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Council Tax - Bailiffs/disabled Car Taxation


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Hi - Im wandering if anyone knows the legal status of whether or not a bailiff collecting council tax arrears can clamp and threaten to remove a car that has a taxation class as " disabled "? The car is registered in my name, and I use the car predominantly for my mother who is disabled and I dont pay car tax due to her getting the higher rate DLA. The council tax arrears are in my name.

 

Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

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Hi regular guy,

The simple answer is 'no'. They can't.

Is the car a motability car or on HP? Both a no as the vehicle does not belong to you.

Does your Mother live with you? Just curious...

Best wishes

Rae

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Sorry - Let me elaborate.. The car belongs to me privately, I have paid for it and there is no finance on the car... At DVLA the car is registered in my name, the taxation class of the car is "disabled" due to my mothers disability and the fact she gets DLA and she does live with me. I get free car tax because I had to sign a disclaimer that the majority usage would be for my mothers use to qualify for the free tax.

 

I have been threathed by a bailiff that he can have the car towed away.

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No worries, RG, I understand the tax disc system. The council would frown upon such a vehicle being levied against and the bailiff will know this.

In order to see if there are other issues that may assist you regarding the bailiff there are other questions people will ask. It might be that - if a levy has been made it is invalid. Or if you have been notified of fees, they may be incorrect. So any additional info you can provide would be of use and - hopefully - in your interest.

Like if your Mother resides with you...

Best wishes

Rae

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Thanks Rae.. Tipped accordingly :)

 

OK.. so legally they can levy on such a vehicle. ?

 

They did levy on my vehicle, and I had to pay them £330.00 for a initial balance of £125.00 council tax arrears.

 

I was under the impression that they couldnt levy the car so I threw the paperwork they left on a previous occasion in the bin :cool: but I remember there was a walking possesion order levy on the car from outside my home pushed through my letterbox, and not having a signature on it.

 

Is it possible to complain to the council and bailiffs regarding the charges, even though I have already paid and the receipt I have says nil balance.

 

By the way, I had the bailiff sign a declaration on the back of the receipt stating that he knew the taxation class was disabled and he could still remove the car.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks again, your well informed advice is invaluable... Please no begging letters !!;)

 

p.s: yes, my mother does live with me, and just to add, the said bailiff explained about arrears, clamping car etc to her- I thought they were supposed to be confidential? maybe this area has proven grounds for a complaint??

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Hi RG,

I can't comment on the legality, others might in due course. [Don't forget there's an election on tonight...]. However, you will find that the council will be very unhappy if a disabled person has been deprived of their means of transport. From what I have read in the past I suspect that the levy would be invalid due to the disabled taxation. Again, others will correct that statement in due course.

If that is the case, you have good grounds to make a Formal Complaint to the CEO of the appropriate council.

Please note that some of what you may have been charged in fees may be incorrect and you can make a claim for a refund.

But, again, there is insufficient detail to advise further. That said, you may only be interested in the legitimacy of the levy and not as to whether the case can be removed from the bailiffs if arrears are still outstanding...

Best wishes

Rae

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Thanks Rae.

 

In all honesty, I was more curious on the legality of the levy on my car, because the said declaration I had to sign in order to qualify for the free tax does state that the majority usage has to be for my mother. Taking that into consideration, due to this disabled classification, I assume this makes the car an essential usage item, hence can they levy on such?

 

I have read elsewhere, that this is a very grey area... I surely await the legal answer :|

 

I will be sending a letter requesting a breakdown of charges etc. Could you possibly help with the template there? (Thanks) Your enthusiam makes me want to make sure they have followed protocol be it I waste a few postage charges here or there.

 

I dont pay council tax due to me getting Jobseekers. I had the said council tax applied to me when my mother moved in with me. I had too much on my plate to deal with that then, thinking they the council had made a mistake. Unfortunately bailiffs got involved. I believe it was something to do with 2nd adult rebate.

 

There is no other arrears, and the £330.00 is full and final. The outcome im looking for would be to pay the original council tax bill of £125.00 refund of my charges due to extreme measures by the bailiffs.

 

I duly await....

 

Thanks

 

RG

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Hi RG,

I'm sure someone might post a template shortly.

If you were on income related JSA at the time this was going on then you would have been classed as vulnerable under the National Standards for Enforcement Agents. The case would then be returned to the council for attachment of benefits at a rate of about £3.50pw. Likewise if your Mother lived with you the household would have been classed as vulnerable - hence my queries...

Best wishes

Rae

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Thanks Rae - You may have just hit the nail on the head... Your gentle probing has helped tremendously.

 

So.. I was on JSA... mother is on DLA... Who do I complain to, bailiffs or council or both??

 

What you reckon, will they pay back my £330.00 and put me on a repayment plan? When I complained to the council when they levied my car, the council advised me to talk to the bailiffs and they wanted nothing to do with this. You think i should go back and give them a piece of my mind, armed with your defence :cool: ??

 

I wrote a complaint letter to the bailiffs stating the levy was wrong and the unconfidential nature of there bailiff, and they said they will let me know the outcome in 10 days, today the bailiff phoned me and said they rejected my complaint and the case was off hold and I would have to pay the £330.00.. I told him I would rather wait for the letter from there compliants dept. than listen to him... Guess what, he turned up 1 hour later and threatened to clamp my car, I was forced to pay.

 

In my letter I did offer to pay them £4.00 month or return my account back to the council. I await the letter from them now, and see what it says.

 

If what you say Rae is rock solid written in stone then maybe I got a fight on my hands with all cards in my favour.

 

Thanks for now.

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Hi RG,

I can only advise what I would do in your circumstances.

This is what the National Standards for Enforcement Agents has to say about who might be vulnerable:

 

Department for Constitutional Affairs - Enforcement - National Standards for Enforcement Agents

 

Those who might be considered vulnerable include the following:

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.

 

 

This is presuming your Mother lives with you. The Standards apply to the household not just the debtor. It also presumes you are on income related JSA not contribution based as the latter doesn't indicate a low income necessarily.

 

On the brief information you have posted I would want to write a Formal Complaint to the CEO of the local council. The council are in charge of the bailiffs who are simply contractors.

 

It sounds like you were mislead by both the council and the bailiff company. Both are fully aware of the Standards and simply hope you're not.

 

Do click on the link to the Standards and have a read through. You may find other area's where the bailiff has transgressed them.

 

As you have paid everything then take your time considering your next move. You have time on your side. I'll dig out a template for requesting a fee breakdown from the bailiff. You may be able to get some over charging back.

 

Best wishes

Rae

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Here you go [with thanks to Ploddertom]:

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456

 

Dear Sir

 

With reference to the above account. Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges including Computer Screenshot.

 

This includes:

a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were Cerificated at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject access requestlink3.gif under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide this information.

 

I require this information within 14 days.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Ripped off customer"

 

 

Ironically, RG, it was in the thread you first posted on! :rolleyes:

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You need to make the council aware that they are wholly responsible for the levy and the fees charged by the bailiff and in discussions with the bailiff you need to remind them of this.

 

You should also point out as well that you will make a formal complaint to the Chief Executive.

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Thanks Tomtubby !!

 

I think my next course of action is to request a thorough breakdown of all charges applied and then check to see if they are correct.

 

Tomtubby, am I right in saying I should do the above before I start a formal complaint at low level with the council, give them time to respond then a CEO complaint?

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Thanks Tomtubby !!

 

I think my next course of action is to request a thorough breakdown of all charges applied and then check to see if they are correct.

 

Agreed - very important

 

Tomtubby, am I right in saying I should do the above before I start a formal complaint at low level with the council, give them time to respond then a CEO complaint?

 

In my view yes. Give them every opportunity to deny you your rights - helps to show them up.

 

 

PT

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Thanks Ploddertom!

 

Will let you guys know how I get on.. Just wandering if anyone can clear up the legal side of whether or not a disabled taxation classed vehicle can be levied against... ?

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Thanks Ploddertom!

 

Will let you guys know how I get on.. Just wandering if anyone can clear up the legal side of whether or not a disabled taxation classed vehicle can be levied against... ?

 

In theory they can as the vehicle is not owned by Motability or on any other type of finance. However its taxation class renders it part of the "vulnerable" category under the National Standards to which supposedly all enforcement companies comply with. A DVLA check will just come back with the name of the RK which in itself is meaningless as that is not necessarily the legal owner.

 

A glance at the RFL in the windscreen should tell the Bailiff all he needs to know and he should leave well alone as he knows he risks the wrath of his employer and their employer - in this case the LA. I'm afraid it will come down to a case of bluff and double bluff but stand your ground and he will slink off with his tail between his legs.

 

Of course you also have to remember that Bailiffs read these forums!!!!!

 

PT

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Also meant to say that a Bailiff may levy against any & all goods even though there is an exempt list which should be avoided - read more posts on here about this type of thing. Also some levy on other peoples goods and waits to see if they can get away with it or challenged. Most are ignorant of what he can and can't do and many will pay just to get rid.

 

He assumes a lot and knows very little and therefore when challenged will often remove.

 

PT

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Thanks Ploddertom!

 

I guess the bailiff bluffed his way round me to pay up. They came with 2 vans and blocked my car in... they threatened me with clamping the car and adding more charges. I paid up on the notion that I would fight them after through the correct channels.

 

I am increasing my knowledge on this topic by reading forums, and hope say I should be able to offer good advice of mine own on a later date.

 

Cheers !!

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... They came with 2 vans and blocked my car in... they threatened me with clamping the car and adding more charges. I paid up ...

 

Tut tut! Mr Bailiff!

Very threatening, very unprofessional. That alone deserves a strong Formal Complaint to the CEO when the time comes.

Happy to draft a letter if needs be. Just holler...

Best wishes

Rae

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I am increasing my knowledge on this topic by reading forums, and hope say I should be able to offer good advice of mine own on a later date.

 

That's the glory of CAG and how must of us got lured in ... ;)

Best wishes

Rae

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Thanks Ploddertom!

 

I guess the bailiff bluffed his way round me to pay up. They came with 2 vans and blocked my car in... they threatened me with clamping the car and adding more charges. I paid up on the notion that I would fight them after through the correct channels.

 

I am increasing my knowledge on this topic by reading forums, and hope say I should be able to offer good advice of mine own on a later date.

 

Cheers !!

 

Hadn't realised you had already coughed. It is more important now that you ask for the breakdown of charges. As it is paid and out of the way you can do this at leisure, if you then find they have overcharged all it takes is a simple letter asking for reimbursement - you give them 7 days to comply and then issue an N1 in the County Court naming both Bailiffs and Council as co-defendants.

 

PT

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Thanks Guys!

 

I will be sending that letter asking for all charges applied to my account.

 

The resolution Im looking for is not a refund of excessive charges, but you think its possible that I will be able to recover all charges, due to their unprofesional behaviour and just end up paying the original council tax arrears?

 

Had anyone had much success in this area?

 

Rae - I'll definately give you a holler when the time arrives for that draft...

 

Thanking you all - CAG Rocks !! :D

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