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another letter from equita - re council tax - account was closed? PLEASE HELP!!!


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Hi guys - i agree this has gone on long enough (see this thread for the early backstory; http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bailiffs-sheriff-officers/165574-council-tax-equita-immediate.html)

 

 

- my dealings with Newcastle council have been somewhat fraught again of late read on for more details of this ongoing sorry saga;

 

so in march 2009 - i informed the council i was moving out.

when i was moving out of my place i rang the counil six weeks before i moved out - said i wanted my final bill up until the 9th pf april

 

i got my final bill for £27 quid at my new place - paid it, ended account.

i paid the £27 - got a letter from them saying the account was closed.

 

what the council negelected to mention was theyd already sent the previous months bill (£83)to the last flat. i'd been livin in my new place for a month by now!

 

so the was bill that was sent to the old flat for £83 was for the march 2009.

 

i don't live there so don't get the letter believe my account is closed.

 

2 months roll by, what happens is it goes to court - they send the letters to my old flat, i don't know about any of this, apparently they don't have to tell you.

 

last fri get a letter from equita baliffs (at my new place) saying they want £ 189.66

 

£83 council tax - £62 court costs - for the council plus £42.50 equita costs

 

My girlfriend rings Equita asks if we can pay half now and half in 2 days when i get paid (i'm so hacked off with the ongoing saga that i just want to get it done and dusted even if it means paying £40 to equita)

 

So they said they want payment in full, so i say i'll have to wait 2 days.

 

2 days roll by - we get a letter from equita dated 17/06/09 @ 7-25am

 

My Surname is spelt wrong, this is what it says;

 

DELIVERED BY HAND

 

BAILIFF REMOVAL

 

PAYMENT DUE IN FULL IN 24 HOURS

 

I Have attended today with the intention of removing your goods and chattels as are necessary to discharge the outstanding Council Tax Liability Order and any additional Enforcement Costs incurred.

 

*PLEASE NOTE - NO further arrangements are acceptable and payment is now required in full by CLEAR FUNDS ONLY *

 

I will re-attend at your address with immediate effect and may REMOVE goods even in your absence. Should you wish to aoid this distressing course of action, contact me imediately on the telephone number below to arrange prompt payment of your debt.

 

No contact will be taken as your refusal to pay.

 

yours Sincerely.

 

# ##### (name)

 

BAILIFF IN CHARGE

Telephone immediately On - ########### (mobile number)

 

If you are apying by credit/debit there may be a charge.

 

Equita Ltd Registered office: 42-44 henry street, northampton NN1 4BZ

-----------------------------------------

theirs an accompanying form entitled;

 

FORM 7 NOTICE OF SEIZURE AND INVENTORY OF GOODS

 

in which they detail the following costs;

 

amount owing council tax - £189.66

 

baliff costs (inc vat) - £154.50

 

Total amount - £344.16

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------

So i rang equita they said i have to speak to the baliff and hung up on me after i asked them for some information to be faxed to my office.

 

I rang the baliff and he said if i can't pay they will clamp my girlfriends car which is parked on my driveway. (the car is NOT mine and not registered in my name). i don't think he can do this legally, he also said he could come and take goods. i said i need to find out some information and ring the council, he imediatley said "you think we are [problem] artists? i take this as your refusal to pay and hung up!

 

-----------------------------------

 

any advice would be appreciated,

 

thanks guys.

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THE COUNCIL TAX (ADMINISTRATION AND

ENFORCEMENT) REGULATIONS 1992 (SI 1992/613 AS

AMENDED BY SI 1993/773, SI 1998/295, SI 2003/2211, SI 2006/3395 AND SI 2007/501

(SCHEDULE 5)

NOTICE OF

CHARGES CONNECTED WITH DISTRESS

1. The sum in respect of charges connected with the distress which may be aggregated under

regulation 45(2) shall be set out in the following Table-

(1)

Matters connected with distress

(2)

Charges

A For making a visit to premises with a view

to levying distress (where no levy is

made) –

i) where the visit is the first or only such

visit £24.50

ii) where the visit is the second such

visit:£18

 

 

the cant levy on a car belonging to your girlfriend

 

any levy must be on a walking possession agreement (form7) and left on the premises at time of levy

__________________

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Distress

45.—(1) Where a liability order has been made, the authority which applied for the order may levy the appropriate amount by distress and sale of the goods of the debtor against whom the order was made.

 

(2) The appropriate amount for the purposes of paragraph (1) is the aggregate of—

  • (a) an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

  • (b) a sum determined in accordance with Schedule 5 in respect of charges connected with the distress.

(3) If, before any goods are seized, the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount and the levy shall not be proceeded with.

 

(4) Where an authority has seized goods of the debtor in pursuance of the distress, but before sale of those goods the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount, the sale shall not be proceeded with and the goods shall be made available for collection by the debtor.

 

(5) The person levying distress on behalf of an authority shall carry with him the written authorisation of the authority, which he shall show to the debtor if so requested; and he shall hand to the debtor or leave at the premises where the distress is levied a copy of this regulation and Schedule 5 and a memorandum setting out the appropriate amount, and shall hand to the debtor a copy of any close or walking possession agreement entered into.

 

(6) A distress may be made anywhere in England and Wales

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so if i pay the original amount direct to the council including the costs which amounted to £189.66 - i don't have to deal with the bailff? so i don't have to pay the extra charges of £154.50?

 

is this correct?

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Heres' a breakdown of the charges;

 

the original amount from the council was; £147.16

 

amount owing penalty notice/

/council tax/non domestic rates - £189.66 (so £147.16 + £42.5)

 

Bailiff costs - 154.50

 

total amount - £344.16

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Bailiff costs - 154.50

 

what is this for there should no other bailiffs costs unless they have a walking possession order on your goods have they been in your house have they done a levy on your car is your car on H.P.

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I had a FORM 7 stuffed in the letterbox this morning, which has my girlfriends car details and registration on it. (the car is nothing to do with me and is registered at another address and in my girlfriends name.

 

it's signed by the bailiff, and dated 17/06/09 (today)

 

they have never been inside my home, and i would never let them in.

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OK the bailiff has an unlawful levy

 

e-mail bailiffs company and the council

tell them that they have Levy on your girlfriends car they cannot do this a bailiff can check with the dvla to see who's car it is they have obviously not check this

 

do not under Any circumstances pay this

your bailiffs charges are £42.50 give them no more than this

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ok, thanks, I have tried to ring the bailiff back to make a payment, however he has been engaged for 3 hours - i rang equita to give me a breakdown of these costs and fax them too me. Unsurprisingly, they hung up.

 

I have just come off the phone with newcastle council, who where outright disgusted with equita. i asked if i could pay them the outstanding council tax £147.16 and they said they would have to speak to someone interanally.

 

So i asked her if i paid the money online straigt away, after all it was them who issued this liability to recover the money in the first place, would she refund me and let Equita deal with it?

 

she said they are obliged to take money and cannot refuse payment.

 

so i just paid the outstanding balance online of £147.16.

 

newcaslte council said she would notify Equita, they would reduce there claim and i would have to deal with them to pay my bailiff fees.

 

So all i need do now is get through to someone at equita and pay £42.50?

 

the bailiff did say he was coming back tommorow morning to clamp my girlfriends car at 7:15 - should I give him a letter or something, along with his £42.50?

 

thanks

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if you have a cheque book pay it with that

if the bailiff comes tomorrow offer him £42.50 if he refuses to take it tell him that you know he has an invalid levy you have been in touch with the council about it and that all he is due for his fees if he wants more then you will be happy to file a form 4 complaint to the county court

 

do not under any circumstances pay this over the phone unless you can record the call and clearly state that that you are authorising them to take £42.50 no more and this is a one of payment

 

if he does come tomorrow and you are paying with card write a receipt authorising him to take £42.50 bailiffs fee no more as a one of payment (for your own records) get him to sign it if he refuses don't pay him

if he threatens to clamp car tell him to go ahead as he knows his levy is invalid and you will take a picture of him doing this and will send it to the council and attach it to your form 4 complaint

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HALLOWITCH.....Excellent advice on this question !!

 

The CORRECT amount is only £42.50 and once again the bailiff is relying upon case law that allows for a bailiff to PRESUME that goods outside of the property are yours.

 

This case law provides that the ONUS OF PROOF is on you...and NOT the bailiff to PROVE ownership.

 

What you need to do is pay the correct sum of £42.50 and provide a covering letter signed by your girlfriend confirming that she is the owner of the vehicle.

 

Copy this to the council and advise the council and the bailiff that unless Equita remove the levy against the vehicle and also remove ALL charges associated with this "levy" that you will file a REGULATION 46 COMPLAINT to the Magistrates Court without any further reference to them. !!!!

 

Please keep us all posted on any response.

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Hi Guys, so the bailiff was a no-show this morning despite saying in his letter that he would be back at 7:15am.

 

I had the receipt from the council tax that was paid, ready to waive in his face a cheque for £42.50 and also this covering letter;

 

//////////

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

A liability order has been passed to you that I had no notification of, and of which I was completely unaware.

 

I understand Newcastle City Council have appointed you to recover my Council Tax arrears of £147.16.

 

On 17th/6/2009 I received a letter from you stating that a liability order had been passed to you and you were to collect the sum of £344.16. This amount demanded by you was with unlawful charges not incurred and not as part of regulation of £42.50.

 

Firstly I received no notification of a court summons or liability order from Newcastle City Council or the magistrates’ court prior to Newcastle City Council passing this debt to you.

 

Secondly I am aware that payments should normally be made to you directly and that a cost for writing to me has been incurred.

 

Thirdly that it would appear that from the very limited time you have had this debt, you have managed to apply additional fees of £197.00. without an adequate explanation.

 

Following a conversation I had on 17th/6/09 with one of your advisors Mr A Brown he was unable to give me a satisfactory explanation of what this fee of £197.00. is for and has not quantified the charge nor does it appear under the Regulations as being incurred.

 

On this basis I refuse to pay an amount that is not understood and as your Company is known to charge fees of an unlawful nature that are unwarranted and instruct Bailiffs to continue to visit and increase charges with merit, this is in my opinion tantamount to extortion that demands can be made for monies with no explanation.

 

I have decided to pay the full amount owed, directly to Newcastle City Council. £147.16. was paid to Newcastle City council on 17th/6/09 enclosed is the printed receipt via email that Newcastle City Council sent me. Payment was accepted on 17 June 2009 at 15:33pm.

 

 

I have grave concerns as to the honesty and integrity of your Company. My concern is that obviously it already appears unlawful fees have been charged and I do not trust any arrangement that I would have established with your Company or the Bailiff.

 

I will pay the only fee to date you have justifiably earnt in this matter which is the statutory fee for the letter you have sent. This is £42.50 and I enclose a cheque for the full sum due and oweable to your Company.

 

I have sent a copy of this letter to Newcastle City Council in addition to my full and final payment. Please be aware that a formal complaint has been made with the Court about your Company and Newcastle City Council regarding appropriate procedures not being taken, concerning notifying me correctly regarding the liability order summons.

 

In closing I am making a formal request to ask you to provide me with a complete breakdown of your fees regarding this debt to date, which I will allow 14 days for a return reply.

Yours Faithfully,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

//////////

 

Do you think i need to re-write this, or add anything? I shall now be sending this to Equita, along with the cheque - and a copy to newcastle council -should i mention anything about the Invalid levy?, or provide any documents to support?

 

thanks again for your help!

Edited by skatepunkdog
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not incurred and not as part of regulation of £42.50.remove

statutory fee for the letter you have sent not letters visits they cant charge for letters

have sent a copy of this letter to Newcastle City Council in addition to my full and final payment. Please be aware that a formal complaint has been made with the Court about your Company and Newcastle City Council regarding appropriate procedures not being taken, concerning notifying me correctly regarding the liability order summons

its the council that apply for liability order not the bailiffs

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THE COUNCIL TAX (ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT) REGULATIONS 1992 clearly state that bailiffs charges for collecting council tax arrears are £24.50 For making a visit to premises with a view

to levying distress (where no levy is

made) – and £18 for second visit

i am therefore enclosing a cheque for £42.50 as a final payment for bailiffs fees

the walking possession order hand delivered on the 17/6/09 shows a car has been levied this car is not my property and a DVLA check will confirm this

 

i have paid my council tax arrears direct to Newcastle city council on (date )and made a formal complaint regarding the unlawful levy

 

this is a final payment and any dispute regarding the unlawful levy will result in a form 4 complaint to the county court

i also require a screenshot of my account if you fail to provide me with this within 14 days i will issue a formal complaint to Newcastle city council a copy of this letter sent by recorded delivery will also be sent to Newcastle city council

 

thats all you need to send short and strait to the point don't send receipt for council payment let them work for there money

Edited by hallowitch
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Sent a copy on email to Equita and copied in the council too just sent the letters recorded the post, got a reply on the email;

 

/////////////

 

Dear Sir

 

We confirm receipt of your recent email enquiry which has been passed to our case management department. A written reply will be issued to you within 14 days.

 

EQUITA LTD

 

/////////////

 

As you can see - pretty standard stuff - Hopefully they'll just bugger off now, next stage is to claim compensation from the Council, and get the £64 fees back they added to my bill, when they sent the liability order without notifying me.

 

And hopefully if I complain hard enough Equita will get a good bollocking too, I'm finding out who my local councillor is now.

 

I'll keep you posted re Equita/Newcastle council over the next week or so.

 

Thanks so much guys, couldn't have done it without you!

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Another update - just recieved a text message from the bailiff, saying;

 

/////

 

"FINAL DEMAND! pay your outstanding balance today to avoid further Bailliff Action!!

 

////

 

Obviously this was just another bullying tactic and the bailiff working for Equita obviously hasn't been in touch with his office or Newcastle council, and they haven't let him know that the matter is now settled as far as I'm concerned.

 

I rang him and told him exactly what has been done - told him I sought legal advice after the way he spoke to me yesterday and that I've made a formal complaint about him, his company and their actions directly to the the Bailiffs authority, the county court and Newcastle council.

 

He was quite flustered and asked me why i'd complained about him, I told him it was because of the awfull attitude he had with me, he was not respectful and he levied a vehicle unlawfully that doesn't belong to me.

 

He said that he had to levy the car and it wasn't his fault, I said it's your duty & responsibility as an acting agent on behalf of equita to check - I also gave him the website for the DVLA where he can do this.

 

He was completeley defeated in the end, knew he didn't have a leg to stand on and basically said 'let's agree not to call each other again ok?'

 

Then he hung up! lol, I feel so much better now, will keep you guys posted on the other letters when I folow them up!

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He was completely defeated in the end, knew he didn't have a leg to stand on and basically said 'let's agree not to call each other again OK?'

 

Then he hung up! lol, I feel so much better now, will keep you guys posted on the other letters when I follow them up!

 

and to think you were worried about this bailiff a few days ago shoe on the other foot now well done

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