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hello,

This a first for me and not sure where to turn , i am in debt with council tax and owe near £1000 ,and have had rossendales walk into my house and tick off things they will take, now im a single mum of a 5 yr old i dont earn much as a part time cleaner and they want full payment now when they first came i offered to pay £20 a fortnight and it was turned down , they wanted £35 a week now i cannot afford to pay that and phoned them to tried explain and resolve this and could'nt, so they now are treatening to take my goods in the next few days ,am now sitting in my house feeling like a prisoner and when i do go out i feel unable to walk to my door feeling safe that they wont be waiting around the corner ready to pounce as soon as i put the key in the door ,it is really upsetting me as my son as he cant play out as usual also , please help if you can someone!

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the bailiff cannot come into your house even if he has been in before

he must send you a letter giving you a time and date

 

CODE OF PRACTICE

ON

LOCAL AUTHORITIES' USE OF BAILIFFS

IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF LOCAL TAXES

UPDATE & AMENDMENT SHEET

April 2000

Forcing re-entry

The law upon the rights of bailiffs to force re-entry to premises in order to remove

goods previously seized has recently been clarified. In Khazanchi v Faircharm

Investments; McLeod v Butterwick [1998] 2 All ER 901 the Court of Appeal held that

bailiffs may only force re-entry where they are being deliberately excluded from

premises. It will thus be necessary in most cases for the bailiff to notify the debtor in

advance of the date and time of the visit in order to remove. If the debtor is then

absent from home, or refuses entry, force may be employed

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Is the actual debt from the council £1000 or do these include the charges the bailiff made. this is important to know, plus as you are a single parent on a low income you are deemed to be classed as vunerable. I would get intouch with the council asap and ask if they could take the debt back and try and get them to get a payment plan set up, it is often wise to go and see them rather than speak to some one on the phone, tell them you feel threatened by this bailiff. by the way what did he write on the WPO what goods has he listed.

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Desprateforhelp!

 

First piece of advice is the most difficult -- try NOT to worry too much -- honestly. You need to stay calm and take control. You'll get lots of very practical and useful advice from my fellow CAGgers.

 

Despite any huffing and puffing from the Council they are obliged to take your payments even if they don't like it! Arrange to pay the council directly - online if you can - making sure that you use the correct reference number from your Council Tax bill so that it goes to reduce the year in question that is still outstanding. Then send them a repayment plan - you know best what you can realistically afford without defaulting but remember that CT is a priority bill and that it should be paid first - before non-priority outgoings. You can check with the National Debtline or similar if you're unsure what constitutes a priority bill.

 

Inform the council that you believe you are classified as "vulnerable" - you'll find lots of stickies/messages confirming this and, as such, you want them to take the account back from Rossendales. Stress that you are a "can't pay" not a "won't pay". I was unable to repay an overpayment of council tax amounting to just over £1,000 from my local council last year and they applied for an attachment of earnings, I now only have to pay £5/month instead of the £25/month they originally demanded in addition to my regular monthly CT payments which are completely up to date. The AOE is also suspended, so the court can be very understanding/ considerate.

 

As regards the walking possession order - the bailiffs often levy on exempt items -- can you tell us which particular items they listed? I believe that putting exempt items on the WPO effectively invalidates it and the fees they charged you.

 

Also look at the fees they've charged you -- all too often they add imaginary and unlawful charges in order to boost their income.

 

Also check that the bailiff is certified - I've just discovered that the bailiff assigned to my account from Rossendales isn't on the list of certified bailiffs. You'll find a recent sticky for this too.

 

Knowledge is power! Bailiffs rely on fear to bully and intimidate you into handing over your money - when you can least afford it - they would love you to be totally ignorant of your rights. Much easier for them.

 

Impecunious!

 

Believing in positive mental attitude :)

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