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I really hope someone can help me as i'm at my wits end!!

 

I have a council tax debt with Bristow and Sutor to whom i have been paying £10 a fortnight since 9/7/09. In January of this year i missed a payment for reasons i don't recall and NOT on purpose. I spoke to someone on the phone to apologise and made the payment plus the next payment and that is where it was left. Unbeknown to myself, they had changed my agreement with them to a temporary one until April during which time i was supposed to have sent them a letter proving that i was claiming benefits, I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS!!

 

On to present time, i have been making my fortnightly payments without fail not knowing that since April my account was in default. I telephoned Bristow and Sutor 3 days ago just to let them know that my benefit payments had changed and i would be paying them a week early and carrying on with the fornightly payments at which point i was told about my account and that i had to send a proof of benefit. As my benefit is claimed by my partner for the whole family, ALL our correspondence from them is in his name only so we promptly called the benefit office to get a letter stating that I was also claiming.

 

The day after speaking to Bristow Sutor we get a Notice of Intention to force entry from the bailiff. I got straight on to their office and asked why they had been sent when we were still waiting for the benefit letter to arrive at which point i was then told that they needed the letter IMMEDIATELY after i had spoken on the phone to them the day before!! i was not told it had to be there straight away and thought they'd wait at least a day or 2 for us to get the letter and fax it to them!!! I have been informed that the bailiff will not be called off and he has the right to break into my home, even when i am not in, to take my property as he has walking possesion. I've tried negotiating with the bailiff on the phone but he refuses to even listen. I am currently sitting in a locked up home twitching every time a car pulls up outside because i know he could be here tonight or any time he feels like showing up, i'm scared to leave the house

 

Please...is there ANYTHING i can do to stop them from entering my home??

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did you sign the walking possession?

 

What is listed on it?


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Has the bailiff ever been in your home ?


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a bailiff came into the property back in july 2009 and took a list of my possessions, i know they can take these goods, its just the fact that as far as i'm concernerd, i've done nothing wrong to warrant these guys banging on my door to collect them in the first place! i was totally unaware that my account was in default from April 2010 and if i hadn't called them 3 days ago regards changing my payment date to a week earlier i'd have known nothing about it!!

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I have feeling that a walking possession order should expire after 12 months - if that is the case then your bailiff would have to get a new WP which would mean he'd have to be admitted to the house again - and you won't do that !

I'll check it out and come back to you.


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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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I have feeling that a walking possession order should expire after 12 months - if that is the case then your bailiff
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would have to get a new WP which would mean he'd have to be admitted to the house again - and you won't do that !

I'll check it out and come back to you.

 

 

IM80/ 90% sure thats wrong as i understand it the WP does not expire but if the bailiff who levied the goods did not keep in touch with debtor after the debtor stopped paying then the levy would be classed as abandoned as i said I'm not 100% sure about this

 

 

do you still have the WP can you list the goods levied can you tell us the amount of the liability order

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i have a copy of notification of seizure of goods, dated 9/7/09 with the amount of £539.87 which includes attendance to levy fee, walking possession fee etc. i have been paying this off and the current amount is £374 but obviously this bailiff has whacked on his fee for turning up yesterday so it is now £600

List of goods - 3 pce suite, pc, monitor and keyboard, 2 x pc desk, 2 x pc chair, TV, wood sideboard, 1 wardobe, 1 chest of drawers, fridgefreezer, washing machine and microwave

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I would argue the same as HW about the levy and believe the Bailiff has abandoned it. If there was a failure in payments earlier this year then this was the time they should have acted - that's regardless of the fact there are several exempt items, Even if it was still valid then there is nothing that says you would have to let him back in anyway.

 

Have you sent off for a Breakdown of their charges?

 

PT


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if the 3 pce suite was removed would there be enough seating left for all members of your household

is the TV flat screen lcd (new style ) or the old kind

 

 

1 wardrobe, 1 chest of drawers, fridgefreezer, washing machine (these goods are exempt from seizure) its looking like your levy may not be worth the paper its written on

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are you 100% of what they can seize hallowitch? if so then the 3 pice suite is in fact the only seating we have apart from the computer chairs. the TV is one of the new flatscreen lcd.

 

As regards my non payment back in january, as i said, i spoke to BandS when i realised i'd missed it and as far as i was concerned they accepted the late payment and nothing more was said about it so i carried on with my payments which i have not missed since and not knowing that there was a default on my account since April this year

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Unbeknown to myself, they had changed my agreement with them to a temporary one until April during which time i was supposed to have sent them a letter proving that i was claiming benefits, I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS!! A typical Bailiff trick to add further charges

 

 

 

The day after speaking to Bristow Sutor we get a Notice of Intention to force entry from the bailiff. They need a Court Order to do this and they are very rarely given.

 

I have been informed that the bailiff will not be called off and he has the right to break into my home, even when i am not in, to take my property as he has walking possesion. See other posts regarding this + Court Order above. I've tried negotiating with the bailiff on the phone but he refuses to even listen. I am currently sitting in a locked up home twitching every time a car pulls up outside because i know he could be here tonight or any time he feels like showing up, i'm scared to leave the house

 

Please...is there ANYTHING i can do to stop them from entering my home??

 

You still have the right to exclude him regardless of what he may say. He then has to go away and make the arrangements :

1 - he has to get the Council to agree

2 - he then has to persuade the Magistrates to agree and only then if you wilfully refusing payments.

3 - if and it's a big IF he has to notify you in writing giving you both time and date (at least 7 days notice required) when he is attending.

 

You are a long way from this happening. It won't harm to have a word in the ear of your local Councillor pointing out how his Council's contractors are abusing his constituents. If you get the chance show him this website. Do NOT phone the Bailiff anymore - that will also help wind him up and if he attends speak to him through the letterbox or upstairs window.

 

PT


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Batten down the hatches for tomorrow or go out for the day - he has until 9pm to call. Sunday is a day off but use it constructively - in particular have a read of some other threads here and you will see the Bailiff is all hot air & bull.

 

Do you know how much the original Liability Order was for and how much is still outstanding? The definitive answer is from the Council - the bailiff uses an abacus with duff beads so don't believe his total. Do you know how much you have so far paid? Send off for a breakdown of charges ASAP. Did you know you can pay the Council direct - either using their website or automated phone service. There is no law that says you have to deal with or speak to a Bailiff.

 

PT


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3 pce suite, (exempt from seizure no seating left in house for family)

 

 

pc, monitor and keyboard, (very little or no value)

 

2 x pc desk, 2 x pc chair, (no value)

 

TV, (try and put an auction value on this ) what size is it how old is it

wood sideboard, (no value)

 

1 wardrobe, 1 chest of drawers, fridge freezer, washing machine (100% exempt )

 

microwave (no or very little value)

 

 

I'm not putting your property down I'm trying to establish if the goods that can be removed and sold will cover all bailiff fees removal fees storage fees auction fees ) and a portion of the remaining debt

 

Forgot to ask are any of the goods on finance or HP

have you checked to see if the bailiff who levied the goods is certificated

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thank you all for your help, i'm feeling a lot better about facing the ******* now! i will also be getting on to the council asap to talk to them about this whole mess and see what happens from there and keep you posted. THANKS ALL x

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One thing to remember is that this is an open forum where guests as well as members can read. I don't doubt for one moment that anyone with an interest may recognise your plea for help so if someone turns up early tomorrow don't be surprised, it may just be coincidental but probably not. The chances are your "newest best friend" has also been reading.

 

PT


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just one quick thing that my other half is worrying about, can they take anything that is NOT on the list? they can't take most of the stuff they've written down so they'll obviously do their best to take something else instead.

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the only way they could take stuff not on the list is if they had to re-enter to remove goods if you stopped paying

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I would go as far as say the levy is invalid getting it removed doesn't happen over night and it will take a lot of letter writing to the bailiffs and the council

if you can establish its an invalid levy they would have to remove the levy fee walking possession fee and the van/attendance fee

 

the only thing i would say is of any grate value is the TV depending on its size age

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Please...is there ANYTHING i can do to stop them from entering my home??

 

Dont let them in, keep that door locked shut at all time if there is a bailff about, even if that means speaking through the letterbox. Capture everything on video using your mobile.

 

I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS!!

 

That means you probably dont owe anything to the bailiffs at all.

 

The law says the council must send you a Final Notice before obtaining a liability order, and they probably havnt. The law: Section 33/34 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/regulation/33/made

 

Contact the council explaining you did not receive the statutory Final Notice and ask they roll the case back and take the case into council administration. The couuncil must comply with the law. If the council is uncooperative, then you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to intervene and make an application for compensation for the councils failure to comply with Regulation 33. http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/

 

For the avoidance of doubt, bailiffs cannot break into your property. If a bailiff says he can break in without a court order (the regulations dont provide for Magistrates to grant any such order to break into homes for collecting unpaid council tax) then the bailiff commits an offence. You can make a complaint to the council (or LGO) citing Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Primary&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=2&parentActiveTextDocId=1663425&activetextdocid=1663463 and Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/2


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