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I was contacted by Equita in November last year, they sent a letter by post (not hand delivered I dont think). I called them and arranged to pay what I was paying Lambeth direct £180 per month, this is for 2 years outstanding council tax payments.

When I moved here no one contacted me about CT and I didnt contact them (I should of on hindsight) anyway agreed to pay same amount and have done, missed 1 payment (called them to say that I was doing so). Then started getting letters weekly saying that they are going to remove my property. I have had no-one come to the house as far as I am aware and dont own a car.

  • I am wondering if all the letters they send in the post are they charging me for this?

spoke to lambethand have now received 2011/2012 CT bill and this will now mean paying £290pm in council tax, asked if I could pay them direct they said no have to keep paying Equita and now Lambeth.

 

Checked with Lambeth what I owed on CT arearrs and they have given same amount as Equita,

  • does this mean that Equita are not applying fees, as this makes no sense, since reading other posts.

some clarification would be helpful, as I am at my wits end as they keep saying they are coming round. I know not to let in and to keep everthing locked up.

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"I am wondering if all the letters they send in the post are they charging me for this?"

 

They might try, but ultimately you will not need to pay them. There is no lawful fee for letter writing.

 

"does this mean that Equita are not applying fees, as this makes no sense, since reading other posts."

 

Not necessarily.

 

You need to write to / ring the council and find out the values of the liability orders that were granted. Compare this figure with the total you have paid and the outstanding balance, and you will see if fees have been applied.

 

If you have no car, and you refuse them entry then they will eventually go away and pass the account back to the council. The maximum fees they would be able to charge in that situation would be £42.50.

Edited by Thegreenpimpernel
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Always pay the council direct, NEVER communicate with a bailiff.

 

The law does not provide for bailiffs to charge you a fee for sending you a letter.

 

Equite are probably charging fees, but they are usually made up or bogus so I wouldnt take too much notice for them. If the council prevents you paying your tax liability to them, then keep the letter or record the call to that effect and your liability can be disregarded. You dont need to take any further action.

Professional property investor and conveyancer

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I find it very to believe that Lambeth council can insist on you paying next years CT to the bailiffs not them. I'd be inclined to ask to see the Liability Order for not paying your 2011/12 Council Tax. If they haven't got one which they can't have yet, then you can pay the council.

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Just a thought on this, have Lambeth added the new bill to the running total on the old LO, with Equita I wonder, hoping to circumvent due process?, It seems maybe they have added the two together to consolidate it all into the one payment is this legal? as until they have a LO for 2011/12, I would have thought they couldn't pass it to bailiffs.

 

If this is another Capita/Equita stitch up this would seem most likely. Whether it is legal others will know more

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You could well be onto something there, but it cannot be lawful. They have to have an LO for each debt. At one time I was paying 4 LO's off for various years - all thankfully sorted now. If they've done what you say, which is quite possible, they're being very naughty and should be reported.

 

I'd do as I suggested in my first post. Ask how much the LO is for 2011/12 and if they give a figure ask if you can see the LO which is your right. Otherwise you'll be paying bailiff fees for a debt you have not got - hardly fair!

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You could well be onto something there, but it cannot be lawful. They have to have an LO for each debt. At one time I was paying 4 LO's off for various years - all thankfully sorted now. If they've done what you say, which is quite possible, they're being very naughty and should be reported.

 

I'd do as I suggested in my first post. Ask how much the LO is for 2011/12 and if they give a figure ask if you can see the LO which is your right. Otherwise you'll be paying bailiff fees for a debt you have not got - hardly fair!

Tingy, if you are thinking on the same lines as I am OP must ask to see the "NEW" LO which I would expect they cannot even attempt to apply to the court for until after April, when it cannot be produced escalate the complaint through CEO, Leader, councillor MP and eventually to Ombudsman. If this scenario of pre-empting legal process it is what they (Capita/Equita) are doing maybe tomtubby could look at it.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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You've got a devious mind as well. Exactly what I'm thinking!

 

We have to be more devious in thought patterns than the predictable bailiffs, This one needs nipping in the bud, as if someone discharged their old liability before march 31 2010, the attempted enforcement by bailiffs of the new years liability WITHOUT going to court would be VERY NAUGHTY (Mr Plod in Noddy always speaks in capital letters) Surely Equita wouldn't be so stupid would they?

 

I would imagine the justification would be that it allowed the debtor to only worry about one payment on account to cover all, but the danger is if there is no LO and the debt covered by that was paid off by say July, then any further enforcement on the new CTax would be then illegal, if they failed to get a new LO to cover 2011/12

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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What's worse is that the council seem to be condoning it. I can't believe nobody has taken them to court over this yet.

 

It may be a common practice in Lambeth then, wonder what tomtubby, ploddetom and hallow make of this one?

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Hi,

 

Sorry for late response just checked. Thank you so much for all of your advise. I am now starting to see things more clearly. If I am right.

  • I should contact Lambeth council and ask them to accept payemt for the outstanding arrears and the current 2011/2012 CT
  • If they do not allow this leave until they contact me again
  • also send a letter to Equita to tell them that I am arranging to pay the council direct.
  • should I not pay Equita in April and wait for the outcome with the council, usually pay them at the start of month?
  • further to other point reagrding accumalation they have totaled all amounts for previous and current but have not included this is the payment plan, so I shall speak to them about this.

Thank you for the support thus far, its a massive help.

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