the bailiff existance was on 11th december when I arrived home to find post from them saying they had called and to phone, which I did to make an arrangement an amount of which we could not agree

I am not sure I believe they attended at all as on Saturday my husband took a letter from the post man which inside stated hand delivered and contained info that they had called with a van that particular day and we were out.

 

Please advise.

kaz

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Hi,

No they have not been into my house before for anything and I have no idea what the levy is for it does not say on their paperwork. The only thing that is outside my property of any value if my oldest daughters caravan which is worth £12,000 and if they tell me they have levied that I can prove it does not belong to me we store it for her as her house does not have enough room.

Kaz

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Also I have read on these sticky notes on this site that the bailiff cannot levy on anything that is considerably more in value than the debt in question. We even if he was half sighted he would know the value difference would be well over £10,000 between the debt and the caravan. My daughter has a hitch lock and wheel clamp on it and I dont have the keys so I don't think he can take it.

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If they really wanted to lift it they could do it quite easily.

 

The bailiff has a right to assume that goods on the debtors premises belong to the debtor and can be lawfully seized OBSERVER LTD V GORDON (1983).

 

So since the onus is on the debtor to show that an item is not his/her property one way of doing that is to provide the bailiff with a statutory declaration witnessed by a solicitor. It's a good idea to have more than one.

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they have not been into my house before for anything and I have no idea what the levy is for it does not say on their paperwork

 

Then the levy is invalid, you should copy it and send it to them by email saying that if they will not cancel the charge and the record of the levy you will be forced to make a complaint to the court.

Send it by email, with copies to the Council Tax department, the head of the council tax department, your councillor, your MP.

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Previous case was DAVIDSON V ROACH (1991), BRISTOL COUNTY COURT, where the bailiffs settled out of court rather than face judgement.

 

Also:

A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Section 1 of the 2006 Act contains the new general offence of fraud. 


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