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letter from rossendale bailiffs regarding council tax debts


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Hi, please can someone help as regards what how to respond to 3 letters I have recieved today from rossendale bailiff. I owe £592, £373.46 and £213.67 from the years 2007, 2008 and 2010. I have never been to brilliant with money and find it really hard to keep up with the payments that the council want from me and always end up falling behind. I am a single mum to 2 boys aged 2 and 6 and work part time (18.5 hrs p/w), although I am going to university in january to start a nursing diploma.

The bailiff havent been in and I havent signed anything, and there has been no verbal contact, just these letters today. I worked out that if I pay 50 for 23 months then 29.13 on the 24th month that would settle the balance, but the letters from rossendale state they want the balance paid in full, or if an arrangement is to be made they want it paid by march, which is just impossible. Also, with me starting university in january I dont want to agree to too much as I have no idea what my financial situation will be from next year, and due to having 2 kids I will not be able to work as well so will be relying solely on my bursery.

Should I contact the council directly regarding this matter or contact just the bailiffs?

I have read around this forum a little and the advice given looks really good but I just want to clarify what I should do as this is really stressing me out at the moment.

any advice would be most appreciated, and thanks for reading.

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Hi Sarah

 

As a single parent you fall into the Vulnerable Persons category

 

There is list of vulnerable persons it is part of The nation standards of Enforcement agents 2002

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR ENFORCEMENT AGENTS MAY 2002

 

 

Those who might be potentially vulnerable include:

  • the elderly;
  • people with a disability;
  • the seriously ill;
  • the recently bereaved;
  • single parent families;
  • pregnant women;
  • unemployed people; and,
  • those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English

I would speak to the council and continue to pay them what you can. Tell them you would be classed as a vulnerable person.

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If the bailiffs turn up do not open he door to them. Make sure you keep the windows closed. Remove anything outside that belongs to you. If you have a car park it away from your house.You are under no obligation to speak to them. They may threaten police and locksmiths and the Dagenham Girl Pipers but it is just hot air. Call the council and find out how much you owe[not what the bailiffs say, they would have added all sorts of nonsense charges].Then pay the council what you can afford online, this way they can't refuse to take your account back.Also as rebel stated look into the vunerable aspect of your case. Someone more articulate than me will be along shortly to help so hang in there. Good luck.

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You can send the council and bailiffs this letter, send it Recorded. The letter needs to be amended if they haven't issued a Notice of Issue of warrant of execution.

 

Case Number

Warrant Number

Local Number

Claimants Ref

 

Dear Sir

 

I have received the above Notice of Issue of warrant of executionlink3.giflink3.gif today and I have written today to xxxxxxxxxx to ask for the bailifflink3.gif not to be used because xxxxxxxxxxx.

 

Reason why your a vulnerable person xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

 

 

 

I understand that that these problems come under the vulnerable person for the purpose of civil enforcement in the meaning of the National Standards for Enforcement Agency Directives.

 

Where a debtor falling into a venerable persons category is discovered by an enforcement agency, the matter shall be referred back to the court and no seizure of goods may proceed.

 

It is your responsibility to hand this letter to the relevant person responsible within your organisation.

 

Yours faithfully

 

xxxxxxxxxxxx

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That is disgusting behaviour, Sarah you are with helping hands here. In the meantime you could do the following. Contact your neighbours and ask them to witness anything if they come back (if you want to involve anyone else) If they come back just text or call your witnesses to watch and record what is going on. The more ammunition you have to complain of this dispicable behaviour the better. Of course they will say they acted in a proper and normal manner to the law, but independant witnesses, telling a different but same story will go against them. Also if you can record on your phone do so. Do not be pressured into things with threats of forcrd entry, imprisonment or police action .... it is all hot air.

Keep a record of times and dates they call, it may seem a lot to do but it will go in your favour.

My previous encounter with bailiffs kept sending threatening letters for their fees (only) I got fed up and sent them a three word email ..... BRING IT ON oddly enough the letters stopped. So stick to your guns, and please keep everyone here up to date.

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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As a single mum you can bet the Bailiff will target you thinking you are a soft target and you haven't a clue as to how to defend yourself against his tirade. That is one of the reasons why you are classed as vulnerable. Although folks have quoted the appropriate articles if you are in any doubt then take a look yourself.

 

http://www.dca.gov.uk/enforcement/agents02.htm#part10

 

The Bailiff is a liar, cheat &bully who will do or say anything to get you to do as he wishes. He cannot put you in prison, have the children put into care or force entry to your home. If he calls he does not need to ring the Office, have a drink to take his tablets or any other story he comes up with. Do not speak to him on the phone as he has selective memory as to what is said. Speak to him through the letter box or from an upstairs window and whenever possible record the visit/conversation. Keep all doors and windows locked and only open the door to those you know. If you have a car park it a good 10 minute walk away and if there is anything else outside put it under lock and key ASAP.

 

The Bailiff may call at any time between 6am & 9pm - schooltime is a favourite as usually your guard is down and that is 6 days Mon - Sat. The Council will tell you they won't take it back - they can but choose not to.

 

PT

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Hi,

thanks for your replies so far, they are most helpful and much appreciated.

I am not sure I know what a warrent of execution is? the letters I got all talk about I have had a liability order issued against me, and that if i dont pay in 14 days, or get in touch to make a payment plan to clear debt in three months or by march (same bloody difference!!) that I will have distress levied against me and they will take goods to sell at auction. This is the first time rossendales have been in touch, althoguh with one of the older debts I think bristow and sutor were chasing me for a while and I ignored them and it just went back to the council, and I did have a payment plan set up in the end but I just couldnt manage the debts and the current bill and Ive messed up the whole thing, so here we are. with rossendale now after me for 3 liabliaty orders :( plus this years council tax bill is in arrears now, they just want so much money from you, Im not entitled to any council tax help and when I was it was only about 14p a week or somethign daft like that. i work part time 18.5 hrs and im only on minimum wage, sometimes I wish Id never bothered going back to work as ever since I did Ive been in a mess with my council tax. Thats why I am going to uni so I can get a better job and hopefully be a bit more financially secure.

Im just a bit worried that as I have had chance with the council to sort this out that they wont have any leeway with me, I feel such an idiot but its like they want your blood or something!

I know its my own fault Im in this mess :(

anyway, if i write letters to the bailiffs and the council, and pay via the internet to the council will that eventually have to be accepted?

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A Warrant of Execution is a form of writ of execution used in British courts. It is a method of enforcing judgments and empowers a County Court bailiff to attend a judgment debtor’s (hereafter, debtor) address to take goods for sale.

Quoted from wikipedia - google Warrant of Execution and select the wikipdeia site for a full explanation.

 

I think the word warrant tends to scare people as it tends to instill "to be arrested" (and some bailiffs will use this as a threat) this is not so.

As stated in previous posts, unless they have gained entry or levied on goods (car for example) there is nothing they can do.

 

You can turn the tables on them by doing the following, and you are legally allowed to request this from them. (done through the letterbox of course) note everything down.

Ask to see their ID - request to see their certification - request to see the liability order.

They are required to carry all of these and show you on request. Failure or refusal to comply would infer misrepresentation of the said company.

 

If I am wrong in any of this someone please say so :)

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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Thanks Nigh, I googled that, most helpful. They have not used the words warrant of execution, in the letter, but have said they will come and 'levy distress upon my belongings' which I think must mean the same thing? but since they havent entered previously and Im not planning on letting them in then they cannot come and 'levy distress' on my stuff as they put it as they have no legal right to at the moment?

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Hi,

thanks for your replies so far, they are most helpful and much appreciated.

I am not sure I know what a warrent of execution is?Its basically the Courts permission for monies to be collected.You have a right to apply to the COURT to have any warrant set aside pending a hearing if you have good reasons. the letters I got all talk about I have had a liability order issued against me,A liability order is an order filed by the council and granted by the court which allows the council to enforce collection. and that if i dont pay in 14 days, or get in touch to make a payment plan to clear debt in three months or by march (same bloody difference!!) that I will have distress levied against me and they will take goods to sell at auction. This is the first time rossendales have been in touch, althoguh with one of the older debts I think bristow and sutor were chasing me for a while and I ignored them and it just went back to the council, and I did have a payment plan set up in the end but I just couldnt manage the debts and the current bill and Ive messed up the whole thing, so here we are. with rossendale now after me for 3 liabliaty orders :( plus this years council tax bill is in arrears now, they just want so much money from you, Im not entitled to any council tax help and when I was it was only about 14p a week or somethign daft like that. i work part time 18.5 hrs and im only on minimum wage, sometimes I wish Id never bothered going back to work as ever since I did Ive been in a mess with my council tax. Thats why I am going to uni so I can get a better job and hopefully be a bit more financially secure.

Im just a bit worried that as I have had chance with the council to sort this out that they wont have any leeway with me, I feel such an idiot but its like they want your blood or something!

I know its my own fault Im in this mess :(

anyway, if i write letters to the bailiffs and the council, and pay via the internet to the council will that eventually have to be accepted?

The bailiffs have first bite of the cherry-that is to say if you pay the council direct-it needs to include any fees due otherwise the bailiffs will take further action to recover the difference-which can mean more charges.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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The bailiffs have first bite of the cherry-that is to say if you pay the council direct-it needs to include any fees due otherwise the bailiffs will take further action to recover the difference-which can mean more charges.

I am a bit confused, so should I deal with the council or should I come to an arrangement with the bailiffs? as if their fees need to be paid then I need to arrange something with them?

sorry this stuff goes way over my head and I feel a bit confused as to what to do, is the letter that rebel11 posted still relevant?

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Do not deal with the bailiffs, use online payment direct to the council. If it was their first visit then they can only charge £24.50. If you pay this plus a little off your bill it would help a lot.

Bailffs will add what they can to get more money out of you. ie: surcharge for debit cards - late payment fees for direct debits etc.

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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Do not deal with the bailiffs, use online payment direct to the council. If it was their first visit then they can only charge £24.50. If you pay this plus a little off your bill it would help a lot.

Bailffs will add what they can to get more money out of you. ie: surcharge for debit cards - late payment fees for direct debits etc.

they havent actually visited yet, these letters were sent in the post, will I have been charged for them? if so who do I pay their fees to?

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My own personal experience I chose to not contact them at all apart from a written request for a full breakdown of their charges. (which they totally got wrong) and an email months later.

As for non attendance and just letters, somone more qualified needs to answer that ..... sorry.

Also do not call them as it gives another point of contact to hound you more.

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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Ok thanks, I have read the back of the letter that they sent that says what they charge for various things, and I dont think I should have incurred any charges from them yet as no-one has visited. Its all very confusing this is but what I am going to do is I have used rebel11's template letter and based my own letter on that, but changed the bit where it says warrant of execution. I am going to send a copy to the council asking for them to consider me a vulnerable person and take the account back and I will pay them an amount each week while I am waiting to hear their response. I have altered the letter slightly to for rossendales and will send them a copy stating that I have sent a letter to the council.

I am going to send these letter tomorrow recorded delivery, if I am doing the wrong thing then can please could someone tell me, this is how I have interpretated the advice that has been given and concluded what to do.

I will update when I get a response.

thanks guys :)

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you are going in with a plan of action, which is a good thing. These bullies assume we know nothing of the laws and regulations, but forums like this are making people wise to them on a daily basis. Keep any and all correspondance (icluding envelopes - as they would show a date ) and I wish you well.

Remmber if you are stuck or unsure someone here can help :)

OK own up, who swapped the A and I on my keyboard ? :D

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they havent actually visited yet, these letters were sent in the post, will I have been charged for them? if so who do I pay their fees to?

 

Do you mean post as in with a stamp or just pushed through the door?

 

PT

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Rebel's letter is fine apart from his use of the Warrant of Execution, you have rightly pointed out this is a Liability Order. The problem I see is that you currently have 3 Liability Orders against you and you think it is likely you have this years as well which will then make 4. Adding Bailiffs fees to these amounts is in my opinion plain stupid as it is obvious you will never be able to pay them off. May I ask when was the last time you made any payment?

 

I appreciate you work part time but do you claim any other Benefits apart from Tax Credits? It may pay for you to see if the Council has a Welfare Rights Adviser who may be able to help see if there is anything else you are entitled to.

 

Part of the problem as I see it is that the Council have never addressed the issue correctly but have let these debts mount up. Council Tax is a priority debt and must come before most others like Credit/Score Cards. I would imagine at some stage the Council are going to apply for a Committal Hearing where you will have to explain why nothing has been paid and the great fear is that you may be seen as a "serial evader" - you are a way from this yet. To prove you are willing to pay you must start making payment now even if it is only the minimum that Attachment to Benefits would allow - £3-25 per week - don't forget the Council could apply for an Attachment to your Earnings and the little you get will be reduced further.

 

In my view I would try and ignore the Bailiff completely, here are some tips:

 

DEALING WITH BAILIFFS ON YOUR DOORSTEP

1. ALWAYS! Keep your door LOCKED SHUT at all times. NEVER open the door to a bailiff - speak to him through a window or the letterbox

2. ALWAYS! Hide your car - in the garage or park it well away

3. ALWAYS! Take photographs of the bailiff and his vehicle, even better use a camcorder and video-record EVERYTHING

4. ALWAYS! Speak as LITTLE AS POSSIBLE and let the bailiff do the talking

5. ALWAYS! Ask for his bailiff's certificate number

6. ALWAYS! Ask which court issued his certificate

7. ALWAYS! Ask for a full breakdown of his fees IN WRITING

8. ALWAYS! Ask who the creditor is (if you don't know)

9. ALWAYS! Pay using a credit card, avoid cash and debit cards if possible

10. ALWAYS! If you have grounds, get an appeal lodged immediately (parking tickets) - it stops enforcement

 

1. NEVER! Sign any documents handed to you by a bailiff

2. NEVER! Phone a bailiff (unless asking him which Court issued his certificate)

3. NEVER! Admit any debt

4. NEVER! Say or "confirm" your name address or date of birth

 

this is very good advice originally posted by Happy Contrails

 

PT

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Through the post, with stamps, three letters in seperate envelopes relating each seperate liability order from 2007, 08 and 2010

 

If they call, regardless of what they say you have not incurred any fees yet as the Regulations do not allow for Letter fees, I can picture the bailiff imagining charging you 3 sets of fees though. Although you have the 3 orders he has to treat them as 1 in total. As long as you refuse him entry he is pretty powerless but he will try to intimidate you. At present he does not know you may fall into the vulnerable category which is why it is important to work on that now. Another course of action is to seek the help of your local Councillor, does this ASAP - in my view this can be done 7 days a week up until 9pm.

 

PT

Please consider making a small donation to help keep this site running

 

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Rebel's letter is fine apart from his use of the Warrant of Execution, you have rightly pointed out this is a Liability Order. The problem I see is that you currently have 3 Liability Orders against you and you think it is likely you have this years as well which will then make 4. Adding Bailiffs fees to these amounts is in my opinion plain stupid as it is obvious you will never be able to pay them off. May I ask when was the last time you made any payment?think the last time I paid was about 2-3 months ago, before I buried my head in the sand, was about £150 that I paid.

I appreciate you work part time but do you claim any other Benefits apart from Tax Credits? It may pay for you to see if the Council has a Welfare Rights Adviser who may be able to help see if there is anything else you are entitled to. I currently get working tax cred and child tax cred, I get some housing benefit which helps loads but am not entitled to council tax benefit for some reason, I don't think there is anything else I am entitled to, I pay for sons school meals. I have researched into how my finances will chage once I am a student and I understand I will not have to pay council tax and will get free school meals. Not sure where I will stand with housing benefit, I may have to pay full rent as the things I have read about housing ben and students is quite unclear, I think its discretionary depending on your council.

 

Part of the problem as I see it is that the Council have never addressed the issue correctly but have let these debts mount up. Council Tax is a priority debt and must come before most others like Credit/Score Cards. I would imagine at some stage the Council are going to apply for a Committal Hearing where you will have to explain why nothing has been paid and the great fear is that you may be seen as a "serial evader" - you are a way from this yet. To prove you are willing to pay you must start making payment now even if it is only the minimum that Attachment to Benefits would allow - £3-25 per week - don't forget the Council could apply for an Attachment to your Earnings and the little you get will be reduced further. thanks for that, I will start making payments each wednesday when I get tax creds in bank

 

In my view I would try and ignore the Bailiff completely, here are some tips:

 

DEALING WITH BAILIFFS ON YOUR DOORSTEP

1. ALWAYS! Keep your door LOCKED SHUT at all times. NEVER open the door to a bailiff - speak to him through a window or the letterbox

2. ALWAYS! Hide your car - in the garage or park it well away

3. ALWAYS! Take photographs of the bailiff and his vehicle, even better use a camcorder and video-record EVERYTHING

4. ALWAYS! Speak as LITTLE AS POSSIBLE and let the bailiff do the talking

5. ALWAYS! Ask for his bailiff's certificate number

6. ALWAYS! Ask which court issued his certificate

7. ALWAYS! Ask for a full breakdown of his fees IN WRITING

8. ALWAYS! Ask who the creditor is (if you don't know)

9. ALWAYS! Pay using a credit card, avoid cash and debit cards if possible

10. ALWAYS! If you have grounds, get an appeal lodged immediately (parking tickets) - it stops enforcement

 

1. NEVER! Sign any documents handed to you by a bailiff

2. NEVER! Phone a bailiff (unless asking him which Court issued his certificate)

3. NEVER! Admit any debt

4. NEVER! Say or "confirm" your name address or date of birth Stupid question, why is this?

 

this is very good advice originally posted by Happy Contrails

 

PT

Thanks for your advice ploddertom, I think as regards to the bailiffs calling I am going to try and completly ignore them as I am useless at talking to people and s/he will suss me out straight away that I havent really got a clue what Im talking about as Im not very good at speaking whats in my mind, if thats makes sense!

I have emailed the letters I wrote and I will also be posting them today. How do I find out who my local counciller is? I think I will have a try googling it, what do I need to say to him, do I just sort of explain everything that is going on?

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Just found my local counciller, was actually quite easy, I will send him an email but was thinking that I may wait to see what councils and bailiff response to my first correspondence is or should I just get in touch straight away?

sorry for all the questions , I dont know what I would have done if I hadnt found this site!!

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