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Rossendales - Unsigned Notice Of Distress


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Hi All,

 

I've today had a visit from a lady from Rossendales with regards to an outstanding Council Tax bill of £90. After informing her that I was on Incapacity Benefit and refused to give my National Insurance number out on my doorstep, she went away saying that she would "post the forms through the door" and me and my wife left to go out. When we returned there was an envelope containing a Notice of Distress, on which she had written our car registration details without our knowledge and consent. This is a Motability car, so obviously I would never agree to this!

 

I phoned Rossendales and stated, clearly, that this was the case and I had not agreed or wanted this action to be taken. The extremely arrogant woman on the other end simply said that it didn't need to be signed by myself, and I would have to provide Proof of the car being on Motability for it to be removed.

 

Is this correct? And am I obligated to provide further details to them? I really don't want to give them any details at all but I don't know what I can do about it.

 

Thankyou in advance,

 

Eagle Eyed

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Bailiff code of practice

 

The bailiff should at all times use his professional judgement to refer back to the Council if he considers that, due to the personal circumstances of the debtor, it would be inappropriate to proceed to levy distress. In particular, cases such as:

appears to be over 70 years of age and it appears may be easily confused

appears to be severely physically or mentally ill, severely disabled or suffering mental confusion

has young children and severe social deprivation is evident

is disputing liability or claims to have paid, applied for rebate, discount or any other relief not yet granted, recommend, levy distress and then report to the Council

is heavily pregnant

is in mourning due to recent bereavement (within three months)

is having difficulty communicating due to profound deafness, blindness or language difficulties

is unemployed and provides proof that they are in receipt of Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), payments from the Department of Works and Pension (DWP) and details are obtained of the debtors National Insurance number

is consulting his or her local councillor or Member of Parliament

long term sickness or serious illness including the terminally ill

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Did you have the blue badge showing in the car window ?

 

Vehicles:

 

Non essential vehicles can be taken, if the car is registered as disabled or it is used in conjunction with a valid blue badge or the car is a lease hire through the mobility scheme they CANNOT be taken. If the car is on hire purchase again the car CANNOT be taken. If the car is used for a business purpose it CANNOT be taken.

Edited by eggy12
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Did you have the blue badge showing in the car window ?

 

Vehicles:

 

Non essential vehicles can be taken, if the car is registered as disabled or it is used in conjunction with a valid blue badge or the car is a lease hire through the mobility scheme they CANNOT be taken. If the car is on hire purchase again the car CANNOT be taken. If the car is used for a business purpose it CANNOT be taken.

 

Unfortunately not. I keep my Blue Badge in the glove compartment, perhaps that's something I need to change :) And maybe I should have given my NI number, but I hate giving ANY details to a stranger on my doorstep.

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Surely the tax disc in the window clearly states that is it disabled tax and thus they should have taken more steps to check the car is on the mobility scheme or not.

 

My wife thought the same so I've just checked and it doesn't actually say. I'm quite surprised that it doesn't. It has a "/D" after the Car Registration which I suppose could indicate disabled tax but I'm not sure.

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Have you had any letters from them telling you they are collecting ?

 

I think the best thing to do is post up as much information leading up to this as you can and NEVER let a bailiff into your home.

 

If you do have the means to pay the outstanding council tax then pay it online using your councils own website and NOT to the bailiffs.

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Obviously another 'stupid' bailiff who can only see pound signs instead of facts and legislation.

Eggy has given sound advice, try and pay what you owe online to the COUNCIL, not the bailiffs. The levy is most definitely invalid and like I said the bailiff has been stupid enough to not look for signs to see if the car is exempt or not, there is obviously a vulnerable situation in the household under the National Standards so in hindsight this should be passed back to the council. Dont let the bailiffs in at all, you dont even have to converse with them.

However, to keep your car safe you can get hold of the motability company and ask them to give the bailiff a call stating that the car is not owned by you, that should be enough for them to squash the levy and its fees. Get in touch with the manager of the benefits and revenues department explaining the situation, if they say it is in the hands of the bailiff state that they are responsible for their agents actions and the bailiff is acting on their behalf, so they are responsible.

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As an update - I guess I'm blind as well as daft :p

 

The Tax Disc does indeed say "DISABILITY" on it. Thankfully, my wife can read! So it absolutely is there for the bailiff to see.

 

I'm sending a letter of complaint to the Council tomorrow, and a letter to Rossendales stating the facts as I see them and, despite my misgivings, providing proof of my benefits to them. Hopefully, this will get the debt returned to the Council and I'll deal with them directly.

 

Thankyou for your assistance all.

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