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First time posting so please forgive if I'm not doing this the right way! I've already tried to post but I had problems so apologies if I've double posted.

 

My partner and I owe council tax (Cornwall County Council) of £350 for a previous address. We moved 4 months ago and of course Roseendales have caught up with us (we were doing a good impersonation of that well known Australian bird! I know, not clever). They said they would be calling to remove goods! As far as I knew they had no walking possession order so I sent a letter I found on this site stating we could pay £5 pw (on income support) and that they would no gain peaceful entry into our home. I received a reply this morning stating they DO have a signed WP order..turns out my partner signed one when they called at the old house on a day that I was out. He says they told him it was an agreement to pay instalments, he believed them and signed. In his defence, he's Dutch and has no experience of debt collectors etc plus English not his first language.

 

Is this WP order valid? Does it only relate to the old address? (Wishful thinking on my part here) as my partner was, effectively, lied to in order to obtain his signature does this make the WP order invalid? I'm absolutely terrified that they could come and just force entry and take our stuff (such as it is) also, I have a horse (had her for years before circumstances changed and I had to claim benefits before anyone is wondering why someone on benefits has a horse!) could they take her?

 

They (Rossendales) also mention a car reg which isn't even ours, it was hired when my mum came to visit and just happened to be in the drive when their "representative" visited.

 

I'm so sorry if all this is confusing but I'm feeling rather strung out by all this.

 

Any advice PLEASE

 

Eliza

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don't panic they cannot break into your house (they wont want/take your horse) ask the council to take payments out of your income support i think is abut £3 week

was the walking possession he singed for the car

write to the council and complain about the bailiff lying to your hubby about what he was signing he didn't know what is was not English (naughty bailiff)

(why was a copy of this walking possession agreement not left with him when he singed it)

do you remember the name of the company your mum hired car from (can she get copy of the agreement) you can set a statuary declaration done saying the car was not yours

 

Then you scan it, email it, fax it, post a hard copy recorded delivery. The bailiffs should then release these items from the levy.

STATUTORY DECLARATION

 

 

 

To: (the bailiffs) (their address)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I (your name)

of (your address)

Do solemnly and sincerely declare that:

the items listed (list them) are not the property of (your friends name) and (reason why they were there) and have always been my sole property

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835 and Section 5 of The Perjury Act 1911.

 

Signature:

 

Declared at

 

On the day of two thousand and

 

Before me

 

A Commissioner for Oaths, or Notary Public/Justice of the Peace/Solicitor having the powers conferred on a Commissioner for Oaths.

 

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Hallowitch..thank you so much. I got myself into a right old panic there! The walking possession agreement must be for the car we don't own as the bailiff didn't get past the front doorstep. Whether or not he left a copy I don't know (my other half is a bit vague about that) I certainly never saw one. Is there any point really in sending the Stat' Dec'? I ask this because obviously the car is no longer with us and a quick check with DVLA will tell Rossendales exactly who owns the vehicle.

 

I guess the best bet would be to contact the council direct and see if they'll take the debt back? I just want to get these nutters from Rossendlaes off my back, my partner is going through a severe clinical depression and this is really sending him over the edge.

 

Thanks again for replying, I've been awake all weekend worrying about this. Thanks goodness for this site!

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when you write to the council explain that your hubby's first language is not English and until the bailiff mentioned the walking possession that you knew nothing about it as your hubby was led to believe it was a payment agreement he was signing

tell them you think the car on the WPA may be a car your mother hired tell them that the bailiff did not leave a copy of what your hubby signed that day so you can only assume that it is this car on the WPA and that the bailiff can do a DVLA check to confirm that you don't own a car

if Rossendales start getting shirty with you tell them you will file a form 4 complaint against the bailiff

because it was a car that they levied they have never gained peacefully entry into your home so no worries there just keep them out

find out from the council exactly how much the liability order was for bailiffs fees are £24.50 for first visit £18 for second once the charges for the levy are removed that is all your bailiffs cost are

 

any letters e-mails to the council copy and send to bailiffs and vise versa

don't speak to bailiffs on phone unless you can record the calls

send any letters recorded delivery

 

tell your hubby not to worry about this to much there is plenty support on here to help you get through this

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oh yes and don't forget that the council are responsible for all bailiffs actions as the bailiffs work for the council as there agents so don't let the council fob you off either

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Thank you, once again, for your advice. I shall speak to the council tomorrow. I have emailed Rossendales telling them that as they have never gained "peaceful entry" and that the WPO was levied against a vehicle which doesn't belong to us PLUS their representative (aka rottweiller) obtained my partner's signature under false pretences (aka lying) then the WPO is invalid. Haven't heard back from them yet.

 

Thank goodness for this site. I feel much more confident in dealing with these people now I know my rights.

 

Phew..I may well sleep tonight...

 

Thanks again

Eliza

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Guest Happy Contrails

Go with Hallowich on this, its good advice.

 

My concern from your comments is the council may not have complied with regulations for council tax enforcement. The legislation is Part VI of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. I have a few questions because you may not be liable for any bailiffs fees at all.

 

1. Did you receive a Final Notice in the post?

 

If no then the Authority failed to comply with Regulation 33(1).

 

2. Was it sent to your old address?

 

If yes then Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 rules the document has not been properly affected.

 

3. Did you receive a Liability Order?

 

If no, then the Authoritry has failed to comply with Regulation 34(2).

 

4. Was receiving a bailiff the first you became aware of the debt?

 

If yes then the Authority has failed to comply with numerous points in Part VI of the regs. Contact the council and ask they take the debt back to council administration and remove the fees for failure to comply with council tax enforcement regulations. If you are fobbed off with excuses then quickly contact the Local Government Ombudsman and apply for compensation for receiving a bailiff.

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Hi Happy Contrails, we did receive a final notice at the previous address. We were aware of the debt and tried to sort it with council but we missed a payment one month and they passed it to Bailiffs. The only correspondence we've received at the new address re the o/s CT is a letter from Rossendales stating they have a WPO and will be enforcing this if full payment isn't received. I don't know if we received a Liability Order. So should the council have contacted us at the new address regarding the old CT debt? Rather than send in the bailiffs to deal? A bit confused here!

Thanks for taking the time to help, I'm going to ring the council today so I need to get my facts straight!

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Guest Happy Contrails

The law requires the authority to send you the liability order summons before instructing bailiffs.

 

Regulation 34(2) of the The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 says:

 

(2) The application is to be instituted by making complaint to a justice of the peace, and requesting the issue of a summons directed to that person to appear before the court to show why he has not paid the sum which is outstanding.

 

If the council admits to sending it to your old address, or the address on the Liability Order or the summons is wrong then Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 says:

 

Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

 

An easy one for the LGO to clear up. Compensation awards by the LGO for cases like this is about £100-£150 depending on how vexatious the council was then you tried to reach an amicable resolve with them.

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Hello all, well, I tried ringing the council today, got nowhere, refused to speak to me as said the debt is now "owned" by Rossendales. I tried to tell them that the bailiffs were acting unethically, had levied a car not belonging to us, conned my partner into signing a document by lying to him, plus his first language isn't English etc etc and they just didn't want to know. So, now I shall write them a letter and copy it to Rossendales and my local MP. Thanks to you folk who have responded to this post I'm in a much more enlightened position and have a much clearer idea of what my rights are. Thanks to all.

Eliza

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Guest Happy Contrails

Unpaid council tax cases are not traded in the same way a debt collector buys up bad debts from a mail order catalogue company.

 

You need to make a complaint to the LGO against the authority for making a false representation in their intepretation of the law and failure to comply with regulations in council tax enforcements. It would appear the authority is trying to lie it way out or a council employee is in need of some re-training.

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Hi HC, what is the "LGO" exactly? (sorry to be dim)

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local government ombudsman

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OK, thanks for that. I shall send the letter to all involved and see what happens.

Cheers

Eliza

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