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Hello everyone,

 

Can I start by saying thank you to everyone who contributes to this site, it's a great place and I'm sure a soothing place for a great many people.

 

Okay now to my problem, I have unpaid council tax dating back to 2007, which came about after we a student discount on my girlfriend living with me, she stopped being a student but the council didn't update our bill until later, which meant we were £500 behind. They attempted to take the whole amount out at the start of the month, I realised early in the day that they were taking it, so I stopped the payment with my bank, as I couldn't afford it all in one lump. since then I got behind in my payments and buried my head in the sand, and now I owe over £2000 including the current year, which I have just had a liability order against me for.

 

I've decided to get my head out of the sand before it becomes too late (maybe it already has!) what should I do? Rossendales have visited around 5 times, i've made a couple of payments to the accounts, but they've virtually been wiped out by bailiff fees. Any advice, should I contact Rossendales or go to the council? I've seen people on here have suggested to other people that just keeping Rossendales out of my house will mean it goes back to the council, and I can make a payment plan with them? I'm not in great financial state, but I could make payments of up to £250 a month at a real push.

 

Any help greatly appreciated, I'm feeling more and more worried and doing nothing is really not helping. :-(

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How many Liability Orders do you have? Are the periods of time they cover correct? How much is each one for? How much is outstanding on each one? Do you know the dates each was passed to the Bailiffs? If unsure of any answer contact your Council. Do not use the Bailiffs figures or dates.

 

If you have already had visits from the Bailiff has he left you any paperwork detailing any charges? Has he been in your home? has he levied on any goods outside - most notably a car?

 

PT

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Trying to contact the Council now. Think the first liability order was over a year ago. Figures are around £200, £1000, £1000. Pretty sure it's 3 seperate liability orders.

 

Visits yes, but I've never actually seen one, they have zero chance of getting in unless I let them in. They haven't levied the car, unless they levied my clapped out Astra, which is SORN, which their more than welcome to. :) No they haven't detailed any charges, he keeps hand writing amounts on the notices that he leaves, but not exact charges just full amounts.

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Have you made any payments since 2007 on any, or have you just not paid at all.. They will levy what they will see and add on charges. You need to get a break down from the bailiff to see what they have charged for.

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To be honest I'm the in process of getting all the information from Rossendales now. Does anyone know what happens in regards to arrest warrants? Am I likely to get one soon? I know they have to pass it back to the council before they can do that, but do they council contact you and notify you that they have had the account passed back to them? I'd really rather not have any dealings with Rossendales if possible.

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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't worry - arrest warrants are a million miles away!!!!

 

If you take on board all the great advice from fellow CAGgers, you'll go through the process step by step until it's resolved.

 

Rossies are bullies but they can be tamed - trust me!! It took me a whlle but I managed it and I now the pay the council direct at a monthly rate that I decided I could afford! It's going to take me over 6 yrs to repay £1,000 - so there is hope!!!! Don't panic!

 

I don't even come under the "vulnerable" status but I still managed to negotiate my terms.

 

Good luck!!

 

Impecunious! :)

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Thanks impecunious, that's a great relief! :)

 

So at which point will they return it to the council? Will I be informed and get chance to speak to them about my circumstances? I'm not sure what to do next to be honest. Is it worth speaking to "Rossies" at all? :)

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I'd never personally recommend speaking to Rossies or any bailiff.

 

If Rossies have levied on your car, they would have posted a notice through your door. You really don't want them levying against your car - whether you want to get rid of it or not - that will just give them an excuse to load on their charges. I'd try finding a home for it (SORN or not).

 

Try looking on your council's website, sometimes they post details of the contracts between themselves and the bailiff. (e.g. Manchester City Council has this on their website.)

 

There is no hard and fast rule about when and if Rossies hand your account back to the Council. Rossies will only be paid to carry out two visits over a certain period of time, they're not actually paid for anymore visits than two. (Unless they've levied and they're coming back to seize goods cos you haven't stuck to any arrrangement made.)

 

I think you have to barricade yourself in for the long haul.

 

A few things you could be doing:

 

Check the individual amounts of Liability Orders with the council and the dates they were issued.

 

Work out a realistic Income and Expenditure (the National Debtline has a very good form on their website) - so that you know how much you can pay without jeopardising any other priority payments. Note that Council Tax is a priority debt and should be treated as such.

 

Write to Rossies and tell them that that you have taken advice and know your rights re: peaceful entry, etc and that you will not be inviting them in to discuss anything. Tell them that you will pay the council direct. Your council cannot refuse your payments - but, to make things easier for you, pay them online (using the reference relevant for your outstanding arrears). This way, your payments won't be offset against your current liability.

 

Ensure that you pay your current council tax and keep that up to date.

 

If Rossies have visited you (they will have left notification to that effect), you will have to pay them your 1st visit and maybe 2nd visit fees (if they came again), £24,50 and £18.00 respectively.

 

Try to keep it all in perspective - I know it's not easy but try.

 

Make sure that any items outside your property, e.g. garden furniture, bikes, etc are locked well out of sight. Rossies can break into detached garages, out-buildings etc but not to attached, integral garages, etc. You don't want them levying on anything outside your property -- although it's not usually worth much. They'll use any excuse to bump up their fees.

 

Write to Rossies and ask them for a breakdown of their charges to date. This won't cost you anything, they must supply it. Template on here somewhere.

 

That should keep you going for now!!!

 

Take care and have a good weekend!

 

Impecunious!! :)

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If you need to ask them about their charges use something like this - use & adapt as you see fit and send by email + hardy copy in the post via Signed For.

 

"From:

My Name

My Address

 

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

 

Ref: Account No: 123456 or however many account numbers you have

 

Dear Sir

 

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

 

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 Certificated at.

e - the date of the Certification.

 

This is not a Subject Access Request 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"

 

PT

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