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      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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False council tax arrears from 1994!


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Today I received a call from East Renfrewshire council r.e. council tax arrears from a property I lived in from Nov 1991 - Aug 1994. This is the first contact I have had from them regarding this matter.

 

They claim I lived in the property until 1997 however are willing to accept that, as I started paying council tax in a new local authority area in 1995 that I may have moved out in 95 however also claim that I didnt pay council tax from 1993-1995 (basically from when council tax started till when they claimed I moved out) and that they are now out to reclaim the debt.

 

Firstly, i did definitely move out in Aug 1994 as the property involved was student nurse accommodation which went with the course. My training finished in Aug 94 when I moved back in with my parents until I bought my first flat in 95.

Secondly I did pay council tax during my time there, by direct debit as i always pay bills by DD.

However I have no proof of either of these facts as the hospital I trained in closed completely in 1996 and no records exist of student nurse occupancy. Also as the bank account I had at the time closed more than 6 years ago the bank has no records that can prove i paid by DD.

 

I have requested detailed info in writing from the council however what can I do as its their word against mine. I know I did pay my council tax whilst in residence there but, should they proceed with this what are my options?

Can they even force action against a supposed debt that almost 15 years old?

 

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you don't have liabilty orders in scotland.

 

to be honest unless you have proof you are screwed.

 

CT can still be claimed after this amount of time.

 

you could send the council a sar to see what info they have to check their records but if this shows no payments received it wonlt be much help

 

 

there is more and more of this now where councils budgets have been slahed they are trying to reclaim all outstanding CT

 

ida x

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I'm afraid so. Over the last 3 years I have always paid at the council office so i have a recipt and the last year by paypoint and keep them all in a big box as I know quite a few people in the same boat.

 

ida x

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Thanks for the replies, looks like Im screwed then:-x

I have no way of proving i made direct debit payments as, unsurprisingly I dont have bank statements from 15 years ago. I may be able to prove when I moved out as i claimed unemployment benefit for the first month I was at my parents address so there should be records of that somewhere hopefully.

 

I cant believe Im going to have to pay this again. Ive never been in arrears with my Council Tax in my life, im so mad!!:-x:-x:-x

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If everyone in the property was a student there should have been an exemption awarded for the period you lived there and were studying. It may be worth finding some confirmation of the dates of the course and passing these to the Council along with an exemption application.

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If everyone in the property was a student there should have been an exemption awarded for the period you lived there and were studying. It may be worth finding some confirmation of the dates of the course and passing these to the Council along with an exemption application.

 

Unfortunately at the time student nurses weren't exempt from council tax as we received a wage from the NHS so we did pay council tax.

 

I cant believe this is simply going to come down to a 'my word against theirs' issue. I have no way to prove I paid as it was so long ago therefore the assumption is that I didnt pay and are therefore liable for the debt:mad:

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Council Tax debt prescribes after 20 years so the Council is able to pursue you. As you no longer live in the same Authority area there wouldn't be much point involving your local councillor. It may be an idea to contact your local MSP. When elected representatives become involved in a dispute you would be amazed at the sea change in the attitude of the Council officers dealing with the case!

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  • 4 months later...

Hi

Just wanted to update this and ask for some more advice.

 

My last contact with ED Council was to inform then that I was disputing the arrears and would be seeking further advice from CAB. At that time they agreed to put a hold on the account for 6 weeks and would then contact me again regarding making payment.

So after speaking to the CAB they advised me to basically ignore them until they sent me details of the debt in writing (up till now I have had only telephone contact with them)

 

So, I come home today (approx 7 weeks since my last contact with ED Council) to find letters from Walker Love regarding a Sumary Warrant for recovery of the debt:-x

 

I still havent received ANY any written contact from ED Council regarding this debt, instead they've sent it straight to a debt collection agengy!!

 

So, my plan is to contact Walker Love tomorrow, explain that I am not only disputing the debt but also the situation r.e. no written contact with ED Council. Im also planning on going back to the CAB as they have said they would look into it further once I received written details from the Council.

Is there anything else I should be doing? Should I contact ED Council again

myself?

Also, as far as the summary warrant is concerned, should I be worried? Will I be faced with balliffs turning up at my door?

 

Thanks

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Just wondering if you were registered on the Electoral Register when you moved in with your Parents?

 

Honestly not sure how long records are kept but it may be another avenue for you to explore.

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It may be a good idea to contact the Council again to ask why they have passed the debt to Walker Love given that they were going to revert back to you. If you speak to Walker Love they would just refer it back to the Council for advice anyway.

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CCA request will not work as Council Tax is not covered by the Consumer Credit Act as it is a statutory debt.

 

It is almost certain that a Summary Warrant has been granted, in which case Walker Love will instigate a Wages Arrestment Schedule or possibly a Bank Account Arrestment. However if the account is in overdraft the latter will not succeed. Nevertheless, it is somewhat difficult to stop a Wages Arrestment Schedule if they know where you work. What can be done is to negotiate a repayment plan based on the legal limit that is applied to wages arrestment. Walker Love will almost certainly try to get you to pay more. If they do this refer them to the following

Appendix 1: Deductions from weekly earnings from 6 April 2008

 

Net earnings

Deductions

Not exceeding £85

Nil

Exceeding £85 but not exceeding £125

£4

Exceeding £125 but not exceeding £135

£6

Exceeding £135 but not exceeding £145

£9

Exceeding £145 but not exceeding £160

£13

Exceeding £160 but not exceeding £175

£15

Exceeding £175 but not exceeding £190

£19

Exceeding £190 but not exceeding £210

£22

Exceeding £210 but not exceeding £230

£25

Exceeding £230 but not exceeding £250

£28

Exceeding £250 but not exceeding £265

£32

Exceeding £265 but not exceeding £285

£34

Exceeding £285 but not exceeding £300

£38

Exceeding £300 but not exceeding £320

£41

Exceeding £320 but not exceeding £340

£47

Exceeding £340 but not exceeding £365

£54

Exceeding £365 but not exceeding £395

£60

Exceeding £395 but not exceeding £425

£66

Exceeding £425 but not exceeding £455

£73

Exceeding £455 but not exceeding £485

£82

Exceeding £485 but not exceeding £520

£92

Exceeding £520 but not exceeding £555

£101

Exceeding £555 but not exceeding £590

£110

Exceeding £590 but not exceeding £630

£120

Exceeding £630 but not exceeding £675

£145

Exceeding £675 but not exceeding £730

£170

Exceeding £730 but not exceeding £795

£199

Exceeding £795 but not exceeding £870

£230

Exceeding £870 but not exceeding £945

£262

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Just a little more information, although it is not what you want to hear.

What information must the client supply

 

41

If the local authority has been granted a summary warrant (or a decree in an action for payment) for arrears of council tax,against a client, it can require her/him to supply the following information:-

  • name and address of any employer
  • client's national insurance number
  • name and address of any bank or building society where s/he has an account, and the account number; this includes joint accounts
  • name and address of any other person(s) who are jointly and severally liable with the client for the arrears.

42

In practice in many local authority areas, it will be the sheriff officer who is enforcing the summary warrant on behalf of the local authority who will request this information from the client. This information must be supplied.

43

If the client fails to supply information when requested, or knowingly gives false information, the local authority can impose a £50 penalty on her/him. If a penalty has been made and the client still does not provide accurate information when asked for it again, the local authority can impose a further penalty of £200. This further penalty will be imposed each time the local authority asks for the information and the client does not supply it.

44

A client can appeal against the imposition of a penalty.

 

Remember Waker Love are Sheriff Officers and should not be confused with DCA's

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DO NOT call walker love get aletter drawn up saying that the account is in dspute wth the council and to send it back to the council

 

 

as you have only phoned the council I would get a letter written up and sent asap asking for breakdown of charges and that tey had stated the account would be on hold until resoluton.

 

ida x

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Thanks for the responses.

 

Crocdoc, thanks for the info regarding summary warrants. Thing is I dont actually owe East Dumbartonshire Council this money, I paid it in full in the first instance which is why Im in dispute with them and therefore would be VERY unhappy about any deductions from my wages or bank account.

 

Ida, I have already called Walker Love unfortunately. Mind you all they have told me is that until they hear otherwise from the council they will be pursuing the debt and have no interest in the fact that its in dispute.

 

Anyway Ive tried today to speak to CAB again but they're closed for the september weekend holiday so it'll have to wait until Friday.

Im really angry about how unprofessional the council have been regarding communication in this matter and I think expecting me to pay up on a false debt with only verbal details of the arrears to be pretty suspect.

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wait a mo... you said you paid by dd for the council tax...

 

 

 

you can get copy of bank statements for it

 

also when you moved toyour parents did you change your address with your bank and for paslips etc

 

ida x

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Nope, no proof of payment available.

I haven't got bank statements from 15 years ago (I now know to keep all paperwork for ever and never think its safe to get rid of it!) also, the banks themselves only keep records for 7 years so no luck their either.

 

When I moved in with my mother I kept the same bank account. I had just qualified as a nurse so was unemployed when I moved. I did claim unemployment benefit there for 1 month but on contacting the benefits agency they also only keep records for 7 years so no proof from there either.

 

Anyhoo, been back to Citizens advice today and they have basically said that as its now got to the summary warrant stage I really have no choice but to pay it.

Looks like its totally their word against mine. I have to prove that I paid in the first place whilst they dont even have to provide me with details in writing, Ive just to take their word for it over the phone *sigh* :sad:

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can't think of anything else to say or do :(

 

ida x

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