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Equita refusing my offer of monthly payments and dont know what to do, please help


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HI, i have a council tax debt of £1500, i am not proud of this and want to pay it off as soon as possible. Unfortunately despite the fact my husband works and we recieve tax credits we do not have much spare money. As soon as i heard from Equita i contacted them to offer monthly payments of £150. This was an amount that i could pay easily and would still allow us a bit of spare money each week in case of emergencies. I did not want to leave us so desperate that i would end up defaulting on any payment plan. I was told by Equita that as this is a council tax debt they have a timeline in which it must be paid, in this case 7 months and that unless i pay them £222.54 a month there will be no payment plan and i would still be likely to get a visit from the bailiff, however any money i pay would look good for me. I asked to be sent payment slips as i do not have card to make the payments over the phone, before the slips arrived i recieved another letter informing me that a bailiff would be in the area during the next 2 weeks and would be calling on me. I phoned them again to explain why i didnt want to enter an agreement that i probably wouldnt be able to stick to as I would struggle to make the payments. I offered to up my payments to £180 a month with extra being paid if we had any spare money, despite the man on the phone saying he understood he still would not accept my offer. The payment slips arrived today (2 wks after asking for them) along with a letter informing me that as i have ignored their letters and the bailiff visits (which i havent had), they will be attending my property within days. I phoned once again to be told that i had to contact the bailiff directly as they could not deal with my case there and then in the office. Of course when i called the bailiffs mobile he did not answer. I have got myself worked up in a right state. I have been feeling very down and depressed since the first letter arrived and now i dont know what to do. I read somewhere that i can ask the council to take back to debt if the DCA refuses to accept my offer of payment, is this right? I would visit the CAB but unfortunately our local one isnt open tomorrow and im worried that if i go out leaving my husband home he may unwittingly open the door to the bailiff, he works nights and if someone knocks the door and wakes him up he is likely to answer it without thinking. I am so worried, please help xx

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Who tells how much you owe - Bailiff or Council? If the Bailiff ring the Council in the morning and ask how much the Liability Order is for and how much is still outstanding.

 

You are doing yourself no favours by speaking to the Bailiffs on the phone. Unless you can record the calls they will simply deny anything that was said. If you must do it try email. There is nothing anywhere that says you have to deal with or pay a Bailiff. Are the arrears just from this year or previous years?

 

Most bailiffs will allow instalments providing that it is paid up before the end of the financial year, in your case this has lead to them demanding more than you can reasonably afford and you should inform the Council of this at the earliest opportunity - they can instruct the Bailiffs to accept what you have offered.

 

In particular you should remove any items lying around outside and if you have a car then move it well away. A Bailiff will certainly make a levy/seize on any items he may find. You must maintain a siege like mentality for the forseeable future and only answer the door to those that you know. Regardless of any shift pattern your OH has to learn quick or the results could be catastrophic.

 

In the meantime you can still make payments direct to the Council. I note you say you do not have a card so therefore you should take a PO or cash to the Council and insist they take it. If refused get the name of the person concerned and address a complaint to the CEO at the Council saying that as the Council are refusing you will be contacting the Local Government Ombudsman with your concerns. To help smooth things enlist the help ot your local Councillor.

 

No offence to the CAB but you will probably get better help here - and quicker.

 

PT

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I have £700 owing from last year due to my partner moving in and my lone discount not being removed, the rest is from this year which is annoying as i was up to date except i was late paying one month but it was paid in full and then i was £17 short on July's one which i had intended to pay the following week but before i had chance i was sent the first letter.

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Hi i had my visit from the bailiff this morning but was on the school run, they dont hang about do they?

As soon as i got home i contacted my local council who on looking at my account for this year could see that apart from this month, i had in fact been paying my council tax on time, therefore they are cancelling that court order and i can go back to paying them as usual. The bill for last year however will still need to be paid through Equita. I have know offered a payment plan of between £50-70 a month, obviously the lower amount is the least i wil pay with £70 being paid on the months i am able. This was agreed with the bailiff who called this morning via the telephone, i will be putting it in writing shortly and posting it recorded as i understand that they can play ignorant over phone calls. He has asked for £110 for the first payment and I have to contact him when i have the money. He has said that he will then come round with a plan drawn up which i will have to sign. Is this for real or just a ruse to gain access to my property? If he does need to come out is it reasonable to get him to meet me outside or down the road somewhere away from the property? I really need advice as i dont want to get myself in any deeper with them. I know not to let them in under any circumstance but i need to know my rights. I hope someone can help x

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He has said that he will then come round with a plan drawn up which i will have to sign. Is this for real or just a ruse to gain access to my property?

 

its a ruse to gain access to your property be very careful what you sign

don't agree to a payment plan you cant afford

send an e-mail to Equita offering them £50 per month to be paid by standing order (if you pay by any other method equita will charge you to make payment) send a copy of your e-mail to the revenues department of your council

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Hi i had my visit from the bailiff this morning but was on the school run, they dont hang about do they?

As soon as i got home i contacted my local council who on looking at my account for this year could see that apart from this month, i had in fact been paying my council tax on time, therefore they are cancelling that court order and i can go back to paying them as usual. The bill for last year however will still need to be paid through Equita. I have know offered a payment plan of between £50-70 a month, obviously the lower amount is the least i wil pay with £70 being paid on the months i am able. This was agreed with the bailiff who called this morning via the telephone, i will be putting it in writing shortly and posting it recorded as i understand that they can play ignorant over phone calls. He has asked for £110 for the first payment and I have to contact him when i have the money. He has said that he will then come round with a plan drawn up which i will have to sign. Is this for real or just a ruse to gain access to my property? you are learning fast!! If he does need to come out is it reasonable to get him to meet me outside or down the road somewhere away from the property?There is no reason why they cannot send you any "paperwork" If they refuse to do this then just make the £50 payments on line and write to them advising you have done so and that you do not wish to have any personal contact with them and that you request all contact be made in writing. I really need advice as i dont want to get myself in any deeper with them. I know not to let them in under any circumstance but i need to know my rights. I hope someone can help x

 

If they insist on calling despite being told you are happy to deal with them in writing then send a formal letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of the Council advising them you are being subjected to harassment by their agents. As long as you make regular payments on a given date (watch out for the date falling on a weekend or Bank Holiday make sure you pay in time for it to clear by the due date) then they have no hold over you.

 

WD

 

Y

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