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Failing to pay the 'costs' associated with late council tax...

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Hi guys

 

I have a couple of questions regarding late payment of council tax and liability orders.

 

I've made a real mess of paying my council tax this year. No excuses really - I've just been rather disorganised lately. And now I'm paying for it!

 

I'm ashamed to say that I ignored Tower Hamlets initial council tax bill back in March, and then I also ignored the reminder they sent me at the end of April.

 

However when the court summons came through the letterbox, mid May, I paid my council tax in full (£796.90). But I didn't pay the additional 'costs' of £75, assuming that as I had paid all my council tax - a full two weeks before the scheduled court date - then the costs would be waived. Big mistake!

 

A few days after the court date I got a liability order 'for not paying your council tax'. The bill was for £95 (I guess that's the original £75 'costs', plus £20 further costs). However I ignored it - at the time I thought it was a mistake as I had paid my council tax in full.

 

Then there was nothing for a few weeks. I thought that Tower Hamlets had maybe realised their error and given up on chasing me. (Doh!)

 

So this morning I get a hardcore threatening letter from some bailiffs called Rundle and Co. The letter spooked me, so I went online and gave them what they were asking - £137.50. I have no idea what it's for, but I guess £95 of it gets divvied up between the court and Tower Hamlets, and the rest of it - £42.50 - is what the bailiffs charge for sending a letter.

 

A few questions:

 

1. I had it coming, didn't I?

 

2. They're all entitled to their money, right?

 

3. What kind of black marks do I now have against my name (re. credit ratings etc.)?

 

Many thanks for any info. This has ruined my weekend, but I've probably only got myself to blame.

 

Cheers

 

Elliot

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The £95.00 as you state appears to be Court Fees of £75.00 and I'm not sure about the £20 as I think the Liability Order should only be £3.00 which is then deducted from the £75.00.(Hopefully someone will be able to confirm this)

 

In respect with Council Tax Arrears, Bailiffs are not allowed to charge fees for sending a letter.The charges they appear to have applied are;

 

First Visit £24.50

 

Second visit £18.00

 

If you haven't had a visit from them they shouldn't be charging you anything.

 

They are not allowed to charge for any further visits unless they are attempting a levy.

 

Hopefully someone will be along soon to fill in the gaps and advice you what action you should take.

 

enamae


Please note: I have no qualifications in this area and any advice offered is given in good faith.

 

 

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/Ombudsman-news/40/40_setoff.htm

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Many thanks for the helpful response. It was probably foolish of me to pay the full amount when I got the nasty letter from the bailiffs. I suspect they are billing me for visits that they never made. I'll speak to the council and the bailiffs tomorrow and report back.

 

Cheers

 

Elliot

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The bailiffs tell me that the fee of £42.50 is not related to any visits (they didn't make any), or to sending me a letter. It is their basic fee for handling a case.

 

The council tell me that £75 is the 'summons cost', and £20 is the 'liability hearing cost'.

 

Elliot

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then the bailiff is lying!!

get it back.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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If they are lying, I'd certainly like to get the money back.

 

But I'm not sure how I would go about it. (An invoice, followed by a court summons?)

 

The woman I spoke to at the bailiff's was adamant that the £42.50 was their standard basic fee for handling a case. (I do wonder - if they can't charge such a fee, how do they ever make any money?)

 

Cheers

 

Elliot

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