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Council claiming tax from 17 years ago!!!


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Hi All,

 

Am wondering if you can help. I recieved 2 letters from Marstons Bailiffs put through my door stating there was around £1000 outstanding council tax owed. I was puzzled so I rang the council who told me it applied to an address I lived at 17 years ago in 1993. I understand from research that the councils can claim back as far as they like but, I have telephoned my bank and they don't keep bank records past 7 years so would not be able to provide me with any statements to prove either I did, or did not make the payments.

 

The council can evidence that they did not receive payments into that account, but there's no way of showing if I made any payments at the time.

 

They also have records of an attachment of earnings order they applied to my employer at the time and say only 3 payments were made and this was the fault of my employer. My employer doesn't have records of salaries and deductions going back this far - so once again, we only have the councils word?

 

I understand if I owe it, then I owe it - but I am kind of feeling that to hit me with a bill after 17 years that does not allow me any way of contesting it seems somewhat unreasonable?

 

Any thoughts?

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Jesus 17 years ago all i can suggest is sending a subject access request to the council asking them to go back 17 yrs

after all they must have the information there if they can look back 17 yrs and say you owe us xxxx

and ask them to recall the debt from the bailiffs until you receive the reply to your SAR as you are disputing the debt

 

I would also get in touch with your MP

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Hi hallowitch

 

is there not something somewhere that says if they haven't bothered for so long they should write it off. can't remember where I saw it but am sure it was on here somewhere.

 

PT

 

I think I was getting mixed up. Providing they obtained a Liability order before the 6 years was up (1999) then they can still chase this. However unless you have moved house 99 times and they keep writing to an old address you could claim maladministration. hallowitch's SAR request is probably the way to go but you should also make them squirm a little - contact both your MP and Councillor.

 

In the meantime do not answer the door and keep everything locked to keep the Bailiff out.

 

PT

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Ah thanks all! You are great - I will write to my MP. This is Liverpool Council and I have moved 3 times in 17 years (not exactly 'on the run'!) and when I asked why it had taken so long - he said they had 'just conducted a sweep' of the accounts!

Thanks for the link Hallowitch - I'll have a look at that case and see if it provides me with any assistance! I will keep you all posted!

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If I understand correctly, if they hadnt obtained a liability order with in 6 years of the debt, then they cannot pursue it. I would ask them for proof of a liability order being made before the 6 years was up.

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They also have records of an attachment of earnings order they applied to my employer at the time and say only 3 payments were made and this was the fault of my employer.

 

they must have had a liability order to get an attachment of earnings order

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry this has taken so long to update guys but I did as suggested and asked for details which, when they arrived, are bizarre!

 

They show a sort of annual summary of how much was owed at each address per year, how much was paid and then a random list of payments that don't add up to the total amount paid? I know for some time I was out of work and in receipt of council tax benefit but that ain't listed anywhere either!

 

At the first address listed, they are showing money owed for years I didn't even live there but it may take me some time to get evidence to show when I moved out due to the time elapsed. But, they also say I owe from a more recent address and I do have a letter showing the date I moved out from that one so at least I can categorically prove that the amount they are asking for is incorrect immediately.

 

They've also completely omitted a full years worth of payments made while I was renting another address in between the 2 mentioned on the letter!

 

I've written to them advising them of this and the sols letter proving the inaccuracy at the more recent address is going off tomorrow. I've asked them to give me a month to try and find evidence of when I moved out of the first address. That was a week ago and heard nothing.

 

Basically, I can already prove that the amount they are demanding is wrong so would I be right in thinking they cannot enforce a debt that is proven incorrect?

 

Jackie

 

PS Did write to my MP just in case but no reply yet. Will keep you posted and thanks for the support!

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wakefield council did the same with my old poll tax going back to 1989.

it is something your mp can help with, my mp john tricket got wakefield council to apologise for the hassle i had with the bailiffs, scrapped the old poll tax bill, and recalled my ongoing ct account from rossendales.

the council are desperate for money and are clutching at straws. if you were taken to court over this the magistrates would laugh the council out of court, dont argue with them demand they take it back to court. bet my life they dare not. the press would love it.

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Quite a few councils are now going back on "cold cases" such as this and it is really worrying because the debtor would not keep paperwork (bank statements etc) this long.

 

There is an important point that should be made about a lot of councils. So many of them completely mismanaged their finances and deposited substantial amounts of taxpayers money in Icelandic bank accounts which have been lost after the banks collapsed.

 

There was a public vote just few days ago and the Icelandic public voted overwhelmingly to oppose any repayment to the UK.

 

There will be an uphill struggle for many years to get any money back and councils will be looking at ways to recover their losses. Going back on "cold cases" like this could be one of the awful ways of getting money back !!!

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Quite a few councils are now going back on "cold cases" such as this and it is really worrying because the debtor would not keep paperwork (bank statements etc) this long.

 

There is an important point that should be made about a lot of councils. So many of them completely mismanaged their finances and deposited substantial amounts of taxpayers money in Icelandic bank accounts which have been lost after the banks collapsed.

 

There was a public vote just few days ago and the Icelandic public voted overwhelmingly to oppose any repayment to the UK.

 

There will be an uphill struggle for many years to get any money back and councils will be looking at ways to recover their losses. Going back on "cold cases" like this could be one of the awful ways of getting money back !!!

 

I agree but as for the Icelanders refusing to pay we only have ourselves to blame. Noo Labour in their wisdom used anti terror laws to freeze Icelandic assets in this country & elsewhere which in turn helped to cause their banks to fail in the 1st place

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I agree but as for the Icelanders refusing to pay we only have ourselves to blame. Noo Labour in their wisdom used anti terror laws to freeze Icelandic assets in this country & elsewhere which in turn helped to cause their banks to fail in the 1st place

 

I quite AGREE !!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update....got a letter from my MP referring the matter to Liverpool City Council Chief Executive and asking them to withold action until resolved. Fine, I thought. Except they haven't witheld any action. They have applied an attachment of earnings order and deductions are underway from my employer. They now say I don't owe from 1993, it's from 1997 but apparently it's within a charging period that began in 1993 and finished in 2002?

Anyway, they have admitted that they got the dates wrong for the second address they are referring to and have amended that bill accordingly. They refuse to allow any time for me to get any info about the 1997 address and say that they will take the money and if it's proved they are wrong - they will pay me back! I find this unbelievable!

Also, when and if a liability order was issued, if I had been able to go to court, would I not have been able to produce income and expenditure and the like and make a reasonable offer to repay?

Also, my circumstances have changed dramatically in 13 years - 2 kids, now part-time, bigger mortgage etc.

Is there any way of appealing back to any court as the amount they can take in the attachment of earnings means I won't have enough money to cover mortgage, food and bills - let alone anything else!

Am trying the CAB but just could not get through at all.

Am thinking of local bloke waiting to be elected? any thoughts?

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I agree but as for the Icelanders refusing to pay we only have ourselves to blame. Noo Labour in their wisdom used anti terror laws to freeze Icelandic assets in this country & elsewhere which in turn helped to cause their banks to fail in the 1st place

 

Also, in my borough there are 8 top notch squad that are earning 3.3 million P.A., that is just one borough there is 32 boroughs in greater london and I am sure all of them are on the same salary if not consideable more.

 

We have to think of their guarantee pensions and about £300 of our council tax goes toward it. Now there is a recession who can blame them for chasing 17 year old debt....they want to keep their lucrative salaries and pensions. :mad: So get out there and work for them regardless of your circumstances does not matter if you are disabled or a state pensioner.... you got to keep these people in the style their luractive cosy jobs have provided for them over for past 13 years...

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Update....got a letter from my MP referring the matter to Liverpool City Council Chief Executive and asking them to withold action until resolved. Fine, I thought. Except they haven't witheld any action. They have applied an attachment of earnings order and deductions are underway from my employer. They now say I don't owe from 1993, it's from 1997 but apparently it's within a charging period that began in 1993 and finished in 2002?

Anyway, they have admitted that they got the dates wrong for the second address they are referring to and have amended that bill accordingly. They refuse to allow any time for me to get any info about the 1997 address and say that they will take the money and if it's proved they are wrong - they will pay me back! I find this unbelievable!

Also, when and if a liability order was issued, if I had been able to go to court, would I not have been able to produce income and expenditure and the like and make a reasonable offer to repay?

Also, my circumstances have changed dramatically in 13 years - 2 kids, now part-time, bigger mortgage etc.

Is there any way of appealing back to any court as the amount they can take in the attachment of earnings means I won't have enough money to cover mortgage, food and bills - let alone anything else!

Am trying the CAB but just could not get through at all.

Am thinking of local bloke waiting to be elected? any thoughts?

 

 

 

.

 

What you need to establish is the date that the Liability Order was granted by the Court.

 

You need to then ask Liverpool to provide you with a list of any action that they have taken to collect this debt since the time that the Liability Order was granted. They MUST provide dates. This is VERY important.

 

There has been a Court Case where the District Judge criticised a council for waiting 5 years after granting the Liability Order to commence commital action where ther council had not taken any action in between this time to collect the debt.

 

If you can point to a gap of 5 years without action, then the Local Authority could well be onto a loser with this case.

 

Once you have the answers, please do post back.

 

It is possible that this is a case that needs to be brought to the attention of the Local Government Ombudsman. HOWEVER.....for this to happen, you must first make a FORMAL COMPLAINT to the CHIEF EXECUTIVE of Liverpool Council and allow him or her sufficient time to investigate the complaint.

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  • 11 months later...

It seems that this issue is rearing it's ugly head again.

 

"Dave" - "We are all in it together", our unelected leader maybe giving directives for Councils to collect the Poll Tax that was ultimately Maggies downfall.

 

Liverpool City Councill are chasing Poll Tax debts in a bid to balance their books. (Yes I know Liverpool Council are Labour).

 

Liverpool City Council have today told the BBC Radio Merseyide that they can persue unpaid Poll Tax bills because they obtained liabity orders on them all. If you believe that they didn't then you must provide proof that you paid your poll tax. Who has bank statements or receipts from 20 odd years ago?

 

I was dumbstruck listening to the radio programme that the Council are doing this, but I wonder if it is at all legal?

 

Obviously a valid County County Court Judgment is enforcable, but a Magistrates Liability Order that the Council has made no attempt to enforce for donkeys years?

 

It doesn't seem right to me.

 

Anyway I wonder how long before all councils see this as a potential revenue generator and send demands for alleged unpaid poll tax to millions of people. How many people would just pay up?

 

Here's the BBC iplayer linky for the radio broadcast......

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00f8q7c

 

1.01.50 into the programme.

 

HJS

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  • 10 months later...

Has anybody got any further with this issue with LCC and had bailiffs/court action as a result of the letters sent out? I received a bill from 1990 when I was doing my A Levels (I'm 40 this year!) sent to my parents' address. When I received the first letter demanding payment, I rang and asked them to send me all the details about what was owed etc.. they said they would send this and put a stop on the 14 days before taking action. I heard nothing for months, then this week, I received another letter at my parents' address from a debt collection agency saying they would take action within 14 days. I rang the council again and said I was putting in an SAR and I wanted to know what action the council had taken to recover the debt so far. They told me the liability order was purchased in 1992 and that they had sent me out a summons for court action then. I have absolutely no recollection of this at all. I was a very nervous and timid 18/19 year old - if I'd been threatened with court action, I would have sold everything I had to pay it as I'd have been terrified of going to prison!!! My parents would have helped me out anyway if I'd had court action threatened against me. However, I simply cannot remember ever receiving the letter. I do have a vague recollection of going down to the council offices to sort some sort of finances when I was a student and sorting out a problem, which I think was my poll tax. This was 20 years ago though and I have no proof of this. Any advice on what I should do now? The man at the council said they have no written evidence of payments etc because of the computerised system used at the time so he couldn't comply with my SAR. I asked why he couldn't just print off the info from the computer and he said he'd look into it and ask the debt company to delay for a while. All sounds very dodgy to me! Do I simply admit defeat and pay it before I end up with a black mark on my credit history or seek legal advice? It's only £94 but it's the principle of the thing that is really annoying me! Advice would be appreciated please.

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I think school pupils over 18 in 6th Form and at college were exempt as are students from Council Tax, others will know more

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  • 5 months later...

Just to keep you posted, I telephoned the magistrates office and asked if they had copies of liability orders issued 22 years ago. he just laughed and said No! In this case, the council cannot prove that they obtained a liability order against me - can they??

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This is related to the 22 year old debt.

 

Surely they need the liability order for any bailff action. From what I read, if they can evidence a LO and provide witness testimony to this, then it may be accepted it was issued, even if they don't have a copy. All you can do is go down the complaint route and refer it to the LGO to see what they say. Involve your MP, councillors and Citizens Advice. I doubt you have the funds to ask for a judicial review into the matter, which would be an alternative.

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