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WCC Council Tax Arrears - Bristow & Sutor attending doorstep!


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Hi all, I hope I give a good explanation to get some good answers on where I stand here :|

 

At the time I was a single father of two, living in "emergency accomodation" provided by my local city council due to lack of social housing available.

 

After my ex partner walked out on me and the children I was lucky enough to find a good job which paid well and was able to afford to place my children into nursery Mon-Fri while I was at work and cover the rent etc, however I found I was no so able to keep up to date with my Council Tax bill.

 

Since then I lost my nice job through redundancy and have moved into a new property [social housing] so the Council Ta was the last thing on my mind at the time!

 

Having moved the Council sent me a CT statement for the previous property, ok no problem, I know I owe this money, not disputing this, however as I was then unemployed I had not the means to cover this bill. I spoke to someone at the council 'hub' and eplained the situation - they were not too helpful.

 

Now I find a new job [part time] and have a new partner, things are looking up :-) We pay the rent and CT at the property we live at, but still find it difficult to cover the CT from the previous address.

 

I left the house to pick up my children from nursery the other day and a male and female jumped out of a car parked outside my propery.

 

"Mr ********?" they asked, of course I confirmed, quite worried as to two suited persons approaching me [Police delivering bad news was my initial thought :( ]

"Hello we're from BRISTOW & SUTOR and need to come inside to have a chat with you about your CT debt and the probable siezure of items from your home"

Now I obviously refused them entry to my home and told them sorry I can't talk now I have to pick my children up, please could you inform me of intended visits in future as I had never heard of them nor received any correspondance in advance. They were both quite rude, told me I have no choice but to listen to what they have to say right now, again I refused and told them again I had to go. They got back in their car and left.

 

When I returned home with my children approimatly 30 minutes later there was a brown envelope waiting for me, so obviously they returned to post it.

 

The CT owed according to them is higher than that of my final CT statement :-x and they have added visitation fees! :mad2:

What is the best course of action for me to now take???

 

I have had a look at some other threads already but find some very conflicting opinions, hence starting my own thread.

 

By choice I would rather pay the Council the CT, however cannot pay the full amount required.

I don't wish to deal with B&S on my doorstep, their manner is appauling to be honest.

If I pay the council directly will they refuse to accept the payment? Will B&S still turn up etc etc etc.

 

Many thanks in anticipation and sorry for a long winded post.

 

MT

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Hi all, I hope I give a good explanation to get some good answers on where I stand here :|

 

At the time I was a single father of two, living in "emergency accomodation" provided by my local city council due to lack of social housing available.

 

After my ex partner walked out on me and the children I was lucky enough to find a good job which paid well and was able to afford to place my children into nursery Mon-Fri while I was at work and cover the rent etc, however I found I was no so able to keep up to date with my Council Tax bill.

 

Since then I lost my nice job through redundancy and have moved into a new property [social housing] so the Council Ta was the last thing on my mind at the time!

 

Having moved the Council sent me a CT statement for the previous property, ok no problem, I know I owe this money, not disputing this, however as I was then unemployed I had not the means to cover this bill. I spoke to someone at the council 'hub' and eplained the situation - they were not too helpful.

 

Now I find a new job [part time] and have a new partner, things are looking up :-) We pay the rent and CT at the property we live at, but still find it difficult to cover the CT from the previous address.

 

I left the house to pick up my children from nursery the other day and a male and female jumped out of a car parked outside my propery.

 

"Mr ********?" they asked, of course I confirmed, quite worried as to two suited persons approaching me [Police delivering bad news was my initial thought :( ]

"Hello we're from BRISTOW & SUTOR and need to come inside to have a chat with you about your CT debt and the probable siezure of items from your home"

Now I obviously refused them entry to my home and told them sorry I can't talk now I have to pick my children up, please could you inform me of intended visits in future as I had never heard of them nor received any correspondance in advance. They were both quite rude, told me I have no choice but to listen to what they have to say right now, again I refused and told them again I had to go. They got back in their car and left.

 

When I returned home with my children approimatly 30 minutes later there was a brown envelope waiting for me, so obviously they returned to post it.

 

The CT owed according to them is higher than that of my final CT statement :-x and they have added visitation fees! :mad2:

What is the best course of action for me to now take???

 

I have had a look at some other threads already but find some very conflicting opinions, hence starting my own thread.

 

By choice I would rather pay the Council the CT, however cannot pay the full amount required.

I don't wish to deal with B&S on my doorstep, their manner is appauling to be honest.

If I pay the council directly will they refuse to accept the payment? Will B&S still turn up etc etc etc.

 

Many thanks in anticipation and sorry for a long winded post.

 

MT

 

When this council tax was incurred you stated that you were unemployed. If so, did you claim benefits (council tax etc)?

 

Also, has the bailiff ever been into your home and has a levy ever been made on any of your goods. Without a levy the bailiff CANNOT charge any more than £24.50 for "attending to levy" (where no levy was made).

 

You need to find out the amount of the Liability Order and what fees have been applied to your account.

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You did the right thing by not letting them in. You can pay the owing council tax to the council using their online payment facility, I would send and email to both council and bailiff company that this is what you are doing, the council cannot refuse payment this way.

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When this council tax was incurred you stated that you were unemployed. If so, did you claim benefits (council tax etc)?

I was lucky enough to find a good job, however I found I was not so able to keep up to date with my Council Tax bill.

 

Also, has the bailiff ever been into your home and has a levy ever been made on any of your goods. Without a levy the bailiff CANNOT charge any more than £24.50 for "attending to levy" (where no levy was made).

Never been in my home - Levy fee added today [please see info that follows] :sad:

 

You need to find out the amount of the Liability Order and what fees have been applied to your account.

 

So today I return home from work - open the door and wow, a nice brown envelope with my name hand written on the front...

 

Enclosed : "NOTICE OF SEIZURE OF GOODS" & "INVENTORY"

 

The Seizure Notice states the following:

To: [My Name]

Of: [My Address]

By virtue of a liability order issued by: South Worcestershire Magistrates Court

and with the authority of: Worcester City Council

I have this day seized, distrained and impounded the goods and chattels listed on the attached inventory.

 

The amount which must be paid is as follows:

Council Tax & Court Costs = £507.39

Attendance to Levy Fees = £ 42.50

Levy Fee
= £ 42.00

Walking Posession Fee
= £ NIL

Redemption of Goods Fee = £ 24.50

TOTAL
= £616.39
5 DAYS TO RESOLVE

 

The Inventory has listed my partner's car which is on the drive S.O.R.N [No Tax so cannot move it]

 

You did the right thing by not letting them in. You can pay the owing council tax to the council using their online payment facility, I would send and email to both council and bailiff company that this is what you are doing, the council cannot refuse payment this way.

 

I would never allow them into my home if I was here when they came.

 

With the new information I have given above is it still worth paying bit by bit to the Council directly? or will Bristow & Sutor still harrass us here and effectivly 'steal' the car as it is not mine to part with in the first instance.

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Stand firm by paying the councl - it shows you are willing to pay. Also it can be used if ever it went back to court with the reply of

"I am not avoiding the debt as I am paying, I just refuse to pay extortionate and illegal fees to abusive and intimidating bailifss"

Bailiffs like to be in control - control is power - power is money,

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

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So today I return home from work - open the door and wow, a nice brown envelope with my name hand written on the front...

 

Enclosed : "NOTICE OF SEIZURE OF GOODS" & "INVENTORY"

 

I will investigate, but I don't think they can charge all these fees for one visit. It is worth you remembering that the council are vicariously liable for the bailiffs actions. Keep paying the council direct and don't open the door to any bailiff. The ultimate aim is to get the council to take the debt back. Often getting your local councillor can work wonders in this situation. Failing that, you need to establish the payment record with the council then go to a senior level, tell them about the bailiffs actions and unreasonable (possibly illegal) charges and remind them they are vicariously liable.

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Council Tax & Court Costs = £507.39

Attendance to Levy Fees = £ 42.50
how many visits have they made

Levy Fee
= £ 42.00
when did the levy take place

Walking Posession Fee
= £ NIL

Redemption of Goods Fee = £ 24.50
this you can argue with the council

TOTAL
= £616.39
5 DAYS TO RESOLVE

 

Now as for the levy, were you both responsible for the liability or was this done before you met your current partner, If this is solely your debt before you met your partner then they cannot levy on her car, the levy and levy fee are invalid. how ever if you are jointly responsible for the outstanding debt then they can levy on her car.

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Council Tax & Court Costs = £507.39

Attendance to Levy Fees = £ 42.50
how many visits have they made
Three

Levy Fee
= £ 42.00
when did the levy take place
Yesterday

Walking Posession Fee
= £ NIL

Redemption of Goods Fee = £ 24.50
this you can argue with the council
What is it???

TOTAL
= £616.39
5 DAYS TO RESOLVE

 

Now as for the levy, were you both responsible for the liability or was this done before you met your current partner, If this is solely your debt before you met your partner then they cannot levy on her car, the levy and levy fee are invalid. how ever if you are jointly responsible for the outstanding debt then they can levy on her car.

 

The levy was yesterday for the car, they have attended three times now...

 

  1. Brown Envelope as we were out with a notice saying they had tried to contact me
  2. On the doorstep when I was leaving to pick children up [as posted in #1]
  3. Brown Envelope yesterday with "NOTICE OF SEIZURE OF GOODS" & "INVENTORY" while I was at work.

My partner is not responsible for this debt, it is soley my own, I acknowledge this debt as my own and know I am responsible for its finalisation.

I am not willing to pay these cowboys who have never sent me official correspondance via post to state their intentions they just started to appear at the door.

Although I will not pay B&S I am of course willing to pay my local City Council, however I cannot pay the full amount, would this pose as a problem?

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There is nothing stopping you from paying this bill online using the councils online payment facility, as long as you have the account details.

Let them know what you are doing, how much you are able to pay and when you can pay it.

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Regarding the bailiffs fees, they look legitimate to me and by my calculations EXCEPT I don't know, and can't find out what a Redemption of Goods Fee is. I assume it would be where they have siezed goods and put them up for auction, then you redeem them, but as this hasn't happened to you I must be wrong. Can anyone elaborate for me please?

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Regarding the bailiffs fees, they look legitimate to me and by my calculations EXCEPT I don't know, and can't find out what a Redemption of Goods Fee is. I assume it would be where they have siezed goods and put them up for auction, then you redeem them, but as this hasn't happened to you I must be wrong. Can anyone elaborate for me please?

 

There have been a few discussions about this fee as far as i am concerned the fee can only be charges if goods are removed and only if the debtor satisfy the debt including fees before sale

 

(4) Where an authority has seized goods of the debtor in pursuance of the distress, but before sale of those goods 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, the sale shall not be proceeded with and the goods shall be made available for collection by the debtor.

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Well they shan't be removing anything, including the car which my other half has now moved to her sister's garage.

If they want to get funny with me then so be it, end of the day it is not my car for me to provide to them.

If they don't believe this then I shall tell them it is their own responsibility to prove that the vehicle belongs to me, and any costs they incur that will ultimatly tell them they are wrong are their own costs and no responsibility of mine.

 

The only thing I do worry about is can these baillifs get a 'warrent' or something to that effect to enter the property? I remember days gone by where I have heard of bailiffs attending peoples property with police to gain entry if they were refused... is this the case these days, because I shan't allow them entry and being a fairly broad chap - 6'3 and a heavy weight in boxing terminology :lol: - I'd love to see them force past me at the door.

 

Just a thought :)

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The only thing I do worry about is can these bailiffs get a 'warrant' or something to that effect to enter the property? I remember days gone by where I have heard of bailiffslink3.gif attending peoples property with police to gain entry if they were refused... is this the case these days,

 

 

NO they cant as they have never been given peaceful entry to your property

 

you will get the usual bailiff letter we will get police locksmith ETC all rubbish

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Well they shan't be removing anything, including the car which my other half has now moved to her sister's garage.

If they want to get funny with me then so be it, end of the day it is not my car for me to provide to them.

If they don't believe this then I shall tell them it is their own responsibility to prove that the vehicle belongs to me, and any costs they incur that will ultimatly tell them they are wrong are their own costs and no responsibility of mine.

 

The only thing I do worry about is can these baillifs get a 'warrent' or something to that effect to enter the property? I remember days gone by where I have heard of bailiffs attending peoples property with police to gain entry if they were refused... is this the case these days, because I shan't allow them entry and being a fairly broad chap - 6'3 and a heavy weight in boxing terminology :lol: - I'd love to see them force past me at the door.

 

Just a thought :)

 

Rest easy! They cannot get anything to enable them to force entry - ultimately if they fail to collect the debt they have to pass it back to the council. As regards telling them to prove ownership of the car, sadly the law is on their side for this (wrong I know), but the onus would be on you to prove it wasn't your car - easily done, a sworn statement in front of a solicitor - you can normally walk in off the street and do it there and then, cost £5-10.

 

Just going back to read thread again, so may be back to edit in a few minutes.

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Yep, I'm back. Do you mind me asking which council WCC are, Westminster, Wolverhampton?????

 

The reason I ask is that I think to take the stress off you a bit we need to get this debt back with the council. You are paying, you have evidence the bailiffs are making unreasonable threats. I think a well worded e-mail to the CEO is in order asking him/her to call off the bailiffs as it is causing you great distress constantly receiving these threats, and claiming they can do things which they can't - ie - lying to scare you in order to make you pay - paramount to extortion. Remind him the council is vicariously liable for the bailiffs conduct.

 

I suspect if you were to do this on Monday you'd get a rapid response and then we can sort out any bits left over.

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you will get the usual bailiff letter we will get police locksmith ETC all rubbish

 

Did you know that if push comes to shove and they insist they can do the above then they have actually committed a criminal offence! Mind you'd probably have to kick up to get the Police to take any notice.

 

PT

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Did you know that if push comes to shove and they insist they can do the above then they have actually committed a criminal offence! Mind you'd probably have to kick up to get the Police to take any notice.

 

PT

 

When bailiffs attend, they do sometimes have the police, but the police are there purely to stop any breach of the peace and for no other reason. They will not take sides!

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When bailiffs attend, they do sometimes have the police, but the police are there purely to stop any breach of the peace and for no other reason. They will not take sides!

 

That is only supposed to be if there is a proven threat against the Bailiff, if it is a common thing with the Bailiff to threaten the Police attendance alone, then that issue should be taken up with local Constabulary as a waste of their resources. A simple FOI request can elicit the answer as to how many times it has been used.

 

PT

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Yep, I'm back. Do you mind me asking which council WCC are, Westminster, Wolverhampton?????

 

The reason I ask is that I think to take the stress off you a bit we need to get this debt back with the council. You are paying, you have evidence the bailiffs are making unreasonable threats. I think a well worded e-mail to the CEO is in order asking him/her to call off the bailiffs as it is causing you great distress constantly receiving these threats, and claiming they can do things which they can't - ie - lying to scare you in order to make you pay - paramount to extortion. Remind him the council is vicariously liable for the bailiffs conduct.

 

I suspect if you were to do this on Monday you'd get a rapid response and then we can sort out any bits left over.

 

Worcester City Council

Is there a template available for this kind of thing? Have scoured through the templates and not seen anything - maybe I've overlooked something?

who is the registered keeper of the car you or OH

 

My partner - it's her car, been S.O.R.N for months now [No ta, no MOT, etc] but she has now moved the car due to this anyway.

 

Did you know that if push comes to shove and they insist they can do the above then they have actually committed a criminal offence! Mind you'd probably have to kick up to get the Police to take any notice.

 

Thank you - I'll certainly keep this in mind.

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Hi MT,

Thanks for your responses.

 

I would advise that you contatct Trish Haines, the Chief Executive of WCC at [email protected]rcestershire.gov.uk (link showing as worcesters hire on my computer, but if you click it, it does come out right) and tell her exactly what's been going on, how distraught your children were, especially after the trauma of being moved to emergency accommodation etc... and remind her that the council are vicariously liable with the bailiffs. Ask under the circumstances, and given that you are paying the council direct, if they would please consider recalling the debt and call off the bailiffs as it is causinge extreme distress to you and your children.

 

Normally when you e-mail the CEO you get some kind of response VERY quickly, so give them 2 days maximum, and if they haven't responded send another one with a copy of this one, and stating how disappointed you are that nothing has happened. Hopefully that will be unnecessary.

 

Let us know what happens.

 

T

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