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Last year, we fell into arrears with the council tax. We were referred to Rossendales, who got my husband to sign over some property should we fail to make payments (walking posession or something?). They then treated us appalingly, and the council agreed to take our debt back at £37.50 a week. We moved property, and had 2 accounts. One for the old property which was in arrears, and the new one. All of a sudden, we have now been referred to Rossendales again! We'd been paying, but the money was all going into the new property and none into the old debt. Apparantly the lady who agreed to take our debt back and cancel Rossendales should never have done so as she did not have authority and the council will not even speak to us about this now. There are no notes to back up what we are saying. Rossendales have left me a letter telling me they came round "with the intention of seizing your goods and chattels as necessary to discharge the above debt", however I have been in and did not hear the door go. They want £150.00 straight off (which we do not have) to be able to pay by instalments. One of the items they put down on their agreement was a table, this table got broken in the move and we don't even have it any more. I'm so cross this has happened and don't know what to do. Please can anyone give me advice? I have a 2 year old daughter and don't want these people coming round!

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First of all, please don't worry, you'll get lots of invaluable advice to help you.

 

Amongst other things I'd personally SAR your council for details of how they've "managed!" your council tax account. As far as I remember reading on here there is no charge for this. A statement of your council tax account will show where exactly your payments have been credited. If you've been paying your current CT and arrears for your old property, I should imagine that your current CT is actually in credit now and this overpayment can be allocated to your arrears for your old property.

 

Re: Rossendales - you said you fell into arrears last year - when is the walking possession order dated? I believe they have an "expiry" date - I may be wrong but someone will be able to confirm this. Can you tell us the items that were listed on the WPO? (Knowing Rossies, some of them may be invalid.) I wouldn't worry about the broken table!

 

Rossendales are reknown for their threats and bullying tactics.

 

I would suggest that you DON'T speak to them on the telephone and make sure that all communication with them is in writing. They won't like it but tough!! You need a clear audit trail.

 

You should only pay them what you can AFFORD to pay them - remember though that Council Tax is a priority debt. It might be useful to draw up a monthly I&E - I regularly use the planner on the National Debtline website - it's easy to use and allows for lots of different expenses. DON'T share your I&E with Rossendales, it's none of their business and only a Judge can ask you to produce that kind of personal financial information.

 

Just remember, one step at a time and we'll help you to get through this. Lots of us have been there.

 

Good luck

 

 

Impecunious!

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Thanks for your reply! The walking possession is more than a year and a half old. They listed a table, a clock, and I can't remember the last item but I think it may have been the tele. Nothing valuable. Sadly the council tax bill is not in credit just yet.

 

I've just spoken to my husband and he has told me that there is only a small part of the previous address left to pay. Where things have got confused, they were allocating some payments to the previous address from THIS address, and there is now a total of £895. The council have conglomerated the 2 debts, and Rossendales are after a total of £937.80. It's all got really confused, and the council aren't even telling us how much the old address has outstanding.

 

Am I right in assuming that the walking possesion is not valid against the new property's debt, or can they just up it?

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I would most defiantly subject access request your council

 

regardless of whether or not the person had the authority to recall your debt she did this is not your problem

once again the fact that the council did not distribute your payments to the correct accounts is not your fault

 

because of your councils maladministration you are now left in the position that you now have more bailiffs fees and unreasonable demands for payment

 

A formal complaint to the chief executive of council is needed to resolve this

 

 

I'm not 100%sure about this but i think if the council recall the debt the notice of seizure is classed as abandoned

 

 

can you tell us the amount of the liability order and post up the goods listed on the notice of seizure

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do not under any circumstance let a bailiff into your home even if he tries to tell you that he can as there is a notice of seizure

 

he is now collecting a new liability order and he will levy goods for this

 

i notice you have put up the goods levied can you tell me the amount of the liability order

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I've looked for the walking possession, but I can't find it :( . It must be the only bit of paper NOT in my bureau. The council have said there are no notes on our file, and if the lady we spoke to did accept the debt back she had no authority. I don't understand how they can say "if". Had she not, surely Rossendales would not have left us alone for months, and now have a new figure. Are the council allowed to NOT tell us how much we still owe? Would I be better off borrowing the money from family (I know, I know) and just paying Rossendales? My husband says we can't fight the council and win. I feel horrible inside, it feels like we tried to pay but because of the council errors we're being penalised. Mostly, I feel horrible my daughter may be exposed to things a child shouldn't have to worry about. I've been snappy at her this afternoon and it's not her fault. How do I even begin to sleep tonight.

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I've looked for the walking possession, but I can't find it :( . It must be the only bit of paper NOT in my bureau.

 

don't worry about it you know what goods were listed (but we need to know the amount of the liability order to see if the levy is correct a rough idea will do for now )

The council have said there are no notes on our file, and if the lady we spoke to did accept the debt back she had no authority. I don't understand how they can say "if"

 

this is where the subject access request comes in to play as it will include any telephone conversations that have taken place regarding your account

 

. Had she not, surely Rossendales would not have left us alone for months,

correct the first miss payment would have triggered bailiff action and a van fee then you would have been hassled to death from them

 

 

and now have a new figure. Are the council allowed to NOT tell us how much we still owe?

yes you are entitled to this info and it will also be on the subject access request

 

Would I be better off borrowing the money from family (I know, I know) and just paying Rossendales?

 

personally i would not borrow any money for this

 

 

My husband says we can't fight the council and win.

 

tell him yes you can fight this and win there are many success stories on here and other forums it may take a while and there will be a lot of letter writing but you can fight and win the council have to answer to the local government ombudsman

 

I feel horrible inside, it feels like we tried to pay but because of the council errors we're being penalised. Mostly, I feel horrible my daughter may be exposed to things a child shouldn't have to worry about. I've been snappy at her this afternoon and it's not her fault. How do I even begin to sleep tonight.

 

 

stop feeling horrible inside stop snapping at your daughter (snap at the hubby) take control of the situation get angry at the council believe me once you start to fight back you will feel a whole lot better

start with the subject access request to the council and a formal complaint to the Chief executive of your council

continue to pay the council as you have been doing and ignore the bailiff you will get him coming to your house but as long as you don't allow him in (and you don't have a car for him to levy) you should be OK and you ask for the bailiff to be put on hold while this is being looked at

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dont stop paying the council, you can pay them online via their website. Follow hallowitch's advise. I would also suggest you contact your local councilor and have a word with them, explain everything that has happened, they can often be your voice when dealing with the council's benefits and revenues department. This is your councils fault not yours.

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Thanks all for your wonderful advice. I did not sleep last night (shock!). I am unexpectedly in a position to pay the debt off! I would rather deal with the council so I am going to give them a call today and offer full payment and hope they accept it. I don't know why they wouldn't but they told my husband they aren't willing to discuss it. Does anyone know if I turn up at the council tax office can they refuse payment? I've never tried to avoid paying, but they say they can see intent to avoid tax.

 

If I can pay the whole amount, is there any point in doing a SAR? I feel the council have acted very wrongly but given that I'm happy to pay what I owe, a SAR isn't going to achieve anything is it. I have learned a few things though, 1) do everything in writing and 2) if a phone call is unavoidable make sure you get names and 3) if it's important call back later to make sure notes have been made (and get that persons name too).

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You can pay this via your councils online payment facility you cannot get refused then. It is possible they will tell you to go pay the bailiff if you pay at the offices. If you do pay online then send an email to the council and bailiff company to state that you have paid.

Then I would write to the chief executive will a full complaint.

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I wouldn't pay the Bailiff -- if it DOES go to court again you can say you offered to pay but it was refused -- You NOT going to deal with the bailiff as a) the Law doesn't require you to do so and b) you are not going to pay unfair and extortionate charges not provided for by law.

 

In anycase the Court will take a dim view of people being harrassed by "semi-legalized thugs".

 

You'll probably get a much better deal from the Court in anycase if you want to pay by instalments.

 

Cheers

jimbo

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I have phoned the council, and they have (as you said) told me I must pay the bailiff. I have actually tried to call the bailiff but his phone is constantly engaged. The council will not accept payment, and I cant seem to pay the bailiffs anyway! The lady on the phone did say that I would still have to pay bailiffs fees. She is going to call Rossendales to tell them I want to pay, and see what they say. I'm not sure why.

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That was quick! The council called back and said I DO have to pay the bailiffs. I can call them and pay over the phone, and pay their fees. My total is £937.80 and the council tax came to £821.00. Can anyone tell me why I should not pay the bailiff? Seems it's just going to get the same job done quicker than the council if I have to pay their fees anyway?

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Just pay the council online! They can't refuse your payment ...... Just use the correct reference number. Then e-mail or write to the Council and to the Bailiffs advising them that you have now made payment in full.

 

Then I would write a letter of FORMAL COMPLAINT to the Chief Executive of your local council.

 

If you haven't already done so, write to the bailiffs and ask for a full breakdown of your account and we can see if they've added any unlawful charges.

 

Then and only then, can you put all this behind you and move on - older but wiser!

 

Impecunious! :-)

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Thanks so much for the quick replies. I am worried that if I pay online, the bailiff can still come round. What happens if the council return the payment? Do I need to call them again and tell them what I'm doing?

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SORRY I have another question. My husband has spoken to the council, and they have said that if we pay online, they can allocate that payment to THIS years council tax, not the debt with Rossendales. How do I get around that one??

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Just use the reference number for the account in arrears when making online payment.

 

Or alternatively, just go to the council office with a friend as witness and make the payment in cash - they can't refuse it. If they do refuse, you have them by the proverbials :-) Then write a letter of complaint to the Chief Exec (again!).

 

You just have to be persistent.

 

Impecunious!! :-)

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Just pay the council on-line! They can't refuse your payment ...... Just use the correct reference number. Then e-mail or write to the Council and to the Bailiffs advising them that you have now made payment in full.

 

Then I would write a letter of FORMAL COMPLAINT to the Chief Executive of your local council.

 

If you haven't already done so, write to the bailiffs and ask for a full breakdown of your account and we can see if they've added any unlawful charges.

 

Then and only then, can you put all this behind you and move on - older but wiser!

 

Impecunious! :-)

 

great advice

 

this is the way to go pay on-line to the council the full amount the bailiff has asked for then send an e-mail to the council and rossendasles

name

address

account ref number

 

dear sir,

 

I have on several occasions today tried to contact bailiff Mr xxxxxxx to pay my outstanding council tax and bailiff fees this being £937.80 as per the demand notice delved on (date) bailiff Mr xxxxx has not responded to my phone calls

I have also contacted xxxx council to make payment by debit card over the phone

this offer was refused I was informed i have to pay rossendales direct

I have therefore made payment of said amount to xxxxx council using there on-line payment facility as i felt it was necessary to pay this payment as soon as possible to avoid further bailiff fees

 

can you please supply me with a breakdown of my account

 

to include amount of all liability orders

bailiff fees charged against all liability order

for any bailiff visits that a fee was charged please provide me with

the name of the attending bailiff the date and time of the visit the reason for the visit and fee charged

date and amount of any payments i have made to rossendales

 

a copy of this e-mail has been sent to xxxx council to be added to my account for future use if necessary

 

yours xxxxxx

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Council is acting ILLEGALLY if they refuse to accept the tax.

Only Authorized agents such as the Inland Revenue and the Council itself can accept tax -- YOU ACTUALLY NEVER HAVE TO PAY A BAILIFF DIRECTLY FOR COUNCIL (or other Tax).

 

Once you,ve paid the council it's up to THEM whether they want to attempt to collect Bailiff fees from you -- only 42.50 GBP for the two visits are allowed.

 

 

I'd even be tempted to refuse to pay this and see if it actually holds up in a Court if a Council is allowed to add on its collection fees to your tax bill other than the cost of the court summons / liability order.

 

IF ONLY PEOPLE REALIZED FOR COUNCIL TAX THESE THUGS AND BULLIES HAVE ZERO RIGHTS --NEVER EVER LET THEM IN AND NEVER EVER DEAL OR MAKE ANY ARRANGEMENT WITH A BAILIFF EVER EVER EVER.

 

Cheers

jimbo

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Originally Posted by jimbo45

IF ONLY PEOPLE REALIZED FOR COUNCIL TAX THESE THUGS AND BULLIES HAVE ZERO RIGHTS --NEVER EVER LET THEM IN AND NEVER EVER DEAL OR MAKE ANY ARRANGEMENT WITH A BAILIFF EVER EVER EVER.

Although these bailiffs are undoubtedly **** turning on their fellow man for a living, I think we should remind ourselves that the Government, Councils, Police and Courts are the scummiest. The Government for setting up the system whereby (the puppet like) local authorities are played off against one another by introducing collection rate targets etc, the Police and the courts for turning a blind eye. The pathetic councils who seek their "pats on the back" and no doubt huge bonuses for their performance at the expense of ten's of thousands of their residents.

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Hi there , sorry to butt in on this but I am currently in the same shoes as Hillys, with rossen-a-holes. I have not yet seen a bailiff however i have notice of first and second attendance, "with the intention of seizing your goods or chattels as are neccesary to discharge this debt." - now, i have 3 debts with them somehow, for c-tax, one at 430.00, one at 86.00, and one at 73.00. on the notice of 2nd attendance for the £86 one they have wrote the make, model, and reg of my car, (needs scrapping anyway haha) but i do not understand why, or what a "levy" is, i have no other paperwork from them. I tried phoning the bailiff direct, which i left 2 messages on separate occasions, and phoned their office and was told i cant arrange payments til they have the paperwork back. - Am i right in understanding i can go to the council with these 3 amounts, force them (nicely) to accept it and there isnt diddly they can do? also can the bailiff fees be charged for each debt per visit??

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Hi there , sorry to butt in on this but I am currently in the same shoes as Hillys, with rossen-a-holes. I have not yet seen a bailiff however i have notice of first and second attendance, "with the intention of seizing your goods or chattels as are neccesary to discharge this debt." - now, i have 3 debts with them somehow, for c-tax, one at 430.00, one at 86.00, and one at 73.00. on the notice of 2nd attendance for the £86 one they have wrote the make, model, and reg of my car, (needs scrapping anyway haha) but i do not understand why, or what a "levy" is, i have no other paperwork from them. I tried phoning the bailiff direct, which i left 2 messages on separate occasions, and phoned their office and was told i cant arrange payments til they have the paperwork back. - Am i right in understanding i can go to the council with these 3 amounts, force them (nicely) to accept it and there isnt diddly they can do? also can the bailiff fees be charged for each debt per visit??

 

welcome to cag can you use this link to start your own thread please this will help us to help you

 

we wont get confused with original poster :-)

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=168

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Hillys, thanks to outlawla i now know they CAN NOT refuse payment from you. If you are still in a position to pay the owed amount in full, you can. outlawla sent me a link which i cannot post, from the Office of public Sector Information - The council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 No.613 - section 45 paragraph 3 states - "If, before any goods are seized,the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount, and the levy shall not be proceeded with" Hope this is useful for you.

 

- i recommend visitin the www . statutelaw . gov . uk website and printing that section out. go to your council office, and if they try to refuse payment, slap that in front of them. GOT THEM BY THE WOTNOTS!

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