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I have been with Rossendale for 2 yrs clearing council tax arrears and for 2 previous years had signed WPAs and cleared those payments off. Only had last yrs o/s and was about to start making payments of £250 to being in clearing, knowing that this yrs bill would soon be added.

 

I got a visit last week from them wanting a new WPA completing for this yrs council tax that has just been assigned to them. I refused them entry and told them to come back this Thursday and in the meantime I would speak to local council and R'dale about why I would not be allowed to continue with the arrangement I had.

 

I spoke to R'dale who got shirty and demanded I could no longer have an arrangement without WPA though acknowledged there was no legal requirement to sign a WPA. I tried to cancel bailiff visit as I had also made a formal complaint to the council about the sheer scale of fees I was to be subject to. My bill of £1536 had already goine to £1625 and for the 3 previous bills had paid in total of £500 in fees.

 

When cancelling the appointment I reminded the bailiff that the council had stated they will take 5 working days to deal with my email complaint.

 

I have now arrived home this evening to find the bailiff has called whilst I was out and levied the car on the drive, posted the WPA through the door and added fees of £24.5 visit one, £70 visit 2 and now I owe £1731!!!!

 

Are they allowed to turn up the day before a formal apptment?

 

They have levied a contract hire car which is due to be returned to the contract hire company tomorrow/ Friday - what do I tell them?

 

They have posted the WPA through the door but clearly I have not signed it nor have they legally levied anything - what do i do ?

 

They have also demanded £600 which is clearly in excess of the £250 they know I can afford.

 

 

They have obviously thrown their toys out as I have complained about them to the council and refused to play ball with the WPA. What am I able to rant and rave about in the morning and what am I allowed to quote them in terms of legislation?

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You have no obligation at all to pay the bailiffs why peolple do I jsut don't know probably because they know no different, But it's NOT AGAINST THE LAW NOT TO PAY THEM but you must pay your council tax and I am and have been in your position and still paying back 4.000 of arear's to the council. But whaT I did is send a payment plan I could afford to the council and copied to the bailiff.......... I now pay the council direct and no bailiff fee's either...

 

For one they have to except payment and if you do a plan that you stick too they have no complaints do they? and if they did go back to court the court can say hang on they have been paying,.........It's when you don't pay that thingsget out of hand

 

 

Also the levy is invalid as you have to sign it and the car is not your's LOL

 

 

 

Do they never learn They can't take whats not yours or levey on it ....

 

Don't let them in and don't sign nothing either let them stew this time

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Thank you for the reassurance.

 

I have emailed the council now with the following and will follow it up in the morning:

 

Further to my complaint before, I referred back to Rossendales to cancel the bailiff visit for Thursday 23 July at 10am.

Their response was to send the bailiff round a day early knowing I was out, post a WPA through the door levying a vehicle that I do not own.

This matter is now a formal complaint and I will be raising a FORM 4 complaint to the local magistrate court unless my debts are removed from them and I come to arrangement with you.

The areas they have breached their duties are as following:

  • they have levied fees outside of Statutory Regulations. Today's second visit was charged at £70 in excess of the £18 they are obliged to charge.
  • the bailiff's attitude towards me would be described as rude / threatening once she realised I was not simply going to allow peaceful access to sign a WPA. A bailiff has no right to force his/her way into my premises in order to gain entry to enforce the collection of Council Tax arrears.
  • the bailiff has levied illegally. Levy has been placed on a vehicle that is on contract hire and not owned by myself. Something they can easily check prior to levy.
  • the bailiff has levied excessively, albeit illegally. The vehicle in question is valued in excess of £8000 against a debt totalling £1600.

They cannot have conducted themselves in a more disgraceful manner if they tried and all I requested of them was some time to have discussions with you about my concerns and an arrangement to settle my debt. This is not mature behaviour befitting a collector appointed BY YOU, nor is it behaviour in line with their strict guidelines. I will be contacting your offices on Thursday 23 July to discuss this matter and to listen to your offer of resolution. If I proceed with my FORM 4 complaint, there is no grounds upon which Rossendales can defend the way they have represented you or themselves and I will seek compensation from their Bailiff's Bond and / or cancellation of the Bailiff's certificate.

 

At all points I have stressed the desire for sensible resolution and am appalled that the events have unfolded in a deliberately spiteful manner on their behalf.

 

I look forward to your URGENT response.

 

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That's fine I would also add your repayment plan to that and tell them you will be paying them in future not the bailiffs..

I can't see that 250 will be refused and if they say we can't take it then pay online and keep receipts...

 

 

Love to be a fly on the wall when they come to take car and you tell them its hired lol that' would make my day

 

 

Hope you get on ok

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But this is only my opinion and experience I am not a expert please remember that, I can only tell yu how I went about doing this with mine after the bailiffs tryed desperatley to take me for a ride But aftr finding this forum and the lovely poeple here They didn't get away with it

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Thank you for the advice. I intend to have a full and frank with the council today. I have already told them that I would rather pay them £250 pm and see my bill reducing rather than pay Rossendale £250pm and see the first £350 ( they have this yrs and last yrs bills) essentially just pay for their fees as I am sure that is how they will allocate it.

 

I work as a commercial finance broker and this yr has seen me pushed right against the wall with banks not lending to businesses and all I ask for from people is some understanding and I will always been honest about what I can and cannot pay.

 

In the last week there have been 3 emails to Rossendale, all of which referred to me wanting to speak with Bassetlaw first, all acknowledging that I WILL be making payment, the first of which I will pay ONCE I have spoken to council and the day I contact the bailiff directly to cancel the Thursday appointment I find she has come round today and made an illegal levy.

 

I am appalled, truly appalled but hope now they have overstepped the mark it gives me some power in my negotiations.

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i personally would ask Rossendale for a breakdown charges on all previous accounts

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I have now done so this morning

 

Thinking they have a WPA they have emailed agreeing a payment plan on the last yrs bill but need new offer for this yrs. Told them that "stacking" is the only option and demonstrated I can pay no more.

 

ASked them for figures to ensure they fall in line with statute - the levy fees I am unsure of. They have charged £70 for a £1560 bill which seems higher than is allowed.

 

Also made them aware that I still intend to pursue dialogue with council, that my wife has a thyroid complaint so can only work 2 hrs a day and that I may be advised to claim JSA or otherwise (currently self employed) and thus be deemed vulnerable.

 

Additionally I reminded them that I was disappointed about their underhand actions yesterday but that I had reported this to council and would make a Form 4 complaint if required.

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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

 

 

2.—(1) In heads A and B of the Table to paragraph 1, "the relevant amount" with respect to a visit or a levy means—

  • (a) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) does not exceed £100, £12.50,

  • (b) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) exceeds that amount, 12½ per cent. on the first £100 of the sum due, 4 per cent. on the next £400, 2½ per cent. on the next £1,500, 1 per cent. on the next £8,000 and ¼ per cent. on any additional sum;
  • (2) Where a charge has arisen under head B with respect to an amount, no further charge may be aggregated under heads A or B in respect of that amount.

and the sum due at any time for these purposes means so much of the amount in respect of which the liability order concerned was made as is outstanding at the time.

 

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That means for £1600 say

 

12.50 plus

 

16 for the next 400

 

27.50 (remaining 1100 x2.5%)

 

That comes to £56 so the charging of a £70 levy fee is essentially "in excess". ONly £14 over in real terms but 25% over in % terms.

 

With a £10k car that is levied that is excessive and the fact it is on contract hire and not mine, then they surely breach 3/4 of the key criteria by which they have to abide.

 

Illegal Levy - not my goods

 

Excessive levy - £10k car

 

Rude / threatening behaviour - which was clear and also having made an appt to turn up the day before when I formally cancelled the appt is out of order

 

Excess levy fee - from calcs above

 

Hope I am understanding it all correctly

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sorry forgot to add there is £12 walking possession fee I'm really sorry if this confused you i keep forgetting to add this my sincere apologies

if the car does not belong to you then yes they have an unlawful levy and all fees for this should be removed the bailiff can do a D V L A check to confirm owner however if you have the hire agreement send copy to the bailiff and the council

also the bailiff cannot charge a 1st or 2nd visit fee on the same day as a levy fee

basically the levy is usually 10 the debt at the time of the levy

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They listed on teh WPA

 

First visit fee £24.50

 

Levy £70

 

No fee beside WPA

 

Then just posted it thru the letter box

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so instead of charging the £12 they have charged the visit fee instead I'm not 100% sure if they can do that i would say no

 

 

 

(1)(2)Matter connected with distress Charge

  • A. For making a visit to premises with a view to levying distress (whether the levy is made or not.
  • B. For levying distress.

Where a charge has arisen under head B with respect to an amount, no further charge may be aggregated under heads A or B in respect of that amount

 

your levy is only £56

so according to that if they have done a levy they cant charge a visit fee

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Bassetlaw have responded to my emails and passed the matter onto their Complaints Unit so will see what comes of it.

 

Are there any things worth saying to the Council to presuade them to take my case away from the collectors?

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I have now had a response from the council and here is the summary:

 

Rude and Threatening

 

Basically said bailiff denies, simply stated what were there for and appt made as i was going out for further visit.

 

No comment made re the "pay up or I get a van", "no arrangement possible" ( I was already on an arrangement withthem over prev C Tax) remarks that I deemed threatening

 

Cancel Visit

 

When I cancelled i made it clear I was out, that I would re appt if council threw out my complaint. They state that they presumed I was avoiding them so called round anyhow a day early. My txt and voicemail to cancel were clear and contradict their reason for calling round.

 

Fees

 

Their £70 is in excess of statute, this yr as it was last, as it was the yr before so I will complain. Council say there is no case to answer, their fees are fine!

 

Levied Illegally

 

Said it is not the bailiffs job to check before levy.

 

They will remove fee if I show it to be on hire.

 

Levied Excessively

 

Stated as it was the only thing there and no-one home then they were entitled to do so as Laws of Distress state there is no basis for excessive levy if there is only one item to take. I have told them that they called round knowing I was out, it was clear it is an expensive car (well if I owned it it would be) and way in excess of the debt due. They thus created the circumstance themselves instead of arranging an appt in line with my wishes and the state of my complaint.

 

In summary they believe the bailiff has acted in accordance with legislation and codes of practise!!!! Naturally I disagree....

 

ANy thoughts?

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SUB

Hi MW

Sorry to here your tale of woe Councils always assume they are right and everone else is wrong! They never listen. May I suggest that a letter or email to your MP works wonders. Especially now! I did that last year after three years of hell. Got a full refund - even what I had paid to the bailifs. :)

Cheque was signed by Chief Exec not a cashier so it went straight to the top and was sorted in two weeks! Try that approach. They do not like MP's getting envolved.

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Is there anything legislative that I can throw back at the council or am I now simply backed into a corner where they insist the bailiff has acted "OK" in their eyes and I have no alternative but to remain with them.

 

I don't buy the comment on the car in that "it was the only item so we levied it, thus it doesnt matter that it was an excess levy" - they called round knowing I was out, what did they expect.

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the bailiff has levied excessively, albeit illegally. The vehicle in question is valued in excess of £8000 against a debt totalling £1600

the bailiff has levied excessively. This means that the value of the goods seized from you is more than the amount of the debt, or that you have paid an excessive amount to the bailiff. If more money is raised at auction than the debt, (this includes the fees, the cost of removing your goods and the cost of selling them), the balance should be returned to you. A levy is not excessive if there are no other goods that can be seized

 

 

They will remove fee if I show it to be on hire.

 

do you have the hire agreement to send to the bailiff/council

the bailiff can do a D V L A check to prove the car is not yours this costs the bailiff about £3 if you do not have the hire agreement and the bailiff refuse to do a dvla check make an official complaint then file a form 4 complaint to the county court

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Thanks Hallo

 

Re the car

 

They state as it was the only item on the drive, it was as such the only item they could levy and as such this negates the excessive levy scenario. As they knew I was not in, having tried to rearrange the appt that was pencilled in for the thurs and I have text evidence to state I was not "avoiding " appointment then the council have stated it was ok for them to come round early as they interpret "cancellation" as "avoidance".

 

Re the agreement for the car

 

As it is the car is no longer with me, it went back to the contract hire company as my company is no longer trading. There will be an agreement but that is not something i can lay my hands on quickly but they have stated they will remove levy fee

 

Checking my other levy fees and the seem to be close but always just a fraction high, not by big amounts but higher all the same.

 

 

Council simply are not wanting to take the matter back and I now need to decide if I continue with Form 4 Complaint or not. The levy on the car and the nature of the "cancellation" of appt seem the avenues to force my way down.

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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

 

 

 

2.—(1) In heads A and B of the Table to paragraph 1, "the relevant amount" with respect to a visit or a levy means—

  • (a) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) does not exceed £100, £12.50,

  • (b) where the sum due at the time of the visit or of the levy (as the case may be) exceeds that amount, 12½ per cent. on the first £100 of the sum due, 4 per cent. on the next £400, 2½ per cent. on the next £1,500, 1 per cent. on the next £8,000 and ¼ per cent. on any additional sum;
  • (2) Where a charge has arisen under head B with respect to an amount, no further charge may be aggregated under heads A or B in respect of that amount.

and the sum due at any time for these purposes means so much of the amount in respect of which the liability order concerned was made as is outstanding at the time.

 

 

 

The levy for amounts up to £100 now reads as £24 on my form, the rest is the same as you note.

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