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Firstly, I hope that this isn't covered elsewhere and that I'm not just being annoying by posting, but my head is spinning so badly that I'm finding it hard to read too much.

 

I've run up a council-tax bill and want to pay it off, but the council's proposal for payment went into my spam folder and didn't get noticed before being passed to Bristow and Sutor for collection. Not all of the council tax owed has actually been accrued yet - some of it is for next year, but they want the lot and have a liability order.

 

The council wanted £180 a month from me, which is more money than I have. I emailed them back and told them that I would pay, even though it might mean that I have to eat packet noodles for two weeks a month (which would play havok with my disability, which leaves me emaciated and weak.)

 

I was told that they couldn't do anything and I should talk to the bailiffs. I called Bristow and Sutor and was told that they absolutely will not negotiate unless I allow them into my home to seize goods. Over my dead body.

 

I immediately made a payment of £150 to the council, which they accepted, and asked that they withdraw the account from the bailiffs - to which I was told: "I told you how much we wanted from you, now the account has been passed to the bailiffs and I am unable to withdraw it."

 

What do I do? I don't want to go to prison, I just want to pay off my debt at a rate that I can afford.

 

If you can offer any advice, I'd really appreciate it.

 

Thanks.

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i think you will be classed as vunerable,

as you have discovered there is nothing to stop you paying the council direct via internet banking.

 

oh and stay off the phone to te bailiff do it in writing if you must converse with them.

 

more later

 

dx


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NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR ENFORCEMENT AGENTS may 2002

 

Those who might be potentially vulnerable include:

  • the elderly;
  • people with a disability;
  • the seriously ill;
  • the recently bereaved;
  • single parent families;
  • pregnant women;
  • unemployed people; and,
  • those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English

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I posted what just happened elsewhere, but I thought I'd post it on my thread too, as I can't quite believe it.

 

The bailiff just put a 'notification of bailiff visit' through my door, quietly, without knocking, it was signed with an 'x' and the 'full name' field was 'Jim'.

 

Also, he got my name wrong on the form.

 

I am being charged an extra £16 for 'Jim's' visit.

 

Is this something that's common for them to do?

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Yes, that kind of thing is common, they'll do all sorts of things. just stick to the good advice above and on the stickys on the top of this section of the forum too. sounds like you may have grounds to complain, but wait till one of the forum resident experts posts. take care!

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Thanks, i've been reading, but i'm still worried that it'll turn out badly. I'm tired of begging the council to take the matter back into their own hands, and all I'm doing now is making whatever payments I can, and hoping that I'll not end up in prison - or with a criminal record.

 

Can they actually do that? The whole situation is horrible, and my nerves are shot. I'm jumping at shadows and dread returning home if I go out as I don't know what I'll find.

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Thanks, i've been reading, but i'm still worried that it'll turn out badly. I'm tired of begging the council to take the matter back into their own hands, and all I'm doing now is making whatever payments I can, and hoping that I'll not end up in prison - or with a criminal record.

 

Can they actually do that? The whole situation is horrible, and my nerves are shot. I'm jumping at shadows and dread returning home if I go out as I don't know what I'll find.

 

Prison is for those that refuse to pay not those who are paying and attempting to pay the debt, so I am sorry to tell you you will have to cook your own Xmas Lunch this year.

 

Follow PT...Don't forget to treat your bailiff....stuff him ...cook him, slice and serve him on a plate to the person you hate most.;)

wd

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Pink_eeyore, no - I'm not even sure how to do that: I don't claim benefits, and I work as much as I can, though fatigue is a huge issue for many neuropathies.

 

Thank you to dx100uk, hallowitch and layercake for your advice, and wonkeydonkey: your words have made my christmastime a little better, cheers! I wouldn't eat a bailiff though, they're either too tough or full of **** :D

 

Any advice on where it's likely to go from here - I'm paying close to what the council insisted on, so I'm hoping, perhaps in vain, that this will all just go away.

 

Cheers all.

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Plan of Action:

 

1. Before Monday contact your local Councillor - doesn't matter it's the weekend, they asked for public office so are used to being contacted at odd times.

2. Monday - contact Council - you need to know amount on Liability Order, amount still outstanding and when passed to Bailiff. Info can be requested by phone but back up by email and if necessary by hard copy.

3. Monday - contact Bailiff company - ask for statement of your account including screenshot - they are obliged to give you this. They may state they need £10 as it is for a Subject Access Request, your request falls outside of the Data Protection Act. Send info by email backed up by hard copy in post.

4. Formally request to Council asking they take your account back from Bailiff - usually again fails as Council staff can only read from script. Ask to speak to someone more Senior - you can go as far as Head of Revenues or Chief Executive. Always get name of who you are speaking to and their job title.

5. As you have said pay Council at a level you can afford - do this Online or by automated phone line.

6. When Bailiff calls totally ignore him - despite any threats he may make he can not have you arrested, break into your property (unless entry previously gained), attend with a locksmith, remove property in your absence. He is all bluff and bluster and as much use as a wet f*rt. You should also ask him for his ID and at what Court he is certificated - check this - he also has to carry a copy of the Liability Order.

 

It may be that the Bailiff is overcharging you and once that can be established you will hold all the aces. make sure you don't let him in and hide anything outside - particularly vehicles. There may be a couple of fees you may have to pay (£42-50 in total) but eventually he will go away to pester someone less fortunate.

 

PT

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I'm not "vulnerable", but did succeed in an old CT debt being sent back to the Council.

 

My advice is:

 

  • Don't let them in
  • Don't call them - one had me in tears saying he was in my house
  • Don't let them in
  • Do fill in an income & expenditure from the Council - it does help
  • Don't let them in
  • If you have a car, don't park it in front of or near your house. A bailiff listed my neighbour's car, and when I questioned this I was told the bailiff would run a vehicle check before impounding the vehicle
  • Do write to the council stating how much you can pay per month (make it as low as possible so you can easily manage it, but don't take the proverbial), pay it direct to the Council and STICK TO IT
  • Did I say don't let them in?

Basically, bailiffs are there to collect the debt and enforce as much of their "fees" as they can.

 

Good luck!

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